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    #Fanfic Challenge #EP7 – Whiskey Straight

    Bette and Tina are just finishing a delicious dinner that Bette prepared just for the two of them at her home.

    “It’s really nice having you back here.” Bette says with one of those smiles that always melts Tina’s heart.

    “It’s nice to be here. And getting to see Angie more often is … (touching her heart) it feels really good.”

    “She’s so happy.” Bette has already seen a significant change in her daughter’s demeanor since Tina showed up on her doorstep three days ago. Tina has also sensed that being close to her daughter will do them both good and has decided to get a place in Los Angeles so she can be there during the hiatus of the show she is producing in Canada which keeps her there for half the year.

    Bette is excited at the prospect of having Tina move back and suggest that maybe she would want to stay at the house with her and Angie until she finds a place. Typical Bette Porter has not even considered that Tina is in a committed relationship with another woman, and how inappropriate it would appear to be living with her ex-wife and daughter even temporarily.

    She hadn’t wanted to break the news in this way, but she blurted it out before Bette got carried away with arranging her life. “Oh, no no I’m not um (hesitating) Carrie asked me to marry her, and I said yes.”

    “Oh.” Bette is taken aback by the news.

    “Yeah, so we’re just going to look for a place nearby, the two of us.”

    “Oh, oh oh” reaching for the bottle of wine on the table only to realize that it’s empty.

    “It happened last week, and I wanted to tell you in person first so we could figure out what, you know, how we should tell Angie.”

    Bette stood up to get another bottle of wine from the kitchen congratulating Tina as she walks by her saying ‘that’s that’s incredible”. Bette is clearly thrown for a loop at Tina’s news as if it never occurred to her that Tina would make a life with the woman she was supposedly in love with. Tina sighs at the familiar reaction; it was history repeating itself all over again.

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    Comments

    1. Delightful!

      Tell it like it is as you always do!

      Let’s see what the Writers do with Season 2. Not living with great hope.
      We can all always come back to this Site and the writers on it.

      Thanks for this I, perhaps surprisingly, really enjoyed the read.
      SG

      • Hi SG. Glad you enjoyed the read. I know I didn’t leave it with a definitive Tibette reunion but hope that we can see hope that if they continue to talk honestly instead of always trying to either guess at or spare the others feelings they might be able to make their relationship work. Tina accepted a marriage proposal when she was still in love with Bette which you can look at two ways. She will always be in love with Bette, and if Bette doesn’t want her she has no choice but to try to find at least a modicum of happiness with someone else. The other way to look at it is she will always be in love with Bette and she will always be available to Bette even if she is with someone else; Bette just has to make the first move. I think in this story she is calling Bette out and saying if you want me then fight for me at least as hard as you fought for Jodi a woman that didn’t even compare to me at least in your words even though your actions said something different.

        I honestly don’t have any hopes for season 2. We know Laurel will appear as often as her schedule allows and Jennifer is going to fight for them but if season 1 is any indication I don’t think the actors have much influence in the crap they are forced to portray when the writers are not invested in their characters enough to give them credible story lines and consistency.

        I love Laurel for coming back but I’m sure the biggest part of the reason was to raise the ratings to get renewed, and they knew the fans would make that happen.

        I think one good thing that did come out of the reboot was that many original writers and newbies came back to the site and are writing incredible stories to keep us entertained. We also have amazing dedicated readers like you that make it all worth while. thank you.

        • Have to agree with you on your thoughts and comments particularly on the new Show. Laurel will be in London for this year’s Show in July then usually takes a holiday in Europe.. I understand there is a chance of New York next year so that may enhance her chances of more time for the new Season we will have to see.

          This Site will just have to be our Refuge.
          SG

    2. Thanks for this explanation for Tina’s reasoning. For me it makes totally sense that Tina would loose herself in Bette or be caught up in her life hence the divorce.

      If Bette really listened to Tina she should think “Wow, I really was always a selfish, self-centered first class bitch who steamrolled over Tina’s thoughts, wishes or needs and never let her be an equal part in our relationship.”

      Bette will have to think if and how she gives Tina the space she needs when being together. She is able to do so with Angie, couldn’t be that hard to do for Tina.
      And Tina needs to know how she can be more self-assured and assert her position in their marriage.

      Best quote: “Be creative. They rent tractors in Canada too.”

