DISCLAIMER: In this story, there are scenes, bits of scenes, and dialogue taken from Season 2 and 3 of The L Word that both move the story along and explain events that unfolded. At the end of each chapter, I will identify what parts are directly from the television version.
SPOILERS: Spoilers for The L Word Seasons 2 and 3.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Laid Up: Another Season 3
By Portia Richardson


Chapter Four

The next day

Shane sat at the kitchen table in jeans and a "wife beater" white undershirt. She was, without success, trying to drink a cup of coffee. The task was made difficult with Carmen seated on her lap nuzzling her neck. Shane smiled at Carmen. "Do you think I'll get to finish this cup?"

"I'm not stopping you, baby," Carmen teased.

"I can hardly get to it with you sitting on me."

"Shane, is that my fault or yours? I can't sit in any of these kitchen chairs. I have to sit on something soft. My ass is still on fire."

"Did I hurt you?" Shane said with concern.

"You hurt me good." Last night had been incredible. With Jenny out of the house and Mark leaving them alone, Shane had no distractions. Carmen had been fulfilled numerous times throughout yesterday afternoon, last night, and early this morning and she had taken care of Shane, too. Still, when Shane reached for her mug, Carmen grabbed that hand and pressed it against her breast that was covered by a satiny bowling shirt. Sated? Yes. But she wasn't averse to some morning loving.

Shane groaned when she felt Carmen's hard nipple under her hand and she was compelled to squeeze her breast and pinch the nipple. Carmen bent to Shane's lips and kissed her, a smile crossing her lips when Shane opened her mouth to Carmen's tongue. Shane slid the mug across the table as she re-positioned her on her lap.

Carmen heard the mug being slid away and she broke their kiss. ""What? Drink. I don't want to keep you from your morning ritual."

"You've become my morning ritual."

Shane kissed her again, thinking, screw the coffee. The shed door slammed outside.

Again, Carmen broke the kiss. "If only we were totally alone. I'd take you right here on this table," Carmen threatened.

"I'd take you."

Carmen looked up and out the window. "Not gonna happen. Your perverted friend is on his way in."

"Carmen, he's apologized for the cameras and tapes. Mark's been a decent guy.

Carmen reared back and looked at her lover. She spoke in a low tone. "Decent? Uh-uh. Have you noticed all of the plain, brown envelopes with no return address coming to the house for him?"


"I have. Three this week. It wouldn't surprise me if he's sold pictures of you to freaks online."

To shut Carmen's ongoing commentary on what was wrong with Mark, Shane pushed her tongue down her throat and kissed her in a way that had Carmen moaning in her mouth. Mark walked onto the back deck and was about to enter the kitchen when he saw the two women locking lips. He put on his game face, and walked in.

"Hey," Mark casually said.

Shane chuckled and turned to look at Mark while Carmen wiped her lipstick off of Shane's lips.

"Hey, Mark. What's up?"

Mark spoke directly to Shane as if Carmen weren't there. "Hey, I just talked to a friend of mine. He scored some 'E.' I'm buying enough for the weekend; we can invite a few people over…"

Shane perked up and began to stand, pushing Carmen off of her. Carmen stood and stared at Mark. "We're not interested in doing any Ecstasy, Mark?"

This time, Mark did speak to Carmen, but his eyes never left Shane. "We're not interested? Are you one entity now?"

Shane saw that things could easily get explosive, so she soothed. "Hey…"

"I was really talking to Shane, Carmen. So anyway, Shane I've got the cash. No cost to you."

Shane looked at Carmen, then at Mark.

"I'll pass, but thanks, man."

Mark scratched his neck and shook his head. "God, Shane. You're sounding kinda whipped."

Carmen had enough. She got in his face. "I've got somethin' you want, don't I?"

Mark backed away and stared at Carmen and shook his head. The corners of his lips went up, but he never quite reached a smile. "It's not like that."

Carmen wasn't fooled. "The hell it isn't. You walk around here with a hard-on for Shane all fuckin' day long."

"Carmen?" Shane pleaded.

