A Matter of Relativity

Part 3: The impossible takes a little longer

Chapter 28


"They do not love that do not show their love"
 William Shakespeare

Part 3 of 4 Parts


The next day Paige and Mark drove off to the Napier valley to see Paige's grandparents.


"Give my love to Aunt Beryl" Cole said nastily to Mark.


"Aunt Beryl?" said Mark.


"You'll find out" Cole told him.


"That was one of the more entertaining Christmas's I've had" Mark said as he and Paige drove out of San Francisco.


"I enjoyed it too" Paige admitted because she had forgotten to worry about Mark the whole day.


"Francesca is a really good person isn't she " Mark commented.


"She a whitelighter" said Paige.


"She doesn't strike me as do by the rules type person" Mark mused.


"No I wouldn't describe Francesca as that " said Paige


"She's not your whitelighter, who is she" he asked curiously


"No " Paige shook her head. "Cole's. Sort of .. since Cole stopped being a demon, she keeps an eye on him. Sort of."


"Sort of" said Mark contemplatively "Something else you're not telling me everything Pet." and Paige swallowed. "Francesca has got Cole's number" said Mark "hasn't she? She can really manage him, can't she?"


"Oh yeah" Paige said "Cole and everybody else."


"Its strange" Mark said still musing "when you hear the pomposity of so called do-gooders ands the people who claim to be good, then" he said "you come across some-one who really is good."


"Some-one who likes her booze, overindulges in Christmas dinner and takes no nonsense from any-one" Paige giggled.


Mark laughed, "I hear you and your sisters joking and bitching about what's his name Caleb."


"and Manuel"  said Paige .


"And Manuel" said Mark "yet when you see what a whitelighter is capable  of being."


"I know" said Paige "sometimes when I hear Leo fussing and worrying about the Elders and Piper and Phoebe bitching about whitelighters and their rules. Its my heritage and it hurts a bit but then I see what they can do and how good they can be it makes me realise that being a whitelighter is a very, very special calling and to be called is great gift.. It’s a gift."


"You're lucky Pet " said Mark.



After Christmas Cole and Phoebe spent a few days just being together. She dragged him off to after Christmas sales. As it was Cole's second Christmas and second after-Christmas with Phoebe, he was able to keep his mutterings that a bargain was only a bargain if you really needed it to once an hour. He and Phoebe bickered about how tired she got, and her taste in baby clothes and had some special moments planning a life as parents.


Phoebe was doubtful about creating a corner nursery for Whosit


"We can't have Whosit in the bedroom . Whosit'll know when we're having sex, making love" Phoebe said.


"Knows now" said Cole "what's the difference?"


Phoebe glared at him "Stays in the room only at first" she agreed "then maybe one of the back store rooms can be converted "


There were three tiny rooms over the kitchen that had once been servant's rooms, when the Manor was first built and before the Warren descendants had lost most of the family inheritance in the 1929 crash. At the present time the rooms were full of 70 years of family shopping. Piper and Leo regularly opened the doors to start clearing so they could use one as Melinda's room and regularly found a reason that Melinda could still have her corner nursery in their room. Piper remembered  Grams deciding the same thing over the years.


Piper dumped all Melinda's outgrown clothes on Phoebe and Cole's bed and they spent a few pleasurable hours sorting them and deciding on how to raise Whosit. Phoebe said in a not listening to any one voice she was going to breast feed.


Cole sighed. "Got by without all of you for four months, I suppose I can get by without the boobs for a year."


"Can't you think of anything but sex" Phoebe muttered.


"Yes" Cole said "But why should I?"


"Damned if I know " Phoebe said.


Because Elisheeva was licking her wounds and the other demons were hidden away planning their next efforts Cole and Phoebe were able to disappear in the middle of San Francisco winter to some favourite beaches. They went to one of their beaches in Fiji to spend a time alone.


They lay on a white sanded cove in Fiji. Phoebe was wearing  a G string because nothing fitted over Whosit and another of Cole's T shirts. Most of his t shirts were rapidly getting stretched beyond any hope of future use for him. As they were alone she had wanted to opt for the nothing look and they had bickered over it. He claimed he only had three months to play with her boobs, he wasn't going to waste it while she got over sunburnt nipples.


"Can use sunscreen" she said


"Sunscreen tastes horrible" he said.


"Manuel could heal it " she said.


"Manuel can't heal self inflicted wounds" Cole sat up resting his face on his hand "Phoebe have you ever considered there are some risks that just aren't worth taking" he said trying not sound like a Guardian and failing.


"Once or twice" Phoebe answered, ignoring his tone because sometimes she found it funny and rather endearing when her demon lover turned into a Guardian of the Realm dispensing wisdom. He still had a great deal to learn about how to do it. She lay on her back hiding behind sun glasses "Do you how great the sun feels, how clean, how good after...hell?" she asked.


