None of these characters belong to me, they belong to Meg Cabot and Disney. This was thought up on a very, long tedious car journey so there was a lot of thought put into it! Please enjoy! This is Christmas before PD2, I believe he proposed before and this is what happened.

Mia loved Christmas at the palace, in fact she really loved Genovia. The snow lying so thick and fires burning in the baronial fire places of the palace made it so beautiful and cosy. She let out a contented sigh as she made her way down the corridor to her grandmother suite, they were going to watch their usual Friday night movie but something was wrong. She could hear raised voices from behind her grandmother's door- voices she knew very well.


"why do you insist on this now?", Clarisse screamed at him, barely able to keep her temper in check. Why was he doing this now, god she wanted to scream! She sat on the couch clutching her empty tea cup to prevent herself from throwing it at him, he could be so damn aggravating.

"why wont you?", he growled back, " I don't see any problem with marrying me, or maybe I do!"

She looked up and glared at him through watery eyes. She dreaded what she knew he was going to say, it killed her.

"you're scared to just be you, you hide behind your status, Clarisse!". she flinched as he shouted her name, not as he usually said it- with such affection and love it made her melt. No, this time he snarled it, as if he hated the sound of it.

"you hide behind Genovia", he continued on his rant, " and you hide behind Mia!"

He was waving his hands about now and shouting about how she "didn't care" but she wasn't listening- the truth had hurt too much. He knew her well, too well sometimes, but that's what had developed from years of loving each other secretly- they were still doing it. She couldn't bare it, it hurt so much- he was making her weak.

"why won't you just let down your guard, stop being afraid and denying it- I'll take care of you, just like I always have!", he shouted impatiently. He was feeling bad but how long could this last, pretending to be 'good friends'. she glared at him through tear welled eyes, she could see the pain she was causing him illustrated clearly in his beautiful eyes but she couldn't do it, she was so afraid- even of her heart's greatest desire. He hung his head and sighed. The tears were working themselves down her face, as she kept her eyes intently on him.

"how dare you make me feel like this! How dare you make me feel so vulnerable! Don't you ever dare do this to me". She rumbled as she stood up and leaned on the back of the chair. The pain in her stomach was crippling, she was breathing heavily, she leaned forward, clutching her side. He seen how bad she was feeling, she was ashen and ill looking- he'd clearly touched a nerve.

"Clarisse", he tried softly.

"just go", she whispered, unable to muster any energy, " you have to go, I want to be alone". he hung his head and sighed, he could never win- he realised he'd resigned himself to that fact along time ago.

"as you wish, your majesty", he said with a curt nod of the head. She was cut by the coldness in his voice, the use of formality burned her as she realised what she had done.

This was the second time he'd asked, the second time she had refused. They had survived it the last time- could they survive it this time.

Joseph made his way put of the suite and punched the concrete wall, ripping his knuckles apart. He was so angry he didn't notice Mia in the corner as he thundered his way down the corridor to the kitchen to find the biggest bottle of whiskey in the stores.


Mia pushed the door of her grandmother's suite open and walked nervously in. Clarisse was curled up on the couch, her chin resting on her knees, sobbing quietly. Mia kneeled down beside her and wrapped a loving arm around her, she didn't resist but just sobbed harder.

"hey grandma, it's ok", Mia whispered soothingly.

"oh Amelia, what have I done", she mumbled, through tears.

"oh grandma it will be fine you just need to cry and then….", she smiled. Clarisse lifted her head and smiled weakly. It occurred to Mia this was the first time she had really seen the passionate woman she knew her grandmother was, it was usually a fleeting glimpse. She knew how much they loved each other, that much was obvious but she never thought there was problems between them- never. She couldn't let them end it like this, she was already forming a plan.

"Just how much did you hear?", Clarisse questioned, hoping all her dignity wasn't gone.

"enough", Mia smiled.

Clarisse groaned and closed her eyes momentarily, what was she doing?

"enough to know Joe wants to make an honest woman out of you", she continued with a faint smile, "and you just wont let him, well not just now anyway". Clarisse smiled a little at her granddaughters joke.

"Mia, don't out it that way!", she laughed slightly.

