DISCLAIMER: All belongs to the great Ilene Chaiken and Showtime.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: For season one.


Part 1

Bette looked down at her hands. The ring. Their ring. Trust, honesty, love.... all poured into 7 years. She let the tears fall again. She was sitting in their living room on the couch, the room darkened by the shades. A picture of Tina lay next to her. The phone rang again, she listened as the machine picked up. There was still a small part of her that, after 3 days, still hoped Tina would call.

Beep. "Bette, it's me. Kit. This is like the 7th message today baby sis. We need to talk. Call me." Beep.

Nope not Tina. And why should she call? She deserves better than that. She looked down at the picture. Tina was laughing, her brown eyes bright, hair blown about her. Bette's heart ached. "I did this to myself."

"Did what dear?" a voice startled Bette back to reality. She looked up to find Peggy Peabody standing in her living room. She blinked.

"Mrs. Peabody.."

"Peggy." She started, a little annoyed. "I have been trying to reach you since the opening." She moved to the couch and sat down. "Nice place. A little dark."

"Peggy, I..."

"Is this what I can expect from you if I offer another of my shows to you? That you disappear right after the opening?" She picked up the picture of Tina. "Not very professional of you. I've been calling the office and your boy there has done a very nice job of covering for you."

"I'm sorry." She said quietly. "I..."

"That's a move in the right direction." She studied the photo in her hand. "Is this the art you've gone out of town to see?"

Bette looked at the photo. "What? No. But that's why I haven't been at work." She gently took the photo from Peggy. "You're right about my not being professional. I should have been there to talk with you."

"I understand you've had some personal problems." Peggy put a comforting hand on Bette's shoulder. "I was sorry to hear about your baby."

Bette couldn't stop the single tear that fell from her swollen eyes. "Thank you." She whispered. She looked at the photo and ran a finger along the side of Tina's face. "It was harder on Tina than me."

Peggy looked at her. "Because you weren't the one carrying? I don't buy that." Peggy Peabody had a way of making her feelings known. Like right now she felt like Bette was full of it. "Look. You owe me lunch and I'd like it now. I have a new exhibit to talk to you about."

"Peggy, I.." Bette started.

"And I am not a woman who takes no for an answer." Peggy smiled at Bette. "But first you need a shower and to change. I'll wait here."

Before she knew it, Bette was up and on her way to the shower. She turned the corner and passed through the bedroom quickly. She couldn't look at the bed, still messed from her and Tina's fight. She passed into the master bath and pulled the 3 day old clothes from her body and slipped into the hot, healing water.

Peggy walked the living room. It was a nice middle-class Los Angeles home. Pictures of Bette and Tina, friends of theirs scattered about the house. "Nicely decorated." She said to herself. She wondered what exactly had this strong woman, who had crashed her hotel room not 4 months ago, in such a state. She liked Bette for so many reasons. And once Peggy Peabody likes you, you have a friend for life.

She walked out into the backyard. The pool looked warm, yet untouched. She wondered how much it was used. She surveyed the surroundings until her eyes met with a handsome young man's on the other side of the fence. She smiled. "Hello."

Tim smiled back. "Hi." He moved closer to the fence. He had heard through the grape vine that something had happened to Tina and Bette. "I'm Tim, the neighbor."

"Hello Tim the Neighbor. I'm Peggy Peabody." She walked to the fence and extended her hand. Tim took it and shook.

"Are Tina and Bette selling?" He asked.

"I'm not sure." Her eyes narrowed. "Why?"

"I thought you might have been the real estate agent." He said, now realizing he was wrong. "Have you seen Bette lately? There are a few people looking for her."

"Yes I have." Was all she said. "Next time I see her, I'll tell her you're looking for her as well." She turned and headed back into the house.

Bette turned off the water and stepped out into the cool air of the bathroom. She pulled the towel close to her. She had to enter the bedroom to get something to wear. She wasn't sure she could.

