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    Another Left Turn – Chapter 15

    Tina stopped chewing her breakfast bagel. Carrie’s face was backlit against sun bouncing off the commercial buildings of Dupont Street, but as Tina’s eyes adjusted she could see that she was just staring at her.

    ‘Carrie,’ Tina said.

    The other woman didn’t reply, but looked around a little. Tina had the impression that, having sprung her surprise, she now didn’t know what to do. She was in running gear but didn’t look sweaty. Her hair was a little longer, the roots more visible than Tina could recall, her large blue eyes duller.

    She sat down on the wall, about a foot away. Tina put her breakfast back in its bag and tucked it away to her right-hand side. When she looked back, Carrie was staring at her again.

    ‘How are you?’ Tina asked.

    A thin smile flickered on Carrie’s lips then was gone. She looked away, across the road towards Creeds, the coffee place they’d always used, and that Tina had just come from. You might have known better than to stick to the same routine, Tina scolded herself.

    ‘Did your therapy go well?’

    The question made the hairs on Tina’s neck stand up.

    ‘How did you know I was in therapy?’ she asked.

    ‘You know our industry.’

    Her tone was blithe, and she’d gone from staring to not looking at Tina at all. Tina felt her own mood shifting from fear to irritation. Gossip was circulating about her and she had a meeting at nine and she didn’t have time for this fucking drama . . .

    ‘Well, I—’

    ‘Don’t you think you owe me five minutes?’

    Carrie turned to her now. Her eyes were glistening, the skin around them drier and more lined than the last time Tina saw her. And she knew that look, the spectral affect of someone who’s spent too long crying and not eating and not sleeping. Remorse gripped Tina in the gut. Her jaw slackened.

    ‘I’m sorry,’ she whispered, then cleared her throat, worried Carrie might not have heard. ‘I’m sorry,’ she repeated.

    Carrie gave her a long, strangely distant look. Hatred? Disgust? And then she seemed to snap out of it and glanced at the time on her FitBit.

    ‘I have to go,’ she said. ‘Are you available for dinner?’

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    1. Now that was a beautiful reunion. Amazing what a few minutes with the right therapist can do. And after having lunch with Carrie, Tina should realize that she has made the right decision. Carrie is just making assumptions based upon only partial information Tina supplied to her.

      I Tina is really remorseful about the hurt that she caused Carrie, she should write her a letter and explain in general terms without detail that the source of her breakup with Bette was not Bette’s behavior but her own responses to her behavior which distorted her preception of their life together. And that distortion was the result of her childhood experiences. Then she should tell Carrie that she has been in intensive therapy for over a month inorder to come to terms with her childhood. And she should then appolgize to Carrie for hurting her but if she had gone through the wedding, she would only ended up hurting her worse. Because at some point, she would have left Carrie as well for the same reasons she left Bette. Better to break it off before the wedding than to go through a nasty divorce which would most certainly occurred. I hope some day you will forgive me and I hope you find the woman who is worthy of your love.

      This was a beautifully written chapter and Bette telling Tina that she needed to tell her things but she was afraid of how she would respond was so telling. Tina seeing that she was going in to her avoidance behavior once again was also a plus for their relationship. And they finally make love and for all the right reasons…. I love this story.

      Please write and publish more when you can….. excellent, excellent writing.

      • Hi Martha! Thank you for reading this latest chapter and for the great comments, as always. :-)

        I have thought that Tina might write to Carrie, too. If I was in Carrie’s position, I think it would help me to get over what happened if I knew a bit more about what Tina was addressing. Carrie’s refusal to play nice is good for Tina’s growth, though, in a way, because it makes her realise her actions have consequences (again). But yeah, totally agree that a letter is a good idea.

        Thank you for your kind words about the writing. I admit I was quite tearful a few times as I wrote it, and I always take that as a good sign. They’ve been on a long road!

        I will definitely write and post more stories when this one is finished. I’ve got a lot of reading to do too! Thank you very much for all your terrific feedback. Take care, Largo x

      • Hey SG! Hope you’re well & getting some okay weather. It’s been quite dreich here in Scotland, lol

        I’m really, really pleased you’re enjoying this story and I hope I can give you a Tibette ending that makes you happy! I have loved having you as a reader and appreciate your encouragement and your stalwart Tibette heart :-)

        Take care, Largo x

    2. Largo you know this is one of my favorite stories, I was so excited to see another chapter. Part of me felt bad for Carrie in the tiniest way, she seems to have taken the break up hard – the lost weight, the hardness in her eyes, the bitterness. Tina really did discard her like yesterday’s news but Tina can not control how Carrie responds and I agree with Martha that marriage would have been a far more difficult time to end the relationship. Tina never really answered Carrie’s questions during their lunch, she didn’t have to go in to detail about her sister but that she was taking time to discover why she did the things she did to people.

