A/N: Well, I see JP as an under loved character among many writers. I haven't seen many stories just centered around him. I've seen stories where he is bashed in someway or he's just part of a love triangle. Very few stories that I've seen have taken a look into his character. This is more of a rant story to support our Warrior of Thunder from his point of view. It also looks into how JP used to act in the beginning episodes. I think just through this story, I've come to love the character even more. I say he deserves more love and less bashing just because he stands in the way of Takumi or Kozumi or Koizumi. I support the former of the three the most but I acknowledge his crush on Zoe/Izumi and support the possibility of that.

Basically, I wrote this story to understand him a bit more and hope that those who've read this at least come to respect him as a character.

Like all my other stories, I don't own Digimon or Skillet. Reviews and criticism is welcomed but flames and character bashing will be thrown in the oven to help me cook angel food cake.

Heroism

A one-shot to Junpei "JP" Shibayama

You know who I am right? Yeah, you. I'm the one you call "fat." I'm the "stupid" one of the team. I'm the "pervert" going after Izumi-chan. I'm the total "jerk" that you saw in the beginning of my adventure. I'm not like that, can't you see?

For starters, I'm not fat– just big boned. There isn't much I can do about that. And me, being stupid? How can I be stupid? I'm in seventh grade and I'm taking an advanced Math class with ninth graders and I'm not doing that bad. My grades are in the A-to-B range, save for my gym grades. It's not as easy for me as it is for everyone else but I have gotten better after my trip to the Digital World. Pervert? Me, a pervert? I have a crush on Izumi-chan. Is there something wrong with that? Haven't you felt the feeling of love before or are you cold hearted? I can't help but love her, even if she doesn't like me the same way but that doesn't mean I won't show that I care for her.

Now, I come to the last part. "Jerk." You have no idea how deep that cuts. I was in the beginning, yeah maybe, but I thought everything else had nothing to do with me– even though I had the same D-tector that the others had. Am I still a jerk? Have you stopped to consider why I'm like that? Why I was like that? Well, I didn't want to be like my uncle: risking my life for someone I didn't even know and not even get a proper recognition after I died.

When I was a kid, I always considered my uncle, Hiroki Hida, to be a hero. After all, he protected people from criminals, risking his life everyday. I was proud of him and what he did as was my younger cousin Iori Hida. He took us around in his police car, allowing us to come with him on some days. Once, we were I always claimed that I would do something amazing like that when I was grown up. Later I wouldn't want to have anything to do with that. I was happy and had friends until–

I'm just a step away

I'm just a breath away

Losin' my faith today

(Fallin' off the edge today)

BANG! A shot that I had never heard was fired. Uncle Hida had died protecting a politician from a bullet directed towards him.

I am just a man

Not superhuman

(I'm not superhuman)

I was devastated. I loved him dearly but he had died, doing what he loved. I grew depressed and grew distant but I got better after a month. Over that time, though, I lost my friends. The day that my Uncle was laid to rest, the politician didn't come to recognize his savior. I heard that he hadn't come because he was too busy. "Too busy?" I could hear my grandfather said gravely. "He could at least have said his condolences in a letter to my family. What kind of world does not acknowledge someone who helped them?"

That was when I went down that path, from those words.

Someone save me from the hate

It's just another war

Just another family torn

(Falling from my faith today)

Just a step from the edge

Just another day in the world we live

I need a hero to save me now

I need a hero (save me now)

I need a hero to save my life

A hero'll save me (just in time)

It was a year later when we moved to near Shibuya where my fate for change would take place only a few years later. I tried making friends but nothing had worked. There was this kid in my class. He was a cry baby and easily picked on. Several times, I stood up for him but never got a peep of thanks in return. He just stayed away from me but that didn't stop me from standing up for him.

I've gotta fight today

To live another day

Speakin' my mind today

(My voice will be heard today)

One day, I had walked home from school and noticed that the same boy was being chased by an entire gang of bullies. I chased after them, stepping in front of the boy who was near tears. "Just leave him alone," I warned.

"Oh, what's fatty going to do?" taunted the boy back. "Sit on me?"

I didn't reply and just stood my ground. I turned my head back to the boy, about to tell him to run but he had already taken it. The gang growled in anger as they too saw that their prey had escaped. "For that, fatty, you'll be our victim," the exclaimed. They all jumped on me. I had no idea why I thought I could take them but an elbow in the gut had told me that I was going to be overpowered. Pain ached through my body and warm liquid could be felt on my clothes as they pummeled me to the ground and I was unable to fight back. Whenever I tried to cry for help, I was only met by a foot in the stomach and was too winded to even scream for help.

I've gotta make a stand

But I am just a man

(I'm not superhuman)

My voice will be heard today

I was lucky when an adult had came to my help and scattered them. I was taken to the hospital and my mother was called. The boys had gotten into trouble and were suspended for the rest of the month. My mother had cried over me and was extra mother hen-like since her "precious" boy had been hurt badly. I was released the following Friday and was able to attend school that Saturday.

It's just another war

Just another family torn

(My voice will be heard today)

It's just another kill

The countdown begins to destroy ourselves

At school, I approached the boy who had been attacked. "You okay?" I asked him.

The boy only looked back at me with an angry look.

I need a hero to save me now

I need a hero (save me now)

I need a hero to save my life

A hero'll save me (just in time)

"I didn't ask for your help, fatty!" he screamed.

