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    Remember Who You Are 54

    A month passed, then three.

    The construction on Boo’s little house next door finally completed and Saturday deemed move in day. Everyone would be there to help, with a pool party to follow. Most interesting was that Boo invited a friend to come meet everyone, a woman she had been spending time with over the past three months but as of yet had not brought to meet the family. Bette knew this hurt Tina’s feelings, knew she was confused about why Boo was keeping something like this so private and, when pressed, Boo only replied that when it was time… it was time.

    Such a river way to explain things Bette said. Such bullshit was Tina’s reply.

    The morning sun peeked through the blinds into the couple’s room, it was an early sun, still waking itself, the rays lacking the strength to wake the couple, so they creeped and edged along the floor slowly, making a slow, meandering way across the hardwoods to edge closer to the bed. On the bed, blankets barely covered one form and wrapped around the other, limbs touching, one pillow on the floor.

    Bette stirred first, her eyes opening slowly then closing before opening again, wider, as her brain caught up with the new day. She blinked, sighed. It was just beginning to get light outside, the room still dark in that muted way that invited intimacy, quiet, rest. Not quite morning, not quite nighttime.

    As if on cue, Tina shifted towards the brunette, Bette adjusting her position so the blonde could roll into her, Tina’s back nestling comfortably in the heat of Bette’s front and the blonde groaned a sigh of pleasure, grinding her hips into Bette’s groin pleasantly. Hazel eyes remained closed, and she murmured appreciatively again, the smell of lilac and cherry blossoms filling Bette’s nose as she dropped her head into the back of Tina’s hair.

    “Why are you always so warm? It’s like sleeping next to a volcano…God, you feel so good…” Tina pulled the blanket with her, sealing the heat in, letting out a long sigh.

    “Why do you fit so perfectly? It’s like you were made just for me…”

    One arm went around Tina’s waist, pulling her tighter against her body as she spoke, Bette smiling at the chuckle coming from the blonde. Nuzzling her head deeper into the lilac smelling hair behind Tina’s head, Bette breathed her in, her nose seeking skin under the soft hair.

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    Comments

    1. It is an honor and privilege to comment on this chapter. There are so many layers to this installment. You do have purity of heart down to a literary science. The relationship between Bette and Tina is sooooooooo what we need. They work at it constantly. Lots of glances, touches, conversation, and communication. Oh, and amazing sex. But it’s their almost cosmic connection spirituality and physically that totally does me in. And Tina’s beautiful words:

      “I know how you make me feel. You feel like everything that is good in life … sunset on the river, the orange and red reflection, the water so still it looks like a mirror. Almost soft like your skin.” She ran her cheek along Bette’s belly, first one side then the other. “It’s intoxicating. Always has been. It’s the smell of blueberry pancakes in the morning, a song on the radio that makes me want to dance, pulling up to the driveway after a long day and hearing your voice through the window. God, Babe. I am so lucky to have you.” Lord have mercy.

      It should not surprise you that for me this is a Bette for the ages. When she goes back to the river she just goes on automatic pilot and does what needs to be done: getting Jena Beth nutrition and arranging for a safe place for her to complete her pregnancy. Letting the paintings go for now. Business can wait. Her health and welfare front and center. Talking to Jimmy. Offering him hope. Choices. Trying to talk to him about alcohol and drugs. Trying to understand the River Way. No judging.

      Bette siting along the water and sharing a joint and conversation with Jerry is one of my favorite scenes: “After a while, he pulled out a rolled joint, lighting it with a few long puffs and smiling when Bette took a hit, their talk joined by a chorus of frogs and bugs, an occasional splash in the middle of the water from a turtle.” A high Bette just chilling with Jerry. And Jerry and the red flags. Classic. These people all trust Bette. Including her dear friend Yaya. She saved their Tina. Bette’s word is good enough for them. For all of them. And Rosie needs that trust when Bette gives her the rock and she thinks she has to go back. One can only hope this innocent is not impacted by her first two years.

      There is a quiet innocence at play as in no malicious intent. No desire to hurt. Except for Donna. Which makes her having preyed on these people reprehensible. The effect of severe poverty. Of no options. Of the River Way. Tina understands it: “Well, that is The River Way…” Tina said thoughtfully, her voice sad as she considered the implications. “And very typical Turnup. He never did like talking about anything sad or close to his heart. But he means well, I promise you he does.” It’s complex and tragic and sad but all very real. And we know our couple will be there for Jena Beth and Jimmy and their friends from the river.

