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    Can I Come In?

    Alice was frantic. Seeing Bette break down at her launch party moments before sent her into a frenzied panic, for Bette to cry in public, to sink down to the nearest chair like all the fight had been drained from her… well.

    The fuck just happened.

    Alice had never seen anything like that before, not from Bette anyway, never from Bette. She was able to find them somewhere quiet to talk, to hear from Bette how she thought she ruined Tina’s relationship with Carrie, how Tina must hate her now. After getting Bette into her car and watching the taillights fade in the distance, Alice went in search of Shane. She had a few questions. A few really important questions. And Shane was going to answer each one.

    Alice was pissed.

    The lights were off at Dana’s, the door locked. By all appearance no one was there. But Alice had a key, she had a key to everyone’s house and the bar was no exception. Entering through the back door, she found her friend alone at the bar, the lights low with empty bottles of beer still sitting untouched on the tables. A bottle of whiskey sat opened in front of Shane and she was sipping from a tumbler, unsurprised to see Alice appear.

    “Shane. Shane! What the fuck? Why would you not tell Tina that Carrie was having cold feet, that she drank too much the other night? And the things she said to Bette! Shane!? They are your friends…”

    “What the fuck, Al? Not now, please. Tess left me tonight. I told Bette at the store when we were buying presents. Bette has moved on…I did all I could…”

    “The fuck she has, Shane. Do you even know her anymore? She is lost without Tina. Lost. And you kept this from her, from Tina. Why would you do that? Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” Shane was desolate over losing Tess, the last in a long string of lost relationships. Pulling the story from Shane was about as easy as saving those lobsters and a lot less fun but pull it she did.

    An hour later, Alice left with answers to all the questions she had arrived with. Answers that made her gut clench. Information that Tina needed, Bette too. Time was running out; Alice was scheduled to get on a plane with Tom tomorrow. She had to reach Tina, and soon.

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    1. “We are over, Carrie. Over. I will cancel the vendors tomorrow and pay the balance. Call your sponsor. Go to a meeting. Deal with your demons. I’m done.” Yes yes yes yes yes!

      Were you in my mind? Reading my thoughts? This is sheer perfection. This is the missing episode. This is what I envisioned might have happened. Should have happened. This is you righting yet another wrong. It was such a bad finale with so many gaping holes. You pretty much plugged them all. I especially love that Alice is the conduit you use to plug those holes. Alice who at one point was Tina’s right arm. There to step up and step in. For both Tina and Bette. As it should be. “It was Alice who helped Tina leave Carrie that night. Alice who found Tina sitting in the car outside her home, in shock, crying, shaking. Alice who went inside to pack Tina’s clothes in two large suitcases, a smaller makeup bag over her shoulder. Carrie snoring as she grabbed everything in sight. Alice who drove them to a hotel, filled a bath, got Tina in the tub. Alice who sat with the blonde through the night, listening as Tina talked, finally talked.” Oh but this makes sense to me.

      Alice guilted and pried the info out of Shane and told Tina. Finally! Thank you Alice!!! Bad Shane. Too many secrets!!!! I am so glad that Angie finally saw the real Carrie. The manipulative Carrie. Although I was a little nervous when Carrie came to take her out for the day. And we have to suspect that Carrie was drinking again: “Carrie started acting weird, towards the end. She ran a red light, missed a stop sign. “Whoops -eee- doo…” she said, laughing… on to the next stop.” She’s spiraling out of control. We saw it happening. The anger building. The suspense. The danger?

      And Tina making her way to Bette’s house – urged on by Alice. BK, this chapter is totally logical. How did you do it? I can visualize each conversation. Each action. “And the realization that she had never seen fear on Bette’s face before hit Tina’s gut like a sucker punch. Bette was afraid… afraid of what Tina being on her porch could mean. Did mean. Quickly replaced, the fear morphed into disappointment then Bette swallowed thickly, exhaled deeply, stepping aside just enough for Tina to pass her and enter the hallway of their… no…. of Bette’s house.” This is a brave action by Tina. A bold first step. Because Bette is conflicted. “Bette took a deep breath, then another. Her heart, aching all day, hurt for years, seemed to be having trouble beating and her stomach felt like it contained a small army of butterflies. She didn’t know if she needed to throw up or storm out of the house for fresh air. Or both. Instead, she nodded.”

