SUMMARY: The final efforts of the Side of Good to vanquish Belthazor, once and for all. Set after "A Family Affair" - AU between S5 and S6.
FEEDBACK: - Be my guest. But please, be kind.
DISCLAIMER: The Charmed Ones, Leo Wyatt, and Cole Turner belong to Constance Burge, Brad Kern and Spelling Productions. The McNeills and Marbus, are thankfully, my creations.
"SPELLS, LIES AND REMORSE" by RFK
The couple stepped out of the elevator and made their way along the dimly lit corridor. "Could you please explain to me why we just used the elevator, when I could have easily teleported us to your apartment?" Cole grumbled.
"Because teleporting was unnecessary," Olivia replied. "I don't recall any magical emergency popping up, since we left your car."
Cole linked his arm through his girlfriend's. "Yeah, but at least we could have avoided meeting Mrs. Boone in the elevator. God, that woman can be tiresome!" He referred to one of the building's tenant - a forty-something divorcee, who had developed an unrelenting interest in the handsome half-demon.
A wicked smile curved Olivia's mouth. "And miss that deliciously jealous look on her face, when she caught us kissing inside the elevator? Not on your life!"
"I've said it once and I'll say it again - you can really be one hell of a bitch, Olivia." Despite the insult, Cole's voice radiated affection and admiration.
Olivia chuckled. "I know."
The pair finally reached outside Olivia's apartment. She unlocked the door and they entered. After she switched on the light, Olivia asked, "Do you want anything to drink? Coffee, tea . . .?"
"How about you?" Cole finished, as he wrapped his arms around Olivia's waist.
It took all of Olivia's efforts not to wince at Cole's little pun. But she could not hold her tongue. "You know something, Cole?" she oozed in her most sexy voice.
"Sometimes, it amazes me that I love you so much." She gave his nose a light peck. "Despite your tendency for bad jokes and puns."
Cole's mouth hung open in astonishment. "Wha . . . wait a minute! Are you saying that I have a bad sense of humor?"
Olivia slid her arms around the half-demon's neck. "Well, it's not so bad . . . when you're insulting someone." She leaned forward and allowed her tongue to flicker across his left earlobe. "But never mind that. Didn't you say something about wanting me?"
"I don't know if I'm in the mood right now," Cole replied peevishly.
"Ooooo! Poor baby!" Olivia's teeth captured Cole's bottom lip and gently tugged it. "You're not mad at me, are you?"
A heartfelt sigh left Cole's mouth. "Well . . . I don't know."
Before Cole could comment any further, Olivia hungrily covered his mouth with hers for a passionate kiss. Which deepened even further, as she delicately brushed her tongue against his.
Once they paused for air, Cole added between heavy breathing, "I guess I'm not mad, any longer."
"Hmmm," Olivia flicked her tongue across the edge of his mouth. "That's good to know. Want to continue this in the bedroom?"
Cole responded with a hard kiss. "Why not?" Then he beamed the pair of them out of the living room.
Her legs wrapped around Cole's waist, Olivia shuddered, as he gave one final thrust and sent her over the edge with mindless pleasure. Breathing heavily, the half-demon collapsed on top of her. He remained there for a few seconds, before he planted a light kiss on her lips and rolled off her body. As always, Olivia found herself feeling strangely bereft.
"Oh God!" Cole murmured between breaths.
Slightly breathless herself, Olivia nodded. "I know." Then she turned on her left to face him. "Feeling hungry?"
"Are you kidding?" Cole replied. "I can barely move. Let's just stay in bed." Then he drew Olivia into his arms, and she placed her head on his shoulder. She sighed contentedly. There was nothing better in the world than post-coital snuggling. Well, except for sex. "By the way," he added, "I was wondering if you'll be available for lunch, tomorrow. Ever since that DiMatteo trial began, we've barely been able to spend any time together for lunch."
A low moan escaped from Olivia's lips, as Cole planted a kiss on the side of her neck. "I'm sorry Cole, but I have to say no. The jury went into deliberation yesterday. Darryl and I have to remain available, until they reach a decision."
