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 4: After School Project, Part 2
They arrived in the cabaret, and immediately walked over to an empty booth, taking a seat in it and staring around as the souls went about their night. They all seemed to be having fun, as conversations and laughter could be heard over the piano music that was playing in the corner. "What are we doing?" Phoebe asked, wanting to know what Cole had planned, how he was going to save the souls.
"I want to study the club, see the people, and experience what they experience," Cole answered, taking off his hat and placing it down on the table in front of him. He reached into his coat pocket and took out his notepad and pen, intending on writing some notes as he studied everyone. "So how have you been?" He questioned nonchalantly, watching as a waiter brought a drink over to a man that was lounging in a chair across the club.
"Excuse me?" Phoebe questioned back, confused by Cole's inquiry. She could not reason how her life was at all relevant to saving the souls that were lost, and quite honestly, preferred to keep the knowledge about her life to herself.
"We have to look normal," Cole replied in a hushed tone, not wanting to draw attention to their booth. "We can't just sit here staring at people, talking about them; we have to appear that we actually are here in an effort to enjoy ourselves. I know it'll feel like pulling teeth out for both of us, but we have to talk."
Phoebe bit her lip before nodding in understanding, seeing what he meant. However, that didn't mean he was going to allow him to direct the conversation, no, she was going to use the time to learn more about his duty as a ranger and how he helped people. "Before, you said Bethlar, what did you mean by that?" She questioned, having never heard that term before—was it what demons called other demons?
"That was my mother's name," Cole answered simply, writing a note about a woman that had just ran off from her husband after slapping him in the face with her white glove.
Phoebe looked over to her ex-husband with a confused expression on her face. "Your mother's name wasn't Elizabeth?" Phoebe cocked an eyebrow, having always thought that her name was Elizabeth Turner.
"That was her Earthly name, her human name," Cole replied, watching as the same waiter from before brought drinks over to another booth filled with sleazy-looking men, whom all had guns underneath their suit coats. "Like Cole Turner was the Earthly name of Belthazor. I was given the name Cole Turner by my father, where as my mother took the name Elizabeth herself since she was a pure demon straight from the Underworld."
Phoebe nodded slowly, seeing the reason behind taking the name Elizabeth. "Bethlar and Belthazor sound similar, is that a coincidence?" She inquired interestedly, truly wondering if there was a connection between the pair or if it was just a coincidence.
"No," Cole shook his head in the negative, flicking his eyes over to her. "Demons have a habit of naming their children after their own name, call it ego or whatever. My name…I mean Belthazor's name, sorry, was a homogenization of my mother's name, Bethlar, and her father's name, Benzor."
"Wait, your grandfather's name was Benzor?" Phoebe asked, quite shocked, having never heard anything about such a man. She recognized the name from somewhere, only vaguely, and she presumed she had seen it in the Book of Shadows one time or another when she was searching for another demon.
"His real name was, yes, but he went by Benjamin Hendricks in the human world when my mother was alive, not unlike my own father's name of Benjamin," Cole replied with a nod, and then with a shrug, added, "He might even be still alive, I have no idea. Either way, as Bethlar and Benzor proved, demons like to craft human names around their actual names, those that don't have a human parent to name them in the human world, that is."
"You don't know if he's still alive?" Phoebe asked, surprised by that, having expected Cole to work with his grandfather during his demon days. Since Belthazor was so powerful in his prime, she assumed that it would run in the family and that Benzor would be just as powerful, which would have created quite a deadly combo if they worked together.
"Familial relationships weren't encouraged by my mother; she said it was one of the things that made her weak," Cole said, as the lights dimmed and the cabaret show started, an uncommon thing as cabaret wasn't popular in the United States until much later than the time they were in. "My mother was vanquished around 1910, and I have had no contact with her demon family since then, especially not since I met you."
Phoebe took her eyes off of the show, men and women dancing as the drama played out, at what Cole had said. "How was she vanquished?" She asked, her voice neutral, having no compassion for her passing since she was an evil demon that did many horrible things during her lifetime.
