CHARMED FIC: “On the Analyst’s Couch” – 1/6

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 Here is a CHARMED fan fiction story I had written between Seasons 4 and 5. It is called “On the Analyst’s Couch”:

ON THE ANALYST COUCH
Spoilers: Season 4
Season: 3 thru post-4
Content Warnings: Mild adult language
Disclaimer: The Charmed Ones, Leo, Cole, and other characters related to Charmed belong to Spelling, Kern, Burge and WB. Dammit!

Summary: Dr. Mariah Linnbakker, renowned psychiatrist for the magical and mortal worlds, analyzes the Halliwells and those close to them. Set between Season 3’s “Death Takes a Halliwell” and before Season 5’s “A Witch’s Tail”.

Part 1

Dr. Mariah Linnbakker is a renowned psychiatrist with an office located in San Francisco, California. She had earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate in Psychiatry at Standford University in the 1970s. And has been a practicing psychiatrist for the past twenty-seven years.

Born around 1950 to a set of mysterious parents in San Francisco, Dr. Linnbakker is an attractive, middle-aged woman with short, red hair and green eyes. She is also the mother of a wizard named Hugh.

Although Dr. Linnbakker has taken on a handful of mortals during her career, most of her patients have been of the supernatural variety – witches, warlocks, fairies, daemons, ghosts, whitelighters and darklighters. She does not discriminate. Among her first clients were a young witch and mother of three named Patricia Halliwell. The doctor/patient relationship between the two lasted for nearly three years – from late 1975, up until Patty’s death in 1978.

Thanks to Patty and the leaders of the whitelighter world, the Founders, Dr. Linnbakker became very familiar with the Halliwell family history. She even knew about Patty’s destiny to become the mother of the Charmed Ones. Yet, she has never met any of Patty’s daughters – until the oldest, Prue Halliwell, became a patient in the late winter of 2001.

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CASE #71103 – PRUDENCE HALLIWELL (MARCH 10, 2001):

PRUE: (Stretched out on a maroon chaise, next to Dr. Linnbakker. She glances around in a suspicious manner) What exactly is this place, again?

DR. LINNBAKKER: (Calmly) This is my office. Remember? Your mother had recommended that you pay me a visit.

PRUE: Just how long have you known Mom?

DR. LINNBAKKER: (Sighs) Patty first became a patient of mine right after the birth of your sister, Phoebe. In late 1975. I thought you came here to talk, not ask questions.

PRUE: I don’t have anything to talk about.

DR. LINNBAKKER: Oh? Then why are you here? Does it have something to do with the fact that your astral self went bar hopping and nearly destroyed your sister’s wedding? Or that you nearly beat a Seeker to death out of sheer rage?

PRUE: (Angrily) Hey! That Seeker was evil. He had killed Inspector Reese.

LINNBAKKER: (Shakes her head sadly) Really? (Examines a file in her lap) And how do you explain that you tried to vanquish Death? Were you trying to stop him from killing . . . innocents, as well?

PRUE: (Sighs) Look . . . okay, maybe my priorities were a little screwed up at the time. I had blamed Death for taking my mother away from me. And Grams. And . . . (Sadly) Andy.

LINNBAKKER: I see. And the Seeker?

PRUE: (Squirms uncomfortably) Maybe I . . . I uh, . . . maybe I went a little too far. Like I said, I saw him and his partner kill Inspector Reese. An innocent. I . . . (Sighs) All right. Maybe I was a little angry at the time.

LINNBAKKER: Angry? Wouldn’t you say that you were one step from an all consuming rage? I understand that Belthazor had to stop you.

PRUE: (Suspicious) Where did you get all this information, anyway?

LINNBAKKER: I have a source from another dimension. A supernatural dimension, of course. Or to be more exact, they gave me a file on everything you’ve done since becoming a Charmed One. I always turn to them for information, whenever I receive a patient from the supernatural world.

PRUE: (Tense) Does that include demons and warlocks as well?

LINNBAKKER: Yes. Daemons, warlocks, darklighters, whitelighters, fairies, witches . . . Didn’t your mother or grandmother tell you all this when they recommened me?

