OK, first thing first. This is an experiment in angst. I repeat, this is an experiment in angst. So it has a right to suck! Please be honest, and do tell me if it's awful—since it's an experiment, I have zero experience in using angst.

Also, this is actually two fics. After I wrote Fake, I had this urge to write something simpler, one or two lines that would capture the scope Naru's life— to keep for myself, of course. And then I had this sudden urge to post it. But twenty-word stories are just a waste of everyone's time, plus they're against the guidelines, so I just stuck it in here, at the bottom. Consider it an about the POV of Inside You Cry-it's a kind-of A/N, not the actual story, so it doesn't count (as an interactive story format, as said in the guidelines)

Disclaimer—I would gladly be the owner of Gakuen Alice—except I'm not.


I wake up to the not-so-melodious sound of my alarm clock, yawning. It is already seven-thirty in the morning and it is a working day, but I have a reputation for being late, so I press the snooze button, and gather my blankets around him. I close my eyes, and drift off to dreamland, but then my damned alarm clock rings again.

Reluctantly, I get up, only to fall back down again as memories of the past twenty-five years rush into my brain. I close my eyes, willing them to go away, but they taunt me from afar.

It is a regular happening, almost like a ritual. I am used to it by now.

I blink, and get a grip on myself, getting up again as if nothing was the matter and rubbing the sleep from my eyes. I stumble through my toiletries and go to my wardrobe to choose what to wear.

I pause. Row upon row of flashy, girlish costumes blind me for a moment, and I gape at the wardrobe. Once again, I wonder why I do this, but then I shake my head and pull out one of the flashiest, frilliest, most girly outfits, one that invariably cheers me up. I put it on, and feel slightly more cheerful. Maybe this day won't be such a failure after all.

Still a bit unhappy, I walk to my classroom—late, as usual—and open a the door. At the sound of my footsteps, the children in my class look up.

Their faces dispel the last of my gloominess, and suddenly I feel much better. These children love and trust me, even with their lives, and just that knowledge makes my heart swell. The fact that I am helping these children on their way to a path that is infinitely better than the one I tread is the one thing that makes my life worth living, and it lights up my miserable existence.

As I take the roll-call, a certain brunette stumbles into the classroom, apologizing for being late. I smile and tell her that it's alright. In fact, I think, it's more than alright. That girl is one of the most important things in my life.

She's just like her mother, her mother whom I still love. She has the same eyes and hair, even the same never-give-up spirit. Her smile, however is his.

Sensei…The man who lifted me from the darkness I was in, and, later, stole the woman I loved.

But the darkness didn't take me just because of her rejection. After all, love does not kill, not even unrequited love. I stood watching as the two of them confessed to each other, and shared so many intimate moments, and though a spark of jealousy flared within me, I didn't sink into depression because of that—life isn't like that. No, it was her betrayal that shook me to the core. I never thought that she would push me away like that, and, to add insult to the injury, steal a part of me too. It changed me, oh yes, it changed me very much. At first I was bitter, wanting to have nothing to do with her. But slowly I realized that I can't change the past—what is done is done, and nothing can undo it. And so I changed yet again. I pushed away the bad memories, adopted a happy-go-lucky personality. And I fell in love again.

Not with a woman, not yet at least. No, this time the love was of a different kind—love for children, for innocent beings that haven't felt the darkness. However pedophilic that may sound, it's the truth. It was a strange kind of love—not like the love I felt, and still feel, for her. No, it was different, and, to be honest, it felt much better. The kind of love where you love something with all your heart and ask for nothing in return, because loving and giving yourself up to it is enough. And so I decided to become a teacher.

Teaching—that is my life and your passion, and, more importantly, what I should be doing right now instead of daydreaming about the past which I have put behind me.

I blink, and carry on with the lesson, as if nothing has happened. As the children raise their hands to answer questions and I smile at them, I realize how lucky I am, to be here and live in my dream.

I ask a crimson-eyed lad a question, to which he rudely replies that gays shouldn't be teachers. I mask a smile—I am as straight as a ruler and I know it—and watch him set the brunette's hair on fire. Granted, ten is a little young to be in love, but I know that the two were destined for each other. I can't help but be a little jealous of the fire-caster. I know it is wrong, but something akin to the love I feel for her is now blossoming in my heart for her daughter. Pedophilic? Maybe, but I think not. I love her because she is a reflection, an echo. And now she flashes a sweet smile at me and asks me something, to which I give a cheerful reply.

But suddenly her smile flashes before my eyes. I feel angry, now, that I always choose to love someone who cannot love me back. It is your fault, I know, and for that I wish to kill myself.

I rouse myself from your stupor when I realize that the bell has rung, and, bidding the children good day, fairly run out of the class. I don't know what's wrong with I—I haven't been struck by a bout of depression in a long time, but now I can't prevent the dark thoughts from entering your mind.

I don't want to live anymore, not when the woman I love betrayed me. I don't want to see her daughter—her daughter by another man—bounce into class everyday, because I'm falling in love with her, and she's already taken. And, anyway, I only think I love her—love is far too mysterious to be defined. I should know—I'm a Human Pheromone Alice and I've seen how easy it is to toy with hearts and get hapless teenagers to fall in what they think is love, when in reality, it's just an infatuation—love is the one emotion which my Alice can't create, because love is beyond everything, and, to put it simply, indefinable. Sometimes I even think it's not an emotion. Besides, she's ten for goodness sake, and, anyway, I only 'love' her because she's the exact image of her mother.

Why must I always be unlucky in love? It must be karma. That's it, I think. Karma has finally caught up with me, avenging the people I destroyed on missions when I was a lot younger. It is too bad, but it can't be helped. Right now, I just want to stick your head in a hole and die.

I close your eyes and lean back, struggling with the depression. It is a hard battle, but, finally, I win—for now. A smile creeps onto my face, and I stand up, running to greet my students.

But the monster still lurks at the back of my mind, and at the end of the day, I will succumb to it.

My smile, my laugh is a façade, one which is so effective that even I am fooled by it. But when the night comes, and I lie in bed alone, I realize for what seems like the millionth time what I am.

A fake.

Inside You Cry

You talk. You smile. You laugh—too much, some say.

But that doesn't change the fact that, inside, you cry.

So both suck…But tell me which one sucks less, please!

And have a nice day :)