I was taken aback. I blinked, confused. How could he treat me like that? "Hey, I just wanted to make sure you were all right!" I yelled back.

"I was doing fine until you came, Junpei," the boy spat. "What were you trying to prove? That you were a hero? Well, it didn't get you anywhere!"

I snapped. "I helped you and this is how you repay me?" I demanded angrily. Anger boiled through my veins. Right there, I wanted to strangle the ungrateful brat but with my arm in a cast, I couldn't do it. "I saved you!"

"I didn't want to be saved, got it? Now just leave me alone!" With that the kid ran.

I was just standing there, feeling numb. Was that how I would be thanked whenever I tried to help someone? From then on, I promised myself that I wouldn't save anyone. I grew bitter and stayed away from people but loneliness overcame me. I decided to put on a mask of what I once was: a happy go-lucky kid. I learned magic and began trying to gain people's attention in class. I was so desperate for friends that I would try to buy my way into their group but even that didn't work.

I felt even lonelier than ever.

I need a hero to save my life

I need a hero just in time

Save me just in time

Save me just in time

Then I got the text message when I was riding my bike home from school. "Junpei Shibayama, you're destiny is waiting for you? Do you want to play?"

All I could say was I was intrigued. My destiny, huh? I thought to myself. If it wasn't something I liked, I could have just ran. I clicked the "Yes" button and before I knew it, I was racing towards Shibuya station where I met Tomoki, Izumi-chan, and Takuya.

Who's gonna fight for what's right

Who's gonna help us survive

We're in the fight of our lives

(And we're not ready to die)

At first, I didn't like Takuya. He reminded me of what I always wanted to be, represented something that I once was. Tomoki was a complete cry baby, just like the kid I had known, that wanted to be just like Takuya. Izumi-chan seemed to be the only sane one among them. I found I was wrong, they all wanted to participate in this game of destiny.

Who's gonna fight for the weak

Who's gonna make 'em believe

I've got a hero (I've got a hero)

Livin' in me

Tomoki, full of childish views and dreams; I didn't want him to be crushed so I discouraged him to the best of my ability. I pulled him with me back to the train station only to get us into trouble with the Pagumon. After watching Koji Spirit Evolve, I felt helpless and jealous of him as well as Takuya. They were able to help fight but I could do nothing but run. I was fine with that.

I'm gonna fight for what's right

Today I'm speaking my mind

And if it kills me tonight

(I will be ready to die)

Then I saw Tomoki Spirit Evolve into Kumamon and help Agunimon fight the Candlemon. I half expected Agunimon to whirl around and chew the boy out for helping him but I was surprised. Agunimon had called him brave and strong. Maybe there was something wrong with my ears? No, there was something wrong with my head. I wanted to feel that but only pushed it away.

Before I knew it, I was having conflicting feelings about if I really wanted to stay.

Then we came to the Breezy Village. When I saw that a Spirit was nearby, a bit of that childish dream was reawakened. It only got fully awakened when the Spirit had showed itself. I felt rejuvenated and ready to fight for my old beliefs but was completely crushed as it zoomed passed me and headed right towards Izumi-chan. She evolved and protected the village while I just stood there like an idiot. When she was in trouble fighting the Woodmon, I ran forwards to help her and swung the shovel in my hand like a wild man only to be knocked away like an insect.

A hero's not afraid to give his life

A hero's gonna save me just in time

Before I knew it, I was feeling useless. Everyone had a Spirit but me. Was I really here as extra baggage? Was this my destiny? I had became bitter from there, fighting with Takuya just because I couldn't do anything. I felt so small and insignificant and no one else saw. No one.

The plan was executed and I just watched from the hill with the Kokuwamon that weren't able to help fight. The small child wanted to fight but was being held back because he would have gotten hurt. I saw myself in that Kokuwamon. Wanting to help but being held back by my fear and helplessness. With that, I changed my resolve. There had to be something I could do, even without a Spirit.

I need a hero to save me now

I need a hero (save me now)

I need a hero to save my life

A hero'll save me (just in time)

I had been right. I saved Agunimon and gave them a chance to knock away the Goblinmon that had surrounded them. Then and there, I felt truly acknowledged and thanked. When my Spirit showed itself from behind the crushed rubble of a wall, the rest of my fears had completely vanished. I was no longer the Junpei Shibayama that looked down on heroism and was afraid of being forgotten to Junpei Shibayama, the boy who didn't care if he was forgotten or properly thanked for a job well done.

The Junpei Shibayama that I felt right at home in with my exoskeleton of armor in the form of Beetlemon.

I need a hero

Who's gonna fight for what's right

Who's gonna help us survive

Don't you see how much I changed? How different I am? Yeah, I'm still the chocolate loving Warrior of Thunder but I'm no longer afraid of being forgotten. Why? I had friends. I go to pay my respects to my uncle with a lighter heart than I ever did. I'm glad I changed. I feel better about myself now. I learned how to truly make friends and what it meant to be a hero. I can now truly appreciate what Uncle Hiroki did.

Am I still the fat, stupid, perverted jerk that you once thought I was? If you do, I don't even care anymore. My friends see me in a different light than you do. I am the roaring thunder and flashing lightning streaking across the sky. I am who I am. I am a hero, just as much as the others are.

I need a hero

Who's gonna fight for the weak

Who's gonna make 'em believe

I need a hero

I need a hero

A hero's gonna save me just in time