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    Another Left Turn – Chapter 16

    Tina drew back and all but growled as she said, ‘You want me to jump you right now?’

    They stared at each other. Tina’s hair was a beautiful pale gold again. Bette’s was her usual extravagance of brown-black curls. Her breathing deepened as Tina’s pupils darkened and then the final cymbal of the song shimmered in their ears as their lips finally met and their hearts melted into one . . .

    And a little ways away, someone was watching.

    As far back as she could remember, Angelica had known that her mothers were special – and not always in a good way. She knew, for example, that the story of their first meeting was kind of a lesbian legend in LA: the earring Mama B gently plucked out of Mama T’s hair, the kiss they had when Mama T went back for it. She knew that they’d had a lot of sadness before she was born. Every year, on the same date, her parents went to a beach alone and remembered a baby that was lost. She knew that Dana’s was named after the tennis player who died from cancer and that both she and Bee had once dated Aunt Alice. She knew Mama B had been unfaithful to Mama T, and that Tee was bisexual. She remembered signs taught to her by the deaf woman, Jodie, and the night that Jenny drowned in their pool. For Angie, though, her childhood was New York, and her teenage years were Silver Lake, which meant – she guessed – that coming home from Princeton would mean going to Temecula!

    She smiled and sipped her root beer. Yeah, she wanted to go to Princeton, there wasn’t any doubt about that. But like Mama B, she liked to do things her own way . . .

    On the other side of the decking Uncle Shane went up to Tina and Bette at the end of their dance and said something. She had one of her hands on each of their shoulders. They were all smiling. Then Tina was fondling Bette’s hair.

    Angie watched. Now Aunt Alice went over. She had a phone and something to show them. They all leaned in, looking at the screen, and then Alice looked up, scanning her guests until her eyes alighted on her earthdaughter.

    Alice called Angie’s name and the others all looked in her direction too, calling and waving, beckoning her with beautiful, smiling faces. Around her mothers’ necks were the silver necklaces with the letter ‘A’. Happy tears tingled Angie’s nose as she put down her drink and walked towards them.

     

    Author’s note: Epilogue to follow soon…

    Comments

    1. Hi Largo,

      What a fantastic journey you lead us through and at the end everything falled into place.

      Thank you for this incredible story!

      I am looking forward to the epilogue!!!!

      • Hi Bibi! Thank you very much indeed for reading this long chapter so quickly. :-) I’m really pleased you enjoyed this story and found it satisfying. As I say, I will try and have the Epilogue ready for next weekend. It’s a bit shorter, haha

        Thanks again and take care,
        Largo x

      • Hi BK! Thank you very much, my friend, for reading this and commenting so quickly. I did spend a lot of hours on this but it was because I’d grown to love it so much – I would very happily not do anything else than write Tibette fanfic, lol

        I’m looking forward to doing some reading once the Epilogue is done, so I’ll be seeing you in your comments. Thanks again for all your support and take care, Largo x

    2. Largo,

      This chapter made me tear up and laugh out loud. Well done! You have a genuine talent for writing and storytelling. Bette and Tina are becoming a partnership again in every way. Really enjoyed how you wove in past characters. Joyce is always a hoot and asking about ‘little Arabella’ made me truly laugh out loud. And Angie finding her very own Alice in Piper is hysterical. Your version of Alice is quite refreshing as she is not always a popular character. But this Alice is sweet. She looks out for Lenore. She loves Nat and the kids. And she loves Bette and Tina so much. And they really love her:

      ‘Goodnight, Piper.’
      ‘Night, Ms Porter-Kennard. Thank you for dinner, it was delish.’
      Back in her room Bette cocked an ear towards the en suite and heard Tina humming. Could be another five, ten minutes. She got into bed, put her glasses on, tried to read but then found herself studying the newly papered wall instead. The design was called ‘Birdbranch’ and comprised finely drawn ivory-coloured branches against a deep-purple raw-silk background. It was rich and opulent, fecund even, just right for the boudoir. Or a six-star Dubai massage parlour.’ Oh Alice!

      Tina and Bette are moving through their issues as a couple and as individuals and communicating in every important way. And Angie is right there with them. She seems so legitimately happy. Again your command of language is excellent as in Bette talking about feeling that her work in adequately memorializing Kit is just not working:

      ‘The truth is I hate it,’ she said. ‘I hate how negative it is. How stale and performative. I hate the incrementalism and the fucking endless boilerplate compassion. And I’m not disparaging people who spend their lives fighting for the right thing, Tee, I’m not, it’s just . . .’

