Clarisse Cooks Dinner for Joseph's Dream Woman

Disclaimer: I own nothing, just the storyline.

Author's Note: Big hug to Rach for beta this for me. Thanks. :-)

It was a beautiful summer afternoon in Genovia. Charlotte and Joseph were in the kitchen, deep in conversation.

"Now I'm really gonna tell her," said Joseph with audacity. "Yes, you're right Charlotte; it's now or never."

"That's the way to talk Joe!" smiled Charlotte and squeezed his hand.

"Yes, I'm gonna tell Clarisse, that… that I'm in love with her," said Joseph finally when Clarisse stepped in.

"Oh! I'm so sorry," said Clarisse nervously. "I… I just wanted to pick up some milk for my tea. I didn't mean to disturb you."

"No, you're not disturbing…" started Joseph weakly, but she had already disappeared.

"Oh, Charlotte, she just ran out. Do you think she heard…?"

"Yes, I do." smiled Charlotte excitedly.

"Oh my God. What have I done?"

"Don't worry! She is just puzzled. It's natural."

"But… It's so awkward. Oh Charlotte, I'm so miserable. Do you think she loves me the same way?" asked Joseph when Clarisse stepped in again.

"I didn't hear anything," said Clarisse quickly and kept her ears stopped, while she picked up a spoon. "I am going. I am going. Sorry," murmured the queen as she rushed out.

"Damn it!" cried Joseph. "What am I going to do? Well, Charlotte?"

"Just… Just go after her. Oh Joseph, don't be so gammy. This is your perfect chance. And if you do not go after her, you will ruin everything. Go! Don't say anything, just go!" cried Charlotte, a bit angry.

"All right," answered Joseph. "I hope you know that you're a whacker."

OOOOOOOOOOOO

A few minutes later, he knocked on her office door…

"Come in."

"Good afternoon, Your Majesty," smiled Joseph nervously as he closed the door.

"Ah, Joseph. I'm glad you're here." smiled Clarisse. "I wanted to apologize about… you know. I didn't mean to disturb you."

"No. You didn't disturb us."

"I'm glad to hear that. Look, I accidentally heard what you were talking about and…"

"So you heard it," said Joseph with hope. "And what do you say to it?"

"I think it's… fantastic. I mean you have to invite her to dinner or something."

"Really? Do you really think so?" asked Joseph.

"Yes. I think it's a good beginning… Or you wanted something else?"

"No. No. Dinner is perfect." said Joseph quickly. He still did not dare to believe in this magic. "So… You think I should invite her to dinner?"

"Absolutely… Well… Why don't you call her now?"

"Call her…?"

"You can use my phone. I want to hear how it is going - if you don't mind… Anyway what is her name?" asked Clarisse with a smile.

"What's her name?" Joseph felt weak and lost.

"Yes. What's the matter Joseph? You look so strange," laughed Clarisse, but she suddenly stopped. "Oh, I'm sorry. Of course. It's not my business."

"No. I just… Sorry. Her name is Cla… Clare."

"Clare? Hm. It's a beautiful name. It's almost Clarisse. Haha," laughed Clarisse.

"Yes… Almost."

"So… What is you are waiting for? Call her!"

"Now?" asked Joseph desperately.

"Of course. Oh, Joseph. You need a little courage. Come on," said Clarisse and handed him the phone. "Before you change your mind."

"Ah, all right." sighed Joseph and dialed Charlotte's number. Unfortunately she picked up the phone.

"Hallo, Joe, is that you?" asked Charlotte.

"Hello, Clare. It's me Joseph."

"What?! Joe? Are you there?"

"I thought if you were free for dinner one day this week..."

"Dinner? Joe… Are you all right?"

"That's perfect. Then tomorrow," smiled Joseph and hung up the phone.

"Well done, Joseph," smiled Clarisse. "It is less difficult than it at first sight appears, isn't it?"

"It is, indeed," answered Joseph with a sad smile.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO

A few minutes later in the kitchen…

"Sorry Joe," smiled Charlotte. "I didn't know what was going on. So now, she is thinking that this 'Clare' is your secret love. Oops."

"Yes, Oops. I'm in trouble as always."

"Oh, don't say that. You just have to stay in your flat in town tomorrow."

