Author's Note: This story takes place in the Family Ties Universe where Andy was born to Steven and Elyse Keaton in 1985.

May 25, 1990
3:00 PM PDT
Family Ties Universe

Alexander Patrick Keaton was in the living room, playing Nintendo with his kid brother, Andrew, who was six years old. Little Andy had taken a real liking to Alex, and he wanted to be just like his big brother.

"So, Alex," asked Andy, sweetly, "today is the big release date of Back to the Future Part Three? You look just like Marty McFly."

"I know," Alex said, smiling. "You know, if I could travel through time, I would love to visit the Old West. It's one of my favourite eras to study about."

"So what is like to live in the Old West?" Andy asked, with curiosity. "I suppose they didn't have TV or video games back then."

"Oh, they certainly didn't," Alex said, laughing. "You didn't have all the modern conveniences back then, that we tend to take for granted today. As much as I would love to visit the Old West, I can imagine I would have a tough time adjusting to living there. Electricity was still in its infancy - and the major electrical invention of the time was the telegraph, which pretty much predates the telephone. They did have telephones back in 1885, but they were somewhat rare.'

'So was life much harder back then?' asked Andy.

'Well, it depends on how you look at it,' Alex said, quietly. 'It was definitely much harder to do the typical everyday tasks of house cleaning. Not only that, but just about everyone back then owned at least one horse - so you would have to clean up after your horse routinely.'

"Oh, I would love to ride a horse someday!" gushed Andy, his face lighting up.

"Well, back then, horses were the standard form of transportation," explained Alex. "They didn't have cars yet, so they would ride carriages pulled by horses. So people didn't exactly ride horses for fun back then. Riding horses was the norm."

"So how did they keep themselves warm during the winter?" asked Andy.

Just then, the telephone rang. Alex went up to answer the phone.

"Hello," Alex said, into the receiver. "Keaton residence, this is Alex."

"Oh, hello, Alex," gushed a feminine sounding voice. "I was hoping you would be home!"

"Aw, it's so nice of you to call, Ellen," Alex said, huskily. "Say, would you like to come with Andy and I to the movie theatre tonight? We were going to catch Back to the Future Part Three! I love how this movie is going to take place in the Old West."

"Oh, I'd be happy to come along, Alex," replied Ellen. "Yeah, I really love Michael J Fox. I think he looks just like you!"

"Oh, you do, eh?" Alex asked, smiling. "Listen, Ellen, how about I pick you in about fifteen minutes - and we can eat at Ponderosa before we catch the movie?"

"That sounds great, Alex," replied Ellen. "I'm so happy we can be together again. You are such a sweet person, even if you are a bit outspoken about politics. But that's okay, though. It's good to have an opinion of your own, instead of going along with what everyone else thinks. That's what I love about you, Alex. You are uniquely you."

"Thank you, Ellen," Alex replied, beaming with pride. "I was just playing Nintendo with my kid brother. I'll have to get him to clean up, and then we'll be right over."

"See you later, Alex my love," Ellen said, as she hung up.

Alex smiled, as he hung up the phone. He had actually met Marty McFly in person, a few times - and they got along great. He was a bit tempted to tell Ellen about his experience with meeting Marty, but he had promised Marty to keep it a secret. Besides, Ellen might not even believe him - and she might think him crazy.

The last time Alex had corresponded with Marty, he discovered that Michael J Fox and Tracy Pollan - the actors who played Alex P Keaton and Ellen Reed on a show called Family Ties in the Back to the Future world - were now married, and they had a son named Sam Michael Fox. Alex wondered if he and Ellen should name their first son, Sam, too. Come to think of it - it would work great for a girl, too.

In this world, Tracy Pollan was an actress who was not very well-known. Instead, in this world, Michael J Fox ended up marrying a young actress who played his girlfriend in Jamie Takes Charge, whose name was Melody Powers. They also had a son named Sam Michael Fox. The sitcom was a spin off from Leo and Me, where Jamie Romano was older and he moved to California. There, he took care of some small children. The sitcom had been considerably more successful than its predecessor.

"Hey, Andy," Alex called out, cheerfully. "Let's wash up now, shall we? How would you like to go to Ponderosa for dinner?"

"That would be awesome, Alex," replied Andy. "Can I have the half-pound sirloin steak dinner - with a baked potato with butter and sour cream?"

"Wow! You sure have a hearty appetite, don't you?" Alex teased, as he tickled his kid brother on the sides. Andy collapsed on the ground, laughing. "You're going to grow up to be a big boy, Andy!"

"Yeah, one day I'll be as big as you, Alex," Andy said, smiling.

"Yes, you will," Alex said, chuckling a little. At five feet four inches tall, Alex didn't consider himself to be big at all. He was not one to get all worked up over his small stature, though.

After Alex carried Andy into the bathroom, he said, "Okay, Andy, wash up your hands and face. Use lots of soap. Scrub up good. You're doing a good job. Atta boy!"

"All done, Alex," Andy said, smiling at his big brother.

"Good job!" replied Alex. "Now lets go have some dinner, shall we?"

oooooooooo

After Alex went to pick up Ellen and drove over to Ponderosa, they all ordered the half pound sirloin dinner. Alex saw to it that his little brother ate some vegetables. They then sat down at a booth. Alex and Andy sat on one side, while Ellen sat on the other side.

"Your little brother is so well behaved," Ellen said, admiringly. "I have a cousin who's about the same age as him, and he can be such a brat. He'll scream and pitch a tantrum whenever he doesn't get his way."

"Yeah, Andy is a good little boy," cooled Alex. Then, turning to his Andy, he added, "Aren't you, Andy? Oh, yes, you're a good little boy. Tell Ellen what you want to be when you grow up."

"I want to be the President of the United States," Andy said, with pride.

"That's quite ambitious of you," Ellen said, smiling.

"Thank you," Andy said, smiling. Then, turning to Alex, he asked, "What does ambitious mean?"

"It means you have a strong desire for success," Alex said, smiling back at his brother.

"I would like some ice cream, now," Andy insisted.

"Well, finish up your salad first," said Alex, "then we'll see about getting some ice cream."

"Yes, Alex," replied Andy, turning back to his salad without an argument.

"Yeah, Alex, I think you'll make a great father," Ellen said, smiling. "Just think, one day we'll get married and have kids of our own."

"I can hardly wait, Ellen," Alex said, huskily.