The Demon Who Came in from the Cold
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Buffy or Charmed, though there will be speech used from the shows.
A.N: I'm so sorry for not updating sooner. I've been really stressed the last couple of months what with uni and looking after my mum. Thank you so much for the support and reviews, even if they did make me feel guilty writing. I will try my hardest to get more chapters up but don't be surprised if I go for long periods of time without putting anything new on.
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It had been a couple of weeks since the seekers had come for Cole. Much to her relief Buffy's powers had returned by the next day. It turned out that a comatose boy had inadvertently caused the Sunnydale's worst nightmares to come to life. The half demon's fear was becoming human, to be so weak that she would be vulnerable... like her father.
Buffy had felt a strange closeness to Phoebe since then, a closeness that she had no idea how to process. She'd never really had a friend. Cole was probably the nearest thing she'd ever had to one.
"Buffy!" the demon in question was brought out of her musing by the call of her brother's girlfriend. She was in 'Willes', a demon bar in Sunnydale, nursing a shot of tequila, letting her drift. Sighing, she put down her glass and shimmered to the Halliewell manor in San Francisco.
"What's she doing here?" Prue asked as Buffy appeared in the conservatory. Prue and Piper had just walked in themselves with Leo. Phoebe and Cole were next to each other and from her brother's body language Buffy could tell that something was wrong. Cole, to the casual observer, looked emotionless but the youngest Turner could see that his back was stiff and his mask was just a bit too firmly in place.
"That's what I'd like to know," Buffy commented giving a look to her brother.
"I just vanquished Cole's brother," Phoebe revealed. You could tell she was upset but Buffy couldn't help but feel glad.
"Whoa, this is so much better than the movie," Prue added in with excitement and Buffy couldn't help but share it.
"I think I actually love you right now Phoebe," she complimented then turned to her brother. "Which one?"
"Triggs," he replied simply. Buffy couldn't help but smirk at that, oblivious of shocked and disgusted looks she was getting from everyone, save Cole who glared. As far as she was concerned he had it coming.
"Nice one," she congratulated. She finally took notice of the looks she was being given. "What? He wasn't my brother."
"I didn't want him to see me," Cole said to Phoebe, continuing their argument from before their siblings arrived. He was ignoring their confusion about Triggs not being Buffy's brother, he had no wish to talk about his past. Part of him was scared that once Phoebe knew all about his past she would leave him and he couldn't stand that.
"And we lost an innocent because of it," Phoebe reminded. She looked at Leo and her sisters. "Some poor street prophet. He was ranting about the brotherhood." She was beyond upset which made Buffy feel a bit bad about.
Leo instantly knew what she was talking about. The Brotherhood of the Thorn. Phoebe had no idea who they were even when Cole admitted he was a member of them.
"They're an elite gang, they answer directly to the source," the whitelighter explained. "He selects the members himself. Then they take a blood oath, lifelong pledge of loyalty." A look of realization crossed the youngest Halliwell's face.
"Oh, that kind of brother," she drawled, making Buffy snigger. Something about the witch drew people to her, a sort of childlike quality that the half demon found endearing.
"All that matters now is that they're surfacing," Cole told them all. "They must have something big in the works." Piper questioned why they would kill the prophet. "Because not all of them are crazy, or human. Some of them are magical sears who can pre-see actual events. But they're loud, dirty, so people ignore them. If you call Inspector Morris, I bet he'll tell you other prophets have been killed too." He sat down in one of the chairs, trying to act nonchalant. Phoebe couldn't understand why they would kill a man just for that.
"They can't risk anyone finding out about them," Buffy explained softly. It was almost sweet how Phoebe couldn't understand that. She was seriously that good. The half demon couldn't help but think that Cole had better not mess the girl up. It really was refreshing being around her.
"Okay, so what are they up to?" Phoebe questioned.
"I have no idea," Cole admitted. "I'm not exactly a member of good standing anymore."
"Thank god for that," Buffy added, leaning against the doorway.
"How come you don't like them?" Prue queried suspiciously.
"They tried to make sure my brother stay as far away from me as possible," she answered, bitterness hardly veiled in her voice. "They thought I'd make him more human." Trying to lighten the mood and to stop her nails from making her palm bleed she added with a shrug- "That and they threatened me when they were looking for Cole." The youngest Charmed one mentioned that the Prophet said something about an internet company.
