Author's Note: Several readers felt a bit disappointed when I hadn't written a wedding for Jackson and Kaela, so now I get the chance to right that wrong. This idea hit me early today, and I wanted to get it written while the inspiration was still fresh. This oneshot story is set on Easter 2009, about five months after "As I Am, I Take Thee" and almost exactly one year before "This Is Our Life."
Here are my standard disclaimers: I make no claims on any of Disney's, Miley Cyrus', Emily Osment's or Hannah Montana's trademarks or copyrights, and no infringement is intended. This particular story might not contain any explicit femslash, but our two protagonists, Miley and Lilly, are definitely in love and married and I expect them to behave accordingly. If love and affection between two consenting young adults of the same sex bothers you, I suggest you turn right around and find something else to read. Keep any flames to yourself and remember that what our world needs now is more love and acceptance, not more hate. Reviews are always welcomed and appreciated!
by Jo P.
Dreamed I saw a desert rose
Dressed all in ribbons and in bows
Like a siren she calls to me
U2"In God's Country"
"Stop fidgeting, Miley!" Lilly Truscott said as she lightly smacked her wife's hand when she caught her picking at her nails.
"Sorry, Lilly, I'm just so nervous for them," said Miley Truscott. She and Lilly were both seventeen and had just gotten married themselves the previous November. "I mean, in less than an hour my brother will be married, and I just want everything to be perfect."
"Miley, it's never perfect," Lilly said as she walked up behind her wife and wrapped her arms around her, hugging her tightly.
"Our wedding was," Miley said with a smile as she folded her own arms over Lilly's. "And I want Jackson and Kaela to enjoy that feeling."
"Well, I think they're going to enjoy the feeling whether it's perfect or not. I just think it's kinda funny at how opposite this wedding is going to be from our wedding. Well, I mean from Hannah's and Lola's wedding." Lilly paused then said, "But now that I think about it, there are a lot of similarities to this wedding and ours, our private one."
The bride-to-be, Kaela Davis, had been rather taken with the quiet simplicity of Miley's and Lilly's wedding in Niagara Falls. She had also fallen in love with the Tennessee countryside when Jackson had brought her to meet the family at Christmas a few months ago. While bicycling through the Cades Cove national park not far from where Jackson's family lived in Misty Hollow, Kaela had decided on a ceremony that would combine intimacy, tradition, the natural beauty of Tennessee, and a celebration of Easter.
Today, early morning on Easter Sunday 2009, Miley and Lilly were finishing getting ready in a motel just a few minutes from the Cades Cove national park. While the park was normally closed on Easter Sunday, Jackson and Kaela had secured permission from the park rangers to have their wedding conducted in the park today. Kaela had decided to have the ceremony held in one of the old church buildings in the Cove, built well back in the 1800s. It was a spartan church, with hand-hewn wooden pews, a modest podium and a pit for "hot rocks" in the center of the church.
To minimize the risk of a fire and keep the building from filling up with smoke, when it was cold the original inhabitants of the Cove would heat up large rocks in a fire behind the church early before Sunday services. Once the rocks were heated to a glow, tongs were used to carry them inside where they were placed snugly in the recessed earth-lined area in the center of the church. From there they would heat the interior of the small building without any smoke or risk of a fire inside the wooden structure.
Kaela had invited only close family to the ceremony, and her family had flown in the day before. Everyone had gone out to eat last night so both families could get to know each other a bit better, and it seemed to have worked well. Today everyone was eagerly awaiting the ceremony, which explained why Miley and Lilly were hurrying to get ready.
Kaela had told everyone that she absolutely did not want a formal wedding, so instead everyone would be wearing what they would normally wear on an Easter Sunday. Kaela had found a beautiful white dress that she was planning on wearing, and she had taken Jackson to have a suit made for the ceremony. Miley had paid for Jackson's suit, while Lilly had paid for Kaela's dress, both as wedding presents.
