A Matter of Relativity

Part 4: All truth is relative

Chapter 36


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

Part 4 of 4 Parts

Leo came downstairs after waking Melinda from her nap. She bounced in front of him and he had to catch her on the landing and hold on tight to stop her orbing. He went into the kitchen where Piper was unpacking shopping. "This is getting ridiculous" he said. "The more I tell her to stop the more she does it." He sighed. "I really think for her own protection we have to find a way to bind her powers. One she can't overpower."


Piper looked at him "I know." She sighed, "I don't want to do it but I can't go on like this. I can't go to the club. I can't go out. I'm terrified where she'll end up."


"Cole can keep her here," Leo said.


"We can't depend on Cole to spend his whole time babysitting," Piper told him


"Why he's got nothing else to do?" said Leo. "Melinda no" he said firmly as she looked at him and started to orb. He caught her and pulled her back.


The front door bell rang "What the hell now?" muttered Leo as he scooped his daughter up and went to answer it. He pulled it open to see the witch Marly standing awkwardly and uncomfortable on the other side.


"Can I come in?" she said in a soft voice that Leo could barely hear.


"Marly sure," Leo holding the door open "No Melinda " he said automatically as she started to wriggle. "Piper" he called.


Piper came from the kitchen, wiping her hands. "Marly " she said tightly.


"Come on in," Leo said firmly ushering Marly into the living room and indicating a chair.


"I came," Marly whispered," to s..say thank you. And apologise."


"For what" said Piper almost to sharply.


"For saving me, from the demon, " she said " from evil."


"It wasn't me. It was mostly Phoebe," Piper said.


"How did you know you were saved?" Leo asked curiously.


"I could feel it " Marly said in a whisper. "My soul was caught up with the demon" she said her voice shaking. "I was trapped and I w..was evil but I wasn't happy. I felt e..evil but I wanted to be free of it. Deep in my soul, I didn't want to be e..evil but I couldn't escape. It consumed me," she explained.


Piper softened "You're not the first good magic person to be taken over by evil." Piper said, " believe me, its happened to all of us."


"I gave into temptation," Marly whispered. "I'm not really magical" she added as if confessing a lie.


"We've all done that," said Piper grimly. "You're a witch Marly. That means you're magical."


" I " said Marly.


"Marly its happened to all of us" Leo said. "To Phoebe, to Piper to Paige. Its .. you need to learn and..."


"Mark died to help me didn't he?" Marly interrupted more firmly than Leo or Piper had ever heard her speak.


"He chose to save the innocents, yes," answered Leo.


"I'm responsible for Mark dying," Marly whispered, so softly Piper and Leo could hardly hear her.


"We've been through this Marly " Piper said "Not just for you but for the family." Marly nodded "Mark was responsible for Mark dying. Marly he knew he was being called. He chose to go in a way that he felt was .. made his death have a purpose."


"You were an innocent Marly" Leo said. "He couldn't have saved you if you weren't."


"Was I?" she said " I felt evil. I'm not a powerful witch. I just know about ..about herbal lore that's all. I leant from my grandma. She was a wonderful women but no-one in my family is powerful. We just handed down the lore from generation to generation. Nothing much." She swallowed convulsively. "Lara made me feel like I was really magical, like I could be magical. It felt..I felt ..alive ..powerful. The f.f.first time being a witch made me feel anything  b.but .w.w.weak. And it was evil, they only time I ever felt magical and it was f..for evil."


"Marly " Piper started to say.


"I should have known better than to try and be something I'm not, to listen to ..false prophets " she smiled sadly "If I lose mine honour, I lose myself" she quoted.


"Marly you are not the first to have fallen" said Leo as gently as he could. "Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it."


"You know Shakespeare" said Marly with a sniff.


"Only a little," Leo replied.


"I love Shakespeare," she said. "He was very wise."


"Yes" Leo agreed contemplatively "he was."


