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    The Waiting Room

    Tina took her usual seat in the waiting room, next to the same tired plant on one side, the same small end table on the other. At least the magazines were new, but the couple across the room looked familiar and were doing what Bette called “whisper fighting”, as they did almost every time. Setting her things down on the chair next to her, Tina tried to ignore the quiet arguing across the room, tried to think about what she wanted to say in this session.

    She was early but her previous appointment cancelled last minute and she was already down the street from the therapist’s office where she now sat, so…. she decided to just come and have a cup of coffee while she waited. But the coffee was lukewarm and she was ill tempered, weary after a stressful day, hanging on by a thin thread. But Bette would be here soon and for Bette, she would show up. Every time. There had to be no question about that. Every. Time. “No more running”, she had said when they first started this process and she meant it. Down to the very depths of her soul she meant it.

    For a little over a year she had been coming here, to this very office, sitting in this exact chair once a week, waiting to enter the therapist office and bare her soul, to try and piece together the shattered fragments of her relationship with Bette. More specifically, to try and fix what had become broken, to find the words to explain her decisions in a way that Bette could understand them, could trust again. And to hear from Bette on what she needed to be able to move forward.

    It was Tina who had asked for the divorce, Tina who had not given much of an explanation. This past year had been unraveling that decision, owning it, and all the precursors that led up to it.
    Ruffling through a new magazine, Tina knew she owed the mere hint of reconciliation to the brunette. The ball was firmly in Bette’s court as they say. No one would think badly of the brunette if she refused to give Tina this chance… this last chance… after so many ups and downs. Bette could have very easily called it quits.

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    1. Okay I needed this. We all needed this. What a breath of fresh air and so needed. Just the tonic as I fight this virus. I like that B and T took the time to really search for answers. No blame. Equal partners. We all love this couple or we would not be on this site. And you write them so well. I feel like this is for those who have seen 7 and are worried that the clock is ticking. There is so much anxiety. Much speculation. It’s wonderful to know that in the midst of so much uncertainty authors like you continue to give us moments like this. “She promised to choose Bette every time and she would.” You have such a magical way with words and again peel back the layers to get down to the heart of the matter: their unparalleled love for one another.

      You also describe their therapy so very well. Tough stuff to be sure. “It had been arduous. Painful. Tears were shed, a bucketful, an ocean, a tsunami. They left those sessions feeling stripped of all defenses but hopeful… only to return a week later to peel the band aid off and do it again. It was like pouring lemon juice on a paper cut, except this paper cut was in the aorta of their hearts. This one could bite. But the therapist always managed to end each session with something positive, the healing slow but sure, the pain in the room put down, never to be carried again.” I hope Gen Q gives our couple the same loving and thoughtful consideration. Thank you for offering this lovely distraction. Most importantly, thanks for the hope your story gives… “the trust to give, the trust needed to receive. And they both knew it.” They are on this journey together. As it should be. The only way it can be. And we believe they will succeed.

      Can I just add that “Love Shack” is totally stuck in
      My head?

      • Therapy is tough but I think exactly what they both need. There is enough blame to go around. I leave the long burn to your capable hands, your story has artistically set up a very realistic version of a path back to each other. This small chapter hoped to offer one such version. They are on the journey together and I felt like Tina had to be the one to get it started, Bette the one to take it to the next level.
        And Love Shack has been in my head since the episode aired. It may be the single only moment of joy I get from two seasons of the train wreck that is GQ. Thank you Billy, you are always so thoughtful in your comment, I look forward to your next post.

    2. This story is as perfect as it gets. From what should have happened – “Tina could no longer deny that she had made an epic mistake.. So… she stayed. One night. Her mind a whirl of possibilities, of the need to act. The next morning Tina returned to Vancouver, to Carrie. And the next day she made decisions, each one coming easier, her mind… suddenly… clear”

      And the next step, therapy is their friend. They both need to face their individual demons to overcome them and become the best partner for each other.

      I can just picture them enjoying hockey games and going axe throwing. Lol

      It was magical, really, the conversation on the drive to dinner, “Because I always liked the idea of us as bookends. You, then me… and everything we both love in between.” I believe it was fate or spiritual intervention that had them seated at their table. I believe what’s meant to be will always find a way.

      My favorite lines of dialogue – “Forever is only forever if it’s by your side.” “We both had to earn this trust”

      I managed to control my emotions until Tina was crying after they made love. Then I did, too, for the rest of the story.

      My favorite line – “Intimate lovemaking at it’s finest, the trust to give, the trust needed to receive. And they both knew it”

      No, this is my favorite line – “but there was no question that they were back. For good this time”

      It will happen, we just have to endure and be patient. In the meantime, thank you for this, BK.

    3. This was a story…. this was Bette and Tina I could feel down to my toe nails… This Bette and Tina who have been patiently putting in the time and the work and effort to straighten out the tangles and the mess. Putting in the recognition that there were things that perhaps if I had just made a little more effort, we could have avoided. The effort to actually open up your heart and soul and reveal who you are and what you want… and the realization that sometimes the thing which at one time may irritate us the most was the what we missed when being far apart. And the feeling of love and commitment and connection…. from both of them equally.