"But she will think that I want something from this… Clare. Clare?! Why did I say Clare?! I'm so stupid. But I couldn't think of a single female name at that moment."

"Hey, just don't worry. It's natural. And Clare is a perfect choice. Take it easy," smiled Charlotte. "And don't worry about tomorrow. You will say that she simply called off the date. She will feel sorry for you, and that's good, believe me," winked Charlotte.

"I hope you're right."

"I am always right," smiled Charlotte. "Always."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Next night, someone knocked on Joseph's front door in Pyrus…

"Hello, Joseph," smiled Clarisse in the doorway.

"Oh, Clarisse. I… I didn't expect to see you here," answered Joseph surprised and desperately hopeful at the same time.

"I won't disturb you I promise. I just popped in with my famous Tiramisu. Just to make perfect the night," said Clarisse as she stormed in without asking for permission. "I hope she isn't here already. "

"No. Actually, she isn't here," answered Joseph.

"Right. Then I will put this into the fridge."

"Wait!" cried Joseph but she already stepped into the kitchen.

"Joseph?" asked Clarisse with disbelief when she put down the cake and looked around. "Where is the dinner? You didn't cook anything?"

"Well… I thought I would order something…"

"Oh Joseph. You cannot do this. It's an important night. What will she think about you? Oh, don't worry, I will cook for you. No, don't protest. I was quite good at finishing school."

"Right. Then at least let me help you," smiled Joseph nervously, but he also felt something cozy too.

OOOOOOOOOO

An hour later, they were cooking in the kitchen in perfect harmony, each with a glass of wine in their hands…

"That was really funny Joseph!" laughed Clarisse and chopped another tomato into the salad. "Oh my God, it's nearly eight o'clock. She will be here within minutes."

"Never mind. We are finished. Why don't we sit down a little with this Chateau Lafitte?" smiled Joseph.

"That's a very good idea. Just until she arrives," said Clarisse and they sat down in the living room.

"Clarisse…" started Joseph and looked in her eyes. "I'm so glad that you're here."

"I am the one who's glad. I really want to help you," said Clarisse with a smile, but there was a little sadness in her voice. "So why don't you tell me about your dream woman until she arrives? I really want to know a few details."

"Do you really wanna…" asked Joseph with hesitation.

"Yes. Tell me about your dream woman."

"Alright," sighed Joseph and started speaking. "She is the most beautiful woman I've ever met. When I see her, I simply forget about anything else around me. I just stare into her ocean blue eyes and the world slowly disappears… When she is talking, I cannot hear anybody else, just her sweet voice. And the way she smiles at me… She could blot out any bad memory from my heart. She is my everything," said Joseph still kept the eye contact, but at his last words she started crying. "Clarisse? Clarisse? What's the matter?"

"Nothing… Nothing," tried Clarisse, while she jumped up and quickly started drying her tears with a napkin. "I just thought of her… how lucky Clare is…"

"Clarisse…" said Joseph and stepped closer.

"Yes?"

"The name is Clarisse, not Clare," said Joseph softly.

"What?!" She was at loss.

"It's you. You are the one who I was talking about, when you stepped in."

"And what about Clare and this dinner?"

"There is not any dinner and not any Clare. Oh, Clarisse. I just had to figure out something. I thought you heard the whole conversation in the kitchen, and you knew I was speaking about you… You're the one who I love," Joseph whispered the last bit.

"And this dinner? You knew there wouldn't be any dinner…"

"I just wanted to be with you. I'm sorry, but…" continued Joseph softly. "But cooking, chatting, laughing with you was too magical, to tell the truth. I just…" Joseph tried but he couldn't finish, 'cos Clarisse covered his lips with hers. Everything happened so suddenly, she just leant closer and kissed him. And Joe… as he came to himself again, he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her like who never wanted to breathe again…

OOOOOOOOOOOOO

A few minutes had passed, when she slowly broke the kiss.

"You are my everything." whispered Joseph and gave a kiss to the tip of her nose.

"Really? Then what would you say to a dinner as our first date?"

"Hm… Let me think a little… All right. But just if you'll save a few kisses for dessert."

The End

Author's Note: Thanks for reading and now please leave me a review. Thanks.