A/N - I just watched this movie the other night, and I thought that Marlon really seemed to struggle with saying those lines to Truman, and then this plot bunny was born! This isn't really a story - it's more of a one-shot look at Marlon's thoughts. It probably won't make much sense if you haven't seen the movie recently or know it really well.

Disclaimer - I do not own anything. Never have, never will.

Marlon

My next words are fed to me through my hidden earpiece, and for one flash of a moment, I cannot say them. He is going to find out the truth someday, and these words will break him. How can I do it? He looks over at me, tears threatening to spill over, pleading with his eyes for truth.

He trusts me.

And it is then I realize why Cristofer wants me to say it – it is to break me, not Truman. Because if I say these words to him, our friendship will be ruined when he finds out. This is the last step I can take before I utterly destroy our friendship. And though it is technically staged, I honestly think of it as real. It is real to me. I have been here since I was seven – it couldn't get any more real for me. But if I don't say this now, it's all over. I'll be fired, he'll find out, and hate me anyway for all the past pretense. And my throat squeezes shut, but I whisper them anyway. It is too late now to back out.

"The last thing I would do is lie to you."

And the relief in his eyes threatens to crush me. I look down, blinking away regret, trying not to ruin everything, and the next line comes through. I force myself to choke it out, my self-loathing growing.

"If everyone was 'in on it', then I would have to be 'in on it.' There is no 'it'."

And he believes me, and leaves – going home to his perfectly fake life. I sit alone when he has gone, the cameras gone with him. Cameras I know of, and assist with. No one is watching me, with the star gone. I am only the best friend, after all. So I break down and cry. I cry for what they have made me give, but more for what they have made me take. His hope. Why do I do it?

Louis

They all cheer when he walks out, all except me. I pull out my earpiece and throw it to the ground and walk away. All the way across the bridge, down the road to the edge of the dome, and then I open the door and walk out. I keep walking, past real people going real places on real errands, keep walking until someone sees me.

"Hey! You're Marlon, from that TV show, right?"

"No." I say, abruptly rude and firm. He raises his eyebrows and walks away, and I stumble into a real alley, with no cameras, and cry. Marlon is no more, and can therefore no longer be the best friend of Truman. I didn't deserve him anyway, lying like I did. But I'm gonna miss him. Me - Louis. And I hold on to the faint hope that maybe, someday, he'll miss me too.