the lights that stop me


She's good at guessing games, at least according to Austin, but this one is a mystery that she can't quite figure out. Squirming beneath his intense gaze, she informs him hotly, "I have no clue who you're talking about-"

"You're such a bad liar," Trish laughs as she walks by, but Ally stays put, her face heating up.

"Guess who I'm in love with?" Austin repeats, and she melts all over again.

"You know, Ally," Austin says conversationally one day. He'd randomly showed up at her door, looking slightly off-balance but no more than usual (or so she'd assumed), so she had let him in (not that she could refuse, anyway). But now, as he sat on her couch, she realized that something was up, and all the more as he continued, "I rather like kangaroos."

"I like kang- wait, what?" She shoots up, giving him a look that clearly implies how insane she believes him to be. "You don't like kangaroos! We all hate kangaroos after that time that a kangaroo beat up Dez and my dad and-"

She stops talking upon realizing that he is laughing maniacally, sounding even more insane than usual, and all she can do is stare at him crossly as he laughs. After the last few weeks, she has mastered the art of the Cross Stare. In fact, she could trademark it, she muses absently as he continues to laugh. The Cross Stare, copyright of Ally Dawson. She kind of likes it. Perhaps she will copyright her various Looks as well.

At last, he stops his maniac laughing and gives her a serious stare. "You should write a song about kangaroos."

Her train of thought crashes, and she gives him a Look that clearly asks if he is insane (she finds her ability to switch Looks so quickly incredibly valuable at times). When he just stares at her with his usual goofy smile upon his face, her Look turns into a scowl. "Austin Moon, are you drunk?"

"No," he slurs, hiccuping through his laughter. "Of course not! I only had a bottle of wine, Ally; you can't get drunk from that!"

"Well, obviously some people can," she points out, looking accusingly at him. "You can hardly even string together a sentence!"

He just laughs again, his head drooping, and he looks so pitiful that she moves just a little bit closer so that his head droops onto her shoulder. Not because, y'know, she likes him that way or anything, but because he needs someone and she knows that. She just can't resist helping him.

And sure, maybe she strokes his hair a little bit, but only because it is soft. It doesn't mean anything.

At least, that is what she tells herself as she begins to doze off as well.

She writes, her pen sliding furiously across the blank paper, creating lyrics and phrases that she doesn't even understand herself, a medley of love and heartbreak. When she is done, she rereads it, balls it up furiously, and chucks it across the room, because she has just written a love song. And how can she write about love when she doesn't quite understand it herself?

(She doesn't even want to think of how it would feel, watching Austin up there as he sings the song that she wrote to another girl.)

So she stuffs the song into the trashcan, presses it down under the myriad of unfinished songs, thinking of that old saying- 'out of sight, out of mind'. If the stupid song that she wrote is out of her sight, she won't think about it (or him) any more.

It's getting harder and harder to deny her feelings for him.

But as she exits the room, she makes sure to straighten her sign, hoping that for once they will heed her warning and not invade her privacy. For once, she has something to hide (well, excepting the book that is always tucked under her arm).

She tries to distract herself; really, she does. She works extra hours at the store, dealing with the freaks that come in and break things. The problem is that most of them either remind her of him or have something to do with him.

A little girl prances in, clutching a piece of paper. Wide-eyed, she informs Ally, "I heard Austin Moon- the Austin Moon- went here a lot, and I wanted to get his autograph." She pushes the paper toward Ally, as if to reinforce her previous statement. "Do you think you could ask him to sign this? I've heard you guys are really close, and I love his music. He's the bomb."

Yes, Ally agrees while gritting her teeth. He is the bomb. He blew up my life; that's for sure. Rather than saying this to the child, though, and crushing her dreams, she says politely, "I'm sorry, honey, but Austin's not here right now."

"When will he be back?" the girl questions, staring up at Ally with wondering blue eyes.

"When pigs fly," Ally snorts, thinking that he cannot come near the store (it's her only distraction from him). She then realizes what she has said and quickly says, "I mean, when pigs fry! We fry pigs all the time here! Especially Trish!"

The little girl just raises her eyebrows at Ally, as if to say how crazy she is, but she walks away nonetheless. Ally collapses onto the piano bench, her fingers finding the keys as if it is an instinct. Of course, Trish takes that opportunity to saunter up.

"Nice cover-up," she sings. "Speaking of cover-ups, guess where I got a job today!"

"Swimsuit Paradise," Ally guesses, raising an eyebrow at her.

"Yes!" Trish grins, spinning around. "Ally, you're so good at this game!" She rushes off, but as she's about to go, she turns back and whispers in Ally's ear. "Oh, by the way, we're so talking about this Austin thing later. Later, gator!"

Ally immediately grabs a chunk of her hair and sucks on it, as if she's five again, but it's all too much. Can't she just get away from him for a bit? Or, at the very least, thinking about him?

Obviously that's too much to ask.

He has a gig the next day, and like the dutiful songwriter she is, she shows up, dressed in black as if she is going to a funeral. She thinks absently that it might as well be a funeral for her dying heart.

The area around the stage is crowded, but all of the people who recognize her step aside, and she feels slightly like a celebrity. Once she gets to the stage, her eyes immediately fall upon him, and she feels her heart give a giant leap. She begins to laugh giddily. It is all that she can do to keep from screaming to the stage, professing her love for Austin. The worst part is that even if she did, she would probably be drowned out by the sea of fangirls.

Instead of doing anything desperate and completely unexpected of her, she sways in the audience as the beginning notes of the song play.

