Disclaimers:  Standard stuff, I, as the author of this fic, do not, never have and never will own Digimon.  If I did, we'd all know because I would make a series of OVA's about Ken and Miyako. 

Author Notes:  This fic came about when I was showing the first draft of 'Child's Play' to a few of my on-line friends.  Vertigo commented about me someday doing a Kaiyako, which was something I always wanted to try.  Before long I had this plot tumbling around my head and basically did nothing but write for three days.  It's the longest one-shot I've ever done and I don't think I've ever been this pleased with a Digimon fic before.  Don't much care for the title, though.

Captive's Release

Motomiya Daisuke was kicking a stone as he walked, a bad mood radiating from him.  V-mon peered at his partner, concerned and not trying to hide it.

                Hida Iori was all but crying, the nearest to tears he'd been since the death of his father.  Armadimon tried to joke with the boy, make him happy, but he was unable to even feign a positive attitude.

                Yagami Hikari's eyes were downcast and a loosely balled fist was covering her mouth, hiding a terribly sad frown from the world.  Tailmon held the girl's other hand in a comforting manner, but found herself unable to provide any real solace.

                Takaishi Takeru scowled, ideas, plans, and accusations flying through his mind.  Patamon was huddled on his head, mindlessly playing with the brim of the blonde's white hat.

                Inoue Miyako shifted uncomfortably, watching her friends.  The collective hopelessness, sadness and feeling of loss; it was all her fault.  If she could stand up and run to them, maybe they would be happy again.  Maybe Daisuke would leave the poor rock alone and yell at her instead.  And she could yell back and Iori would never cry and Hikari would smile and Takeru would act happy again, pretending his scars had been laid to rest.  V-mon wouldn't be worried and Armadimon would joke, probably about eating, and Tailmon would be able to fix any problem Hikari had and Patamon would fly proudly.

                "Go," said a voice close to her ear.  "If you want to go to them, then go."  The tone of the voice was angrily distant, though Miyako could detect a bit of sadness in it as well.  The anger was in all likely hood only a cover for that sadness.  "I don't want you hanging around here anyway," the voice continued, nonchalant now, "you've served your purpose."

                "Ken-kun…" Miyako began, turning her attention to her feet.  Her boots were white and tan, and they had a zipper.  Looking at that zipper was so much easier than looking at her friends, so much easier than listening to Ken.  She was unable to continue the sentence, she didn't really know what she had intended to say, anyway.  Just make him stop talking… 

                It seemed to Miyako then that she was always trying to make Ken stop doing thing.

                Stop talking.

                Stop hurting digimon.

                Stop scowling.

                Stop holding her so tightly, all the while telling her to leave him.

                Stop losing people.

                Stop being in so much pain.

                His arms were around her waist, gripping tighter with every passing second.  She was going to leave him.  Miyako looked at his hands, literally clad in black gloves and figuratively covered only by blood.  His hands grasped each other, securing his arms around her waist.  She pulled his hands apart and interlaced her fingers with his, the white of her gloves alternating with the black of his.  Miyako lingered like that for a moment and finally pulled his arms open. 

                She had been sitting on his lap, watching the view screens of the Kaiser's control room with him, the young tyrant's arms wrapped possessively around her waist.  Now she stood, her gaze fluctuating...Ken... her friends...Ken...her friends.  Slowly, Miyako backed up a few steps, still unable to keep a steady gaze on either option.

                "Ken-kun," she said finally, still taking a step backwards and away from him with every breath, "Ken-kun, I'm sorry.  I'm so sorry."  Miyako's breathing was uneven, perhaps she didn't want to leave, the Kaiser mussed.  "Hawkmon!" Miyako cried.

                The faithful rust-colored bird flew from where ever it was he and Wormmon spend their time when not by the side of their respective partners and landed in the door frame.  Close to Miyako, but not close enough so that the Kaiser would become angry.

                "C'mon," Miyako murmured brushing past her digimon, "We're going home now, Hawkmon."  Elated, the digimon followed, congratulating Miyako on her sudden show of good sense.

                Miyako paused in her march suddenly and turned.  The figure of the Kaiser was visible, barely, by this time.  Down the corridor and through the doorway, he sat on his chair, unmoving.

                "Until we meet again in battle, Ichijouji-san!" Miyako called and with that, she was gone.

                "Until then, Miyako-san," the Kaiser echoed to the air, his voice barely above a whisper.

                On the screens, the Chosen Children and their toys plodded along a path.  The air reeked with depression, but they would soon be happy again.  They would come back for him someday, the Kaiser knew.  Ichijouji Ken cared nothing for that knowledge.  The only thing on his mind was the state he was in and how it came to be.

