The Life and Times
Part 2: Friends, family and other contradictions
"To expostulate why day is day, night night, and time is time,
warlock hunting off the agenda courtesy of the Elders and no other magic crisis
going on, the family settled for a quiet night at the manor.
Piper/nymph was apparently not planning on leaving soon so they left her dancing
in the conservatory near shrubbery and Paige cooked supper while Leo and Cole
fed children. As often as possible Patsy and Melinda shared meals with adults
when they had family meals but Rodik's presence made it torture for them.
went up to the attic to look up a few things from the last few days, such as
information about the warlock Cinq and to scry for Willem.
have never been able to find anything about him scrying. Why should now be
different" Rodik sniffed.
the fuck up " said Phoebe which avoided her the necessity of explaining she
was going to use the stolen realm map. She found a few things in the Book of
Shadows. Cinq was a warlock who was notorious for stalking witches with powers
over senses. He had killed and stolen the powers from two witches who had sight
powers, one to see though non-metallic solid objects and another to see visions
in water, and another who could hear demon movement. "You chose your friends
well Willem" she said out loud. She read back through the histories of
several warlocks and said hmmm. And pulled the covers off the stolen realm map
that was hidden in the attic out of Rodik's sight.
concentrating very hard she was able to locate some very strong warlock activity
in several realms she did not recognise and that was all she could do until
think I know something that may help us get a fix on Willem " Phoebe told
her sister over supper.
" said Paige.
" said Phoebe but it has to be the really rich stuff from a kidney, not
just ordinary blood.
don't discuss blood during supper " said Rodik his mouth full and half
keep quiet" said Leo.
better yet " said Cole "leave."
are you going to stick a knife in a warlock's kidney, when you can't even see
the warlock?" Leo asked.
see it we just don't remember" said Phoebe. "Clarissa."
sure she knows that warlock kidneys are in the right side in front " said
do you know that? " demanded Rodik.
it" said Cole grinning. And every-one decide the discussion could wait.
sat at the dining room table where they could see the Piper/nymph curled on a
rug on the floor near the three biggest plants, looking sweet and innocence.
looks so pretty" said Phoebe.
"She looks like a harlot " said Rodik. Rodik had been spoiling for a fight
since yesterday and this was the first time he really had
Phoebe in his sights. "Family trait " he sniped.
glared at him" How dare you " she said spluttering " just how
dare you. You sanctimonious little arsehole " she exploded,.
"Phoebe" said Leo.
you hear what he called me? " Phoebe said to Cole outraged.
" said Cole Thinking the hair ornament present was not going to be much of
a success in encouraging Phoebe to forget about how angry she was with Rodik.
that all you're going to say? " Phoebe demanded crossly.
" said Cole.
meal is almost inedible" Rodik announced as he looked as all but empty
it yourself next time " said Paige.
don't eat" said Phoebe.
"Phoebe" said Leo.
child' s magic is giving me a headache " Rodik sniffed indicated
Melinda sitting on the sofa with Patsy watching a video of cartoons. He was
was concerned that Patsy seemed to clap when some-one got hurt.
a boy" said Leo unconcerned.
he could be evil like his mother " said Rodik.
the fuck up" said Paige and Leo and Cole while Phoebe snorted in temper.
you think I don't recognise great evil in this house " Rodik sniffed.
isn't any evil in this house " Paige said with certainty "So stop
are you going to go?" demanded Phoebe.
we get that warlock Willem." sniffed Rodik.
does it" said Phoebe "From now on we do anything we can to get rid of
that bastard warlock just to get rid of you, you bastard," she told Rodik.
might have got rid of him yesterday if your demon lover had not interfered
" sniffed Rodik;.
can swear on the honour of my ancestors, on anything you like, there was no
demon lover there " Phoebe told him smugly.
is vanquished Rodik " said Leo quietly "I was there. This is all a
game by the warlocks to gain power legitimacy in a fight with the present
source. A warlock cannot be a source, but if he claims to have resurrected the
power of a one time source, it gives it some claim.
