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    Can I Come In 2?

    Waking, Tina stretched, wiggling her toes deeper under the blankets, the familiar smell of Bette’s laundry detergent filling her nose. It smelled like home. Carrie was allergic to the scented detergent, so Tina switched to a scentless Arm and Hammer Sensitive Skin detergent when Carrie stayed over. The symbolism in such a simple act as changing laundry detergent to make it as bland and empty as the rest of her life was not lost on Tina.

    She knew stories, knew the threads that weave through a plot and this one was just too rich to ignore. But… this was a morning for relishing that she was one step removed from Carrie and one step closer to Bette. And that was cause for celebration.

    Besides…. how nice was it to smell a fragrance on the sheets… Tina knew it was special order under the Diva brand. Wildflowers? A forest glen? Bouquet of pansies or tulips? Hard to say. Heavenly for sure. The sheets were satin, the blankets fluffy and warm, the room muted in the softness of the morning light. It was a room to dream in, to rest, to read or snuggle. A room that screamed for intimacy, for whispered secrets and warm embraces.

    Turning to face the door, she listened to the sounds of the house waking up… someone was in the shower down the hall, the faint sound of a siren from outside, a dog barking a couple houses down. Dancer was his name… no… Danger. This had amused Bette to no end when Danger was found to be a tiny dachshund, more prone to laying on his back for tummy rubs than to inspiring fear.

    Tina idly wondered if Bette still stopped to give Danger a treat after her run… did Bette still run? Frowning she realized she had lost track of the way the brunette filled her time and the implications of that thought made her want to vomit. Running had been something they did together but hectic schedules in New York and Angie’s school requirements ended the joint runs, both fitting their exercise in on their own time. One of many ways they began to drift.

    Hearing a buzz, she reached for her phone under the pillow, seeing 23 unread text messages from Carrie and one from Alice. “Talk to Bette. She will listen. You should see this hotel. Call me. Love you.”

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    1. Tina’s eyebrow lifted, the arch high, sexy. “I never should have let you go… I’m not afraid…”

      “… to make a fool of myself…” they finished together and now the eyebrow was joined by a smile, a beautiful smile that reached her eyes delightfully and Bette blinked.

      YES !!!! i really hoping they use that line in GenQ S3. Love it… i think its perfect — we fans will absolutely go crazy if we hear it.

      • Ashley – thank you for taking time to comment! I love the exchange too – in the original I thought it was clever how they had Tina talking to Bette from the beach about Jodie but it was so obvious she was referring to herself. Tina knew it, Bette knew it and Kate knew it too – and she only heard one side of the conversation. The fans would go crazy if they recycle this exchange somehow. Glad you liked it….

        • 100 % i hope bette knew.. but why didnt she react … like go back to L.A. and not gift sign to jodi.

          if she did/does know hoping for a similar type gift to tina from bette.

          side note: why cant i get email notifications when someone replies. i have to randomly check my notifications when logged in

    2. No matter what I had planned for today was shelved when I saw there was a post.
      Now I am an emotional heap having, as usual, laughed and cried through your post.
      Thank you BK for using your superb talent to help soothe aching hearts of TiBetters.
      I will not concern myself with how the TV show progresses I have you, and others on this Site to make my heart happier. I will agree with Ashley’s comment though.
      Again, thank you I look forward to future posts

      • Sassy – this is one of the nicest comments I have ever read. I am humbled by your words. This is exactly why I wrote this – not to draw out the solution or make a huge change in the plot but simply to, as you said, “soothe aching hearts”. It makes me feel better too to know there is a way out of the tangled mess of GQ. And you are SO right – there are fantastic writers on this site to make our hearts happier. Thank you for following and for always making my day brighter with your thoughts.