"Ironically, her death taught me, I mean Belthazor again, a lot of what made Belthazor so feared, unfortunately." Cole mentioned, frowning slightly at the memories of all the evil things that he did during his life came flooding back to him. "She arrogantly believed that her power was greater than a nascent witch's, so when she was paid to kill the witch, she did not gather any information on him and attacked him blindly. In the end, he was the one witch in his generation that had the power of reflection, so when she threw an energy ball at him, he reflected it right back at her, vanquishing her on the spot. From that day forward, Belthazor gathered more information on a hit than he needed and…"
"Began using athames as his preferred method to kill," Phoebe finished for him, knowing exactly what he was going to say. She knew that Belthazor had a habit of killing targets with athames before he was vanquished, though she never learned about the reason behind that preference until then.
"That's right," Cole said, just as the waiter came over to the booth, presumably to take their drink order. He did not expound on that statement, instead going quiet, not wanting to the waiter to overhear them.
"Can I get you something, sir?" He questioned, staring at Cole and not once looking over at Phoebe.
"The house drink," Cole replied easily, knowing that it wouldn't matter and that he wouldn't be drinking it anyway. However, in an effort to make sure to blend in, he knew he needed to order something, anything, as he knew from experience that no one came to a club in this time and refused a drink.
"And for your misses?" He asked, still looking at Cole, as if Phoebe wasn't right there next to him.
"The misses will have the same," Phoebe growled, affronted by the way that she was ignored. She understood that it was the way of the world in the time that they were in, but even still, it was insulting to her.
The waiter cocked an eyebrow, his gaze flicking from Cole to Phoebe. "Very well," He nodded slowly, walking away to retrieve their order.
As the waiter was leaving, Cole turned his attention back to the club, where he watched many of the people go about their night. Many of them laughed and conversed with their friends, some watched the show with great interested, and a few other amorous couples embraced each other in the corners, but no one was doing anything out of the ordinary. To him, none of them seemed evil, nor did they seem to have any knowledge about the magical world, which was needed in order for someone to be a ghoul—evil spirits that used their magical knowledge to linger on in the world well passed their bodily death. His gaze moved over the rest of the club, up above where he saw empty balcony suites, to the stage, to even the decorations of the cabaret itself, searching for anything that seemed out of place.
He finally turned his attention back to Phoebe but then furrowed his brow before rising from the booth. "Come with me." He gestured for her to get up, and when she did, he grabbed her hand and walked out of the showroom and to the bar area that was in the entry way of the club itself.
"What's up?" Phoebe asked in a whisper, noticing Cole's odd look on his face; it was one of confusion, as if he had seen a ghost that wasn't supposed to be there.
"I sense…something." Cole started, his gaze moving around the area, seemingly searching for something or someone. "A demon, I think, though I'm not quite sure who." Then, as if following a hunch, he once more gestured for Phoebe to follow him, where they discretely entered a door on the opposite side of the bar area, which led to a hallway that ran behind the stage.
They followed the path, sneaking by a few female dancers and a few men who were hounding them, before entering the back stage area, which was empty except for a few props that went unused. There, watching the performance through the curtains, they saw a demon that had a monstrous form with a frightening appearance—vaguely humanoid, he had numerous appendages on his shoulders that Phoebe had no idea what they were or what purpose they served. "I think we found him," Phoebe said slowly, earning the attention of the demon, who jerked his head their way.
"Who are you?" He screeched angrily, turning around and facing them. "You aren't supposed to be here."
Without notice, Phoebe was thrown across the room with a flick of the demon's hand, where she crashed roughly against the wall, apparently unconscious. "Phoebe!" Cole yelled worriedly, fear and anger rising in his belly. He turned and faced the demon, his gaze narrowing as a sphere of swirling blue and white energy appeared in his hand. He threw the ball at the demon, which knocked him back a couple of feet as a result, the force greater than he had expected. Again and again, Cole threw balls of blue and white energy at the demon, and while the demon absorbed each blow, he was weakened with every one that made contact. Then, seeing Phoebe stirring in the corner of his eye, Cole quickly ran over to her, knowing that he needed more power to vanquish the demon for good. "I've weakened him," Cole said, shaking her awake, hoping she was lucid enough to help. "Say a spell, any spell."
Phoebe looked over at the demon, a spell quickly coming to her mind, one that was similar to a few other spells she had used in her time as a witch. "Demon of fire, cabaret bane; know only mire, feel only pain." Phoebe chanted, still on the ground, staring straight at the demon, hoping that it would suffice and the demon would be vanquished.