Mark moved closer. "I pay rent here. If I suggest hanging with my roommate and you don't like it, that's your problem."

The idea of letting Mark slide on this was something Carmen wouldn't allow. "Why is it that you always turn up wherever we are? LA's a big place, but if we're at a club, there you are. If we're in a shop at the beach, who do we see on the boardwalk when we walk out?" Carmen got louder. "When we're swimming at Tina and Bette's, you're diving in, too Do you want me to go on?"

Shane stepped between the two of them. "C'mon guys, be cool."

"Cool," Mark replied, gesturing with his hands like an umpire would declare someone safe on base. He didn't want to go on with this because Carmen was hitting way too close to home.

Mark turned away and opened the refrigerator. Carmen wasn't finished, though. "It is so not cool. First it was the cameras, now you can barely look me in the eye. I'm watchin' you."

"Carmen, calm down."

Carmen turned to Shane, furious that she would say that.

"Fine. But you know it, Shane. You know he follows you." Carmen was beyond annoyed and all of the morning cuddling and lovemaking were forgotten. "Maybe you like it. I'm sick of it." She turned on her heels and left the kitchen for the bedroom, leaving Mark and Shane.

Mark looked at Shane and plainly stated, "I'm not stalking you. I want to be your friend."

"We are. But Carmen is my girlfriend."

Mark laughed. He placed his hands on his thighs and bent over to laugh harder, then he looked up at her. "Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds? I mean, really, Shane. No one woman is ever going to be enough for you. You and Carmen might last out the month, but…"

"Stop it, Mark."

He didn't like Carmen. Shane would be better off without that controlling bitch. "You act like her pussy's golden."

This time it was Shane who got in his face. "You're really close to crossing that line. Watch it, man."

Helena was seated next to Tina's bed when Alice walked in. Alice stood at the door, not wanting to intrude, but Helena looked up.

"Come in, Alice. I was just saying goodbye."

"How's she doing?" Alice sauntered in and stood at the foot of the bed looking up at Tina.

"I spoke with the specialists assigned to her case. They had nothing to tell me until I gave them a sizeable donation. They've become quite cooperative. Anyway, her blood pressure has been mostly under control, but it's peaked a few times, not much, but enough for them to worry about additional brain swelling."

"What does that mean?"

"I suspect they'll have to re-insert the tube to drain spinal fluids." Helena lightly brushed the only hair on Tina's head off her forehead. "It's fortunate that her hair hasn't really grown in yet."

"Is she in danger?"

"I'm not certain. Perhaps I should speak with Bette…"

"Helena, that's not a good idea. If you stick your nose in Tina's health condition, Bette will rip you a new one."

"I care about her, too, Alice."

"That's not the point."

"Very well. Then you speak with her. Let me know?"

"Yeah, I will."

Helena kissed Tina's cheek, picked up her purse, and waved goodbye to Alice.

Alice thought Tina looked better than she had expected, but by no means did she look good. Tina had lost weight and was remarkably pale. Alice was sitting beside her in Tina's private room and had been with her about forty minutes. She had talked to her about Angelica, told her about how hard Bette was working to keep everything together, how Helena was becoming more tolerable, and that Shane and Carmen were really becoming the hot new couple in West Hollywood.

"You're probably wondering what's going on with me and Dana. Tee, I don't know. I mean, things are good, then they're terrible. Ever since Lara started working at the Planet it's like Dana is picking fights with me. I mean, if we broke up…. God, I can't even think about that happening. You know what I mean? She's like my total other half and I don't know what to do to make her feel that, too. She used to. I guess she did. Whatever. I don't know. Okay, do you know she accused me of spying on her and stalking her? Stalking her? Can you believe that? I'm stalking Dana? Please."

Alice stared at Tina and accepted that Tina was not going to respond. It was beneficial to the patient to be stimulated by talking, so Alice kept it going.