Marly took a deep breath and steel her courage "Piper " she asked nervously "I'll understand if you don't want me too, but do you still want, can I ,..look after Melinda." she whispered.


Piper looked at Leo hating herself "Marly," she said and wished she didn't have to " Its not a good idea." her voice tailed off and Piper glanced at Leo helplessly. Leo shook his head as flustered and embarrassed Marly turned to leave. "I understand," she said.


"Marly " Piper called after her "Its not that I wouldn't trust you. Its "she looked at Leo.


"We have a few problems with Melinda at the moment" Leo explained "That means its probably better not to have you or anyone else look after her."


Marly looked "What problems?" she whispered.


Piper and Leo exchanged glances.


"She's discover she can orb" Leo explained " but of course she can't control it and she often won't listen when you tell her not to and we can't take any risks."


"Oh " said Marly in an uncertain voice "that's not a problem."


"You think," said Piper scornfully.


"No" whispered Marly uncertainly "You just make a bracelet of rosemary and lavender and coriander and soak it in  a mixture of tyme essence with Woad and St John's wort, for exactly the right time. My grandma taught me how to make it" she said her voice so soft." For little witches who have materialising powers, when they are learning how to use it. They can materialise a little but not move away, just fade. They learn how to use the power without getting into trouble.  It’s very old witches lore. If you don't want them to materialise, like at night just make the tyme much stronger," She said in an uncertain whisper. "it makes a blue mark though " she added fearfully


"Are you sure?" Piper said relief flooding over her. "I never would have thought of woad."


"Yes" said Marly in an uncertain voice "Its nothing special. Its just old herbal lore. I can go away and make up a few bracelets for you " she offered nervously. "it does leave a blue mark ." she added.


"Oh god, Marly, could you" Piper said hugging her. "Now please."


Marly nodded.


"Marly" Leo asked almost curiously as he went to the door with her "Why do you think you're not a powerful witch?"


"I'm not" she said " I just know about herbal lore. My grandma taught me."


"Demons think that is the greatest power of all" Leo said. "All the power of the Charmed Ones couldn't stop Melinda orbing. And the Charmed Ones they couldn't find a way to make the power switching potions. Phoebe couldn't have been rescued from the underworld without you."


"I'm not evil like demons. I have no powers. Its only herbal lore my grandma taught me,"  Marly whispered as she pulled the door shut.


Leo turned back to Piper "Sometimes I think the answer is always there, you just need to know how to find it."


Piper put he hand on Leo's shoulder "Remember when we went back to Old Virginia, the witch Eva told us about all the herbal lore that made them so powerful and we had forgotten.  I guess I should have remembered. I guess I didn't learn that lesson as well as I thought."


Melinda wriggled in daddy's arms. Piper caught her face and gave her a big kiss. "You missy" she said happily "are about to have your wagon well and truly fixed."


"Thanks to Marly" said Leo.


The family were sitting around watching TV a few nights later. Cole and Phoebe had their usual sofa with Phoebe lying across his lap so she could watch TV and let Cole rub her aching back at the same time. Piper and Leo sat on the smaller sofa, Piper was sewing because she could never watch without doing something with her hands and Leo was watching and fiddling around with the remote.


Leo always assumed control of the remote. It drove the girls crazy when he channel surfed. Paige was not above orbing the remote out of his hand. Only now she sat in a chair, pretending to read a book, and in unironed cotton pants, a once white sweater that had got wash with scarlet socks and her hair dragged back into an unflattering ponytail. Mostly she stared into space, every now and then catching her breath with a little sniff. The other four would glance toward her, Cole and Leo a little awkward and uncertain and Piper and Phoebe with concern.


The closing credits had barely finished on Phoebe and Piper's favourite night soap when Leo started flicking the remote, as Piper said ""eehhhhhhh" under her breath.


Phoebe muttered "Leo. I wanted to see who played the sexy policeman. Shut up Cole " she said as the rub got stronger " we're not married. I can look."


