A/N: This is an experimental canon pairing I decided to try out.
Spoilers: Christopher and Watching Too Much Television
Rosalie sat on her bed the morning after Karen Baccalieri's funeral and watched Ralphie put his pants on. She felt as if she'd been shattered. The death of her close friend Karen so soon on top of losing Jackie Jr. was too much. Losing her husband had been one thing – Rosalie had grieved, but had been able to move on with Ralphie after an appropriate amount of time. How she was going to move on from losing her son and one of her closest friends, she didn't know.
"There's no release. I'm surrounded by death," said Rosalie. "My husband, my son, my friend…"
"I don't know what to tell you, Ro," said Ralphie.
"There's pieces torn out me! Chunks of me that are dead!" said Rosalie. "I mean, look at me. My youth, my looks, they're gone."
She took a drag off her cigarette as Ralphie buckled his belt.
"No, that's from not taking care of yourself," said Ralphie. "Stop focusing on this stuff."
"It's not stuff! Do you have any idea what it feels like? Do you? " said Rosalie. "It's death, its pain!"
She stubbed her cigarette out on the ashtray she kept by her bedside as Ralphie stood up and zipped his pants.
"I'm havin' a lotta trouble dealin' with this," said Ralphie. "I dunno…"
"You don't know what?" said Rosalie.
"I don't think I can do this," said Ralphie. "I don't think I can help you. You need a lot right now, and I don't know what I can do."
"You can be there for me, you can hold me, you can comfort me," said Rosalie.
A part of her didn't know why she was telling him. Shouldn't he already know? Jackie Sr. would've taken her into his arms without prompting and let her weep as long as she needed, but he was dead now and she was with Ralphie.
"What about me? What do I get out of it?" said Ralphie.
"There it is, right there," said Rosalie. "What do you get? How about your every need taken care of, sexually, everything! All your shit! It's all about you!"
"It's not about me but let's be realistic," said Ralphie.
"Be realistic? What? You wanna leave me?" said Rosalie.
There was silence for a moment, until Ralphie nodded.
"Yeah," said Ralphie.
"Then get the fuck out," said Rosalie.
"It doesn't have to be like this," said Ralphie.
"How should it be? Huh? How the fuck should it be?" said Rosalie, yelling as she spoke.
Ralphie didn't know how to answer, so he left. Rosalie cried for a few hours, then vented to Carmela and Gabby in separate phone calls.
What Rosalie wouldn't give to get back at Ralphie. Not kill him, but rub it in his face that she could be happy with a man other than him. Considering how much of a narcissist Ralphie had turned out to be, it would be the perfect plan.
Rosalie didn't know it, but ten days later, she would find the perfect man for the plan.
Little Paulie pulled into the parking lot of the Bada Bing and glanced over at his uncle.
"C'mon, nephew," said Paulie. "Let's get inside."
They went inside to see the entire family gathered around waiting for them.
"What do ya hear? What do ya say?" said Paulie.
The guys cheered in celebration of Paulie's release from prison. Hugs and "welcome home" greetings were exchanged.
"What can I get you Paulie?" said Vito.
"After four months inside? How about laid?" said Paulie.
The room shook with the laughter of the men gathered inside.
"I heard you was gettin' laid up there all the time," said Christopher.
The guys either laughed or oooohed. Glasses of champagne were passed around and Paulie toasted his return with the guys. One of the guys then turned on Paulie's favorite song, "Nancy With The Laughing Face" by Frank Sinatra.
If I don't see her each day, I miss her
Gee what a thrill, each time I kiss her
Believe me, I've got a case
On Nancy, with the laughing face
She takes the winter and makes it summer
And summer could take some lessons from her
Picture a tomboy in lace
That's Nancy with the laughing face
After the bridal shower for Adriana, Rosalie went to the beauty salon having made an appointment to get her hair and nails done. It was busy that day, and she soon found that her manicurist was doing both her and another client at the same time. The other client turned out to be a man, but Rosalie was too busy talking with Carmela on the phone to pay any attention.
"So the manicurist, she's doing both me and this man at the same time," said Rosalie. "Doesn't matter, I need it right now. Way Ralph dumped me? I deserve something good, no more bullshit."
Rosalie ended the call when she felt a pair of eyes on her. She realized it was the man sitting across from her, and when she got a better look at him she realized it was Paulie Gualtieri.
Paulie couldn't believe his luck. He hated that cocksucker Ralphie. He wondered if a golden opportunity had just fallen into his lap. He had known that Rosalie and Ralphie had been together, possibly engaged even but he hadn't been paying much attention to any of it because it didn't help him hinder Ralphie. What had helped was when Little Paulie told him what Ralphie said about Ginny, which had been way better to use. Soon after Paulie had gotten out, he'd seen Ralphie with another woman while they had all been out to dinner with their comares in Atlantic City. Paulie didn't have a steady woman. He didn't see the need for it, and he felt he'd only get in trouble if his eyes and hands wandered too far away.
