To know Phoebe is to...
Part 2:Phoebe being Phoebe
He arranged a meeting with two lawyers who were involved with depositions with on shipping cases. He answered a client’s query about a divorce problem.
“That’s something you know everything about” Francesca told him as she passed the call to him.
Someone from the law society rang about a late subscription. Each call, he answered anxiously expecting it to be Phoebe and he felt a soul wrench on each time it was not her. He had finally decided maybe he did not know her as well as he thought and she would not call so he was not prepared for her when she did.
“Hi’ she said quietly
“Hi” he answered warily
“Thanks for today” she said.
“Glad to help” he answered. Then he took a deep breath “You understand. These two were special cases. I need to be very careful, what I can do. “
He could almost see the smile “I know that Cole" Phoebe said “We only call you for the special stuff. “
“I’m not trying to make it hard. Its just that…” he tried to explain.
“I understand” Phoebe interrupted halfway between amusement and annoyance.
She took a deep breath “You want to meet me after work and talk about it, and things”
“No” Cole said far to fast.
“How about we..” Phoebe stopped “No why Cole?”
“Because Phoebe, because its not “He sighed and then decide to make a clean cut “because I don’t want to Phoebe “
“You want me” she said in a voice he could not work out whether it was hurt, anger or satisfaction
“I may want you” he said exasperated “but even so I don’t want to see you.”
She got angry “Well don’t get your hopes up Cole Turner” and slammed the phone down.
Phoebe looked at it “You are so not getting what you want buddy” she said to the phone .
Cole looked at the phone in his hand, and pulled a face. “Phoebe “he sighed.
He had simply run out of words and anger and the ability to fight her.
He looked up and saw Francesca in front of him. “Why in the hell did that woman have to always hanging around as he was hitting rock bottom?”
“She has you on a string” Francesca told him severely.
If Cole was not so scared of Francesca he would have told her it was it was none of her business but he was scared of her so he didn’t.
“Why don’t you just say no to her?” Francesca asked.
“Because she doesn’t understand the meaning of no” he explained pushed to his limit. Then he relented “I know Phoebe, and Phoebe wants what Phoebe wants.”
“What does Phoebe want?” Francesca asked.
“How the hell do I know?” Cole groaned.
“Poor Cole. She’s got you like a puppet on a string and pulling it everyway she likes” Francesca said. She made it sound like Cole was to blame.
He took a deep breath “This is as good a time as any to tell you, I’m leaving San Francisco, the firm. I’m finishing up a few pro bono cases and going” Cole told her firmly “so you might want to start looking for another job” he said almost nastily.
Francesca eyed him with her best head mistress glare “My dear Cole” she said “I’m not out of a job. You’re not going anywhere. That girl is having to much fun playing with her toy puppet to ever let you run.”
Cole stared at her dumfounded.
“And” continued Francesca not without satisfaction, “if you really are the love of that girl’s life, you can look forward to her jerking those strings for the rest of yours however long it is.”
She watched his eyes, and the expression in them, satisfied with what she saw then turned on her heel and left him alone.
As Francesca returned to her desk she smiled to herself. In the last six months, she had seen many emotions flash in Cole’s blue eyes because he was not good at hiding what he felt. She had seen self hate, courage, despair, determination, relief, humour, honesty, anger, irritation, concern.
But this time for an instant she had seen something that she had never seen before.
It was hope.
Phoebe lay in bed that night alone, and she made a decision that Cole could agree to willingly or he could fight but he was going to accept. This was going to be the last night Phoebe Halliwell went to bed feeling she was alone. Because from tomorrow she was going to be one part of a couple and if Mr Cole Turner was unhappy about that, he could shut up and suffer. Then she giggled, the likelihood of him suffering in silence was.. remote.
As Phoebe had not been able to get thoughts of Cole out of her head over the last few weeks a, she finally made some decisions. What she and Cole had had was beautiful but the day he absorbed the Hollow, it was gone and they could not go back to that place. But then there were so many places they could not go back to, such as the day she took his powers away, or the day she vanquished the wizard, if only she hadn’t. All the if’s , if only they hadn’t and what they would not have suffered. But ifs just meant another time lines. In this one all that was left was Phoebe and Cole, still tied together, still unable to pull away, still unable to break apart.
And all she could conclude was if they were not going to break apart; if their fates were tied together, why not their lives? What if all those ifs were just another bend in the long rocky road of their journey? Together? She found no premonition of their future, she could only judge by the things she knew.
What she knew was that she was alone and so was he. And if he wasn’t evil no matter what happened before did not mean they could not go forward. Together.
For Phoebe the images that haunted her most was how many times she had told Cole ” I will always love you,” and the glimpses of her younger and older selves, the ones who came to visit the ones who helped her make the decision to marry. And as she had wondered so often she again asked what good the decision she had made then had done. Because unless she and Cole ended up together, all the bad things they survived were for nothing.
