Make This Press, an Austin & Ally oneshot

I do not own Austin & Ally. This is for nd4ff, who requested that I take a look at how Austin and Ally more than friendly attraction towards each other. As always, requests are open and reviews are well received!

There's an indent, about the size of his two front teeth, on the tip of his tongue.

Every time those six words (will you go out with me) try to slip out he bites his tongue. Lately, he's been biting a lot. Because there's something different about Ally. And he's not just talking about appearances.

Sure, since he's gotten his record deal she may have given herself a mini makeover. She may have gotten highlights, and some brighter clothes, and new shoes. That doesn't make her any more attractive. (It's pretty impossible to beat the levels she reaches in his opinion.)

Yet every time he walks into the room, and sees that smile of hers, he tries not to melt into a puddle on the floor.

Looking back, it's a wonder that he's made it this far. If he could see then what he sees now, how they are so insanely perfect for each other, he would have jumped on the chance. But then, he supposes, they wouldn't be nearly as close as they are today.

If only Ally wanted to be as close as he does.

(the page breaks here)

She has never been one to keep secrets from her best friend. Trish knows everything about her.

Well, almost everything.

She doesn't know that Ally is starting to feel something maybe, kind of, sorta like romantic feelings for her partner.

It doesn't matter how much doubt she tries to instill in her mind with these fickle words. She knows for a fact that they will never work. They never have.

She's used these words for so long, trying to block out the thoughts that there may be some small glimmer of hope that he may like her back. No, not in that best friends kind of way. More like a, I'm trying not to blush because I find you so darned attractive, kind of way.

She can only hide it for so long.

(back to the beginning)

They have seen each other at school. He sits two tables over in the cafeteria with Dez. She sits with Trish and her notebooks, scratching down lyric ideas in the margins of her notes. It isn't the best for her schoolwork, that she knows. But she's going to copy them over anyway. She needs to write down these lyrics. Not that anyone will ever hear them. They'll just get written in her song book, only to be heard when she dares to sing them in the privacy of her practice room.

Back then, sharing wasn't an option.

That doesn't stop Austin.

He steals her song. More than that, he steals her heart. It is that moment that their hands touch writing Break Down the Walls. She looks to him, and he smiles.

That sheepish half smile that says 'oops.' It isn't like his other teeth bearing grins. It is nervous and adorable and-

And it is the start.

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He's so hyped up. The crowd loves him, and nobody is going to think twice about Ralphie Hayes, dog food guy. It's all thanks to Ally.

He winks and points at her.

She beams back, putting her thumbs in the air. That smile that reads 'I'm proud of you.' If he wasn't on a high before, he sure was now.

Sure, he had a couple butterflies when their hands had touched at the piano. He had written it off as nothing. They were tired, and it didn't matter that she wasn't his type. She was quiet and adorable. He was looking for someone who was fun and loud like him.

Except sometimes when you can't find something, it's because something better is standing in your way.

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She doesn't want to ask. She's afraid of the answer, afraid of rejection.

Some amount of courage gets mustered up, and she asks anyway. She needs to know why he was so disturbed by the idea of going out with her. He had gone orange and sweaty to avoid her. Which she has to admit, wasn't his best look. Somehow though, beneath all of that, hopefully removable, spray tan she still finds him cute.

It's cute how he tried to pretend like he hadn't read her book. Like he didn't know that she liked Dallas, who in retrospect, she can understand the confusion, as Austin does have kind eyes and a name from Texas. It's even cuter when he rushes to explain, saying that she's awesome and he's not going to ruin this friendship.

The fact that he cares that much makes him all the more attractive.

(the page breaks here)

When he grabs her blue crayon, he can feel her dainty fingers try to escape from his grip. It only makes him squeeze tighter.

She yells out as he breaks her crayon. He laughs, because the whole situation seems so crazy. Like really, can she not replace one single crayon if it means holding his hand for a minute?

