Parking Lot, an Austin and Ally oneshot
I do not own Austin and Ally. Please feel free to leave prompts and reviews.
It started with a stale fortune cookie. That's what he tells his kids when they ask how he proposed to their mother.
As for the story of them, one that they've heard time and time again, to a point where he thinks they're secretly taping him in hopes of selling it to Entertain Me Tonight. Sure, it's a great story, his personal favorite. But he's given them all the details that he can remember.
All of the child appropriate ones.
"Come on, tell us Daddy!" Roo bounced on the bed. His sister, Lottie aided his quest in making the beds shake.
"Andrew, Charlotte, what did I say about jumping on the bed?" Ally admonished. They dropped onto their bottoms.
He couldn't resist that puppy dog pout.
He took a seat at the end of his son's bed. Ally took a seat on the other.
She loved this story.
Clearing his throat, he began his tale. "We had ordered Chinese for dinner and-"
"From the beginning!" The order came out from behind Roo's favorite teddy bear, and though he couldn't see his face, he could tell his narrowed eyes and tight mouth mean business.
"We don't have time for the whole story. You have to be up tomorrow for school." She nodded for her husband to continue the story.
"Where was I?"
"On the bed."
Pulling the covers tighter around her daughter, she pushed a strand of hair out of her face.
She looked exactly like her father.
Minus the gender difference.
"We had gotten fortune cookies with our meals, and mine had said, 'You never know if you will hit the ground if you don't take the leap.' Which inspired me." He took a second to smile at his wife, reclining back against the bed post.
Leaving out the details about how he had discovered a stray chicken crumb had clung to her shirt, and how he had picked it off and eaten it, because chicken was chicken, with sauce, which his tongue had gone back for, because she could be so ticklish, and they were in private, he jumped ahead to the next day in the ring shop.
Okay, so he skipped more than the chicken.
A whole lot more.
None of it involving Chinese food.
It may have involved a shower after possibly rolling over into a container of fried rice that they were too full to finish, scattering it all through her hair.
It's entirely possible that they stayed in that they stayed in that shower longer than necessary.
Or perhaps they went and crawled into the bed.
Details can be so fuzzy around children. More so when they have connections to Dez, who could have wired the house with hidden cameras last time he babysat.
His love life would not become the subject of a documentary.
"The lady had tried selling me all these flashy rings. Ones with big diamonds, solid gold bands. But they were all too gaudy. I needed something beautiful, like your mom."
Could they see her blushing in the glow of the night light?
Looking down at her hand, she knew that he made the right choice. A simple band that didn't blow his budget. One that doesn't get caught on knit sweaters, or scratch husbands faces when they were being held.
Too many times that happens to risk it.
He skipped over the details on how she had almost found the ring in his pocket. He'd come home with a bag of burritos, and she had brought him closer, wanting to kiss him with gratitude. That pocket lump had rubbed against her.
He'd tilted his hips away, claiming he didn't want to squish dinner.
Nor did he particularly want to squish the ring.
Nor his dreams of the ultimate proposal.
As soon as he thought one up.
"I was so nervous that she'd find the ring that I ended up hiding it in the Pictionary box. I knew your mom would never look in there. We never play that game."
"You're not the best at drawing sweetie."
"Hey, I thought we agreed on no more interrupting," he teased. "Then we were bored one night, and she really wanted to play Pictionary."
Whenever they would ask, he gave them the g-rated version of the story. He had seen something out the window, directing her attention toward it. That something had only been the neighbor's cat dressed up like a ladybug (she was an odd woman, taking her cat for walks and knitting her outfits) but it had given him enough time to think things over.
One that involved covering her mouth, dragging her into the kitchen, pressing her against the counter.
He had planned to ask her to bake brownies with him.
But the way that she was squirming against him.
You couldn't expect him to resist that.
He fast forwarded the story to a more appropriate part, the morning of his proposal.
"I'd been thinking for days about how to propose to her. I didn't want to make a big scene about it, in case she said no. Which is stupid, because looking back, it was obvious that she'd say yes. But she deserved something more intimate."
The first time he had told the story, he had struggled to find the right word. People hear 'intimate,' and their mind makes connections. Lying in bed, in nothing but their lingerie (or in his case boxers) exploring the wonders of each others bodies. Tucked in the corner of an empty cafe in the late hours after a concert. Holding hands in the candlelight of their dining room because the power has gone out, and they have nothing to do but talk.
All things that had happened.
None that described what happened that afternoon.
Intimate to him was sitting in the parking lot by the beach, on the top of his old car, rubbing lotion on her red back. The roar of the waves was behind them, some kid screaming for his mother, because somebody had dumped a bucket of sand down his shorts.
'Okay, I think I got it all.' He took her hand and helped her down. Unzipping the bag, her eye landed on a small black box.
There had gone his plans for sneaking her away to propose under the moon once the crowd had died down. All that time he had spent carving their initials in the sand far enough from the tide so it wouldn't be washed away.
She pulled the box out. 'What is this?'
He looked to the beach, where their friends were waiting for them.
They could wait a few more minutes.
'I know you have a weak spot for me, so I got you this ring to cover it.' She had mentioned this weak spot that morning. It was some kind of metaphor.
Then it was some kind of reality.
The kind where it disappeared as the ring slid onto her finger.
'Because you know, together we're invincible.' A nervous smile graced his visage. He'd told her long ago that he could do anything as long as he was with her.
In that moment, he added successfully proposing to the list.
'Then where's your matching ring?'
'I was afraid you'd say no.'
He could do anything. Some things would just scare him more than others.
'To marrying me.'
"That's my favorite part!" Lottie squealed, clutching her stuffed bunny.
"Mine too," Ally confided.
"I like the part where Auntie Trish freaks out." He yawned, stretching his arms out. "Tell us that part Daddy."
Getting off the bed, Austin rubbed the top of his head. "Maybe tomorrow Roo. It's time for you to go to sleep."
He tried to argue, but sleep overcame him.
Something overcame his parents too.
Something that won't go down in Entertain Me Tonight history. He already searched the room for cameras.
His tee shirt hit the floor.
His mouth hit her lips.
And her hand hit the lights.