Like an Anchor, an Austin and Ally oneshot

I do not own Austin and Ally. Prompts and feedback are always welcome!

You know that friend that always splits a stick of gum with you, because you had peanut butter for lunch, and there's no way they're going to let you walk around with that on your breath for the rest of the day? It breaks unevenly, and they give you the longer piece, even on their tuna days, because they know that you won't smile if your breath reeks, and that just won't do. How else is the world going to stay so beautiful?

The one who leaves movies on your doorstop when you're home sick, because you refuse to spread your germs, but they're not going to let you die without seeing the best movie ever first. It's better than the last five best movies ever, because this one makes you laugh until your sides hurt. Laughter is the best medicine, or so they think. You'd beg to differ, wanting to claw your throat out. You watch it twice, and quote it two weeks later, to their amusement.

The one that walks you home in the dark when you lose track of time, because they're afraid you're going to get kidnapped, or run into something in the pitch black of it all. Nevermind that they don't have night vision. They have a flashlight, fresh batteries, and their phone in their pocket, so when the neighbor's dog barks, and they scream bloody murder, a good three octaves above the usual, they can call you and make sure that you locked the door behind yourself. The Boogie Man is not going to get you. It's also a poodle. You fail to mention this to preserve their dignity.

The one that meets a girl, someone who isn't you, and falls heels over head.

Because remember, you're just friends. It was confirmed, three months ago.

"You two make a cute couple."

"What? Psh, no. We're just friends."

Those were your words. Your stupid words that got tied around your stupid heart like an anchor and weighed you down.

You tried to lift it off the ground. Your grip slipped, and the chains tightened, squeezing until you thought you were going to break.

You're not heart broken.

You're heart cracked.

There's a clear difference you've been told, not that you can find it. Your vision has been blurry the past few days. It's hard to see through tears.

He ran up to you, hands on your sides. You wanted him to pull you closer. To kiss you like that one night, the one he labeled as a mistake, because he was sleep deprived. The one that you didn't argue, because 'psh, no' meant 'psh, no.'

You really wished it meant, 'psh, no because he hasn't asked me yet, though I'd love to say yes and watch him jump up and down until he remembers people are watching and plays it cool.'

Why did you jump up and down with him? He told you that girl said yes.

You were going to be that girl. You were going to make him jump for joy.

You weren't going to be the one, frowning at your peanut butter breath, watching that romantic comedy for the umpteenth time, because it's not the worst movie ever, and you're not losing track of time together.

Now you see why Trish told you to speak your mind. You're feeling pretty foolish for not listening.

Ugly foolish. That girl is way prettier than you, with her blonde hair and pom poms. You always knew this was going to happen. That all of those scenarios in your head would be extinguished with your tears. That you wouldn't kiss him when your hands touched at the piano. That you'd catch him wink at her onstage, dedicating that song to her.

It was written to be your song.

You saw that coming too.

It was totally obvious, the way he said she's going to love it. You tried to make your sadness less obvious. Congratulations on that success. Maybe if you had cried, frowned, so much as said 'oh,' in that disappointed voice you get every time your dad asks why you two aren't hanging out, he would have seen it.

Can't blame a boy for being blind to the dark.

Eyes closed to push those thoughts to the back of your mind. Back into the recesses of desire, buried six feet under.

Should have dug deeper.

He got her your favorite flowers. Roses are overdone, cliché, you had told him.

"What kind of flower would you want?"

"Forget-Me-Nots."

He'd asked why, and you'd explained how when your mother went to Africa, she gave you one, told you that she'd be back. Told you not to forget her love.

He doesn't want her to forget him.

You'd prefer the contrary.

A boy approaches the counter. He's tall, a brunet, you notice. He flirts with you over the sale of a triangle, saying that he should glue another one to the bottom. No one has ever played the diamond before. He'd be a revolutionary.

You ask him how he'd play the diamond. He needs one hand to hold it, one for each stick.

"I'd need a partner then, huh?"

"Or something to hang your diamond on."

His cologne smells good. You hadn't noticed until he took that step closer. The one where he gets close, hand on your shoulder, whispering in an already quiet room.

"I'd rather have the partner."

How did awkward laughter turn to this so quickly?

Your nose still tingles from that hesitant kiss. You can't stop smiling, even when you see Austin walk in, his girl in tow. He catches the words 'see you tonight,' dares to question them.

It's impossible to play it off as nothing.

It's not the something you imagined, no. Still, it's something.

Something that looks like it socked him in the gut. There's no way that could be though. Must be the chili fries he said he was going to order. The ones that aren't being masked by his gum, because he got the smaller piece.

Giving her the bigger piece was a mistake. She blows a bubble, let's it pop in your hair.

There is gum in your hair.

You knew the high was too good to last.

That anchor never lets you free for long.

His hands near your head, and you surprise yourself when you jerk away, saying you need to go buy peanut butter. That'll get the mess out.

There should be a no crying sign in this grocery store. Right in this aisle. You're a stickler for obeying rules, and your eyes would have to stop. There's no point in crying over peanut butter. Even if you've stopped eating it because it reminds you of the gum you're not getting from the boy you aren't dating.

A pack of gum makes its way into your shopping basket.

You split a piece with your date that night after dinner. He takes the bigger half, and you get a bite.

He also makes you walk home alone, because he has no idea how to get to his house from there, and he is not getting lost in the dark. Next time, he promises.

The poodle doesn't bark at him. You sit with your phone beside you, checking it as you strip into your pajamas, brush your teeth. It never rings.

You lock the door.

Upon waking, you've missed a call. No voicemail, no message.

It's from him.

The boy who fell for another girl, let you strap that anchor round your heart.

It's six in the morning. Do you call him back?

"Ally." He's wide awake.

"You okay?"

"We broke up."

"Oh." A word that had been so hard to find at that piano bench, rolling off your tongue with ease.

"Can you come over?"

A car honks at your pajamas, with the short shorts. You tug at the legs, walk faster. Step on a stone.

He could have waited five minutes for you to get dressed.

But that two word response when you had agreed.

"Please hurry."

Ra ra ree, kick him in the knee. Ra ra rass, kick him in the heart as her lips connected with the quarterback.

Wasn't the first time.

You hold him close, so dangerously close. Everything reeks of depression, sinking into that couch.

Don't kiss him while he's down, vulnerable. Don't kiss him while you have pancake breath, your gum left on the dresser, with two and a half sticks, because your boyfriend is terrible at sharing.

Don't kiss him because you have a boyfriend.

Look away. If the eyes don't make contact, the lips won't get any ideas. Peeking up, you see his eyes followed yours.

"There's a stone in your foot."

"Yeah." You should take care of it, but other things take priority. Like comforting your best friend, and breaking up with your boyfriend. He's a great guy, no doubt.

There's also no doubt that he's not the guy for you. You want that guy that's going to leave movies on your doorstep, take the smaller piece of gum.

You want Austin.

It's time you stop settling for less.

It's time you get a bandage, because you've let him gouge the stone out, and there's a hole in your foot. It matches the one in your heart.

Patch the foot, excuse yourself to get dressed. You'll meet him at the mall later. After a quick detour to your boyfriend's house that is. It patches your heart hole, leaving your foot hole solo. It's better that way.

You on the other hand, you're part of a duo. One that's still just friends, but there's hope.

"You two make a cute couple."

"Thanks," he responds.

Your heart leaps. And this time, there's no anchor to stop it.

You're finally free.