**********************

                The Kaiser swore.

                "Fire Rocket!"

                "Tempest Wing!"

                "Gold Rush!"

                Three dark spirals destroyed.  Three DarkTyranomon with glowing red eyes freed from his control.  The immediate threat taken care of, the five Chosen Children set their sights on the fleet of Airdramon above the battle.  The Kaiser was, of course, relatively certain seven Airdramon could take on five armor digimon, especially with the air advantage that turned it more towards three taking on seven.

                Fladramon jumped, his blue body encased in flames as well as fire print armor and crashed himself against the dark spiral worn by the lowest flying Airdramon.  As the Kaiser's device shattered, the tyrant ranted to the Airdramon he rode that jumping that high was clearly against the laws of physics.  Another Airdramon counter attacked Fladramon, but was also the brunt of an assault by the liberated digimon.  The second Airdramon let out a wounded screech and plummeted to the ground, his own spiral cracking and sliding off on impact.

                Halsemon, complete with a lavender-haired rider, blew past the Kaiser's mount to a digimon directly behind him.  He shot a Tempest Wing at his intended mark and quickly lost altitude to avoid the victim's counter.  A Gold Rush attack shot straight up cuffed the Airdramon and splintered the dark spiral.  The lavender-haired rider cheered.

                Three out of four of the remaining Airdramon were caught in a Golden Noose and tied together by Nefartimon and Pegasusmon.  The two angelic beasts dragged their capture downward, allowing a pot shot made by each of their comrades to take out the spirals.

                It was all done in a manner of seconds and before the Kaiser could even begin his tirade against Halsemon and Digmon's teamwork, the boy found himself, his Airdramon and his worthless worm careening towards the clearing and the very hard, albeit grass-covered, ground curtesy of some rather displeased DarkTyranomon.  Confidant of the properties of the game, the Kaiser felt no fear.  His worm was certainly scared, however, crying out for 'Ken-chan' and clinging to the Kaiser's leg.  Had it not been for the force of gravity working it's magic on the boy with striped hair, the small green caterpillar would have been shaken off, but as it was, the caterpillar was able to maintain his hold.  Still, the Kaiser felt no fear.

                The majority of the force of impact was absorbed by the Airdramon, who disappeared in a wave of data.  Comparatively, the Kaiser was unscathed by the fall, though the sheer quantity of the gravitational pull and his inability to breath well as oxygen rushed past him rendered the boy unconscious before his Airdramon dissipated from underneath him.  He tumbled in the air without protection for roughly only five feet.  Even at the last moment before blackness took him, the Kaiser felt no fear.

**********************

                The Digimon Kaiser was in a sitting position when he awoke. Two thirds of the length of his arms had been tightly bound by his own whip and after being propped up, the other children let his torso lull forward.  His head hung down in a relaxed position, one of the other children had initially commented that it almost looked like the Kaiser had lowered his head in shame.  Though the child had been completely serious, the other children erupted in fits of laughter about the idea of the Kaiser feeling shame.  The child withdrew, embarrassed that his opinion had caused them to laugh.  His golden digimon nudged him and requested that he cheer up.  The child promptly did so.  The Kaiser, being unconscious at the time, knew nothing of the exchange.

                However, there was another conversation going on at the time he woke that he did know of.  He kept his muscled relaxed, eyes closed and head downcast to give himself an advantage.  He was awake, but his adversaries did not know.  The conversation was of some interest to the Kaiser, as it pertained to him:

Motomiya: Now that we've got 'im, what are we going to do with 'im?

Second Boy: Get him out of the Digital World, and fast.

First Girl: Takeru-kun's right, we have to get him out of here.

Third Boy: But he can come back.

Second Girl: Not if we take his digivice.  Izumi-sempai says that the digivices are the key to entering the digital world

Motomiya: Yeah, but can't he check up on the Digital World using a computer?  I bet he can still do stuff from the outside.

First Girl: *sighes, annoyed* That's impossible, Daisuke

Second Girl: But Hikari-chan, Izumi-senpai can, why couldn't *pauses* Ichijouji-san?

Third Boy: I agree with Daisuke-san and Miyako-san.  First, we should make sure he can't affect the Digital World from the outside, then bring him back to the Real World. 

Second Girl: But there's a problem there, too.  What if once we bring him back, we tell people one story about where he's been and he tells another?

Second Boy: We'll take him to his base.  From there, we can force him to take down all the Dark Towers and free the digimon.  Then we can bring him to the Real World, take his digivice so he can't get back.  All of his gizmos will be gone and then there won't be anything for him to affect from the outside.  As for his excuse, we just don't give one and agree with whatever he says.