Leo ignored her and kept flicking the remote. He stopped the remote as a man with a somewhat prissily announced. "You are watching the Arts show. "he said "and our guests, artist Rona Hash, critic Reginal Syms and Museum director Roger Walford who are discussing when it stops being art and it becomes obscene. Roger I'm sure you have an opinion."


"Bastard " said Piper.


"Pig" said Phoebe


Paige just lowered the book and stared at the screen.


Leo hastily channel surfed.


"Put it back Leo" ordered Paige in a flat voice.


Leo glanced at Piper who nodded.


"I think you can safely say I have an opinion" intoned Roger leaning back and joining hands in his lap. "Art " he said " Is not for the immature" he said. He laughed, a small self satisfied laugh. "It takes a level of maturity to understand the beauty of these pieces " he said "Of course at a certain level, one can look at the form and the action and say in a certain time and place this is not art" he smiled superiorly " But" he said "one can learn from, one's experiences, recognise one's strengths and worth and use that recognition to appreciate that one's reaction to these works is reflection of one's own perception. One can.."


But the family never did learn what one could do because Paige sat up and threw her book as hard as she could through the television screen. "Fucking bastard" she said as the screen shattered with a satisfactory bang and sparks flew. She stood up and stalked toward the kitchen.


Piper started to move but Leo stopped her "My turn" he said firmly.


"That's healthy," Phoebe said, " At least she's starting to feel expressing her anger."


"Phoebe" snapped Piper looking at Cole " fix it " she ordered him.


"What you think I can?" Cole smirked.


"Fix it " Piper ordered and Cole with a superior smile flicked his fingers.


Paige was lying on her bed, still dry eyed. She rolled over as Leo came into the room :"Stinking bastard " she said.


"Not me," Leo said sitting on the edge of the bed.


Paige sat up "No" she said smiling wistfully "Roger the dodger, bastard arse hole fuckwit. "


Leo smiled.


"Mark died for him and it didn't make any difference to the bastard arsehole fuckwit pig. Even Arlene said thank you." Paige said bitterly.


Leo smiled.


"I wish I'd heard it too," Paige said. "Look Leo you don't have to say it. I know better than most that Mark as gone to a higher calling. That he has a better purpose than.. being here with me. But damn it I'm angry with him. He tried to protect me from being hurt and  I am so mad at him for doing it. And I want to remember him for kinder things."


"Well to be fair," Leo said' "you were trying to protect him from things maybe if you had told him, you wouldn't be feeling this." Paige just stared at him "I know" Leo grinned because he had  lived with three women a long time "I'm a man talking logic when you don't need it."


Paige sighed, "I didn't even get to tell him I loved him Leo," she said.


"Maybe you need to do that" Leo said " to fix loose ends."


"Don't you think I've tried " Paige said. "Leo I have tried to orb up there six times. And I just need to say it Leo. And they .. its not fair " she said bitterly.


"Will that be enough?" Leo asked " because If you really want to see him, maybe you're knocking on the wrong door. When Francesca took Phoebe up there, I learnt a few new ways in."


"Oh Leo," said Paige hugging him.


Leo went back into the living room. "Paige and I are going on a little trip " he said as Paige stood a behind him, tearfully, fearfully.


Phoebe half struggled to her feet  "Leo," she started to say.


Piper looked at Paige " Are you sure you want to sweetie?" she said.


Paige nodded and held out her hand to Leo and they disappeared in a cloud of his orbs.


Piper picked up the remote and started flicking. She spun angrily on Cole "The goddamn cable doesn't work Cole," she snarled at him.


Leo orbed Paige into the 'up there' that  Phoebe had stayed in.


"Just wait " he told her and disappeared.


Paige sat waiting what seemed like an eternity, sitting on whatever it was you sat on the eerie rainbow light of up there. She became aware finally of the feel more than the sound of orbs and looked up to see Mark's soft and familiar grey eyes.


