Finally, a real Phoebe/Cole story. Considering they're my favourite couple, I'm surprised it's taken me this long to write them a story. This takes place a bit after Sluething With the Enemy.
Her sisters were tripping over themselves, trying to be kind to her. It was driving Phoebe crazy. Poor, pathetic Phoebe, who had fallen for a demon.
They hadn't even reproached her for asking Leo to heal Cole. That itself was a major surprise. Any other time, Phoebe knew she wouldn't have heard the end of it for weeks. But no, right now Phoebe was in a delicate condition. She was too fragile to stand being scolded.
Phoebe bet Piper hadn't let Leo hear the end of it.
When the thought struck her, Phoebe had to grin. Never, not once in her life, did she ever imagine she would wish Prue and Piper would nag at her for something.
But circumstances change, and Phoebe was feeling guilty.
Phoebe had lied to her sisters. It wasn't a small white lie, either, some insignificant fib about borrowing clothes or a car. No, this was a huge lie.
Phoebe wondered what her sisters would do if they found out Cole was still alive. They certainly wouldn't be walking on eggshells around Phoebe, that's for sure.
There was a knock at her door and Phoebe absently called out, "Come in."
A hesitant Piper came through, followed closely by Prue. Phoebe's two older sisters sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Hey Pheebs," Piper said kindly. "How're you feeling?"
"Fine," Phoebe said in an oddly detached voice. She didn't miss the worried look exchanged between Prue and Piper, but she pretended she had.
"We're going to see a movie," Prue said. "We were wondering if you'd like to come with us."
"Are you sure?" Prue asked. "You should really get out. You've been moping around since - you've been moping and it's not that good. You need to get out of the house."
"I'm fine," Phoebe said.
"Honey, we're really worried about you," Piper said.
Phoebe forced herself to smile. "I'm fine, really." She said. "I just don't feel like seeing a movie."
"Then we can do something else," Prue suggested.
"No," Phoebe said quickly. At the worried looks her sisters gave her, she added, "I'm sorry, I just don't feel like going out right now. You two go. I'll be fine."
"I don't think - "
"Go," Phoebe said firmly. She smiled again. "I'll be fine. Just 'cuz I don't feel like going out doesn't mean you two should be trapped in the house, too."
"You sure sweetie?" Prue asked.
"I'm sure," Phoebe said. "Go," she said one last time.
After Prue and Piper left, Phoebe flopped onto her bed again and didn't move until she heard the front door close. Prue and Piper must have been talked into going to the move after all.
" 'bout time," she muttered, sitting up. "I thought they'd never leave."
It wasn't as though she didn't appreciate her sisters, but Phoebe was getting very sick of Prue and Piper treating her like she was made of porcelain. Phoebe was tired of constantly pretending around them. She hadn't killed Cole and every minute she spent with her sisters just served to make her feel guiltier about leading them on.
The manor was too confining, Phoebe decided finally. She needed to get out. She left a note to her sisters in case they came home before she got back saying she had gone for a walk.
It was a cool evening and although the sun had set, there was still some light left when Phoebe set off. Not really caring about where she wound up, Phoebe just wandered around until she found herself in the park.
By now it was completely dark out, but the park path was lined with street lamps, so Phoebe didn't worry too much about that. Besides, although the park was fart from crowded at this time of night, enough people populated it to make it safe.
There was a light breeze that made Phoebe wish she had brought a jacket.
A familiar voice echoed her thoughts. "You shouldn't be out here without a coat. It can get pretty cold at night."
Phoebe whirled around to see Cole a few feet away from her. He had been standing in the shadows, but came out into the light once she saw him.
"I know," Phoebe said, unable to take her eyes off of him. "You shouldn't be here."
"I know." Cole also seemed unable, or unwilling, to break the stare.
"It's dangerous," continued Phoebe.
"I know," Cole said again. "But when I saw you, I couldn't help myself. What are you doing here?"
"I was taking a walk."
"Me too. I was getting tired of hiding. I needed to get out and there are too many people who might recognize me for me to go out during the day."
"You could always leave town," Phoebe suggested, although her heart and her head were creaming no. She didn't want Cole to up and disappear.
Luckily for her heart and head, Cole agreed. "No," he said in a manner that made it clear it wasn't an option.
Neither of them said anything else for a bit. The silence became awkward until finally Cole said softly, "I' missed you."
"I missed you too," Phoebe admitted.
With that, the wall between them fell. Looking back, Phoebe could never remember which one of them actually moved toward the to her, but she suspected they both contributed to closing the gap between them. The next thing she knew, Cole was smothering her with kisses, which she was just as passionately returning.
They finally broke off, gasping for air. "We shouldn't do this," Cole said. "Not here, not now. Someone might recognize me."
"You're right," Phoebe said. "Do you know anywhere we can go? We need to talk. In private."
"Yes," Cole said. "We can go to my place."
"Not your apartment." Phoebe wasn't sure if it was a question or a statement.
Cole shook his head. "Not my apartment. Come on." He grabbed her hand and led her away.
It took almost half an hour to reach Cole's new place. It was a tiny little house, but it looked pretty nice and cozy from the outside, at least.
Phoebe stared at it. They hadn't said much on their way over. "Pretty nice place," she said, "especially for a guy on the run. I always thought you guys lived in seedy motels with clerks who didn't care who you were or what you did and would sell you to the first cop who gave him twenty bucks."
Cole laughed at this. "Well, it helps," he said, "when the people you're running from think you're dead."
