Started: September 19th, 2005
Finished: September 28th, 2005

Summary: It is the new school year in Odaiba, and Miyako is having a bumpy first year in Middle School. Daisuke catches on to her troubles, and hatches a plan with Ken on how to help.

Bird of Prey

Chapter 1 – Leaving the Nest

Inoue Miyako had always been a strong, active, and energetic girl. But as the first rays of sunlight shown through her window early this very morning, she simply pulled the covers over her head and continued to sleep. She didn't like mornings, she had decided in her drowsy state, since waking up only meant there was a full day ahead of her before she could go back to sleep.

Miyako liked the warmth and comfort that her bed provided. Beyond her sheets and covers was a foreign environment; cold and unnerving. Spring seemed to be a late arrival for this time of year. Being April, it was a month into the new school year and only but a few days ago had the ice and snow finally begun to melt.

She peeked through the covers at the clock by her bedside, and let out a deep sigh. Poromon wasn't around to wake her, and thus the mechanical ringing began piercing her ears. She couldn't wait for her digimon partner to return from the digital world. The restlessness of Diablomon's attack the previous month had aroused a state of nervousness with the populous. The usage of cell phones had been temporarily banned, and various other digital communication contained many restrictions. Even though time had passed swiftly, and the Chosen partners were due back to the real world within the next week, Miyako wasn't happy with much that had been declared after Diablomon was dealt with.

Her thoughts wandering back to the present, Miyako groggily rolled over on her front as she slammed the clock, silencing it. She needed to get dressed into her new dark brown uniform and be ready as soon as the bell rang for her first morning class. She was in the seventh grade now, a first year in Intermediate. Hikari and the rest of her generation of Chosen were a year younger, and thus still in Elementary. Woozily, she pulled the warm covers off her, and slipped off her bed to welcome her chilly room.

Daisuke cheerfully waved to the other Chosen from the front gates of the schoolyard, as he went towards them for a quick lunch break. Takeru, Hikari and Iori were all there waiting for him. While most students ate inside their classrooms, the Chosen still in Elementary school met at the stairs just within the main lobby.

The group noticed Daisuke shiver slightly as he came to join them. Takeru immediately commented, "A bit cold, aren't you?"

"Freezing," Daisuke groaned to them. "And the school postponed the soccer season, my team can't even go out for practice. I can't wait for old man winter to finally go away."

Takeru nodded his agreement. "Yeah, I can relate. Basketball's still on hold, even though we play indoors."

Iori said, "But spring has been rather late this year. I do wonder, though, if any of the reasons have to do with Belial Vamdemon. Everything has been rather dull and dreary since the new year."

"It really is depressing," Takeru agreed. "The flowers that should have bloomed a month ago are still mostly dead."

Daisuke shrugged. "You can't ignore the start of the new school year just 'cause the snow didn't melt on time. Iori's probably right, with the whole digital world thing, it probably messed up some polar stuff and the seasons are coming a bit late."

Hikari piped up at last. "It's not all that bad, Daisuke-kun. It should be much warmer within the next few days. When your first soccer game comes up you can count on the whole gang coming together to watch you play."

Daisuke chuckled a bit. "I'll definitely look forward to it, Hikari-chan. I'm sure Ken and Miyako wouldn't mind getting together with the rest of us again. It's been quite a while since we had a group gathering."

"I guess that happens when there aren't any threats like Diablomon lurking around," Iori said, frowning a bit.

Hikari turned towards Takeru and Iori. "How is Miyako-san? You two still see her in the building, right?"

Takeru blinked in surprise at the directed question. "Well, yeah, we do. She usually gets out a lot earlier than we do, though. I'm not too sure where her school is but I'd think it's quite a bit farther away and probably starts earlier than ours, too."

"I've talked with Miyako-san a bit," Iori said. "She doesn't seem too happy with everything that's happened lately. She misses Poromon a lot. The weather might have upset her a bit, as well."