Wait, that did not come out right.

There is no way he got excited over holding her hand. They're just friends. Friends who make music together and sometimes touch while playing the piano.

This is far different than those tiny finger touches. It's like boom.

He's going to buy her a new crayon, and throw away these feelings with that broken blue crayon.

(the page breaks here)

This scene is too cute. Not that she's going to blame the stuffed dolphin. Who yes, is cute, but he's being made ten times cuter as he's cuddled up to Austin's face.

He asks if he can have him. She tells him no. There's no way she can watch him go around with her dolphin. If she's going to get over this crush of hers, he cannot be desirable. Well, it's more of a press than a crush. Crush makes it sound like she's fallen hard, struggling to contain herself under the pressure of her love for him. But they're just friends, with those little moments that make her wonder.

He tries to take her dolphin a second time and she catches him. She's going to get over this press.

In the end, she ends up giving him the toy. She figures he'll stay at home, and it won't matter if he looks adorable cuddling it or not, because she wont see it. That, and she owes him for all he's done for her.

He's making it hard to keep this just a press.

(the page breaks here)

So this is what it's like to have her arms wrapped around him.

If he wasn't feeling so conflicted about who to take to the award show, he'd be enjoying this so much more.

When she, sadly, pulls away, he can see the excitement radiating off her body. He wants to be happy too. He should be, considering he hugged the cutest girl in the store.

Whoa. He had known he found her cute, but to be the cutest? He definitely needs to get his under control. And he will, as soon as he gets this ticket situation sorted out.

He decides not to take any of them, instead bringing Nelson. For some reason he still brings a picture of her along. He says he doesn't know why he did it, but deep down he knows. He knows that he wants to see her smiling after he performs, just like always.

There's nothing wrong with that.

As long as you ignore the fact that he didn't bring one of Dez and Trish too. Even though they're always there, right by her side.

Yup, he's ignoring that.

(the page breaks here)

They're talking, just the two of them in the practice room.

He's telling her about how he can drink hot sauce up his nose. She says she doesn't believe him.

Part of her is disgusted when he offers to show her, but the other half is intrigued. Why would he even try to do such a thing?

Oh yeah, because he's Austin.

He tells her about how once Dez dared him to do it, and then he had made him laugh, spewing the hot sauce back out his nose. He offers to demonstrate.

She doesn't know if he's trying to impress her. But if he is, it's working. She likes a guy who's confident.

Trish comes in to talk to them.

Which she sees as a good thing, because she doesn't need another reason to be awestruck by him.

(the page breaks here)

When Dallas turns down a dance with Ally, she's upset. So upset that she hides under a table, where she plans to stay for the remainder of Trish's quinceanera.

Or at least until Austin calls looking for her. He slides under the table.

He tells her that Dallas doesn't know what he's doing. There are many more ways to say what he's really thinking. That he's an idiot, a jerk. But no matter how much he trashes him, she's still going to crush on him, and it'll only hurt her more.

And then Dez shows up, and he wants this moment alone. To tell her she looks beautiful in her red dress, and how when they were slow dancing earlier he was feeling many feelings. Not just the 'ow, major ankle pain' feelings. There were the 'wow, I didn't know my heart raced this fast' feelings and the 'now would be a fabulous time to make a move' feelings. Feelings he didn't act on, and probably wouldn't have, even if things hadn't turned sour.

He skips out on his chance to get booked in clubs to dance with the coolest girl there. He knows there'll be second chances to get booked in clubs.

He's not as sure about dancing with Ally.

That girl's far too pretty to not find someone to love her.

(the page breaks here)

He makes it look so easy. That, Mr. Cool Calm and Collected thing he has going on. The way he can jump on stage and entertain a crowd. She can't even look chill when she tries.

She does, and he smiles at her attempt.

And later, when he smiles at her because he got her on the radio, her heart jumps again.

