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    The Beginning 16


    Over the next week, as Tina’s ankle healed, it became more and more apparent to Tina how much her isolation hurt Bette. She knew the brunette was fragile inside, knew she was tender, sensitive, sweet but forgot… or selfishly overlooked… how much Bette would absorb hurts from someone she loved and forge ahead, issues be damned.

    Tina knew she should have known better. She had met Melvin Porter twice and she watched as Bette deflected his back handed compliments and tried so hard to please him all while ignoring the insults that Tina felt on Bette’s behalf keenly.

    Losing Ellie was pivotal for Tina. Ironically, without Bette, she didn’t how she would have made it through the days that followed the announcement, and yet she didn’t lean on her girlfriend like she should have until a lot of damage was done.

    She thought, often, of the incredible love Bette must have for her to put up with a partner who was so callous with her heart.

    She could kick herself for shutting Bette out, shutting her out when she should have clung to her. Tina recommitted herself to the relationship, taking time to show Bette with her words and her actions that she loved her, needed her, wanted her. She opened up about her childhood, her family and… most importantly, her grief over losing Ellie.

    Her openness about Ellie invited Bette to share her own. They cried together, many times. They laughed over stories, celebrated the role Ellie had in shaping Tina, loving her, teaching her. It was healing for them both and worked wonders to bring them closer following Ellie’s death. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, it was hard work.

    There were days when Tina fell apart at any comment Bette made, days when Bette was on edge, snappy. Other times they argued over little things, small annoyances or miscommunications. The sex following these interactions was explosive, hot, leaving them gasping, heaving, breathless. Sex in itself was never a problem for the couple.

    The deeper connection was missing. Ellie’s loss was the bridge to their relationship, but Bette was holding back, her hurt giving her pause. Tina felt it, Bette felt it too. Neither knew what to do about it, Bette not yet ready to really show Tina that part of herself.

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    1. The young couple is making progress…. but they still have not reach the point of being completely open with the other. And that is some of the problems which jump up to bite them later in their relationship. This is when they should have gotten some counseling. They have good intentions, but they still lack the tools to resolve their tendencies to not rely on the other for love and support.

      I loved the way Tina handled her parents. Bob and Betsy seem to be of the vulture culture – they only begin to circle when there is a death…. If this land is a valuable as Tina thinks it is, she owe them a big thank you for bringing it to their attention. But if they had been moral people, they could have just made a phone call to Tina and told her of the situation and saved a whole lot of bad feelings. Tina’s thought on giving them some money is very generous and big hearted.

      So Tina is ready to have a baby…. wow..

      Good story…. love to see more….

      • Hey Martha
        thank you for commenting. I popped on really quickly and thought I would go ahead and respond to your insightful comments – I love your term vulture culture, I had not thought of that before. And I have seen it in my own family after the death of my Grandfather. And he did not have millions in land. LOL.
        I agree with you about the counseling – if only if only right? We can see their issues from a mile away and yet can’t stop what is coming. Don’t worry I will put them back together.

    2. Hi BK,

      Wonderful chapter!

      It took some time but they are connection fully again. It is good to read that Tina fully understands what her behavior brought about in Bette. Bette was deeply hurt that Tina would shut her out, kept her distance all those months after Ellie passed away while she was in a lot of grief herself. It is fully understandable that she kept her feelings to herself but Tina did not give up and eventually they found each other again.

      You show us why and how Bette and Tina eventually grew apart with the result that Bette cheated because they were miles apart, even before Tina had the miscarriage. I never condone cheating but your story clearly indicates their biggest problem, not talking to each other, keeping feelings to themselves and eventually letting them literally grow apart. There is so much love between them, but if you don’t continuously work on the relationship, it will eventually break down.

      Bob and Betsy Kennard, what a horrible couple, hard to believe they are Tina’s parents. How do they get it into their head to claim things when they have never looked after Ellie. And Bob who behaved so horribly towards Bette and also had the guts to look at her in a sexual way. A dirty little man. I’m happy how Tina and Bette stood up to him. They don’t earn anything at all and should be happy that Tina is so generous and gives them what they don’t deserve. What I’m wondering is that apparently Bette and Tina had a lot of money after the sale of the land, how come Tina was so obsessive about money when Bette was fired in season three? Anyway now I may go back to the OG too much.

