I re-did and re-posted the story because I have decided to make it eventual Alex/Casey. They start out as best friends, but the pairing will be eventual. They grow closer due to Casey's illness. The premise is this - Casey is thrown a life-altering curveball. Alex is there to help her, but will it be enough? Told from Alex's POV.

I couldn't tell you exactly how Casey Novak became my best friend – it just kind of happened.

Two years ago when she was re-hired by the DA's office, I couldn't stand her. She had had her law license suspended for three years, and her return to her former job was the slap in the face to the rest of us who followed the law. In my opinion, she should have been turned away as soon as she entered the building. But instead, Jack McCoy gave her her job back.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I got assigned to be her supervisor. I had to choose what cases she would work on, and I had to sign off on all her work. I deeply resented her for this. I already had enough work of my own to do, and now I had to babysit a screw-up on top of all that.

The first few months were pretty tense. I was constantly snapping at Casey for little unimportant things – because I could. I made her stay late and finish paperwork, because it amused me. I gave her easy, first-year ADA cases. I made her job endlessly frustrating. And what did Casey do in return? She did her job. She did exactly what I asked of her, and she never complained.

Slowly, our relationship stated to improve. It started after I had lost a very tough case. I was in my office mentally beating myself up, and Casey had come in to hand in some paperwork. She could tell I was having a rough day. Despite how cruel I had been to her, she had sat down in front of my desk and asked me if I wanted to talk about it, with genuine concern.

For some reason, I opened up to her. I told her everything about the case and how I had gotten too personally attached to one of the witnesses. I sat there for nearly a half hour unloading on Casey, and again, she just took it. She let me finish ranting and raving before she said anything. And when she did, she stood up with a smile and asked if she could take me lunch.

I went to lunch with Casey that day. Ten minutes into it, and I already forgot what had happened at the courthouse. Casey had me laughing nonstop, and by the time lunch was over, I felt pretty good about myself.

We became fast friends after that day. We started going to lunch a few times a week, and we'd go out for drinks occasionally with Olivia and the gang. We'd go to movies together, and just spend time together at our apartments talking.

I usually found it very hard to open up to people, and therefore, I have always been very private. But it was easy with Casey. She never judged me, and always seemed to know the right thing to say. I never had a friend with whom I felt so comfortable with.

From the outside, I know our friendship is strange. Casey and I are very different people and she's not the kind of person I usually befriend. I have a very serious approach to my job, whereas Casey is more easygoing and not easily ruffled. I've been told by more than one person that they are "surprised" that we get along so well.

I guess it's true that opposites attract. Casey is always honest with me; she tells me when I'm out of line, or in her words, "being a bitch". She makes me question myself; a feat that no one else has ever achieved. She's not afraid to tell me if she thinks I'm wrong about something. This is a refreshing change for me. People usually go out of their way to agree with me. But not Casey. She doesn't back down from anyone. And I admire that about her.

She's the silliest serious person I know. She likes video games and bike rides, and wears Mickey Mouse pajama bottoms when she's relaxing. She has a Buzz Lightyear statue in her office. And she loves Taco Bell late at night.

A month or so ago, Casey confided in me that she has feelings for Amanda Rollins, one of the detectives who works for us. She had been going out with us on Friday nights, and cozying up to Casey. It was so obvious that she was flirting with her, but clueless Casey could never see it. I'd always have to tell her after the fact, and then her face would turn as red as her hair and she'd deny it completely. But I know they'll get together someday. And I think they'd be a very cute couple.

For the past couple of weeks, Casey hasn't been herself. She usually walks around with a perpetual smile and is always chatty and happy. But these past two weeks I have only seen her smile a handful of times. She hasn't wanted to go out for lunch or to come over and watch movies, and she's been extremely tired – I found her asleep in her office three times this week. She's also been calling in, which is rare for her. Last week she missed two days in a row.

I'm extremely concerned about her. Not only is her behavior different, but she also looks differently. Her eyes seem dull and she doesn't look like she's been eating.

Every time I ask her what's wrong, she smiles and tells me that everything is fine. But I know better. I can tell when she's lying to me; she can't look me in the eyes.

I know I have to do something. I miss my best friend. I miss her smile, and our daily chats. I miss seeing her happy. I miss seeing those stupid Mickey Mouse pajama bottoms. I miss her.

I can't figure out what could be wrong. I'd like to think that if something had happened to Casey, she would come to me. I have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that someone may be hurting her. She has all the classic symptoms. But who could it be? Casey isn't seeing anyone, and besides me and the detectives, she doesn't spend time with anyone.

I decide I'm going to confront her tonight. I'm going to go to her apartment and make her tell me what's going on. I'm not taking no for an answer, and I'm not leaving until I know what's wrong.

Halfway through the day I decide I have to visit the restroom. I go inside without giving it much thought and immediately go to the mirror and start checking my hair and makeup. I could use a lipstick touch-up.

As I'm pulling the lipstick tube out of my purse, I hear someone in one of the stalls getting sick. I wrinkle my nose and attempt to block the sound out. I sure picked a great time to come in here.

The person in the stall is in there for awhile and I'm about to exit the restroom so they don't know someone was in there to listen to them when the stall door opens. I can see who comes out clearly in the mirror – it's Casey.

I immediately turn around, not even bothering to hide the concern on my face. Casey instantly sees me, and looks completely horrified. We stare at each for several seconds until I walk over to her slowly and ask, "Jesus, Casey, are you all right?"

She nods and swallows harshly, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. She does that when she's nervous. She quickly looks away from me and moves to the sink, grabbing a paper towel and wetting it. "I'm okay. Just not feeling well," she answers quickly as she wrings out the paper towel.

I take in her appearance. She's as white as a ghost, and I swear I can see her shaking. And she's moving slowly and sluggishly, as if she's incredibly weak.

She grabs the edge of the sink and takes a few deep breaths, sighing loudly. She closes her eyes and shakes her head. "You don't have to stand in here watching me – I'm fine, Alex."

"You didn't sound like it, and you're sure don't look fine," I lecture her. "What is going on, Casey?"

She swallows again and finally turns to look at me. She tries to meet my eyes, but isn't able to keep my gaze as she speaks. "I think I've caught a bug. I'll be okay. I have my work done for the day, so I'm just going to go home and take a nap."

I don't believe her. She's lying to me. Something is going on, and for some reason Casey doesn't think she can tell her best friend. I'm scared to death for her, but also hurt that she doesn't feel she can confide in me. She knows she can.

She steps away from the sink and starts walking past me, but I gently grab her arm and stop her. Reluctantly, she turns back around to face me. "Casey – you can talk to me. You know I'm here. You know I love you. What is going on?"

She forces another smile. "I told you. I'm just sick."

I can't force her to tell me right now, not here in the restroom at work. Anyone could walk in on us. I have every intention of forcing the truth out of her tonight in the privacy of her apartment, but I know I have to let her walk out right now. As hard as it is – I know I can't stop her.

I nod sadly, plastering on my own fake smile. "Okay. I hope a nap makes you feel better. I'll come by tonight to check on you and bring you some soup. Text me if you need anything in the meantime, okay?"

Did you like so far? Any guesses as to what is going on? Please leave me a review and let me know if you want me to continue.