Something Like Us, an Austin & Ally fiction

I do not own Austin & Ally. Please enjoy and leave feedback/requests!

That awkward moment when your best friend pulls out the mistletoe. In the middle of November. When you're standing next to a cute girl. A cute girl who happens to be your other best friend.

"Dez, why are you holding mistletoe above my head?" He doesn't mean to interrupt Ally. He glances to her and notices that's she has already stopped talking, curiously peering up.

"Tis the season buddy," he replies and grins like it's completely normal.

"It's not even Thanksgiving," Ally points out. She's finally managed to avert her eyes from the plant, but Dez's expression is freaking her out far worse than the idea of kissing Austin. Which is saying a lot, because her heart is racing a mile a minute.

Dez keeps his arm extended. "They were playing Jingle Bells at the mall."

Austin shakes his head. "It was a Christmas store."

"Exactly." Dez gives a definite nod as if he's won this argument.

Ally turns back to Austin. "Well it is tradition." She tucks a lock of hair behind her ear. "Cheeks count?"

Dez shakes his head.

"Noses?" she asks, hopeful.

"Nope. On the lips. Three seconds." He takes a respectful step back, still dangling the mistletoe above them. He makes a hurry it along motion with his free hand.

Austin leads. His heart is beating fast (if Ally's is beating a mile a minute, his is beating a mile a second, and that just does not seem natural). His nose knocks against her's, and in any other instant he'd chuckle. He's so nervous he forgets to laugh, and he mumbles an apology that she doesn't hear over her own.

Her eyes are closed, and he's so nervous to mess up again that he waits a second, hovering. She almost opens her eyes. But then he's there and she's pretty sure her eyes need to stay shut or everyone will see how freaked out she is.

Except she's not freaking out. She's putting her hand on his shoulder. And there's a parade of fingers dancing along the curve of her hip.

When Dez said three seconds, that was a minimum right?

She hears him calling goodbye and splits to find Trish is dragging him away.

"Bye," she calls after him and Austin echos. She turns back to him.

That awkward moment when your best friend has pulled the mistletoe out on you and your cute female best friend, only to walk away and leave you awkwardly staring at each other.

He knows it was more than three seconds (it was seven, but who else was counting?) and he knows that his palms are getting really sweaty, but there's no way to gracefully wipe his hand sweat on her pants (because yes, his hand is still on her hip).

"So where does this leave us?" she murmurs. He barely hears it over the noise of his own erratic thoughts.

"I don't know. Friends? Partners? Partners?" He removes his hand and runs it through his hair.

She frowns at him. "You said partners twice."

"Well, there's music partners and then there's you know, partners." He makes eye contact with his shoes. "Like, romantic partners."

Ally looks down at his shoes too, because it's the most neutral territory between them and a whole lot easier than looking him in the eyes.

"Which do you want?" She concentrates on the laces, mentally weaving them up the shoe.

Austin glances up to read her expression. All he gets is the top of her head, staring down at his shoes. He panics.

"I gotta go." She watches as his feet disappear, and with them, the rest of him.

(this is the page break)

She doesn't get a chance to talk to him until lunch. His teacher lets him out late, and by the time he hits the front of the lunch line, all that's left is spaghetti. He thinks back to his all protein Cheetah Beat diet, and the spaghetti worms. He takes an apple instead.

He slides into the seat next to Dez. Trish is across from them with Ally. He says hello, and she says hi back. She wants to say more. He can tell, the way she opens her mouth and closes it again as Trish continues to talk.

He eats his apple, then the core. The seeds get pushed around, making a smiley face. He decides to name the face Ally. He smiles to himself.

He promptly gets up and throws the seeds out.

He spends the rest of the period watching the side of her head, halfheartedly listening to Dez talk about filming the next music video.

A hand slips into his pocket. It pulls back out. "For when you need it," Dez explains through a mouthful of noodles.

Austin nods like he knows what he's talking about, but he hasn't got a clue.

He faces forward to find a cupcake sitting in front of him. He catches her eye and mouths thank you. Frosting ends up on his lip, and she leans across the table to wipe it off.

