Author's Note: Hey, Remember that time I wrote a story about the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana characters like junior year of high school and now I'm almost a junior in college? Yeah, me neither. But anyway, I finished it. I don't know if anyone will read it or anything but I'm very proud of myself regardless for finishing it because it's been on my mind for 3 years. I know it's been years. But hey, it's here now. This is the final chapter. I kind of want to do an epilogue but we'll see. Thank you all for reading this. It means a lot to me. It really does. I love you all.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. Please don't sue me.
Chapter 21: Still In Love With You
"Miley, Can you please slow down? Please?" Lilly pleaded as she ran her hands up and down the length of her new red dress, but when Miley swerved quickly into another lane of traffic she clutched a handful of silk between her fingers before grabbing onto the armrest to steady herself.
"No. We are going to be late. And stop touching your dress so much, it's going to wrinkle," Miley commanded.
Lilly instantly let go of her dress and eased her death grip on the leather interior of Miley's car. "At least tell me where we're going."
Miley kept her eyes on the road, honking impatiently at the car in front of them for moving too slowly. "I've never understood why when we are in a hurry everyone and their brother decides it would be a great day to go for a leisurely drive in the fast lane. Seriously, it's ridiculous. I should have called in that favor with the Arizona police department for a Hannah escort…MOVE IT OR LOSE IT, HONDA!" She yelled at the car in front of them and pounded the horn two more times before the car finally veered into a right lane.
Miley's phone started to buzz, the tune of Hannah Montana's One In A Million filling the car. Nick was calling. I said pinch me where's the catch this time?...
"…Leave it to me to mess up today…" Miley verbally punished herself.
…Can't find a single cloud in the sky. Help me before I get used to this guy...
…They say that good things take time…
"…I knew we shouldn't have stopped at the MAC counter to get our makeup done. Neither of us can resist a good clump-free mascara…"
…But really great things happen in the blink of an eye…
"MILEY!" Lilly practically screamed causing Miley to jump in surprise.
…Thought the chances to meet somebody like you were a million to one…
"What?" Miley picked up her phone and ignored the call before tossing it back into the cup holder. Miley diverted her eyes away from the road momentarily to glare at Lilly, eyes wide.
"Where are we going?" Lilly said through her teeth.
Miley's eyes reverted back to the road, "I told you. It's a surprise. But it's not going to be much of a surprise if we don't get there before 7."
"That's in 15 minutes. Where are we going again?"
"No more questions," Miley reached into her purse and pulled out a simple white silk scarf. "Now put this over your eyes so when I pull into the parking lot it's not ruined."
"Are you being serious?" Miley replied only with a stern look to which Lilly quickly and silently took the scarf and tied it around the back of her head in a neat bow. "This better be good…"
"Oh, it will be," Miley answered quickly, in a tone that left Lilly more worried than it did comforted.
"Livin' the dream, baby! Livin' the dream!" The Jonas clan shouted in their pre-show huddle right after their group prayer.
Nick discreetly checked his phone again to see if Miley had texted him that they had arrived like she was supposed to. She hadn't and it was 10 minutes until it was time to go on stage. Nick quickly excused himself dialing Miley's number quickly. It rang and rang and finally went to voicemail. He was getting antsy. He didn't want the plan to fall through and if they were even 5 minutes late it would all be ruined.
And he was beginning to think it might actually work. Joe was actually smiling for the first time in weeks, riding on a temporary high from nailing some of Nick's harder high notes during rehearsal earlier. He was pretty pumped to put on a good show and to prove himself to the fans.
And that was just what they needed for him to get Lilly back.
Nick checked his phone again. 8 minutes to go.
Now if Miley would just get her here then everything can fall into place…
"Nick has been calling like a maniac. What does he want?" Lilly asked, unable to see anything but the eggshell color the light made when hitting the white silk of her blindfold.
"Who knows? He can wait." Miley rolled her eyes at her lie. Did Lilly ever stop asking questions?
Lilly felt the car come to a halt. She heard sound of jingling keys being pulled out of the ignition, Miley's door opening and then slamming shut. Then a couple of seconds later the sound of her own door opening.
Miley grabbed her by the forearm, pulling her out of the car. "Come on! We have to hurry!"
