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. .


Austin parks the car in the VIP section, an action that makes him feel like they've actually gotten somewhere. He lightly shakes Ally awake, and her big, brown, doe eyes flap open, eyelashes tangled together. She stretches out her arms, and takes in the environment.

It takes her a minute to place where she is, but then memories of a cab driver dumping herself and Trish out into the front parking lot flood back to her. Sneaking last the guard, going into the wrong set area, destroying a talk show studio — how could she forget? She looks back at him with a blank expression, as if she can't process words.

"Remember this place?" he says slyly with a smirk, hopping over the car door. He walks around to open hers, and throws an arm over her shoulder as soon as she's standing up.

She gives him another look that has nothing that defines it in particular, and says, "I'll never forget it."

The walk in, and sign their names on seemingly billions of verification charts. They're handed lanyards with blue tags at the bottom that are covered in laminate; an item only true celebrities that need real crowd control are given. Austin doesn't really think it's a necessary gift, but is flattered none the less, and Ally is just shocked she even had to give a signature.

He switches his plaid jacket for the black blazer Dez gave him earlier in their dressing room. She just states in the mirror, silent; she's, for the first time ever, tempted to put on some of the extravagant lip glosses and eye shadows they have lain out, but doesn't know why and doesn't take that as a good sign. He's already explained to her she isn't going on stage, unless she absolutely wants to. So she knows that fear isn't the reason she suddenly feels quiet.

The familiar LD screen in the top corner starts blinking the five minute warning, and right on schedule, the man in the full black suit knocks on the door. They rise from the comfy bean bags, and head to the landing area. He's not used to Ally being quiet, and really hates when she is, especially when he has no idea why. This agitates him, and Austin suddenly regrets making Trish schedule this interview.

His hand goes protectively to his right pants pocket, where the emergency index cards Dez gave him are hidden. He's never had to use speech cards for anything before, not even a class project, but there's a first time for everything and he's actually nervous about going out there. A commercial break is called, and he realizes once they become live again Helen is going to introduce him and he's going to have to make his way across the stage, into the armchair.

Ally stands next to someone she assumes is a producer in front of the plasma television they have back stage. She's taping her foot impatiently, while mindlessly staring at the back of Austin's head. Once Helen's voice rings out of the TVs speakers, though, she turns her attention to the screen. She's utterly intrigued, and smiles as he's introduced and he walks across the stage while her song "Without You" plays.

He sits down across from the estranged older woman, neatly brushing off his jeans.

"Austin! How does it feel to be back here?"

He looks straight into the camera and smiles, showing off his straight pearly whites. "I can't even describe it. Too many memories. But it feels right, seeing as this was where I did my very first interview."

"That's right. A whole year ago. What's it like, knowing it's been a whole year?"

"Honestly, whenever I think about it, I smile. It's just such a happy thing, knowing that I've had all these awesome new people and opportunities in my life. Especially," he turns away from the camera to face Helen, a slight tint of pink playing across his checks, "my partner."

Ally knows she's blushing too, and hears the crowd chorus an "awww."

"Your partner? The one who trashed this studio last year?"

Austin looks down at his lap, laughing lightly. "Yeah, that's the one. But she's also my best friend."

"I think we'll come back to her later. But back to what I was saying; do you think you've grown this year? As a person, an artist, anything?"

"Oh, I've defiantly grown this year. A think a full three inches," the crowd laughs, and he sends his famous smirk to the girls in the front row, "But yeah, I've learned so many new things and experienced so many new things, too. I'm not the same guy that was here last year; I like to think I'm more mature, but I know a few people that would disagree."

"But what exactly has changed?"

"I'm not even sure, really. I guess I just see a lot of things differently. Like maybe having a career at such a young age isn't the most important thing."

"But you've always been so driven, from what I could tell. What makes you say that?"

"I guess I just realized that staying young and acting responsible are two different things, but they work together. Rushing into something that's going to steal my privacy away, when I'm only 16 isn't exactly a good teenage experience or whatever."

"So does this mean you're putting your entire career on hold for now?"

"Oh, absolutely not! I'm already so far, and knowing I have fans that actually care, it's the best thing ever. All I'm saying is that if I don't play a concert or something every month, it's not the end of the world."

