|State of Mind
Author: xiheartquestionmark PM
Anything can happen in an empire state of mind. Niley. Collab between Shmadders14 and imadinosawr918.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Friendship - Hannah M./Miley S. - Chapters: 15 - Words: 68,036 - Reviews: 159 - Favs: 59 - Follows: 63 - Updated: 12-30-12 - Published: 12-13-11 - id: 7633983
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
New Collaboration Story! (Super exciting, we're best friends)
The first chapter is written by Shmadders14, edited by me, imadinosawr918. The next chapter is going to be written by me. Then the third is Shmadders14, etc.
"Namestae," Miley Cyrus chanted. Taking a deep breath, the aroma of incense relaxed her senses. With palms pressed together she bowed her head, maintaining a perfect lotus position. She opened her eyes, watching the class mimic her motions, murmuring the same word under their breath. Untangling her legs, she stood up, facing her students. "That was great. I look forward to seeing all of you tomorrow."
Without leaving time for a response, she slipped on her beat up Nike's and walked out of the yoga studio. Pushing open the door, the silence of the studio was drowned out by the sounds of the city. She tugged a thin cardigan over her tank top as she looked up at the sky. The dark grey overcast clouds seemed to match her mood as she watched briskly down the sidewalk. A gloominess hung over New York City. The crowd that usually surrounded Miley on her trek to the subway was nowhere to be found; the abnormally chilly May weather scaring everyone indoors. Pulling her cardigan tighter to her small frame, she rounded the corner of 65thand continued down 9th Avenue.
Five blocks later she finally reached the Columbus Circle subway station. When she neared the stairs, Miley suddenly found herself sprawled out on the pavement, her phone, lip gloss, and other things from her purse scattered near. The culprit of the accident, a balding businessman, paid her no attention as he stepped over purse and hustled on, speaking a mile a minute into his Bluetooth.
Miley wasn't one to make a scene and draw any attention to herself. If there was anything she knew how to do well, it was keeping her composure. Being a yoga instructor does that to a person. After brushing the dirt off her yoga pants and retrieving her belongings, she stood back up. She could feel a blush burning on her cheeks but walked on down the stairs confidently, pulling her hair-tie out and letting her wavy, brown locks flow down her back.
On a good day, the train would have just pulled up, opening its doors welcomingly to her. This particular Friday was just the opposite. As Miley stepped onto the platform, the subway doors slid shut and it zoomed off, leaving her annoyed and impatient.
The next subway arrived eventually, everyone inside packed as tight as sardines. Miley was forced to stand, sandwiched between a rather obese man and a scraggly hobo that reeked of alcohol and pee. After what could have been the most nauseating subway ride of her life, Miley all but ran off at Washington Square.
The heavens had finally opened up, releasing a torrential downpour on the city. Luckily for Miley, she wasn't too far from home. Unluckily, not too far still meant running four blocks through the slick streets. As soon as she stepped out from the shelter of the station the fat, cold droplets soaked her straight to the bone. There was nothing more she wanted to do than to put on dry clothes, cuddle up on the couch and watch reruns of Friends with Joe.
Flinging open the glass door, Miley finally got refuge in her Waverly Place apartment building. She made a beeline for the elevator, ready to just put her whole shitty day behind her.
"Miss Miley," The doorman, Ralph, tried getting her attention. She turned towards him. "The elevator is out."
She gave him a wry smile. Of course it was. "Thanks." With shoes squeaking as she went, she made her way to the stairwell and began the long climb up to the fourteenth floor.
Too many stairs to count and a side ache later, Miley finally reached her door.
Not wanting to dig through her dripping purse for the keys, she banged on the door. The black door swung open revealing Demi; red and white checkered apron on, wooden spoon in hand. "What happened to you?"
Miley narrowed her eyes, pushing past her best friend and into the apartment. "I'm changing into dry clothes." She blew past the kitchen, not bothering to greet her other friends.
Lucas was wearing an apron identical to Demi's, and was cautiously poking at a pan with a spatula. He had obviously been wrangled in by his girlfriend to be her sous chef for the night.
