Summary: The nationals are over, and the Seigaku team have won, but it's not the happily ever after everyone thinks. Overhearing the other regulars talking, Ryoma learns that he was only being used and leaves Japan for America. Now, 3 years later, a certain monkey king finds himself meeting a very different Echizen Ryoma. Royal Pair.

SkyGem: Hey guys! This story is for the "Looking Away" challenge issued by EmInArEvOl. Please r&r and tell me what you thought. Now, on to the story!

Disclaimer: I don't own PoT.


I felt myself smiling happily as I was congratulated by my sempai-tachi, by my friends. For once in my life, it felt like all the walls I had built around myself were gone, and I was truly happy. I had come to truly trust everyone on the Seigaku team, I cared for them

When Eiji and Momo finally released me, I looked around and saw Oishi come over.

"Ryoma-kun, why don't you go home now and get some rest? After all, you did just get over your amnesia, you must be tired. We can't have you sleepy at our celebration party later," he said in a motherly way.

I smiled at him and said, "Hai, Oishi-sempai."

After detaching myself from a pouting Eiji and Momo and saying goodbye to everyone else, I grabbed my bag and turned to leave.

Halfway out the stadium, though, I realized I didn't know when or where the celebration party was being held. It was probably going to be at Taka's restaurant, but I just wanted to make sure.


"You think he's gone?" asked Momo.

"98% chance that he's already left the stadium; 1% chance he got held up by somebody else and is still in the stadium, but far enough not to hear us; 0.88% chance that he's outside drinking Ponta; and 0.22% chance of him returning here," said Inui robotically.

"Finally," said Momo, rolling his eyes. "You know, I was kind of sceptical at first, but the brat really did get us the nationals."

"Yeah, he did. Now, can we kick him off the team yet, buchou?" Fuji almost whined.

"Of course," said Tezuka. "He's done his job and is no longer useful to us. We can just tell him to focus on the grand slams, aim higher or something."

"Good riddance," said Momo in an un-Momo-like tone. "You have no idea how tired I am of pretending I actually care for him. Best friends? Yeah right! My only best friend is Mamushi. Isn't that right?"

As Momo slung his arm around Kaido's shoulder in a way I hadn't seen in months, Kaido glared a little, saying "That's right, but can you not do that, Momoshiri? The brat may be gone, but that doesn't mean that you can treat me the same way as him."

Chuckling, Momo just ignored what he said, instead saying to the rest of the team, "I can't believe he thinks that we actually care for him. He must be pretty naïve to think anybody would care for someone like him, ne?"

I sneaked a glance at Eiji and Taka, who were looking pretty upset. I met Eiji's eyes, and immediately knew he felt the same way I did.

I was about to voice my thoughts, when I heard a small sob from behind me. Alarmed, I turned and saw a familiar face, streaked with tears.

"Ryoma," I said, reaching out towards him.

He just jerked away from me, turned around and left. By now, everyone was watching with stunned looks on their faces.


"Ryoma," said Oishi, reaching out to me, and I could see what looked (to me) like pity in his eyes.

Jerking out of his grip, I threw him a glare, then turned around and left.

As I ran out of the stadium, all the things they had said kept ringing in my ears. Of course they felt the way they did. Why should they feel any differently? It had happened to me before in America, with people befriending me for my tennis skills, or my parents' wealth. Why should I be so surprised this time? Why should it hurt so much more this time? I should have gotten used to it by now. This was the norm for me.

Slowly, I felt myself drawing back into the walls I had built around myself before coming to Seigaku, the walls that had kept me safe and which I had so naïvely allowed to be broken down.

While thinking all this, I called a taxi and headed home, all the while drawing deeper and deeper into my shell.

Once I arrived at the temple, I rushed in and up to my bedroom, ignoring my parents' worried looks.

Finally arriving at my bedroom, I slammed the door closed and got to work, packing my clothes and other precious belongings.

About ten minutes later, my mother popped her head into the room and saw me rushing around taking all my clothes out of the closet, gathering my things.

"Ryoma?" she asked confusedly.

I turned to look at her and when she saw my tear-stained face, she rushed up to me, enveloping me in a hug.

"Oh, Ryoma, what happened?"

"Nothing," I said coldly.

"Then what are you doing with all your stuff?"

"I'm packing," I replied. "I want to move back to America.

"Nani?" asked my mother faintly, seeming more than a little surprised.

Looking at the floor, I said, "I don't want to stay here. Those guys, they said that they don't need me anymore, that I've already done everything they wanted me to. Even if I stayed, it's not like anyone would talk to me anymore. What's the point? I might as well go back to America. At least I have Kevin over there, and I can make a fresh start."

I could see from the expression in my mother's eyes that she had guessed what had happened.

"But who will you live with?" she asked, her voice laced with worry.

I looked up at her with defiant eyes. "I can just live with Ryoga. He's always complaining about how he doesn't get to see me enough. He'll be happy enough to have me there,

She must have seen that I would not change my mind about this because, finally, she agreed.

Nodding hesitantly, she said, "Then I'll call the airport and tell them to get the jet ready. When will you be leaving?"

"As soon as possible," I said, standing up and beginning to pack my clothes.

About two hours later, I was on my family's private jet and on my way to America to live with my brother.

SkyGem: Well, that's chapter 1, and I know it's short, but, the next chapter will be longer. So, please review and tell me what you thought.