A/N: I know, I know, I'm a liar. This didn't come out when I told you it would, but I'm not too late. Anyway, last chapter! I hope you're excited. I had to do a lot of reading over to make sure it worked. I think I've got it how I want it, now. Enjoy!
Disclaimer:In conclusion, I'd like to tell you that all the previous disclaimers were lies. I actually do own Hannah Montana. Shocked, aren't you? Not nearly as shocked as you will be when I tell you this: Just kidding! Hehe...This is why I'm not allowed to write disclaimers.
Chapter 10: Different Back Home
Lily packed her suitcase into Grandma Oken's Cadillac trunk. It was two weeks ago, but she couldn't seem to get that first spark between her and Oliver out of her head. It was just too good to be true. She laughed to herself, remembering the next morning.
Lily poked a fork into a fried egg, blushing to herself over the previous night's events. Oliver was sitting in the chair just next to hers, scooted closer than usual, which his grandmother had definitely made note of. She felt the occasional brush of his arm against hers and the heat radiating from his body. She was intoxicated with it.
Each looked exhausted. She had to say, it wasn't like they'd gotten much sleep. It was a good hour after they left the lighthouse that they were actually sneaking back into the house and into bed.
There was a gentle clinking sound as Mrs. Oken lay a fruit spoon down in her bowl. "So," she looked up from her newspaper, "It seems the old ledge light was up and running last night. How unusual. I don't think that's been running for decades."
Oliver dropped his napkin, and Lily choked a little on the orange juice she had tried to swallow. "What?" Oliver asked weakly.
Lily tried to seem innocent, "The old ledge light? What's that?"
"Oh, hadn't you heard?" Grandma Oken looked suspiciously at the two of them, though a grin was unmistakable, "Portland's Casco bay used to be lit by the old Ram Island Ledge Light, but it was wrecked in a storm, and it was getting old anyway, so they built to the new lighthouse on the coast. But that was ages ago-" she trailed off.
Oliver looked up smartly, hiding his embarrassment, "Was it stormy last night? Maybe something else caused the lighthouse to turn on."
"No, no. It couldn't be," his grandmother picked up her dishes and brought them to the sink to wash them, "The only way to turn that light on is on the inside. There must be a button or something.
Lily flinched and looked rather uncomfortable, Oliver noted, "A button?" she murmured.
"Yes. Someone must have been up there last night," the faucet was turned on and she began scrubbing at her breakfast dishes. "But that doesn't matter now. Tell me, what do you two plan on doing today?" she smiled to herself and pulled a dish towel to dry her bowl.
Oliver took a moment to reconsider the circumstance and cleared his throat. "I think we were going to head up to the library and the café along Shore. What do you think, Lils?"
"Sounds good," she smiled, relieved at the release of the previous topic, and stood to take her dishes to the sink.
Lily slammed the trunk shut and traced the outside of the car back to her door, opening it and slipping inside.
"Do you have everything?" Oliver asked her as she buckled her seatbelt and his grandmother began to pull out of her driveway.
"I think so," she reassured him, rethinking through everything she'd brought with her. She watched out her window, eyes growing glassy as they drove, passing by all the places she'd spent the last four weeks. She'd had a fantastic summer, spending all her time at Oliver's side. She thought back a week or so ago, reminiscing.
"Oliver!" Lily called out, her feet pounding quickly below her over the roots of the forest.
"You're gunna have to catch me!" he shouted back to her, ten or twelve meters ahead and growing. He had said he'd wanted to show her the woods out behind the house, but she hadn't prepared for something quite so exciting.
She pulled herself up over the top of a fallen tree across her path and continued to sprint after him. Having lost track of him, she stopped, looking around to find where he was running now, but there was no more crunching of leaves or pounding of tennis shoes.
"Ooooliiiiveeeeeer," she called out, teasing, 'Where did you goooo?" She crouched down, peering out from behind a wide tree trunk.
Two hands suddenly resting on her shoulders, she jumped, screeching and twirling around.
"Oliver!" she shouted as he grabbed her hand and pulled her farther along the path.
"We're almost there!" he panted, dragging her wildly behind him.
In a moment Lily found herself bumping into Oliver, who'd stopped where he was. "What?" she questioned, sarcastically, "I don't see anything."
