Okay guys, one review is better than none :)

Anyways, the show goes on with another chappie :D

P.S. The fuzziest Panda—don't worry, no matter how many times one person reviews, it's not spam to me :) Thanks for reviewing again btw

The next few days past better then Roger hoped.

When he and Mark got back home after the reconciliation at Lisa's place, it was a little awkward to say the least. Other than a few syllables, Mark refused to talk to Erika. At first Erika was happy Roger had brought Mark back…but once she realized that Mark was angry at her, she became uncharacteristically shy and respectful.

After a few days past though, Mark began finally to warm up to her (which triggered her thankfully returning to normal).

Mark seemed to realize that he knew what it was like to get to the point of relapsing, so like Roger did so long ago Mark forgave her. Sure, they didn't interact as much as Erika and Roger did, nor did they talk much, but they shared a mutual respect for one another.

They also shared an unspoken agreement; Erika wasn't to get drugs while under their roof and Mark wasn't to act like she was a child (even though in his eyes she sure was one).

This unspoken agreement worked for quite awhile…well in their terms anyways. In real life, it was only a week and a half, but with the week they had, it sure felt like awhile.

For how long it lasted didn't matter though. All that mattered was it lasted…at least, for awhile anyways.

~~~~~::~~~~~

Mark woke up to silence. Absolute silence. Well, almost. He could hear Roger's snoring but other than that…

The silence unnerved Mark.

Frustration took over his sleep-addled mind when he realized he didn't know why it unnerved him. He let himself relax and wake up for a few seconds before once again searching his brain as to why he was unnerved.

It was a few minutes before it finally hit him.

Mark quickly looked at the watch on his nightstand and vaguely thanked whatever God was out there that the moonlight was in just the right place to help him see it. 3:11 it read. Mark sat up in lightening speed and strained his ears.

His nerves were rightly founded; Erika was usually up and doing something and distracting herself by this time of night. And since she was a human being, it only made sense for her to be making some sort of noise because of this. But there was only silence. Which didn't make any sense.

So it was either she was sleeping very well, or she was…

Mark didn't want to consider the other possibilities.

Mark got to his feet and sluggishly began walking to the bedroom door. When he got there, he looked behind him to make sure that Roger was still asleep…and he grinned when he saw he was still snoring away.

Of course. Mark thought with an adoring roll of his eyes, before remembering the task at hand.

Mark slipped from the room and lightly closed the door behind him. When outside the closed bedroom, he paused, just to make sure his nerves were legit. He did not hear a whisper of anything, so he quickly went over to the sofa and turned on the lamp beside it.

Light flooded the room and Mark blinked at the onslaught. After his eyes got used to the sudden light, he quickly surveyed the room to see if Erika just happened to be quietly shaking on the couch or something. But no girl was to be found.

Thoroughly worried now, Mark swiftly walked over to Roger's old room and knocked lightly. When he received nothing in response, he was quick to open the door. He no longer cared if she was sleeping or sick or whatnot; he simply wanted to make sure she was okay.

Once he opened the door, he carefully stepped inside—just in case she was in fact asleep—and peered inside. The only thing that illuminated the room was a tiny lamp. Since he couldn't see much from that tiny lamp; that Mark assumed was from when Mimi was around, since it was a purple lacy lamp; Mark turned on the main light of the room with a grimace.

The tiny bulb that hung from the ceiling gave a few spurts of light before brightening up the room. Mark blinked quickly, getting as used to the light as he could before scanning the room for Erika. All he could see was was a few things of garbage, a window open and…

Oh no. Mark thought sadly, stepping fully into the room and staring at the empty bed in front of him. That meant—

Mark quickly turned around and scanned the living room for the front door. The front door was slightly ajar.

Shit.

The evidence was all there; Erika was gone.

~~~~~::~~~~~

"So what? She's just gone?" Roger questioned, rubbing his eyes.

"Yes! She is. I wake up, check for her and she's just gone!" Mark cried, pacing back and forth in front of Roger.

Despite not being fully awake, Roger seemed to understand that Mark was freaking out about it. So he sighed, grabbed both of Mark's hands and whispered, "Mark, calm down babe."

