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    The Beginning 24

    Bette stayed for the entire duration of Tina’s trip. Content to occupy herself during the day with yoga, swimming, museums and bookstores, she also became a regular on the set of Tina’s movie. It was such a thrill for her, a dream really. It was rare that Bette got a front row seat to see her girlfriend shine professionally, to see behind the scenes of a blockbuster movie, the process fascinating to her. With a regular yoga class and all her activities, Bette was as busy as Tina most days.

    And one day Bette met an older lady at one of her favorite bookstores and they started talking. She was invited to join a group of nature enthusiasts, a group of single older women that hiked the many trails and swam in the variety of lakes in the area. Tina came back to the hotel one evening to find Bette trying on a special wetsuit, designed for cold water swimming. Bette was quickly addicted to the rush of cold water, the pristine locations, the immersion in nature so pure and untouched. It was invigorating. It was freeing and the group embraced her as one of their own.

    They called themselves the “Van-cougars” and a twice a week they planned hikes or a swim in the many lakes and trails around the city. Tina came to watch Bette, sitting on the bank next to the river as Bette entered the cold water, only her face unprotected by the suit she wore. It was exhilarating for both of them, Bette because of the absolute stillness and rush of cold that enveloped her when she swam and Tina because seeing Bette do something so outside her normal comfort zone made her feel giddy with pride. Her girlfriend was so free here, so comfortable in her skin, at peace.

    Everyone laughed when Bette made her way quickly to Tina after swimming, now waiting for the brunette with a large fluffy towel. Bette kissed the blonde with blue lips that felt like ice but a tongue that was pure fire, shaking like a leaf but her big laugh booming. Tina warmed Bette’s cheeks with warm hands and hot kisses, loving her beautiful girlfriend all the more.

    In return, Bette absolutely sunk into watching Tina work, it was a such a pleasure to see the blonde in her professional element. On set, Tina was clearly respected, adored, admired. Now that her personal life was settled, Tina was able to give fully to the production needed on set. Swiftly returning the movie back to the budgeted timeline, she now expected to finish filming ahead of schedule.

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    1. This is truly a lovely chapter. Bette and Tina have learned to talk and listen to each other and they know the real meaning of commitment. Bette put aside her work to be with Tina in Vancouver. Tina was considering quitting her job to return to Bette and straighten out their relationship when Bette arrives unannounced. And when the they returned to Los Angeles, Tina met with management to arrange the job which would allow her to have the personal life she wanted with Bette. She even accepted a cut in pay to achieve her personal goals of being at home more. And in the end she gets it all – her preferred job, time with Bette and less stress of managing people and less travel. All of which were her choices and were implemented without suggestions from Bette. This shows a maturity in Tina that she knows what is important in her life and she is willing to ask for it in a manner that she achieves her desires.

      Bette on the other hand simply leaves her gallery in the hands of James who performs admirably but not perfectly. Bette is not mad at James nor is she upset with Tina at the loss of this artist which she had a very long term desire to either own a piece of her work or present her in a show at her gallery. This is disappointing for Bette, yet if she had know prior to going to Vancouver of this lost artist would result, she still would have gone to Vancouver. This shows how important Tina is to her life. Tina was far more important to Bette than her professional life.

      To me, these actions made by these two completely independent of the other, shows the value each has for the other and how much they value their relationship. Professions, regardless of how prolific and satisfying are temporary at best in most people’s lives. They may last a few years or decades. Love, commitment and relationships are what last a lifetime. And if they are to last a lifetime, they require work, time and sometimes sacrifice to make them work. And most of all, they require communication – listening and hearing as well as talking and disclosing what is on their mind. This Bette and Tina are not afraid to tell the other everything. Tina is a little reluctant because she feels she has failed Bette. She is not afraid of how Bette will react… therefore with a little prodding, she discloses what is on her mind. If the shoes were reversed, I believe that Tina would have responded just as Bette did. First declaring that she had not been let down and then exploring other options for having a baby should one could not get pregnant. That is what love is…. that is what people who care for each other deeply do. Help with potential solutions; provide multiple choice paths to resolution; assure the other that they will be supported no matter the choice they make and are in this together.

      BK, this is truly a lovely story….. love and commitment and equality oozes from every encounter these two have. They are showing a maturity of their long standing relationship and knowledge of what not to do from their experience. This is a relationship which will be a long-term happy one. They may still have problems from time to time, but they have a system of resolving problems and they are so aware of the other’s personality and behavior, they will never allow problems to go unaddressed. Bette being so observant to notice that Tina was performing all her comfort seeking habits – gardening, running, cooking, a nap. And then concluding that Tina was troubled? That is an amazing woman. Of course, I would expect that Tina is just as observant….. so perfect together.

