John, don't worry, I've got some great ideas in the works for their powers in the next fic...and let me tell you, you aren't totally far off. Leaving for Indianapolis in the morning, but wanted to post the last chapter before the long week-end. Enjoy.

Chapter 18 - Ever Ever After

Malibu, California; November 26, 2007

Miley came down the stairs after getting a real shower and putting on normal clothes. How she hated spending time in the hospital.

She walked over and joined her father on the couch and snuggled up next to him, sighing contentedly.

Robbie Ray wrapped an arm around his little girl and smiled. "How're you feeling Bud?" he asked gently. The hospital had given her a clean bill of health, but emotionally it had been a rough couple of days.

"Fine daddy." she sighed into his shoulder.

'She's anything but fine.' the country singer thought. "You sure kiddo?" he asked again stretching his neck backwards to catch her eye.

Looking at her father's face, she realized that she hadn't discussed her new power with him. Wanting to make sure that he understood what his little girl was now capable of, she asked him a question of her own. "Daddy, did Jackson tell you what we discovered at the hospital yesterday?"

'Like what? That my baby girl can read minds now?' he thought with a devilish glint in his eye.

Miley slowly shook her head. "I'll take that as a yes." she said with a chuckle, at the look on her father's face.

Robbie Ray smiled and decided he would try and do damage control for Jackson just in case she was mad at him for telling him her new secret. "Don't be mad at him, but he was pretty upset with himself last night." he explained.

Miley raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Why?"

Robbie smiled brightly at his little girl. "That boy wants you girls together so bad, he was terrified he had screwed it up by letting you find out from him."

Miley was slightly confused. "Wait. I thought that Jackson liked Lilly?"

Robbie Ray shook his head. How these kids managed to spend all their time together and still not know what the other was thinking was beyond him. "Sure, like a sister, but did you ever figure out why you were upset about that idea in the first place?" he asked.

Miley narrowed her eyes at her father. What was it about the men in her life? "Cause I was jealous?" she responded tentatively.

Robbie rolled his wrist in front of her face trying to get her to finish her thought process. "Of what?" he continued.

She was determined, it was a conspiracy. Miley grumbled and pulled away from her father and gruffly crossed her arms. "That Jackson would have her in a way that I wouldn't." she huffed.

Robbie smiled. His baby girl was finally catching up with the rest of the world. "You love her, don't you?" he asked.

Miley rolled her neck and stood up from the couch. "Of course I love her. I just wasn't sure if I loved her…like that." she lamely finished.

"And what about now?" he said, leaning forward on the couch.

Miley shrugged her shoulders helplessly. "Maybe? I'm not sure." she told him truthfully.

Their conversation was interrupted by the door bell ringing. They could both seeing Lilly standing outside the front door nervous as all get out.

Robbie checked his watch then stood up from the couch. "Well, I hope you figure it out. I've got a brunch date, so I'll be back later." He walked forward and gave his little girl a big hug. "Jackson is working. So you two have some privacy so you can talk." he whispered in her ear, then released her and headed for the front door.

"Thanks daddy." Miley told him softly.

Robbie Ray waved the blonde in as he walked towards the front door. Lilly watched as Robbie Ray grabbed his coat, which obviously meant he was going to leave them alone to talk in private. "Thank you." she said, leaning in to give the older man a hug. A small part of her was terrified that this would be her last chance to do so.

Robbie Ray leaned down and gave her a quick kiss on top of her head. "Don't give up yet little lady." he whispered. He gave the blonde one last squeeze and headed out the door.

Miley watched the interplay between her father and her best friend and shook her head. She looked up at the blonde. "Is there any man in my life that you don't have wrapped around your finger?" she inquired.

Lilly was unsure how to interpret Miley's question, so she simply opted for apologizing instead. "Sorry." she mumbled.

Miley rolled her eyes at the blonde. Clearly, neither one of them knew what to do in this situation. It was something new for both of them. The girls stared at each other in silence for several seconds. Neither one of them wanting to make the first move.

Finally, Lilly could stand it no longer, rocking back on her heels, she let her mouth wander. "So, what've you been thinking about?" As soon as she'd finished the sentence, she reached up and smacked herself in the forehead. How lame.

Miley smiled sadly at the blonde's actions. "How messed up this whole situation has become." she answered softly, half turning away from the blonde.

Lilly threw up her hands. As usual, her willingness to avoid confrontation came to the forefront. "I'm sorry. You know what, let's just forget the whole thing. I don't want you to be uncomfortable."

Miley put a hand up to her face and covered one eye. "God, can you stop being you for one minute." she shouted back at the surfer.

Lilly was dumbfounded to say the least. "I, don't understand." she replied.

Miley faced the blonde directly. "It's not always about what I want." she declared.

Lilly was afraid to verbally respond to Miley's statement. In her mind she thought, 'Yes, it is.'

Miley narrowed her eyes at the blonde. "Don't argue with me." she snapped.

