I just watched this movie again for the millionth time, and I still love it. I got this idea for an AU type filler for why Austin was distant with Sam after the pep rally. I was originally just going to make it a one shot, but then it became a short story. Please be kind. This is my first fic for this fandom. Happy reading!

Austin Ames felt terrible. No, scratch that. He felt deplorable. He felt as though he had been the one up there mocking Sam Montgomery because he might as well have since he did nothing to stop Shelby or stand up for Sam. When he turned around again to see she was gone, he didn't chase after her.

What was wrong with him?!

"What was that about?" his father asked after the pep rally and they were on their way home. Austin didn't know how to respond.

"I have no idea," he lied. "Some other player I think." It was better than admitting to his father how cowardly he'd been. Austin could not get the look on Sam's face out of his mind. How could he have even missed that she was his Cinderella? Was he really that blind and stupid?

"Good practice today," his father said, oblivious to the mental torture Austin was doing to himself.

"Yea, thanks," he said absently. He still didn't have the guts to tell his father the truth even after it was blatantly given away by Shelby. His coverup had saved him. Maybe he didn't deserve Sam after all. He sat at his computer, looking at her emails. She had poured her heart out to him, and he had let Shelby humiliate her. It hurt that Shelby had given away his secrets too, but Sam had gotten the brunt of the mocking. Shelby really wasn't a good person.

"Dear Sam," he started to write. Then he paused, looking at the computer screen. Dear Sam what? What could he possibly say that would make her feel better? She probably hated him even more now than before. He also didn't trust that her email was secure anymore. If he sent something, they'd just read it too. He didn't want to add to Sam's hurt any more than he already had. He looked at the clock. He suddenly got an idea.


Austin stood outside of Fiona's diner, unsure of what to even say when he got in there. Would Sam want to talk to him? Would she yell at him? He deserved it. He put his hand on the handle, hesitating. Was she even there?

"Are you going in or what?" a guy asked behind him, making him jump.

"Yea, sorry," Austin said, pulling the door open and letting the guy go ahead of him. He got a scoff and a shake of the head in return. Austin ignored it. He felt too nervous to think straight. What was he going to say?!

"Fiona, I'm out of fish menu ideas," the chef was saying to the tall blonde standing at the till. Austin winced inside. This woman looked downright nasty. He wondered how she even owned this place. She certainly did not look like the diner owner type.

"So make something up," Fiona replied arrogantly. "I don't pay you to stand around whining."

Austin watched as the chef scowled at Fiona's back before returning to his kitchen. Austin craned his neck, looking for Sam. He wasn't seeing her.

"What do you want?" Fiona asked, snapping his attention to her. She was standing in front of him now.

"I...I'm looking for Sam," he managed to say. She squinted at him, chewing her gum in a rather gross way.

"Who are you?"

"A friend," Austin answered quickly.

"Sam's busy," Fiona told him.

"It'll only be a second," Austin promised. He felt chills as she looked him up and down.

"I hate to break it to you, doll, but Sam has a boyfriend," Fiona lied. She was grinning inside at her own cleverness. Sam was not going to go anywhere, and having a boyfriend meant possible marriage, which meant Sam leaving, and Fiona wasn't about to let that happen.

"She...what?" Austin asked, stunned. He racked his brain. Sam was always with that skinny guy. Were they dating?! Had she lied to him?! He felt so confused. Why would she lie?

"Yea. Sorry, but you're too late," Fiona went on. "You're pretty cute too."

"I...I gotta go," Austin said, turning to leave. His brain was on fire.

"Austin?" Shelby asked, catching him outside. He was taken aback to see her. He had avoided her since the pep rally.

"I'm not talking to you," he said, moving away from her.

"Austin, she's no good," Shelby went on, following him. "I only did it to save your reputation!"

"Save my reputation?!" he snarled, whirling around to face her. "Why is that any of your concern?"

"Because," she said, her voice high pitched now. "Because I'm with you. Your reputation affects mine."

"You are not with me, Shelby. We are done," Austin said angrily. "Get it through your thick skull." He got into his vehicle and ignored her attempts to talk to him through the glass. He was not going to fall for her tricks again. Besides, he was too busy being stressed about the fact that Sam had had a boyfriend all along.

The Next Day

At school, Austin saw Sam walking with the skinny guy. He paused to look at her, and she looked back at him. The guy looked at him too. Austin's mind was racing. Maybe they were together.

"People like her don't belong in our world, Austin," Shelby said, coming up next to him. Austin turned to give her a blank stare before walking away. Honestly, Shelby was like a tick on a dog, and he was about ready to burn her off. The girl just wouldn't take a friggin hint. Sam's eyes haunted him as he got to his first class and sat down. He still was struggling with her lie. Was it a lie? Why wasn't he brave enough to just talk to her? He could barely focus on the class. He wondered what Sam was thinking.


Austin was hiding from Gabriella and Brianna at lunch when Sam's guy friend (boyfriend?) found him.

"Hey," he said, surprising Austin. He was acting aggressive.


"You're a real jerk, you know that?" the guy went on. Austin was remembering his name was Carter.

"Why's that?" Austin asked.

"Because Sam was only ever real with you, and you couldn't even stand up to defend her," Carter said angrily.

"Well, maybe Sam wasn't as real with me as you think she was," Austin argued, crossing his arms. This kid was annoying him now.

"How so?" Carter challenged.

"I don't have to explain anything to you," Austin said, hearing the patter of girls' feet coming his way. He couldn't allow himself to be found. Instead, he gave a final glare at Carter and took off. He was angry, and he knew he'd say something he'd regret. If Carter didn't know to what he was referring to, then Austin wasn't about to lay it out for him.


Austin was mentally beating himself up. Sam had told him she'd never had a real kiss before. Why would she lie about that? Why would she allude to the fact that she's never dated? Why would the woman tell him Sam had a boyfriend if she didn't? He was driving himself crazy, so he got up and sat at his computer again. His fingers hovered over the keys. What was he going to say? Sam, you had a boyfriend this whole time?! You lied to me?! No, he couldn't. He sank back onto his bed again. Perhaps it was best to just let it go. He was still trying to figure out how to tell his father he wanted to go to Princeton, but he was too afraid of the anger he'd get in return. He fell backwards, gripping his face with his hands. Nothing was the way he wanted it to be. He didn't know how to change it.

I hope you liked it! Stay tuned for chapter 2 :)

P.S. One thing I want you to know about me is that I do finish my stories no matter what. Just in case you worry I won't update ;)