"Really?" Alex said, before hoisting himself onto the countertop. "That much, huh?"

"Yes, Alex! I can't help it if mom and dad hate him, I just…I love him." Mallory said with a hopeless sigh. Alex started, but held himself in check.

"You know…mom and dad really aren't gonna like this."

"They just don't understand—"

"I'm pretty sure they'll understand, Mal. Just not like it."

"But why not?" Mallory whined. "They like Ellen." Alex stared at her.

"Don't compare MY Ellen to Neanderthal Nick." Mallory let out a hopeless moan. Alex tried to smile reassuringly.

"Listen, you can still make mom and dad like Nick if you just… you know, uh…" Alex made cryptic hand gesture. "Mold him a little more?"

"What do you mean?" Mallory said, looking at Alex with some skepticism.

"Make him into something they like, alright?" Alex said, eyes alight. "Just feed him a bunch of lines that'll make mom and dad love him. Tell him to say he wished he could've joined Woodstock or something." Mallory looked thoughtful for a moment.

"I don't know if Nick knows what Woodstock is."

"Just tell him it's a rock band." Alex supplied helpfully.

"Do you really think that'll work?"

"Only if Nick doesn't screw it up." Alex said with complete honesty. Mallory smiled at him for a moment.

"You know, Alex. You're really great. In a terrible sort of way." Alex just grinned cheekily.