She heard Miley's quick footsteps and tried to keep up. Behind the tap of footsteps she could hear girls, lots of them, chattering, screaming, laughing, nothing coherent though. They were young and high-pitched voices, maybe around her age or younger. She took advantage of her senses, sniffing the air to see if she could identify their location through smell. The air smelled like popcorn...and maybe hotdogs.
Oh please don't tell me she brought me to another carnival. That is all I need. She quickly thought, but said nothing. Miley's fuse was short, especially today.
More talking. More giggling. Top 40 pop hits played in the distance. And after 5 minutes of walking they were finally stationary.
"Can I take this off now?" Lilly reached to remove her blindfold but Miley smacked her hand away.
"Not yet. Just a few minutes longer. Actually just wait here, don't move. I have to make a call real quick. No peeking!" Miley voice became more distant as she backed away and she was left all alone.
She heard more chatter about nonspecific things. She felt the energy off of the people around her and she thought about how stupid she must look standing around with a blindfold on. It was time to see where she was. She heard something rustle near her.
"Miley?" No one said anything. "Miley, I'm taking this blindfold off. I don't care." She took a few steps forward, blindfold still intact, and before she knew it she had stepped onto an uneven surface, her new heels causing her to lean back to try to remain upright. But she overcorrected and felt herself lose balance and begin to fall backwards.
Lilly squeezed her eyes completely shut though she couldn't see anything with the blindfold anyway. And just as she braced herself for impact she felt a set of two strong arms envelop her petite frame.
Lilly reached up and pulled the blindfold off, staring up into a set of ocean blue eyes.
"Hi. I'm Tyler. Is it just me or are you falling for me?" The undeniably cute, blonde boy winked
Just then the lights dimmed and an announcer's voice rang clearly through the speakers, "Let's hear it for the Jonas Brothers!"
The crowd went wild, as three brunette boys' heads popped up through the ever-rising platform on the stage. Miley appeared by Lilly's side with a smile from ear to ear, while Tyler continued to hold her.
Lilly was speechless.
The guitars were picking up into the familiar opening show chords and the drums were creating a steady, continuous beat, though none of it was really audible. The screams were deafening. Joe always liked to leave his ear buds out at least for the first minute or so of the show. Then he could take in the absolute and infinite intensity the fans fed him every night. The outrageous desperation in each scream. The pure joy on their faces. The fact that he was making dreams come true that night. He was making life long memories for them. And they were making them for him.
And then, just as he did his nightly scan of the audience something caught his eye. It was a girl, her hair the exact blonde of Lilly's. She was in the first couple of rows. Her back was facing him, her small body held by another guy. The guy was obviously drinking in the sight of her, the smirk on his face glowing with attraction to her. And for a second Joe felt the impulse of jealousy. But this wasn't Lilly. Lilly was miles and miles away in Malibu.
He shook his head, ignoring the thoughts of Lilly as the platform continued to rise.
"How are we doing tonight?" Joe asked the crowd, their answer was an ample amount of pre-teen pitched scream. "We are the Jonas Brothers!"
Joe hopped up onto the stage before the platform locked into its place, level with the stage. He dance his way across the stage and onto the catwalk. Then he spotted the blonde again. She was getting back onto her feet and out of the guy's arms. She leaned into him briefly, whispering something into his ear. Then she went to turn around, her blonde hair whipping outward.
Then he saw her face and their eyes locked for the briefest second. And just like that his throat went dry and his world became blaringly quiet.
Lilly was feeling furious, sad, heartbroken, and betrayed.
She saw him, and about a million years too soon too. What was this? Miley had planned this out. She was supposed to be helping her get over him, not toting her around to Jonas Brothers concerts.
And she thought she was doing better up until this moment. She has only mildly incorporated Joe into every thought today. She had only somewhat obsessed over what he might be doing at any given second. She had only barely contemplated throwing away her pride and just flat out calling him.
But one second and one look into those chocolate brown eyes was all it took. Her heart swelled and then rebroke as his face registered hers. The look in his eyes was that of confusion and pain. Then she had to turn away, she couldn't bear to look at him any longer.
What was happening? Everything was just too much. She was too close and too far away from Joe. She was feeling too many emotions at once. And it was too damn loud for any of her thoughts to make any sense. So she did the only thing she knew to do. Bolt.
