DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to Ilene Chaiken & Showtime.
SPOILERS: Spoilers for season 1 and season 2 spoiler info.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Storm Watch
By JadedRogue

Part 1

It was morning; she didn't know if it was late, or early. She just knew it was morning, the smell in the air was just right. She stared at the ceiling above her; tracing the cracks in the plaster with her dark eyes. Making haphazard patters with them as her mind wandered away from her, not delving on one topic to long, just free floating. Escaping the reality of this world, and relishing in the reality of one made of her own dreams and whims.

Her body was physically worn out from the crying and lack of sleep; but her emotions, those were still running on high, even though she'd never felt so much pain, and betrayal in her life. She didn't feel emotionally drained, instead she felt emotionally charged with some sort of forbidden and hidden energy. As if something in her psyche had been wedged open and forced to see the truth, the light of day. The verity about her life; about what had been her love.

How she felt the pain in her heart, her very soul had been ripped to tatters in one faithful moment. A stolen moment, between Bette and Candace, one that she wasn't meant to see, but she had. She'd been hurt before, been cheated on before, but this had been the ultimate betrayal, welcome to the Life of Tina Kennard.

The techno colored movie of the week; weep at the end of the movie folks, then tune in next week for a new installment. She felt like she was looking down on her life, this empty ebony abyss, like a darkened TV screen. Her world had been thrown into an insane tapestry of what she had once called her life. Her reality had become an illusion, just like the one's that played on TV. Love, Life, Loss and Loneliness. I loved Bette; she was my life, now I lost her and now I am utterly alone.

She stood, letting the thick blanket fall to the floor; a pool of wool at her feet as she stared hard at Alice's 6 degrees of lesbians. She'd always thought that Bette would be the first, the last and the only one that she'd be connected to on that board. Now she was sure that it was no longer true. She rubbed her hand over her long face and picked up the marker, finishing off the C and the A with Carpenter, not wanting to give Candace the pleasure of being connected to Bette with her name; it was now a name that was now eternally connected to Bette's.

The baby, that was when all of this had started really; the first nail in the coffin. They'd been on rocky ground before that, sure. But then when she'd lost the baby, Bette had looked elsewhere for comfort. She'd found it in her polar opposite, in Candace. Their sex life had been fizzling; another truth. They talked, but not about themselves, or their feeling, just talk about this one and that one. Yet another truth; they'd grown apart in the last year and that was the absolute truth.

She'd talked to the woman, Candace, stood next to her, offered her work! She was charismatic, she would give Bette that she had good choice in lovers, even if she'd been cheating. Tina sighed; walking over to the kitchen and quietly began making herself some coffee. Her red rimmed eyes were still alive with something that no one could have pinpointed if they'd been standing across the room watching her.

She thought back to the baby, rubbing her belly in a semi circle; wishing for that small light to still be inside of her. A baby, she'd wanted a baby so badly that she could almost feel its tiny feet pressing against her insides. She was suddenly struck with a thought; what if Bette had cheated when she'd been pregnant? She'd now be delivering a baby; with no partner, no wife and no future. Things did happen for a reason; and the reason that she'd lost the baby was because it was never meant to be her's and Bette's.

That was a lie; she would have had a future, she would have had the baby. Another human that needed her, Bette had never needed her. Bette had always taken care of her; and now Tina needed someone to take care of. Someone that would rely on her.

She set the coffee cup aside, walking to the couch and pulling on her jeans. A baby; not for her and Bette, but for her alone. She pushed opened Alice's door and checked in on her blonde friend, seeing that she was sleeping soundly, she left. She didn't leave a note, she just had one thought in mind. A baby.

"I'd like to make a withdrawal?" Tina said; the young lady behind the counter smiled, remembering her from months before.

"Marcus Allenwood right?" Tina shook her head no, she didn't want the person that Bette wanted, she then said.

"An anonymous donor. I don't care what, or who, just anyone random." Tina said, her voice calm and silky as she leaned casually on the counter of the sperm bank. The young woman was stunned, but she hid it well.