Other Children: *various agreements*

Motomiya: So let's go!

Second Girl: Uh, Daisuke, shouldn't we wait for him to wake up?

Motomiya: Lightdramon can carry him, can't you buddy?

Motomiya's Digimon: Sure thing, Daisuke!

Second Girl: We're going to have to find his base, first.

Motomiya: You e-mail Izumi-san and have him track it down, Miyako.

               

                By this time in the conversation, the Kaiser's left foot had fallen asleep.  Not that it was anything he couldn't handle, the boy just found it annoying.  Very annoying.  That added to his headache, the chaffing his own whip caused and the very idea that these insignificant little fools had captured him in the first place had placed him in a particularly rotten mood.  That added to the feeling he had that something was missing.  It nagged at him, just like that worm of his was always nagging--

                That worm, where was he?  Last the Kaiser knew, his grub had been clinging to him, but who knew how much time had passed? 

                "Whew…" the Kaiser heard someone blow their breathe out in awe or surprise, "His base is a while away," the person continued.  The Kaiser picked the voice out as being the second girl from earlier.  She must have finished her communication with that Izumi person.  Did she think his base was close?  That he had to ride large dragons to get to them because his headquarters were near by?  Fools.  The idea of himself getting captured by such idiots worsened his mood.  How could that have happened?  Had he not taken account for every variable?  He was a genius, he should be able to learn from the few mistakes he made!  The Kaiser could kick himself, if he dared to moved that is.

                Predictably, the Kaiser's short-lived concern for Wormmon was forgotten.

                Two pairs of arms grasped the Kaiser's upper arms and hauled him to his feet.  He steadied himself by reflex, instantly regretting it.

                "He's awake!" called the voice of Motomiya, right in the Kaiser's ear. 

                "Daisuke!" Protested the boy on his other side, "don't let your grip loosen!  If he's awake, we have to be extra careful not to let him get away!"

                "Right, right," grumbled Motomiya, tightening his old on the Kaiser's arm.  The two boys began to walk, dragging their capture with them.  The Kaiser stumbled a few times, much to the entertainment of Motomiya, due to the numbness his left foot and each side of himself being pulled along at different speeds.  Motomiya was much faster than the other boy--now that the Kaiser dared to open his eyes he recognized the other boy as the one with a Patamon. 

                As for the rest of his captors, the Kaiser noticed the boy with the Armadimon was in the lead, taking directions from the girl with the Hawkmon who had rode past him during the battle.  She was staring more at her mini-computer than where she was going.  The Izumi person, if she was the one who had been communicating with him, must have given her a map.  The final Chosen Child was the girl with a Gatomon.  The Kaiser noticed she carried Wormmon and felt a little bit better about the entire situation.  There was someone on his side, someone who could help him get away.  Someone who would at the very least watch while he made these fools pay.

                "How long is this gonna take?" Again, the voice of Motomiya was too loud and right in the Kaiser's ear.

                "A really long time, Daisuke," responded the girl with the Hawkmon without turning her head away from her computer.  "It would be faster if we could ride our digimon but Digmon can't keep up and we can't trust Cape-Boy over here to just one of us.  Especially when he could knock us right off our digimon."

                "How long is really long?" Motomiya pressed.

                "Think of it this way-" the girl said, "how badly do you want to go to school tomorrow?"

                "Don't." Motomiya answered.

                "Good," the girl said, she turned around to face him now, "'cause we're not going.  Maybe not the day after either, depending on how cooperative our new friend is going to be."

                "I'm going to miss soccer practice because of you," Motomiya declared.  "Hope you're happy."

                "Oh, I'm thrilled," the Kaiser replied, his voice smooth, even and with a hint of sarcasm, "nothing brings me more joy than knowing I've minorly inconvenienced a band of nitwits."

                "Y'know," the girl said, "we could just tie you up somewhere and let digimon beat you up as they pass.  You're going to get some sort of hero's welcome when you get back home.  We're doing you a favor here, so shove it, Ichijouji!"

                "Doing me a favor?" the Kaiser spat.  "I'm touched."

                "You better be," she growled.  The computer-girl turned away from him then and shouted something to the boy in the lead.

                Meanwhile, the blond boy had stuck up a conversation with the brunette carrying Wormmon.  The little bug wasn't moving and his eyes were closed. 

                "Wormmon..?" the Kaiser questioned softly before he could remind himself that video game characters were incapable of getting hurt.  He was disturbed that his voice sounded more like a lost little boy than himself, but brushed it off when none of his foes noticed.