understands that " said Paige. "Don't you Cole?"
piss off causing trouble" Paige smirked at
don't care what lies she told that .. cuckold " Rodik sniffed twice
pointing at Cole who just raised his eyes "she was consorting with evil
yesterday. Felt demonic power."
know that was " Phoebe snitched " demonic retrievers". You really
are a snivelling little bastard who gets his kicks out of causing misery in
other people' s lives."
you are an evil witch who destroys all around " Rodik said "Don't
think everyone in magic doesn't know that it was your fault your older sister
got killed. Leo as good as told me that when it happened."
spun on Leo who shook his head."
" Leo said "Shut up. You aren't a big enough bitch to win any
arguments with him."
the children' s bath time " Phoebe said pulling her chair from the table
with a loud crash.
time for my meditation " said Rodik " to calm my aura."
even think about it Cole?" said Leo.
about what " sniffed Rodik suspiciously.
" said Leo. "I better feed and put Wyatt to bed. It looks like Piper
isn't coming back in time."
sniffed and went upstairs. Phoebe went to get the children, and Leo stood up and
picked up Wyatt to take him into the kitchen.
up " said Paige to Cole.
Cole said and started clearing Paige went to the archway of the conservatory and
looked at the sleeping Piper/nymph sighing as she looked at her.
with Melinda's hand in hers and Patsy on her hip stopped to look at Piper
keeps connecting with all these creatures in the realms" Paige said with a
bitterness in her voice. "And I haven't at all,. have you?" she
demanded of Phoebe.
pretty certain something was exchanging, or living with me a few days ago"
Phoebe replied carefully "and I had a quick almost premonition exchange
exciting? " Paige asked.
really understand it." Phoebe said cautiously.
you worried about some-one else sharing,..your life." Paige asked
do anything about it " Phoebe said ":just hope I guess."
Cole/ " asked Paige.
hasn't said so I guess not " Phoebe answered. "But he's pretty unique,
there wouldn't be to many creature he would have any connection with
shared hours with a witch from Memphis the other day " Paige said :" a
male witch who was really into music and magic and how connected they were. Leo
said he learnt lots."
know that?" said Phoebe ."
aren't I changing/" asked Paige bitterly as the Piper/nymph uncurled and
sat up stretching and yawning prettily.
guess" said Phoebe the truth speaker, wondering if she should say it " I
guess " she said risking it " Right at the moment you aren't really
connected to magic at all."
up Phoebe" Paige said with wry smile " don't you just get sick of
had both children in the bath washing them and coaxing them into singing loudly,
Melinda sang words, Whosit sang wa wa wa and play patty hands getting Phoebe as
wet as they were, happily forgetting about magic, and worries over Cole bring
exposed and Elders who no longer trusted her and bosses who would not believe
her. Rodik came out of the guest room.
meditating " he said. "That noise is impossible ."
the fuck up " said Phoebe.
think you are so smart, evil witch " "Rodik snapped "But I see
through you, evil power surrounds you and follows you and I will expose you and
any evil that follows you. Demons swarm to you."
to hell " said Phoebe as Cole came into the bathroom and Patsy started to
cry while Melinda tuned her nose up and spat at Rodik.
old Wodik" said Melinda.
corrupting that little witch into evil " Rodik sniffed as he almost
cannoned into Cole.
evil ignorant bastard" said Phoebe.
take it the appease Rodik at all costs campaign is over " Cole asked
thought I was going to die for that little shit yesterday Cole "Phoebe said
"And never see you again., never hold my baby or cuddle Melinda again, all
over a little shit."
he's trying to goad you .Just to make you say to do something about Belthezor." Cole said.
won't give anything away about Belthezor " she whispered.. "Are you
trying to tell, me you aren't mad at the little shit." Phoebe asked.
like to kill the little shit " Cole said so calmly that if Phoebe did not
know he could not lie to her, she would not have believed he meant it.
