He Wrote it on a Napkin (Part 1/5), an Austin & Ally fiction

I do not own Austin & Ally. This is for peanutbutterjellylove, who prompted "collection of scenes that inspire Austin to write his first song." Also for mneragleek, who prompted "collection of Auslly one shots" on Tumblr. (Yup, you can check me out as Skwirelygurli on tumblr now.) So here's a five shot for you two! Remember to review and request.

It should not be this hard. Ally writes songs all the time, and they come out fantastic.

He's been sitting at the piano for three hours now, and all he has is a garbage can full of crumpled up, no good song lyrics. (Crumpled up, no good song lyrics that will be uncrumpled and recycled before Ally finds and reads them, that is.)

He slides off the piano bench onto the ground. Dumping the basket on the floor, he uncrumples the first paper. His disgust makes him want to wad it back up again. Still, he smooths the page and starts a pile. Another stacks on top it. And another.

And another.

He'd feel a lot better if he wasn't keeping count.

"Austin, what are you doing?" Ally startles him.

"N-nothing," he stutters. He shuffles the papers together and hides them behind his back.

She notices. "It doesn't look like nothing."

She takes a step forward, forcing him to take one back. The piano bench hits the back of his knees. He stumbles, catching his balance on the piano edge.

The papers fall from his hand. Ally bends down to pick them up. He's quick to follow.

He prays that she didn't see any of the ones with her name on them.

"I can explain," he says, scooping up as many as he can. The less she sees, the better.

"You're writing a love song?" She hands him the papers she collected and stands.

Austin rends the stack of papers in half. Then again, just for good measure.

"Yeah." The scraps get tossed in the recycle box.

"Who's the lucky girl?"

He's really glad he hasn't turned back around yet, because his face matches his shirt.

His bright red shirt.

"I'd rather not say." He gets his blushing under control and faces her. "I wouldn't want to jinx it."

"Do you need help?"

He's pretty sure you can't serenade a girl with her own love song. Even if she is the best songwriter ever. "I think I'm going to write this one on my own."

Ally is shocked. They always work together. But if it's what he wants, then she'll mask her hurt and cheer him on.

She pastes on a fake smile.

"Oh, okay."

Can she hear his heart breaking?

"Well, maybe you could help. Every time I try to write something, the words come out all wrong." He sits on the bench.

She takes a seat next to him. "You're thinking about it too hard. You need to relax."

His elbows connect to his knees as he slumps forward.

"I can't. This song has to be perfect."

"And it will be. But only if you let the words come to you. Otherwise you'll end up comparing the girl to a cuddly puppy."

Darn, she had read his lyrics.

"Hey, if you're going to make fun of me, then I'll just ask Dez for help."

She puts her hands up in defeat. "I'm sorry. What do you want to do first?"

He finally has her at his whim. So many things they could do. Go to the arcade. Have a Zaliens marathon.

His stomach growls.

"I could go for a milkshake right now."

(the page breaks here)

He sits across from her, sucking on his choco-banana shake. It's thick and delicious and-

Oh gosh.

Ally has a milkshake mustache.

He grins so wide that his straw drops out of his mouth.

"What?" She sets her cup on the table.

"You got a little something." He motions with his hand.

She grabs her napkin and swipes it across her face. "Am I good?"

She's absolutely wonderful, but he's pretty sure she's talking about the mustache.

"You're good."

"Thanks."

He nods. "Why don't you just use your straw?"

She swirls her straw around in the cup.

"It's clogged."

"Let me see." He extracts the straw from her grasp and sucks. Her milkshake shoots up the straw, clearing the passageway.

He licks his lips.

She takes the straw back, placing it upside down in the cup. It wasn't a surefire way to avoid his germs, but it was better than nothing. And she couldn't just get a new straw after he so kindly fixed hers. That would be rude.

"What kind of milkshake was that? It tastes so good." He hadn't been paying attention when she ordered. He was far too preoccupied with the smile on her face.

"Fuzzy navel."

"Aren't you a bit too young to be drinking fuzzy navels?"

She smiles, and he has to focus this time. He refuses to be distracted again.