      The idea of the Mothers Day get together is genius. Your Bette is one of my favorites. You do not encumber her with the alpha label so many insist on tagging her with. I especially like when Angie is going toe to toe with Joyce about Princeton versus UCLA and Bette smiles her BP smile – not because Angie was not afraid to politely defend herself to Joyce but because she mentioned having children. Family is so important to Bette and she does want to be a grandmother! And Tina is so content to be home – not only with Bette and Angie but with all of her extended family. She is listening to Wendy and doing the work and she is happy. Life is good.

      I will miss this story very much. You have proven that it is entirely possible to take the awful GQ premise and work with it and succeed in making Bette and Tina perhaps stronger than ever. Most certainly they are on their way towards the next chapter of their lives…together! Hint. Hint. And – you successfully incorporated both the original and GQ characters in a meaningful, intelligent and entertaining manner. Even Dani got to have a word with Sophie and Finley met Lenore. Proving that it really can be done! Truly excellent storytelling.

      • Hi Billy! Thank you so much for reading and commenting on this so quickly. :-) I am delighted and humbled by how supportive you’ve been of this story and my writing. It’s been a great pleasure to write for fans like you (and myself!).

        It’s lovely that you picked out the moments that you did. I was saying to my partner that Bette is such a gift to write for, because she lets me let my vocabulary off the leash, haha. That wee speech about why she hated her work …. how I would LOVE to see JB deliver that.

        Thank you for liking my Alice. I read somewhere once that the whole concept of ‘cultivating’ friends is an insult to what friendship really is. Your friends should be more like weeds – impossible to get rid of! So that’s what I meant when I had Bette think that about Piper. And yes, we will be seeing Piper in Angie’s future. I will enjoy that enormously.

        I love too that you like my more emotional Bette. I think she is quite true to the GenQ version. That Bette is devoted to family too, but there was so little screen time to show it (grr). But I’m not limited in screen time, and of course in fiction I can be in her head, and I really enjoyed – found very moving, in fact – getting to explore what her family means to her.

        So thank you again, Billy, for your beautiful and thoughtful and insightful comments and support. I am so grateful to all the readers for their encouragement to continue with this story. It’s made my lockdown into something very special and positive.

        Take care, Largo x

        • Every word of your reply is reflected in the story. I too would love to hear JB deliver your vocabulary because she would do it so perfectly. And I also like that Angie takes note of the words and seems to love that part of her mother. From the ice cream cone delivery to the term used for Angus being a male nanny and on. I await the epilogue with mixed emotion. Perhaps one day we will be see a sequel. These beloved characters deserve this kind of quality writing. You should send your story to JB.

          • Thanks, Billy! I wouldn’t know where to begin to send the story to JB but I appreciate very much the thought. :-)

            I have lots of ideas for future stories, my friend, so you definitely haven’t seen the last of me on here, lol

            Thanks again for all your great comments and support. It’s meant a lot. Take care, L x

    3. I love this story, start to finish! And your writing style is amazing! Beautiful, heartbreaking, and hilarious at times, this story has it all. I can’t wait for the epilogue.
      Thank you for sharing it and I hope to see more stories from you in the future.

      • Hello BearTheMalinois! Very nice to meet you. Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this long chapter so quickly. :-)

        I’m so glad you like my writing style. It’s the only way I know to do it, and sometimes I get a bit ‘oh, is this boring now?? should I be different??’ — and it turns out I can’t do anything else, so I just get on with it. But yeah, I’m a sentimental sort, so the happy/sad switch is always close by, haha

        Thanks again for commenting. The Epilogue should be up next weekend. Meantime, take care and thanks again, Largo x

    4. I love this story… I hate to see it end.

      I love the way you weave in the some of the problems and regrets from the past get talked about and possibly resolved as they go through the box of memorabilia they have chosen to keep and are once again looking at for consolidation and space. So many memories….. so many good times and not so good. They are starting this period of their lives on very sound footing and are facing issues as they arise in a completely open manner. They are owning their shit and forgiving the other for they misbehavior and the hurt they have caused. Life for these two is going to be different – more mature, less drama, but deeply devoted to each other and their child.

      And the fact that Alice and Shane are leading more mature lifestyles. It’s so refreshing to see stories that acknowledge that people can recover from bad decisions; maintain and have relationships which are are solid and grounded in love and open communication. It also nice to see that tragedy can be overcome with time and the right support from friends and family. It’s been a long journey for Bette and Tina and there are a few more miles to go but the next part should be easier simply because they have each other to lean on.

      This is a well written story. The story line is well integrated into stories as advanced by TLW and Gen Q. Your Bette and Tina are true to the characters I know subject to being hurt or in fear and yet compassionate and forgiving. And as I said before, the love between the two of them is so pure and so unconditional that it is difficult imagine the two of them not together. It’s the reason so many of us are having such difficulty explaining the story scenario that Bette and Tina got a divorce. This is particularly true when neither cheated on the other nor did something that had not be present in their relationship for nearly 20 years. This story gives a reasonable explanation as to why they would get a divorce and a believable path and explanation of getting back together.

