Author's Notes

JP again. He really needs more love. And knowing what he said to Zoe claiming: he'll squash us like a bunch of beetles…something like that. I haven't watched Frontier for ages. Except for the movie, which was cool except for the fact that Koichi wasn't in there.

Enjoy, and tell me what you think. Even if it's just a brief: Hi. Read this fic. Don't know what to think about it…okay, that's not so brief, but you get the idea…

The "Save the Beetles" Campaign

When his teacher brings a box of beetles into class, JP is personally offended. So he takes it upon himself to free them.

Junpei S/JP

When their science teacher told them they'd be doing an "observation" project, most of the students were notably excited. The general assumption was that she would be taking them on a field trip…to the zoo maybe, or some wildlife reserve (even though any of those weren't particularly near), but that idea was squashed the next day when she brought with her a small aquarium-like box, covered with a black cloth.

Then the consensus changed to the assumption there was a snake of some sort in the box.

It was rather disappointing for most of them once the cover was lifted and the box placed on the window-sill.

Inside, was a bunch of leaves, dirt and various litters. And a few fat beetles scurrying about.

There was a chorus of groans, but JP found himself personally offended. He would be, he argued with the bemused part of his brain. His human spirit was a beetle after all, and he still hadn't managed to completely banish the image Zoe had put in his head during their fight against the projection of Cherubimon that had stopped them en route to the Rose Morning Star.

'For the next few weeks, we will be observing their behaviour…'

Not only was it a boring assignment, but now those poor beetles, practically his kindred as one looked up and stared at him with large, pleading eyes, would be stuck in their cage for weeks!

Even as the teacher continued with her lecture, his attention kept on being drawn back to the box on the windowsill.

'I say we squash them,' one boy said grumpily, sitting cross-legged on the ground. 'I absolutely refuse to stare at those slimy icky things for weeks.'

'They're not slimy or icky,' JP responded automatically. 'They have a pretty hard exoskeleton that work as armour and is still flexible.'

He should know, with all the manoeuvring he'd done up in the air (and on the ground) in Beetlemon's form, and all the attacks he had been hit with too. The hard material also wasn't electrically conductive, so he hadn't wound up electrocuting himself every time he tried a Proton Slam. Which was a definite blessing, otherwise he'd be all but powerless.

'Oh, don't give us a lecture. I can't see how you like those little demons.'

Apparently, no-one understood as well as he did.

…actually, there were five people who would.

Steal them was Takuya's advice. Great buddy, but they're always with the science teacher. Apparently she used them for more classes than just their own. There were a few technical problems associated with that. Like how he was going to swipe the box without being caught.

Zoe's was to nudge the box out the window. No dice, seeing as their classroom was on the third storey. The poor beetles would literally wind up being squashed…assuming the box didn't survive. From the height, that was quite a possibility.

Tommy wasn't even home.

Koji was, but he wasn't very helpful either, admitting he didn't particularly like beetles.

'How about a magic trick?'

He couldn't tell whether the other was being sarcastic or not, but it didn't matter. He couldn't do a vanishing act like that…and the teacher would know it was him in a heartbeat.

Ultimately, Koji's advice wound up being the same as Takuya's.

He wondered if it was even worth ringing Koichi.

He did in the end. After the first few minutes, he was regretting doing so, if only because the other had missed the point at the beginning. Apparently, the elder twin had a squid dissection that very day. A squid that largely resembled Calmaramon.

'Forget the squid,' JP told him, a little frantically. No-one was going to cut up his beetles. 'These are beetles. My kin. Forget the reason and all that. Just help.'

'…you try taking the box and setting them free?'

JP almost banged his head against the receiver.

'You know, Takuya and Koji told me exactly the same thing,' he sighed, exasperated. 'How do you expect me to break into a teacher's office and steal from her?'

'…she doesn't leave them in the classroom?' There was a pause. 'I thought that…never mind. I'd have no idea. Maybe there's another way.'

Of course, Koichi never got into trouble with his teachers. Neither did he really. It was the students that had been the problem. And now the poor beetles.

A different sort of problem though.


'I'm still here. And I was wondering if I should hire a special Ops team-'

Koichi giggled at that. 'Try asking Takuya,' he offered. 'He did swipe the science papers last year.'

Another pause. 'He did WHAT? He never told me that.'

