Pairing: Austin/Ally
Prompt: One of my favorite pieces on FictionPress is called I Think Barbie Would Have Confetti, by pinkamoo, and after I saw Diners and Daters, I was like "Niener niener, this would be perfect!" So this oneshot is modeled kind of like I Think Barbie Would Have Confetti.
Notes: I really do advise that you read my Author's Notes, they're pretty useful. Anyways, since it's now summer, I'm going to have more time to write, so that's a plus for me and my readers!
Diclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize and some things you do. No copyright infringement intended. Copyright 2012 LostAmongTheStars

She's back. Of course she's back. I let out an un-lady-like snort. Good ol' Cassidy is back, and Austin is, obviously, chasing after her. It's only been a year, so I suppose his short attention-span hasn't kicked in yet, although he didn't even hold back on other girls until she came back.

The color green. Damn it, I hate that color. I see it everywhere, now. In the way they swing their hands together, the way he kisses her sweetly and she blushes. I hate how whenever he misses a practice session with me, I think of her and green floods my vision again.

I'm one of his best friends. And, for a while now, I've wanted to be more. But, since Cassidy is back, I guess the position of girlfriend is filled up. I have nothing against the girl- she's charming (like Austin level charming), she's witty, she's not awkward at all, she's effing gorgeous, and she's an amazing musician who isn't afraid of going on stage and singing her heart out. Notice how everything she is, I'm not. Well, that last part? The stage fright part? I'm getting more comfortable with getting up on stage. Believe it or not, I've sang a few duets with Austin, and I played my first show (sold-out, can you believe it?) last week. But I'm not like her. I'll never be as good as her.

So, how am I to compare? Well, easy. I don't. I just stand behind the Sonic Boom register, smile and nod at customers, and pretend not to notice how they're playing piano together- a cute little variation on the Heart and Soul piano duet. They're playing our piano- ours as in Austin and mine. Well, looks like it's Austin and Cassidy's now.

I said I have nothing against her. Except for the fact that she has what I've wanted for so long: that stupid, blonde (oh, that's right, she calls him "blondie". The only creative nickname I can come up for Austin is... Austin. Yeah, someone up there must really hate me...), weasel of a singer Austin.

Oh great, now they're playing Break Down the Walls. And singing it together. Like Austin and I did. Jesus, I thought that song was special for us! I let out a snort again, Yeah, right, Dawson. Then I think of how Cassidy would never do anything unattractive like snort. And if she did, Austin would probably think it's cute.

Um, yeah, totally not jealous at all here...

But as much as I want Austin to be mine and Cassidy to be in LA, I want Austin to be happy even more. Dear god, maybe I'm a masochist. That's the only explanation I can come up with for hurting myself so bad to see him be happy with her. Or, maybe, I know deep in my heart that we're not meant to be, and that's why I never told him about the way I feel about him.

Oh, the life of Ally Dawson.

"Hey, Ally, can you do me a favor?" asks Austin, not even looking at me because Cassidy's ruffling up his hair again.

"Sure, what do you need?" I grit out.

"Can you book me and Cassidy a table for two tonight at Rosario?" He doesn't swat at her hands like he does to me when I touch him.

I swallow the lump in my throat and reply, "Sure."

"Thanks, Alls. Love you!" He leaves with Cassidy on his back, laughing as he gives her a piggy-back ride.

I close my eyes tightly. Love you, he says. But not in the way that I want him to. Sighing, I pick up the phone, ready to call Rosario. I can't believe he's ready to take her to that restaurant already. It's crazy expensive, but it's also crazy romantic. I hate to think about what he has planned, so I call the restaurant and make reservations for my best friend (who I happen to be head-over-heels for) and his girlfriend.

Friend-zoned again. Lucky me, I'm already at Friend Zone Level 101.

The next morning Trish comes over and we go out to shop, thankfully giving me an excuse to leave Austin and Cassidy's sickeningly sweet picnic up in the practice room. Oh sure, Austin, go right ahead and have a romantic picnic in the place where I spend all my time. And then lock me out. Cool, bro, cool.

"I'm sorry, hon," comforts Trish on the way out. "I'll buy you a Pinkberry?" she offers.

