Here is the sixth and last chapter of “On the Analyst’s Couch”:
ON THE ANALYST COUCH – Part 6
A month following Phoebe’s first session with Dr. Linnbakker, the latter receives a surprise visitor. Cole Turner.
CASE #61822 – COLE TURNER (SEPTEMBER 8, 2002):
DR. LINNBAKKER: (Stares at the new visitor in shock) Well! This is a surprise! How did you . . . how did you get away from the Wasteland?
COLE: (Laughs slightly) I do manage to escape once in a while. If all goes well, I might be able to stay away, permanently.
LINNBAKKER: Hmmm! Good luck! (Pauses) So, what brings you upon my doorstep?
COLE: To talk. I haven’t talked with anyone in quite a while. Not since that incident with the witch . . .”
LINNBAKKER: You mean, Agent Jackman? (Nods) I heard about that. Of course, I must admit that I’m surprised you sought me out just to speak. You’ve always been a chronic loner.
COLE: Well, that was before . . . (Pauses) I mean, I haven’t really been one in nearly two years.
LINNBAKKER: And so you just decided to seek me out, after two years? I haven’t seen you since those months, following the Triad’s destruction. (Doubt tinges her voice) And you’re telling me that you came to see me, because you’re lonely for company?
COLE: (Sighs) Okay, Doc. What do you want? Do you want me to tell you that this visit has to do with more than just me being lonely?
LINNBAKKER: (Sarcastically) Now that would be a nice step in the right direction.
COLE: (Glares at the doctor) This is more than about me being lonely. Yes, I’m lonely. But I’m also frustrated, angry and . . . and a little resentful.
LINNBAKKER: Oh? About what?
COLE: (Sighs) About Phoebe, okay? She wants to get a divorce.
LINNBAKKER: Yes, I heard about that. And I gather you don’t want one.
COLE: (Sarcastically) Considering the fact that I’m frustrated and angry, what do you think?
LINNBAKKER: You know, when I first heard about it, I thought it was a bad idea. I even told Phoebe.
COLE: (Uneasily) And now?
LINNBAKKER: Well, think about it. As far as you and Phoebe were concerned, it was a marriage in name only. She was really married to the Source (Pauses) and under false pretenses. Do you really want to continue a marriage that began under such circumstances? Why don’t you give her the divorce and start over, again?
COLE: (Frustration builds in his voice) Because I have a bad feeling that she doesn’t want to start over, again. I think Phoebe wants to end it between us. For good.
LINNBAKKER: Can you really blame her? She’s been through a lot, lately.
COLE: (Angrily) She has . . . What about me? Have you any idea what the past year has been like, for me?
LINNBAKKER: (Gently) Why don’t you tell me?
COLE: (Takes a deep breath) Okay. First, Prue gets killed and I had to deal with a grieving Phoebe and Piper, who became possessed with hunting daemons. A new sister joins the family – namely Paige. And when she found out that I was Belthazor, she gave me nothing but grief. I lost my powers and had to deal with being – unsuccessfully, I might add – a human for two months. Worst of all, the Seer tricked me into using the Hollow to save Phoebe and her sisters, and I end up getting possessed by the Source. (Sighs) That was the worst.
LINNBAKKER: What was that like? Being possessed?
COLE: (Looks away) It was crap. Just imagine the idea of your soul being trapped within your body, while another takes possession of it. (Pauses) I hated it. I hated being powerless to do anything, while the Source used my body to court Phoebe. Marry her and . . . (Sighs heavily) Well, you get the picture. There were times I felt like screaming, but I couldn’t do anything about it.
LINNBAKKER: You managed to . . . at times. (Flips through Cole’s file) I believe you managed to save Paige, twice. After that Lazarus daemon had seriously wounded her. And when she had been possessed by that power broker. You saved her twice. Despite the Source’s best efforts.
LINNBAKKER: What? You have a problem with the idea of saving Paige?