helped her dry and put the children in sleeping clothes. Melinda made noises
about being with Cole but he said he had work to do.
and help me scry " Phoebe said to her.
came out of his and Piper's room " Wyatt is asleep, Paige is keeping an
eye on the nymph " he said "I hope Piper is getting some rest out of
this. I wonder where she is.
its not laundry this time " Phoebe said. She whispered "I found
something I think might be useful. I don't want" and she flipped her head
toward Rodik's room.
nodded and Phoebe carried Patsy up to the attic, while Melinda skipped ahead of
lay on his and Phoebe's bed reading depositions in the case of the woman who had
tried to kill her husband and wondering how any one's family life could get in
such a mess. He heard the TV downstairs and thought Paige must be watching the
news discussion she liked to keep up with for her job because these days she
wasn't interested in fashion, music scene or dating any more.
an hour later, totally immersed in a number of interesting contradictions he
heard Phoebe screech and he started to shimmer and stopped himself and ran for
the stairs. He was at the landing for the attic when he heard Leo scream. He
bolted the last stairs to see Rodik planted by the window an expression of sour
distress on his face, nose in the air.
was crouched on the floor where Whosit Patrick sat upright, Melinda's little
arms were clasped protectively around her cousin. Near the Book of Shadows Leo
was standing behind Phoebe one hand over her mouth, blood poring out of his
fingers where she had bitten him and the other tightly around her waist. As
Phoebe struggled to get free she levitated him and herself feet above the
seeing Cole sniffed loudly three times and stalked out of the attic, narrowly
avoiding knocking Cole over as he stepped back out of the way. For a second he
watched Rodik totter downstairs and then turned to Leo who was still hanging
onto Phoebe as she cursed and kicked vehemently.
the hell are you doing?" Cole asked him.
your wife killing Rodik, saying the destructor spell ."Oucchhhhh :"
Leo screamed as Phoebe sunk her teeth into his hand.
"Oh" said Cole leaning on the door jamb "Why?."
evil to kill something just in temper" Leo said.
finally sunk her teeth into Leo enough to make him let go, levitating down
ungracefully in front of the Book of Shadows.
stinking lousy bastard" Phoebe swore at Leo " All I want to do was
say one lousy little spell. I could have got rid of the fucking bastard. Did you
hear what he said about my son, what he said about your daughter" she
screamed. You fucking bastard, are you going to let the fucking bastard get away
hearing his mother yell and Melinda recognising the language let out a whimper.
stopped mid sentence and ran to both children pulling them against her. Shaking
her head she said "He god damn deserves to die Cole." And then Melinda
flung an arm around her neck and Patsy cried against her.
deserves to die Leo " Phoebe said.
wrong " said Leo "Just because.."
to hell Leo " said Phoebe, angry and guilty tears pouring down her face.
looked at Leo and raised his eyes. He went over and squatted down beside Phoebe
and put his arms around all of them.
want to kill him Cole" she said "The stinking bastard."
would be evil " Cole said quietly.
?" said Phoebe bursting into hysterical sobs.
finally coaxed Phoebe downstairs. He got Patsy to bed when tried to get Phoebe
to bed but she insisted on checking on Melinda only to find Leo was reading a
story to her. She gave Melinda a big hug then went and woke a sleeping Patsy
up to give him a big hug too . Cole finally with a lot more coaxing got her to
agree to try and sleep, promising he would be back shortly
to sleep baby" he said gently.
snuggled down as he put the light out "So much for the yesterday' s
sophisticated lady,' she said.
sophisticated lady?" asked Cole but she heard the smile in his voice..
gave him a watery smile. "Thank you " she said as he kissed.
what " he asked.
there for me " she said "and the present."
to sleep baby " he said shutting the door.
asleep " Leo said catching Cole on the landing.
happened? " Cole said
glanced at the guest room door and they went down stairs to see Paige watching
you think Piper will ever come home?" said Paige.
