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    Another Left Turn – Chapter 10

    Bette knew she shouldn’t have worn a skirt. It was a favourite, a Prada wraparound in grey mohair, but far too short for this sofa. She lifted herself up slightly, trying to get fabric to switch from being under her bottom to covering her knees, but it was no use. The gigantic cushions were eating her up, her legs were exposed above the knee, the air-con was on and she was going to be freezing, and these were all facts.

    ‘Are you uncomfortable?’

    ‘My legs are cold,’ she said, rubbing them. ‘I’m sorry, do you have a throw or something?’

    ‘Yes, I think so.’

    Wendy got out of her creaky leather armchair and went slowly towards an armoire tucked in a corner of the room. Bette had noticed she seemed to have a bad hip. She watched leaves flutter outside the window, heard the click of a key, some rustling, and then the click again.

    ‘I’m afraid I must have taken it upstairs.’

    The woman’s speech was slow, and had a level, opaque quality that Bette associated with Foxworthy. She felt her goodwill unravelling. A disaster if she didn’t stop it.

    ‘Is it a lot of stairs?’ she said. ‘Could I get it for you?’

    Wendy smiled. ‘That’s kind of you. I suspect it’s in my study. First door on the right. It’s yellow and white.’

    ‘The throw?’

    ‘No, the study. The throw is . . .’ Wendy stared off, her mind clearly blank.

    ‘I’ll find it,’ Bette said.

    Wendy waved her hand and began to go back to her chair.

    Bette stepped out into the hallway, grateful to be moving, and for the chance to shave five minutes off the hour. Nice attitude, she scolded herself as she started up the stairs, but then forgot everything when she reached the mezzanine level and discovered a gallery wall crammed with art photography.

    Iconic American automobiles, dusty store-fronts, brooding trees, scarecrows, street kids . . . The bottomless blacks and icy highlights suggested some antiquity to the prints. A few were signed. Langdon Coburn, Winogrand, Arbus, a Vivian Meier self-portrait. And the most extraordinary Imogen Cunningham of three female dancers captured at the very apex of a formation jeté. They were in blazing sunlight, their shadows stark. One had her head thrown back, the sinews of her throat, exultant, her body hanging in an eyeblink of pure space—

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    Comments

    1. This is so beautifully written. You have quite a talent. So articulate. One of the best pieces I have read for a long time. Bette clearly does need a safe haven to work through her own issues. I suspect if she allowed herself the flood gates would open. Well done!!! As long as Bette does not fall in love with Wendy that is.

      • Haha, hi Billy! Thank you so much for reading my story and for your lovely comment. It honestly means the world to me and is such an encouragement to keep going. I know what you mean about Bette needing someone. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with that, but I love Tibette so I always say that Tibetters can enjoy the ride ;-)

        You made me laugh so much with your comment about Bette and Wendy, not least because their couple name could be ‘Bendy’…

        Thank you again for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed it. x

    2. Largo
      This chapter is simply exquisite. Who cares about story advancement when there is this to read! But then I love all things clinical and therapy and the whys behind what people do. The behaviors that speak louder than the words.
      Fantastic.
      I loved Bette’s conversation with Wendy, the back and forth, the introspection.
      “I loved her to distraction” was the first line that jumped out at me,
      “It’s good news that you’re aware that you’re afraid Tina will leave. Better yet is if you can tell her so. Better still is if she can bear to hear it. Best of all, if together you can give her a chance to learn to be constant.’” was the second.
      Also, the Buddhist motto and the unicorn being a pony without its horn.

      But my favorite? The a-ha moment were you summed up Bette’s hesitation to be intimate with Tina so perfectly was the part were she said that, in the past, when they were together that Tina seemed to be there but wasn’t. What a hugely insightful statement that has so many layers to it that I will probably spend the rest of my day unraveling it all. So thank you for the gift that was this chapter and dare I ask you to write more quickly so that it can continue. Stay safe,
      BK

      • I so agree. Just exquisite. The new show should use this post as a research document. Largo has captured so much. ‘I loved her to distraction’ is my new favorite line. I printed this post as I find it so amazing. You know who would LOVE and appreciate this post?????? Jennifer Beals herself. It should be sent to her.

