Characters: Alec, Molly
Word Count 1,614
Summary: Alec has a question to ask which he doesn't quite accomplished as planned, but Molly has the most definite answer she's ever given.
Author's notes: Set in the Abby 'verse. OMG, so much fluff that I think I blushed while writing it. Seriously.
Last story of 2013! I have ended on a very fluffy note, which seems a good cap to this year's theme. Thanks to everyone who read and commented on the many, many stories I posted this year, and egged me on and generally supported me. Happy New Year, and Happy Sherlock Series Three!
Alec had known quite early on that he was going to marry Molly Hooper. Maybe even from the first or second date. At least within the first month. She was sweet and kind and clever, and beautiful, and had no artifice or coyness. She was just real, and easy to be with.
Molly was also shy, though, and skittish, so had to be approached slowly. It wasn't until much later that would understand why. He only knew there was someone before him and it hadn't ended well (quite the understatement, as it turned out). He didn't push to find out more, because she didn't need a reason to take things slowly. It was her prerogative. He didn't mind going at her pace; he knew what he wanted and that was her, and however long that took, it was fine. So long as she wanted him back; the downside of trying to go at her pace was feeling as though he were pushing her a little. He never knew how much was nervousness and how much a lack of desire. He had to ask if she was okay a lot, and try to make it clear that it was okay if it wasn't okay. It could be frustrating. And there were some times when it was just best to come flying at her sideways with something so she was too surprised to over think.
Now, some eight months after he'd known he was going to marry her, he thought it was the right time to ask. He'd given up his flat a few months earlier, and moved into hers, and that had gone seamlessly. He'd done some subtle hinting and discovered that marriage, and possibly children, were something she'd like for herself. And when he used future tenses, she joined in without hesitation, as though she too assumed that two or five or ten years from now, they would still be together.
So, he'd started to plan his proposal. He'd had a long talk with his parents (who patiently agreed with all his points, both pros and cons). He'd sought permission from Molly's mother (a daunting task, Linda Hooper was the most high strung woman he'd ever met). He'd gone to his step-sister who was a jeweller to help him find a ring (in the end, she'd modified one to his specifications). He'd planned a nice dinner in (Molly wouldn't do well with a public proposal, too much pressure). He'd even gone to 221B Baker Street and spoken to Sherlock Holmes about not interrupting (he'd made no guarantees, but John promised to hide his mobile).
Now the ring was completed and in his pocket, the food was prepared, and the table was laid.
He was only missing one ingredient, and that was Molly.
It wasn't Sherlock's fault this time. It had just been a bad day at work. Molly had rung three times, each with a later estimate than before, until finally she rang and said she didn't know when she'd be home.
So now he had to decide what to do.
The problem arose in that, with the number of people he'd consulted in his preparations, there was now a good chance someone would bump into Molly and ask to see the ring or how it went, and he wouldn't have done it. Which would ruin weeks of planning, and put Molly in an awkward position.
In the end, he rang her around eleven and asked if she had any sort of break coming up. She said she'd get about twenty minutes soon. Alec packed up what he could of dinner, and went to Barts mortuary.
“Oh, that's so sweet!” Molly said, when she stepped out. “I'm sorry about ruining things.”
“It's not your fault,” Alec said. “Is there somewhere we could go?”
They ended up in a little break room, where there were a few tables and some vending machines. Alec tossed a tablecloth over one of the tables, and laid out some plates. Molly looked delighted, though a bit tired. Maybe this wasn't the best time to do it.
“I'm really glad to see you,” Molly said.
Okay, maybe it was.
“I thought you could use a bit of a break,” he said.
“It's been pretty hectic,” she said. “But everything's settled down now. I just have to sort all the paperwork out, but that could be another few hours. How was your day?”
“Good,” Alec said. His hand was trembling as he poured her drink. He'd had wine at home, but he assumed drinking on the job would be frowned upon, so he'd brought fizzy drinks instead. “We started the Ancient Egypt module today, and learned how to write our name in hieroglyphs.”
“Oh, fun!” Molly said. “How do you write my name?”
