To know Phoebe is to...


Part 2:Phoebe being Phoebe


Chapter 12


Phoebe had driven home and crept up the manor steps and only got back to bed a few minutes before she heard Piper restlessly moving around the hall. She was very, very sleepy and in fell asleep immediately. She woke up nearly four hours later, smiling to herself. She actually bounced out of bed. And for the first time Cole’s ghost seemed exorcised from that room. It felt like a place where she could live again, not a place where she hurt.


Not even the fact that she was going to be very late for work worried her. They knew her, they were used to it.


She dressed in revealing clothes for work, a top that showed her bra and a very tight skirt which very clearly stated she was a sexual person again. She left her hair loose and put two clips shaped like butterflies in it, and no makeup. Sexual maybe but not a tart.


She came down stairs and Paige who was reading the paper challenged her immediately “Where were you last night?”


Phoebe said cautiously “What do you mean?”


Paige grinned  “I heard you coming in sis, who is he?”


Many thoughts flashed through Phoebe’s brain, particularly the one that her sister’s did not need to worry about her being with Cole just yet “Some one I used to know” she answered after a hesitation.


“And he’s really great isn’t he, performance wise anyway” Paige grinned,


“How did you know?” Phoebe demanded.


Paige laughed “Well right know you look like a girl who has had great sex recently.  You finally found some one who made you glow again. And that has not happened since Cole” which Phoebe acknowledged by putting her ahead on her side.


“And” continued Paige “When you blow Cole off and then that gorgeous guy at P3. I knew you were falling for some one”  Paige smiled  "I know  you."


Phoebe gulped. “Blow Cole off?”


Paige smiled “You saw him the other day and you aren’t even upset. You’ve not said anything about finally being over Cole, or even mentioned him., You are over him aren’t you?“ But Paige said the last question with more than a hint of suspicion in her voice.


Phoebe swallowed “I guess I’m finally over the bad stuff. Cole is always part of me. I loved him and he did save me, I don’t even remember how many times I owe him for that”


Paige said “You don’t owe Cole anything. “


Phoebe swallowed again. “Maybe not but I don’t want to hurt him either. Maybe I care enough about .. about what we had, not to want that for him.”


“Phoebe you get another boyfriend”  Paige said incredulously “Cole’s going to get hurt.” Paige eyed her sister “Where and when did you meet this new one? " Paige demanded a little sceptically.


Thoughts rushed through Phoebe’s head “I just knew him on and off, and he used to be interested, but he thought I wouldn’t be so he didn’t ask. “


“I know you Phoebe” Paige said. “There’s more to this than you’re telling” Paige continued. "And I take it he asked” 


“Not in so many words” Phoebe answered honestly ”But he will.. I hope”


“And when do we meet him?” Paige asked


Phoebe grabbed her purse and started to run for the door. She stopped. “You and Piper have seen me through so much. This one I need to make work on my own. You’ll meet him when I’m sure. If it doesn’t work, then you don’t need to know anything.”  Phoebe ran off just as Piper came in to hear the end of the conversation.


Piper looked at Paige “Why do I always hate it when I don’t know who she is mixed up with?” she sighed "Why do I always hate it when I do.”


Paige had an odd expression, almost frightened as watched he sister leave with. “Do you finally think there is some one who can make Phoebe as happy as she was with Cole, before everything, before he went to hell?  Because I never thought there would be.”


Phoebe bounced happily through life all day. She smiled at every one, wrote bright optimistic advice and was aching for the night. She seriously considered ringing Cole to tell him to expect but she thought the bastard probably did and she was not going to give him the satisfaction of knowing he was right.


A month ago Cole was a black hole in her life, a reminder of passion and pain, a shadow who followed her, haunted her, now suddenly he was haunting her every waking moment but for a different reason. She had found passion again, feeling, happiness a belief there that there was a future.


A year had happened. She passed all the bitter anniversaries and survived and came through stronger than even when her soul had healed or was at least intact, battered and scarred but intact. She had looked up and found herself again ,  and better she had looked up and found Cole there, not the source, not a symbol of torture or evil, just the person she loved, trying to be good, torn, fighting the fight, wanting, brave, loving, wry, sardonic, humourous, passionate, amused, angry; the man  she had thought was lost.