PRUE: Why on earth would a demon or warlock need a psychiatrist?

LINNBAKKER: Trust me. They need an analyst as badly as anyone else. I think it has something to do with dealing with the pressures of being evil. Or suppressing any good side they might have.

PRUE: Demons and warlocks have good sides?

LINNBAKKER: Everyone has conflicting natures, Prue. You’ve already learned that you have a dark side, as well as a light one. After all, didn’t Belthazor stop you from indulging in your dark side?

PRUE: (Rolls her eyes) Do you have to keep bringing that up?

LINNBAKKER: Do you have a problem with that? Does it bother you that you nearly killed that Seeker for the wrong reason? Or that Belthazor had to stop you from making a big mistake?

PRUE: Great! Now you bring up Cole.

LINNBAKKER: I see you have a problem with him.

PRUE: Yeah, I have a problem with him. He’s a half-demon. And he’s dating my baby sister. A demon who tried to kill us is dating my sister. You do the math.

LINNBAKKER: So you still dislike Cole.

PRUE: Why shouldn’t I? I certainly don’t trust him.

LINNBAKKER: He’s in love with your sister. And he’ll do anything to protect her.

PRUE: Is that in my file, as well?

LINNBAKKER: No, in Cole’s. He was a patient of mine. Not long ago. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to another session with him, one day. A half-demon, half-human in love with a witch. Who would have thought . . .?

PRUE: (Snorts) Please? Must we go on?

LINNBAKKER: What? You don’t think he and Phoebe are in love?

PRUE: Okay, maybe they are. But how long do you think that relationship will last? I mean . . . love between a witch and a demon? A lot can go wrong. People can get hurt. Especially Phoebe.

LINNBAKKER: Interesting. You’re worried that your sister might get hurt in her relationship with Cole. Did you feel the same about your relationship with Brendan Rowe? Or Bane Jessup? You remember those two, don’t you?

PRUE: (Squirms in the chaise and looks away) They were different.

LINNBAKKER: May I ask how? Brendan Rowe was part of a powerful coven of daemons. The evil equivalent of the Charmed Ones. (Examines Prue’s file) Come to think of it, he nearly killed you . . . even when you were trying to help him.

PRUE: (Continues to squirm) I remember.

LINNBAKKER: (Examines file once more) As for Bane Jessup, do you remember him? Granted, he was a mortal, but he was also very familiar with the supernatural world. And he was a professional hit man for demons. He even hired a hit woman named Ms. Hellfire to kill the Charmed Ones. Still, you fell for him. And I believe that you once dragged your sisters into helping you stop an old school friend, who tried to become a daemon.

PRUE: (Sighs) Okay, what’s your point?

LINNBAKKER: I’m just curious as to why you’ve been so hostile toward Belthazor, considering your past history. I don’t know. I have this feeling that your reluctance to accept Cole has very little to do with concern for your sister. Why were you so reluctant to give him a chance, when you weren’t so reluctant with Brendan and Bane?

PRUE: (Sits up) Okay, this session is going too far. I’m leaving.

LINNBAKKER: Still running away, huh?

PRUE: (Angrily) I don’t run away! Okay, I’ve always faced my responsibilities. Whether I’m fighting demons and warlocks or protecting my sisters. When Mom . . . when she died, I had assumed responsibilities for Piper and Phoebe. I helped Grams raised them.

LINNBAKKER: Why? You were barely seven years old when Patty died. Why did you think that your grandmother needed help? From what Patty had told me, Penelope was a strong-willed woman. Why would she need your help? You were too young to be assuming responsibility for your sisters.

PRUE: (Blinks) I . . .

LINNBAKKER: Yes?

PRUE: Grams took Mom’s death, pretty hard.

LINNBAKKER: And you didn’t?

PRUE: Of course, I did!

LINNBAKKER: Then why did you assume that Penelope needed help? And not you? (Pauses) Were you running away, even back then?

PRUE: (Leans back against the chaise) Running away from what?

LINNBAKKER: I don’t know. You tell me. From your emotions, perhaps? Perhaps you couldn’t deal with Patty’s death. I understand that you wanted to give up being a witch after your friend, Andy Trudeau, died. Is that true?