"Bette, are you OK in there?" Peggy called, making her way towards the bathroom.

"Yes, I just need to get dressed." Bette called back. Trying to find strength in her tired body.

"That shouldn't be difficult." She said stepping into he bathroom. "Don't worry you have nothing I haven't seen before." Peggy could see the hesitation to enter the bedroom. "I know where we are going, so let me get your outfit while you dry your hair." She turned and walked into the bedroom. She saw the bed was a mess and there were clothes on the floor. She noticed a lovely blue dress, torn and laying on the floor. "Hmm." She moved to the closet and looked at what looked to be Bette's clothes. She pulled a pair of khakis and a nice light weight white sweater. She pulled a pair of underwear and a bra and brought them to Bette, who had just finished her hair.

"Thank you." She said, towel still tightly pulled to her. She took the clothes and Peggy left the bathroom.

"I'll meet you in the car." Peggy called.

"Okay." Bette said. She dressed quickly and looked at herself in the mirror. She looked slightly less than human. She tucked a curly lock behind her ear and hurried out of the house.

Before long, Bette and Peggy found themselves seated in a beautiful outdoor café. Bette looked over the menu. She hadn't felt hungry these last 3 days and had eaten nothing. But now, faced with well prepared food and the warm California sun, she was starved. Peggy could tell. "Have anything you like. You know I'm very wealthy."

Bette looked up and smiled softly. "That obvious huh?"

"Eat. Talk. Do what you feel." Peggy said before taking a sip of her water.

Bette ordered a large chef's salad and a very sweet dessert. "Thank you." She said after a few bites.

"It's my pleasure." She said. "So here's the price of lunch. I want you to handle a new exhibit for me."

Bette looked up from her salad, slightly surprised. "You want to offer the CAC your next exhibit?"

"That's not what I said." Peggy smiled. "But you can start with them if you'd like. I would leave all the decisions up to you." She took a drink of water. "I know you're under contract, my doing, but I think I can work it out with Franklin."

"Work what out?" Bette asked.

Peggy laughed. "Well, tell me Bette Porter what do you want? What's your next step?"

"Work for you?" She asked.

Peggy smiled. "That's about right. But you do have to finish off your time with the CAC. And my thinking was to put you in charge of one of my smaller shows and then when your contract is up... "

"And Gina?" Remembering the bitch that has screwed her over.

"Out. I don't like her tactics." Peggy smiled as Bette fully comprehended the situation. "You can stay based here in LA. Anymore it's as much of a hot spot as New York or Paris. And that leaves you more time for the family you are working on."

Bette's face fell. Her family. What family? "That would be wonderful," was all she could manage.

"Now, my one request is that you get your personal life in order now. Before you and I get to the hard work." She smiled and put a comforting hand on Bette's. "You want to tell me what's going on?"

Bette had meant to keep it to herself. She was not someone who shared her dirty laundry with the world, but for some reason it all came tumbling out.

Shane and Dana stopped on the street and looked. "Are you sure about this?" Dana asked.

"Yeah. I don't need any ones help to get ahead." Shane said checking out the addresses. And she had decided she didn't need anyone, but her friends. They were the only ones who had stuck beside her. She didn't need Sheri or anyone else. It had taken two days of hard drinking and foggy thinking to decide that. She sighed. "What's with Beverly Hills? Why don't they put the addresses on the buildings."

"Makes it too ugly." Dana said as her eye caught something. "Oh my God."

"What? You find it?" Shane asked following her gaze. "Whoa."

"Is that Bette?" Dana asked. Although it was obvious to them it was.

"Who's that? That can't be the carpenter." Shane said squinting.

Dana looked at Shane. "We saw the carpenter." She said flatly. She turned back to the restaurant. "This is an older woman."

Shane looked at the restaurant. "A rich older woman."