      I must confess that I always get sad when you refer to the period after this when they split up and Tina turned her back on the house. Is it possible that you will give us a sequel in which everything is different from the OG? Sure there is drama, but drama where there is no cheating and they do not break up?

      Thank you for this chapter. I always get so happy when I see you updated, put everything aside right away!

      I wish you a nice weekend and above all, stay in good health!

      • BiBi I get sad thinking about the period when they split up. But I do want to show a different, more hopeful side. It is very possible, probably very likely, that I will give you some drama but with a different twist. I have said that I don’t write them fighting very well, it is hard for me to do that and in this crazy world I want to offer a reprieve of sorts. SO never fear dear reader, all will be well in TiBette land.
        Thank you, Bibi for always commenting. Have a great weekend!

        • BK,
          Your having a hard time writing about Tibette fighting, separating, etc is 100% understandable in my book. I know this story is about the relationship “before” the one we would all experience in TLW TV series, I always saw all the folks that plotted or drifted into our ladies lives as a “distraction”.

          Always felt that they were meant to be even when they didn’t realized the “lovers world” they had created was special and rare. They wanted their relationship and saw themselves living life together.

          After the She Bar kiss where Bette breaking down in Tina’s arms the realization came to Tina that Bette still longed for her. And the stir fry scene in the kitchen once shared together of their home, Tina told Bette flat out that she knew she had been giving her all to have another relationship . . . .

          But. . . . . It was time for Tina to demonstrate that she knew exactly how to speak to Bette in a language that she understood. Aggressive, no holds bar (1) kisses and (2) passion. She knew how important (3) emotional connection was for Bette.

    3. My mom gave me this when I was in a long term relationship , “If you don’t talk to each other, your relationship will not survive.” She gave this advice 3 years in a 7 year relationship. I tried, gave him space and never shared. The relationship ended suddenly and I never looked back. I understand the challenges Bette and Tina have with open communication. It take growth between each person in the relationship. It makes my heart drop when you foreshadowed Bette and Tina’s split. ????????I had really hoped this was a different path. Now, I’m apprehensive about their future. I do enjoy the exquisite background detail from the physical to the emotional part of Bette and Tina’s beginning.

      Now, Betsy and Bob…what a piece of work. It fascinates me that when there is a death in the family, absent family makes a been line like hyenas on the prairie. It really shows the character of Tina’s “parents”. It happened when my stepfather died young. They rifled through his things and stole items. Mom would have gladly given them what they wanted.

      If Tina chooses the gift them money, then her core character will shine. Way to stand your ground Tina.

      • Deanna
        Your mom gave you great advice. It does take growth from each side and the willingness to make the relationship a commitment every time. Each and every time. I will give this couple a different path but we are headed for season 1 and some things will parallel, but not all. Never fear! I struggle with writing a TIBette that is not on good terms so I will make the journey worth the read. Stay tuned.

    4. As the others have said – Tina’s parents are a real piece of work. In fast – safe to say that Tina’s dad makes my skin crawl. Tina is being more than generous in suggesting she and Bette buy them off. Your story is an excellent prequel in every way and certainly does set the stage for the beginning of the original series. Bette is ready to leave the gallery and Tina wants a baby. Their communication skills really do need some work. Right they are doing okay. Sex is off the charts. But sex does not solve everything. And sadly we know the good place they are in right now is headed for another bumpy ride. The pressures of conceiving along with problems at work put a lot of stress on their relationship. Another big communication breakdown is headed their way and next time Tina turns to Alice. Or maybe not? Oh how I wish we could avoid the heartbreak headed their way. The reference to the daily flower Tina left for Bette until she moved out was so very sad. Again – their love for one another is not the problem. Not going to spare us having to endure Candace I fear. Still, one can certainly hope.

      BK, as you know I find your writing so utterly stylistic and beautiful. My favorite line from this chapter and one I totally intend to commit to memory: “Bette tasted of oaky chardonnay and confidence and charisma.“ This is so descriptive and accurate and just blows me away. Loving this story. Loving your writing per usual.

