"A Piece of My Heart", an Austin & Ally fanfiction.

Wow…it's been a long time, huh? I know I said in my last fanfic that I had another one on the way, and this is it. I started it when I first said that, but stopped for whatever reason. I didn't feel like finishing it, and then I was at college, blah blah blah. But recently, I figured I should get back in the saddle and finish this story.

And here I am, back with my second A&A fanfic! This is another (long) one-shot, because those are my favorite! :)


Disclaimer: I don't own Austin & Ally or anything else you may recognize.

"I need one large special, half mushrooms, half pepperoni." I yelled back to the chef.

"Got it!" Fernando yelled back to me.

I nodded and made my way over to the soda fountain, getting the drinks for one of my tables. As I waited for the Diet Pepsi to fill up the glass, someone walked past me and nudged my back with their arm. I smiled to myself, knowing exactly who it was.

I'm sorry, you're probably confused. Let me catch you up. My name is Ally. Ally Dawson. I'm 18 years old and I'm a senior at Marino High School here in Miami, Florida. My family owns the local pizza parlor, Antonio's Pizzeria, which is where I work. Antonio was my great-grandfather. He was the one who first started this business, and now it runs in the family. My father manages the parlor and creates new pizza ideas and other menu items, and my mother runs the cash register and does all the inventory. And as for me, well, I get the fun jobs. I get to waitress and deliver to customers' houses. There are only three employees: me, my best girl friend since birth, Trish, and my best friend, Austin. Trish and Austin both do the same jobs as me. Trish and I met Austin when he first moved next door to me in second grade. We've all been best friends ever since.

Austin and I have this little thing we do where whenever we pass each other, we nudge each other in the back. That's how I knew who nudged me while I was getting the drinks for my table. Austin is one of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. I can talk to him about anything, and he is always there for me whenever I need help. The same goes for Trish, but with Austin, it's a little different. You see, I may have a teeny crush on him. Okay, I really like him. A lot. I'm pretty much in love with him, and I have been since freshman year. But I don't do anything about it, because I know that he doesn't feel the same way. No one knows except Trish; I think she's secretly been trying to get us together since we met him, insisting we would make such a great couple, but I keep denying that anything will happen.

Anyway, here the three of us are, working tirelessly as more and more customers come in, hoping to catch the dinner rush. My parents, Trish, Austin, and I are all buzzing around like bees trying to help everyone as soon as we can. Fernando, our head chef, makes all of the pizza pies, and today especially he is working quickly in order to get everyone their food within a decent amount of time.

As soon as my drinks were done, I placed them on a tray and carried it to one of the tables I was currently serving.

"I'm so sorry for the delay," I said as I placed the customers' drinks in front of them. "We're having a bit of a backup today."

"Oh, no worries, dear," said the woman, who I assumed to be the mother of the family. "We totally understand. Please, take your time."

I sighed and smiled at her. "Thank you. Your pizza will be out very shortly."

I scurried back to the counter that divides the kitchen with the main dining room when I heard Fernando ring the bell.

"Ally, order's up." I huffed as I set the pie on another tray and carried it to a different table.

I had a bit of a break before my next order would be ready, so I decided to take this sweet moment and help my mother run some bills through the register.

"Hey, mom," I greeted her.

"Oh, hi, sweetie. Listen, I need to check the inventory, considering today's business, so do you mind handling the register for a little bit? Ten minutes, tops."

"No, don't worry, I got it." My mom sent me a small smile as she hurried off into the back room to check the inventory.

I breathed as I took a look at the pile of checks that customers were waiting patiently to get back. I started running them through the register, when a flash of blond whizzed past me.

"Oh, Austin!" I called out.

He froze, tensing up. I knew he hated to run checks through the register, that's why I always tried to get him to do it with me. He turned towards me and plastered on a smile.

"Yeah, Alls?"

"Can you please help me with these bills?" I sent him a pouty face and batted my eyelashes, which I knew were his weakness. He sighed, and slowly nodded his head, giving in. I smiled in victory, before handing him the checks that I had already run through and telling him to give them back to the customers.