She opened her mouth to protest, then realized what had happened. "I didn't say…um, right." she closed her mouth, and stared at the floor under her feet.

Miley walked over to the blonde and dragged her by the arm to sit on the couch. "Oliver told me about Jake." she admitted.

Lilly rolled her eyes. "What a doughnut."

Miley reached for her hand and held it between her own. "Why didn't you tell me?" she asked sincerely.

Lilly sighed and counted off on her other hand all the reasons why she didn't tell Miley. "You would have been mad that I threatened Jake. You would have been mad that I used my power. And you would have been mad at me for getting involved with something that didn't concern me." she paused to look back at the brunette. "Did I miss anything?" she asked sarcastically.

Miley released Lilly's hand, sat forward and dropped her head to rest in her own hands. "When I think of all the things you have done for me time and time again, do you know how it makes me feel?" she asked.

Lilly shrugged. "Protected?" she guessed.

Miley picked her head up and turned back to the blonde. "Unworthy."

Lilly was confused by her response. "Huh? Why?"

"Because all you do is give. And all I do is take." she explained, pointing between the two of them.

Lilly closed her eyes and dropped her head. "I'm sorry. That's just how I am." she apologized softly.

Miley reached over and put a hand under the blonde's chin. She gently tipped her head back until the blonde opened her eyes. "And I would never ask you to change who you are."

Lilly shuddered and took a deep breath. "Then what do you want from me?" she asked, terrified of the answer.

Miley took a deep breath of her own, gathering her courage. She ran an encouraging thumb over Lilly's right cheek. "Show me how to love you like that." the singer told her softly.

Lilly was stunned. Rejection she had well prepared herself to face, so much so, that possible acceptance left her panic stricken. "W-what?" was all she could manage to say.

Miley smiled. "Like right now, what do you want more than anything else?" she asked the blonde.

Lilly couldn't get the word out of her mouth, but she couldn't stop her mind from thinking it. 'You.' she thought simply.

Miley blushed and turned her head slightly, which was all the indication the blonde needed that she had heard her.

Lilly pulled away from the brunette and quickly stood up. "Oh my god. I'm sorry." she said, slowly backing away from the couch.

"Oh no you don't!" Miley shouted at the retreating blonde.

Miley waved the chair closest to the door into the blonde's path. As Lilly continued to back peddle, her legs came into contact with the chair, and abruptly sat back down.

Miley immediately jumped up from the couch and walked over to the chair and stood above Lilly. The singer placed a hand on each arm of the chair, relatively trapping the blonde in place. "No more disappearing acts." she said, staring into the surfer's eyes. "We face this here and now. Together." she said, her eyes flashing with determination.

Lilly stared into the depths of the brown eyes she loved so much and knew there was only one thing left to do. Lilly felt like she had come to the edge of a cliff. It was either time to fly away or fall painfully hard. She couldn't be sure that she was making the right decision, but after all this time, she just had to find out which it would be. Even if it cost her everything in the end. 'I am gonna regret this.' she thought.

Miley glared at her best friend after hearing that thought. "What're you gonna do?" she demanded.

Lilly smiled, ready to make the leap at last. "Let me up. And I'll show you." she answered calmly.

Miley gave her one last glare as she pulled away from the chair and stood up. "Don't you dare run." she warned the blonde.

Lilly grinned like a mad hatter. "I won't. I promise." she vowed as she stood up. Words only seemed to get in the way at this point. It was time to take action.

Miley was slightly unnerved at the sudden change in her best friend's demeanor. The blonde suddenly seemed calm and relaxed. She seemed to stand straighter with a sudden confidence of unknown origin. It was different, and

Lilly quickly closed the distance between herself and the singer, grabbed the back of her neck and slammed their mouths together.

At first, Miley didn't respond to the contact, too much in shock to do much else other than stand there. After a few seconds, Miley's brain started to process how her body was responding to the blonde. Her heart was hammering in her chest, her stomach felt tight, and she suddenly felt an ache inside herself that she had never experienced before. She had never had this response to anyone else…not even Jake Ryan, whom she thought she was in love with at one time.

After a few precious seconds, Miley moaned at the delicious contact between them. She began to appreciate the feel on Lilly's rock hard body pushed up against hers in all the right places. The singer snaked her hands around the blonde's back and pulled her more into the kiss. Lilly's other arm went around her back and slowly ran up and down the singer's spine.

After a few minutes, Miley finally broke away panting. "How could I have been so blind?" she wondered.

Lilly wasn't expecting that as a response to her actions. "What?" she asked in confusion.

"All those times you were upset and wouldn't tell me why…it was because of me." she whispered sadly. It made sense to her now. She had been so blind. Jackson. Oliver. Their parents. Everyone saw it. Everyone had known. Everyone but her.

Lilly grinned madly. She had just done what she had wanted to do for months. "It doesn't matter anymore." she said, gently stroking her face. "All the pain was worth it. For you. For us." she promised the brunette.

Miley closed her eyes as she savored the intimate contact between them. "You're incredible. What wouldn't you do for me?" she softly asked.