However, the scheme he had in mind didn't involve anything steady.
"You come here often?" said Rosalie.
"Often enough that I'd rather you seeing me here stays here," said Paulie.
"No problem," said Rosalie.
Soon both of them were finished when another manicurist came over to finish Rosalie's nails. When Rosalie walked outside, Paulie followed her.
"Y'know, when you said on the phone that the manicurist was doing both of us I was surprised we both still had clothes on," said Paulie.
Rosalie began laughing and couldn't stop. She couldn't remember the last time someone had made her laugh.
"You a'ight?" said Paulie.
Rosalie calmed down enough to respond.
"Yeah," said Rosalie.
They both went to their respective cars, but Rosalie's wouldn't start.
"Shit," said Rosalie. "You wouldn't happen to have any jumper cables, would you?"
"Fraid not," said Paulie. "How about you call a tow truck an' I take you home?"
Rosalie accepted the offer, but wanted to make sure the tow truck actually showed before they left.
"Still remember how to get to my house?" said Rosalie.
"Yeah," said Paulie. "So why didn't you call Ralphie to get you?"
"He dumped me, but I'm sure you heard that little detail in the phone call I made back at the salon," said Rosalie.
"I did, and I'm sorry," said Paulie. "Didn't really know how else to bring it up."
"Why bring it up at all?" said Rosalie.
"You're mad at him, so am I," said Paulie.
"Why?" said Rosalie.
"I'd rather not say," said Paulie. "Point is I'd like to do something about it."
"How?" said Rosalie. "The only thing I can think of that would drive him mad is if he thought we were in a relationship."
Paulie snickered in response to Rosalie's comment. When she realized those were Paulie's intentions, she began laughing again and nodded.
"You're actually agreeing to this farce?" said Paulie.
"On the condition that you don't take me to Gunnison Beach, he was obsessed with the spot," said Rosalie.
"Isn't that a nude beach? Oooohhhh," said Paulie.
Rosalie laughed and smiled as they arrived at her house. This was going to be interesting.
"How about we go on one tonight?" said Paulie. "Morey's Piers, it'll be fun."
"Sure," said Rosalie.
She got out of the car and went inside to prepare for the date. Paulie left with a smirk on his face. Doing this to Ralph was going to be fun, and it was even more fun that Rosalie was in on it with him.
Once at Morey's Piers, the two of them didn't know what to do first as neither of them had been in years. Paulie had chosen the location because he thought it might cheer Rosalie up, and because after four months in jail he wanted an excuse to be outdoors.
They soon spotted a wooden rollercoaster and got on it, then rode several other rides before stuffing their faces with boardwalk food.
At her house, Rosalie thanked Paulie for a fun night and they went their separate ways.
The next day Paulie went to Satriale's with a grin on his face. Last night had been fun, and they had already discussed a second date only this time it'd be at a restaurant, Scalini Fedeli, that Ralphie was known to frequent with his newest comare. He saw Christopher coming in with a gloomy look on his face.
"What's up with you? She not giving you any?" said Paulie.
"And you're getting some?" said Christopher.
"As a matter of fact, I got a lot last night," said Paulie. "Beautiful brunette, late forties, prefers wearing her hair up but she let it down for me."
Christopher raised an eyebrow as Paulie looked in Ralphie's direction and began snickering.
"What the hell is your problem?" said Ralphie.
"Both of you knock it off!" said Tony.
Paulie sat there satisfied, hoping he'd get to see the look on Ralphie's face when he found out what was going on, or at least the embellished version of what was going on.
Rosalie was having lunch with Carmela and Gabby when the other two women noticed how happy Rosalie looked.
"Is there a new man?" said Gabby.
Rosalie grinned wanting to tell the girls about the revenge she was pulling on Ralph but decided not to at the moment.
"Yes, there is someone," said Rosalie.
"He treating you right Ro?" said Carmela.
"Yeah," said Rosalie. "We went out on our first date last night, and we have another in five days."
"What's his name?" said Carmela.
"I'd rather not jinx it, least not until after the third date," said Rosalie.
"You won't jinx it by telling us. C'mon Ro, spill!" said Carmela.
"She doesn't want to, Carm," said Gabby. "Let's just give it a few days or a week then maybe the third date will have happened by then."
Rosalie was glad she'd spun it this way. The way everyone gossiped, it'd get around quickly.
