Disclaimer: If I'm Fire Panther then I don't own Hannah Montana. Looks like I need a new screen name.

Second Heartbeat

It was Thursday afternoon and the gang was sitting down having lunch. The usual flow of conversation was up. Well, actually James and Oliver were arguing over whether Superman or Batman was better. Miley and Lilly were watching with smiles on their faces. How silly could boys be? Lilly leaned against Miley's shoulder and fiddled with Miley's hand, which was held in her's.

"So do you have anything to do Friday?" Lilly asked. Miley thought about it then shook her head.

"No, I don't think so. Why?"

"Well if you have tomorrow free I was thinking that maybe we could go out to the movies or something," Lilly nuzzled Miley's neck. "What do you think?" Miley pretended to think hard.

"Now let me see, spend a Friday night out with the woman I absolutely love or stay at home arguing with Jackson over the remote? Well of course I pick option number one," she answered with a smile. "Which do you have in mind?"

"Well there's Dream on," Lilly suggested. It was a romantic comedy that looked hilarious.

"I've been dying to see that one," Miley said.

"Then it's a date," Lilly said as she planted a small kiss on Miley's lips, which grew into slightly more than a small kiss.

"That's hot," James commented from the other side of the table. "Don't you agree Oliver?" Miley and Lilly pulled apart in time to see Oliver's nod yes. Miley rolled her eyes at them.

"What? We're two 15 year old boys! Of course seeing two girls kiss is hot to us," Oliver exclaimed with a grin on his face. James nodded and high-fived Oliver. Miley shook her head.

"Boys...," she muttered. Lilly looked up at Miley.

"C'mon though, you have to admit two girls kissing is hot." Miley raised an eyebrow. "Honey, you know it is."

Miley laughed.

"Ok, I admit, it is hot." Lilly raised her hands in triumph.

"Yes! I win," she exclaimed.

Miley rolled her eyes yet again. At that moment the bell rang signaling the end of lunch.

After school found both girls in Miley's room. They were supposed to be doing homework but the backpacks lay forgotten on the floor, half consumed by Miley's bed. Instead the two were sprawled on the bed. Miley sprang up and put her hands to her face.

"Achoo!" Miley sneezed loudly into her cupped hands. There was a slight pause before the sneeze was followed up by another, and another, and another, and even a fourth one. Lilly raised her eyebrows as Miley finally ended on her sixth.

"Wow, bless you. Are you okay?" she asked. Miley shook her head.

"No I think I'm getting sick. I've been feeling bad all day actually." Miley answered. Her voice sounded different. She made a face as she heard herself.

"You should have told me Love. I would've taken you to the nurse's office," Lilly chided. Miley pouted.

"I know but I didn't want to go home. I wanted to stay with you," she said as she leaned back against the pillows. Lilly moved up on the bed and propped herself up with her elbows.

"You're with me all the time though."

"But it never seems to be enough," Miley said. Lilly smiled.

"Still, if you're feeling sick you should tell me. You know I'd come rushing to check on you as soon as possible."

"Time would go by too slow." Lilly sighed.

"You're so argumentive," she joked.

"But you still love me," Miley said with a smug grin.

"That I do," Lilly said as she gave Miley a kiss on her forehead. "Oh, wow Hun, you're burning up!"

Miley threw herself back on the pillow with an aggravated sigh.

"Well, you're going to have to stay home tomorrow," Lilly declared.

"What? Why?" Miley questioned.

"You're sick," Lilly stated matter-of-factly, "There's no way I'm letting you out to get worse."

"But we had plans." Lilly shook her head.

"Plans that I never would have made if I knew you were this sick." Miley crossed her arms and pouted. She didn't want to have to cancel their plans just because she wasn't feeling good. "This sucks hardcore," Lilly continued, "Not only are you sick but I also really wanted to go out and see that movie. Literally, I was counting down the days until it came out."

That made Miley feel worse. She was ruining Lilly's chance to do what she'd been wanting to do. Miley knew there was no chance of Lilly letting her out while her body was being ravaged by a disease. Still, Miley didn't want Lilly to have to give up her night of fun because of her. Maybe Lilly could go with someone else, although Miley really wanted to be that someone. Miley voiced her idea out loud.

