The Reaction

Summary: In, As Long as we're together, it doesn't show Laura's reaction when she learns that Albert is homeless and has no parents. This is just my take on a conversation between Pa and Laura after Pa returns from Albert's and then a conversation between Albert and Laura after the party. Andy is a part of both conversations, as Laura's best friend.

Laura and Andy were sitting in Laura's room playing, when Charles walked in.

"Hi Pa" Laura said. Charles took off his hat and sat on the bed.

"Laura, I'd like to talk to you" He said.

"Do you want me to leave, Mr. Ingalls?" Andy asked.

"No. I think you should here this too" Charles said. Andy nodded.

"What is it Pa?" Laura asked.

"Laura, I know you are still upset with Albert, but I want you and Andy to try and be friends with him" Charles said. Laura was surprised.

"I try to be Pa" She said. "Honest. But he seems awful distant"

"I know that. But you just need to keep trying" Charles asked.

"Sure, Pa" She said.

"Laura, There's something else. Albert lied to us about his Pa" Charles told her. Laura looked up at him.

"Why?" She asked.

"Because, he doesn't have a father" Charles replied. "Or a mother. He's an orphan"

"If he's an orphan, doesn't he stay at the orphanage?" Andy asked. Charles shook his head.

"He was treated poorly and ran away" He explained. "Albert knows stealing is wrong, but he doesn't have a family to provide him with things he needs"

"I understand Pa" Laura said quietly.

"Anyway, I invited Albert to the party tonight. I don't know if he'll come, but I'm sure the offer of cake will entice him" Charles said.

"Oh, I hope he comes Pa. Andy hasn't met him yet" Laura said.

After the Party.

Albert was getting ready to leave, when Laura and Andy sprinted after him.

"Albert, wait up" Laura said. Albert turned to look at her and smiled. "Andy and I want to walk you home" Albert looked at the ground.

"I don't know if that's a good idea" He said.

"Sure it is" Laura said. "Pa already told me the truth"

"You don't hate me?" Albert asked, surprised.

"Of course not" Laura said. "I want to be your friend Albert. So does Andy"

"Really?" Albert asked. "I've never had real friends before" Andy clamped a hand on Albert's shoulder.

"Well, you do now" He said. Albert smiled and the three of them began walking. When they got to Albert's hideout, Laura and Andy surprised him by crawling in after him.

"Neat place" Andy said. Albert shrugged.

"It's not much, but it's my home" He said.

"Listen, I was wondering if you'd like to eat at the hotel with us regularly" Laura asked.

"You mean, everyday?" Albert asked.

"Sure" Laura said. "Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner"

"I don't know…" Albert said.

"Come on" Laura said. "You'd be doing me a favor"

"I would?" Albert asked.

"Well, yeah. Andy and I get kind of tired listening to grown-up talk all the time. If you came, we could have our own talks" Laura said. "Plus, my Ma always cooks a lot of food and if you don't come, Andy and I will get fat" Albert grinned.

"I guess I could" He said.

"Great" Laura said. "We'll see you tomorrow"

"Yeah" Albert said. "Tomorrow"