Number, a second helping of an Austin and Ally one-shot

I do not own Austin and Ally or the lyrics in the page breaks. Math homework for Polkadotty. Review and request please!

There are those points in life when he should be upset, but he's so jubilantly happy that he wants to spin around and jump for joy. Those moments when he hears the words 'we need to talk' and he'd kick his feet up in joy, but she's standing right there, and that'd be rude.

Plus he doesn't want to kick her in the face.

Her pretty face, which is oddly calm, considering the words that follow. "I heard what you said to Dez."

"You did?" There should be some feeling of panic rising in his chest. His hands should be shaking, his heart pounding as sweat drips from his body. He shouldn't be quirking his head in curiosity, like nothing is wrong.

"I think it's best if we break up." She twiddles her thumbs. Rather than coming across as bored, it seems to be a nervous habit. Her eyes are cast downward.

This should be the point where he jumps in, cupping her chin to force her eyes to look into his. This should be when he tells her that he was out of his mind, and that she is the only girl for him. He shouldn't be letting her head hang low.

"I'm sorry," he apologizes.

"It's okay."

"Friends?" This time he does tilt her chin up, because he wants to see her happy. Just because he doesn't love her like that doesn't mean he can't like her. His hand drops.

She nods. "I'd like that."

She rests her hand on his shoulder for a second. Taking a final breath, she removes it, walking down the stairs. He watches her go. There's no feeling of sadness or regret. In fact, he feels lighter, like his feet aren't touching the ground. The weight is finally off his shoulders.

He opens the practice room door to find Ally sitting at the piano. When she sees him, she stands.

"Everything alright?"

"We broke up." There's no regret in his voice.

Her arms wrap around him, in what must be a motion to comfort him. He doesn't need to be consoled.

That doesn't stop him from clinging on for dear life.

(Cause every time we touch I feel the static)

When is he ever going to need to know the value of x? Give him one instance, and maybe he'll put up less resistance to studying.

Besides, the more resistance he puts up, the longer Ally has to stay to make sure he gets his math homework done. It's a sneaky tactic. That doesn't make it any less effective.

"So if X equals negative B plus or minus the square root of B squared, minus four A C all over two A, then what does X equal?" This is the third time she's told him the formula. If he doesn't get it right this time, she's going to think that he's an idiot.

He's not an idiot.

He's just a distracted teenage boy whose hormones are raging like a pack of bulls because she's stretching across him to point at the problem in his book. She pulls back, her arm brushing his.

"Five?" he guesses.

Swiping the pencil from his hand, she writes down the formula. "Now plug in the numbers."

He takes his pencil back. Now to focus on the numbers in his book, and not the fact that their hands touched. A is two, not Ally.

The numbers get punched in the calculator. She watches over his shoulder to make sure he isn't making any mistakes. It makes it harder to concentrate, but he gets the right answer.

"X equals negative two plus or minus square root of fifty six over four?" Yes, those are exactly the words he wanted to share with her when she came over for a study date. Date, meaning Ally would finish her math homework in ten minutes and spend the remainder of her Friday night helping him do his. Not the ideal way to spend the weekend.

He'd spend it with her, but there definitely would not be any textbooks involved.

"Yes!" She high fives him. His hand stings from hitting so hard. Her palm is red, and she rubs it against her leg. "Can you reduce it?"

He huffs. He can do this. He doesn't want to, but he can.

"No, I can't." His pencil drops from his hands. It slips off the textbook, rolling across the floor.

"Yes, you can." She looks him in the eyes, and he almost gets lost in them.

Pushing his chair back, he touches her as he moves to get the pencil. He doesn't have to. It's not like she's in the way.

She's not in his way when he returns either, but he touches her again.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Better to feel the sparks than quietly die inside.

(and every time we kiss I reach for the sky)

He's seen her hair down dozens of times. There's no reason for his heart to be beating this fast.

It's just that her hair has been up all day long, and it's been an incredibly long day.

"Why are you staring at Ally?" Trish asks, setting down her paintbrush.

"It's because he-" Dez starts, before getting cut off by a very painful elbow to the gut.