A jolt goes up his spine, and his eyes pop a bit. But for the rest of the day, he plays it cool.

If playing it cool means stuttering and nearly slamming his hand into his locker.

Yup, cool as ice.

(this is the page break)

It's been eight hours (and 14 minutes, but again, who besides him is counting?) since the kiss. They're sitting in Sonic Boom, and despite it being Friday, practically nobody is there. Except him and Ally.

And Dez and Trish. But he's sitting at the table, and she's close. So close, typing numbers into the calculator, showing him that x does in fact equal 4. He understands it, he truly does (Ally makes a fabulous tutor, much to the delight of his parents as they watch his grades go up) but he wants to hear her voice again.

She asks him if he gets it. He's asked her twice now, and he knows that she'll get upset, and a bit suspicious if he asks a third time so he says yes, and proves it by doing the rest of the worksheet.

Soon he's finished, and there's no buffer between them. No school work, no customers. Just him and Ally. (And yes, still Dez and Trish who are arguing over who knows what.)

Ally has a brave moment and speaks first.

"You okay?" He lifts his head from his backpack.

Trish and Dez stop arguing. "We got to get to work at Santa's Workshop. Come on Dez."

"But I don't even work there," he protests.

"I don't care. Now come on." She doesn't give him a choice. Rather she grabs his hand and drags him out of the store.

They watch as their friends leave, albeit one against his will. Austin places his bag behind the counter.

"Yeah. Why do you ask?" His voice squeaks, and he tries not to cringe.

"You were acting pretty odd this morning after the whole mistletoe thing." She blushes as the words escape her mouth.

He rubs the back of his neck. Here's his chance. Her back is now turned, straightening up the guitar display. He can do this. He sets a hand on her shoulder. "Ally..."

Crap, he so cannot do this.

She notices his falter, the way his shoulders slump and his knees wobble. He knows he can do this. He's asked girls out before. He's performed for hundreds of fans before. Austin Moon does not get nervous.

Then again, it's not every day Austin Moon asks out his best friend either.

And frankly, the thought terrifies him.

"You know you can tell me anything. That's what best friends are for." His knees slow to a gentler wobble, a slow swaying really, and he walks away. She goes after him. There is no way he's avoiding this conversation twice.

He hears the steps of her boots behind him and stops. "That's just it Ally," he starts. He leans in so close she falls into the piano, the keys crying out in protest. They ignore it. "What if I don't want to be friends?"

"Oh." Her voice barely makes a sound in the room, but it is too much for him. The sound of disappointment crashes in his brain like violent waves in a storm. And he's the kid who loses his ice cream to the tide.

In other words, it kind of sucks.

"I wanna be more than friends." He places his hands on either side of her. The keys misplay again.

"Oh," she repeats. Except this time her tone is surprise. And she hasn't slapped him or run screaming, so he takes this as a sign to continue. He reaches into his pocket.

Out comes the mistletoe. It's a bit wrinkled from being in his pocket all day. "Dez said I'd need this."

She pushes off the piano. The keys get jostled, but this time it doesn't sound so bad. It's not perfect, but it's something new. Something to be worked on. Something with potential to be beautiful.

Something like us, she tells herself.

And with that, she gathers the courage to utter out the two letter word they'd both been so afraid of.

"No."

He drops his hand. The plant crumbles beneath the strength of his fist.

Slowly she uncurls each finger until the mistletoe is exposed, lying there. She plucks it from his palm.

"No, you don't."

She kisses him anyway.

(this is the page break)

Two hours later they're in line at Santa's Workshop, buying Christmas decorations for Sonic Boom. She's holding onto a bundle of garland and he has a plastic Santa and a sheet of window cling-ons. But no mistletoe.

They don't need it anymore. Besides, it'd get crushed under the force of their fist.

Well, not really fist. More like two hands, fingers intertwined as they wait in line. And it's a long line, because Trish isn't the best employee.

For once, Ally considers that a good thing.

She has been holding Austin's hand for eighteen minutes.

(and 27 seconds, but who besides her was counting?)

(Oh yeah, he was.)