      Thank you for this amazing story. This is one feel good story and I for one would like to see more like this. Bette and Tina although are not perfect act like adults and own their misdeeds and work to correct their problems in a serious manner looking at the “us and we together” and not the “you and me”.

      I look forward to the next chapter and the revelation that Bette and Tina are going to be moms….

      • Martha
        This is one of the most thoughtful, layered, and kindest comment I think I have ever read on this site. You SEE this story, especially this chapter. I had hoped to portray a couple that grew and evolved over time, that learned from their mistakes and made the commitment to each other to constantly work on the relationship. To listen, to talk , to hear each other. To keep their relationship central to who they and the decision they make.
        You write that “That is what love is…. that is what people who care for each other deeply do. Help with potential solutions; provide multiple choice paths to resolution; assure the other that they will be supported no matter the choice they make and are in this together.” and I could not agree more. Preach! It takes work it takes humility and it takes courage to say – here I am, here you are, let’s do this thing – and do it well, with respect and grace offered at every turn. Like you said – the us and the we.
        Thank you, Martha for reading and loving this story. I struggled with this chapter because I wanted to get it right, I wanted to show their connection, their maturity. More to come….

    2. Martha said it all. Hard to follow those words. Excellent chapter. Continuing to fix what the original series got wrong. I love how connected they are both in and out of the bedroom. I love that making a baby has not become a chore. That their love making remains passionate and fresh and exciting and satisfying even while trying to conceive. That they are a true team in every way. Bette interested in Tina’s work, proud of her accomplishments, and Tina patiently listening to Bette’s concerns regarding the gallery. Complete and total respect from both of them; just perfect. I love that Bette is nothing but supportive and empathetic when Tina voices doubts about her ability to conceive, including offering to be the birth mother. Well done. I love that even though they are close to Shane and Alice, they share what they choose to share as a couple and their relationship is very much about the two of them. And I love that Bette offers Tina so much unwavering support: “Be the sunflower, Tee.” She said quietly, “trying for a baby is brave, and ambitious. It takes a certain amount of courage and a dash of dreams to make a baby. Well, that and sperm.”

      Still, one of my favorite passages is their time with Alice and Shane at the Planet. Your Tina is just so incredibly strong and sweet. No wonder Bette is hopelessly in love. Your writing is filled with lots of little details that let us know so much about the inner workings of Tina. Shane getting her grilled cheese was a very nice touch. The couple is so very in tune with each other. So present. So aware. Not perfect to be sure but honest and open to each other. Paying attention. Communicating – either by “osmosis” or “Jedi mind reading.” A simple description that speaks volumes. But I also really love this passage: “Tina scooped all her cucumbers off her salad to put in Bette’s without asking, Bette putting her lemon in Tina’s ice water, neither skipping a beat as Tina continued, smiling softly at Shane and Alice.” Easy. Automatic. This is so very easy to visualize.

      My favorite passage? “Something very close to the best guarantee Tina would ever get.” I will totally remember that one: “Tina closed her eyes briefly as Bette’s now naked body pressed against hers, kissing Bette slowly, tasting the wine and nutmeg and something very close to the best guarantee Tina would ever get. Unconditional love. Security. Bette was the real deal. She moaned in to the kiss, deepening it, needing the reassurance only Bette could give.” Beautiful writing, BK. And, of course, the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae? Angelica is on the way. “For, Dear Reader, neither knew that a tiny life had already begun to form and grow under Tina’s heart, the pregnancy test she took too soon to spot the changes.”

      Well done. I’m sad that there is only one more chapter but so thankful we get 25.

      • Billy
        Thank you for your kind words. I love that you see the connection I was trying to evoke, that you read the simplicity of Tina scooping her cucumbers off her salad to give Bette and Bette adding her lemon to Tina’s water. So simple, done without thinking except so symbolic of a relationship that evolved into a mature, thoughtful, consideration that the show lacked. There were twinges of it, of course and we all hope for this for TiBette but I wanted to show that in this chapter. You see it!
        And, like you mention, Angie is coming. She is on the way – the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae and the fudge as well I would guess.
        This story was never meant to be more than A Beginning, a way for me to fix what I saw as broken. Helena, Henry, Jodie and later Carrie have no chance. Move to come…

        And Congrats on the whopping success of your first chapter! Fantastic start to what I hope is a long lasting fanfic career. Well done…

    3. Thank you for giving me a wonderful start to my weekend.
      Thank you Martha and Billy for comments that put a layer of icing on the superb cake that is a lovely story of versions of Bette and Tina that I love and will miss when this ends.
      I love your writing it leaves me with a warm glow.
      I cannot add to the comments of Martha and Billy just say Ditto.

