If We Fight, We Fight Together

Author's Chapter Notes

Haven't abandoned.

Never will!

Thanks for reading :)

and forgiving :)




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Shota walked through the opened doors of the Toda house with a smile on his face as he glanced at his watch. 10:35, she’d be out in five minutes generally and then they would drive over to the studios together.

The Toda’s couldn’t afford a driver and since he was the one who had inadvertently dragged her back to the world she’d always longed for he had volunteered his car and driver. Today he’d have to drive them himself however as one of the palace’s driver had been given to the older prince who had business in parliament and Chiaki and Maki had taken the other driver to the country side where they were doing a speech to boost the spirits of farmers whose crops were suffering in the Hiroshima prefecture.

His mind couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t have as avid an interest in the wellbeing of his country as he ought to. The fact he was allowed to film, and even do what he wanted to, was considered a huge allowance by his father the emperor. At the same time it did provide him an easy excuse not to reveal their family’s history to the suspicious public. It allowed him to let Shota do what he wanted, and give the throne to the truly deserving son despite who was its rightful owner.

Shota knew that his brother would be a far better leader than he ever could hope to be, legitimate or not. “Ah Ouji-sama,”

“Nao-sama, I told you I don’t like to be called that.” He turned around smiling as he looked at the woman whose strict features convinced Shota that he should be careful around her. Still so far he should thank her, when Erika’s father had kicked up a fuss she had been the one to calm him, ask him to give Erika a reason to live other than Mao.

Despite her appearance, she understood Erika's pain greater than anyone else in Erika's life because Shota had a feeling that she bore it every day.

“Gomen gomen!” Erika rushed down the entrance hallway cheeks flushed as she quickly patted down her hair quickly as if she was nervous it was still in knots. “Mao woke up crying last night and I had to put her back to bed. I didn’t quite get any sleep.” That was another thing he couldn’t help admiring about the girl before him. When he’d first met her she’d been a free spirit though a quiet one, and now she seemed to trust him enough to let him know everything that was on her mind. The well-being of her child, how much she wished her world were different, how nervous she got simply acting beside him.

He never let her know how nervous he was beside her.

“Easier said than done?” He replied back clearing his throat as he adjusted his collar.

Erika nodded laughing and the image of Erika softly singing lullabies to Mao floated to the front of his mind from his imagination. He wondered if Maki had ever put Jun to sleep…somehow he seriously doubted it. He didn’t visit her chambers often but when he did it was the maids playing with Jun as Maki laughed beside them and continued doing whatever it was she wanted to. Jun didn’t seem to think of it as a lacking though, he still loved his mother with all his heart. She was still a part of his life, but she never really took a part in it.

“Not even the half of it.” She smiled widely before reaching over to hug her mother.

“Did you say to bye to Mao?” Nao asked offhandedly as Erika nodded smiling and Shota couldn’t help but feel a small smile float onto his own face looking through the three generations of women in his mind.

Erika quickly said a goodbye as she kissed her mother on the cheek and walked ahead of Shota. Of course in her rush she barely realized she was faster than him so he raced to catch up and open the door for her as he always did. He may be a prince but he had not forgotten his manners.

Nao slowly entered the house today fighting the will to call Erika back as she did every day. Takuya's whispers ringing in her ears.

We couldn't control her once...what makes you think we'll be able to stop her from running herself to the ground again?

“Where’s the driver?” Erika asked frowning as she looked inside the car at the backseat and Shota rolled his eyes.

“It isn’t that unsafe to drive with me is it? Sit up front today.” He questioned back as she narrowed her eyes and shook her head.

“It’s not that but being in the car alone with you hasn’t ever turned out to be good for me.” Shota laughed as he got in the car beside her slamming the door casually.

“Hey…I think they’ve been enjoyable experiences.”

“For you maybe,” She snarkily replied and then her face cracked into a smile as she brought her hand over her mouth and covered the giggles that tumbled out and Shota couldn’t help but feel his stomach turn over itself.