When Paulie entered the Bing, he overheard Tony telling the guys that he had found out Rosalie was seeing someone but that a name hadn't been revealed yet.
If Paulie had stayed with the guys a little longer instead of going to watch the strippers dance, he'd have also heard that Silvio was taking Gabby to Scalini Fedeli as well.
Rosalie put her hair in a chignon, and wore a black knee-length off-the-shoulder dress. A pair of diamond stud earrings and a pearl necklace completed the look along with a pair of heels to match the dress.
Paulie was wearing a beige suit when he showed up. Rosalie thought he cleaned up well, and realized that if tonight went off as planned that she'd be slightly disappointed if they went their separate ways.
They arrived at the restaurant and went up to the hostess.
"Table for two," said Paulie.
The hostess informed them that it'd be half an hour, so Paulie took Rosalie down to the bar.
"Ro?" said a voice.
The "couple" turned around and saw Gabby Dante and Silvio not too far behind.
"Oooohhhh!" said Paulie. "Sil! How ya doin'?"
"Oh my god," said Gabby.
"Our table just got cleared upstairs," said Silvio.
Silvio and Gabby both went to their table as Silvio called Tony.
"What's goin' on, Sil? I thought you had dinner plans with your wife," said Tony.
"I do," said Silvio. "So do Paulie and Rosalie. They're down in the bar. Doesn't Ralphie have a reservation here tonight with his comare?"
"Shit," said Tony.
1 Hour Later
Paulie and Rosalie were reading off their menus when Paulie saw Ralphie come from the bar with his comare. Normally Paulie would've tried getting a woman who looked like that to join him, but he found he was more interested in the lovely woman sitting across from him. Rosalie had a lot to say, and she had been through a lot but Paulie felt he could make her happy again.
That is, if she didn't want to cut her losses after they were through messing with Ralphie Cifaretto's head.
"He's here," said Paulie.
"How pretty is she?" said Rosalie.
"Who?" said Paulie.
"The woman he's with," said Rosalie.
"Oh, her," said Paulie. "Didn't notice."
Rosalie discreetly turned around and saw that the woman looked like a supermodel, making her wonder why Paulie hadn't noticed. Paulie's phone then rang.
"Hey Tony," said Paulie. "What? I can explain. Yes, it's what you think but things have changed. I know. I promise I'll treat her with respect."
Paulie ended the call and turned around to see Rosalie, staring at him.
"Whatsa matter Ro?" said Paulie.
"This won't work," said Rosalie.
"What won't?" said Paulie.
"Just doing this for a laugh at his expense," said Rosalie. "Actually it will, but it won't for me in the long run. I feel alive again. I don't want that to stop, Paulie."
"It won't," said Paulie. "Had to get Tony's blessing just now, but we're good."
"So you want this too?" said Rosalie.
Paulie saw Ralphie staring at them. He decided that the best way to answer Rosalie and anger Ralphie would be to kill two birds with one stone and kissed Rosalie hard on the mouth in front of everyone. Before Paulie knew it he heard Ralphie walking over.
"My girlfriend's in the bathroom, so I'm gonna make this brief," said Ralphie. "Stop messing with Rosalie."
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" said Ralphie.
"Can't a man take a woman out to dinner in piece?" said Paulie.
"Not her," said Ralphie.
"You dumped me, remember?" said Rosalie. "I can see whoever I want, when I want… and have sex with anyone I want."
"Oooohhhh!" said Paulie. "I know what I'm doin' tonight!"
"Me too," said Rosalie. "Paulie, could we just go to my place now instead of later?"
Paulie snapped his fingers.
"Waiter! Check!" said Paulie.
"Ralph, you're embarrassing yourself," said Rosalie coldly. "Why don't you go back to your table before your new girlfriend notices you've left to seek a new plaything?"
Ralphie slunk away. Paulie and Rosalie left after Paulie paid for the dinner, and they almost died laughing in the parking lot as they ran to Paulie's car.
"That was priceless," said Rosalie.
"We still goin' to your place?" said Paulie.
The next day Carmela drove over to Rosalie's, hoping what Tony had told her was a big fat joke. Paulie and Rosalie, together? She had just been dumped by Ralphie, and Paulie wasn't the relationship type.
Sure enough, when Carmela arrived she spotted Paulie's Cadillac in Rosalie's driveway.
"So what did you see?" said Tony.
"His car was there when I got there," said Carmela.
"Get outta here, it's almost noon," said Tony.
"What does that mean?" said Carmela.
"Means they're the newest odd couple in New Jersey," said Tony.
He laughed for three minutes straight. Carmela rolled her eyes.
Song is Nancy with The Laughing Face by Frank Sinatra. The future one-shots will focus on either a single episode or a moment I come up with. Review please!:)