      This chapter begins to pave the way for the potential of an honest and permanent reconciliation. Bette may not know it yet but then again? “Unable to help herself, Tina reached for Bette’s hand. Normally this was Bette’s thing, Bette always reached for her hand, always wanted that tactile touch, that reassurance. The brunette’s hand felt warm in her own, comforting and Bette held it, their eyes locking, hazel watery, chestnut curious, searching. Their fingers linked and Bette felt that familiar tug, a calmness settling over her like a comfortable blanket. It felt good holding Tina’s hand like this again. Really good.”

      Still my heart breaks for Tina. I feel I know this Tina. Quite well. Been sitting with this Tina for the past year. Totally stuck in place. So afraid. But she did a brave and very strong thing. She stood up to Carrie and she took the important step of leaving her. And she reached out to Alice and to Bette. And she is opening up to Bette. When she allows herself to truly open her heart she knows that Bette will always be there. Always have her back. Always protect her. No matter what. Bette is the path forward, Tina. Always. She always has been. Commit that to memory dear sweet Tina.

      I’m glad that you included Marcus and Pippa. Bette spending the day cataloguing the art makes perfect sense. And your description of the piece for Angie: “With a cobalt blue background and vivid colors it was a large painting of the face of a young girl that contained a remarkable likeness to Angie. Bette gasped, almost afraid to touch it and pull it out, spellbound. It was breathtaking. The girl’s hair was caught in the wind and she was staring off in the distance… proud, brave, strong. This was a girl who knew the way of things, who knew she was loved, who met the world head on. Fierceness wrapped in a promise, her whole life ahead of her.” Just beautiful. Again, filling in the gaps.

      As for Pippa? Pippa sees what’s going on with Bette. Gets it. Is okay with it. Bette needs good friends. Collaborators. I’m glad she and Bette can end the romance and preserve the friendship. “This isn’t over, Bette. We still have the art world to set on fire. I will always remember our time as lovers but your path leads another way, doesn’t it?” I’m also happy Bette went to the CAC event. She deserved this night.

      I am not without sympathy for Carrie. I do hope she gets the help she needs for her addiction and self esteem issues. But she needs to do it in a galaxy far far away from Tina and Angie. Let’s give our family time to heal. Plus I do love it when Bette is defending her family. In full blown alpha don’t fuck with me or my family mode. “Leave. My. Family. The. Fuck. Alone….” Yes! Bette Porter is in the house! “I have powerful friends, Carrie. I imagine the Bar Association would not take kindly to one of their members behaving the way you did tonight. Pushing women, Carrie? Yelling at children? You are fucking done here, do you understand? Leave my family alone or you will have to deal with me…” There’s our Bette!!

      You have captured the unseen but imagined events all so well. Including Angie. Oh yes. The teenage brain. “Angie left to be with Jordy, a small party there would take her mind off things she said, her teenage brain moving on, wanting to escape talking about what happened, wanting to spend the night with her friends.” Tough that Angie had to see it all but necessary and definitive in its reality. Carrie had been manipulating Angie from day one.

      There is a lot to figure out. And Bette is rightfully scared. “Bette sat next to her, finally still. “I love you too. I’ve always loved you. But I can’t take another breakup. You must know that. My heart can’t take it.” But. Oh the but: “Something loosened in Bette’s chest, dislodging so she could breathe easily for the first time in a very long time. They had a long journey ahead. But finally, they were on it together.” Together. Finally. Bette could breath and Tina could rest. Safe. Home.

      The only remaining question is when do you sign your contract for season 3? Is Ilene back on board? At a minimum this needs to be sent to Jen and Laurel. And I hope you are now not too off schedule for RWYA. BK – you positively nailed it. And I mean big time. My favorite passage: “You fought for me tonight…” Tina said softly, the words floating in the night air, landing on Bette’s ears like feathers to travel to her heart, her soul. “In a way I did not expect. No grand gestures. No tractors, or big signs. You fought for me the same way you love me. Fiercely, with no hesitation. Offering nothing more than a soft place to land knowing that you have my best interest in mind. Thank you for that…”

      Okay. Let the waterworks begin. A safe place to land. We should all be so blessed. And thank YOU for that.

      • Billy is right. At the very least, Jennifer & Laurel would njoy reading a plausible solution to the cliffhanger. A seriously explored scenario.

        U’ll need an agent right? JB&LH can probably point the way . . .

      • Billy, you nailed it again! And yes this needs to be sent to JB & LH! Let we all contact Showtime to hire BK to clean the mess the writers and MLR did to this couple and i vote for this screenplay to be broadcast!

