Charmed: Hanging with Mr. Turner
Disclaimer: I don't own charmed, but the WB does.
Summary: AU After Season six- After Gideon's death, Leo has taken over his position as guardian of the school but has hired a headmistress to handle all school matters. When the headmistress hires a familiar new teacher, the Halliwells must investigate to see what this new teacher's plans are. Are they good? Or is there an ulterior motive here?
A/N: Just a quick story based around plots that I have written over the last few years, which are mostly about Cole and Phoebe. Review and tell me what you think!
Chapter 3: After School Project
"What did you do that for?" Cole growled when they arrived at his destination, angry that Phoebe would jump the teleportation like that. Not only did it violate his personal privacy, but it was also extremely dangerous—if she would have let go of him for even just a moment, she very well could have been trapped in between the planes, unable to escape.
"Because you weren't going to listen to me," Phoebe replied, moving her eyes around the area, trying to figure out where he had brought them. It seemed to be an apartment, as it had a large, king-sized bed, a bureau, and a desk in the corner, along with a small kitchen and a sitting area with a futon and a television in front of it. She saw clothes piled on a chair, and she cocked an eyebrow in curiosity, wondering if this was Cole's home now. "Is this where you live?"
"Yes," Cole nodded, going over to the desk and pulling out a small notebook. It was a leather bound book, like one would keep next to a telephone in order to record a message.
"Far cry from your penthouse," Phoebe admitted, noticing the austere living quarters Cole had in comparison to his previous home in San Francisco. The expensive elegance and décor was gone, and in its place was a more homey decoration style, one that seemed opposite Cole's wardrobe. "Where are we?"
"In the void between life and death," Cole answered, rummaging through some of the papers on his desk, seemingly looking for something. "If you meant physically where, like on a map, we're in Seattle."
"Seattle?" Phoebe repeated, surprised that they weren't in their home city of San Francisco. While she knew that Cole had been born in the city, she didn't know if he had lived there his entire life, but she assumed he had as he had never said anything to the contrary. "Why Seattle?"
"It's a supernaturally active place, just like San Francisco." Cole replied, informing her about the demonic activity that goes on within Seattle. Then, finding his pen, he gave out a sound of victory as a large smile appeared on his face. "There it is! Come, I have to get you home, people who are alive shouldn't be in the void for too long."
"Where are you going?" Phoebe questioned, seeing that he was in a rush. She still wanted to talk to him, even if she had to wait until he completed whatever it is he had to complete.
"I have charges that I have to help," Cole said, walking over to her and holding his hand out for her to take. He looked down at her expectantly, but she crossed her arms in front of her, not interested in leaving just yet.
"Charges? You mean like Leo? I want to come with you; I want to see you're not evil for my own eyes." Phoebe stood strong, seeing an opportunity to truly see what Cole was all about.
"It's too dangerous," Cole shook his head in the negative, knowing the dangers that having a mortal around presented while doing his duties. The beings that he had to fight could devour a mortal soul, ending the existence of that soul, preventing entry into the afterlife or reincarnation upon death.
"Cole, I'm a witch, I think I can handle it." Phoebe snapped, not accepting the danger that she would be in. She was a tough, strong, intelligent witch, she could protect herself if need be. "Or have you forgotten the many times I kicked your ass."
"This is different, Phoebe, your powers will not work here. I'm the only one with power in this situation. And, if something happens to you, it's not just your death; it's the end of your existence." Cole lectured, informing Phoebe of the dangers that she didn't know about or take into account. "Your soul will no longer exist. There are beings, things, monsters, that I fight that do not care about your physical body, but instead they only want what's inside, they want what makes you, you."
"I can protect myself, Cole," Phoebe reaffirmed, not allowing him to talk her out of coming. She could take care of and protect herself, and if not, it was her choice to make, not his. "I'm coming with you."