      The author’s ability to invoke the emotional highs and lows the characters are going through is truly what carries the story. Relationships are hard and are multidimensional and are complex. It’s not just words but the actions of Bette and Tina which demonstrate who these two are. This is truly a wonderful story. I hope the author will grace us with more stories in the future. Thank you….

      • Hey Martha! Thank you, as always, for your very thoughtful and insightful comments. I”m sorry it took me a while to reply – been a busy couple of days at work for me. :-)

        A few things I want to pick up on from what you said ….

        You are completely correct that life is going to be different for B&T in my story. The metaphor I had in my mind from about Ch3 onwards was that they needed to ‘seal the vessel’. Their love affair had been leaking like a sieve all these years and it needed fixed to be watertight, so that life could pour anything into it and it would stay sealed. So that’s what I gave them – I sealed the vessel. I wish the show would seal the vessel too!! A true love who stands by you, your whole life, is a blessing and I wanted to give that to these wonderful women whom someone else created and we fans took to our hearts.

        Which leads me on to your other point – hope! Yes! Alice and Shane have grown / are growing. I wanted to show that. And yes, the complexity too. Can’t be too easy, but the trend is towards being at peace.

        The show’s divorce storyline hurt and perplexed me, so when I came to try and explain the inexplicable I went to the interrogation tapes because Tina’s tape contained a possible explanation of such magnitude that I could see it distorting her entire life. Other writers have been able to explain the divorce without the tapes. I think that’s great! I am looking forward to reading the stories soon that do that.

        Thank you for saying that you think the emotional highs and lows carry the story. I think I’ve mentioned that writing this makes me cry sometimes, and I’ve come to trust that as a mark of when I’m doing it right. So I’m glad you liked it and got the feelings I was trying to put in.

        Sorry to write so much! I appreciate greatly all the support and your valuable insights during the writing of this looooong story. It’s 115,000 words now. A novel!

        Thanks again, Martha, and take care x

    5. Hi Largo,

      Wow!!!!!!!

      Say it ain’t so – It can’t be over!!!!!!! It’s like when you are with friends & it gets to that part of teh time together that everything just jells & in an instant it’s over until the next time.

      So my friend, I am holding you to that NEXT time & your epilogue.

      Lovely chapter & you rolled up the loose ends so nicely.

      Good luck with work this week & take care of yourself.

      All my best.

      Collins

      • Hey Collins! I hope you’re well. :-) Thank you, as ever, for reading this when you’re writing your own story. That’s something I’ve just not been able to manage but I am SO looking forward to doing some reading on here when I’m done with the Epilogue, woohoo

        I am definitely going to write more stories. Everyone here is so amazing and supportive. We are lucky to have LesFan! I’m glad you liked the chapter and thanks again for commenting. Take care, L x

    6. Beautiful, Largo! The first thing that comes to my mind is: more please!
      This story definitely deserves an epilogue but to me it feels that you told everything that was important to your story line.

      Great last chapter! I love T + B’s closeness (“sea of love”), learning to love their habits again (“Bette cocked an ear towards the en suite and heard Tina humming. Could be another five, ten minutes.”), Tina’s last session with Wendy, some great Angie moments (with Piper, Phyllis, at Griffith Park). Oh and this: “She liked wordplay, but she especially liked when Bee used unusual words without explaining them.” Yeah, me too. I had to look up portmanteau.

      Going through the attic resulted in some wonderful memories and more reconnecting for T + B. Loved Hamley! (“don’t let him get hurt!” Cute!). They are really finding their way back together again, more mature, more ready to compromise. I’m probably repeating myself but I like your version of Tina and Bette very much.

      Thank you for this wonderful story. You have a great way with words. “Another left turn” made me find my peace with Gen Q – in your story reality.

      Nevertheless I would love to read another story written by you! Didn’t you think of writing a story which looks at our favourite couple a few years earlier? Well, you should ;-)
      Maybe 5-8 years earlier, Tibette in NYC, when did they start to fall apart? Tina a very successful producer, Bette back in the art world and going back to her old ways. Like “for as long as I remember, I was able to identify what I wanted and was willing to pursue it”. Without talking to her wife ahout it. Bette taking up “so much space” and Tina needing to escape to find herself. I see her accepting a job overseas, Peter-Jackson-like for a year in New Zealand to produce an important movie. No divorce, just separation because of the job, but time for T + B to… well, you tell us!

      Thanks again, Largo, for taking us on your journey. It was great fun! Please keep on writing, I’ll definitely will continue to read.