"Zip me up, hon?" Lilly asked as she turned around to present her back to Miley. The weather forecast called for it to be fairly warm today, so Lilly had opted to wear a lilac dress with a skirt that fell just below the knee. The soft purple of the dress was accentuated by the pink flowers on the hairclips throughout Lilly's soft blonde hair. Her lilac shoes had been dyed to match the dress, rounding out the very clean spring look.
As Miley zipped up the back of Lilly's dress and fastened the catch at the top of the dress's back, she said, "Okay, Lil, all zipped up." She turned back to the mirror to finish arranging her hair, full of chestnut-colored curls this morning. While she fixed her hair, Lilly finished buttoning the last few buttons on the back of Miley's warm yellow dress, which fell to mid-calf on her. The leather belt crossing Miley's waist and the leather sandals complimented the dress nicely, and Miley had added a small stack of three silver ankle bracelets to her left ankle, much to Lilly's delight.
As Lilly finished buttoning Miley's dress, she leaned forward and whispered in Miley's ear, "I didn't know this until right now, but those ankle bracelets of yours really turn me on."
Miley felt shivers run up her back at Lilly's confession, the warmth of her breath on Miley's neck sending a similar tingle down her spine as well. "Oh really?" she managed to answer as she felt her heart start to beat faster.
"Mmhmm," Lilly mumbled as she kissed Miley's neck.
"Then I guess I can leave them on for later," Miley said with a smile as she turned and put her arms around Lilly.
Lilly's eyes twinkled as she smiled in return. "I think I'd like that. I could play with them while..." Her voice trailed off, as she was lost in the depths of Miley's sea-blue eyes.
"I get the picture," Miley said as she kissed Lilly on the lips. "But we have to hurry, because we still have to drive up there in time for the wedding."
"What time is it?" Lilly asked, turning to look at the clock on the nightstand. "Oh shoot, Miles, it's already seven-thirty! We've got to go!" She released Miley and grabbed their lipstick and a makeup compact while Miley grabbed their car keys and purses. "You driving?"
Miley nodded, then said, "Unless you know a shortcut."
"Ha ha," Lilly said, her voice devoid of all humor.
Fifteen minutes later they were at the gate to the national park. As one of the park rangers walked over to the car, he smiled as he saw their dresses. "I'm guessin' you two are here for the weddin'?" he asked.
"Yeah, Miley and Lilly Truscott," Miley said.
The ranger smiled as he looked at his list. "You two are the last ones, it looks like. Let me get the gate for you." He walked in front of the car to the gate, which he unlocked and swung out of the way. "Have a good one!" he called out as they drove by him.
As they drove along the small road running through the Cove, Lilly was fascinated by the beauty of the open fields along the road. As the sun slowly lit the sky, it gave the impression of being trapped in a painting, saturated with color and detail. At several points she could see groups of deer standing in the fields, most of them taking no interest in the car driving by whatsoever. After a few minutes, they reached a part of the road where several other cars were parked, including a white and orange van. Since the park was closed to visitors today, Miley simply parked the car in the middle of the road like everyone else had done. She and Lilly got out and walked to the van, peeking in the open side door.
"Hey Kae," Miley said as she saw the young bride getting her veil and headpiece just right.
Kaela spun around from looking in the mirror. "Miley, Lilly! Yay, we can get started!"
Lilly laughed shortly. "You ready to get this show on the road, Kaela?"
"Absolutely," Kaela said, her face serious. "You two ready?"
Miley looked at Lilly, then back at Kaela. "We've haven't got on any lipstick or makeup or anything yet."
Kaela reached out and grabbed Miley's arm gently. "Miley. You and Lilly are flat gorgeous. You don't need anything else, I promise you." She looked at their dresses then said, "Oh, and those dresses are breathtaking! Wow, maybe I should have made you two dress down."
All three of them laughed at that, then Kaela's mother Jan came back to the van. "Good morning girls!" she said happily before she turned to Kaela. She just looked at her daughter for a long minute, prompting Kaela to squirm slightly.
"Mom, why are you looking at me like that?" Kaela said, her voice full of concern.