    3. Your authors note says it all. This is not the Bette and Tina we know. Especially Tina. Her life essentially stripped of all excitement, spontaneity and dare I say, happiness and love. 23 unread text messages from Carrie? Oh the bitter irony. Bette accused of needing things done her way, of being controlling, and here is Tina, her life literally managed and tightly controlled by the likes of Carrie. Unscented laundry detergent. “The symbolism in such a simple act as changing laundry detergent to make it as bland and empty as the rest of her life was not lost on Tina.” Three simply words that aptly sum up her entire relationship with Carrie such as it was. Three simple words MLR needs to read and learn. I for one will not be able to picture Tina with Carrie ever again without thinking of these three words. Unscented laundry detergent. I want the t-shirt. That along with: “Talk to Bette. She will listen.”

      No, we do not recognize our Bette and Tina in Gen Q. There were a few glimpses because after all, it’s Jen and Laurel. But, because we are left on a so called cliffhanger MLR admits she was forced to include, most of us remain perplexed. And so we turn to fan fiction and many of us turn to your stories. And once again? Well, we have found our Tina: “Bette… turn around… She did. Slowly, their eyes meeting. Hazel studied chestnut, empathy seeking confusion. When she spoke, Tina’s voice was soft, a caress. A tone that had been missing for so long, a tone that left Bette helpless to resist… a tone Tina always reserved just for her. And it landed on Bette’s heart like a balm, wrapping around her and she felt her chest expand, some part of her that was holding her breath now able to breathe.” Like SG, my heart is happy.

      Bette’s love for Tina has never been in question. She was moving on because she felt she had no choice. And yes, Bette has questions for Tina. And yes, those questions circle back to why. But Bette being near her Tina again, the Tina we do know and love, the whys begin to fade away. “So extra” as Angie would say.” I think most fans feel that way. In your capable hands, all that matters is they are back. The whys and extras in your story secondary to their reunification. As someone who has struggled to try to make sense of their nonsensical Gen Q breakup in my own story I can certainly attest to those pesky extras.

      The word masterful is sometimes used too lightly. But this past week we lost a true master, a true genius when we lost Stephen Sondheim. A master lyricist. There will never be another. I have said it before, BK, your lyrical writing is fan fiction at its absolute finest. The illusionary, lyrical quality of your writing is – well – masterful. I cannot pick a favorite passage. I can say that the chapter is far too beautiful to waste much space here on Carrie. Except to say: 23 unread text messages? Obsessive and controlling. Of course. Laying in wait at the house and attempting to bully and demean Tina? That’s not surprising. Although I suspect Carrie will return, Tina is strong and determined and so done with her and Bette is now aware and protective. Bette and Tina have found each other again. There is far too much at stake. Enough said.

      So I will conclude by focusing on my favorite topic. The way you write our couple in the soft, loving, quiet moments: “Their bodies shifted in the night many times, at one point Bette moved to her back, one leg on top of Tina’s as the blonde cuddled sometime later, her head close to Bette’s on the pillow. As dawn hinted on the horizon, the brunette rolled towards the warmth of the body next to her, closing the space so naturally, so easily as Tina’s arm went over her slim waist. It was almost choreographed for it was a nightly dance, a reflection of their many years together… even in their sleep, especially in their sleep, their bodies knew what each needed. And that was the other.” Like I said, and I mean it, masterful.

      This is truly everything to your readers. What a gift.Tina is becoming our Tina again. Coming back. Back to appreciating the simple beauty in life. To quote Sondheim back to “Being Alive.” Bette is still wary but also determined and so very much in love. “For Bette, it was nice to see Tina as she was when she first met her… a ray of sunshine everywhere she went, her smile infectious, her wit on display, her ability to pull everyone in never more apparent. When Tina was in a good place, she made everyone around her better. There was something so inherently sweet about the blonde that Bette just wanted more, more, more.” And Bette is willing to do whatever it takes.

      I know you said only two chapters but you also must know that after passages like: “Bette seemed to make a decision, lifting her glass before speaking, “to rebuilding, to the joy of new discovery and… to forgiveness…” and, after that kiss, well, you must know that one more chapter would be a slice of Heaven. More, more, more.