      • Aw, thank you BK! You picked all my favourite bits too, haha – I love ‘Let go or be dragged’ – and I think Bette’s whole relationship with the spiritual is very interesting in canon, so I’d like to do a bit more with that side of her?

        Thank you too for not minding that this doesn’t move the story much – I do worry it’s all too slow.

        It’s interesting that you like therapist-y stuff. I’m never sure how interesting it is? I love it, though. I think a good therapist is an amazing person to have in your corner in life.

        I have to do some paid work this week so I’m eyeing up middle of next week for Chapter 11 (let me just stare at that for a moment – Chapter 11! This was meant to be one-off, lol)

        Thank you again for all your comments and for reading. x

    3. I’ve spent the last few days reading this whole thing from the first chapter and this is probably the best writing I’ve seen in a long time! I really love your version of Bette and Tina, and at least their behavior makes sense in your story…
      I’m loving this story and can’t wait for more! I don’t usually read stories that aren’t finished but I’m really happy that I started reading this. Thanks so much for sharing

      • I reread from the beginning as well. Do not usually post very often but am just awe struck by this story. Yes, I also love Bette with the photos. And looking out the window. And the rug. She has to articulate to Tina about Kit but not sure how without setting them back. Still, this story makes sense. This story can help them heal and lead them back together. This story is my hope. Thanks for that.

      • Hi Noa! Thank you very much indeed for reading the whole story – that’s a lot of words, haha

        I’m glads they make sense to you. I started writing because I couldn’t stand them not making sense in GenQ. They are so rich and easy to write for – why can’t the show do it?? Aargh. Oh well, at least we all have LesFan.

        I will finish this story, don’t worry. It is my mission, haha. Thank you again for reading and for encouraging me x

    4. I agree with the other comments made here. This is a lovely chapter. I guess I am somewhat like Bette in that i am hoping for the answers to the problems when that is simply not the purpose of this session. I think that is a part of human nature – just give me the answer which will make every thing all better. .But I am sure that Bette will fell better when she leaves Wendy in that she has vocalized some of the problems in her life even if she does not have the answer as to how to resolve them. Bette needs to get into therapy herself to help her resolve some of the issues she is having with Tina and her own family history. And it appears that she and Tina need to have a heart to heart talk about their fears and their hopes. This fear of intimacy for Bette can be a major road block in their future .I feel like this stems from Bette’s fear that Tina will walk away again and she is protecting herself by resisting physical intimacy.

      As to the possibly of adopting another child? She definitely needs to determine her own feelings on the matter and she definitely needs to talk to both Tina and Angie. This is such a major decision, and it will effect all of their relationships. What if Tina and Angie want nothing to do with another member of the family? This will cause Bette to have to choose between getting together with Tina and having a 2nd child. Which would she choose?

      I think the most troubling statement in the session was when Bette said she wished Tina had never left. And as Wendy said “But she did.” Bette’s wanting to wish away the problem and turn back to clock is not very beneficial to either Tina or Bette or Angie. They are where they are as a result of the decisions and actions they each took. They will only resolve the problems if they take the situation as it exist and start to resolve what is not what you wish.

      Thanks for this wonderful chapter. Personally I like Wendy a lot. I can see Bette adopting her as a mother figure. But I doubt they will have a whole lot of contact in the future.

      • Hi Martha! As always, you are spot on. There is a LOT of talking needing to be done in this here Tibette nation… And “The work is hard” – I love Wendy saying that to both of them separately. The image I have of her is that she’s like someone trying to round up ducklings – they keep scrurrying this way and that way, so she puts her hand in front of them and they change course, and she keeps doing it until they’re finally where they should be, but she barely touched them. They have to arrive at their own insights or they’ll be fragile.

        I love the idea of Wendy being a mother figure to Bette!

        Bette’s adoption thoughts are all over the place right now, but you’re right – she’s gonna have to bite that bullet. Chapter 11 here we come!

        Thank you, Martha, as ever, for reading my story. I really look forward to your comment (although please don’t feel you have to). Stay safe! x

    5. I can’t tell you how many times I caught myself holding my breath as I read this chapter. It is just so fucking fantastic! The way you wove both the original and the new series into this much needed chapter of introspection was just a thing of beauty that can only be punctuated with an actual chef’s kiss.

