"Okay, let's start presenting names starting with those who are ready."

Kido stiffened. They were supposed to present? Suddenly, choosing a hero name was far more pressuring.

She gripped her board tightly and exhaled. She couldn't be panicking over something so simple.

But it's not simple- we're choosing hero names- we're presenting hero names-

She shook her head. Breathe. In. Out. The names were only temporary. If she wanted to change them later on, she could. It wasn't as though she got any offers anyway. No one would notice.

I could just disappear, and no one would notice-

Her eye power. She could go off that. She would probably be best as an underground hero anyway. Then- should she use some clever wordplay? Some of her classmates were doing that with their own names. But she wasn't really good at that. Kano was the wordsmith, not her. She wouldn't be able to think of anything clever.

Maybe something simple then. Straight to the point. Many of her classmates were doing that as well. Concealing hero-

She paused. She wanted to carry on the name of the Blindfold gang. But it just didn't sound… right. She couldn't label herself like that. The Blindfold gang wasn't just her. It was all of the members, together. To take up the name, by herself… It was suffocating.

She had enough of feeling like that.

Concealing hero: Kido, then? She would still be carrying on the tradition of the gang this way. And she would be referencing her power, like most of her other classmates. So why was she still hesitating?

I could just disappear, and no one would notice.

She remembered now, what Sensei had said. "When you give yourself a name, you get a more concrete image of what you want to be like in the future." She knew who she wanted to be, before. She wanted to be a great leader. A great commander. One who could protect the Blindfold gang. One who could be a hero like Ayano was.

She still wanted to be like Ayano.

But there was no Blindfold gang now.

She rested her head against the board. This wasn't her past life anymore. This was the life of Quirks and Pro-heroes. Of U.A. She still had a long way to go, but maybe she could start. Maybe she could leave her past behind and start accepting the present.

She wanted to be a hero like Ayano. Ayano was a kind, caring, accepting hero. If she couldn't even accept her situation, after years of living like this, how could she accept others like Ayano did?

She heard a classmate say his name. His first name. Just his first name. She lifted her head to find his name written on the board he displayed.

"Your name? Is that okay?"

"Yeah."

So she could just do her name. But he didn't just do his name, he did his first name. And now she couldn't get the thought out of her head.

Could I use my name as part of my hero name?

Her name. Once upon a time, she had hated her name. It felt suffocating, a reminder of all the things she was not and all the things her father wanted her to be. Maybe it was time to leave those bad memories behind. Maybe it was time to start accepting who she was, just a little.

She owed it to everyone in the Blindfold gang.

She began writing. Her movements were smooth and careful. The name would always remind her that she had room to grow, that she could always strive to do better. It wasn't what people would expect from her, but that was just fine. She wanted to break expectation in the best way possible. Like Ayano did with her.

"Kido-san? Are you ready?"

She froze. That's right, we're presenting. She nodded and rose. Just one step at a time. Another. And another. Soon she was at the front, facing the class.

Everyone's staring-

She remembered Ayano's voice. She remembered her confident, cheerful smile. She remembered the gang's crazy antics and lively manner. They noticed her. They accepted her. They wouldn't let her disappear.

Isn't this exactly what I want?

She wanted to be a hero like Ayano. One who broke expectation in the best way possible. To do that, she had to accept the parts of her she once tried to reject.

"Budding Hero: Tsubomi."

It would be a small step, but it would be a step in the right direction.


A/N: So I actually had this sitting in my drive for a while but it was a little on the long side so I was debating on whether I should just post it or not

Honestly Kido would probably have one of the other names if it weren't for her new song (Never Lost Word is amaaazing btw) but I feel like even in a different world she would eventually get to the same place as she is in that song (hence the name)