Her mother continued to smile as tears formed in her eyes, then she finally said, "One day you'll understand, Kae. I'm so proud of you, because you've made a great future for yourself. You picked a fine husband, and I think the two of you will have a great life. But today is an ending, in a way."
"Mom, I stopped being a little girl a long time ago," Kaela said as tears began to form in her own eyes.
"We're going to go get in position," Miley said as she and Lilly clasped hands and turned to walk toward the church building where everyone else had gathered, giving Kaela and her mother some privacy.
As Miley and Lilly walked off, Jan turned back to Kaela. "Kae, part of you will always be my little girl," she said. "But yes, I've known you've been a young woman for some time now. If your father was still alive, he'd be very proud of you today."
Kaela leaned forward and hugged her mom. "I know he would too, Mom." She sniffed and wiped at her eyes. "It's a good thing I didn't want to do the whole makeup and hair thing, or this crying would really suck."
The two of them laughed at that statement, then a whistle got their attention. "Ya'll ready down there?" Robbie Ray's voice called out.
"I guess it's time, huh?" Kaela said, looking at her mother.
"I guess it is," Jan replied before she gave Kaela another hug and a kiss on the forehead. She helped Kaela out of the van, then she closed the door. As they walked up the small hill to the church, they could hear Robbie Ray's guitar and his sister Dolly's voice as they sang "I Will Always Love You." The song finished as Kaela and Jan reached the door of the church, where Miley and Lilly were waiting on them. Robbie Ray and Dolly went in first, then Miley and Lilly, and finally Jan and then Kaela.
As Miley and Lilly entered the small building, they looked around at the handful of people sitting on the hard wooden pews. On the bride's side, Kaela's grandparents on her mother's side and her father's mother were present, having flown down from Seattle and Montana respectively. On the groom's side, Jackson's grandmother Ruthie, his aunt Dolly, and his uncle Bobby Ray and his wife Noel sat on the pews with Jackson's cousin Luanne. At the front of the church stood the minister, Robbie Ray and Jackson himself. Miley and Lilly walked forward until they stood opposite Jackson and Robbie Ray. As Kaela entered, Robbie Ray began to play the wedding march on his guitar, continuing until Kaela had reached the front of the church. Once she was in position, Robbie Ray leaned the guitar against the wall and moved to stand behind Jackson.
The minister said, "Dearly beloved, we are here today to celebrate the union of man and woman in holy matrimony. Recognized for thousands of years, marriage is a sacred uniting of two souls in a pledge of dedication and commitment to each other for all time."
Miley and Lilly smiled at each other. They had been pleased during the rehearsal yesterday when they heard that part of the ceremony, and hearing it again felt just as good the second time around.
"Who gives this woman away today?" the minister asked, gesturing toward Kaela.
"I do," Jan said as she released Kaela's hand and handed it to Jackson as he stepped forward. Jan then sat down, fighting back tears.
Jackson and Kaela stepped up to the minister as he spoke. "Our couple has asked for a simple ceremony to be held here in the beauty of the Tennessee Valley, reflecting the honest simplicity of an earlier time." He turned to Jackson. "Do you, Jackson Rod Stewart, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, to honor and protect, to love and cherish, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?"
"I do," Jackson said, smiling as his own eyes threatened to water.
The minister smiled and turned to face Kaela. "And do you, Kaela Nicole Davis, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, to honor and protect, to love and cherish, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?"
Kaela nodded her head and said, "I do."
"The rings, please," the minister said. Robbie Ray handed Jackson the ring for Kaela, while Lilly handed Kaela her ring for Jackson. As the two turned back around, they looked into each other's eyes as the minister spoke. "Jackson, please repeat after me as you place the ring on Kaela's finger. With this ring I thee wed..."
"With this ring I thee wed," Jackson said, following the minister's words as he slid the ring onto Kaela's finger.
"...and pledge my love and devotion to you..."
"And pledge my love and devotion to you,"
"...as long as we both shall live."
