The Ties That Bind

By LindsayR

Timeline: BtVS - post season 7

DA – three years or so after 'Designate This'.

Summary: Alec made a life for himself, one that didn't involve Max Guevara constantly breathing down his neck.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Author's Note: I don't like the way Max treats Alec sometimes. And he just takes it. So this is my what if on the idea that he only let it go on for so long before taking off. Moved the DA world into the Buffyverse. No Pulse. Just Manticore playing God.

If there was one certainty in Alec's life it was that he would never return to Seattle. After the whole Breeding Program thing and the destruction of Manticore, he spent a year with Max and the crew, but he was only willing to put up with her constant abuse for so long. So he ran, got away as fast and as far as he could. And he ended up in Cleveland of all places. That's where he met them, the people he came to think of as his family.

He met Dawn first. He was out of cash and ended up finding a job at a local messenger service like JamPony. She worked there too, part time, helping to put herself through college at the University of Ohio. She was the first and only girl he'd ever met that didn't immediately fall for his handsome face and charming personality. From day one she treated him like he was one of her best friends. It took him six months to get her to agree to a date and it took a year from the time he met her to get her to introduce him to her family. And that's when he learned the truth about her world and when he told her about his.

It was the biggest rush he ever had. Fighting with the slayers was like fighting at Manticore. They may have been girls but they were just like him, stronger, faster, with enhanced senses and an urge to do violence. And for Faith, the urge to have sex, frequently and with many different people.

He learned what love was and grew to love them. Buffy was like the sister he never had and he was told that if Joyce Summers were still around she would have loved him like he was her own son. Xander and Willow became his cousins, his partners in mischief, mayhem, and practical jokes. He respected Giles and listened to the older man's wisdom and experience. Faith…well, she was in a category all her own. Not a sister for sure, but not a lover either. She was like him. All sarcasm and fire with walls around her heart so high that it would take a person of incredible strength to climb them. And she fought like a wildcat, feral and predatory. In that way she reminded him of Max.

He didn't like thinking about Max, Joshua, or any of the others. In the two years since he'd been gone he avoided it as much as possible. Dawn and the others knew that he was X-5, a transgenic, but they didn't care. They were beyond all of the prejudice. His past didn't matter to them and they didn't question his loyalty or get down on him when he made a mistake. They were his family, something he thought he'd never have.

He'd finally put Max Guevara, Manticore, and his old life behind him and moved on. And the life he'd made suited him just fine.