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Charmed Reloaded
5.02 Fearful Synergy

[Scene: Doctor’s office. Piper is lying on a table while Leo is sitting next to her holding her hand. A young female doctor is making an ultrasound while looking at the screen.]

Doctor: It seems you’re well past your eight weeks. May I ask why you waited so long to get a check-up?

Piper: Oh, I know everything is fine. I have seen it.

(The doctor gives her a strange look.)

Piper: I mean, a psychic told me. She saw a beautiful little girl in the future.

Doctor: Well, you are free to believe in whatever you like, but I would advise you to get regular checkups.

Piper: (concerned) Why? Is something wrong?

Doctor: No, everything seems fine, your baby is healthy. The heartbeat is strong. (Piper and Leo exchange smiles) I just meant in general. Why trust in all that old hocus pocus when you have modern medicine?

Piper: Hey!

Doctor: I am sorry, I did not mean to offend you. I just want what is best for you and your baby.

Leo: She is right, Piper. Despite everything the “psychic” told us, we do need to take care of you and our little girl.

Piper: Alright, fine.

(The doctor smiles and turns back to the screen. Suddenly she frowns and takes a closer look.)

Piper: (panicked) What? What?

Doctor: Don’t worry, everything is fine. It just seems your psychic was not very accurate.

Leo: How so?

Doctor: (As she turns the screen towards them.) Well, as you can see here, we have two very steady heartbeats. (pauses) Congratulations, you’re having twins.

(Piper is visible shocked and looks at Leo, who nervously smiles at her.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: The Bay Mirror, Phoebe enters her office and turns on the lights. Her chair turns around and she is shocked to find Cole siting at her desk. After taking a deep breath to calm down, she grabs a potion from the purse.]

Phoebe: (passive aggressive) You have ten seconds to get out.

Cole: Phoebe, I only came to talk.

Phoebe: We have nothing to talk about, Cole. I told you, I cannot let you back in my life.

Cole: (cockily) You say you can’t, you’re not saying you don’t want to.

(Phoebe sighed and walks toward the desk. She leans down and looks him in the eyes.)

Phoebe: Listen to me, Cole. I do not want you back in my life. The love we had is gone. It was destroyed along with everything else remotely good about you. It is over.

Cole: I came back from the dead for you.

Phoebe: No, you tricked your way back. You planned it from the start. The only reason you led us to that resurrection demon was so you could take its powers and bring yourself back.

Cole: I admit I had ulterior motives, but only because I love you.

Phoebe: (sigh) Cole, please. I can’t do this. You cost me too much. Whether it was you or the Source, it does not matter. I need to move on. Now please leave, I have work to do.

Cole: (stands up) I know you will change your mind, Phoebe. It is only a matter of time. A part of you will never be able to let me go.

(Cole walks past her and leaves the office. Phoebe clutches the potion as she sits down. A specter of Barbas appears behind her. He waves his hand over her and smiles. He leans in close.)

Barbas: (whispering) You know you will never be free of him. He will keep coming for you. And the worst part is, you fear a part of you still wants him. You know you can’t resist him, even though he will lead you to your destruction.

(Phoebe becomes scared and her hands are trembling. Barbas smiles and disappears.)

(In the hall, Cole presses the elevator button and steps in once the elevator opens. As he stands alone in the elevator, his mood changes from confident to concerned. Barbas appears behind him and waves his hand.)

Barbas: (whispering) You fear Phoebe will never let you back in, that she fears the evil inside you. You know it is still there, you cannot deny it. Slowly, that evil will destroy both you and the woman you love. And she will hate you for it.

(Cole screams angrily and slams his fist into the side of the elevator, busting right through it. The elevator makes an emergency stop. As the alarm goes off and a red light starts burning, Cole recollects himself and disappears in a fading manner. Barbas smiles contently.)

[End Scene]

-Opening Credits-

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, Piper and Leo enter through the front door.]

Piper: Twins? Twins? Are you kidding me? We can’t have twins. I’m barely ready for one child. (turns to Leo) What the hell did you do to me?

Leo: It’s not my fault. Besides, I think it will be amazing.

Piper: (worried) How can you say that? How can you be so freaking optimistic about this? Where will we put them? How will we afford it?

Leo: (places his hands on her shoulders) Honey, you are only focusing on the negative. We always talked about having a big family. It is just happening a bit sooner than we expected.

Piper: (doubtful) I guess.

Leo: This should be happy news.