      I see potential for a story for Tibette lovers.

      Thanks for sharing!

      • kiwipit thank you for reading and commenting. I agree that both Bette and Tina need to find the right balance in their relationship, in their self-awareness and in how they relate to each other. Tina knows what she’s dealing with in a relationship with Bette, she just needs to decide if Bette is worth it, and if she is then she will find herself and equalize the dynamics. She did it in Season 5 and Season 6 – it’s just too bad the writers for GenQ obliterated all of the progress they made in the relationship 10 years previously and put them back season 1 of the original show when Tina was reduced to just making a baby while Bette was out in the world fighting dragons. Nothing against Tina wanting to dedicate that time to starting their family but there was no reason for her to quit her job and basically hang out at the Planet with Alice in a non-productive way.

        I wanted to leave this story with the potential for Tibette because I think Bette was totally clueless in realizing that everything Tina did and said to help her get Jodi back was what she needed and wanted Bette to do for her to show her love and commitment and value to the relationship. All that energy to go after a woman that she wasn’t in love with, that went against all her core values, barely tolerated her child and had no interest in monogamy was beyond me.

        Bette and Tina could have easily found each other when Jodi left and could have gotten back together without an affair and the stigma of Bette being the serial cheater.

    3. Astute observation that Bette uses gratuitous, casual sex to deal with her losses. No doubt that’s what happened after her date with Maya.

      And from the sounds of it, Tina is resentful that Bette never made a grand gesture of her love and commitment to her one true love. It’s not hard to understand. Even Bette’s bedroom proposal in season 6 was without pomp and circumstance. “You know what I’d like to do when we get to New York…I’d like to marry you.” It was spoken as more of a hypothetical than any great pledge of love and devotion. Tina deserved better in that regard.

      I do think it’s unfair that Tina expects Bette not to be with anyone while she’s all loved up with Carrie. Is she asking Bette to be alone forever or is she asking her to pursue Tina to the ends of the earth to prove that commitment so that she’ll leave Carrie? She certainly can’t have it both ways. It would be interesting to see Tina’s reaction again if she saw Bette happy with someone else. Surely she too would fall back into that pattern of longing for a happy Bette that she found herself in when Bette was with Jodi. I honestly think she’s not taking enough blame for that affair or why she allowed that affair to continue as she did.

      There are no easy answers here. GenQ writers really fucked up all the progress they made as a couple in season 6 with the exception of the Kelly Wentworth situation.

      • meloveslu thank you for reading and commenting.

        I agree, if Maya comes back for season 2, I seriously doubt it will be a committed relationship with Bette, I just don’t get how Bette can just throw Felicity away if she was such an integral part of her healing over Kit’s death – was it just sex apparently so and when she became inconvenient she broke it off. Candace was the same, as much as Bette was broken up about Tina leaving she was still sleeping with Candace and had left Candace’s bed that morning when she showed up at the Planet to make her big I can’t live without speech. She really is full of shit sometimes, and as they say she can sell snow to an Eskimo because she is so believable and sincere one minute and a tyrant the next.

        I honestly think that Tina wanted an affair with Bette or at least she wanted sex with Bette. I think she needed to prove to herself that she could satisfy Bette sexually, and it was a power trip for her to have Bette lusting after her in a way that she couldn’t stay away. Tina found her sexual prowess after she left Bette and slept with other people, especially the heart doctor. I think that is when Bette started seeing her as a sexual being instead of just Tina the mother of my child, Tina the doormat, Tina that only belonged to me.

        What I think happened is once they started sleeping together then she got caught up in the whole family thing and maybe we should try to be a couple again for Angie but I didn’t think they were ready for that, and certainly not ready to be talking about adopting another child. They never dealt with Candace, and the fact that Bette couldn’t confess the Kelly thing to Tina especially since nothing happened, and she was able to go to Jodi and tell her that what she thinks of her matters and she tried to explain the Kelly thing to Jodi makes me think that Bette might have gotten caught up too and perhaps Jodi was her choice?

        At any rate like you said no easy answers, and GenQ writers have not given me any hope that season 2 is going to be any better.

        I’m thankful for writers like you, and dedicated readers on this site that do such a great job of making sense of non-sense and entertaining us with great stories.