"All right, you'll have to choose Ms. Kennard..." She handed Tina the long list of potentials and Tina flipped the pages, and pointed to one.

"That one. 1017. Nice number, it has a good ring to it." A smile from Tina, and with in the hour Tina had the only hope she needed in her hands, holding the small clear jar between her clenched hands, close to her heart.

Alice was frantic in her living room, Tina was gone! She'd disappeared and she wasn't answering her cell phone. She dialed it the second time, and still again, nothing.

Then the phone rang as Alice was about to pick it up to call Shane and Dana. She jumped, grabbing the phone from the cradle, almost dropping it and stammering into the phone.

"H... H... hello..." Silence on the other end, and Alice looked at the ID caller and said into the mouthpiece, seeing the cell phone number. "Bette, say something." A soft sigh from Bette; and Alice bit her lip. Tina hadn't told her why she'd been in her apartment, she just written C A on the board, and Alice hadn't been able to get any more from her than that.

"Alice, Hi. Is Tee there?" Bette's voice was filled with something that Alice couldn't quite put a finger on. Then she knew what it was, regret and guilt. The realization hit Alice and it knocked the wind out of her.

"No she'd not here, why isn't she at home with you?" The reporter in Alice shot forward, her teeth were clenched and she was ready to jump all over Bette. The C A made sense to Alice now, Bette had cheated on Tina with someone else.

"It's a long story Al. If you see her. Tell her, tell her, just tell her I called." The line when dead and Alice slammed the phone down and she groaned, what had happened last night, a full moon or what? Had they all lost their collective minds!

Bette rolled over in the strange bed, closing her cell phone and then closing her eyes, she felt the warm body next to hers. Candace. The woman rolled over onto her back and then looked over at Bette.

"You're awake, I thought I heard you talking. How are you doing this morning?" Bette shrugged her slight shoulders, what was she doing there? She knew, she hated being alone, and after Tina had left she'd never been so alone in her life. She'd sought out the one person who was as much to blame for all of this as she was, Candace.

They'd fallen into bed with each other and Bette had fallen asleep after their quick sexual encounter, dreaming of Tina. The violent, erotic, demanding sex. Tina forcing herself onto her hand, in all the hurt and pain, Bette had never felt such heat and passion from her wife like that before. Bette shivered visibly as the mere thought of it sent unknown emotions flooding through her.

"Not going to talk to me are you?" Candace said, rolling out of her small bed, her shapely ass walked towards the tiny bathroom and the door closed. Bette groaned, if it was one thing she hated about sleeping with women, was all the emotional crap that sometimes came with it. Bette pushed back her hair from her face, rubbing her weary eyes. She sat up and looked around the floor, finding her clothes in various places and tugging them on. Candace reemerged from the bathroom, dressed and her hair in a pony tail.

"Bette?" She asked, her voice as casual as it could be in a situation like this.

"Yes." Bette said, looking up and seeing how stunning she did look. Candace was an attractive, and smart woman. Who deserved much better than to be the rebound woman, and that was what she was, the in between woman. Bette hoped she was in between bouts with Tina, she needed to get her wife back, somehow.

"I think you should go, before Tina misses you." Bette clicked her tongue against her teeth, then a rueful chuckle escaped her.

"Oh she's not going to be missing me any time soon. She knows. About us, she saw us talking at the CAC opening last night, saw me touching you. She confronted me about it, you didn't notice this?" Bette asked, pointing to the bite marks and Candace averted her eyes with a guilty twang.

"I had, I thought that you might like that kind of stuff..." Another bark of laugh from Bette; she threw her hands up, defeated.

"She made me fuck her! You know why? Because I fucked you, she was violent and hurt and I did that to her. I turned her into something that she should never have been!" Bette's voice was filled with remorse, and she felt the tears coming again, how could she have done this.

"Then you came and fucked me. What does that tell you Bette? I might be a simple carpenter, but I'm not stupid either. Your relationship with Tina was bent, and has been for a long time. It was broken and you didn't fix it, you were looking for me. Or someone like me. You were looking." Candace stated, she found her shoes at the door and slipped them on; seeing the look of astonishment that was plastered on Bette's face.

