Disclaimer: I don't own Charmed, but the WB does.
AN: A review would be nice!
AN: About Payton being "too good", it was explained partially a few chapters ago, and it's definitely explained in this chapter, which is Phoebe and Cole centric. If you want to continue the story, then either check out "Charmed: Essence of the Demon" which is the whole story, or "Essence of the Demon: Agent of Power", which is the next arc of this story.
Chapter 10: Memories
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Cole asked Phoebe for the hundredth time. His nerves racked him throughout dinner; this was it. This was the moment where his relationship with Phoebe would take a turn for either the better, or, god forbid, the worse.
The witch in question rolled her eyes. She could sense the man's nervousness from a mile away. "Yes, we must do this if we want our relationship to progress."
Cole nodded in understanding, realizing he was probably thinking too much. "Ready when you are then." They both took a seat in the middle of the attic, surrounded by burning candles.
Phoebe smiled, cupping his face in her hands. Looking lovingly into his eyes, she said, "Everything will be better, Cole. I promise." Seeing his smile, she read the spell that was elegantly scripted on a piece of notebook paper.
"In his mind we wish to go, the truth in which we hope to show."
Passing out quietly, Phoebe and Cole's souls both appeared in what seemed to be Phoebe's bedroom. "This is your mind?"
Cole shrugged with a smile. "This is the only place I feel at home. So, how does this work?"
"Just think about what we discussed before." Phoebe said placing his hand in hers. Earlier that night, they had spoken about specific points that changed their relationship the first time around; the important parts that started the downhill spiral and tumultuousness that was their relationship.
Cole sighed and thought about the first memory he thought she should see. As the image came into view, both people noticed that they only saw what Cole saw. They were going to see everything that transpired through his eyes.
"Wow, talk about walking in another's shoes." Phoebe said with a smile. "Do you remember when this is?"
Cole nodded, slightly biting his lip. "Right before I took in the hollow."
"It's your only chance to save your love." They heard the seer's voice from out of nowhere. It was as silky and Machiavellian as ever; it was as if every word she said gave the world, yet nothing at the same time. The woman was a master manipulator that was for sure.
Images flashed, scenes changed, and the Seer came into view again. Cole had her by the throat. His voice rang out from nowhere.
"You never told me I would become the Source if I helped vanquish him!"
"You cannot change your fate," The Seer said quietly. "As you can see, the evil within you won't allow it."
"I'll fight it!" Cole screamed. "I'll kill it. I'll find a way!" The ex demon said desperately.
"There is no way!" The Seer mocked. "If you weren't clinging to the love for your witch so vigorously, it would have overtaken you by now. It's only a matter of time."
The memory faded into a new one. This time, Cole and Seer were alone in the Underworld; the Source's lair to be exact.
"His love for her is strong." Cole growled in a strained voice. His tone was different; unlike Cole's warm and tender voice, this one was cocky, vicious, and…evil.
The Seer smiled. "His love? I see you've already overtaken him."
"Barely. He tries to reach out to her; to force her into having a premonition. I, however, am just strong enough to block them." Cole responded, turning around and sitting on the throne.
'I'll kill you. I'll get to Phoebe. I'll break your hold on me.' Cole's voice rang out. But unlike the Seer's, whose voice came from nowhere, Cole's voice came from in front of them. It was his thoughts. He was talking to the Source inside his own head.
'No you won't Belthazor. You are weak compared to me.' The Source's voice laughed; his real voice, the one he had in his own body.
Phoebe looked up at Cole. He had gripped her hand tighter when he heard his thoughts. She could see how flushed he was, and the sweat that had accumulated on his brow.
"You were powerless?"
Cole sighed a little, gathering his thoughts. Looking up, had tears in his eyes; pain and anguish laced his handsome features. "He mocked me. Chastised me. It only gets worse from here."
Another memory came into view. It was their wedding day; or, rather, their wedding fiasco.
'So Belthazor, whatever happened to you fighting me off?' The Source's voice cut through the air.
'She'll figure it out sooner or later. I was the one who wanted this; for us to be married. You won't be able to act as me so flawlessly on our wedding day. She'll know you're not me.'
'Love is blind, Belthazor. She won't figure it out, because she doesn't want to figure it out. She'll live in ignorance for however long I allow her to live. Then she'll join you in death.'
Images flashed again. This memory found Cole sitting on a throne, looking up at the female figure of the Seer.
"Their son will be the most powerful magic user this world has ever seen!" The Seer's voice came from nowhere again. Her eyes, which were usually dull and showed no emotion, sparkled with ambition; she would get her hands on that power no matter what it took.
"That's my boy!" The Source said, smirking.
"No," The Seer snapped. "If they get married in holy matrimony, it will not be yours. He'll be theirs. The greatest force of good this world will know."
That memory faded, and another took its place. This time it was after the pair's honeymoon that was crashed by Paige.
"Why would you save Paige, after working so hard to destroy her?" The Seer asked.
"They would have figured out how to save her sooner or later. At least now I get the credit." The Source answered, rubbing his hand over his face. His hand blocked the pair's view as it crossed over his eyes.
"It was not you who saved her." The Seer chastised. " It was Cole. Seeing his witch suffer gave him strength."
A new memory took the old ones place. Cole was talking to the Seer in the penthouse. It was a few hours before he took complete control of the Underworld; when Phoebe was still ignorant of Cole's place in the world.
"Finding the Grimoire is not your biggest problem. Suppressing Cole is. You're changing, my liege. The human in you grows stronger. And at the worst possible time."
"I can handle it." The Source said, defensively.
