The Life and Times

Part 5: Of a good beginning cometh a good end.

Chapter 48

"To expostulate why day is day, night night, and time is time, 
were nothing but to waste night, day, and time"
Hamlet, Act ii, Sc.2

After Arturo left Cole and Phoebe went to bed, but not before Cole exploded the two empty bottles of the so so red wine so they only had to explain to Piper that it was the duty of hospitality that they opened the good one.

"That party sure finished with a bang" Phoebe whispered giggling as the noise echoed around the kitchen.

"Yes," he giggled back kissing her.

They were giggling even louder when they want to bed as Cole claimed he picked up on a crunching noise in the guest room that was Rodik gnashing his teeth.

Melinda and Wyatt for once were both asleep; Wyatt apparently deciding Rodik's presence in the house was a good reason to sleep through the night.

"I don't like being grateful to Rodik for anything." muttered Phoebe.

Patsy was also asleep, levitated above the cot and face down.

"We don'ts have to worry about that " Cole asked. "Do we?"

"I don't think so" said Phoebe, clearly more uncertain than she was certain.

"Hell" said Cole. "No matter what the books say, he just likes sleeping on his tummy. Contrary just like you , wants his own way, wants what he wants, just like you."

"Bloody minded, likes to tease, has an awful temper, won't be shifted when he decides what he wants, untidy, picky, just like you."Phoebe told Cole. "What's going to happen to him Cole?" she asked. "I mean there's nothing to deal with this in psychology books. All that power sent that warlock nuts. Beings aren't meant to have that sort of power." She said. "It sent you nuts until you learnt how to deal with it. What's going to happen to him?" Phoebe whispered,

"I don't know but I know enough about what it feels like to help him" Cole answered thinking of his future self telling a future Melinda that Patsy had his own demons and his mind racing over all the fears they had for Patsy before he was born. "I don't know." he said. "Its not demonic Phoebe," he added."I can feel his aura."

"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" Phoebe sighed.

"Only if having the power means anything to you, makes you think it's the power that. defines you " Cole said "Do you know how powerful I am?" he asked. "It doesn't matter. I can't make the kids do anything I tell them. Not like Piper or Leo who don't have the magic I have." he sighed.

"Smart arse guardian" sighed Phoebe a little less frantic. "You do have some wisdom" she mimicked Francesca. "I want Patsy to be happy. I don't see any of the guardians truly happy; having that power doesn't make them happy" she said "Well maybe you with me."

"I'm happy because I'm with you "He said the smile on his face the one he saved for as he reached to kiss her. "Nothing to do with power."

They went to bed and made love happily but without quite the carefree spontaneity they had downstairs before everything got interrupted. Phoebe exhausted from the emotion of the day and the amount of wine she had, fell asleep almost before they finished. Cole left lying awake, decided if he wasn't married to her, and didn't know how much she loved him he would have been mortally insulted.

Cole lay awake and listened to Patsy's wuffles and little snores and deep breaths, and feeling the ripples in the Spirit Winds and hoped it meant a shift through the Eclipse. He did know what a terrible fate it was to be powerful, beyond anything around him, so he was almost willing the spirit winds to take him. He wanted to move to the future very badly this time, because he desperately needed to know his son's heritage from him was not going to destroy Patsy. It was with some relief he felt the spirit winds swirl round him and drag him into a future that was already written.

When Cole came out of the swirling spirit winds and the shimmer he found himself in a very large office. It surprised him and he had no idea why. It was an office designed to impress, designed to make a statement about its occupant. It had a very expensive leather sofa and chairs, a large and well set out conference table and expensive paintings on the wall. There was an insignia, on the wall meant to be discretely obvious. It was similar to the United Nations one that Cole knew, but the statement it made seemed to be more powerful.  A big old fashioned wooden desk stood in front of a floor to ceiling window which showed Cole he was in a very tall building that had a superb view overlooking a city with red brick buildings  and snow covered streets in front of a dark blue green lake and high white covered mountains. On the desk was a large screen which was showing something that looked like lists of figures and a scrolling news service. The rest of the desk was covered in a surprisingly out of place pile of old books, maps files and plans, that extended to the floor.

