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Sherlock opened his eyes slowly after pulling his lips away from Molly Hooper’s. She was currently curled into his lap (where she fit perfectly), peppering him with kisses in an attempt to coax him from his bad mood. As she cuddled into his neck and ran her fingers into his hair, he couldn’t suppress the smirk that appeared on his face – for he wasn’t really in a bad mood, he just wanted her attention, and this was a guaranteed way to receive it. She felt his cheeks twitch into a smile.

“Sherlock Holmes! You bugger! You’re not even upset!” She sat up slightly and looked him dead in the smirking eyes.

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that Molly, I’m quite disgruntled now that you’re not kissing me.”

“You’re the worst.”

“And yet, you love me.”

Her cheeks still pinked at that, the way he just knew. She looked down from his gaze and he panicked, she was still in so much doubt about his feelings. Even after he poured his heart out to her the night of that damned phone call. But he couldn’t exactly blame her, he was a changeable person. He just wished this could be easy for them. He raised his hand from where it was looped around her waist and lifted her head to his,

“And I love you. Truly.”

She smiled at this, a genuine smile, and his spirit lifted.

“I’m sorry I shouted, I know you want to keep this quiet and I believe Mrs Hudson is downstairs.”

He knew she didn’t really like keeping them a secret, but after the devastation of everything that had happened recently – losing Mary, discovering Eurus, the vivisection, her treatment – Sherlock didn’t think it fair to rub their happiness in the faces of their companions, and Molly did think that quite admirable of him.

“It’s fine, my love.” She smiled again, she always smiled when he called her that, “Now I must ask, to prevent the return of my foul mood-”

“Your fake foul mood” She interrupted, he ignored her.

“Please continue to remedy me,” she looked at him, failing to hide her smile as he gazed at her with the biggest boyish grin on his face, “kiss me.”

So she did just that.

Then, there was a click.
A flash.
The door creaking closed ever so slightly.
The patter of footsteps racing down the stairs, secret giggling accompanying it.

Mrs Hudson had taken a photo of them making out on Sherlock’s sofa.

Molly went straight into panic mode, she leapt from his lap with great energy and looked at the door. Her wild eyes flew to Sherlock’s face as she rambled about what had happened at a hundred miles per hour.

“Oh god, Sherlock. Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t even hear the door open. Why does the damn thing creak closed and not open? Now Mrs Hudson has literal photographic evidence of what you wanted to keep a secret. I’m so sorry, Sherlock.” Her wild eyes fixed on the door as she took confident steps towards it, “I’ll go talk to her, I’ll get her to delete it. I’m so sorry, I’ll fix this.”

Before she could put her hand to the door handle his hand grabbed hers and caused her to halt in her mission.

“Molly, it’s okay.”

“But- but you don’t- you said-”

He smiled at the return of her adorable stutter and reached up a hand to cradle her face.

“Really, Molls. It’s okay.” She looked up at him with those mesmerising chocolate eyes, her expression riddled with confusion, “Maybe it’s time.”

“You mean-”

He took her hands in his.

“Let her have her fun. She can send the photo around to whomever she pleases. It will certainly save us the hassle of doing it.”

“So … you don’t mind people knowing we’re together?” the genuine shock in her voice hurt him like needles to the heart. After all this time, she still doesn’t believe how much she matters to him, how big of a part she plays in his whole life.

“Molly, of course I don’t. I would shout it from the rooftop if it was deemed appropriate.” She chuckled at that, a little bit of light returning to her eyes, “Yes, I wanted to keep this quiet for a while in the wake of the events that had collapsed the walls around our dysfunctional little family, but I never meant for you to think it was because I was ashamed of us, of you. Molly Hooper, you are the person who matters most to me and I will not hide you, I will not hide how important you are anymore. Even if it tends to put your life in danger sometimes, I’m simply too selfish to let you go now that I finally have you.”

On his last words, he pulled her closer to him, their bodies fitting together like the perfect puzzle. He took a moment to embrace her, to cradle her head into his chest and rest his chin atop it. He closed his eyes and breathed in the moment – burning it into his mind palace like he had done every time he held her close. He never wanted to forget this feeling. He pulled away from her so he could plant a loving kiss on her lips. It was now or never.

“Besides, it will be a good addition to John’s best man speech.”

Her head, which was once again resting on his chest, snapped up to look at him, her arms falling from his waist to land limply at her sides.

“What?”

“Oh, you know how they go. The whole ‘this is how I found out they were together’ malarkey that opens the speech. Can’t you just imagine the smirk on John’s face as he tells the reception of the story of the landlady who fancies herself quite the spy, and the all-telling picture of the happy couple curled up on a sofa on a Sunday morning, clad in pyjamas and kissing like they had all the time in the world?”

He looked down at a blank face, wide-eyed with an agape jaw. He shrugged.

“Well, I can.”

“Sherlock, are you- did you- are you talking about marrying me?”

“I’m doing more than that, Molly. I’m asking.”

He lowered himself onto one knee, holding her hands and gazing up at her with a face full of awe and love.

“You’re beautiful, Molls. And I want nothing more than a beautiful life with you. I love you so dearly, and nothing would make me happier. So, Molly Hooper, will you-“

He didn’t get to finish his question for she was already down at his level, tears streaming down her face, muttering ‘yes’ over and over again between kisses and sobs. He held her until she calmed and pulled back to see her face, wearing a grin that undoubtedly mirrored his own. He kissed her again.

“I love you.”

“I love you too, Sherlock.” She said before a giggle broke out of her mischievous smile.

“What’s so funny?”

“Nothing, it’s just – if you’re going to carry on with the big loving gestures – I’ll get Mrs Hudson to snap photos of us all the time.” He laughed with her until their mouths met again.
The landlady in the stairwell smiled at herself upon hearing the comment, looking quietly down at her phone and scrolling through the images of Sherlock down on one knee and Molly exhibiting the most happiness Martha Hudson had ever seen.

This time, she remembered to turn the flash off.