The demon screeched out in pain, a fire suddenly burning a hole through his heart, incinerating most of his torso. He continued to scream and twist in agony for a few more seconds before, with one last yell, his body blew up, embers falling down onto the ground. "Are you okay?" Cole inquired as he looked from the spot the demon once stood and down at her, trying to help the witch back to her feet.
"Yeah," Phoebe nodded, tenderly running a hand over her right shoulder, which had taken most of the fall. "Is that it? Does that mean the spirits can move on?" She asked, wondering if their mission was a success and they had saved the innocents.
"Let's go look," Cole said, walking out of the back room and into the bar area once more, inwardly hoping that his charges had moved on. It was intermission of the show, so many of the patrons were socializing in the lobby, allowing them to see the evidence that they were not finished yet and the vanquishing of the demon had no effect on the plight of the innocents. "I guess not," Cole sighed, noting the volume of spirits still there, presuming that all of them would move on, rather than just a few.
"Nothing's changed," Phoebe gasped, surprised by that fact. She thought for sure a demon had been behind it, and with his vanquish, everything would be right once again. .
"Not necessarily," Cole replied with furrowed brows, thoughts popping into his mind as he tried to figure out what to do next. "Before, they couldn't move on even if they knew about their death beforehand, now they might be able to do that. Or, probably more likely, there must be something else holding them back other than just the demon, and now with the demon dead, that something else will show itself."
"What do we do now?" She questioned him, flicking her gaze over to the taller man.
Cole looked around for a few moments, silently weighing his options, before he nodded, seemingly deciding something. "Go back into the show and study the audience once more," Cole said, walking through the doors and back over to their booth, which continued to sit empty without them.
They watched both the patrons and the show itself, trying to see something that seemed off or strange. Silently, they gazed about for nearly a half an hour, each noting whatever they found out of place. Then, suddenly, once the performance was over, a woman with grey skin and white hair appeared in the center of the club, a vicious look on her face as she scanned the area, searching for a soul. Cole's breath hitched in his chest when he saw her, and he immediately jumped to his feet as a result, ready to attack. "It's Necrosia," Cole growled angrily, his gaze not leaving the woman for a moment. "She's not causing this, but we can't let her do anything."
"Why not? Who is she?" Phoebe asked, looking over to the woman and noticing her non-human features. She assumed that the woman was a demon, though by the way Cole was acting, she didn't appear to be a normal demon.
Without answering, Cole took a step forward and summoned a sphere of blue energy into his hand. Then, sweeping his arm forward, he sent ball straight towards the woman, hoping to vanquish her right away. The woman, sensing something was awry, ducked out of the way, allowing the ball to fly harmlessly over her head. "Monsters!" Someone called out upon noticing the woman and the ball of energy. Instantly, most of the crowd began to rush for the doors in an effort to escape, fearful of the supposed monsters that were coming to attack them.
"Get them!" Another called out, pointing towards Cole and Phoebe, grabbing a bottle off of the table that was in front of him and trekking towards the pair. He had a mean countenance on his face, as if he was looking to injure or do something much worse to Cole or Necrosia.
"Turner!" Necrosia howled in rage, before being knocked to the ground by the stampeding crowd. Watching as Cole marched towards her, she teleported out in a gust of smoke, leaving the cabaret before she was vanquished, intent on existing for another day.
"Ah, Cole?" Phoebe whispered as her eyes jetted around the club, seeing that a few of the men were coming at them, pulling their guns out from their holsters, while a few more were brandishing chairs and bottles in an effort to harm them.
"I know," He replied quickly, reaching down and grabbing her shoulder, before sparkling them out, away from the danger that the club presented. "Well, that was close." Cole sighed, plopping down onto his bed, exhausted from the day's work. While he hadn't used his powers too much, he wasn't used to having to throw so many plasma balls in order to slay a foe.
Phoebe looked at Cole for a moment, watching as he relaxed, an anger brewing inside of her all the while. "What the heck was that?" Phoebe scowled, staring up at Cole with suspicion. "I thought you said that you didn't have demonic powers."
"I…don't?" Cole replied looking up at her with a confused expression on his face, not understanding where she was getting that from.