      • Billy, this is quite a masterpiece in the art of commentating. And I am so grateful for it. I wasn’t in your head but I feel like many on this board feel the same way – GQ was a complete travesty and the entire season needs to be fixed.
        I too loved the role Alice played in this chapter. Who else could have possibly stepped into that position and taken charge? Shane is lost. This Shane is not the Shane of the OG. THAT Shane would have not stood by with the knowledge that Carrie had a drinking problem and had terrible thoughts about the upcoming wedding. This Shane? PFFT. Please leave with Tess and come back when you resemble the real Shane. You say it better – “I especially love that Alice is the conduit you use to plug those holes. Alice who at one point was Tina’s right arm. There to step up and step in. For both Tina and Bette. As it should be. ”
        As it should be!

        My heart breaks for Tina too. I know not everyone agrees or sees that Carrie is an abusive alcoholic but if you know you know. And she is one. And I believe it makes sense that Tina lost her way, that Tina got in over head and didn’t think Bette loved her or wanted her back. And so she hung on. I’ve seen it happen in real life. It is really hard to make decisions when you are in the middle of a toxic dysfunction. That may not have been the Carrie that ROD wanted to be but it is who came across in the writing.

        I think there is a place for Pippa moving forward. I never saw the connection with Bette. Ever. I first thought Pippa was manipulating Bette to get her art seen, that she was invested in the relationship for her own ends. Now I think she is just focused on her career and unwilling to be involved in anything that detracts from that goal. And Bette’s personal life is messy. Of course it is because she belongs with, to someone else.

        I am not off schedule for RWYA, don’t worry. That should post soon. I needed to spend the weekend writing this. My version. I differ in that I don’t believe Bette should be apologizing and that Tina is the one who needs to make amends. I do believe in safe places to land and heal. And I believe in this couple. Thank you Billy for your thoughtfulness and insight.

        The bigger question is – when do YOU post?

        • Tackling Carrie’s alcoholism is very brave. Been through it. And you are correct, when you know you know. The red flags are all there. Even ROD said this part of her life was to be included. Somehow they managed to pretty much drop it. But this really helps to explain Tina’s behavior. As for my writing, I have been sick for almost two months. The meds are truly messing with my concentration. Luckily the story has been essentially written for almost one year. Just some editing. Shooting for next week. Then faster posting. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the support. And again, congratulations on a groundbreaking chapter.

        • The “you fought for me” part HAD to be included, right? Bette put on a big show for Jodie – but that is all it was, a show. Fighting for Tina didn’t need to be this huge thing because Tina is the one who needs to win Bette back… but Bette had to give her a reason. Glad you saw it that way, I wasn;’t sure if it came across as intended. Thanks, Westy!

    2. Wow… of all the things you have written… this maybe one of at least your top five. This is path to reconciliation… this almost the only way that these two have even a chance. Tina has to see Carrie for who she is and she must tell Bette the truth about what she (Tina) has done. There is so much more these two need to talk about and face. They are probably going to have to relive the pain, hurt and anguish of the past decade.

      I love that Tina say that when she said she needed space….what she really needed was proximity… does that not almost sum everything up into a nut shell? Deep in my heart, I have always believed that almost all of this calamity, heartbreak of the dissolution of their relationship probably could have been avoided if they had just talked to one another openly and fully and in a timely fashion. But when you chose to hide, to avoid and to run, there leaves very few options. Then things deteriorate as time flows on.

      I love this chapter in that you expand upon what we know and what has been shown in Gen Q. Alice, the friend with the insatiable curiosity to know why and what is going on. Carrie, the socio-path and alcoholic. Angie, the gullible child. Pippa, the friend to Bette who very well could be for life. Of all the characters, I admire Pippa the most. Pippa saw the score and new the odds and made the best decision of her life and for Bette’s by stepping aside and allowing nature to takes it course. Pippa is protecting herself, but she being a friend to Bette in the truest sense of the word. I foresee that Bette and Pippa will become friends much in the same vain as Bette and Alice.

      My hat is off to you BK… you have the foundation for a wonderful story. I love Bette being cautious and protective. I love Tina being humble and understanding of Bette’s view of how things must appear to her. Tina has not been a kind or generous person this season. It going to take some time for Bette and Tina to work things out, to know the truth as to how they got to where they are and to see if there is enough there to try again. And getting the somewhat rebellious, rather gullible Angie transitioned into adulthood is going to take both of them.

      Thankyou for this wonderful chapter….

      • Martha,
        I like how you have summed up this treatise as “a PATH to RECONSILIATION”.