JP decided to wait a bit before ringing Takuya again, and spent the time alternating between math questions and plots to save the beetles, each more unlikely to work than the last. He even took Koji's presumably sarcastic remark to heart, but he couldn't even get an apple from the dining table to vanish, let alone a much larger cage. There was also the problem of hiding it. Heck, he couldn't get a coin to pull a disappearing act if it wasn't sitting in his hand. He was much better making this appear than disappear.

'So you are going to listen to my advice,' Takuya said cheerfully. 'I can't believe Koji or Tommy couldn't come up with anything.'

'Koichi told me you swiped some sort of science paper last year,' JP replied. 'So you know how to get into the teacher's offices.'

'…how did he find out about that?' The yelp sounded completely undignified. 'I only told Koji…'

'Koji probably told him.'

'He would, that traitor.' There was a good-natured grumble, seeing as Koji could never keep anything from his brother. Koichi was only marginally better in that aspect. 'Anyway…'

He went on to outline his plan…which involved a large distraction, sneaking into the staffroom while teachers rushed out to see what was the matter, picking all the beetles out the cage and hightailing it out of there with them.

'…and you can leave little stones in their place, so they won't be missed for awhile…' Takuya mused thoughtfully.

If only that box had a door on the side, they could just walk out.

He really didn't like that plan, but it did seem like the only idea.

He decided to try Tommy again, but the line was busy this time. At least this time the younger boy returned the call half an hour later.

'You're calling about the beetles?' he asked.

'I'm assuming it was one of the others on the phone,' JP sighed. At least he didn't have to explain himself again. 'Please tell me you have an idea.'

'Yep,' the other said cheerfully, almost mirroring his surrogate brother. 'With some help from Koichi. He figured I might come up with something that didn't involve breaking into a teacher's office, but I needed some help with the fine-tuning. Here's the plan…'

Almost reminiscent of how the two, with Datamon's help, had built a snow catapult, Tommy outlined the plan…which was actually a good one. The box was rather small, and there were only holes in the lid and a few leaves. By using an actual aquarium (the ex-warrior of ice had one in the basement he could use), they could stimulate the environment much better. All he had to do was show the handiwork to the teacher, put the beetles in there, then leave a small door with some more appetising food (which was going to be the gross part) and watch them climb out onto the sill and then scale the wall to their home.

'The only danger with that is that they might go the other way…oh no.' He just remembered. 'She left it on the windowsill today.'

Hopefully she did the same thing tomorrow. They had her first period.

Something occurred to him. It sounded rather like a Tommy plan, but he had to wonder where Koichi came into it.

'He reads a lot,' the other replied. 'I needed to know all the details, like how their favourite food is animal-'

'Okay, okay,' JP interrupted, making a face. 'I get it.' That was one part of beetles he wasn't too big a fan of.

'You can come over now,' Tommy offered.

'Err.' He looked at the time. 'After dinner. Mum made curry.'

The plan actually worked, and he added Takuya's suggestion of the stones when he took the aquarium to school and offered it to the teacher.

'Oh, that's so thoughtful of you,' she cooed at him (they both ignored the snickers), before transferring the beetles from the leaves to a few twigs and a mini-tree. She never noticed the little "door" flap, like a cat-flap.

He made a little bit of a face as he smeared his hands along the windowsill before sitting down, cleaning them properly on a napkin.

It was all for the good of the beetles.

Then he sat and not-so-patiently waited for class to end.

The bell rang, and the teacher took her books, and the aquarium, and then left. He shot out of his seat like a bullet and checked the windowsill.

Three skinny beetles were clinging to the window.

'Down,' he whispered hurriedly. 'Go down. To the park, or the trees, or whatever.'

He could have sworn they said "thank you" before vanishing.

'What are you doing out of your seat Mr Shibayama?'

He quickly shot back under the stern glare of his Japanese teacher, hoping Takuya's idea (the rock one) worked.

Apparently it had. It was days before someone complained about the lack of movement in the aquarium. By then the beetles had vanished from the windowsill.

And all was good and well before the next science class.

'Since our beetles have been stolen-'

Everybody suppressed their cheers, and a few stole glances at their classmate. The task had been so boring however that no-body would rat him out.

'-we will be studying worms instead.'

This time there was a continuous wave of grossed-out faces.