"Well, Austin, I can honestly say you've gotten much wiser. Who do you think has influenced that the most, over the past year?"

"That's a tough question. I want to say Ally, cause really, she's the one that gave me a similar speech, but much deeper and better. But I've spent a lot a time at her house, with her dad. He's such a great guy, almost like an older brother to me. But he's the perfect example of being old but young at the same time."

"Now, Ally is your partner, right?"

"Yeah. She writes all my songs."

"Have you guys gotten into lots of fights over the past year?"

"I feel like we haven't, but I know we have. Just stupid stuff though, and we always move on from it in, like, an hour."

"That's good. Now what about the other people involved in your career? Where do they fit in?"

"The two other people involved the most are my other best friends; Trish and Dez. Trish manages me, she's the one that booked me here today, and at the mall next week for a half hour concert to raise money for a cancer project. And Dez is a film maker, so he shoots all my music videos. My parents help out, too, but mostly with just support. And I don't think my Dads 100% on board with me going into the music biz yet."

"Why not?"

"He doesn't think it's a guaranteed success; he thinks I would be better off as a lawyer or doctor, because they're jobs that are almost certain to provide."

"So, really, he's just looking out for you?"

"Yeah, that's how he sees it and wants me to see it."

"But how do you see it?"

"I feel like he's not concerned about my happiness, just how much money I'll be able to make and how far it will take me."

"I'm sure that's not true, Austin. Parents are required to care about your happiness."

He shrugs, and says, "I guess."

"So what is your latest project?"

"Nothing specific; we just write songs whenever we can, and film videos whenever we can."

"Besides music? Maybe, I don't know, working on getting a girlfriend?"

He blushes, and puts a hand on his neck. "That's a sensitive topic."

"Why?"

"Because...because I'm not totally positive I like this one girl, and I think I have my doubts because, she's, I can't even describe it...she's forbidden."

"Ooh, forbidden love. Haven't you ever heard of Romeo and Juliet? Forbidden is good, Austin. It's romantic."

"She's not exactly forbidden, but I already have a food relationship with her and I don't want to screw it all up because of some feelings."

"Well, I hope it works out for you. She's a very lucky girl, whoever it is. Now, I understand your film maker, Dez, uploaded a new video to your website just a few minutes ago. The tag said it was filmed today, and your manger called asking for it to be featured during this interview."

"Yeah, I thought they would pull something like this."

"Are you okay with it?"

"Of course I am. The whole reason I filmed it was because I wanted people to see it. I just don't want to run out of time."

"Oh, that won't happen, you are booked for a double session. Now, let's watch this new video!"

Cheering erupts, and Ally is currently sitting on the floor, hand covering her face. She knew that they were taking a 'goof off' video shoot to seriously! Now the whole country was going to see her, on a screen. What if they don't like it? What if they don't approve?

The video is stunning, even if it is only a cover. It starts with Austin driving full speed, slamming the breaks, and then slamming the car door behind him. He kicks a pebble hard, sending it soaring across the road, and then the music blasts. It cuts in and out of shots of him singing, and both of them frolicking through the field. She only gets to see bits and pieces of it, and when the picture freezes as the music comes to a halt, she's afraid of what the reaction is.

Ally is most definitely taken aback when they receive a standing ovation. She peeks up to the screen, seeing Austin and herself. Their foreheads are pressed together, smiles on their faces, and eyes closed. If you were to seal the space between them — the one, two inches tops — they would be kissing.

"That was amazing! And it was a cover. Why did you do a cover, instead of an original song?"

"We don't really have one we're in love with right now. I've just heard that song a lot and, I don't know, had a connection to it."

"I wonder why that is," Helen says while giving Austin a look that says I-don't-have-to-wonder-at-all-cause-it's-so-obvious. He either doesn't catch it, or chooses to ignore it, because all he does in response is shrug. "Well, Austin, I think we'll take a few questions from the fans, and then say goodbye."

"That sounds like a good plan."

"Okay, first fan question; what's your favorite song that you've ever sung? From Austie-for-life."

"Aw, thanks for being a fan for life!" he says, and then clears his throat, "But my favorite song is probably either 'Better Together' or 'Not a Love Song' they both have lots of meaning behind them, and taught me really important lessons."

