Story Foreword: It probably goes without saying my favorite episode was Season 3, Episode 1's "He Ain't a Hottie, He's My Brother" (all but the last 38 seconds, anyway. Don't get me started).

This is followed in close second by Season 3, Episode 25's "Can't Get Home to You, Girl" (Lilly's awful turned awesome birthday episode, thanks mostly to Jackson!).

It doesn't matter whether you're in the Lackson or Loliver camp, its pretty hard to deny Osment and Earles had great onscreen chemistry, and were always entertaining whenever they did a scene together. I believe the pair could have done a lot with the following material.

Necessary Legal Disclaimer(s): I do not own the intellectual property Hannah Montana nor any of the trademarked elements therein, and receive no compensation for said story from this property.

Disney, by contrast, owns everything, possibly even the souls of the actors who portrayed these memorable characters.

{One of the tenets of living in a multiverse means that events happen a little bit differently from one reality to another. The following is but one variant of countless possibilities...}

On the Road Again "Beach Scene"Redux

by Milo Essex Storey

The place had several names. The Beachside Surf Shop. The Tiki Surf Shop. The owner insisted it was Rico's Surf Shop.

Whatever the moniker, it was basically a glorified concession stand selling...ahem!..."reasonably priced" merchandise while simultaneously serving equally lucrative popular refreshments and snacks. Located near his family's residence, this was where Jackson Stewart worked.

The girl approaching was nice looking, not to mention curvy in all the places boys found utterly fascinating. She wore a mostly pink and contrastingly baby blue one-piece beneath a mint-colored overjacket. The ensemble stretched tightly over her ample chest. Sunglasses held her longish auburn hair in place. She held in both arms a two-foot diameter beach ball, and a striped cooler bag was slung over one of her shoulders.

As she passed without stopping, Lilly Truscott exhaled her relief. The girl was Jackson's type, what being female and otherwise not Lilly.

It was a rather cool day for southern California, especially since in three days it would be August. Reflecting this was the long-sleeved, long pants outfit she wore. A combination of a red message-logo top and orange boot-cuts with lots of pockets, the ensemble was more form-fitting than her usual attire. It accentuated her subtle yet undeniable blossoming from cute kid into something...a little more alluring.

While she still mostly presented herself as an "endearing tomboy", being a third of the way through her fourteenth year had awakened in her a desire to be more...feminine. Especially around one certain individual.

She was wearing her longish blonde hair without artificial restraints, soft and natural, parted slightly along the right side to give her a more sophisticated look. She knew her dark blue eyes looked almost brown under the shade of the booth's awning, which all but nullified the effect of the matching lobe studs she had on. 'Dang flabbit', as Jackson might pseudo-curse.

At times she wished her face was rounder and more cherubic like that other girl's. Maybe then Jackson would see her as one, too. A girl, and not simply his kid sister's somewhat irritating best friend.

Instead, her identifying features were minimal, narrow, thin, totally lacking in any sensual qualities whatsoever, much like the rest of her less than spectacular, almost ruler-straight physique. Sigh.

As she sat atop the bar-stool across the counter from Miley's sixteen-year-old sibling, she tried pushing these thoughts from her head, deliberately hiding from everyone her true motivations for being there. Miley would go ballistic if she suspected.

To discerning eyes, the all but abandoned twenty-one ounce cup at her elbow was a strong indicator "getting a beverage" was really an excuse to go spend time with him. It sat next to a half empty ketchup bottle and a countertop rotating display tree sporting a multitude of stylish optical frames.

While she could simply have taken her drink and went back to be with her friends, she instead stayed and chatted Jackson up for no discernible reason other than she wanted to. He looks like he could use the company, she rationalized. Besides, its not like I'm keeping him from his duties. She was currently the only customer at his station. Despite being a midsummer Saturday morning the place was, for the most part, empty.

The week had started off with yet another of Miley's harebrained yet well-meaning schemes. This one hooked her dad, once famously known to Country fans as "The Honkey-tonk Heartthrob", back up with his old manager, Marty Klein. So he could go on a week long, return-to-glory music tour. So he could relive the good old days when he'd been at the height of his popularity.

Lilly was wearing orange that day, too. A collared tee, which had been pulled over a mid-cut, dull lemon-yellow underscrub. The matching ball cap atop her head she wore sideways in order to show off her single, loosely tied braid. She'd been attempting to look 'completely adorable', not that Jackson noticed, the thick head.

While she and Miley were rifling through boxes packed with Robbie Ray memorabilia, Lilly attempted to coerce some acknowledgement out of him by pointing out, "Miley has a great voice, your dad's, what's your talent?" She felt a tinge jealous they had such a cool dad, not that she'd ever admit it. Her dad, whom she seldom saw, was an accountant. Woo. Hoo.

"Well, I don't like to brag," he shrugged in answer to her question, "But I excel at annoying the heck out of both my little sister and her best friend. For example—"

He then proceeded to play Hannah Montana's wildly popular hit song "The Best of Both Worlds" on his armpit.

