Option Four, an Austin and Ally one-shot

I do not own Austin and Ally. Per requests of naada (the sweet moments of an Auslly spat), polkadotty (clueless marriage proposals) and Cataniagirl (songfic). Reviews and prompts are greatly appreciated.

Normally when a guy proposes to a girl, one of three things is going to happen. She could gush, and cry, saying yes. She could turn the offer down, or she could think about it. Nobody told him about a fourth option.

The one where she acts as if he didn't just propose to her.

He had no idea how he was going to ask her. There were so many possibilities.

He could hire a sky writer. Ally loves cloud watching. They would have been there, with her binoculars and he'd point, saying "Hey, that one looks like a marriage proposal."

Everything had been all set to go.

And then it rained.

He was going to put the note in a pickle jar. But then she might be reading it while eating her pickle, and he didn't want her to choke.

Okay. It might also have to deal with how he couldn't get the jar open.

Stupid lid.

So then he had bought a sheet of gold stars. He knew that she loved them. Unfortunately, that was all he knew. He didn't know where to go from there.

Regretting the purchase, he peeled a star off and stuck it to his guitar pick. Might as well make some use of them.

It was then that it occurred to him. He would ask her in song. He had written her a song when he asked her out. Surely he could do it a second time.

He thinks he murdered his eraser.

The right words would not come to him. He could dote on her day in, and day out, but he couldn't think of one way to propose to her? It had to be something special. Something razzle dazzle that was almost as great as her. (After all, it's impossible to achieve her level of greatness in his eyes.)

By his second cup of coffee, he had gotten it. He had called her into the room, and sang her his song.

She clapped.

Three hours of writing, and all she did was clap?

He should have gotten down on his knee. If that stupid guitar hadn't been in his way he could have. Then she would have known it was a song for her. Not some song to which she said "Catchy."

'I love you' would have been more preferable.

"Catchy? That's all you have to say?"

"Austin, I love it. I'm just in the middle of making dinner."

He kept his hands secured on the guitar. He was not going to pull his hair out. Bald was not a good look for him.

Besides, then whose hair would she run her hair through?

"You don't get it, do you?" His heart was poured into that song.

And there started the fight.

-.-

Frustrated, at a loss

Only two sides to a coin toss

If only life could be the same

But we're left to guessing games

-.-

Somehow, he's gone from wanting to propose to her this morning to not saying a word. He's biting his tongue. It's in quite a load of pain, but these are the things he does to keep himself from losing her. He may be upset. That doesn't mean he has to be a jerk.

He slips into bed behind her, tugging the blanket over to his side.

The thing about this blanket is that it's made for one person. When they're curled up together, it isn't a problem.

However, in their current state, with this unwanted space between them, his side is getting cold.

She rolls over. The look in her eyes is enough to tell him that she is not happy. Her feet are now exposed. As if her eyes don't say enough, she tugs the blanket back.

His second tug is more forceful. The blanket almost falls on the ground, and he has to lean back to catch it.

Her foot nudges his leg.

If she thinks she's pushing him off this bed, she is sadly mistaken.

Austin comes back up. He's pouting.

He can tell she's trying hard not to crack a smile.

Great, now he wants to smile. They're really bad at being angry at each other.

Spreading the blanket over his body, he falls back against the mattress. She gives up. After that struggle, he deserves it.

He waits until she is asleep before sliding the blanket over her shoulders. He tucks her feet in. It's cold on his side of the bed now, but she deserves it too.

Just for being herself.

-.-

I tried every word that I do know

I'm stuck in this scenario

Can't find the words my valentine

Would you settle for 'be mine'

-.-

It's Saturday morning. His favorite day of the week, when he doesn't have to be anywhere. Which means he's going to take a nice long shower.

Yes, he is also doing it to push her buttons.

But she's too adorable not to.

Her fist pounds against the door. They're still not talking, but he knows what she means. It's like him and her hands have this unspoken language.

Trust him. They've given him plenty of practice.

He hums his song. He can't open his mouth, as he is shampooing now, and he learned that lesson the hard way. He hopes she gets the message anyway.

A few minutes later, he shuts the water off. He shakes his head. She hates when he gets the floor wet.

Slipping past her, he notices that she's forgotten her towel. He should tell her.

Nah. It'll be more fun not to.

-.-

Steal the sheets, my heart too

Another victory for you

I'll let you win if you do stay

Your smile brightens my day

-.-

Once he hears the water stop, he hides behind their bedroom door. It's next to the linen closet, and if he times things right, he can catch her in a very compromising situation.

While he's waiting, he thinks about telling her what the song was about. Then this silly argument could be over. Except he doesn't want to explain to his future offspring why their mother was naked when he proposed to her. Nor the details that would be likely to follow.

Her footsteps sound against the hallway floor. He waits until she reaches the door, grabbing the knob.

"Boo."

Technically they weren't talking to each other. But he would have been angry with himself if he threw this chance away. Some things need to be done.

Like unabashedly checking out how the bathroom mat doesn't cover nearly as much as she wants it to.

She screams. He puts a finger to her lips to calm her down.

