Disclaimer: I do not own Family Ties.

Seventeen year old Alex P Keaton has never felt so depressed in his life. He's never fallen so head-over-heels in love before, that he would actually sacrifice his own morals. He had just "done the deed", so to speak, with this college girl named Stephanie. Having been a staunch Republican his whole life, this did come as a big shock to his family. The real kicker was, Stephanie herself had not been faithful.

"Oh, what have I done?" Alex groaned, as he sitting on his bed, trying to hold back the tears that came to his eyes. As distraught as he was, he couldn't quite bring himself to become angry with Stephanie. For Alex didn't usually get angry with others.

While Alex believed that people with the "hippie" attitude (like his parents) tended to be excessively pacifistic, he never was the kind of person who enjoyed picking fights with other people. He didn't understand why he was unable to get a girlfriend that he could go steady with. It seemed like every date he had would end in disaster.

Alex just couldn't take it anymore, and he began to cry. Life was just so unfair!

"Alex, are you in here?" came the voice of his younger sister, Mallory.

"Please, Mallory, just leave me alone," Alex protested, trying not to make it obvious that he was crying. "I really don't feel like talking to anyone, right now."

"Hey, Alex," Mallory said, softly, as she opened up the door. After she saw that there were tears streaming down Alex's cheeks, she asked, "It's about her, isn't it?"

Alex didn't bother to answer. Talking about his feelings was not something that ever came easy to him. After all, he liked to think of himself as being self-sufficient.

Mallory walked over to Alex's bed, and she quietly sat down and put his arm around Alex. As much as Alex hated to admit it, sympathy always tended to make him cry. He didn't even bother to try pulling away from Mallory, but just gave in to gasping sobs.

"You know, Alex," Mallory said, softly, "we may tend to fight sometimes - but you are my brother, and I really do love you. I really mean it, Alex. How about giving me the address of the girl who broke your heart, and I could head over there and give her a piece of my mind. I really am sorry about everything that you're going through."

"Thanks, Mallory," Alex said, through sobs, "but that won't be necessary. I just can't believe how naive I was. I mean, I'm still in high school - so how could a college girl be interested in me? How could I have let myself be so deceived like that?"

"Alex, you're human," Mallory replied, as she gently squeezed Alex's shoulders. "We all let our emotions get the better of us. Anyway, it was very wrong for her to cheat on you. She really shouldn't have led you on the way the way she did."

"I know, Mallory," Alex said, weeping. "Please don't take this the wrong way, Mallory, but I just sometimes don't get the opposite gender. It seems like they really all tend to go for the guys who can be real jerks. I don't like to think that I'm a jerk."

"Well, Alex, to be honest with you," Mallory said, softly, "you do seem to hold some, uh, old-fashioned standards for people of my gender. You do sometimes act like you are superior to us, simply because you happened to be born with a penis."

Alex was at a loss of words. It's not that he truly thought that men were superior to women, but he believed that ERA would force women into dangerous situations that she shouldn't be in. However, he believed women were special in a different way.

"I know that you're a good-hearted person, Alex," Mallory continued. "However, well, let's just say that you do sometimes come off as seeming very opinionated."

"Yeah, Mallory, I guess I understand," Alex sobbed. "You know how Skippy and I are friends, don't you? I just hate it when other kids feel the need to make fun of him."

"I don't really have anything against Skippy," Mallory said, softly. "I just don't like it that he keeps chasing me around. It's like he just can't take a hint, you know."

"I do try to tell him that," Alex said, sighing. "I suppose the point I'm trying to make, though, is that I am not the kind of person to try to be a jerk to others. So why is it just about everyone of the opposite gender go for the guys who are real jerks?"

"To be honest, Alex, I don't understand myself," Mallory replied. "I will tell you this, though. You shouldn't be quick to give up on love. I am sure that, one day, you will be able to find a woman that you'll click with - and I hope the same for me, too."

"Well, thanks for talking with me, Mallory," Alex said, as he wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. "I guess I really did need that, didn't I? I suppose I really should just move on, now. Just as I'm telling Skippy, there are other fish under the sea. I just regret that I had lost my, well, you know, to her. I just feel so bad."

"I really do love you, Alex," Mallory said, as she threw her arms around her brother.

"I love you, too, Mallory," Alex replied, as he hugged his sister back. "Well, should we do something tonight? Just you and me? Do some brother and sister bonding?"

"We could eat out at Guido's," Mallory suggested. "I could really go for some stuffed shells and garlic bread. I could treat for both of us, if you'd like."

"Are you sure you don't mind?" Alex asked his sister, with a small smile. "Anyway, I sure could go for some stuffed shells myself - and their sundaes are really good."

"I don't mind at all," Mallory said, smiling. "You're the one who just had your heart broken, so I thought a special treat might help cheer you up a little bit."

"Thank you, Mallory," Alex said, quietly. He turned his head away, so that his sister wouldn't see him crying.

"Alex, you're crying!" Mallory gasped, as she turned Alex's head towards her.

"I was just really moved, I guess," Alex said, sniffing. "Anyway, yeah, why don't we go have dinner out tonight? Thank you so much for everything, Mallory."

"You're very welcome," Mallory said, as she gently squeezed Alex's shoulder. She then reached for a tissue, and used it to wipe the tears from her brother's face.

Alex put his arm around his sister, as the two of them started to head downstairs. He realized just how lucky he was to have the family that he did.