"Maybe it's business." Dana said, trying to convince herself. Then they saw the older woman place her hand on Bette's arm and they saw their friend smile.

"Fuck." Shane said kicking the ground. "What the hell is she doing?"

"I don't know, but we gotta give Alice a heads up." Dana said grabbing Shane's arm and pulling her towards the car.

"And she left." Bette said wiping away a tear. "And I haven't heard from her since."

"Do you know where she is?" Peggy asked.

"No. I'm afraid to call anyone, I'm sure they've heard something." Bette looked down at her salad. "I haven't even spoken to Kit."

"Kit?" Peggy asked.

"My Sister." She shook her head. "I should have spoken to her the last time she called."

"You're afraid?" Peggy shook her head. "You're ashamed, upset, embarrassed that you let yourself go like that. But not afraid. Not you."

Bette smiled. How did this woman understand her so well. "You're right."

"Of course I am." She leaned in. "You and I are cut from the same cloth." She whispered. "So what's your next move?"

"I'm not sure yet." She said before taking a bite of salad. She didn't know. But she did feel a little stronger, thanks to the food and the talk.

"No." Alice said as quietly as she could. "Are you sure? Older women aren't exactly Bette's style."

"I'm just telling you what we saw." Dana said her head close to Alice. She bit back the sudden desire to kiss her dear friend. They'd had little chance to talk about the 4am kiss since the Tina and Bette thing broke. But the feelings were hard to ignore. She wondered if Alice felt the same.

Alice inhaled deeply. She had never really noticed how good Dana smelled before. Now every time they were together the scent was almost intoxicating. "An older woman with Bette in a fancy restaurant."

"I could go kick her ass." Shane said without thinking. Then she smiled. "Maybe I'd be the one with the ass kicking."

Alice and Dana laughed, at the thought of Shane vs. Bette all three were laughing hysterically.

"Hey, what's so funny?" A dis-shelved Tina stood in front of them in a pair of Alice's pj pants and white tank.

Dana suddenly turned, deer in headlights. She wasn't good in these situations. "Shane said something funny."

Shane looked at Tina and smiled. "Yeah you know me. A crack up a minute."

"I could use a good laugh." Tina said sitting on the couch. "What was it?"

"OH you'd have had to..." Shane started.

"It was this thing about..." Alice said.

"It was about B...bunnies." Dana said

Tina looked at them as if they had lost their minds. "Bunnies?"

Alice looked at Dana. "Yeah, the magazine wants me to do a story on cosmetic testing on bunnies and Shane said..."

"She should know about bunnies, she does it like one." Shane finished.

Tina nodded. "OK." She looked at her friends, her support system and shook her head. "I'm hungry anyone else?"

"Yeah I am." They all said at once.

"Great. I think I need to get out of the house. Let me clean up and lets get something." Tina stood and headed for the bathroom.

Alice, still looking at Dana. "Bunnies???"

"I couldn't think of anything else." Dana said defensively. "And bunnies can be funny."

"Only if you're another bunny." Alice shot back.

Tina stepped into the shower and sighed as the hot water washed over her. She tried to pretend it was washing away the pain and fear. She wanted to not think about what had happened, not think about Bette. She might as well try to live without breathing. She couldn't remember life without her. The tears sprung to her eyes and she knew, again she would cry herself out. She slid down the side of the shower until she was sitting on her heels. As she cried, she tried to remember she was more than just Bette's partner. More than just the woman behind the woman. "Why?" She cried out to no one. What had she done or not done? Why wasn't she good enough? What did that woman have that she didn't. Maybe she could carry the child that Tina could not. Tears flowed heavy and sobs racked her body. She sat there for sometime, letting the pain flow out of her.

"Tina? Are you OK?" Alice called from the bathroom door.

"Yeah." She slowly stood up. "I'm almost done."

"OK. If you don't feel up..."

"No." She said quickly. "I need to get out."

Tina finished showering and dried off. She quickly got dressed and stepped into the living room. "I'm ready."