She pushed past Tyler and the other, what seemed like, one hundred people in her row as she tried to make a speedy escape. But just as she reached the aisle she felt Miley grab her wrist and twirl her back around.
"Lily, wait! You can't go. " Miley commanded as she tightened her grip.
"Don't even talk to me. Why would you bring me here? Why would you put me through this?" Lilly glanced toward the stage. The boys had finished their introductions and Joe was off in some other world, probably thinking about how badly he wished Lilly would just disappear. Tears welled up in her eyes.
"I'm sorry. I thought you would both see each other and fall in love again. We thought you would realize that you are meant to be with each other." Miley apologized.
"We?" Lilly noticed Joe was still in a daze as he wandered around the stage.
"Nick and I. I'm sorry Lilly. Please don't be mad."
"It's okay." Lilly mindlessly agreed as she stared at Joe. She hadn't seen him in months and she could feel her body ache for him as she watched his every move. She couldn't take her eyes off of him.
"We can leave if you want."
"No. It's okay. I can handle it. I want to support Nick and Kevin." She felt so disembodied from herself. Her brain was on a completely different wavelength than her heart and who even knew what her body was doing but she knew she didn't want to walk away. Her voice was holding onto her resentment for Joe while her heart slowly mended itself at the sight of him.
And just as they made it back into their seats the show intro died down and in its place the rhythmic beat of Joe's tambourine.
Joe was kind of majorly in freak out mode. His head was spinning, his emotions raging, and his body numbing. He had to glance back at Lilly several times before coming to terms with the fact that she was no hallucination. It was really her .
And for a second he was on cloud nine. She had come out to tell him she loved him no matter what, regardless of how many times he screwed it up…because they just felt right together.
But then he remembered the guy who had been holding her. Mr. Blondie McBlonderson and the smirk on his face as he checked her out. Joe suddenly just wanted to leap out into the crowd and punch him in the face. Had Lilly purposely brought him? Was she bragging about how quickly she could move on? How she could be attracted to Joe's complete and total opposite?
Joe shook the thought. Lilly wasn't that cruel. She couldn't be. But then as he saw Lilly return to her seat after dashing off quickly she saw McBlonderson place his arm around her waist, he felt it in the pit of his stomach as if someone had just socked him. She was with him. He was with her.
And Joe displayed his anger with the intensity of his tambourine playing, and the white knuckled grip on his microphone as he introduced the song he would sing with every bit of sarcasm he had left in him.
"Tonight I'm going to sing a song from our self-titled album. Singing it tonight holds a little bit of irony and a little bit of truth for me. And I hope some of you in the audience can relate." Joe stared directly at Lilly as he introduced the song and she looked up at him with confusion while Blondie smiled up at him, obviously taunting him with the fact that he now has the girl that Joe loved. "It's called Still In Love With You."
The crowd frenzied. The drums started up and the Kevin began the steady rhythm of the guitar at the same pace as Lilly's pounding heart.
Anger and resentment boiled in Joe as he couldn't help but shoot daggers at Lilly's new boyfriend, the only guy who had ever made him feel the slightest bit inferior. He held his mic up to his lips and the crowd continued to scream.
She was all I ever wanted. She was all I ever needed and more. But she walked out my door.
His tone of voice betrayed the bitterness he felt. She was everything he had ever dreamed of and now she was just…gone. He tried to act as if he was singing to the audience but his eyes kept coming back to her, the look on her face was excruciating concern. What did she care? She had enough nerve to wave this guy in his face while his heart still whispered her name with every beat? And now she looked worried about him? Hypocrite.
Yeah, she went away. Left my heart in two. Left me standin' here, singin' all these blues.
He sounded just so…angry. What was wrong with him? Lilly stared at him, pleading to God for understanding as her eyes started to water and Joe started to blur. She inhaled softly, holding her breath for a few seconds before her vision cleared. She couldn't cry. She wouldn't. But what was wrong with him?
You left without a single word, not even sorry.
Joe threw every ounce of himself into the song, trying not to sound so angry or alone or lost. But he knew if he let his frustration slip all that would be left would be bottomless sadness and salty tears. He refused to cry on stage. He let his blood continue to boil and with each pound of the bass drum he felt just a little more rage build up. He stared McBlonderson down until he was looking around, uncomfortable. He motioned to Lilly with his eyes and the dude got the message. He saw his hand slide off of her waist.