"You know what rocks, Tee? This whole Earth Mother to Angelica thing. I'm really into it. I've been doing all sorts of research and reading about new products and stuff. There are so many baby-related sites online. That's not to say that parenting is easy. You know there are all these ways you can do it. There's this whole permissive thing where you just let the baby roam around doing self-discovery; then there's this really kind of restrictive way of doing it. You just stick the baby in her crib or playpen or something and ignore her. Oh, yeah, that's a great way to raise a future convict. Am I right? And, the one I kind of like is attachment parenting. It's so lez. Bette's already sort of doing it. You carry the baby around with you all the time, let her stay close, don't put her down, all for the bonding experience. It might be a little too much. What's the baby going to do when she goes off to school? Would the parents bring in a big girl's desk so they could sit with her in class?" Alice laughed. "What I'm thinking is that there are really like a thousand stories here about parenting. I've joined like ten forums and mailing lists already and am getting so much firsthand information. I am so sure I could get a long-term freelance gig writing a series on parenting—what it's like, the different types of parents, stuff like that. I could probably milk that for six months at least. And imagine all the free shit I can get from Gerber or Similac or Babies R Us for Angelica. I think it's a hot idea." Alice took a deep breath, her shoulders nearly touching her ears in a shrug. She stared at Tina for a long time. She really didn't understand how this could be happening to Tina and Bette. They had a new baby, they were falling in love again, and everything was working out. So sad.

Alice was pulled from her thoughts when a young man with an early morning's growth of beard walked into the room. The man wore a pair of jeans and a striped turquoise and white cotton T-shirt that made him look like he had been dressed by the same people who chose Bert and Ernie's attire on Sesame Street. He carried a guitar on his back and he actually bounced into the room more than walked in.

"Hey, how ya doin'?" he said in that kind of 'I've been smoking pot all morning,' way.

Alice looked at him and wondered why he was there. She knew that Tina didn't know him. "Hello?"

"Hi," he drawled while turning his guitar around his body to the front. "My name's Angus and I'm Ms. Kennard's music therapist."

"Music therapist? Umm, she can't talk or move. You're not going to get her to sing."

"No, no. I come in for a few minutes and just strum the guitar, create some simple tones with my voice. Here, watch me. Don't say anything, though. Watch to see if you see any reaction."


Alice turned to look at Tina and for a fleeting moment thought that if the parenting story didn't fly, she could sell at least one article on treating comatose patients.

Angus looked at Tina for several seconds before he started. He watched how her chest rose and fell with her natural breathing and then mimicked that with his guitar trying to blend and create a harmony between the two. After a few minutes of strumming the same chords, he added his voice. Softly, Alice heard him sing, "Dooooo-dooo-dooooo-dooo." Angus repeated this pattern for ten minutes and the one time he saw a change in Tina's breathing, he changed his pattern to accompany her. Suddenly, he stopped, pushed his guitar behind his back and said to Alice, "Did you notice anything?"


"I think her breathing changed a bit once or twice. I think she sensed it."

"I couldn't tell. Maybe."

"Well, hey, it was nice meeting you. I need to make my rounds. Maybe I'll see you around again."

Angus quietly slipped away, heading to the next room with a comatose patient.

Alice looked at Tina. "He was kind of cute, huh? In a stoner kind of way."

Shane walked through her kitchen, glanced out of the side window and saw her Jeep parked in the driveway. She was looking for Carmen and thought she had gone to the store or MacDonalds. The car was there. She opened the back door and stepped onto the deck.

"Carmen? Carmen?" Shane shouted. She noticed the converted shed door was open and saw Carmen standing inside.

At the door to Mark's studio, Shane looked at Carmen in disbelief. Her lover was holding a stack of papers in her hand, reading intently, flipping from one page to the next. Shane looked at her, concern already etched on her face that Carmen had invaded Mark's space.

"What are you doing? Carmen, this is as bad as him having cameras. You shouldn't be in here going through his stuff."

Carmen looked up at her and an equal amount of concern showed on her face. Quietly, she slid some of the papers on the table across the surface of it.

"Take a look. There's plenty more. It's unbelievable, Shane."

Shane looked down at the paper. Her eyes widened. "What the fuck?"