      Then there is Tina. Excellent that she understands that she needs some help. Take the time she needs. Listen to her body. And working to understand Boo and her new lady love. Not letting it fester. I also afore the way she talks to Bette when Alice is visiting. Poor Alice trying to understand the inexplicable short hand between our couple. Unfinished sentences. Eye contact that only they understand. Just a superb mother. Just a loving wife. I am so in love with the sweetness and sexiness and intensity and yes, purity of her love: “And something loosened in Tina, something she had been holding onto tightly over the past couple days. Something that made it just a little easier to take the deep breath she had needed all day. It was like seeing the sun after days of rain.” We so need to see this Tina on the series.

      But the kicker? The topper most of the popper most? Tina asking Bette if she wants to have their next baby. What more is their to say? I was not expecting this. But I am thrilled. This is a superb chapter in a story filled with superb chapters. The lyrical writing is so clear one can visualize all of the events. And there is a lot to take in. You have a talent, BK. A gift for story telling. Well done. B

      • Billy your comment is so wonderful. So incredibly generous in spirit and intent. Brought tears to my eyes. You use words like layered, pure, intensity, lyrical, and, my favorite… quiet innocence. You see…. I wanted this chapter to be just that – a quiet, soft place to land, an enveloping of this world that somehow came alive on the banks of the river but also in the depiction of the characters. Martha says below that this is as close to the Bette and Tina she sees as she has ever read and that is a very kind comment which I will reply to in a minute. You see the macro and micro around that couple – the intent if you will of each character and the way they weave around each other to create the tapestry of their lives. You see the bubble for lack of a better word – the way they make space for each other, the way they don’t waste a single moment of their time to tell the other how much they love them, to show them in action and deeds. I see in your writing as well, which I hope you will post soon.

        With all the negativity surrounding GQ I wanted exactly what you describe – a place where we can just breathe in the couple, peek into their days and walk away feeling like love will conquer all, despite the Marjas and bad Showtime writers. But, I digress…. lets look at your insightful comment –

        There is a subtlety to this chapter that you capture so well – the glances, the looks, the unspoken support, the way they allow each other to just be themselves. You describe it so aptly – “their almost cosmic connection spirituality and physically that totally does me in.”
        It does me in too.
        The people at the river trust Bette. The people in her life at LA trust her too. Shane and Alice and Boo. Even Jimmy, who fears she is there to take the baby comes to her and asks, openly and honestly…. is that why you are here? And Bette does what Bette does (which you also commented on) she gives it right back – no, I am not here for the baby, I am here because your mother needs help. Bette Porter (the one I know) doesn’t wait for action, she takes it. Owns it. Sometimes not in the best ways, but always with passion and drive. She goes a step further with Yaya – I am here to see Jena Beth she tells her. And I am here to see you. Bette needed the time with Yaya and the time with Jerry to re-center herself as well. There is a lot of demands on the spouse of a baby, to pick up the extra slack, to keep everything together. And you see this Bette the same way I do. Happy to pick up that extra slack but also knowing to seek counsel when needed.

        This story took several turns I never expected. I originally wrote it to try and fix the scene where Bette is humiliated by Jodie at the art show with the video recordings and they show her on the bed with Tina. I thought that scene needed more, that Bette would be devastated by the public lashing she took and that Tina would remind her who she is. Reading your comments remind me that we all know who Bette and Tina are, it is the writers on GQ who have forgotten. At least they can come alive on the pages of this site. I’m glad you are on this journey with me and I am glad I get to follow along for your story too. Hope you post soon my friend. Thanks

        • What a lovely reply. You are far too kind. Your writing impacts people in a very real way. I hope you know that. In part because you portray our couple with so much reverence and equality. They are truly partners. And not afraid to be vulnerable with one another. B

    2. Hope is what you bring with this chapter.

      The hope of discovering what could have been a logical and magnificent continuation of the story of this mythical couple that some imbeciles mistreat in this show so shabby.

      Thank you!

    3. The characters in the story are fictional but the spirit & life flowing from them . . . “aint”. The brilliance of Authors on this site prove that thrilling scenarios can actually be written.