"It's a non-alcoholic fuzzy navel. Just peaches and orange juice." She takes another sip. "And creamy vanilla ice cream."

He watches, hypnotized, as she pulls the straw up, drawing it to her mouth. She runs it between her lips, licking off the chunks of peaches.

"Oh."

It's the only syllable he can manage.

(the page breaks here)

The mall is crowded.

There's a sale going on at Gene's Jean Emporium. And they both know that Trish, who got hired yesterday afternoon, is not the best employee. So the store is packed.

But it's not just Gene's. Because Billl is having a sale of his own. And because he's having a sale, so is Dress Hut. And so is T-Shirt World.

And practically everyone else in the mall, because they know that nobody in Miami can resist a sale the week before school starts.

His hand is wrapped around hers.

He says he doesn't want to lose her in the madness.

Truth be told?

If he had it his way, the mall would be empty, and her hand would still be in his.

"Do you think we could check out the shoe sale? I need to buy sneakers for gym class. I promise I'll be quick." Ally moves closer as a frazzled mother rushes by.

He squishes closer. Not because he has to, but because he wants to.

"No problem."

"Except trying to figure out how to get across this crowd."

"Right, that could be a problem."

Her eyes connect with his. He knows that look.

She has an idea.

"Oh my gosh! Is that an eighty percent off sign at Tech Town?" she shouts. The crowd of shoppers make a run for it.

"Ally, you're a genius." Austin gives her a sideways hug.

"Run. They'll be back soon." They race to the store.

They're out of breath, but he has the strangest urge to kiss her. It was a bold move, and he feels so alive. He feels her heart racing.

If only he could make her heart race like that.

With the crowd cleared, she's able to find her size relatively quickly.

"Do you need help with anything?" an exhausted looking employee asks.

"We're good," Ally responds, pulling a box of the shelf. It gets stuck, so she yanks on it, and a shoe flies out at her face. Austin catches it.

The employee shrugs and moves on. He's too tired to argue.

She puts her hand out. He shakes his head.

"Allow me," he says, motioning to the seat in the aisle.

She sits. He kneels in front of her, taking her foot.

Here it goes. The romantic Cinderella moment where he slides the shoe on, and it's a perfect fit. And then he, being the prince, knows he's really in love and asks the girl to marry him.

Except, he's not a prince. Unless you count being the prince of his parent's mattress store.

Nor is he asking her to marry him. He'd be happy to get her to say yes to a date.

She slides her foot into the hole, but it won't fit.

So much for a perfect moment.

"Austin? I think there's paper stuffed in the toe."

"Oops, my bad." He removes the shoe and reaches inside. Sure enough, there's a wad of paper in there. He takes it out.

He offers her the shoe a second time. This time, her foot is a perfect fit.

Too bad the moment's passed.

"Much better."

He ties the laces and grabs the other shoe. This time he makes sure to take out the paper before he crams her foot in it.

"Try walking in them," he suggests. She does, and he takes the opportunity to check her out.

How had he gotten in so deep?

"Perfect." She stops in front of him, and he has to tilt his head back to look up at her.

Thank goodness she wore pants today.

This would be totally inappropriate if she was in a skirt.

She sits back down, and he concentrates on untying her shoes. "Do you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

"The moms are back." He tugs the shoes off and throws them in their box. She slips into her sandals.

He grabs her hand, weaving through the newly crowded aisle. She hangs on tight.

Somehow, there's already a line at the register, and they have to wait.

Which they do, hand in hand.

This would be far more romantic if the store didn't smell like feet.

(the page breaks here)

Back at Sonic Boom, she runs up to the practice room to drop off her bag. He hops behind the counter, digging around for a pen and some paper. He finds a napkin. He doesn't have long, so he decides it'll have to do.

He glances to the stairs. Still no sign of Ally. He puts his pen to the paper.

If a smile says a thousand words then listen to mine

I would swear I'm drunk, but I don't drink wine

It's like you're made of adhesive tape

I'm stuck to you, but I don't want to escape

So hold me close until your very last day

Cause I don't see any other way

She's starting down the stairs now, so he caps the pen. He stuffs the napkin in his pocket.

Verse one: complete.