      And it really is… everything.

      • Billy – Three words – unscented laundry detergent. You say “Oh the bitter irony. Bette accused of needing things done her way, of being controlling, and here is Tina, her life literally managed and tightly controlled by the likes of Carrie.” And it is so true! Also the unscented laundry detergent is so much more than just detergent – it shows the lengths Tina goes to in order to placate Carrie and keep her from being upset. UGH.
        There is nothing about the reboot that resembles the Bette and Tina that we know and love. We have so little to go on, so little to build off of and recognize. Marja gave us nothing in the way of a real relationship between them or that they even want to be around each other let alone back together. So the writers on this site have to create the narrative. I applaud you for your wonderfully in depth efforts to do that with your story. You go DEEP my friend. The whys and the extras as you said. We have to fill in the blanks (and by blanks I mean gaping holes in the plot).
        And I think you summed it all up so perfectly – Tina is becoming our Tina again, Bette is becoming our Bette again. And we have all missed them so terribly.

        One more chapter will be a slice of heaven. I can do one more chapter. And then leave the heavy lifting to you. Please post soon!

      • Great comment, Billy. It’s a horrendous task, putting B&T back together after GQ S2. The sheer vandalism done to their characters is all but unfixable, and yet talented writers such as BK and yourself and others are making it seem within reach. I agree with every word you wrote here. Thank you for being so articulate.

    4. Hey BK,

      What a truly wonderful chapter. It was and still is hard what MLR did to our couple but we know we can count on you and other writers to fix the mess she did to them.

      You have very subtly used several and especially important moments and statements in this story, Ashley and Billy have already mentioned a few, I also want to highlight this one:

      “Bette… turn around…”

      She did. Slowly, their eyes meeting. Hazel studied chestnut, empathy seeking confusion. When she spoke, Tina’s voice was soft, a caress. A tone that had been missing for so long, a tone that left Bette helpless to resist… a tone Tina always reserved just for her. And it landed on Bette’s heart like a balm, wrapping around her and she felt her chest expand, some part of her that was holding her breath now able to breathe.”

      So beautifully articulated what Tina means to Bette, her tone that feels like a soft caress, that lets part of her breathe again, feels like a balm on her heart. Gosh I can’t believe how you write such beautiful and thoughtful feelings, it’s like I feel them myself.

      It takes a lot of time to discuss everything, answer the whys and especially regain the trust that Bette has lost in Tina, but in the end they are together on the plane to Toronto to arrange Tina’s last things so that they can start again together. And I suspect that the biggest obstacle will be Carrie, who won’t just be pushed aside. If they need my help, I’m willing to shut up Carrie once and for all, not that I think they need my help!

      I can’t get enough of your version of Bette and Tina, whatever goes on at the end we know you’re bringing them back together.

      As I told Billy, we need at least one more chapter to get to the Full Circle for this couple, I’d like to give you a friendly poke to give us that final chapter!

      Thank you so much for this chapter! Keep well and save!

      • BiBi – how are you ? I hope you are keeping safe over there across the pond as the virus continues to make an appearance. I love how you also liked the subtle reuse of important moments and phrasing from the OG. I think Bette would love your help to shut Carrie up for good! Imagine the Tibette army going to battle for Tina to keep Carrie away. LOL.
        Yes, one more chapter does seem needed. We have Carrie to deal with, what is her next move? Will she go away quietly or will she escalate things and make everything about herself to try and keep them apart? Also is Bette really ready to take Tina back? Is it too soon? One more chapter – like you said above – to get them Full Circle. Stay tuned

        • Hey BK,

          I am keeping safe but my sweet niece gave me a cold i still suffer from it but it’s going slowly better. I am ready to join the Tibette army to keep Carrie away from Tina!

          I hope you are doing well and stay safe!