Those had been Carmen's words ten minutes earlier. She knew she had no business snooping, but those brown envelopes had her intuition on high alert. Something was going on and she was determined to get to the bottom of it.

Carmen turned to her and shook her head. "He's crazy. I want him out of here. This shit scares me."

Shane nodded, not really listening to Carmen. She moved the top sheet away and glanced at the next piece of paper. She was unnerved by what she saw. "This doesn't make sense. Why would he do this?"

"Cause he's a fucking fucked-up mother fucker. That's why."

Carmen dropped the pages she held onto Mark's desk next to the computer and walked over to Shane. She caressed her arm and could feel shame and Shane's sense of betrayal pouring from her.

"I-I don't understand."

Carmen continued to rub her arm. "None of this matters to me, unless it matters to you." Shane seemed distant and was unresponsive. Carmen watched her intently, wondering what was going on in her lover's head. Finally, Carmen added, "You need to put him out today, though. You can't let this slide."

Serendipity had Mark walking down the pathway reading Variety and not noticing the opened door of the shed until he was directly in front of it. When he looked up and saw the two women in a comforting embrace, he feared the worse. His eyes focused now on his desk and he knew that yes, they had uncovered his secret.

"Hi," he said weakly.

Carmen pulled herself from encircling Shane in her arms and looked up and immediately started to lunge at him. "You sick, little fuck."

Shane grabbed Carmen around the waist and pulled her back. Anticipating the shower of punches and verbal assaults he was sure to receive, Mark had backed against the wall.

Instead, Shane stepped in. "Stop it. Stop it."

Carmen was panting and nearly foaming at the mouth. Shane grabbed a handful of the papers and waved them in front of him.

Mark was busted, but he had a defense. "It's not bad, Shane. It's good."

"What is wrong with you? I gave you another chance. I cut you a break. Jenny wanted you out."

Mark stepped forward, but when he saw Shane clench her jaw, he backed into his corner again, clutching the Variety magazine to his chest. "Shane, this was a surprise, I was going to tell you about it."


"No, I did this for you. I paid the money to get that for you."

"Freak. Rat bastard. You're full of it," Carmen had anger for both of them and expressed it whenever she could get a word in.

"You told me you were from Austin and didn't know anything about your family. I paid a fee to track them down for you."

"Who asked you to?" Shane was a mix of bewilderment and anger.

"You seem so alone," he said with concern.

Carmen was irate. She wanted to kick his sorry ass from West Hollywood down La Brea to the freeway and then throw him off of an overpass. "What?"

"The reason you use drugs and did some of the things in your past…"

"It's not your fucking business, Mark. It's not your business. It's not your business," Shane yelled.

Mark was going to get everything out. He'd wanted to share all of this news with Shane but had been waiting for the right moment. Now was the time. "I wanted to be sure, so I went to a bunch of different places. Everybody came back with the same info.

"You dug up shit on her that you had no right to do. If Shane wanted you to know anything, she would have friggin' told you, you asswipe." Carmen used her fingers to count out his infractions. "Her place of birth, her work history, her foster homes, the places she's lived after she came here, including the shelters, where she banks, what she reported to the goddamn IRS, her arrests…"

Shane looked down in embarrassment.

It looked bad. Mark could see that. "That's not why I got these. That's just part of a…a comprehensive report."

"It wasn't for you to do." Shane's stomach started to churn.

Mark began to whine, still stating his case. "I know where your mom and brother are.

They located your father in Oregon. Shane, I swear I was going to tell you."

"Take your shit and get out." Shane had finally said what Carmen had wanted to hear for weeks.

The papers in her hand and the papers on the table, Shane tossed into the trashcan beside the desk.

"Shane?" Mark had screwed up and he sensed that there would really be no forgiveness this time.

Shane couldn't help it, she started to cry. The tears were out of frustration that she had to deal with all of this crap she had put away long ago. As far as she knew and was concerned she was an orphan. She didn't have to think about how she had been unloved and neglected. Mark had just brought all of this up for her and she was pissed. "Out. Everything. Tonight."