I grin weakly. "Sure." She knows how I feel about Austin, and now that Cassidy's back, she knows how frustrating it is. Fortunately for her, her own love life is going pretty well. After two years of constant fighting and arguing, she and Dez are in a steady relationship. Seems like everyone on Team Austin but me is in a relationship... Pshaw, what you talkin' about? I'm in a relationship with music, man! ... Ally Dawson, you are the lamest person on this planet.

"So, I was thinking, after we get you an outfit for the party, we can go out and get decorations, and then after that we can..." Trish chatters on and I smile and nod at all the right moments.

It's my 18th birthday, and I'm throwing a party. Don't look at me like that; after I met Austin I came out of my shell. You're looking at a girl who's in the popular crowd at school... It also helps that Austin and Dez don't go to my school. If they did, they would be in the popular crowd and would embarrass me to no end. Please, guys, I already have Trish for that.

Anyways, we're getting decorations today. Austin is, of course, the night's entertainment, and the party is to be held at Sonic Boom. Dad's promised he won't be at the store that night, so long as it's all cleaned up by the next day. Thank you, mysterious lady that Dad met on the Internet. Yup, Dad's dating online. Weird, but I think it might be good for him to get out a little...

With only a week or so until the party, I've clicked into control-freak mode as I always do when I'm apprehensive. Unfortunately, that means more stress for everyone around me. Except for Austin. That kid is an exception to any rule, honestly.

"Ally? Don't give up on me now, girl!" Trish snaps her fingers in front of my face and I'm pulled out of my thoughts.

Sheepishly, I smile. "Sorry, Trish. I was just... thinking."

Her eyes harden. "You were thinking about Austin and Cassidy again, weren't you?" At my guilty nod, she lets out an angry sigh. "Ally, why did you have to pick him to fall for?"

"Oh honey, if I could pick, I would have never even met him," I fire back, channeling some Trish into my attitude, but we all know that's not true. Austin... I want to say he's the best thing that's ever happened to me, but I'm afraid that's too cheesy. Plus, Trish would be offended, and everyone knows the golden rule: Don't offend Trish.

Trish just rolled her eyes and sighed again, but this time determinedly. "Alright," she says, sliding on her sunglasses, "We're going to find you a drop-dead gorgeous outfit- because I know you don't do sexy-" At this, I have to laugh. She grins and continues on. "Anyways, we're going to find you a kick-ass outfit and you're going to wear it at the party, and he's going to see what he's missing out on."

Don't you just love Trish?

It's been a week, and I haven't seen Austin during that whole time. I guess he found somewhere else to host his romantic picnics with Cassidy...

I miss him, but I've also got my pride. He wants to cuddle with his girlfriend? Then I'll go as far as to bring them their effing blankets and a movie, yo!

... So I'm not so good at coming up with funny things to say. Shoot me.

"Allyyyyyy! Look what I found!" sing-songs Trish, waltzing into the practice room. She holds up a magazine with a sparkle in her eye. "Remember how we tried to find you a drop-dead gorgeous outfit and we couldn't?"

I nodded grimly, who could forget that disaster?

Trish seems to know what I'm thinking about, because she flaps a hand in the air and goes, "No, this is much better. This is what we've been looking for the whole time. And guess what? They have it in your size. I ordered it and it'll be here just in time for the party on Friday." She shows me the magazine page and all I can think is, if heaven is as pretty as this dress, I'll gladly sacrifice my time on Earth. Anything to get rid of the disgusting Austin-and-Cassidy-sitting-in-a-tree-K-I-S-S-I-N-G images that are running through my head right now.

And somehow, he manages to pop up in my thoughts again. Seriously, someone please throw a stapler or something at my head.

Friday swings around, finally, and my dress arrives. Dear lord, I'm afraid it's prettier than I am.

"Trish, you know I love you and all, but this dress... It's going to outshine me!" I whine.

Trish raises her eyebrows. "Is that a challenge?" She snorts. "Honey, after I'm done with you, not even the sun is going to outshine you."

"Oh, I'm not worried about the sun so much as Cassidy," I grumble.