    5. As we all know, Generation Q is a freaking mess. The story is based on conditions which are literally outside the story. Laurel Holloman was unable to commit to Season until late and therefore was written out of the the story line by way of a divorce. The writers had no backstory as to why or how this occurred. And once she appeared they scrambled to write her in and do some semblance of telling the backstory and the current situation and then announcing an up coming wedding to Carrie (no last name.) Laurel immediately signed for the following season at least to be available in a greater number of shows than Season 1. Some six month or more later, Rosie O’Donnell signed to pay the apart of Carrie. And things went down hill from there.

      Season 2 came along and presented Tina with a fiancé which most of us for the life of us, could not fathom how Tina became attracted to or engaged with to save our souls. There was nothing in Carrie’s personality or profession which would even explain how their paths had crossed. The season progressed with a series of scenes which emphasized the differences between Tina’s life with Bette vs her new life with Carrie. In fact, to me, it was obvious that Carrie had difficulty dealing with social occasions completely and those problems were not recent but stemmed from her school days and at the age of 60, were not likely to be corrected with the appropriate partner. Carrie is in need of therapy…period – possibly for addictions, for her lack of ability to deal with “pretty people” and her ability to deal with Tina’s ex-wife. And based on the show, we have no knowledge as to whether Tina knew of these problems or not.

      So the season end with Tina at the door asking Bette if she can come in with the purpose of giving her a message. What that message is, is anyone’s guess. Tibette fans hope that it is one in which Bette and Tina can start a journey back together. Other’s fear that it is a message that Tina will proceed as Gen Q has presented her with her relationship with Carrie. Therefore Bette will be free to pursue her life as she deems appropriate.

      This story, presents a possible scenario as to what happens after Tina comes to the door and ask for entrance to see Bette. They do indeed start down a path of potential reunification – of possible togetherness and possible happiness. They briefly discuss what happened and the pain they have inflicted upon one another and then decided to get some much needed sleep and rest from their emotion filled evening and for Tina emotion filled day. The next day, there are errands to run for Bette and a confrontation of Carrie at Tina’s home which causes more stress and angst. Tina later tells Bette that she is moving to LA and Bette offers to go with Tina to assist with the move. There are no promises of love for ever after, more like a gradual moving toward the pile of problems which exist for for both them. And even though the author has taken liberties in the original story line, she leaves us with a caring and loving Bette and Tina who give us hope for a relationship which is loving and has the potential to be happy for ever after.

      The repair to the damage of Bette and Tina is difficult to write and create a story about. The wounds and harm to these two are many and from various sources. Since it was BKs intent to only write a one off and not the complete saga for their journey home, she can be excused for not addressing the many problems which occurred in Generation Q. But I applaud the manner in which in only a couple of chapters, we see the light, the love and the potential for real togetherness in her Bette and Tina. Thank you for giving us the light – and the hope when many of us are still very much in dark despair. We are in need of some good positive direction and “Can I come in” is the a balm for our Tibette souls….

      Thank you for the chapter…..

      • Thank you Martha – I like this sentence you wrote … “There are no promises of love for ever after, more like a gradual moving toward the pile of problems which exist for for both them.” and you are so right, repairing the damage to the couple from the show is almost unsurmountable. The wounds are varied and deep and, even more importantly, Make No Sense. The actions by the characters in the reboot do not resemble the characters we know. I made no pretense of wanting to address the problems. In real life this couple would need intensive therapy and years of a slow rebuild. That’s my opinion. I wanted the cliff notes version – a couple sentences and interactions that shine a light on a possible answer as to the Whys and How Could Yous. Nothing more, nothing less. Glad you liked it! I appreciate your comment as always!

      • Martha, I agree with what you say about the genesis of the GQ mess. Yes, there were awkward circs around LH’s availability but it did not have to go the way it did. BK has written a wonderful, if (credibly) tentative, reconciliation story but it isn’t truly canon and it makes me wonder whether such a thing is even possible. There are gaps that can be filled any way a writer chooses, though, and I think any writer attempting a 100% canon post-S2 reconciliation will have to use that license.