Without thinking she ran to him, not noticing Leo who orbed away. She flung herself into his arms, and whitelighter to whitelighter she was able to feel him as a breathing real entity.


Paige finally pulled away and sighing looked at Mark, who despite the whitelighter robe and the absence of a daffy duck tie looked much like the Mark she loved, sandy receding hair an soft humorous grey eyes and now almost ageless face.


"Why the hell" Paige demanded and the light around her shuddered "if you had to be such a hero, why couldn't you say goodbye to me?"


"Because if I came to say goodbye to you" Mark answered cupping his hands around her face. "I couldn't have said goodbye to you."


"I love you" Paige whispered in a rush not taking her eyes off his face, making sure she said it. If he was dragged away in the next second, he knew.


"I'm sorry" Mark said talking a deep breath and staring at her face as if he was taking in every detail.


"Sorry I love you " Paige gasped pulling back as if he had hit her.


"I never meant you to " Mark explained reaching for her again. "It..I've known maybe for longer than I wanted to admit I wasn't going to be around, haunted by this feeling. I didn't want to make attachments you know, didn't want.. I just knew pet."


She bit her lip and then buried her head against him.


"And then I saw you and you..." he confessed "You made me happy just to look at you and I started to think. It doesn't matter what she feels for me. I love her and can be with her, take what she offers and enjoy every second of it. Store it, know what you have." He took a deep breath " I loved you from the minute I saw you. I haven't loved before you know" he said " I am ..I was 40 and  I've been in love, had people in love with me but never loved before,"  he shrugged awkwardly. "I'm sorry pet I thought... I didn't want some-one to love me and be lost without me,  I'm so sorry. I never meant you to be left hurting. Never thought that you could love me."


"I think you underestimate yourself ' Paige said slowly. "I love you Mark and I've never loved anyone before, I've been in love often but never loved and I never told you." And the tears started to come as she stared into is face.


"Sorry pet " Mark said "I was hoping it was because you didn't."


"If you hadn't gone with Phoebe, if you hadn't listened to her," Paige said.


"You're the magic one pet" he said holding on to her hand fast. "I was going to go. I was seeing Death. Even if Phoebe hadn't told me I knew " he swallowed  "It was just the way I went really. When Phoebe offered the choice to save innocents…well."


"You had to be a god damned hero," Paige sighed as the rainbow light around her really shimmered. "Damn Phoebe, damn Phoebe, damn her." Paige said angrily as the lights shuddered around her.


"Why " asked Mark gently "Why damn her?'


"Because she was right," Paige said tearfully.


Mark grinned and Paige caught her lip "You know me " he said " can't resit the chance to butt in and interfere. Especially when I think it will piss the bad guys off"


"It got you killed," Paige said.


"It was going to happen " Mark said, "It was just that when it happened it was going to be worth something. It means … it was important to me that my death..going was worth something."


"Your life was worth something," Paige said sniffing back tears.


"If it was," Mark said. "Then it is more important than ever.. to me that my death meant something."


They were both silent, sitting in an ever after rainbow realm holding hands and thinking what might have been.


"Were you really angry at Phoebe for taking me down below?" Mark asked.


Page smiled "Yeah " she said "Piper and Leo really yelled at her."


"She did what she thought was best, what I thought was best too " Mark said. "Innocents are okay?"


"Innocents are okay" said Paige a little bitterly "Phoebe's okay, she's used to being yelled at, she deserves it mostly, and doesn't get yelled at as much as she deserves it. If she got yelled at when she didn't deserve it, it balances. Cole spoils her rotten, so she doesn't care."


Mark smiled "I enjoyed spoiling you" he said.


"I enjoyed being spoilt," Paige answered.


"Paige" he finally said "I didn't mean you to love me but you do and. I don't want to regret that, pet. Don't waste your life mourning me " Mark said.