      The one thing that I truly love about your stories is that in the end, between the two, there is no blame game… no declarations of judgement and condemnation between these two, just acceptance of the other for who they are…and the total recognition that life will only be half a life without the other. That is why I know they belong together…. truly belong together forever….

      Thanks for this chapter…. lovely, truly a lovely story….

      • Martha
        What a lovely comment. “Putting in the recognition that there were things that perhaps could have been avoided if more effort had been extended” (I paraphrased your exact sentence but the meaning is the same). This! Just this. And you are so right, I never have seen only one of them to blame. Total acceptance is the way to go, they are two sides of the same coin. I think all my stories are that way in some sense. Thank you for reading and taking time to comment.

    4. Hey BK, i am so upset and angry after seeing the promo photos that i can not read this now, i promise to read it when i have calmed down and i don’t have to work. I hope to read it Wednesday.

      • Sweet BiBi. I understand. I think the TiBette Nation is reeling today. How can we continue to hang on be toyed with at every turn? I hope we all get what we want in some form or fashion… or will the fans have moved on by then? The story is here when you are ready my friend.

    5. BK,
      Your gr8 gift is how much, and how many visual pictures U’re able to put in a chapter . . . And ours is, how do we manage to “comment” in 50 pgs or less. I will try . . .

      “She (Tina) was early . . . But Bette would be here soon and for Bette, she would show up. Every time. There had to be no question about that. Every. Time. No more running, she had said when they 1st started this process and she meant it.

      All of page 3.
      . . . . The tough stuff . . . Bette’s confusion . . . The whys and the whereas and the how could yous. Raw, unfiltered, emotional grief & deep pain . . . Words neither ever said out loud were now flung as verbal shrapnel . . . Exposed, there was no where to hide.

      Tina: I am so sorry. If you are ready to listen, I’d like to tell you why . . . And they were off, a journey of a thousand triggers (gosh I like that: a thousand triggers).

      SO THEY PRESERVED. This was a new kind of intimacy, one that had been missing . . . An INTIMACY they E A R N E D.

      Yelling became talking, pacing turned to sitting . . . “A friendship. Start there . . . The Therapist said. Platonic friends. Build that.

      There was a moment when Bette arrived for the session, Tina found herself flushed and while trying to regather her composure . . . Hoping Bette wouldn’t notice. Hoping she did. Lately, Bette always seemed to notice, something that hadn’t happened before.

      And sure enough after Bette sits, she “studied” Tina . . .She’s so pretty, Bette thought . . . But 2day she looks tired, edgy . . . And . . . IS SHE BLUSHING? Well after Bette changes their plans from a therapy session to will u have dinner w/me? I found the last paragraph on Pg 5 to be a gr8 revelation to Tina.

      . . . . She always did love when Bette took charge, when Bette KNEW what was needed wo/Tina having to spell it out. WHEN had this trait. . . THIS GIFT really . . . Become tiresome and suffocating? When did SHE STOP NOTICING how much Bette loved to take care of her?

      Wow!! Finally it wasn’t always about the times Bette hadn’t “noticed” something.

      Part 1 of 2

      • DT
        All the emojis to you my friend. I have never seen a comment like this before – you basically, effectively, decisively took pieces of the chapter and reformulated them into an insightful and captivating reply. I have read it like four times. Your use of capital letters and page references and stringing it all together is just marvelous. And yes, finally everything that is wrong with TiBette is not laid at Bette’s feet. She does notice and Tina notices that she notices. I can’t even begin to imagine the time you took to put this together so thank you doesn’t seem adequate but THANK YOU.

    6. Paper 2of2

      Sitting across from Bette was the love of her life, her soul mate, her gr8st TREASURE. And also . . . The co-author of their pain. BUT there were now complex LAYERS to their relationship. Layers that now made sense . . . Now she understood WHY Tina did. . . What MOTIVATED Tina and WHAT past TRAUMA SWIRLED inside.

      For Tina, that she had hurt Bette was not in question, that Bette could be controlling and difficult and larger than life also well known. BUT she had always seen the softer, gentler, quiet fierceness of Bette’s love . . . And NOW . . She KNEW so much MORE about WHAT made this puzzle of a woman tick.

      To me,these two paragraphs of your story answers so much of the angst we TiBetters feel watching GenQ. You need to over night the Writers/Producers a copy-write copy of this whole chapter to incorrate into Season 3 (if there is one). And see if they’ll hire U to direct Tibette scenes ESPECIALLY the L O V E scenes!!!!

      Anyway, when U tossed in a little banter in the form of: “Remember our attempt to make this for that artist dinner?

      “I remember it got all over the counter. And ALL OVER U by MISTAKE”. . .

      TINA BLUSHED, a deep pink this time . . . Tried to hide it by taking a long sip of her wine, her eyelashes fluttering. ‘Ol Bette got her with that one! HeHeHe!!!