        Agree, above all, that it is always wonderful to see BK’s version of a loving, kind Tibette!


        • Largo
          I have been thinking about this idea of GQ as canon and how a writer can hope to write a story where they find their way back to each other without creating other scenes for them to interact in and backstories that do not exist. And I could not agree with you more and I love seeing other writers bring their vision to a reconciliation.
          I firmly believe that telling a reunion story that involves GQ AND Canon is impossible. Not if you want it to make any sense of the wreckage Marja left. You and I are in agreement about that. If I were to follow canon and use nothing else then I would tell this couple to walk away from each other, they are only causing the other pain. Writers have to fill in the blanks because we got very little new information to explain the actions of characters we knew from the first six seasons. Even Angie’s behavior did not make sense to me in S2. That is the beauty of this site! Thanks for the thought provoking comment….

    6. This story has been just amazing, so beautifully written and I thank you for it. I’m not ashamed to say that the original depiction of Bette & Tina gave me the courage to come out in my 60s, although sadly my partner now has dementia and her family have whisked her away to the other side of the country. To have Bette & Tina brought back to us (forgetting the travesty of GenQ) within your stories, is a balm to my soul.
      So, thank you, to you and other writers on this platform, for the loving, tender, but needing to forgive and build back trust, true Bette & Tina that we know and love.
      Thank you, thank you … …

      • ValerieAnn – thank you so much. I think coming out in your 60s is fantastic and I am sorry your partner does not live near you now. We are dealing with dementia with my mother and that is a very difficult journey. Hugs. This platform does have some very talented writers and I am glad my little story resonated with you. I agree – lets bring back a loving, forgiving, trust building couple so that we can all bask in their connection. GQ has failed us all miserably. Stay tuned, more to come

    7. Thank you for this chapter BK. It’s just everything, really. It’s what Bette & Tina need, it’s what us Tibette fans need. Bette & Tina are always safe in your talented hands. You get it – no matter what challenges they face, they belong together.

      But when Bette came across the photo – that was it for me. “It was of her. A candid shot taken early on in their courtship, taken by Tina herself as Bette glanced at her over her shoulder, her hair wild in the wind, her eyes bright and dancing, one eye peeking behind curls.”

      Some of my other favorite passages –

      “But the little touches throughout the day, the quiet connections and stolen moments… those she had missed more than she ever thought possible. A hand on the small of her back, a quick squeeze of their fingers, the way Tina often played with her curls. Sometimes just the tips of her fingers, other times her whole hand. Subtle, soft, alluring. Those touches grounded her, aroused her, calmed her.” – I miss them like this, too…

      “She would never let go this time, not without a fight.” – Yesss

      “Grab ahold of that love and don’t let go, Baby Girl…” – No doubt in my mind if Kit was in GenQ this is exactly what she’d be saying

      And this – “Then fucking love me fiercely back, Tina. If you want this, then fucking love me back…That means no matter what, that means forever.” Tina swallowed as Bette rose, the glasses and empty bottle in her hands, her bare feet quiet as she retreated to the kitchen. I do. I will.” – This is what it will take, for them to both never give up. They’re on their way, talking honestly with each other, and yes, not rushing into sex – “no matter how sexy and beautiful Tina Kennard looked in the morning. No matter how cuddly and warm that morning smile was.”

      And the ending of this chapter, it couldn’t be better. So looking forward to chapter 3…

      • Westy
        I had to read your comment twice then once more. You really have this knack for pulling the essence out of a chapter, your choice of sections frame the overall story so nicely. The photo was so important to me… I wanted to show the reader that while Tina made this awful (and frankly, un-Tina-like) decisions, she never let go of Bette. She always had Bette in her heart, and in her thoughts. What better way than two photos – one of them early on and the other when Angie was borne. So glad you liked that part, I did too.
        Bette has never stopped loving Tina. She needs to feel that love back, I think… like you said… by talking honestly and not rushing anything. I am so glad you liked it. One more to come, full circle.