As if on auto-pilot, they headed for the Planet. As they pulled up in Dana's car, she turned to Tina. "Is this OK? I should have asked."

"No. This is fine." Tina turned to the other two in the back. "Don't tip toe around me. It only makes it more difficult."

Alice and Shane nodded. "OK." Dana said softly.

"OK." Tina got out of the car. "Lets eat I'm starving."

"OK." Alice echoed as they walked in. They spotted a free table and headed over.

"Hi ladies." Marina said softly. She looked a bit broken up herself. "What can I get you? It's on me today."

"My we are generous." Shane said.

"Yeah." Alice commented. "What's up?"

Marina sat down, she looked at Tina. "I don't need to burden any of you with this."

"Don't hold back because of me." Tina said, concern for her friend pushing aside her own feelings. "Are you OK?"

"I told Jenny I loved her." Marina said softly. "and I haven't heard anything back."

"Whoa." Alice looked at Marina. "If I might ask. What about Francesca?"

"I think that's been over for sometime. I just didn't know it." Marina looked down. "My biggest tie to her of late has been the Planet."

"How much?" Shane asked.

"More than I care to think about." Marina responded.

"That may be in the past." Kit said from behind them.

Marina looked back and saw Kit and Ivan standing there. "Why?"

Kit held up a check. "My first royalties check came in." She laughed. "It's not everything, but it's a good start."

Marina looked at the check. "Does this mean?"

"Oh yeah." Kit smiled. "Co-Owners."

Tina was swept up in the enthusiasm of the moment and forgot where she was for a few minutes. Until she walked in.

Bette stood outside the Planet, afraid to enter. "It's now or never dear. And I want to see this place." Peggy smiled. "It's so bohemian."

Bette sucked a breath in. Maybe no one would be there. She entered and walked, without looking to the counter, Peggy Peabody behind her.

"OhmyGod." Dana sucked in a breath and Alice followed her eyes.

"Is that the woman you guys were talking about?" Alice asked.

Shane and the others turned to look. "Yeah that's her." Shane said.

Alice laughed. "That's Peggy Peabody."

Tina looked at Bette. She was dressed down a bit for a work day. But she knew who Peggy Peabody was. And as far as she knew it was work. Of course she had thought Candace Jewel had been work too. "She's probably checking up on the exhibit."

Everyone turned back to Tina. Rock and a hard place. "Well I have a few words to give my baby sis." Kit started. Ivan grabbed her arm.

"I don't think now is the time." She said softly.

Bette took her cup of coffee and without meaning to she turned and her eyes locked with Tina. She saw the pain on the surface. Part of her wanted to cross the room and take Tina in her arms. Make her believe she loved her and it had all been a mistake. And part of her wanted to run away. She did neither. Her body stood, as though glued to the floor.

"Mmm. Good coffee." Peggy said as she sipped the warm liquid. She suddenly saw Bette's gaze. "Ah. Now you know where she is. But this might not be the time or place."

"What do I do?" She whispered. She was fighting with everything she had not to cry.

"Well you can introduce me to your friends, or we can just walk back to the car." Peggy looked at her. "I've been where you are dear." She made a motion towards Tina. "And dear I have been where she is. Time. Time is the healer here."

"I'm so sorry." Bette whispered.

Tina watched Bette and Peggy exchange a few words. Then she saw what Bette whispered and she broke the gaze. "Not sorry enough." Tina said getting up. "I've gotta go." She looked at Dana. "Keys, let me borrow your car. There is something I have to do."

Dana was startled, and gave Tina her keys. "It's full." She said quickly.

"Thanks. I owe you." Tina said, before breezing out of the Planet.

"Dana. You drove all of us." Alice said after Tina was out of earshot.

"Shit." Dana shook her head.

Peggy looked at Kit for a few minutes. "Is that Kit Porter?"