When we finished, the bell rang twice, telling us that both of our orders were ready. We hurriedly gathered them and brought them to the tables, sighing in relief at the fact that they were the last tables we had to serve.

At 11:00, our Friday night closing time, we all helped wipe down the tables and close up the parlor.

"Good night, Alls, see you tomorrow." Trish said as she put on her coat. I bid farewell to her before walking over to Austin. My parents always stay late to count the profit and order inventory, and since Austin lives next door to us, we always carpool together. We switch off driving every day. He nodded at me as he gathered his things.

"You ready?" he asked.

I nodded. "Yup, let's go."

"Thanks, Aus." I said as I got out of the car. He nodded and smiled as a reply. I gathered my things, gave him a quick hug, and shuffled out of the car. Feeling brave, I decided to tease him and sashayed my hips on my way to the front door.

As I walked up the path, I snuck a glance over my shoulder and smirked when I saw his wide eyes and his mouth open, eyes trained on my butt. With confidence, I turned around and blew a kiss at him, pleased when I saw his eyes bug out even more. That wasn't unusual for us. I usually blow him a kiss or he will kiss me on the cheek to be flirty. Whenever he does this to me, it gives me that feeling that I always feel when I'm near him or think about him. It also makes me feel that he actually likes me back. Although I know that will never happen, I continue to flirt with him anyway.

I waved as I opened the door and walked into my house, setting my things down on the table in the hallway. Deciding to call it a night, I went through my usual nighttime routine and settled into bed.

I heard my phone buzz on my bedside table, indicating that someone was calling me. Reaching for my phone, I saw Austin's contact picture on the screen. It was a selfie he took when he stole my phone one time. His eyes were crossed and his tongue was sticking out. It was one of my favorite photos of him. Smiling to myself, I answered.

"Why, hello, Austin Moon," I answered. I could hear him laughing on the other end of the line, before he answered back.

"Why, hello, Ally Dawson." I smiled again. That was our usual way to answer the phone when one of us called the other.

"Is there anything in particular that you needed?" I asked curiously.

"No, I just wanted to talk," he replied.

"You literally just saw me a minute ago," I deadpanned.

"Yes, I know that, Miss Smartypants, but I like hearing your voice and if I wanna talk to my best friend then I will."

I laughed and rolled my eyes, knowing he couldn't see me. That boy can be such a sweetheart and annoying at the same time.

"Well, ok then, windows up."

This is yet another thing that bonds the two of us. Because we can see each other's bedrooms out of our windows, we both pull up the curtains of our windows and look at each other as we speak on the phone.

I walked over and pulled up my blinds, watching as Austin did so too at the same time. We smiled at each other once we could be seen.

"Long time no see, huh?" I chuckled into the phone. I saw Austin smile and laugh as well. "So what's up?" I asked.

"Nothing, just one of those nights," he replied. I nodded in understanding.

We continued to talk on the phone for hours, until we both were too tired to even make out a sentence. I could have sworn that we had hung up, but when I awoke the next morning, I was met with my phone still on my ear and the minutes still running. I got up and looked over at Austin's bed through the window to see that he was in the exact same position.

I honked the horn in my car as I waited outside Trish's house on Saturday morning. We were carpooling to Antonio's and she was going to make us late. I sighed as I looked over at Austin in the passenger seat, who just rolled his eyes and shook his head toward Trish's front door.

I grew frustrated as I honked one more time, this time with Trish running out of the house in a rush, with all of her things flying all over the place. She scurried over to the car and hopped in, buckling in with just enough time to spare before I sped off toward the pizza parlor.

"I swear, Trish, this happens every time!" I exclaimed as I stopped at a red light.

She sighed and fixed her hair. "Yeah, I know, I'm sorry! You know I'm not a morning person."

"You're really lucky my parents are coming in later today and we're in charge of opening up."