    8. BK

      Lovely chapter, lovely premise for why. I am so glad you decided to give reconciliation/fix a whirl.

      I shake my head every time I think of the mess the writers of GQ have made to our beloved couple. No reason makes sense other then selfishness to make their own footprint.

      Carrie and Tina as a couple make no sense because Rosie playing Carrie makes no sense. The ‘why” becomes so big that we fans ask for nothing else. And how Rosie played Carrie lends to Carrie being horrible and/or abusive to Tina which then again begs the question “why”.

      Sigh… it is out that Marja cut scenes of these two, specifically the scene that follows the opening of the door. I am not sure if this was a good thing or bad. Marja now for a second seasons is hearing the angst and fury of the fans, but yet, I fear she does not care.

      I am so glad you threw your hat in the ring giving your idea as to what would pull them back together. This site has given rise to an army of writers who give more justice to the couple we know as canon. Please continue… give it a whirl for a few more chapters. Lets see where you can take us with your perspective.


      • Thank you SuperK!
        I agree with you and think you summed up the problem of Carrie so perfectly – it’s totally Rosie OD. And then, as you said, it escalated because there was no redeeming quality of Carrie. I didn’t like the character, I didn’t like how Rosie portrayed her and, to me, they left little crumbs of possible addiction and control issues. And you are SO right – there is an army of FF writers trying to make sense of the mess we are left with. I offer but one option.
        Speaking of writing…. where is your story? I hope you are still writing! Please post soon if you are, I miss your story.

    9. BK,
      One of the things I really appreciate about your efforts to right the abuses of GenQ writing is that U answered some of the G L A R I N G “Why’s”.

      For example, Tina finally admitted that “It was never about “space”, . . . The disconnection . . . I was wrong, so fucking WRONG. And Bette’s reply: And I let U go, Tina. Do u understand what that meant for Me? I won’t make U choose me . . . Ever. AND THEN THIS GUT-PUNCH: TINA couldn’t read Bette’s eyes, they were guarded (so sad).

      And Bette continue to speak the unvarnished truth to Tina: “. . . how fucking furious I was, that U BROKE your VOWS . . . THEN U BROKE me . . . Deep hurt warring with relentless love (what a sweet phrase). She goes on: I am hopelessly in love with U, but U LEFT. U made your choice. U WALKED AWAY. And I had NO answered why.

      “I am acutely aware of the pain i caused. What’s more, F I N A L L Y Tina”says something” that is more than I’m sorry with words alone. You NEED someone who’s love is CONSISTENT . . . Someone who promises forever

      And Bette continues with pure honesty: “I don’t know if I can ever TRUST U again, Tina.

      THERE it was, the crux of the situation. TRUST was an elusive, clever foe . . . . Built in “drops” and LOST in buckets full . (Ohhhh I love your poetic natureBK!!)

      And another brilliant observation from GenQ is in the last paragraph on pg 14.

      Tina gathered her resolve, her courage, she had never been good at this part, standing up to Carrie. Her role was to “placate, to soothe, offering teas & Tums & tonics to calm” . . .

      Later, when they’re talking about the divorce & Kit, Bette was right to flat out say to Tina that she had been CRUEL. Cruel to abandon her & Angie, and THEIR friends giving NO answers to any of them. And Tina nodded, accepting THE rebuke, OWNING it. Go back my friends and re-read pages 20-22.

      Finally, Tina admits that “Bette you love me so fiercely with NO constraints. I am a fool for not keeping that front and center.

      “Yeah??? Says Bette. Then fucking love me fiercely back Tina. IF U WANT THIS, then fucking love me back . . . That means NO M A T E R what, that means FOREVER. Brava Bette!!!! Come talk to me . . . And love me back!!!!