    4. Hey BK,

      You are forgiven for letting us wait that long! It was a blessing to read this chapter and i am already sad that there is only one chapter left.

      I am not kidding when i say that i have no idea how to add more to the comments of Martha, Billy and SassyGran, everything is already said and wow, those comments are just as beautiful as this story!

      I can only repeat how I love this Bette and Tina. How Bette indicates that Tina is worth fighting for and that she will always go for her and their relationship. That Tina is her greatest gift and everything that comes with it is a nice bonus, but that Tina is it for her. How can your heart not swell with love when you are told that by the love of your life ?!

      This Bette and Tina have learned to talk to each other and not let things fester, to keep things to themselves as a couple and to share with friends only what they want. And now, after deciding to skip a month to get Tina pregnant and enjoy each other and relax, there’s already a little baby growing under Tina’s heart. ♥️ That made me so happy! So happy that i decided to reread all your stories to stay happy this weekend, to let the warm glow stay with me! Even when my soccer team loses the game tomorrow i will try to hold this warm glow! Only problem i have to read day and night and will not be finished by Monday when work is calling out for me

      I wish you a great weekend!

      • Bibi my friend, hope you are well. Tina is worth fighting for and Bette knows what a gift their relationship is. My heart would swell if anyone told me that! You are so right.
        I hope you got outside a little and did not spend all weekend reading my stories although I am very flattered to hear you say that was your plan. I added the bicycle kick reference in this chapter just for you, knowing what a big fan your are of the “loveliest game”…. hope your team won! I dont know if you watch the American women’s team, but they had a good showing against France and look to be finding their shape very well with a new coach.
        Have a great rest of your weekend, talk soon –

        • Hey BK,

          Thank you so much for adding the bicycle kick reference in this chapter for me!
          My team won the cup! So i am one happy woman. I don’t follow the American ladies but i do see some summary of their matches and they are very good!

          I didn’t stay in the house the whole weekend but did started to reread the former chapters of RWYA.

          I hope you had a wonderful weekend too. Take care my friend!

    5. You write this version of Bette and Tina so beautifully. I don’t want this story to end. Martha and Billy have stated everything so wonderfully that no further comments are needed. Except to say DITTO! I hate to see this story end, hoping you will write a sequel to it.

      • Trece – Thank you for jumping in to let me know how much you love this story. A sequel? hmmmm, maybe. Since I have a pregnant Tina in another story I didn’t want to write two at the same time but maybe a check in for the teenage years is in order??? I will think on it. Thanks!

    6. Sexy French huh …

      What in the world is more exhilarating than having found true love and being loved so much in return … I love your Bette !
      Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to watch these kinds of scenes on the show rather than all the nonsense we’re entitled to ?

      I will really miss this story !

      • Sexy French! There is an interview I saw JB do in France where they had an interpreter there for her as questions came in from the audience and the host. And she waved it away, wanting to do her best to answer herself and I was blown away. Nothing better. If anyone can link to this thread please do, I will try and find it as well. Imagine Bette speaking sexy French….
        And yes it would be wonderful to watch this play out in real life! More to come, thanks

    7. I loved this chapter. I so love this story. I love this Bette & Tina.

      It was moving how you wrote about their mending hurt feelings and hard conversations. Things I hope they always remember to do. I was entertained by the “Van-cougars”, and how Bette kept herself busy in Vancouver.

      I can picture Tina standing on the chair, speaking. Bette is right, Tina is beautiful inside and out. I can just see the scene at The Planet, Bette & Tina, Alice and Shane. Bette & Tina communicating and doing all those little things without speaking, that’s the intimacy they share. I, too, love what Tina loves about Bette – how she gives everything to their relationship. She proved that. Bette is Tina’s hero.

      A favorite line – “And then the kissing. Holy Smoking Hot kisses. Sweet so fucking sweet.” There’s no better way to describe it than that.

      “For Dear Reader neither knew that a tiny life had already begun to form and grow under Tina’s heart” I just loved the way you described this, this paragraph.

      There are so many lines from this chapter that will stay with me. And thank you for the heads up that the next chapter will be the last. I will miss this story (I know I will re-read it often), but I will selfishly look forward to more stories to come from you. BK, you write beautifully.

