Standard Disclaimer Apply. This is a one-shot based on my fanfic Prosaic.

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Please Don't Smile

By Skye-Sama

Rain was pouring down from the heavens. Thunder rumbled all over the city, followed by strikes of lightning.

People were running for cover, and when another sound of thunder echoed, shrieks could be heard from the female bystanders. One person remained nonchalant though, continuously walking to god-knows-where. She looked rather immersed in her thoughts, a forlorn expression on her face.

She was feeling numb from the cold, emotionally. It's funny how Mother Nature sympathized with her. The lonely howls of the god of thunder and the angry lash of the god of lightning reflected the anger and the pain she was experiencing. The dark glow of the moon above her shared the darkness that surrounded her and every droplet of the rain washed every tear from her face.

She had no idea where she was going and she didn't care. A lot of thoughts were racing in her mind. Momentarily, she allowed her feet to take control.

A couple sharing an umbrella passed her by and she didn't fail to catch the adoring smiles they gave to each other. It was a special smile of one person reserved only for his/her significant other. She felt a pang of hurt and fury at the sight. It wasn't jealousy. It was because of the smile.

She had learned when she was a child how a smile can be so deceptive. When her mother died, her father would try to act strong for her, hiding the fact that deep inside, he was emotionally wrecked. But she was a perceptive girl, and she saw the tears that glistened in the corner of his eyes the moment the smile disappeared. When she started to go to school, a bunch of people would smile at her and try to befriend her, only to discover that it was all an act. When she reached high school, boys would try to ask her out with smiles on their faces. They all ended up hurting her.

And through everything she had experienced, she smiled all the way.

Smiles were mere lies that barricaded a person's true emotions.

"Ino?"

She blinked rapidly, the voice pulling her back to the real world. She was shocked to see him in front of her. His dark hair tousled and his eyes were filled with worry, despite the blank expression he wore. She didn't even realize that she was already in front of his apartment, drenched and shivering slightly.

She gave him a grateful look when he stepped aside to let her come in.

"Are you trying to kill yourself?" he asked, handing her a towel and a dry, clean shirt. "Get rid of those wet clothes quickly."

She nodded weakly and made her way to the bathroom. When she came out, dressed only in his shirt that reached to her knees, a cup of coffee was waiting for her on the table.

"What happened?" he asked, sounding unbelievably serious.

She took a seat quietly and sighed. "Nothing important," she lied.

I don't want to talk about it.

"You came here soaked to the bone and it's nothing important?" he sneered lightly.

I know you well enough to see through your lies.

"I can't hide anything from you, can I?" she said bitterly.

I wish I can read you as clearly as you read me.

"Definitely."

I hope you can't see the things I've been hiding.

"It's my father," she said dejectedly. "He… he wants me to marry the son of his new business partner- as if it's as simple as signing a business proposal."

I don't want to chain myself in a loveless marriage.

"Why don't you give the guy a chance?" His voice and face betrayed none of the emotions that gnawed him inside. "You might like him once you get to know him."

And let me rot in hell for being a coward.

"You don't understand," she whispered, tears cascading down her cheeks. "I don't want to be forced into something I'm not ready for."

Do you really mean what you're saying?

"Stop that, it makes you look ugly," he told her.

It wounds me to see you cry.

She wiped her tears and hit his arm. "You're supposed to comfort me, not insult me you idiot!" But she stopped crying nonetheless.

You always have the ability to cheer me up.

He smirked. "There, that looks better."

Let me at least pretend that everything will be alright.

"I want to run away," she said determinedly. She met his eyes, pleadingly. "Will you help me?"

I want to know how much you care.

"You can always count on me," he answered immediately. "We're best friends right?"

I'll do anything just to see you happy.

She nodded, ignoring the stab in her heart. "Best of friends," she echoed with a smile.

Is that all that I am to you?

He smiled back. Is that all that I'll ever be?

Sounds of a broken heart echoed within themselves… because they both know that they were living a lie.

Please don't smile…

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A/N: Holy molly! I have no idea what came over me to write this. It's not even a part of my fanfic Prosaic. It's just something I came up with while working on the next chapter. Let me know what you think! :-)