      • DT… you have this uncanny ability to use capitalizations and select sections to bring forth the parts of the chapter that you liked. It’s very cool how you do that. Each part that you discussed was Tina’s attempts to unravel the knot that Marja tied her up in. She behaved very un-Tina like in the show and now we get to try and make sense of it. Its also interesting to me that you highlighted pages 20-22, those were written and rewritten and reviewed by a friend and then rewritten again.
        I look forward to your comments, they are so clever. Thank you!

    10. Hi BK!

      Sorry I’m late to the party, as ever, but I’m delighted to see this continuation of your GenQ S2 fix-it story. I loved reading it and here are some thoughts…. (I haven’t read the other comments because I’m rushing this morning so I’m sorry if I repeat anything!)

      “Suddenly everything she wanted from the blonde was being offered to her and it all felt too soon, too much, too… too abrupt. “So extra” as Angie would say.” Yes, this is key. Tina’s return is every bit – if not more – sudden than her departure and I hope she realises that Bette can’t be rushed.

      The exchange about of course there is ‘a list’ is lovely. So much history and familiarity in that detail.

      “I let you go because you weren’t brave enough to share why you were hurting.” Yes! Exactly. Tina may not be ‘weak’ in the way Carrie implied but true intimacy takes courage and she hasn’t been able to rise to that. I liked the way you phrased this very much.

      “Over the past two years the blonde preferred bulky jackets, pants, little jewelry. But today she was dressed flirty, fun, feminine. She was beautiful either way, but today… today she shined.” Thank you for addressing this issue. I think I can honestly say that nothing has been more egregiously wrong than the way Tina’s clothes were distorted to make some kind of sense out of the stunt casting of ROD. Laurel is a vibrant, youthful, sexy woman but you wouldn’t know it. Make me so mad, lol

      ‘Built in drops and lost in bucketfuls’ is a wonderful summation of Bette’s trust issues with Tina.

      I also love how you let Bette be bitter towards Tina. That is both warranted and credible in terms of Bette’s character. ‘Fucking love me back’ indeed.

      I love the photo in Tina’s drawer. You describe it so perfectly, it’s easy to imagine it, and to imagine why it would be such a precious photo for Tina.

      And this is exactly right: “They always joked that Bette was the complicated one but Bette knew better. Tina was the one with layers, full of complexity and depths still being revealed.” Of all the misreadings people can make about each other, as I get older I’ve become convinced that it is too, too easy to mistake how someone presents for how they truly are. ‘It’s the quite ones you have to watch’ was something I heard growing up, I don’t know whether it’s a Scottish thing, but it’s unquestionably true. A character like Bette – highly verbal, opinionated, confrontational – is also direct. Maybe the most authentic line ever given to her in Gen Q was when she said she’s always known what she wanted and went after it. None of that makes her complicated. And Tina, meanwhile – warm, gentle, nurturing Tina – seems like a softer option but she’s an emotional (and motivational) black box, even to herself. That’s very dangerous.

      “Tina’s cheeks were pink from the hot water and a faint blush dotted her chest as she caught Bette’s eye and the brunette felt her heart go into a freefall as if from a very great height. Tina was happily dancing with Angie, their laughter almost identical and Bette slipped from the kitchen to catch her breath as she loaded the washer with clothes as a distraction.” This is beautiful. The way you capture the sheer psychological violence, the storm Bette is caught up in. It’s important to the credibility of what is happening and you nail it here. Wonderful.

      “She made me laugh when my world seemed so dark, so bleak. She was attentive, present.” Yes, we need this. If we’re to understand, much less forgive Tina, we need to know what Carrie was giving her.

      “Oh, Bette. Don’t you see? You would not have recognized me. I would have been a distraction; I was a complete mess. It would have been a terrible injustice to show up like that. You would have tried to take care of me and I wanted… needed… you to be taken of, to have healing influences around you.” Another good answer! Are you a lawyer by any chance, BK? You’ve prepared this witness very well for the cross-exam, lol. But seriously, this is a very good, credible sticking plaster on the GenQ nonsense. Well done!