Bette looked at Peggy. "Yes. She's my sister."

"I love her music." Peggy said before heading toward the group.

Bette was stunned. Peggy Peabody listened to her sister? She followed her, gathering her courage. "Hi."

"Hi." Was all anyone said at first.

They were not going to make this one easy on her. "Everyone this is Peggy Peabody." She turned to her sister. "This is my sister Kit."

"I am a huge fan." Peggy said taking Kit's hand in both of hers. "Are you playing anywhere in the next few days? That's as long as I'll be here."

"No I'm sorry. Closest thing I'm doing to playing a gig this week is hosting the party here Thursday night." Kit was flattered.

"Who owns this wonderful place?" Peggy asked.

"I do." Marina said.

"I love the ambiance here. And the coffee is simply wonderful." Peggy smiled. "What could I pay you to let her sing tomorrow night?"

"Nothing. Kit is always welcome to sing here." Marina said.

"Wonderful, so it's settled." She turned to Bette. "I'll see you tomorrow at 7." She turned to go. "You can get a ride from your friends I'm sure." And with that she was gone.

Bette turned to her friends. She wondered. Are they my friends? After what I've done, I'm not even my friend.

Tina parked in front of the center. She got out and practically ran in. "Oscar!" She called spotting him.

"Hey Tina. Where have you been?" He asked.

"Not now." She looked around. "Where is she?"

He looked confused. "Who?"

"Candace?" She looked intently at him.

"She was here this morning but then said she had another job this afternoon, she would be back in the morning."

Tina headed out of the center. She had a good idea where this woman was headed. She had a few questions. She drove quickly and without hesitation. Once outside of the CAC she hesitated. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. She stood for a few minutes looking up at the building.

"Tina?" James, Bette's assistant called. "Thank God."

"What?" She asked looking at him.

"Is Bette all right? I can't get a hold of her." He looked panicked.

"As far as I know, she is." Tina said rather coolly.

"Oh." He looked at his feet. "I'll keep trying her then. She's bound to pick up sometime."

Tina nodded, and was getting ready to turn and walk away when she saw her. Candace Jewel dressed in her work clothes coming out of the CAC. "Candace!"

Candace turned and looked at Tina. She wasn't sure what to do. She didn't know what was going on. "Tina." She returned, heading towards the blonde woman. "Hi."

"Hi?" Tina echoed. "I don't get it. Unless...." she paused. "It's the black thing?"

"Black thing?" Candace echoed. Then it struck her, and she didn't know if she should stay or go. "Look it's not like I meant."

"Meaning or not meaning what you did was horrible. Put yourself in someone else's shoes for once. You are not all to blame here. Bette is a big girl and makes her own decisions. But.." She looked her over again. "What do you have that I don't?"

"Look I don't know what was said to you.."

"I wasn't lucky enough to have anyone spell it out for me. I saw you two the night of Provocation's opening." She looked at Candace. "Seven years should be stronger than this."

"Look you can be mad at me. But what good will that do you? What happened happened for a reason." Candace said quickly. She was becoming annoyed with the persecution. "Maybe I do have something she needs. Why don't you ask her."

Tina's quick temper got the better of her and she doubled her fist and hit the other woman in the jaw. "If she needed you. She's not the woman I thought she was." And with that she walked away.

Bette sat out on the front porch watching the sun set. Now that she had gotten out of the house, she didn't really want to go back. She saw Tim's car pull into his driveway and she stood. She felt she should talk to him. Like she owed him an apology. She caught him before he headed into the house. "Tim."

He turned and gave her a small smile. "Bette."

"Got a minute?" She asked.

"Sure." He motioned to the front step and they sat down.

"I feel I owe you an apology." She started.

"Me? Why?" He asked.

"Because I watched and said nothing to you about Jenny and Marina. And then like a fuckin hypocrite I go out and have this thing..."