                The hike continued through the afternoon and into evening without much change.  The Chosen Children would talk amongst themselves and every so often the Kaiser would add some sort of derogatory remark, usually directed at the girl with the computer.  Her fault really, she gave him too much material. 

                "What's for dinner?" Motomiya asked suddenly.  In the Real World they would have eaten by now.  Evening was drawing to a close.

                The group stopped in it's tracks.  All of the other children began speaking at once.

                "What'll I tell my grandfather?"

                "Mom's going to be really worried..."

                "Taichi-niichan and the others will give us alibis, I'm sure of it."

                "I've got a few snacks in my backpack." 

                Somehow, through the jumble of words, the children and their digimon managed to pick out the word 'snacks.' 

                "Hey, I said a few," the girl who had put her computer away said, holding up her palms to ward off her friends.  "As in, half a bag of chips or tube of yogurt is dinner."

                "Better than nothing," the responded the boy with the Patamon.  "Thanks, Miyako-chan."

                The other children chimed in with their thanks.  Miyako began to divide up the rations.  Motomiya and his V-mon were given a bag of barbecue flavored potato chips; the boy in lead and his Armadimon got a tube of yogurt for them to share; the girl holding Wormmon was offered a chocolate-covered rice ball, but she turned it down and took a bag of corn chips instead; the last boy and his Patamon also got a tube of yogurt.  Miyako kept the rice ball for herself and Hawkmon at the insistence of the brunette.  It was only fair that she as the reliable one got the best meal, the brunette had told them.

                Miyako also found an almost used up roll of tape with which she victoriously fastened the Kaiser's mouth shut.  She and Motomiya snickered, though no one else was particularly amused.  The Kaiser was deathly angry.

                Patamon unscrewed the yogurt and sucked out roughly half the contents before holding it up to his boy.  Leaving both hands to hold the prisoner, the boy took the yogurt package with his mouth, holding it in place with his teeth and sucking as best he could.

                The brunette shifted her grip on Wormmon to allow her to rip the corn chip bag open.  That done she offered a handful of chips to Tailmon and kept a handful for herself.  She explained that the rest of the chips would be for Wormmon when he woke up.

                The boy in the lead opened his yogurt tube, took a swig and passed it his digimon.  He had completely cleaned his plate at breakfast and lunch, he told them, so he could do without much food better than Armadimon.

                Miyako unwrapped the rice ball and took a bite.  She passed it to Hawkmon while she chewed and he took a bite as well.  He passed it back to Miyako and so forth.  The rice ball continued being passed between them until the last little morsel was broken in half and popped into each of their mouths.

                Motomiya complained as his digimon scarfed the barbecue chips, though the Kaiser was quite glad the maroon haired boy could not eat and hold on to him at the same time.  The smell of the chips alone made the captive nauseated.  How could they stand to put that garbage in their bodies? 

                Luckily, the children decided to change the Kaiser's honor guard.  Though the boy with yogurt hanging out of his mouth kept his position, Miyako/computer girl/rice ball eater switched with Motomiya by looping her elbow around the Kaiser's arm.  Her hold on him was different than Motomiya's; it was possible for him to wrench away from the latter, though the grip was more controlling.  He could not pull away from Miyako's hold, though he could, in theory, shake her around a bit.

                "So what's he gone eat?" Motomiya asked, gesturing towards the Kaiser as the chewed the last of the potato chips.

                "I don't think I've got anything else," Miyako mused.  "Check my backpack."

                "Nothing edible," Hawkmon said a few moments later.  "Though that math worksheet you were looking for last week is in there, Miyako-San."

                "He could have some of the corn chips," the brunette said slowly.  The Kaiser was the last person she wanted to be kind to, but she was couldn't let another human being go hungry while she had food.  It didn't look like Wormmon would be needing it anytime soon.

                "But how's he gone eat it?" Motomiya asked, crumpling up the potato chip bag.

                "Someone will have to fed it to him.  We can't untie him," the brunette said, holding out the folded over corn chip bag.  Apparently, she drew the line at hand feeding the one who caused so much pain.  No one took the offered bag.

                "Do you think he bites?" Miyako asked, suspiciously looking at him out of the corner of her eye.

                "I wouldn't be surprised," the boy with the Patamon said.  His words were unintelligible around the yogurt package held in his teeth.

                With her free arm, Miyako cautiously pulled the tape off the Kaiser's mouth.

                "If you pathetic fools--"

                "And the tape's going back on!" Miyako said semi-cheerfully and slapped her hand and the tape back over the Kaiser's mouth.  "Guess he's not eating."

                "We should keep going," spoke up the voice of the boy with the Armdimon, "in another hour it'll be too dark and we'll have to make camp."