As time grew from her partition with Jin and with this job Erika was slowly changing. Perhaps not to the once carefree teenage girl she had been but she did seem less upset with herself. For that he was happy he forced her three months ago to take this job in this very same car.


He parked his car in front of her house and she slowly steadied herself before she grabbed the door and made a move to leave when he grabbed her hand and pulled her back inside. Something inside him had to stop her before she decided to say no. “Take the job Erika,”

Erika looked down at the hand as if it burned her and he backed it off remembering how cautious she truly was around him. “Why do you care so much about what happens to me? Why should it matter?”

“Because I know that you need this as much as this movie needs you.” He bit his tongue knowing that if she took this the wrong way he had just waved goodbye to her for the rest of his life.

“How am I supposed to be a good mother to Mao prancing around on a set like some-“

“Normal girl with hopes and dreams?”He bit back and saw her expression falter but the anger only grew. He was right and she couldn’t deny that fact.

Her eyes narrowed as she tried to pull her wrist free but he could not let it go. “Am I allowed to be this frivolous?”

“Why because you aren’t Meisa? Because you have responsibilities?”

“I’m not like you Shota, when I fight for myself no one hears, in that house,” He followed her gaze to the largely ornate house with black barred gates. “I’m alone in my fight…”

Immediately as his words tumbled out of his mouth he wondered how she would take them. “I’ll fight for you. I want them to give you what you want…if this is what you want Erika tell me and I’ll fight for you.” Her eyes teared up as she opened her mouth and he already knew what was going to tumble out so he continued speaking so he could stop her. “Don’t use Mao as an excuse…Ken’ichi will figure out a way for that to work. If you want I’ll even bring Jun and a maid along so she’s not alone.”

“Thank you for the ride home. Drive safely.” Erika bit out in such a manner that Shota couldn’t help but want to hate himself. Seriously…what had he done to make this girl who used to worship the ground he walked on to turn on him so furiously? She was a tornado of emotions as she walked away from him.

Erika couldn’t help but bite back the tears that were forming in her eyes. How could she possibly say yes? She had promised herself that Mao was the only thing that mattered now, how could she possibly be selfish? She twisted the door knob ready to exit the car when she felt Shota grab her arm and she wrenched it free and couldn’t help herself as she turned around to look painfully at him as she whined. “What now Shota?”

“What have I done?” He looked so desperate for a response that she felt bad that she had managed to bring the prince of their country to such a state.

“What have you done?”

“Yes I can’t for the life of me understand why you hate me.”

“You’ve given me hope.” She banged the door shut so that no one outside may hear them as she looked him straight in the eyes. “You may not understand but- I had given up on that dream. I can’t possibly ““ She bit back the tears that readily pounced out of her eyes and despite her protests somehow Shota had neared towards her caressing the top of her hair in a manner that was too comforting for a man who refused to wipe away her tears. “Don’t-“

“Shut your mouth Erika, that’s a royal command.” Without another word he had pulled her into his arms and simply hugged her so that the sobs in her chest quelled and she shut her eyes not wanting to enjoy something as simple as this. Despite herself she enjoyed the feeling of being hugged though, she hadn’t been cradled by someone in so long. She hadn’t felt cared for since Jin had left her. She knew she was just using him, but she couldn’t stop and it seemed that he didn’t mind that she simply wanted to be embraced either. “Feel better?”

A slow nod from her head meant she was released immediately and she was stuck wiping her tears away herself. “I’m sorry for becoming over-emotional.”

“It’s understandable, you’re a woman. Your entire gender was once considered insane. There’s obviously some credibility to the fact.” He teased her and it worked, her smile rose on her face and she punched him lightly on the arm, careful to not cause serious damage to the royal beside her.

“Thanks.” She turned around to make her way into her house again when she heard his voice enter her ears.

