March 2009

Disclaimer: A Cinderella Story is owned by Disney; I'm simply playing in the sandbox

Title: "What If"

Author: Jade_Max

Genre: AU Vignette Series

Summary: A Series of Vignettes about "What If" moments that could have been from the movie; not related one to another; all stand alone pieces in the same thread. Mostly Sam/Austin


Vig #1 - Popular Kids

"They don't even know I exist."

"EW! Stalkeratzi at three o'clock."

Sam rolled her eyes at the blatant shallow display by Shelby Cumming's girls. She could never remember their names - why would she want to? - but they were all as bad as Shelby. And Shelby, being Shelby, scooped up the horn her other pet was carrying to ensure they heard whatever she had to say. Like they'd ever miss it when Shelby was talking about them; the girl wasn't exactly discreet.

"The white zone is for cool people only; no geeks."

Glancing at Carter - whom she knew had a crush on Shelby and had for years - Sam hoped he wouldn't take it personally. Shelby was as shallow as the kids around her - and she was glad to see that Carter looked more disgusted than hurt.

Her attention was drawn back as one of Austin's flunkies - Brian was it? - decided it was her turn. "Hey, Diner Girl - can I get a breakfast burrito to go? Thank you."

Biting the inside of her lip, Sam wished she had the courage to bite back - only to be saved from an unexpected source.

"That's enough, man; leave them alone."

Sam wasn't the only one whose gaze flew to Austin Ames' face, shocked beyond measure to hear him coming to her rescue. Sure, he was at her dad's… at Fiona's diner all the time, but that didn't mean he knew she existed.


"I said leave them alone." A quick glance at his girlfriend showed she was about to say something, but Austin included her in the arc of his thinly veiled order. "You too Shelby."

"Excuse me?" Shelby looked almost... stricken. "What did you just say to me?"

"I said that's enough Shelby."

"And what planet did you wake up on this morning, Austin; loserville? Or is it be nice to geeks week and I didn't get the Memo?"

"How about have some common decency and respect for your fellow man, week? Would it really kill you to be nice for two minutes?"

Austin shook his head, glanced Sam and Carter's way for a moment, and then walked away from his friends. Incredulous, they followed him and Sam couldn't make out what they were saying as the five pelted Austin with questions. Not that she really cared, but Austin Ames, Football Captain and Student Body President, had just stuck up for a pair of nobodies.

Had the world started spinning backwards?

"What just happened?"

"You've got me, Carter - that was the strangest thing I've ever seen."

"No kidding." They sat in silence for a minute before exchanging a look and then Sam shook her head and continued to drive through the parking lot looking for a space to park. Whatever had just happened, she wasn't about to try and make sense of it - but, hopefully, it would grant her and Carter a brief reprieve from the constant and cruel teasing of one Shelby Cummings.

Whatever Austin's reasoning for speaking up today of all days she didn't know, she was just grateful that one of the 'cool' kids seemed to have a conscience. It was just more than a little shocking to find out that, of that social circle, it was Austin Ames.

Nomad would never believe her.