When we got to the parlor, I pulled into the back lot and parked my car. The three of us hurriedly got out and scurried inside to get everything ready before opening time. We rushed around setting up the tables and chairs, making sure everything was ready for the first customers.

We finished with half an hour before opening time, so we just decided to hang out and talk. We were in the middle of a random conversation about which types of milk comes from each breed of cow (yes, we have these kinds of conversations all the time, no big deal) when the bell above the door rang, signaling a customer. I looked at my watch, seeing that there were still ten minutes left before we opened. We all turned our heads towards the front door, focusing our attention to a tall redhead with freckles. I got up and walked over to him.

"Oh, I'm sorry, but we're not open yet." I told him.

"Oh, I know,…" I saw him glance down at my name tag. "Ally." he responded.

I nodded and shot him a confused look. "Then, why are you…?" I trailed off.

He perked up, realizing what I was trying to say. "Um, my family was here last night, and you guys seemed a little busy and frazzled. I thought that maybe you would want some more help."

I turned to Austin and Trish, raising my eyebrows. Austin nodded his head, pondering the suggestion. I glanced to Trish, who just looked like a fish out of water. Her eyes were wide and her mouth was hanging open, and she seemed speechless. I turned back to the redhead.

"Look,…" I waited for a name. He realized what I was waiting for and answered.

"Oh, uh, Dez." he replied.

I smiled in thanks. "Look, Dez, none of us are really in charge of hiring new employees. But my parents are going to be in later today, so why don't you let me talk to them and I'll get back to you?"

Dez nodded his head, reaching into his pocket for a piece of paper. "Of course, let me give you my information. Do you by any chance happen to have a pen and paper?"

I turned towards Trish, motioning with my head for her to go fetch a pen for Dez. She snapped out of her daze and reached into the pocket of her apron, pulling out her pad and pen. She slowly made her way forward, handing them to Dez. I smiled to myself as I walked back towards Austin, watching the interaction between Trish and Dez. I stood next to Austin, arms crossed as I smiled at them. I froze as I felt an arm wrap around my shoulders and Austin's breath in my ear.

"I know what you're doing, Alls." he whispered huskily. I tensed up, feeling jittery and butterflies in my stomach. This is what I hate about being in love with Austin; he always makes me feel amazing and warm, yet I know he will never feel the same way.

Dez handed the pad and paper back to Trish and looked over towards me. "I wrote down my name and phone number. Just give me a call when you figure it out with your parents."

I nodded in understanding and smiled in thanks. Dez nodded once and looked back to Trish, smiling softly before turning around and exiting the pizzeria.

I walked up to Trish, putting my hand on her shoulder. "He's good for you," I whispered to her. "I like him." Trish looked at me and smiled in appreciation. I patted her shoulder and turned around, walking towards the counter. "Come on. Let's open up."

By the time the lunch rush came around, my parents still hadn't shown up, and I was starting to get worried. Austin and I kept exchanging glances, wondering where they could be and what could be taking them so long.

Finally, at 2:30, my parents showed up. I gave them a look as I cleared some tables, hustling and bustling about more than ever. My mother noticed my look and pulled me aside as I placed the dirty dishes in the wash tray.

"Ally, I am so so sorry! We got caught up at the inventory warehouse because of yesterday's business, and we figured today would also do well, so we ordered inventory for today, too. I promise we're here now, and we're going to help out much more from now on. Your father and I know how hard you three work, especially on days like today when we come in late."

I sighed and looked at my mom, who seemed really apologetic. I smiled softly and leaned in to hug her.

"It's okay, mom. I get it, we all get it."

She smiled in appreciation at me.

"Oh, before I forget," I started. "Some guy came in today asking about a job here. I told him I would give you and Dad his information and get back to him."

My mom nodded as Austin passed by us and brushed my back. I jumped at the contact, but immediately regained focus on clearing tables. I saw out of the corner of my eye my mom glance at me, then at Austin, and then back at me. Then, she put her hands on my upper arms and suddenly turned me to look at her seriously.