"well maybe not just now but one day", Mia suggested, plan fully formulated.

"what do you mean?", Clarisse said impatiently. It had been a long, emotionally draining night- all she wanted to do was curl up in her bed and cry herself to sleep, as she used to do before he came.

"trust me", Mia winked, " it'll be great".


Joseph made his way to the ballroom. He usually enjoyed this night at the palace, everyone got together and had a fantastic party for Christmas eve. He'd planned to give her an engagement ring this evening, if she had accepted. He felt the tiny little box in his pocket and sighed, the quicker he went he could go and drown his sorrows in a nightcap.

Clarisse straightened out her dress and stared at herself in the mirror. Mia's plan had been so ludicrous but she had to try, she couldn't lose him. They had danced around each other for the last 2 days, tactically avoiding each other. She brandished the envelope and headed down to the ballroom with Mia, who was seriously looking to have some mischief this evening.

Joseph watched her come in and sighed audibly, she looked amazing. Her smile radiated the greatest happiness- was he the only one who knew how she truly felt? It killed him to know what she was feeling- the pure insecurity and fear she seemed to harbour was quite unreal. He nodded to her and she smiled sadly. The only communication they had made in days. This wasn't going to be easy.


The night went by pretty well, everyone danced and eat pear cakes. Joseph slipped into a corner and remained there until the last people dribbled out leaving Clarisse and Mia saying goodnight at the double doors.

"go grandma, now's your chance", Mia smiled at Clarisse and motioned to wards the sullen-looking Joe sitting by the fire. Clarisse nodded apprehensively, what would she say? Mia quietly said goodnight to her grandmother and made her way out. Though it was so tempting to stay- she knew they needed there privacy.

Clarisse sat down in the chair by the fire, he looked up and registered her presence then turned away. The ballroom was dark and warm, the only light was coming from the fire- security had left long ago.

"can I do anything, your majesty?", he said coldly, avoiding her eyes.

"yes, for a start you can look at me, Joseph", she said, resting her head on the side of the chair- the envelope clutched in her hands. His head shot up and he looked at her, thoroughly puzzled.

"I want us to stop this", she begged, " I love you".

"prove it", he answered flatly. She was hurt by his harshness, the lack of care in his voice but what could she expect- it was her fault.

"here", she said, handing him the envelope, " this is your Christmas".

He took it from her and opened it slowly, he wasn't sure what it was but he read anyway;

I can't help being scared, loving you is all new to me. Please forgive me and I promise you I'll learn in time, but not just now. I can only promise you this because I love you and I promise you, one day I won't be scared. Then we can bring our friendship out of the shadows- no excuses.

Love always,

Merry Christmas,

Clarisse. X

She wrung her hands nervously as he read. She noticed how his face relaxed as he read and slowly broke into a caring smile as he reached the end.

Joseph looked up at her, clutching the letter like a life line. She smiled nervously, waiting for his reaction.

"is this a promise?", he whispered. She nodded in response as he stood up and moved towards her. He took his hands in hers as he knelt down beside her chair. She lifted his chin and looked deep into his eyes.

"yes, but not just now, when I'm ready", she said, her voice clouded with emotion.

"when we're ready", he confirmed.

"I love you Joseph", she smiled, kissing his lips softly.

"I love you and I have something for you", he whispered, reaching into his pocket. He handed her the box and she flicked it open, smiling at him.

"an engagement ring?", she questioned, raising an eyebrow, " is that appropriate".

"let's just say it's an " I.O.U one marriage" ring", he laughed, slipping it on her right index finger.

"I promise you one day I'll wear it on my left finger", she whispered.

"I trust you, you never brake promises", he laughed, pulling her up to stand with him.

"no, only hearts", she said, dryly. He had to laugh at that, she had the most sarcastic ways of lightening grim subjects.

"dance with me", he said suddenly, pulling her closer. Desperate to be near her.

"but there's no music", she laughed.

"we don't need music, all we need is each other", he argued, slipping his hand round her waist.

"if you insist", she smiled, as he pulled her closer and began to sway her from side to side.

"god Clarisse, I'll wait forever", he whispered.

"not forever, just a little while".

Hope ya liked, please R&R, thanks.