      This is what fanfiction is supposed to be; a mastery of storytelling using rented characters and new ones alike. You could teach a PhD level course in this and I would study and fail at your feet every time.

      If you don’t recognize how absolutely blown away I am by your talent, then I obviously just need to take a vow of silence never to be heard from again.

      Excellent job, my friend. Can’t wait for more. Cheers!

      • Ditto! Again – Send to JB. On the sad side – why oh why can’t the actual series writers do this kind of serious writing? Do they honestly think no one would watch? From these comments alone fans are craving good well thought out writing. And now we have it! My goodness – this post could have been an episode. Can you imagine Bette shifting and being slowly drawn out? I could visualize Bette throughout this chapter. Social distancing included it could have been filmed and aired already. This story could be its own series. Just a little more literate and cohesive and thought provoking. Interesting that one of the strongest Bette Porter scenes from the original was when she went to see Foxworthy after making love with a pregnant Tina. Give JB the script and she will deliver. Same with LuH.

      • Hi Mel! Thank you so much for this comment, and coming from you especially, it really blows ME away. Please don’t take any vows of silence, lol.

        It’s hard to express – and yet I’m sure you know – how much it means to have my writing connect with people? It’s so ‘just in my head’ all the time, but I will always thank the GenQ writers for effing up so badly that they made me roll up my sleeves and get to work!

        Very many thanks for all your encouragement. Stay safe and keep writing! x

      • Hi Spu! Your childhood Bette is the model for my childhood Bette, so thank you for writing those beautiful, vivid stories. Thanks for reading and commenting, as ever. Stay safe! x

    6. Thank you for the chapter!

      I agree with comments above – it’s a beautiful written chapter.

      But i don’t understand one part – “Bette trusted Wendy not to tell Tina things Bette couldn’t, or simply hadn’t, yet. But saying them out loud to anyone was a risk. Saying things might summon them.”
      It was about Tina not attended Kit’s funeral, Bette’s wishes for another child or something that Bette didn’t tell?

      • Hi Zhenya! Thank you for continuing to read this story. :-)

        You ask a very good question – I think Bette gives a lot of power to thought, but she gives even more power to speech? I think she thinks she has to be prepared to defend everything she ever says, so she’s worried that every time she tells someone she might want to adopt, there’s a chance she’s going to HAVE to do it – and at the end of the day, she’s just not sure, because she’s not sure that if Tina were to say ‘it’s me or another child, you can’t have both’, which would she choose?

        I don’t know if that helps! I agree it was a big vague, lol. I might have edited a little too much out.

        Thank you, as ever, for commenting. It means a lot to me. Stay safe! x

    7. What to say that hasn’t been said in the comments above?
      I honestly do not know because much would be repetition.
      An easy way would be to write Ditto but that is too easy a response to such a superb Chapter.
      So, I loved the deep insight into Bette and ‘saw’ JB in my mind’s eye the whole time I was reading it. I agree I would love her to read it.
      Why oh why are the Writers of the Show unable to give the depth to characters that we see here?

      Thank you for sharing your talent, look forward to more.
      The sun’s been out here in Derbyshire too. Unfortunately I have not!
      Stay safe
      SG

      • Hi SG! Thank you, as ever, for reading my story and commenting. I’m truly blown away by the response to this chapter. You guys are so kind and so encouraging.

        It’s great, being able to picture JB’s gestures and way of speech, isn’t it? I have fun imagining how she’d play the dialogue. I’m very glad you like it too.

        I’ve not been out in the sun either, btw. I live at the seaside, so I can see the beach from my window, but I’m not going out. Ah well. The main thing is we all stay safe! Take care, SG x

    8. Largo

      Loved the way you caught the pensiveness of therapy. I love reading therapy sessions they give so much insight because of the questions that are asked and the thoughts that are never spoken.

      Love your story
      K

      • Hi SuperK! How lovely to hear from you. :-)

        You are so right about pensive therapy-talk, lol. I had a therapist (who Wendy is based on) and she was AMAZING but also aargh ….. Just give me an answer!! It’s such a highly skilled, delicate profession. I’m glad you liked it. Have you read the story “Why, Bette?” by Portia Richardson? That has fantastic therapy in it. Brilliant writing.