Joe was in the living room, conveniently across from the kitchen. Armed with a bowl and a whisk, his eyes were glued to Giada DiLaurentis on the TV. He was undoubtedly trying to concoct a dessert like the one on the show. There was also a very good chance he was failing miserably.
Going into the room she shared with Joe, Miley stripped off her wet garments and replaced them with baggy sweatpants and one of Joe's old t-shirts. Finally comfortable, she made her way back out, even cracking a smile when she saw Joe sitting back dejectedly on the couch. "Did ya mess up?" She asked, flopping down next to him.
"It wasn't thickening." He gestured to the bowl of goop on the coffee table. "She said something in Italian and I got lost."
Miley scooted closer, cuddling into his side. "Can we watch Friends?"
Joe nodded, resting his arm around her and grabbing the remote. "I recorded a couple episodes the other day."
"Don't get too comfortable!" Demi called from the kitchen. "Dinner will be done in a little bit."
"What are you making?" Miley called back, her stomach grumbling at the mention of food. She'd eaten lunch at work and since they were a yoga studio that promoted good health all she'd eaten was fat-free yogurt and a vegetable pita wrap. She was in desperate need of real food.
"Arroz con Pollo," Demi responded, rolling her r's perfectly.
Lucas abandoned his work going behind Demi and wrapping his arms around her. "You sound sexy when you speak Spanish."
Demi giggled, leaning her head back into his arms. "Bésame." Lucas bent down, kissing her softly on the lips and obliging her request en español.
"The food is burning," Joe stated nonchalantly, interrupting their little love fest.
Startled, Demi wriggled out of Lucas's arms to check on the food. "It's not burning you idiot."
"My bad…" Joe murmured loud enough for only Miley to hear.
She giggled, twisting so she could put her legs across his lap. Joe was never too pleased with Lucas and Demi's public displays of affection. He usually butted in with a sarcastic comment whenever they started to act all cutesy. Miley felt the complete opposite. After seeing Demi go through a dark time with eating disorders after her mom's death in high school, she was glad to see her so incredibly happy and in love with Lucas.
"Does anyone wanna set the table?" Demi asked, continuing her work at the stove.
"I've got it hun," Lucas said, planting another kiss on Demi's cheek and going over to the cupboard.
"No, no, no." She grabbed his hand, pulling him back. "Joe, you do it."
Joe sighed dramatically. "Fine." Getting up, he tossed the remote to Miley.
Miley settled into the plush cushions watching Ross and Rachel bicker onscreen; the smell off saffron wafting through the apartment. As always, as soon as the episode reached the best part, Demi announced that dinner was finally ready. As much as she wanted to see what happened next, she followed the pleas of her grumbling stomach to the table.
The foursome sat around the chipped wooden table, a beautiful pan of Arroz con Pollo displayed in the middle.
"You'll never believe what Ryan did today," Demi started the dinnertime conversation.
"What?" Lucas poured wine into two glasses for him and Demi.
"Unrolled toilet paper all around the house, it was so cute. And Danielle showed me the dress she's designing for Selena Gomez for the MTV Movie Awards. It's so gorgeous. Oh, and they upped my pay because I have officially gotten Ryan potty-trained."
"You seriously got a raise for that?" Miley groaned. As hard as she worked, a raise was never really an option for a yoga instructor. She could probably teach a crowd of hippos to be yoga masters and still get squat. Demi on the other hand, the nanny of famous music producer Kevin Jonas and renowned fashion designer Danielle Jonas' kids, got a raise whenever two-year-old Ryan or baby Mia accomplished anything. Despite the fact that learning to go 'pee in a big potty' and uttering 'mama' are common milestones that the kids could have reached without Demi, she got the credit and the money.
Demi took a sip from her glass. "Yeah, but it really wasn't that much."
"Well I got to organize the DVD's today," Lucas the librarian butted in. His choice to be a librarian was not that unusual even though it paid even less than Miley's job. The Till's were a family with money, a lot of money. Lucas simply worked to give himself something to do.
"I got named head of the new project today," Joe added in, not going into much detail before turning to his right. "What about you Miles?"