Cole stared at her for a few moments, weighing his options. "Fine, if it'll get you to stop annoying me, then yes, you can come, but don't say that I didn't warn you if you end up dying." He finally said through clenched teeth as he gripped Phoebe's hand in his own, immediately noticing that their hands still fit with one another. Looking down at her, he gave out a loud sigh as he sparkled them away to his charges, not really knowing what to expect.
"Where are we?" Phoebe questioned, looking around at her surroundings once they arrived. They seemed to be in a cabaret club by the atmosphere and the wardrobe everyone was wearing, though she knew not the year—everyone was dressed in gowns and suits that were more similar to the 1904 than 2004. "Did we go back in time?" She asked, wondering if it was some sort of theme party or if they truly did go back in time.
"You remember time loops? When Bo got shot, and you were suffering because of it?" Cole questioned as he started to walk through the crowd, looking at each individual as he passed. Some of the people stared back at him curiously, giving him the same looks that he was giving to them.
"Yes, why?" She questioned, noticing that she too was getting strange looks from everyone, apparently not wearing the proper attire for such a place or the time. She noticed that every woman present was hanging on the arm of a man, as if that was their place, rather than the freer world she was born into.
"This is a time loop," He answered, not turning his attention to her, instead still focusing on his surroundings. "These people will die in a fire, an experience they will have to relive over and over because they are lost souls."
Phoebe cocked an eyebrow, not understanding what he meant. "What are lost souls?" She asked curiously, having never heard the term before in a magical context.
"They are souls that can't move on because they are being tethered to the earthly plane by someone or something." He replied, flicking his blue eyes over to her. "They are nearly impossible to save, and it is my…our job to figure out why they're tethered and how to save them."
"So these people are dead?" Phoebe asked, feeling a bit uncomfortable as nearly everyone was staring at her and her odd appearance. She didn't know if they were going to attack her or something, which made her quite uneasy and forced her to be a bit defensive.
"Yes, though they don't know it." Cole nodded in the affirmative, his face blank and neutral, having experienced lost souls numerous times during his job. "They died in the year 1899, and have been constantly reliving this event ever since."
"That's over a hundred years," Phoebe whispered in a horrorstricken tone, shocked that they would relive their deaths for so long. How could souls continually relive an event over and over? What kind of monstrous thing happened that would force them to feel the pain of their own deaths for the rest of eternity?
"I can count," Cole muttered sarcastically, shaking his head in amusement. He took out his notepad and pen, and wrote something down, an idea that he had as to the cause of the lost souls' predicament.
"What did you write?" Phoebe inquired, getting on her tippy toes to look over the taller man's shoulder. She could just barely make out what it said, but didn't understand what it meant.
"I think some of these people may be bad spirits, or ghouls." Cole answered honestly, noticing how unsavory some of the people appeared to be. "That could be a reason why the good spirits can't move on."
"How do you know?" Phoebe questioned with a cocked eyebrow, wondering how he came to that idea.
"The guy in the booth over there had a gun, and while that may not mean he's a bad spirit, it does give me an idea that some of these people may not be the most respectable or savory of people." Cole answered, gesturing to the booth with his head. "Ghouls are human spirits that are aware of the magical world and tether themselves to Earth through their own actions during their lifetimes."
Phoebe nodded in understanding, getting a sense that Cole had been doing this for quite some time. "What other reasons could make this happen?"
"A demon could be the cause or…" Cole stopped, looked around, and then headed for the stage that was open and being unused at the present moment, the show having ended just minutes prior to their arrival. He jumped up onto the stage as Phoebe came running over to him, her eyes wide in shock.
"Cole!" She called out confusedly, gesturing for the man to come back down. "What are you doing?"
"Sometimes it's the way they died that causes souls to become lost," Cole informed her quietly, and then, in a louder voice, stared at the crowd and said, "Hello everyone! Please, do not panic; do not run for the exits, because it will not change anything. You are about to die. Please, take this time to get your affairs in order, while I try to save you all."
