Clicking Pen, an Austin & Ally one-shot
I do not own Austin and Ally. This is for naada, for being such a fantastic reviewer. Please remember to review!
Her hair falls into her face as she bends down to sign in. She pushes it out of the way, signing her name under his.
He's convinced her that the Speed Date Extravaganza will be fun. It's an opportunity to meet new people. There's the possibility of finding 'the one.' (Or that's what all the posters were boasting.)
They've alphabetized the seats. She's at the beginning of the girl line. Austin is second in his line, after some kid named Abraham. He's across from her. If she were to follow his line of vision she'd see exactly where he is staring. And then she'd blush indignantly, crossing her arms in front of her.
Instead, she runs her hand along the 'wall' next to her. There's a makeshift curtain (for privacy, she assumes) between her and the next seat.
"Alrighty, everybody is here, so let's get started." The hostess's voice is painfully cheerful, like she's been injected with happiness. She bets that it is in her cheeks, because they look like they've been Botoxed one too many times.
"Each date will last three minutes. When you hear this sound," her equally annoying co-host waits for the buzzer to sound, "the boys will move one seat to the left."
"At the end of the night, you will fill out report cards for each person you met. Then you can decide who you would like to see again and make your move." She winks as if there is a big secret. If there is, Ally is pretty sure she was left out of the loop.
He points to the digital timer mounted on the wall. It's set at three minutes. "And your first date begins now."
There's a list of suggested questions on the table in front of them. He reads the first one aloud.
"If you were stuck on a desert island for one day with no supplies, who would you bring with you?"
"I'd bring my best friend Trish. Then again, she probably wouldn't want to do any work and then we'd starve. Maybe I would bring Austin. We could write a song, and he would help me look for food and make some sort of shelter." She had promised herself that she was not going to mention him tonight. It was her chance to meet someone new. It was not her chance to brag about how there is a totally awesome guy in her life who is just her friend, the friend who brought her here, because he doesn't feel that way about her.
Still, it was relevant to the question.
One seat over, Austin was being asked the same question.
"That's easy. I'd bring Dez. Though he wouldn't be very helpful if something went wrong. Ooh, I know. I'd bring Ally, because she's really smart. She loves to read books. She'd know what to do."
If she didn't, they could make music. He also could admire her beauty from afar. Then he could blame it on the heat making him delirious. He can't blame his staring on anything when they're in the confines of the air conditioned mall.
The buzzer goes off. He moves to the next seat.
"If you had one wish, what would you ask for? And no, you can't say world peace." She snaps her bubble gum at him.
He watches her chew her gum. Her lips smack together. It looks like it could fall out of her mouth on to the table any second. Right now he wishes she'd stop.
"Fame. No, playing in Times Square. Wait, no. I already did that. Hmm. What would you wish for?"
"A new piece of gum. This one is stale." She stretches it with her tongue.
He nods. This girl is weird. "I got it. I'd go on a tour with my best friends, and get pancakes at every diner along the way. Though Ally would probably get sick of pancakes, so we would have to stop somewhere else. Tacos maybe."
Why was she looking at him like he had two heads?
At the end of the line, Ally was giving her partner the same look. He wanted a lifetime supply of goat cheese. He didn't find the need to explain himself. Yet he had the nerve to laugh at her wish.
"I wish to continue to live out my dream with my three best friends." If she could write Austin music for the rest of her life, she'd be happy.
"That is so cliché."
Zero for two.
She wants to counteract his statement, but the buzzer goes off. She crosses her fingers for a better match.
"If you had a super power, what would it be?"
"Super strength, so I could do heavy lifting. You know, save people trapped under cars and stuff." He wheezes. His body is stick thin, and he'd pass out trying to run a mile, but he's the most promising candidate yet. "What about you?"
"I think it'd be cool to read minds. Then again, there may be some things I don't want to know. I mean, what if I read that someone has a crush and then embarrass them in front of that person? Maybe invisibility. Though I already kind of am." She runs her finger along the table.
"I don't think you're invisible. I see you, and you are clearly very pleasant to look at." He pushes his glasses up his nose.
"I just meant that with Austin, everyone sees him singing, but I tend to avoid the spotlight. I know, I'd have super confidence. That's a super power, right?"
"Well, it has the word super in it." He chuckles and snorts.
Is this really the best she can do?
Austin isn't having much more luck.
"I'd want to fly. Or teleport, so I don't have to get stuck in traffic. I could sleep in, and then BAM! I'd be where I need to be."
"What if you land on somebody?" His paranoid partner asks. He's known her for all of two minutes, and he already knows the (rather extensive) list of her greatest fears.
