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    The Beginning 15

    They undressed for bed, Tina lost in thought and worry over Grannie Ellie. It had been so unlike her at dinner to lose her way, sit with strangers and not know the menu of her favorite place to eat. Tina didn’t know how she would cope if there was something seriously wrong with her Grandmother.

    She put Bette’s Yale t-shirt on over her naked body, brushed her teeth and was ready before Bette had even washed her face. Tina took the dirty clothes hamper to the laundry room and started a load, her go to activity when she was troubled. There was something about completing one task when stressed that was calming to her.

    Bette was putting on her lotion when Tina went outside to water the garden, idly deadheading the plants and losing herself in the upkeep, despite the hour of the evening and her attire. She moved absentmindedly through the garden, not really thinking about what she was doing, barefoot in the chilly air. The tomatoes were done, time to pull those up and start some squash or zucchini, perhaps plant some mums.

    Bette finally drifted out to find her, Tina standing in front of the garden with her arms crossed in front of her chest, not moving. Bette came up behind her, wrapping her arms around Tina’s waist and resting her chin on Tina’s shoulder. They stayed that way for some time, Tina leaning back into Bette and covering her hands with her own. They both sighed, enjoying the closeness after the stress of the dinner.

    “You ok?” Bette asked, nuzzling in Tina’s neck.

    She had never experienced Tina so aloof before and wasn’t sure how to handle it. Tina was normally very forthcoming about how she was feeling, something Bette appreciated since she often missed more obvious clues. The Porter family shoved emotions down tight, sadness or tears or outbursts not allowed. “Move On!” Her father would say, “Chin Up!”

    But she knew Tina felt and responded differently. And truth be told, Bette herself was rattled by Ellie’s confusion tonight and she felt a heaviness in her heart when she thought that the older lady might be failing. She was seeking comfort from Tina as much as wanting to comfort the blonde.

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    1. I seem to have lost several previous posts so will keep my fingers crossed about this one. Simply put, you have an immense talent. And you clearly have a love and appreciation of both the Bette and Tina characters that is so badly needed by their fans. This chapter is all encompassing and covers a vast range of emotions. Sexy and hot and connected then closed off, distant and lacking in intimacy. Tina’s grief is immense and so relatable. Real life stuff here. Her acceptance or lack of regarding Ellie’s decline and death almost broke them. I am so glad that Bette had Kit advising her to hang in there. And that Bette loved Tina enough to do that – at her own emotional expense. Especially love that Bette made sure Tina’s garden stayed tended to. This chapter is sadly prophetic in many ways. And conjures what has been said about our couple so many times: loving each other was never the problem:

      “Bette’s hands were so gentle and soothing, the warm kisses on her shoulders making Tina smile. And each touch, each kiss, each whispered endearment did more healing to Tina’s broken heart than all the miles she spent running, all the hours she spent at the office. And she promised herself to never let this distance happen again, promised to never shut Bette out of her personal pain, a promise that would be sorely tested again in a few years during their first pregnancy.“

      Were that this could have remained the case. Had they truly talked it out Tina might have sought some grief counseling. Seems familiar. But pushing everything down and avoidance of issues and pain is a pattern that repeatedly rears it’s ugly head with Bette and Tina. Your story really sets the stage. Including the little things like Bette’s problem with Tina sharing too much of their private life with Alice. I loved this chapter very much because I love your writing and I just adore this couple. Needed a good TiBette story today. Thanks!!!

      • Billy
        This chapter is sadly prophetic and you are 1000 times right – loving each other was never the problem. I needed a good soft TiBette story too, seems like the world has damn lost it’s mind. As always, I so appreciate you taking the time to read my long chapters and also comment on what you liked. I am grateful for that!

    2. A great chapter…. a real roller coaster ride emotionally. The loss of Ellie was great for both Tina and for Bette. Bette trying to do what she can to keep Tina from falling apart but only keeping her life intact until she returns from emotional journey. This is a difficult part of the journey of their relationship and occurs early. Its a real tribute to Bette’s patience and love that she hangs in there for the months it takes to allow Tina to come back to her emotionally. Bette handles her own grief and supports Tina as best she can. A true foreshadowing of their responses in the future.

      You are truly a wonderful story writer. I love this Bette and this Tina. They are not perfect people but together they are so much better than they are as individuals. Your presentation of their emotional and relationship growth is truly a work of art. Thank you for this…..