                Miyako and Motomiya switched again, and the hike continued for another hour or so.  This time instead of having a number of conversations, the Chosen Children began singing show tunes.  The Kaiser didn't know why exactly, but he suspected it had something to do with annoying him.  In actuality, they were just growing wary of the coming night and felt their singing protected them from the dangers and kept their moral high.

                When they made their camp, the children choose a place on the edge of a forest.  As Motomiya and the boy with the Patamon held him still, the Kaiser's arms were untied by the child that had been in the lead throughout the trip.  They forced him into a sitting position with his back against a tree.  Each arm was stretched along the base of the tree and the whip was tied around one wrist, looped around the tree and tied to the other wrist. 

                "He can't untie himself," the boy with the Patamon said, surveying the knots, "his hands are too far apart, but we should still have a guard stay up with him.  I'll go first, then Daisuke, then Miyako-chan and Hikari-chan can go last."

                "What about me?" asked the left out boy.

                "You're too young, Iori-kun," the one who made the plans said, "you need you're rest."

                "But Takeru-san," Iori protested.

                "Don't complain," Motomiya said, "you get to sleep.  Being nine is a good thing."

                The children unpacked their sleeping bags and a started a fire.  They arranged their pallets in a circle around the fire.  Iori and Miyako placed their bags somewhat near one another, while the brunette was snug between Motomiya and Takeru.  Four out of five children climbed into their sleeping bags and tucked their digimon in bedside them, with the addition of Wormmon with the brunette and the Tailmon.

                Takeru and his Patamon stayed up, sitting with the Kaiser.  Takeru began lecturing his captive audience, who in turn tuned him out and forced himself to sleep, taking advantage of his self-imposed  discipline.

**********************

                "Ken-chan..."

                "Ugh..."

                "GET UP MIYAKO!"

                "Ken-chan?  Are you okay?  Please wake up..."

                "Wormmon?" The Kaiser asked in a whisper.  The tape had been removed when he was asleep, apparently.  The voices of Motomiya and Miyako arguing about the beginning of her shift covered the whispers of Wormmon and his master.

                "Quick!  Chew me free or something!"

                "Anything for you, Ken-chan!"  Wormmon said excitedly.  Ken was letting him help!  Wormmon scuttled around the tree to a place where the whip was smooth and he could chew easier than the knots.  Wormmon fitted his mouth around the leather with a bit of difficulty and began to gnaw.

                "So you're awake."

                The Kaiser directed his gaze to his new guard.

                "Great," she continued flatly.  "Now I get to deal with you and your mouth.  What happened to that tape?"

                "They must have taken it off," the Kaiser replied, trying to keep her occupied.  If she saw Wormmon, she would take him away and for the first time in before the Kaiser could remember, that would be a bad thing.

                "So," he continued, capitalizing on the skills he had once used for the press.  Looking good for his public had always been something he made a point to do.  "You're name's Miyako, right?"

                "Yeah," she answered.  "I can't believe you were paying attention."

                The Kaiser forced his most charming smile.

                "Of course I was.  I think I've seen you in the Real World, at the game against Motomiya..?"

                "Mm-hm," Miyako nodded, "I was there.  I saw you, too, even if I didn't know it was you at the time..." her voice trailed off.  "It would have been kind of hard not to," she continued.

                "Yes, it would have been," the Kaiser agreed, wishing Wormmon would hurry up.  He had nothing to say to this girl.  "Tell me about yourself," he requested in his most disarming voice.  If he could just keep her talking...maybe she wouldn't notice Wormmon.

                "Okay," she said with a shrug.  If she was talking, it would be easier to stay awake.  "But if you even think about making fun of anything I say, I'll belt ya," she warned.

                "Fair enough," the Kaiser said, with a mild hint of genuine good humor.  The girl was, if nothing else, rather entertaining.

                "Well, my name's Inoue Miyako.  I've got two sisters and a brother--you don't have any siblings, right?  They never show any on the news reports with your parents.  They're so annoying sometimes.  My siblings, not the news reports on you.  I wish I was an only child sometimes, I really do.  What?"  Miyako noticed the Kaiser was looking at her strangely.

                "It's been my experience," he said softly, "that when you wish someone would disappear, they do.  Unless we're talking about your little band," he added.

                "Yeah, right." Miyako said.  "My sisters are going to just disappear because I wanted them to for five minutes on some random day."

                "Brothers can disappear as well," the Kaiser muttered.

                "Um, anyway, I'm 12 and in 6th grade...you want my life story or what?"

