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    The Beginning 23

    From Chapter 22…

    She was towel drying her hair and considering making a very stiff drink from the mini bar in the room when there was a knock on the door. Reaching for her robe, she tightened the belt and opened the door, expecting room service with the dinner she ordered.

    Instead, she saw the lovely and most welcome figure of her girlfriend. Bette stood there with an expression on her face that completely melted Tina and the force in which she launched herself at the brunette took them both into the hallway. Bette’s arms wrapped around Tina so tightly that for a moment she couldn’t breathe.

    “Bette, my God. You’re here…”

    “I’m here…” Bette replied, twirling Tina in the hallway, the tears coming.

    23

    Tina moved Bette’s suitcase into the bedroom of the suite, placing it on the rack at the end of the bed then wandering aimless around the room before deciding to pour that stiff drink after all. Swallowing a large gulp, her eyes wandering back to the familiar suitcase, the reality of Bette traveling to see her settling in to make her weepy, grateful.

    She had been so lost while in Vancouver, flailing. Having Bette arrive at her door was… wow… such a gift, such a declaration of unity that she needed a moment to process. She had been utterly miserable without the brunette, her sleep restless, her appetite nonexistent. Nagging doubts filled her head, the kind that always seem to creep in at two in the morning like tiny mosquitoes buzzing around to ruin a picnic. Swat at one and ten more arrive. It was a dismal existence.

    There was still a sense of awkwardness, the distance between them laced with hurt and assumptions and unspoken emotions. But Bette was here. “I’m here” she had said simply, and Tina could write a thesis on the layers and symbolism of those two words.

    I’m here because being home alone is insufferable.

    I’m here, here to stay.

    I’m here for us, I’m here for you, for me.

    I’m here because we can not be apart, not now. Not ever.

    I’m here.

    And on and on. Yet the small talk continued, the glancing away when eye contact was made, the hands that never quite touched when they reached for each other. The next two days were going to be important, Tina decided. Would set the tone for Bette’s visit and for the fallout of her actions at Dinah Shore. Another gulp of her drink and it was finished, and she sighed, suddenly wishing they could just fall into bed and sleep for twelve hours, rest always came easier when Bette was with her.

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    Comments

    1. I’m supposed to be resting my broken shoulder but ain’t no way that’s happening right now. Why? Because…

      “I’m here because being home alone is insufferable.
      I’m here, here to stay.
      I’m here for us, I’m here for you, for me.
      I’m here because we can not be apart, not now. Not ever.
      I’m here.” and…

      “Every morning there was a new flower in the vase by her side of the bed to greet her…”

      BK: You kept your promise. Major heavy sigh. Time to settle in.

      • It takes courage to write a fanfiction story. Without a doubt. It takes a lot of courage to write a TiBette fanfiction story because we readers are all so damn picky. It takes even more courage to try to fix broken aspects of the TiBette love story because we all have our own ideas as of what needs to happen. It takes a multitude of writing talent to pull it off and succeed. Oh how you have succeeded. This chapter? Where to begin. This chapter is so very quiet. I so love that this chapter like their love…just is. But in the quiet there is also a gentle and continual flow of emotion. Vast emotion. Not overwhelming yelling or arguing or crying but slow, respectful, sincere, pure, being together, which is so very befitting of their love. They reconnect because they talk and they listen and they feel and they heal… together. Because as Ellie would say: “we’re gonna wrap our arms around you, Sugar Pie, don’t you worry ‘bout a thing…” And that’s just what Tina does. And she gives Bette the gift of time:

        “And so, two days passed, then the morning of the third. And Tina never pressured, never asked, never did anything but make Bette feel so delightfully welcome, so vitally important, so unconditionally and indescribably loved. And slowly Bette felt herself breathe more deeply, her insides loosening up, her thoughts clearing. She slept. A lot. She wandered museums, parks, libraries. Losing herself in the artwork, the nature, the history. There was a personal yoga instructor at the hotel that met with her each day, in a large sunlit room overlooking the forest and there was a heated pool for her to swim laps in.” This is perfect. The respect Tina shows for Bette speaks volumes.

        Many authors have tried to fix different aspects of TLW. This chapter is the first bit of fanfiction I have read that gives me any hope that the GQ Bette and Tina we are so worried about can actually be fixed. Because as you show so very simplistically and eloquently, where love is present, anything is truly possible. There is nothing so wrong or so bad that can’t be fixed or forgiven. It just doesn’t have to be that damn dramatic or complicated. Talking and listening and loving and being present.