    3. Hi BK,

      I was and am defiantely in for some sweet, fluffy and hopeful. The beginning seems to be that but my heart broke for Tina and Bette when Gran Ellie got that terrible ilness and passed away so soon. That was so heart breaking for Tina and Bette.

      You sure did a excellent job to tell us how they got to the point in their relationship when we met them in season one.

      This says it all: “Bette’s hands were so gentle and soothing, the warm kisses on her shoulders making Tina smile. And each touch, each kiss, each whispered endearment did more healing to Tina’s broken heart than all the miles she spent running, all the hours she spent at the office. And she promised herself to never let this distance happen again, promised to never shut Bette out of her personal pain, a promise that would be sorely tested again in a few years during their first pregnancy.“

      Tina did shut Bette out and for a long time and Bette did her very best to be there for her and was alone in her grieve for the loss of Ellie. She held back her emotions while being strong for Tina in her time of grieve.

      I am not sure if i can explain it like Martha and Billy did, They both said it so very well.

      What i did noticed is that Bette made sure the garden was tended when Tina couldn’t do it, the garden she worked so hard on and that gave her a sense of peace. The garden is Tina’s pride and joy.

      Ok, i am tired after a day of work, my mind is not clear. You deserve a much better comment then i am able to write now. This is a truly brilliant story and you are able to let us readers feel the emotions, struggles and love between Bette and Tina. Thank you for that.

      Stay save and healthy ????❤️????

      • Thank you BiBi
        My heart broke for them when Ellie died too. I decided to go that route because I didn’t have it in me to drag it out, hits too close to home. Better to have Ellie go with dignity and the best care they could get her. Because you know she got nothing but the best. :)
        The garden was a nice touch, it seems to play a quiet, backseat character in the story and reflects Tina’s moods. When she is good, the garden thrives…. when she is down, lets call in the help!
        Enjoy your days off and stay safe. Thank you for your support, as always

    4. BK,
      This will be a first, but for once I wont be verbose ????. I liked how Bette somehow knew to go to Kit with the anguish she was feeling at the distance that grew between herself & Tina as a result of Ellie’ sickness and passing. I figure she allowed Kit to sooth her soul.

      Like that Bette maintained the belief that the horrible cloud of dispare would eventually lift from Tina and then she would be able to share her experience of loving & then loosing Ellie.

      Grateful for this realistic and hopeful story. We have had yet another horrible true-life body punch with the passing of our beloved Nortorious RBG ????

    5. Hi BK,

      Another unforgettable chapter.

      It had all the elements – sorrow, depression, loneliness & then rediscover, tenderness, love & helpfulness.

      Agree with the others about the chapter.

      Of course I cried for Ellie & then Tina & Bette.

      Can definitely see how they grow back together & now have hope again for the future.

      Love, love, love your style!!!!

      Thanks for giving us this treat.

      Be well my friend.


    6. BK, thank you for giving us some deep insights to Tina’s and Bette’s relationship, to the strain this very difficult situation puts on them and how helpless Bette felt when Tina shut her out. I love how Bette still held on tight, taking over all the tasks around the house, not needing to ask Tina what she needs but simply giving her all.

      This touched me: “She sometimes found Tina weeping in the shower or in the middle of the night. She made sure she was there to hold Tina or walk with her and sit together quietly.” Total devotion, no words needed. But silently suffering from the loss of Ellie as well and probably fearing to loose Tina if she couldn’t reach her.

      I’m so glad that the running accident stopped the distancing. Tina’s moment of clarity – no, it felt more like an epiphany – is beautifully written. Starting with the ever thoughtful and caring Bette, when it comes to Tina, and coming prepared to pick her up on the trail. With ice bags and pain killers. And then Tina regarding Bette as if she really sees her for the first time in a very long time. Your words show the wonder in Tina’s eyes, the realisation that she can feel more than just grief, sadness and emptiness.
      She still has love in her life, someone who loves her deeply with abandon. I love this quote:
      “Tina did a double take, taken aback by how beautiful Bette looked. When was the last time she noticed how stunning her girlfriend was? Let alone told her? Were Bette’s eyes always the color of warmth and security?”