Miley looked at him grumpily. "I helped a fifty-year-old man get his foot out from behind his head."
"Heroic," Demi attempted a compliment.
"Yeah, whatever would they do without me," Miley murmured sarcastically. It wasn't that she resented her friends for having the jobs they did. She knew they worked hard and none of them were doing exactly what they wanted to do yet, but all the things they got to do made her feel a lot less accomplished in comparison. Even with her degree in public relations and communications, no one in the whole damn city was willing to give a twenty-three-year-old hopeful a solid job as a publicist.
"So..." Joe began, twirling his fork around his plate. "How come you haven't made Arroz con Pollo before?" He didn't roll his r's at all and pronounced it as English as anyone possibly could. Taking a bite, he stared Demi down. "You've been holding back on us."
Demi smiled. "It's one of my mom's old recipes. I just found it the other day."
"You really should make these kinds of things more often." Joe plucked one of the peppers that decorated the dish and popped it into his mouth. "Not like those bullshit vegan meatballs you made us try last week."
"I was just experimenting, you jerk. Plus, my dad just sent me a box of recipes he found when he was going through her old stuff. This is only the first of many delicious things that my mom made."
"I'm holding you to that."
Miley traced over the rim of her water glass. "We should go to Josie's and watch the Yankees game tonight."
"You hate baseball, you just want to drink," Joe teased.
"I like looking at the players. Not my fault the uniforms tend to accentuate their best features." Miley tossed her still damp hair over his shoulders. "And yes, my day sucked and a beer sounds really good right now."
"Well my day didn't suck, but since it's Yankees against the Brewers and I love you, I'll go."
"Lucas and I were going to back to his place and have a movie night," Demi cut in.
"You don't need to call it that. Everyone knows 'movie night' is just code for you guys fucking."
"It's fine, Joe," Miley said, touching his arm lightly. "The two of us will just go."
Miley stood up. "I'm done. Demi, come help me pick out other clothes. Hobo chic is not working out for me right now." Dragging her best friend by the arm, she made her way back to her room.
"Is Joe on his man period or something?" Demi asked as soon as they were behind closed doors. "He totally snapped on me back there."
"I don't know, he's just moody." Miley rummaged through her dresser. She had plenty of cute clothes. But right now, all of them sucked.
Demi walked over to the closet. "Wear this." She took a flow-y black top off a hanger and chucked it in Miley's direction.
Miley slipped off her t-shirt and replaced it with the black one. Kicking her sweats off as well, she searched around for her favorite pair of jeans. She finally found them crumpled in the corner, a tad wrinkled but definitely still wearable.
"Do you really need to show off your toned little ass every chance you get?" Demi complained, making a pouty face.
Miley looked over her shoulder, checking out her own ass as she simultaneously wriggled into her jeans. She shrugged, starting towards the bathroom. "Eh, I wish I had your curves though. I know Lucas appreciates them." Slapping the object of discussion, she slipped into the bathroom.
Demi followed, handing her a comb to tame her tangled hair. "Are you planning on getting drunk tonight?"
"Just asking. I mean, I kinda like having a heads up when I'm going to have to take care of your drunk ass after a 'sucky' day."
Miley was silent, remembering the day Demi was referring to. The sucky days for her were only getting worse and more frequent. It seemed like more and more assholes were picking up yoga each week. "I'm not going to get drunk."
"Okay, but seriously Miles, you don't have to stay with that job; I can help you. I can talk to Kevin, he knows tons of clients. He just told me that his brother Nick fired his publicist."
Sticking her toothbrush in her mouth, she managed to abstain from speaking until she spat out the minty paste. "Dem, I've told you a million times. I want to earn my way into a job; I don't want it to be handed to me on a silver platter just because of my connections. It just seems wrong. "
Grabbing a tissue from the floral box, Demi began wiping up the tiny water droplets sprinkled from Miley's teeth cleaning. "I just thought I'd ask again Miles."
"I'm twenty-three; I'm allowed to have fun. Getting drunk a few times doesn't automatically make me an alcoholic. And my job is fine for now. I can deal with it until I find a better one."