Trish pauses, in the middle of hanging my dress up. "You invited her?"

"Well, what was I supposed to do? Go up to her and say, 'Sorry, you're not invited because you're dating my best friend who I also happen to be crazy about'?" I fall back onto my bed, frustrated.

Trish gives me an incredulous look. "Well, yeah!"

"She's his girlfriend; he would've been devastated if I didn't invite her and then consequently gave off the feeling that I don't like her," I say, but maybe I just wanted to torture myself more by seeing how beautiful she'll look decked out in party wear.

"You have to stop worrying about hurting him; he obviously wasn't thinking about you when he asked Cassidy out," argues Trish.

The sad thing is, I have nothing to say to that, because it's probably true.

Before I go on to feel sorry about myself (pity parties happen way too often at the Dawson residence), Trish pulls me off my bed, eyes blazing. "You're going to look gorgeous tonight. You're going to party like there's no tomorrow. You're going to feel amazing, and Austin's going to see what he's missing out on. And if he doesn't, then that's his loss." She finally smiles at me. "Now, c'mon, birthday girl. We've only got so long until the party; let's turn you from cute, classy Ally Dawson to hot, ready-to-party Ally Dawson."

"What, so I can't be hot and classy at the same time?"

"Hahahah NO. 'Course not."

Five minutes before the party starts, I'm standing in front of the full-length mirror in my room, smoothing down my dress and breathing deeply. Today I have on four-inch silver heels, which means I won't look like such a dwarf next to Austin. Of course, Cassidy is the perfect height for him. Feel my pain, people.

Without meaning to, my hand wraps itself around a black velvet box tied with a pink ribbon sitting on my bureau. I open the box and sigh at the earrings inside. They're 24k gold music notes, given to me by Austin on my 17th birthday. I don't want to wear them tonight and be reminded of him even more, but truth be told, they're my favorite pair of earrings.

My self-control's never been so good, so I slip the earrings on anyway and hope Austin doesn't notice I'm wearing them.

I get a text from Trish, who's waiting to let people in at the door. Ready?


I come down the staircase, everyone cheers, and every dream I've had of being a princess feels like it's being fulfilled. They shout, "Happy birthday!" and "You look gorgeous!" and "We love you!", but honestly, I'm just looking for Austin. I'm waiting for him to jump out of whatever hiding spot he's conjured up this year and engulf me in a bear hug, then whisper in my ear, "Happy birthday to the coolest girl in the world," but he doesn't.

I scan the crowd, distractedly nodding and smiling as people congratulate me on the "big one-eight" (Dez's words, not mine). I don't see Austin anywhere...

It takes a while, but I find Trish and ask her, "Have you seen Austin?"

She shakes her head, then shoves a microphone into my hands. "You have to get the party started!"

Rolling my eyes, I nod and bring the microphone to my lips. "Thanks for coming, everyone! I'm not gonna talk long 'cause we've got a great DJ and the dance floor is set up, so go crazy!" I finish my short speech by pumping my fist in the air, beaming as the crowd cheers and floods the dance floor.

But where is Austin?

Two hours later, the party is still in full swing, but there's no Austin in sight and there hasn't been for two hours. By now I am pissed. He's supposed to be here, cheering with all my friends when I blow out the candles on my cake. By now, Trish is beyond angry and even Dez is irritated. Yes, I'm pissed, but I'm still hoping there's a rational reason why he's not at my party.

Suddenly my phone buzzes. Quickly, I check the text. Then, I feel like screaming and crying and maybe throwing something, all at the same time.

Trish sees the look on my face and hurries over, Dez in tow. "What's wrong?" She asks, concerned.

Wordlessly, I pass over the phone.

To: Ally
From: Austin

sry mite b l8 took cassidy 2 that pond u like so much

Trish gasped, and Dez looked like he was ready to punch Austin's face in or something. Although, now that I think about it, that wouldn't be too bad...

"He took Cassidy to the pond? Your pond?" When I nod, Trish laughs disbelievingly.

"I thought that place was both of yours' special place," Dez blurts out, tactless as always.

I can't blame him, though, because it's not his fault. Instead, I laugh bitterly. "So did I." I chance a look at Trish, who looks like she's afraid to tell me something, so I tell her to spit it out.