                "This is fine," the Kaiser said.  He wasn't sure how much he could stand to listen to her.  He tried to shift one of his hands a bit, but could not.  Wormmon's mandibles were clearly not suited to chewing through leather.  "What are your hobbies?" he asked suddenly, grimacing on the inside. 

                "Computers," Miyako grinned, "yours?" she asked out of habit.  This was the kind of question you returned.

                "Computers," the Kaiser grudgingly admitted, but out of not wanting to have anything in common with the enemy and wanting to hold her attention away from Wormmon's work, he continued, "soccer, judo, school," he paused for a moment, "this place...  What?" he snapped, noticing out of the corner of his eye that she was looking him strangely.

                "The way you said that," Miyako stuttered with disbelief, "you really do love it here, don't you?"

                "There's no one here but me," the Kaiser said frankly, "most of the time," he added with a nod towards her.

                "I don't get you," Miyako said shaking her head, "you left a world where people loved you for a place where every living thing hates you and you like that one better.  That makes no sense."

                "I'm in control here," he flatly replied.

                "And you're definition of 'control' is being tied to a tree?"

                She had him there.  Damn.

                "Of course," he said.  Miyako erupted into a fit of giggles.  The Kaiser had heard her laugh several times earlier in the day, but this was the first time he liked the sound.  Her laughter was not an insult this time, but a wonderful, happy melody.  Her smiles and bright eyes were contagious and he bit his lip to keep from smiling. 

                "Hey, Ichijouji-san, are you hungry?  I bet we've still got those corn chips somewhere..."  Miyako, who had been sitting, stood up, brushing dirt off her pants.  The Kaiser grimaced.

                "Hm?  What's the matter?"

                "I'd prefer if you didn't call me 'Ichijouji-san.'  It reminds me of my parents and they're the last people I want to be thinking about right now."

                "All right," Miyako agreed amiably.  The Kaiser was profusely relieved that the charm he had once used in the Real World worked so well on this girl.  "So what should I call you then?  There's no way I'm calling you 'the Digimon Kaiser' if that's what you're looking for."  Miyako emphasized this point by putting her hands on her hips.  "The only other option is Ken."

                "'Ken' is dead to me," the Kaiser hissed.  Miyako looked taken back for a moment.

                "He's not dead to the rest of the world," Miyako said softly.  "They're looking for you out there."

                "Fools," the Kaiser muttered.

                "Tomorrow, we're bringing you back," Miyako reminded him.  "They're going to find you.  And you, you'll go back to your terrible life where you're practically a national hero and the entire planet thinks you're the closest the human race will ever get to perfection."

                "I am perfection."

                Miyako snorted.

                "Yeah?  What's so perfect about hurting innocent creatures?  What's so perfect about making your own mother cry?  What's so perfect about being a total jerk?"

                The Kaiser chose not to glorify those comments with a response.  He was perfect, he didn't hurt a soul, his mother would never cry over the likes of him and he was a rather charming young man, certainly not a jerk.  Of course, he couldn't be silent, no, then the foolish girl would think she won.

                "I'm better than you'll ever be.  Any of you."

                "You're like talking to wall," Miyako huffed, crossing her arms over her chest.  "Why'd I even bother?"   

                The Kaiser certainly thought that was the best question anyone had asked during the entire conversation.  He flexed his wrist.  Just a little longer, he told himself, soon he'd be gone.

                "You know why I bothered?" she said then, apparently speaking to him again.  "I was hoping maybe, just maybe I'd find something worth it in you.  You know what I did when I found out that you were the Kaiser?  I cried.  That's right, I was one of your lousy little fans who hung on your ever word.  You betrayed everyone would ever looked at you and knew that their own goals were possible.  You could do anything, anything, and that gave hope to kids all over the country that our dreams could come true, too.  You taught people that limits didn't really exist.  You were our hero, mine and Daisuke's.  We were crushed when we found out you were our enemy.  I still watch the news reports on you everyday.  But you're not worth it, you're not worth any of it and you never were."

                "People like you are reason I left," the Kaiser said, his voice was low and angry.  True to her word, Miyako began to cry.  "There's more to me than the things I do," he continued, regardless of the state of his audience.  "I don't want people cheering for every place I go, I don't want to be hounded by the press, and I definitely don't want to be anyone's hero."  He glanced at Miyako's tear streaked face.  The occasional tear would roll down her cheek, but for the most part she had calmed down.  He preferred her laughter.  Even when she was mocking him, he'd rather see her laugh than see her cry.  "So what's wrong with just being human?"  Miyako took it to be a rhetorical question and didn't answer, though the Kaiser was hoping she would.  He continued instead.  "You said earlier that I really loved it here.  Of course I do, no one expects anything of me here.  If I dont want to be Ken, I don't have to be Ken.  There's no insects buzzing around everything I do, unless you count Wormmon and I don't.  No reporters, no photo shoots, no ads, no soccer ball named after me.  Nothing but me."

