Lilly stared intently at Miley. Miley stared intently at the floor. Despite Lilly's continued attempts at luring Miley into conversation, Miley had remained quiet, almost docile.
"Mile, you know you can talk to me." Lilly offered quietly. If she were to be completely honest, Lilly was worried for her friend. The pressures of a double life seemed to be mounting daily. Being Hannah Montana added another dimension of trouble that most teenagers would never have to deal with, a dimension that she could hardly fathom.
"You wouldn't understand." Miley traced a fingernail along the firm lines of the hardwood floor. A large part of her wanted to confide in her best friend – but that same part of her recognized how foolhardy that would be.
The two girls were in Lilly's kitchen. They were seated on the ground – Miley had her knees propped up under her chin while Lilly sat Indian-style across from her. The indigo digital read-out from the oven flickered over from 1:31 a.m. to 1:32.
Lilly reached out cautiously, setting her hand on Miley's wrist. Miley felt a burning heat sear from her stomach up to her cheeks. She twisted her face away, hoping desperately that Lilly hadn't seen the flash of color. Scooting closer, Lilly got a better grip and shook Miley's hand gently.
"Just talk." Lilly prompted. "I don't have to understand. I'll just listen."
"Lilly…" Miley trailed off. She couldn't tell Lilly about the confusing emotions swelling through her being. It was too painful. Somehow, she didn't think she could take the rejection. Had it been anyone else – she shook her head, not allowing her thoughts to go there yet again. She'd spent too much time over the past few months wishing that it were so.
"Miley, I know you've got a lot of pressure… I mean, you're Hannah Montana!" Lilly whispered fiercely. "But you can take it. You're like the strongest person I know. And if you can't, I'm totally here for you."
Miley averted her eyes mutely. Lilly was right on about Hannah adding pressure to her life, but Lilly was missing the real issue of the moment.
Lilly pressed onward, sure she was making some sort of progress. "Just remember, I'll always love you. You're my best friend and nothing will ever change that."
Miley chuckled weakly. If only Lilly knew what was going on inside her head. If only Lilly knew the real reason for Miley's recent behavior. As of late, Miley had become slightly withdrawn. She had stopped being so free with her affection, seeming almost to recoil when someone tried to touch her. Boys flirted with her, yet she ignored all of their advances. Lilly couldn't ignore the signs that there was something going on with her best friend.
"Lilly, look… I'm not ready to talk."
Lilly stared at her pitifully. "Pwease…"
Miley stared dispassionately at Lilly for a few moments, heart racing. Part of her screamed that Lilly wouldn't abandon her for something so silly. Lilly wouldn't hurt her for being in love.
Lilly batted her eyelashes.
That was the last straw. Miley bit her lower lip. She could feel the sweat building on her palms – she dragged them along her pajama bottoms. It was crazy, she knew, to be this nervous over something this small when she was on stage practically every other day performing in front of hoards of people… But Lilly was different. Lilly mattered.
For her part, Lilly waited patiently. She could tell from the way Miley fiddled with a strand of hair that there was something major in the works upstairs. Interrupting now would be a step in the wrong direction. So she bided her time and kept her eyes fixated on Miley's anxious face.
Finally, Miley looked up. Her eyes met Lilly's and Lilly shivered; something had passed between them, something electric that Lilly had never experienced before. Before she could truly decipher the feeling, she was hit with an entirely new one.
Miley leaned forward and tentatively placed her lips on Lilly's. She was in the process of drawing back, when Lilly crashed her lips onto Miley's once more.
It took Lilly a few moments to realize what was happening, to process how she had reacted without thinking. She stiffened a moment, trying to think about what she was doing, if perhaps she was making a mistake – but she found it very hard to concentrate with a pair of soft lips pressed so delectably against her own.
The kiss dragged through the early morning seconds – those seconds were always the longest, Lilly discovered. Though it was fairly chaste as far as kisses went, Lilly felt that it would probably rate as one of the best kisses she'd have in her life. She drew back, hoping Miley wouldn't run but knowing they needed to talk. Thankfully, Miley stayed seated, her eyes wide and hopeful.
"I'm sorry…" Miley whispered. Whereas before her eyes were glued to the floor, now Miley's eyes were trained on Lilly's face. "I know it's late, and I'm your best friend – and I'm a girl, too – so I'm really sorry."
"Don't be." Lilly responded. Her voice was low and her eyes were half shut. Miley didn't quite know what to make of it.