"But I wanted to go with you," Lilly complained. "Besides, who would I take?"

"Believe me, so did I," Miley muttered. "Oliver, maybe? What about James?"

"Oliver's busy tomorrow. Something with his old man or something. And James..." Lilly trailed off. She didn't want to think about what could happen if she were alone with James yet again.

"Well I'd just hate for you to give up your weekend because of me," Miley said.

"We can just go when you get better," Lilly suggested.

"No, you go ahead as planned with whoever else you choose. We'll have our own date afterwards," Miley ended. Lilly gave up and sighed. Looks like James was getting a free date with Lilly.

The next morning had Lilly leaning against her locker alone. Both her and Miley's dad had forced Miley to stay home. Miley had agreed with bad humor. Lilly sighed. She hated those rare days when she had to be away from Miley. Lilly checked the time. 7:40. She hoped Miley was getting her sleep. Maybe at lunch she would call to make sure Miley took her medicine.

"Do I even exist?" inquired a voice next to her.

"What?" Lilly responded as she turned to her left to see James standing there. He looked half amused and half annoyed.

"I've been talking to you but all you've been doing is staring at that clock." James put a hand over his heart. "You hurt my feelings." Lilly traced a tear trail down her face.

"Boo hoo for you."

"Ouch, that's cold."

"I'll buy you a sweater," Lilly joked. James bowed his head.

"But that's not what I wanted."

"Ok, how about this? We go to the movies together." James' head snapped up instantly.

"Today? Just the two of us?" Lilly nodded. His face lit up briefly then turned to suspicion. "Why?"

"Well I was supposed to go with Miley but she's really sick. I wanted to wait until she got better but she told me to go ahead without her. I don't want to go alone though so would you care to tag along?"

"Sweet! Sure, what time," James accepted.

"At 7, I'll meet you there." James nodded. There the bell rang.

"Looking forward to it." They both stood there for a moment. "Mind if I walk you to class?" He offered. Lilly shook her head and the two walked off together.

It was nearing seven o' clock and Lilly was ransacking her closet. She looked through everything trying to find something suitable to wear. She wanted to look good. She didn't understand why. After all, it was just James she was going with and it's not like it was a date or anything. So why was she stressing over not finding anything good enough. Lilly's phone vibrated on the dresser. She walked over to pick it up.

Are you ready?

It was a text from James. Lilly glanced at the clock. 6:40. She needed to leave right now if she wanted to get there on time. She snatched up a red v-necked t-shit with a white under shirt and quickly threw it on. She shimmied out of the jeans she had been wearing and strapped on a different pair. A quick look in the mirror to check her hair and she was gone.

"Bye Mom! I'll be back later. If you need me, call me," she called as she ran out the door.

It was a good thing she lived fairly close to the theater or she would have been late. She scanned around quickly and spotted James waiting by the ticket booth. He happened to look up at that exact moment. An automatic smile played at both their lips. He looked rather nice. Lilly walked up to him.

"Did you buy your ticket already?" He nodded and held up two tickets.

"Bought one for you two," He said with a smile.

"You didn't have to do that you know," Lilly said bashfully. He shrugged.

"I know but I wanted to. My mom always tells me to be a gentleman," He said with a small bow as he held the door open for her. Lilly blushed slightly.

"Why, thank you kind sir," She responded with a curtsy before walking through the open door.

James chuckled and followed her in. The drinks and snacks were quickly paid for and the two headed off for the theater where the movie was being shown. They argued a little over where to sit; James wanted to sit up front, very close to the screen but Lilly preferred to sit near the middle row. Eventually James let Lilly have her way. They had barely sat down when the lights turned down. The room was swallowed in darkness for a brief moment before the previews started.

"Chill Lilly, it's only a preview," James whispered when Lilly yipped loudly.

"I wasn't scared," she insisted, "I just think they would be a good movie."

"So you want to see it when it comes out?" Her eyes widened and her head shook wildly. "Didn't think so." James smirked.

The previews were done and the movie was finally rolling. Right off the bat this movie had laughs. Both of them were in hysterics before 30 minutes had even passed. Lilly was so focused on the movie that it took her a while to realize that James had only gotten one straw for the drink that they both shared. She wondered if maybe she was supposed to buy her own. But he had offered her some so maybe he had planned it. She decided to forget about it. It was just a drink, big deal.