                Miyako was wiping her face on her sleeve when he finished.

                "I'm sorry," she whispered, faltering at what to call him. "Um.."

                The Kaiser sighed.

                "Ken," he said, somewhat defeated.  He didn't want to be reminded of his parents and she refused to call him the Kaiser.  What other options were there?  "Just... call me Ken."

                "Okay, Ken-san," she said, smiling.  "Are you hungry?  I don't see how you couldn't be and I'm sure those corn chips are still around somewhere."

                "No, thank you, Miyako-san," he said.  Polite, it must be something about being called 'Ken' again. 

                "You have to eat," she reprimanded, shaking her finger.

                "There's something I don't hear everyday," the Kaiser muttered, annoyed now.

                "Hm?  Anyway, I'm going to get those chips, okay?"  She didn't want for an answer.

                "Wormmon!" The Kaiser hissed in a whisper, "could you hurry up?"  He heard the sound of scuttling feet and soon Wormmon was next to him.

                "I'm almost done, Ken-chan!" he promised.

                "So get to work!"

                The digimon disappeared behind the tree again.

                Miyako returned, holding a small package.

                "There's not much left," she said, "and I think they're stale, but it's better than nothing."  She looked at the bag and back at him again.  "Let's see how's this gonna work?  I can't untie you, so I guess I'll have to feed them to you.  That'll be weird!  Oh well, it's not like you've got a shred of dignity left as it is."

                Miyako was far too cheerful about this, the Kaiser decided.  She reached into the bag and pulled out three chips.  She looked at the food in her hand, at him and shrugged.

                "Open up," she said simply.  The Kaiser clamped his mouth shut and kept it so.  "Ooh, you're stubborn," Miyako giggled.  "C'mon, just open your mouth," she coaxed.  Her victim pressed his lips together hard enough to turn them white.  Miyako dropped the chips back in the bag and the Kaiser sighed with relief.  She tugged her gloves off and resumed attempting to feed him.

                "My hands are cleaner, see?"

                The Kaiser sealed his mouth shut.

                "Quit acting like a spoiled little kid!" Miyako demanded.  "You're such a baby, Ken-san!"

                "I am very mat--ack!"

                As Miyako predicted, the Kaiser was quick to defend himself against the mild insult and she took that time to shove a chip into his mouth.  He coughed and spit it out.

                "Oh, yeah," Miyako retorted, looking at the semi-chewed corn mush that landed on the boy's leg.  "You're very mature." 

                "For one of the good guys, you sink pretty low," the Kaiser said.

                "Thanks," Miyako said with a feral grin.  "You gonna eat now?"

                "No."

                "Puh-lease?"  Miyako batted her eye lashes for extra affect.  The Kaiser looked at as though she suddenly grew another pair of arms.  She scowled.  "I don't see why you're so stuck on starving yourself."

                "I'd imagine one would have to be fairly hungry before they would let their hyperactive enemy feed them stale corn chips."

                "Okay, that's a good point." Miyako said, wrinkling her nose.  "Buuuuut," she added, "you must be pretty hungry."

                "Not that hungry," the Kaiser drawled.  Miyako pursed her lips.  That boy was going to eat something!  He had to be wary of her attempts to get him to open his mouth, she reasoned, so baiting him wouldn't work again.  Not to mention, this time she had to be sure to hold his mouth shut once she got some chips in.

                Miyako gnawed on her lower lip and pulled out another chip.  She had an idea...she didn't like it very much, but it would probably work.  Timing was everything with this plan, once she began, she had to follow through, she knew that.  Miyako took a breath and reminded herself that not to long ago, she had a crush on him and he was being relatively nice for a tyrannical nut job.

                The Kaiser gasped as Miyako suddenly kissed his cheek.  The moment his mouth was open and chip was forced in and her glove-less hand was held over his mouth so that he couldn't spit it out.

                "Chew," Miyako ordered.

                Bossy bitch.  How dare she think she could order him around like that..? 

                "Swallow," Miyako commanded.

                "You," the Kaiser said, clearing his throat, "are a cruel, vindictive person."

                "If anyone else said that," Miyako told him, "I'd be insulted, but since it's you, I'll just laugh in your face.  HA!"

                The Kaiser's arms felt lax.  He was free!  The boy smirked and leapt to his feet. 

                "It's been a pleasure talking with you," he said sweetly at Miyako's shocked expression, "but I must be going.  My work just keeps me so busy, no time for chit-chat." 