      Sometimes I feel like Tina uses people like pieces on a chessboard (this is not specific to your story, I am generalizing), moving them from one spot on the board to another as it suits her. Once she is done, she is done…. until she isn’t.
      I see a lot of growth from her in this chapter, she is patient and loving with Bette. But also some back sliding – if I were Bette I would want to press the issue of Tina not telling her about the lunch with Carrie, not giving Bette the space to support her, to be partners during what was a difficult afternoon for Tina. What better way for Tina to show Bette that she’s changed by not hiding things like lunch with her ex – or at least owning up to the miscue, and I think that was all that it was, a miscue on Tina’s part.
      Lovely lovely story and I am very sad to read that it is ending soon. I hope you have another story brewing in that brilliant brain of yours, I for one will be excited to see what direction you go in.
      Happy Saturday, Happy Fourth, Peace

      • Hiya BK! I’m humbled and so very pleased that you rate this story as one of your faves. You are a great writer and that means a lot to me. :-)

        Such an interesting take on Tina with the chess analogy. Certainly as written in canon she is a very complex person, and that’s a gift for fanfic (I think) because you can build on whatever part of her suits you? So, my Tina is not all that calculating but she is impulsive and not very reliable, and at the same time very loving and sweet. I really like her and I *love* how much Bette loves her.

        I agree with you about the miscue – that’s all it was – but you’ll see in Ch16 that it’s also about a deeper issue that Tina needs a little help to recognise in herself.

        Again, thank you for supporting this story! I have lots of ideas ready to go, but I really want to do some reading too, so I’m looking forward to catching up on that on LesFan. Hope you had a happy Fourth of July! Take care, Largo x

    3. “Dan looked closely at her. ‘What does “Turn around” mean to you, Bette?’The smile faded on her lips. She swallowed. ‘It means “Look at me”.’ ‘What else?’‘“Let me see you”.’ Her voice had become quieter. ‘What do you feel like in the dreams?’ Dan went on. ‘Afraid.’ ‘What of?’
      She gave a small, defensive shrug. ‘Not getting what I want.’ ‘What do you want? ’To know she’s mine.“

      Sigh! I think it is genius that Bette sought out Dan Foxworthy. It brings our Bette full circle. And clearly she left an indelible impression. I smiled during their entire conversation. Agree with the others that Tina should have shared that she was seeing Carrie. However I am giving her a bit of a pass as long as it is a one off and not a habit. Keep the communication happening. Not sure she needs to share any details of her therapy with Carrie. She apologized and unfortunately Carrie does not accept. Still, Tina went through heavy stuff and she does deserve to keep that part of her life private from Carrie. I think Tina needs to turn the page, no check that, close the book, on Carrie and perhaps even on Toronto, and be more of a presence in the new life she is creating with Bette and Angie. However:

      I do admit to not liking the ‘Unfaithful, lazy and selfish’ description of Bette. Sounds like Tina rewrote a little history regarding her past in talking about Bette to Carrie and perhaps believed it herself indicating some major hostility existed towards Bette. Tina conveniently left out her own transgressions. That on top of not sharing her meeting with Carrie and a bit of passive aggressiveness towards Bette gives me a little pause. But Tina did tell Carrie that Bette did not need to change and that is significant. And she did tell Bette she had seen Carrie. After the fact. Given the way Carrie spoke about Bette I can only imagine what she wants to say to her. Can’t believe Tina will just stand there and allow that conversation to happen. We shall see. I understand Tina not sharing details about therapy and she did make an attempt to correct Carrie and establish a truthful record during the verbal attack about Bette. Probably no further details are needed there either. I suppose, the fact that Tina herself at least seems to know and understand the actual truth about her past with Bette is what matters for their successful reconciliation. Not an easy process. Truly believe Tina wants this. So move on from Carrie. And I also think that Bette finally is beginning to trust and believe her which is what truly matters.