        That’s what has brought the most wretched heartbreak and angst to Tibette Nation regarding TLW “reboot”. We didn’t mind new characters and story lines.

        But to destroy the sanctity and unconditional love of the foundational couple as though such a relationship is unrealistic was unconscionable.

      • Martha
        WOW! Top Five. Curious what else you put in that list. That says a lot given we have Bette and Tina on the river, in the high seas and starting new.
        I was hoping someone would comment on the idea of SPACE. It was never fleshed out in the show (imagine that). I personally feel like Tina misinterpreted how she felt as needing space when she really felt disconnected, drifting. And she fled, impulsively thinking she needed to breathe. But we know better. I never felt like Bette took too much space. Confident. Arrogant at times. Bold. Loyal. Passionate. Yes. But she often gives space to her friends, to Tina. To Angie even. I was glad you liked that interpretation, it is a difficult part of the Marja plot to unravel.

        Tina has not been a kind or generous person this season. I attribute that to being in a relationship with a narcissistic alcoholic. That can make someone behave in ways they never have before. It will take time. It will take talking. LOTS of talking. I am so glad you liked it, as always I appreciate your comments.

    3. Ditto to everything Billy said! She captured this chapter’s thougts, feelings and actions perfectly. BK you should be a writer on this show among a few others. I love the way you interpret all the characters, your stories flow so magically. This one was so good just like RWYA. That is another exceptional story and one I’m glued to, as in I can’t put it down. I have been reading your two stories all weekend, not even getting my chores down… But it was all so worth it. To read such incredibly well written stories again. Thank you for your amazing talents!

      • WOW, thank you so much Bumsue! I have been ignoring my chores writing these stories so we are well matched. Lots of good stories on this site. Thank you for taking time to comment…. more to come….

    4. BK

      Wow girl. As Billy said, you nailed it. Troubled by the ending is an understatement. So many gaps. Your story did well with explaining, giving foundation for scenes and discussions that we saw on screen. I hope you continue this.


      • SK
        Thank you so much. I wasn’t sure how the portrayal of Carrie would take but you know social worker background couldn’t let that one go! Where have you been? Your story is long due a new post, I hope you are continuing to write it was such a novel concept!

    5. Well BK you got it absolutely right here.
      Ditto to Billy and the other comments and I agree JB and LuH have to see this I would add LeisaH because you really got it right bringing Alice in here.
      I hope you negotiate a Contract for writing in Season 3! However I selfishly do not want to be deprived of your writing for this Site as my life would not be Good without your stories.
      Thank you BK for this, as usual you made me laugh and cry!

    6. Hey BK,

      What an incredibly good story, exactly what I and many others would like to see in GQ! Showtime should hire you as a writer, then we’re sure we’ll get an ending that Tibette deserves!

      Billy and other people have already put it perfectly what I think of this story. A true masterpiece! I mean, if there’s a season three, I’m hoping for a storyline like this!

      Please i beg you, never stop writing about our couple, you have a real amazing talent and i am always hungry for more!

    7. I was tinkering with writing something on this but couldn’t get a form for it to work, so I’m glad to see you wrote something on this, BK. I am looking forward to reading this and several other stories I’m behind on when I have time. :-)

    8. BK,

      Another great story. Excellent writing, the scene with Carrie at Bette’s house was powerful.

      I loved Alice! She showed herself to be a true friend to Tina, the way she talked with her and helped her cancel the wedding. And I agree with her – Shane should have told Tina about Carrie’s doubts. How could she not?? Alice also had one of the best lines – “You guys belong together. You always have.” But of course they do, we know it.

      This right here, Tina –
      “Merging into traffic, Tina checked the time. She told Angie she would stop by. The question now was would she stop by after Bette left for the CAC or would she ask the brunette for ten minutes before she left. It was getting late, and a decision needed to be made. It was time for big moves.” IT’S TIME

      And I loved her words to Bette, about how proud she was of her and –
      “I don’t need an answer now. You need to go. You need to see the culmination of all the work you did to get Pippa’s art back on stage. Pippa Pascal, Bette. My God. You did that. Can we meet for breakfast? I broke off the engagement, Bette. The wedding is off. I would like a chance to talk to you, that’s all. To listen to you.” Way to go, Tina – this is how you start.

