Step with Me
Step With Me, an Austin & Ally fiction
Disclaimer: I do not own Austin & Ally, or the Mika song Step With Me, where the italics and title come from. As usual, all reviewers and requests are greatly appreciated.
There was supposed to be four beds. Four beds for four kids. Four beds with blankets and pillows with complementary mints. Not three beds and a fourth with a spider crawling around. And certainly not when he was in it.
He was not supposed to run screaming. He was not supposed to ask to spend the rest of the night in her bed, and Dez wasn't supposed to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to catch them snuggling and get photographic evidence of it.
Step One, Come a little closer
He is exhausted. He's wide awake, having just played Times Square on New Years Eve. On one hand he wants to get back to the hotel, fall right into bed. His turn is over. The buzz has dulled down, and with it his energy is slipping. They have been up for days. Every detail had to be perfect. And it was.
On the other hand, the one wrapped in Ally's, hanging on to make sure he doesn't lose her in the mad rush, he can't sleep. It's loud. It's crowded and bustling. And Dez is talking his ear off.
"Dude, that was awesome!" he yells, holding his hand up. Austin has to choose. His right hand, the one he needs is in hers. He could let go, high five his best friend. Trish is on her other side. She wouldn't let Ally stray.
He lifts his left hand instead. It's a struggle, but Dez is too excited to notice.
When they arrive back at the hotel she's the first one to turn in. Their flight is leaving early in the morning, and she wants to be up first to get the shower.
He agrees with her logic, so he goes to bed too, throwing the pillow over his head to drown out the noise of Trish and Dez watching the Zalien movie they ordered on demand.
He's in the middle of a dream when it happens. They're on the beach, the four of them. Ally's hair is blowing in the wind, tickling his face. It's so real, he can feel it. He rolls over. The sensation moves down his arm.
He opens his eyes. There, making its way towards his feet is a spider. He screams. The clock reads three a.m. He covers his mouth with his hand, running out of the room.
He nudges her. She moans, eyes fluttering open. "Austin?"
"Can I sleep with you tonight? There's a spider in my bed." She slides over at his request.
They wake up the next morning entangled in each other. He thinks they've gotten away with it. It's a secret between the two of them. A quick apology, a not so quick blush and neither of them have to speak of it again.
That is until Dez approaches him the next day and hands him the photo.
Step two, Rest upon my shoulder
It's an average Thursday afternoon at the Sonic Boom. The two of them are sitting at the table, books open in front of them. He's working on his history homework. She's balancing helping him and her math. It's boring, he admits, but it's the only way his parents will let him stay at the mall in the afternoon. Homework first, then music.
Trish has already come and gone, announcing her new job. Dez is around somewhere, though he's not sure where. He had left long ago to get them smoothies.
It had been forty seven minutes.
Forty seven minutes of brain freezing homework, and not a drop of brain freezing smoothies.
His stomach is getting impatient.
"Finished. You just about done?" He nods. She picks up his paper.
He watches as she scans it, still invading his personal space. She hands it back to him. All too soon his personal space is his again.
"Looks good. Just finish that last question and we can get to work on that new song." She closes her textbook.
His head ends up on her shoulder. "But Ally, I'm too hungry to think."
She pets the top of his head. It's meant to comfort him. It does, and he snuggles his face further into her shoulder.
"Dez should've been back with those smoothies by now," she notes. A few customers are staring. She gently prods him, and he removes his head.
He smiles sheepishly. They turn back to their own lives and he to his textbook.
"Hey guys." Dez comes in, sucking his smoothie through a straw.
"Did you get the smoothies?" Austin asks, not watching where he's writing. He finishes with his words tumbling on the lines, but it's done. He can finally get to more important things than homework with Ally.
Like smoothies with Ally.
And music with Ally.
And pretty much anything that involves Ally and not homework.
"They were delicious," Dez says, and his mouth is back on the straw, sucking the cup dry.
"Dez, you were supposed to get us smoothies," Austin complains. He stuffs his books into his bag.
Dez throws the cup in the trash. "I did. But the first one was so good, and then I was just going to have a sip of yours and then next thing I knew it was gone. I'm sorry!"
Ally opens her mouth like she wants to say something. Austin doesn't let her. Instead he puts their bags behind the counter with Mr. Dawson and takes her hand.
