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    A Thanksgiving Reunion

    It was not yet dawn and Bette lay awake after tossing and turning most of the night. Her stomach churned, a lack of food mixing with the two glasses of wine she had with Alice at the bar last night. She had lost too much weight, she knew this. She was losing herself, she knew this too. Maybe Kit was right. Maybe she needed to get away, spend three months in Europe or take that trip to Asia she was always talking about. Except that had always been Tina’s dream, Tina wanted to see Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali.

    Tina. She had been gone nine months, the affair with Candace breaking them. There had been a few phone calls since, one or two painful lunches where Bette had tearfully begged the blonde to return. And one interesting dinner about three months ago when Tina had mentioned, quietly, that she was in therapy, that she had a lot to atone for.

    When pressed, she would not elaborate, only looked at Bette with those sad eyes that made Bette want to vomit. Tina seemed different somehow, like all the anger had been wrung out of her, like she had made a decision about something. That made Bette hopeful and terrified at the same time.

    As the check arrived, Tina told her that she was moving, to South Carolina. That Bette was not to contact her. That she would see Bette when she was ready. That she was sorry.

    And Bette had complied, had watched as Tina smiled gently then rose and walked out of the restaurant. Out of Bette’s life. And the distance, the quiet withdrawal of contact, the sad eyes… haunted her. A postcard arrived soon after that dinner with an address but no phone number. Bette sent a letter every week for three months but there was yet to be a response.

    She was clinging to a false hope Kit told her, time to move on. What does moving on mean exactly, Bette had asked, how does one move on to embrace life when your heart beats with another? And the smallest seed of hope that nestled deep in her soul would not let her, but she could not tell Kit this. Somehow she felt their story, the story of Bette and Tina, was not over.

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    Comments

    1. So I did what I am so very apt to do in these situations – I skipped to the ending – read the last page – and sighed. Then I went back to the beginning and began to read and thought – no wait – what if Bette is dreaming! And then I went three pages from the end. And read. Then – then – THEN – I realized who was writing this Thanksgiving surprise and I knew everything was fine. So I relaxed and read. I read: “To lasting relationships… and forgiveness…” Oh, Bette. The heart of the matter for sure. And: “Yes. Girlfriend. Make no mistake, I am here because I want you back…” Perfect! Bette and Tina are always so safe in your most capable hands.

      The story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Bette’s remembrances of past Thanksgivings and Tina’s yearly rituals with cooking and decorating and sharing and celebrating is a case in point. Bette is so utterly lost without Tina. And – as we soon learn – vice versa. Not going to look a gift horse by analyzing the details or parsing out blame. Suffice it to say there were times during the original series when I just did not understand Tina’s behavior. Questioning Marcus. Shutting Bette out of so much. Etc. So I do love and appreciate your kinder Tina. But – I have always attributed those actions to really terrible writing aimed at setting the stage for Bette turning to Candace. And we all know nothing justifies that act. True TiBette fans find the Candace storyline to be completely and totally ludicrous. Ultimately, no one punished Bette more than she punished herself. And when you think about it – so much fan fiction has been written to focus on their love and fix the aforementioned IC writing mistakes. Trying to right those wrongs.

      The fact is we totally adore our Bette and Tina or Tina and Bette. Makes no difference. They are one. And when placed in the hands of writers like you who so tenderly and genuinely care for our couple – their love is just so all encompassing and true that it really does not need that much fixing: “She sighed, the kind of sigh you let out when you are home, when you are safe after a long journey.” One has to believe there are a great many talks to come. But for tonight – it is as simple as you choose to make it. Such an unexpected gift! Thanks, BK. And – Thank you for always looking out for our girls. Happy Thanksgiving and be safe. Same to all!

