A Matter of Relativity
Part 2: Shame and Scandal in the Family
"They do not love that do
not show their love"
Cole and Paige both had to work the next morning so Piper stayed home and spent the morning scrying over every possibility she could find and using every witch summoning spell she knew to drag Phoebe back. She nearly got her twice but Phoebe just managed to pull away. Piper nervously hoped that she was not finding extra power using demonic power from the baby.
Cole and Paige arrived back just after lunch. Cole getting some enjoyment by being erratic and walking out of the office without warning, leaving Arlene to explain his absence.
"Well if she isn't in this realm " Paige said, "Where the hell is she?"
"Obviously somewhere you and Cole can’t follow if Leo has any brains and he does" Piper said.
"Which realms can’t you go to?" Paige asked Cole.
"Down below" he said grimly "'Up there' I don’t know. Francesca is pretty pissed with me for trying. I still have problems with minions of good finding out about me."
"If we find her" Paige asked "You can tell can’t you Cole, about the baby?" she asked.
"As soon as it has an aura of its own," he answered.
"Are you sure Phoebe won't try and protect it even if the baby is evil?" Paige asked.
"Its her baby " Piper said, laughing without humour "She'll do anything to protect it. Good or evil. I would."
'She'll protect it." Cole answered "I, my mother knew I wasn’t evil. She knew I had a good magical soul and she betrayed everything she was to protect me from her world finding out what I was. I suppose it's not unreasonable to think Phoebe will do the same."
"What about its father? " Paige asked.
Cole looked at her with agony on his face and shrugged.
"Which is all a mute point if we can't find her" Piper said. "Pity you can't check around other realms like you did when Prue was kidnapped by Katasha." She said to Cole.
"Actually I do know a way of scrying through other realms" Cole said "at least I used to. A realm map but I haven't been near it for thirty years."
"What, an evil artefact " Piper snarled.
"No a good one" he said." I used to have to go into mortal form and totally suppress Belthezor to use it. It doesn't react well to demonic powers. And since what I am is entirely created by demonic powers now is not …good for me to go near it."
"But you're not evil "Paige said.
"I said demonic not evil " Cole snapped.
"I liked it in the old days " Piper snarked when you knew demonic meant evil."
"We all live and learn." Cole said. "Now would be a really good time to go borrow it, while its dark in Scotland and Marly is here" he said. And shimmered.
"Yes sir" said Piper and held out he hand to Paige.
"Where are we?" Paige asked coming out of the orb beside Cole in a dark cobblestone alleyway.
"Dunfermiline " Cole answered "Scottish Highlands."
He walked to the end of the alleyway and looked down the street. Piper still holding Paige’s hand came up behind him "What are we looking for? " she demanded.
"The museum" Cole said "the old rectory across the street."
"Why didn’t you just shimmer in?" Paige demanded.
"Because it will probably be alarmed" Cole said.
"And you think what you want will be there?" Piper asked.
"Well its been there for sixty years that I know of" Cole answered. "Give me a minute to get over then and stop the alarm system and then orb."
He shimmered and Paige and Piper huddled together for a full minute before orbing into the parlour of the old museum.
It was a cluttered old building, set up much like a 19th century house, full of rather ugly furniture that the girls whose eyes were not as good in the dark as Cole's could only just make out.
"Where is it?" Piper whispered.
"No-one’s here" Cole said grinning "’you don’t have to whisper."
He walked through the building getting more concerned and then shimmered upstairs. He called from one of the upstairs rooms and Paige orbed them up
"Found it," he said happily.
"What" said Piper straining to see in the dark.
"This" Cole answered going to a wooden table on the far side of the room. On top of the table was something that looked like a glass tray with several layers of different coloured glass in different thicknesses.
"What do we do now?" said Paige.
"Take it home" said Cole.
"We can’t steal it" Piper said.
"Sure we can" Cole answered. "Paige can orb it. I’ll shimmer you."
"Its wrong to steal things" Piper said.
"Hell" said Cole who had once been a demon "they don’t even know what it is. Chances are with it hidden in the corner they won’t even miss it"
"We're not stealing it" Piper said crossing her arms and stamping her foot.
