This theoretically takes place in between the time Miley and company leave the party and the scene with Miley and Robby Ray at the very end. If you haven't already figured out, this contains some major spoilers for Torn Between Two Hannahs and honestly if you haven't seen the episode, it probably won't make very much sense. So, if you don't want to be spoiled or confused, it might be best to turn back now. Now that thats out of the way, huge thanks to mondlering moofoot for her amazing beta skills.
Edit: Thanks to those who pointed out my mistakes.
Sitting across from each other at the table on the Stewart's deck, Miley and Oliver waited for Oliver's mother to pick him up. Miley was now sans wig and Oliver's hat sat on the table next to his propped up feet. He twirled his mask around his fingers and hummed to himself as he directed his attention towards the sky, ignoring the fact the lights and smog prevented him from seeing anything but gray. Despite the apparent calm of the scene Miley's mind was restless as her own eyes found their way to his oblivious form.
"Oliver, you were pretty much my hero tonight," she said, interrupting the stillness.
He continued to the stare at the stars. "And you thought I was just Count Chest-Hair."
She let out a small laugh. "Seriously, Oliver, I really owe you one."
"Don't worry about it, Miley."
A few moments of silence passed. Oliver continued to twirl his mask around his fingers, staring at the sky, while Miley bit her lip and looked anywhere but at him, desperately wishing she could suppress the desire to question him. "What would you have done if we had agreed to kiss you?"
Oliver sat up at her question, taking his feet off the table, and dropping his mask in the process. He left it there, picked up his hat from the table, and began to fidget with it instead. "I - I don't know. I mean I knew you would say no. I didn't really think..."
"Miley…kissing two Hannah Montanas is the kind of thing a guy could, um, be pretty happy about."
Her eyes met his, and she said, "But, Oliver, you know I'm Hannah Montana."
"Maybe I don't bounce back as fast as you think."
Silence enveloped them for a few moments until Miley asked, "You were lying about that dream, weren't you?"
"What dream?" Oliver continued to turn the hat around his hands, and avoided her eyes.
"The '' 'Jessica Simpson' Dream," she explained as she rolled her eyes.
Oliver replied with a simple, "No." The crack in his voice told her that what he really meant was yes.
The following moments were dominated by the quiet tapping of Miley's shoes against the deck. She wished she knew why she had once again become so preoccupied with what Oliver thought of her and her alter ego - or that, at the very least, wished she had an explanation that didn't scare her senseless.
"Are you still in love with Hannah Montana?" Miley prayed he wouldn't notice the involuntary tone of hopefulness that had crept its way into her voice.
"No," he said suddenly, stammering as he continued, "Well, I - I don't think so, it's just...Miley, the whole thing is still really...weird."
Miley's eyes found their way back to the ground. "But we're the same and--" her mouth opened and closed as she searched for words. "You said it was awkward," she said, finally, as she leaned over the table a little, imploring him for an explanation.
"I know." As he said that she couldn't help feeling that there was something behind his voice, and she was elated at the possibilities that his tone implied.
So she finally decided to say what this all came down to, the thing that had been lingering in Miley's thoughts for the last twenty-four hours. "Oliver, you wanted to go on a date with my cousin."
He smiled and forced as much of his typical joviality as possible into his voice. "Miley, you know it's only fair that everyone get a piece of Smokin' Oken."
Again her eyes met his, and she said, carefully, "Oliver...she looks exactly like me."
He froze at this, but Miley didn't notice because as soon as the statement left her mouth her gaze found its way back to ground. The air felt thick to her. The moist shoreline breeze, which she usually found so refreshing, was stifling her with its humidity, crippling her from keeping her breathing steady, in spite of her attempts to focus solely on that rather than the cause of her stress who sat across from her. She started to count the planks of wood on the deck, hoping it would help her nerves.
It didn't work.
When she looked back up Oliver had taken the seat next to hers, and was staring at her with an intensity that starkly opposed his previous nonchalant gaze toward the sky. "I know. It's just…" He swallowed and took a deep breath before continuing, "If I thought Hannah was beautiful, how can I not at least think you're..." He trailed off and another silence encompassed them. "Miley, I don't want things to be…"
"Me neither, Oliver."