        • I appreciate your analysis. And agree that Tina came into her own, sexually, during their time apart. I also attributed her aggressiveness with Bette as a result of knowing that Jodi was topping Bette based on that interview she did for Alice’s video blog and that their sexual compatibility was a give and take and pretty evenly matched.

          We know that Bette was not in control when she was intimate with Candace. That seemed to be what she craved sexually; feeling dominated since she was never known in her professional or public space to be any kind of submissive.

          I don’t think Jodi was her choice. I think Bette felt compelled to explain to Jodi in order to solidify her previous explanation that she could never find what was missing (with her or anyone else) because she shared it with Tina. Also, either Kelly is the liar or Jodi is the liar in this situation because we all know nothing happened between them., but my money is on Kelly.

          I think the reason it was so difficult for Bette to come clean with Tina about Kelly is because Tina has reservations about them working together in the first place. And because Bette nipped it in the bud when it happened, she didn’t think twice about telling Tina because it would only cause additional relationship strife. Some things are better left unsaid and you pick your battles. But the moment Jenny confronts Bette, that’s when she should have come clean with Tina. And she did try. But failed spectacularly for not trying hard enough.

          Than you for your kind praise. I’ve had so many story ideas since the new iteration of the series that it’s frustrating I can’t find the time to get it all down. So many notes in my phone with one liners and premises that are just sitting there taunting my creative psyche. I’m enjoying this story of yours so far and am excited to see where you will take us in the hopes that my own inspiration is positively triggered making me find time to draft my own ideas.

          Cheers!

    4. This is a great story, BK. I think the show’s writers have driven Tibette to a place where the only credible way out is for them to develop self-awareness, lol – and you’re doing that here beautifully. Thank you so much for writing it.

    5. Bette does use gratuitous sex after her losses. With the exception of Candace, those events have always been when she was separated from Tina.

      What amazes me is that Tina seems so consumed with Bette sexual forays during those periods when they were separated and free agents. Yet Tina had her own sexual affairs during those periods as well. But those were about what? Finding herself? But Tina will not share Bette with anyone but Angie? But they are divorced and they were separated and Tina has shown no interest in getting back together. I’m confused.

      And the statement: I know what I am, and I know what to do with it…. was followed by you just have to trust me. The circumstances surrounding that conversation was about Bette’s flirtatious manner which Tina did not like. At that time she said she would not want Bette to change such an integral part of her character. It was a part of who she is. So now does she feel that this is a violation of the trust between the two of them?

      If Bette and Tina were to reconcile, Tina has to be clearer in her communication as to what their relationship should be like. If she needs to maintain a job where by she lives in a city away form Bette and Angie, then she needs to say so. If she needs Bette to pay her more attention and not take her for granite, she needs to specify in what ways she needs to see that and get an agreement with Bette that she will make a good faith effort to achieve those things. They need to agree to call each other on their falling back into bad habits and work with each other to avoid those things which cause each other pain. That does not mean that they will not have disagreements and problems, but they must agree to work together to resolve them. It appears that Bette is only aware of the problems when Tina is putting her suitcase in the car and she is pulling out the driveway.

      Bette and Tina know each other very well. They need to focus on the the better angels of their nature, the things which attracted them to each other, and the things they miss about each other. They need to focus less on the past problems and errors. They need to forgive each other and themselves and work toward being the people they want to be. Tina did not leave Bette because she doesn’t love her. She left because the was not happy with herself. She decided to leave rather than to fight for Bette’s attention and love.

      Bette has not moved on. The fact is that she never moved on even in the break ups of the past. From this story, I cannot see Bette ever falling for someone other than Tina. She may could take on temporary lovers for company and comfort.

      As to Tina in this story? She is all over the map. It does not appear to me that she knows in her own mind why she left Bette. She is bringing up a whole lot of their history which for the most part was resolved enough for her to reconcile with Bette after Jodi and very little of what happened in the next 5 to 7 years prior to the divorce. Was it simply that Bette did not allow her to be all she could be? Or did she marinate about their first 14 years and finally decided that they still had not resolved their history and should never have reconciled? Did their circumstances in New York change their relationship dynamic so much that it brought out the darker angels of Bette or Tina or both?

