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    Chapter 3

    They were quite a different group then. Tina had already met Alice, from the gallery dinner, although she didn’t know that she was an ex-lover of Bette’s until Alice told her. But Kit wasn’t there: she and Bette were still estranged at that time. And Shane? Shane hadn’t even moved to LA – she was, what? Sixteen, seventeen? Jenny was another seven years away . . . Marina was there, Tina recalled. Dana? Nope, not yet. In fact, Bette’s friends at that time were mostly the artists and dealers she worked with. Kind of intimidating, but Bette had kept close by Tina’s side that day. Made her feel so well cared for . . .

    Carrie standing up brought Tina’s attention back with a jolt.

    ‘I’m gonna get dressed,’ she said, going back into the suite. 

    ‘Sure,’ Tina said quietly. Then she shut her phone and looked out over the city. She was beginning to feel a little better about the move again, and everything else. They’d gone to bed around midnight, following their . . . talk. Carrie had seemed to accept Tina’s assurances that the thing that had happened at Bette’s house, the moment they had, the kiss, was just that – a moment. Not planned, not intentional, not an indicator of any doubts or misgivings. Just a stupid blip. What you might call the death throes of a long, long romantic and sexual relationship. Almost a muscle memory. 

    Absent-mindedly, right then, as she often did when she wanted to remember a kiss, Tina closed her eyes and gently touched her lips. And in her mind’s eye, saw Bette’s face.

    ***

    That same morning, having barely slept, Bette came to a decision. And as often happened, as soon as she stopped fighting and accepted her fate, she began to feel better. 

    She got up, showered and dressed in a navy Hilfiger power suit. White men’s button-down and her current favourite Lalique blue crystal cabochon cuff links. Went to her study and straight to the book she needed. As she sat down at her desk she could hear Angie somewhere in the house, singing along to music on her phone. She glanced at her desk clock, then opened the book and scanned down the contents page.

    Comments

    1. This was a fantastic piece of writing…..great descriptions….full of the past and the present…and laced with the confused feeling of both Bette and Tina. Tina is getting more confused by the hour. Remembering and analyzing her own past behavior and not quite sure what to make of her own actions and reactions. Bette too trying to make sense of Tina’s behavior past and present.

      The final gesture of sending Tina her wedding ring to signal that the relationship which was their marriage is truly over was really sweet and heart breaking. She is truly making an effort to honor Tina desire to move on. However, if Tina gets more involved in Angie’s life, emotionally Bette will still very much have problems moving on.

      Tina has still not addressed the response she received from Angie. It was the same response she received from Alice. And its the same response as Shane has but is respectfully keeping to herself. Tina is right – she is the bad guy in this little saga. Hopefully, she will come to her senses before they actually have a ceremony.

      So Carrie is a lawyer? That is freaky! Wonder how she met her?

      Love that smell of bananas references – laughed my self silly. Great humor!!

      This is truly a five star chapter…. I’m impressed with your talent and your ability to link in the backstory to the current progress of the story. Your story line has real depth and understanding of the complexities of human nature. I look forward to whatever you wish to publish. I am just blown away with this chapter….. Thank you for making my week.

      • Wow – thank YOU for making MY week, Martha3128! What a really lovely comment for me to read. Thank you for taking the time to write it and for following the story so closely.

        I’m glad you, like me, enjoy weaving the past and present of the Tibette story together. Great love affairs are rare and fascinating, and much more fun to write about than they would ever be to live, I’m sure.

        Tina is waking up. She’s been asleep a long, long time.

        Glad you found the bananas funny too. Such an Alice thing to do. I loved writing that.

        Many thanks again. x

    2. Thank you for continuing to post this story.
      I am really loving your take on the new Show and how you are bringing in the past.
      Love how you write, you have a great talent.
      You make me laugh, bananas, and you make me cry, notes in rings!

      Looking forward to more
      SG

      • I’m so pleased you stuck with it, SG! It means so much to me that people are reading and coming along for the ride with these two.
        Thank you for commenting and I’m glad I made you laugh :-) I love writing Alice, she’s so huge and colourful

    3. Oh my gosh. W.H. Auden. One of my absolute favorites coming at me like a train in the night in this story. I read this at work and had to take a minute to process.
      What a fantastic chapter. I can not. I love this story. I love how we can hear Tina’s unraveling,.. her unbecoming… as she wraps her brain around her own role in the demise of their relationship, her need to hurt overriding everything. It looks like she is coming to terms with the changes she needs to make to give Bette the partner she deserves. Isn’t Carrie a poor substitute with all the same tendencies the old Bette showed but that the new Bette has overcome;…

      And Bette! Woah. She just laid it all on the line and…. I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT.
      So very glad you kept writing. I will wait patiently for the next installment as Tina draws ever so closer to Bette.. …. thank you for this beautiful story.

      • Thanks, BK! I love your writing too. One thing I’m realising is that writing fanfic is leaving me much less time for *reading* fanfic, so I have to fix that and catch up!

        I’m glad you see Tina this way. Unraveling is the right word. She’s been running too long. (I just realised I made her meet Carrie because of running… haha, the subconscious strikes)

        And yeah, that Auden quote is killer, isn’t it? So tender and beautifully phrased. I’m glad it resonated with you. Thanks so much for commenting and encouraging me to push on. It means a lot. X

    4. I think it’s time for Tina climbed down off her high horse not only about Carrie attended Bette, but most importantly about all Candace thing. Because frankly be hypocrite don’t very suit her very much – thinking how she was hurt about carpenter and forgetting all Henry thing, really?
      Maybe if before they married in NYC Tina also asking Bette about if she forgiven her too – maybe things could be different.

      • Yep, that’s a really good point, Zhenya. Self-awareness and responsibility is a powerful cocktail and Tina is taking a sip! Maybe someone will help her to drink more deeply?

        Thank you for reading the story and for commenting. I appreciate it.

    5. What a great story. You captured the essence of Tina and Bette’s relationship wonderfully. Can’t wait to see where you take us on this journey. BTW loved your choice of lawyer for Carrie. Let’s see the alphas go at it.

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