    5. As the others have said – Tina’s parents are a real piece of work. In fact – safe to say that Tina’s dad makes my skin crawl. Tina is being more than generous in suggesting she and Bette buy them off. Your story is an excellent prequel in every way and certainly does set the stage for the beginning of the original series. Bette is ready to leave the gallery and Tina wants a baby. Their communication skills really do need some work. Right now they are doing okay. Sex is off the charts. But sex does not solve everything. And sadly we know the good place they are in right now is headed for another bumpy ride. The pressures of conceiving along with problems at work put a lot of stress on their relationship. Another big communication breakdown is probably around the corner and next time Tina turns to Alice and excludes Bette. Or maybe not? Oh how I wish Bette and Tina could avoid some of the heartbreak that may be headed their way. The reference to the daily flower Tina left for Bette until she moved out was so very sad. Again – their love for one another is not the problem. Not going to spare us having to endure Candace I fear. Still, one can certainly hope. That would be a major blessing. Never saw Bette as a cheater. Never. Ever. To paraphrase The Godfather – maybe you can use all of your powers and all of your skills to fix them?

      BK, as you know I find your writing so utterly stylistic and beautiful. My favorite line from this chapter and one I totally intend to commit to memory: “Bette tasted of oaky chardonnay and confidence and charisma.“ This is so descriptive and utterly accurate that is just blows me away. What talent. Loving this story. Loving your writing per usual.

      • Billy my dear, thank you for your kind words. I always love to see your thoughts and comments, not only to me but to other readers as well. I want B&T to avoid all the heartache and mess of episode two in particular, honestly so unnecessary. And not a good look for Tina, she was unbelievably cruel in the show version. Like you, I never saw Bette as a cheater either, especially when they allude to the fact that she looked down on her father for cheating on her mother. Not to mention how she reacted when Marina was toying with Jenny. It never resonated with me. So I aim to fix it, write it the way I, and many of ya’ll too, want it to be. Love your reference to the Godfather – one of my favorite movies!
        So lets see how we can get them as close to the characters we all fell in love with while somehow dodging the more unappealing aspects of their decision making. Fingers crossed…. Now I am off to find a little girl named Rosie…

    6. Ok, but why Tina want to give some Ellie’s money to her parents? They never give a shit about both of them, it’s Tina who only care about Ellie. So Tina – don’t give a shit to them. Let’s they hire a costly lawyer, spend their money. Not judge in the word wouldn’t give them anything

      • Zhenya
        You ask a difficult question. Why, indeed. They are appalling people. Your right, the courts would be in Tina’s favor but I would like to think that she sees a bigger picture – and knows it may buy her and Bette peace as well as allow her to focus on starting a family. She and Bette don’t seem to need the money so why not? I also think there is a sweet, forgiving side to Tina – her work at the non profit and with the children’s center shows a softer, social worker type of side to her that may not want to keep all the money to herself. Who knows, we will find together since I haven’t written it yet….

      • The American court system requires a response to any civil suit filed which would mean that if sued, Bette and Tina would have to hire a lawyer and respond even if it is a frivolous lawsuit. If they ignored it, the judge generally would award the complaining party whatever they ask for without evidence simply because the defendants were a “no show”. A civil lawsuit would then prevent Bette and Tina from selling the property and may tie things up for years. Yes, they would eventually win, but at what cost? They would not be guaranteed reimbursement for legal fees. It would cost them legal fees, time to create a defense and a case, lost opportunity cost of lost sales while waiting to get a free and clear title to the property. And there is always a small chance that the Kennards could win….then what? The wisest decision is to negotiate some kind of settlement – money to go away. It just a matter of how much? Allowing the Kennards to go to court would be a huge burden on Bette and Tina.

        • Hmmmm but the other side of the coin is if Ellie had a Revocable Trust with the deed to that property as an item funding the Trust, then there is no probate and the Trustator, Trustee of the Trust executes it upon the death of Trustator, Trustee. No body else has jack to say.

