This is a complete AU of season five starting during A Withes Tale. I'm just moving up Leo becoming an elder and leaving Piper a year. She is also not pregnant for this story.

I do really like Leo but I just wanted to try this pairing out. Piper is my favorite character on Charmed and I wanted to write something with her and someone else, and I always liked Cole.

So, I'm working under the assumption that maybe Cole could have been a good guy and overcame all those powers if anyone had of given him a chance. After all, he did love Phoebe and helped her and the sisters. Up until he went crazy that is.

Don't own anything.

Piper stared out at the ocean, not really seeing it. She wasn't sure why she had come back here. It wasn't as if she had any happy memories of the past few days. She had even almost lost her sister here.

Piper sat down, forcing down tears when she thought of what happened. She had been so stupid! She had cast that spell, that no fear, no pain spell because she just couldn't deal with it anymore and it had almost cost Phoebe her life.

Leo had only been gone for a few weeks, and she hadn't exactly been handling that well. How was she supposed to? She had been so sure that he was it for her, and she still was.

She felt like half of her was missing at the moment. She figured it would get better, at least that was what Phoebe and Paige kept saying. Phoebe kept saying how it had gotten better for her. How she had learned to move on after Cole.

That, however, was not a good example in Pipers mind. After all, it was just a few days ago that Cole had driven Phoebe to nearly abandon everything she knew.

No, Piper didn't see herself being able to move forward yet. She and Leo had even been planning on having a baby. They had been trying without success when he had left.

Sighing, Piper stood up and started to walk back to her car. She stood next to it for a moment, wondering where she could go. She didn't want to go home, not yet anyways.

Cole sat very still in one of the chairs in his apartment. He had been there for a while now, and he didn't really feel the need to move at the moment.

He guessed he should be used to it by now. After all, it had been happening since he had met the girls. For a second, he wished that he was like all the other demons that he had either fought or worked with. The ones without souls, without a conscious. It would have been easy then. He'd either be dead or they would.

Rejection, death threats, he was pretty much used to it now. He didn't blame Phoebe. He had hurt her a lot. She had given him a lot of chances, put a hell of a lot of faith in him and he had let her down.

He'd been weak, unable to overtake the Source. He had overtaken Balthazar with the help of Phoebe but the Source was a whole lot stronger than Balthazar. He had lost himself.

Sighing, Cole stood up. He needed to get out of here. He was moping, brooding about his life. Something that he had never really seen the point of.

He had not gone all weepy when he had first gained a conscious after falling for Phoebe. He always figured he could think about that when he died and that there was really no point in dwelling on the past. You can't change the past after all.

Shaking his head, he left his apartment.

"Come here often?" Piper's head snapped up. She had been fiddling with her drink at the small bar she had found herself in.

"Cole." She watched him as he sat down across from her at the table with a half smile on his face. "Is that a pick up?"

"Why? Did you want it to be?" Piper's face scrunched up.

"Definitely not." She said after a moment. He leaned forward.

"What are you doing here?" She shrugged.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" She drained the rest of her glass. Cole raised an eyebrow and did the same.

"Never figured you'd be here…" Piper snorted.

"Well, I did say I wouldn't do this again after the last time, but hey, here I am."

"The last time?" Piper leaned closer to him.

"Yeah. You know that time when you convinced Phoebe to be your queen." Cole winced slightly at the memory but Piper didn't seem to notice.

"Not me this time, though, is it? Leo ditched you, didn't he? Heard about that." Piper glared at him, but it faded after a moment.

"Yes, he ditched me. Let's talk about that. And then we can talk about how Phoebe killed you." Cole sat back and for a moment he thought Piper looked guilty. She sighed. "Look, if you're going to stay, don't talk about Leo. I won't talk about Phoebe." Cole nodded. Cole tapped his fingers on the table for a few minutes after they ordered more drinks.

"So…killed any demons lately?" Piper rolled her eyes.

"You were there, weren't you? For the last one." Cole nodded. He watched her. She was different now. He knew Piper, almost as well as he knew Phoebe. He had known her for years now.

He had always liked and had a sort of respect for Piper. For the way she handled things, mostly. She was probably the strongest of the Charmed Ones, even before Prue had died. He always liked her ability to make a joke even when she was facing death.

The fire was dulled now, though. It reminded him of the way she had looked right after Prue had died. He felt sympathy well in him. He knew what it was like, after all. He knew what it was like to have the person you loved most turn their backs on you, even if it had been his fault that Phoebe had.

"So, what's the plan? Get drunk enough you forget?"

"For tonight." Piper lifted her newly refilled glass.

"And tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow I have to move on, don't I?" Cole frowned.

"What if you can't?" Piper shrugged again.

"Then I guess I'm screwed."

"He just left." Piper said later, forgetting her oath not to talk about Leo. "Just like that, to go sit on clouds and meditate or whatever." Cole snorted.

"I don't think I could do it." He said after a moment. He held up a hand when Piper opened her mouth. "And I'm not talking about the demon thing. I'm talking about being bored for an eternity thing." Piper stared at him and then she let out a laugh. It held a little bit of pain to it.

"I guess I'm boring enough that he would choose that." Cole snorted again and shook his head.

"We may not like each other much anymore but you are anything but boring, Piper."

"So, why come here?" Piper raised an eyebrow.

"I thought we covered that."

"No, I meant why not your own club with your very own bar waiting?" She shrugged.

"Because. I wanted to be alone." She met his eyes.

"I could always leave…" Cole gestured to the door, even though he had no intention of leaving her like this. Piper shook her head.

"No, it's good."

"Time to go?" Cole asked later, watching as Piper swayed slightly in her seat. She shook her head. Cole sighed and walked over to her. He lifted her out of the chair and started over towards the door.

"Don't want to go back there." She mumbled as they got outside, leaning on him heavily.

"You need to sleep this off, Piper." She shook her head, pulling him into a stop and almost falling over.

"Please don't take me back there. Not like this." Cole sighed and pulled her close again before shimmering out and reappearing in his apartment.

"Fine. You can stay here tonight. But you're going to have to talk to your sisters eventually," he said as he helped her into his room and into bed.

"Tomorrow." She mumbled, her eyes already closing. She opened them again and reached out to grab his arm. "Thank you." He nodded and left the room with another sigh.

Well, that was certainly unexpected, he thought as he went into the other room. He had only intended on going out, getting his mind off Phoebe. He hadn't planned on finding Piper trying to drink herself into a coma.

It hadn't really been a choice; he'd had to help her. It was like a reflex, even when he had been possessed by The Source. He hadn't been able to let Paige die then and he hadn't been able to leave Piper alone tonight.

Rubbing a hand on his forehead, he settled down on his couch. Maybe he should leave town, get out of the sisters influence, and move on like Piper said. He considered the idea for a moment. Maybe he'd make sure she was okay first.