COLE: No. I mean, I certainly didn’t want to see Phoebe grieve over another sister. It’s just that . . . Christ! It’s Paige. She can be so damn annoying with that holier-than-thou attitude, sometimes. Even before the Source took over me. Prue was nothing in compare to her. I mean, I can understand why all of them would be uneasy having a daemon in their midst, but haven’t they ever heard of giving someone a chance? (Sighs) I remember when I prevented Piper from killing that innocent, when she became a fury. I mean, I could have killed her very easily. But instead of being relieved that I stopped her from making a big mistake, Leo went into a hissy fit, because I used a fireball on her. (Pauses) And you know what really annoys me? They’re only willing to tolerate me, because of Phoebe. They’ve never bothered to get to know me. Well, I think Leo did, once. (Sarcastically) After I lost my powers.
LINNBAKKER: You can’t make them love you.
COLE: (Annoyed) I know that. But it’s not only for Phoebe’s sake that they tolerate me. They don’t mind having me around when they need information on other daemons. Or if they need a demonic fireball to save their asses.
LINNBAKKER: My, we do sound bitter, don’t we?
COLE: (Sighs) Okay, maybe I am a little . . . bitter. I just . . . I don’t know! The Halliwells can be pretty damn self-righteous, at times. And Paige! (Rolls his eyes)
LINNBAKKER: Then why do you want to go back to them?
COLE: It’s not about the family. It’s about Phoebe. Remember Phoebe? The love of my life, who happens to be part of that family?
LINNBAKKER: (Sarcastically) Are we referring to the same love of your life that wants to divorce you?
COLE: Like you said, she went through a lot.
LINNBAKKER: (Stares at Cole with disbelief) Well, I’m blowed! Five minutes ago, you were upset over Phoebe’s attempts to get a divorce. And now you understand? (Pauses) You’re not developing some kind of obsession over her, are you?
COLE: (Rolls his eyes) No, I assure you. Look, I’m not about to lose the woman I love, because that son-of-a-bitch, the Source, wanted to use my body to conceive some spawn of evil. Can you blame me for trying to fix my relationship?
LINNBAKKER: (Sighs) No, I don’t. But Cole, what if you fail to win back Phoebe? (Pauses) Okay, say if you finally got that chance to talk with her. And she still wants to go ahead with the divorce and a permanent break-up. Are you prepared to accept that? To move on?
COLE: (Stares at the doctor with mouth hung open) Are you saying that Phoebe will go ahead with the divorce?
LINNBAKKER: (Shrugs) I don’t know. Only time will tell. But what if she decides to permanently break up with you? What are you going to do? Continue stalking her, until she changes her mind? Turn into another Leo, so you can win her back?
COLE: (Sarcastically) God forbid. (Sighs) I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her. Hell, I sound so pathetic!
LINNBAKKER: Yeah, you do. (Cole glares at her) I realize this is the first time you’ve ever been in love, but maybe you should take it easy for a while.
COLE: Take it easy? What do you mean? Give Phoebe what she wants?
LINNBAKKER: Why not? Like I said before, you two were married in name, only. She was really married to the Source.
COLE: And what happens, after the divorce? What do I do? Fight for innocents on my own? That’s not exactly my style.
LINNBAKKER: Really? You did a good job of helping innocents between the time you and Phoebe started dating and the Source took over you. Saved Paige’s life, twice.
COLE: (Sighs) I only did that for Phoebe’s sake. You know that.
LINNBAKKER: Okay. (Examines Cole’s file) Then what about Amanda Kuhl? She was a powerful witch you were supposed to kill in Seattle, 1948. Instead, you faked her death.
COLE: (Looks alarmed) How did you know . . .? Not even the Source knew about that.
LINNBAKKER: The Elders did. Apparently, Miss Kuhl had told her whitelighter, who was going to inform the Elders. Only less than a week later, the whitelighter was killed by a darklighter before she could spread the word about the mighty Belthazor’s compassion.