A gust of air blew down from the air conditioner right above her. She shivered. It was like an artic blast. Well, it was more likely to be around 70 degrees but to Lilly it felt like a lot more. Beside her, James noticed her shaking. He put his arm around her shoulders and she automatically leaned in. He was cheerfully warm. The way Lilly leaned, her head was pressed against his chest. She could hear every breath he took and his heartbeat.

Lilly took a deep breath and tried to breathe with him. He smelled good, she noticed. Her lips transformed into a smile. This actually felt nice. Lilly noticed that after every second heartbeat James' heart skipped a beat. It wasn't doing that before. Now his heart was beating faster. Was she missing something in the movie? Just as she was about to turn her head she felt his fingers on her chin. He tilted her head up and looked at her.

His lips were on hers now. Lightly pressing, almost asking as if this was ok. It was gentle, too gentle, and Lilly was shocked to realize that she wanted more. Lilly moved her lips and his followed suit. They were moving in unison, dancing, hearts pounding and emotions flowing through them that were unknown. Lilly felt relief, like if some pent up frustration was suddenly released in all this and she wanted more. It was exhilarating, like a drug. It was almost as good as kissing...

Miley. Lilly jolted backwards, astonished at herself. How did she allow this to happen? James stared at her with an almost blank face. There was definitely joy upon his face but he was trying to hide it. She could see the restraining effort as he muscles fought to place a smile on his face. A smile she had put there with betrayal. She couldn't take looking into his eyes. Lilly stood up and walked out of the theater. She walked outside into the night and leaned against the wall. She thrust her head backward and winced as the sting of pain touched her.

She gripped her head in her hands. How could she have done that? That was James in there. James, her friend, her skating buddy, not her boyfriend. Miley had trusted her to go to the movies without her and look what she did. She messed it all up. The twisted part was that Lilly had enjoyed it. More than that, she wanted it. She felt like she had needed it. She ran a finger across her lower lip. It tingled. She could still taste his unique flavor lingering on the tips of her tongue. It was unreal, a ghostly touch, but she could almost feel his lips again. Lilly disgusted herself with the yearning that was inside of her. She wanted it again.

The door she had come out of opened and James looked around until he spotted her a few feet away. He slowly walked over to her. His walk looked more like a swagger. Was he a proud man now? The shadow of a confident smirk tried to mask itself. Lilly's disgust in herself deepened. He stopped a few feet from her. Lilly just stared at the ground, her conflicting emotions rampaging within her. She wanted to be in his arms right now, experiencing his lips again. She wanted to be faithful to Miley. She hated herself in this moment. James shuffled uncomfortably now.

"Lilly, look I thin-," He began before she cut him off.

"James, I just want to go home right now. I really don't want to discuss this right now."

He regarded her for a moment before nodding. They walked towards Lilly's house in silence. Both were lost in their thoughts; Both were conflicted. James felt accomplished at having finally kissed Lilly but he felt bad for putting that frown upon her face, for making her guilty. Lilly felt just plain guilty: guilty for liking it, for wanting it, guilty for doing it, guilty for not being faithful. They came to a stop at her drive way. James was uncertain of what to do, as was Lily. She turned away.

"Bye James," she muttered before heading towards her door.

James watched her walk half-way before walking away as well. Lilly stopped beside her front door. It wasn't even close to the time she was expected home and she didn't want to talk to her parents at the moment. She turned away from her house and walked in the direction of-well, anywhere. Anywhere would be good as long as she didn't have to talk to anyone. Her guilt ridden walk led her to her personal hide out, her cave. She sat at the lip of the entrance and stared out to the ocean. How was she going to tell Miley? She had to otherwise it would just make her feel worse until it burst out. The moon shone down weakly on the waves. The moon shone how Lilly felt. She stood up. The sooner she faced this the better.

Miley was startled as she heard a rapping at her balcony door. She looked over and saw nothing. Puzzled, she went over to check it out. Nothing was there. Miley stood wondering for a moment before heading back to her room. As soon as her back was turned something grabbed her. She jumped and would have screamed if the restraints around her had not felt so familiar. She took a deep breath and attempted to turn around.

"Lilly, what are you doing here?" she asked.