      Tibette works bc Tibette are sold out in every way to each other and to their family. And yes! The “cuddle puddle”should keep growing!! Bette definitely needs to be knocked up with Tina’s help! HeHeHe!!!

      Tina is the RiverMouse in the couple who seems to be able to color Bette’s life which such descriptive words like “you feel like everything that is good in life. . . . Sunset on the river, the orange&red reflection. . . . It’s the smell of blueberry pancakes in the morning . . . “The skin right here? Like butter. Like clouds, like mist. It melts in my mouth, Bette. It’s honeyed”. “Tonight, it was as much about connection & tethering as anything else, a way to feel united . . . When her heart was not at rest.”

      Bette is the RiverMouse who pursues actions that “speak” her heart. If she’s gotta swing off a rope and plummet to the pond below to understand her Tina, so be it! If it’s volunteer to assist YaYa to help those that are being cared for, then so be it. If it’s use her wealth withOUT fanfare and acknowledgement, then so be it. She just pitches in til the task is done.

      The exquisiteness of how well this couple relishes elevating one another’s souls to sore, I saw when Bette was trying to remind Tina that her body was truly a marvel in her (Bette’s) eyes. Bette was looking at Tina in the mirror,
      “Chocolate eyes waiting for hazel eyes to meet them, they didn’t. They weren’t ready”. Bette then says, “Come to me Tina every time you feel less than perfect. Every fucking time. I will LOVE you through it, Baby”.

      Bette was looking forward to doing her part yet she was wise enough to talk to YaYa about Tina lack of confidence that all of her was worthy of being loved even when something changes (her body during & after pregnancy). I love that our couple talked and agreed that Tina should consult with Eloise taking advantage of her professional skills to help discover the underlying “thief” that was robbing Tina of inner peace.

      And Boo understanding the irreplaceable value in people. Just the way they are. “Honey was the wind, Tina. Jules the meadow”.

      Boo understands The River & the people there. “Everyone overlooks the River. Everyone. Only the people that live there see it for what it is”. Left to fend for herself at such an early age, Rosie was as much a survivor of the River Life as Tina was.

      This story works bc Bette accepts her Tina, Rosie, YaYa, Boo, JenaBeth,Jimmy, TurnUp & Jerry demonstrating UNconditional love for them. And James?? He has to call her Boss, but she really is “big Sis and he, ‘Lil Bro”. Totally inseparable from Bette.

      • I love this comment, DT! You mention the spirit of Tibette and the life flowing from them as being captured by the writers on this site. I could not agree more. Imagine if Showtime called all of us into the writing room – we could fix that show up in no time.

        I love your descriptions of each the women – Tina as the River Mouse who talks and soothes with words, her heart on her sleeve and Bette the River Mouse who DOES, her actions demonstrate how she feels when the words don’t come. A perfect match. The “thief” is no match for these two, not when they are talking and not when they are so connected.

        Your last paragraph frames it all so beautifully – it is Unconditional. Thank you Dumplin, another great recap of the chapter!

    4. After reading a significant number of stories on this and other websites on Tina Kennard and Bette Potter, I realized rather early, that each author writes their Bette and their Tina as they see them. In this story, this is as close to the Bette and Tina I see… The Bette and Tina who love each other beyond measure and would sacrifice almost anything to to protect and preserve each other and their family. When they see each other, there is no “what about me” question. There is only what can I do to make our life better. What can I do to ease your fear and anxiety? If it one or the other cannot provide the answer, they are not afraid to seek out the help the help to get them through the problem. That could be Boo, Eloise, or YaYa or even James, Kit, Shane or Alice. And when Bette sees a problem, she works to solve it without hesitation and as Billy says without judgement – helping Jena Beth with nutrition and a clean and safe place for the balance of her pregnancy; offering to help Jimmy with a better future than that he appears to be headed for; and helping Jerry by just being a friend and allowing him to speak what is on his mind at the moment.

      Bette and Tina are their best selves with each other… they are more together than they ever could be apart. That is what a real loving couples do – they make each other better people. And that does not mean they will agree on every thing that comes up… but they will have the ability to talk to each other, to express their opinion and to really hear the opinion of the other. And the most important, they are open enough to allow the other to change their mind without judgement.