"You want to find Phoebe?" Cole demanded.
"Of course " said Piper "
"We need that," said Cole.
"Cole" Piper said
"Piper" Cole said.
"Ooh for god’s sake " said Paige and picked up the tray and orbed, leaving Piper to glare at Cole while he held his hand out. As they left he flicked his hand and turned on the alarm.
"Are you sure you how that works?" Piper muttered as he shimmered.
When Cole and Piper shimmered back, Piper’s expression saying exactly what she thought of shimmering, Paige was already in the attic examining the map.
"‘What do we do with it?" she said.
"Scry" Cole explained. "I don’t know a huge amount about realm maps, but I gather they were made by elves to help witches find places to hide in the realms when they were being burned at the stake in Europe."
"How did you know about it?" Paige asked.
"My mother was a very spiritual demon," Cole answered' "Into ritual, so knew a lot about artefacts Good and evil."
He went downstairs and picked up Phoebe’s hairbrush and took it back. Piper found a scrying crystal and they all watched in fascination as the glass started flashing and lighting in brilliant colours and clear light.
The crystal spun finally onto sparkling pink section nestling almost hiding between other lights.
"How do we tell which realm it is" Piper asked.
"It’s a good one " Cole said
"That limits it, " said Piper
"Not one I know though " he said. "Can’t recognise it at all and I know a few."He frowned "Sort of almost in between."
"What" said Piper.
"Its almost in between realms’" Cole said, "I don’t get it."
"Shit" said Piper.
"What?" said Cole and Paige.
‘"Between" said Piper "T'ween places. She’s off with the fairies."
‘I know that" said Paige "pregnancy does weird things. But we have to find her and Leo."
"She’s off with the fairies" Piper said, "I mean the fairies."
"Fairies don’t exist," said Cole somewhat superior in his knowledge "never come across ‘em, never heard of any magical creature that did."
"I have" said Piper even more superior as Cole stared at her.
"We helped them one" Piper said, "Didn’t Phoebe ever tell you" as Cole shook his head.
"When you first came here’ Piper said, "Prue and Phoebe were off with the fairies. Phoebe knows one. Helped it. One called Thistle. Damn her. She knows you have to be innocent, childlike to see fairies. You haven’t a hope of finding her with them Cole," Piper added with a certain amount of pleasure.
"Stuff you," said Cole snorting "fairies."
"How the hell to we find her" Paige said as she and Piper shared a coffee break the next morning.
"We used fairy dust and a Power of Three spell last time " Piper said carefully keeping an eye on Melinda who had graduated to using telekinesis to throw anything in sight in the air and watch it smash as it fell. "Neither of which we have now."
"Not even a speck of fairy dust' Paige asked.
"One or two Prue saved for future knowledge. That was Prue " Piper answered "but not enough."
"It’s a start," said Paige.
The door to Cole's office was open and Cole could hear Arlene on the phone, loudly and rudely telling some-one to speak up. "I can't help you if won't tell me what's wrong. What's your name "Arlene said in a terse irritated voice "What? No. No speak up… Marly?"
"Shit "thought Cole "I'm going to kill Arlene" and he picked up the phone "I've got it" he said tersely "What's wrong Marly?" he asked.
"Nothing really " she said " I couldn't", I didn't know who to call I even tried calling L.L.Leo but he didn't answer and " her voice faded.
"Marly" Cole said as gently as he could and almost feeling a twinge of sympathy for Arlene. "Melinda" he asked realising for Marly to call him she must be desperate.
" N.N.N.No" Marly answered "its Piper and P.P.Paige they're acting sort of ..f.f.f funny and M.M.M.ark's here. I've left him waiting on the porch but he's .."
"Okay I'll be right there" Cole said about to shimmer then remembered Marly thought he was mortal "I'm just a couple of minutes from home" he said sighing. "Luckily."
He told Arlene he had to go out for a while, remembered to take his car keys and when she harassed him about missing an emergency meeting that was due in an hour to discuss a client's case where the partner's thought the client might be impressed by the number of lawyers present. He told Arlene to tell her boyfriend he was being erotic, "sorry I mean erratic " he said smirking and left.
