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There's something subtle in the way she smiles at him. It's so small, he could easily pretend that it's a trick his mind is playing on him, just an illusion his disbelief casts on those sweet, delicate lips; but try as he might to convince himself nothing is there, his eyes refuse to cooperate.

There's a wistful little twist at the corners of her mouth. Every time she laughs, that little smear of sadness follows after.

He does everything in his power to make her happy. They go out on romantic dates, he listens to every word she whispers and locks it away, he tells jokes that have her holding onto her sides while she struggles to regain her composure. He holds her whenever her day was less than wonderful, and he freely gives her smiles in an effort to say that everything will be alright.

But it's never enough. She smiles back, and that little wisp stings like a poisoned splinter that's too deep to get out with tweezers alone. She's thinking of him, while he thinks of her. He should let her go, he really should - but it hurts to think of his life without her. He's nothing without her. It hurts to admit it - it always does - but his life would hold no meaning if he couldn't wake up next to her every morning, watching her sigh blissfully as she dreamt of another man's arms. He knows she dreams of someone else, because of the faint whisper of disappointment that clouds her eyes when she wakes up wrapped in his arms, and not in the arms of the man she craves. But she pushes it away, and she smiles that subtle little smile, and his heart shatters all over again. He ignores it, pretends it never existed, and he smiles back.

Love is blind to the most heartfelt of follies. Especially the cruel ones.

A little writing experiment. Yes, I'm kinda sorta back-ish. I wrote this with one pairing in mind, but I leave it open to interpretation. Could be Fred in a relationship with Daphne longing for Shaggy, could be Shaggy in a relationship with Velma longing for Fred, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I hope you all enjoyed it, regardless.

Sincerely, MNW