"No, there must be more to it than that." Prue took charge and acted like the leader she was. "Alright, Phoebe, you check the net, Piper, you got the Book of Shadows."
"Don't bother," Buffy inserted before Cole could. "This is something way more than you're used to dealing with." Piper scowled at her in annoyance.
"We can't just let them go," Phoebe reminded. She couldn't just let people be killed for knowing about some organisation of demons. "There's gotta be a way to find out what they're planning." Buffy couldn't help but feel a wash of worry when she looked over to see Cole's reaction to everything. To anyone else you wouldn't have been able to tell he was thinking anything, but Buffy, she knew her brother, she recognised that look in his eye. He had an idea.
"There is one way," he spoke up and Buffy's shoulders tensed. "For me to go back."
"No," Buffy all but growled out at the same time as Phoebe called her boyfriend's name. "Not a chance in hell." Buffy stared right into the eyes of her brother. Prue thought it was a good idea which made both Buffy and Phoebe look at her.
"Well, if course it makes sense to you, Prue," the youngest Halliwell commented to her eldest sister. "You're always looking for a way to get Cole out of our lives."
"I don't blame her," Buffy couldn't help but admit. She'd always tried to be honest, or whenever it didn't risk herself, Cole or her mission, and this was no different. "If it wasn't for the fact that Cole obviously loves Phoebe I probably would have kept them apart." There was a hint of rebuke at Prue for trying but not too much. She looked back to her brother and his girlfriend. "No offence."
"None taken," Phoebe smiled. She was glad that she wouldn't have to fight against Cole's sister to stay with him.
"This isn't about her, Phoebe, it's about me," Cole said, completely ignoring his twin even though he was thankful for her support on him with a Charmed one. He still wasn't used to the hundred year training of not showing emotion.
Phoebe turned a tired glance back at him and said-
"No, it's about us." She turned and left the room.
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The two older Charmed ones walked out of the room with their whitlighter, leaving Buffy, Cole and Phoebe in the attic. They moved up there to see if there was anything in the book of shadows about the Brotherhood of the Thorn. Like Buffy had thought they had come up with nothing. The second the three were out the room Phoebe started rushing around the room gathering up things.
"I have to go," Cole told the two most important people in his life. He knew that Buffy was not pleased to be involved and the only reason she was helping at all was because he was there but he was glad she was.
"Nope, you can't," Phoebe said distractedly.
"I'm with her on this one, bro," Buffy added with a glare at her twin.
"Remember that power stripping potion you asked me for, like an hour ago, and everything was still wonderful?" Phoebe reminded Cole. "Well, I have an idea, I just need some time." Cole shot Buffy a look, telling her to not say a word. She was beyond angry that Cole would even think about it but realized that it wasn't the time to say anything. Getting up silently she walked out the room so as not scream at her brother and to give the couple a bit of privacy.
She stopped on the middle of the stairs and leaned back against the wall. She took a deep breath to try and clear her mind. This was really too much for her. She was helping good witches, the Charmed ones no less, and she was trying to bring down the Brotherhood of the Thorn. While Buffy didn't particularly like its members she didn't really want to kill them, or go against the Source like that. The youngest Turner thought that the Brotherhood was a stupid idea; the idea was way too serious. The point of being a demon, or being evil, was that you were free. Free from social restrictions, free from rules, free to do what you wanted and they were just taking all the fun out of being evil. But still, they were the Source's men and being against the ruler of the all demons was not a good idea.
Before she could think of anything else Cole shimmered in in front of her. He'd just come from the attic after telling Phoebe that he'd meet her in the mausoleum that they faked his death in.
"You going then?" Buffy asked with a sigh. She already knew the answer but she was still holding out that Phoebe had convinced him on what a bad idea it was.
"Yes," he replied, destroying his twin's hope. "But I need you to do something for me."
"Anything," Buffy said automatically and she meant it. She'd do anything within her power for her brother and trusted him enough not to ask her anything she wouldn't or couldn't do.
"No matter what happens, protect Phoebe," He said. Buffy could see the worry in his eyes for both herself and his love.
