Author's Notes: In this universe, Alan Shore has been exiled to New York City under the pretense of running the New York branch of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt. It is also a crossover with all three series of Law and Order, called Law and Order: Special Issues Unit and where he meets (OC) Det. Jaclyn "Jackie" Barr.

Shirley sat behind her desk, a stack of mail sitting beside unopened and aiting. The correspondence was fairly standard, except for one particular piece of mail. Drawing the card out of its simple and yet elegant white envelope, she read the silver script, twice. It was an invitation to Alan Shore and Jackie Barr's wedding.

"A wedding.." She said softly to the empty room, the hint of a smile at her lips. Denny had once mentioned to her that Alan had been married before. However, in Shirley's mind, a married Alan was a foreign concept ranking right up there with a faithful Ivan. What kind of woman must the former Mrs. Shore have been? Was she anything like the woman Alan was about to marry?

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Holding the card between his fingers, Paul read the announcement of Alan and Jackie's wedding. In his mind, he could hear Alan on the phone, asking for help from the only person he knew would understand. It seemed the advice had worked, and things were better. Unfortunately, the three-year-old staying at his place thought things had been better too, once upon a time. He only hoped that Alan's luck fared better than his, and that Jackie would stay strong. If there was one thing Paul Lewiston had learned about life, it never gets easier...

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Brad had to read the card twice just to make sure he was reading it right. He'd been given an invitation to the wedding of a man he didn't get along with who was marrying a woman who was just as bad as he was, with a gun. Brad sighed, pouring himself a drink. "Well, at least Alan can afford a free bar."

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"Good afternoon, Shirley."

She turned to see Paul, and smiled. "Hello, Paul. Did you get an invitation to Alan's wedding?"

He paused. "Yes, I did. I must say, I'm surprised Alan's getting married at all. He doesn't seem like the marrying type."

"No, he doesn't." She almost told Paul the truth about Alan's first wife right then and there, but she had the sneaking suspicion Denny had let something slip he shouldn't have. As if on cue, Denny strode purposefully across the room, stopping beside Paul and Shirley, but keeping his attention focused on her.

"Hello Paul. Why Shirley, you look lovely today."

Paul nodded. "Denny."

Shirley shook her head in amusement. "You say the same thing every day, Denny."

"Only because it's true." He smiled broadly. "Did you get your invitations to Alan and Jackie's wedding?"

"We did," Paul replied, "though the idea of Alan being married at all is a bit surprising."

Denny laughed. "Well, he's no Denny. Crane in the marriage department, but Jackie's a nice girl. We all stood on the balcony and spit on the Squid's car the first time she was here." His voice was softer, as if recounting a fond memory. Then, he continued in his normal dramatic manner. "A bit scary for reasons I can't entirely explain, but a nice girl...good for Alan."

Paul sighed audibly at Denny's recounting of the airborne attack on Marlene's car. "The Squi---Marlene, is a member of this firm and that sort of childish behavior is not the type of image we want to present at Crane, Poole, and Schmidt. I would expect better of a senior partner.."

Denny didn't say anything for a few moments before he spoke up . "Alan helped...and Jackie. She's not a member of the firm. But, I do see your point. In any case, I have work to do. Big case.." With another classic Denny Crane smile, he was off, leaving Shirley with a smirk and Paul irritated.

"He is a character.." Shirley noted.

"Yes...he is."

"He is what?" Both Shirley and Paul turned to see Brad standing there.

"Brad...hi. Did you get an invite to Alan and Jackie's wedding?"

"I did." He looked from Shirley to Paul and back again. "Is this one of those mandatory things, or can I just not go?"

"I'm ashamed of you. How many of Denny's weddings did you go to?" Shirley answered, though she was secretly amused by the whole thing.

He had to consider his answer for a minute or two. "As many as I could, but..."

"But what?" Paul interjected.

Brad struggled to think of something that didn't sound like 'Because Alan is mean to me'. "Alan and I don't get along very well. I'm sure I only got the invitation out of professional courtesy."

"Then out of professional courtesy, you should go." Shirley concluded.

"Besides, Denny fired you, or did you forget that?" Paul added.

"No..I didn't." There was no easy way out of this, Brad realized. He was stuck going to the wedding. He held up his hands in mock surrender. "I never thought Alan Shore would get married at all, let alone to a cop. Isn't that just asking for trouble?"

Paul arched a brow, narrowing his eyes a little. "I hope you're not implying that an associate of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt would be engaging in illegal activities."

"No...but you know as well as I do Alan likes to skate the gray areas. I'm just saying it could cause trouble."

Before Paul could respond, Shirley spoke up. "Well, one thing's for sure...he's not coming back to Boston now."

Both Brad and Paul looked at Shirley, somewhat relieved by this revelation.

"No, he's not.."