It might've hurt worse to hear you say, 'I'm leavin'. Goodbye.'
Lilly saw Joe walking around the stage haphazardly, singing like he could completely relate to the wounded protagonist having been left alone by a girl he loved. She struggled to think clearly through the screams and confusing signals Joe was sending. Then she saw him staring at Tyler pointedly with a look that could kill and she immediately understood. And as she put the pieces together she felt her jaw set and her annoyance grow.
But your smile still makes my heart sing another sad song.
He looked at her with a look that conveyed betrayal, heartache, and rage. But she didn't feel sorry for him. If he was going to jump to conclusions that she was with Tyler and he was going to blame her for it then he could just keep being jealous. After all, he was the one who left her. He was the one who never called. He was to blame for the rubble that was their relationship. She'd never done anything but love him.
I can't forget it. I won't regret it. Cause I'm still in love with you.
The more she thought about how ridiculous this entire thing was the angrier she got. He stood there singing this song about a girl leaving him, believing every word was relevant to his life, while in reality she should have been the one up there singing it. And that's when she decided that she would give Joe Jonas a taste of his own medicine.
We had fun under the sun and when winter came she'd be my angel.
She quickly maneuvered her way across the row and down to the stage. She felt Joe's eyes on her as Kevin motioned for a security guard to let her come up. She glanced over at her shoulder at Joe, who had stopped singing in favor of gawking at her while Nick and Kevin had a smile painted from ear to ear. Lilly on the other hand felt nothing but how mad she was.
She grabbed Kevin's microphone and sauntered up to Joe on the catwalk, who looked dumbfounded. She heard Nick in the background announcing that she was their good friend, Lilly Truscott. The band kept up the song despite the lack of lyrics, waiting for someone to pick it back up.
She put the microphone to her lips and she sang.
We were so in love. Then he went away.
Lilly walked up the catwalk, now singing to the crowd. She placed air quotes around 'in love' and motioned back to Joe when referring to the boy who went away. The crowd was confused but the screams never died down. This was her moment when she could sing the truth and there had never been a more relevant song.
Left my heart in two. Left me standin' here, singin' all these blues.
She turned back toward Joe, walking up to him until there was no doubt that the entire venue knew that she was the scorned girl singing to her ex-boyfriend.
You left without a single word. Not even sorry.
She sang with power and passion, even adding more emotion than the original recording had. She felt herself start to leak hot, angry tears, but she powered through them, intent on singing the rest of the chorus. But then something happened that stopped her. Joe brought his microphone back up to his lips and kept resumed his place in her chorus.
But it might've hurt worse if I had said, I'm leavin'. Goodbye.
She stopped, swatting at the tears running down her face but that only seemed to make room for more to flood her vision. She felt his hand wiping at her tears but she smacked his hand away from her. He didn't get to comfort her. It wasn't fair. He couldn't cause her to hurt this badly and then make her feel better. It didn't work that way.
But your smile still makes my heart sing another sad song.
His persistent hand came back up to her chin, this time to gently lift her face so that her eyes met his. Even through the blur of the tears she could still see the shine of the tears in his eyes. And she could hear that he meant the words that he was singing. But she didn't care, she couldn't. She was mad, damn it. He couldn't even let her have her emotions?
I can't forget it. I won't regret it. Cause I'm in still in love with you.
She choked out a muffled sob through her hand. How could she let this happen? How could Miley do this to her? Why did everything hurt so much when he was saying all the words that she'd wanted to hear from him for months? She suddenly felt claustrophobic on the huge stage, with the spotlights on her, and Joe's eyes boring holes into her skull. She couldn't think or breathe. She needed to get out.
That's when she covered her face with her hand and did her best to run past Joe and back into the crowd where she would head to Miley's car and wait for her to take her home.
"Lilly wait! Lilly! Stop!" Joe called to her, begging her to stop. She couldn't. She forced herself not to turn around and to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But then he started singing the song again and it made her stop.
I don't know what hurts worse, baby. Seeing you with him or being alone, on my own.
She turned around and stared at him up on the stage. She couldn't decide whether to be shocked or even angrier than before. She turned back around and kept walking, determined not to let Joe Jonas ruin anymore of her life.