        Your version of Tina in this chapter is one of the sweetest Tina’s ever. She has her pulse on exactly what Bette needs. She gives her space. She talks but does not insist, does not push, does not persuade, does not pressure. All at a time when all she wanted to do was grab Bette and kiss her and make love to her she managed to hold back. For Bette. She was able to strike a healthy and respectful balance and take her cues from Bette by waiting patiently while also letting her know how very sorry she was and how much she loves her. And listening to Bette talk about the waiting room and the cup of coffee and feeling so helpless and her own sense of loss. Experiencing each and every detail. And when the time was finally right and Bette’s fears and insecurities and numbness faded away they were able to physically connect: “On the couch, on the desk, in the shower and in the tub, neither could get enough, it would never be enough. There was time for snuggles, favorite movies in the background, long talks in the tub, slow lovemaking until the sun came up. Both would remember this time forever, when true healing took place, when they learned to lean on each other, to have the hard conversations and to share their innermost feelings and insecurities.” Their intimacy is once again off the charts.

        And I love that they are going to make another baby. It’s what Bette wants so very much. Angie will be on her way very soon. Because even in their grief: “There’s more room in a broken heart…” So they will try again. This leads me to two of my favorite lines which are said after Bette shares her fear: 1. “Tee. That scares me to my very bones while bringing me unspeakable joy at the same time. Are you sure?” and 2. “I think we will have an infinite capacity to love our child because I know that’s how I feel about you…” Number one because Bette was able to articulate her fear. Number two because Tina so beautifully articulated her love. So simple. So true. So important.

        You did good, BK. And thank you for the flowers and for keeping Bette safe and warm on her hike. And thank you for treating our couple as two mature adults. This is how it’s done. Can’t you just hop on over to GQ and give it a little look? Work some of your literary magic? Please?

        • Oh my goodness, Billy. I absolutely love your description of this chapter as “quiet”. A delicate, gentle pause. Quiet is such a layered word – it can be ominous in the pregnant pause before trouble rears up or it can be a comfort, bring peace. To be quiet is to have trust, and in this chapter Tina gives all of that and more to Bette. Quiet peace, even though we know she is dying to speak, to take action. Giving Bette space (I use that word purposefully bc it still irritates me what GQ did with the concept of space)… giving Bette space to heal, to process. This is the sweet, caring, watchful Tina I envision. Trusting in her love for Bette. You sum it up – “talking and listening and just being present…” perfect!
          Your two favorite lines are favorites of mine as well. That Bette can now express her fears so clearly – even warning Tina that with a second pregnancy she will be off the charts with anxiety – and Tina continues to listen and respond and then connect physically.
          Quiet indeed.

      • Hey Billy, how is it going with your shoulder? You need to give it the rest and time to heal but i get that’s a difficult task when BK write such a beautiful and emotional chapter. Take care my friend ♥️

    2. Wow…. Tina brought Bette back from her depression, the loss of her child. And the raw sex… amazing ….. and then the willingness and the readiness to try again. My heart leaped for Bette when Tina told her they could try again as soon as next month…. There is only one thing Bette wants as much as she wants Tina and that is a family.

      This was a magnificent chapter. I felt the depths of despair Bette had from the loss of their son. This trip has basically saved their relationship….. without the in depth conversation and lovemaking, they would have drifted apart. Perfect time for both of them….

      Brilliant story teller and writer.

    3. Amazing chapter…. Tina definatly knows how to handle Bette. She wanted, coaxed and listened, until everything was so right. What a journey they’ve had. Hopefully now they can repair their hearts and grow more together ready for their next pregnancy. Can’t wait to see where your story goes with them ….. take care ….

      • Thank you Janice! You are so right – coaxed is a great word! Looking forward to seeing what happens next, glad you are along for the journey. Stay tuned!

    4. Hi BK,

      Time flies away especially when reading your version of Bette and Tina!

      God, what to say, let me start with the beginning:

      “There was still a sense of awkwardness, the distance between them laced with hurt and assumptions and unspoken emotions. But Bette was here. “I’m here” she had said simply, and Tina could write a thesis on the layers and symbolism of those two words.

      I’m here because being home alone is insufferable.

      I’m here, here to stay.

      I’m here for us, I’m here for you, for me.

      I’m here because we can not be apart, not now. Not ever.

      I’m here.”

      So beautiful written and so true. So happy that Bette flew to Vancouver to show Tina that she is there for her as well for herself and their relationship.

      Tina did the right thing by giving Bette the time and space to relax, to let go of her stress and setlle in before they talked. And boy what a deep and heartwrenching talk it was, how Bette opened up to Tina about the loss of their baby boy, how she sat there in the room with that coffee cup in her hands, not knowing what to do with it. She finally told about about her sorrow, worry and the feel of a dark cloud above, next and everywhere around her. How she felt she had to be strong for Tina and others and would do it again in a heartbeat. And Tina, she responded so well, she knows Bette so well and what she needs. Tina is right, they move away from each other when they don’t talk, communicate, if they don’t, their relationship is doomed and falls apart. Their intimate reconnection, so beautiful, so well written!

      There are so many beautiful and poetic sentences in this chapter, it made me swoon, captured and lured me in. No one has the ability to write that way as you! The way you portray these two ladies is outstanding! I vote for you to be the main writer for GQ, they can learn so much from you!

