When’s she’s hurting, Lisa looks up and away. “How could I be any worse?” she jokes, but the smile doesn’t reach her eyes, it’s just her last defense. She can’t look Cisco in the eye because it hurts too much, she has to roll her glance away and shrug, exposing the truth of how she feels, that she is sure Cisco must detest her. It’s a little too tight, a little too wide, a little too forcibly casual.
But when she smiles and it’s real? It’s soft. Lisa’s hard edges melt away for a moment and it meets her eyes. There’s something shy about it in the way she has to glance down, not ashamed but a totally different sort of vulnerability, one that comes with feeling trust and connection. Her face doesn’t hold the rigidity of pain like it does in the first gif, but is gentler, the smile almost surprised and unbidden when it appears, real.
Neither of these smiles aim to weaponize or manipulate, not like some of her smirks and simpers, and both bare her soul in a different way. Smiling is a language to Lisa (likely to both of the Snarts) and each different pull of her lips contains a different message.