"As long as we both shall live." Jackson smiled. He was fighting hard to keep from crying, but it was a difficult struggle.
"Kaela?" the minister said, prompting her to take Jackson's left hand in her hands. "With this ring I thee wed..."
"With this ring I thee wed," Kaela said, sliding the ring onto Jackson's finger.
"...and pledge my love and devotion to you..."
"And pledge my love and devotion to you,"
"...as long as we both shall live."
"As long as we both shall live." Kaela had a few tears running down her cheeks, but she was doing a fine job of holding it together as well.
The minister closed his book. "You may now kiss the bride," he said to Jackson. As everyone in the small church clapped and cheered, Jackson and Kaela kissed for long seconds, finally parting when they needed breath. The minister loudly proclaimed, "By the power invested in me by the state of Tennessee, I declare you husband and wife. Everyone, I give you Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and Kaela Stewart!"
After the cheering, several pictures were taken by just about everyone, capturing all those present at the ceremony in nearly every possible combination. One particular picture with Miley and Lilly standing next to Kaela and Robbie Ray standing next to Jackson would find itself atop the dresser in Miley's and Lilly's bedroom for many years to come.
Another picture that would find a place in Miley's and Lilly's room was that of the bride tossing the bouquet. Kaela's mother, grandmother and Jackson's grandmother had all elected to skip the bouquet tossing, leaving Luanne the only woman present who had never married. When Kaela realized it was just the two of them, she turned and flung the bouquet at Luanne like throwing a tomahawk, forcing the young woman to either catch it or eat it. The picture of them taken by Jan managed to catch the flowers in mid-air as Luanne laughingly screamed at Kaela to not throw the bouquet at her, to no avail.
As the picture taking began to wind down, Miley and Lilly walked slowly back down the road, hand in hand. "I loved that wedding," Lilly said. "It was so sweet and simple."
"Yeah," Miley said. "It really fit them."
"But I loved ours too, Miles."
Miley smiled as they looked into each other's eyes and stopped. "Ours was perfect for us. Just like you're perfect for me, Lilly."
Lilly opened her mouth to say something when a loud, gibbering noise erupted from the woods behind her, making her shriek and run to hide behind Miley. "Holy cow, Miley! What was that?" she said, peeking over Miley's shoulder.
Miley laughed quietly. "Lilly, it's a wild turkey. See?" She pointed at the rather large bird walking along the ground. As she pointed, the bird helpfully stuck its head out and gobbled again, producing the exact same sound that had frightened Lilly.
"I didn't know turkeys sounded like that," Lilly said in a subdued voice. "Is it gonna attack us?"
"Probably not, but if it does, just smack it on the side of its head. That'll turn it around."
Lilly turned Miley around slightly. "You'd hit a poor little bird like that?"
"If it charged at us, sure. When they smack you with their wings, it hurts!" Just then the turkey gobbled again, making Lilly jump.
"Okay, forget I said that!" said Lilly. "Smack it good if it attacks us!" She began making shooing motions with her hand as she said, "Go, bird! Go find something else to eat!"
They watched the turkey turn and walk off, then Miley put her arms around Lilly as the clouds finally parted, letting the sun shine through on the field next to them. "You are something else, Lilly Truscott, you know that?" Miley said with a warm smile on her face as she held Lilly close to her.
In response, Lilly grinned and put her own arms on Miley's shoulders, lacing her fingers behind Miley's neck. "What I am, Miley Truscott, is yours," she answered. "Now let's get back to the hotel so I can play with your incredibly sexy ankle bracelets while we make love."
They kissed in the middle of the narrow road, oblivious to everything but each other. Finally they pulled apart, each licking her lips as she craved more. "Maybe I should wear the ankle bracelets more often," Miley said with a wink.
Lilly looked back into Miley's eyes as she returned her wife's smile. "Maybe you should."
Author's Afterword: Don't worry, I promise to get right back onto chapter 3 of "This Is Our Life." I just got this idea in my head this morning, and I had to put it into writing today. Hope you enjoy it!
-- Jo --