COLE: (Still looks rattled) What . . . uh, is she still alive? Miss Kuhl, I mean.
LINNBAKKER: Oh yes. Under another name, of course. (Pauses) Why did you do it? Save that witch? Were you in love with her?
COLE: Huh? Uh, no. No, I . . . I felt sorry for her. The Triad had already wiped out the rest of her family. I don’t know why. Perhaps the, uh (Takes a deep breath) . . . the Source saw her family as a threat in the future. (Looks away) It was a moment of weakness. I felt sorry for her. (Pauses) Why didn’t you bring this up, two years ago?
LINNBAKKER: The Source was still alive at the time. And you had bounty hunters on your trail. (Examines Cole’s file, again) And then there was Charlotte Warren.
LINNBAKKER: You remember her, don’t you? The mother of Melinda Warren. While that woman, Ruth, had her laying on that bed like a sack of potatoes, you offered her a little comfort.
COLE: (Clears his throat) Oh yes. Now I remember. Sixteen-seventy Virginia. What about her? You know, I was prepared to help Ruth turn that baby into evil.
LINNBAKKER: And yet, you offered her a little comfort, while she was pregnant. You even expressed regret at the possibility of killing her.
(Cole shifts uncomfortably in his seat.)
LINNBAKKER: And of course, there was the Brotherhood of the Thorn.
COLE: (Sarcastically) Are you going to say that I offered comfort to them, as well?
LINNBAKKER: Don’t be a smart ass. No, I’m wondering why you bothered to tell the Halliwells about them? You could have kept your mouth shut, after Phoebe killed your brother daemon. Instead, you not only told the Charmed Ones about the Brotherhood, you even suggested going after them. Even when Phoebe didn’t want you to. Why? You didn’t have anything to prove by then. Even Prue was beginning to accept you. Why did you feel the need to tell the Halliwells about the Brotherhood and go after them?
COLE: (Rolls his eyes) What are you getting at?
LINNBAKKER: That perhaps you don’t need Phoebe to be the compassionate man, you’re capable of being. Or a man with a conscience. Cole, all you have to do is reach inside yourself. All the compassion and goodness is there, within your heart. Why can’t you just help someone without worrying about what Phoebe or the others might think? Don’t you get tired of trying to be good for her sake?
COLE: (Opens his mouth and closes it, again) I . . . I’m not . . . I don’t . . .
LINNBAKKER: You don’t what?
COLE: (Blinks) You think I revolve my life around Phoebe?
LINNBAKKER: Well, let’s take a trip down Memory Lane, shall we?
COLE: (Sighs) Is this going to take long?
LINNBAKKER: (Sharply) No! I just want to discuss your life with Phoebe, after your little trip to the Old West with Prue. Is that why she didn’t want you to use your powers? Because of what Prue had witnessed between you and that cowboy?
COLE: (Rolls his eyes) Oh God! Are we going to go through that again? Okay, I realize that what I did was wrong. And that I could have just shimmered away, instead of fireballing that moron’s ass. (Pauses) I guess Prue must have told Phoebe.
LINNBAKKER: Did Phoebe bring up the subject?
COLE: No. But she did insist that I not use my powers. (Sighs)
COLE: Very. I nearly went out of my mind.
LINNBAKKER: Maybe Phoebe was afraid that you would succumb to evil if you used them.
COLE: I know that! She didn’t understand that it didn’t matter what powers I had, but how I used them. But she refused to listen.
LINNBAKKER: At least she is aware of that, now.
COLE: (Mumbles) Much good that does me.
LINNBAKKER: (Sighs and examines Cole’s file) Let’s see. What about . . . Raynor? Meeting him again, must have been difficult.
COLE: (Coldly) I don’t want to talk about that son-of-a-bitch! He nearly ruined it between Phoebe and me.
LINNBAKKER: It’s a good thing Phoebe finally realized that Raynor had put that spell on you, forcing you to kill that witch. (Flips through Cole’s file) And speaking of dead witches – remember Emma? The girlfriend of that witch you had killed?
