“On the Analyst’s Couch” – 2/6

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Here is the second chapter of “On the Analyst’s Couch”:

“ON THE ANALYST’S COUCH – Part 2

Several months later, Prue Halliwell is killed at the hands of the demonic hitman, Shax. Her death leaves the remaining Charmed Ones in a state of sorrow and despair. Especially the new oldest sister, Piper Halliwell. Several months later, Piper continues having difficulty in dealing with Prue’s death. She is also has trouble with the introduction of the newest member of the Halliwell family, Paige Matthews. Piper eventually becomes Dr. Linnbakker’s newest patient.

————

CASE #71200 – PIPER HALLIWELL (DECEMBER 22, 2001):

DR. LINNBAKKER: (Smiles at Piper) Good afternoon, Piper. How are you?

PIPER: (Rolls her eyes) Fine. Which is why I don’t understand why I’m here. (Leans back against the chaise in an uneasy manner).

LINNBAKKER: You don’t? Then why are you here? In this office?

PIPER: Leo talked me into this. Look, maybe I’ve been having a few problems lately, but I’m fine now.

LINNBAKKER: Are you? (Opens Piper’s file) Then why have you been acting in an obsessive manner, lately? Almost aggressive. Not quite the Piper Halliwell we all know and love.

PIPER: (Peers at the file) I don’t recall us knowing each other and what is that? My dossier or something? Where did you get that from?

LINNBAKKER: It’s your file. Or your dossier, as you like to call it? It’s a record of your behavior and actions as a witch for the past three-and-a-half years. Why? Does it bother you?

PIPER: Well, yeah! And just how did you get all that information?

LINNBAKKER: From the Founders, of course.

PIPER: (Sarcastically) Of course.

LINNBAKKER: You really dislike them, do you? The Founders, I mean.

PIPER: (Shakes her head) I don’t dislike them. Just resent them. A little. (Pauses) Most of the time. (Another pause) Maybe some of the time.

LINNBAKKER: In other words, you don’t like them.

PIPER: All right! So, I don’t like them at times. Why shouldn’t I? After all they put Leo and me through!

LINNBAKKER: But you got married, after all. Even your grandmother and mother were able to attend the wedding.

PIPER: (Sarcastically) Yes, and I’m truly grateful. It’s too bad the Founders didn’t allow me to marry Leo some four months earlier.

LINNBAKKER: You and Leo were about to get married behind their backs. And break the rules. There could have been disasterous consequences for all of you. Who knows how the Founders would have reacted?

PIPER: Isn’t that what love is supposed to be about? Taking chances? Risking everything?

LINNBAKKER: (Peers at file) And yet, your first reaction to Leo’s proposal was to reject it. What did you call it? Unholy?

PIPER: (Gasps) How did you . . .? (Glances at file) How did the Founders know about that? They didn’t find out about Leo’s plans until the ceremony.

LINNBAKKER: I know. After he was found out, Leo was forced to tell the Founders everything. Including your earlier rejection.

PIPER: (Sighs) The all-powerful, all-knowing, Founders. It’s too bad . . . (Pauses)

LINNBAKKER: It’s too bad, what?

PIPER: Nothing.

LINNBAKKER: Come on. What did the Founders fail to do? Save your mother? Penelope? (Pauses) Prue?

PIPER: (Angrily) This has nothing to do with Prue!

LINNBAKKER: Really? Then why have you been acting like a woman possessed, since her death?

PIPER: I haven’t been acting . . .

LINNBAKKER: Piper, have you taken a good look at yourself, lately? Look at how you’re dressed! Granted a dark brown blouse and black leather pants might suit Prue, but you? Do you feel that you have to dress in Prue’s style to be the leader of the Charmed Ones?

PIPER: I’m not . . . (Glances at her clothes and sighs) Okay, maybe my taste in clothes are a little dark . . .

LINNBAKKER: Are you kidding? You’re a borderline dominatrix, right now. I don’t think even Prue’s outfits have ever been so . . . in your face.

PIPER: (Flippantly) Then this has nothing to do with Prue, does it?

LINNBAKKER: (Sighs) Oh, you Halliwells! You never change, do you? I’ve never known a family so reluctant to face their feelings.

PIPER: I . . . Oh, never mind.

LINNBAKKER: Why don’t we move on to another subject. Like Paige.

PIPER: (Frowns) Paige? What does she have to do with this visit?

LINNBAKKER: You tell me. You’re the one who keeps treating her like the bastard child.

PIPER: (Coolly) That’s funny. I could have sworn she was.

LINNBAKKER: And it’s her fault?

PIPER: I didn’t say . . . that it was.

LINNBAKKER: Then why do you treat her as if it was? Because Patty was in love with her father and not yours? Do you blame her for that? Do you, like your father, feel that Patty’s feelings for Sam ruined her marriage?

PIPER: Of course not! I know that it was Dad’s fault. That he left her . . . us.

LINNBAKKER: (Sadly) Do you really believe that? You know, it takes two to break up a marriage. Granted, I can’t give Victor Bennett any points for deserting you girls for so many years. As for him and Patty, he can only take half of the blame. Your parents’ problems started a long time ago. Patty forgot to tell him that she was a witch before they got married. And Victor has resented her being one, ever since. Sam . . . well, he was just a result of their unhappiness. You can’t blame him for their break-up. And you can’t blame Paige.

PIPER: (Angrily) I don’t blame her for that!

LINNBAKKER: Then what do you blame her for?

PIPER: (Takes a deep breath) I . . .

LINNBAKKER: You what? You blame her for trying to take Prue’s place?

PIPER: Oh God! Are we back on Prue again?