Despite Miley's claim to the contrary, her brother was no dummy. Except when it came to Lilly herself. Sigh. He knew exactly what it took to get his little sister riled up.

His tactic worked because Miley WAS Hannah Montana, though very few people actually knew this. Lilly could almost hear her friend's sometimes ginormous celebrity ego implode as the impromptu concert unfolded.

Covering up an urge to laugh her head off, she pummeled Jackson with a couch pillow. A tacky one having a red and green Christmas pattern on one side, and looking like someone had killed and skinned the Sesame Street character Elmo on the other.

So yes, while she "Ew'd" on the outside, mostly because Miley wouldn't have it any other way, inside she was often thinking, well...something else. Like how much fun a real pillow fight with him might be.

This was the guy she watched sports with. The guy she regularly beat armwrestling. Not to mention was always challenging to burping contests.

She didn't only keep these thoughts from Miley, she kept them from everyone else, also. Especially Jackson, for three reasons.

First it was because she didn't want to weird him out by seeming to do a sudden one eighty in her attitude towards him. Second, because she was pretty certain he didn't like her the same way she liked him despite her hinting the heck out of it, and third, she wasn't sure just how serious she was about all of this. She was not yet fifteen, after all.

But that didn't mean she had to ignore him completely. Hence the sudden urge to quench her thirst.

"I still can't believe your dad was up onstage last night," she bubbled. Mr. Stewart's first performance in years, she thought as she admired Jackson's light blue short sleeve polo with a smattering of darker, horizontal stripes.

...and Miley accuses him of being a fashion illiterate, she shook her head in disbelief.

He was resting his chin upon his balled up hands, which were propped up by his elbows resting atop the serving area.

"So, how'd it go'" she inquired, her curiosity burning.

When he didn't answer, she became concerned.

She leaned closer. "Did he call?"

Still he gave no response.

She got to within inches of his face, her head tilted in confusion. "Jackson?"

Carefully, she lowered the black rimmed, blue-metallic lensed sunglasses he wore. His eyes were shut. The poor guy's fallen asleep, she pityingly thought.

Lilly wasn't mad or self-recriminating. She knew Roxy Roker, Hannah Montana's security specialist, had been running the two ragged since being put "in charge". Lilly just had no idea how much so until that moment.

By Miley's own admission, the ex-marine was probably the best bodyguard the family had ever hired. But the woman took her job terribly serious. One would think she was protecting the President himself. Lilly suspected she'd quit the Corps because it was becoming "too cushy and soft".

Jackson's light brown follicles, flaring out a bit at his ears, tickled her fingertips as she completely removed the sunshades. His hair feels so silky, she mentally marveled. Maybe I'll steal some off his brush when no one is looking

Frustrated with herself, she exhaled. It was times like this she wished she weren't so impulsive. No wonder popular, mean girls like Amber and Ashley told everyone she was weird.

Mischievous, prankster Lilly surfaced. Selecting a different pair of spectacles from the display, ones looking to be super-heroine inspired, she stifled a giggle.

Being careful not to cause him unintentional injury, she delicately slid the frame tips over the tops of his ears.

She stared at the smirking image of herself in the greenish-gray lenses, hardly believing she'd actually gotten away with it.

"Boy, you're really out," she remarked in sheer awe.

As if in response to her observation he let out a muffled snore. A moment of tenderness briefly washed over her as she watched. Aw, he looks so peaceful...

Even Lilly herself had to admit she could be a real stinker when she set her mind to it, and the temptation to engage in a little miscreancy became a wee bit too much to resist.

Secret agent style, she retrieved a tube of lipstick from one pocket. Like an assassin attaching a silencer, she carefully rolled it open. A moment's further hesitation deciding if she would, whilest knowing the entire time she shouldn't, she proceeded with her feather-light attack.

Jackson's lips never looked so smoochable, she nodded conclusively once she'd finished.

Jackson snorted awake. Catching her "red-handed", he glowered, "I suppose you think that was funny?"

Startled, Lilly reflexively flinched and shrieked. Her cosmetic went flying. Knowing she'd been busted, she stammered apologetically, "Jackson, I-I—"

Heedless of her incoherent rambling, he mercilessly mimicked, "I-I-I—"

He retaliated via the "Bugs Bunny makes Elmer Fudd look totally stupid" tactic, which he implemented before she could react. Declaring, "Now this is funny," he firmly cupped the back of her head and quickly drew her face straight into his. A single "Mmphf" emanated from her as she felt her lips smoosh tightly against his blood-colored, paste-coated mouth.

{Further down the beach...}

Oliver Oken and Miley Stewart sat upon mismatched blue swim towels. Oliver's was solid in color, where Miley's all but copied the pattern of the shirt Jackson had on.

The former was Lilly's second best friend. She'd known him since kindergarten.

The brunette West Coast native echoed his long time friend's attire choices, having donned a blue and red checker vest improv over a long-sleeved pumpkin sweatshirt, and sienna trousers.