Followed by sinking. She should be relishing the moment, and she appreciates his help, but her stage fright gets the better of her. It doesn't matter how much he believes her.

He compliments her all the time. Telling her she's awesome, or the best song writer ever.

It's her turn to repay the favor, so she says he's a nice guy. He blushes.

Just one more reason to make this press become a crush.

(the page breaks here)

When she says she needs help with the boxes, he offers to help. It doesn't matter that he's spinning this basketball. He could be carrying a backpack of bricks and he'd help her.

No, not because he's a nice guy.

Well, yes actually, that, but also because he likes her.

In that, what on earth does Dallas have that I don't, kind of way.

Dez takes one box, so Austin takes two. He shouldn't be competing against his best friend. He knows that he doesn't have any kind of attraction to her. Which he finds insane, because anyone with eyes can see that Ally is definitely the type to be attracted to.

Guess that means one less competitor.

If only he could get Dallas out of the running.

(the page breaks here)

She's not angry that they're glued together. If anything, she's angry that Dez's hand is stuck to her back and that Austin is at the opposite end of this mess.

Shirtless Austin, who has way too much definition to not want to touch his bare stomach. It's not too much. The whole body builder thing turns her off.

No, it's just enough to make her envy Dez, who's glued himself to his side.

It's official. This is no longer a press. This is a crush.

They fall backwards in the sand and she struggles to sit back up. A hand grabs for her, and she takes it. Eyes scanning up the length of the arm, she finds that it is Austin's.

Maybe that spray glue wasn't so horrible after all.

(the page breaks here)

He always knew that she was a star, but to be covered in them?

She twirls around, her gold stars shining in the artificial light.

He's given in. This is a crush, and there is nothing he can do about it. Rather, nothing he can do without risking this friendship.

He could tell her she is positively adorable. He could tell her that she makes his knees go weak some days and that he has to thank his lucky stars (pardon the pun) that he's already sitting at the piano bench or he'd fall.

More than he has already fallen for her.

He snaps a picture. It's not going on his Tweeter page.

This one is just for him.

(the page breaks here)

Matey.

Pirate Frank calls Austin her matey and she doesn't deny it. In her defense, mateys can be friends. Friends that borrow guitars to get them signed by famous singers because they know they like them. Them being the singer, not Austin, because she has made a promise to herself not to let him find out about this crush.

If Pirate Frank has other ideas about what matey means, that is his problem.

But the ideas that he's now planted in her head?

Those are her problem.

(the page breaks here)

He is doomed. He cannot believe he let her bird out.

If she can't trust him with a bird, how will she ever trust him with a kid?

Focus. He hasn't even asked her out yet, and he's worried about their future children. Surely he's missed a few steps. If only it was that easy to skip the awkward parts and get on with their happily ever after.

When Owen flies back into his cage on his own accord, relief washes over him. Now he doesn't have to tell her how he let her down.

Still, he makes it up to her by agreeing to put on an acoustic performance at the Sonic Boom to distract the customers.

Now she thinks he's the greatest guy ever. At least until that bird of hers spills the truth.

He hopes she can forgive him, because he can't imagine life without her happy.

(the page breaks here)

Would it be weird that she finds his fear to be a turn on, despite it being about something so weird?

Right, it's already weird because they're supposed to be just friends.

It's not the fear of umbrellas necessarily. It's the fact that's he's showing some kind of fear at all, and she sees that he's vulnerable. She wants to wrap her arms around him. She wants to be the one that tells him it's going to be alright and to face his fears.

She tells him how she got stage fright. He listens, never taking his eyes off of her.

Those kind eyes. They're kinder than Dallas's ever were. Because Austin's eyes are full of caring and interest.

And hopefully, one day if she's lucky enough, they'll be full of love too.

(the page breaks here)

This could be exactly what he was looking for. She's cool and pretty and likes music.

Most importantly?

She's not Ally.