      I can just picture Bette & Tina here, and it made me emotional –
      “The brunette’s hand felt warm in her own, comforting and Bette held it, their eyes locking, hazel watery, chestnut curious, searching. Their fingers linked and Bette felt that familiar tug, a calmness settling over her like a comfortable blanket.
      It felt good holding Tina’s hand like this again. Really good.
      And suddenly Bette Porter didn’t want to let go, she wanted to stay. Stay and hear more but Tina was right. Angie was right. This was an important night and she needed to talk to Pippa. She owed it to Pippa to have a conversation before anything happened with Tina.”

      This made me even more emotional, because it is so perfectly Bette & Tina to me. BK, you always capture them in just the right way. (fyi, the tractor and big sign never impressed me)
      “You fought for me tonight…” Tina said softly, the words floating in the night air, landing on Bette’s ears like feathers to travel to her heart, her soul. “In a way I did not expect. No grand gestures. No tractors, or big signs. You fought for me the same way you love me. Fiercely, with no hesitation. Offering nothing more than a soft place to land knowing that you have my best interest in mind. Thank you for that…”
      Bette swallowed. God, this woman could unravel her in all the right ways.

      Your last line was the best line –
      “They had a long journey ahead. But finally, they were in it together.”

      • WESTY! Fantastic comment, as always you pick my favorite parts. It had to be Alice right? We have lost Shane this season, someone go find her because I do not recognize the Shane I saw on screen. Says she will fight for Tina then…. doesn’t fight for Tina. Likes to point fingers and shake her head at other character’s behaviors like she isn’t being the worst friend around. Sleeping with not one but two of her employees and potentially cheating with Cherie… the list is long. But I do love me some Alice and Leisha is underrated as an actress. Wish they gave her some better story lines and stopped making her look so ridiculous.
        I believe season three is happening. I believe in LH and JB and I think there will be changes in the writing and (dare I hope?) a new showrunner as well.
        I am so glad you liked this chapter. One more then to see how they are doing. I appreciate your comments Westy, stay tuned….

    9. I went through a myriad of emotions. This is a masterpiece. Will there be more to the story like several chapters to see them actually talking. So much to develop in this story. Can you contact Showtime?

      • Thank you Deanna that is very kind. I will probably write one more chapter to get them moving in the direction we all want them to go – together! I don’t know anyone at Showtime, lol. Stay tuned, more to come…

    10. I hope we get a S3.. .. but its going to be difficult to watch.. as writers like yourself .. will probably write story alot better.– its going to be hard to remember what actually happened on the show and not confuse it with what i have read on this story… and others… so glad someone told me about this site on an FB group…. thank you to all the writers on here. … trust me.. the readers appreciate you.. im sure other writers do as well

      • Thank you for writing and commenting Ashley! Glad you liked this chapter. There is so much good to write here so I am sure you will be busy catching up :) Glad you are along for the ride!

    11. Hello BK! I am a bad fanfic reader but am finally managing to catch up a little….

      I would sell my house (well, if I owned it) to see this happen in Ep1 of S3. I love how dramatic it is, how far you went with the elements of Carrie that we were given. As ever, the show’s writing has big holes that we can fill in any way we want, and you decided that she really was an alcoholic. That’s interesting and you bring it to a gripping climax.

      Tina has got herself into such a mess here. Your dialogue in the scene after Bette lets her in is excellent. It is so difficult to imagine what on earth she could say at that point, with Bette against the clock to get to the CAC. It was clever to make Pippa end it before Tina turned up, though, so that Bette’s thinking could be clearer.

      I really liked the way you had Carrie use Angie. That was one of the most insidious aspects of her character and having just watched the show in full, all the way through, for the first time a couple of weeks ago, I see that first scene between the four of them in Bette’s kitchen as indicative of this tendency. The way Carrie breaks rank over the DNA test is appalling. I think you ran with that really effectively in this story.

      As ever, you wrote a great version! Thank you, BK. You are a Tibetter’s ‘soft place to land’.
      Take care

      • Oh, Largo! So nice to see your name pop up and to read your comment. I miss your stories, where have you been? I did go with Carrie being an alcoholic. For me, and what I know about alcoholics, she fits the description perfectly, And if the shoe fits… well, Carrie is going to wear it. LOL.
        Tina is in a mess. Not sure I can salvage it after this point. But I can try. The writers on the show painted Tina into a messy, ugly, unfathomable corner so it will be a hard sell to have her get out of it. Any thoughts? Message me.
        I agree 100% about Carrie with the four of them in the kitchen and Carrie getting in the middle of Angie and her mothers with the DNA testing. It speaks to her motive in my opinion, to divide Bette and Tina and keep Tina isolated and in her corner. I am glad you liked that approach.
        Looking forward to seeing what you are working on, Post soon –

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