      It would appear to me, that if Bette proceeds with the process of having their next child, a new home is in order….One that can not only accommodate their growing brood but one which can accommodate Boo and Jules as well. Even though we know very little about Jules, she appears to be a perfect addition to the clan. And when there are little ones, there are never enough hands to take care of everything. Rosie is flourishing in her new home…. the fact that she fears a return to her former life rather than a desire to return is huge. The fact that she is taking on the role of big sister to Angie with such fervor is heart warming. Some day, she is going to become a fantastic mom herself as the result of her life with Bette and Tina.

      This chapter was truly a great one. The dealing with Tina’s body issues, the dealing with Boo’s new lady love, the return of Bette to the river for a couple of days, and the reconnect with her family upon her return, and finally the discussion of more children…. What more could you ask for? The love is so evident for this couple and this family. This is truly the Bette and Tina I know and love….

      Thank you for the chapter… look forward to your writings…

      • Martha
        I know you are an avid reader of other sites and every story here so your thought that this Bette and Tina encapsulates the couple as you see them is an incredibly thoughtful and warm compliment. This is how I see them. When you shave down all the personas and mistakes and hurt, this is who they are. And you say it SO much better then I ever could – “The Bette and Tina who love each other beyond measure and would sacrifice almost anything to to protect and preserve each other and their family. When they see each other, there is no “what about me” question. There is only what can I do to make our life better. What can I do to ease your fear and anxiety? If it one or the other cannot provide the answer, they are not afraid to seek out the help the help to get them through the problem”

        Yes. A thousand times yes. They had to work to get here didn’t they? This couple, individually and together, have been through so much and stand tall at each other’s side. I love how you say they are at their best when they are together, so true.

        A new home! I agree, they may outgrown this little house if they move forward with Bette getting pregnant and filling the house with children. As it should be right?

        Thank you for your thoughtful comment, we truly have the best readers on this site –

      • Wow Martha. I so agree. Bette and Tina are their best selves with each other. So well said. And they nurture and encourage and support without being too preachy. “Give it time, Sweetheart. Maybe take Boo on that hike she likes? Or lunch? Talk to her, tell her how you feel.” Gentle understanding and reassurance. Equal partners. They’ve got each other’s backs!!! Great comment.

    5. DT,

      Beautiful comment. Everyone overlooks the river. The river will be there long after everyone is gone. Bette still does not understand all of it but her genuine and caring feelings for these people, Boo’s people, Tina’s people, Rosie’s people, now her people, jumps off the page. This is a story that will need an epilogue. I for one will need to know that Boo lives a very long and happy life. That Jimmy makes it to college. Becomes a marine scientist. That Jena Beth becomes a successful artist. That both of them, like Rosie, do survive the river. That Angie and hopefully the next baby visit the river often. That their big sister schools them on its magic and it’s mystery. For me, Tina did survive the river but she will always be Bette’s River Mouse. One of the classic terms in all of fan fiction. Conjures so much imagery – so much love and emotion and affection and even reality in two simple words. But I will carry this line with me for a very long time: “He’s a true River Rat and those boys know how to swim…” Enough said.

      • “He’s a true River Rat and those boys know how to swim…”
        Thank you Billy. I agree. We will need to make sure everyone has closure for this story. I don’t see it continuing much past another few chapters so an epilogue is a must. I promise one. Thank you for loving this story and for your delicious comments at each chapter BK

        • I believe there has been a vote and you must continue on at least as long as Gen Q remains on the air. If you look at the image of Bette and Tina on the bed post Core Values you know there was/is so much more to be said. I am so glad you decided to run with your idea. You do write tremendous dialogue. Slowing things down just enough. You got it right. B

    6. Hey BK,

      How wonderful it is to swoon away in this story after a busy weekend of work!

      I fully agree with the comments from my fellow readers!

      I love your Bette &Tina, their family, the way they communicate with each other without saying all the words, how Bette knows that Jena Beth needed her and she went straight to her. How Bette connects with everyone there, talks to Jimmy, Jerry and smokes a joint with him, how Bette sees Vaya, as the mother she never had. The way Bette assures Tina in words and deeds how much she loves her. How Bette knew that Tina was jealous of Jules, afraid of losing Boo, and subtly let her say it during an intimate moment. The intensely loving and playful way in which Bette and Tina interact with each other.