      A truly brilliant chapter! Thank you!

      • BiBi my friend, you are exactly right – the communication in this chapter is off the charts and so vital to who they are as a couple. When they are talking they soar. Thank you for your kind words and for following all the stories on this site with such keen interest. Be safe!

    5. I didn’t have the luxury of having grandparents. Glad Ellie still comes up in your story. It is the little things the people that love you do for you that you never forget. Both my parents worked a lot of hours, and it was spending time with me that mattered more than anything they ever bought me. Glad Tina had that memory in her life so she could share it with Bette. Another great chapter to read.

      • I am glad Ellie still comes up so often for Tina as well. She was a wealth of knowledge and support for her granddaughter. I was fortunate to have four grandparents but most of the wisdom came from my mother who had a very interesting life and always knew what to do. Spending time with her was a gift, as you describe with your own parents. Thank you for sharing that. BK

    6. A beautiful chapter. One of the highlights is Tina talking about their lovemaking

      It’s intimate, you can’t hide how you feel. You lose control, we both lose control. It’s fantastic, my Sexy Love. You always said it was different with me, with us. That you feel raw, vulnerable… in a good way.”
      “I never minded that, Tee. I yearned for it, needed it. And It is different. You dismantle me…”
      “That’s the point, Bette. Sex, for us, is all about emotion, connecting. When we fuck… it’s raw. And when we make love, it strips away every barrier if you let it. It’s… ”
      They never really talked about this aspect of their relationship. It was an unspoken understanding between them, something they both just knew was… there.

      The essence of Bette & Tina right there.

      And then –

      And that is what tipped Bette over, the pureness, the intimacy, the vulnerability, the closeness. The way Tina gave herself, so freely… giving with such a pure need to please and be loved, to love.
      Hot, heavy tears came unabated as her emotions let go just as her body did earlier. And Tina was there. Tina would always be there.

      Wow, just wow. Looking forward to reading more.

    7. The comments above, more than speak our truth about the exquisiteness of this story, of this chapter. But I may have found another morsel for consideration.

      How often has a turning point, a fork in the road appeared UNknowingly below our feet that sends us off to possible destruction. Something that takes our innocence and passion and try’s to twist those strengths into distruction?

      1. Tina was wary of leaving Bette to go to The Dinah, not really wanting to “partay” with da girls, but with Bette’s insistence, she went.
      2. She was feeling safe with her road-mates to the point of attending the White Ball a hopefulness of imbibing “shots” and sharing merriment. Then the unexpected, unplanned, happened.

      3. . . . . “At the White Party, I got lost in the moment, I should have never let that woman get so close to me. I wasn’t looking for anything other than a chance to be free, I wanted to dance, just lose myself in the music. Not think about the baby, not worry. I am so sorry.”

      “I WASN’T LOOKING FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN A CHANCE TO BE FREE. I WANTED TO DANCE, JUST LOSE MYSELF IN THE MUSIC.”

      Tina was NOT trying to draw attention, nor invite the eye of anyone with her sexy dancing. Had Bette been there, then YES, the sexy dancing would have been for her and her alone!!!

      One of the greatest gifts in Tina’s personality is her willingness and ability to give herself “freely” whether in dancing, her work, or intimacies with Bette.

      Tina was apologetic when she said to Bette: “I hurt you, Bette. I know I hurt you and I’m sorry…”

      “And for some reason this admission soothed Bette, the way Tina was looking at her, the way her eyes were so full of remorse, of regret”.

      “The thought of you in someone else’s arms, Tee. I just, it was like the tipping point. I know you didn’t mean to . . . I know that . . . . But it was like the last straw . . . .no one else should touch you like that, Tee”.

      Then Tina explains further: “It felt so wrong, Bette. She felt so wrong . . . I just didn’t react quickly enough”.

      Then Bette slamming the door on the matter with: “Good. Fucking bitch. She knows you’re my girlfriend”.

      Gosh I was glad that Tina admitted what had happened quickly to Bette in their long-awaited “heart-to-heart” convo. Both of them were very honest and didnt hold back the truths about feelings and actions that were deeply hurtful.

      Thankful that a playful, often insensitive Alice was not around to blurt out anything to Bette about that trip.

      • DT
        you write – “How often has a turning point, a fork in the road appeared UNknowingly below our feet that sends us off to possible destruction. Something that takes our innocence and passion and try’s to twist those strengths into destruction?

        This is so KEY…. how many missed opportunities did the writers have to turn the direction of the plot, to right a wrong, to make this couple last? Takes our innocence and passion and tries to twist those strengths…. you just earned a doctorate in TIBette Theory and Hypothesis. DR. Dumplin. Well done

    8. Terrific chapter, BK. I echo others in saying that you are superb at conveying their intimacy in the truest sense, the sense that is about trust and revelation and attending to each other. I also appreciate your writing on a sentence level. I think that’s why it’s so easy to read! Talent! Bravo, my friend

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