      And finally as the evening rolls on we get to the moments of decision, for Tina:
      I hurt you. Badly. I KNOW this. I WILL wait for you. I want my best friend back. I want my lover back. I want my wife back. And if you leave me standing here tonight, I WILL STILL show up 2morrow morning w/coffee and 1/2 a pumpkin muffin for you. And I WILL WAIT until you’re ready to TRUST me AGAIN . . . (this is Tina putting ALL her eggs in one basket).

      Finally, you give us yet ANOTHER serving of extremely intimate, Tibette lovin’. This is why I keep my sturdy hand-fan at arms reach, at all times to cool my flesh!! Geeze

      “Her head fell back on her neck like all the tendons had been severed, her brain lurching & stumbling with overwhelming lust. It was everything sex was supposed to be . . . And for THEM, was NOISY, WET, OPEN, SEXY.

      RE-read & experience the last two paragraphs on page 15. And all of 16. I rest my case . . . .

    7. Brava!!!!! I am on my feet, BK, applauding you for writing this. It’s exactly what I needed amid all the speculation about where the show is taking us as we get to the business end of S2. I think we have a lot of common ground in our stories and, like you, I see a clear parallel between Tina’s professional expertise and the shonky rubbish MLR is churning out. I am continually amazed at the effrontery of that woman in picking up her paycheque week after week.

      I thought the ‘time capsule’ in the car was brilliant and is typical of your gift of conveying intimacy via the everyday details. That little scene in the car was a short story all by itself. If you wanted to, I’m sure you could repurpose it and have it published somewhere. It’s easily good enough.

      I don’t know whether you’ve been watching the show, but I’m finding myself very torn about what to do if they leave Pippa and Carrie in situ as B&T’s partners. Sometimes I think that will be enough for me to give up entirely, and either try and move on from fanfic or just somehow force myself to ignore Gen Q canon altogether. The latter gives me mixed feelings because Another Left Turn uses S1, but there we are. But also, as you show, there are still ways to tell this story, and I know Billy in particular has been determined to allow all of Gen Q canon to exist and yet still make B&T worthy of each other. These are not easy tasks for any writer who cares about credible human psychology!

      I haven’t read any of the other comments on this story, btw, so forgive me if I’m repeating what others have said. I didn’t want to be influenced, just wanted to tell you how much I admire and appreciate this little slice of healing.

      Thank you!

      • Largo, I liked the time capsule that was Bette’s radio stations too. There is something possessive about having a station of your own in someone else’s car? Oh, the battles here in my house over Spotify stations!!
        I have been watching the show, if by watching I mean cringing and hand wringing and throwing up in my mouth. The show will never make me move from fanfic but there is very little of the current season I see as canon for ANY character. None of the OGs act like the individuals we came to know and love on TLW. Shane most of all, I now loathe her character and had a section in this chapter where I wrote her out.
        Thank you for taking the time to respond when you have your own story to write and manage, it means a lot. And all I can say to all the writers out there – keep the faith, keep writing.

        • Totally agree about Shane. I’ve done a bit of acting in my life and, to me, Gen Q exemplifies how difficult that job is sometimes, when you might not agree AT ALL with what your character is given to do and say, but it’s your job to sell it anyway. It’s possible, of course, that KM thinks Gen Q S2 Shane is fine and dandy, but I’d be surprised.

    8. Hey BK,

      What a blessing to read this one of, i so wish this could have happened on GQ, no, i wished they never even were divorced.

      I am so happy that you and other writers are still writing beautiful Tibette fanfic, sure there is some drama but you survive and are able to handle that because you know each one of you will give us a happy Tibette ending.

      For a Tibette ending on GQ, i don’t have much hope anymore and if they do i can’t be happy anymore. Marja has destroyed their legacy and i can’t help to feel very disappointed and even mad towards JB and a little bit in LH. They were fighting so hard to get Tibette back together in the OG and this what happen on GQ, it destroyed my heart, that they agreed with this bullshit, agreed to torture their loyal fans and string those fans along letting them still have hope for a Tibette reconcilation at the last episode maybe in the last minute. What if the show doesn’t get a third season, then we will have a very short glimpse of a Tibette ending if we get that at all. And to see that ROD is in more episodes then LH and is in the last two episodes too, it’s sucks big time. I am done with GQ.

      Sorry for my rant but i can’t seem to shake my hurt, anger and disappointment from my mind, it blocks me to say anything at all about this one of. Gladly my co readers have left wonderful comments and i fully agree with them.

      • BiBi
        I am not mad at JB or LH. They are professionals. I direct all my anger and confusion and frustration towards one toxic element – Rosie. I see her as the catalyst for the disaster we now see before us. I believe in Jennifer and I believe in Laurel. They will make it happen somehow, someway. Until then, we have this site and the authors who try to untangle the knot that is TiBette. I know you are hurt. I know you are disappointed and I completely understand. Hang in there friend. Visit that niece of yours and breathe in all that is good in the world. Peace, BK

    9. You speak for a lot of people. As loyal fans and devoted readers of fan fiction we can all handle a little drama when we know there is a happy ending. That’s what makes stories like this one so important.

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