"Rog! This is your friend! You should be freaking out too." Mark pointed out, still freaking out somewhat.

"Mark, look, this has happened before. She'll probably be back soon…" Roger said.

"When has this…Oh," Mark whispered, suddenly remembering when they returned home to see Erika high on the couch, "…Well…shouldn't we be out there, trying to stop her before she relapses again?"

"This is her life Mark. She should be able to choose whether to return to her drugs or not. If she wants to die as a junkie, then fine."

Mark's eyes narrowed and he stopped trying to get out of Roger's grasp on him. Roger knew then that if looks could kill, he'd be French toast.

"Yes, it is her life. But…she should not be able to choose whether or not to die a junkie. I mean, if we were given the choice, where would we be, huh?"

"Mark, don't start." Roger sighed.

"If we were given the choice at the height of our addictions," Mark continued, as if he hadn't heard a word Roger said, "we wouldn't be here, happy and in love would we? No…you would've been dead shortly after April bit the dust. And I…if I hadn't cut too deep or was murdered by a customer, I would've died of alcohol poisoning."

"Mark…"

"But thankfully, we had each other to get through it. And look at us now." Mark slightly smiled, despite the situation. Roger just sighed, but nodded resolutely. Mark of course was right, despite the fact that Roger still also believed that it was her choice to live or die a junkie. He wasn't going to fight it though; instead he'd support Mark, find Erika, and then fight for his point later.