Piper: I know. I am sorry. I’m just caught off guard.

Leo: Are you sure that is it?

Piper: No. (pauses). I have just been thinking about my mom a lot lately.

Leo: That’s logical, you’re becoming a mother yourself.

Piper: I know, and that is the problem. I never got to know my mother growing up, she was killed by a demon. Now that this pregnancy is starting to feel real, I’m scared history will repeat itself. And now there are suddenly two babies involved.

Leo: Piper, you’re not your mother.

Piper: But I am a witch, just like her. We risk our lives to protect the innocent and that is fine, but now it’s not just my life at stake anymore.

Leo: (hugs her) You’re not alone, Piper. You have your sisters, you have me.

Piper: (emotionally) I know. Thank you.

(Suddenly a scream and an explosion are heard from upstairs. A moment later, Paige appears in the hall in a swirl of orbs.)

Paige: Demons incoming!

(Three leather-clad demons appear in a shimmer and form Energy Balls. Piper screams and runs into the conservatory. One of the demons throws an Energy Ball at her, which hits the wall.)

Paige: (holding out her hand) Energy Ball!

(The Energy Ball held by the second demon disappears in a swirl of orbs and reappears in Paige’s hand. She throws it at the third demon and he explodes. At the same time, Leo runs forward and tackles the first demon. Piper cowers behind the wall clutching her stomach.)

Paige: Piper! We need you!

(The second demon throws Leo off him and gets up, though Leo punches him. The first demon throws another Energy Ball at Paige, who quickly disappears through orbs and reappears a moment later. The front door opens and Phoebe steps in. She instinctively avoids the Energy Ball.)

Phoebe: What the hell?!

Paige: No time to talk. Vanquish first.

(Phoebe reaches into her purse and throws a potion at the first demon, who explodes. Meanwhile, Leo is knocked around by the second demon. When he falls to the ground, the demon forms an Energy Ball. Piper sees her husband in danger and snaps out of it.)

Piper: (As she steps forward and flicks her hands.) No!

(The demon screams as he combusts. Piper runs over to Leo to check on him, though his bruises are already healing. She sighs relieved.)

Phoebe: (confused) Can someone tell me what is going on?

Paige: Another demon faction trying to rise in power by killing us. Seems like vanquishing the Source caused quite the power struggle in the Underworld.

Leo: It makes sense. (gets up) Someone has to be in charge down there. With the Source and the Triad vanquished, the entire hierarchy is gone.

Paige: (to Phoebe) Can we talk about why you’re carrying around powerful potions like that?

Phoebe: Cole is back. I need to be prepared for everything.

Paige: (nodding) Okay, makes sense. Now, next sister. (turns to Piper) What the hell happened to you?

Piper: I am sorry, I panicked. (walks away tearfully)

Leo: Just give her some time. (follows Piper)

Paige: (shrugs) Must be some hormonal thing. Looks like we got a mess to clean up.

Phoebe: (distracted) I’m sorry. I can’t.

Paige: Why not?

Phoebe: I need to find a way to get rid of Cole. Every moment he is out there, he is a threat.

Paige: (confused) I’m sorry, I don’t like the guy, but isn’t his entire motivation for coming back to get back together with you? Why would he hurt you?

Phoebe: He is not that kind of threat. (heads up the stairs) He is much more dangerous than that.

Paige: (to an empty room) Alright, guess I will clean up by myself.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Piper and Leo’s bedroom. Piper is sitting on the bed, crying as she is looking at a picture of her and her mother. Leo comes in and sits down next to her. He remains quiet, but takes her hand.]

Piper: I don’t know what happened.

Leo: You got scared. You just found out we’re having twins. You were concerned for their safety. It is perfectly normal.

Piper: Not for me. How am I supposed to go on protecting the innocent, when the thought of my babies getting hurt paralyses me?

Leo: Piper…

Piper: And after they are born, how can I keep risking my life, when I know I could leave my children motherless? (looks at the picture) Like we were.

Leo: What are you saying?

Piper: That I am not sure I can keep on being a witch. For God sakes, I am pregnant, this should be the happiest time of my life. I just keep wondering how she did it.

Leo: Your mother?

Piper: (looking at the picture). Not just her, but Grams and all the Warren witches before her. How did they bring their daughters into this world knowing the threats out there?

Leo: I wish I had the answer for you. All I know is that the love we have for each other and these babies is enough for me. I have faith that we can beat the odds.

