A/N: Hey everyone! I think I've pretty much dropped my other stories as I have writer's block SO bad on them. If you have any suggestions or anything, feel free to PM me with them. This is my newest story...I hope you like it! Reviews make me a happy girl!
Disclaimer: I don't own it...Thank you Jonathan Larson!
Mark and Roger were sitting in the loft, eating stale, dry Captain Crunch. Mimi had finally fallen asleep. She was still going through withdrawal and today had been particularly brutal. She had fought and screamed and begged to be allowed out of the loft.
She finally exhausted herself and fell asleep. Roger laid her in his room and then joined Mark on the couch. They were trying to toss the cereal into each other's mouth. There was a knock at the door and Mark and Roger exchanged a curious glance. Anyone they knew either called first or just came in. Mark got up to answer the door.
As he pulled the heavy door open, a woman in her early 30's stood there. She was carrying a sleeping toddler and an infant seat. She had the same blond hair and blue eyes that Mark had. "Oh Mark...I didn't know where else to go." She sobbed.
"Cindy! What happened?" Mark asked, stepping aside to let her in. At the name Cindy, Roger's head shot up. Mark took the infant seat from his sister. There was a small, sleeping pink bundle in there. Setting down the carrier and motioning to Roger, he then relieved her of the small boy sleeping on her shoulder. He handed the toddler to Roger and led the crying girl to the couch.
"Mark...it...it's Josh." Josh was Cindy's husband. Mark had never liked him. Cindy looked up at him then and Mark got a real look at his sister in the light. There were hand prints on her neck and a black eye was forming.
"What did he do to you?" Mark cried in outrage.
"He...he's been beating me Mark. I could handle that. I could handle him beating me. But-" Her voice broke. "Today he tried to hit Cheyenne. I couldn't let him hurt them. Mom and Dad...they don't believe me. I...I didn't know where else to go." She sobbed.
Mark gathered his sister in his arms. They may not have always gotten along, but he loved her. And he wasn't going to let anyone hurt her. "How did you find me? I know Mom and Dad don't have my address."
"I called the news station that aired your footage of the riot. Told them I wanted to hire you, but you were unlisted. Begged them for your information." She said. "I'm sorry Mark."
"I'm glad you found me." Cindy dissolved into tears once again. Roger gaped, still holding the sleeping child in his arms. Mark never really talked about his family. He had heard of Cindy, of course, but he had never met her. Had never met any of Mark's family. Suddenly, the little boy began to stir. Opening his eyes and finding himself in a strangers arms, he began to whimper. Roger tried to calm him.
"Hey little guy, it's okay." Cindy wiped her eyes and reached out for her son. She pulled the little boy into her lap.
"Hey there Mason. It's okay sweetie." She said, kissing him on the forehead.
"Did Daddy hurt Chey?" he asked. Mark and Roger exchanged a sad look.
"No baby. Chey-Chey is just fine." She assured him.
"Did he hurt you?"
"No. Mommy is fine, too."
"Is he going to hurt me?" Mark closed his eyes and clenched his fists. It was rare anyone saw Mark angry, but Roger knew what Angry-Mark looked like. And this was it.
Cindy sighed. "No baby. He's not going to hurt any of us." Cindy looked up at Mark. "This is your Uncle Mark. I bet you don't remember him. You were only a baby the last time you saw him." The boy looked at him sleepily and he could no longer keep his eyes open. Cindy looked at Mark. "Mark, please, can we stay for a few days?"
Mark looked at Roger, who shrugged. He indicated his room, which held the now sleeping Mimi. "Cindy...you can stay, but..." Cindy cut him off.
"Oh Mark, forget it. I'm sorry we barged in on you. This isn't fair." She said, scrambling to get up. Mark placed a hand on her shoulder.
"No, Cindy, that's not what I mean. The thing is, we have a girl staying with us. And she's going through serious heroin withdrawal." Mark informed her. Cindy bit her lip.
"Mark!" Roger piped in. "She can stay at Mimi's! Her loft is empty since she's up here with us." Roger grinned, amused by his own brilliance. He looked to Cindy. "I'm Roger. Roger Davis. Mark's roommate."
Cindy smiled at him. "I've heard a lot about you. I'm so sorry about all of this. I appreciate your help."
"It's that asshole who should be sorry." Roger growled. If there's one thing he couldn't stand, it's a man abusing a woman. Cindy stifled a yawn.
"You must be exhausted." Mark interjected. "Go take the kids and sleep in my room." Mark said, picking up the infant seating and leading Cindy to the unoccupied bedroom. Mark took a pillow and a blanket from the room and bid his sister goodnight. She kissed his cheek and thanked him once again. Once Cindy shut the door, Mark retreated back to the couch where Roger was still sitting.
"So...that's Cindy?" Roger asked, breaking the silence. He could tell Mark was seething and wanted to get his mind off of it.
"That's Cindy." Mark confirmed. He looked up at Roger. "I'm sorry."
"For what?" Roger asked. "If it had been my sister, I would have done the same thing and you wouldn't have batted an eye. She's blood, Mark."
"Friendship is thicker than blood." Mark retorted.
"It doesn't have to be." Roger looked him square in the eye. "Do what you do best, Mark. Take care of her." Mark nodded and yawned, suddenly exhausted. Roger ruffled his hair as he stood up. "I'm going to bed. You should do the same." Mark nodded as Roger disappeared into his bedroom. Thoughts were racing through his head. Their parents didn't believe her...how could they not? Would Cindy give herself a black eye? But in his heart he knew that their parents loved Josh. They had always loved Josh...finally, Mark fell asleep. But dreams that he hadn't had in close to 5 years plagued him that night. Dreams Mark had fought long and hard to forget...