By the time he got into the elevator, he figured he had wasted 3 minutes and shimmered into the kitchen just in time to hear an almighty crash in the conservatory, followed by extremely loud giggling. He flew out of the kitchen in time to almost smash into Mark who had apparently decided he was not going to wait on the porch any longer. Both of them arrived at the doorway, and gulped.
"'OMG " said Cole
"What the hell?" said Mark.
Melinda was having a great game running around the conservatory while Marly was trying to catch her, telekinetically throwing anything she could get her hands on into the air. Auntie Paige was also orbing cushions, plants, papers, books, trinkets into the air, while Mommy was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor trying to blow them up in mid air. Every chair, table and piece of furniture that was not blown up was on its side.
"Mememem Mommy" Melinda was yelling top of her voice.
"Noooooooooo" wailed Auntie Paige out yelling Melinda "Piper, Mememememe."
Because every plant had been de-potted and water in the flower vases had all been dumped into the dirt. Mommy, Melinda and Auntie Paige were all covered with mud. There were Melinda size muddy footprints over the cushions left on the floor and probably Piper sized ones as well.
Melinda did not understand why Mommy was suddenly so much fun as she telekineticed another cushion into the air and Mommy blew it to pieces in a cloud of feathers to mix with the mess, but she was taking advantage of it. Paige was on her knees thumping the ground encouraging her yelling more more more.
"Maybe you should go " Cole told Mark, whose was staring unblinking, not quite believing what was happening "I'll fix this "
"Not likely" Mark said.
"What happened Piper?" Cole asked in a patient voice that in no way reflected what he was feeling, bending down to try and catch her hands.
"Paige s..shtuffed up the dust" she said "She made us too innocent" she added trying to speak like an adult but using a high sing song little girl voice.
"You said SSS..shtuff" yelled Paige thumping the ground.
"Shit" said Cole and Paige screamed and put her hands over her ears.
"Shit" said Melinda.
Cole shook his head, let go Piper's hands and grabbed Melinda out of the mess. When she realised she was being removed from the best fun she had ever had with Mommy, Melinda set up a wail that could be heard probably by half the neighbours, screaming "Mommy Mommy Mommy, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO "
Cole held onto her firmly and she kicked ands screamed louder "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" and she punched Cole in the face narrowly missing an eye. He removed her out of range of his face so she connected with a shoe toe lower down, which left Cole choking and whimpering and wishing he could let go the mortal form.
She started punching at him and holding her tightly he said firmly "Melinda, No"
"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo" she screamed at him punching away.
"No doesn't work on you any more than your damned aunt does it" he told her severely. She must have caught the tone as one her mother usually used because she stopped a little. Marly came over and whispered, "I'll take her and Cole handed her over. As Marly took her upstairs, Melinda let out a loud wail Mammmmmmmmmmmmmmma and another scream Nooooooooooooooooo'
Back in the conservatory Mark was bending down trying to reason with Paige and having no better luck than Cole did with Melinda.
"What did you do? " Cole asked Piper. He had to squat down because she would not get off the floor
"Went to see Leo and Phoebe" Piper told him confidentially "Told him everyone would fink him a real, a" and she giggled and bit her lip "and then whispered "shit 'cos he runned away wif Phoebe." She grabbed Cole lapel and pulled him toward her "Leo got weally cwoss, said I shouldn't say'' and she " whispered "shit in fwont of fairies"
'"You said shit " Paige suddenly yelled slamming the floor with her hand '"My Mommy, not your Mommy but my Mommy the one who's my real Mommy but wasn't my Mommy, but the one who loved me, even if she did'n' f.f.f.f.f.. " then she looked and saw Mark's horrified expression. Paige put her hand on her mouth and giggled, "get to know dad real good to have me. My Mommy my real Mommy said you shouldn't say" and Paige whispered, "shit but poo," and she started to scream "poo, poo, poo" and hit the floor each time with her hands.
Piper with her hand still on Cole's label; pulled him close and said "Leo's an angel, I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv Leo but he doesn't say shit, he only says damn " she said, "cept when you're around then he says shit. How come you make Leo not be an angel?" she asked Cole head on side.