"I like you a lot Bette, I truly do. I admit I was the pursuer in this tryst, but you have to take some of the blame for it. I'm not married, but you are. Or at least were."

"I know that, but you came after me!" Bette said defensively; and Candace gave her a cold glare.

"You never stopped me, think about that for a while Bette, then get back to me. I have somewhere I have to be. Please lock up before you go, ok?" Candace's voice was back to normal and Bette nodded and Candace waved her good bye as she walked out of the room. Bette heard the door of the apartment click closed and Bette sat on the floor, staring at the carpet, contemplating what Candace had just said to her.

Dana was at the country club, she was shooting a new ad for Subaru and she was stressed out beyond words about it. She'd awoken, wanting to tell Tonya about the night before, and the kiss. She just hadn't been able to tell her, she didn't even want to think about it.

Then Alice had showed up, she just couldn't deal with the kiss, not right now. She needed time to think, put things in perspective and to deal with Tonya somehow.

"Dane, I know last night was weird, but we have bigger fish to fry right now." Alice said, walking with Dana to court side. Alice cursed herself for her moment of weakness; for kissing Dana last night. Dana looked like she'd gotten all of three hours of sleep; and Alice felt for her.

"Ok." Was the one word answer she got, in fact, Dana had said just that, one word sentences since Alice had found her in the locker room of the Country Club.

"I think Bette cheated on Tina." Announced Alice and Dana's eyes grew wide; and she stopped in her tracks. Her mouth gaping open; Alice staring at her. It was the same reaction she'd had when she'd figured it out, Bette cheating on Tina, the world had been rocked off its axis.

"No. Never Bette would never do that to Tina, I mean they are the perfect couple." Alice touched Dana's arm gently; and Dana shuddered at the touch.

"Not everything was as perfect as we thought I guess..."

"DANA! Sweety, over here!" Yelled Tonya from the stands waving and Alice groaned out loud, how she hated that woman with a total and utter passion of her very being.

"Hi." Dana waved and a small smile appeared on her lips, and Tonya bounded over to her, grabbing her in a sweeping hug. Kissing, rather slobbering, all over Dana as Alice rolled her eyes and looked away.

"O my baby looks so tired, must be from getting woken up in the wee hours of the morning by someone who wasn't very thoughtful." Tonya stated, her voice filled with artificial sweetener and Alice almost gagged.

"Tonya..." Dana said in a soft warning voice and from behind them, another voice that was all to familiar came drifting to Dana's ear.

"Look who's made it to the big time. Like she always wanted." Alice turned, the first to see the pretty face of Lara Perkins standing with her hands at her hips; and biting her luscious lower lip. Lara was nervous; and rightfully so. She'd been working up the courage to talk to Dana for a week now.

"Hi, I know you must be a big fan of Dana's, but right now Dana is extremely busy. Her time is utterly precious and much to valuable a commodity to be spent on your every day... chef." Tonya said, taking Lara's hand and pulling her away from Dana, who hadn't turned yet. Her back was still to Lara, she was trying very hard to turn, but her body was unwilling to listen to her wishes.

"She's a friend Tonya!" Alice growled; and grabbed Lara's hand and Lara was being pulled in both directions at once.

"Let me go, who are you?" Lara said, her voice tainted with disgust as she wiped her hand on her perfectly white pants. Alice almost cheered, at least someone else saw Tonya for what she was, scum.

"Cat killer..." Alice muttered under her breath, and Dana finally turned around, not having heard the comment and she faced Lara. Lara on the other hand gave a side glance to Alice, filing away the comment in the back of her mind.

"I just wanted to say congratulation, on the Subaru thing." Lara said, smiling warmly at Alice, a quick wink as she turned to walk away.

"Who was that pudding?" Tonya asked, wrapping her arms around Dana, but Dana pushed her off. Staring at Lara walk away, yet again. She glanced at Alice, then at Tonya.

"LARA!" Dana yelled, running full tilt towards the red headed chef, her soup chef. Lara stopped and turned around; coming face to face with Dana.