      • I too sometimes skip ahead to the end of a chapter, or read the comments if I am unsure if I want to wade into a new story. It hurts my heart to read anything not pro-TiBette so I chuckled when I saw that you do the same thing.
        You caught the essence of what this chapter was supposed to be – a skimming of the story, a snapshot in time where one woman seeks to repair a relationship by owning her shit. Simple as that. And you are SO right, and Tina herself alludes to it at the end – there is much and more talking to come but she said what needed to be said on this first day of their reunion.
        Happy Thanksgiving to you dear Billy, enjoy your family and thank you for seeing this chapter for what it was intended.

    2. BK, still amazed how productive you are. What do you eat for breakfast and can I have that too? Creative force strong with this one is!
      Just like that you erase another nuisance of s1 + s2. Thanks for a beautiful Thanksgiving makeover of T + B’s first seperation. Great way to handle Bette’s affair and Tina leaving her. Tina understandably needing space to work through the hurt but reflecting on her contribution to their problems. Not influenced by Alice but making the very level-headed decision to work on herself. Obvisously convinced that their relationship is so worth saving, that their love was still there, only hidden beneath pettiness, many negligences and subconcious manipulations.

      You know I’m a die hard fan of Tina. Therefore I imagined the days and conversations that would follow when Bette shows that she is also very motivated to save – no, to re-new their relationship and owns up to her very own shortcomings and mistakes. She would contribute her part to their relationship, work on her destructive, egoistic behaviour and re-evaluate her priorities. There…. T + B happy ever after.

      Thank you for this gift, BK. Happy Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving (love that!), enjoy your loved ones and stay safe and sound. Seems like our part-lockdown will be prolonged until the end of the year, with some exceptions on Christmas.

      Off to bed now,
      KP

      • Breakfast is my favorite meal, avocado toast or eggs or a smoothie. Truth is I am going stir crazy with all this self isolation and I have one small assignment left for my masters degree and LOADS of restless energy. So you get my stories that I write so I don’t have to clean my house or fold laundry.
        Yes, I imagine the coming days for this couple to be Bette rising to correct past wrongs, demonstrating her own commitment to the relationship. I thought this Tina was really strong… determined, focused, and so very kind, knowing how Bette would have also struggled. It takes a lot of courage to seek help, look at yourself in the mirror and go…. yeah, I need to change that. I am a huge Tina fan as well, so I love that she was given a chance in this story to say out loud that she wanted to do better. Please stay safe, KP. Lockdowns are hard but necessary and hopefully will slow this virus for the vaccine to become available. Hope you have a wonderful week….

    3. Oh, BK… nice story of a reunion. I always wondered in the original TLW story why Tina refused to talk to Bette for months. The first real conversation was a one way in the lawyers office. It gave you the impression that Tina was so hurt, that she could not even express her own desires and the path she saw for her future. She was simply going to put one foot in front of the other and let Bette figure it out by watching from afar. She never sought an explanation from Bette as to why she went to Candace. They had that night of angry sex and then drop the curtain, life between the two was over from Tina’s actions. From that point on, the only conversations revolved around the baby. It was not until Tina seduces Bette after the doctors visit that I had a clue that Tina is still very much attracted to Bette. But even that seems to be a one-off situation. Bette’s love for Tina is obvious, Tina’s love for Bette not so much. That is until Bette gets together with Jodi.

      This story is another version of the original in that Tina goes into a period of not communicating at all. No responses to the letters… no phone message of a I’m still working through my problems. I hope to give you full details in a few weeks or at a later date.. Something… to let Bette know that even that she was receiving her communications and acknowledging that Bette was waiting for some communication. I am truly devastated by Tina’s actions for Bette. I am truly grateful for Tina showing up for Thanksgiving with a proposal that they being to work out their problems. Would I accept Tina’s proposal of trying to work things out, absolutely! But I would need a bit more on the explanation for the dead silence for three months. That was torture for Bette.

      I understand that Tina missed Bette terribly. But Tina had Bette’s letters and had Bette’s thoughts at the moment she wrote those letter. Bette had nothing… nothing since she walked out of that restaurant until Thanksgiving Day. And the explanation of I needed to wait until I was worthy of being a good girlfriend?? Really?

