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THE FEELING OF DREAD NEVER LEFT. It sat like a heavy stone in her stomach, weighing her down and grating her nerves until she couldn't lie still anymore and slipped out of bed. Every shadow in the dark apartment seemed to move as her alert gaze scanned her empty surroundings. Every little noise was amplified, the familiar hum of the air conditioner now the roar of a monster out to find her. She froze when she heard the sound of claws against hardwood, nearly choked on her own spit when she felt something brush against her legs, only to exhale slowly when Taco the cat revealed himself with a plaintive mewl.

She was overreacting, she knew that. Yet the fear from that afternoon, when the intruder with the dirty red shoes broke into her uncle's office and stood right in front of her, clung to her like a cobweb and followed her throughout the day, making her suspicious of everything. The others had worried about her, Ashido and Kirishima questioning if she needed to go to the infirmary, but she had merely waved them off and said she was fine. They seemed to accept that answer, deciding to give her space, but a certain crimson gaze followed her everywhere, burning into the back of her head as she left. She knew that he wanted an explanation as to why she was so panicked, but she had already gone over it all with the adults and was, to be frank, too tired to bother with Katsuki Bakugo.

Aether had walked her home, declaring that Aizawa asked the woman to make sure she got home safe. The fairy had offered to take her out for dinner, in case she felt uncomfortable being alone after all that had happened, but she just shook her head and thanked the woman and closed the door. She almost felt bad about it, too, until she remembered that she wasn't supposed to get attached and instead needed to focus on being ready for anything.

Now it was one-twenty-two in the morning, and she was still alone in the house, save for Taco. Aizawa's absence was not usually a problem, as she didn't particularly care for human interaction, but tonight the thought of being alone, and with it the thought that she might not actually be alone, sent chills running down her spine. The darkness seemed to seep out of the walls, the floor, everything and inched towards her, hiding whatever was trying to get her.

She felt trapped in the dark living room, surrounded by her own thoughts and fears. The room seemed two times smaller, closing in on her. She needed to get out.

Thankfully, her bedroom window had a latch.

She sat on the roof, knees pressed tight against her chest and music bleeding from the headphones that hung from her neck, too nervous to actually pull them on and numb herself. The possibility of being jumped from behind was too great, and she couldn't just keep a shield up around herself, not until something actually attacked her. So she sat, tense and paranoid, watching the stars flicker as clouds passed by in their mockingly peaceful trip.


The morning passed by in a blur. She was barely able to keep her eyes open, nodding off every few minutes before Tokoyami's Dark Shadow would poke her awake. She narrowly missed earning a detention in English, having been caught with her head down on her desk and she managed to define "participle" quick enough to convince Present Mic that she was awake the entire time.

Her classmates noticed her behavior, sending her worried glances every now and then. Once lunch came, her self dubbed friends took the opportunity to pounce on her.

"You look like you didn't sleep at all!" fretted Ashido, jet black eyes wide as she inspected Kendria's face.

She shrugged, poking at her rice. "I didn't."

"Like, at all?!" She shrugged once more, spooning food into her mouth and forcing herself to swallow. She didn't feel like eating, her stomach roiled far too much for that, but she knew that she would need energy for her Foundational Hero Studies class. "That's, like, really not good for you!"

Sero nodded, usual smile dropping just a bit as he watched her sluggish movements. "You need something like nine hours of sleep to function properly."

"Pfft, you can't talk," Kaminari snorted from beside her. "I know for a fact that you were awake at three a.m. watching Vine on YouTube!"

"Yeah, only because you were awake and sending them to me!"

The two began to bicker, and she moved her gaze from the arguing boys to the window. She had a perfect view of the security wall that was meant to keep out unwanted visitors. What was left of it, anyway. The barrier had a gaping hole down the middle, the metal disintegrated like the doorknob of Aizawa's office door. Whoever had broken into the school and let the reporters in was the person with the dirty red shoes, was what she and the staff decided. Principal Nezu told her not to worry, that everything would be sorted out, in that condescending way that only adults -- and apparently little white rat things -- could pull off.

She shuddered. The intruder had been an arms length away from her. If she hadn't been quite so quiet, if she hadn't curled so tightly into herself, she might have been seriously injured.

She could have died.

And it was this thought that followed her into her next class, where her uncle said something that her dazed mind couldn't comprehend, and then to the changing rooms where apparently they were changing into their Hero costumes again. It absorbed her as she stepped onto the bus wait since when was there a bus and slumped down in a seat, eyes unfocused and hands clenched tightly in her lap. Someone sat down heavily next to her, but she didn't notice.

I could have died.

There was conversation, and the person next to her was standing and yelling at some point, but the only thing that made any sense was the fact that she could have died and it was so overwhelming that she slumped backwards and closed her eyes, forcing the thought away until the numbness was back and she could finally relax.

Soon she felt heavy and drowsy, as only a sleep deprived body can make one feel, and her consciousness flew out the bus window before she even realized her body had slumped sideways.

She completely missed the flustered and confused screeching of the one that she was leaning against, his shoulder too comfortable a pillow for her to wake up any time soon.

Katsuki Bakugo would just have to deal with it, is what she would think if she were awake.


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