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I’ll be next to you (and you’ll be right there next to me)

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Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

“Oh my god, you grew up in Brooklyn and you’ve never had matzah ball soup?” Gina is agog—of all the things she’s learned about Rosie—this may be the worst of all.

“I went to Catholic school,” Rosa says, tugging at her jacket.

“Jake!” Gina yells much louder than necessary considering the size of the precinct. “Rosa has never had matzah ball soup!”

“Wait, seriously?” Jake says as he rolls over in his chair, knocking over a trashcan on his way.

“Goyim,” Gina says, gravitas etched in her voice.

“That’s true,” Jake says,”but this is Brooklyn. We’ve failed Rosa, as her Jewish best friends.”

Rosa sighs and lowers her head to her desk with a thump.

“Four things! I know four things about Rosa now!” Jake shouts, whirling all the way around in his chair.

Gina reaches out to pat Rosa on the shoulder. “It’s okay, Ro Ro, I’ll make you some soup.” She utters a sheheceyanu in her head—she’s never gotten to cook for Rosa before and it’s an occasion that deserves to be marked.

-

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, Hamotzi lechem min haaretz.

The first night Rosa stays over is terrifying. Not the sex, obviously, Gina is great at sex and so is Rosa. She’s never been good at morning afters, and sleeping with your coworker and best friend adds a little intensity to the situation.

So she does what she would do on any Saturday morning when she hasn’t spent the night before clubbing.

“We give thanks to G-d for bread,” she sings lowly as she slices the challah. It may not be as traditional as challah French toast (Boyle has ruined eggs for her for the next decade), but challah cinnamon toast is just as delicious.

Rosa is beginning to stir by the time she pulls the toast out of the oven. Gina puts precisely four slices of toast on the plate. She grabs the huge mug of coffee she’s prepared and brings the toast and napkins to her bedside table.

“Good morning,” Gina purrs as she flops onto her bed.

Rosa’s eyes crack open and she pulls Gina close.

“It’s too early,” she says. Rosa before coffee is terrifying. Maybe that’s why Gina likes her so much.

“I’ve got three suggestions,” Gina says, letting her hand rest on Rosa’s hip. “Coffee, breakfast, and sex.”

She’s pretty sure no one has ever consumed a cup of coffee so quickly, and Gina watches reality television. The cinnamon toast is cold by the time they eat it, getting crumbs in her sheets, but Gina can’t bring herself to care when Rosa is naked in them.

-

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu likboa m'zuzah.

“You know the squad knows where you live now,” Gina says. “I always host the Hannukah party.”

Rosa sighs, and looks down at the mezuzah in Gina’s hand. It’s a soft, creamy yellow with a pink shin towards the top. Gina says it’s because Lemonade is such a fundamental album that of course her mezuzah is an homage to that. Rosa thinks it’s a nice color, regardless of whether Gina picked it out for “easily the best album of all time, Rosa” or not.

Gina had a different one there before, but insisted on a new one for the bedroom. She’s already moved that one to the kitchen.

“I did think of that before I moved in,” Rosa says, leaning in to kiss Gina on the forehead.

Gina’s melodic Hebrew fills the apartment. Rosa helps her affix it to what is now their bedroom.

“Thanks, babe,” Gina says. She fixes Rosa with what is undeniably a sultry look. “Did I ever tell you it’s a mitzvah to have sex on Shabbat? And like, my faith is really important to me—“

Rosa cuts her off mid-sentence with a kiss. She’d hate to disrespect a religious tradition.

-

On all other nights, we eat chametz and matzah. Why on this night, only matzah?

“I miss bread,” Gina whines. “It’s been twelve years since I’ve had a bagel,” Gina continues.

“I watched you eat a bagel on Monday. You got cream cheese on Amy’s paperwork.”

It was cute, honestly, and it’s not like Amy doesn’t have multiple copies of all her paperwork.

“I won’t tell anyone if you eat bread,” she says. Rosa is faring better than Gina considering that she’s only not eating bread at home. Gina without leavened bread is dangerous, Rosa has learned over the past day.

“Jake and I have a bet,” Gina says. “He said I couldn’t do it, that I haven’t kept Pesach kosher since we were in high school.”

Gina sighs and breaks off another piece of matzah from the box. Rosa reaches across her to grab some too. She doesn’t get why Jake, Gina, and Captain Holt all look like they’re dying when they eat it.

“Rosie, will you stop eating chametz too? I can taste it when we kiss, and you wouldn’t want me to break kosher, would you?”