"It's fine. We'll just have to get our own." He tugs her to the exit.
"Wait, I need to get my money," she stops.
He shakes his head.
"No worries. I'm buying." They leave the store.
Dez checks over his shoulder to make sure they're gone. "Told you it would work."
Mr. Dawson high fives him back.
Step three, I'm calling you baby
He's laying in bed, curled up with Dougie the Dolphin. The wastebasket is overflowing with tissues.
His nose is sore and red. Just like the kid that sits behind him in science. The one that came in sick, sneezed all over him and got him sick.
Difference is, he's sick in bed, and that stupid kid in science isn't sick anymore. He actually gets to enjoy his vacation.
He'd rather be at the mall, hanging out with Ally, but he's stuck in his room, playing Solitaire on his laptop. He can't even watch cartoons. Too much laughter will just make him cough, and his throat is already sore enough.
The house is quiet. His parents are at the mattress store. All he can hear is the dog next door barking.
He wishes he had someone here with him. Maybe a personal nurse that could go on orange juice runs and bring him another box of tissues. But who? Dez left on holiday with his parents. He won't be back until after Easter. And Trish, she hates any kind of work.
He could call Ally.
He pictures her in a nurse's uniform.
Maybe it's better if he doesn't call Ally.
There's a knock at his door. It's odd, because he could've sworn his parents locked up when they left. He hesitates.
"Austin? It's me. Your parents called and asked me to come check up on you," Ally says from the other side of the door.
Looks like he didn't have to call nurse Ally after all.
He really hopes she isn't wearing the uniform.
"Come in." She obeys, squatting down next to the edge of the bed. She's not in uniform. It's worse, he realizes as he notes how good she looks in red, and not a starchy white dress.
"I brought you some chicken noodle soup. I'm sorry that the noodles are shaped like princesses, but it's all we had at my house." She sets the can on the table, right next to the picture frame.
"No worries." He grins. Snuffling, he grabs a tissue and blows.
She puts her lips to his forehead. He tries not to cough. He doesn't want her getting sick too.
"You don't have a fever. Your mom said you had one this morning." She stands up.
He wonders if he can convince her that his mouth would give a more accurate reading.
Right, he's not going to get her sick.
She picks up the can, luckily missing the picture a second time. She does not need to know he has a picture of the two of him by his bed.
While she's gone he takes the picture out of the frame. He hides it in the drawer.
She comes back with the bowl and spoon. He moves his laptop out of the way so she can set it down.
"Thanks lovely." It slips out of his mouth before he can censor it.
From the floor she asks, "Did you just call me lovely?"
He's glad he hasn't eaten any yet. Then he would choke, and it is not fun to choke on hot foods. They burn.
And like he said, his throat is already sore.
"No," he stutters. "I meant the soup was lovely."
She eyes him like she doesn't believe him, but if she brings it up later he can blame it on being sick. He can say he wasn't thinking straight.
She glances around his room. Her eyes land on the frame.
"Austin?" She takes it off the table.
"Hmm?" he mumbles around his spoon.
"Why do you have an empty picture frame on your table?" She sets it back down.
His stomach clenches.
It's not the soup's fault.
"It had a picture." He feeds himself more soup before he can reveal more of the truth. He needs to buy time to think.
"We should take a new picture for it," he suggests. He's not offering up any more of the truth. And now he'll have an excuse to have a picture of Ally on his nightstand. "My camera is over on my desk."
She gets up. They cozy up to each other and the flash goes off.
When she comes back the next afternoon she slides the picture into the frame.
His new favorite picture, of him with his sore red nose and his nurse Ally.
And Dougie the dolphin of course.
Step four, We can get married
The four of them are having a Team Austin meeting in the practice room.
Rather, they were, until Dez and Trish got in an argument.
"I swear, those two argue like an old married couple," Ally leans back, hitting some of the piano keys. She jumps.
Austin laughs. "Ain't that the truth."
The argument comes to a sudden halt.
"Married?" Trish screeches. "Please say you're kidding."
"I could never marry her." Dez points a finger in her face.
Ally and Ally move closer together. She shrugs noncommittally. This doesn't seem to satisfy Trish.
"At least we don't flirt like a married couple." She slaps Dez's hand out of her face.
"We do not," Austin protests.
The room grows quiet.
