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Counting (Sherlock)

Title: Counting
Author: Morgan Stuart
Fandom: Sherlock
Disclaimer: This universe does not belong to me; I'm just an appreciative visitor. I make no profit from this fan work.
Description: Moriarty had ended his tally one name too soon.
Historian's Note: This takes place during events depicted in the second-series Sherlock episode "The Reichenbach Fall."
Author's Note: This is a 221b ficlet (221 words, the last beginning with "b").
Chinese Translation: available here and here by freya_fsc
Warnings (Highlight to Read): Spoilers for "The Reichenbach Fall," major character death

When Jim Moriarty explained the "extra incentive" he'd arranged to ensure the suicide and disgrace of the world's only consulting detective, Sherlock knew exactly for whom the three bullets were intended.

The man who was not his date.

The woman who was not his housekeeper.

The man who was not his handler.

The ones he trusted, the ones on whom he'd relied for so long. The ones who even now struggled against the poisonous lies that scuttled forth from Moriarty's web like so many thin-legged, eager arachnids.

The three were Sherlock's closest friends in the world, to be certain. But not his only ones.

Moriarty had ended his tally one name too soon.

"I don't count," she'd said, and in a manner of speaking, she'd been correct. Moriarty hadn't counted Molly Hooper. Fortunately, in the eleventh hour, Sherlock had.

He'd counted on her, in fact.

The thought struck him as he balanced on the ledge and considered the pavement below. For a heartbeat Sherlock allowed himself a silent laugh at Moriarty's oversight, which nearly had been his own, as well.

Molly Hooper, his friend, counted very much indeed.

It would be a testament to how much she counted when Sherlock disappeared into the background of his beloved London, whilst Moriarty lay cold in a viscous pool of his own blood.


Vital Stats: Originally written in January 2012.


( 94 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 16th, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
I swear, if I didn't think it would be an insult to you, I'd be tempted to think that somehow we are sharing a fandom brain. You keep writing the things I am thinking!

Jan. 16th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
travels in time, i worship your icon. I too would crochet for coffee although i mostly do so for free.
(no subject) - morganstuart - Jan. 16th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 16th, 2012 03:12 am (UTC)
oh, Morgan, the redemption of Molly and the seeds had been planted back in ep one.

I think we saw true unconditional love there because it wasn't based on his behavior at all but upon her giving and forgiving heart. sniffle

I am so glad that he gave her his trust which is likely bigger than his love. I hope they hugged.

Thanks for getting something out quickly. My flist has been paralyzed, with shock and grief, I guess.

This was good.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
You're so right: this arc with Molly has been developing since the very beginning, hasn't it? What a joy to see it reach this turning point!

I adore your description of her truly unconditional love. That's it exactly. And thanks to it, Sherlock has the chance to take a great step (leap?) in his journey toward becoming a good man (and live to take more such steps in the future).

Thank you so much for reading this and for sharing your beautiful insights on this amazing episode. I'm so happy this little ficlet worked for you. I appreciate your thoughtful words very much!
Jan. 16th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC)
I like this very much - and what a b-word to end on! *applauds Molly and you*
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm delighted that you liked it! What a fantastic episode. I'm so thrilled we'll have another series.

Thanks again for reading and commenting. *applauds Molly and you in return*
Jan. 16th, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)
Beautifully written, especially the structuring of the "X who was not". And how you pick up Molly's "I don't count". I really liked how they used Molly in this episode. I'd hoped she'd have a BAMF moment, but in some ways this was more true to her - that (as Maggie says above) she is a good person, who will help Sherlock because he needs it, however horrible he is sometimes.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, I appreciate it so much! Thank you for your lovely comments. I'm so happy the writing worked for you, especially the repetition of what Sherlock's friends are not. I'm tickled the use of her "I don't count" line seemed fitting, as well.

I think you and Maggie are quite right about her (and the brilliant way she was used in this episode). I love the fact that, in helping Sherlock, she's not only giving him a chance at life, but also a chance to become that good person she (and Lestrade, and Mrs Hudson, and of course John) believes he can become.