Shane grabbed Carmen's hand and guided her to the door, leaving Mark cowering in the corner.

"Okay. Okay," he whispered.

Bette was pacing Tina's small room in the rehab center. As she walked, she bounced Angelica in her arms. She was a wreck. Nothing was happening as she planned. Bette always knew her next move. Success in life had come easy to her, probably due to her ability to blend her skill, her talent, and her innate mind for strategy. Where others failed, she could burst through, but that was her past. The last year had shown her that success wouldn't always be a given in her life. She had dealt with those changes, but this day was killing her. She was panic-stricken, felt intimidated, and nothing had happened. She had never wanted something so much—not Yale, not her MBA, not her career—this adoption was more important to her than anything had ever been. The degree of her passion for this adoption was matched by her fear that she'd fail. This was going to be her first meeting with the social worker, Roberta Collie. Ms. Collie's reputation preceded her. Bette and Tina had spoken with a lesbian couple that Joyce Wischnia knew. The couple had dealt with Collie and didn't like her much. They were ultimately successful in their second parent adoption petition, but Collie had given them a hard time. Bette wondered how she'd deal with her. The women had called Roberta Collie a man-hungry, cranky, social handicap.

"Don't worry, Angie. Mama B has all the paperwork. You've got a good home, loving parents." Bette's pep talk was not for Angelica, but for herself. "Mama Tee is feeling bad right now, but she'll be fine soon. We are an extraordinary family, aren't we, Boo-Boo?"

"Well, what do you think makes you so extraordinary?" It wasn't really a question, but an accusatory challenge.

Bette turned to face the door and looked at Ms. Collie. She looked nothing like the bitch she had imagined. She was a small woman with delicate features, however, her voice held her power. She sounded harsh and bitter. Holding the baby, Bette walked toward the door extending her arm to shake hands with the woman. "Bette Por…." Collie snubbed her, marching passed, tossing her briefcase in one of the three chairs in the room while holding her clipboard and notes. Bette was surprised by the behavior. "I didn't necessarily mean extraordinary. I was just commenting that we love our family."

"Hmmm." Collie looked at Tina. "That the birth mother?"

"Yes, my partner, Tina Kennard." Bette's jaw clenched. She didn't like the way Collie had acknowledged her spouse.

"Uh-huh. And she's been comatose since she gave birth?"

"Yes, for the most part. The doctors are hopeful." Bette stood behind the social worker.

"Are they now? I'll be talking to them to see how true that is."

Bette was taken aback and she would have gone off on the social worker had she not been holding the baby. "I am not lying about it, if that's what you think."


Angelica started to fuss and Bette bounced her a little and cooed to her. Ms. Collie turned and frowned at Angelica. Bette didn't like that either and her glare matched the social worker's.

"I can arrange for you to speak with Dr. McPherson." Bette looked around the room and changed the subject. "I wanted to let you know that I have all of the papers there on the table. If you'd like to take a look..." Bette motioned with her chin to the lone folder on the small table.

Collie rolled her eyes. "Are you here all the time? With…the…uh, biological mother?"

"We try to spend as much time as possible here, but I'm also promoting some art exhibitions and preparing for an opening as a favor."

"A favor? You don't have a real job?"

"No. With Tina in this condition, I think it's…" Angelica whimpered, then began to cry which irritated Collie to no end.

"I take it you don't have a crib here?" Every question this woman asked sounded like a judgment on Bette's ability as a mother, as a partner, as a productive member of society.

Tina lay in the bed, ignored as Bette and Roberta Collie exchanged frowns and sneers.

"I think you may want to put that baby down and help me up these steps," demanded the handicapped and wheelchair-bound social worker named Roberta Collie.

"Well, we don't really put her down, but I think we'll be okay." Bette's voice was kind and welcoming. She held Angelica, while Kit and Tina helped pull the woman in her wheelchair up the stairs.

Roberta's response was rude. "What do you mean you don't put her down?"

We're practicing, "Bette began. "Attachment parenting," Tina said in unison with Bette.

