Enter Key, an Austin and Ally oneshot

I do not own Austin and Ally. Reviews and prompts are greatly appreciated.

It started with a message.

"Hey, did I leave my math book at your house?"

"Yeah. I can bring it to you tomorrow at school."

"Thanks." The cursor blinked in front of him. It was eight o'clock on a school night, and they'd spent the greater half of their afternoon studying for their exams. He should have gone to bed early.

"You're welcome."

Checking the time again, though he just had, he set his fingers to the keys. "So, what are you doing after school tomorrow?"

He hit enter before he could think to regret it.

That button suffered some serious abuse that night. His war with it ceased sometime past midnight.

By then he had fallen asleep in the glow of the monitor.

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Waking to find his face pressed to his laptop, he powered it down. School was starting in less than an hour, and stomach empty, hair askew, there was no way he would make it on time.

"Honey, didn't you wear that yesterday?" Mrs. Moon set a plate of pancakes in front of him.

"I didn't have time to get dressed yet." He shoveled the food in. Between the heat, as evidenced by the steam still rising off them, and the melting butter, he was creating a mess.

What a fantastic way to start the last day of school.

"Ally called," his father said. Startled, Austin's fork jerked, soaking a strand of his bangs with syrup. Great, another thing he didn't have time for. "She said to make sure you don't forget to bring her math book to school."

He nodded to signify that he had heard him, horking down the remainder of his breakfast. It felt like it was sinking to the bottom of his stomach. This would only spell trouble later. Hopefully it'd wait until after his date with Ally.

Yes, date. As in, 'holy crap, he's nervous because he didn't use the word date, but it's just going to be the two of them, and he really doesn't want to screw this up, because his feelings for her extend past friendship, like way past, out the door, around the corner, but he's afraid that she wants to stay in the friendzone, and that this will turn out to be just another not date.'

He pushed his chair back too far, and it tipped over. If his test went anything like the morning, he'd be failing that final exam.

He loves her dearly, but it wouldn't be worth it.

How else would he propose to her at senior graduation? 'Oh, hey Ally, I know that I still have a year to go, because I failed all my finals, but will you marry me once I get out of here?'

Um, no.

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A month after their not date, as in 'I feel exhausted, so can we go tomorrow, and then tomorrow never came,' he worked up the nerve to ask her out again.

"Have you seen my green sweater? I wanted to wear it tomorrow, but I can't seem to find it." She sent the message, going back to her closet to scan the hangers a second time.

"Sorry." His curiosity got the better of him. "What's tomorrow?"

The screen had shown that she saw his message, yet no reply. Sinking into his seat, he tapped his fingers together impatiently.

Maybe he should send her another message, to get her attention.

"Found it. It had fallen off the hanger."

That did not answer the question.

But drat, now she had seen that he saw the message, and he didn't want her to disappear on him. He liked these late night talks, where she couldn't see him blush in the dark.

"Awesome. :)" The text converted into an emoticon, with it's thin lined smile. Could he take it from him, plaster it on his own face? Because it was seriously eating at him, what she's doing tomorrow. He knows that green sweater, and she only wears it when she's going places. Special places, with special people.

He didn't like the idea of not being her special person.

"Yeah, now I can wear it when we get our family portrait taken tomorrow."

The internet could keep it's smile. He found his own.

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She held the curling iron away from her head. It was getting impossible to do her hair with all this yawning. This would be the last time she stayed up past midnight talking to that boy.

"Almost ready sweetie? Our appointment is in half an hour." Mr. Dawson poked his head in the doorway.

"I know Dad. I'm just doing my hair." She yawned.

He checked his watch, then the progress on her hair. "I don't think you're going to have enough time for that. We have to get going."

Double checking the expiration date on his coupon, he stuffed it back in his pocket. Today was the last day, and their appointment was the only opening, being wedged in between two wedding parties. They could not afford to be late.

"Alright." She unplugged the curling iron, grabbing a ponytail holder from the drawer.

No more midnight rendezvouses.

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When Ally opened the envelope of photos in Sonic Boom, her friends peered over her shoulder.

"You look like a guy," Dez blurted out. True, her hair had been pulled back tightly, a choice of the photographer's, and it was hiding behind her head. But short hair didn't mean she was a boy.