"Good point. Flying it is."
The buzzer sounds and she flinches. He moves on to the next girl.
She looks normal. Then again, he said the same thing about the last one. He picks up the card.
"What is your favorite song?"
"O M G. You're Austin Moon."
"That's what my name tag says."
"I love all of your songs. They are the absolute best!" she gushes, reaching over the table to squeeze his hand.
His fingers are going numb. "Yeah, Ally has written some great songs. It's hard to pick a favorite."
He tries to pry himself away from her death grip. Looking at the timer, he sees there is still a minute and a half to go.
Hopefully Ally is having better luck than him.
She is. For once, the boy is cute and polite. He has a bit of an accent, where he rolls his r's.
"There are so many great songs to choose from. I mean, of course I love all of Austin's songs, since he's such a great performer, but that makes me sound egotistical, since I write them all."
"You write music? That's so... hot." His voice stays low. Tingles shoot up her side as he takes her hand gently in his.
The buzzer jolts them out of their happy moment. A part of her wants to reset the clock and ask for three more minutes. But the next boy is already rushing to sit in front of her.
"Describe your ideal mate."
She could be very sarcastic and say 'look to your left.' She chooses not to.
Hands folded on the table (she finds this more attractive than scratching her head as she tries to formulate a response) she thinks about it. "A sweet guy. Would have to love music, definitely. That's a big part of my life."
"Any special requests on appearance? Tall, dark, and handsome perhaps?" He strokes the brim of his fedora. She recalled that he did look tall before sitting down. Was he referring to himself?
"I don't know. Being cute isn't a top priority, but it does help." She pulls her feet closer to her chair. This guy seems nice, but there is something that makes her want to draw back from him.
A few seats down, Austin is doing the exact opposite.
His elbows are digging into the table, and he's leaned forward like he's about to tell a big secret.
"She'd have to be pretty, and fun to be around," he says. His words could describe the girl in front of him. She's a red head, obviously dyed. Normally he likes a natural looking pretty girl (her lipstick may be a few shades too bright), but he could get used to her. "And she has to love music. If she doesn't love music, it's not going to work."
"What if she just likes music? Does she have to love it?" She leans forward too, her mass of red curls tickling his face.
The buzzer goes off.
He moves to the last seat in the row.
"If you could visit one point in your life, but couldn't change it, when would you choose?" she asks, not giving him a chance to sit down.
"The future. I'd want to see if I finally got the nerve to- never mind." He scratches the back of his neck.
"No, say it." She tightens her ponytail.
He shakes his head. "It's not important."
"You've got your sights set on some girl, huh? I bet you came here because you're trying to get over her and find somebody who can satisfy you, even if it's just for the week."
His eyes grow wide. It was like she had read his mind. Which was impossible, because that page was in a book that was closed and stowed deep, deep down where nobody could find it.
"How did you know?"
"I've been to a lot of these things. And I always fall for the guy who has it bad for some other girl."
"You like me then?"
She sets her hand on top of his. "Sorry. Blonds aren't my thing."
At the opposite end of the table, Ally is considering the question. It'd be great to see what the future entailed. It would take all the fun out of it though.
"The past, back to New Years Eve," she decides.
"Why? Hot midnight kiss or something?"
She wishes. "Actually, I went to New York to watch Austin perform at Times Square. It was really cold outside. I'd go back in a warmer jacket so I could enjoy the performance without having my eyeballs freeze open."
"You were at Times Square New Years Eve? Me too!" The guy across from her was a bit of a self-absorbed tool. The whole night had gone pretty sour. It seemed that all the good guys already had girls and didn't need speed dating to find their match.
"Small world," she comments dryly.
"I know, right? We should've met up."
She tightens her enjoined hands. "We didn't know each other then."
Please, let the buzzer ring.
The last boy to sit in front of her is Austin. He pushes the suggested question list aside.
"Any luck?" He folds his hands and bumps his knuckles against hers.
"It's been an experience." She cannot find the words to properly describe her night.
He sighs. "That's one way to describe it. If I ever ask you to another one of these things, please, remind me of this night."
She grins. To her, that was already a given.
She picks up the piece of paper. "If today was your last day, what would you do?"
"I would die." He says it in a tone so serious, that she almost believes that he is.
"How original of you." She bites her lip to keep from laughing.
He shrugs. If it really were his last day, he would take her in his arms and kiss her. Well, once this table was out of the way.
"What would you do?" he challenges back. Maybe there is some desire he can fill and show her just how great of a guy he is.