"I can't say I don't miss Tailmon," Hikari said. "But she'll be back soon, so I'm not overly worried about it."

"I'd like to visit her sometime," Daisuke stated, referring to Miyako. "What do you guys think? Want to go see her right after school is out?"

Takeru sighed at him. "You're just saying that because you don't want to go home so early now that soccer club activities have been canceled."

Daisuke stuttered at the accusation, but didn't have much to say in his defense, other than outright deny it. "N-no way! That's not it at all!"

"Either way," Takeru replied. "I'm heading over to see Oniichan tonight, so I won't be able to make it. I'll be leaving right after school."

"I also have a few errands I need to run for my mother," Iori said softly. "And afterwards I'll be with my grandfather for my Kendo lessons."

"You're not coming either?" Daisuke asked, looking over in disbelief.

Iori nodded, "I do apologize, give Miyako-san my regards."

Daisuke couldn't believe his luck. Whether good or bad, fortune had finally left him alone with Hikari. "Fine then," he finally said, turning to the only girl of their group. "I'll just go with Hikari-chan."

"Actually, Daisuke-kun…" She hesitated slightly.

He frowned right at her. "You, too, Hikari-chan?"

"I'm sorry, Daisuke-kun, but I'll be with the photography club all evening. We've got several dozen film rolls to go through in the dark room. I'll be lucky to get out in time for dinner. Believe me, though, I really wish I could go."

"Oh, fine," Daisuke finally said. "I'll just go by myself."

He would've said more in an attempt to guilt the others into coming with him, but the school bell rang once more signaling the return to classes. The four chosen parted, Iori heading one way, while the three sixth graders went the other.

The first thing Daisuke noticed upon entering the school building – Murasuzume Academy – was the display case full of trophies that glittered and greeted all visitors entering from the main doors.

He eagerly walked up towards the display, eyeing much gold, a moderate amount of silver, and the few bronze here and there. Daisuke was amazed to find these were all awards won by the school soccer team. There were framed photographs of the team, along with their coach, that surrounded the display case. The pictures dated back some twenty years, as did the trophies. It seemed that the team was still very strong. Daisuke quietly wondered how they were handling the delay of the soccer season this year.

A man in a formal grey suite caught Daisuke's eye to the side, down a hallway by the main office. The man was staring at him. When Daisuke turned to look at him clearly, the man simply turned around and entered the nearest door.

Daisuke eyed the entrance the man had gone through for a few seconds, before shrugging it off and continuing in his search for Miyako. Classes were over, he knew that, but he had come in early enough to still catch students as they left from their club activities. And he was sure Miyako was still around here, doing some work in some media lab on some computer.

A voice distracted him as he walked the empty halls. The voice shouted, and he sighed, instantly recognizing the familiar bellow. "Why the hell is it any concern of yours that I know him?"

He then heard a ball hit the ground from what he could only assume, by the size of the doors, was either the school cafeteria room or their gymnasium. Eagerly, Daisuke ran ahead to the large doorway and pulled the door open. He imagined a team of soccer players doing some sort of indoor exercise, with Miyako spouting her choice of profanities to one of the team players on the sidelines.

To his disappointment, no soccer was taking place. He noticed, however, that there were two girls inside, their backs facing him. They wore knee-length brown skirts and long-sleeved shirts of the same shade. And even more disappointing was that neither turned to pay him any attention, as they were busy chattering between themselves in a corner of the gymnasium.

"Such a genius should be off limits to you," He could hear one of the girls say.

He turned his gaze away to find Miyako, but the rest of the gymnasium was completely empty. With a frown, Daisuke turned to leave, but a sharp shriek came from the girls. He spun around in time to see a volleyball bounce off the person that was hit on the head with it, back into the hands of the blonde who threw it. It was a third girl there, entrapped by the two others in a corner.

"What're you two doing?" Daisuke yelled at the oppressors.