"Ally, honey, I can see the way you look at Austin. I know you like him a lot, maybe even love him. It's the same way I look at your father. And Austin looks at you the same way. I can tell he likes you, too."

I rolled my eyes and looked down. "I doubt it, mom. We may have a flirty and playful relationship, but that's exactly what it is and all it ever will be. I really like him, but he doesn't even have the slightest feelings for me. He just sees me as a friend, and if he sees me as something more, it would only be as his sister. Nothing is ever gonna happen between us, and I just need to accept that."

With that, I slipped out of my mother's arms and made my way to the counter separating the kitchen and the dining room, getting my table's order and bringing it to the customers.

I walked around sulking the rest of the day, trying to avoid passing by Austin. I failed miserably, because at multiple times during the day, we were both at the soda fountain getting customers' drinks. He tried to talk to me, but I just ignored him each time. I figured that if I can't be with Austin, then I would have to settle with just being friends with him.

I just need a little more time to take it all in again.

"Hey, what's up?" Austin stopped me before I could walk out the door, wanting to go home without giving anyone a ride home.

I sighed and turned around. "I don't know what you're talking about." I lied.

Austin gave me his famous "I-know-you're-lying" look. That's another thing I don't like about Austin; he could always tell when I was lying.

I sighed and decided to just talk to him. Who knows, maybe he would feel the same way?

"It's just…" I started. I looked at him, and he nodded at me in encouragement, telling me to go on. "I don't know how you're going to take it." I said.

He looked at me seriously. "Alls. You know you can tell me anything."

I stared into his brown eyes, searching them. I could see calmness, seriousness, trust, and…was that admiration? Love? I shook that thought away, knowing he didn't feel that way. Any confidence I had suddenly disappeared.

"I'm sorry, Austin. But this, I can't tell you." And with that said, I turned around and left the restaurant, getting in my car and driving home.

Austin's POV

I stood there, watching Ally walk away in confusion. Ally was about to tell me something, and I can tell that it was important, too. I was hoping that she was going to confess her love for me, but she didn't say anything.

Let me back up. I moved to Miami in second grade, moving into the house right next to Ally's. The first time I ever saw her, I knew that we would be best friends. Eventually, we did, and she introduced me to Trish. We all became the best of friends after that. Then, in freshman year of high school, things changed. I started seeing Ally in a different way. She was no longer just my best friend. She was the girl of my dreams. She still is my best friend, but now I'm in love with her. I can only pray that she loves me back.

Trish was standing at the counter, wiping down the surface. She's the only one who knows about my feelings for Ally. She's practically been trying to set us up since we met. I keep hoping she'll be successful, since I can't muster up enough courage to ask her out myself, but so far, no such luck.

I know she would never admit it, but she was eavesdropping on mine and Ally's recent conversation. I was proven right when she came over to me and looked at me sympathetically.

"I'm sorry, Austin. I know you really like her."

I shook my head. "No, I don't like her."

Trish tilted her head to the side in confusion.

I looked at her and said in all seriousness the one line I can't find myself admitting to Ally.

"I love her."

Ally's POV

Later that night, I sat on my bed on my laptop, working on my book report that was due Monday. Doing my homework really helped to get my mind off of Austin and why I was upset. I focused on my book and writing a good report to get a good grade in my English class.

I was lost in my work when my phone started buzzing on my bedside table. I looked over to see that it was Trish who was calling. I reached out and grabbed my phone, answering it.

"Hey, Trish." I answered.

"Hey," Trish replied.

"So, what's up?" I asked.

"Well, I just wanted to know how you were doing."

My eyebrows crinkled together in confusion. "What do you mean?"

"Well, ever since your parents came in to the restaurant today you seemed out of it and not willing to talk to anyone. I saw you talking to your mom. You guys must have had a serious conversation or something for you to act like that. You always talk to either me or Austin, and you didn't today. I'm not gonna push it or anything, but I was just concerned and wanted to remind you that I'm here for you whenever you need to talk about anything."