COLE: (Tenses up) Yeah, I remember.
LINNBAKKER: It’s funny how the past can come back and haunt you. When Emma had used that power stripping potion on you? Must have been very traumatic.
COLE: (Mumbles) Very.
LINNBAKKER: I thought Phoebe had got rid of that power stripping potion, after Prue’s death.
COLE: So did I.
LINNBAKKER: And yet, (Sighs) she had it around, all that time. I wonder.
COLE: (Stares at her) You wonder what?
LINNBAKKER: I wonder if Phoebe had really forgotten about that potion. Perhaps subconsciously, she wanted to keep a bottle around. Just in case. (Notices Cole staring at her) What happened after you lost your powers? How did you feel?
COLE: (Pauses momentarily) Lost. Incomplete. (Shakes his head)
COLE: I was remembering that time right after I had lost my powers. Phoebe had decided to arrange a little party to celebrate. I guess I wasn’t in the mood, between the loss of my powers and her rejection of my marriage proposal.
LINNBAKKER: Rather insensitive of her, wasn’t it?
COLE: What are you talking about? Phoebe isn’t insensitive.
LINNBAKKER: If you say so. Of course, how do you explain the celebration? You know, the one you weren’t in the mood for, after a traumatic experience. Weren’t you annoyed?
COLE: (Sighs) Okay, maybe I was a little annoyed.
LINNBAKKER: Hmmm. And how did you feel about being human?
COLE: Well, I hated it. I hated losing my powers. I guess I felt . . . I don’t now, incomplete. Like some damn headless chicken. Or an enuch. It’s strange. I thought being human would make life more easier. Simple. (Pauses) Well, Phoebe seemed thrilled. I just couldn’t share her feelings. And in the, my life became even more difficult, instead.
LINNBAKKER: Hmmm. And now that you’re demonic again, she wants nothing to do with you.
COLE: Look, it’s more than that. After all, I was the Source of All Evil for heaven sakes. And after what Phoebe had endured, can you blame her for how she feels?
LINNBAKKER: What about you? I’m sure that Phoebe now knows how you were tricked by the Seer to use the Hollow. And yet, she seems to blame you for everything. Doesn’t that bother you?
COLE: (Exasperated) Of course, it does! There! Are you happy? I’m pissed beyond belief, because not only has my relationship been blown to hell, I’m being solely blamed for a lot of stuff that was beyond my control! And I’m also pissed off by the unfairness of it all. Last, but not least, I’m getting sick and tired of the Charmed Ones’ damn two-faced morality!
LINNBAKKER: Then why in the hell are you trying to win Phoebe back? (Gives Cole a hard look) Why in the hell do you even bother trying to stay with a woman incapable of understanding you? A woman incapable of accepting you for yourself?
COLE: (Looks upset) Because . . . because I love her.
LINNBAKKER: That’s admirable, Cole. But I think Phoebe was right about one thing. Love is not enough.
COLE: (Frowns) What do you mean?
LINNBAKKER: I think Phoebe loves you, in spite of herself. But it’s obvious that she wants to be with someone whom she feels can make her feel secure. And because of that, she tried to turn you into something you’re not. How can you be happy with a woman who will not allow you to be yourself?
COLE: (Pauses briefly and sighs) I don’t know. I’ve got to . . . I just can’t give up on her.
(Cole’s figure fades slightly.)
LINNBAKKER: (Stares at him) What’s wrong?
COLE: The spell I had used to bring me here, is breaking up. I have to leave. (Slips off the chaise and stands up)
LINNBAKKER: The next time you’re able to escape the Wasteland, give me a call?
COLE: (Nods) Yeah, I will. Maybe next time, I’ll be able to escape permanently. See you around, Doc. (He disappears)
LINNBAKKER: (Murmurs) See you.
(Dr. Linnbakker stares at Cole’s file and shakes her head. Then she stands up and walks over to her file cabinet.)
END OF CASE #61822
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