"Don't you tell me how to spend my life," Paige said tartly as he smiled ruefully, the grey eyes and plain face lit up with the light around him "If I want to mourn you I will. It isn't a waste. I love you. Don't you try and deny me the right to mourn you."


" 'kay " Mark said obediently.


She sighed "I don’t suppose there any hope. I mean like Piper and Leo."


Mark shrugged. "I Leo had been a whitelighter a long time. Piper wasn't a connection from his mortal life. I bet there's a rule about reconnecting to your mortal life. And after all the scandal lately  um " Mark shook his head "well can't believe it would be ..welcome." He brought her hand to his lips " I think it will be along time pet " he said. "Don't waste your life waiting for me."


"Don't tell me..." Paige started to say.


"I know," he said.


"Are you immortal? Like whitelighters" he asked almost a little desperate.


"Don't know" Paige said "nearly gone so many times and didn't, maybe I am. I thought all whitelighters had to.. die . Don't know what happens to me, if I die. Only I know what happens to the Charmed Ones if I do soooo.."


"Yeah" he said.


"I don't know how it works" Paige said holding fast to his hand. "They hate whitelighters and mortals. How do they feel about whitelighters and whitelighters?"


''Don't know," Mark said without much hope in his voice.


"So do they know about us?" she asked after a little while of just sitting.


"Don't know" Mark said  "there was no spilling your guts and they know the worst, Its all terribly honourable and trusting. These people are very good." He sighed "All I was told was that they know what they need to know, and I would know what I needed to know to be what I was called to be.. They didn't ask. I didn't tell them.  Don't know whether not knowing leaves hope," he added


Paige's face lit up.


"Don't pet," Mark said, "don't waste your life on me."


"Don't tell me what to do with my life," she said with a watery smile.


He smiled and almost out of his control stood up "I feel the call." he said "Paige I love you and thank God ; for the chance to say it to you. And thank you for.. for grieving for me. I wanted to say it so badly, to say I love you to you, and now I have. No loose ends" he said swallowing convulsively.


"I love you" she said as he seemed to be sucked away from her.


"There's nothing I really regret" and he stopped "There's rules though, Paige" he said. "Tell Phoebe I'm learning all the rules. She'll explain; I love you" he said and was pulled away.


Paige sat down on whatever it was she sat on and leant on her knee burying her face in her hands crying. She seemed there for ever when she looked up and saw her sister Prue there watching her with a kindly but severe eye.


"What are you doing here?" she asked Prue.


"Had a feeling I was needed "Prue answered matter of fact.


"I loved him" she told Prue. "I’m not going to waste my life" Paige declared, as she saw Prue purse her lips.


"Good" said Prue " because you never know what will happen."


"Mark told me not to waste my life too" Paige said "and I'm not " but she continued, "it doesn't mean I'm not going to mourn him either. I love him." she added.


"Hmm " said Prue looking at her.


Prue sat beside her while Paige cried. After a while Paige sniffed and said "Do you know what really pisses me off? " The rainbow light shuddered. "What really pisses me off" she said determinedly  "is that even though Mark said, Mark believes, it was worth going because the innocents were saved, that shit head" and the rainbow lights really flashed which both Paige and Prue ignored "Roger is just being a pompous so and so. Just acting like Marks's death meant nothing, like it was his due that a good man, a good person like Mark should die just so that shithead can exist."


"Roger" said Prue interested.


"I want so bad that he.. at least he could acknowledge, look at himself, realise what his goddamn arrogance" Paige shuddered as the lights whirled "caused and cost. Mark died for the bastard" The rainbow shimmered and flashed. "The least the bastard could do is recognise the error of his ways."


"Roger " said Prue contemplatively


"It sucks," said Paige.


"Yeah" said Prue "it sucks. Roger" she said.


"Roger" said Paige.


"You know ' said Prue thoughtfully, "one of the reasons not to pass on is because there are loose ends from you life that need to be resolved, fixed, decided. I don’t pass on because I have loose ends."