(Leo rubs her shoulder and kisses her on the cheek. Piper attempts to smile, but her demeanor reveals she is still not at ease.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Cole’s penthouse, Cole is pacing around, reliving old memories with a pained look. He turns to the window and Barbas appears behind him.]

Barbas: You have not changed. (He waves his hand and Cole’s reflection in the mirror turns into Belthazor.) All that effort obtaining these powers and climbing out of hell, only to end up right where you started. A demon.

Cole: (whispering) No… Phoebe.

Barbas: She only sees the monster, she will never see the man again. What purpose do you have here if she will not take you back?

Cole: She loves me.

Barbas: She fears you. You destroyed her, she will never forgive you.

Cole: (emotionally) I have to try.

(Barbas smiles and disappears.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Purgatory, a hellish dimension between life and death. Barbas appears on the edge of a large pit of magma.]

Barbas: Almost.

(A living shadow flies down and hovers in front of him.)

Barbas: You again. I told you it is only a matter of time.

(The shadow turns his head)

Barbas: Don’t believe me? Must I explain it again? (sighs) People believe love is the most powerful force in the world, but fear is stronger. If I can corrupt their love and let fear overpower it, I can use that power to return.

(The shadow shrugs. The pit beneath them shakes and the shadow looks down.)

Barbas: Yes, I know. Now, astral projecting out of here is no easy feat, so leave me be.

(The shadow looks at him.)

Barbas: What?

(The Shadow looks down again and the pit trembles. Barbas nearly loses balance and can barely hold on to a rock.)

Barbas: Tell them it is not their time yet. Once I am free of this place, I will make sure to seal their fate. They won’t get out.

(The shadow acts insulted and flies off. Barbas frowns and he tries to find his balance and focuses.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, the attic. Phoebe is flipping through the Book of Shadows while writing on a notepad. Paige enters the attic.]

Paige: What are you doing?

Phoebe: (concerned) Cole is coming for me. I just know it. I need a way to protect myself.

Paige: Honey, I already told you, Cole is not going to hurt you.

Phoebe: Really? Hasn’t he hurt me already? He won’t give up, Paige.

Paige: The only way he can hurt you is if you let him. You moved on, don’t let him back in and ruin your life.

Phoebe: Paige, you don’t understand.

Paige: Then explain it to me.

Phoebe: I can’t. Please, could you just give me some time?

Paige: Alright.

(Paige throws up her hands and walks out of the attic. Phoebe takes a deep breath and tries to focus on the Book again. Barbas appears behind her.)

Barbas: You realize all your efforts are worthless. It won’t matter how many spells or potions you have. Deep down, you know Cole will not give up. His obsession with you already cost you too much. If he comes back again, there is nothing that can stop him from taking it all.

(Phoebe stops flipping through the book and stares in the distance as the words sink in.)

Barbas: Your love only brings pain and destruction. You gave it all up for him. Your sisters took you back, but do you think they have forgiven you? Have you even forgiven yourself? And what about everything you lost? The child you carried inside?

(Phoebe drops her pen and starts to cry. Barbas disappears. At the same time, Cole appears in a fading manner.)

Cole: Phoebe, we need to talk.

Phoebe: (shocked) No, you cannot be here! Leave me alone!

(Phoebe runs for the door, though Cole flings his hand and the door slams shut. In a panic, Phoebe tries to open it and calls for her sisters.)

Cole: Phoebe, talk to me.

Phoebe: (tearfully) Just get out of my life.

Cole: (grabs Phoebe by the arms and turns her around.) I can’t, why won’t you understand that? I love you!

Phoebe: Our love is poisonous. It will destroy us both.

Cole: Things can be different this time. Don’t give up on us.

Phoebe: There is no more us. (breaks free and walks to the middle of the attic) It ended the moment I discovered the truth.

Cole: (confused) The truth about what?

Phoebe: That you are evil. You always will be. And I won’t let you drag me down with you.

Cole: You don’t understand. (grabs her again, this time more forcefully.) I cannot let this be the end. I need to prove to you that I am not evil, that I love you.

(Cole forcefully kisses Phoebe and she struggles to break free. She kicks him and tries to run. Cole grabs on to her and her sleeve rips. Phoebe falls down and hits her head. Cole stumbles back. Phoebe looks up at him in terror, she has a cut of her forehead and is bleeding.)

Phoebe: (horrified) This is not love.