The crowd did not immediately react—the stared at Cole for a few seconds, before retuning to their conversation. Just then, there was the sound of what seemed to be an explosion, as one of the pillars in the corner crashed down to the ground. As fear ran throughout the club, and people started running for the exits, Cole jumped down and joined Phoebe on the floor in front of the stage. "Why'd you go and do that?"
"It might work," Cole shrugged, as flames started to erupt on the linens and burnable items.
"We have to help them!" Phoebe shrieked, watching as they all rushed to the exits that were blocked. Her heart went out to them; the souls that she knew would linger on for eternity unless they were set free.
"We can't, if we stay we burn like the rest of them, they'll be here later." Cole said, knowing it was true and that the souls wouldn't be going anywhere. While he hated to leave them to their fate once more, he knew that in the grander scheme of things, reliving their death once or twice more in order for Cole and Phoebe to escape death was much better than the potential of reliving their deaths for eternity should Cole die. Gripping Phoebe's shoulder, Cole sparkled them both out, arriving in Phoebe's room in the manor a few moments later.
"Why'd you bring us here?" She questioned, and then upon seeing Cole's face, she understood. "No, I'm seeing this through. I want to see you save those people, not just ignite a furor amongst them."
"We can't do anything right now, anyway." Cole muttered, looking down at the floor, trying to think of a way out of being around Phoebe any longer. It made him tense and halved his concentration as he cared about Phoebe's wellbeing more than he cared about doing his job, which was unfair to the lost souls. "We have to wait for the time loop to repeat."
"So, how long will that be?" Phoebe asked, willing to wait however long it would take. She wrote her paper from home, so it wasn't like she had to leave for work or anything like that.
Cole sighed, seeing that she was stuck in her desire to watch him work. "I'll be here in an hour. Try to wear something 1899-ish." Cole finally said, breaking the silence, before sparkling out, leaving her alone in her room once more.
"1899-ish? What the heck does that mean?" Phoebe sighed, walking out of her room and up to the attic. "Oh, hey," She said, seeing Paige and Piper in the attic once she got there.
"Back from class already?" Piper joked with a smile, making light of Phoebe's desire to go to Cole's class whenever he taught.
"Very funny," Phoebe stuck her tongue out at her sister, earning a grin from Piper. She hurried over to the large trunk that was in the corner of the attic, throwing it open to reveal a plethora of old, moth-ridden dresses, all ranging in styles and ages.
"What in the world are you look for?" Paige questioned, walking over to her older sister and watching her go through the piles of dresses, shirts, and pants.
"A dress that seems 1899-ish, I guess." Phoebe asked, pushing around some pink dresses, searching for the oldest looking one. She saw a green one that looked like it could work, but then put it back into the trunk when she realized it was much too large for her, apparently having been worn by a woman less petite than she was.
"Why do you need a dress that seems 1899-ish? Are you going to party like its 1899?" Paige laughed, seeing the absurdity that was in the idea of wanting to dress like it was two centuries prior to the current one.
"Yes, sort of," Phoebe nodded, looking over to her younger sister. "I'm helping Cole with one of his charges, and I need a dress that would allow me to fit in."
"Helping…Cole?" Paige asked, confusedly, a slight scowl forming on her face at the mention of the ex-demon. "Are you sure that's wise?"
"I'm making sure he's not evil with my own eyes," Phoebe replied, knowing that it was the only way to prove once and for all that Cole was not lying to them, that him teaching at MagicSchool was not some way to trick them or take over the world. "I'm making sure he's not here to hurt any of us, especially Wyatt and Chris."
"He's not," Piper sighed, flipping through the Book of Shadows as she distractedly looked for the demon that had attacked them the night before. "He might have been the Source of All Evil once, but he's not the source of any evil now."
