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    Episode S301

    Her back was not so painful after her soak, and a couple of Advil, but it still wasn’t very mobile. She lowered herself carefully onto the mattress and lay quite still while Tina finished massaging-in her hand cream and then fixed the bedclothes just so and then finally put out the light.

    ‘Phew!’ Tina cuddled against Bette’s side. ‘What an exciting day!’

    ‘The turkey? Pickleball?’

    Tina laughed. Bette pulled her closer. There was a long pause, and then Bette:

    ‘Do you think it’s weird that Stephanie assumes I keep our social calendar?’


    ‘Tonight, when she said she’d “ping me some dates”. It’s like she thinks I’m “the wife”.’

    Tina took a moment. She had an inkling where this was coming from, but she wasn’t sure about getting into it now.

    ‘And how the hell would I know Zadie Smith? I don’t move in those circles.’

    The irascible tone was like a beacon to Tina, flashing as clear as could be.

    ‘We know people on Zadie Smith’s level,’ she said, ‘you know we do, and you know that’s why Stephanie asked, because it’s not unreasonable. But I think writers make you nervous since you signed the book deal.’

    Bette lay staring at the ceiling. Tina laid her hand on her wife’s chest, watching her in the violet-grey of the bedroom. Could feel her heart beating. She waited for the penny to drop. Bette blinked a few times.

    ‘I can’t get the damn thing started,’ she said. ‘I don’t feel . . .’


    Bette moved her head. Tina pulled back so they could look at each other. There was a long pause. Bette choosing her words.

    ‘Sometimes I wonder what I’m gonna do when the kids are all up and out of the house.’ She swallowed. Tina could see her eyes glistening. ‘Seeing Fake Angie going to college, and Real Angie not coming to the cabin . . .’

    ‘But she is.’

    ‘She is this time, but there’ll be a time when she doesn’t.’

    ‘And that’s natural.’

    ‘It is.’

    Bette raised her left hand and slipped her fingers through Tina’s fine, silky hair, then gently cradled her neck and kissed her. A warm, soft kiss.

    ‘I’m gonna say something I’ve said before,’ Tina said when they broke, ‘because I know it can take you a while to really hear things . . .’ Bette watched intently. ‘You can spend more time on your writing. We can sort out childcare. We can hire you an office, or an assistant, or an office and an assistant. Anything you need.’


      • Hi Fans – thanks for reading this and for commenting! I’m so happy it’s fun to read. That’s what I’m aiming for – something that’s entertaining :-)
        Have a good week!

    1. This story is so full of humor between Bette and Tina… my favorite is the show they want to watch is a documentary…. about libraries….. in Europe!!! OMG…. I was on the floor laughing at that. If anything can dissuade the interests of a teenager, its a documentary on libraries! Obviously, Ben just wants to be helpful.

      I enjoyed this chapter. I would have liked for you to have discussed more what Bette and Tina’s relationship consisted of for the one year time jump. After that conversation, would they really only talk to each other about college visits? That would have been Angie’s senior year. Did they not attend her graduation together or separately or did they just skip it? Strange….strange story from Gen Q. I love it that they are together, almost…. but something seems missing. But that is Gen Q….

      Thanks for the chapter.

      • Made me holla as well at how good “Real Tibette” have been at coming up with rationale when the children corner them with unexpected questions.

        I say babygurl Sasha is the one who’s gonna trip them up. She has a special insight into these two!! I already figure of the three children, she is probably ALREADY caught them in “compromising” positions!!!

        And yes, Martha, GenQ leaves SOOO much to ??? The Writers/Producers/whoEvah are in such a hurry to just get thru stuff.

        • Hi Dumplin, my friend! Thank you for reading and commenting on this. :-)

          You are right about Sasha… I think we might need to see her do one of her notorious interruptions soon, maybe at the cabin?? That’s fun to write.

          I agree that GQ seems to be in a hella rush, doesn’t it? I know Laurel’s schedule is a factor but can’t help feeling that better writing could have made more of what they had?

