DISCLAIMER: My story, my characters, no disclaimer needed. A holiday-inspired little tale.
SERIES: Third in the desserts series following Chocolate and Vanilla.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Ice Cream
By Carola "Ryûchan" Eriksson

It was going to be a big day.

Or, at least that was what Sarah hoped... it could also very well turn out to be a huge day on the scale of most mortifying moments of her life, not to mention quite a bit painful, unless she was very, very lucky.

For the hundredth time Sarah asked herself if she had gone mad, and why the heck she was going through with this. And for the hundredth time she also told herself to back off, change her many arrangements to be just a nice evening, nothing more.

And just like hundred times before, Sarah didn't listen to herself.

She had just gotten home with the very last of the items she needed for her perfect evening, and a glance at the clock told her she had only just enough time to finish everything by the time Michaela came home.

No time to hesitate, then.

Gently shooing the curious cat out of the kitchen, Sarah quickly unloaded her bags and made a quick survey to check that there was nothing missing. Nope, it seemed she for once had gotten everything, including a few comfort toys for her kitty, because Sarah felt guilty for what she was going to do.

Then kitty was scooped up together with a small mountain of toys, and placed with food, water, kitty bed and litter box in the computer room. Sarah petted her a little and promised to let her out in a few hours, then closed the door behind her.

A quick wash later, and Sarah was ready to put everything together.

Setting the table came first, simply because she needed to let the ice-cream soften a bit before handling it. She removed the extra chairs and took out the section that made the kitchen table bigger, until she had only the two chairs on opposite sides of the smaller rounded table. A nice white tablecloth came next, and the pair of silver chandeliers that Michaela got as a Christmas gift from her grandmother.

Sarah rolled her eyes at herself as she realised she had forgotten the two candles she had bought for the occasion on the kitchen bench, and hurried back to get them. Next came burgundy red napkins and silverware, and two of their fancy wineglasses, followed by the silver cooler and a small bottle of Michaela's favourite wine. Sarah herself didn't drink, so she had opted for a cranberry juice that had nearly the same colour as wine, which she would fill her glass with later.

Another glance at the watch told Sarah she had about ten minutes before the food would arrive, which she had timed as close as she dared to the time Michaela would be home. Feeling more than a bit panicky, Sarah simply lay the single blood red rose she had bought on the table in front of where Michaela would sit, then rushed back into the kitchen.

The ice-cream was just soft enough to be a bit malleable, which was what Sarah needed. She had made two bowls of it the day before, one vanilla with chunks of chocolate in it, and one chocolate with pieces of fudge, and earlier in the day she had made a sauce to go with it. This was the pivotal part.

Working carefully, Sarah tried to make two identical ice-cream desserts. Both square with walls of her home-made ice-cream and with hollow centres, ice-cream and whipped cream on top, with shavings of white chocolate and her home-made sauce on top and down the sides, they looked rather festive, Sarah thought. She was rather pleased with herself.

Michaela's ice-cream held something special, though.

The hollow centre in that dessert wasn't empty, in fact it held what was the point of the whole evening and the month of planning that had gone into it on Sarah's part... not to mention the sneaking so that Michaela wouldn't notice anything. It held a small jeweller's box carefully enclosed in a small transparent plastic food bag, and inside it, a small gold ring.

Once again Sarah questioned herself, if it was really a wise thing to do... she was quite frankly scared stiff of the idea that if she proposed, Michaela wouldn't say yes. It wasn't that she really thought Michaela would, she had no doubts about the other woman's feelings for her, but... still. Was she brave enough to do this?

Hesitating as she was about to put both desserts in the fridge so that they wouldn't melt before dinner was through, Sarah heard the doorbell ring. Swiftly depositing the desserts she sprinted to the door.

It had taken some consideration before Sarah had decided what to do for dinner on this occasion. Would she cook something Michaela liked? But Sarah felt that for an occasion such as this, something a bit more fancy than she could make was in order, so she had made arrangements with their favourite restaurant. They didn't usually deliver, but she had paid someone they sort of knew there to bring the food, Michaela's favourite, so she could prepare everything else.

Paying the young man at the door and thanking him profusely, Sarah hurried into the kitchen with the bag, carefully arranging the contents on plates. She had just crushed all the boxes randomly into the wastebasket, recycling be damned for once, when she heard the door open and Michaela's voice ring out in a happy "Baby, I'm home".

She was five minutes early!

Panic set in as Sarah realised she had not yet changed into the clothes she had lain out for the occasion, nor put on makeup... well, ok, so she hadn't intended to put on makeup, but at least check that her hair looked alright.... she managed to stop her internal rambling about there and call out for Michaela to go relax in the living room, because she'd be out in a moment.

Then Sarah set her own speed-record in dashing into the bedroom, change clothes, pull a brush through her hair briefly, then sprint out into the living room so fast she nearly collided with the startled Michaela.

Who was holding a single long-stemmed rose.

Michaela pulled Sarah in for a hug and a kiss, giving her the rose as she held her. "Did you know that it's been a whole year already since we moved in together, baby? A year today." She gave Sarah another peck. "So where is my rascal, I got something for her too."

Sarah took Michaela's hand and gently tugged her along towards the kitchen. "She's in the other room for now, we'll let her out later."

Silently Sarah led Michaela to the table, then let go of her hand.

"Oh honey, you remembered!" Michaela breathed, then pulled Sarah back for another hug and kiss.

"Mm. Why don't you go sit down, and I'll bring the food." Sarah said smiling, already feeling a bit less nervous than before. She spared a peek over her shoulder as she went into the kitchen, catching Michaela sitting down and grinning rather goofily at the rose in front of her.

Even though she was a little less nervous than before, Sarah couldn't taste a thing about her dinner... nor could she manage to eat much of it. Michaela on the other hand was delighted, enjoying both the dinner and the wine with great appreciation, so happy about the whole romantic gesture and telling Sarah as much several times.

Then it was time for Sarah to remove the plates and get their desserts. Michaela wanted to help, but Sarah declined, nervously having a last moment of doubt. Should she switch plates and just not eat enough of the ice-cream to reveal what was inside? But no, this was it.

With some determination though her hands were shaking, Sarah brought the desserts out to the table, setting the one she had made for Michaela in front of her and the other for herself.

Michaela smiled at her, a wide and happy sweet smile, and reached over to take Sarah's hand. At the loving look in Michaela's eyes, Sarah finally relaxed.

After a long moment when it was becoming clear to Sarah that Michaela was fully content to just stare at her with a completely besotted look, and that Michaela had probably forgotten all about the ice-cream that was beginning to melt a little in front of her, Sarah smiled wryly. She knew suddenly that she wouldn't say a word of the speech she had prepared.

"Honey..." She smirked and gave Michaela a meaning look. "eat your ice-cream."

The End

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