"Well, I say, anything that can be attached can be detached, so why don't you detach the baby, put her in her crib for a few minutes so you don't drop me."

Bette stared at Ms. Collie. Surely this idiot bitch didn't think that Angelica and Bette lived here twenty-four hours per day. "We don't have a crib… here, but…."

"We bought one, but it became apparent that we weren't going to use it, so we donated to a family in East LA. That's where I work," Mama Tee explained to her while helping her into the house.

"No crib." Collie jotted something on her forms.

"Ms. Collie?" Bette said.


"Roberta, please have a seat. We can go over the papers."

"I don't need to sit. I can't make any kind of decision here. With the birth mother practically a vegetable…"

"Her name is Tina. Tina Kennard. And she isn't a vegetable. She's in a temporary coma. She is the birth mother, but we are both Angelica's parents."

"According to the state of California and the County of Los Angeles, you are not a parent to this child until I say you are. Right now, Ms. Porter, you're the roommate taking care of your friend's baby."

Bette counted to 10. She counted to 20, then counted to 50. Her eyes closed. Second parent adoption would be out of the question if she attacked this woman. "You know, you-you can minimize my role in Angelica's life for now, if you must—legally--but please, don't diminish the relationship I have with Tina by labeling me the roommate. If I could have married her I would have."

"I understand completely, Bette. Unfortunately for you, I guess, same-sex marriage is also illegal. Let's move on." Collie was not going to argue politics with this woman.

This was going to be so much more difficult than Tina had anticipated. Tina had been worried about Bette's art work, the hipness of their house versus a home that was baby-oriented with bright colors and logic toys. Tina had wanted to buy a bunch of Fisher-Price toys with all of the primary colors, Mattel Learning games that made animal noises, spongy balls and furry, stuffed animals, but Bette had nixed all of it.

Bette said to Roberta, "…I really want Angelica to develop an intrinsic sense of beauty."

"Uh-hmm. I can tell that's important to you, Bette. Presumably, that's why I don't see an abundance of brightly colored, stimulating, interactive, plastic toys strewn around the home."


"Roberta, please have a seat. We can take a look at our papers." Bette moved to the table and sat down. She extended her hand to encourage Collie into the other chair. Surprisingly, Roberta Collie did take a seat.

"You mentioned that you're doing favors in the art world, but aren't working."

"Right now I'm looking for that perfect job that speaks to my passions, that will have some meaning and really give me a sense of purpose, in my career as well as making a contribution to the art world and society at large."

"That's lofty, but what about your contribution to this extraordinary family of yours? It doesn't look like the baby's mother is going to be doing anything anytime soon."

Bette stared into Collie's eyes before answering. "I know th-that you said legally I'm not Angelica's mother, but in my eyes, in Tina's eyes, in the eyes of our family and friends, I'm this baby's mother, too. But, to answer your question, I've been offered a number of things, but I do have the luxury at this time to be a bit choosey about the offer I accept."

"How is that, Bette? From what I read in your original application, you were paid in full through the end of your contract at that little museum you were fired from. With a new baby and your roommate, excuse me, your domestic partner in here, I would imagine that your money is already running low."

Bette smiled. "We have insurance and my father passed away recently. His estate was rather substantial." Bette didn't go into how things were set up. Her mind hadn't completely wrapped around some of the things her father had done. Daddy had left her wordless when she learned of his eleventh hour deeds. The night before her father had moved into Bette's house, he had sent for his lawyer, Julian Abernathy. Abernathy took the late flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles with the requested papers in hand. Melvin Porter had his attorney add a codicil to his Will as well as setting up a Trust Fund. Both provisions involved "the child of Tina Kennard." Daddy had refused to acknowledge Tina as Bette's significant other until his very last moments on earth, but at some point he realized the importance of this unborn child in his own daughter's life. She couldn't help but be reminded of two of her last conversations with her father. The first one, she reiterated that although he might be ashamed of her due to the life she was leading with Tina, she was his daughter and proud of the person she had become. The second conversation, Bette had thought Melvin lucid, but he was hallucinating—thinking he was talking to his former wife and begging her to take care of his little girl, Bette. Bette wanted to believe that the supplement to his Will and the Trust Fund were her father's attempt at doing the right thing for her child, the way he had done with David, Kit's son. Even if he strongly disapproved of Bette's relationship with Tina, he knew it was honorable to acknowledge the place the child would have in his own daughter's heart. If nothing else, Melvin Porter was a thinking man and could be persuaded by his intellect to do what was right.

