Title: Sybil was an Amateur
Rating: FR 15 - a couple of swear words, and a little femslash, but nothing explicit
Disclaimer: Angel belongs to Joss and Mutant Enemy. The L-Word belongs to Showtime, I suppose. None of it belongs to me.
A/N: Written for the 20 Minutes with Justine Challenge. The L-Word, for those of you not in the know, is about a group of complicated, and very sexy lesbians in L.A. Laurel Holloman (Justine) plays Tina, the long-time lover of Bette (played by Jennifer Beals of Flashdance fame). Last season, Bette cheated on Tina. We still don’t know if they’ll get back together, and this little ficlet is my version of what might happen.
Tina raised her water goblet to her lips and surreptitiously gazed at the woman on the other side of the table, the woman she loved past all reason.
Bette’s small smile grew as she met Tina’s eyes. This dinner was their fifth “date,” and Bette was almost certain that she and Tina were on the road to reconciliation. As long as she didn’t fuck it up again.
Tina saw the glimmer of hope reflected in Bette’s eyes. She also saw the remaining traces of self-recrimination. Good.
Bette’s smile froze for an instant as she saw the ghost of an expression flicker over Tina’s face. It happened so quickly that she could almost tell herself that she had imagined it. Almost. It had been real. She never could have dreamed up that cold, dispassionate, merciless mask that settled over her lover’s features. It had been less than a moment, but it chilled Bette to her core.
Tina caught Bette’s reaction and silently swore as she realized that she had slipped. Damnit. She didn’t want Bette to be afraid of her. She wanted Bette to love and nurture her, to awaken the love that she had buried so deeply within herself. She wanted Bette to be afraid of her own failings - so that she would never betray Tina’s trust. Tina knew she couldn’t survive another betrayal. Tina would die. The persona that she had carefully constructed would crack and fall away - leaving only Justine.
Justine had known only pain and loss. She had fought the darkness, only to lose herself to it. She had rejoiced when Tina was born - created by the love and compassion of people who didn’t know about the blood on her hands. Justine was content to lie dormant and forgotten. But . . . if Tina was broken, if she ceased to be, then Justine would have no choice but to re-enter the world.
Tina shuddered in the grim certainty that if Bette hurt her again, Justine would kill her.