Cole: (devastated) Phoebe…

(Suddenly, a stream of smoke rises up from the floor and Barbas materializes. Both Cole and Phoebe are shocked to see him. Barbas stretches his arms and smiles.)

Barbas: Missed me?

Phoebe: (shocked) Barbas? How?

Barbas: It was all because of you. Love truly is a force to be reckoned with.

Cole: (angrily) You did this?

Barbas: I pushed a few buttons. I can’t take all the credit. (points at both of them.) This was all you.

(There is a knock and the door and both Paige and Piper can be heard calling for Phoebe. Barbas smiles and disappears through smoke. Suddenly, the door is blasted and swings open. Paige, Piper and Leo run in and see Phoebe hurt and Cole standing there. Piper flicks her hand and Cole is blasted in the chest. Leo kneels down and starts to heal Phoebe.)

Paige: What the hell happened here?

Phoebe: Barbas. He is back.

Piper: Barbas? How?

Cole: (gets up) Phoebe, I…

Phoebe: (interrupts him.) No, Cole, you need to leave.

Paige: You heard her.

(Cole stands in silence and the others all look at him in anger. Eventually Cole fades away.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, slight time skip, the sisters and Leo are sitting in the living room. Phoebe is still visibly shaken up, while the others are worried.]

Piper: So Barbas somehow used you and Cole to bring himself back? How is that possible?

Leo: Well, Barbas is the demon of fear, he embodies it. By playing them out against each other, their fear grew strong enough to bring him back.

Paige: I read about Barbas in the Book of Shadows, but I had never expected anything like this. How did you defeat him last time?

Piper: Prue defeated him the first time by overcoming her fear. The second time, he was only defeated because his time was up. I have no idea how we’re supposed to beat him this time.

Leo: We need to think of something. Now that he is back, you’re all his target. (To Piper) And I worry what his manipulations might cause.

Piper: I know. (touches her stomach. Turns to Phoebe.) How are you feeling?

Phoebe: (distantly) How do you think?

Piper: Well, seeing as how Barbas returned through your fear, I think you need to confront it.

Phoebe: (appalled) How can you say that to me? You know what I have been through.

Paige: Actually, we don’t. You don’t talk about it.

Phoebe: I can’t deal with this. (she stands up and walks away.)

Piper: What are we going to do?

Leo: We need to prepare ourselves. Figure out our fears so Barbas can’t catch us off guard.

Piper: Well, we already know what my fear is.

Paige: (confused) What is it?

Piper: I am scared of leaving my children motherless, like us.

Paige: Did you say children? Plural?

Piper: Yes, we just found out we’re having twins.

Paige: Well, I am still happy for you. (hugs Piper) Congratulations.

Piper: (smiling) Thank you. I wish I was in the mood to be happy about it.

Leo: So Paige, what is your fear?

Paige: (thinking) Gosh, I don’t know. I guess I never thought about it. But I’m claustrophobic. I had a bad closet experience as a kid, locked myself in for an hour.

Leo: Okay, so avoid small spaces.

Piper: I wish my fear could be avoided that easily. (pauses) No offense.

Paige: None taken.

(Suddenly they hear the front door slam shut and exchange confused looks.)

Piper: (calling out) Phoebe?

[End Scene]

[Scene: Cole’s penthouse. Cole is sitting at the table with a bottle of whiskey and a glass. The elevator door opens and Phoebe walks in. Cole stands up.]

Cole: Phoebe. I did not expect you. I am so sorry for hurting you.

Phoebe: Cole, stop. (pauses) This needs to end. We are over. You need to accept that.

Cole: But, Phoebe. I love you, and I know you still love me.

Phoebe: You’re right. I do still love you, part of me always will. But we can’t go back, and I don’t want to go forward with you.

Cole: I know I hurt you, but it was not really me.

Phoebe: (nodding) You were possessed by the Source. I know, but that doesn’t change anything. Too much has happened. I lost myself, I nearly lost my sisters (pauses) And I lost our child.

Cole: (confused) Our child?

Phoebe: I know our son was evil, corrupted by the Source and the Seer, but deep down, I know he was our son. He was our blood. And he is gone. I can never forget that.

Cole: (tearfully) I’m sorry.

Phoebe: I know. So am I. Find a way to move on, and leave me alone.

(Phoebe turns around and starts to walk away. Cole catches up to her, though before he can touch her, Phoebe spins around.)

Phoebe: (warningly) Don’t ever touch me again.