      Thanks for the story…. I did enjoy it.

      • Martha
        Yes, really.
        I respectfully but strongly disagree with your assessment of this chapter. If you have ever been in therapy (as I have) and you are working through a history of maladaptive behaviors you will know that one really good way to heal is to put all energy and focus on your own healing first . You are making some big assumptions about what was in those letters and Tina clearly said to Bette – no contact. She didn’t ask Bette to wait for her, she said she was sorry but would reach out when she could. If you also consider that Bette was fragile, you will see that Tina herself was in no position to hold Bette up and seek her own intervention. That never works well – look how they fared when they got back together in the show BEFORE the healing was done.
        I encourage you to re-read this chapter again without viewing it through the filter of the Show and your assumptions of what the letter said as well as the hurt Bette feels. See the big picture. We never heard the whole conversation at their last dinner, only Bette’s memory of what was said as she wallows in Thanksgiving sadness. She is struggling, and for good reason.
        This chapter was designed to be a snapshot of two days in the life of these characters as they try separately then together to make sense of their relationship. Take it for what it was intended.

        • BK,

          The only assumption I am making about the letters is there were 4 of them and to Tina they were meaningful, because that is what she said. And it doesn’t matter what they said – they meant something to Tina.

          I am not suggesting that Tina should communicate anything more than she received her letters and that she would communicate again at some future date when she was ready.. Nothing more – no indication that it would be soon and no indication of which way it would go, no comment as to the content of the letters, no comment as to how she felt or the therapy that she was going through. The mere acknowledgement of Bette’s efforts regardless of what the letters said… I think for Bette that one line sentence would be meaningful enough from own life coming completely apart.

          And you are right….we do not know what was said at the dinner or any of the prior luncheons etc, they had. All we know is Tina announced she was going to move to South Carolina and she didn’t want any communication, yet she left her an address. That is a very difficult request to grant for anyone particularly when you have had close and personal relationship for 7 or 8 years no matter what the circumstances or the reason for the request and particularly when contact is what you crave most.

          Thank you for your response…..

    4. Thank you for a much better writing of S1 and S2.

      You do my TiBette heart so much Good. I know it’s not going to be a new story but perhaps you could consider a Part two centred around Christmas ?

      Again, thank you for the post, stay safe
      SG

    5. No, sorry. From this story i see a cleary attempt to justify Bette’s cheating – like it’s not Bette, but Tina fault. Shane, Kit who telling Tina don’t hurt Bette – really? It’s Tina who hurt Bette and destroyed their relationship? It’s ridiculious. I understand that Bette always loved played a victim, even when in most case it was her who cheating, liying and destroed everything, but i tired from that behaviour. of her

      • With all due respect Zhenya, you really do miss the point of BK’s story. Also – although there may be a lot of things you can say about Bette Porter I challenge you to name one instance in the series of her lying to Tina. One instance in the series of her single handedly destroying everything. Your words in describing this simple one off story reveal your anger: victim, attempt, fault, ridiculous, and justify. Why? For all we know – this was nothing more than Bette’s fantasy or dream. You clearly despise the fictional Bette Porter. But why not just take a moment and appreciate BK’s writing? Real life is just too short. Stay safe!

      • Zhenya
        Not at all. Agree with Billy. Bette is clearly sorry, in the chapter it talks about her apologizing multiple times. In a relationship I do not believe it serves any purpose to continue to beat someone over the head for something they are clearly sorry for. I don’t think Bette played a victim at all in the show. I think she was her own worst critic and I think she paid a heavy price for her behavior. Tina did not. So in this chapter she owns it. That is all.

        • Really? Bette paid heavy price? When – when she have always everything what she want? She wanted to treating with her wife as a trash, tell her what she needes to wear – she did it in s1. She want affair with carpenter – she got it. She don’t have enough courage to tell Tina she falling out love with her (her question to herself in Dan office) and she whant to distraction – so she cheating. She wanted to rape Tina – she almost got it too. Then she wanted to fuck with carpenter again – she did it for a few month after.
          When she decided she whant solar custody for her daughter – she did it again – filed to the court and then kidnapping her.
          And when she decided that she whant Tina again – she repeat the story – again cheating, again lied her girfriend and don’t have courage to tell her the truth.

