Ok, so I know it's been a freakishly long time since I updated, and I apologize. I just haven't been in the right frame of mind to produce anything but slightly dejected poetry. But I reread the chapters and tried to remember what I was doing. I want this story done and I want it done right. I can't promise that it'll be finished soon, but it's in my head now once more.
As far as spoilers go, watch The L Word season 6, but ignore episode 5 and onwards with respect to Tina.
Title: Old Maid
Chapter Six: One Size Fits All
Pairing: Chrave (Chelsea/Raven)
Warnings: The obvious homosexual relationship between two consenting adults. Eventual sexual content.
Raven blew gently on her cup of coffee, enjoying the warm air embracing her face. Her drink had been on the house, a welcome gift from the cheerfully plump woman behind the bar. Tina's sister-in-law, or so she had been told. The coffee house itself was very clean and orderly, the decorations tasteful. Raven found that she liked the atmosphere and could picture herself returning on her own time.
Tina had been on her cell phone while Raven got coffee, but she tossed the small object into her purse and smiled, "Good?"
Raven nodded, "One of the best."
Leading Raven to a small table near the front of the shop, Tina waved cheerfully to a rather dark looking woman, who was to all appearances reading a newspaper. Her hair was cut short and styled wildly around her face; she had mastered the art of looking like she just got up, and making it look stylish. Her clothes were loose, as was her smile when Tina approached.
"Shane, this is Raven."
The other woman, Shane, reached out to shake Raven's hand. "New to L.A.?"
"Only for now. Give me a couple of days." Raven responded, taking an instant liking to Shane.
Shane twisted the paper in her hand and glanced at her watch. "You'll have the city down in a couple of minutes."
"Shane, why are you wearing that?" A new woman power-walked over and tugged on the loose sleeves of Shane's shirt possessively. Shane shrugged. Raven was set immediately on edge – while she had taken an instant like to Shane, this other person had managed to irritate her and possibly offend her new friend in less than ten words.
"Was clean. In my closet." She didn't seem too bothered by the intrusion, so Raven relaxed and watched the scene unfold.
"I thought I threw it away."
"You did, Jenny." Shane chuckled, grinning as Jenny scowled at her. Jenny's mood shifted suddenly, though, and she leaned down and gave Shane a peck on the lips.
"Well, I'll just throw it away again, then," Jenny glanced across the table, noticed Raven, but said nothing. "I have to go. I'm working on my new script, the one set in the museum downtown. I was going to go check out the pieces there for inspiration. Want to come?"
"I've gotta work in a few," Shane shook her head. "Sorry."
"Ah. Well." Jenny tugged once more on the shirt, kissed Shane again, and left.
Raven arched an eyebrow, "And that was…
Not allowing Shane to answer for herself, Tina answered, "Jenny Schechter, Shane's keeper."
"My girlfriend," Shane corrected.
Tina rolled her eyes. "Yeah, ok. She'll talk to you later, if she thinks you're worth her time."
Raven laughed, but neither of the other two women even snickered. Her laughter soon died as it became apparent they were serious.
Settling back with her coffee, Raven watched as one by one, more of Tina's group of friends filtered in. She was going to have a rough time of remembering who everybody was, at first, but she accepted her fate and tried to commit each face to memory.
"That's Alice," Shane pointed to a set of women walking very close together, "and her girlfriend Tasha."
Raven stared at them, making mental notes. Before she could greet them, though, Tina tapped on her elbow and pointed to another group of people coming towards them.
"From left to right… My wife Bette, with our daughter Angie, her sister Kit – you already met – and Kit's business partner Helena."
"Sure," Raven gave up and merely nodded her head in an agreeable fashion. "Works for me."
When everyone settled down around the table, with various drinks, papers, and snacks piled up around them, attention once more turned to the outsider at the table.
"So, Raven, where you from?" Alice asked, peering over the top of her newspaper. She was elbowed gently in the side by Tasha.
"San Francisco," Raven responded, "Born and raised."
"So, other than the job, why would you leave?"
Raven shrugged, casting her eyes to the floor. "Some personal stuff. Doesn't matter."
"Ex-boyfriend haunting you?" Shane locked eyes with Alice, and the two seemed to hold their breaths waiting on Raven's answer.
"No, nothing like that."
"So no boyfriend…" Alice pushed a little harder, ignoring Tasha's insistent tapping on her sides.
"I'm not sure what you want from me," Raven chuckled. She shrugged her shoulders, "I've been single for a while now, actually."
"What Alice is trying to ask," Tina responded, rolling her eyes, "is: are you a lesbian?"
"No," Raven responded. Alice slumped in her chair and Shane straightened her hand out towards the other woman.
"Pay up." Shane demanded.
Alice reached into her purse and pulled out a fist full of ones. "Take your dirty money."
"Wait, wait, wait." Raven shook her hands in front of her. "What's that?"
"We had a bet," Alice clarified.
"Which I won," Shane tucked the bills into the front pocket of her t-shirt.
"Oh. Well, I mean, I left San Fran because of a woman, if that counts…" The table all at once fell quiet, and Raven scooted her chair back. "I should really get back to my apartment and get settled in. I'll see you all later, I guess." Tina moved as if to stand again, but Raven motioned her to remain seated. "I can find my own way. Nice to meet you all."
Raven didn't look back as she left the group of gossiping friends. They seemed like nice people, but she didn't quite feel like sharing her life story with a bunch of strangers. As she wandered around L.A., her mind wandered back to her abandoned cell phone. Perhaps now it was safe to check her messages. With her new mission in mind, and a bunch of new faces floating around her head, Raven hurried back to her apartment.