                "Ken-chan!" Wormmon cried as he hurried around the tree in time to see Miyako tackle his partner.  The two humans rolled on the ground, the Kaiser trying to get Miyako away from him and Miyako trying to get the upper hand.  The Kaiser's main objective in the fight was to keep Miyako quiet.  She could shout and alert the other children.  Realistically, his genius could come up with no circumstances where one human and Wormmon could over power five humans and armor digivolved monsters.

                When they finally lost momentum, the Kaiser was lying on his back, his cape torn and in a pile a few feet away.  Miyako was on top, her elbows and knees propped on the dirt and mouth covered by the Kaiser's hands to keep her quiet.  Her eyes were wide and darting.  Her heart thudded rapidly, loud enough so that she could hear the blood thundering in her ears.

                The Kaiser's hands were shaking when he drew them away from her.  Miyako was breathing hard and her face was flushed.  Her lavender hair hung limply over her shoulders and draped around his head.  He fingered her hair for a moment and his hands reached upwards to loosely grasp the back of her neck.  The Kaiser's black clad thumb slowly stroked her chin.

                Slowly, he pulled her head down towards his own.  Her lips finally reached his after what seemed like an eternity.  He kissed softly, hesitantly and she returned it in kind.  Miyako pulled away and the Kaiser noticed she was shaking ever so slightly.

                "What was your dream?"

                Miyako started at the Kaiser's husky whisper.

                "Huh?"

                "Your dream," he elaborated.  "You told me that I taught you anyone could make their dreams come true.  What was your dream?"

                "My dream?" Miyako questioned.  "I have a lot of dreams.  I want to be pretty."

                "You are," he whispered, entranced by the lavender veil that hung around him.

                "I want to have my own family someday, I want to prove that I deserve to be the Child of Love and Purity.  And sometimes, I used to imagine that someday," she paused.  When she spoke again, her voice was lower and held an air of conspiracy.  "...I would have you."  Her lips were at his ear and the Kaiser shuttered.  He turned his head and tilted his chin upwards to capture her mouth. 

                It was a few minutes before Miyako moved and the Kaiser sat up, the former kneeling across from him.  They stared at each other in silence.  Finally, Miyako was able to get over a little bit of the shock, though the Kaiser was still unable to believe he had willingly touched another human being and liked it.

                "Did we just..?" Miyako questioned.  She reached out and brushed her fingers across his cheek bone.  The Kaiser slid his eyes closed and nodded into her hand.  "Now what?" she asked.

                "I'm leaving," the Kaiser replied.

                "Ken-kun!  You can't!"  Miyako protested.

                "Nothing has changed," he insisted.

                "Everything's changed!  You kissed me, you said I was pretty, you wanted to know what my dreams are!  That makes things different!"

                The Kaiser stood, Miyako looked up at him.  She soon followed in suit.

                "For the good of the Digital World, I can't let you leave," Miyako informed him. 

                "I didn't give you a choice," the Kaiser hissed.

                "If you walk away, digimon are going to be hurt.  I have to stop you, that's the only reason I'm here."

                Calmly, the Kaiser began to walk away.

                "Oh, no, you don't!"  Miyako exclaimed and hauled herself to her feet.  She ran to catch up with him and half-expected another tumbling match.  What she got was a black gloved hand placed on the small of her back.  He guided her and kept her with him.

                "I still have to stop you..." Miyako said, looping her arm around his shoulders.

                "Well, you'll have plenty of time to convince me to change my ways, won't you?"  

                "You are going to go back to the Real World, Ken-kun.  But when you go, we'll go together." 

                Wormmon watched the exchanged from a few feet away.  While he was terribly jealous someone else had been the one to reach Ken, he was happy to know that his partner had found at least a little bit of happiness.  He trudged to the camp, found Hawkmon and nudged him awake.

                "Miyako-san is leaving," Wormmon said.  "You should go with her always."  The bird digimon retrieved Miyako's gloves which lay by the abandoned tree and together the two digimon trailed after their partners.

**********************

                Inoue Miyako appeared on the edge of a lower left hand screen.  She ran across it and onto another screen.  Upon reaching a third, she threw her arms around Hida Iori.  The two children grinned at the reunion.  Soon Motomiya Daisuke, Takaishi Takeru and Yagami Hikari joined the group hug as their digimon held their own happy gathering.

                The Digimon Kaiser's eyes narrowed at the images.  They would come for him, he knew.  They had him once and they would not rest until they had him again.  They Kaiser fingered the sheath of his newly programmed whip. 

                They would pay.  Oh, yes, they would all pay.

*~*Owari*~*