"Really " said Paige interested.


"Yes" said Prue "Roger is a loose end in my life."


"How is he a loose end?" Paige asked interested.


"Because he is pathetic shit who tried to screw me around and if I hadn't been the strong person I am… was would have ruined my life." Prue answered. "I have..issues that need to be resolved."


The rainbow flashed several prisms of colour.


Prue noticed the colours. She winced a little '"On reflection ' she said primly and the rainbow did not change "I think..  Roger. I have to come to some form of understanding about how breaking up lead to the Charmed Ones. Help Roger. He needs to come to some understanding of his role. Accept his place, his purpose." The light remained subtle and still. Prue smiled with satisfaction.


"Well ; if Elisheeva could not make him understand his place." Paige said "not much will."


"He doesn't believe in demons," Prue said "he might believe in ghosts of his past life."


"Ha. Maybe that would scare the pants of him," snorted Paige.


"That 's what I was thinking" said Prue.


"I think I could arrange that" Paige said thoughtfully.


Prue stood up "Call me if you need me" she said as she faded.


Times later, long or short Paige did not know, Leo found her sitting and staring into the rainbow light.


"Okay " he said holding out his hand.


"Better" she said taking his hand. Leo pursed his lips but said nothing as he orbed.


Back at the manor Paige showered and went to bed. She smiled a little as Piper came into the bedroom.


"Okay" Piper asked.


"Better," Paige said quietly.


"Want to talk about it?" Piper asked.


"No" said Paige.


"Well you know sisters were meant to help each other, be there for each other," Piper said.


"Yes" said Paige thoughtfully.


Two days later, well after dark she orbed into Roger Walford's office in the museum just in time to see an underling rush out of the office in tears.


She put herself between Roger and the door. ''That wasn't nice Roger " she said sweetly.


"Who are you?" demanded Roger coming to his feet.


"The ghost of Christmas future " Paige said eyes bright.


"I've fought demons," said Roger pompously.


"I'm not a demon" said Paige with a happy smile "and you've screwed demons, not fought them. You need to learn the difference, my friend." She walked over to him, put her hand around the back of his neck, caught his shirt collar firmly and orbed.


Paige orbed Roger into the dark and deathly cold mausoleum where most of Cole's family were buried. The two lights were burning just near the door and made the place look even more eerie and added to the feeling of evil just out of sight.


Roger fell out of her hand and hit the floor where he lay whimpering while Paige lit the circle of candles she had place there before going to collect him. She caught him glancing at the door. "Don't think about it," she said sweetly.


"I'm not afraid of demons" Roger sneered but he stayed on the floor.


"Neither am I" Paige replied happily "and neither is the lady you're about to meet." And she recited the summon a witch spell.


Prue materialised in her tight blue sheath, hair tossed back and green eyes flashing vindictively "Hey Roger, long time no see" she said in a deadly bright voice.


"You're dead," he hissed from the floor.


"You betcha" said Prue.


"I'm not afraid of demons" Roger croaked. "I've survived demon attacks."


"I'm not a demon" said Prue "I'm a ghost you pissed off when she was alive."


Roger croaked even more painfully "You can't hurt me. You're dead."


"Can't hurt you" mused Prue. "Hey sister. I can't hurt him."


"I can," said Paige " hair " she said and Roger's hair stood on end trying to pull away from his scalp while he clutched at it in agony. "Damn " said Paige " I'd have sworn it wasn't real." She let go the pulling.


"What do you want?" Roger simpered still clutching his hair and all but crying.


"What do I want?" mused Prue crossing her arms and tapping her foot, danger signs Roger suddenly remembered very well. "I want to tie up the loose ends of my life" she said "Thank you for sending me on the road to my destiny."


"My pleasure," whimpered Roger.


"But that destiny got you killed Prue," said Paige.


"Damn I'd forgotten that" said Prue green eyes flashing wild.