Throwing the tissue in the garbage, Demi moved on to straightening up the toiletries sprawled across the counter. "I know, I'm just worried about you."
Miley scrunched a handful of mousse in her hair and smiled into the mirror. "Don't worry, it's all good."
Soon enough Joe and Miley were walking down Waverly Place arm in arm and heading in the direction of their usual hangout; Josie Wood's Pub. The downpour had left almost as quickly as it had come. The night sky was clear and the air still smelled like rain. The pub was filled with the usual crowd of NYU students and sport fan stragglers.
Miley made a beeline for the bar. Taking a seat next to a Brewers fan, the Yankees opposing team for the night, Miley called for her favorite bartender. "Sean!"
Sean was nineteen and a student at NYU. He had only started working a couple months ago and was always there when Miley came in. "Hey Miles, long time no see," he greeted cheerfully, dimples appearing on either side of his face.
"I was here yesterday," Miley reminded him, folding her arms atop the bar. "You got my usual?"
"Always for you, doll," he joked, getting a frosty mug out. He put it under the tap, letting it run until it was a cold, frothy mess.
Joe slid onto the stool next to her. "Why do you always get a man beer?" he asked, referring to the Budweiser Sean was setting down in front of her.
Miley licked the foam dripping down the side of the mug. "Why do always drink a girl beer?"
As if on cue Sean set a dripping bottle of MGD64 on the coaster in front of Joe. Miley raised her eyebrows in a silent attempt in saying 'I told you so.' Joe grasped the bottle anyways and took a hearty sip. "It's delicious." He set it back down, wiping across his face with his arm.
"So," Miley turned her attention to the TV conveniently placed above them. "What's the score?"
"Five to three, Brewers are up." Sean shook his head. "Disappointment."
Something on the screen caught Miley's eye. "Who is that?"
"Ryan Braun," the Brewer fan supplied. "He just had a three-run home run."
Miley shrugged, the baseball facts boring her. "His hiney looks good in those pants."
"Typical girl." Sean shook his head, moving on to the next customer.
"Hiney?" Joe raised his eyebrows. "Who says hiney?"
"I do." Miley took another gulp of her beer, the drink settling warmly in her stomach. "Demi thinks you're on your man period."
"Why would she say that?"
"Because you were being pissy to her and Lucas for no reason."
"I was not!"
"Yes you were!" Miley giggled a bit at the stupidity of the banter. "You're not telling me something about it. I can see it in your eyes Joseph."
Joe averted his eyes down. "No."
Shaking his head he took a sip of his light beer. "I'd have to be extremely drunk if I ever told you about that."
Get Joe drunk? Easy peasy. "Sean!" Miley called out. When Sean came back over she leaned forward, putting a hand on his bicep. "Can you get Joe four more of those?" she whispered in his ear.
Sean chuckled, not moving from their close proximity. "And whose tab should I put them on?"
"Yours…" she murmured, bending her head down and pressing her lips to the rim of the glass innocently.
Flashing his pearly whites, Sean straightened up to his full height again. "Okay, then I'll be right back."
Miley felt Joe's glare piercing into the side of her head. "What?"
Joe waited until Sean was out of earshot. "Seriously Miles?"
"Stop flirting with him like that. It's weird."
"I'm not flirting!"
"Fine, I am. But only because I want free drinks."
"Shut up." Miley drained the rest of her large mug, setting it down with a thud.
"You know I love you any- OH COME ON!" Joe interrupted himself, screaming at the TV above.
"What the fuck…" Sean groaned, coming over to refill Miley's mug. "I had money on this game."
"Foolish choice," the Brewer fan chuckled.
Miley licked the foam dripping down her glass. "What happened?"
"THE BREWERS SUCK!" a rather large Yankee fan announced to the bar, obviously drunk as he knocked over his empty mug.
"Calm down man," Joe tried, standing up.
"Joe, don't get involved," Miley whispered taking ahold of his wrist.
The Brewer fan stood up as well. "Don't be a sore loser now."