“Erika-“

“What?”

“It’s not wrong you know…to want something for yourself.” His tone was serious now as she froze on the doorknob.

“I know that.” She turned to look at him. “If you’ll fight. I’ll fight with you.” The smile that stretched on his face made her heart jump as she smiled back.



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China

“The latest news coming straight from Japan is that their royal prince is finally half-way through his first feature film project after many delays concerning their lead or shall we say ex-lead actress.” The announcer’s voice filed throughout the eatery at which Jin couldn’t help but look up. He felt strange here looking at her as her face graced the television screen but he smiled nevertheless. Despite looking skinnier than usual, she looked happy. “It was revealed today that a new actress would be working alongside Shota-sama in the feature. Toda Erika-san is here today at the station with us alongwith the prince and the director.”

Jin cleared his throat for a second and bit back a bitter laugh. It should have been obvious to him, he had come between them once and maybe Shota wouldn’t have enjoyed having that happen again. Even if nothing had come of it Erika had been absolutely enamored by the prince and he by her. They could finally discover what they felt for each other whether it was just an attraction, friendship or something more. He looked down at the bowl of rice he had on his tray and struggled to move past the knot in his throat. Suddenly he didn’t feel like eating. “Erika-san is it true this isn’t your first time working with Ken’ichi-san?”

Ken’ichi…the name sounded familiar enough and he looked to the man to whom they were referring to. He’d never spoken to him but he remembered the man giving him a dark look when Jin had first started working at the studios. It wasn’t long after that the man had disappeared completely and Jin never thought of him again. Here he was though, listing himself as one of Erika’s many hidden secrets. “Jin, why are you staring at the screen like you’re going to shoot it?” His one friend in China softly asked but he couldn't bring himself to answer. Words escaped him as he thought harder.

He wasn’t a fool. He knew Erika had never been a virgin even when he married her and he realized now who that man was too.

He may have forgiven her behavior when they’d first gotten married but that didn’t mean he forgot.

Somehow the anger he felt towards his wife built as he saw her laugh between the two men who flanked each of her sides. How was he supposed to trust her? How was he supposed to ever rise to that status where the other men who wanted her were when she wouldn’t even give him a chance to?

Maybe she didn’t even want him to…maybe she wanted to degrade herself in this manner. How the hell should he know?

He saw her hand touch Ken’ichi’s shoulder as she smiled and explained how Ken’ichi was a rookie director at her father’s studio.

All Jin heard was the sound of an envelope addressed from her that he’d opened last week…divorce papers.

"Jin...are you okay?" His eyes shot back to across the table where a girl with block shaped glasses and scared smiles looked back at him.

"I'm fine Aya."

Truth was, he wasn't. He was angry and pissed though who was he to try and rule her life.

Was she even taking care of their child?

She had no time to reply to his letters? But time to act?

What was really going on between her and the two men beside her? Why did she send the papers?

No...he was far from fine because for the first time in a week, he was thinking about signing them.

Author's Chapter End Notes

...it's been close to a year.

I know it's a sad thing I've done because this story is my baby. One of the first stories I've truly looked at and said DAYM SON.

Truth is, you guys have really done a lot for this story. Every single reader whether you've read once or all the way till here so I apologize for the length of time this update took. It never really took shape at first and then I kinda lost touch and wrote a whole bunch of other crap and now today I finished it.

Since the last time I've updated...Erika's popularity (hits wise) has surged. Briefly I'd like to thank everyone who clicked on any chapter. You've made a girl very happy.

Thank you to all the reviewers I've had for this story as well :) maohartjun, iamsinglelicious, and Christine.

Previews:

"Why isn't he picking up?"

"Take these... they'll be able to pick up where I left off."

"So you're just leaving...again. Like nothing has happened."

"Have you thought about transferring? Into political science? You definitely have an aptitude and interest son."

"You're married?"

"Not for much longer."




BOOKSHELF:


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