Cole was quite disorientated so it was a few seconds before he realised the red bricked buildings below and the lake behind meant he was in Geneva but the city had with subtle changes from when he last visited it. It was recognisable but the quiet dignity of the city had a more bustling atmosphere. The feeling he was getting was a powerful city determinedly maintaining its old world atmosphere despite its power.

A man was staring out the window. He was wearing a light blue beautifully tailored and expensive shirt and grey pants in a style that was not quiet familiar to Cole. The man was not as tall as Cole, and stockier in build, the perfectly cut hair was dark going grey. The man was clutching one arm across his body and had a pair of glasses hanging from his hand as he stared at the view. Unperturbed by the sound of a shimmer, he took a deep breath and turned around.

For a second Cole took in the rather tired lined intelligent and determined face and the unmistakable brown eyes that could only have come from Phoebe and dark greying hair of the man. The man put the glasses on the desk, frowned, twisted his lips and then nodded.

"Dad? " he finally said questioning. "Dad, you looking different," then he answered, his own question "It's the guardian isn't it?" he said not intimidated. Patrick came over to put his arms around his father and Cole hesitating returned the hug from this man whom he barely recognised. Patsy nodded acknowledging the reluctance but not phased by it.

"You're in a different age aren't you Dad." he smiled as he took in Cole's hesitation. "Its okay. Its not like magic freaks me out." Then he grinned, his face lighting up in a wry good humoured expression that made Cole's heart jump, because it was the expression of some-one who knew who they were and what they wanted. Patsy shook his head "Is it Dad? Patsy asked amused rather than bewildered by Cole's rigidity.

Cole answered, tightly as he slowly merged with is future self, "Yes," he said "It is, like I used to be. Like I am. Now your mother isn't … here."

"Did you come to say goodbye?" Patrick asked stepping back, never taking his eyes of Cole's face

"Yeah: Patsy. Yes;" Cole answered, hurting and not knowing how to find the words to explain why he had to do this.

Patrick regarded him almost resentfully. He swallowed." Just because Mom passed on, it doesn't mean you must," he said legs planted apart looking at Cole with eyes that hurt. Phoebe's eyes.

"Yeah it does Patsy" Cole answered almost mimicking his son's body language. " Because," he swallowed. "Phoebe and me we're tied, always have been, always will. Her time came and so has mine. Living as a mortal, a normal mortal. It wouldn't be normal any more if I did."

"It's not necessary to go" Patrick insisted quietly.

"Yes it is," Cole said firmly, half turning and then turning back " Its the natural order Patsy. Parents don't outlive their children or shouldn't.. Its meant to happen that way and what we have, if I stay it isn't the natural order. Look at me Patsy." Cole said quietly and stopped speaking as Patsy met his stare "This is who I am. You want to call in some-one from the outer office and explain who I am"

"Or how you got here," Patrick answered with a smile, showing the courage he had always had, to listen and understand what was being said. He reached to hug his father again.

Cole returned the hug, holding his son far too long then when they separated, not wanting to let the moment go, he wandered around the office. He stopped, taking in the expensive paintings, symbols of office in an antique cabinet, and the flags.

Patsy caught Cole's expression and raised his eyes. "Its exactly what I told you before. The symbolism is for the position Dad not me. I know who I am, I don't need a fancy office and pretty drawings to prove it."

"I know" said Cole answered wryly, as the Cole of the past decided this was not a new discussion. He glanced at the untidy desk. Patsy was his son.

Patsy who clearly missed nothing saw the glance and grinned, "Drives the minders crazy " he said. "Every time I have to met some delegation they have to send in some-one to tidy up and make sure I don't leave anything top secret lying around."

Cole turned to look at the office again. "This isn't quite where I imagined you would end up. Where your mother dreamed."