"Yes" Cole said quietly "I do, that's why I come to beaches." he said.


After a short silence Phoebe asked, "What are you going to do now you're not working for that shit house law firm "


"Finish of the couple of pro bono cases who want me, not the firm " Cole said. "Fix up about Benedict Haslett... that should finally get to court in a couple of weeks."


"Thank god " Phoebe said, "Grams will be getting very impatient. Then?"


"Be a guardian" he said "look after Whosit. Live off my.. partner, ex wife, girlfriend whatever. I went to quite a deal of trouble to make sure she kept her job."


"You have do something" Phoebe said seriously "Marks  says…."


"Phoebe" Cole said sitting up.


"Cole" she said not moving.


"You can't stop doing the pro bono stuff. You have to help people who need a good lawyer" Phoebe told him firmly.


"Yes ma'm " he said "Understand ma'm." He shrugged "Maybe do a bit of stuff on my own " he said "Find enough money to maybe do the pro bono stuff."


"I'm earning good money "she said " we should manage"


"I really do love you baby," he said smiling, specially for her.


He reached over to put his hand under the T shirt and rest it on Whosit,. She put her hands on his. After a little while she said quietly. "I keep thinking about, remembering when your came back after I found out about Belthezor, did you ever dream we'd end up just sort of being together, as a family sort of like this."


"Yes" he said lying down again. "I dreamt."


"Oh I wasn't brave enough to do that" she said and for a few seconds they silently shared the long ,long path they had walked together. Phoebe turned to look at him "You are okay. No any problems with us not being us any more, being, family, sort of growing."


Cole swallowed pulled away from her and just stared.


"What" she said.


"Now " he said "Now you ask me. Sometimes you know Phoebe, you leave even me stunned."


"What " she said "And don't treat me like I'm a moron. I only said….."


"I know what you said" he answered. "Don't ever change will you?" he smiled.


"What do you mean?" she said sitting up indignantly.


He caught her hands and slowly pushed her back, holding them beside her head.  "Its going to be for eternity isn't it?" he said "Every time I get to feel safe you're going to pull some trick that means we have to start all over again, change the whole rules. At least I suppose, it won't be boring."


"I don't pull tricks "Phoebe said indignantly as his mouth was on top of hers.


"Do too" he said




"Do too."


"Don't, don't,  don't "


"Do. do, do" he said into her lips.


"Only sometimes" she agreed "I hate being bored."


He put his mouth on hers.


"Not bored" she whispered as they came up for air. He let her hands go to push the T shirt up and she caught the back of his head, touching any part of him sho could reached as he moved his mouth on her body.



The next day they were all sitting at breakfast not talking in the way people who were very comfortable with each other were not bothered by silences when the phone rang. It rang nearly 5 times while everyone waited for some-one else to get up.


"I'll get it" Paige said finally and sniffed when no-one chose to argue.


"Who ever calls me" said Leo because he was in direct sight of her glare. Because no-one was talking they could all hear Paige saying "Yes Maggie" over and over again, except once when she said no Maggie.


Paige hung up the phone " That was Maggie " she said.


"Really " said Piper and Phoebe giggled.


"Very funny" said Paige. "She says there is a warlock called Hymie stalking several members so the coven and they don't have strong enough magic to defeat it. Wants to know if we can help."


"Hymie?" said Piper. "With a name like that it will be grateful to be vanquished. We can go after it later this morning. Okay."


"Oh Cole " Paige added very sweetly.


"Yes" Cole said recognising the tone "What do you think I did to Maggie?"


"Your mother trashed her store last week looking for some special talisman she had." Paige said accusingly.


"Oh " said Cole


"And the insurance company are saying they won't pay up on a technicality." Paige said hands on hips.


Cole gulped "All right I'll fix it" he said.


"Isn't that ambulance chasing " Leo asked dryly.


"That's what unemployed lawyers do" Cole answered just as dryly.




Getting Hymie was really a gimme type vanquish. Something the Charmed Ones did every other day, had done since the day they became Charmed Ones.


They caught the warlock Hymie in the act, recited the spell that vanquished it and it blew up with a satisfactory cloud of black smoke. However before it departed the cloud moved across to where Phoebe was standing and she suddenly found herself caught in it for a second where she became strangely aware of a real silver lining before the cloud dissipated.


She was also aware of Whosit jumping mightily and Phoebe suddenly felt light headed and very disorientated.


Piper looked at her and said noticing her paling face" Are you okay? " she asked.


Phoebe nodded "Yeah just a bit light headed, maybe I should get home." she said.


Piper and Paige left the witches of the coven to clean up the mess from the vanquish and Piper took her home while Paige want to work. Piper insisted Phoebe lie down even though she swore she was all right.