          My parents were able to establish their Trust literally DAYS b4 Dad passed away. He literally willed to stay alive so that he could do that for Mom and us. I was there as he barely affixed his signature to the appropriate pages as Mom and the Lawyer looked.

          When Mom passed in 2016 we executed the written directives of their Trust and although we had never done such we found that their trusted Accountant and our faithful, competent neighbor who was a Realtor brought to past more favor and blessings than we could have imagined.

          For example, nothing I “own”, retirement monies, investment monies, etc is outside my Trust. As far as the state of Arkansas is concerned, I don’t even own myself! They will not be executing my last will and testament.

          In America, your state believes you have “stuff” that has monetary value even if you don’t think so.

    7. Thank you for another great chapter to read. I have to admit my heart broke a little when I was reading the part where they will separate, but after reading your comments I felt better. I know you need to have some drama in the story.. I look forward to reading the Tibette stories. It keeps Bette and Tina’s love alive, where the show just wants to kill it and have the fans move on.

    8. ah BK. thank you for blessing this weekend with another chapter of The Beginning. wow, it’s been 5 years since they started dating…it’s like pandemic time! where did it go? and yet it makes sense. because they are so connected that when they are not, after what happened with Ellie…well, im glad it wasn’t dwelled on too much and your narrative fills in the blanks nicely, beautifully, bittersweetly. we can still see glimpses of how we see them in season 1 but you give a good reason for why they are the way they are: tina tends to retreat, not wanting to burden bette. she wants to lean on her but her parents are something that she doesnt deal with well and there’s a sense of shame there that is probably hard for her to express to bette…so maybe that’s part of it? am I reading that right? because bette, to tina, is perfection. but it is only through them talking it out, sharing their thoughts and stories with each other that she finds out bette is not perfect. her fears rooted in being left behind…which tina is inadvertently doing, and making bette kind of relive because of her mom who left. I love the reasons. the backstory, the fleshing out you are giving our couple. and…you mean tina didn’t just fall from the sky? she has parents? you’d never know that from the show. that is something that I never understood. not one mention of tina’s backstory on the show! I hated that. thank you for giving her a story.

      I love when they find each other again, when they are a team and they just shine together. bette is such a bad-ass when it comes to tina and taking care of her. I love her flaunting her bette-ness at mr. Kennard. haha! great chapter. I look forward to how you bring our couple into the timeline of the show…and how you will probably write it better. no pressure.

      if I had a house of stir fry seal of approval, I’d put it right here. :)

      • BnTHoSF
        Great great insight. Love it. You see this couple so well, so clearly. They ARE dating in pandemic time, that made me chuckle. I wish I could WRITE in pandemic time. I think there is a part of Tina that does see Bette as the perfect mate, sometimes she almost seems to catch herself, not believing that Bette truly loves her. Tina is struggling with her own demons in the show and in this story and not measuring up could be a part of that. She is learning to be confident at work but even the show revealed an anxious part of her that crops up from time to time.
        Bette is a bad – ass, Mr. K never stood a chance. LOL.
        I picture your HoSF seal of approval being a big, gold fancy seal that you could stamp on the chapters you liked. One day, maybe.
        Have a great weekend my friend,

    9. Hey BK,

      What a chapter – lots to take in. Tina’s parents were just terrible & I feel for Tina to have had to suffer through with them. Bob can take that long walk off that short pier! Money hungry bastard. So glad Bette let him have it every chance she got.

      So happy that Tibette was able to work out some of their problems. But then it is very worrisome that they will actually break the next time. Intrigued by your planned ‘twist’. And baby makes 3!!!!

      Thanks for another great chapter & the loving they share.


    10. Brilliant chapter! I love how Bette and Tina reconnected. They have to continue to open up to each other so their relationship remains solid. They were quite comical with Betsy and Bob. LOL Tina’s thoughts on giving money to them from the sale of the land is generous. I wouldn’t give them shiggity! Can’t wait for more.

    11. BK, thank you for another amazing chapter of T + B background that the show didn’t provide.

      With parents like Bob and Betsy I wouldn’t mention them to anyone as well. Your choice of first names for them made me laugh out loud. Way better than “Portard”! It’s a wonder that Tina was able to escape their negative influence.