"No" said Patrick "Whatever you say I think Mum never could come to terms with what I became."

"She accepted it, sort of "Cole told him and father and son raised their eyes. Cole swallowed because it hurt to see himself in Patsy. "Phoebe always said she would support our kids, all our kids in whatever they wanted to do even if they wanted to study economics."

"That being a choice only one step away from evil." smiled Patsy.

Cole had a feeling his future self had heard that before "Well as it turned out she wasn't completely wrong" he said.

Patsy laughed "Mom's premonitions always were deadly, just as well I didn't understand exactly what she was saying or I might have run as far from this as I could."

"Yeah well premonitions are always out of context, luckily" Cole told Patsy "I never did tell you but once long ago when, before I became what I am now, when I was taken over by the Source, a demon called the Seer told me Phoebe and I would produce the most powerful child the magical world has ever seen. I don't quiet think this was what she was thinking though" Cole added as he gazed at flags and insignia.

"That was definitely not the plan or the destiny I thought about." Patsy admitted. "I thought I was joining the United Nations to do something about Third world debt. Honest " he said "Not ending up here." He turned his nose, Phoebe's nose, up as he followed Cole's gaze to the trappings of office.

Cole shrugged. "Who would have thought that rat demons and economic rationalists were the great evil that Tempus would use to try to defeat the forces of good."

"Mom" said Patrick smiling at a memory "You know what she thought of anything to do with, economists and economy and finance. Really made her cranky just to talk about it."

Cole's future self smiled at the memory. " We were proud of you. You got the economic rat demons good." said Cole,"Well you and Melinda."

" Shh" said Patsy only half mocking. "If Melinda even suspects her name was mentioned in this office of iniquity and evil that she'll be after me. And I never have figured whether I'm powerful enough to protect myself from that bloody temper of hers." Patrick shook his head.

Cole laughed "Melinda thinks you sold out. She's still convinced the only way to ever get legitimate power structures to do anything is to be on the outside, provoking. Being part of them is being part of the problem. Or in your case being the legitimate power structure makes you the problem."

"So I've been told." Patsy said dryly "I can admit to you though Dad, how close it came. If she hadn't acted when she did."

"We were proud of you both, of the family "Cole said. "You did Good."

"Yeah we did." Patsy replied thoughtfully "But I can tell you this from what I know here. The battle isn't over. We did good we turned the world around. Africa is moving on... but I don't think the demons and their minions and bought souls have finished fighting, not by along way."

"The witch wars Francesca says happened because the old Source was trying make his mark lasted 200 years " Cole told Patsy.

"Then I thank god I'm mortal and there will be an end to this fight for me " Patsy answered sitting on his desk an half crossing his arms , then dropping them." He laughed wryly "I know I'm not god regardless of what you read in the news."

Cole nodded, smiling slightly "It pleases me to know even this high up" and he waved toward the window." You're keeping your feet on the ground."

Patsy patted a slight fifty year old paunch. " More like bum on seat," he said a trifle sadly. Then Patrick smiled and his mother would have recognized where the smile came from.

"Don't let go of it whichever one it is " Cole said almost in his guardian voice.

Patsy was not intimidated. "I still do the washing up when I'm home. Jenna makes me," he added."

"I'd be more impressed if you did it here," Cole answered a trifle snippy.

Patsy laughed "I found one of Piper's old muffin recipes in a notebook the other night. Made the muffins for the whole kitchen staff. They were impressed."

"By the muffins or the economic rationalism of the net cost against he projected cost and real income." Cole asked straight-faced.

"Knowing the real value against the rationalist value is why I'm in this office," said the man who saved the world from evil by knowing it. Patsy grinned. "Stuck in this office," he said. "Stuck in this nowhere else to go job."

"Your mother was right about economics being a bad career move. You're fifty and you have nowhere else to go" said Cole softening it with a smile. "That's a great view though."

"Cuts me off from the world." shrugged Patsy "I get out every chance I can. Minders hate that too" he added "One of these days. I'll lose it enough to tell them why I am in no danger wandering around alone. Why there isn't a body guard who can protect me as well as I can protect myself."