"You really love her don't you?" he didn't say anything but he turned his head away from hers, hiding the emotions he knew were shining through on his face and that was all Buffy needed. "I promise. Now shoo. I want this over with quickly so we can all gloat on how we killed the Source's best men." Cole gave her a quick smile then shimmered out, leaving while there was still a light note in the air.
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"He's late," Phoebe exclaimed. She and Buffy had been waiting in the mausoleum for half an hour waiting for Cole.
"It's been 15 minutes," Buffy commented calmly. Inside she was screaming to go and find her brother. "He probably just got held up of something." Seeing that Phoebe needed a distraction she added:- "So what's this I hear about Cole wanting his powers stripped?"
"Without his powers the bounty hunters won't be able to track him," Phoebe replied with a sigh. She knew what Buffy was doing but she just didn't care. All she wanted was Cole. "... and we'll actually get to be together." Her head snapped up as she remembered what happened a couple of weeks ago. "Oh God. I'm so sorry." The half demon scowled at the mention of it but let it drop when she realized that the witch wasn't making fun of her.
"It is..." she agreed, trying to work out what to say. "But I'm not Cole. What I fear isn't necessarily what he does."
"So you wouldn't mind if he was completely human?" Phoebe questioned. She wanted Buffy to be ok with it. Cole was important to her to after all.
"I ..." Buffy started, not really sure what to say. "I think it might be better for Cole than it would be for me." As she said it Buffy knew she was telling the truth. Cole would get more out of being human than he ever did being a demon. That and the fact, in theory, he would be safer since demons wouldn't be able to find him. It was only in theory though because if he was human he would probably be staying with a Charmed one so demons would always be around him anyway. There wasn't really any truly good option for them being together but Buffy would do whatever she could to help them. The problem was she really didn't want him to be human. He was her brother, her twin. They were always meant to be there for each other. If he went through with this he would grow old and die, leaving her behind to live without her other half but if she stopped him he would always resent her and Buffy couldn't stand that either.
"It's funny how you're the one considered more human when Cole is the one who actually wants to be one," Phoebe commented with a sigh. Just hours ago her and Cole were making plans to for their future and now it seemed like it wasn't going to be one.
"They only say that because I'm a bit weaker than Cole and that I actually show I have emotions at times," Buffy explained. "That and my demon form doesn't come as naturally as Cole's."
"I thought demons couldn't feel anything," the Charmed one said with a slight chuckle but her eyes held curiosity at what Buffy had to say to that.
"If they don't have feelings why do they do what they do?" Seeing the confused look of the girls face the half demon continued. "Why do demons try to kill you?... Because they crave power, or to make someone else happy, or because they are angry or bored. All feelings." She paused trying to think of how to explain in a way Phoebe could understand. "Demons have feelings; they just refuse to admit it. They train from an early age to not show them but they're there, brimming away under the surface. The problem is the ones that are more... prominent are all the negative ones like anger and hate and we're brought up to hate witches and all that is good. It's so ingrained that we just don't know anything else. That and our way of life is more freeing than that of the side of good; less rules and consequences to think about." She gave out a dry laugh at that. "If we didn't feel anything than we'd just be zombies, no motivation to do anything but the basics we need to live."
Phoebe stayed silent after that. She had a lot to think about and what could she say to that? What Buffy had just said made her wonder about what she and her sisters had believed in the last three years. They had clearly missed something that should have been staring them in the face.
Leo orbed in an hour later to see if they had heard anything. Within minutes of Leo coming, Cole shimmered in. He was late because the rest of the Brotherhood were keeping such a close eye on him. Though he was able to tell them that the Thorn were going after a man named Frank Pirelli who was trying to stop a merger from happening. Cole told the two women and the whitelighter exactly when and where it was happening. The problem was it was going to be difficult saving Pirelli while making it seen that they hadn't been told by anyone. Coe shimmered out as soon as he told the three that. He had to go before and any of the Brotherhood realized he was missing.
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The next day Buffy was waiting alone at the manor. The sisters and their whitelighter had gone to save Pirelli. The reason Buffy was left was because the two older Charmed ones didn't trust her enough to go with them and Buffy wasn't willing to waste time by arguing. Instead she stayed there trying to work out what to do. Her mind was swirling with everything that was happening. She was helping witches... good witches. She was saving innocents. This wasn't her. She was evil and was damn well proud of it.
