Disclaimers: The L Word doesn't belong to me and neither does this lovely song by Taylor Swift.

You were in college, working part-time, waiting tables

Left a small town and never looked back

"What would you like to drink... Oh! OMG you're Bette Porter!"

"Erm, do I know you?"

"Oh don't worry! I'm not surprised, the last time you saw me I was about a head and a half shorter and just a scrawny kid. I'm Tina, Tina Kennard, you used to babysit me remember?"

"Oh, OH! My gosh, Tina you have grown up! What are you doing working here so far from Ohio?"

"I'm here for college at NYU, I'm taking film studies and I'm working here part-time to help pay for my tuition."

I was a flight risk, afraid of fallin'

Wondering why we bother with love, if it never lasts

"So why did you leave Ohio so quickly? Last I heard you left as soon as you graduated? I was actually kind of sad that you didn't say goodbye." Tina pouted playfully at Bette.

Bette sighed "I don't know, I just, I just really needed to get out of there. Away from my broken family, away from all the rules and the restrictions. I needed to come to somewhere where I could just be me, you know?"

"Oh Bette, I know what you mean, I was a little upset after you left, especially after I found out you were a lesbian. I thought if you had stayed I would have had someone to talk to, someone who knew what it was like to grow up gay in a small-minded state like Ohio. The way they made you out to be some sort of sick monster didn't really help either. But I believe you did the right thing which is why I did the same thing, applied to NYU and never looked back." Tina said fervently.

"Oh gosh I'm so sorry to end this conversation but I need to go now Tina, I'm so so sorry! I've got a meeting in like 20 minutes all the way over on the other side of town!" Bette said suddenly, having just casually just glanced at her watch.

"Oh, I'm so sorry for taking up your time Bette, I didn't mean to make you late for your meeting." Tina said as she lowered her face in embarrassment, biting her lip.

Bette thought that was the most adorable sight she had ever had the pleasure of witnessing! She reached out slender fingers and lifted Tina's chin "No, it's not your fault. I really enjoyed talking to you, would you do me the honor of meeting me here tonight? I want to take you out to dinner."

Tina blushed as she stared directly into Bette's eyes "How about you pick me up at my apartment at 7 instead? I won't exactly be here all day you know?"

I say, "Can you believe it?"

As we're lyin' on the couch

This moment, I can see it

Yes, yes, I can see it now

"Ob god, that really was the way our first meeting went huh? It seemed less dorky then." Bette giggled, pulling Tina further into her as they were cuddling on the couch.

Tina laughed "Yeah, pretty hard to take seriously huh? But that wasn't really our first meeting technically. Our first meeting was me in pigtails and overalls wailing at my mom not to leave me with the monster babysitter."

Bette chuckled and rubbed her hand lovingly over the hand of her girlfriend of 3 months "Oh yeah, now that was dorky! Still think I'm a monster?"

Tina looked up at Bette, scrunched up her nose and finally said "Nah, you redeemed yourself. Remember our first date that same night of our 'first' meeting?"

Do you remember, we were sittin' there, by the water?

You put your arm around me for the first time

"Yeah, of course I remember. I brought you to that nameless park just a little off Central Park. The one I found while jogging one day. We sat there just enjoying the view of the night skyline and when you shivered I finally found the courage to put my arm around you and pull you in like I had been wanting to do all night."

"Just so you know, I wasn't really cold that night" Tina laughed cheekily.

You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter

You are the best thing that's ever been mine

"Why you... Hmmph, well all the same, that small action on your part gave me the courage to put my arm around you. Me, the Bette Porter who thought she had sworn off love forever because of my bad experiences made the first move. And it paid off because you're mine Tina Kennard, mine."

Flash forward, and we're takin' on the world together

And there's a drawer of my things at your place

"Hey Tina? So erm, I was doing a little spring cleaning and I found loads of random knick knacks and I donated them away and erm, now I've got quite a bit of space in my cupboard and erm, well erm, what I meant to say is, would you like to bring over some things from your apartment over so you won't have to pack an overnight bag everytime you OOF!" Bette stumbled through her little speech, scuffing her toe on the ground but before she could finish, Tina launched herself at Bette in joy, saying "Yes YES YES I will!"

You learn my secrets and figure out why I'm guarded

You say we'll never make my parents' mistakes

Bette looked at Tina and sighed "Tina trust me, I do want you to move in proper. I'm just...scared."

"But why? I practically live here already, I can't even remember what my apartment looks like, the last time I slept in my own bed was 2 months ago! The only difference now is that I'll have my own key."

Tina looked troubled "Or do you think my apartment is like your safety net? Like if anything happens, at least you can kick me out immediately."

Bette was shocked "What?! No no no! Tina, trust me that's not the reason why, look!" Bette fished out a beautiful key ring with a letter T inscribed on it complete with a key to Bette's apartment "I've had this with me for 2 weeks now, I just... I just haven't found the courage to give it to you yet."

"Oh baby, why? I love you, you love me. We obviously can co-exist happily together in the same space and god knows it makes financial sense for me to move in what with you starting your own gallery and me fresh out of NYU." Tina asked as she moved to take Bette into a hug.

"I... I'm scared. The last time I did this, I got my heart stomped on, blended and thrown out to the vultures. Not only do I not have the best track record, my parents also split because they couldn't stand living with each other even after 10 years together and of course my dad's infidelity didn't help matters. I don't want to get hurt...and I don't want to hurt you Tina." Bette finished quietly, burying her face in the crook of Tina's neck.

"Baby I promise nothing will happen ok? We're different, I know you're my soulmate. I'll do everything possible to be with you forever. And I know you will never cheat on me." Tina pressed her lips to the top of Bette's head.