I smiled softly and sighed. "I know, Trish, and I'm sorry. To be honest, it was an emotional subject and I just didn't feel like talking about it to anyone after my mom and I had that conversation. I'll tell you, but you pretty much already know everything."

I could sense her nodding on the other end of the line. "Okay."

I took a deep breath before speaking. "My mom mentioned to me that she could see that I liked Austin," I started.

"Ah." Trish interjected. "You still can't get the nerve to tell him how you feel?"

I shook my head, even though she couldn't see me. "Nope," I said. I could just picture her trying to contain her frustration. She has been waiting forever for the two of us to get together, after all. "Anyway," I started. "I confirmed that I liked him, and then my mom went and had the guts to say that she could tell that he had feelings for me, too. But I just blew her off, because I know that that is so not true. Austin will never like me in that way. Anyway, that's why I was quiet all day. I was trying to avoid Austin to try and stop myself from pouring all of my feelings to him just to get rejected, and I just kept missing you all day. I would have told you sooner. Sorry."

"Ally," Trish said. "Did it ever occur to you that Austin may actually feel the same way?"

I sighed and shook my head to myself. "Well, it did, but I just keep denying it so I don't get my hopes up."

"Well," Trish started. "You'll never know if you don't try."

"Try how?" I asked. I was starting to grow frustrated again with this topic of conversation.

Trish sighed. " I don't know, Ally. You could always just tell him."

"No, no, no! I can't do that! If I do that, then I'll ruin everything that Austin and I have. Our relationship is amazing the way it is. If I talk to him about it, then it'll just complicate things."

"Well," Trish seemed to be thinking. "Then you'll have to figure it out. You could try to be subtle with it and ask Austin to see if he'll tell you, or just wait until he makes the first move."

"If he makes the first move," I mumbled.

I could just see Trish's sympathetic face over the phone. "Don't worry, Ally. I'm sure Austin will realize what he's missing out on and do something about it. And even if he doesn't, you have no reason to worry. You're a beautiful, amazing, smart, and cool girl, and if you don't get Austin, you'll end up with another guy."

I smiled in appreciation. "Thanks, Trish. That really means a lot."

"Well, it's true!" she exclaimed. I giggled at her statement, and she soon joined in.

"In the mean time, though, Ally, you should focus on work and school. No worrying about Austin. It'll happen when it's meant to happen."

I sighed. "Deal," I agreed. "But, I wanna talk about you now."

"Me?" Trish asked. "What about me?"

"Well, for starters, how about the budding romance between you and that Dez guy?" I teased.

I heard Trish gasp, and I could tell she was blushing. I laughed and reassured her that I was only teasing, but in all seriousness, I wanted to know how she felt.

"He seems like a great guy, with what I could pick up from the few minutes we talked to him," she said.

"I told my mom about his job application, and I see no reason why my parents won't call him to offer him a position," I replied.

"Oh, I hope so!" Trish giggled. I joined in, and for the rest of the night, we talked about what could become of her and Dez's relationship.

The weeks and months following the Austin incident were great. I was able to return back to my normal self, and Austin and I were talking like we always had. Trish and I never discussed the Austin thing again, and neither did my mom, but I was okay with that. I didn't want that drama to ruin the best friendships I had ever had.

My parents ended up hiring Dez to work at the pizzeria. He does a mixture of all of our jobs, from waiting tables to checking bills to ordering inventory. I'm still trying to get him and Trish together. I want my best friend to be happy and he's perfect for her.

The school year would end in a month, and the four of us seniors were rushing to get everything done before graduation and college. I was hoping that I could go to the same college as at least one of my friends, Dez included, but everything is still getting figured out. My dream school was UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), and so was Austin's, so hopefully everything works out in the end.

We were all cramming our schedules between work and school and homework, and business was booming as usual. The only thing I didn't like about going all the way to California for college was that my parents would be stuck running the restaurant by themselves. Hopefully they hire some new employees to help out, but it's a family business and I wasn't completely fond of the idea of strangers running the place while we were away at college.