"My favorite would have to be 'Not a Love Song' even if it is named wrong, I mean, it is a love song technically, right! But anyway, Jelly-Bear wants to know if you sing in the shower?"

"Of course I do! Who doesn't? I used to dance, too, but once you slips and fall on a bar of soap, it's not too fun anymore." The crowd laughs, and Ally gives a shake of the head and a smile.

"Carmen-Loves-Austin asks if you could have anyone in the world to star as you in a movie, who would it be?"

"Ross Lynch. He's my celebrity look alike, and we have really similar personalities."

"Chelly14 wants to know if you would ever date a fan?"

"I'm always going to want to date a fan, cause that means they like a support me. But I wouldn't want to date a girl that's going to fan girl in front of me."

"Erin-Freak asks if you hadn't posted that video, what would you be doing right now?"

"I would hope I'd still be a musician, but who knows. Maybe my dad would have convinced me and I would have given up music."

"Mary-My-My wants to know when was the last time you cried, and why?"

"Oh, god, that's a hard question. I don't cry often. Um, probably a few months ago, when Ally and me got into a horrible fight."

"What was it about?"

"She used to have a really huge crush on this guy named Dallas, and they went out for, like, three weeks. But I saw him with another girl, and immediately told her. She insisted that I was lying because I was jealous."

"Were you jealous?"

"Uh, yeah. I was. But let's not tell her that, okay?"

"I think our viewers can keep a secret. Jabber-Jay12 wants to know if you've ever taken voice lessons?"

"Not until a couple months ago. Ally sat me down and taught me a few more things, like how to sing through to note and proper vocal warm ups."

"Ally seems to come up a lot in your life. She must mean a lot to you," Helen says gently, and he can tell that interview is wrapping up, so she's hitting him with the intense questions that are meant to be the finale.

"She means more than a lot to me."

"You two sure have a good brother-sister thing going on."

If Austin was drinking anything, he would have just done a spit take. Considering he wasn't, though, he just chokes on a mixture of his own saliva and air. When his fit of coughing end, he shakes his head like a mad man. "Me and Trish have a brother-sister relationship, not me and Ally."

"Well, what's the difference between the two relationships?"

"It's complicated."

"What about it is complicated, Austin?"

He bits his lip, and turns away while tapping his foot nervously.

"Austin, I told you earlier, our viewers can keep a secret."

He takes in a rather large deep breath, and turns back to Helen. "I can't put it into words. That's what Ally does; she puts feelings into words. But I guess I could say that we are, I don't know, deeper than brother and sister. Like, today, I grabbed her hand and held it so many times, whereas if me and Trish did that, it would be awkward."

"So, what kind of relationship do Trish and Dez have?"

Austin smiles, and noticeably relaxes. "We're not really sure. Me and Ally have walked in on them mid make out, but the next time we see them they're about to rip out each other's throats."

Everyone starts to laugh again, but then the director signals that the show only has five more minutes.

"Well, Austin, I think I speak for everyone here when I congratulate you on your success. I'm sorry you didn't get to perform tonight, as a tradition."

Austin shrugs. "That's okay. Last year was about having people hear me, so maybe this year should be about having people know me."

"That's a great plan. I hope you'll be sitting right there in that chair next year, on this date as well."

"I hope so too. It could be our little tradition!"

Helen smiles and laughs lightly, a gleam in her eyes. "Goodnight, America!" she shouts to the camera, and then she gets up to start dancing like a maniac. A buzzing sound is heard, and then Helen stops and looks directly at Austin.

"Great job, Austin. Great year."

He stands up and modestly looks at the floor. "Thanks. It means a lot. Thanks for letting me come back here."

"No problem, sweetie." She had this weird look on her face, almost a frown, but it has adoration and something that looks similar to pity in it. She traps him in a quick hug, and when they pull back, she says, "I feel like one of my kids is growing up."

"Don't think of it as growing up. Just think of it as learning lessons."

"Did you come up with that?"

"No, tho—

"—se are the words of Ally Dawson. Me," Ally says leaning on a wall, just out of the cameras view. Austin looks over at her, and then they both run up to capture one another in an embrace. They didn't even have to make a gesture; as soon as their eyes connected, they both knew they needed to be in one another's arms. He picks off the floor and spins her around, but even when her feet meet the floor again, they're still wrapped up within each other.