"If the world knew how powerful you really were." Cole said. "I think it would freak them into chaos."

"Power means nothing." Patrick almost snapped "I use it to do what is good, what is right and it bloody well stuck me in a job I've heard called the ultimate power but I only took it as a duty. Its only a means to an end… for me to do good. To do what I had to when the chance came," he softened "But I l learned that for you didn't I Dad.".

Cole nodded and then swallowed "If I taught you that , I didn't fail as a parent did I?. Your mother and I didn't fail."


"You didn't fail Dad." Patrick smiled, " I ... the things you told me, the way you never judged. You told me we were the sum of our frailties. It was the best of us,  the path to our own truth."

"Well I can't claim that as my own wisdom" Cole answered "Some-one told me."

"You understand its truth" Patrick said: "and you helped me understand it. And Mom made me understand about being true to who I was, not loosing myself trying to be what other people expected, even if I made some god awful mistakes in the process."

"Then maybe it counteracts all the other bad parenting things we did." pleaded Cole.

"You wern't bad parents," said Patsy giving his father what he needed " just…. not like other kids parents. Girls still cringe when they remember parent/teacher nights. Melinda think its funny, Wyatt just writes it into his books."

Cole froze at the word girls "So Phoebe and I were good parents," he asked straight face hoping Patsy did not notice his reaction, but obviously did as he raised an eye.

"They would have to rewrite a whole lot of good parenting books to make you 'good' parents." Patsy conceded.

Cole shuffled uncomfortably.

Patsy laughed "Leo and Piper were good parents. Didn't need two sets. You were …different. Jenna still breaks the family up telling about the first time she met you" he added.

Cole bit his lip. "Jenna's a witch. She should understand. Jenna is Kenyan. She should understand about Africa"

"She does, but its still a good story" said Patsy.

"Phoebe and I we really loved Jenna" said Cole "I do."

"She loves you too" said Patsy " But she says knowing you bought me up explains a great deal. Finding Jenna was…. It got me over some bad times," Patsy shrugged "But you know that."

"You finding Jenna means ….I never explained but you and Jenna." Cole took a deep breath. "It made something very evil I once did , not so evil" he said and Patsy who knew the evil that haunted his father, accepted that was all that would be said.

Cole and Patsy were both silent.

"Seen Lindie, the girls, Wyatt " Patsy asked finally his voice tight.

Cole nodded.

"Lindie okay? " asked Patsy knowing.

"No since you ask " Cole replied "She took it the way you would expect."

"Lindie's a Halliwell. Wants what she wants." Patsy shrugged.

Cole raised his eyes. "She's into the insect thing again" he informed Patsy.

"," said Patsy "She has to understand I can't legislate to stop people stepping on ants."

"She has a point," Cole told his son firmly "About its not okay to kill something or some-one just because they seem insignificant.

Patsy rolled his eyes and then suddenly laugh "It really kills me watching all the spin doctors here going into overdrive, every time I remind them that the crazy animal, what does she call herself these days?"

"Saviour , warrior, defender were the last ones I heard." Cole told him.

"Improvement over protagonist," commented Patsy "That one always scared me, given her powers."

"It was the avenger one that frightened me," said Cole grinning.

"Well protagonist warrior , avenger it scares the hell out of the spin doctors that crazy animal lady is my cousin , like a sister." Patsy said, his voice taking on the cynical but caring amusement that sent his critics into fits of vitriol and made his supporters worship him.

It reminded Cole of his mother.

"It keeps things in proportion" Patsy mused.

"The crazy animal ..lady saved their collective butts," said Cole.

"I'm not brave enough to tell them that." Patsy said. "To scared what she would do to me." He stopped and then said almost sadly "She'll want you. She'll say she needs you to keep her from losing herself."

"She has Piper if she needs that sort of advice " Cole answered in his guardian voice.