"Oh. Great." Cole's voice expressed his disappointment.
Olivia quickly added, "Of course there's a good chance that they might reach a verdict, tomorrow. It's really an open-and-shut case."
Cole sighed. "Well, I guess I better cancel my reservations at Le Charm." Olivia winced. The half-demon had just named one of her favorite local bistros. "So, uh . . . how is Margolin holding up? He must be relieved that the trial will soon be over."
Olivia turned her head to stare at Cole. "Well, this is a first! Since when have you ever been concerned about Paul? You haven't mentioned his name since the trial began."
"We ran into each other at the courthouse yesterday," Cole explained. He laid on his back - much to Olivia's disappointment. "I said hello and he pretended that I didn't exist."
Sighing, Olivia sat up. "I don't find it surprising. I haven't spoken much to him, myself. Except in regard to the trial. In fact, I haven't had a personal conversation with Paul since Bruce and Barbara's wedding, over three months ago."
"Good." Olivia frowned at Cole, as he quickly assumed a more sympathetic expression. "I mean . . . that's too bad. Rejection can be pretty hard to deal with. Something we both know from personal experience."
Olivia laid her body upon Cole's. He slid an arm around her waist. "Poor Paul. I just wish he would get over it, soon. It would make me feel a hell of a lot better."
"And me," Cole added.
DRUID SPELLS OF THE AGES. Paul Margolin heaved a sigh, as he thumbed through the book for a spell that he felt could help him.
Ever since his whitelighter, Leo Wyatt, had informed him of a premonition received by a colleague about Belthazor, the New York-born witch had become engrossed in special project. Namely to convince a certain red-haired witch that her half-demon boyfriend will end up being a great danger to the supernatural world.
Since the beginning of the project sanctioned by Leo, Paul had checked books from the local library and used bookstores in the Bay Area. What he needed was a spell to turn Olivia against Belthazor. He had considered one that would give him the power of telepathic manipulation. Unfortunately, the redhead had grown up with two telepaths in her family's household, and had a third telepath, as her best friend. Which meant that Olivia had been trained to detect and block telepathic incursion into her mind. Granted, she could still be caught offguard, but Paul did not want to take the chance.
He continued his search through the book. Finally, he came upon a spell that proved promising. One that would include a potion, as well. Paul read the spell's instructions. Hmmm. It seemed more than promising. Perhaps he should copy it into his Book of Shadows. But first, he needed to get hold of some Agrimony.
The bell above Ostera's door tinkled. Engulfed in helping fellow shop assistant, Maddy Oser fill one of the shelves with stock, Paige did not see who had entered. Especially since she stood on a ladder, several feet above the floor.
"Okay Maddy," she said. "Hand me that last bottle of Chamomille." She held out her hand. Seconds passed before Maddy shoved the bottle requested into her hand. "Okay, that's it." Paige descended the ladder. "I guess we can put the rest of the stock in the storeroom in the back." Upon reaching the floor, Paige turned and found a grinning Harry McNeill standing next to the ladder. "Oh. Harry. Uh . . ."
The redhead's grin stretched wider. "And good afternoon to you, Miss Matthews." He paused. "Aren't you going to thank me for my help?"
Paige glanced to her left. Maddy stood near a half-empty box of herbs with a slight smirk on her face. "Yeah," Paige coolly replied. "Thanks for the help." She brushed past the male witch and headed toward the counter in the front. "What are you doing here, Harry? You need something?"
Harry fell beside her and cocked his head in a manner that strongly reminded Paige of his father. "Just you."
"What?" Did he just proposition her?
Looking slightly embarrassed, Harry shook his head. "Sorry. That came out wrong. I meant . . . uh, well I was wondering if you're free Friday night. For a date. There is this new play at the XXXXX Theater. And I thought we could later have dinner at the Golden Horn." He paused, while an open-mouthed Paige stared at him. "Unless, you prefer some place less stodgy like P3."