Cole: Phoebe, please.

(Suddenly, smoke rises up from the floor and Barbas appears. He waves his hand over Phoebe and she becomes paralyzed with fear.)

Barbas: But it is never over, Phoebe. That is what you fear. That you will never be free from him.

Phoebe: (whispering) No.

Barbas: Yes. That part of you that will always love him? That part of you that is drawn to darkness? It is who you are deep down. It is why you were always the sister most drawn to evil.

Cole: Leave her alone.

Barbas: Or what? Will you destroy me, give into your true nature? We both know you will never be more than a demon. Your soul is rotten.

(Cole runs at Barbas, though he passes right through him. A column of orbs appears and forms into Piper and Leo, followed closely by Paige.)

Barbas: Good, the rest of the family is here. (Looks at Piper and Leo) How are the happy parents? (turns to Paige) And the half-sister. (He waves his hand) Do you really think small spaces are your worst fear? There is so much more, abandonment, feeling overlooked, not being able to live up to a certain sister…

Piper: (angrily) Enough.

Barbas: (waves his hand) Ah, Piper. Feeling maternal, are we? Better use those parenting skills while you still have the chance. After all, who knows how much time you have with your children?

(Piper falls silent and Barbas smiles contently.)

Barbas: I so missed this.

Leo: What do you gain from all of this?

Barbas: Apart of amusement, you mean? I needed to get out of purgatory.

Cole: (angrily) Alright, this ends now.

Barbas: Please, you cannot hurt me. I am the embodiment of fear. The amount of fear in this room alone is enough to sustain me for a long time.

Cole: (smirks) You know the downside of being the demon of fear?

Barbas: What is that?

Cole: Lack of fear makes you overconfident.

(Cole extends both his arms and fires two bolts of lightning at Barbas. Electricity courses through his body as he screams and is forced to his knees. Phoebe first adverts her eyes, but then looks at Cole, who has an insane smile on his face. When Cole stops, Barbas laughs as his clothes and skin are full of burns.)

Barbas: If only if were that easy. You can sent me back, but the fear in all of you will remain.

Paige: We’ll manage.

Barbas: You have now idea. You have no idea what is coming.

Paige: What is that supposed to mean?

Barbas: The underworld is in chaos, the walls are weakening. Soon they will be freed. (smiles) And they will destroy you all!

Cole: Enough!

(Cole waves his hand and Barbas ignites in flames. He screams as is he reduced to ashes.)

Paige: (relieved) It’s over.

Phoebe: Is it?

(Everyone exchanged concerned looks. Cole looks lingering at Phoebe, though she refuses to look at him. Cole fades away with a broken look.)

Leo: Let’s go home.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, the following morning. Phoebe is sitting on her bed while staring out the window. There is a knock and Piper enters.]

Piper: Can I come in?

Phoebe: Of course. (pads on the bed) Sit down.

(Piper sits down on the bed and the sisters hold hands.)

Piper: How are you?

Phoebe: All things considered, I’m a mess.

Piper: I know what you mean. Barbas really did a number on us.

Phoebe: So you never told me how the doctor’s appointment went.

Piper: (smiling) I’m having twins.

Phoebe: (excited) What? Are you serious?

(Piper nods and Phoebe hugs her.)

Phoebe: I am so happy for you!

Piper: Really?

Phoebe: Yes, of course really. Why would you think otherwise?

Piper: Pheeps, I am your sister. I know things are not easy for you right now. With everything going on with Cole and your own pregnancy.

Phoebe: But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy your own happiness or be afraid to tell me something.

Piper: (relieved) Okay.

(There is a knock on the door and Paige comes in.)

Paige: Hi, room for one more?

Phoebe: Of course, always.

(Paige smiles and sits down on the bed.)

Paige: So what are you going to do about Cole?

Phoebe: Well, I had a lot of time to think about it. After we vanquished him, I reported him missing, though now that he is back, I will need to file for a divorce.

Paige: I know a great lawyer. (lies down and stretches) So are we going to be okay?

Piper: What do you mean?

Paige: Well, Barbas left us a pretty cryptic warning. And he was right, our fears are still here.

Phoebe: Barbas thinks fear is the strongest thing out there. He is wrong, love is. And as long as we have each other, I am confident that we can overcome any fear.

Piper: Nicely said, sis. You should put that in a column.

Phoebe: (smiling) I will.

(All three sisters laugh.)

[End Scene]

End Episode