But for now,

"Let's go find her Mark."

~~~~~::~~~~~

It was a chilly night in Alphabet City, despite the fact it was mid-May. Maybe it was because just an hour ago they were warm in their bed, but now they were prowling through Alphabet City looking for their friend.

About half an hour into their search and after they had searched through every alley within a few blocks of their building, Roger was about ready to give up and call it a night. But Mark held firm and had threatened to continue his search without him. Roger, not wanting Mark to be on his own, grudgingly decided to help continue the search.

Thank God they didn't give up; because around 20 minutes after this butting of heads, they heard a commotion in an alley near the Cat-Scratch club.

Both curious and concerned the two hurried over to the alley. They didn't know if it was their girl, but the possibility that it was was undeniable.

Within seconds they made it to the opening of the alley and the second they assessed what was going on they rushed into it. In the middle of the alley stood Erika, dirty and ragged, with a man grabbing her arm almost brutally. Erika was putting up a struggle but the man was quite obviously stronger.

"Hey! You! Let go of her!" Roger cried angrily as they ran to the duo.

The man looked up at them. Instead of running the moment he saw them, like Roger thought he would, he simply blinked at them before letting go of Erika and held up his hands.

"What the hell are you doing?" Roger demanded as he finally became close. Mark was still a little behind, but not too far behind. He just never was the best runner.

"Nothing." The man said roughly, slipping his hands into his pockets.

"Didn't look like nothing." Mark commented, finally catching up and halting beside Roger.

Erika finally spoke up for the first time, "Mark, Roger, relax. Nothing's going on." She said, glaring daggers at all three (Mark, Roger and the man) men.

"Yes something's going on; you're coming home." The man said angrily, glaring just as hard at Erika.

"What? What do you mean coming home?" Mark questioned, confusion on his face.

"You can't fucking make me. The moment I left home, you and ma lost all control over me!" Erika hissed, seeming to forget that Mark and Roger stood just a few feet from her.

"That's right, we did. But Uncle Marsh was 'posed to look after you. We relinquished control to him." The man cried.

"That fat ass? Please! Ma had more control over me than that bum." Erika cried right back, rolling her eyes with a dramatic flair.

"What the hell is going on?" Roger finally cried, having had enough.

Erika and the man seemed to finally remember the two existed; they stared at the couple for a few seconds before Erika muttered, "Rog, Mark, this is my big bro, Jet."

Silence reigned over the alley for a few seconds before Roger and Mark cried at the same time, "What?"

"I'm Jet; this girl's one and only brother." The man spoke up.

"This jerk is your brother?" Roger questioned Erika in shock. Jet instantly crossed his arms in defence and seemed to grow two extra centimeters in a few seconds. Roger slightly paled.

He wasn't prepared to take this guy on. Maybe when he was younger, strong and un-riddled with disease he could've taken this strong and obviously young man on—but now, twenty-five, AIDS-ridden and way too skinny? No way could he take this guy on.

"Yes, he is." Erika said dryly, eyeing her brother warily.

"And he'd appreciate not being called a jerk." Jet commented angrily.

"Shut up Jet; did you really think you could pull this without being seen as the bad guy?" Erika cried.

Jet opened his mouth, but before he could comment (and probably start another fight) Mark stepped in.

"Okay then; may I ask something? What are you doing here in the middle of the night?" Mark said pointedly at Jet before adding, "And what are you doing here in the middle of the night?" Mark looked pointedly at Erika.

For a few seconds the two looked like reprimanded 5 year olds before the man through the look aside. Instead he became edgier, angrier, tougher.

"It's none of your business." Jet growled.

Erika's reprimanded look seemed to dissipate as well with those words and she mutely nodded and whispered "Agreed," staying loyal and behind her brother.

"Says the little girl who worried me—us to death." Roger spoke up, looking pointedly at Erika and obviously tired of the childish actions coming from Erika and her—her brother.

"Little girl? What the hell are you on man?" Erika questioned.

Roger went to answer with an angry and profanity-filled reply when out of the blue…Jet of all people replied.

"They're obviously on nothing; you however are. And let me guess; you were able to convince these men that you're willing to quit that poison of yours?" Jet hissed.

Erika seemed a little taken aback that her own brother turned on her before saying, "It's my life and I can live it how I want."

"Well you won't be living it for very long if you don't change." Jet said sternly.

"Oh fuck you! I can do whatever I want. And I don't need any of you to help me or save me for that matter!" Erika hissed. She then went to strut off, probably in a dramatic way while the other three watched; but Jet wasn't having any of that. Instead he came up behind her while she attempted to walk away and grabbed her around her tiny waist.

He grabbed her in such a way that Roger was almost afraid he'd break a rib of hers by grabbing too hard. But thankfully, instead of Erika crying out in pain she cried out in rage and began to wiggle in her brother's grip.

"Lemme go! Let me go!" Erika screeched, which made Mark look around worriedly. After all, someone might hear or see them and assume that they were three thugs trying to hurt her. Roger though just looked amused at the two.

"What? You gonna tell mommy on me?" Jet asked mockingly, putting her over his shoulder.

"No; but I'll scream bloody murder. Just give me a fucking excuse Jetson!"

"Jetson?" Mark questioned, while Roger fought not to laugh.

"Let's get you to my hotel room." Jet said with a glare at the two boys, already beginning to walk out of the alley.

"Hotel room?" Mark questioned.

"Yeah. I wasn't planning on staying in New York long. Just long enough to track down this chick. And now that I have we're both heading back home."

"Well—" Mark began to offer. Roger grabbed his arm, trying to convey that maybe, just maybe, this offer (whatever it was) wasn't a good idea.

But Mark was never good at perceiving signals.

"Why don't you stay with us until you leave? Maybe we can all figure something out." Mark said, going up to Jet and Erika. Roger was instantly taken back by how small he was compared to Jet…and it kind of scared him.

Jet looked taken aback, probably from Mark's random offer. Roger was at well. In fact Roger was gaping in the background. What are you doing Marky?...

"Why would you do that?" Jet asked, going from curious and shocked to suspicious within seconds.

"Because…I'd like to figure something out. Talk a little bit. Because we've gotten to know and even like Erika this past while and I don't think it would be fair for her to be taken away just like that. So let's sit down, calm down and have a chat. All together." Mark said pointedly towards Erika.

Jet froze up a bit, and for a few panicked seconds Roger thought he was tensing up and preparing to hit Mark; but then surprisingly enough Jet sighed and nodded.

Mark smiled in relief and whispered, "Good. We'll show you the way."

Yes, I'm adding another OC. Don't worry; he's probably the last one lol

Thoughts? Feelings? What do you think of Jet? You know the drill :D