Characters: Phoebe, Prue
Pairing: None (mentions of Phoebe/Cole)
Prompt: While Piper is away, Prue gets some insight and understanding of how her little sister uses her heart to guide her in their paths as witches
Spoilers: None if you've seen seasons 1-3 of Charmed.
Summary: Prue confronts Phoebe about letting Cole go.
Author's Notes: Takes place between "Wrestling with Demons" and "Bride and Gloom." Thank you to ladybug218 for the beta!
Phoebe was trapped. There wasn't any way out that she could see. Piper wasn't there to save her. And no matter how fervently she wished she could shimmer like Cole or orb like Leo, she couldn't magically teleport herself to safety. She finally accepted the truth; she was doomed.
Except -- maybe the window? No, crawling out the window and shimmying down to the first floor was a lot easier when she was sixteen, and if she tried to levitate, she ran the risk of someone seeing her. She would just have to go downstairs and face her fate. She had to talk to Prue.
With a heavy sigh, she started down the stairs to the living room. "Look, Phoebe, it you waited till now to tell me about Cole in hopes that we would die and you wouldn't have to deal with me, you have another thing coming," Prue had said. Betrayed us. Love that almost got all of us killed. You lied to us. Three days had passed since she had asked Prue "Where do we go from here?" and gotten "I don't know" as a response.
Prue had stewed in silence since then, but Phoebe knew her sister and could tell she was just holding in the anger. She had eavesdropped the day before as Prue ranted to Piper about how immature their youngest sister was. Stupid. Thinks with her heart, not with her head. The words stung. She tried to tell herself Prue was speaking out of anger and frustration, but she had hoped that after two and a half years as witches, Prue would have finally gotten over thinking about Phoebe that way. She wasn't a rebellious teen anymore, after all.
Her recent actions hadn't helped lately, however. Prue worried too much about protecting her sisters. She feared the harm Cole could do to them; she didn't understand that he would never hurt them, not now. Somehow, Phoebe had to make Prue see.
She reached the bottom of the stairs. Prue sat on the couch, flipping through a magazine. Her eyes flicked upward to register her sister's presence, then she resumed reading. Phoebe sighed again and started toward the door before Prue's words halted her. "Where are you going?"
"Out," Phoebe said.
"Where?" Prue asked, eyes still on her magazine. "Looking for Belthazor?"
Phoebe flinched a little at Prue's chilly use of Cole's demon name and wearily rubbed her forehead. "His name is Cole, Prue, and no, I'm just going for a walk. Don't you believe me?"
Prue set down her magazine and leveled her gaze at Phoebe. "Why should I? You lied to us about him once already."
"I told you I was sorry!" Phoebe exclaimed. "I didn't do it to hurt you!"
"Are you going to say that when he comes back again to kill us?" Prue snapped, standing up and moving toward her sister. "He's one of the worst demons we've faced and you let him go!"
"He's not going to hurt us!" Phoebe insisted.
"Right, and you believe him just because he told you?" Prue said, rolling her eyes. "Phoebe, you are so naive! He's a demon. Demons lie. He would've said anything to stop you from using that vanquish potion on him."
"It wasn't like that!" Phoebe protested. "He asked me to vanquish him to prove he didn't want to hurt me!"
"He tried to kill us!" Prue said. "You saw what the Book of Shadows said. He's killed countless witches and innocents. And we're next on the list!"
"But he didn't, Prue, he couldn't!" Phoebe said. She moved into the living room and sank down in a chair, her face in her hands. Looking back up at Prue, she said, "That night we lost our powers, I went to his apartment. I was helpless and crying and if he wanted to, he could've killed me right then and there, and then gone after you and Piper. I-I think he was going to, but then he pushed me away and started saying 'I can't, I can't.' He couldn't do it, Prue! He made me go home and make things right with you so our powers could come back. He did it because he loves me. He hasn't been a human since he was a three year old boy. I brought him back."
"Just a trick," Prue said, unconvinced.
"And what kind of trick would that be?" Phoebe said. "Instead of killing me, he sends me home to get my powers back? That doesn't make sense. And-and Prue, you know how he feels about me. When you were an empath, you felt it! Remember what you told me? 'Spinning into infinity, that headlong spiral that steals your breath and stops your heart'? He fell in love with me, that's why he couldn't kill me."
Prue crossed her arms. "Demons can't love," she said. "They just killed and destroy."
"He's half-human," Phoebe pointed out. "It's like he's two different people. His human side has just been buried for all these years."
"That doesn't excuse the things he's done," Prue said.
"I know," Phoebe said. "And I know that's something I have to think about. But he has a soul, and that soul is stronger now. Even if he's half a demon, we can't vanquish him, that would be murder, because he's also half innocent."
"You're too trusting," Prue sighed. "I don't want that to get you killed."
Phoebe stood up again and reached out to take her sister's hands. "Prue," she said, "you know our powers are based off our emotions. But it's not just anger and fear that makes them work. It's love, too. The more deeply we feel it, the stronger we are. That's why you and I and Piper are strongest when we're together, because we love each other. You love us and want to protect us, and that makes you stronger. It makes my visions clearer. I love you and Piper . . . and I love Cole. He makes me strong, Prue, and I have to trust my heart. There's good in him, I know it."
Prue shook her head. "I can't pretend to understand how you can feel that way," she said grudgingly. "I may not trust him . . . but I should trust your heart. You're the one with the visions, after all."
Phoebe grinned and hugged her sister. "Everything's going to be okay," she said. "I know it. I feel it in my heart."
"Doesn't mean I'm not going to TK him through a wall if he so much as twitches the wrong way," Prue grumbled, though she hugged Phoebe back just as tightly. "Do you know where he is?"
"No," Phoebe admitted. "I hope he's okay, though. I know there are demonic bounty hunters after him now."
She could tell her sister was relieved she didn't know where Cole was -- and hoped he never turned back up in their lives. But she wouldn't give up hope that someday he would return to her. She trusted her heart.