      I love all the comments, great thoughts and observations. Though I’m seeing another aspect in all of this. Reading about Bette’s behaviour during the time Tina spend her days at her gallery made me annoyed at Bette. I’m so pissed at her comment “you can’t have it both ways”.
      I admit I’m a big fan of Tina and tend to be partial when it comes to her. Yes, she didn’t open up to Bette after Ellie died. But there isn’t a masterplan how to handle grief. Everyone reacts differently. Why did Bette have to play games now and punish Tina for her lack of communication after Ellie died by shutting Tina out herself? Treating Tina like an employee by only talking about business, not listening to her? Feels like pay back to me.

      Retreating into herself was Tina’s way to come to terms with loosing Ellie. Of course she should have opened up to Bette. But she had to process that with Ellie she lost all of her family. Now that we met her parents, it’s understandable that she might feel like she’s the last of her family. She had to find out for herself who she is being cut off her roots by loosing Ellie.
      Yes, she has Bette. But for me five years of a relationship doesn’t feel that long to provide a secure feeling of still having some kind of family. Five years doesn’t feel that long to always share everything that is occupying Tina’s mind with Bette. A part of her was ripped out of her heart, she had to process this on her own first.

      It’s endearing how Bette stood by her side and simply did many things for Tina to feel comfortable. Tina’s accident and their talk after that was a relief. But why did Bette only wait for Tina to open up about Ellie? Why wouldn’t she make a point in sharing her own emotions? “Honey, it hurts to see you so devasted. Tell me what’s on your mind. Please, T, I need to know, I am shattered as well. My heart is broken having lost Ellie.”

      BK, I have to read the previous part again, maybe Bette did insist and got no reaction from Tina. That would change my mind a little. But now turning the tables on Tina and retaliating by shutting Tina out herself? That’s low and childish, Bette. Or simply egoistic, focussing on the great Bette Porter and her problems and not caring what’s going on in Tina’s life. She didn’t listen to Tina when she tried to tell her about the new script and the pressure she’s under. Would she even have listened if Tina tried to mention that she received a message from her mother?

      You did show us parts of Bette that we got to know in season 1. A controlling Bette, sometimes even dominieering and not treating Tina as an equal partner. I don’t like that Bette. Therefore I’m very happy that your Bette can be all alpha and likes to be in control but mostly to protect Tina and herself. Your Bette is more caring, we can see her insecurities and her vulnarability.

      I love how you work towards the connection to season 1. Btw way better than Star Wars’ prelude to the original Episode 4 ;-) It seems more believable that Bette would close her gallery and go to the CAC when the gallery faces financial problems. In the show it feels like she left her very successful gallery business, her professional independence as a sacrifice.
      I hope that you won’t let Tina quit her job to “prepare for becoming pregnant”. Such a crap. I shouldn’t start with things that didn’t make sense in the show… long list.

      BK, I love how you tell us about T + B’s early days. The characters become much more colourful and complex. Stories of their past explain some of the things they did in the show. I would also love if you’d write more of their story while changing or ignoring some of the “argh!”-moments of the show.

      Enjoy your Sunday, good luck in finding Rosie – I feel she’s near and will show herself to you :-).


      • KiwiP
        You really nailed this analysis my little friend. Grief is a complicated, twisty, elusive bugger of an emotion and I have had enough of my share to last a life time. I think that is why I love your comments so much. Who says how one can grieve or not grieve? I don’t know if you follow Chrissy Teigen on twitter but (she’s a celebrity, may not be something you do) she lost a baby last week and posted a picture on the twitter that received some negative feedback on how she “should” be responding to the loss of her child.
        I mention this because it correlates with what you wrote about Bette jumping on the way Tina expressed (or didn’t express) her own grief after losing Ellie. Bette really had no say in that process and was doing all the right things EXCEPT allow Tina to talk about it in her own time. Did Tina shut her out yes – but there was an element of payback to Bette’s own mini temper tantrum and refusal to talk, as you mentioned in your commentary.
        I was trying to show the side of Bette that we all cringed to see – the impulsive, self centered, egotistical complicated woman who drives Tina from her eventually (if we are to believe that hogwash known as Gen Q). I love that you saw that reveal of her as written but we both know she can do better.
        It reminds of the scene where Tina tells Bette that her (Bette’s) idea are always more enlightened, her contributions more evolved than anyone else’s … or something to that effect. And that it is hard to live in that shadow.
        And then you hit me with the Star Wars reference and my heart is yours, Kiwi. I love Star Wars – or did before that, too, was ruined by silly flying Princesses and a snarky Han Solo to mention just two terrible plot pieces.
        I have a long list of L Word Season One scenes that make NO sense. We should compare notes.

