Part VII: Brian Cassidy Returns

"Alex are you sure that the bridesmaids have to match?" Olivia asked. "I'm not liking this dress."

Alex rolled her eyes. "Olivia, for the millionth time, you look fine! We are not going to sit here all afternoon while you debate over the dresses! And yes, you have to match!"

Four days had passed since the disaster at Cabot Manor and Alex was almost back to her old self. But in order to get that way, she'd spent two days locked up in her den with several pounds of fudge and her tapes of Food Network shows. Now, she was in a dress shop with Abbie, Serena and Olivia for a bridesmaid gown fitting and unfortunately, Olivia, the maid of honor was having a small problem: the idea of being seen in a strapless gown was suddenly making her question everything about herself, especially her chest size. All of a sudden, Olivia Benson thought that her breasts were too big, which Alex thought was the most absurd thing she'd ever heard, considering that other women in the shop kept admiring Olivia and asking her all sorts of questions.

As for Abbie and Serena, well, they were cranky and they were sick of Olivia's sudden insecurities.

Olivia crossed her arms over her chest. "Are you sure? I look cheap in this."

"Olivia! Get a grip!" Alex cried. "We don't have time for you to be fickle! You look gorgeous! You are not going to spill out of your dress!"

"Are you sure about that?" Olivia stared worriedly into the mirror as she examined herself for what seemed like the zillionth time. "I'd hate to flash Elliot in the middle of the ceremony. I may never be able to look him in the face again."

The mental imagery made Abbie giggle.

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Olivia." Alex said. "You look perfectly fine."

"I feel very very exposed in this…are you sure that I have to wear this?" Olivia asked.

Alex threw up her hands and groaned.

"Please tell me that she's not always like this." Serena whispered to Abbie.

"No, she's rarely like this." Abbie replied. "Normally, Olivia's unbelievably confident. But, then again, Olivia rarely wears skirts, unlike you, Alex and me. She's just not used to this."

"Olivia, I know women who would DIE to look like you!" Alex cried. "You at least have time to work out. Now, would you please stop whining?"

"Maybe I should lose some weight." Olivia muttered.

Alex looked like she was ready to scream.

Just then, the door of the shop opened and in walked a handsome man with spiky brown hair and blue eyes wearing an attractive suit. He walked right up to Alex and asked, "You wouldn't happen to be Alexandra Cabot would you?"

Alex looked a little surprised. "Depends on who's asking." She replied. "Who the hell are you?"

"Brian Cassidy." He said, shaking her hand.

"Do I know you?" Alex asked.

"No… I'd remember someone as beautiful as you… actually, it's John Munch, your fiancé, who knows me."

Brian replied. "I used to be his partner in the SVU before I got transferred. Turns out I didn't have the emotional strength to deal with the cases…" he sighed. "But that's not why I'm here. I'm here to do him a favor."

"What kind of favor?" Alex asked.

"How would you like me to pay for your wedding?" Brian asked. "To me, money is no object…I'll cover all the costs."

Alex's jaw dropped. "WHAT?"

"I asked you if you would like me to pay for your wedding." Brian repeated calmly.

Alex was speechless and she did the only thing that came to mind… she fainted.