AN: I do not own Saki.

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You are Miyanaga Teru: winner of the national individual mahjong tournament, and the one who led Shiratodai to victory in the team tournament two years in a row. Your mahjong is the stone rolling down the mountain, the nine lanterns to blind your foes, leaving them helpless against the threshing that follows after you. A ruthless way to play. You know it, but you could care less about the comments of others. When you played, playing was all that mattered. You played the way you did, and you won. What happened to your opponents was of no concern to you.

At least, that's what you thought. As far as you knew, you had successfully shed yourself of your past, letting mahjong become the centre of your life. No need for companionship, for family or friends. Just winning, proving to others that you were leagues above them.

But then the game moved in a way outside the realms of your expectation. The knowledge that second place was enough to advance did not sate them. They put their precious points on the line just for the tiny chance of scratching you. Knowing they had little to gain from such ventures, but choosing to play that way anyway. They somehow pulled together, somehow managed to halt your momentum. And all because of that, you hadn't really won.

You hadn't participated in that kind of game since...

You shoved that thought aside, but another rose up quickly, also reminiscent of things you would rather forget. Senriyama's fall. It pushed you further off-guard.

For you, at this tournament, only two things mattered: mahjong, and your image. Had your mind been focused on mahjong, you could have simply ignored it and walked away. If your public image had been at the forefront, you could have moved to assist her. You only stood there, neither moving to assist, nor to hinder. Not positive. Not negative.

Neutral.

It niggled at the back of your mind. Refusing to just leave you alone, it whimpered and cried, two voices, one asking if this was how to get a 'chii', one requesting you come play by the sea... and both sobbing for you, asking why you left them, begging you to come home.

You ignored it. What was important was the present. The past... it had no place in your plans. Irrelevant to you.

That's what you told yourself, anyway.

You'd always been good at lying.

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AN: I apologise for such a wait for such a short piece. It's grade 12 exams. And my own pace when it comes to writing.

I'd like to thank the two reviewers, and the one person who faved this. I wasn't so sure how such a short piece would go over, so thank you.

This one… definitely harder to pull out, what with so few scenes we've had of her. Saki's the easiest of all, her reasons and fears being very apparent. Teru, on the other hand, is rather mysterious because we have no idea how she sees the past. And we're missing a few crucial pieces. But I think that until one of them is willing to face the past, rather than run from it or ignore it, neither will win over the other. Might drag over to individuals.

Anyway, enough rambling. Thoughts? Ideas? Let me know. (I am all for discussing the characters and their reasons. Who knows, might give an idea to write up. *grins*)