Phoebe stopped what she was doing, furrowing her brows as she repeated Piper's assertion in her mind. "How are you so sure, Piper? Do you know something that I don't?" She questioned, getting to her feet and turning her attention over to her sister.
"Yes," Piper nodded in the affirmative. "He touched the book." She said simply, shrugging, not really seeing the big deal in it outside of it proving that Cole was good—or at the very least, not evil.
"…what?" Paige and Phoebe both blinked, anger bellying up inside of them. How could Piper not tell them about that? Better yet, how could she allow him to get that close to the book in the first place?
"When I summoned him, yeah, he perused through the book as if it was a dictionary. The book didn't jump one time, not once. I don't care if Cole has tricked us before, if he has tricked the Source of All Evil before, if he's tricked Leo before or the Brotherhood of the Thorn before, he's never, ever tricked the Book before." Piper declared sharply, her belief in the book's magic, power, and wisdom absolute. "And if the Book believes him to be good and Leo says he's good, and the Headmistress of the school believes he's good, that's more than enough evidence for me."
"Why did you not tell us this?" Paige demanded, incensed by the idea of both Cole being around the book and Piper hiding it from them.
"It slipped my mind, I'm sorry." Piper answered, really having forgotten about it, rather than not telling them as an attempt to hide it. "I'm not obsessed with finding out if Cole is evil or not, so I haven't really thought about it since then."
"How could something like that just slip your mind?" Paige criticized, narrowing her gaze at the shorter Piper.
"It doesn't matter; I'm still going to keep an eye out for him." Phoebe said, unwilling to believe that he was truly good, regardless of what the book said. "At least until I actually see him help someone for my own eyes." She finished, before turning back around and digging through the trunk, once more trying to find a suitable dress.
"You're looking in the wrong trunk, Pheebs," Piper noted, closing the book back up and walking closer to the trunks in the corner of the attic. "The other trunk is Gram's mother's stuff, not that one. But even then, that would only be clothes from the 1920's."
"That's fine; it doesn't have to be an exact match." Phoebe assured her, before rushing over to the trunk on the opposite side of the attic. She threw the top open, and perused through the items, before finding a black dress that she couldn't help but think she saw before. "Wait, this is what you were wearing when I went back in time!"
"Went back in time?" Paige asked, not remembering them going back in time, except for the knight that the prince came to visit from the past.
"My former self, you mean?" Piper inquired with a raised eyebrow, wondering if that's what she meant. She recalled the instance years ago where Phoebe's past life was coming back to haunt her, and her sister was subsequently sent back in time to figure out what was happening to her and how to fix it. "I'll tell you over dinner, Paige, it's a long story."
"I'll be back," Phoebe said, rushing out of the attic with the dress in her hand, presumably to try it on.
"Former life, you say?" Paige said with a smile, grinning from ear to ear, excited to hear the story. "Sort of like my Enchantress past life, hm?"
"Yeah," Piper nodded in agreement. "Except not evil." She finished with a laugh, taking a seat on one of the couches as she waited for Phoebe to return.
Twenty minutes later, Phoebe came back into the attic, wearing her newly found dress and having her hair scrunched up. She twirled around for her sisters to see, wanting to know what they thought about it. "First," Piper started, giving her a once over. While her sister did look stunning as usual, Piper doubted it was the look that Phoebe was going for at that moment. "I think you're showing way too much leg for 1899, and secondly, I think you're putting way too much effort into just seeing if someone is evil."
"I'm playing a part, Piper," Phoebe rolled her eyes, not wanting her sisters to think anything of it. She wanted to help the lost souls, and if Cole said that dressing up would help them, she was willing to do it, regardless of how it appeared to outside eyes. "But you think this is too much leg?"
"Yes, toots," Paige agreed with a nod, seeing how Piper would say that it was a bit inappropriate for what she was looking for.
"Darn," Phoebe said, before going back over to the trunk to look for something else. She rummaged through it once more, before pulling out a longer dress that was red in color. "How about this?" She questioned, holding the dress close to her body to gauge its length and look.