Cole was in court cleaning up on one of the cases that was still hanging over from his time at Jackson Carter and Kline. Phoebe tried calling him but his cell was only taking messages. She left a message for him to get home as fast as he could and he shimmered about 40 minutes later, looking worried.


"What's wrong" he said behind her as she paced their bedroom, her hand protectively across Whosit.


"God Cole" she said.


"I'm not god" he said.


Phoebe glared at him "Am I evil, can you feel evil, can you feel anything, Whosit. Is there any power? This vanquished warlock sort of settles over me and I feel almost overwhelming, Whosit and me  we want ..to blink sort of blink, not blink exactly. Cole god what is it" she almost screamed hysterically.


He dropped his brief case and almost rushed to her to put his hand against Whosit, shaking, even more nervous than Phoebe. He shut this eyes and felt for the auras the clearly define one of their child and Phoebe.


Phoebe barely contained her anxiety in fact didn't "What is it? Is it all right what's happening" she almost screamed. "Freaking Cole." she whimpered "Freaking badly."


He opened his eye and gulped "Hell " he said and sat down, almost fell down on the edge of the bed. "Freaking Phoebe " he said offering her no comfort. "Freaking badly."


"Cole is there evil, did that damned warlock infect me" Phoebe begged almost hysterical.


"That warlock, what power did it have " Cole said, getting paler by the second, shock and fear all over his face.


"I'm not evil, Whosit's not evil, " Phoebe screamed " you're not precious, you're not." She swallowed "I'm feeling Whosit's power, like Piper did with Melinda and Mom did with me, Cole" she begged as he seemed to be struggling with words.


"Hell " he finally said "What power did the warlock have. Think," he added forcefully as Phoebe looked like she was going to scream at him.


"I don't know" said Phoebe "it blinked and it used athames. And then we got it."


"What witches powers had it stolen" Cole said.


"I'm not sure" Phoebe said.


"What did you know about it when you went after it" Cole demanded not far away from Phoebe's panic.


"It was a warlock and it was going after a couple of witches in Maggie's coven" Phoebe snapped and then relented "It killed a witch a couple of years ago and took her power to change metal into not metal. That's why Maggie could not get it with an athame. And there was witch it killed about fifty years ago who could, its not exactly orbing, its called transgleaming, materialise and dematerialise and move faster than light. Nor orbing exactly. A really rare power not like they way Prue could transport herself, and the few witches who can do this can't go up there and.."


"You're babbling " Cole said.


" I'm not "Phoebe demanded "tell me I can take it" she said hysterically.


"I think"  he said looking hideously pale and worried "Whosit's got a soul core sort of, like me. I think "he said " Whosit  can absorb powers, like me."


"What " she screamed " what , that means oh god Arturo's going to come after Whosit, I won't let  it happen, I won't I fight, you better too or I'll"


"You're babbling" Cole said "I think Whosit's absorbing good powers not evil, or demonic ones" Cole almost whispered. If he did not say it loudly it was not happening. "Blinking isn't evil it just combined with whatever you call it transgleamimg and Whosit picked it up. I think." he added.


"What " screamed Phoebe "we thought about evil and demonic, never, what in hell, a little bit of magic. I can't have a kid who just gets more powerful, steals powers, good powers...I can't have a kid who.."


"You're babbling "Cole said "Maybe if you're just goddamned careful when you vanquish warlocks and other evil beings that steal witches, any good being's powers. Shit" he said and fell back on the bed.


Phoebe sat beside him on the end of the bed. "I never heard of a being that steals good power, absorbs them like evil " she said. "Shit."


"Neither have I" said Cole "shit."


"Good  powers is sort of good" he said" not like be I mean."


"I'm going to have this baby that can materialise, that can disappear" Phoebe said "How the hell are we going to know where it is?"


"Shit I don't know" said Cole sitting up. "You won't be able to… " I don't ,won't" he said, "I don't know if this happened before. Shit I don't know. The only thing I have that's really in my soul is a demon core" he said "shit this never happened before."


"You're babbling" Phoebe told him.


"I am not" he started to argue but he was a stopped by Piper suddenly screaming from downstairs.


"Shit" said Cole and Phoebe.


Cole ran downstairs and Phoebe waddled down to find Piper running around the kitchen screaming "Melinda. She's gone. Melinda."


"Where's Melinda?" demanded Cole worried.


"Where's Melinda?" demanded Phoebe behind him worried.


"She was here and she's gone," screamed Piper.


"Piper calm down" said Leo with feigned control.


"Shut up Leo " screamed Piper and then sighed a sigh of mighty relief as a very surprised Melinda orbed back into view.


"Shit" said Piper.


"Shit" said Cole and Phoebe.


"Oh dear" said Leo.


"How the hell am I supposed to keep track of a not even two year old who can orb" screamed Piper.


Cole and Phoebe looked at each other " Shit " they whispered.