He can feel his heart speed up. He's going to ask her out because he has nothing to lose. It's not an entire friendship is on the line here. He can't lose what he doesn't already have.

That's not to say he can't be sad when she turns him down.

It's also not to say that his feelings for Ally have disappeared. They're still there, hiding in the background.

Or they were until they dance it out. Only she could make goofy dancing that cute.

When Cassidy promises him a date when she gets back, his heart hops.

He'd say it jumped for joy, but he hopes by then he'll be going out with Ally, and he'll never end up going on it.

(the page breaks here)

How is it that her knight in shining armor wasn't so shiny after all?

He may have gotten over his fear of umbrellas, but apparently he's afraid of spiders too. This would be much cuter if she wasn't freaking out already.

They rid themselves of the spider. Soon it's just the two of them again, working on their song.

On an old blowing jug and a thumping bucket.

It's a bit hillbilly, but he seems to be having fun, and his face lights up when they finish the song in time for the bash.

Seeing him vulnerable is great and all, but she much rather prefers happy Austin.

His smile is contagious.

(the page breaks here)

Happy thoughts. That's all he's going to think. He's not going to think about how he could permanently ruin his voice and his singing career.

Instead, he's going to think about how Ally put on his crown and called herself a princess. Which means one of two things.

Either she wants to be a princess or she wants to be his princess. His princess in a married kind of way, not a brother sister kind of way. It is wrong to think about your siblings in the way he thinks about her.

Still, he spots a cute girl, and he figures it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot. It's not like he's going to be single forever just because he can't confess his feelings to one girl.

He gets Trish to help him. Or so he thought. She just ends up scaring off the girl, much to his disappointment.

Well, there will always be Ally.

(the page breaks here)

She is not going to cry.

Please say she wore waterproof mascara tonight.

She watches as Austin sings to her, the video playing behind him. All the moments of the four of them. She can't help but notice that most of the moments are between the two of them.

Each clip pushes the tears closer to the edge. She blinks them back.

How could she have ever thought about leaving all of this?

There was no way she could leave that smile behind.

There was no way she could leave and forget the feeling of his arms wrapped around her.

He reigns her back into the hug again.

She would've missed this.

(the page breaks here)

At the water park, she pulls her newly highlighted hair back into a ponytail.

With it up, he can see the expanse of her neck. That's not all he can see.

She's wearing a pink striped tankini. It's part of her new wardrobe, so the fabric is smooth and unfaded against the curves of her body.

It's a good thing he didn't go to that sale with her and Trish, or he would have cornered her in that dressing room.

That's a lie. He would have considered it, but this little thing called fear of rejection would have stopped him.

She's scared, so he climbs behind her, enclosing her in his legs. Then he whispers in her ear to not look down.

When they hit the bottom, the water splashes up and soaks her hair. She's laughing and he laughs right along with her.

It doesn't matter what she wears, she'll still be beautiful to him.

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There is something magical about this costume.

How else could she be on stage, performing with Austin?

Austin, who is dressed as a gladiator, showing off his toned arms. She leans against the wall to get a better look.

There may be three of him at the party, but Nelson and Dez are no competition for the real thing. The real deal is watching her with adoration as she hits the high note. He's hugging her and telling her how happy he is for her.

He's asking her to sing with him again.

She wants to say yes. There's no place she'd rather be than with Austin. But she can't take off the mask. She's not ready.

Not ready to perform; not ready to break this barrier of friendship and more.

A pink wig can only take her so far.

(the page breaks here)

They're sitting at Mini's when she says it.

It makes him wonder what it would be like if they were dating. To her, he says that it would be weird.

In his head?

That's a different story.

But for now, they're just friends. Friends who both like each other, too blind to see that their love is reciprocated.

Not a press. Not a crush. Full on love, because they've grown together and made this happen. This mess of emotions, hiding under the guise of friendship.

Good things come in time.

And trust me.

This is a very good thing.