Here's the last chapter!
When Trish and Dez stumbled out into the main room the next morning, still rubbing sleep out of their eyes, they found Austin and Ally asleep on the couches. They had clearly fallen asleep cuddling. Dez grinned and Trish rolled her eyes and made a gagging motion before they headed into the kitchen to get breakfast started.
It seemed like a scrambled eggs and avocado toast kind of morning so Trish started working on the eggs while Dez got the avocado out.
"Man, now that Austin's video is out, my video project is done, and we got Austin and Ally together, do we even have anything to work on? Are we back to just hanging out again?" Dez asked, making conversation.
"Eh there's always more to do for Austin's career. Also I talked to my parents and they're fine with us staying here for longer. Did you ask yours yet?" Trish answered.
"Yeah they're fine with it… OH I KNOW," Dez yelled excitedly.
Trish just raised an eyebrow at him, waiting for him to spit out some nonsense. To her surprise he said, "Duh who's the one person who hasn't finished a project yet? YOU. We have to get your demo to Jimmy today."
Trish winced. "I don't know, maybe we should put it off a couple days… or weeks… or months."
"Come onnn what are friends for if not to push you into doing big things you're scared about!"
"Fiiiiiine. After breakfast I guess."
The smells of cooking woke Austin and Ally up gradually.
"Hey sleepyhead," Austin mumbled into her hair.
"Mmm hiya. You're comfy," she mumbled into his chest.
"I smell food," Austin commented.
Ally laughed, "Your food radar is on as soon as you're awake isn't it?"
He laughed too and then hugged her tighter.
"I guess we should get up?"
"One more minute," she whined, cuddling into him tighter.
Then Dez walked out of the kitchen and banged a wooden spoon on a big pot repeatedly. "BREAKFAST TIME," he announced loudly, then went back into the kitchen.
"Okay, I guess we better get up then," she grumbled before slowly pushing up off of Austin.
They trudged into the kitchen, Austin's arm slung around Ally's shoulders. "Mmmm food, thanks guys."
As they ate, Trish broached the question, "So now that you guys are dating, how are you going to announce it."
Austin and Ally looked at each other and shrugged. "We hadn't really talked about it."
"I mean, we have to tell our parents first," Ally pointed out. "And then I guess our record labels? But that's kind of BS, we shouldn't have to tell them. Our public announcement doesn't have to be anything huge."
"What if we just let Dez post his video on youtube?"
All four of them made sounds of agreement. "It's so good Dez, you really should get it out there and now that we're not hiding anything I don't see why not," Ally responded.
"But whether you like it or not you do have to tell your labels," Trish said. "It's going to be bad if they find out from the release of a video on YouTube. I'm not saying they have any say in terms of whether you guys date, but they do run publicity and you guys are on competing labels."
Ally just sighed in response, and Austin looked worried.
After breakfast they tackled their tasks in exactly the order they had set out to. Trish and Dez went upstairs to the practice room to put the finishing touches on Trish's demo before sending it out and posting it online. Austin and Ally sat on the couch together holding hands.
"Do you want to talk to each of our parents together?" Ally asked.
"I mean my parents already love you like a daughter, so I don't see why not," Austin pointed out. So, together they video chatted both of their parents to let them know the good news. Austin and Ally were surprised by the effusive excitement from all the parents. Mimi squealed so loudly Ally was worried it broke the speaker and Lester tried to cover his glee by coughing and getting water before coming back and acting very serious and giving Austin a lecture about how he ought to treat his daughter. Similarly, both sets of parents were concerned at the idea of the newly dating couple staying together in the Music Factory all the time, but after Austin and Ally pointed out that with Trish and Dez around there wasn't really any privacy that would facilitate them doing anything the parents wouldn't approve of, everyone agreed to the situation.
"Phew, one difficult situation down, one more to go," Ally said.
"But first…" Austin said, then leaned over to kiss her. It was a soft, gentle kiss, but Ally could tell there weren't just innocent feelings behind it. She twined her fingers through his hair and pulled him closer as the kiss deepened and lengthened. Just when it was seriously heating up, Dez burst out of the upstairs room. "Snack time!" he exclaimed and then waggled his eyebrows at the compromising position he had caught Austin and Ally in. "Keep it clean, kiddos," he commented, before disappearing into the practice room again.
Austin sighed and said, "Okay, plenty of time for more of that later, let's just rip the bandaid off and call our labels."