"I'd write you as many songs as I could so you could keep perfoming."
"Who says we'd die at different times?" Even if his body was still on earth, he thinks his spirit would die. Music would only remind him of his favorite girl.
She opens her mouth to answer, but the buzzer cuts her off.
Mrs. Botox take the microphone again. "We're coming around with pens and the cards. When you get them, you will see the name of one of your partners on it. Next to your name, write your comments, phone number, address- whatever you want this person to know."
Mr. Botox finishes his round. "We would like to remind you that the Speed Date Extravaganza is not responsible for any hurt feelings or other misfortunes."
He doesn't go further to explain what misfortunes includes. It makes Austin a bit nervous.
Ally clicks her pen, writing down a well thought out comment. She passes it behind the curtain.
He passes his card to the next boy. "Shouldn't we have filled these things out after we met each person? Or they could have at least put their faces on top of the cards."
"This whole event was a bit ramshackle." She passes another card down the line.
Someone in the room will not stop clicking their pen. It is bothering her to no end. She wants to stand up and see who it is. But the Botox twins are staring, and she isn't going to start a commotion.
She grits her teeth.
After five more minutes of clicking, the cards and (thankfully) pens are collected. They are offered punch and cookies.
He pours himself a glass. Drinking it, he makes a face.
"You want the rest of my punch?"
"I think I'll pass. Want my cookie?" She was willing to share. Most of the platter was gone. Apparently they weren't the only ones to have a less than stellar evening.
He breaks off a piece. "Thanks."
The hosts pass the cards out. He skims his.
Why does every comment have to do with him liking another girl? All save for one, his crazy fan, who put her phone number, and a bubbly, 'call me,' followed by ten exclamation points.
It could not have been that obvious.
One girl dared to call her by name.
Okay, it was that obvious.
Ally has better luck. She's scored two phone numbers. Neither of them matter to her.
What matters is the words squeezed into the bottom of the card.
'Austin: Ally, please don't call any of these guys. The others are right. You should give this Austin-guy a chance. I know I'm supposed to be writing my comments on you, but I couldn't help reading what the others had to say. I'm jealous that you and Geoff really hit it off, and that Ramone thinks you'd be muy caliente together. Turn over.' She flips the card. 'You asked me what I would do if today was my last day. Truth be told, I would spend every last moment with you. And even though I'd want to kiss you, I wouldn't, because it would make it that much harder when I was gone. If you are still reading this, please don't be angry. Ally, I love you.'
She flips the card back over and rereads the entire thing. First their messages, then his. She looks up.
He's sipping at his punch. The taste is bad but his mouth is getting dry. It is the most awkward thing in the world to watch your best friend read your love confession to her.
Especially when all she said on your card was 'truly the most awesome person here tonight.'
"I look forward to hearing from you Ally." Ramone tips his hat as he walks past her.
She takes the punch cup from Austin and sets it on the table. She can see that he is frowning. He doesn't want her to call him, ever.
"I'm not going to call him," she whispers to him.
"What about Geoff?" He tilts his head in the direction of the skinny boy, who is chatting animatedly with bubble gum girl.
She wraps her arms around his neck. Her card scratches him.
He could not care less. Scratches and bruises will fade, but moments like this will still be fresh for years.
"I think him and I are better off friends. Now, you and I on the other hand..." she trails off, smiling as he wraps his arms around her.
"You and I?" he prompts.
She kisses his cheek. Now is not the time for first kisses, with Mr. and Mrs. Botox watching them. They think that they've made this happen.
They are so wrong. This has been in the making for two years. Two years of hugs, and late nights in the practice room, and her wishing on a star, that something, anything, would happen between them.
"I'm keeping this card forever." She unwinds herself, and tucks it in her pocket. She heads towards the exit like the others.
"Can I walk you home?" he asks.
"Just give me a minute to tell my dad." She walks in the direction of the Sonic Boom. It's about closing time, so he's probably waiting for her.
He quickens his gait to catch up to her. "If he was going to give you a ride home, don't worry about it. I'm not going to make you walk."
She stops suddenly.
He collides into her, and drops his card. He bends down to pick it up.
She squats down next to him and takes his chin in her hand. This time when they kiss, she makes sure to aim for his lips.
"I want to walk home with you."
A bit dazed from the kiss, he struggles to grab the card. On his third try he manages to get it. He sticks it in his pocket. "Oh."
She takes his hand.
"You can't go disappearing on me now," she says, thinking about the card.
"I wouldn't dream of it."
Leaving her side would never be a dream.
It'd be a nightmare.