          And how she always plaid the victim – it’s easy – she betrayed and cheating on Tina – and still all we see in s2 – it’s how she played a victim. The story repeat in s5 after she cheated on Jodie – somehow Bette still a victim. She kidnapping Angelica and somehow she still a victim side.

          • Zhenya, please know that this post gives me no pleasure. You are very caught up in your view of the original series and seem incapable of enjoying any writing that presents Bette in a positive light. BK offered her story as a gift to those fans who love both Bette and Tina. Again – both Bette and Tina. Most fans tend to unite in recognizing the many flaws of the television show. Many of those flaws are with regard to how Tina’s character was written. That being said and only addressing the series – your facts are very wrong. Bette wanted to rape Tina? Wanted to? This was said in the show? Please: Consider those words. You cannot possibly be a fan of the stories written here that depict the love between Bette and Tina and believe that. Tina participated and actually took over and completed the act. LH herself has confirmed this. Kidnapped Angelica? Remember that is was Tina who controlled when Bette could even see her own daughter and she actually told Bette that Henry was going to adopt that very same baby that she and Bette had dreamed of. Yes, Bette panicked over Henry. Who wouldn’t? She was totally beholden to Tina’s dictates. She saw Angie slipping away. It was Tina who secretly inseminated and kept the pregnancy hidden from Bette. Left her, the other parent, to find out last. Repeatedly cheated on her? Repeatedly? Tina left Bette in their bed and began having cyber sex in the next room. Tina was more than ready to have sex with Josh then cheated with Henry while Bette was off on the retreat. Yes, they were having problems but still living in the same house. Yes, they were falling apart. Tina turned to men. How is this really any different than Candace? Tina left Bette a second time and took Angie. During the first breakup, Tina flaunted Helena repeatedly in front of Bette. Deliberately tried to humiliate her. Brought Helena into Bette’s circle of friends. Drove Bette to contemplate suicide. Lied about loving her? Tina rejected Bette. In every way. Literally turned her back on Bette in bed. Tina became totally unavailable to Bette. Ignored Bette when she shared her fears. Pretended to be asleep. Continually told details of their private life to Alice. Demeaned Bette. Assumed her CU job was as a teacher. And think about it- you accuse Bette of cheating on Jodi when the person she became involved with was TINA! This post is not in any way meant to defend Bette and condemn Tina. Far from it. But your comment is just so factually inaccurate. Again – most writers – like BK – recognize the bad writing in the series. Part of correcting the record so to speak means Tina takes responsibility for her actions. Owns her shit as BK says. Bette was punished repeatedly and incessantly. The goal of Tibette fanfiction is always the same – a happy and healthy and loving Tina and Bette. Your continued brow beating of Bette reveals that you are not a true fan of this couple. There is a fundamental fairness missing. And I sadly wonder how you can get any enjoyment from these stories. Just wanted to present another side. Thanks for reading.

    6. What a wonderful Thanksgiving story!

      I am in agreement with the comments already made.

      The first few pages made my heart cry out for Bette, wanted to take her in my arms for a good long hug! Bette is lucky for having such great friends and Kit, to help and support her.

      I didn’t expect Tina to show up at her home with Bette because i thought she went home to North Carolina.

      Glad that she came back after having intense therapy and see that she too had a part in their failed relationship, that’s a start and together they just need to communicate more, honest and be open. They made both mistakes and were terrible hurt by their actions. And now her intentions are to woo one Bette Porter!

      One thing i have a little trouble to understand is why she read Bette’s letters but never let something hear from herself, a simple postcard for example.

      I truly enjoyed this story and maybe you can write a Christmas story too?