      To that end I love that Bette listened to Dan’s advice and told Tina that she wants to get into the food business and shared her insecurities about Tina and their past with money. Another land mine for them. Sad that Bette feels lost. But understand why. A good sign that Tina wants to go to the vineyard so probably willing to discuss it. Tina still has a ways to go but hearing Bette is another positive sign. Some hurts and insecurities run so deep. Hopefully Tina will partner with Bette and stop holding money over her head. Tina truly sees that Bette is still so afraid. It’s heartbreaking. Hopefully after their night together Bette no longer feels quite so lost. So much to feel hopeful about. But Bette has work to do as well. She needs to reach out to Angie for starters. She has to make real time for her and not when the bus is coming. And then there are David and Kit. There will always be Kit. Bette needs that family connection. More land mines with Tina perhaps. But necessary. Don’t keep it from her. Baby steps all around. Again, Dan gave lots of great advice.

      I absolutely adore this story very much and you write so exquisitely. You do realize that you have not only written a plausible story that brings Bette and Tina back together but have also taken our favorite couple to the precipice of a whole new, loving and productive chapter in their lives? A sequel based on their new partnership in life and their food venture? And given where you started that takes some writing! Well done. Take that GQ!!!! Gotcha!!!!! Yes, very well done.

      • Hiya Billy! Thank you for reading this chapter and for commenting. :-)

        You have no idea how happy I am to hear you say that my story has gone even a little way towards redressing the disappointment of GenQ. That is *exactly* what motivated me to get the keyboard in the first place. I will always be grateful to Ally and Seahurst for setting that challenge, lol

        There’s so much to talk about in your comments, I need to beware not writing another epic here… But I genuinely couldn’t have put it better myself. The stuff about Carrie’s characterisation of Bette (unfaithful, lazy, selfish) is interesting. I think Carrie’s love goggles may have led her to ignore little alarm bells that she should have heard when Tina told her about her and Bette’s past. Tina was, I think, trying to be honest with Carrie and will have told her that she was absolutely partially to blame for their breakups, but Carrie ignored the warning signs because she was in love. And then, in trying to prove herself a better person than Bette, she would also paint Bette worse than Tina did. I hope that makes sense?

        The money thing is another interesting aspect of their relationship. I tried to talk about that a little in Ch14, with what they each project onto Angie, privilege etc. I think will continue to be a ‘live’ issue, but not corrosive.

        On trust, what I felt was needed was that Bette had to stop walking on eggshells – the way to do that was they had to have a fight. Bette had to stand up for herself and risk the disaster, because they can’t have a lifelong relationship if one person is afraid of the other. So it had go ‘wrong’ so that Bette could see it go right and take courage from that. :-)

        I really love the idea of them having a place near Helena – and okay, I think Bette would be hot on a horse, haha

        And Kit! Yes, that’s going to be coming round real soon too. Lots to keep chewing on there, for Tina. I love the prospect of Angie getting to know her cousins too. (I love Angie – she’s got a big future in my stories!)

        Thank you again, Billy, so much! I really appreciate the thought and time you put into your feedback. It makes writing so pleasurable to know that it’s enjoyed by fans like you. Take care, Largo x

        • I too love the idea of Bette on a horse. So agree that Bette had to see for herself that Tina was not going to walk out after a disagreement. And also see that Tina was capable of listening and hearing Bette and willing to do the work. Again, using Dan was genius! There is so much interesting material for a sequel. The vineyard, David, Angie (school, romance, etc) and of course our favorite couple. One day perhaps? For now, thank you.

    4. Largo,
      I enjoyed the impromptu session that Bette had with Foxworthy. I like that she sought him out and talked candidly about her perplexing dream. Answered his probing questions honestly coming to the acknowledgement that she wanted Tina to be “hers”.

      That was the whole crux of what was forfeited with the reckless romp with Candice. Fear that Tina would not once again be truly hers was at the heart of her inability to trust.

      But Bette had changed over the years and being drawn into one of Tina’s passively-aggressive arguments after Tina returned from visiting Carrie, Bette challenged Tina to NOT take her shitty day out on her. She drew near to Tina and Tina broke down and talked. They got thru that hiccup to find themselves in bed together.

      It seemed to me that they never forgot how to njoy one another sexually even tho slight adjustments now had to be made (Bette was no longer the 30yr old that showed lots of wetness when she was aroused) so Tee saturated her fingers and dove in not missing a beat!!! ????????

      Bette teased Tina about nodding off so quickly after their lovin’ and Tina tried to play it off that she was so sleepy because of the time difference between Toronto and LA. Bette just took it in stride and they slept peacefully.