As she slowly recovered from the proposition, Paige finally managed to speak. "Huh? Oh, uh . . . I . . . I guess the Golden Horn is fine." She paused. "Never been there."
Elation lit up Harry's green eyes. "So that means you're available, Friday?"
"Sure!" The word shot out of Paige's mouth before she could stop herself. God! What had she just done?
"Great! I'll pick you up around six-thirty." Smiling, Harry bid Maddy good-bye and nearly skipped out of the shop.
The younger witch faced Paige, wearing a cryptic smile. "Wow! A date with Harry McNeill! Lucky girl!"
Paige managed a wan smile. Inwardly, she wondered how long her luck would last. Granted, Harry was a very attractive man and one of San Francisco's most eligible bachelors. But he also happened to be a notorious ladies' man. And a man who came from a family regarded in a lukewarm manner by hers. She sighed. Friday night might proved to be very interesting.
An oath left Phoebe's mouth, as she rummaged through her closet for a missing shoe. The closet resembled a junkyard, thanks to her lazy housekeeping habits. Piper had always chided her for using the closet as some kind of trash receptacle. And now it looked as if her older sister had been proven right. All because she could not find that damn shoe.
Her fingers finally touched what felt like a box. Phoebe gripped the edges and dragged it out of the closet. Various knickknacks and clothing filled the box. She stuck her hand into the box and removed a powder blue, V-neck sweater. A man's sweater. One that had belonged to Cole.
Phoebe's heartbeat increased slightly, as memories of her former husband wearing the sweater, flashed in her mind. Then other images followed. Images that had nothing to do with the sweater . . . and everything with Cole.
Seer: Don't be afraid. (He spins around. The Seer walks in.) Cole: Who are you? Where am I? Seer: Back in your once and future life... Belthazor. Cole: Belthazor? (The Seer moves closer.) Seer. Seer: Even now I can see the void where your demon half used to exist. It craves to be complete again. Cole: How'd you know I was still alive? Seer: I had a vision. One where you and I do great things together. Cole: I don't work with evil anymore. Seer: You might reconsider if you hope to save your precious witch. Only you and I can help to beat the Source. Cole: I'm listening. Seer: If you take in the Hollow, you can absorb the Source's power when he attacks. Once powerless, they can vanquish him. (She picks up the Hollow box.) Cole: And what happens to me after? Seer: The witches and I will banish the Hollow back to its crypt. You will return to normal. Cole: How do I know this isn't one of The Source's tricks? Or one of yours for that matter. Seer: The Source has been corrupted by the Hollow. And is going to destroy us all. He cannot be allowed to continue with this path of madness. Cole: If I do this, what do you see then? Seer: A future for both sides.
Scene: Underworld. A dark cave. Cole walks in, topless, holding a sword. He looks around. He sees the Source across the room, chanting with his back turned. Cole creeps towards him and is about to swing the sword. The Source: Wait. (The Source faces Cole and lifts off his hood. It's Cole.) Cole/The Source: You don't really wanna kill me do you? Cole: But how... (Cole/The Source hits Cole and he lands on the ground. The sword flies up to Cole/The Source.) Cole/The Source: We're one now. I'm reborn, within you. Cole: I'll fight it. I'll kill us both if I have to. I won't let you hurt Phoebe. Cole/The Source: You won't have a choice. (He stabs Cole and he screams.)
Cole: How did I get here? Seer: The Source's magic brought you. I see you accepting that very soon. (Cole goes over and grabs her around the neck.) Cole: You never told me I would become the Source if I help vanquish him! Seer: Don't be naive. I told you of my vision. Of you and I doing great things together, this is just the beginning. (He falls to his knees.) You cannot change your fate. As you can see the evil within you wont allow it. Cole: I'll fight it, I'll kill it. I'll find a way.
