"Oh, my God!"
Olivia Benson barely looked up from her deli sandwich. "What's wrong?"
"My mother." Alex swore softly as her blue eyes scanned the e-mail. "She signed me up for an internet dating service."
Olivia choked on her next bite. She sputtered with laughter, finally catching her breath. "Are you serious?"
"Dearest Alexandra," Alex read aloud. "Thirty-three is just around the corner and you've yet to find a man. I thought this might give you a leg up on the competition..."
"That's priceless," Olivia laughed, abandoning her lunch and moving around the desk. She read the e-mail with barely concealed amusement. "Your mom is feisty."
Alex rolled her eyes. "She wants grandchildren."
"Obviously." Olivia pulled up a chair and took control of the mouse. She clicked on the link to the internet dating site.
"Come on," the detective laughed. "It'll be fun. I promise."
"You and I have very different ideas about what's fun," Alex retorted, opening the plastic to-go box that held her Asian salad. "I don't want any part of this."
Olivia clicked around until she found her friend's profile, courtesy of the Cabot Matriarch. She covered her mouth to keep from laughing. "Your user name is Tall & Delightful."
Alex shook her head. "I can't believe my mother honestly thought I'd meet someone over the internet," she said, her voice filled with exasperation. "Doesn't she watch the news? The only people on those sites are serial killers, psychos-"
"And police captains!" Olivia gasped.
Alex froze mid-bite. "Excuse me?"
Olivia stared at the computer screen with wide eyes. "It's Cragen…"
"Yeah, right." Alex wrinkled her nose and turned back to her salad. "And Petrovsky is the tooth fairy."
"I'm serious." In an effort to convince her friend, Olivia read the title of the profile aloud, "Comely Captain Courts Charismatic Charmer."
Alex barely looked up from her lunch. "Dutiful D.A. Doubts Detective's Drivel."
"I'm glad to see your Harvard education is being put to good use," Olivia shot back. "But my so-called 'drivel' is dead-on." She angled the screen toward her friend. "Look!"
Alex finally looked up; a picture from the squad's annual Christmas party, cropped to show only the captain, stared back at her. "Oh, my God! That's Cragen!"
The initial shock had ebbed away for Olivia and she found herself more than a little amused. "I've got to show this to the guys…" She pulled out her cell phone and within ten minutes, the rest of the squad had reluctantly abandoned their lunch to come to see what all the fuss was about.
"Man, he's never going to live this down," Fin shook his head as he scrolled through the profile.
Munch and Elliot hung over the back of the computer chair, glued to the screen like kids watching their favorite TV show. "I wonder how long the captain has been playing the dating game," Munch wondered aloud, eliciting chuckles from the group.
"Your mom is my hero," Elliot turned and said to Alex with a cheeky smile. "This is priceless."
Before she could reply, the office door flew open, revealing a very pissed off Elizabeth Donnelly. "Alex, where the hell-" She stopped short as Detective Munch dove for the computer with all the grace of a retarded gazelle. He managed to turn the monitor away from the seething Bureau Chief, but it was too late; Liz Donnelly's interest was peaked. She crossed her arms and pinned the group with a cold stare. "Okay, what the hell is going on in here?"
"Pep rally," Munch responded dryly.
"We're just having lunch," Olivia amended.
"Bull." Liz stepped inside the office and rounded the desk, coming face to face with the computer screen. For probably the first time in a long time, Liz was clearly taken aback. As she scanned the profile, a very slow, amused grin spread across her face. "Is this some kind of joke?"
"God, I hope not," Elliot laughed. "It's too good."
A soft knock at the office door interrupted the surreal conversation. Alex's secretary popped her head into the room. "Miss Cabot, Captain Cragen is here. He would like five minutes with you."
The detectives scattered to the other end of the office and tried to look as casual as possible. Alex sat frozen behind the computer, mouth open like a fish out of water. Lucky for her, right as the captain walked through the door, Liz took quick control of the mouse and closed the window. "Good morning, Captain," Liz said with impressive coolness.
Cragen frowned when he noticed his entire squad littered throughout the small office. "I thought you all went to lunch," he said, obviously confused by their presence.
"We had a better offer," Munch quipped.
"The detectives were giving me an update on the Simpson case," Liz supplied with a calm wave of her hand.
"And we were just leaving," Elliot added nervously, bolting for the door. Olivia grabbed her sandwich and followed with Munch and Fin not far behind.
Cragen frowned. "Okay, what's going on here?"
Alex finally found her voice and said, "Nothing. Just boring business as usual."
He crossed his arms. "I don't have to be a cop to see you're both lying your asses off."
"Don't be so paranoid, Don." Liz stood up and moved toward the door. "It's not like we're leading double lives or anything." She stopped suddenly and appraised him. "By the way, that sweater vest makes you look very..." Liz trailed off, making a show of searching for just the right word. Her smile turned downright mischievous. "Dare I say...comely?"
Alex didn't stand a chance. She was laughing hysterically before Liz had even cleared the doorway.
Cragen frowned. "Did I miss something?"
A/N: I know it's random, but I couldn't get the idea out of my head... R E V I E W S make me happy!!