"Look harder," he told her, something flashing in his eyes through the words.
She did as she was told, searching the area around her. Finally her eyes fell on a dark hole. A cave, she figured, with the tip of it sticking out from the dirt. It couldn't have risen more than two feet.
"You want me to get in there?" she raised an eyebrow at him, "What's so special about a cave?"
"Nothing, really," he told her, holding out a hand to help her crouch down into it, "I just like it. But isn't it cool? Wait until you get down in it," he reassured her as he pulled out a flashlight.
Lily crouched as low as she was able and slid cautiously into the hole. Just as she found her footing, a second body crawl into the hole and land on top of her. She tumbled to the ground so all she could see was Oliver's large head blocking a few small holes along the cave roof that let in gentle light.
Oliver groaned and looked down at her. They really were in a pretty awkward position, "Sorry," he let out.
"Get off of me, you perv," she laughed at him and mocked pushing him off in disgust.
But Oliver held still. Clearly he'd thought of something, Lily realized. "No," he told her, quite straight-forward.
"What?" Lily was surprised to say the least. What was he thinking?
But then she knew, as Oliver shifted over her so that his hands rested on the ground on either side of her face. He stroked her cheek gently before pushing the hair off her face and diving in for a kiss in one rough swipe.
Lily gasped into his lips, which she felt him smile about. He continued hungrily, and Lily couldn't help but oblige. She took control and flipped him gently over, so he was lying on the ground. She lay flat against him and pulled her lips away, smiling down at the disappointed face beneath her.
"Enjoying yourself?" she breathed.
"Mmhm," came a satisfied Oliver, "Can we continue, now?"
"Hey," he laughed and squirmed beneath her, "That was my line."
Lily giggled and shook her head. She opened her mouth to protest, but Oliver swung his arms around her waist, managing to both turn her so her back was facing his, and fix them both on their sides in one easy swoop.
Oliver pulled her close against him and breathed a gentle "Lily" into her ear.
She blushed, "Spooning in a dark cave, Oliver Oken? Highly inappropriate," she scolded from in front of him.
"Not saying you don't enjoy it, though, are you?"
"No. I said nothing of that sort."
"Well then, good."
It all seemed very sudden that Lily was standing in line at the airport to board their plane. It didn't seem very long ago that she was sitting on Oliver's front step and he was inviting her along in the first place. She loved being up in Maine with Oliver, and she knew it was all going to be different back in Malibu. No privacy, no adventures, no new locations. They couldn't just run off for the afternoon to do as they pleased.
She handed over her ticket to the flight attendant, who scanned it happily, a smile on her face. Lily considered the smile. It was kind of strange, she thought. Usually you can tell a fake smile, but these women had it down. She was pretty convinced, anyway. Were they always genuinely happy?
She stepped forward to meet Oliver at the entrance to the "tube", as he'd told her it was called many times. 'You know,' he'd said, 'that long tunnel that's always cold no matter what the weather that you have to walk through to get to your plane.' She laughed to herself at his blunt style
When she reached him, he looked her very seriously in the eyes. She met his gaze and waited while he looked out into the airport once or twice, then back down the tunnel that awaited them, "Ready?" he asked her solemnly.
She studied his face carefully, tracing the wrinkle between his eyebrows down to the tip of his strong jaw line. He was thinking the same thing; she knew it. She nodded back to him, "Goodbye Maine," she sulked as Oliver took hold of her hand and led her to their plane.
A moment later the pair was sitting one next to the other in row 13 of their flight. Lily let her eyes wander to Oliver, who was fiddling with the earphones they'd given out to the passengers in the pocket behind the seat in front of them.
Lily sat still and closed her eyes. Maybe if she made herself extremely bored, the moment wouldn't pass as quickly. She clasped her hands on her lap and began counting seconds, relishing the feeling of Oliver sitting peacefully next to her, so close.
"Oliver?" she spoke only after a moment, remaining still.
"Hm?" he let his eyebrows run together and narrowed his eyes in her direction, concerned.
Lily let her eyes flutter gently open, and she repositioned herself to face him, ready to face her thoughts more than anything. "I'm not ready to leave."
Oliver blinked, relaxing his face muscles in confusion, "What?"