      Have a great week, stay safe
      KP

      • Hiya kiwipit! Thank you reading this long chapter and for the great comments. :-)

        I will definitely write more stories. This has been so much fun and so absorbing during lockdown, but I want to keep doing it, so don’t worry about that, I’ll be back soon-ish – need to catch up on my reading first.

        Thank you for saying you enjoy my B&T and their closeness. See, that was what I always wanted to see on the show – cuddles and small intimacies. That’s love, to me. Yes, bedroom fireworks but also bringing coffee and knowing that your beloved likes butterscotch etc.

        I’m touched and delighted that this story helped you to feel better about GenQ. That’s why I started it, my friend, haha

        On the other stories I might write – yes, I did mention doing an origin story. I’ve read so many brilliant Tibette origin stories and I think it’s almost a rite of passage on LesFan. I also love the idea of an NYC story. There’s so much fun to be had with them in Manhattan, with Kelly around, etc. I love writing Peggy too, and I always thought she’d be in a NYC story. As for New Zealand…. that would mean a lot of googling for me, lol. But yeah, why not? I’ll see what I can do, haha

        Thank you again, so much, for your lovely comments and I’m really just so pleased that you enjoyed it. Means a lot to me. Take care, L x

    7. What a great Story !

      Once again you make me cry and laugh!

      A wonderful post made sad thinking it’s the last.

      Look forward to the Epilogue and must ask that you consider a Sequel, please! The way you write this Bette and Tina is delightful and I’d love to read more.

      Thank you for sharing your talent
      SG

      • Yay, SassyGran! I’m DELIGHTED you found time to read this long chapter and that you liked it. :-) You have such a pure Tibette heart, it means a lot to me.

        I’m so pleased you like the way I write Bette and Tina. They are great fun to write, because they’re opposites, but they’re crazy about each other, so there’s so much you can do with that. They can ‘clash’ but underneath it, they’re golden. Sigh.

        I have quite a lot of ideas for future Tibette stories, so yeah, there will be more. Gotta catch up on reading some of the other terrific writers on the site first. Take care, SG, and thank you again – Largo x

    8. Thank you for the chapter!

      Ok, all sadness about ending this story i leave on the epilogue), so now about this chapter – nice touch about necklaces from TLW. And other part – interesting turn about them leaving LA ( i must say i would leave this city too:)) Like i understand it was Bette’s idea – she still trying to find want she wanted to do after she lost election? And don’t really understand all this music label thing – where all this come from? Strange choice – no one from them never were in music business – how ever they understand something about that?

      So, waiting for the next!

      • Hiya Zhenya! Sorry for the delay in replying to you. I was busy with work this week.

        Do I take it from what you said that you live in LA but you don’t want to? That’s interesting. I had them leave LA because I thought, if I was Bette, I would want a fresh start in a fresh place? And my Bette is changing a lot, so having the example of how Helena likes the country/farming life, it wasn’t such a big stretch – and in fact there’s a bit of my Helena in L Word canon, really, when you think about what she was like when she came back from her time with Dusty?

        Anyway, the record label comes out of a desire to do something positive that reflected the things that Kit loved, and that she did with her own life. Bette knew next to nothing about pharma and all that but she dived in there, so I thought she would gather good people together and see what they could do? Shane has a good background in music, so that’s why she’s there.

        Thanks very much for reading all of this story, Zhenya. I have appreciated your comments and they sometimes made me think ‘oh, I didn’t explain that very well, did I?’ lol Take care, Largo x

    9. Largo

      I so love a ‘Love Story’, and how great is the Tibette one.

      I love how you framed your story and wove it into the tidbits GQ gave us.

      I loved the unpacking of the boxes and how Bette finally said out loud ‘I am sorry,’ Melvin sucked and Bette should have never allowed him to treat Tina the way he did.

      I can see JB and LH speaking the lines as well. Good writing puts words that make sense on paper. Great writing puts words on paper that mean something to the reader and invoke an emotional response.

      Bravo girl. Excellent effort. So look forward to the next story.

      K

      • Hi K! *waves* I’m sorry it’s taken so long to reply. Busy work week. But thank you very much for reading this long chapter and taking the time to comment.

        I agree with you about Melvin. I really wanted Bette to say what she’d said to Wendy, but say it to Tina’s face. And Tina is so changed now that they could make sense of their past mistakes together.

        Thank you for your kind words about my writing. Like a lot of writers, I’m not very confident in my style or approach sometimes, so it gives me a boost to keep going! I am now going to get some proper LesFan reading done – I just couldn’t do it when I was writing this novel (118,000 words). So I will be appearing in your and others’ comments soon.

        Thanks for all your support and encouragement, K. Take care, Largo x

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