Disclaimer: I do not own, nor am I associated with, Hannah Montana.
AN: This is for angellwings, without whom I never would have admitted my love of Lilly/Jackson.
Summer was in full swing and Jackson had somehow found himself working nights at Rico's despite his cushy office job closer to the university. Darn that little devil boy, he did pay well. He was throwing huge parties on the beach every weekend and working Jackson to the bone.
It was sometime around one in the morning and the eldest Stewart sibling had finally finished scrubbing the weenie roaster, rotating the cheese dispensers, counting the remaining sodas for inventory, and cleaning all the trash off the sand around the shack. He quickly closed up and started heading home, eager for his soft, warm bed. But a glance at the ocean stopped him. It was so peaceful out there this early in the morning that he couldn't help but head down to watch the waves roll in. He kicked off his flip flops when he neared the surf and curled his toes around the mushy sand, shivering when the cold salt water hit his ankles.
The moon was waxing near full, bathing the beach in milky light that rippled off the water. The only sounds were a few night birds, the sea rhythmically slapping the shore, and the dull thump of feet hitting sand. Wait, what? Jackson whirled and saw a girl running down the beach towards him. Her dress was whipping around her knees and he could see her shoes hanging limply from her hand. She stumbled, catching herself on her hands and knees but did not rise. Instead she sat in the sand, her long hair falling over her bent face and her shoulders shaking with what could only be quiet sobs.
Jackson winced, not quite knowing what to do. He knew what his dad would say, some cornpone analogy about damsels in distress and the value of a good deed. He sagged, he at least had to go talk to her. He crossed the sand slowly and stopped several feet away, his fuzzy shadow falling over her.
"Hey," he said and she instantly tensed. "Listen, do you -- need a ride somewhere?"
It took a moment but he finally heard her say, "No, just go." The sound was muffled both by the waves crashing behind him and her tears but he would know that voice anywhere.
"Lilly?" he asked, instantly falling to the sand beside her. His arm slid around her shoulders almost of its own accord and, after a moment's hesitation, she fell against his chest. Her crying began anew and he used his sparse experiences with Miley to get him through the next few minutes. He didn't dare rub her back as he was prone to do with his sister, but he did throw out the occasional "it's okay." Only when her crying faded into small hiccups did he venture to ask, "What happened?"
A shudder ran through her and she told him. That jerk Bret had unceremoniously dumped her because she wasn't as fast and loose as girls like Anna March. Jackson silently swore to pay Bret a visit very soon. There was no girl on the planet who deserved such treatment and Bret was going to learn that lesson at the end of Jackson's fist. Before he could finish the violent thought Lilly was pulling away.
"What?" he asked, not quite understanding what was going on.
"Thanks," she said, standing and tucking a lock of hair behind her ear, "for listening and for --" she motioned to the sand beneath her feet. "I'll just -- go home now," she sighed and she turned towards the boardwalk.
"Lilly?" he called, rising and wiping the sand from his knees.
She turned, her eyes shining with moonlight and tears. Her unruly hair and dress blew about her in the faint wind, catching the light and casting strange shadows.
"He doesn't deserve you," Jackson said. She smiled and hurried away, muttering a thanks and something about a missed curfew. He called after her, making her promise to call him when she reached home safely. He sighed heavily, he hadn't expected emotional turmoil on the beach tonight, and headed back towards Rico's. He caught sight of her pale form in the distance as he topped the rise. She was running quickly towards lights that he recognized as her house. Her story and his own words echoed in his mind. Before the thought had even fully formed he muttered, "No one does."
reviews = love