"I'm so proud of you," she whispers into his ear. His body is a wire, charged with feelings that he's only ever gotten from her.

"I'm so proud of us," he was, exaggerating out the 'us'. After a few more seconds, they break apart, revealing smiles that would beat the Cheshire cat's.

They stay in the studio for another ten minutes or so, taking pictures and cracking jokes with the crew. They leave to go to their dressing room, though, after awhile. It's when Ally jokingly throws a pillow in his face after he made an arrogant comment about himself, that Austin realizes he doesn't have any doubts about who he likes. It's not something he should get mad over, but it's not a rage kind of mad. Really, it's frustration, but it has that same maddening affect and he would rather just call it that. He's mad that he prefers blue eyes, but her caramel eyes melt him on the spot. He's mad that he has always had a thing for blonds, but she is a brunette. He's mad that he likes girls that can look him in the eye, but he always has to tilt his head down to meet hers. And most of all, he's mad at how much he likes her. It's not even fair how much he does; but he can't help it, no matter how much he might want to change it. She's carved into him, a part of him; he's terrified of losing that other half, and that over powers his anger (frustration) about his true feelings towards her.

"Austin?" her velvet voice asks, pulling him out of his thought process. "Did you even hear what I said?"

"Uh, no, sorry. Didn't catch that."

"I said, where are we off to next?" she has his other jacket neatly folded through her crossed arms, meaning he obviously missed her picking up the few belongs they had sprawled throughout the room. "Can you actually tell me, for once?"

He shakes his head in mock disappointment, and says, "Ally, I thought you would have caught on by now. I haven't told you all day, and I'm still not going to."

She tilts her head back so she's staring up at the light fixtures, and emits a loud groan. "Well can we get going," she grumbles out with her eyes closed, as she brings her head back down.

"If you do something for me," he says wiggling his eye brows.

She gives him a suspicious glance, and says cautiously, "Depends on what it is."

"If you say, 'Austin, you are the coolest, most talented, awesome guy I know' we can go right now."

She groans again, and shakes her head no. "What did I do to deserve this! You know I don't telling lies," she says challengingly, and he gives her a glare.

"Oh, now you're going to get it." he lunges for her, and then they plunge onto the shag carpet. He has her wrists under a death grip while she squirms and laughs hysterically. He twists his feet so they hold down her legs, too, so he's completely pinning her down underneath him. They both are in hysterics, mouths stretched up to their ears.

"Austin, get off of me!" she chokes out between laughs. He leans down, so their foreheads about half an inch apart. Her breath catches in his throat, cutting off her laughter and panting.

"This is your punishment, though," he whispers with a serious face, their eyes both darting back and forth from the others lips and eyes. After he licks his own lips, and gives one last longing stare down at hers, he stands up and offers her a hand. She looks at, but then slaps it away and stands up by herself.

"That was so not funny," she says straightening out her outfit. Once she is confident her shirt is wrinkle-free, she looks up to his eyes, which immediately causes her to fall back into a fit of laughs.

"Well then why are you laughing," he questions through a we chuckles of his own.

"Cause of your face," she says as she snaps out of her cackling.

"What about my angel face could ever make you laugh?"

"Hm, you're right. Maybe it's not your face, but your ego."

"My ego is perfect, thank you very much."

"Right, keep telling yourself that. You seem to believe it," she says fighting back giggles.

He rolls his eyes through a smile, and goes to open the door. "Come on, we're going to miss it."

"Miss what, exactly?" she ask hopefully, still trying to pry an answer out of him.

"You'll see," he says, throwing an arm around her shoulder as the exit the room, into the hallway. They walk out into the car offering each other a few more bantering jabs, but more so just stealing glances at one another. He opens her door, as usual, and then as soon as the car engine reeves to life, she clicks on the radio. 'La La' by The Cab comes on, and they immediately jump in to the chorus. He gladly turns the volume up, enjoying every single time she tries to project her voice louder than the speaker.

Ally hangs an arm out the side, loving the way the wind licks her face as they floor down the highway. Her eyes take in the wispy clouds that are currently bleeding an assortment of colors; light purples, dark reds, soft oranges, gleaming yellows, and pinks that remind her of the flowers that bloom right outside her window sill. Ally's always preferred the sunset to the sunrise, even though both astonish her to the point of speechlessness. She looks back over to Austin, loving the way the sky reflects of his golden hair. I think he actually makes it more beautiful, she thinks fleetingly, and turns back to face the right side.