Leaning back against the chair she waited for them to return, trying not to think of what she was becoming.
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The girls returned with Pirelli and Phoebe made a sleeping potion to knock him out. They were planning on waiting 2 hours till they got the man to the vote on the merger but there was a problem with that plan: there was a demon impersonating Pirelli. The middle sister of course blamed Cole for not telling them about it, not even thinking that he couldn't have known himself but Buffy, Phoebe and, surprisingly, Prue defended him. Phoebe said that she would go and talk to Cole to see what was going on, Buffy taking her to the mausoleum. The second she saw Cole had arrived she gave him a nod of her head and went back to the manor. She found the other sisters in the kitchen bustling about the stove with ingredients spread out across the counter.
"What ya making?" She asked leaning against the doorway with a smirk on her face. They spun around ready to attack but relaxed when they saw who it was.
"Vanquishing potion for the Brotherhood," Prue replied curtly. She really didn't like or trust Buffy and the same went for Piper.
"Nice," the half demon complimented. "I'm almost impressed."
"Almost?" Piper commented snidely.
"Well, I'm still evil," Buffy replied. "Can't be completely or you might think I'm going soft."
"Can't have that," Prue added off handily. Buffy just laughed, she barely even noticed as they put a piece of Cole's flesh into the mix, it just looked like another ingredient to her.
They finished the potion just as they head the door opening, signalling Phoebe's return. The two sisters walked out to meet her, Buffy stayed to bottle the potions with Leo there to keep an eye on her. At the sound of a commotion the whitelighter grabbed a few potions and ran to his charges, Buffy followed just in time to see two demons killed with the liquid.
"Hope you have more potion," Buffy said. "Cos they aren't part of the Brotherhood."
"Okay, that was way too easy," Prue reviewed. "Oh my god, Pirelli, Pirelli." She rushed out the room to the basement where they were holding the innocent, everyone else right behind her, Buffy last behind Leo. The sight that greeted them was not a good way of proving Cole's innocence; he was there with one of his 'brothers', Tarkin, both holding onto the unconscious Pirelli. The two demons stayed long enough for Cole and Phoebe to share a look before shimmering out.
A shouting match started amongst the group almost as soon as they got back upstairs and processed what happened. The two oldest witches revealed what was actually in the potion and giving their own version of 'I told you so' about Cole turning. Even Leo suggested that they shouldn't have let Cole go back. Buffy and Phoebe were at a loss of what to do. While they defended the half demon, honestly believing that he wouldn't betray them, they had no idea of what was going on .
"You had a piece of my brother's flesh!" Buffy yelled. "What the hell is wrong with you?" She was so mad that she was struggling not to let her demon side out. The little witch had kept something that could potentially kill her brother and her for that matter.
"Well it's a good thing I did," Prue retorted, just as angry. She knew she shouldn't have trusted demons and now they had lost their innocent.
"You're lucky you're Phoebe's sister or I'd kill you myself," the half demon promised.
"You wish," was the witch's reply.
"Enough!" Phoebe shouted. "This isn't getting us anywhere." Everything was getting too much for her; she just couldn't take it anymore. She walked out the room to calm down. Buffy glared at the older sisters then shimmered out herself.
She appeared at her place in Sunnydale and went straight to her room to get changed. She had a couple of hours before the big vote on the merger that Pirelli was meant to be part of and she needed to let off some steam. She took some deep calming breaths and got into a loose red flowing dress. Happy with her appearance she grabbed her cell and strapped it to her thigh next to one of her blades and shimmered away, this time arriving at some indiscriminate club. She hadn't even checked were she was going, she just needed to get away from everything, what was going on with her brother, the arguing, trying to figure out what was happening to her, everything.
The music was loud, some Latin upbeat piece, making everything pulse with the beat. Buffy didn't think twice before joining the writhing mass. She danced till her hair stuck to her skin and she was surrounded by people. She didn't think, didn't let her fears and worries take over her mind she just let her body take over and let herself become one of the crowd.
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She only realized how long she'd been dancing when she went to get a drink. Phoebe called with a message that made her blood run cold.
Her brother was missing.