      From this conversation, Tina seems to be giving Bette an invitation to attempt to get back in her good graces by being supportive of her new life with Carrie and not for Tina or Bette’s benefit but for Angie. But she is open to having her feet swept out from under her by romantic gestures similar to the one she did for Jodi with the 17 Reasons Why. Is this not Bette going after a woman who is in a committed relationship like Candace, Tina and Felicity? Is this not having your cake and eating it too? If I had been Bette, I would be damn confused by the message. Is it over or is there a chance?

      • Martha3128,

        Thank you for taking the time to analyze and comment on this story. I will do my best to respond and answer your questions and clear up any confusion.

        However, the first thing I will say is that GenQ put them in this situation where 16 years later they still resemble the young couple we met is season 1 of the original show in terms of the maturity of their relationship and their inability to withstand adversity. It’s really a disservice to Laurel and Jennifer and all their efforts to grow Bette and Tina and all the struggles Bette and Tina endured for six years to get them to where we left off in season 6. That is the travesty that I can’t reconcile when I watch the new show, but it is what it is.

        Secondly, I know the challenge was to write ‘telling Angie’ about Tina’s engagement but I don’t think they were in a position to tell Angie anything until they themselves dealt with Bette’s reaction, and her previous claims that Tina is and always will be the love of her life and she didn’t understand how she could possibly fall in love with someone else and leave her or leave her and fall in love with someone else whatever the case may be.

        As we’ve come to expect with the LWord they never flesh out Bette and Tina’s story. They spend more time on minor characters and they never allow them to really deal with their ‘sh*t’, and for me that means bringing up some ancient history that was never resolved because it’s partly responsible for why they can’t move forward.

        For me the affair with Candace, Bette’s relationship with Jodi, and to a certain extent Tina’s relationship with Henry were very significant. All the other sex partners were for the drama or just more ways to keep them apart or bring them together or for the sake of nudity and sex sells for ratings..

        I would argue that Candace was not gratuitous sex. Bette created a persona of values, commitment, convictions, fidelity, all the things that attracted Tina to her. Her line about I know what I am, and I know what to do with it and just seeing Bette in action tells me she could play any role in any relationship that suited her. Yes, she did say you have to ‘trust’ me. Everything hinged on Tina trusting her but then she got comfortable and when she broke the trust, she didn’t anticipate the repercussions.

        Tina’s pregnancy and miscarriage and the second pregnancy changed the dynamics of the relationship and brought out a side of Tina that maybe had not appeared before or was squashed, or dormant for a while. Bette’s affair broke them, it broke the trust, it broke the façade, it broke everything that meant anything, and I don’t think they ever recovered from that.

        I don’t care how many times they got back together, or how great the sex and the attraction and the chemistry was between them they never recovered from Candace and the destruction of everything they believed about themselves as a solid couple. I think there were some small cracks before the affair but instead of mending them they got bigger to where there wasn’t enough glue in their fundamental relationship to get through the hard times to save them.

        I don’t see Tina’s comment as being ‘consumed with Bette’s sexual forays’ while she herself is having affairs or worse engaged to someone else. They both used others sexually and I think they also used each other sexually in healthy and unhealthy ways. My point for this conversation was to address how two people who love each other so deeply manage to spend all this energy in pursuing others, breaking hearts, using sex for healing or for revenge or for jealousy or for convenience or loneliness, or to fill whatever the need or void of the moment might be and not put that same energy and focus into a valued love that neither truly wants to give up, but won’t take the time to do the hard work, and if they are so meant to be together, why is it so hard for them to be together?

        As for a reconciliation, Bette and Tina never had one. Tina came back for the baby, and Bette was vulnerable dealing with her father’s death, losing her job, dealing with Helena Peabody etc. Then Tina starts having feelings for men, Bette tells her go figure things out, so she finds Henry. Then Bette gets jealous and angry because she is losing her daughter and fears her being raised by a ‘White’ family, so her response is to kidnap the baby? Really?

        We don’t even know if Bette’s adoption of Angelica ever went through because that was never addressed on the show in 6 seasons. Then they work out custody and Bette meets Jodi and starts a two or so year relationship while Tina is either alone or bouncing between women, then Tina meets Brenda and they have sex on the first date and Bette gets jealous and kisses Tina at the club which then leads to them having an affair. Bette wants Tina but can’t break up with Jodi. Tina wants Bette but doesn’t want to break them up so she pursues Sam who had the good sense not to get between them.