LINNBAKKER: Why not? You’ve been in an emotional tailspin, ever since her death. Why not bring up Prue, again? You blame the Founders for not giving Leo the ability to heal her, after Shax’s attack. You blame Phoebe for going after Cole when all three of you were needed to vanquish Shax for the second time. And you blame Paige for taking Prue’s place as a Charmed One. But worst of all, you blame Prue, don’t you?

PIPER: (Tears form at the edge of her eyes) Why would I blame Prue?

LINNBAKKER: Well, she was the one who insisted upon leaving the manor to track down Shax. It would have been more prudent to remain behind and wait for him to reappear. Not a very wise decision, if you ask me.

PIPER: (Wipes the tears from her eyes) Oh? And you call going to the Underworld to save a half-demon boyfriend, wise?

LINNBAKKER: (Smiles) Ah, so you do resent Phoebe for going after Cole. You feel she’s to blame for Prue’s death?

PIPER: I didn’t say that I resented Phoebe for . . . (Pauses and sighs) Okay, I did blame her a little.

LINNBAKKER: I understand. If Phoebe had been around, you would have had the Power of Three to vanquish Shax after time had been reversed. And Phoebe would have been able to summon Leo in time to save both you and Prue. But you must admit, leaving the Manor to vanquish him without the three of you was also pretty stupid.

PIPER: It wasn’t . . . we managed to stop him, anyway. After all, Prue was the strongest . . .

LINNBAKKER: Actually, she wasn’t. Not after you received your second power.

PIPER: (Murmurs) Oh.

LINNBAKKER: Is that all you can say? Oh? Why don’t you try accepting the fact that Prue was never perfect? Or the super witch you claimed she was?

PIPER: You don’t understand! Prue raised us. Well, she helped Grams . . .

LINNBAKKER: Piper, Prue was seven years old when Patty died. Have any of you ever stopped to think that she was too young to be a mother figure? She was at least a year-and-a-half older than you. Not a decade.

PIPER: I know.

LINNBAKKER: And have you ever stopped to consider that maybe you relied upon her just a little too much? Weren’t you ever capable of thinking for yourself?

PIPER: Hey! I’m not an idiot or anything! But I’m also not perfect.

LINNBAKKER: No, you’re not. But you’re not helpless. You can think for yourself. Piper, you have to stop expecting others to think for you. It’s time you accept the fact that Prue is gone and you’re now the oldest.

PIPER: (Grits teeth) I’m aware of that.

LINNBAKKER: Then consider this. Just because you’re now the oldest, doesn’t mean you have to act like Prue. Be the oldest sister the way Piper Halliwell would.

PIPER: (Picks at her blouse and murmurs) I understand.

LINNBAKKER: Do you? I wonder. (Pauses) How’s Leo?

PIPER: (Glances sharply at Dr. Linnbakker) Leo’s fine. I think.

LINNBAKKER: You think?

PIPER: (Shrugs) We’ve been a little busy, lately. And I . . .

LINNBAKKER: Oh, I see. Not much in the romance department, lately.

PIPER: I didn’t say that.

LINNBAKKER: You didn’t have to. Your expression alone spoke a thousand words. Busy vanquishing demons?

PIPER: (Shrugs) More like Leo is busy looking over Paige.

LINNBAKKER: Ah, we’re back to Paige, again. The interloper.

PIPER: She’s not . . . okay, maybe I’ve been . . . you know, a little short with her.

LINNBAKKER: And why is that?

PIPER: (Sighs) Because I thought she was trying to take Prue’s place. Because she’s a reminder of my parents’ failed marriage. Because Leo seems more interested in her . . . I better end this.

LINNBAKKER: In Leo’s case, I think he’s just excited to work with another whitelighter. Well, half-whitelighter. But Paige isn’t trying to take Prue’s place, you know. You do know that, right?

PIPER: (Another sigh) Yes! (Pauses) Yes, I know.

LINNBAKKER: I think she simply wants to be part of a family, again. And this is her second chance.

PIPER: (Sadly) Yeah. I guess that after her foster parents’ deaths . . .

LINNBAKKER: I see that you finally got my point. (Examines Piper’s file) By the way, do you still have this urge to become mortal?

PIPER: (Stares at the doctor) What?

LINNBAKKER: Well, according to your file, the Source almost destroyed the Charmed Ones by exploiting your desire to become mortal. Do you still have those feelings?

PIPER: (Squirms uncomfortably) Of course not. I’ve re . . . uh, I’ve finally learned to . . . accept my Wiccan heritage.

LINNBAKKER: (Stares hard at Piper) Really?

PIPER: Don’t you believe me?

LINNBAKKER: I don’t know. Remember the time when the Source had kidnapped you? Just before that happened, Cole uncovered a chameleon in your house. And instead of investigating the matter, you decided to attend a baby shower. Even worse, the Source exploited your “inner” desire to give up your powers. I don’t know about you, Piper, but that doesn’t sound like “embracing one’s heritage”. More like running away.

PIPER: (Resentfully) Everything turned out fine in the end. Leo and Cole managed to save me from the Source. And besides, I don’t regard being a witch as some kind of hindrance, anymore. I now (unconvincingly) consider being magical as . . . well, special.

LINNBAKKER: Uh-huh. (Reaches for her pad and scribbles on it) Let’s see. I’ll be available for another session, next Tuesday, at 2:00 in the afternoon. Is that okay with you? (Looks at Piper)

PIPER: Wait. You want me to see you, again? (Pauses) That didn’t exactly come out right.

LINNBAKKER: It came out fine. And yes, I do want to see you, again. Whether you realize it or not, you need someone to talk to. And I don’t mean your husband or your sisters. Here you go. (Hands Piper a slip of paper) Don’t forget to be on time. Two o’clock in the afternoon, next Tuesday.

PIPER: (Looks stunned) Yeah right. Thanks.(Stands up and heads for the door) See ya.

END OF CASE #71200

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