I'm grateful for your kindness in reading and commenting and leaving such wonderful food for thought. Cheers!
Jan. 16th, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
Beautifully summed up. And so appropriate that Moriarty, who used her before, should totally underestimate her. Molly Hooper the friend when it really counted.
Jan. 16th, 2012 06:43 am (UTC)
Right! ...which is proof, btw, that this Moriarty doesn't lose to this Sherlock on a matter of baritsu, but of mind.
(no subject) - morganstuart - Jan. 16th, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - morganstuart - Jan. 16th, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 16th, 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
If I had to sum this up in one word it would be perfect.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, this thrills my heart! Thank you so very much for your encouragement. I'm delighted that you enjoyed it.
Jan. 16th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC)
Perfect! Exactly what I've been thinking about while watching the episode. I'm hoping someone will write the story of the Fall from Molly's POV, how she helped Sherlock and how she reacted to what he told her. Molly Cooper is an absolute BAMF and I hope all the haters have changed their minds after this ep.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
I don't see how this episode could fail to make anyone a Molly fan. Wasn't she brilliant?

Thank you so much for your kind words. It sounds like we were on the very same wavelength during the episode. I'd love to read that story you described!

I really appreciate your reading and commenting. I'm really tickled that this little ficlet worked for you.
Jan. 16th, 2012 06:44 am (UTC)
Quick and clean. Thank you!
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I'm so happy it worked for you.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, you've made my day. Thank you so much, my friend! All credit goes to Molly. :)
Jan. 16th, 2012 08:33 am (UTC)
Yes, this! There was a comment on the meme about Moriarty's downfall being due to the fact that he'd discounted Molly after using her, while Sherlock's salvation occured because he'd acknowledged her. (I did wonder if the comment was yours.^^)

I love that at last, AT LAST, Molly and Sherlock seem to have reached a form of equality. You certainly showed it here.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, this!

Oh, yay! If you feel this way, I know I'm on the right track! :D I loved the comment you described on the meme. I didn't post it, but I agree with it wholeheartedly.

I love that at last, AT LAST, Molly and Sherlock seem to have reached a form of equality.

Yes, yes, yes! I'm with you 100%.

Thanks for your lovely comments, my friend. I owe you yet another one. ;)
Jan. 16th, 2012 08:48 am (UTC)
*sniffle* I thought I was ready for Reichenbach fics...apparently not!

Although, this was beautiful!
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
Aw, bless you! *offers hugs and virtual tea* Thank you so much for reading this. I really appreciate your kind and encouraging words.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:21 am (UTC)
I loved how Molly saw Sherlock more clearly than he saw himself, and was willing to be there for him, even after he humiliated her at the Christmas party.

Yes, she could be counted on, and Sherlock has more than one friend, for they are NOT dates, housekeepers or handlers.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
I loved how Molly saw Sherlock more clearly than he saw himself, and was willing to be there for him, even after he humiliated her at the Christmas party.

Yes indeed! I wholeheartedly agree. And I really appreciate the fact that her love is one of the factors that's helped Sherlock on his path toward become a good man (as opposed to merely a great one).

I can't thank you enough for all of your kindness in sharing Sherlock with me. You're the very best, and I'm grateful for you, my friend!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this little ficlet and comment. I appreciate it very much!
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:24 am (UTC)
YESSSS. for all who underestimated Molly Hooper, for shame.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
Well said! Special shame for Moriarty, who had the chance to know (and use) her, and who still underestimated her. Talk about poetic justice!

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm delighted that this worked for you.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:28 am (UTC)
*checks time*

Oh, yes, I was going to leave feeback! Hee. One thing this episode brought out was that Sherlock has learned the value of friends. I was reminded throughout of John's comment to Sherlock, "Friends protect you" - something Sherlock has already taken to heart even if John does not yet realize that. I like how you ended this on a somewhat chilling note.
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
Yep, you told me so. ::blushes:: You were right all along!

I'm so tickled that this worked for you. (Thanks so much for reading and commenting!) I love your insight about John's earlier comment to Sherlock about friends. How beautifully "full circle" this episode took us! I'm beyond ecstatic that we get another series. I look forward to sharing it with you, my friend.
Jan. 16th, 2012 10:39 am (UTC)
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so happy you think so! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate your encouragement.
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( 94 comments — Leave a comment )