      • Hi DumplinT! Thank you for reading this chapter and for commenting. :-)

        The idea to have Bette go see Dan was quite late arriving in my brain, but when it did I just laughed at the whole prospect of Bette seeking him out after all those years and all those unpleasant therapy sessions, lol

        I also liked it because it was kind of a gesture of commitment on her part. She wanted to fix the sex issue for Tina as much as for herself and she was willing to eat humble pie to do it. That’s a great thing to see in a partner.

        I agree with you about what Bette lost with Tina when she cheated – that precious, precious exclusivity.

        I’m glad you liked Bette standing up for herself too!

        And yes, sex after menopause is…. different. But still awesome if you get a few things sorted out, haha. It makes me really happy to see these two growing older and still having that spark in the bedroom. They’re such a beautiful couple. It makes me smile to write it.

        Thanks again, DumplinT! I appreciate your comments so much. Take care, Largo x

    5. Thank you for the chapter!

      I see Tina not told Carrie all true about her relationship with Bette – because i remember their second split-up a bit more complicated than Tina left Bette because Bette didn’t want find a job:) Where the part about Tina’s men detour?

      • Hiya Zhenya! Hope you’re well and thank you very much for reading this latest chapter. :-)

        You are right, of course, to be suspicious about what Tina may have told Carrie. I think she will definitely not have hidden her bisexuality, or that she left Bette for Henry, but I think Carrie maybe slightly heard what she wanted to hear – that all the breakups were Bette’s fault – because that made Tina less of a loose cannon? Does that make sense?

        Thank you again for commenting. I always appreciate hearing what you make of it. Take care, Largo x

    6. Thanks for posting, Largo. Brilliant idea to bring in Dan. I can really picture him totally relaxed in his It seems as if this one was the best session Bette ever had with him.

      I love how the tables turned and now it’s Bette who tells Tina to cut the crap when she tried to start a fight with Bette, projecting her anger with Carrie onto Bette. They both are getting better and better at really talk to each other, be in the moment, listen to the other one, be mindful, wait for the other to finish their thought and suppress the urge to reply immediately. It’s fantastic how you wrote this important moment in their relationship.
      The looks, the little gestures. This one made me smile: ” Tina casually stroked the back of Bette’s hair. Bette smiled, tears of joy prickling her closed eyes.” Such a random thing to do between lovers but instinctively Tina knew that Bette needed that touch for reassurance of her love for Bette.

      Love this quote as well: “Bette felt like she was on the absolute edge, nowhere to go but to step off into the air and hope the net appeared.” And her courage to take the plunge was rewarded!

      Bette’s preparations for her night with Tina, for making love, were cute. Bundle of nerves. What a beautiful night!

      Looking forward to the next chapter. So many questions still unanswered. What’s going on with Shane? Will they talk to Angie? What’s up with her? What is Bette’s idea with the food business? Will Tina stay at the studio with all the talk about her? Will she stay in the movie business?

      • Hi kiwipit! Thank you for reading this latest chapter and for commenting. :-)

        I’m so glad you enjoyed seeing Dan again. I absolutely loved writing him in his ‘cool’ vinyl shop, in his black tee and Wayfarers, playing Miles Davis, haha. I also liked making him a bit different to Wendy: a lot more ‘do this, do that’ – just giving Bette answers – and yes, partly because she’s not a client. It probably was fun for him to flex his analytical muscles again too.

        I can’t express how DELIGHTED I am that you picked up on that hair-stroking gesture! That was one of those moments that made me tearful, because you know, when you’re in a long-term relationship there’s fighting and then there’s ‘fighting’. B&T need to make sure their fights are always ‘fights’. That underneath them is love. And when, in the middle of a ‘fight’, one can still touch the other, can still give that reassurance… I think that’s beautiful. So thank you for noticing it! I scored a bullseye there!

        Also than you for enjoying Bette’s nerves in the bedroom, haha. She’s such fun to write – so alpha, except where Tina is concerned, then she’s a pussycat ;-)

        I will try to answer some of your questions in future stories. I have a lot of ideas for what to do with this ‘canon’ I’ve created. Do you know this story is now 102,000 words long?

        Thank you again for the great comments and for being along for the ride. I appreciate the encouragement so much. Take care, Largo x

        • Exactly! You can fight, sometimes one has to vent, just fight for the sake of proving a point or fight because your partner drives you up the wall. That doesn’t change the fact that you love the other one wholeheartedly.
          My ex used to say when we were fighting “I love you very much, I just don’t like you right now” ;-)

          You hit the 100,000 already? Congrats! Gotta start reading from the beginning again.