"It's only the Source that protects you from the Charmed ones powers and premonitions. If Cole's love becomes any stronger, then you will lose everything."
The scene changed again, but they were still in the Penthouse. Phoebe was standing in front of Cole.
"It felt, I don't know, awful. It felt, almost…evil." Phoebe's voice rang out from nowhere.
"That's impossible. You're the sweetest, most loving person I've ever met. You don't have an evil bone in your body. You know that." Cole said patting Phoebe on the arm. He was startled when Phoebe turned and ran towards the elevator.
"Oh my god. Stay away from me!" She shouted, looking back at him.
'Belthazor, what have you done!' The Source's voice screamed.
'I broke through; my son gave me the strength. You're done. She'll be back to vanquish you in minutes.' Cole laughed, for once feeling as if he were in control.
"Oh, Cole! If I would have known." Phoebe said engulfing him in a hug. She never knew how much the Source had put him through; how hard he had fought to gain back control.
Cole kissed her on the cheek. "It's ok. I should have broking through sooner, but he was too strong. It was when you told me you were pregnant that I began gathering strength."
The memory changed once again. Cole was standing over the wizard, holding the guy at sword point. The wizard, in turn, looked up in mixed way; he was fearful, but yet still held a certain degree of rebellion within his eyes.
"If you wanted my powers, all you had to do was ask." Cole told him.
'Belthazor! No, what are you doing.' The Source yelled.
Cole laughed. 'I told you I'd beat you.'
The next scene to come into view was of Phoebe vanquishing the Wizard.
"What happened? What did you do?"
"I vanquished him." Phoebe answered, slowly.
"Oh, but he was our last chance." Cole said losing all hope he had. That's when he lost it; the slight grip of power he once had.
'Belthazor, you're strength is gone. Go back in your cage!'
'No,' Cole's voice came out in desperation. 'Not when I was this close.'
Flashes once again came, and the pair found themselves watching the memory of the Source's coronation.
"Are you sure about this? You're giving up your life." The Source asked down to Phoebe.
'No, Phoebe, please! Go home to your sisters. Don't take his hand.' Cole's thoughts screamed.
'She can't hear you Belthazor. She's mine. The power of three is destroyed, and I have a new body! You over estimated your witch.'
With a flash of light, Cole and Phoebe found themselves looking out of Cole's eyes once again as he was about to be vanquished. The view was solely on Phoebe; it was as if no one else but her was in the room. Not her sisters, not Leo, no one but Phoebe.
'It's game over for you, Source. We'll both rot in the Wasteland.' Cole said in a somber tone; he was happy that the Source would be dead, but sad that he wouldn't grow old with Phoebe. It was, in all intents and purposes, a bittersweet moment.
The Source gave out a laugh that was without pity. 'That's what you think. But this has been my intention all along. I have a new body, with stronger powers then I could ever dream about waiting for me.'
'My son!' Cole said angrily.
'Of course. Those tonics have been killing him slowly, but surely. I will possess him, and rule through your witch. So, it's game over for you and your witch Belthazor.' The Source said, letting his guard down. He felt a rush of power come from Cole, and failed to notice how the man took over for a brief moment.
"I will always love you." Cole said to Phoebe seconds before he blew up.
Cole took Phoebe into his arms. "I wanted to warn you. I didn't have the time though."
Phoebe wiped the tears from her eyes. She never knew what had truly happened to Cole. "You had to watch while he destroyed your life."
Before he could answer, a new memory came into view. It was unwarranted; Cole never called for it consciously like he had with his other memories.
"I'll keep my distance. But I'm not going away. My love for you hasn't changed. It kept me alive in the Wasteland and led me back to you!" Cole said, looking at Phoebe from a mere foot away.
Phoebe grabbed the letter opener and held it up to Cole, threateningly. "Stay away from me!"
Cole's thoughts while this transpired cut Phoebe's heart in two. 'Phoebe, please. You're breaking my heart. You're all I have. Don't do this to me! Take me back, I'm sorry.'
Even though on the inside Cole was dieing, he didn't show it on the outside. His face stayed smiling, almost arrogantly. "I know you still love me."
The scene faded into nothing. It was darkness for a few minutes until it returned to the picture of Phoebe's bedroom. Looking around, Phoebe saw the tears in Cole's eyes. She had never seen him cry like this; never once had she seen so many tears come flooding down his face, creating stains.
"You turned your back on me. Why?" Was all he could get out. His face, which was once so happy and lighthearted, had become downtrodden.
"Cole," Phoebe said taking a step closer to him; a tear escaping her eye. "I was scared. I thought you willingly became the Source. I was hurt, and frightened. I'm sorry!"
Cole looked at her, his tears subsiding. "Phoebe, you're all I had. I had no one to turn to. You had your sisters and Leo. I had no one! I needed you, and you weren't there for me. You said you loved me. You should have been there, or at the very least civil to me. But you wanted to vanquish me right off the bat!"
Phoebe cupped his face in her hand. Bringing him closer, she engulfed him the most passionate kiss she could muster. When they finished, she smiled up at him. "I'm sorry. It was wrong of me. I'm the only one who had power over you, and I used it to hurt you. For that, I'm sorry. But know this; I love you now even more then I ever did. Take love, multiply it by infinity, and send it to the depths of eternity and that's just the surface of what I feel for you."
Cole gave a small smile. Wiping the tears out of his eyes, he replied. "I love you, Phoebe. Always remember that. I would, and have, gone to hell and back for you. As Paige knows, I've moved the stars to be with you once, please don't make me do it again!"
Phoebe gave him another passionate kiss. "Let's get out of here."
"Send us back, to the minds we came. Love renewed, and it'll stay the same."