To know Phoebe is to...


Part 2:Phoebe being Phoebe


Chapter 11


Cole heard the elevator go. He got up and went and made coffee, drinking it alone, not angry just very unhappy. He showered and shaved and dressed pulling an impeccably cleaned suit and shirt from the closet. His untidiness had not quite extended to work clothes and went into the office. He was there in time to see the cleaners who over the last few months had become used to him at very irregular hours


He worked on reports, he planned a defence for a boy guilty of robbery but with extenuating circumstances that was due in court in a couple of weeks. One of the innocents he stayed to help.  He planned out an affidavit session that he had to do on Wednesday and he then when the cleaners finished their work he quickly shimmered into the partners offices and checked their diaries and private files, which he read with a cynical smile.


He had the coffee on for Francesca when she arrived at work. Francesca glared at him because she did thought working erratic hours was not good sign with him, but he was on time for the Monday morning meeting about cases and took the dressing down and warnings about not messing up Rodriguez with a relatively composed demeanour.. He went back to his office and asked Francesca if Phoebe had rang, Francesca suspiciously said “I thought you did not want calls from her?”


“I….you better put her through” Cole answered.


“Why?” asked Francesca bluntly.


“Because I want to talk to her” Cole answered as bluntly, turning away so he did not have to see Francesca’s response. He went back to his office and ran Darryl Morris about Rodriguez


Darryl met him at small café a quick walk away from police headquarters. He had had to be careful how he asked questions and he had no concrete evidence but a couple of contacts who did undercover work on the docks had reported that some very bad people were interested in Reynolds importing connections. When Cole pushed him, he also admitted that the search on the ship included an officer who had been investigated twice by internal affairs and a couple who were rumoured to have some connections to the same bad people who were interested in Reynolds connections, although the officer who found the drugs was beyond reproach. Darryl was not thrilled about Cole's interest in corrupt officials.


Daryl suspiciously said “you’re not going on a vendetta against the police department or the feds? I know there are some rotten apples but to many innocent people get hurt when you start vendettas.”


“Do you think I don’t know that me of all..” Cole answered sharply.


“All what” Darryl asked almost as a dare.


Cole stiffened then straight faced answered “People, demons, and all powerful magical beings in the universe”


“That about covers it”  Darryl agreed.


Cole offered to deal with Darryl “Give me what you can to help make Rodriguez case go away and I’ll give you anything I have on the corruption and the police can deal with it. “ but his voice was angry when he said it.”


“You sound bitter” said Darryl “Sure you don’t want to take care of it yourself?”


Cole grinned “A little bitter” he admitted. “Tired of finding evil and just plain bad wherever I look. Want it simpler.”


“But you know last year after I came back from.” Cole spied a waitress close, “Well you know where I came back from” he added as Darryl grinned,


Cole shook his head “I started seeking out evil and destroying it. Trying to prove I was good that way, nearly sent some good people I still hold in some affection, believe it or not, evil. So no I can’t be a vigilante and be good. And I don’t intend to fall ever..again. For my sake.” he declared with an intensity that took Daryl by surprise.


Darryl grinned “Probably not a bad thing for the rest of the world's sake either.”


Cole grinned. “That too”


Darryl asked suspiciously when they were all but through why Cole had not asked about the Halliwell’s, which he invariably did when he saw Darryl.


Cole admitted he had seen the Halliwell family on the weekend.


“Phoebe too?” Darryl asked


Cole flushed


“You’re an idiot “ Darryl said bluntly.


Cole shrugged.


And Darryl pushed “How are you helping her, you. You get near her and you fall apart for months.  Loving her is nothing, to do with it. Just for once look after yourself will you?”


“What I mean Cole”  Darryl said “that much as I love her, you know her, I know her – things will get emotional. You’ll both get hurt, she’ll fall back on her family to pick her up and you’ll be alone tearing your guts out. That ‘s the way its going to be so get out of it before it gets any worse and you get more hurt.” Darryl shook his head ‘Its not like you are doing her any favours is it.”


Cole did not respond and Darryl pressed the point  “Is it?”


Cole raised his eyed and winced “No” he said “I’m not.”


As Cole done had over the last six months with so many aspects of his life, he had spent some time understanding the nature of his friendship with Darryl. In fact, sometimes Cole felt he had spent the last year learning the whole nature of human experience and emotion. The friendship with Darryl was genuine and something Cole treasured. Not the least because Darryl had forgiven him a great deal and not just in regard to Phoebe’s family.


As a demon and even as a human Cole had never really understood the nature of friendship or even the concept of it. In the demon world, you created allies, allegiances, you made contracts and treaties and they were all based on convenience and the ability of the other party to satisfy a need and they were broken without a backward glance when a better offer came or the purpose was no longer satisfied.


Cole had been friendly with Darryl because he was a friend of the Halliwell’s, because he had useful contacts, and because he knew what Cole was and seemed to accept it, Darryl was convenient and Cole was at ease with him, he liked Darryl,  had gone to some trouble to maintain the relationship, but he never questioned the nature of that relationship or why he bothered. To many other things to worry about.


Then not long after he had taken the power of touching auras from the spites, he had used the power to connect with Daryl simply because demon that he had been, he was highly suspicious why Darryl would be as friendly as he was without having an ulterior purpose. Cole had connected with and indeed joined to Darryl through his emotional response, through his feelings of friendship.