        Finally, the affair is revealed and the really bad break-up happens and Bette is tortured over Jodi and Tina is regretting that they cheated blah blah blah — they get back together and things seem to be going okay then Kelly Wentworth comes into the picture. If Bette trusted herself and if Tina trusted Bette as should have happened if they took the time to work through Bette’s affair with Candace Kelly would have been a total non-issue. Jenny could have showed Tina that tape and Tina would have laughed at her.

        As for the GenQ storyline of Tina falling in love or leaving to find herself and giving up Angie to work in Canada, I think all of that is bullsh*t and is a result of lazy writing. They would not have even considered this scenario had they gone back and studied Bette and Tina in the original LWord.

        Unfortunately, this show (old and new) has a tendency to write based on circumstance like Laurel not being available full-time to act in the part, so they divorce them. Really is that the best they could come up with?

        Even if Tina worked in Canada part of the year to explain her absence it could have been written into the story without them divorcing. Didn’t the original L-Word film in Canada and didn’t that require some of the actors to be there for several weeks during filming leaving spouses and children back home. I’m sure most of them were able to do their job without divorce and abandonment being the result.

        I really love Jennifer and Laurel and their characters Bette and Tina are truly the only reason I watched the original L-Word. I started watching live when season 5 premiered and I watched season 6. I watched season’s 1-4 on DVD and I fast forwarded through almost every single scene that didn’t have Bette and Tina in them. I fast forwarded all the Jodi scenes as I couldn’t stand her so needless to say I am very invested in Bette and Tina and when I write stories I only use the LWord storyline for context and most times I write a different outcome.

        The way I ended this story and the message I was trying to convey is Bette reacted to Tina’s engagement in a way that did say I’m deeply hurt, and I can’t handle this but why did she react like that? Is it because she thought Tina would come back to her without any effort on her part to make the space Tina needs? We’re assuming Tina hasn’t asked for what she needs but maybe it’s landed on deaf ears for years and she gave up and decided to find whatever happiness she could with someone else. Or maybe like her threat to marry Henry was just to get a rise out of Bette.

        We don’t know anything about how they even got to the point of divorcing, how long they were married if they even got married legally. What happened to Tina’s job in New York, how did Bette and Angie end up in Los Angeles and Tina in Canada working. What was the status of their relationship when Tina met Carrie; how solid is that relationship; is Tina willing to break it off with Carrie to give Bette another chance? Should she? Is Bette willing to do what Tina asks of her, and if she does will it be enough for Tina.

        These two are so dysfunctional as a couple that it would take years of therapy to even get to the root cause of their issues much less resolve them but we love them together and no matter the odds we always want them to find each other again.

        My ending of this story was for Tina to say to Bette you made this gigantic gesture to bring Jodi back. If Tina was her choice, why go after Jodi then commence an affair with Tina once she gets Jodi back. There was a break between when Jodi left and when Bette went after her that Tina was giving her every signal to just look at what is in front of her. Yet Bette ignored it. Tina then became emboldened and instead of subtle signals she went after what she wanted, and she seduced Bette with all the skills she learned from other women. Had Bette told Tina that she wanted Jodi and meant it Tina could have moved on, but Bette lied and then she tortured herself (which she is so good at). That’s what was happening in this scene, and Tina called her on it.

        Yes, Tina is engaged to Carrie and yes if she were to want Bette again it would be a repeat but doesn’t Tina deserve to be swept off her feet by someone who professes to love her so deeply that she can’t live without her? If Bette is so devastated by the thought of Tina finding happiness with someone else, then I think she needs to try harder to give her a reason to stay and once she has her back to keep her, and make her feel safe and provide her the space to be independent and whole.

        On the other hand, if they are done and Tina marries Carrie for better or for worse the relationship between the adults should not negatively impact Angie and if she is taking her cues from Bette and Bette is resentful then that does not make it good for Angie, Carrie or Tina and it will affect Bette in the long-run too.

        Finally, no matter the odds there is always a chance that Bette and Tina will beat them and get back together if only to break up again in seven years. That seems to be about how long their staying power last.

        Martha, I’m not sure if my long-winded response answers any questions or clears up any confusion but don’t try to make any sense of it, because to be honest there is no sense to be made of it. It’s the L-word and anything goes.

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