          Anyway, I am grateful for endgame!!
          Have a good week

      • Hi Martha! *waves* Thank you so much for reading and commenting on this chapter/story. :-)

        It’s funny you should pick that bit of dialogue because it really made me laugh when I was writing it… Ben is not the most academic kid.

        I agree with your point about there being a lot more to say about the time-jump. It just took me ages to get this chapter done, so I guess I forgot about it. But you’re right, it’s a classic GQ writing mess. Utterly implausible, and it leads to daft dialogue such as Alice having to tell Tina *now* that Bette and Pippa are just friends – as if Alice could’ve kept her yap shut about that for a year!

        Anyway, as you say, ‘something missing’ is GQ all over. I’m so happy, though, to see B&T together again. It’s never enough, but I’ll rejoice in whatever we get.

        Thanks again for commenting. It’s appreciated. Have a good week!

    2. Largo,
      This idea of yours to follow GenQ series with your cast of “real LWord characters” vs the “fake” is absolutely a hoot!! The 3 children with “right on” insight into their Moms is soooo adorable. Children always know MORE about their parents than meets the eye!!

      Bette tries to e the stern Master to Solly Wolly, but I think she has a soft spot for the dog. Even with the pooch being more affectionate with Tina!

      But page 7 is especially poignant bc it addresses that Tina’s (real & fake) was at the heart of the Tibette relationship failing as much as Tina’s claim the Bette didn’t know how to love her. You wrote:

      “Yeah, so . . . . . . It’s like Fake Tina would rather REVISE REALITY than A D M I T in any way that the reason they’re not together is that SHE LEFT”.

      Tina reached for her cup of tea. “She is literally accusing Fake Bette of know knowing how to love someone when SHE IS the person whose idea of loving was to leave.”

      “I love U so much that I’m leaving U to find myself, but don’t wait for me, in fact “let’s get divorced”, and I’m marrying someone else, but-just so we’re clear—I’m tired of U making everything about YOU”.

      Your account of this scenario is the only one I’ve seen so far that deals with the FACT that Tina is the one who blew up the relationship and ignores the fact that for DECADES Bette has been seeking answers about the insecurities in her own personality. She has wanted to become MORE loving.

      Anyway! GirrrL U gon have fun writing episode 2!!! HeHeHe!!!

      • DumplinT – I agree with you and this story account 100%…. we know nothing about what broke them up and I don’t know if we are going to know exactly what brings them back together either…. but at this point, most of us have wrestled with this from the moment Episode 1 of Gen Q aired and now that things look like they may be drawing to a close, feel that whatever the path is, it will not matter as long as these two are together and permanently. We may not like how they characterize the two nor will we agree with their path, but being together is the only acceptable ending.

        • Well said, Martha. As you say, GQ began with a mistake and we Tibetters have wanted to see it rectified. Yes, it would have been nice for their path back to one another to be less rushed but we are where we are. And they will be happy together once again. :-)

      • Thanks, Dumplin. You’re not the only person to say that p.7 offers a useful distillation of the problem of Tina’s lack of accountability. There’s an imbalance here that’s hard to ignore, but we’re being asked to (again). So I felt I wanted to try and articulate why it feels wrong not just for Bette to do this work on herself (again) but for Tina to just stand by as if their being apart is not her doing. It makes me wonder whether Marja really understands what was in S1 and S2. I’m not convinced she did/does pay that much attention generally.

        When you say – “the FACT that Tina is the one who blew up the relationship and ignores the fact that for DECADES Bette has been seeking answers about the insecurities in her personality” – I think you’re dead right.

        Thanks again for sticking with this story! I hope you enjoy it. S2 will be quite the episode, won’t it??

    3. GEN Q just never grabbed me. I’m so invested in the original (supported by all the amazingly great FANFIC here) that Q didn’t work for me. But this series of the “real” interpretation of the fake “Q” is perfect for me.

      And, I’m so so pleased that “Q” has our stars getting back together! Please Q stay on that path.

