A/N: Well, I have to say, I liked the final episode of "Hannah Montana"... if for no other reason than all the Liley goodness at the end! I could've done without the scenes with Oliver & Jesse at the airport though :) So here's my version of how I think the episode should've ended... let me know what you think :)
"WHEREVER I GO" (LILEY EDITION)
Eighteen year old Miley Ray Stewart stood on a lonely balcony in Paris, France, staring sadly out across the City of Lights. She had come to fulfill a dream, and film a movie with Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, but it hadn't turned out the way she'd hoped. For the first time in seven years, her best friend Lilly Truscott wasn't at her side, and Miley had never felt so lonely and lost. Coming to Paris should have been a wonderful dream come true, but without Lilly, it just felt empty.
"You okay, Bud?" her father's warm voice called out. He stepped out onto the balcony beside her. "You look like you're a million miles away…" Miley looked over at her father, and the wounded expression on her face told him all he needed to know.
"I miss Lilly…" Miley said simply.
"I figured as much," Robbie Ray said gently. "Not quite the same without her, is it?" Miley hung her head.
"Without Lilly, nothing feels right anymore," she whispered. "I… I need her in my life, daddy..."
"I know," Robbie Ray replied, and he gently squeezed his daughter's shoulder in a gesture of support. "And I've always known how much Lilly means to you; I'd have to be blind not to." Miley looked up him, frowning slightly
"What are you saying, daddy?" she asked him.
"You've done more, and given up more, for Lilly than for you've ever been willing to do for anyone else," Robbie Ray said carefully. "Not one of your so-called boyfriends has ever meant that much to you. No one has… except Lilly."
"Muffin-lovin' daddy say what?" Miley gasped.
"Well, think about it, bud," Robbie Ray continued. "Who was the first person outside of our family you trusted with the Hannah secret? And who did you end up givin' Hannah up for, in front of the whole world, just so you could go to college togther?"
"I… I…" Miley opened her mouth to argue, to tell her father that he was wrong, but she quickly realized she couldn't. He was right.
"And who are you willin' to give up your whole future for, just so you can stay together?" he asked her softly. Miley's eyes went wide, and she found herself blinking back tears as the truth of what her father was saying washed over her.
"Lilly…" she whispered. "It… it's always been Lilly..." Then and there, she made up her mind.
"This was all a mistake," Miley said softly. She swallowed. "I need to go back to Malibu, daddy…"
"What about the movie bud?" Robbie Ray asked her. In truth, he already had a pretty good idea what Miley was going to say, he simply wanted her to make the right decision on her own.
"I don't care," Miley said quickly. "The movie's not important anymore… Lilly is. I made her a promise, and I'm gonna keep it!" Robbie Ray smiled and hugged his daughter warmly.
"I'm proud of you, bud. I'll make a quick phone call, and we can head to the airport…"
Two days later, back at Stanford University, eighteen year old Lilly Truscott found herself lying on her new dorm room bed, trying in vain to focus on the orientation paperwork she still needed to read through. Her thoughts were far away though, with a certain smiling brunette, and nothing she did or tried to do could tear her thoughts away from the best friend whose absence she was still struggling to deal with.
She looked over at the empty bed beside her, the one that was supposed to have been Miley's, and she sighed. She knew they had both done what was right for each of their lives, and she was happy for Miley and the incredible opportunity she'd been given, but never in her life had she felt so alone. It was though a part of herself was missing. She sadly realized that was most likely because there was, though she tried not to admit it.
Running a weary hand through her long blonde hair, Lilly sighed again and turned back to the paperwork in her hands. An unexpected knock on the door startled her. Tossing the paperwork aside, Lilly stood up, straightened her sweatshirt for a moment and calmly opened the door. When she saw who was standing there waiting for her, her eyes went wide.
It was Miley, still wearing the oversized Stanford sweatshirt her father had bought her, and smiling warmly at her blonde-haired best friend.