      • Westy Westy
        I was hoping I would hear from you! Can’t you just picture Bette and her Van-Cougar ladies hitting the trails once a week? How they would embrace Bette, giving her a whole new frame of life? Love it.
        There is a video of Tina giving a toast at a convention I believe where she stands on a chair and thanks the crowd, especially the Japanese fans. She seemed so sincere and gracious that I had that vision in my head when I wrote that scene in this chapter.
        You write that Bette is Tina’s hero and that is so true, such a simple thing to say, only four words, and yet it resonates with the heart of this story. More stories to come for sure Westy, I have some new ideas that I hope will be enjoyed as much as this story was. Thank you!

      • Lee thank you so much for commenting! I hope to hear more from you and I thought you did an excellent job expressing how you feel. Thank you for your kind words. More stories to come!

    8. Oh BKkkk,
      Oh.. I wish I could say it as well as Martha and Billy and I so totally agree with Westy and of course I want to reread the whole dang thing again like Bibi….good gracious, what a wonderful group of readers and writers on this site, with the most STELLAR COMMENTS.
      It’s incredible. The support is incredible.
      But it’s not at all a surprise, as this story has been absolute perfection, BK. You take our collective breath away. Truly. And I still can’t figure out how you have managed to so thoroughly satisfy every single one of us who reads this love story as if you were right there in our brains, researching our innermost thoughts to give us our very own Tibette fantasy relationship. I swear, it’s like you said to Bibi about throwing in the bicycle kick. There has very much been something for everyone here. Each wound from the original show, each cut and each bruise on every single one of us has miraculously been healed by your writing. All of us have our favorite passages that we remember and feel like….yes…that right there..that one…that was the one for me…that’s the one I felt to the tips of my toes. It’s amazing. God knows I’ve taken screenshots of different bits that were earth shattering for me, and I know I’m not the only one.
      Your writing is in a class of its own BK, and while I am shattered that this particular moment in time, that these specific versions of Bette and Tina as they are at the end of this chapter will be leaving us soon, I am so excited for what’s next.
      Thank you for this story.


      • Riskayyyy –
        You know I am your biggest fan. I proudly share the first page of the site with you and totally enjoy your spy story as one of the most epic stories this site has seen.
        And you are so RIGHT, so incredibly RIGHT that the support for writers and for me has been through the roof. I am completely indebted to the readers who take time to comment. This is the best fan base EVER, the best EVER RK, ever.
        Thank you for the kind words. I only sought to right some glaring wrongs in TLW that set up TiBette for disaster later. Fix those and the rest… just doesn’t happen! With that in mind please fix Eric and make the Venus statue reveal her secrets and end the torment in your story once and for all? And while you are at, keep your laptop safe from all things that can harm your ability to write compelling fanfic? That would be great.
        Thanks for your comment, RK. I remain, your most ardent fan.

    9. My Dear BK,
      I can do no more than echo all the foregoing comments! They have well and truly said it all.
      Thank you, once again, for correcting mistakes made in the original series by showing us how positive and relatively drama free Tibette’s relationship could have been. As I mentioned to you, how I wish you, Risky and other wonderful fanfiction writers could have scripted those shows, as well as the sequel! I am almost afraid to see what will happen to our OG favs in Season 2! In my opinion, the show writers can’t hold a candle to the Les Fanfiction Authors! Thank you all for your marvelous stories, and many of the outstanding commenters as well! Please continue to regale us with the imaginative and entertaining tales you post on this wonderful website. Be well and stay safe! Love to all! Dr. A

    10. My dearest Dr A
      I have missed you and your comments. Hope you are well. I wanted a positive, drama free relationship with this story – life provides enough drama so no sense in adding more, right? Agree with you about the caliber of the Lesfan writers over the GQ writers. There is no contest. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment, stay tuned more to come

    11. Aw, that was so delightful! By which I mean ‘full of delight’! Just a lovely, lovely chapter in which we get to see how love should be. I smiled so much when you brought out the ‘Dear Reader’ bit, too.that was beautiful use of dramatic irony. Also, I have to say I don’t think it’s easy to write happy people. Tolstoy was right, happy families are all the same, but here you demonstrate that there’s so much poetry and nuance in happiness, too, if you get the stakes right.

      Well done, my friend. Very nice work. x

      • Largo, seeing you back makes me so happy. Thank you for your kind words. I had not heard that Tolstoy quote but it is nice to think we can find poetry and nuance in the mundane aspects of life. This was a difficult chapter to write so he might have been on to something. I wanted to get it right. Looking forward to seeing something from you soon, have a great weekend.

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