All three girls turned to stare at him, the newest one he'd seen gave him a mere glance before she turned back to face the two other girls with tear-stained eyes of anger and frustration. Daisuke looked back at her, seeing her clearly for the first time.

"What do you want?" demanded one of the girls with a scowl, her red fiery hair swaying as she traced her eyes over him.

But he stood speechless, his own pair of brown orbs now interlocked with those of the girl barely standing with her arms frozen to her sides. Her eyes once again shifted to him and she managed to choke out her curiosity, "Daisuke… what the heck are you doing here…?"

"Miyako…" Daisuke frowned at the situation. "What's going on?"

"It's… it's nothing!" she spat at him, almost angrily.

"Oh? You two know each other?" said the blonde, "You hear that, Yuki? It's Miyako-chan's knight in shining armor."

"Quiet, Tori," The redhead said, turning her gaze back to the girl she and her friend had surrounded. "Miyako doesn't need a hero, since we were just playing around, isn't that right?"

Miyako glared back with equal menace. "Bite me."

"Don't talk back to me like that," Yuki snarled, pressing forward and roughly shoving the girl in front of her. Miyako fell backwards, losing her balance and falling to her feet.

"Ouch," The violet haired girl mumbled, rubbing her behind from the impact.

Daisuke didn't bother waiting for anything else to be said or done. He walked towards Miyako and helped her to her feet, and placed one of her arms over his shoulder in order to help her support herself. Tori and Yuki stared as he chastised them, "You two take another step and I'll…"

"Just leave it," Miyako sighed at him.

Daisuke turned back to her, his attention away from the oppressors. "C'mon, then, we're leaving."

"And where do you think you're going?" Yuki questioned them in annoyance.

The two then walked past Yuki and Tori in mutual silence, ignoring their shouts and jibes, and exited the gymnasium. They exited the school building next, Daisuke walking with Miyako back to her home. All the way, they still remained silent.

A little ways away from the school grounds, Miyako finally broke their silence. It was a short, simple statement. "Thanks, Daisuke."

He didn't reply, not even taking notice of her appreciation. They simply continued to walk. Within a few more minutes of their silence, Daisuke sighed a bit towards her. "Care to tell me what the heck that was about back there?"

"Not really," she mouthed in reply. "And what were you doing there in the first place?"

Daisuke ignored her question. "Iori and Hikari-chan say hello, and they felt pretty bad that they couldn't come with me to see you today."

"I wish I knew why you were coming to see me in the first place," Miyako said.

"So what's happening with those two back there at the school?"

She shrugged, letting to shoulders fall limply to her sides. "Beats me, they'll get what's coming to them eventually. They picked the wrong girl to piss off."

"And why is that?" he wondered curiously, stopping abruptly. They now stood in front of the Inoue's corner store.

Miyako shrugged again, before walking inside the store, leaving Daisuke behind. Her mood had only angered as they continued their talk, and it seemed she was glad to have it end.

She turned back around to him and spoke, voice dull and plain. "Just stay out of this."

"You should know me better than to ignore this and not try to help," Daisuke muttered.

"Whatever," she replied. "It's not like I can't handle any of this myself. They're just two immature brats."

"True enough," Daisuke commented, allowing her to vent her frustrations.

"Just because they're my sempai doesn't change anything," Miyako said. "I'm just as strong as them, no matter how many connections they might have with school matters..."

"Right," he said once again, trying to get as much out of her as possible.

Miyako laughed softly at him, having figured out his tactic, and turned around again. "I'll see you around, Daisuke. Goodbye, and thanks again for today, I guess."

Miyako disappeared behind the door, and seeing she was safely back home, Daisuke headed off back home to his own apartment complex.

"Ichijouji residence," Ken heard his mother say over the phone. There was a very brief silence where Ken could only assume the speaker on the other end of the line was talking.

"Oh, of course," he heard his mother say, "Ken, dear, the phone is for you."

Ken instantly lifted the receiver to his ear. With a click, he heard his mother put down the phone on the other line, and he heard Daisuke speak loud and clear, "Ken, we've gotta talk."