Lilly leaned in a placed a gentle kiss on the singer's lips. "I'd do anything for you." she swore against the soft lips.

Miley opened her eyes. "I believe you." she said as she slid her arms up around the blonde's neck. "I just wish I had seen this sooner."

Lilly tipped her head forward and touched it against the singer's. "A wise woman once wrote, They say that good things take time." she explained with a smile.

"But really great things happen in the blink of an eye." Miley added, continuing the lyrics, then shook her head in regret. "But I wasted so much time."

Lilly grinned madly once again. "It doesn't matter anymore." she said, shaking her head. 'You're all that matters.' she thought.

Miley smiled as she read the blonde's thoughts. "I think I'm going to like this new power." she said mischievously.

Lilly suddenly became serious as she looked at the brunette. "Yeah, but I think you need to practice it."

"Really?" she said, raising her eyebrows in question. The blonde simply nodded. "Like right now?" the singer reiterated. Once more the blonde merely nodded.

'Stop asking questions and kiss me.' the blonde thought.

Miley leaned in, happy to oblige. She pushed the surfer back onto the couch then straddled her waist. She leaned in and captured her mouth in a fiery kiss.

As things started to heat up, neither girl noticed the front door opening.

"Woah nelly!" Robbie Ray shouted as he took in the sight of his little girl making out on the couch. With her new girlfriend...he hoped.

"Robbie? What's wrong?" asked Heather as she entered behind him.

It took a moment, but finally the voices clicked in the girls' heads. "Dad!" Miley shouted as she jumped off of Lilly's lap to the other end of the couch.

"Mom!" Lilly whined, clearly much less horrified by her mother's presence than Miley was at her father's.

Heather crossed her arms and grinned smugly. "Glad to see you remember who we are." she commented sarcastically.

"Anything you want to tell us?" Robbie Ray said, hands on his hips, tapping his foot, waiting for an explanation from the girls.

Miley leaned back over to Lilly and whispered quickly in her ear. "They're not mad at all. Your mother is doing a happy dance in her head."

Lilly tried to stifle a giggle at Miley's inside information. "Well, I was trying to make out with my new girlfriend, but I guess you two are going to ruin that idea for me." she said, wrapping her arms around the brunette's waist and pulling the singer back onto her lap.

Robbie Ray shrugged in defeat. "Well. I guess we could always go upstairs to my bedroom and leave you two alone down here." he said, reaching back to take Heather's hand.

"Good idea." Heather agreed with a smile.

Lilly watched as their parents walked over and climbed the stairs hand in hand. She twisted her head back around to regard her new girlfriend. "Did they just…?" she trailed off leaving the question hanging and allowing Miley to interpret it as she so chose.

Miley got a crazy look on her face before answering. "You think I want to read either of their minds regarding that, you are crazier than Uncle Earl singing show tunes." she said as she leaned back down and wrapped her arms around Lilly's neck once more.

Lilly basked in the feeling of finally having Miley in her arms the way she had so often dreamed. "See, wishes do come true." the blonde happily informed the singer and she leaned forward to give her a quick kiss.

"Why's that?" she asked

The blonde pulled the singer against her for a big hug. "I think you're going to get your happy family after all." 'I love you.'

Miley pulled back and stared in Lilly's eyes to reply to the blonde's unspoken profession. "I love you too." she said, rubbing their noses together. "So what do we do now?"

"Why don't you read my mind? I have a few ideas." Lilly said, winking at her new girlfriend.

Well, this is where this part comes to a close. Hope you enjoyed the ride. As I have said, there is totally a sequel in the works. It will be a more mature fic, cause I am going to be dealing with a lot of adult issues...seeing as how the girls will be getting older and things will be changing. The next fic is going to involve a lot of intimidation, violence, and death. Oh and maybe just a touch of...something special. ;) So, if that is not your thing...thanks for reading this fic. For the rest, see you next time. - Jess

And lastly...a quick shout out to all the wonderful musical talents that were the inspirations to my chapters.

1. Everything is Not What it Seems - Selena Gomez

2. It's Not Just Me - Rascal Flatts

3. How Can I Help You to Say Goodbye - Patty Loveless

4. Heads Carolina, Tails California - Jo Dee Messina

5. When Love is Gone - Martina McBride

6. First Contact - Erasure

7. Take Me There - Rascal Flatts

8. Movin' On Up - The Jefferson's Theme (LOL, I know right?)

9. Don't Laugh At Me - Mark Wills

10. Help You Find Your Way - Michael W. Smith

11. Beautiful Nightmare - Beyonce

12. What Hurts the Most - Rascal Flatts

13. Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler

14. Take Another Little Piece of My Heart - Janis Joplin

15. Miracle - Cascada

16. If You Could Read My Mind - Amber Enriquez, Nate Thalen, Ultra

17. Confessions - Usher

18. Ever Ever After - Carrie Underwood

And of course credit to Emily Osment and Miley Cyrus for their own respective songs.