He’d been nervous all day and Molly couldn’t help but smile to herself about that. But really, they’d been walking almost in circles for what felt like an age and she had a lesson to finish planning for the next day.
"Mister Holmes, thank you for the lovely walk, but I—"
She was cut off abruptly by him seizing her hand, halting both of them just by the shade of the large oak that grew in near the school yard.
"Molly, I—" he started, keeping a firm hold on her hand, but avoiding her gaze. He seemed to come to a decision and met her gaze with a stern look. "Miss Hooper."
Molly stared for a little longer, waiting for him to continue.
After another minute or two, he finally did. “I feel that I must be clear about something, Miss Hooper. I know we’ve only been acquainted a short while and it’s been an even shorter time that the relationship was…closer.”
Molly stifled a giggle, even as her heart began to speed up. He looked like one of her young pupils, eyes darting around nervously and occasionally biting his lips. She gave his hand an encouraging squeeze. “It’s alright to call it courting, Sherlock,” she said softly.
"Yes, well," he cleared his throat. "I believe that courting does indeed have an objective, and it’s my belief that we have reached it."
He met her gaze then, and Molly breath caught in her throat.
"I was raised to believe that love was a chemical defect found on the losing side of life," he told her calmly. "For this reason I had no problem living the life of a perpetual bachelor, very content in the work and life that I led without any interest whatsoever to alter it."
He took a step closer to her, his gaze softening as he placed his other hand over the one of hers he held.
"Watson told me once that love would hit me like lightening. Normally, I would be loathed to admit to such a thing was possible, but I find that I cannot now. Molly Hooper, I am in love with you. I have been rather happily in love with you since the day we met," he told her simply and she let his words pool warmly in her chest. "My hypothesis on love has been continually proved wrong because of you, and I could not be happier for it."
Very calmly, he dropped down onto a knee before her. “Molly Hooper, would you do me the honor of allowing me to be your husband?”
Molly wondered for a moment if she would faint. “Of course,” she said, placing both her hands on his cheeks. She feared that she looked downright daft by smiling this widely. “With all my heart.”
She squealed in surprise and delight as she was swept up off her feet, the arms of her new fiancee securing her to him.
Their smiles met repeatedly, understanding and love out in the open prairie as a sweet spring breeze gently moved the new leaves of the tree above them.