Author: Escargoat

Rating: FRM.

Part: (13/?)

Season: Season 8 AU

Disclaimer: I don't own. I'm making no money. Rights go to whole bunch of people such as the (now defunct) WB, TNT, the CW, Spelling Productions, and others. I'm not any of those people.

A/N: There is sexual content in this chapter. Be warned.

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Phoebe sighed as she readied herself for bed. Dinner had been awkward. How could it not have been? She'd had sex with Cole while pinned up against the refrigerator. He had to leave to pick up the children soon after they had actually done the act. He hadn't seen the number of tipped over items Phoebe had when she went to put away the forgotten groceries.

When he had returned, he had called the towing company to take his car to the garage and assured her that he had filled the tank on her car. The rest of the evening had been peppered with awkward small talk. After all, they couldn't discuss the fact that they'd had sex in front of two small children.

Or, maybe they had just been too chicken to find the time.

"You know, I had hoped you had burned those pajamas by now," Cole commented from behind her.

Phoebe let out a yelp of surprise, and turned around.

"You forget how to knock on the door?"

"I didn't use the door," Cole replied smugly.

Phoebe rolled her eyes at him. "That doesn't really make it better you know."

"You never used to mind when I did that," Cole pointed out a bit nervously suddenly rethinking the impulsive decision he had made that had brought him to her room.

"Yeah, well, we used to be… I don't know what we used to be. We were never simple, but things used to be easier."

Cole smiled a bit sadly. "We used to not care. You were a witch, I was a hybridized demon, and we chose not to care about anything but loving each other. It made it easier to deal with what happened."

Phoebe sighed and moved to sit on the edge of her bed. "I think that was our problem. We didn't care. We focused so much on us, loved each other so much, that we lost sight of everything else."

Cole shook his head. "I don't agree with you. Phoebe, I don't think it is possible to love somebody too much. If anything was our problem it was not paying attention to us. Our denial of problems, our unwillingness to look at each other and see flaws – if we had just acknowledge my evil side a little more, then maybe you would have noticed that the Source wasn't me... Look examining the past is good, but dwelling on it isn't. I think that we need to decide where we are now."

Phoebe looked at him for a minute. "How long did you practice that speech?"

"Out loud? About twenty minutes. Internally? Since I left to pick the boys up."

"Figures. I spent the entire time worrying, and you were off actually thinking about it."

Cole smiled a more genuine smile than he had earlier. "I am a lawyer. I'm trained to think out my case. Besides, you have plenty of good qualities of your own. Give me a break on this one."

"Paige wouldn't approve of this you know. Hell, I know Grams and Prue wouldn't. Piper wouldn't like it either. After, you know, you went crazy and tried to kill her when she was pregnant."

"Well, if we're lucky, I'll take care of you and the boys good enough this time around, that they'll forgive you when you die."

Phoebe, for the perverseness of it, wanted to point out that she had not agreed to trying another round of the Phoebe-Cole melodrama. She wanted to ask him when he'd asked her if she wanted to have more than a quick screw in the kitchen. She had a thousand quips waiting to spurt out of her mouth. She chose not to say any of them. Phoebe Halliwell was tired of fighting off the loneliness that had been a perpetual part of her life ever since she had vanquished her husband. And from a non-selfish standpoint, she could feel Cole's trepidation. He was speaking in a smooth and confident manner, but his fear of another rejection was outstanding.

Phoebe opened her mouth, but nothing came out.

Cole looked at her expectantly.

She closed her mouth and frowned.

He grinned.

"What?" she asked peevishly.

"You were always better at show than tell?" He asked in an innocent tone.

She smiled softly and grabbed his hand, gently tugging on it to get him to move closer to her. He complied and stood right in front of her. She didn't let go of his hand, instead allowing her thumb to gently trace over the back of it.

"I don't want to love you. I want – I wanted things to be simple," she confessed.

"It is a little late to want that Phoebe. And it isn't even my fault. Your life became complicated the day that you unbound your powers."

"I was so happy when that happened. It was like I finally had a purpose. I had this great mission in life, and I had two kickass sisters, and… I wish I could get that girl back."

"That girl couldn't raise two nephews. You can. I studied you long before I tried to kill you, remember? I didn't fall in love with the exuberant, devil-may-care, aimless girl. I fell in love with the passionate, loving, aimless woman."

"I am not aimless!" Phoebe protested.

"Not now you aren't, but baby when I first met you…"

"Hey, I was going back to college! That isn't aimless," Phoebe said as she mock slapped him on his stomach.

Cole's eyes dilated a fraction.

Phoebe felt her mouth go dry. It wasn't that she didn't know how attracted to her he was, but it had been a while since he had let her see that look. And quite frankly, she hadn't ever felt the wave of desire that accompanied it before. At least, she hadn't felt his desire, her own was a different matter.

"You pervert, there was nothing sexy about that slap," she heard herself say in a lightly chiding tone.

"Maybe not, but we are alone in your bedroom. The boys are asleep," Cole paused for a moment, "and I'm really horny."

