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Smoke and Violets

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The dorms were a safety precaution, a smart one, intended for team-building and protection. But as Momo lay restless on her grey silk bed-spread, she almost found herself wishing she was back home. Which was ridiculous. Momo had often privately thought that her own house was far too big and empty for just her family, and turned to books and training to get a feel for the world outside.

She had been practically ecstatic to move into the UA dorms, new experiences brought a new perspective, after all. However, there were a few oversights Momo had not anticipated.

No matter how much she had tried to get her dorm room to feel like home, more often than not, Momo would wake up choking back screams on a bed far too big for the tiny room provided. Her nightmares seemed to only get worse inside the walls of the dorms, her walls seeming to close around her in the dark.

Tonight, though, she can't seem to fall asleep at all. Images flash through her mind: her classmates getting injured or taken by villains, All-Might getting de-transformed into a dilapidated husk of his former glory. Momo can almost feel the noxious gas in the forest training camp filling her lungs, choking her, pine needles crunching at her back as she fell to the ground, helpless once again. She still has nightmares about what could have happened, if she'd been just a few minutes too late getting gas masks to her peers.

She rolls around on the bed, sheets bunching up under her fidgeting. Momo mindlessly reaches out to smooth the creases, letting the soft material ground her to reality. A bead of sweat runs down her forehead, and Momo tenses when she hears a small popping noise.

She looks down to find a small painted Matryoshka doll in her palm, wood cool against her skin. Momo slips the doll into the pocket of her blue pyjama pants, soundlessly getting out of bed, her mind racing. A part of Momo (a part that sounded suspiciously like Midoriya-Kun,) was hypothesizing how exactly her quirk had worked on it's own, and the other was filled with the haunting images of 1-A's past dangerous exploits merging together.

She shakes herself, fingertips brushing the glossy wooden doll in her pocket. There was school tomorrow, and Momo should at least try and get some rest. She needed something to calm her down. Her mind goes to the collection of gourmet teas she had brought from home. Tea sounded amazing to Momo right about now.

So she slips out of her room and down the hallway, mindful of her sleeping classmates. Lost in her own head, Momo wanders to the kitchen, hands twisting together against the flat of her stomach.

She heard it before she saw it.

Erratic twanging noises rang out from the kitchen, the scraping of a chair on the floor and muttered unprintable words. Momo crept closer to investigate, nesting doll clutched tight in her hands.

Heat floods to her cheeks when she realizes it's one of her classmates sitting at the table, cursing at an electric guitar, tuning fork poised expertly in hand.

Momo feels her embarrassment and surprise fade into worry and confusion when she realizes that it's Jirou who is leaning back in one of the chairs at the Kitchen table like it's completely normal to be up at dawn, dressed in rumpled street clothes and house slippers.

Her hands start shaking again when her friend looks up at her. She really needs that tea. Jirou breaks the silence first, tilting her head slightly in greeting, "Hey Yaomomo. What're you doing up this late?"

Momo smiles slightly, "I could ask you the same question. I'm up because I couldn't sleep. Nightmares."

Jirou grimaces, entirely too empathetic to not be from experience. "Man, that sucks. I'm sorry Mo- er Yaoyorozu-san."

Momo blinks in surprise at the slip, an inexplicable warmness settling contentedly in her chest. "No need for the honorifics, Jirou. We've been through a fair lot together. Call me Momo, please."

Jirou turns light pink, and an awkward silence befalls them. Momo's eye catches on the kettle on the counter and she bustles over to it, calling over her shoulder, "I'm making some tea, would you like any?"

Jirou startles, her cheeks turning darker, clutching her electric guitar closer to her chest. "Uh, I, Yes, please."

Momo's never seen her friend this out of sorts before. Worry starts clouding her mind again, so she reaches for one of her favorites, Gyokuro tea.

She pours hot water into two ceramic cups, carefully measuring the tea leaves and tipping the proportionate amounts in. Jirou carefully sets down her instrument and gratefully takes the cup, muttering, "Thanks, Momo."

It does strange, strange things to her heart. While they sip their tea, Momo finds herself studying the girl across form her. Jirou's dark purple hair falls down over her forehead, almost obscuring her darker eyes. She smells like wood smoke and violets, with a faint after-tone of metal. It's a surprisingly pleasing combination.

Her friend's profile is slouched over, and her black nail polish is chipped. The only word Momo can think of to describe Jirou in this moment is beautiful. Wait- beautiful?

Momo takes a hasty gulp of tea and almost spits it out, the scalding liquid burning her throat as it goes down, leaving her coughing and spluttering. Jirou is smiling at her, a small amused thing, her lips quirking upwards just slightly.

Momo is suddenly very aware that her hair is unbrushed and she is still wearing her blue pyjamas, Matryoshka doll still tucked in her pocket, very much in sight. She looks over at Jirou again, who has now set the tea on the table and gone back to tuning her guitar. It hits her then, strong and warm and unexpected.

This is where she belongs. With her friends at UA, where any of her classmates would not hesitate to comfort her and fill up the empty spaces. With Jirou, who managed to do just that all on her own.

And she finds, perhaps even more unexpectedly, that maybe it really wasn't that unexpected after all.