His medium-brown-haired companion, a Tennessee native, had chosen to wear a short sleeve, sky-blue blouse, over which she's stretched a medium green tank top. Brown corduroys covered her legs.

She and her brother were a little more comfortable at these lower temperatures than their companions because, despite being "from the south", their home state was in reality geographically north of where they currently lived.

Oliver had at one time a huge crush on Hannah Montana, only to later learn she was really Miley in disguise. He had since pretty much contented himself with simply being her friend.

Though she had brought along something to browse through while taking in the overcast rays, the fashion publication currently sat abandoned near her feet.

Her dad had been gone less than a full day and she was already complaining about how things turned out.

"Roxy was like this all night," she theatrically described through intense eyes as she emitted an exaggerated snoring sound.

"Hi-yah," she blurted, thrusting karate hands into his face.

Then she "snored" even louder, repeating even more pointedly the hand gestures. "HI-YAH!"

Oliver, clearly baffled, looked at her and shrugged. "Just tell her to lighten up."

"Oh sure," his friend counterclaimed, looking serious and slipping into "worst case scenario" mode. Which, he had found out through hard experience, she did with frightening regularity. "I tell her to lighten up. She gets upset. She leaves. Dad has to come home early, and once again I've ruined his dream."

Desperate to change the subject, he leaned closer, asking. "Why are we whispering?"

Miley wasn't a performer for nothing. She did an uncanny imitation of not only the large woman's voice but her mannerisms as well.

"Because...," the girl drill-Sargent-barked two octaves lower than her normal voice, "Roxeee's everywhereee. Because she's got her eeyyees onnn maeee!" Miley even included Roxy's possibly patented V-"eyes-on" finger gesture.

"Okay, now you're just paranoid," her long-haired companion declared skeptically while looking around. "I don't see her anywhere."

{Back at the Surf Shop...}


Lilly's arms were paralyzed, refusing to obey commands to shove against this unexpected breach of her personal space.

She felt an icky, warm, pleasant feeling emanate from the pit of her stomach. Like she wanted to throw up while simultaneously yearning for more. Her fingertips and toes pleasantly buzzed. An awakening part of her wanted this brief moment to last forever.

She longed to close her eyes and fully sink into the sensation, but was too shocked to willfully do so.

It was Jackson who suddenly stopped, which was maybe a good thing. While he was kissing her she had forgotten how to breathe.

"...Wwwaaaaahhhhh!" As he withdrew she saw the applied makeup had been smudged all over his mouth area. He reminded her of Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China. The scene right after he'd got done kissing Kim Cattrall. Her face no doubt looked similarly ludicrous.

"Something's wrong," he quickly assessed, shaking his head while looking confused.

"What? What's wrong," she asked, wide-eyed and for some reason, worried.

His eyes gave her the once over. "You're not 'Ew-ing'." His face expressed bafflement. "Why aren't you Ew-ing?"

She looked into his eyes, mesmerized. A moment later her arms shot out, her hands latching tightly around his ears. She hauled his face back into hers, nearly pulling him off his feet in the process.

{Down the beach...}

"Oh yeah?" Miley asked with raised eyebrows. She retrieved her all but forgotten reading material. "Here. Hit me with this magazine."

Being her friend, Oliver's mind refused to process the request. "What," he asked blankly.

She looked his way. "Just do it," she assured. "Trust me, I'll be fine."

"Oh...kay," he acquiesced, still sounding uncertain. Carefully he rolled up the thin pages newspaper-style. Attempting to humor her, drew back his arm and—


Oliver felt someone seize his arm, lift him from where he sat, and bodily hurled him over the raised earth embankment that acted as a water break. He arced, fell, and landed maybe ten feet away from where he'd been sitting.

Belatedly, he realized he'd screamed in terror the whole short flight there.

{Again, back at the Surf Shop}

No. No-no-no. Wrong way. Go back. Back. Beep-beep-beep-beep, Jackson thought desperately as he futilely struggled against Lilly's viselike grip. Not able to gain any leverage, he reflected, I don't get it? It was the perfect 'frighten her away' tactic. How could it have bombed so badly? I sure didn't see this coming...

Sweet niblets, she's strong for her size!

{Lastly, down the beach}

Roxy stood protectively over her charge, heedless of how unforgiving the dark spandex wrapped her diminutive yet stocky form. The lime windbreaker, while not exactly clashing, wasn't exactly helping matters. "Roxeee's like a poo-mah!" she declared, forming her hands into claws while strutting victoriously.

Miley's expression was one of amused vindication. Two thoughts filled her mind.

The first was, See, Oliver. I told you so.

This was followed quickly by Oh, for Pete's sake, Lilly. How longs it take you to pick up a stupid drink, anyway?


Other miscellaneous non-ownership disclaims:

Sesame Street and Elmo, once owned by The Jim Henson Company, belongs to HBO as of this writing.

Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, (Looney Tunes) is still owned by Warner Bros as far as I can tell.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986), once owned by Twentieth Century Fox, now belongs to...anyone else find this ironic...Disney.