She'd show them this time.
She wasn't going to let a few well-placed plastic spiders spook her away from the training session again. Sure, she had had a deeply-ingrained fear of bugs for as long as she could remember, but she had to face her fear. She didn't know how they found out, but she suspected that her adopted "little brother" had told them.
The boys snickered and whispered as she entered the gym. She stopped a few steps beyond the doorway and took a deep breath. Then she retrieved her good luck charm, a pink hair ribbon, and pulled her ebony locks back into a ponytail. That ribbon was the only thing she owned from her life before the orphanage. She was told that she had been wearing it in her hair when she arrived.
She repeated her mantra over and over again as she stepped closer to the mat. "You are a trained ninja. You can do this."
The raven-haired boy with the beautiful blue eyes stepped onto the mat with her.
"We're sorry," he said. "It's customary to do some mild hazing when someone joins the program. We didn't realize you would take it that hard. Your little brother told us about your fear of bugs after it was too late."
A small smirk tugged at the corners of her mouth. "That's okay," she winked as she took on a fighting stance. "But paybacks are a bitch."