"Don't listen to him Ally. You look amazing." Austin blushed, realizing the what he had said, and in what company. Sure, he'd liked her pictures online, or sent a winky face during those midnight conversations, brushing it off as sleepy typing, but saying it outloud, in front of the Cupid duo, was not his best choice.

His fingers brushed hers as he took the photo from her hand.

"Hey Ally," Trish started, making her avert her attention, not letting go of the picture, or his hand.

He was too busy to hear what she said next, as he was concentrating on not blushing any harder. They all laughed, and he joined in. His laugh was the last to end, awkwardly trailing off as the others stared at him.

"Can I keep this one?"

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It's all his fault that she broke her promise to herself. The clock read 1:13, but she was still awake, typing away.

"I hear footsteps." His message popped up on her screen. Quickly following, "Mom says I should go to bed."

"She's right. I hadn't noticed it was so late."

He smiled, noting that she hadn't said good night. She agreed it'd be the right thing to do, but didn't say that they had to do the right thing. He wanted to stay up, finish their conversation. There's no way he'd get these answers out of her while she was wide awake.

"Good night Austin."

He sighed, tapping out 'sweet dreams,' backspacing.

"Good night Ally."

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The eve of senior year, she messaged him to compare schedules. It had taken mere minutes.

So why were they still talking, four hours later?

"I'm going to go to bed early tonight, so I'm not tired for school tomorrow." She turned her shirt inside out, placing it in the hamper.

"It's not even 8 yet, and you still didn't answer my question."

Ally tucked her hair behind her ears, not clicking the screen. If he didn't know she'd seen the message, she could ignore it, without feeling guilty. That question, she was afraid to answer it.

Still, it would've been rude not to respond.

Clicking the box, she set her fingers on the keyboard. No words came.

"I don't know." The response seemed terse, but her head was swimming. A good dose of sleep would make things right.

She logged off, not waiting for a response.

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Struggling with the ketchup bottle, she stopped as he took it from her grasp. With a smack to the bottom, it was fixed.

"Thanks."

"Of course. What are friends for?"

Oh, so he was still stuck on that. She'd tossed and turned the whole night, pondering that question of his. Did she still like him as more than a friend?

She didn't want to answer until she knew how he felt. The feeling was mutual.

"What are you doing tonight?" she asked, hand and hot dog shaking.

"Just hanging out with Dez. Why?"

"Nevermind, it's not important." Taking a dainty bite of her lunch, she dabbed her mouth, hiding her frown.

He didn't hide his.

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She logged on, despite the lateness of the hour. There'd be school the next morning, and he was at Dez's, so there was no reason to still be awake.

Her mouse made its way to her inbox, clicking on his unopened message.

"It's okay."

Then why did the time stamp say that it was written an hour later, when he had been hanging on her every word so closely? There was more to the story than he was letting on.

'I've been thinking about what you asked, and I think that there is something more between us, but I don't want to ruin our friendship. We make such great partners, and I don't want to risk losing you.'

Giving the night off to the enter key, she abused the backspace again. Pounding out words, erasing them with such fervor as the feelings lifted off her chest.

"Thank you."

Message seen, 11:01. When had he logged on?

"For what?"

"For saying it's okay, even though it's not."

He clicked the message, and instantly regretted it. How would one reply to that? If he agreed, then she'd feel bad. If he disagreed, he'd be a liar. Hadn't they agreed to never lie to each other? Wasn't withholding the truth a lie in itself?

He cracked his knuckles, letting the noise occupy the room for a minute. It couldn't cut through the tension he was feeling.

"I like you. A lot." His finger slipped on the enter key. That made that decision easier.

"I like you too."

His heart raced, then sank. Conflicted with emotion, for not knowing if she liked him as more than a friend or was simply being polite, it traded on and off with the two. Race up, sink down. Repeat.

Would it be wrong to ask her how much?

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For once, there's not a screen between them at midnight. Just one long stemmed rose.

"Ow." She grabbed her arm, rubbing it.

One rose that he should have dethorned, before teaching her that love hurts. It's not a lesson he intended to give, ever.

"Ally?"

"Mmm?" She quit rubbing, moved the rose, and got closer.

This would have been so much easier if there was a screen between them. But that'd be the cowardly way of doing things. And Austin Moon is no coward.

Except in love. Then he's a total coward.

"What are we?"

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It was sometime past midnight when they kissed.

It was sometime past morning when they kissed again.

And again.

And again.