        This story is inching along to try and fix those Things That Annoy Me About Season One so fingers crossed I get some of it right. Thank you so much for your witty commentary, I had to chime in as Bette is currently searching the house for clues as to Rosie’s whereabouts and I had a few moments.
        Cheers KP, have a great week =

        • Yeah, call me, let’s make a list of irrational, unnecessary, out of character, outright stupid things that didn’t follow the canon of the show and simply get on the nerves of the fans of TLW to the point that we had to make it all better by creating beautiful fanfiction. Oh wait… scratch that, fanfic is the world’s best thing that was born out of crappy scripts :-)

          I read the tweet of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. A bold post and probably too personal for some readers. It is what both needed in their grief so who are we (the readers) to judge if it’s appropriate or whatever? Back to Tina and Bette. We know a little of how Bette reacted to Melvin’s death or even – in Gen Q – to Kit’s death. Her reaction, her accusations towards Tina didn’t sit well with me as well. Therefore I’d say you did a great job of portraying Bette’s reaction to Tina’s way of griefing very much in canon of the show and in character.

          I remember the scene you mentioned. In the backyard of T + B’s house, shortly before she stole the 17 reasons-sign. I think. Tina said it kind of again in Gen Q, in her “you took so much space” speach.

          Enough blabbing, I shouldn’t distract you from watching Bette and the search for Rosie. Poor baby is missing for over a week now. Can’t wait for your update of what happens at the river!


    12. Bk,
      Love the way we can expect, skill, passion, humor and even learn new vocabulary words like “mewl”! It’s hard to have to stop and look words up bc I hear my Mother saying, “go look it up” whenever we tried to take the easy route ????

      Leave it to you BK to following one of the most intimate love exchanges where Bette ended up whispering into Tina’s ear twice that she was terrified that their emotional connection had been “lost”. Without that connection Bette is not fully Bette.

      Anyway the meeting with Tina’s parents had me laughing so hard I lost breath!! Bette was a scream! Gorgeous, sexy, cool as a cucumber, licking her chops for the encounter. Strutting, pressing herself against Tina and giving her the sweetest little kisses ????????????. In the resturant alone, she had everyone who was watching creaming their knickers and boners rising. And ta boot, Tina asked her if it was “necessary”, and she said yes!!!

      Love the clifthanger ending that land left to Ellie, which she then gave to Tina and Bette with legal documentation will give Bette yet another opportunity to “slay” ????????

    13. Just thinking how many readers really, really have soul-mending insights into the area of “communication”. We’re indulging in what’s suppose to be fan fiction, but it’s way more than that. We know the heart of these comments certainly apply to right now, today, in our lives.

      I try to condense the meaning and life-giving breath of the trials of effective communication. I used to think that communication is key until I realized COMPREHENSION is. If a person doesn’t understand me, I won’t reach them the way I need to.

      BK and so many Authors in Tibette nation are so good at revealing how intimacy is not solely about sex. But intimacy is about T R U T H. “You’re SAFE with me”

    14. Your chapter was so very good (as always I have to say) but I felt so sad reading it because it was the beginning of the end …
      Then I read your response to one of the comments and hope returned !

      Bless Ellie for giving Tina her brilliant personality. Can you imagine children being raised by these horrible parents?!?!

    15. BK

      So much insight from all the above comments. The thing I sit on is how you are foreshadowing the issues that lead to their break up. Sad every time you brush up against these difficulties they have communicating. Love was never an issue for them…


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