"We're here," Austin says with a sigh of content. Ally sighs, too, while leaning on her hand that is currently cupping her face. She recognizes the place; a small, circular part of the beach that is normally vacant during the night, because the limited light the moon reflects is very minuscule, and only there for about an hour, two hours tops. She's surprised more people aren't here at this hour; tints of the sunset still linger among the horizon, and some traces of it are still smeared in the atmosphere. Only, it is one of the more secluded places on the beach, which is one of the reasons Team Austin has always inhabited it.

"Is this the last stop of the day?" she asks, as he hops over his own door to coed around to hers.

"If you want to spend the night here, sure. But if you want to sleep in an actual building, than no," he says as he opens and shuts her door. She leans back over the side to grab the over sized bag Trish gave her earlier, and Austin goes to the trunk to retrieve, what she assumes, is the brief case Dez gave him earlier. She kicks off her beloved boots, and stalks barefoot onto the sand dunes.

Once she gets down to the shore, Ally throws the bag behind her and turns to see where Austin is. She giggles slightly at what she sees; Austin carrying a beach blanket, a picnic basket, the brief case, and a guitar case, whole balancing several pillows on top of everything. He's stumbling over his own feet, something she's never seen before and finds quite humorous. She sprints back up to him, and takes the guitar from him.

"You could have made two trips," she says as he smiles thankfully towards her.

"Yeah, I could've, but that would have taken twice as long," he says in an obvious voice.

He sets up everything for her, and she realizes exactly how much he treats her like a princess. He went the whole nine yards — vanilla and strawberry scented candles, her favorites, a picnic basket full of her absolute favorite foods, that he made himself, and he even brought decorative pillows so he could transform a simple beach blanket to a whole pit of coziness.

"Dallas never treated me this good," she whispers while staring up at the sky that was currently shifted to a black sheet with speckles of light.

He looks over to her indifferent facial expression, forgetting about the last candle he was about to light. He stretches his arm over to hers, and suffocates her tiny, fragile fingers in his own strong, steady ones, to give her a quick reassuring squeeze, but then he lets her hand go. "Let's not spoil tonight, talking about a jerk like him," he says, scooting closer to her, forcefully opening her mouth, and popping a grape in. She smiles and chews, so thankful that he's in her life.

"Maybe we could just spend the night here," she says with her eyes closed, as he feeds her another grape.

"If you want to," he says as he lies down next to her.

They spend about an hour slowly eating the food he prepared, and pointing out the constellations that are slowly starting to appear in the darkness. They joke more, and eventually their hands snake back together. They have a cheesy, cliché grape challenge, where they try to catch the grapes in their mouth after the other throws it too them, but after she misses her fifth one and he catches his sixth in a row, she pelts him with the fruit, and it just becomes an all out grape war. She runs down to the shore, where the tide kisses her toes. He follows her lead, and then it becomes a splash war, until she finally just jumps up on him, resulting in both of them plummeting into the warm water. They both laugh once they resurface, and are wrapped up in one another's arms. They pant as they laugh, just like earlier, too.

"What was that for?" he asks, still trying to catch his breath.

"Your punishment," she says smugly, rephrasing what he said to her earlier. He smiles, and rests his forehead on hers.

Suddenly, she realizes how intimate they are being; with her legs wrapped around his waist, arms securely around his neck, and his hands holding her around her waist. Her face is taken over with a rush of heat, and she's thankful he can't see her blushing.

"Who is she," Ally whispers out painfully, shutting her eyes tight.

"Who is what?" he asks confused, closing his eyes as well.

"The girl you were talking about earlier on the Helen show. The one who is forbidden." Her voice is coming out raspy, in a monotone.

Now it's his turn to be happy that the darkness hides the red hue spreading across his face. He never really thought she would ask about it; if she had to be aware of what he said at all, he'd hoped she would either connect the dots, and tell him that she liked him that way as well, or she would just assume it was the girl that worked at the bathing suit store.

"Don't worry about," he says quickly, opening his eyes in alert.