I hope where ever she is she's having more fun than me." said Leo
looking at the bite marks on his hand.
happened up there " said Paige. "Piper/nymph tried to climb out and I
figured you guys would look after it."
tried to kill Rodik " Leo explained.
did you stop her? " Paige accused Cole.
didn't " said Cole.
dead " said Paige a little to happily.
stopped her " Cole grinned.
" said Paige to Leo who rolled his eyes.
in particular set Phoebe off? " Cole asked Leo."
nearly caught us scrying on the realm map "Leo explained. "Phoebe
threw a blanket over it and he accused her of hiding something evil and that
somehow turned into damning the children, smiting evil in the house, and them
being possessed and contaminated by it. He was trying to goad Phoebe " Leo
" said :" It worked.
saying Melinda or Patsy should be vanquished?" Paige asked.
said Leo grimly "I was thinking about how an evil little bastard like him
deserved to be smit himself", but Phoebe didn't think it, she acted."
the first rule of survival a demon learns" said Cole.
" said Paige.
threaten a child whose mother is more powerful than you." he said.
it was my children maybe I should have been quicker to want to protect them," Leo said a little guiltily ."Phoebe just reacted."
a father not a mother and he was
only threatening," Paige told Leo, letting him off.
hope you're right " said Leo "I'm going to sit up with Piper/nymph if
you want to take advantage of a certain amount of quiet."
nodded. "Do you think we will ever get back to normal; " she asked.
settle for how we were" said Cole " that's one down," he said
":I wonder who will be the next to try and kill Rodik."
wonder who will stop them," said Paige.
said Cole. "I hope."
next morning as not a happy one. In the manor. Rodik was determined to make them
suffer for the dressing down he had got from the Elders and still felt the need
to goad Phoebe.
managed to keep out of it mostly because he was scared that if he lost it he
would finish what Phoebe started and knowing that Arturo had been tempted did
not make him any less concerned and cautious of his own reaction.
was feeling guilty about losing it with Rodik, guilty about the problems she
cause letting him goad her into going warlock hunting and sick to death of
everyone reminding her of it. To the point if one more person criticised her for
one small thing she was going to totally lose it.
happily parting ways with the nymph and in a euphoria of magic and its beauty
and the deep rapture of the soul, was not thrilled at being brought back to
earth with a thud, by Rodik's peevishness and Phoebe's me-ness."
she was furious that Rodik had extended his spite and threats to the children.
had leant from last night's response that goading about the children was a sure
way of getting a reaction from Piper or Phoebe "The power in that witch is
dangerous" he told Piper when Melinda upset at hearing her family sniping away up
ended a bowl of sugar over his head and no-one told her off.
old Wodik" 'Melinda said
glared at Melinda then sniffed,"That magic is not natural, whitelighter and witch,
unnatural magic that should be placed away."
put his hand out to catch Paige as she took a deep breath. "I have to go to
work " she said.
to Leo's not entire amusement argued viciously that magic was something to be
developed, to be encouraged and protected.
really " said Cole remembering Piper was so sure that Patsy did not need
magic, "And when did this particular view reveal itself to you."
up Cole" snapped Piper " Don't even get involved in things you don't
do you think that being a witch gives you some special insight into raising
children?" he asked spoiling for a fight where he would not be tempted to
"Cole" warned Phoebe.
you trying to tell em you think she's right " Cole spun on Phoebe.
start yelling at me because I'm not getting involved between you two but if you
want to have an argument with me " Phoebe answered "Yes " she
said. "Being a witch does give you some special insights."
happy that he had started a fight "The only issue here is how we can complete
my work with the least amount of difficulty."
the fuck up " said Cole and Piper.
orbed in later that day to find Leo sitting at the dining table, his nose buried
in a book and the house silent.
meditating?" she asked.
no-one has killed him in the last ten minutes " Leo said closing the book.
tried " asked Angela.
last night " Leo told her "I stopped her."
"Thanks" said Angela. She hesitated "It was just because Rodik was being
Rodik, not because or anything…demonic evil." she tailed off.
