Redundant, an Austin and Ally oneshot

I do not own Austin and Ally. This is for my tumblr anon. Please enjoy, and leave prompts/reviews!

It's not his party, but he'll cry if he wants to. He'll scream, because antiseptic wash burns like nothing else.

Nothing, no matter how badly Dez tells him his passion for Ally burns. It doesn't. They are completely, one hundred percent, platonic.

That's redundant.

It's also a lie.

"Weren't you looking where you were going? You walked straight into that rose bush," she reminds him, wiping his ankle clean.

He was looking at her, or trying to, until the sun hit his eyes.

No, he hadn't been gawking. Just because those shorts fit like a glove (he doesn't know anybody that wears a glove on their butt, and doubts that it would fit well at all, but he's going to run with the expression, straight into the roses) and she's wearing that lip gloss that tastes like watermelon (or so the tube said, as he has yet to sneak a taste) doesn't mean that he felt the need to stare.

Staring is rude.

Rudeness is frowned upon.

So is harboring a crush for your platonic best friend.

"The sun was in my eyes," he explains, jumping down from the counter. He inspects the Hello Kitty bandage on his ankle, tugging on it.

"Don't touch it. You need to let it heal." She switches the faucet on, taking time to scrub between each finger.

He wishes she'd scrub between his fingers.

With her tongue.

Where did that come from? He's twenty years old. His hormones have had a good five years to get under control. Lately they've been acting up more frequently.

He'd like to blame whoever built his apartment, for only constructing one bathroom. It's not his fault, for renting that particular one, or for asking her to move in, or that they get ready at the same time so they can carpool to the studio and he accidentally on purpose catches glimpses of her coming out of the shower. Why would anybody insinuate such a thing?

"You ready?" he asks as she dries her hands.

"Let's do this."

They exit into the backyard, where little Benji (big Benji he corrects them, as he's six now) is sitting at the front of the crowd. It's a sizable group, what seems to be the entire kindergarten class, and their parents. He recognizes his ex-girlfriend amongst them. She balances an infant on her hip.

Her eyes dart to Ally, who visibly shudders. Last time they were in the same room, a few things went flying. Words, emotions, a fist. Flew straight into her face, gave her a black eye that he tended to, once he had located a bag of peas.

That was the kiss of a lifetime.

Any chance he can get two kisses of a lifetime? Come on, it was under a mistletoe. That doesn't count. Ask anybody.

Except that girl shooting eye daggers, because she does not understand the rules of Christmas.

He never took the time to fix that.

He didn't want to. He wanted to fix her raccoon eye, fix the definition of platonic into something he could handle. Something where she could step out of the shower, and he'd graze her thigh on his way in, kissing her cheek when she gave him that look. The one that would tell them they had fifteen minutes, and there was no way he was going to go to work without a shower, so don't encourage her otherwise.

Scrap that. He wouldn't be entering as she would be leaving.

He'd be in there with her.

Not pounding on the door, covering his eyes as she scurried out. (He's wondering how long it'll take her to notice that he can see through his fingers.)

The ex sneers, rolls her eyes. They climb onto the makeshift stage to a cheering audience. They have quite powerful lungs, screaming through the entire set, up until the pony shows up. Then they're told to quiet down, for fear of scaring it.

His ears are still ringing.

"Ally, do you think they'll let us go for a ride?" He bounces on his toes. It's been forever since he's been to a party like this. Normally there's girls in sausage dresses, grinding while their beer sits abandoned on the table next to Ally's diet soda.

But here they have mini sausages, with dipping sauce (or as he calls it, dripping sauce, because it's running down the front of his ex's chin. Ally was not amused.) There's a pony, a bounce house, cake. He's practicing enough self restraint not kissing that smile off her face. He can't be expected to restrain himself from the party too.

"Don't you think you're a bit too old to be riding the pony?" She pushes her hair back to fix the top button on her shirt.

This is absolute torture.

What harm was that button doing, not getting choked by that fabric hole? It was out in the open, minding it's own business, and she had to put it to work.

Goodbye cleavage.

"Psh, no." Just like how he's not too old to get aroused by his best friend. Some things don't have an expiration date.

He wishes that his attraction to her had an expiration date, unlike that milk in the fridge. He had to eat dry cereal this morning. She can't deny him milk and a pony in the same day. That's mean.