      And, Largo keep up the fantastic work with this theme and your other work! THANKS

      • Hi Annie! *waves* Thanks so much for reading this chapter and for commenting. It means a lot to me. :-)

        You’re not the only person I know who doesn’t watch GQ or has tried it and then not bothered to keep up. It’s really not all that good a show, irrespective of the Tibette mess. But yeah, it’s great if these stories can be a way to keep up without having to watch the whole thing. That’s cool. Glad I can help ya!

        Have a great week

      • Hey SG! Nice to see you. :-) Thank you for reading this and letting me know you’re enjoying it. S2 promises to be QUITE the episode, doesn’t it??? So lovely to see our girls together again. It will be fun for me to write a story around that.

        Have a great week, my friend

    4. Largo, thank you for this episode. I’m not watching the show but thanks to twitter and a few youtube summaries I’ve seen or read all the tibette scenes. I was impressed with two things about their reunion. 1. Neither is currently involved with anyone else, so they are not cheating, and 2. they actually went somewhere quiet to TALK (not to have sex) and not be interrupted by Alice or anyone else butting into the conversation. Naturally they had to have Angie busting in on them kissing but I actually liked it because now we don’t need to watch them sneaking around and hiding that they’ve rekindled their relationship from Angie. What I didn’t like as usual is exactly what you pointed out. Bette doing all the work on herself and admitting her faults and trying to better herself FOR Tina while Tina just stays stuck in the same cycle without even taking a minute to reflect, not making any effort to even consider her role in failed relationships treating her partners like they are just in the world to serve her needs and when she tires of them or they no longer meet those needs tosses them aside (including Bette). She gets the BEST Bette possible then breaks her. I’m glad Bette and Pippa remain friends and I hope Tina doesn’t ruin that for her. I’m curious what they will do with the Carrie character. I would hate to see any more demeaning of the character to promote Tibette. However, doesn’t look like it’s all roses yet for them anyway. I may be wrong, but it appears on the previews for the next episode Tina again leaves Bette crying and Shane and Alice encouraging Bette to go after her???? It just breaks my heart when I see how much Bette loves Tina so deeply, but I hope all this reflecting, and finding her (dead) mother, and the silent retreat helped Bette to love and value herself and demand that Tina LOVE her the way she deserves because in my opinion Tina is the one that needs to be BETTER at it. Anyway, not Tina bashing (even if it sounds that way :-) – It was great seeing them getting along. Their interactions were natural, and I loved the banter and laughter. Even with having Tibette as endgame in this season, I can already see how desperately we’re going to need your ‘Real Tibette’ family to make any sense of it. ‘Zen Bette’ is as unrealistic as ‘B’ Bette that we met in season 2. Angie is troubling and likely will be ignored by her parents while they focus on each other when in fact if they ever needed to parent and be there for Angie it’s now. It’s obvious by her behaivor towards them that there is no respect, and she bonds closer to Shane and Alice than her parents. It will be interesting to see how they act as a family when the dynamics between her parents change. Anyway. Thank you. I love this series and look forward to the next episode.

      • Hey BAT,

        Agree with you as to how magical it was to see them together on scene again & in a good place with each other.

        In so much of GQ, neither Bette nor Tina are the people we knew & grew to cherish in OG. The writing & direction of their SLs was terrible & both were presented at times as people we didn’t know or like very much.

        I don’t think we will get any further explanation of why they divorced besides what we’ve already gotten.

        And now it appears we have some deleted moments if not parts of scenes of Tibette so that we could get more of the horrendous newbies.

        Great to see you. Enjoy the highlights from episode 2.