PRUE: (Sighs) You tell me. You have the file.

LINNBAKKER: Yes, I do. But I want you to tell me. Why did you want to give up being a witch, over a year-and-a-half ago?

PRUE: (Tears form in her eyes) Look, Andy . . . he died because of me. Okay? Because I was a witch. And I couldn’t save him.

LINNBAKKER: (Softly) Like you couldn’t save Patty from that water daemon. You were there, weren’t you?

PRUE: (Tears run down her cheeks) Yeah, I . . . (sniffs) I was there. I didn’t see Mom get killed. (Pauses) (Softly) But I was there. I wish I could have saved . . .

LINNBAKKER: Save her? Prue, you were a little over seven years old. Patty thought she could take on that water daemon on her own. Just as you thought you could save her. And Andy. And help your grandmother raise Piper and Phoebe, even though you were too young to be anyone’s parent. (Sighs) I wish Penelope had realized that. I don’t know. Perhaps she thought that allowing you to assume some responsibility would help you become leader of the Charmed Ones.

PRUE: (Whispers) Maybe . . . maybe I was too young. (Wipes the tears from her eyes)

LINNBAKKER: (Nods her head) Hmmm. (Pauses) You know, you never did answer that question about Cole.

PRUE: (Sighs and rolls her eyes) Oh God! Must we bring ‘him’ up, again?

LINNBAKKER: I’m sorry, but I still cannot understand your attitude toward him, especially after Brendan Rowe and Bane Jessup. Even Andy, although a very decent man, had a tendency to be a little . . . well, unorthodox. You didn’t put up a fight when Leo talked Piper into marrying him behind the Elders’ backs.

PRUE: Leo had good intentions. He was in love with Piper. He wanted to marry her.

LINNBAKKER: Well, you know the old saying – ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’. Remember Dr. Williamson? It’s odd that you saw nothing wrong with Leo’s plans, yet (peeks into file) Piper’s first instinct was to call them unholy. She thought it was the wrong thing to do. So did Phoebe.

PRUE: Well, I have . . . I mean, I thought dating Cole was the wrong thing to do.

LINNBAKKER: And yet, you were able to detect Cole’s love for Phoebe. When you were an empathy.

PRUE: (Snorts) He arranged all that.

LINNBAKKER: He arranged for you to become an empath. As for his feelings toward Phoebe . . . I believe they were genuine. And still are.

PRUE: Okay! Yes, I now realize that Cole does love Phoebe.

LINNBAKKER: And?

PRUE: (Sighs) Maybe I was a little jealous that she found love and I had lost my chance. I mean, Phoebe has never been the relationship type.

LINNBAKKER: Okay! And what else?

PRUE: (Frowns) What are you talking about?

(Dr. Linnbakker gives Prue a hard stare.)

LINNBAKKER: I’m talking to the woman who has redeemed one of the Rowe brothers and a top-notch mortal hit man for daemons. You’ve done all that, and yet Phoebe has managed to redeem the infamous Belthazor. One of the upper-level daemons and a favorite of the Source’s.

PRUE: (Shrugs) What? Are you trying to say that I’m jealous of that? I could care less. (Squirms under another one of Dr. Linnbakker’s stares) Okay, maybe I did experience a little bit of professional jealousy.

LINNBAKKER: (Sarcastically) No kidding. (Pauses) You really have a bad habit of suppressing your emotions, do you? Look Prue, I just want to remind you that you’re not some super-witch. There’s no such thing – even for the Charmed Ones. You’re strong, yes. But you have to remember that you’re also vulnerable. Charmed One or not, you cannot control everything or everyone. Stop trying to be the perfect Halliwell and try to be Prue. I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy, but it doesn’t hurt to try. (Places file on a nearby table and picks up a pad. Scribbles something and tear a sheet of paper from the pad) I think we need to see each other at least on a weekly basis. How about next week? Same day – Friday. And at the same time – 1:00 PM. Okay? (Hands Prue the slip of paper)

PRUE: (Looks at the slip uneasily) Yeah, sure. Thanks Doc. (Gives Dr. Linnbakker a wan smile) I’ll see you next week.

END OF CASE #71103

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