“That can’t be a thing,” Rosa says before she takes a bite of matzah. “That’s ridiculous.”

Gina sniffs loudly, retreating to the other end of the couch.

“I guess if you don’t want to kiss me for the next week, that’s up to you.”

Hitchcock and Scully bring in donuts every day during Passover and it’s only the thought of going to jail that prevents Rosa from murdering them. The only thing keeping her going is Boyle’s homemade matzah.

(On the day Passover ends, Rosa brings home pie from Gina’s favorite bakery. Gina posts countdown snaps until the holiday ends. The pie does not live to see the morning.)

-

The brides may now kiss.

Jake and Boyle are their witnesses, which is one more than what they need for a legal ceremony.

Gina insists on Jake, because hello, he’s her brother. He’s also Rosa’s best friend so it’s really an easy choice.

But Boyle is also her brother, and Gina knows he won’t make them the banging wedding cake of her dreams if he wasn’t there. (Okay, he would have. Maybe Gina wants him to be there, but she’ll never tell.)

Holt officiates the brief legal ceremony—he was always Gina’s first choice—and there’s something nice about having the man who has become a father to her officiate their ceremony.

-

Harei atah m'kudash li b'tabaat zo k'dat Moshe v'Yisrael.

Technically, they’re already married. But civic law isn’t the same as religious law, and Gina won’t feel properly married until they’ve signed the ketubah.

Her and Jake’s childhood rabbi is a good choice, even though she’s only married some C-list celebs. This time, they only need two witnesses. Jake, again, although Gina makes him swear not to sign it Jakey the Jew.

Captain Holt is their second witness, because the two of them are close in their own way. Gina swears she sees a tear on his face after he signs Raymond Yaakov Holt in English and Hebrew.

Rosa’s writing is slow and careful as she writes the transliteration of her name into Hebrew on the ketubah. It’s a touching moment, even more so given that Rosa’s ass looks fucking great in her white suit.

Their family stays back a respectful distance—parents, siblings, and Amy—and everyone cheers when they hold up the ketubah.

“I love you,” Rosa says, and Gina traces her face with a careful hand.

“You better,” she says, because seriously, this is the only engagement she’s actually gone through with, and it would be a real pain to get a divorce.

Rosa chuckles, leaning in to kiss her gently, and Gina sighs.

“I love you too,” Gina says, doing her best to ignore what has to be Charles snapping a thousand pictures.

Gina pulls back and spins around to face their small audience. “Alright, losers, the best wedding in the world is about to start, and Charles, I swear—“

Boyle rushes forward, hugging Gina so tight the seams on her designer dress might pop.

“Yeah, yeah,” Gina says. “I love you too, bro.”

-

Mazel tov!

Rosa and Gina stand under the chuppah, wrapped in the tallit that belonged to Gina and Jake’s grandmother.

Rosa absolutely does not fucking cry, even though Gina is so beautiful it makes her breath catch in her throat.

The light bulb smashing might be Rosa’s favorite part because it’s badass. There’s no real risk of injury with it being wrapped in a cloth but still.

The crowd erupts with congratulations and mazel tov and Rosa dips Gina low into a kiss.

“Don’t you dare ruin that dress,” one of Gina’s friends from Dancey Reagan yells from the back. Rosa rolls her eyes and dips Gina a smidge lower.

“Finally, you’re the Rihanna to my Drake,” Gina says when they have their first dance.

“I wasn’t that before?” Rosa asks.

“Don’t ruin the moment! I’m comparing you to Rihanna!”

Rosa’s rhythm falters when she laughs but Gina’s hand tightens around hers in a loving squeeze.

(Jake ends up signing the guestbook as Jakey the Jew, and Amy writes an apology next to it.)

-

+1

Your people shall be my people, and your G-d, my G-d.

It’s Rosa’s choice, no matter how many people ask if she’s converting for Gina’s sake. For starters, the only things Gina presses Rosa about are going to pop concerts and midnight movie showings.

Rosa wants to do this. It feels right in the way that Catholic school never did, especially since they kicked her out of school.

At this point Rosa goes to shul more than Gina does although Gina certainly attends more than she used to.

It’s a powerful moment, being here with Gina, their mikveh witness, and the rabbi.

(Gina had offered to witness her mikveh immersion but the accompanying eyebrow waggle made Rosa decide she needed someone else.)

When she says the words that Ruth said so long ago, Rosa knows she has finally come home. Kissing Gina for the first time as a Jewish woman is a headier feeling than their wedding day.