"I'm Miley," Miley with a grin, extending her hand. "I'm your new roommate!" It took a moment for Lilly to realize Miley was actually standing there in front of her, and not in Paris, and another moment for the meaning of the brunette's playful greeting to truly sink in.
"Really?" Lilly gasped, her voice filled with hope. Miley smiled and nodded.
"Yes," she whispered, and Lilly practically threw herself into her best friend's arms, hugging her tightly as she squeaked with happiness. Miley hugged her back, closing her eyes as she willed all her love she had for her best friend into the embrace. Finally, Miley gently pulled away.
"You were right," she said softly, looking into her best friend's eyes. "You know, there's gonna be a million concerts and tour and movies, but… I only get one chance to go to college with my best friend." Fighting back tears, Lilly pulled Miley to her for another fierce hug.
"I love you so much…" Miley whispered.
"I know!" Lilly squeaked happily. She wrapped her arms around Miley and held her tightly, unwilling to let her best friend go again. She hadn't truly realized just how much she'd missed Miley until her brunette best friend was in her arms again, and never before had she felt so warm and safe and happy. Whatever it took, she wasn't going to lose Miley again.
"I missed you so much…" Lilly managed through her tears.
"Not as much as I missed you," Miley whispered back.
"Come on," Lilly said softly, gently pulling Miley further into their room. "I wanna get comfy and snuggle with my new roommate!"
"Lilly, wait," Miley said softly. "There's… there's something I have to tell you..." Lilly looked at her, a sudden fear reflected in her soft blue eyes. Surely fate wouldn't be so cruel as to take Miley away from her again, just as they were finally back together?
"I'm not going anywhere, I promise!" Miley said quickly. "I just… I realized something when I was in Paris, sitting around being miserable without you, and I need to tell you…"
"What is it, Miles?" Lilly said, her voice filled with concern. "You know you can tell me anything…" Miley did know that, but there seemed to be no words that could truly convey everything she felt for her blonde-haired best friend; in the end, actions seemed easier. Not even stopping to think, Miley leaned forward and captured Lilly's warm lips with her own.
"M-Miley! W-what the…?" Lilly gasped.
"I'm sorry!" Miley wailed. "Please don't hate me, Lilly! I… I just…!" Lilly instantly calmed Miley with a gentle, reassuring squeeze of her hand.
"I'm not mad Miles, and I could never hate you," Lilly said gently. "I just don't understand… why did you kiss me?"
"Because I love you," Miley said in a small voice. "I never realized it 'til now, but it's always been you, Lilly… everything I've done, it's all been for you…"
"Miley…" Lilly managed, feeling tears welling up in her eyes again. "Miley, that's the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me, but…" She stopped, noticing the vulnerable expression on Miley's face, and for a moment she found herself remembering their brief kiss. An unexpected surge of heat flashed through her.
No way… I can't like Miley like that! I can't!
"Lilly, is… is everything okay?" Miley asked her abruptly. "Why are you starin' at me like that?" When Lilly didn't answer, Miley wrapped her arms around her best friend in another warm hug.
"I'm sorry Lilly, I really am…" Miley whispered. Lilly swallowed. The simple embrace was very much like Miley herself: soft, warm and gentle. Her kiss had been the same way… not at all like Oliver's rough, sloppy kisses. Lilly felt her heartbeat quicken.
"Kiss me again," she whispered.
"What?" Miley replied, positive she'd heard wrong. "Lilly, I said I was sorry about..." Before she could finish her sentence, Lilly's lips were on her again, in a warm and passionate kiss. Miley didn't bother asking why; she simply wrapped her arms around her best friend and pulled her close. Something unspoken passed between them as they continued to kiss, and a hunger neither had ever felt before swept over them. Hands began to wander, and soon clothes were shed as two young women explored something beyond friendship for the very first time…
"Okay, wow…" Miley managed, lying in the tangled sheets on Lilly's bed, Lilly's arms wrapped around her. "That was… that was…"
"That was amazing," Lilly breathed as she snuggled closer against her best friend. Miley grinned.