"Are you… okay?" Miley felt much better, in contrast to the almost comatose state of Lilly. Getting that off her chest was like removing the weight of the world from her shoulders.
"Um…" Lilly searched for the right words. "My best friend just kissed me…"
Miley tensed for the blow. On the one hand, Lilly had kissed her in return. But there could be a thousand reasons for that – though her tired brain could not list a single one. She imagined Lilly slapping her, verbally and physically. Losing Lilly would be the worst thing that could ever happen to her. It surpassed even death, she decided melodramatically. But at least she'd had the courage to try… It was a lame consolation prize, but she needed one.
"My best friend just kissed me," Lilly repeated slowly, "and I'm pretty sure I liked it."
Miley stared wordlessly at Lilly. The frown she'd been holding at bay made a complete one-eighty as a smile burst onto her face. "You… don't mind?"
"I know we're both chicks and all, but..." Lilly shrugged, "I guess I never thought about it that way. You're you, I'm me. We're not related. So, I guess there's nothing wrong with it."
Miley heaved a sigh of relief, "You have no idea how good this feels."
Lilly smiled shyly, "Has this been bothering you? And here I thought Hannah was getting to be too much."
Miley wanted to get up and dance, to get to her feet and freak out. Lilly accepted her. A part of her casually mentioned silently that she knew Lilly wouldn't hate her. The part that made her want to jump up and down repeatedly was that not only was Lilly was accepting of her feelings, but it seemed like she was responsive.
"Well… it's not really something that I can just talk about. If I told Oliver, he'd tell you. If I talked to Jackson, he'd be laughing at me as we speak. And daddy…" She shook her head, "I don't really know how daddy would feel about this."
Lilly scooted back a little, putting a few inches between them. Instantly, she regretted the action. Even that little space felt like miles. Miley reached her hand over to Lilly and waited. Picking up on her cue, Lilly took the offering and held it desperately.
"Miley… I don't know what I'm feeling… or why I'm feeling it…" Lilly admitted slowly. She shook her head, causing her hair to cascade around her face. "I mean, just an hour ago we were best friends… what are we now?"
Miley shrugged and tightened her grip on Lilly. "Still best friends, I hope. That doesn't have to change does it? But we could be, I don't know… girlfriends, too?"
"Oh." Lilly pursed her lips a moment, "If that's what you want."
Miley hesitated. "It is… I've wanted this for a while now."
Lilly smiled goofily. "Really?"
Lilly chuckled nervously. She really wanted to sort through the various emotions tumbling through her heart. On the one hand, she suddenly felt a tremendous need to be with Miley that hadn't been there before. It was confusing how one kiss could completely change her life. On the other hand, she'd always loved Miley and this was hardly a rough transition. This just meant she could show her love in other ways. Either way, though, she was just glad Miley had opened up to her.
"Who are we going to tell?" Lilly asked. Her fingers fled to running through her loose blonde hair.
"Other than the world?" Miley beamed. There was nothing quite like have your unrequited love become requited. She pulled Lilly's hand up to her mouth and placed a small kiss on the smooth surface.
"Yeah," Miley agreed. Oliver was a must.
Lilly glanced up at the clock. 2:24. She groaned, "We really need to get to bed before my mom catches us up."
Neither girl moved. They sat on the floor and gazed at each other, both waiting for the other to get up first. Lilly shifted slightly – her ankles were uncomfortable resting on the hard surface so she scooted so that her legs were flat out on the ground. Miley mimicked her but threw her legs on top of Lilly's rather than on the ground.
"You should go to bed." Miley suggested quietly.
"Yeah, you, too." Lilly returned.
Miley shook her head, "What if we move and I wake up and find out this was just a dream?"
"If this is a dream, then I'm glad we're in it together."
Miley glanced around, "It does look real."
"Kiss me?" Lilly asked. "For real this time?"
Miley blushed slightly as she complied. As their lips brushed for the third time, Miley couldn't have been more content. Lilly relaxed into the kiss and slid her hands behind Miley's neck. When they broke again, Lilly nuzzled Miley's neck affectionately. In response, Miley kissed the crown of Lilly's head.
"Thanks for giving me a chance, Lils." Miley yawned, the time of day finally wearing on her. She cuddled Lilly with a small hug before helping her new found girlfriend to her feet.
It was true, Miley would admit it – Being Hannah Montana added a lot of stress to her busy life. But, somehow, having Lilly at her side made it all the more bearable.
A/N: This used to a songfic, but has been edited into a nonsongfic. Interesting, right?