      Gosh, I could go on and on about everything I love about Bette. She has her faults but my goodness, this is the Bette we sometimes saw in the OG but sadly don’t see in GQ. Stupid Marja, destroyed everything, I really think she is a terrible person but nevertheless I hope that JB and Laurel will give us a Tibette ending, that they will not disappoint us and break our hearts.

      You know how much I love the way Rosie seeks and finds security and love with her mother Bette, so I want to close my comment with this scene:

      “Rosie climbed onto Bette’s lap, facing her, laying her head on Bette’s chest, her arms tucked in between, needing connection, security that only one of her mothers could bring. When Bette sat back on the pillows, Rosie still in her arms, Tina rested her head on the brunette’s strong shoulder, Angie nursing. The cuddle puddle becoming intimate, silent as all four marinated in the circle of affection surrounding them, their family, for the moment, quiet.”

      So beautiful! And Bette will be the birthmother of their next child, my heart burst from love and happiness!

      Never ever stop with this story!!!

      • Sweet BiBi you always zero in on the relationship Bette has with little Rosie. Imagine how changed her life is with her two mamas, and theirs changed as well. You picked one of my favorite moments, the cuddle puddle on the bed, the four of them in casual clothes, just delighting in reuniting.
        You are so right, GQ has done a `180 on the Bette Porter we all know. Everyone sees it. Will she land once she reunites with Tina in the waning moments of the last episode? Gosh I hope so. This season has been painful in many ways.
        You also mention the subtle way this couple loves each other, the many small moments that add up each day. Love that you see that too. Thanks for always commenting and reading, I can always count on you to let me know what you think. Have a great week

        • The cuddle puddle on bed was so sweet and yes i love, really love the bond between Bette and Rosie.

          You can always count on me to read all your stories and if i am not too tired i love to comment a little longer to share my thoughts.

          I wish you a great week too!

    7. I just started reading this story again from the beginning and how nice another new chapter to read. Like everyone else, I love your Bette and Tina characters. Sad the story is ending, but it is ending on such a happy note. Two people with that much love in their life, for each other and the people that surround them, should have more kids. Nothing better than growing up around parents who love each other.

    8. My Dear BK,
      Great to be back in the wonderful pages of this story with my lovely Bette and gorgeous Tina so ably supported by your other Characters who, as usual, make me laugh and cry in equal parts but also leave me with such a warm glow.
      I happily, as usual, say ‘ditto’ to the equally great Comments above which are also required reading.
      Thank you, thank you I don’t think you realise what effect your stories have on your reader’s lives and how, at good times and bad, they can be a salve and a joy. I so needed this Post just now,
      Thank you
      SG

    9. Oh I love this story so much, it has been my greatest source of comfort for the past year. I so hope that you continue it, or if not write something similar, something about family. Thanks for this great story!

    10. Westy messaged me to post her comment for her – after trying several times it just would not post. I so appreciate her insight and know many of you comment back to her so…. here it is. Thank you Westy!

      Hello BK,
      I just wanted tor each out – I loved this chapter and have been trying to post my comments repeatedly. Obviously some technical glitch, I contacted Jacky so we will see. Just in case this takes a while – here are the comments I wish to post, just would like to share my thoughts. Thanks so much for your story, and for letting me share my comments. –

      This chapter is another masterpiece. Truly. So many emotional moments.

      So real to see Tina struggle with post-partum depression and being self-conscious about her body. Although we know Bette will always crave Tina’s body. I myself would love to see her in that emerald bikini, and the picture she sent Bette.

      Loved Jerry talking about Rosie, and Jimmy giving Bette a rock for her. Rosie’s start in life may impact her, but she’s showing she’s a great big sister. Angie may be one of the best things to happen to her.

      Bette having their next baby? Oh my, cannot wait to read that.

      As always, there’s something you write that makes me laugh. Nothing funnier than frolicking Brussels sprouts. Only in LA….

      Yaya is one of my favorite characters in any story. And she had a line of dialogue that was my favorite of the chapter – “You two belong together. Everyone sees it.” And that’s what it’s all about it. Your Bette & Tina deal with and navigate through all of these things life throws at them, and still they know they belong together. “We are always a we…” just love it

      I dread this story coming to an end. It fills my Tibette heart with hope. Thanks BK

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