"Austin's supposed to perform right now, but he's not here and everyone's ready for a performance, so what do you want to do?" asks Trish gently.

I grit my teeth and answer, "I'll do it."

A minute later I'm on stage, sitting on a stool with my guitar in hand and a microphone in front of me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Austin arrive with Cassidy. I can only see the top of their heads over the crowd of people in front of me, but I can tell it's them. I would be able to identify that bleach-blonde hair anywhere.

"Ally!" Austin calls, and the crowd, which had been silently waiting for me to start performing, turns to him. "I'm here, I can perform!" he exclaims, grinning like he's delivering a present to me by showing up two hours late.

I've always been such a push-over when it comes to him, but not this time. So, I smile sweetly and say clearly into the microphone, "Oh no, that's okay, Austin. Since you couldn't be bothered to show up on time, you shouldn't have to be bothered to perform, either." I can't help but feel triumphant at his confused, hurt look. But of course, since I'm Ally Dawson, I start to feel guilty right away, so I start singing to push the guilt down.

"He looks at me
I fake a smile so he won't see
That I want and I'm needing
Everything that we should be

I'll bet she's beautiful
That girl he talks about
And she's got everything that I have to live without

He talks to me, I laugh 'cause it's just so funny
That I can't even see

Anyone when he's with me
He says he's so in love, he's finally got it right,
I wonder if he knows he's all I think about at night

He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He's the song in the car
I keep singing, don't know why I do..." I keep my eyes focused on a spot on the wall across from me as I sing, knowing that if I make eye contact with Austin (who surely must be staring/gaping at me right now), I'll break. Because this song is about him, and as dense as he is, he might just get it.

"He walks by me
Can he tell that I can't breathe?
And there he goes, so perfectly,
The kind of flawless I wish I could be

She better hold him tight
Give him all her love
Look in those beautiful eyes and know she's lucky 'cause

He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He's the song in the car
I keep singing, don't know why I do

So I drive home alone, as I turn out the light
I'll put his picture down and maybe
Get some sleep tonight

He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only one who's got enough of me to break my heart
He's the song in the car I keep singing, don't know why I do
He's the time taken up, but there's never enough
And he's all that I need to fall into.

He looks at me, I fake a smile so he won't see..." I finish, and for a moment there's nothing but silence. Then, the crowd break out into applause and cheers. There's only one person I'm looking at, though, and it's Austin. His face is blank, but I think he knows.

Oh god, he knows. Stupid, stupid, stupid Ally! How could I perform this song while he was watching? God, if you're there, one of those random holes in the ground would be quite useful right about... now. Wait, what's that? Is he pushing his way through the crowd to get to me now? Oh, no. Nonononono, I hate confrontation. Um... oh, lightbulb! Cake, candles, and speech!

I scramble to my feet and bring the microphone to my lips. "Hey guys, we're gonna bring out the cake now. While they're getting that ready, I have a speech for you, so bear with me..."

Two minutes later, the cake has been rolled out and I'm just wrapping up my speech. "... and lastly, I want to thank Nelson for being such a sweet kid." Even though Nelson's not here. Whatever, I needed someone to fill in the place where Austin used to be in my speech. He arrived two hours late on my birthday, has been ignoring me for the past week, and has friend-zoned me about a million times. Girl please, there is no way he's going to be my appreciation speech.

Cameras are being pulled out as I get ready to blow the candles. Everyone sings Happy Birthday, and at the end, I blow out all my candles. I beam as a million camera flashes blind me, but somehow, I'm still able to see Austin's betrayed look.

Five minutes later I'm being congratulated all over again. Austin hasn't shown up to talk to me yet, but I don't care. Let him be that way. I'm the one who should be mad, not him.

"Ally!" Oh. It's Cassidy.

Forcing a smile, I prepare myself to be out-shined and turn around. "Cassidy- wow..." I'm speechless. She is wearing the exact same red, high-low dress. I repeat, it's the same exact dress, down to every ruffle and beaded detail... except it looks better on her. Of course. I just can't catch a break today, can I? "You have great fashion sense," I choke out.