He grabbed her hand in an attempt to comfort her, but the butterflies that his gesture caused only made her feel more unsettled. They simply sat there for a while. She was fighting how drawn she was to him. It was terrifying. She was so confined by her own thoughts that she didn't realize how closely her emotions were mirrored in Oliver's face. Thousands of different things to say ran through her head, things that would further provoke their situation, words that could put a stop to the whole thing.
"Maybe you should kiss me." Those particular words tumbled out of Miley's mouth before she knew what she was doing. Seeing his shocked expression, she quickly spit out, "Then-when-it's-awkward-you'll-be-over-this-whole-Hannah-thing." She tried to seem calm as she rationalized the suggestion, but she still couldn't control the rapid beating of her heart, her continually unsteady breathing, or the fact that her explanation had come out as one word.
Oliver simply stared at her, wide eyed, then nodding dumbly in affirmation. Miley looked down yet again and whispered, "Okay then."
She started to lean in, with her hand still in Oliver's. When she had almost reached him, he finally awoke from his stupor and met her at the last moment. Upon the initial, tentative contact, Miley felt goose bumps form on her arms, and her stomach only began to turn more. They remained there for a split second, their knees knocking together as they stretched between their chairs. Instinctively, Oliver used his free hand to cup her face, and with that one simple action, the kiss deepened. Miley removed her hand from his, grabbed onto his shirt, and pulled him closer to her, causing their legs to become tangled together. Oliver placed his now empty hand above her elbow, and pulled her even closer. She was lost completely, almost forgetting where she was, that her father could easily see them through the sliding glass doors, or that Oliver's mother could arrive at any moment.
And then they separated. Both of them were out of breath, both of them avoiding the others eyes, yet they still clung to each other, their legs still tangled between their chairs. She could still taste the candy that he'd stolen from Jackson.
"Miley." She closed her eyes and shivered at the way he said her name, in spite of the warmth of the California air.
A pair of headlights pulled them from the isolation they had created for themselves. Oliver's mother had arrived. They quickly pulled apart, though their legs were still intertwined between their chairs.
Miley finally really looked at him. His mouth was hanging open, making him look a little ridiculous, but she still thought he looked sort of endearing like that, with his hair hanging messily in his eyes and wearing his cliché but adorable costume. She wanted to kiss him again, this time long enough to try figure out exactly what kind of candy her friend had stolen from her brother.
And that impulse terrified her. She was in eighth grade. Miley probably wasn't always the most rational girl, but she was sensible enough to realize that whatever they were on the edge of becoming wouldn't last forever. She knew enough to know that after this played itself out, it would be it for them. No more hot dogs on the beach. No more fake laughter at another dumb joke. No more pseudo heroic saves from embarrassing situations. Just awkward hello's at best and indifferent lack of acknowledgement at worse. She didn't want that.
His mother honked the horn, and the two looked over at her to see her motioning impatiently for him to join her in the car. They untangled themselves, and stood up. Oliver grabbed his hat, brushing it off needlessly. "So that was--"
"Awkward," she said, interrupting him before he could finish.
"Yeah, awkward." She tried to ignore the disappointment in his voice.
"See you tomorrow Oliver." He smiled, shoulders low, and obviously trying his best to not seem dissatisfied with the outcome of their actions. If his mother hadn't been there she probably would have been unable to resist the urge to kiss him again. As it was, her eyes stung with the tears she was trying to hold in, and she was having a hard time not begging for forgiveness and admitting she didn't mean a word of it.
He let out an unenthusiastic, "Yeah, see you," turned around, and walked to the car.
Miley waved goodbye as they backed out of her driveway. She watched them drive away until she could no longer see the taillights of his mother's sports car, then she turned around and fought back a few more tears with a heavy sigh before she opened the glass doors, entered her home, and simply began pretending that nothing ever happened.
I do realize that this litte fic contains more angst than is typically of the show, and I think by consequence some of you may find this to be a little out of character. My apologies for that. As my beta reader so wisely pointed out, "You can't always win." However, if you did like this and would like to see me write similar explorations of other episodes let me know in your review. I have ideas, but I probably won't see them through if no one is interested.