"You have no idea," she quipped. "I don't believe that just happened though...!"
"I'm sure our neighbors do," Lilly said with a wink.
"Lilly…" Miley said carefully, fighting with herself to stay calm. "Do you realize what we just did? We… we made love! You and me!"
"You and I," Lilly playfully corrected her. "And…?"
"And why am I the only one freaking out here?" Miley exclaimed. "Join me, won't you?" Lilly sighed.
"Okay, yeah, maybe that wasn't exactly what I imagined for my first time,"she said gently, "but Miley… didn't you feel it?"
"Feel what?" Miley asked hesitantly.
"How right it felt!" Lilly exclaimed. "You and I, Miley… us. Together."
"Of course I did," Miley responded softly. "Lilly, waking up with you in my arms feels more right than anything I've ever known… but…" She swallowed.
"Oliver?" Lilly guessed. Miley nodded.
"And Jesse," she added.
"I know you don't want to hurt anyone," Lilly whispered. "Neither do I… especially Oliver. It hurts to even imagine how he's gonna feel when I have to tell him about you and I, but Miley… I just got you back. I'm not letting you go again, not for anything." She sighed.
"Honestly, I don't know how much longer I could've handled having a relationship with someone who's never there," she said softly.
"Yeah, long distance relationships suck," Miley empathized, an edge of hurt evident in her voice.
"I love Oliver, I do… but I'm not in love with him," Lilly continued. "I realize that now."
"What are you saying?" Miley asked her carefully.
"I think Oliver was just… convenient, you know?" Lilly responded. "Convenient and safe… I knew my best friend would always be with me, and he wouldn't break my heart, like everyone else had. Of course, that was before he won that stupid talent show!" Miley arched an eyebrow.
"But I'm not bitter, really!" Lilly gushed, with a fake grin a mile wide.
"Uh huh," Miley said with a grin, thoroughly unconvinced.
"Seriously though Miles, what I felt with Oliver is nothing compared to how I feel when I'm with you," Lilly said with a smile. "That's how I know this is real…" She pulled Miley closer to her, until their noses were almost touching. She smiled warmly, and Miley couldn't help smiling with her.
"This is what love is supposed to feel like," Lilly breathed. "I know it."
"You really… you really want to be with me?" Miley squeaked. "Like… well, like…"
"Like girlfriends?" Lilly finished for her. She smiled and nodded. "More than anything, Miles… and who knows, if you're lucky, maybe something more." She winked at her brunette best friend.
"More?" Miley repeated, her heart beating rapidly.
"I said I wasn't gonna let you go again, and I mean it," Lilly said firmly. "Face it Miles, you're stuck with me!" Miley managed a watery grin.
"I wouldn't wanna be stuck with anyone else," she said softly. She leaned forward and kissed Lilly gently, and Lilly kissed her back, sighing in contentment. The embrace lasted for several long moments, and then Lilly regretfully pulled away.
"So what are you gonna to tell Jesse?" she asked her best friend carefully. Miley wrinkled her nose.
"You must take lessons from my dad in how to kill a girl's buzz," she muttered. She sighed deeply. "I'm gonna tell him the truth… he & I just aren't meant to be." She took Lilly's hands in her own, entwining their fingers, and squeezed gently.
"I already know who my soulmate is, and I'm looking at her," she whispered to her blonde-haired best friend. Lilly grinned.
"I feel the same way, Miles," she said softly.
"Miley and Lilly… together forever," Miley whispered, pulling Lilly against her and snuggling close to her again.
"Promise?" Lilly asked, staring into her best friend's deep blue eyes.
"Cross my heart," Miley said warmly. She gently kissed Lilly again.
"I told you college was gonna be the best four years of our lives," Lilly said happily. Miley grinned.
"And whatever's beyond that..."