Cassidy smiles shyly, and I think that I probably look constipated when I do that. "Thanks, you too. Looks better on you than me," she laughs, and I can't bring myself to dislike her as a person, because she's so nice and sincere.

"Well, I have to get going. Places to be, people to see, you know, all that." I smile politely at her then leave. I should feel guilty for leaving so abruptly like that, but it just gives her more time with Austin, so y'know... In a way, I'm helping her!

People are urging me to open presents now, so I get back on my stool and start the ritual of gift wrapping paper ripping, tissue paper throwing, and ribbon littering. Oh, and present opening, but wrecking people's hard wrapping job is half the fun...

An hour and a half later, everyone's gone except for me, Dez, and Trish. I'm pretty sure Austin and his girlfriend are somewhere in the place, but I sure as hell am not going to go looking for them.

(Un)fortunately, I don't have to. Austin finds me. Oh, dear, this is when the confrontation starts, isn't it?

"So, uh, I guess you left out some people from your appreciation speech." Austin has the audacity to glare at me, and I shrug coolly back.

"Yeah, it was getting a little lengthy, so I had to cut out a few people... Oh well." But it's not oh well, and he knows it. He helped me write the effing speech, and he knows there was a large portion dedicated to him. Notice the past tense.

Austin gives me this angry look that I can't help but get angry about right back at him. "You mentioned Nelson. You had the time to mention Nelson, but not me?"

I shrug again, sitting down on a laid-back chair. "Nope, sorry bud. I haven't seen you around in a while, so I guess I forgot to put you in there... Kinda like how you forgot I existed for the past week, huh?"

"Bullshit. Bullshit, Ally, can we please cut through the bullshit?" Austin brings his hands down on the arms of my chair and his face hovers above mine, looking considerably more anguished than mine.

"What bullshit?" I ask, and Austin looks torn between telling me what bullshit we're talking about, and yelping from hearing me swear.

"That song. That was for me, wasn't it?" He looks me straight in the eye and I can't look away or lie to him.

"Yes." It's quiet, but I'm sure he heard it.

He exhales slowly. "Do you like me?" He demands a second later. "Is that why you've been so jealous?"

"What- I haven't been jealous!" I splutter indignantly, but really I'm thinking, How did he know?

"Don't even pull that denial thing with me, Ally Marie Dawson," he warns, but I'm not ready to give in yet.

"Oh, are we pulling out middle names now? Okay, two can play at this game, Austin Monica Moon," I shoot back at him.

He shakes his head, probably frustrated to no end with me. "That's not what I meant, and you know it. I want to know whether you like me or not."

I scoff. "So what do you mean? I just can't tell anymore. I mean, we're best friends, aren't we? So explain to me, why are you ignoring me, why are you taking Cassidy to our special places, and why did you show up at my birthday party two hours late? Two minutes is normal, but two hours?"

He shakes his head again, his hands tightening on the arms of my chair. "Will you stop answering questions with questions? Ally Dawson, are you in love with me?"

"A second ago we were on like, now we've progressed to love?" When his glare turns murderous, I roll my eyes. "Okay, fine, I'll answer the stupid question. Do I like you? You're one of my best friends, nothing more. Please, has Cassidy massaged that hair and that head of yours so much that you can't think straight anymore?" When did I get so good at lying? Oh, that's right, when I fell for my best friend.

Probably at the end of his rope, Austin grabs one of my hands and shoves it into his hair so hard I think he broke one of my nails. "Is this what you're so jealous of? Cassidy touching my hair? Go right on, touch it, mess it up, tease me about it, whatever. I don't care. Do whatever you want to my hair; does that make you happy?" He finishes his rant in a big huff while all I can do is blink at him.

"I think you broke one of my nails," I say finally.