"How can you afford this?" Phoebe wondered. It wasn't big, but in this area it would cost a small fortune.
"I'm renting," Cole shrugged. He dug up his keys from his pocket and unlocked the front door. Phoebe followed him inside. She looked around the front hall.
"Pretty nice," she said. Then, smiling, she added, "For a bachelor pad."
"Not much of a bachelor pad," Cole said, completely serious. "There's only one girl I'm interested in bringing here."
"Oh, and who might that be?" Phoebe asked, a small smile on her lips.
"You," Cole whispered just before his lips found hers. Phoebe kissed him back hungrily. It had been too long since she and Cole had been together. She missed him. She wanted - needed to taste him again.
Phoebe and Cole had already found their was to a couch and things would have progressed much further if Cole hadn't suddenly pulled back.
"No," he said, breathing heavily. "As much as I hate to, we have to stop."
"Why?" Phoebe asked, although she knew he was right.
His eyes begged her not to make it any harder for him than it already was. She knew it was taking all his willpower, and all of hers, for that matter, not to start ripping off every last article of clothing on their bodies. "Not tonight."
He was right, and Phoebe knew it. She sat up and started to button up the few buttons that had become unbuttoned. Beside her, Cole also straightened his clothes.
"How have you been?" he asked, attempting to make normal conversation.
"All right. It's hard," she admitted, "lying to them. But it's the only way. They wouldn't understand." Cole found her hand and gave it a comforting squeeze. "What about you?" she asked.
"Well, I've been lying low," he told her, "In case there was any doubt surrounding my 'death.' "
"And was there?" Phoebe asked.
"So far, no. Your plan seemed to have fooled everybody."
Phoebe smiled sadly. Cole pulled her closer to him and kissed her forehead. She did not sit up again, but instead twisted herself around so that she was now leaning on him. He played with her hair. "Is everything all right?" he asked.
"Yes," Phoebe answered. "No."
She could feel him smile. "That isn't exactly the most informative answer. Which is it?"
"No," she decided.
"What's wrong then?" Cole asked when Phoebe didn't volunteer anymore information.
"I just - I just don't like lying to my sisters." He stopped stroking Phoebe's hair for a second, but resumed as she snuggled up closer to him. Moving her head from his shoulder to his chest, she continued. "The worst part is, they're acting so nice to me!"
"The horror," Cole said, humour evident in his voice.
"Stop that!" Phoebe ordered. They feel sorry for - for - " she faltered, "for what happened with you. They're treating me so nicely because of what happened and it's just making me feel guiltier and guiltier. Here I am, lying to them."
Cole that about that for a minute before replying. "I don't want to come between you and your sisters, Phoebe," he began. "Not again. Never again."
"I don't want you to come between us, either," Phoebe said sadly. "But you are."
"Maybe I should leave," Cole suggested.
"Leave San Francisco. Leave your life. Forever. It'll make things much easier. I just seem to mess up your life."
"No!" Phoebe protested loudly and swiftly. "No. I don't want you to leave. I like a messy life."
Cole smiled. "I don't want to leave, either. But I want what's best for you," he said.
"You're what's best for me," Phoebe said. I love you, Cole."
"I love you too, Phoebe," Cole said back. He hugged her tightly. "We will find a way to work things out," he swore. "I promise."
"Thank you," Phoebe said, grateful for the reassurance that everything would work out in the end.
Phoebe had no idea how long they lied there together, but the next thing she knew, she was waking up when Cole moved suddenly.
"Wake up, sweetie," she said quietly.
Phoebe made a noncommittal noise, still more than half asleep, so Cole had to gently shake her until she woke up a bit more. "We're falling asleep," he said.
"Is that so bad?" she asked. "I want to spend the night here, with you."
"I want you to too," he said, kissing her. "But your sisters will worry."
"I hate my sisters," she slurred sleepily, and at that minute, she almost meant it. She was warm and cozy and, most importantly, with Cole. All she wanted to do was spend the night in his arms.
"No you don't," Cole said. "Come on. "Ill give you a ride home." Phoebe let him lead her to his car.
She woke up on the ride home. Cole brought the car to a halt a few blocks away from her house. "I hope you don't mind walking from here. I just don't think it would be a good idea if anyone saw me dropping you off," he explained.
"You're right," Phoebe said. "I'll be fine from here." She unbuckled her seatbelt and got out of the car. She leaned down into the car before closing the door to say goodbye. "Call me," she said suddenly.
"I'll do my best," Cole promised. "Good night, Phoebe."
" 'night, Cole," Phoebe smiled. She stood up and closed the car door, then waited until it had driven off before she head back home.
"There you are," Piper said, coming into the front hall when Phoebe went in. "We were starting to worry about you."
"Didn't you get my note?" Phoebe asked. "I went for a walk."
"We saw your note," Prue said, joining her two sisters in the front hall. "You've just been gone for quite some time."
"How long have you guys been home?" Phoebe asked.
"About an hour," Piper said.
"Was the movie good?"
"Yes," Prue said. "Where'd you go?"
"No where in particular," Phoebe lied. "I just wandered around."
They bought it, just like Phoebe expected them to. "How're you feeling, honey?" Piper asked.
"Better," Phoebe said, meaning it. "And tired. So if you guys don't mind, I'm going up to bed. It's been a long day."
" 'night, Pheebs," said Prue and Piper.
" 'night guys," Phoebe said..
Sunday, January 7, 2000
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