She had irrevocably fallen in love with Cole on sight and hindsight told her that one of the reasons was because she had hidden memories of an almighty crush on him when she was 10. He had already saved her and even if Grams had wiped the memory, her soul memory knew him. That was the circle, she loved him because he saved her as a child, he saved her as a child because he loved her as an adult. Just fated.
“Accept the fate” she told herself.
Phoebe also knew what she knew about the bitter older version of herself, the one who would die for Cole when she was 80 and she could only conclude that lonely bitter Phoebe never did stop loving Cole. That Phoebe lived a life of regret because it was a life without Cole. The Phoebe of now was already regretting being apart from him and it appeared she would always regret it.
And the truth dawned on her that he was all she would ever want. All the times she had of compared other men to him and found something missing, all her feelings of insecurity with them, the overpowering need to put walls between them, the reason she had never been able to keep a relationship going was because her 10 year old self fell in love and for 15 years never found anyone remotely as right for her as her prince who had saved her and if she let him go, for 50 years her lonely self would never find anyone to match him either.
Cole was dangerous, he had a very dark heritage that would haunt them both, but he tried, lord how he tried and it should not have counted but it did, he succeeded. Maybe it did count because he succeeded by what he was, because of his courage, his determination, his honesty in facing what he had been.
She had had an almighty crush on him since she was ten, she loved him on sight, he satisfied a dark part of her soul and because of him she found the best of herself, the Phoebe who was worthy of being called good. If she had no other reason to make him come back to her it was because for all his demonic heritage, she was a better person with him than without him. If it wasn’t Cole it was not going to be any one. It was not a matter of healing or waiting or looking because no-one was coming. Without him the void in her life, in her soul and her heart would never be filled.
She wondered if Cole’s future without her would be a bitter as hers without him and that frightened her because she thought he did not deserve it. He tried so hard and he deserved something he wanted for it. And what he wanted was her.
Poor Cole He was running now. In fact he had given up on her. Did that matter? Not one little bit, running away was not going to separate them. Did she love him? Yes, loving Cole was as much as part of her as breathing. Did she care about him? In the hurt and pain and horror of those six months when evil had nearly won she had closed off from his needs so badly? Could she make it up to him? No? Could she make it better for him? Yes.
Was he better off with her than without? He seemed to think without but he never knew what was good for him anyway. He wanted her and loved her. Was he running now because he just could no longer face being without her? Poor Cole. Stupid Cole. He thought he was so smart and he was giving up just as he was about to get what he wanted. She giggled happily to herself then she sobered. Perhaps it was the fear that she was about to lose him that spurred her on to take the risks to keep him.
All the consequences of being together, her family’s reaction, ouch; the elders reaction, stuff them; Leo, he could learn to live with it; magic; magic would take care of itself; her father, Victor had made to many mistakes himself to get away with criticising anyone else; the ghost of Grams, ouch. But what had Grams said Magic doesn’t keep a girl warm on a cold winter’s night. Grams had married six times and never found true love or a soul mate. Phoebe had married once and that was it as far as she was concerned.
She hugged a pillow to herself “Well Mr Cole Turner” she said out loud “you say all the time how you want what’s best for me. Well for better or worse you're what’s best for me Accept it nice or accept it nasty.”
“Poor Cole” she thought laughing “I really have screwed you around. You’re going to be pissed as hell at having to do what I want”
Well considering his career as a demon if that was the worst penance he had to do he was getting out okay. She sobered a little and prayed it would be the worst penance he had to do,.
For Cole the night was the loneliest of all the lonely nights he had spent in the last year, mostly because he knew that it was getting close to the end of his twilight existence of living in unrequited love with Phoebe. For a second, that day as Francesca had bitched he had felt hope. And feeling hope just left him feeling bitter when hope faded while he lay awake and listened for the elevator bell which did not ring.
He went to work early the next day, even more determined to end his stay in San Francisco with the Rodriguez case and the couple of pro bono cases outstanding and leave, go away look for something else.
Darryl phoned him about the Rodriquez case. He said that he heard some gossip. He heard the prosecutors had found some nice handy evidence about a prior small time drug conviction and were congratulating themselves on having something to deal, but they were going crazy because all the records seemed to have got lost.
“But you wouldn’t know about that would you” Darryl asked.
“I used to be an ADA” Cole said sanctimoniously, “They lost records all the time.”
“God you can be a bastard” Darryl said pleasantly “And I don’t suppose you knew that some people in your firm have worked for some of the same bad people who are screwing Reynolds around.”
Cole did not lie to Darryl any more “I’ve known that for a couple of days” he said. “But I knew there were some bad guys here. I wouldn’t have come to work here if they weren’t.”
“Everything all right from yesterday?” Cole asked.
“Yeah” Darryl answered, “The officers found the kids about 3 minutes after you dropped them off. The kids are so confused about what happened, no one will ever find out. “
“Darryl” Cole said “Those kids have literally been to hell even if they don’t remember. They need help.”
“Its okay’ Darryl answered” I dropped a few hints in the right places.”
“Good” Cole answered and hung up.