Swinging the towel off his shoulders, he wraps it around her body, pulling her close.

Definitely glad he broke the silence.

-.-

I tried every word that I do know

I'm stuck in this scenario

Can't find the words my valentine

Would you settle for 'be mine'

-.-

Maybe he doesn't have to tell her what the song means. Like they say, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

That's it. He'll get her a cat, and loop the ring onto it's collar. It'll be genius.

Only he doesn't want to get stuck changing the litter box.

A dog. He'll get her a dog.

They take a walk to the pound, sharing a pair of earbuds. It occurs to him halfway there that he can't slide the ring onto the collar with her there. If she wasn't attached at the ear (and yes, the hand) he could run ahead.

He needs to start thinking these things through.

"I like the beagle." He bends down. The ring box jostles in his pocket.

If he gets the worker to help him, maybe he can still go through with the plan.

She points to the Corgi. "What about her?"

Yeah, they might want to decide on a dog before he gives one the ring.

His eyes shift from one dog to the other. They're both equally cute. They both seem equally friendly.

They do have an awfully big home.

"We could get them both," he suggests.

Many, many minutes later, he leaves with two new dogs, and still not a clue about how to propose to her.

If only he could get her attention away from that Corgi.

-.-

Sneak around, like a sleuth

Unlike them all, I know the truth

Oh, when I catch you by surprise

I see that look in your eyes

-.-

He leaves her home with Clancy the Corgi and Spot the Beagle, (he finds it unfair that her dog gets such a fancy name compared to his, but they came with the names) so he can go buy pet supplies. They need to stock up on kibble.

He drums his fingers against the steering wheel. There goes that tune again. The one that reminds him of how he failed to propose to his girlfriend.

Oops. He should ease up on the gas pedal.

Pulling into the parking lot, he sees the flower shop down the way. That could work. He could send her a bouquet of flowers with a sweet note attached. She loves receiving flowers. That's why he sends them to her on the most unexpected days.

He has to do better than that. It can't be another out of the blue delivery. It needs to be blatantly obvious that he's proposing.

Option four will not be an option.

When the worker asks him if he needs help with anything, would it be so bad to ask her how to propose to his girlfriend?

"We bought two dogs today, and need to stock up on food," he says.

"Follow me." She leads him through the store, pointing out what he needs to buy. He piles it into the cart. The cart has a bad wheel, and keeps wanting to crash into displays. She's watching him. It's as if she knows. Because clearly she can't be concerned about having to call for a cleanup in aisle seven.

They reach the cash register. She asks him if he needs help with anything else.

Commence the tongue biting.

-.-

I tried every word that I do know

I'm stuck in this scenario

Can't find the words my valentine

Would you settle for 'be mine'

-.-

Back at the house, he unloads the dog supplies into the spare bedroom.

"Hey Spot, Clancy. Did you behave for Ally?" He rubs their heads simultaneously. For some reason, they each want the hand that is rubbing the other. He switches, and they switch again.

Fickle dogs. Can't make up their minds.

Right, like he's one to judge. He can't decide how to ask her to marry him. Looks like he's the one with the real problem.

"They were angels," she remarks, opening the bag of dog food.

Does he hear what he thinks he hears?

"You're humming my song."

"I told you it was catchy."

"You still don't get it, do you?"

"Get what?"

He's going to leave her to figure that one out herself.

-.-

Confidence, out the door

It can't take it anymore

So close your eyes and turn around

As my left knee hits the ground

-.-

Staring at the ceiling, with Spot on his stomach, he thinks things over. He can't stay angry with her. It's not her fault she hasn't figured out that the song is about her.

He could ask her at the beach. He could write his proposal out in the sand.

Then the waves would come and wash it away.

He could crash a wedding with her and make sure she caught the bouquet.

Only he wouldn't want to ruin another couple's day for a bad proposal and free cake.

He could ask her outright.

There goes his stomach. It's not because he's hungry, or because Spot jumped off at the sound of kibble getting poured into the bowl. It's him being terrified of her saying no.

An idea is bound to come to him.

Hopefully he doesn't have to wait too long.

He wants her to say yes.

-.-

Promise me you'll say yes

To a tux and a wedding dress

-.-

He has a dog at the base of his feet. She has one too, but she's shorter than him. She doesn't have to curl her legs up to fit on the bed.

There is one easy way to solve this.

No, it's not to kick the dogs off the bed. Even if he set up a pile of pillows in their room.

Inching closer, he curls around her. Her back presses against him.

Yeah, he can go to sleep now.

-.-

I tried every word that I do know

I'm stuck in this scenario

Can't find the words my valentine

Would you settle for 'be mine'

-.-

He wakes in the middle of the night. These dreams are plaguing him. Dreams of losing her. Dreams of her laughing in his face, tears rolling down her cheeks. Dreams of her running away with some stranger.

There's only one way to solve this.

Twisting around to reach the bedside table, yet not to let her go, he grabs the ring box.

Careful not to wake her, he takes her hand.

The ring fits.

Her eyes flutter open. "Austin?"

"Go back to sleep." He kisses the top of her head.

"But the ring?" she mumbles.

He'll tell her tomorrow.