      It’s heart-warming how Tina finally opens her eyes to Bette’s needs and realises what her own emotional shutdown did to her girlfriend. She denied Bette her love and affection, those little looks and touches which re-charges her. The forcefield that connects them and always provides the energy which both feed from is dwindling. When Tina starts to smile at Bette again, apologizes, touches her and finally tells her that she needs her, it feels like little sparks of energy shoot out and feed their forcefield.

      This chapter really tells us of growth of Tina and Bette. I like to think that your T + B would overcome their problems they had in season 1 or not even run into all of that drama in the first place. Both learn the importance of communication, of sharing the good times and the bad and not to shut their partner out.

      So, yes, for me this chapter is hopeful. Thanks for giving us some fluff, even if combined with some sad moments.

      Definitely looking forward for more, BK!
      Stay safe, enjoy your week


      • KP
        You brought all the good insights on this comment. I always look forward to seeing what you walk away with after reading one of my chapters. I am always in awe of how closely you see the story to how it was intended. Bette did hang on tight, didn’t she? White knuckles tight I think. And she is rewarded by Tina finally waking up to the knowledge that two people are grieving and how much easier it can be to do so together. Thank you for seeing them the way I wrote them and for taking the time to comment!

    7. You wanted to explain how they got to the point when we meet them in season one, well … you succeed very brilliantly !

      We know now that it wasn’t the first time that one of them shut out from the other but this time Kit was there to support and advice Bette.
      There is so much love between them and you sure know how to convey those emotions in your writing !

      Can’t wait to see where you’ll take us with this story.

    8. Hey Bk,
      Well, I’m very late to this party. Just landed in San Diego to visit my family. I don’t know what else I can say, as the wonderful comments above expressed everything that was in my heart. So, I just want to say thank you for this beautiful story. The way that you express their love for each other is just incredible. And the reunion of their hearts and bodies after so much grief and uncertainty for so long was exactly what my soul needed right now. You’re a healer BK. And those are hard to find. I really treasure these stories. Thank you.

      Stay safe and happy

      • You are too kind my risky friend. I hope your visit to your family goes well! You know how much I love your story as well so I consider myself in good company on this site. :)
        Safe travels and know your comments are truly appreciated.

    9. Hi BK!

      I had to read this a few times. What a beautiful, bittersweet chapter.

      Bette and Tina can always connect physically…that’s one of the avenues but it’s interesting to see the beginnings of how such a couple so in love can so easily let things slip away, and forget that they are/should be there for each other. Tina watching Ellie slip away…is almost like Bette watching Tina slip away as Tina retreated in her grief over Ellie. I love how Bette is there for Tina in small ways, and yet there’s this sadness of feeling as if Tina didn’t need her…which brings about uncertainty. And Tina just not taking into account that Bette was feeling Ellie’s loss as well. When they get wrapped up in their own pain/issues and don’t talk to each other? That’s when the trouble festers. But Bette is ready to catch Tina…I love how you wrote that…when Tina went off for a run and hurt her ankle…she called Bette and Bette was there, anticipating, knowing what Tina would need. They are so connected! But they just have to talk to each other and lean on each other. That didn’t really happen in season 1…I love how you are setting this all up…how they have been through a season 1 before…but maybe it’ll be different in your story. It already is because they do find each other again.

      I love this story. I love the joy and passion in their love but also the bittersweet parts that foreshadow what happened on the show in season 1…can’t wait to see where your story and the show’s story (may/or may not) intersect.

      More please. and Thank you.

      • Hey StirFry my friend –
        Thank you for your comments! I love – and agree with – your assessment of how Tina watched Ellie slip away in the same way Bette helplessly watch Tina slip away. And to have Tina disregard and not even consider that Bette might also be suffering was a whole separate thing that reverberates throughout their relationship – at least what we saw in S1. We never really see Bette grieve the baby – other than the night where Tina is crying (the day they find out) and Bette goes out to deal with the protestors on her lawn, she cries before coming in the house but then takes a deep breath and pulls herself together. Wish we could have seen more of that moment…. and lots of other moments that, to me, were cut short.
        Hopefully I can present an alternative view or at least try to.
        Glad you are enjoying the story and love your insight. Thanks!

    10. I love this story so much! How well you write, how you can reveal feelings through words… it’s so talented and wonderful! Bette and Tina’s shared tears after an act of tender love are such a powerful expression of feelings. They literally merged into one. I don’t know if I can think of a more intimate and exciting moment than this. To be honest, I also had tears in my eyes when I read this chapter. Thank you!

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