Anyway, I was named valedictorian for our graduating class, so on top of everything else, I also had to write my speech…and I haven't even started yet. It's a lot of work, and I was already swamped with work and school.

Over the last few months of school, Austin kept hinting that he had a surprise for me at graduation. This claim left me wondering and suspicious about what the surprise could be. Deep down I was hoping it had to do with him having feelings for me, but that was pushing it and I knew that I shouldn't get my hopes up.

Austin's POV

Graduation was becoming nearer and nearer, and soon enough, we would all be high school graduates. I could hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday I moved to Miami right next door to who I hoped would eventually become my girlfriend and more.

After Dez was hired at the pizza parlor, he became fast friends with all three of us, but he and I especially have a different bond. It was nice having another guy around to talk to. I was getting tired of all of the constant girl talk. He and I also tend to goof off with each other, which results in some terrifying death glares from the girls.

Over the last few months, I've been trying to hint to Ally that I had a surprise for her at graduation. I finally decided to tell her my feelings, and I am going to do so at graduation. I figured it would also be a good time to tell her that I was going to be attending UCLA with her in the fall.

I was brought out of my thoughts when I felt a hand clap on my shoulder as I was ringing up some checks. I looked over my shoulder to see Dez smiling at me as he handed me a new pile of checks from his customers. I rolled and eyes and took the pile from him, silently agreeing to do the task for him. His smile widened as he clapped me on the shoulder again and hurried away before I could recruit his help.

"Thanks, buddy, you rock!" He yelled over his shoulder.

"Yeah, yeah," I replied as I waved him off.

I got back to work and started on Dez's pile when I felt a familiar brunette brush my back. I smirked and reached behind me to grab her wrist before she could go any further. She turned to look at me with her eyebrows raised, and I gave her a sheepish smile. She sighed and rolled her eyes before nodding, giving in and starting to help me. It was only payback for all the times she's made me help her, not that I actually minded. I only pretended to hate it so she would keep asking me; any excuse I could get to spend more time with her worked for me.

Ally's POV

It was finally the day of graduation. All of the seniors were lined up and ready to walk across the stage to accept their diplomas. I, on the other hand, was seated on the stage next to the student body president, Elliot. He and I each had to recite our speeches in front of the entire class, and my turn was coming up quickly. I tried to focus on the principal as he gave his congratulations on a job well done to the entire class and spoke about his wishes for us in the future.

"And now, I would like to invite our senior class valedictorian to the podium, Ally Dawson."

The audience clapped as I made my way to the podium. I looked around at my classmates before laying my eyes on Austin. He was smiling widely and giving me two thumbs up as a silent sense of encouragement.

I took a deep breath and began my speech. When I was done, I smiled at my classmates and said "thank you" into the microphone before returning to my seat on the stage. After that, Elliot and the principal took turns announcing each student's name as they walked across the stage and received their diplomas.

"And finally, before I send you all off on your own adventures, I would like to thank all of you for making the last four years some of the most amazing years of my professional career," the principal stated. "It was a pleasure watching each and every one of you grow over the last years, and I wish you all the best on your journeys in the future. Now, I would like to congratulate the Marino High School senior class of 2016!" (1)

We all cheered and threw our caps in the air. I caught my cap then ran to Trish, Dez, and Austin, where we all huddled in a group hug full of laughs and smiles. As we broke our hug, all of our parents and families made their way to us and we gathered outside in the courtyard, where pictures were taken and tears were shed.

For the last celebration of the night, we all went to Austin's house, where his parents were throwing a graduation party for the three of us. As we grilled burgers and hot dogs and told stories around the fire, I couldn't help but be thankful for the three people I was lucky enough to call my best friends. Even though Dez came into our group late, he fit right in and we soon all became one big family. Each moment I shared with each was a moment I will forever cherish.

As the celebration died down and Dez's family started to leave, Trish pulled me aside before her family followed.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Alls. Just because we won't see each other at school doesn't mean we won't still see each other at the pizza parlor," she said.