"Yeah, sure, of course," Ken replied. "What's on your mind, Daisuke?"

"It's about Miyako and her new school."

"Oh?" Ken asked. "How's Miyako-san been lately? We haven't had a group gathering in quite a bit."

He could hear Daisuke sigh over the phone. "It doesn't look like she's doing so well. These two girls at her new school… well, I mean, I only walked in on them today, but it seems they're about to start clashing pretty badly around there. I'm under the impression that things can only go downhill."

Ken frowned in thought. "I really had no idea. What school is she going to again? I think I'll pay her a visit soon."

"It's that private school – Murasuzume Academy. It was pretty much her only other option since she refused to be caught dead wearing green."

Ken rolled his eyes at the answer, but his voice giving away his dislike. "Right, that school…"

"What about it?" Daisuke asked.

"Let's just say I had a few very obsessive fans back… well… back then." He didn't need to say much else, knowing Daisuke would understand.

"I see," Daisuke simply commented, understanding Ken's implication.

Not wanting to change the subject, and seeing that their conversation was coming to an end, Daisuke continued, "Well, I'm going to go visit Miyako again early tomorrow morning… now, I don't want to ask you to come so far out of your way…"

Ken said, "Don't worry, Daisuke, understandable. Just give me a call if you need help with anything about this and I'll be available. I think I'll call Miyako tonight and see how she's coping."

Daisuke agreed. "Alright, Ken, thanks a ton. That's really all I wanted to hear. I'll see you around."

"Bye," Ken said. There was a click from the other end, and Ken then hung up.

When Daisuke entered the school grounds of Murasuzume, one of the last things he expected to see was laid right in front of his eyes. Miyako stood atop the school roof, very dangerously close to the ledge…

"Miyako!" Daisuke yelled up at her, "What the heck are you doing!"

The girl in question looked down upon the boy, annoyance covering her features. "What're you doing here, yet again?"

"Don't ask stupid questions!" Daisuke said, rather loudly. "Just wait up there, and don't move. I'm coming up."

Before even waiting for her to reply, he raced into the school building. He eyed the hallways left and right, looking for the staircase. Finally finding one, he sprinted down the empty hallways, and ran up the steps. He found the door leading to the roof left wide open and rushed through it. Upon finally seeing Miyako, he stopped to catch his breath as he slowed down to a calm walk towards her.

"Why are you here?" she asked him again.

He took in a deep breath, trying to adjust to his heaving chest. He then said, "Just making sure you're alright, that's all."

"Well, I'm fine," Miyako spat. "For now, anyways."

Daisuke sighed at her. "Why were you so close to the ledge on the roof? Give me a heart-attack, why don't you…? I thought you were gonna jump."

Miyako blinked in surprise, and then looked over at Daisuke. Despite his lecturing at her, she laughed at him in a rather ridicule tone. "You thought I was going to jump? Daisuke, the building is only two floors. If I jumped I might just get a few bruises on my leg at worst."

Daisuke frowned. "Well I'm glad you're finding this funny. But then why were you up here in the first place?"

"What does it matter? I just came up for some fresh air since I'm here so early. Then there's the view, and the breeze, and the sunshine."

He smiled slightly at her. "I guess that's plenty of good reasons right there."

"I'm glad you think so," Miyako said. "But shouldn't you be heading back to your own school by now, Daisuke?

He moved towards her. "Yeah, I will be."

Daisuke turned around then to descend down the stairwell, Miyako following right behind him. They stopped just outside the main doors. Miyako waved at him, "See you, Daisuke."

He nodded at her. "See you soon, Miyako."

Chapter Notes:
- A sempai is an upperclassman. Tori and Yuki are both older than Miyako.
- Oniichan means, "Older brother." Takeru is referring to Yamato
- "Murasuzume" is a noun for "a flock of sparrows"
- Tori and Yuki are both Japanese female names meaning "Bird" and "Snow," respectively.