"What about that energy ball then?" Phoebe accusingly scathed, angry that Cole lied to her once again, this time about his powers. She was starting to trust him against her better judgment, but with this revelation, she knew that would never happen: he had lied to her after swearing to Piper that he did not have demonic powers anymore.
Cole sighed, shaking his head disappointedly, realizing that it was a misunderstanding. "It was a plasma ball, not an energy ball," He informed her, shaking his head at the idea that Phoebe truly was against him, even with proving that he was doing something good for once. "You know, made of ectoplasm and not composed of pure electrical energy. It burns to the touch for mortals, but decomposes anything from the ghostly plane, scattering their matter if used properly, which makes for quite a useful power in my line of work."
"I thought only ghosts had that power?" Phoebe raised an eyebrow, wanting to hear his answer as she started to suspect something. She had only come up against plasma balls once before, back when the ghost Olivia Callaway was attacking the Montanas and her family with the powerful spheres, but knew that ghosts and spirits covered themselves in ectoplasm in order to enter the earthly plane.
"No, those who are connected to the spiritual plane have that power, so long as they know how to use it," Cole replied with a shrug, not telling her that his history dealing with energy balls also allowed him to more easily grasp the use of plasma balls—forming plasma balls was natural for him, a relic of his demon past. "I'll be upfront, I have the power to sparkle, to throw plasma balls, to corporealize into the living realm, to turn invisible and intangible, as well as the powers of soul projection, sensing, and mediumship, all of which were bestowed upon me by my boss."
Phoebe cocked an eyebrow, wondering to whom he was referring by saying boss. "And who is that?" She asked inquisitively, presuming it wasn't an elder or the like, but instead someone much different, perhaps even higher on the chain of power.
"An angel," Cole answered vaguely, though it didn't seem like he was hiding anything. He truly only knew that his boss was an angel of a different kind than elders or whitelighters as she was never a human and instead was always a higher being, being born long before humanity could speak. "Don't ask me which one, though, because I have no idea."
Phoebe nodded tentatively, accepting of the fact that many higher beings were not very forthright and only told what was crucial to the matters at hand. "That teleporting you do, that's called sparkling?"
"Not really," Cole shrugged, having never known the name of it outside of the one he came up with on a whim. "I don't have a name for it; it's a mixture of a few teleportation powers that allow me to traverse all the planes that I need to traverse."
"Which planes are those?" Phoebe prodded, wanting to know more about his life, wanting to know what he did when she wasn't around. Did he go off on his own or was he working all hours of the day, not unlike Leo?
"Earth, the void, the ghostly plane, the spiritual plane, amongst a few others," Cole whispered, hoping his answer would suffice.
"Okay, then who is this Necrosia?" Phoebe inquired, dropping the boss topic and everything else related to his position until a later time, when Cole could perhaps answer it better. "Is she a demon? She seemed pretty familiar with you."
"She's a skeletal being that eats good spirits, feeds off of whatever life energy they have left and uses the energy garnered from it to survive." Cole replied with a frown, knowing that he would have to vanquish Necrosia sooner or later, an action that would prove difficult to undertake. "She and I come into contact with one another quite often, she's after the souls I'm trying to save, but I haven't been able to vanquish her just yet."
"Skeletal beings and soul collectors are who you fight?" She asked, raising her eyebrow, continuing the conversation with Cole—it was enjoyable, as neither was upset at the other, and Cole was upfront with her for once. "What are they exactly?"
"Soul collectors are former evil human magic users, like young warlocks that haven't been entirely stripped of their humanity and evil witches and sometimes firestarters, which become collectors in an effort to avoid their own soul's fate. They collect souls for demons in exchange for their resurrection. However, most demons just use them and the collector is rarely ever resurrected after the deal. As such, there aren't very many of them." Cole answered, as if lecturing his students about the issue, giving her a bit more information than she needed. "Skeletal beings, meanwhile, are demons that have been nearly vanquished and many of their powers have escaped them, but they have just enough life force to hang around and tether themselves to the earthly plane. Their home is in the spiritual plane, where their life energy is strongest and they can live on as neither a ghost nor a spirit, but something else entirely."