Bette whispered "I love you too, Tina Kennard. Will you move in with me? Officially that is. Please?"

Tina kissed her "You had me at 'love' babe, you had me at 'love'!"

But we got bills to pay

We got nothin' figured out

When it was hard to take

Yes, yes

"Bette! Did you have to buy that new artwork? We can barely afford it right now! The rent on our apartment is due this week and the electricity bills are due next week. This added 3000 dollar artwork is not something we've factored in!" Tina was exasperated with Bette, having come home from work to find a new expensive piece of art proudly hanging in their bedroom.

Bette looked guilty for a moment but she tried to justify herself "Well, my show is opening this weekend and that means a boost in income! Plus this was at half price because the artist gave me a discount!"

Tina interrupted "But babe, you still should have discussed it with me first."

This is what I thought about:

Bette walked over to Tina, hugging her from behind "Well, my first year anniversary gift to you can't really be a discussed purchase right?"

Tina looked up at Bette "First...anniversary gift?! So early Bette?! It isn't for another 2 weeks! But oh, it's brilliant Bette, you didn't have to spend this kind of money though."

"I did, when I saw it I just had to get it. Look at it, properly, does it remind you of anything?"

Do you remember, we were sittin' there, by the water?

You put your arm around me for the first time

You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter

You are the best thing that's ever been mine

Tina gasped "City lights by the water! Oh Bette, our first date! You're right," she sighed "this is the perfect gift. Thank you Bette! Happy 1st Anniversary babe!"

Do you remember all the city lights on the water?

You saw me start to believe for the first time

You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter

You are the best thing that's ever been mine

Bette kissed Tina "Happy 1st Anniversary to you too baby. I love you so much and thank you, thank you for making me believe in love again. I really thought I would never ever find real love because I was so afraid to fall in love and end up like my father. You, you are the one that turned my world upside down and made me fall truly, madly, deeply in love with you."

With tears glistening in her eyes, Tina pulled Bette into a deep, passionate kiss.

And I remember that fight, two-thirty AM

You said everything was slipping right out of our hands

"Bette! Where the hell have you been? It's 230 freaking AM in the morning and you come back only now, reeking of alcohol and I can only guess what else! I've been sitting here worrying about you because you didn't answer your cell!" Tina was livid.

Bette stood there, rapidly sobering up under the attack of Tina's tirade.

"I was having a celebration with my colleagues because I just landed Ron Mueck's collection, the one I've been chasing for the past month! Tina, I..."

Tina interrupted, still in a haze of anger "Oh I know you've been chasing after that collection for ages, you've hardly come home at a decent time this month so far because you've been out wining and dining in order to land this client. Damnit Bette, is it wrong of me to want my fiancee home everyday at a normal time, to have her in my arms to cuddle before I sleep? Is it wrong of me to expect my fiancee to give me due notice that she will be home late?"

I ran out, crying, and you followed me out into the street

Braced myself for the goodbye, cause that's all I've ever known

Bette was in tears, she ran out of their apartment, rushing down the stairs as quickly as she could "God I've failed Tina so badly, I'm the worst fiancee ever, I don't deserve her."

Bette reached street level and she staggered a few buildings away before she slumped against the wall of the building and buried her face in her hands. She heard footsteps and then felt the weight of a familiar hand on her shoulder "I know you're going to leave me and I don't blame you. I've been awful to you." she said in between sobs.

Then, you took me by surprise

You said, "I'll never leave you alone."

"Bette, babe, I'll never leave you. I may be angry at you, but this is not something I'll give up on our relationship over, not by a long shot. I'm not Jodie, you're not your dad and I'm not your mom, when I agreed to marry you I knew you were a workaholic and I love that you are so passionate about what you do. Sometimes the things you do for this passion irritates me but I understand it's necessary and you have been perfect and considerate about cutting down your hours until this month. I did lash out rather hard tonight and I apologize."

"Tina, I...I love you. And I promise to change and I'll cut down my hours and I'll never make you regret your decision to be my fiancee."

Tina hugged Bette "Babe I've never regretted accepting your proposal. You're perfect to me ok? Let's go home."

"Ok." Bette stood up and they started walking towards their apartment building.

"Oh and babe, by the way, congratulations on getting the Ron Mueck exhibition."

You said, "I remember how we felt, sitting by the water.

And every time I look at you, it's like the first time.

"On our first date alone, I fell head over heels in love with you Bette. That amazing feeling of my heart soaring and pounding like it was really working for the first time in my whole life is the same feeling I get whenever I look at you, every single time."

I fell in love with a careless man's careful daughter.

She is the best thing that's ever been mine."

"That's how I knew you were the one for me babe, although it took you a while to believe it because of your past. I never regretted having to overcome those hurdles and show you that you could trust me enough to commit yourself to me for life. Today is the happiest day of my life because today you become mine. I love you Bette Porter."

You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter

You are the best thing that's ever been mine

Tina Kennard, I too fell in love with the sassy woman I met at the coffee shop that very day although I have to admit it was hard to reconcile that image of you with the scrawny braces-wearing kid I used to babysit!"

Tina laughed and playfully smacked Bette's arm, feigning annoyance.

"I used to believe that the safest way to never get my heart hurt was to not fall in love ever. Until I met you. You turned all my beliefs upside down and you made me see that by going against the rules I set for myself and by entrusting my heart to you, only then could I truly be safe from heartbreak. I love you and I'm proud to call you mine."

Do you believe it?

"Well hello Mrs Kennard-Porter."

We're gonna make it now

"Hello to you too Mrs Porter-Kennard."

And I can see it

"I love you so much."

I can see it now

"Oh no, I love you much much more."

-laughter ensues-

THE END