"You cheated on Tina?" He looked stunned. "I would have never thought. I mean." He paused. "I know you said you guys were having trouble. Was the trouble this other woman?"

"No.No no no." She shook her head. "She was a byproduct of the trouble. I thought I was falling out of love with Tina. And then the baby and the pressure with the opening."

"I see. So where does that leave you two?" He asked.

"I don't know. She won't talk to me. Or at least I haven't really tried." She looked at Tim. "Was there anything Jenny could have done to make it up to you?"

"Whoa. Bette you are not Jenny. This situation is different. You and Tina have something special. Jenny and I lost that a long time ago. I thought by bringing her out here it would make things all right. But she's too young and I'm not what she needs." He looked at Bette. "You and Tina need each other."

"I was wrong about how I felt. I've never loved her more than I do right now." She began to cry. "And I may never get the chance to tell her that."

Tim sighed. He'd known Bette and Tina for sometime now. And he had never seen her like this. But he knew better than anyone that you can't do anything for the person. Just be there. "Bette. Don't give up." He put his arm around her. "I'm here for you if you need me."

"Thanks." She wiped her eyes and smiled at him. "I may have to take you up on that one."

Alice pulled the ice from Tina's hand. "Ouch." It was purple and swollen. "I wonder what her face looks like?"

"I can't believe you hit her." Dana kept saying and shaking her head. "I never took you for the type."

"I think it's awesome." Shane said with a hint of admiration in her voice.

"Owwww!" Tina cried as Alice applied the ice back to her hand. "I shouldn't have done it. Especially not in front of the CAC. James saw the whole thing."

"In front of the CAC?" Dana's eyes got bigger.

Alice rolled her eyes. "Weren't you listening?"

"I was." Dana said defensively.

"What if Bette finds out?" Tina said irritated at herself.

Shane laughed. "Oh Bette will find out. I'm sure the minute you left her little stooge was on the phone to her."

Bette was sitting out on the porch with Tim enjoying a beer from his fridge when her cell phone went off. "I guess I need to start answering my phone." She click it on. "Hello.

"Bette? Oh thank God you're OK. I've been making up excuse after excuse for you. And Mrs. Peabody has been trying to get in touch with you..."

"I spoke with her already, James." Bette reassured him.

"Oh good. I can tell Franklin that when he asks next." He sighed. "I saw Tina today. I know it's not my place to ask, but are you two OK? Because she cold-cocked your friend today."

"My friend?" Bette asked puzzled. He had to be wrong. Tina was very anti-violence.

"The carpenter, Candace is it?"

"Oh my God. She what?" Bette's eyes grew wide.

"Is everything OK?" Tim asked.

Bette shook her head. "I've got to go James. I'll be in tomorrow." And she hung up the phone. She turned to Tim. "Tina punched Candace."

Tim sat stunned for a minute. "She did what?"

"Hit her." Bette couldn't picture her loving partner doing anything of the kind.

"You mean she slapped her." Tim said.

Bette shook her head. "I don't think so." She took a big drink of her beer. "James said she cold-cocked her."

Tim laughed. He couldn't help himself. She was able to do what he hadn't to Marina. "I'm sorry." He said after a few minutes. "But sometime you have to be satisfied when there is vengeance for the scorned lover."

Bette looked at him. "Tim, that's not like Tina."

"How do you know. Has she ever been in this position before?"

Bette shook her head. "No. I don't think so."

"Then maybe when backed into a corner, that's her way of fighting back out."

"Alice?" Tina asked trying to wiggle her fingers.

"Can you move them ok?" She asked. "Yeah?"

"Sort of. They move, but not ok." She winced in pain. "When you were with Bette did she ever... I mean."

"Did she flirt? Yes, all the time. Did she look? Yes. Did she seize the moment? No." Alice looked at Tina. "I may be really wrong here. But, I refuse to believe Bette would risk you and her like this without some kind of reason."

"Alice!" Dana chastise. "It's not Tina's fault."