Austin wipes his hands on a rag. The band room is finally painted. He cannot believe that Ally roped him into helping the music foundation again.

He cannot believe that after giving them ten thousand dollars, they can't hire professional painters.

He smiles innocently. "She has paint on her cheek."

"What?" She snaps the hair tie on to her wrist.

"You got paint on you cheek." He steps in front of her and brushes his thumb across her cheek. "Let me get it for you."

It smears. "Did you get it?"

"Um, not exactly." He rubs the back of his neck, leaving a paint spot.

Trish laughs at his misfortune. Putting the lid back on the paint can, she takes Ally's hand.

"Come on, I'll help you get cleaned up."

It's too bad Austin can't go in the girls' bathroom. Then he could be the one to wash her face off. He could look her in the eyes and kiss her and run his hands through that free flowing hair.

Except then they'd both be girls, and things wouldn't work out anyway, because she's interested in boys.

Is there a way that he can cut that 's' off, and make her interested in 'boy?' Boy being himself, of course.

As if he'd want her to love anyone else.

(can't you hear my heart beat so)

There's a moment that catches him so off guard, he almost chokes on his peanut butter sandwich. He does, however, squeeze it hard enough that the jelly squirts out on to his shirt.

He just had to wear a white tee shirt today.

She had come into lunch late. He was sitting with Dez and Trish at their usual table and they were acting like nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Not like Ally was coming up behind him as he went on about how much he doesn't want to ruin their friendship by asking her out.

Fortunately, or not, depending on how you look at it, he had paused to take a bite of his sandwich.

Sure, he almost choked and stained his shirt. But she hadn't heard their conversation. She didn't hear him say that she meant the world to him, and that he really, really wanted to ask her out.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to scare you." She takes her hands off of his shoulders, where they had been as she half hugged him hello, and sits down with her lunchbox.

"Where've you been?" Trish asks, not letting him respond. She doesn't need to hear his fake proclamations of not being scared. She saw him jump.

"I was getting my test grade fixed, and then my locker jammed, and then I was asked if I had a hall pass and-" She notices everyone is staring at her. Taking a deep breath, she finishes. "I had to talk my way out of getting detention."

She breaks part of her sandwich off and gives it to Austin. After all, it was her fault he ruined his.

He takes a bite. "Thanks."

She sits back in her chair, and her foot accidentally hits his. He nearly chokes on his sandwich a second time. Despite what his brain is telling him, it is not an invitation to play footsie. She's wearing open toed shoes and he is not going to mash her toes under his foot. Nor is he going to accidentally hit someone else's foot.

Excuse me, I was trying to use my feet to flirt with the girl that I'll never find the nerve to ask out.

Right. That'll go over perfectly.

(I can't let you go, want you in my life)

He slumps against the practice room door. He can hear her knuckles rapping.

If it was him, he'd be running far far away, or pounding on the door, screaming for her to let him in. But it's not, so only the gentle knocking occurs.

"Austin, can I come in?" Her voice is soft, full of concern.

The part of him that wants to say no loses. He forces himself off the ground, slowly opening the door.

She waits patiently. There's no shoving back of the door, no trying to slip through the crack.

Somehow, that makes him more nervous. If she were raging mad, or crying he would know he did something wrong. He can't tell if that small smile on her face is out of pity or, dare he think it, glee.

He'd cross his fingers for the second one, but his hands are kind of occupied at the moment.

"Ally?"

"You kissed me."

"I know." He should wrench his hands out of hers and turn away. Only she's supposed to be his source of comfort, and he could use all the help he can get. He's freaking out here.

She takes a step towards him, her foot landing on top of his. She takes half a step back.

He knows he's supposed to learn from his mistakes, but would it be so bad to make the same mistake twice? All great researchers double check their work.

He chickens out.

Good thing he isn't the only one in this relationship.

He looks a bit dazed, so she calls his name. "Austin?"

"You kissed me."

"I know."

With the obvious out of the way, he knows what he wants to say. He wants to ask her to do it again. He wants to tell her how much she means to him and how badly he wants this to work. But even after two kisses, he's still not brave enough to say what he means.

Neither is she.

So for now, he holds her hand.

Because his touch can say more than he ever can.