I gave her a hug as I bid her goodbye as well. I was about to turn away to help Austin clean up when Trish grabbed my arm and pulled me back. I raised my eyebrows and waited for her to speak again.

"Whatever Austin's surprise is for you tonight, Ally, please keep in mind that nothing has to really change. We will all be best friends forever, and not even what Austin tells you will change that."

I looked at her suspiciously. "You know, don't you? What he wants to tell me?"

Trish simply gave me a soft smile and zipped her lip. I gave her one last suspicious glance before giving her one last hug and biding her goodnight.

I went over and helped Austin clean up while our parents talked a little ways away. I wanted to clean up as fast as possible so that I could find out what Austin's secret surprise was. After we threw the last of the trash away, Austin grabbed me by the hand and pulled me over towards the treehouse in his backyard where we used to hang out as kids. As we left, I could see our parents smiling at us, which left me wondering if everyone knew what Austin wanted to tell me except for me.

When we reached the treehouse, Austin dropped my hand and sat down on the bench inside and looked up at me. Taking the hint, I sat down beside him, and he took my hand again. I waited for him to speak first as he played with our intertwined fingers.

"Alls, there's, uh, something I've been wanting to tell you…for quite some time now actually," he started. I could tell how nervous he was; the hand holding mine was sweaty and he was scratching the back of his neck, which is a nervous habit of his. I reached my other hand over and squeezed the one holding mine to reassure him that he could tell me anything.

He blushed before he continued talking. "We've been friends for over 10 years now, and I feel like our relationship can only get stronger." I nodded, agreeing with his statement. "But what I have to tell you can change everything, and I hope you know how much I care about you and want to make sure that we will always be in each other's lives."

I looked into his eyes, anticipating what he would tell me. "What is it, Aus? You can tell me anything."

He smiled. "I know, and that's one of the many things I love about you…one of the many reasons why I love you."

I smiled back, but my heart sank a little at hearing that he loves me, because I know he only meant it as a friend. "Aw, Austin, I love you, too. You're one of my best friends!"

Austin's smile dropped a little. He took a deep breath before looking into my eyes again.

Austin's POV

My smile dropped as I heard her say she loved me as a friend. Apparently, she wasn't getting the hints. Time to try this another way. I took a deep breath before looking into her eyes again and clarifying what I actually meant.

"No, Ally. I love you. As in, I'm in love with you."

I saw her eyes widen and her jaw drop. I hope that's a good sign.

Ally's POV

My eyes widened and my jaw dropped upon hearing his confession. I couldn't believe it! Austin Moon loves me! He's in love with me! I saw his face crinkle in worry and I realized that I had yet to respond. So, with a big smile and both my hands in his, I proclaimed the same confession.

"Austin…I meant what I said before. I love you. As in, I'm in love with you, too." I copied his words. I saw his eyes widen slightly before filling with love and his face broke out into the biggest grin I had ever seen. He leaned in to kiss me, but before our lips could touch, I realized another obstacle.

"Wait, Austin. We can't start a relationship now. We just graduated, which means we only have three months before we go off to different colleges. What do you expect us to do, a long-distance relationship? You know those never work out." I could feel tears welling in my eyes. How could this be such a happy moment but also such a tear breaking one at the same time?

Austin smiled again, which left me confused. Did he not get it? Before I could question him, he spoke again, giving me even more news.

"I've been meaning to tell you something else," he started. He looked to me as if asking for permission, and I nodded, telling him to continue. "I'm going to be attending UCLA in the fall. So are you. And that means - " But I broke him off before he could continue. I leaned in and crushed my lips to his. I felt him tense briefly before relaxing into the kiss and then he wrapped his arms around my waist while mine went around his neck. I felt him smile against my lips as I pulled away, and leaned my forehead against his.

"I have one more thing to say," Austin said. I opened my eyes to look at him and wait for him to speak. "Will you be my girlfriend?"

I smiled even wider and nodded my head frantically. "I thought you'd never ask," I teased.

