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Miley sat on the stairs, makeup running down her cheeks, mingled with tears. Nothing had gone right. She had lied to Travis. And when they had gone through the revolving door at the same time, she had seen his expression register recognition, surprise, then confusion, and then she had seen it settle on a blank look that Miley couldn't read. It was detached; hollow.
"Travis," she called after him. He whirled around.
"What?" he snapped.
"For what?" Travis asked, hurt. "For lying to me, for pretending to like me, or something else? I don't really want to hear it."
"Only a handful of people know about it. My family, three of my friends from California, and my agent. That's it. It's a pretty well guarded secret."
"Why couldn't you trust me?" he asked, brokenly.
"I wanted to. I really did."
"That doesn't answer my question." Travis said coldly, and walked away.
"Travis!" Miley cried, but as he walked away, she saw her father observing the scene from a window above. She ran back inside and up the stairs. Her father met her. "Did you see?" she asked, and he nodded.
Footsteps were heard from above, and as Lorelai came down the stairs, Robbie Ray cut off her path as Miley hurried back down a flight of stairs and sat.
"Hannah has a really complicated life." she heard Robbie Ray tell Lorelai. As the two adults continued talking, Miley knew that her dad was making a huge sacrifice for her. "I'm just sorting through some family stuff with Miley right now, and I don't really have a place right now for a relationship."
Miley's heart shattered as Lorelai took a step back from Robbie Ray. Miley couldn't see her, but she could hear the confusion and hurt in her voice. "Okay." Lorelai said. It was the same confusion and hurt that laced Travis's face and words. It was the expression worn by those fooled by Hannah Montana, and it broke Miley's heart.
She and her dad drove in silence back to the ranch. He knew that she was too upset to receive a lecture about ducking in and out of the dinner. He also knew that the look on Travis's face had been punishment enough.
Once back in her room, Miley carefully stowed the Hannah wig in her makeup box and changed into her pajamas. She slipped under the covers of her bed and cried. She heard a soft tap on the door.
"Miley?" It was Lorelai.
"Yeah?" Miley responded.
"May I come in?" Lorelai asked.
"I don't know what to do, Miley." Lorelai admitted as she sat on the edge of the bed. "This afternoon was such a disaster. Everything went wrong. I guess you should be glad you couldn't go."
"Well, long story short, Hannah Montana was running in and out of dinner every ten minutes, looking more and more worn out every time she came back, your father was trying to keep her there, your cousin's ferret got out, things caught fire, it was a total disaster!"
"Then what happened?" Miley asked, knowing all too well what had transpired in the stairwell.
"I left to find your dad, who had disappeared, and I was trying to tell him what had happened, and he defended Hannah Montana! He also said that he wasn't ready for a relationship with me because he had stuff he had to sort out with you." Lorelai paused. "I didn't want to dump this on your doorstep, but I'm thinking you're the only one who can help me."
"I can, but I need to tell you with my dad here." Miley decided. She called downstairs for her dad, and he came running. He stopped in the doorway when he spotted Lorelai. "Dad, come on." Miley called him in. He sat on the windowseat, a safe distance from Lorelai and Miley. "I have something I have to tell you, Lorelai." Miley began. "A secret. Only a few people know this.
"I was in the stairwell when you told my dad you couldn't handle secrets and lies, and I don't blame you." Miley said. "I was in that stairwell, because of this." She walked over to her makeup box and pulled the wig out. She slipped it over her hair and turned to face Lorelai. "I'm Hannah Montana." Miley confessed.
"I'm Hannah. I caused all those problems today, Lorelai, because I couldn't be Miley and Hannah at the same time. I'm so sorry that I embarrassed you. I made a date with...Travis," Miley's breath caught in her throat as she said his name, "and I was changing back and forth between two people and two commitments, which was very wrong of me."
"I'm sorry for coming down so hard on you, Miley." Lorelai said. "And Robbie Ray, I'm very sorry for the way I treated you today."
"It's okay, Lorelai." Robbie Ray nodded. "You had every right to assume the worst."
"That doesn't mean I had a right to act on that right." Lorelai shook her head.
"So are we all friends again?" Miley asked.
"Yes." Lorelai and Robbie Ray laughed as they answered in unison.
"Good." Miley nodded. "Now I need to take care of something."
It took her many hours and loads of paint, but she finished the hen coop. She smiled at the finished product, and held a small ray of hope in her heart that Travis would see it and forgive her.
She didn't get to see him until the concert later on that weekend, because with the sudden notice, everything had been crazy. She waited until the crazy reporter from England had quit his job and returned to the concert with his daughters, and then she and Travis kissed. All was forgiven, all was right in Crowley Corners, and all was right in Miley's world.