" Leo said smiling gently "We've
been friends along time, you know, since we, answered, since, you were the first
future whitelighter I ever looked after."
remember you were pretty upset when my future happened a bit sooner than you
expected or wanted" Angela said. "Did not understand you start of with
the shot term prospects .What, you had only been called a year and half mortal
" said Leo " You trusted me then. Do you trust me now?"
hesitated and then nodded.
isn't evil, she's not involved with evil, she is as pure as she ought to
be." Leo said. "Purer than many who think they're better."
you trying to tell me I'm imagining that some very odd things are happening here
and most of it seems to be centred around Phoebe?" Angela asked.
trying to tell you that there is no danger " Leo said. "Look its,
there is a greater magic than the Elders, but sometimes the Elders aren't to
appreciative of greater magic and that is really the issue here ".
you won't tell me more?" said Angela.
" replied Leo "I can only ask you to trust me an accept what I am
telling you for the sake of our friendship."
are you protecting Leo "Angela asked.
as much as anyone" said Leo " I ..the greater magic left me
disillusioned with some things that maybe it is better not to
know . It wasn't all good for me "he added
that why you left?" Angela asked.
shrugged "It wasn't because I seduced my sister in law." he said.
never believed those rumours " said Angela " never believed you were
so dishonourable, falling in love with a witch is one thing, adultery is
was more that Elders believed I was capable of that dishonour, wouldn't
take my word for it " Leo said softy.
you're asking me to do " said Angela."
" said Leo.
nodded "How did you stand it' she asked quietly "Rodik all those
years and then Charmed Ones being difficult."
learned one from the other" said Leo grinning " but then I was told
pretty conclusively I wasn't a very good whitelighter."
you found something better/ " said Angela wanting the answer badly.
have found a way to serve. I think" Leo
told her " but better. Different. Better for me "he added thinking
you think I could find a way that is different. Angela asked "I have had it
Leo" she said "I am not you. Rodik has left me without any belief in a
magic calling. When I have dealt with him day in day out and not my other
charges I feel guilty. I don't think I can do this any more "Angela said.
sucked his lip thoughtfully "Have you asked for a change " he said
" the way the girls have going through whitelighters
must be lots of changes going on"
Rodik's reputation precedes him, and has none of the status of the Charmed Ones,
although their reputation are preceding them now.. I don't think any-one else
would touch them." said Angela "Its not just
a case of new charge. Rodik has destroyed my belied in it all Leo"
Angela said fighting back a tear.
know feeling really low let me reassess things in my life. It was a good start
for me to really look at my calling " said Leo.
got out " said Angela wiping tears away.
but I could just as easily decided to stay. " said Leo. "Maybe you just need a different perceptive. Step back a
something " said Angela ."I did come for a purpose. To tell the
Charmed Ones that the Elders want them to go out, with Phoebe and see what
her as bait" asked Leo concerned.
think Phoebe's value is well not what it was" Angela answered
carefully. "They think the risk is worth it."
looked at Angela swallowing apprehensively.
"Trust me that could cause problems" he said.
you won't tell me about" nodded Angela. "They want Clarissa to go along
and see what is happening ."You don't think Phoebe will agree. "
Angela asked as Leo remained silent
know Phoebe will agree " said Leo "That's part of the problem.
"I'll see what I can do" he said.
know getting disenchanted with magic, happens to every-one at some time."
Leo shook his head " Paige is feeling like you " he explained
"She fell in love with some-one who was called to be a whitelighter. And
feeling pretty pissed that they put the calling first."
god the elders would just love another whitelighter romance " said Angela
almost pleased "Who?"
:."Leo started to explain
said Angela " he's a bit o a loose cannon, isn't he? Causing some
was when I knew him" said Leo.
"I'll talk to the girl's whitelighter" offered Angela "God I wish they
would not call him not-Casper. I nearly called him that in conference the other
an eye on the witches" said Angela" you never know who will be the
next to try and kill Rodik."
watch" promised Leo.