I know he doesn't love you, baby, not like I did. Oh, what's the point? You're not listening anyway.
She stopped again, whirling back around having finally decided that her emotion of choice would be that of rage. She stomped her foot and walked a few steps toward the stage before realizing she didn't want to be any closer to Joe. She felt the microphone still in her hand and decided she had too much to say to let it remain at her side.
"What is it, Joe? What do you want?" Lilly demanded.
"I want you. I want you and me and us, okay? I made a mistake. But how could you just go out and bring another guy to my concert? What are you trying to do?" Joe shifted his weight on stage. He looked uncomfortable saying all of this in front of his fans, who had become uncharacteristically silent.
Lilly just began laughing incredulously. "You had me, Joe! You had all of me and you could've had me forever if you had wanted. But then you decided that you weren't even man enough to tell me you were going on tour. You just let me believe that you forgot about me. Do you understand how much that hurt? You probably don't because that would require you to care about someone other than yourself for more than five seconds. Bring another guy to your concert? You really think I would do that? Real nice, Joe." She turned back around before remembering that she had one last thing to say. "And for the record, I didn't bring him to the concert. I met him here. The only thing I know about him is his name. Bye Joe. Have a nice life."
She began walking away and Joe panicked. "Lilly, I'm sorry! Lilly, stop! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to—Won't you please just stop for a second?"
She didn't stop and she was almost out of the venue. So he did the only thing that he thought might make her turn around or at least stop for a second. He started singing acapella.
They come and go but they don't know that you are my beautiful
I try to come closer with you, but they all say we won't make it through
But I'll be there forever, you will see that it's better
All our hopes and our dreams will come true
Then just as she was about to exit the venue and exit Joe's life, she stopped. She didn't turn around but she stopped. He kept singing, hoping that she would come back.
I will not disappoint you. I will be right there for you
Till the end, the end of time
Please be mine
She turned around and even from a distance he could see her face was tear-stained. He wanted nothing more than to run up to her and wipe away her tears. He never wanted her to feel this way, especially not because of him. He mentally swore never to hurt her again.
"Lilly, I am so sorry. And I know that that doesn't make up for a thing I've done to you. I know I left without saying anything and I know that I never called. I'm not going to stand here and try to justify it because it's unjustifiable. I had the world, Lilly. I had you. I think about you every day and how badly I messed everything up. But I love you so much and I know that we never exchanged the 'I love you's or anything but I can't let you walk out of this stadium without you knowing that. I love you. I want you back. I know it's too late and I know that you should never give me a chance. I know that I hurt you more than you ever deserved to hurt. But if you just give me another chance, I swear to God that I'll never hurt you again."
He paused and he started to walk off the stage and toward Lilly, who stood frozen in her spot.
"Please, God, just give me another chance. I'll do anything. I promise to think about someone other than myself for five seconds," he smirked at his joke as he came closer and closer to where she stood.
Her heart was racing and her mind was blank and all she could think about was how good he looked tonight and how much she has resisted missing him, when that was all she felt. He closed the gap between them, the microphone still to his lips.
"So what do you say? Give me another chance? Maybe? Probably? Hopefully? You know, If you don't say yes then I'm going to look like a total jerk in front of all these people."
Lilly broke a smile as she lifted her microphone, "Oh, you'll look like a jerk, regardless."
Joe tilted his head back and forth as if to consider it, "True." He pulled the microphone away from his lips before continuing. "Lilly, I'm really sorry. Can you please please please with sugar and laser-tag kisses on top forgive me for the awful things I've done. I will do anything. What do you want? A Lamborghini? A puppy? An unlimited shopping— "
"You," she mused quietly as if a thought escaped her mind. She looked up at him and smiled. "I want you."
Joe's smile spread across his face. "Me? You want me? Well, I don't know. I am in high demand. You see all these ladies? Beggin' for a piece of this."
"Shut up, Jonas."
Then he pulled her against him and without a second thought of all the pre-teen girls surrounding them or the hot water he'd be in with his father later, he wrapped an arm around her waist, tangled a hand into her hair and pressed his lips to hers. He felt her hot skin against his fingers, smelled her familiar scent, and shook at the way her lips massaged his bottom lip in just the right way. And just like that, he knew everything was right again.