      • Hi BAT20212! *waves* So great to have your thoughts on this, and thank you for reading this chapter. :-)

        I basically agree with every word you’ve said here. So much so, that I don’t have a lot to add, except that you’ve identified a couple of things I hadn’t thought of – namely, the fact that B&T can’t be effective parents if they’re caught up in their own drama and that it is important that Carrie (and Pippa, who seems to be very ‘off screen’) shouldn’t be utilised merely as backdrop or ‘not good enough’ for the Tibette narrative. I do see some people on twitter (especially Pibetters but not just them) who are sick of both B&T using other people to leverage their way back to each other. I’m sick of that too. And, as you say, it’s a relief that at least this time it’s not an affair.

        Also, though, you’re so right about how lovely it was/is to see them TALKING rather than just jumping into bed. I so wish there would’ve been more of that 9and maybe we’ll get some more). But yeah, we never really got proper domestic Tibette, did we? Ah well. That’s for ff writers to dream of….

        Thanks, my friend! I’m incredibly glad that you enjoy this series. It makes me very happy to write. :-)

        Al best

    5. Hey Largo,

      This was such a great chapter – filled with your usual blend of insight, references to real life issues, humor, love, sexual tension & family!

      This was a huge chapter to unpack & your unique impressions were spot on.

      I was determined not to pay for ST this season, but then did anyway with a deal I just couldn’t refuse for 3 mnths. So, I saw the early release & have been drowning in Tibette moments ever since!

      It was lovely to see JB/LuH so effortlessly reconnect & revile in working with each other once again.

      It was very touching towards the end when we got inside the real TK’s heart & mind as she gazed at her very real Bette & thought –

      ‘She was slightly different to her fake version. Her hair was shot through with silver, especially at the front, on her high hairline. Her jaw less filled, her lips thinner, her crow’s feet much more pronounced. Tina loved those. Loved how deep they were when Bette laughed – and she laughed a lot.’

      That was so telling of how they have evolved & how all the touches of time on & in a person endear them even more to their soulmate. Great writing.

      And the couple’s own angst on real Angie & the possibility of her not being home for the holiday & then, all’s right with the world with the answer they both want. Just like the Fake Family Porter/Kennard with separation anxiety on campus.

      There were many issues that didn’t get explained in this episode & probably never will be. And I’m sure the other episodes will be the same that they appear in. So, this wonderful story will help to fill in some of those gaps.

      Truly appreciate your efforts as I know this takes so much time & effort. You’re a master & a genius too!!!

      Until next week!!

      Thanks, my friend.

      • Hi Collins, my friend! *waves* Thanks so much for reading this, as ever, and for giving me your thoughts. :-)

        I agree that this was a huge episode. This chapter took me literally days to write (luckily I’m on holiday from work atm, lol). But I enjoyed it, and I just can’t stop smiling every time I think of B&T’s lips meeting in that kiss…. Oh man, it was a sweet moment!!!

        Agree that JB and LuH’s chemistry was absolutely undimmed – if anything, it’s grown, because they are now characters that we have LIVED WITH for so long. And through ff, we have imagined so much of their inner lives. The visuals on the show come freighted with extra meaning. It’s wonderful and rich and quite moving, to me.

        Glad you liked the physical description of Real Bette. You will not be surprised if I tell you I’m not really a fan of cosmetic enhancement. I don’t like that ‘filled’ and ‘sanded’ look. I think it erases true expression, so I often try and convey what B&T might look like in a more natural way? (Which I think is also hawt, lol)

        Yes to GQ and its ‘gaps’. (I’m rolling my eyes) The only good thing to be said about those is that they do provide little niches that ff can push into, like Martha’s point about what exactly did happen in that ENTIRE YEAR where we’re told B&T didn’t see each other??

        But anyway, thanks as ever for your support and Happy Thanksgiving (if you observe that). Let’s hope Ep2 is everything we wish for!!


    6. Hey Largo,

      I am glad i had the chance to read this chapter before the second episode, it took me the whole evening but what a joy to read this chapter!

      I fully agree with the comments from the other readers and can’t find anything that i missed what i could add to those comments.

      I am so happy you decided to continue with this story and i love that you add what the Fake Tina & Bette said in GQ, because of the loud beautiful songs in the background i couldn’t hear everything.

      Thanks again my friend!

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