"I see," Phoebe nodded, inwardly impressed with Cole's knowledge. He was exceptionally intelligent, both as a human and a demon, so it did not surprise her much that he knew so many things about the magical world. What did surprise her, however, was his new ability to relay information without sounding condescending, which was a drastic difference from his time as Belthazor when his information came out with in a tone of arrogance. "So what do we do next?"
"Listen, Phoebe," Cole started, rubbing his forehead, trying to think of a way to get her to give up and go home. "This time loop takes six hours, thirty three minutes to complete. That's why I was in a rush before because I wanted to see the end and the start, without having to sit through the entire thing twice."
"We have to wait, I got it." Phoebe nodded in understanding, knowing that it would take a while for them to return to the club.
"I can't allow you to just wait, Phoebe." Cole sighed, shaking his head in the negative. It would take hours for the time loop to play itself out, not mere minutes where they could return almost instantly.
"I want to see this until the end, Cole." Phoebe sternly replied, standing her ground. She didn't spend the entire day with him just to leave before seeing the ending; she didn't put herself in the position to not see how it played out. "I want to see it, I want to help you, and there is nothing you can do to dissuade me."
Cole bit his lip, looking away from Phoebe for a moment. She could see on his face that he was weighing what she had said, trying to figure out a way around letting her stay around him. "Fine," Cole nodded, seemingly giving into her once more. "I'll pick you up at noontime tomorrow. Be ready then."
"And what are you going to do in the meantime?" She questioned, wondering what he would be up to while they waited.
"I'm going to go over my notes and see if I missed something, to try and figure out what is keeping them from moving on." Cole returned, pulling his notebook out and showing it to Phoebe.
Her eyes briefly flicked down to the leather-bound book, before they moved back up to the man in front of her. "Very well, what about Necrosia?" She inquired, intending on vanquishing her as soon as she could just as she would every other demon or demon-like entity.
"Leave her be for the time being." Cole scowled, angry at the thought of Necrosia still being alive. "She's nearly impossible to track when she hasn't eaten a soul in a while because she's so weak. I'll follow her when I save these souls."
"Look at you, playing the superhero." Phoebe whispered, starting to give into the realization that Cole was, in fact, good. While she didn't fully trust him just yet, it was becoming apparent to her that he wasn't putting on some act in an effort to weave his way back into her life.
"I try," Cole smiled sadly, conveying just how difficult it was for him to continually try to redeem himself from his evil past. "Come, I'll take you home for the night." Phoebe gripped his hand, and in a flash, they were gone, reappearing just outside of the front door of the manor.
Phoebe looked around at her environment, immediately noticing that they were on the porch. "Why here?" She asked, questioning why he wouldn't drop her off inside like he had done before.
"Because I realized I didn't have a right to be in your bedroom before." Cole answered honestly, hoping to shower that he really was not concerned about getting back together with her. "I'll see you tomorrow. Noontime, remember." He said, before disappearing in a flurry of grey orbs that sparkled upwards, leaving back to his home.
Once Cole's orbs had completely dissolved, Phoebe entered the manor, still dressed up, and walked into the living room, where she held voices. "A little dressed up, don't you think, Phoebe?" Leo questioned, noticing the middle sister at the entrance, where she stood looking between the couple.
"She had a date with Cole," Piper said, looking over to her husband with a large grin. She knew it wasn't a date, but that didn't mean she wasn't going to play around with her younger sister a bit.
"Ew," Phoebe shivered at the thought, the idea of her and Cole being together again creeping her out. "It was not a date, it was business."
"Business you spent an hour getting ready for," Piper reminded her, raising an eyebrow, wondering how Phoebe would defend herself from that.
"What are you two even still doing up?" Phoebe asked, changing the subject abruptly, not wanting to give it another thought. She stifled a yawn as she waited for their response, suddenly extremely tired from the day's events.
"We were just going to sleep," Piper said, rising to her feet with Chris held tightly in her arms. "I had to stay awake with Chris."
"Well, goodnight; if you need help, I'm here," Phoebe called out, walking up the stairs and going into her bedroom. Once she changed into her pajamas, she fell into bed and was asleep nearly instantly, all the while wondering what she would be in for the next day.
A/N: Only one more chapter left as for the brief foray into Cole's after school life. He'll be back to teaching once it is over.