Cole: I just got back. Phoebe: From where? Cole: I had to, uh, get out of the house for a while, you know. Phoebe: No, I don't know. Do we need to talk? Cole: Phoebe, I... Ahh! (He holds his head.) Damn it! Phoebe: What's the matter? (She touches him but he pulls away.) Cole: Uh, nothing. It's just a migraine, I gotta go. Phoebe: Cole, where are you... (He walks away.) Cole
Seer: Holy matrimony will be the worst possible thing that could happen. It'll keep you from ever reigning as the Source. Cole: That can't be right. Seer: It's what I foresee. Unless of course you cancel the wedding. Cole: I can't. I need Phoebe. Seer: Yes, I can see that too. Cole: We've been through this. Cole's love for Phoebe still exists within me. I can't overcome it. If I'm to regain what I've lost it has to be with Phoebe, marrying her. Seer: Even if it means losing your son? Cole: A son? You saw a son in my future? Seer: More than a son. You and Phoebe Halliwell will produce the most powerful child the magical world has ever seen. Cole: That's my boy. Seer: No, he won't be your boy, he'll be theirs. On the side of good. Unless you marry the witch in a dark way.
Seer: Why would you save Paige after everything you do to destroy her? Cole: They would've found a way to save her anyway. This way I get the credit. Seer: Did you do it for credit? Or love? I supposed there's some things even the Source can't defeat. Cole: Careful. Seer: I am, but are you? We have worked too hard to let a nugget of humanity destroy a legacy of evil. Cole: Paige has no memory. She's not a threat to us anymore. Seer: I'm not talking about her. I'm talking about Cole. His is the one threat neither one of us can control. He saved Paige not you.
Cole: How much longer? Wizard: Give me a break, will you, this is tricky stuff. It'd be a lot easier if I could do this in friendlier confines. Cole: There are no friendly confines, not anymore. This had better work or you'll be joining the rest of your kind and not in the way you hoped for. Wizard: Little tip. Pressure's not the best motivating technique. If you wanna lose the Source's powers, don't rush me. Cole: Fine, but just so we're clear, once you get the Source's powers I never hear from you again. Wizard: Understood. Not that I'm ungrateful, but why are you so willing to do this? (He places some lit candles on the floor.) Cole: I lost someone I love and I want her back. That's all you need to know. Wizard: Love? The Source can love. Cole: Just keep working. Wizard: I'm done. Now, if the spell's going to work, blood needs to spill. (He picks up a dagger and Cole holds out his arm. He cuts Cole's arm.) Now me. (He cuts his own. Smoke starts to rise from the Grimoir.) "Holus into exitus omne. Holus into exitus omne. Holus into exitus omne! Holus into exitus omne." (The both rise into the air and they start to glow. The wizard extends his arm and starts to pull the Source out of Cole. The Seer and Phoebe appear.) Seer: Save him. For your son. (Phoebe throws fire and vanquishes the wizard. Cole falls to the floor and Phoebe rushes over to him.)
Cole: (to Phoebe) I'm sorry, it's, it's for the best. Phoebe: I know it is. (She walks over to Cole and the fireball disappears. Phoebe kisses him.) Piper: Phoebe? (Phoebe moves away from Cole.) Phoebe: I'm sorry too. (She places the crystal in its place and the trap is activated.) Cole: Phoebe, no. No! Phoebe: I'm sorry, baby, I'm so sorry. Piper: "Prudence, Penelope, Patricia, Melinda..." (Fire appears near Cole's feet.) Phoebe: "Ashford, Helen, Laura and Grace..." Cole: I will always love you. Paige: "Halliwell witches stand strong beside us." Phoebe: "Vanquish this evil..." Piper, Phoebe, Paige: "From time and space." (They vanquish Cole and it makes a huge explosion, making the windows smash. Phoebe walks to the middle of the room and cries.)
The visions ceased as quickly as they had began. Phoebe fell back on her rear with a gasp. "Oh my God," she murmured. "Oh my God! What have we done? What I've done?" Shame and disbelief mingled within her, as she continued to stare at the sweater.
END OF CHAPTER 1