"I don't think she always appreciates Piper's advice," Pasty answered his voice amused ."I can remember you know" Patsy said "Lindie in one of her worse fits when Piper was putting brakes on her as a kid. Lindie yelling she wished Piper was dead. And mom saying be careful what you wished for. Mom telling Lindie. Look what the Charmed Ones got wishing Prue would come back. They got haunted. She told Lindie, Piper could haunt her all her life if she died."

"Well your mother's gift of premonition always was " Cole stopped as Pasty sucked his lip " Bloody annoying." said Cole.

"See the girls "Patsy asked.

Cole of the future nodded tightly as the Cole of the past jumped at the casual enquiry and strained to understand what his future self felt and got nothing. Nothing was written about the girls.

"See Wyatt?" asked Patsy.

"Yeah" said Cole.

"Meet the new wife? " Patsy asked interested.

"Don't know." Cole answered dryly "There were two of them there, couldn't figure out which one was the wife."

"Three is the new two" said Patsy. "So my daughter, your grand daughter, tells me."

"Spin doctors know about that do they?" Cole asked smugly "I've been. was married fifty years. Thought marriage was about being with the one person you love."

"For a demon you have an awful puritanical streak Dad." Patsy told Cole "You aren't going to try and tell me Mom was the only woman you slept with"

"She was the only woman I loved. "Cole said a smile that Phoebe would have recognised on his face.

"That isn't what I said." mused Patsy in the smirking, clever voice that mad certain members of his cabinet consider assassination was a viable political alternative and reminded Cole of Piper. "Wyatt loves. He just falls out of love easily." Patsy excused.

"I lost track after the Russian gymnast " Cole muttered. "What was she number five."

"Three," said Patsy.

Cole suddenly laughed "Your mother used to really piss Piper off making jokes about one of the kids turning out to be an educated bum. Piper was convinced it would be you"

Patsy shook his head, big brother protective of Wyatt as he had always been. "Wyatt isn't a bum, he works just enough on the books to pay for the shack in Fiji. Spin doctors just love that the closest thing I have to a brother is a freaky writer of pornographic occult novels, living like a ."

"Bum" said Cole.

"Free spirit " Patsy said. "Freaks out the spin guys almost as much Melinda does," Patsy added enjoying it.

"They'd love it even more if you told them how he knows about it," said Cole.

"I doubt it," Patsy answered and lapsed into silence, because he and Cole had talked around it as much as they could and still not said what both wanted to say.

Cole prowled around the room, half glancing at the top secret files on Patsy's desk and shrugging.  He stopped at the window " I like the view." he said.

"It cuts me off from the world." said Patsy and then he gulped and almost angrily said "So we have to be lose you. Nothing I say, we want you, all of us. We lost every-one and you still…."

"Paige" said Cole."

"You know how that hurts" said Patsy "And you want to do worse, go completely."

"You're adults " Cole said. "God that sounds patronising. I chose many years ago to walk a path and pay a debt and perhaps I did not know all I would have to pay to do that but its what I chose Patsy and what I want. " The Cole of the past was horrified to hear the raw emotion in his own voice." I was ….lucky. I had the family and it gave me strength, you gave me strength but your time has come and I have to follow my call" the guardian told his son.

"What are we supposed to do? "Patrick demanded.

"Mourn my going…. a little and move on, live, pass your heritage to your children like Phoebe and I did." Cole answered in his guardian voice.

"I see" said Patrick swinging his arms slightly "Your heritage, Mom and the Charmed One's heritage makes us nuts," he told Cole "And it will make my kids, our kids, all of our kids, nuts.

"Its the natural order " Cole said. "It's the nuts that makes me believe you'll be okay, and …them"

"I see" said Patrick. He was silent for a few seconds then he asked "Have you, has she, Mom, kept her …. promise to you."

Cole was silent " I can't answer ".he said and he saw his son's face and realised he was looking at an adult who had lived a hard and difficult life. " Phoebe always kept her promises," he said slowly giving his son hope and him. "Never could underestimate Phoebe's power to get what she wanted. When she wanted it."