"That looks good enough," Piper nodded, seeing how it could resemble a dress from 1899, at least close enough to what Phoebe needed it for.
"I'll be back," Phoebe said, rushing out of the attic to change into the new dress.
"She is putting a lot of effort into this," Paige muttered, as she stared at the doorway, where Phoebe just left. Her eyes lingered for a moment before they flicked over to Piper, who had a perplexed look on her face as she stared back at Paige. "Do you think she's still into him?"
"I didn't," Piper said, biting her lip in thought, weighing everything she knew about it to decide. On one hand, she understood Phoebe's fervor to see if Cole was evil or not and reasoned it to an ex-wife being worried about her dangerous ex-husband, but on the other, she questioned whether it was mainly about Phoebe simply wanting to see Cole, which was preposterous to her before that night. Now, however, she was less certain which one was the correct answer, and doubted Phoebe even knew for herself. "But now, I'm not so sure anymore."
Another half an hour later, Phoebe bounded to the door after the bell rang, Paige and Piper standing in the background, watching what would happen quizzically. Phoebe threw open the door and, after seeing it was Cole, quickly sad goodbye to Paige and Piper and left in a hurry, closing the door behind her. "Yeah, this should end well," Paige whispered, before turning around and walking back into the kitchen, where she knew Piper had dinner ready for them.
On the patio, Cole looked down at Phoebe, studying how she was dressed, while she herself looked over what he was wearing. He was clad in an early 1900s hundreds suit, black in color, with a bowler cap that was snuggled on the top of his head. "Wow, you look…" Cole whispered, before shaking his head, ridding any inappropriate thoughts: he was allowing her to come just to save his charges, nothing more. "You look 1899-ish, good job."
"And you look exactly like a man from the late 1800s I once saw in a premonition," Phoebe grinned, ignoring his original reaction, not wanting to drudge up those feelings anymore as they led to nothing but arguments and pain.
"Who was that?" Cole questioned with a furrowed eyebrow, wondering who that could be.
"Your father," Phoebe supplied to him, remembering that vision that she had years prior as if it happened yesterday. She remembered the pain she saw on Benjamin Turner's face as Elizabeth ripped his son from his arms and then proceeded to kill him with an energy ball right in front of Cole's young eyes, which presumably started the boy down his path in becoming the greatest demonic soldier of fortune of all time, the demon Belthazor.
"You've seen my father?" Cole asked with wide eyes, surprised at that revelation, having never expected it. She had never told him before that she had a vision of his father and he briefly wondered when it had happened, where it had happened, and most importantly, why it had happened. Were they together when she saw him or was it more recently, after he had left her life?
"I saw the night that your mother stole you from your father, and killed him with an energy ball." Phoebe replied, informing Cole of what she had seen. It was a brutal, awful vision that informed her of what kind of person his mother had been—an evil and terrible woman.
Cole's head jerked to her at the mention of his mother, his crystalline blue eyes narrowing on hers. "When?" He asked, wanting to know when she had seen this vision and whether it had helped shape her opinion of him at any time.
"One night I was at the mausoleum, it's when I realized why you go there, outside of just the protection the graveyard offers you." Phoebe answered with a shrug, not remembering the exact date that she had it. It was a long time ago, she knew, years prior when she was a much different woman, still just an immature witch in her mid-twenties.
"You never told me that," Cole muttered in a tone Phoebe couldn't distinguish—it was a mix of sadness, disappointment, and another odd emotion that Phoebe couldn't place. "I only vaguely remember that night, but then again, that sounds like Bethlar." He then reached for her hand, and gripping it tightly, sparkled them away from the manor and into the time loop of the Phantome Cabaret.
A/N: Merry Christmas to all of you who are celebrating today! This chapter, and the next one, is a brief foray into Cole's after school life. He'll be back to teaching once it is over.