There was no way the movie could be over already. She didn't get an answer. Instead, the girl behind her buried her face in Miley's hair. Miley felt a tingle as she always did when her hair was messed with. Both girls moved towards the room simultaneously. Lilly sat down on the bed, bringing Miley with her. Sitting down, Miley was able to turn around and face Lilly. She didn't have to see the look on Lilly's face to know something was wrong but the guilt written on her face confirmed it. Miley lay her hand on Lilly's cheek.

"What's wrong babe?" she asked with concern, her eyes searching. Lilly stayed silent. She found herself unable to maintain eye contact with Miley. "Please tell me."

"I...," was all Lilly managed.

"How was the movie? Did it really end this early?" Lilly grimaced. Miley could see she had struck the source of Lilly's problems.

"We...left early," she whispered. Miley waited; she could see there was more.

"Why? Did James not like the movie or something?" Lilly cringed.

"Umm no. Actually he...," Lilly trailed off. There was no way she was going to be able to do this. She swallowed loudly. Miley picked up on these vibes. She could just feel Lilly's emotions.

"What'd he do?" Miley asked suspiciously. She knew he had been at fault somehow for Lilly's discomfort. Lilly's mouth opened as if to say something. A strange squeak slipped out and she closed her mouth. How does one explain to their girlfriend that they were just kissed by one of their friends and they liked it? It was a near impossibility for her. Miley placed a kiss atop her head. Lilly's heart lurched painfully.

"Please don't," Lilly muttered quietly, not really meaning for Miley to hear.


"Because it makes me feel guilty." Miley's eyes tightened.

"What does that mean?" She inquired.

Lilly glanced at the stones that were Miley's eyes briefly before looking at the floor again. The reason this was so hard was because Lilly knew Miley had a little bit a jealousy problem. It wasn't much and usually it didn't bother either of them. This, however, would throw Miley into an envious swirl. No doubt there would be the ever present rage that accompanies the green sense. For who would not be angered when what was theirs was threatened to be taken away? What worsened the situation was that Miley was already a little wary of James. She never had to say anything; Lilly had caught the looks that were thrown his way whenever he seemed to be acting too friendly with Lilly.

"It means...that there was an act of unfaithfulness tonight. But not on my part, not willingly anyways," Lilly lied slightly. Miley was tensed. "We were watching the movie and I was cold so he pulled me against him. I thought nothing of it but then he...well, he lifted my face up and kissed me. I pushed him back and walked out. He followed and I told him I just wanted to walk home. He walked me home and left but I didn't want to go inside. I figured the best thing to do was to tell you right away."

Miley appeared to be digesting the information. So James had kissed her girl? She had pushed him back then basically went straight to tell her? Well, at least Lilly was being honest and not hiding anything. Miley was content to know that Lilly felt loyal to her. However, she was furious that James would even dare touch someone else's partner, much less her's. Miley stared down at Lilly. She looked repentant. She had not wanted this. She wanted to be faithful to Miley. She didn't want James. Or so Miley thought.

Lilly was anxious as Miley had not yet said a word. She wanted to turn her gaze upon her girlfriend's face but she was to terrified at what she would find there. Would Miley feel betrayed? Would she blame Lilly and think her at fault for James's actions? Could she somehow peer into Lilly's mind and see that disturbing part of her that still called out for the older male? Could Miley sense their bond tainted by Lilly's sick want for another?

Lilly expected Miley to be angry with her. Instead she found herself wrapped in her lover's arms. She was surprised by this embrace but accepted it. This was much better than being yelled at. Lilly pondered why Miley did not seem upset. She explained that she was not mad at Lilly, she was angry with James. Lilly had not been the one to initiate anything so how could she be thought guilty? Lilly disagreed internally. She had been sending James the wrong message by leaning against him in such a manor. Also by kissing him back and melding their lips together in a way that should have been reserved only for Miley. No matter how many comforting words Miley spoke to her, Lilly could not shake off the feeling that she may have just strained their relationship infinitesimally.

A/N: Hate me yes. When was the last time I did this? Too long ago. Well enjoy it while you can. Let's give a little sharing time here. I just asked a girl I've been crushing on for a while out and she turned me down. Ouch, Rejection on my first time ever attempting to ask someone out. Discouraging, no?