Title: The Closest Thing You've Got

Rating: T

Characters: Alec, Kiera

Summary: Alec takes Julian's words to heart and realizes that his "closest thing" really has nothing to do with his family.

Note: Takes place immediately after 1x5 "A Test of Time" and doesn't include anything from later episodes. Inspiration via Julian Randol, "We may not be real family Alec, but we're the closest thing you've got." "Home" is the property of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes.

Kiera tossed and turned, internally cursing the lack of easily accessible non-addictive sleep aids in this decade. While she had been relieved to find out that killing someone's ancestor in this time didn't erase them from history, she couldn't help but feel like that particular revelation was going to have a major impact on her ability to get home and Liber8's ability to wreak havoc on the world. There wasn't a day that went by that she didn't think about her family, about her home, but today was especially painful. Though she was not sympathetic to Kellog's cause (a terrorist was a terrorist however eager to cooperate), Maddie was Kellog's family and she certainly didn't deserve to be mixed up in the future. Finally she gave up and turned to the antique clock-radio that sat on her bedside table. "Maybe some of this old music will put me to sleep," she muttered grumpily. The instant that she heard the song she froze. Her grandmother used to sing it to her as a little girl, and her mother had continued the tradition. Without a conscious thought her lips began to move along with the lyrics.

"Home, let me come home, home is wherever I'm with you," she sung in a whisper. She let herself be lost in the words, surrendering to the pull of history. "La la la la take me home. Mama I'm coming home." Sitting up with a start she angrily ripped the power cord from the wall. "Not any time soon," she growled. She shook her head, feeling shame at her outburst despite her solitude, and settled into a calming routine that she had learned in the military. Despite their flawed experiments with temperamental supersoldiers, they had been very clear about expecting soldiers to have clear minds when under duress. Their training had proved quite useful when she had become a Protector. Or was it would become a Protector? No, she thought as she redoubled her efforts to clear her head, she was a Protector no matter what the time.

A sharp knock jolted her to full awareness. She eyed the door warily. To the best of her knowledge terrorists did not usually knock, and she couldn't think of anyone else who would have reason to approach her door. She cautiously drew her weapon and stalked across the floor to look through the peephole. Alec. Of course. She reholstered her weapon and drew open the door, arching an eyebrow in inquiry about his presence at the late hour.

"Figured I should at least try to be polite at this hour," he offered.

Kiera stayed silent, waiting for a real explanation.

"Thought I'd at least come in the front door this time," Alec explained. "Not that I came in through the window last time or anything, I mean I'm not Spiderman, if you know who that is, but I just—" he ruffled his hair anxiously. "Can I come in?" He finally noticed her expression, the last remnants of drying streaks of tears on her face. "Oh god Alec you idiot." He turned away. "I'll just be going now."

Kiera sighed. She didn't know what was on his mind, but since she couldn't sleep the idea of spending time with the one person who knew her life was appealing. Well, the one person who wasn't a terrorist anyhow. "Come in Alec," she replied at last.

"How do you say no to a choice when it's the only option you've got?" Alec wondered as he looked around the room for a place to sit. The sparse accommodations didn't offer much and he settled for dropping onto the bed. Before Kiera could ask him to elaborate, Alec barreled on. "I may not know much about family, but I know that they're supposed to actually care, not just when it's time for a meeting or something. I guess you could say the same about me, but there's only so many times I can try without getting a response."

Looking down at Alec Kiera considered her words carefully. Not much was known about Alec Sadler's early life, and despite what they had learned about time travel from the earlier incident with Kellog, she still was reluctant to reveal any information about his future. "I don't know much about your family but I do know that you're going to do great things," she told him. To anyone else that might have sounded trite, but her surprise at hearing THE Alec Sadler at the other end of her communication when she arrived in the past had revealed that he would indeed do great things in the future. "It may seem far away to you, but you do have quite a future ahead of you despite how it may look now."

"How do you deal with it though?" he asked. "You don't have a choice either." He hung his head. "Sorry to bring it up. Again." He let out a quiet derisive snort. "Guess it's not my night."

Kiera looked away, gazing absently into the bathroom mirror. "I do have a choice though," she said, realizing the truth in her words even as she heard herself say them. She turned back to Alec, growing more confident with each word. "It may not have been my choice to come here, but I'm not going to let them dictate the rest of my life. I could spend every day in one of those movie theater things, waste my time in front of endless screens, but that's not me. I have the choice to live my life with purpose, and I can't forget that." She gave him a slight nod of acknowledgment and added, "And you have been a significant part of that." She cocked her head to the side held out a fist. "Rock, paper, scissors?"

Alec chuckled, his gloomy expression blossoming into a wry smile. "Guess I have been useful for some things."

A loud rumble of thunder and crack of lightning rattled the room as a sudden storm lashed the windows with rain. Kiera shook her head in amusement as Alec fell over on the bed in surprise at the sudden noise. Forecasters had been predicting a big storm for days, and it looked like it had finally arrived. Taking one more glance at the storm, she wondered how Alec had gotten here. Regardless, getting back didn't look like fun.

Alec yawned as he stood up and straightened his jacket, casting a frown at the storm outside. "Look, I really ought to—"

"Take the bed," Kiera said plainly, forestalling any argument. She reached for a pillow from the bed and tossed it down on the floor. "I've slept in worse places." A grateful smile was all the acceptance she needed to see to know how thoroughly exhausted Alec was. Truth be told, she was starting to feel the exhaustion creep up on her as well. She busily set to piling up extra blankets on the floor as Alec turned in for what was left of the night.

"Life with purpose," Alec murmured as he drifted off to sleep.