akko groaned for the nth time that class period, tapping her fingers furiously on her table, shaking her leg under. akko tried to do the whole "pay attention in class" thing, she really did, but no matter how hard she tried, it was impossible. everytime she focused in on what Professor Ursula would say, she'd almost unconsciously divert her attention to something else. sometimes it'd be her breathing, noticing her breath intake and being too aware of it that she altered it slightly, breathing in slowly, then normal, and then stopping it before she turned her attention somewhere else.
sometimes, and it seemed that it became an almost always, did she divert it to a person. rather, a very specific person. one that sat conviniently in front of her.
diana cavendish was the school's pride and joy. heiress to her family's business, the Cavendish Medical Hospital (awkwardly named as well, akko thought), world renowned hospital branch that sprouted all sorts of miracles from their doctors, diana was next in line to lead it to its next era of greatness. she was stoic and often came across as rather rude, but akko knew otherwise. knew the girl was only like that due to her rather rash way of approaching the truth. she didn't beat around the bush, rather she ran straight towards it, not minding the thorns. she was straightforward, in simpler terms.
akko had seen a more simpler side of diana over the summer, where she interned alongside her in one of her family's yearly internships. they had been stuck together in a group of two other young interns, and paired off as partners. there, akko had seen a different side of her. a more vocal side to the usually stoic and quiet girl.
they'd get the graveyard shifts, where at the end of the day, the two would wound up back-to-back snoozing lightly during their breaks. often, akko would stay awake, relishing in the warmth of the older girl. she'd close her eyes and focus in on diana's breathing, calm and steady amongst all the rushing nurses still in the hospital at the time. she'd hear the beeping of the machines, the rushing of carts, the scurrying of the people, and all above them all, she'd hear diana's breathing. it was like her very own white noise, only something she'd be able to hear. like a bat, or something.
ever since then, akko had been hypersensitive towards the other girls' actions. more so than usual. she'd notice the changed breathing in diana when they'd get a different assignment, courtesy of her status amongst the hospital ranks. notice the increased speed of her leg bouncing up and down during their first day back in school, most likely due to the thermos sat on her desk, containing coffee, akko would hope. notice the tensing of her body when akko would lean forward to whisper her a question, or ask for some of her coffee. akko noticed this, she did, but ignored its possible meaning.
whatever it meant, she knew diana had a reason.
the bell rang, and students jumped out of their seats, throwing their belongings into their bags, and ran out the door. some would say goodbye to Professor Ursula, some would wave, and some would nod.
it wasn't like Professor Ursula's class was boring, quite the contrare, hers was the most interesting on the whole campus. rather, it was because this period akko and her friends had her was the period before lunch, so everyone was antsy, hungry, or a mix of both. Ursula couldn't blame them for that.
akko sighed as she watched diana walk out of the room, hannah and barbara following her. she had hoped the other girl would at least make eye contact with her today, but it seemed that whatever unknown thing akko had done to the girl seemed to affect her mind for better judgement. or she was pissed at akko.
either way, akko sulked, throwing her bag over her shoulder and continued to walk out the classroom.
or she would have, had her Professor not called her.
"oh, akko." Professor Ursula called after, "can you come here? we need to talk."
akko groaned internally, trudging back over to Ursula's desk. "yes?"
"its- well it's something bad, but i assure you nothing you can't fix." Ursula grinned sheepishly, before clearing her throat, "akko, as you know, Luna Nova is incredibly strict on having their students be absolutely perfection. this comes with everything. appearance, status-," she sighed, "grades."
"i'm doing everything i can, Professor. you know this." she said, "but it's hard. w-with the ADHD and Dyslexia, along with the meds, and then the piles of homework, i'm stressed in areas i didnt know stress could be appiled to. i'm trying, i really am, but i can't.... i can't keep everything up to everyones standards, not even my own at this point..."
"akko..," Ursula frowned. the sight of her, though something she would never want to get out to the school board, favorite student, down in the dumps and frowning, opposite to her usually cheerful demeanor, was like a stab to Ursula's abdomen. her frown deepened, knowing even more the future of her possible protégé.
Ursula sighed internally, she loved akko, she really did, but what she'd do next was only the best for her. or rather, would lead her for the best.
"akko, i'm sorry, but the board has had enough." she deepened her resolved, guiltily avoiding her students' watery eyes, "i'm sorry, but from this moment on, you are no longer a student at Luna Nova. please pack your belongings and be out of campus by tomorrow morning."
"i-," akko started, before her vision started getting cloudy by the onslaught of tears. she gathered herself, before responding to her former Professor with a nod and a hum, and walked out of the classroom with heavy steps and a heavy heart.
she never got to talk to diana, and at that point forward, she would never be able to ever again.
she was glad her roommates weren't there, because akko knew that if sucy or lotte were there then the reality of the situation would have sunk in deeper and she would have sobbed in front of those two. the thought of leaving her two closest friends behind saddened her not because that she’d be leaving them, rather the way that she’d be leaving them. she thought that the day that she’d leave these two would be graduation, where they stand on stage together holding their diplomas and congratulating each other and going off on their own paths, not being expelled because of her studies. akko substituted the sob in her throat for a hearty sigh. she knew that she’d been behind in some classes and there were spurts of energy where she just wanted to get all of those assignments finished, heck even finish the whole book, but she always kept it for spring break because it was so close.
but now akko could feel the repercussions of her procrastination and for god sake she wanted to jump off the fourth story floor right now.
zipping up the remainder of her belongings, akko took one good look around the room and smiled.
it was cleaner now.
calling her mom had never felt more like a walk of shame than now. when her mom picked up and answered with her sweet voice saying,"akko?", akko had wanted to tear up right there on the steps of Luna Nova Academy but she sucked it up and ran to an alley. there, she sobbed while telling her mom the whole story.
"oh akko..," akko sniffed, "its okay. i'm not mad at you. there are plenty of other schools around. just come home, okay?"
"i will." she rubbed her eyes with her sleeve, "but Luna Nova was different, mom. everything was different there. i don't think, if the school isn't Luna Nova..."
"let's talk about that when you get home. preferebly, after i make us some hot chocolate and i get my baby girl wrapped up in a blanket."
despite the embarrassment that came in the last sentence, akko couldn't help but smile at the sincerity in her mom's words. understandable, since akko hadn't had any time to visit her during any of the breaks.
she smiled, "that'd be nice. i'll see you in a bit, mom."
"be careful out there."