Easing his way in line next to the birthday boy, he makes conversation. They talk about presents, cake, the pony. Then it's Benji's turn to ride.

"Have you and Ally had socks?"

"Socks?" He's sure the girl meant something else, but isn't sure what.

"Yeah, socks. Mommy says when a boy and girl really like each other, they have socks."

It's a good thing he's already on the ground.

He glances down at his feet, sees the bandage she had stuck there. He could pretend that she's talking about socks, show her his and not mention that three letter word that's making his face turn red.

Alternatively, he could tell her no, they haven't, but he'd be the luckiest person on the planet if they did. Then she could tell her for him, and he wouldn't wimp out again.

Or he could climb onto the pony, move all of four paces forward and fall off.

"Austin!" The kids watch on as Ally runs to help him off the ground.

"Maybe I am a bit too old to be riding the pony." He rubs side, flashing a thumbs up to the children.

Going into the kitchen for some ice, he runs into his ex, shirt undone, feeding her baby. "Like what you see?"

"I didn't know you were in here." He averts his eyes.

"Right, you're into girls that kiss other girls boyfriends." She sets the baby in its chair, and he covers his face with his hands. (Fingers together, eyes closed.)

"It was under the mistletoe. It's tradition."

It is very hard to argue when half of your mouth is covered by your hands. He's afraid to move them, to see her shirt undone. They never went that far when they were together. She wanted to. He didn't.

She blamed his love for Ally.

She wasn't wrong.

"You enjoyed it."

She still isn't wrong.

The door slams behind her, and he uncovers his eyes. Opening the freezer, he moves the ice cream aside to reach the ice packs.

That feels good.

"It's time to break open the pinata," Ally informs him when he rejoins the party. Benji takes the bat, gets spun around in circles.

Since when does Austin look like a pinata?

Oh, right. The kid is wearing a blindfold.

Why did he swing again? He's pretty sure that pinatas don't scream ouch when they're hit. Nor do they scream 'stop it,' because the first two swings were not sufficient.

"Are you okay?" Benji's mother asks, sending her son off in the right direction.

"I think I'm going to need more ice."

She chuckles, walking off. The kitchen isn't over that. That's the opposite of the kitchen. That's toward the imp that hit him.

Sausage dress girls grinding doesn't sound so terrible anymore.

At the thought of sausage, his stomach growls. Only a few more minutes until cake.

Good old cake, that can't injure him. There is nothing violent about chocolate and buttercream. (Even if it is named death by chocolate.)

The adults light the candles on the cake. He hadn't thought about that. Fingers crossed that the kids don't light him on fire.

He's going to take a couple steps back, to be safe.

It puts him last in the line, and by the time he gets his cake, he's too excited to notice the small ball of energy running at him, jostling his plate.

His chin collides with the frosting.

"Today is not your day," Ally remarks, running a napkin along his jawline.

"You're telling me."

"You know what would make it better?" She sets her fork down on her plate.

"What?"

"Bounce house."

With all the kids eating, it'd be empty. What are the chances he's going to get hurt?

Whatever they are, he's risking it.

Taking her plate, he puts it on the table.

"Let's do this."

Kicking his shoes off, he takes her hand. Nevermind that his ex is staring, in that way that says 'I told you so,' or that he's not getting his cake. He's getting his girl.

Bouncing to the corner of the house, he initiates the conversation.

"One of the girls asked me if we were having socks."

"Seriously?" When he nods, she adds, "What did you tell her?"

"I didn't."

After a few beats of silence, she bounces into him.

It'd be right to apologize. But her lips have other plans, and she'd hate to cancel.

The kids cancel for her.

"Sorry," she says as they rush in, disturbing the balance.

"It's okay. We can kiss later."

"Wait, what?"

"Nothing." Feeling like a fool for misunderstanding the apology, he bounces away. The kids welcome him into their circle.

Exiting the bounce house, a pair of brown eyes follow her trail. He wants to chase after her, tell her that it wasn't nothing. It was something. Something with the potential to be spectacularly amazing.

Redundant, he knows.

And when she corners him in their truck on the way home, and asks him about that something, he admits it, twice. Not to be redundant, to be heard.

He could have taken the easy way out when she didn't hear him, taken it all back.

He could have not kissed that night, not looked her in the eye and not asked her if she wanted to have socks.

But then she would have had nothing to agree to.

Today is definitely his day.