He discovered what Darryl felt was a very strong affection and concern for Cole, even admired him and respected him and did not quite trust him. Cole had been shocked that so mild a word as friendship covered such a level of emotion. He immediately tried to break the connection and to his horror discovered he could not. But even worse Darryl was able to get a little bit into his feelings. The bad ones.


He discovered it when just after he touched Darryl’s aura, Darryl asked Cole about getting over any hurt and bitterness he felt to the Halliwell family. Cole had lied and said he had none and to his shock Darryl knew he was lying.


Fortunately, in a way at least, Darryl when he felt the lie was instantly concerned for the Halliwell’s well being and frightened at the level of hurt, bitterness and anger  that Cole was giving off and for a second all his own doubt fears and anger, and even hatred of Cole returned. Cole felt the negative emotion and almost immediately Darryl was able to break the connection, to Cole’s relief.


“What the hell did you do?” Darryl had demanded angrily and fearfully at what he felt from Cole.


And Cole who had suddenly learnt the real nature of friendship, and realised what he would lose if he lost Darryl’s, did the only thing he could do to retrieve it. He told Darryl the truth. Darryl, to say the least was furious and he walked away expressing his disgust, but he had called a few days later and had acted as if nothing had interfered with their friendship.


Cole somewhat bewildered had finally asked him what was going on and Darryl had really enjoyed himself,  “You really know shit about humans don’t you?” he had asked then he grinned.


Cole could do nothing but agree.


Darryl then asked  ‘You really can tell the bad guys just by touching their..aura?”


Cole nodded awkwardly “That could be very useful” Darryl said.


Cole had learnt a number of things from that experience. He learnt joining with bad people, or people who had no emotional connection to him, caused him no problems, they neither knew he was doing it, or had any response to his own feelings, in fact was a very useful power. He also learnt the real nature of friendship, and he learnt how very dangerous it was to touch auras with some one who had an emotional connection to him.


Because even though he could feel the emotional reaction, they could connect to any evil emotions coming from him, not the least of which was they could tell when he was lying. And he could not break the connection, only they could by losing their emotional response to him.


He went back to the office after he promised he would phone Phoebe end it and began dialling three times and couldn’t do it so he went to the gaol to talk to Rodriguez. The boy was hanging in there but not well. He was a nice kid far more concerned about the effect on his family and shipmates than with consequence to himself. Cole presented to him all the choices including the dangers of fighting the charges and the advantage of pleading guilty to lesser charges and cooperating with authorities.


He was surprised that Rodriguez for all the fact he was a scared rather nice kid, flatly refused to. Cole sighed “We fight or we try and find a way to make it go away.”


“Can that be done?” Rodriguez said


Cole answered “I’m doing my best” then he asked “Is there anything I need to know that I don’t want the police finding out.”


Rodriguez nodded and Cole’ managed a professional detachment on his face ‘What?” he asked.

“I got busted for smoking marijuana when I was 17 “ Rodriquez said nervously.


“Just the once?” Cole asked inwardly groaning. Every innocent was always guilty of something.


“And” Rodriguez continued confidentially while the groan inside Cole’s head became a roar. “There were some things on that ship. I got a share. I mean..”


“What was on the ship? Cole asked in a matter of fact tone.


Rodriguez moved closer to whisper  “Not drugs. Just things, Computers, you know some booze, no excise paid on it, and car parts.”


Cole managed to maintain his professional detachment. “I wonder why that does not surprise me” he said. “Have you told any one else this?” he asked.


Rodriguez shook his head.


“I’m the first and last person you tell this to” Cole said firmly  “You understand, not cell mates, the police, your family , not Reynolds. Just shut up”


Rodriquez nodded.


Cole left Rodriguez saying he thought he could do something about the marijuana conviction, without saying it may be magic.


On the way back he called in at the DA’s offices where he used to work. Cole’s relationship with his old workplace was strained. Cole had with Darryl’s somewhat reluctant help got of any legal complications about the death of his land lady and the detective who had investigated it by providing real DNA evidence at the death of the detective and manufactured evidence of a family emergency in Canada for the death of the landlady. Cole had claimed his year “in hiding” had been because he believed he would wrongly be arrested if he turned up. Everyone had agreed that the best solution was to let him quietly resign. He had however, maintained the contacts with previous colleagues after he started work at Jackman, Carter and Kline and had used those contacts to make several cases against innocents go away.


He made an unscheduled call on one of his previous colleagues, a sharp tempered young man who was a little to keen on winning cases rather than achieving justice. Cole asked him in tones of mock humility, if the ADA could just check the records and make sure his client Rodriguez had no prior convictions. The ADA smirked and asked “Are you sure you want to check? If I find anything it goes into evidence.”


“I’m sure you won’t” Cole answered humbly. “My client swears there is nothing. I just want to be in a position to stipulate.”


With a flourish that made Cole fairly certain the he already knew there was something in the records, the ADA searched the computer and as the name came up, Cole flicked a finger and removed all records from state and national data bases. The ADA started banging keys to Cole’s amusement.


The ADA finally conceded there was no records and Cole thanked him humbly telling the ADA quite truthfully he had no idea how much he had helped the case.


The ADA all but snapped an acknowledgement.  Cole laughed to himself as he left. It was not often that he got any pleasure from being the most powerful being in the realm, but just occasionally he really enjoyed it.