"Never should have underestimate Mom period." Patrick sighed and seemed to realise his father would offer nothing else about a strange and curious eternity he would face maybe not alone "Seen Leo " Patsy asked almost casually.

Cole nodded. "Yeah" he said.

"Give him my love," said Patrick a trace of bitterness in his voice.

"It was his time," Cole said." the natural order when Pipe r … "

"Yeah" said Patrick.

They were silent.

"Dad" Patrick said." I don't want…."

"I know." Cole said he tried again " You think I want… You think I want to walk away from everything everyone I love. Patsy, with everything I feel inside me I want to stay. , but I can't stay,its not the natural order. You know I have been told that by…."

"Yeah" said Patsy.

Cole sighed. "Like they were afraid I wouldn't listen to good advice, but I feel it on the winds and I couldn't ignore it and be what I am. I don't want to go." He added slowly, painfully taking in every line of his son's face.

"So that's it,". Patrick sucked his lip. "The end. No matter how much I want you to…"

Cole shrugged. "Patsy I will come when I am needed but maybe not when I am wanted. But ….it means everything that I am wanted. For an ex-demon to be wanted and mourned by the minions of good. It means " Cole stopped swallowed.

"I love you dad. Patsy said quietly "so does Lindie and the girls, Wyatt."

"I know" said Cole "And it means everything." And Cole swallowed hard at the word 'girls', "I even know Wyatt does in his fashion."

Patsy and Cole were silent , staring at each other across a growing divide.

Eventually Patsy said. "What do you want ? What did you want to tell me that you came to see me until last."

"You know me well" Cole told him " Its Phoebe. You were closest of all to understanding Phoebe. Didn't get nuts about her not being like other kid's mothers. Accepted she just knew how to love you. Judged her less than the others."

"We all loved her" said Patsy "Just…she didn't make it easy. She was who she was," he shrugged, smiling a little at his memories.

"I know" said Cole " but when you tell the ones who follow about her, about us and judge her for being…volatile.

"Cranky " intervened Patsy.

Cole half smiled, the one he saved for Phoebe for eternity "Or when your grandkids," he continued "When they look at the photographs and the kids say who's that, tell them about Phoebe and her demon lover will you…. Remind them that she was a beautiful and pretty and smart, capricious witch who wanted what she wanted. Remind them she was good and held me to account and turned me from evil. Saved me. What she did." Cole told Patsy " it… its worth remembering. Not for me but because she believed in love. S she was a witch who loved far to well and not very wisely, thank god, and that made it all possible. I want to know they remember her and what she did. Make sure they remember her."

Patrick nodded quietly.

Cole stepped forward a caught his son by the shoulders. "I have to go" he said.

Patrick nodded,

"I wanted to say " Cole said rushing the words out because he was seconds away from the end of the strange, for a demon, happy life he had lived as a member of the Halliwell family "About the power."

"I know about the power," Patsy answered "You told me all my life."

"I need to say it all again" Cole insisted because he felt it was the last chance he had to ensure his legacy to his son did not destroy Patrick.

Patsy nodded.

"Its not about you controlling it, its about making sure the power doesn't control you. You're who you are with or without it. And when its just there you're okay."

" Mom told me the bravest thing you ever did was when you didn't have the power you took on the Source and the Hollow." Patsy said meeting his father's eyes.

" Stupidest thing." said Cole.

"I know about the power Dad." Patsy told Cole. "I made it here. I'll make it wherever I continue from here." he promised , and knowing the end was there he said "There's something I have to say."

Patsy hesitated then reached forward and caught his father in a hug he never wanted to let go and it was Cole who finally had to make it end. Cole stood there never taking his eyes from his son's face storing memories.

"I have to say thank you " Patrick finally said. "Dad when you were there, when you didn't judge me because well you know , when they didn't trust me and when I failed and worried them about what I was… you were…. you understood what it was like to carry the fear of the powers. You… I made it this far. Because of you. Thank you " he said. "You …what a I am…. what I have done….it was what you gave me," he swallowed and then smiled, his eyes, Phoebe's eyes bright. "Thank you." Patsy said simply.