Once Austin begins, though, she realizes that the song isn't one that he has played before. Mentally, she flips through the list of songs she's written, comparing the chords and the lyrics and then it hits her.

This isn't one of her normal, upbeat songs; this is the love song, specifically the one that she had written while thinking of him, and he is playing it right in front of her face.

She wants to scream, to call him an idiot for going through her things, but her protests freeze in her throat as he sings. She could almost swear that he looks straight at her as he sings, almost as if the words are straight from him to her.

Then she stops herself right there. First of all, she chides herself, there are at least a hundred other girls in the audience, and he could very well be singing to any of them, not to mention the fact that he could be singing this as a joke to her. Especially after that wonderful 'This is Not a Love Song'...

Right, he is definitely not singing it to her.

Yet she lets herself pretend, if just for a moment, that he is singing it to her. She lets herself imagine, and truthfully, it's one of the strangest things she has ever felt. She tries to remind herself that it's simply Austin Moon, just Austin, just a friend, but her mind is racing to a couple of thousand destinations, and most of them involve some sort of romance between the two of them.

She takes in his admittedly attractive face, his gorgeous voice as he sings, and then, all too soon, the song is over.

He stands there for a moment, grinning widely, before he speaks into the microphone. "Before I go, guys, I'd like to give credit for this amazing song to one of my best friends, a girl named Ally Dawson."

She is vaguely aware of an empty throbbing in her chest, reminding her that she has been thrust into the friend zone once again, but she ignores it in favor of listening to Austin speak. After a moment, he continues. "Ally! Ally, I know you're out there; get up here!"

Before she can so much as protest or try to run away, Trish 'gently' nudges her toward the stage. She stumbles up to stand beside Austin, feeling incredibly awkward, and all the more as he puts his arm around her, drawing her close to him.

Once he releases her at last (to the sound of applause and sad fangirl moaning), he grins at her. "Thanks for all you do, Ally."

Everything she was going to say flies away, all the declarations of hatred and the angry rants, well, everything except how she knows more than anything now that she's in love with him, that she loves him, and somehow it doesn't seem appropriate just then. Instead, she just grits her teeth and says audibly, "It's no problem! I just- I'm so glad to be here!"

Everyone applauds at that too, and as she takes a bow, she wonders what is even going on with her.

"I hate you, Austin Moon!" she declares as they climb into the limo that is set to bring them home.

"Do you mean it?" he asks cheekily, giving her that innocent smile that she can hardly resist.

Breathing out, she slowly shakes her head and says, "No." At his victorious grin, though, she continues quickly, "I cannot believe you, though! What made you think that it was okay to go through my trash and find a song that I wrote- a love song, at that- and play it? You hate love songs, and that was private!"

"Was," he repeats, causing her to reach out and hit his arm as hard as she possibly can. He doesn't even so much as flinch before continuing, "Well, Dez thought he threw away his pig toy or whatever, so he made me go through the trash everywhere, and well, I sort of came across this."

"So you thought it was okay to play it for everyone?" she shrieks, her voice going up a few decibels.

"Well, yeah," Austin shrugs. "It's an amazing song, and besides, at least I credited you this time."

She scowls, crossing her arms across her chest, and she mumbles to herself the rest of the ride home, mostly about how she can't believe how idiotically dense Austin Moon can be. Instead of infuriating him like she had hoped, it only makes him laugh harder.

When they get to his house, she is prepared to leave him with just a huffy goodbye. But he lingers for a moment, standing just outside the car and peering in. At last, he speaks. "You know, Ally, I meant what I said all that time ago. I'll always be an Ally Dawson fan."

Then he shuts the car door and the driver speeds off. All she can do is turn and stare at his receding figure and wonder if he truly meant what he said.

"Guess who I'm in love with?" he says one more time, as if he thinks that she is brain dead- which, truthfully, at this point, she kind of is.

She shakes her head, letting her dark waves spill into her face. "I don't know, Austin! I really don't, and I don't get how you expect me to know!"

Sighing impatiently, Austin shakes his head. "Trish said you would! Besides, you've always been really good at these guessing games! Why not now?"

His voice is childish, tinged with a hint of desperation, but she won't guess because she knows what he'll assume if she guesses herself and it's not actually her. Scowling, she just crosses her arms and looks down at the ground, feeling her whole body tense. She hates how upset he can make her, how he can make her feel like nothing but him even matters-

Then something warm encases her wrists. Startled, she looks up, only to see him, so very close to her. She makes some sort of strangled noise, like a cat in a dishwasher, but he doesn't pull away. Laughing, he tells her, "It's you, silly!" and all she can think is that maybe she should've known it all along.

"Kiss her, you idiot!" Dez calls, his head emerging from the tuba, and she has no time to think about how he might've gotten in there because Austin is kissing her and it's amazing, it really is. All she can do is pull him closer, wishing that the moment would never end.

"This isn't some sort of revenge," she breathes as she pulls away, "is it?"

"No," Austin laughs, kissing her again. "This is too good to be revenge."

And for once, Ally thinks, Austin Moon is actually right about something.

A/N: OMG what am i doing with my life! basically it is 3 am and i have finally finished this stupid fic. it was written in a few hours, but i just wanted to experiment with austin/ally, so don't criticize harshly. they're prob not very ic either, but.


blame/dedication for this goes to Pearl, Jenny, Aimy, and Dri, for convincing me to watch A&A and all that. So yeah, I guess they'd be PrincessPearl, WIZARDOLOGY, lonely hands, and Skandar-Loves-Redvines. I love you guys really (and hopefully you still love me after this trainwreck um).

please, please review, and do not favorite without reviewing!