"Somehow I think we need to do these ones separately," Ally laughed. Ally went into her supply closet to make her call, while Austin stayed in the main room.
To absolutely nobody's surprise, Jimmy was not enthusiastic about the idea.
"Come on man, you know your audience is like eighty-five percent girls who dream of dating you, this is going to put a real damper on things," Jimmy whined. Austin could hear the sound of birds in the background and knew that Jimmy was out golfing.
"Jimmy that is seriously underestimating my fans. They were all about my new sound based on the reception for the new music video. They actually like my music for it's quality not just because I'm hot, okay?"
"I don't know…"
"Well, first of all, you can't do anything about it. But second of all, I would have thought you'd have learned by now to give me and Ally a little more credit than that. Also, we're super cute together and even if you're right, all the girls will start shipping our relationship and it'll just drive up sales anyway. So don't worry. I just wanted to give you a heads up.
Jimmy sighed and said, "We'll see," before he hung up. To Austin that sounded like a victory.
Ally had an easier time with her label. Because she also primarily catered to young women, Ronny thought a relationship would be a good publicity vehicle anyway, especially since Austin's career was still (for the moment) bigger than hers. He also floated the idea of future collaborations which she was completely in favor of.
Meanwhile, Trish and Dez were still upstairs.
"JUST HIT THE BUTTON!"
"I'LL DO IT IF YOU DON'T!"
"YOU WOULDN'T DARE!"
Dez wrestled Trish for her computer and managed to hit send on the email they had been composing for the last hour.
"HA!" he said.
"Ugh, fine it's done," Trish said, deflating now that the moment of crisis had passed. She instantly started refreshing her email.
"Trish, it's been like thirty seconds, give the man a chance," Dez said soothingly, trying to calm her down. He got her to also upload the tracks to SoundCloud and YouTube. Then he dragged her out into the main room.
Austin and Ally were sitting there cuddling, but they looked up when Dez came out.
"Okay people, we have a woman to distract. We put up Trish's songs online and sent a demo to Jimmy," Dez explained.
Ally clapped her hands in excitement and Austin gave Trish a high five. "Oh, Trish, FYI, Jimmy is out golfing today so it might be awhile before he gets back to you," Austin mentioned. Trish frowned but nodded.
Seeing the look on her friend's face, Ally proposed, "Okay then… truth or dare?" Whenever they had played the game in the past it had gotten intense so it seemed like an adequate distraction.
"Trish first! Truth or dare?" Dez exclaimed.
"Okay, sing us 'Friday' by Rebecca Black!"
Trish groaned but was a good sport and did it. They all clapped wildly.
"Okay Dez, truth or dare?"
"What's a thing you want to try that none of the rest of us would?"
"Oh that's easy. I really want to lay in a bed of spiders, I think it would be so soothing to have all their little feet walk all over you," he said, beaming. The rest of the group chorused "ewwwwwwww" simultaneously.
"Your turn Austin, truth or dare?"
"I dare you to call Brooke and tell her you're dating Ally," Trish said, cackling evilly. The color drained out of Austin's face, but he nodded grimly. Much to his relief (and Trish's sadness) Brooke didn't pick up so he just left her a voicemail telling her he wanted to give her a heads up that he and Ally were dating. He hoped Dez's giggling wasn't audible in the background.
"Ally? Truth or dare?"
"Truth," she said, and everyone groaned. She never picked anything other than truth.
"Okay, what's the dirtiest thing you've ever fantasized about with Austin?" Trish asked, again smiling an evil smile.
Ally turned the brightest shade of red Austin had ever seen, but she did answer. Trish whistled in surprise, Dez's mouth fell open, but Austin just winked and said, "Sounds fun to me."
This went on for hours. They kept it up as they made dinner and as they ate. The idea did work, since Trish hadn't checked her phone for hours. Finally, when they were all tired and just about to go to bed, she did check again. She had one email in her inbox and it just said, "This is interesting, let's talk tomorrow - Jimmy." She squealed and showed it to the other three who gave her the biggest group hug.
As they went to bed, Ally thought that, while the pandemic was a nightmare and there were a lot of unknowns still, she was extremely grateful to have all her best friends and her boyfriend around for it. She couldn't imagine doing it any other way.
I hope you guys liked it. I actually quite like how this chapter turned out. I think I'm going to take a break for a bit, at least a few weeks. I've got a couple ideas for longer stories but if anyone has ideas for a one-shot or fairly short story, let me know because I'm open for ideas!