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SHE HAD ALWAYS DISLIKED SILENCE. Silence carried intrusive thoughts and nightmarish memories that could only be quelled by loud noise and distraction. It meant there was something horribly wrong with the world, that something dangerous was nearby. No, she didn't like silence, and unfortunately the nurse's office was stiflingly quiet.

Bakugo had already gone to class, seeing as they were a bit early. About halfway through the bus ride to U.A., she realized her bandages needed to be changed. When they reached the school, she mentioned seeing Recovery Girl, to which he just grunted and walked away.

Now she sat on one of the beds, twisting her bracelets around her wrists and trying to ignore the bubbling memories of the USJ. The swirling black portal man, who invaded her shields so easily. Her own inability to control her Quirk, to control herself, and how everyone was separated because I failed, I failed and I killed somebody.

I killed somebody. The happiness from her almost-friendly banter with Bakugo disappeared completely, replaced with a flood of hot shame and horror. She gripped the edge of the infirmary bed, knuckles white as she forced herself to breathe deeply. Red flashed in her vision, blotted images of her spiked shield and the quick look of terror on Kirishima's face and the hand-man with his manic laughter --

"Young lady, if you tear up those sheets, I'll make you sew new ones!"

Her head snapped up, sending the still healing wound on her neck into a fit. Recovery Girl shuffled out of a side room, coming to a stop in front of Kendria. "I didn't expect to see you today, in all honesty. Thought you would still be in the hospital." The old woman reached for a stool and climbed up so she was eye level with Kendria. "You're a fighter, eh?"

"You could say that," she murmured, releasing her hold on the bedsheets and instead clasping her hands in her lap. Recovery Girl unwound the old bandages on her neck, tossing them into a nearby trashcan. The nurse squinted, observing the wound and nodding to herself.

"Well, it seems you won't need anymore medical treatment. Just ..." The nurse planted a kiss on Kendria's neck, before hopping down from the stool.

Warmth spread through her skin, the nice kind of warmth that she usually associated with hot drinks and sunlight. The ache in her neck faded away. Recovery Girl handed her a mirror. There was a scar, shaped almost like a spider web, the way it branched out across her neck. She reached up, fingers brushing the repaired skin, feeling the bumpy ridges of the scar.

"You should be good to go now, dear." The old nurse patted her arm. "Class is about to start, better hurry yourself over there!" She nodded, slipping off the bed and grabbing her bag. Her hand was on the door handle when the question sprung from her lips.

"Did I ... did I kill that Villain? I know the police arrested all of them, they must have found him. Did I?"

Recovery Girl offered a look of pity. "I'm afraid ... that yes, that man has passed away." She hung her head, eyes closed as she struggled to breathe. "But you were scared, and you were being attacked. The police and the school have ruled it in self-defense. You're not in trouble, dear."

"So I don't have to go back? I'm not kicked out?" Her heart thumped against her chest. Please, please let me stay.

"Of course not!" The old woman's cane thwacked against her leg. "Didn't I just say you're not in trouble? Now, run along before the bell rings."

With a shaky smile, she gave her thanks and left the infirmary.

The sight of her uncle, still confined to bandages and arm slings, standing in the doorway of the 1-A classroom, made her wonder if she was dreaming.

"Aizawa?" He turned, eyes barely distinguishable from the bandages covering his face. "What are ... you should be resting!" Only the day before he had been unconscious in the hospital, and now he would be back to teaching?

"Hospitals are boring," her uncle said, tired as ever. Though, he sounded, almost ... relieved to see her. "Class is starting. If you're not in that room before I am, you're tardy." She smiled a bit, stepping past him. "Glad to see you're okay, kid."

Apparently, so were the inhabitants of the classroom, as they began to scream the moment she entered. Ashido jumped out of her seat, racing over and scooping Kendria into a hug before smiling sheepishly at Aizawa. Kirishima and Kaminari gave her a thumbs up, while Sero flashed an award-winning smile. When she finally sat down in her seat, Tokoyami leaned over and said, "It is good to see you again, Smith." She let herself smile at all of them.

She deserved to smile, at the moment. She wasn't in trouble. She wasn't going back to America anytime soon. Not quite okay, but she felt better. And her friends cared about her.

Friends. She liked the sound of that.





i am excited

-- Fan

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