Cole pulled himself free. Piper looked up at Mark and pointed at Cole " it's cause he's a demon.' she told Mark. " He was weallyy eeeeeeeeeeeevil. He cut people up and burned them to little bits and made big black stains on the carpet. And green goo evewewhere. My sister Prue said he was a weally bad and told Phoebe to stay away but Phoebe was very naughty, she wun away to" and Piper giggled "H.E.L.L. wif him" Piper's face started to fall. "Phoebe liked bad men. Now she likes good men" Piper started to cry. "Phoebe run away wif Leo an' maybe its 'cos you make Leo say shit he run away with Phoebe." she told Cole.
"Shit" breathed Cole under his breath and Piper eyes widened. "Piper" Cole said sighing, " Did you see Phoebe?"
Paige butted in "saw Phoebe. She's this big " she said holding her ands out "really fat. Had to run away with Leo cause you'd be mean to her if she got fat. Shoulda known why she got fat" Paige told Piper' "You just thought she was eating herself sick 'cos he wasn't around to ffffffff.."
"Shut up Paige " Cole said firmly.
"Phoebe's got a baby in her tummy" Paige told Mark
"She called it Whosit" Piper told them.
"It ought to start with a 'p' not wubble u" Paige said.
"Then it would be called 'poosit'" said Piper and she and Paige fell about the floor laughing.
"She won't come back while she's fat " Paige said finally. "Says you put it in her tummy you might take it back."
"I wonder why they call this innocent?" Cole said standing up and sighing "Its bloody nasty if you ask me"
"What's wrong with them" Mark demanded, "What the hell have they been drinking, or smoking or snorting."
"Something" Cole said.
"Yeah something" said Mark rubbing his hands as sprinkling dust started to fall off. He raised his hand to sniff it and Cole realised there was an imminent danger of Mark being affected. He waved his hand and slowed the time around Mark which was gave his some breathing space but Marly was still around and slowing down things still would give Mark some sort of perception what was happening.
"Used magic on Mark. Cole very naughty" Piper said waving her finger.
"Poor Mark" Paige said, "You're not nice to Mark. Baad Cole."
Cole winced. "Piper " he asked "Piper I need you to freeze Mark for me"
"Don' want to " she said "Blow him up" she said brightly.
"You blow Mark up and l'll hate you f'ever" Paige bit in crawling to her.
Cole hastily planted himself between them. He squatted down and took Piper's hands " Piper sweetheart" he said coaxing, as he did Melinda. "Sweetheart, I need you to be a good girl and freeze Mark for me when I tell you. Will you do that for me? Honey."
Piper considered it.
"What'll you give me?" she demanded.
"What do you want sweetie" he said gently nearly choking on the words.
Piper considered it "a pony " she said.
"Okay" he said gulping.
"Now " she said.
"Tomorrow " he said
"Can't have pony," Paige said, "It'll poo everywhere."
"Shit" thought ' Cole. "I promise tomorrow," he said.
"Morro" Piper said " 'kay'"
He stepped behind her and put his hands on her upper arms. "When I tell you to sweetie " he coaxed. And flipped a finger so Mark came out of the time slow "Now sweetie " Cole, said in his most coaxing voice and Piper gestured dramatically and to Cole's relief Mark froze.
"Good girl" he said to Piper patting her on the head.
He went to the door and yelled for Marly. She came carrying a heavily resisting Melinda.
"I'll take her," he told Marny. "Do you know the Book of Shadows? Can you get it?" Cole said in the same tone he had used for Piper.
Marny shaking, starred at the frozen Mark and the amount of exploded cushions plants and broken glassware in the conservatory, nodded, exited and frightened. She nervously ran up the stairs. Melinda started to fight Cole, "No Melinda " he said "Keep still."
"No" she wailed "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO."
"M'lindaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" wailed Paige who turned holding her arms out.
Cole let Melinda go and she ran to Paige and he realised immediately that was a mistake because Paige put her arm around the little girl's waist and picked her up like a rag doll. He almost ran to grab her back and Paige punched him and Melinda kicked him again" No Melinda. No Paige" he said firmly "Don't Kick. Don't punch."