Alec considered for a moment. “Owl, lasso, lion, lion, and... Y is... two reeds,” he said. “I think. I'm vulture, lion, reed, basket with handle if you want just spell it, but if you want to do the sounds of it, the E is a forearm instead of a reed. But it's all an approximation, because archaeologists don't know for sure how the language was written. A lot of the time the Egyptians skipped vowels, because they assumed people would know the word when they read it. Some letters don't really have direct correspondence to the symbols.”
“That's very interesting, Mr Thornton,” Molly said, smiling.
“Am I using my teacher voice?” Alec asked.
“Yes, it's very cute,” Molly said.
Alec served out the food, which he'd warmed up before he'd left home and put in a hot/cold bag.
“Oh, you made my favourite!” she said. “You made all my favourites. This is wonderful!”
Alec grinned. He sat down opposite her, and she chatted away, apparently oblivious to the fact that he was nervous as hell.
“Are you all right?” she asked. “You seem a bit distracted.”
All right, maybe not oblivious.
“I'm fine,” he assured her. “Just thinking.”
“What are you thinking about?” Molly asked.
Alec touched the ring box in his pocket. He'd been planning on waiting until after dinner, but that was a good opening. It wasn't as though all his plans had worked out anyway. He was already winging it.
“I've been thinking about us,” he said. Molly looked instantly worried. “In a good way. A good thinking about us.”
“Okay,” she said, not looking particularly convinced.
He knew how her mind worked--'he's made me a nice dinner to break up with me'. Best to nip that in the bud before it got out of hand. Time to come at her sideways. He slipped down so he was kneeling in front of her chair. Her hands went to her mouth, and she gasped.
“I love you,” he said. “And I'm really sorry that I'm doing this next to a vending machine near the mortuary, but I didn't want to wait. I love you, and I want to spent the rest of my life with you.” He pulled the ring box from his pocket. “Will you marry me?”
“Oh my god, yes!” Molly shrieked before he could get the box open. She threw her arms around his neck so hard that he fell backwards onto his bottom, bringing her with him. She landed in his lap and kissed him. It was the quickest she'd ever answered anything he'd asked her, and the most definite response he'd ever received. No prevaricating or stammering at all.
“Molly, Molls,” Alec said. “I need to give you the ring.”
“Oh, right!” Molly said.
She leaned back enough for him to get his arm between them and opened up the box.
“It's beautiful,” she said. “Wow. Wow!”
He slipped it onto her finger. “Nicola designed it,” he said. “It's a moissinite stone, I hope that's okay. Nic explained it, but...I think I have this right, the stone is in a bezel setting so it won't catch on anything--I was worried about your lab stuff--and that means not as much light goes through it as in a ring that sticks out more because it has more metal holding it in place. So, moissinites are more sparkly, and she thought it would look nicer.”
“It's perfect,” Molly said. “I love it!” Alec breathed out a long sigh of relief that made her laugh. “Did you think I would say no?”
“I was afraid you'd say no,” Alec said. He wiped a tear from her cheek with his thumb.
“Well, I say yes,” Molly said, rubbing her nose against his. “In big capital letters. In hieroglyphs! Two reeds, one reed or forearm...what's S?”
“Erm...folded cloth,” he said.
“Two reeds, one reed or forearm, folded cloth.”
“Ahem,” came a polite voice. The caretaker stood at the doorway, with a mop and bucket. “Should I come back?”
“No, sorry!” Molly said. She got up off of Alec, and he got to his feet as well. “We just got engaged!”
The caretaker nodded, as though this was something he encountered regularly. Alec supposed one had to be fairly unflappable to clean out mortuaries. “Congratulations,” he said.
“Thank you!” Molly said. “Oh, I should tell my mum, but no, it's a bit late for that, I suppose I should maybe wait? But...no, I'll have to wait. I want to tell someone. Sherlock would be awake, but--no, he won`t be excited so that won't help at all. Maybe if John was with him...I suppose Mum wouldn't mind too much being woken up for something like this. ”
Alec smiled, because they were back to nervous, skittish Molly, who changed her mind at least three times before she decided on anything.
Except marrying him.