          • Ah, that’s a wise distinction between loving and liking, and how it comes and goes. And yes, you have to know you can vent, and the person being vented at (the ventee?) has to know they can draw a line if they’re not feeling up to it.
            Thank you again for reading and commenting – especially if you go back to the beginning! x

    7. Largo – brilliant chapter!!!! So much emotion & feelings & the BIG happy surprise at the end with this beautiful couple.

      Think they both need to have a chat or 2 with Angie & find out what’s go on with her.

      Just loved that Bette had the guts to go see Dan. Talk about a blast from the past!!! That scene was just awesome – Dan listened & let Bette kinda figure it out as they progressed through their chat – that was great.

      All the little details & touches between them – super.

      As Kiwipit asked – lots more questions to answer about the future for them.

      Absolutely loved the love scene – Bette”s impatience getting the best of her & then practically dragging Tina out of the bathroom. Then the sweetness & reconnecting – truly beautiful.

      Thanks so much for this & sad to read it is coming to a close.

      But I know you’ll have more good things to follow.

      Take care my friend.

      • Hey Collins! I hope your’e well. Thank you for reading this chapter and commenting. I know it’s a lot of words when you’re wiring your own stuff too, and I appreciate the time :-)

        I agree with the need to talk properly to Angie. One of the challenges, as you know, in writing a story like this – in instalments that you publish and then are ‘married’ to – is how to write scenes where characters aren’t just telling each other things they already know, or that the reader already knows? So I think that’s why I haven’t had them talking to Angie as much as they should, in case it’s too repetitive. But yeah, the whole family is beginning a new chapter, so I think a chat is in order!

        Thank you for the kind words about the love scene. I get nervous wiring that stuff, but I enjoy showing their emotional connection, the way they talk to each other – we got a bit of that on the show, didn’t we? It always struck me as very well done.

        Glad you appreciated Dan! I was so amused when it occurred to me to do that. Bette took one for the team, going to see him, but he was a sweetheart! And maybe he always was???

        Thanks, Collins. You’ve been a great support to me and I will return the favour when I have the headspace to do some proper reading on LesFan soon. Take care, Largo x

    8. Largo,

      I so agree with at how hard it is to write and read at the same time. So I am going to keep it brief as it appears everyone else is ahead of me and have covered everything so well.

      Love how you handled the emotions of Carrie and how she called Tina out.

      Bette and her insecurities interesting how Angie got caught up in her ability to perform. Not sure I got that so I will have to reread again.

      Love how Tina is just being herself and moving through her normal rituals and not really seeing Bette. I like how you had Bette maneuver Tina into seeing her and what she needed.

      Nicely done.

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

        I’m so grateful to you for reading this chapter. I have had to admit defeat and am resolved to catch up on all my LesFan reading once I’ve wrapped up ALT.

        I’m glad you liked what Carrie did. It felt harsh on Tina, but it will make more sense when I’ve written Ch16. And yes, I’m not suprised you’re confused about why Angie is involved in Bette’s sexual blockage – I tried to have Dan make the point that SHE SHOULDN’T BE THERE, lol. Bette’s subconscious was conflating the two things because they both needed resolved urgently – very efficient but it confused the message. As did I, probably, haha

        Thank you as well for noticing Tina’s ‘not noticing’. I loved that … when I realised it was happening! I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find that I’m writing and I *think* I’m doing one thing but then realise that I’ve strayed into something better. Complete fluke but nice when it happens!

        Take care, K! Thanks for your comments and support. I’ll catch up with my reading soon. x

    9. Fuck this is such exquisite writing!

      Sorry I’m so late to the party, It’s been a busy couple of weeks.

      But my lord, every sentence is just perfection in this chapter. You know how to make emotions jump off a page…or screen. From the uncomfortable lunch to Bette’s day trip to Laguna and the culminating physical reunion, I was hanging on every word and pissed that my dog felt the need to bark at passersby in the middle of that steamy scene prompting me to have to get up and ground him until I was finished with it.

      Solid work, my friend. Very excited to see how you wrap this story up and I am sure none of us will be disappointed.

      • Hiya meloveslu! Thank you so much for the great comment – I’m humbled and so pleased you liked that chapter. So funny that your dog was interrupting the … moment, lol

        Thank you very much for taking the time to read my story. I’m very grateful for your time and absolutely delighted that you enjoyed it. It makes me really happy! Take care, Largo x

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