Nobody had said that comment was directed at the two of them. Even if they were practically on top of each other.
The piano bench isn't that small people.
"So Dez, what's in store for the newest video?" Ally mends. The silence lasts a bit longer, but he answers and soon the room is abuzz with excitement again.
Austin sighs in relief.
That was real smooth as him. Smooth as peanut butter.
Chunky peanut butter.
Step five, Top it with a cherry
She already knows he'd do anything for her. So it surprises him when she says it.
"Austin? Can you do me a favor? Pretty please with a cherry on top." She places her hand on his arm.
He's already agreed before he knows what is going on.
Her hand falls down to his. She takes it and leads him up to the practice room.
And there, sitting on his chair is a kitten. A tiny black kitten, with little white paws and a little white chest. Almost like a kitten tuxedo.
"Remember how we walked past that box of strays yesterday? Well I went back this morning, and he was the only one left. He was crying. So I brought him here. But my dad says we can't keep him, and the box is already gone and-" she rambles.
He puts a hand on her shoulder to calm her down. "Ally. Breathe."
"You need to help me find a home for him."
The kitten yawns and Austin feels his heart melt. He's surprised, because he thought only Ally could do that.
"Maybe my parents would let me keep him? I can call right now." He bends down to pet the kitten.
Her arms wrap around him.
He needs to get his parents to say yes.
"Well, you did manage to keep your grades up the rest of the school year," his mother says when he calls her.
"Is that a yes?" Ally's pressed up against him, the kitten now on his lap.
"As long as you promise take care of it. Now I have to go sweetie; I'll see you at home. Mwah mwah," she kisses and hangs up.
He almost leaps up to hug her. But he remembers that the kitten is still on his lap, and he opts to kiss her cheek instead.
He's too busy playing with the kitten to see her blush.
Step six, As good as it gets
They're in his kitchen. It's dark out, and he can barely see Chord's little kitten feet scurrying towards him. He feels a fuzzy head butt up against his leg.
"Look who came to help with the snacks." He bends down and picks the kitten off the ground.
"Hi cutie." Ally rubs the kittens belly. The two of them together look like a pair of proud parents cradling their newborn baby.
She's right there, right in front of him.
Here's his chance. He's been waiting for months now. And every time he goes for it, something goes wrong.
He gets tongue tied.
He stares too long and she starts talking about something else.
Someone else enters the room.
The microwave timer goes off. She looks up.
"Yeah?" She stays where she is.
He's positive he's ready this time. He's going for it.
"Hey guys, why are you in the dark?" Dez flips on the lights. It burns his eyes. The kitten jumps from his arms.
He should have known.
Trish comes in behind him. "Ooh, the popcorn is ready!"
They empty the bag into a bowl. Then they're gone again, the kitten trailing behind.
It's a lot harder to tell a girl you like her when you have to look her in the eyes.
"You were saying?"
He's tempted to reach over and hit the light switch again. But the moment has passed.
"Never mind." He opens the fridge to grab the drinks.
She sets her hand on top of his, and the can drops to the floor. It doesn't phase her in the least.
"I want to know," she pleads. He sets the rest of the drinks on the counter.
"Trust me; you don't." He squats down to pick up the other can. He thinks he'll give it to Dez. He deserves it for ruining their moment. Though it's not like he did it on purpose.
She crosses her arms over her chest. "I'll tell you a secret if you tell me yours."
It's not often that she's reduced to bargaining with him like this. But she's so tired of all the 'never minds'. She wants to know.
"Sometimes I wonder what it'd be like if we were dating," she whispers.
The can falls back to the ground.
He kisses her.
Dez and Trish are arguing over what movie to watch.
There's a volatile can of soda at his feet.
It's no perfect moment, but it's their moment.
"Maybe we could find an answer for your question together," he says, resting his forehead against hers.
"I'd like that." She picks up the can and hands it to him. "You might want to get a new can."
He nods. "Good idea."
Back in the living room, he trips over Chord. He tries to warn Dez not to open the can. But he's not quick enough, and it goes spraying all over him, just like he had wanted. Except now his best friend and couch is covered with root beer. It kind of sucks.
Ally volunteers to help him get paper towels. They both walk into the kitchen, where she corners him against the fridge and kisses him.
It doesn't kind of suck.
In fact, it kind of rocks.