"I told you who I liked," she whined as she pulled back and opened her own eyes.

"Well you haven't told me who you like now," he said, desperate to change the subject.

She bites down on her lip, hard, annoyed knowing that she was being hypocritical, and had walked herself right into a mess. "I'll tell you who I like when you tell me who you like," she snaps in a harmless tone.

"Touché," he says, and suddenly, their whole position becomes extremely awkward. Ally unskillfully jumps off of him, doing a back flop into the water; but it manages to lighten the mood. Austin holds his stomach as he laughs, and when Ally resurfaces she has a moment of grumbling before she joins him.

They stomp through the water back to their set up, but they don't lay on the blanket, afraid to ruin it. They sit in the car instead, softly listening to the radio, while talking nonsense.

"Come on," he says when 'Wide Awake' by Katy Perry comes through the speakers. They both get out of the car, and then, in the deserted parking lot, they dance. They've danced so many times in the past that Ally doesn't step on his feet, or her own, for the matter, once. He takes her in for the dip at the very last possible moment, but they don't come out of it till they both register a new song has started, and is already in the second verse. They just stare into each other's eyes, trying to study and memorize every detail of them. It's a full moon, so everything is just visible, much to their liking. He notices — not for the first time, but still — the black lines that run from her pupil to the tip of her iris, even though her pupils are dilated, making the irises thinner than normal. She takes in the rings of green and brown that form in his eyes — she has always loved his hazel eyes, especially loving how they aren't completely brown. He pulls her back up slowly, but they don't leave each other's arms. She nuzzles into his chest, and he pulls her closer as they slow dance to a fast song.

Austin and Ally have had many suggestively romantic moments throughout the year, yes, but not quite as many packed into one day. Austin can only think about how they've acted more like a couple than best friends for the day, and he knows that something has changed. Only, for once, it's a good change. He has this stirring feeling inside of him, something that is telling him that after tonight, it's just not going to be the same. He should be scared, really, but he can only feel this calmness flowing over him; he doesn't like how girly it sounds, but he knows it's from Ally being in his arms.

"Oh, I almost forgot!" Ally exclaims, and breaks away from him. They are only damp now, thanks to the Florida summer heat, so she runs down and sits on the blanket, gesturing for him to come and sit next to her.

He plops down next to her, as she rummages through the bag Trish gave her.

"I knew this was going to be in here! You can count on Trish," she mutters, pulling a small gift wrapped box out of the bag. "I know, it's stupid to get you a gift, but...I couldn't help myself," she says shyly with a small smile. Se hands over the package, and he smiles.

"It's cool. I got something for you, too," he says while reaching for the brief case. He pulls out a gift box that looks poorly wrapped compared to her prestigious, ribbon-tied, evenly taped wrapping job. She smiles wider, and gently takes it from him.

"Ready? On the count of three, we'll open them together. One, two, three!" The sound of ripping is heard, and then they both gasp slightly.

She giggles slightly and says, "Well, this is a coincidence, isn't it?"

"Yeah," Austin says, still staring in disbelief at his lap. On it sits the new Zalien movie that was just released yesterday, a pack of yellow and red guitar picks engraved A&A, and something that he's never been allowed to touch; Ally's journal.

"Thank you," they both say at the same time, causing another rack of laughter.

Ally runs her hands over the binding of the new journal Austin got her; a silver book with sparkles lining the perimeter, and her name written across the front in puffy paint. It's not the neatest handwriting she's ever seen, so she knows immediately that Austin wrote it himself. Her eyes go to the treble clef earrings he got her, and a 200 page book about the different types of clouds.

She carefully opens the cover page, seeing that the first piece of paper had already been written on, in the same scrawl that the front cover has:

Hey, Ally! If you're reading this, it means it either is our anniversary, or it's the day after. So, happy anniversary! Can't believe it's been a whole year since we met...

Well, I hope you like your presents. And no, don't worry, they didn't cost a lot of money. I sat here in front of this book for over ten minutes, trying to figure out what to write. I have so much. Want to tell you, but I just can't get it to come out right. Even now, when I'm halfway through the note, I'm still having trouble writing.

But that's what makes our partnership so perfect, Ally-cat. You always know what words to use where to put them and how to say them. It's one of the reasons I like you so much – you just always know what to say.