"Mammmmmmmmmmmaa " wailed Melinda
"Give me my baby" Piper demanded.
"Be nice," he said and Piper sat rocking her like a doll, and the Cole had a terrible fear "She's not a toy." he told Piper and took her back.
"Mammaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"" wailed Melinda struggling to get free.
"'No Melinda" Cole said.
"Wannaaaaaaaaaaaaaa " said Melinda.
"No" he said, "do you want to be put to bed."
"Noooooooooooooo" wailed Melinda.
Marly came down with the book and while Marly looked up spells Cole held onto Melinda and kept a litany of no's to Melinda to stop kicking, no's to Paige to stop orbing things an No 's to Piper to stop blowing things up.
Marly finally found a spell that could reverse the fairy dust but the problem was it needed another witch to say it.
"Can you say it?" Cole was almost begging Marly but she nervously and sadly shook her head. "There's a spell for summoning a witch here" she whispered.
"But they have to say it.'
Finally with considerable coaxing and promises to have a pony and a puppy next day Marly got Paige and Piper to say the spell after her.
With considerable trepidation Cole looked up, as Grams appeared "Noooooooooo" he groaned.
"What do you want?" Grams started to ask "OH MY GOD" she said as she looked around the room.
Melinda started to wail.
"Do you want me to take her?" Marly said to Cole's relief. He nodded and Melinda was removed from the conservatory wailing away.
"She's so sweet," said Grams "what do you want? And why haven't you got Ben off?"
"I will. Due process " Cole answered terse, his nerves nearly gone "Why didn't you tell Piper his daughters were witches?"
"It was irrelevant," said Grams airily "How is that going to help you in court. What do you want?"
"I need you to say that spell," Cole said indicating the open Book of Shadows. "To remove the innocence spell they used, though why anyone would think those little brats are innocent is beyond me:"
Piper and Paige started a hair tugging war.
"So sweet" said Grams "just like little Melinda "as Cole gulped "Phoebe was always the one who wasn't quite so sweet. She has character "Grams said "like me."
Cole gulped again. "You could at least say you were sorry," he said suddenly to Grams.
"For what?" she asked.
"For chasing me for 50 years for something I didn't do" he sulked.
"You were a demon" Grams said, " You were guilty of something."
"That's not the way it works" Cole said thinking that Good had a lot to answer for.
"Works for me" Grams said unconcerned.
"Why are you trying to help Ben?" Cole asked deciding he was not going to win that argument.
"I owe him," Grams said.
Cole looked at her.
"Ben isn't he warmest human being you come across," Grams said.
"No" Cole agreed.
"That may be something to do with me," Grams admitted. And was saved from any more by Paige slapping Piper.
"So sweet" said Grams and read the spell, which worked so Piper came out of the innocence spell mid retaliation slap. "Oh" she said pulling the punch.
"Oh" said Paige "Ooh hell Mark" she said "Hi Grams. Piper. Mark."
"Oh hell" said Piper.
Grams smiled "I better go " It was nice my darlings" she said, "You were so sweet. Do something about Ben " she ordered Cole "Bye my darlings" and disappeared.
Piper unfroze Mark and he gaped around as he looked at the room "What happened Paige?" he demanded.
"I" said Paige pushing him out the room'
"I can’t wait to hear what Mark says to her explanation." Cole said.
"It was a reaction to a herb mixture" he heard Paige say not untruthfully.
"I saw Piper blowing things up" Mark insisted from the front door.
"Firecrackers" said Paige.
"Oh hell" said Piper looking around.
"Yeah you were such sweets," Cole said.
"Fix it" Piper demanded.
"Aren't you worried I'll screw it up?" Cole asked.
"Fix. It" Piper demanded.
Smirking Cole waved his finger more or less replacing most things in the conservatory, although several of the plants never quite grew at the same angle again.
"Did you do any good talking with Phoebe?" Cole asked.
"I wouldn't plan on her being reasonable." Piper said touching is arm and going into the kitchen.
Cole heard an overwrought and tired Melinda wail "You know Phoebe" he said out loud. "Of all the things I can forgive you for, today is not going to be high on the list."