Cole smiled and nodded "I. Patsy. it means everything."

"Good." Patrick nodded. "you're the last one who calls me Patsy. " he said "Except Melinda when she's pissed at me."

Cole nodded." Goodbye Patsy " he told his son.

"Goodbye. I wish." Patrick started to say as Cole shimmered and felt himself separate from his future self in the spirit winds.

Cole found himself back in his and Phoebe's bed happy in his small family life, and feeling no longer frightened for t his legacy to his children. He got out of bed to stand beside his nearly 12 months old son sleeping contentedly on his tummy in a slight levitation.

"I'll take the thank you over anything else Patsy " he said out loud.

Cole surprised himself by waking after Phoebe the next morning. The door to Paige's room was open and the bed had not been slept in. The door to Piper and Leo's room was shut so he left it.

Phoebe was in the kitchen feeding Melinda and Patsy, and Rodik was taking advantage of her unwillingness to say to much in front of the children by telling her exactly what he thought of her as a whore and her sisters as failures as witches while shoving large spoonfuls of his expensive cereal in his mouth so he milk dribbled down his almost non existent chin onto his clothes.

As Cole leant against the kitchen door jamb Rodik finished his spiel by sniffily telling Phoebe how his enforced stay had disillusioned him about witches in general and the Charmed Ones in particular and her specifically " I just haven't got any respect for you any more," he told her with and extra special drawn out sniff.

Phoebe regardless of children tossed down the spoon she was holding on the table was just about to explode at him when Cole drawled "No me either."

Phoebe met her husband's eyes and started to laugh. Cole went over to Phoebe, bent her as far back as he dared, kissing her with his tongue stuck down her throat, but still managing to enjoy the look of disgust on Rodik's face. It would have been more successful if Melinda had not telekineticed a glass of juice at Patsy and he had not started to cry causing Phoebe to swing around and nearly take the tip of Cole's tongue off as she did so. His deep breathy ahhhhhhh turned into a very different cchhhhhhhhhhh.

Cole made himself breakfast pointedly ignoring Rodik who apparently worked out that his presence created a tension with him and Phoebe. So he refused to go, meaning Phoebe did not dare move to far from Patsy in case he found some magic to use.

Paige orbed into the kitchen, carrying the shawl, skirt twisted, no lipstick and her hair looking as if she had just run fingers through it to get it in place. She had a dreamy, faraway expression.

Rodik looked her up and down and sniffed.

 "Get the fuck out of here," Paige ordered him not liking it one bit "And keep your filthy eyes to yourself."

Rodik stood up and sniffed louder. " It saddens me "He announced "I feel no anger just sadness."

"What's up with him?" Paige demanded, gulping down orange juice.

"Reforming us," Phoebe answered. "How was the big date?"

"Good." Paige answered vaguely.

"How was Mark? " Cole asked.

"Good." Paige answered as Cole and Phoebe exchanged amused glances.

"How was the island?" Phoebe asked.

"Good" said Paige "I want your car today" she told Cole.

"Please," he said in a tone that never worked with Melinda.

"I hate not having my own car," snapped Paige and stalked off in a temper while Cole and Phoebe exchanged glances.

"Pasty Melinda no "Cole said firmly as the cereal box and the sugar and milk and bowls on the table started to dance.

Both children stared at him, stopped whatever they were doing and everything hit the table with a crash, as milk and sugar and cereal went everywhere.

Phoebe and Cole stared at the mess

"Its okay "Phoebe said glaring at the mess, as she tried to find a cloth "You know this morning I woke up and it just hit, me I knew for certain, no matter how bad it looks, eventually its going to be okay. The kids will be okay in the end."

"I do know that "Cole said and flicked his fingers to clean the mess while both Patsy and Melinda clapped with delight thinking it was a game.