"I'm sorry. I dumped you because I thought I'd lose my chance at the Subaru backing; and come to find out, that is why they wanted me in the first place. I was so ashamed of how I treated you; you were the perfect girlfriend. I messed that up, I'm such a fucking doof when it comes to..." Lara's eyes were wide; and she looked down at Dana with the same love as she'd possessed months before.

Tonya asked Alice,

"Who is that?" Alice looked at her, a stern look, and said softly.

"Her old flame." Tonya's eyes lit up with fire; and the photographer came up and tapped Tonya on the shoulder.

"Is she coming or what? I want to get the light while its good, before those clouds come rolling in and shuts out all the sunny sun of LA." Alice turned around and came face to face with someone from her past.

"Samantha Vance?" Alice said with astonishment.

Lara was trying to explain where she'd disappeared to after Dana's abrupt break up months before, seeing this Tonya person watching them like a hawk.

"I know. I was hurt, but soon after I had to go, my dad was really sick, I took a leave of absence. I just got back to work two weeks ago. Who was that other woman, she was very, weird is the only word I can think of at the moment." Lara stated and Dana's heart dropped out from her chest for the second time in 24 hours.

"My fiancee."

"You are kidding me, right? She's a total flake, even I can see that Dana." Lara started to walk towards the country club main dining hall, she pulled Dana with her. She was aghast at this flood of information, what was Dana thinking? She wasn't, that was the answer to all of this.

"I really think I love her..." Dana interjected, then her mind yelled, 'Then why did you kiss Alice!!!!!'. 'Why did your heart skip a beat when Lara's voice came drifting to your ears?'

"You do not love her, there is no way on gods green earth that you do. Dana, what do you know about her? I've known her 3 seconds and I don't like her, what do your friends think?" Queried Lara, pulling a chair out from the nearest table and sitting Dana down, concern drifted from her for Dana.

"They didn't really say anything..." Lara was aghast, what was going here? This was not the tight knit circle of friends that she'd glimpse when she'd been with Dana. There was no way that they'd allow this Tonya woman into their graces without as much as a muttered word.

"The same friends that staked me out, Bette and Tina that made out in the middle of the place? Shane who shamelessly hit on me about figs? Figs Dana!? Alice who took NOTES! No one said anything about her? Dana, were you listening if they did?" Lara asked her, imploring the woman to think about this, and think hard.

"Oh god." Dana said, resting her head in her hands; and Lara thought that this wasn't how she had wanted to reintroduce herself into Dana's life. You played the cards that life dealt you she guessed.

"She kissed me last night..." Lara tried not to smile, then said with reproach.

"Dana, she is your fiancee, she is suppose to kiss you..."

"NOT her, ALICE!"

Shane sat in the back of her truck, her knees bent up and her elbows draped over them, a bottle of wine hanging from her long fingers. She was staring out at the city; the sun had come up, and now it was close to noon and Shane hadn't slept yet.

She'd been thinking, why was it she'd found herself attaching to Cherry? The answer, because no matter what, she couldn't have her. She'd known that Cherry wouldn't leave her husband, why would she, for a hairdresser from the Boulevard? The Romeo that seduced, fucked and sucked, because that was all that she was in the end to Cherry, a fuck.

This was how all those other women felt when she'd leave them, morning after morning, thinking that there would be more to it than sex. She'd been scum, but she'd never promised anyone anything, and Cherry never promised anything either.

Another sip of the wine, she was on her third bottle, sweet cheap wine. She'd found herself falling for Cherry and she'd kept her hands to herself. She hadn't cheated, if they'd been in a relationship that would have counted for something. A new revelation about herself, she wasn't sure she liked the new Shane.

She, Shane, the Casanova of LA had been in a one sided monogamous relationship, this stunned her as the alcohol drifted into her veins. She'd let her heart be worn on her sleeve and it had been ripped off and stomped on, well that was most certainly not going to happen again. She finished the bottle, and closed her eyes, letting sleep claim her.

Watch out LA, because Shane was back and she was going to burn the world.

To Be Continued

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