"And your insurance ends when?"

"My agreement with the CAC keeps me and my domestic partner insured through the calendar length of my last contract."

"Then what happens, Bette? What are you going to do when you're no longer covered?"

"COBRA—Continuation health coverage. I'll buy into that, pay for it. Ms. Collie," Bette began, shaking her head, "I-I really don't think that this has anything to do with the second parent adoption process."

"That's where you're wrong. It does. The County of Los Angeles needs to know that the household can indeed take care of this child."

Angelica began to cry and Bette bounced her lightly in her lap. Her focus turned from Collie to her daughter and she kissed her fingers and the top of her head and then her fingers again.

"I can assure you…"

Collie shook her head and pointed at Angelica. "Can you put her down?"

"Where do you suggest I put her?"

"No crib." Collie frowned. "Assurances. Frankly, Bette, I can do without your assurances. You seem to be walking through life with rose-colored glasses on."

"I beg to differ. I'm more than aware of the current situation."

"She," Collie said while she pointed at Tina over her shoulder, with her thumb, "is really not doing well. You don't seem to get that."

"I live with the knowledge of Tina's state every day. This is my life. Twenty-four hours a day."

"Well, Bette. This has all been quite enlightening for me—meeting with you and hearing your plan to raise your friend's daughter, going through your application and seeing not one man's name mentioned in the list of people who will have regular contact with the child, your pronouncement that your family is extraordinary…."

As Tina lay in her rehab bed, her comatose mind was lost in her own scenario with Roberta Collie. Tina was sure the social worker would have problems with their still very adult-friendly home. She'd notice all of the hard and pointy edges where Angelica could get hurt. Tina wished that Bette would put aside her judgmental air and just give in to tradition and do what's expected of her. Bette was insisting on attachment parenting, an unconventional way of child rearing; Bette refused to baby proof; Bette balked at the idea of removing any art for the home visit—no matter how pornographic it might appear. Tina knew that this particular social worker wouldn't look favorably on their petition to adopt. There was far too much working against them.

Roberta Collie didn't touch the tea that Tina and Bette had placed on the table for her. Instead, she stared at her clipboard before looking up at them. "Let me just review. No baby-proofing, passionately unemployed, harbors sexually explicit, anti-patriotic propaganda masquerading as art. What about men?"

There's really nothing extraordinary about getting yourself in a situation where you lose your house, you remain unemployed, end up on welfare, move into Section 8 housing, try to raise the child as a single mother, and eventually the child becomes a ward of the State. I'm surprised that someone like you would choose the route of becoming another urban statistic."

"Excuse me? That is absurd."

"I've investigated plenty of cases since I've been on the job. Truthfully, you're not at all extraordinary."

"You're just going to m-make this decision. You've talked to me for," Bette began then paused to look up at the clock. "Forty minutes. You can't possibly determine anything?"

"First, I know how to do my job and honestly, my first impressions are usually on the mark. I'll tell you—I'm not all that impressed." Roberta Collie stood and picked up her briefcase. "Secondly, I'll make another visit--next time to your home. I don't expect much to change." She walked to the door and turned to look at Bette. "Her doctor is McPherson, right?"

"Yes," Bette had hardly gotten the monosyllable out before Collie had completely exited the room. The social worker didn't say goodbye or tell Bette when the next visit would take place.

Bette turned to the bed and said to Tina. "As you predicted, baby. It didn't go well."


Introduction of Angus (Season 3, Episode 1)
Roberta Collie, the social worker's visit (Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2)

Part 5

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