He throws his head back, groaning. Then he bends down to my level and gently brings my chin up with one finger. "I don't care about your broken nail," he says fiercely. "I mean, I do care if you get hurt. I care too much, and that's the problem." He gets very quiet and I think, Shit just hit the fan, man. "I'm going to say something now, and it's something I should have said when I realized it." He looks me dead in the eyes and I think he has heat vision or something 'cause the temperature just went up a few degrees. "Your mind's wandering again, Ally," he chuckles and I blush. Why does he know me so well? "Focus, Alls. I am crazy about. I'm in love with you. I fell for you. I am head-over-heels for you. How many different ways do I have to say it before you get it?" He laughs breathlessly at my stunned expression; am I going into shock? "I- you're amazing. You're absolutely gorgeous, but the thing is, you don't even realize it. You think you're worse than everyone else and that you're not pretty enough, not good enough, but in reality? You're more than enough."

I just kind of stare at him for a few moments. Then, "W-What about Cassidy?" Damn you, Stutter, I thought you and I bid a mutual farewell in eighth grade!

Austin shakes his head. "Just a distraction. I mean, I liked her at first. Then, she left and I started noticing all the little things about you. Somewhere between her leaving and Christmas that year, I fell for you. And I fell hard. I know I forgot about Cassidy when she left, but you... I stayed away from you for just a week, and the separation already drove me crazy. I couldn't stop thinking about you, so I towed Cassidy along to all your favorite spots."

I speak my next words very carefully, in a controlled voice. "So you mean we could have been making out two years ago?" I'm kinda shocked that I suggested for the two of us to make out, but I'm even angrier that this little confession didn't happen sooner.

Austin, of course, is lost as to where I'm going with this spiel. So, just to wake him up, I slap him. Then, while he's in shock, I run up to the practice room, intending to slam the door after me. Stupid Austin, why couldn't you confess earlier? I'm so going to be an unreasonable teenager and not forgive him.

Of course, my intentions are just that- intentions, because as soon as I reach the practice room door, I'm shoved in and the door is closed by Austin pressing me up against it. Well, now the door is closed. Just like I wanted it, except not really because I'm pressed up against it. Yeah, this doorknob is totally not slicing into my butt right now...

"Got ya," he whispers, his breath fanning out over my face, we're that close. Uh, hello, you're stealing my air right now.

"I am furious at you," I tell him, but at the same time, his touch leaves me all tingly and warm, so I'm kinda in a daze right now...

He rolls his eyes. "God, I can't stand you. But, I also happen to be in love with you," he admits, and I snort.

"Yeah, well guess what buddy? I've been in love with you for a year now, and you haven't done a single thing about it until now." I try to glare at him, but the effect is ruined when he bumps his forehead against him, sighing.

"I'm sorry," he whispers. "But now, since we've both admitted to being crazy in love with each other, can we please skip to the part where we make out?"

"I'm not a cheerleader," I warn him, "I'm extremely awkward. I can't do sexy or hot, because I can only go as far as cute and classy. I'm nowhere near perfect, plus I'm never going to be Cassidy."

Austin shakes his head, exasperated. "Don't you think I know that? I know everything about you, and I love you for you. I don't want Cassidy, I want you." And then his head surges forward, his lips meet mine, and I think something just exploded nearby because I am seeing stars and fireworks and all sorts of pretty things. I'm pretty sure Trish and Dez and whistling and cheering right now, but I'm too preoccupied to care. Austin's hands tighten around my waist, mine go around his neck, and I'm in bliss.

A/N: A shout-out to my new Twitter friends! That's right, I'm on Twitter now. You can find me at SingDanceWrite. Anyways, apparently my stories are getting publicity on Twitter and Tumblr, and I couldn't be happier. Thanks so much, everyone!

Again, that's at SingDanceWrite - My Twitter.

As always, check out my Wordpress and subscribe to my blog if you've got a Wordpress account!

My FanFic username has changed to LostAmongTheStars, because that's the one that got the most votes on my profile.

I hope I didn't write Ally as too clingy and annoying or OOC... Thanks to my Twitter friends for helping me to find the dress; much love! It's a La Femme LF-15087p dress in Watermelon (a bright red color that's got a hot pink tint to it), in case you were wondering. Search it up in Google Images!

This is also going out as an individual oneshot, titled She's Back.

Oooh, you know that new Image Manager thing where you can have a cover page for you stories? I'm going to have a competition. Anyone who wants to can make me a cover page for this story, and the winner will get to be featured in an upcoming chapter!

~ Sabrina