"Oh." Alice looked at Tina. "God no. I didn't mean it that way."

"Look, I've known her the least amount of time. But I know you two. Bette had no intention of leaving you or hurting you or anything like that." Shane said matter of fact. "There is something more going on with her."

"Thanks for the psychological evaluation from the love 'em and leave 'em girl." Dana said irritated. "What's with the defense of Bette? She was very hard on Marina and Jenny. She jumped to Tim's defense time and again. And she does the same thing but it's ok?"

"It's not ok Dana." Alice looked at her. "No one says it's ok. We are just trying to understand why."

Tina tried to smile through the pain of her hand. "Guys, I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with this by myself, let alone with you guys taking sides or fighting about it."

"She's right." Alice said sighing. It wasn't their place to make any judgements about anyone or anything.

Dana looked at Tina. "If you need more space, I have the room. You can stay with me. I know Alice's place is small."

"But it works." Alice said in defense of her place.

"I didn't mean it was bad. I just know you work at home and it must be hard to do it with all of us in and out of here." Dana said frowning.

"That's not how it sounded..."

"Hey!" Tina shouted. She looked at Alice. "I love your apartment, but I do feel like I'm in the way here."

"Oh. You're not." Alice said. "It's nice having someone around."

Tina smiled. "Thank you, but you're used to being here without a sobbing friend." She turned to Dana. "If you and Tonya have the room..."

Dana shook her head. "Not Tonya. She moved out."

Alice looked up, a bit surprised Dana hadn't said anything before. "Oh. Are you ok?" Tina asked.

"Yeah. I have a few things to work out before I get involved like that." She smiled, but glanced at Alice out of the corner of her eye. She knew they had to talk soon.

"Well, if you feel like it's ok to have me there..." Tina left off.

"Yeah, actually I think it would work out pretty good." Dana smiled at Tina. "It's a big place for one person. And I've been thinking about getting a new little kitten. You could give me a hand, if you don't mind."

Tina smiled. "I don't mind at all."

Bette stepped out onto the patio and inhaled the fresh air. She noticed the light on in Jenny's shack. She wondered how much she had hurt after cheating on Tim. Bette hadn't made any real effort to get to know Jenny, and she was suddenly sorry for it. She was probably a nice girl who had made a few mistakes. She looked at her cell phone and inhaled deeply. She wanted to call Alice and see if she would talk to her about what was going on. She hit the speed dial on her phone and waited for the ringing to start.

"Hello?" Alice answered.

"Hi. It's Bette."

Alice looked at Dana and Tina as they were wrapping Tina's hand. "Uh, yeah I know I have caller ID."

"Tina's there isn't she?" Bette asked.

"Yes, but not for long." Alice was trying to be secretive.

"Where is she going?" Bette asked, her heart leaping into her chest.

"I am not at liberty to discuss that at the present time." Alice smiled at Shane, who was watching her with interest.

"Will she be coming back to your apartment?" Bette asked irritated.

"Uh for a visit now and again." Alice answered, trying to keep her voice quiet.

"Where is she going to be staying?" Bette demanded.

"OH you like tennis? Yeah I do a little too." Alice said, trying to give her friend a hint.


"Yes." Alice glance over at Tina and Dana, who appeared to be fighting with the wrapping tape on Tina's knuckles.

"Alice what happened today?" Bette sighed. "Did she hit Candace?"

"As far as I know that's right." Alice wasn't sure she should stay on the phone any longer. "I'll call you at work tomorrow.."

"Wait is she ok?"

"Yes, now I'll talk to you later, uh.." Alice noticed Dana and Tina looking at her.

"Tell Bette I'm fine and will be staying at Dana's. I will call her when I am ready." Tina said, maybe a bit harshly. She didn't appreciate being checked up on.

"Did you hear that?" Alice asked

"Yes." Bette said softly. "She's ok."

Part 2

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