      “And it was… everything. She could fall into this kiss, into life with this woman.” Swoon! Oh, that’s so lovely. I am so happy you write this, my friend. It is the balm we all need, as ever.

      THANK YOU and take care

      • Largo
        This is… just, wow. Your thoughts are so on target – I felt like there were so key areas for me to delve into in this chapter – the most glaring of WTF moments from the show – the divorce, the “space”, the way Tina dressed, the funeral. And Carrie, Lord. You eloquently went through each of these so well! I am blown away.
        I liked that you said this – “Tina’s return is every bit – if not more – sudden than her departure and I hope she realises that Bette can’t be rushed.” How true is that? The show TRIED to make things seem hopeless, Bette moving on, Tina unlikeable, Carrie awful. Then boom Tina shows up on the doorstep. I got whiplash watching each episode!

        And then you hit me with this beauty – “true intimacy takes courage and she hasn’t been able to rise to that.” YES YES. Imagine a world where we get Bette and Tina actually talking, like really talking, like two committed adult people. All this could have bee avoided.

        The clothing for Tina (and in some episodes, Bette) was the real travesty. I could not agree with you more – LH is a beautiful, fit, vibrant woman and all we saw was bulky jackets and dark clothing!!

        Then you bring up the concept of who is complicated. And you nailed it, Largo. I rewatched parts of the L word and Bette never behaves in any other way than ALL IN. At work, with her friends, and most especially with Tina. She is who she is and she doesn’t apologize for that. You are so right. Tina is an emotional black box -even to herself. That, my friend is perfection. Thank you. But there’s more -” the sheer psychological violence, the storm Bette is caught up in” depicted by watching Tina and Angie dance and do dishes. You got to feel for Bette here, for sure.
        But no, I am not a lawyer. I am a social worker and I love nothing more than to people watch. To look for the whys in how people behave. Because speaks louder than someone’s behavior and therein lay the whys.
        Please tell me you are writing. I would drop everything to read whatever you are working on. And thank you for taking time out of your busy day to put such thought into your comment. I am going to read it again…

        • It’s entirely my pleasure to read and lay down a few words of appreciation for your writing. You are truly gifted, my friend. Everything you write reads as if it just poured seamlessly from your fingertips. It’s wonderful. And of course it’s no surprise to hear you work with people and are a student of relationships. This shines in your writing, especially in how you chart B&T’s healing.

          I am writing but it’s not really running hot at the moment. I hope it changes soon!

          Take care and thanks again

      • Gee Largo,
        I don’t think U were “late to da partay” at all. It takes several readings and sometimes notes to make a cohesive comment when one is capture by the in-depth, thoughtful, humorous meals we are privileged to eat here on

        Have studied your paragraph about how easy it is to assume that the “fiery, direct personality is labeled “complicated”, while the sweet, nurturing, soft spoken one is not. Boy did U nail it when U said that Tina has emotionally been a “black box”.

        I think, cramming, hiding & excusing the darkness i her soul where she hoped light would not shine to expose her insecurities & hypocrisies. But if she looks back on how Bette has responded, she has to admit that Bette is willing to forgive her. If not immediately, then certainly eventually.

        • THIS. If you are reading or commenting or writing.. then, just … this…

          “Have studied your paragraph about how easy it is to assume that the “fiery, direct personality is labeled “complicated”, while the sweet, nurturing, soft spoken one is not. Boy did U nail it when U said that Tina has emotionally been a “black box”.”

          It’s poetry wrapped in brutal truth and I am here for it.

        • Dumplin, you are wonderful – and spot on in your comment that if Tina looks at how Bette has responded, she will learn something valuable. I have complete faith that they will reconcile permanently and am looking forward so much to seeing how BK shows us that

          Take care

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