"This game means nothing," the plump Yankee fan growled. "Remind me again how many World Series your precious team has won?"
"Remind me who's gonna win this game tonight." The Brewer fan's volume increased.
"Not your team ass wipe." Plumpy lunged forward, taking a drunken swing in his opponent's direction.
Mr. Brewer flinched at the attempt and stumbled backwards, knocking into Joe. Sean jumped in grabbing the Yankee fan and Joe took the dumbass that almost fell on him. Miley, who had been silently viewing the idiotic fight, simply sat there. She was casually sipping her beer and ended up chugging the remainder as the stupidity continued. Sean shared the feeling, calling over another employee to help throw both 'passionate' fans out.
"Thank God that's over," Joe sighed, collapsing back down on his stool next to Miley.
"That's why I don't go into the politics of sports. I just pick whoever has hotter players. It's perfect, no harm no foul." She traced the rim of her empty glass.
Joe noticed right away. "Were you thirsty?"
Miley ignored the question. "That was the dumbest fight I've ever witnessed."
"You're the one that wanted to come here on game night."
"And the view is still excellent," she commented as a close up of one of the 'sexy' players came on the screen. She didn't remember any of their names but they looked good.
Joe grasped his MGD64. "And you're still a whore."
The game ended about an hour and a half later. In that time Miley had polished off her fourth beer and had mildly started to feel the effects. She wasn't a complete lightweight. Most of the people had cleared out and only a few bums remained.
"You going for five tonight Miles?" Sean asked, sliding in next to her.
"Nooo… I have work tomorrow." As funny as attempting to teach yoga hungover could be, she wasn't about to try. "How much do I owe you Sean?"
"Nothing doll. I thought this was all on my tab."
"No. No, I have money." Miley dug through her pockets, pulling out a dollar and four pennies. "Is that enough?" She hiccupped.
"You even included a tip," Sean lied through his smile.
Miley knew he was lying. She also knew her measly pocket change didn't cover the bill. But acting drunk was so much easier than admitting that she was poor and needed to save her money for rent.
"I guess we should be heading home now," Joe suggested, hauling himself to his feet.
"I'll see you around." Sean said, slinging his towel over his shoulder and giving Miley a peck on the cheek.
Once back out in the fresh air, Joe burst into laughter. "Bravo my little drunkard. Would you like to accept your Grammy now?"
"Shut up Joe. We didn't have to pay."
"You're lucky Sean likes you," he commented, hooking arms with her.
"Luck has nothing to do with it." Miley flipped her hair, implying that it was her goddess-like good looks that got her what she wanted.
"Now if only getting a decent job was that easy for you."
Miley stopped in her tracks. "Seriously Joe? You're crushing my mood." She was honestly sick of her friends constantly reminding of her situation and saying how she wasn't 'reaching her full potential' or whatever. Even though she wasn't insanely religious she held on to the saying that God had a plan for everyone and if she worked hard things would go her way. Miley hoped that it started going her way soon. Because if they didn't, she was basically screwed.
The duo finally reached their building, Ralph kindly letting them in.
"I'll race ya," Joe challenged as soon as they entered the stairwell.
Before Miley could answer he jetted off, bounding up the stairs like he did it for a living. Since her judgment was still a bit off, Miley ran after him. Yoga did not help her cardio in any way and she was cursing the broken elevator after the first few flights. "You bitch," she gasped when she finally entered the apartment.
Joe laughed from the couch. "You're out of shape."
Miley scowled, knowing he was right. "I'm also not exactly sober."
Smiling, Joe captured her hands and pulled her onto his lap. "So, Star Wars marathon?"
"I- work… Ten," Miley tried, her face smashed into a couch cushion.
"Just for a little bit," Joe coaxed, throwing a blanket over the two of them and pressing play.
The opening credits started and Miley snuggled back into Joe. This had become somewhat of a routine for them lately; drinking then watching classic movies. The two of them watched in silence for a while.
"I miss Liam," Miley murmured out of the blue.
Joe tightened his arms around her. "Aren't I enough?"
Miley shrugged as her eyes slowly began to shut.
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