      Stay save and healthy my friend!

      • Thank you BIBI!
        Always such a fan of these stories and a big support of me.
        Good question about the letters – so if you will indulge me, I will answer that in the Christmas follow up. We don’t know what Bette wrote to Tina, all we know if that Tina asked for no contact and stuck to that. Tina tells Bette that the letters were her salvation so we know it was heartfelt and helpful to Tina. I think we all felt Bette’s anguish so keenly in this chapter that it is hard to understand why Tina would let her languish in no contact, so I will remedy that in the Christmas edition. To be continued my friend…. until then I hope you have a peaceful week and please stay safe.

    7. Amazing BK!

      Enjoyed this one off very much…I loved how Tina had come to see where she played a part in the relationship deteriorating…Not that Bette’s cheating. was her fault but Tina seeing that she didn’t communicate with Bette to work through their problems in the beginning..And not answering Bette’s letters —well she really had no obligation IMO as she told Bette she would contact her when she was ready…All in all you left them in a good place to talk through their issues and begin to heal and repair their relationship!

      I’m also enjoying your other stories!…Thanks for sharing your talent with us BK!

      jlr921

      • jlr –
        Thank you for your comments. Always nice to hear from new readers – new to me anyway – and your own stories have been a pleasure to read and follow as well. I don’t think Tina was under any obligation either and imho was picking herself up off the ground so that she could then come back to Bette in the hopes that Bette would want that as well. More to come. Hope you have a great weekend –
        BK

    8. BK,

      Thank you for another awesome story.

      And thank you for my favorite line, perhaps the best line in any Bette & Tina story – “Somehow she felt their story, the story of Bette and Tina, was not over”. For sure that’s how Bette feels. I feel the same way.

    9. Hey BK,

      You have started a new tradition – holiday stories of our Fab couple.

      Thank you so much for putting a different and far better slant on this part of their story and reconciliation. This is the way their story should have unfolded in season 2, even if LH had been pregnant with her real life daughter.

      The beginning when you were described their private family traditions was sweet and touching.

      I agree with Westy20 that the best line was indeed Bette’s thought that – “Somehow she felt their story, the story of Bette and Tina, was not over.”
      I think in so many ways and in all the stories these marvelous writers have been writing for years – this is what so many of us have been striving to tell – Their story isn’t over & will never be.

      I also thought that Tina was going home to South Carolina? So I was/am confused by the Lucy/mother reference. Does Tina’s family live in SC or LA????

      The emotions you brought forth in this story are so deep & heart wrenching – we feel for Bette & her desperation, sorrow & loneliness. Tina’s self evaluation & deep soul searching. Both of their courage to trod on in the face of that loneliness. Amazing.

      I feel for both these women – both suffering through their own dark moments, failures and dreams of a different future, one in which they can continue on together.
      Hope truly does spring eternal.

      Thanks so much for this special slice of their life and am hoping you give us some of that Wooing that Tina is going to do!!! I’m sure Bette will be swept of her feet in no time.

      Yes please, a Christmas sequel to check in on their progress.

      Thanks so much & stay safe.

      Collins

      • Hey Collins – so Tina gets a phone call from her sister while waiting for the plane to be deiced so she can board. I wrote it with vagueness on purpose – to add drama because it makes when she actually goes to Bette’s a surprise. It leads the reader to think Tina is going home to her mother’s- but what if you read it with the filter that Tina told her sister and her mother that she was going to win Bette back? What if they knew and were rooting for her?

        Here’s the conversation – Tina talking to Lucy –
        “Hey…. I know. No, still delayed…. It’s been six hours. Ok. ….No, tell mom there is nothing I can do… I am going to be so late…. I was thinking about just making that broccoli salad… no, I don’t think so. I can go to the store by the house…What?… oh, I am just tired, Lucy… and anxious. Ok, I’ll call when I land. Love you too….”

        Does that change how you view it?
        Thanks for reading and your support. Looking forward to your next posting!
        BK

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