Lily sighed, "I'm not ready to leave," she said again, this time more to herself than anyone else, "I've loved being here. I don't want summer to end."
Oliver understood and reached forward to grasp her hands in his. He let his thumb rub gently over the backs of her clasped hands and opened his mouth to speak, pausing to reassure himself of his coming words, "I guess I'm not ready to go, either."
The pair looked away, suddenly fascinated with the pattern on their seats. Lily breathed deeply before speaking up, "It's going to change-" she began, but was cut off.
"Why does it have to?" she shifted so that she was facing forward and Oliver followed suit. They weren't trying to ignore one another any longer, but Lily found comfort in the fact that she didn't need to watch him to know how he felt. She could hear it in his voice.
"I don't know," he began, but trailed off immediately. "Society," he said as an afterthought.
"They keep us so wound up," Lily took from his words, "School, friends, sports. Everything."
"There's not a moment to spend with you."
"Not once we get back, anyway. We were so carefree here, Oliver."
"I know," he turned to look at her, placing a hand cautiously on her cheek. She felt face flush but continued to watch him. "I felt like I could do anything here, Lily. It's like I could be whoever I wanted to be, because the only person I had to worry about was you. And Lily," he paused, "It's when I'm with you that I'm most myself."
Lily leaned forward and pecked him lightly on the lips before continuing, touched by his intimacy and thoughtfulness, "We can't just run around Malibu having adventures like we ran around Maine," her thought was interrupted.
The pair looked surprised as the engine below them began to rumble. Oliver felt his eyes reach the floor, but shot back up quickly to meet Lily's. "You know that saying; What happens in Maine stays in Maine? Well I guess no one's ever said it about Maine, but it's time now. I wish it didn't have to be true. Why does it have to be different back home?"
Lily sighed, "We can't do it, Oliver. Being with you up here is just going to turn into a boyfriend-girlfriend kind of thing when we get back. I hate to think that I'm living the last of my happiness now."
"But why does it have to be that way, Lils?" Oliver looked frustrated. No, Lily thought, he looked sad. "I don't want it to be, and neither do you, but for some reason it just can't work there like it's worked up here."
"I just don't know Oliver," she started again, but she remembered something suddenly. Oliver watched as her eyes shot up and she stole her hand back from his, only to clasp it firmly around her other, "Oliver! I forgot it!"
Oliver felt his whole body gravitate towards hers at this news, "Forgot what?"
"The picture. You know, you and me! You put it in my suitcase and I put it up on my dresser so that I could always look at it, and I left it there!" Oliver scooted as close to her as their separated seats would allow him to.
"Lily, you don't need to worry about it," he tried, but was interrupted.
"I guess it just looked so good there. Like it belongs there. Our kid selves, our best selves, belong there." she sighed, looking more upset than she had since they'd arrived.
Oliver, who was surprised to find he completely understood the very obvious metaphor she'd just made, spoke up, "Lily, it can stay there, then."
Her eyes narrowed, "What? How could you say that, Oliver? I love that picture!"
"Lily," he quieted her with the soft mention of her name. "We'll go back."
"We will?" she looked up at him with a confused expression, but with his words registering more with the passing moments, her face brightened, "We will."
"Next summer. The summer after that if you want. It doesn't need to end," as Oliver spoke, the engine of the plane sped up and they could from row 13 one could feel the vehicle start to slowly move forward. "The picture can stay. I want to make sure no one can forget that we were there. I don't want to forget what happened there. It can happen all again when we go back."
"But what about now?" Lily asked him, a shimmer in her eyes Oliver knew better than to suspect as tears.
He grasped her hands tightly in his and looked deeply at her, 'We'll just have to try."
The whispers of his last words echoed in Lily's mind, the last words of Maine, as the plane lifted slowly from the ground, traveling forward to something better, bearings set for Malibu. The Maine sun set overhead.
A/N: It's over, everyone! What do you think? Did the ending work? If you don't think so, please tell me, because I can always rewrite it. Anyway, thanks a million times over for all the dedication on my very first story! I loved all the response. I hope you'll come back to read more of my stories later. I'm thinking Harry Potter up next. Who doesn't love that kid? Haha. Please Review!