Like her he was battered and scarred but he too had survived that year. They could never go back she knew but perhaps there was a chance and it occurred to her that it was a good chance that they could go forward.


Phoebe went home and collected a night bag, happily kissed Melinda and waved her sisters goodbye and with a grin told them she was off for a night of sex and depravity.


Paige and Piper exchanged glances.


Phoebe bounced into Cole’s apartment, a little after 10. She greeted him with a big smile and he backed off. He had been sitting at the table working but he stood up when he heard the elevator bell ring. He was still dressed in his work pants and shirt, but tieless and had a casual sweater over the shirt. As she came toward him he put his hand up and stopped her “I want you to go Phoebe” he said.


“ What do you mean?” she asked stunned.


“I mean I want you to go” he said. “You may need this, a last fling to end it but I don’t. Phoebe you have to understand. I love you but it took me to long to learn to live without you and this game hurts to much and I can’t or at least I won’t go on playing”


She was stunned “We’re not hurting any one” she said archly – going to him.


He backed away “ We’re hurting me”  he said “and I’m not going there anymore  Are you going?” he asked conversationally.


“No” she said archly  “Then I am” he answered and shimmered out; the last view of her was her startled and hurt expression.


She was shocked. “You stinking bastard” she yelled at the place he had shimmered from “You stinking gutless bastard. Now you say it, you can say I love you and run but you can’t say it when I need it”


She dropped her bag and glared at the space where he had stood then burst into tear. Now you can say it you gutless bastard.” She repeated”. and sank onto the sofa. She cried for nearly half an hour and then gulping managed to stop. And started to wonder what she would tell her sisters about coming home early. The truth? No they had seen her through to many ups and downs about Cole to even dare. One of the reasons she did not want to tell them she was seeing him again was because she knew the road would be rocky and they did not need to be made to travel it again.


So she stayed in than apartment hoping he would come back. She wandered into the kitchen. It needed cleaning badly. About the only thing he had in there was coffee and fruit juice. No sign of glasses being used, she bet herself he swigged the juice out of the bottle.  The pig. He really needed some one to look after him, keep him on the straight and narrow. She decided male creatures, demons humans, and what was he now anyway, all powerful being in the realm or maybe the universe was to big a mouthful, men covered it, were totally incapable of taking care of themselves.


“Oh the cleaners must love coming in after you Cole” she thought. There were some booze but not empty after empty. The living room had about 200 books on a shelf, not neatly but jammed against each other and there were about 50 CD’s and lots of papers everywhere, newspapers, magazines, work papers, a mess. The bedroom he had cleaned up the night before but the laundry basket had the sheets from the day before and there was a whole hamper full of laundry shirts, tees, and underwear and socks. Keeping the laundry economy going and still he managed to have clothes on the floor even since last night; the closet had 6 suits in it. Nothing new she recognised them all, and the sheep skin jacket he liked and about 8 freshly laundered shirts and ties to match the suits. How he could dress so well and be so damned untidy was beyond Phoebe. She found a book beside the bed, Jane Eyre, one she loved, she sighed. She checked the bookcase again. Half of the books were her favourites.


“Oh Cole “she sighed.


The bathroom was messy, wet towels and half used toiletries left everywhere "Oh Cole “she repeated because there was nothing else she could say


She lay down on his bed just to think and fell asleep because the bed smelled of him and the room reeked of him and it comforted her. She woke up about 3 hours later and felt strangely familiar and then remembered why this bed and room was familiar. She had nasty feeling back to when Cole was the Source and jumped off the bed knowing she had to get out. She found her bag and left, getting home to the manor and sneaking to bed, where she fell asleep after a few minutes.


Cole came back from a night trip to a beach in Hawaii and was almost disappointed Phoebe was not there. He too slept, believed that he had made a decision and the last thing he thought before falling asleep was that the time had come to move to New York.