        Thank you again for reading and commenting. It encourages me a lot. Stay safe! x

    9. Thanks for the great chapter.

      Agree with what’s all been said already in the earlier comments!

      So insightful and powerful.

      You just FEEL the emotions in Bette & visualize them on JB’s face & manner.

      Agree about the writers on Gen Q – just terrible. Even if LH decided to come back last minute & they had to quickly change the story line for T & B, they couldn’t have written better scenes?

      I believe this has been an unfortunate theme through OG & now Gen Q – poor execution of character development. Way too many characters & too little insight into the reasons why these characters behaved in the way that they did.

      Fortunately, we have YOU to tell us the the why’s & the what’s.

      Thanks so much – truly enjoyed it.

      Looking forward to your post next week.

      • Hi Collins! Thank you very much for reading my story and for commenting. :-)

        I agree that GenQ was a disappointment. The more I think about it, the more I think the producers (JB included, I’m afraid) were too focused on winning the meta-game with TLW fans – ‘oooh they’re all wondering if Lu is coming back, won’t they be soooo happy when she appears!!’ – that they failed to realise that, as much as we all love JB and LH, we actually DO love Bette and Tina more??? So yes, it was great to see LH, but once she was there, we did actually care what happened to her character!

        Oh well, at least we have our dear LesFan to come to! I’m so pleased you liked the chapter. Thank you for reading it and for encouraging me to post next week! Stay safe! x

        • Largo

          You are so right about how they focused so much on the SURPRISE that they forgot about the follow up. Collins and I have gone back and forth about the levels of disappointment with GQ. I was quite surprised to read that LH went along with the whole parenting as divorced parents… redo… as is so often with writers with no creativity. IC still has so much influence and I dare say may probably still a bit raw that her Jenny never took hold. There are so many stories to tell as FanFic has shown. Collins POV about a separation made so much more sense it would put the drama in play and the question why in play.

          Anyways keep writing, the different ideas can only help, as i here the cast, writers and producers slum fanfic sites. We should get a residual for an idea? LOL

          K

          • Hi K, thanks for the reply. I really hope S2 of GenQ goes even a little way towards giving Tibette a story worthy of the characters and the actors. I’m enjoying this little breathing space where’s there’s no canon to deal with, lol

            I will definitely keep writing! I am very encouraged and humbled by the response to this chapter. It make me so happy to know that it makes others happy too.

            Thanks again, K. Take care! x

    10. Largo and all,

      I agree with everything that has been said and take great joy in participating in an actual serious discussion of the Bette and Tina relationship. There is such a presumption that viewers only want and will only accept a promiscuous and sex craved Bette Porter. This is so not the case. Bette is complex and it is so refreshing to see some of her past and some of her issues being examined. Ironically, even if LuH had not been able to return at all – this story still works. And if she were only available for a few episodes this type of genuine, authentic, mature writing is far superior to anything thrown in the new series. Bette could still be doing the work even without the physical presence of Tina. There is no excuse for the lazy writing. You have proven otherwise. I love this Bette and you are doing her the justice that many of us crave. Your writing also proves that you can take terrible writing and work with it and fix it. Amazing what you have done with such a bad series premise. Your depiction of Tina is just as strong and I look forward to future chapters. This is so much better than the new series.

      • Hiya Billy! Sorry for delay in replying – I’m in Scotland :-)

        Thank you again for your enthusiasm and all the encouragement on this story/chapter. I agree with you that the show writers have got the balance wrong – it’s too far towards the partying crowd – and in fact the case for a Tibette spinoff has never been stronger, imho

        I’m so happy that you like my Bette. I love spending time with her and Tina, lol

        Have you read stories by Portia Richardson and Blackbird? They (and Spumoni of course) write very good Tibette, mix of canon and non-canon. Portia R’s story ‘Why, Bette?’ is a terrific canon story – the type of fanfiction that made me want to write it too.

        Anyway, thank you again for the support. It is much appreciated! Take care, Lx

    11. OK, I screwed up and did not come back with my comments. I can sum them up, though: BetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBette… pause for deep breath….BetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBetteBettee…..

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