I guess I want to say thanks. Thanks for being there for me, for this long of a time. Honestly, I don't understand how you didn't just give up on me when I went all crazy at you for taking forever to write a new song. So a few people mistook me for a dog food commercial guy? They obviously weren't my real fans. Thanks to you, I finally can see that.

Seriously, how do write in these journals all the time? I've written, what, four paragraphs, and my hand already hurts. And, I'm out of things to say.

Love,

Austin

She smiles as her finger traces the last words on the page; it's not the first time he's signed his name after that word, but for some reason it's the first time that actually means something to her. She looks up to see his nose in her book, eyes glued to the page. She smiles a little wider, happy to see her best friend enjoying reading.

He's so cute when he has his eye brows knit together in concentration, she thinks, as she studies his facial feature more. He looks up to her and smirks, loving the fact he caught her staring.

"You know Ally, if you take a picture, it will last longer," he says cockily, while setting the journal down.

"Why would I want to have to look at that," she says pointing to his face, "any longer."

He gets on his knees and closes some of the remaining space between them. "Because you were staring at it. And, come on, admit it, I am sexy," he says huskily while wriggling his eye brows.

"And I think you know it a little too well," she says, giggling.

His face light up, and then he answers, "Ha! So you admit it, I'm sexy!"

"Hold on, I never said th—"

"But you didn't say I wasn't, so ha!"

"Oh, god—your ego, it's filling up the whole world, oh crap, can't breathe, it's suffocating—" He cuts her off by tackling her, an action that is getting a little old for the two of them.

"Take that back," he whispers seductively, "my ego is perfectly sized, thank you very much."

"I don't think it is," she whispers back, staring at the pair of lips that are centimeters away from her own. He notices her line of vision, and leans in even closer.

"If I'm not sexy," he continues to whisper, "then why are you leaning in, when you should be leaning back?"

She pulls back and blushes darker than ever before, and he just chuckles. Afterwards, though, a silence washes over them. It's not awkward like earlier when they were in the water; it's just full of lust and longing as they stare at each other's mouths.

"I should, I should oh, I should have kissed you," he sings softly after a few minutes, and then she just can't take it; he's such a tease, singing about kissing her, but never really doing it. The nerve, honestly—

—And then the angry rant going on in her mind comes to a halt, as he finally ends the teasing that's been going on for the last year. He's so sick and tired of being scared of what might happen, how she might react. It doesn't matter, anyways; if they both feel this, and both know that it's real and here to stay, why bother avoiding it.

She's lost in his lips, and he hers. It's everything she ever imagined it to be; the cliché, passionate, steady kiss that always makes an appearance in her dreams. He's never felt so girly, but he can finally understand what the movies mean when they talk about sparks and fireworks. He's sure they're just going to ignite, with all the fire he feels.

They pull back, after a good chunk of time passes. They want and stare into each other's eyes, wondering he they ever got along without kissing before.

"Wow," is all she can say.

"That's all you're going to say? Really? After that?"

"It's all I thought to say."

"But, but you're Ally– you always have more to say."

"You," she blurts out, as soon as he finishes his sentence.

"What?" he asks, switching from hovering over her to sitting up straight.

"Earlier we agreed to tell each other who we like, but only after one of us spoke first. I couldn't take it, after a kiss like that, Dallas never even looked at me with as much emotion as that kiss had, holy, and I really just want you to answer me right now, because—"

"You," he says, once his brain finally registers what the beginning of her mile-a-minute speech was.

She smiles, and leans her head back. "It took us a whole year to say that."

"Yeah," he says while lying down next to her, "we wasted so much time."

"I know we did," she says, smirking. Then she yawns, and curls up into his side. "Well, I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted. Goodnight, Austin."

"Sweet dreams, Ally," he whispers as soon as he hears the first snore. He falls asleep shortly after, still smiling and thinking about everything that had happened that day.


A/N: This took me forever to write, and now that I'm finally done with it, I hate it. The ending is bad, and the characters are OOC, but whatever.

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I just want to say that I love this fandom. I've only posted in three, but I've read in more than I can count, and can honestly say I think this one has some of the nicest people in the world. I love how there is this pack of people that review to just about every story in the archive. Just keep doing what you are doing :)

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