Austin chuckled then pressed his lips to mine once again. "I love you," he said. I pecked his lips once more and repeated the words the him. "I love you, too."

So, maybe you can guess what happened next. Austin and I spent the summer closer than ever, hanging out and working with Trish and Dez at the parlor. Trish and Dez also finally got together, but she asked him; she was always a lot braver than any of us anyway. Austin and I had dates every Sunday night, which is the only night each week my parents gave us kids the night off to ourselves. We would go to the movies, roller skating, bowling, and any other activity that allowed us to be close and be ourselves.

By the time the fall came around, the four of us were in college. Austin and I travelled cross-country to UCLA while Trish and Dez stayed in Florida and went to University of Miami. They still helped my parents out at the parlor whenever possible. Trish studied Business Management, hoping to open her own business one day near where the parlor is, while Dez studied Film Composition, focusing on making documentaries and commercials to help local businesses throughout Miami. At UCLA, Austin and I both studied Music, where I concentrated on Composition and he focused on Performance. He and I have a partnership going: I write, he rocks. That's just how we roll.

Then, after we graduated college, Austin and I moved back to Miami, where we bought a house together in the same neighborhood as Trish and Dez, so the four of us could always be close. Then, after we both had stable jobs, Austin proposed and I accepted, and we married in the summer surrounded by our closest family and friends. It was truly the happiest day of my life.

Dez and Trish soon followed, becoming engaged while Austin and I were on our honeymoon in the Bahamas, and marrying the following spring. It was a beautiful ceremony with lovely company and one of the best days of our lives together.

So, that leaves me where we are now. 26 years old, living in our own house, with great jobs, married, and 7 months pregnant with our first child: a baby girl we're going to name Ava. Everyone in our lives couldn't be more excited for us, and I couldn't wait to expand our family. Austin is already in protective daddy mode, making sure I do nothing that could potentially hurt the baby. I know when she does come, Ava will have Austin wrapped around her finger.

We've all come a long way since then. Meeting Trish, then meeting Austin, who would eventually become the one person I couldn't live without, then Dez, were the best times of my life. Trish has been my best friend since birth and always will be, and Dez is the craziest best friend a girl could ask for, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

As for Austin, I always knew we would have something special. Although I spent so long denying that anything romantically could happen between us, I'm incredibly glad that everything worked out in the end. I couldn't be happier with how my life played out, and I thank the heavens above for making me the luckiest girl in the world. Austin started with a piece of my heart, and as our relationship grew he stole more and more of it. He inevitably took my entire heart for himself when he confessed his love for me our senior year. That's fine with me, but he's just gonna need to learn to share it with Ava and any other child our life is blessed with.

And that's how it'll always be, forever.

This took a while to finish…sorry :/

I hope you liked it! I'm not a great writer so I don't know if this is any good, but I like it, so I'm sticking with what I've got.

Also, I know Dez is barely in this story, but I wanted to focus on Ally's friendship and relationship with Austin and Trish. Dez is still one of my favorite characters, though! If I ever get the nerve to publish another story, Dez will be in it more!

I have some more ideas for fanfiction stories, but college is starting up again in a few weeks and I don't know if I'll want to continue writing…it might be like what happened last time…

That being said, if anyone is interested in adopting any of my stories, please let me know! Send me a PM and I'll tell you my ideas. I usually have ideas for one-shots, but some might be able to work as multi-chapters. There are so many great writers on this site and it would be a pleasure to work with you (you'll also get a shoutout like the one below)!

Please review! Thanks for reading!

Long live A&A! 3

(1) I know this is being posted now in 2020, but the show ended in 2016, so I'm sticking with that timeline.

Also, shoutout: Thanks so much to ausllydawmoon for writing her story "i didn't know i was lonely 'til i saw your face" for me! I thought of the idea a long time ago and was going to write it myself, but she is such a fantastic writer (and I wouldn't have done it justice) that I requested for her to write it for me. You did a great job, ausllydawmoon, and I always get so excited when I see you post a new story! I really appreciate it, and I love the story; it was everything I wanted and more.