Her eyes flickered to his pants almost involuntarily.

"Not that horny, well not yet anyway," Cole said when he saw her eyes flicker downwards.

"Wanna change that?" Phoebe asked in what she hoped was a mixed of innocence and seduction. She wasn't sure how it had come out. She had not had not used that tone of voice for a long time. She had not been the minx she played with Cole with her other boyfriends. At least, she had not done it intentionally. The teasing she had done in those relationships had come from her unwillingness to share the family secret.

Come to think of it, her teasing with Cole had always been…

"You know, it isn't really good for my libido when you start thinking deep thoughts when I'm trying to seduce you," Cole's voice interrupted her musings.

"What? Old age catching up with you?" Phoebe teased.

Cole rolled his eyes and flopped down on the bed next to her. "I'd like to see what your sex drive will be like when you're over a hundred."

Phoebe smiled and straddled him. "I'd rather see what my sex drive is like now," she said as she wiggled a bit to find a better position.

Cole's breath caught, and Phoebe's smile turned into a grin. "Like that Baby?"

Cole put his hands on her hips. "You haven't called me that in a long time."

In lieu of responding verbally, she leaned down and kissed him. His mouth opened hesitantly as his tongue poked out to see if he would be allowed to deepen the kiss. She responded willingly and soon their tongues were sliding against each other.

His hands slid up under her pajama top, and she broke their kiss to comply with his request for its removal.

Cole moaned softly as he reached up to gently touch her breasts. Phoebe rolled her hips in response which encouraged Cole to thrust his gently upwards. His brain was just about to shut down completely when he felt Phoebe had roll off of him and saw her tug her top back on.

He honestly didn't know whether to feel frustrated, rejected or angry, so he settled for confused.

Phoebe made a movement towards her bedroom door, but then turned around. Hope flared for a brief second before he found a pillow in his hands. He realized what it was for when she pulled her door open and Wyatt stood on the other side.

Cole discretely placed the pillow on his lap.

"You come stay with him?" Wyatt asked quietly.

Cole couldn't follow Wyatt's logic, but Phoebe apparently understood just fine.

"Sure I'll go check on Chris," Phoebe responded easily.

Cole frowned. They really needed to teach Wyatt better communication skills. Mentally he pushed that up higher on his to-do list. With a sigh he pushed himself up off the bed.

"Go check on Chris; I'll tuck Wyatt back in," he told Phoebe as he grabbed Wyatt's hand.

He smiled almost paternally at Wyatt, "Come on Kiddo, back to bed with you."

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A couple hours later, Cole was staring at Phoebe's bedroom ceiling.

"Phoebe?" He asked in a regular tone of voice.

"What?" She responded in a much groggier one.

"How did you know that Wyatt had come about Chris? For that matter, how did you even know that Wyatt was there?"

Phoebe moaned and repositioned her naked body in a more comfortable arrangement.

"Can we talk about this tomorrow? I'm tired," she whined.

Cole felt his frown form.

"Phoebe…"

She sighed and pushed herself up into a seated position. Her hand shot out and turned on the bedside lamp. Cole sat up next to her.

"Because I felt Chris have the nightmare, and I felt Wyatt's concern…"

"You felt it?"

Phoebe shrugged.

"You felt it," realization dawned. Phoebe had not been empathic while they had been together. Granted, in his time in limbo he had heard about Phoebe and her empathic adventures, but the thought had not occurred to him that she would eventually regain those powers. And if she had her empathy back, that would mean that she could feel him and his emotions.

"I don't understand it. It, it isn't like it was before, and I don't have my levitation back, but it is there," Phoebe explained not noticing Cole's preoccupation.

"Did you really want this?" Cole heard himself voice a loud his worry. Part of him was shocked. He had not meant to say that out loud.

"Of course I wanted my powers back," Phoebe sounded affronted.

"No, I mean, did my emotions influence you?" Cole hated the way it came out. He hated that he had pushed her to tell him. Hated that he had the doubt in the first place.

Phoebe shook her head. "You have been 'influencing' me from the day I met you. But in my experience, things don't happen in a relationship without the influence of the other person. And to answer your question, yes, I wanted this. I've wanted it every time we've gotten back together. I think I even wanted to be with you when I told you I didn't. So quit worrying, I've got enough on my mind."

He nodded his head in acceptance and settled back down against the pillows. Instead of hearing the click of the lamp being switched off, he heard Phoebe take in a breath.

"Cole, do you think that maybe Wyatt felt Chris have the nightmare to?"

He wanted to enjoy the hopeful tone in her voice. He really did.

"Not in the way you're thinking. They're brothers Phoebe. Regular non-magical humans have been known to feel what their loved ones feeling without any other information. If anything, it was just their bond as brothers that let Wyatt know."

To his surprise, Phoebe smiled.

"Well, isn't love the strongest magic of all?" She asked softly.

Cole laughed. "Go to sleep."

Phoebe shrugged, turned off the light, and took his advice.