Roger reached around for a piece of broken pottery left over from the fight Prue and Cole had with the seekers. He hurled it as hard as he could at Prue. It went straight through her.


"Ouch" she said in a mocking voice.


"Dick" said Paige and Roger screamed in pain.


"Paige his name is Roger. Not Dick." said Prue.


"Damn I forgot" said Paige. '"Don't want dick" she said.


"What do you want?" whispered Roger in a high agonised voice.


"Some-one very special, some-one very good died so you could live" Paige said "What I want" she looked at Prue "what we want is for you to make sure he didn't die in vain."


"You're going to be a force for good" Prue said' 'Not a pretend one, you're going to be one who does so much good, people are going to cry when you die."


"Or what?" said Roger with one last act of bravado.


"We could tell your wife about Elisabeth" said Prue.


"That doesn't scare me" said Roger puffing up.


"But then he'd be alone" said Prue,


"You could come and visit him," said Paige  "nightly, daily whenever he was alone."


"Ahh" said Roger turning deadly pale and then as a really bad smell hit both girls noses he fainted.


Prue and Paige regarded with interest at Roger's unconscious body on the floor of the mausoleum.


"He's not dead is he?" Paige asked a little concerned.


"Nothing like it "Prue said a satisfied sound to her voice " shit himself and then fainted."


"Bummer," said Paige


"Yeah bummer " said Prue " I wanted to see him squirm longer."


"Cole would preach about witches taking vengeance." Paige sighed.


"Its not vengeance its retribution " said Prue "Screw Cole "


"Leave Phoebe to do that " said Paige.


"What is he anyway?" Prue asked.


Paige winced and a little awkwardly said "Not a demon."


Prue understood "I get it " she said, "Is he still an arsehole?"


"Yes" said Paige


"Some things don't change." Prue said as Roger stirred. "Maybe I should go and let Roger wake up in the dark and the cold."


"Next time," Paige said.


Roger stirred and opened his eyes from the floor he observed the spectral form of Prue.


"Pleasant nightmares?" she asked him.


"Get out of here. Leave me alone " he screamed crawling back behind the sarcophagus where he threw up. "Oh god " he said.


"I'm not god" said Prue crossing her arms and green eyes flashing fire in the dull light. "Just making sure you understand what being a force for goods entails " she said. "You worthless piece of shit."


"I know" Roger whispered "I understand. "


"What are you Roger?" Prue asked. "Roger " she said when he didn't answer.


"I'm a worthless piece of shit." he whispered.


"I think he's got it "Paige said.


"Not yet " Prue said " And..."


"I'll be good," Roger whimpered.


Prue glared at him.


"I'll do good," he gasped. "I'll be a force for good."


Prue watched him, her eyes green fires in the faint light.


"For the rest of my life" Roger said.


"Because if you don't.." Prue asked.


"You'll haunt me to hell." he whispered.


"You betcha " said Prue. "That do it?" she asked Paige.


"Not quite" said Paige  "He needs to feel the experience to remember it."


" 'kay " said Prue.


"Nasty little wimps shoes" said Paige and they flew off Rogers feet into her hand. She threw them behind her into the dark.


"Smelly socks" said Paige and Rogers socks went the way of the shoes.


Roger feeling the cold of the stone floor and hitting the edge of the sarcophagus with his bare toes just fell into a whimpering heap. "I'm sorry " he kept saying "I'm so sorry..I'll be good."


"The great thing about this is " said Prue pleased with herself "if you're not I'll be back and happy to come."


"Believe her" said Paige as Roger crawled away across the floor.


"I think we scared the pants of him" said Prue "Figuratively speaking." She added.


"My grandma always said if a job is worth doing its worth doing well" said Paige thoughtfully.


"I think I would have liked your grandma" said Prue.


"Pants" said Paige and Roger's expensive grey slacks flew into her hands while he shrivelled backwards.


"My Grams" said Prue "our Grams always said that a job half done is a job not done."


"I 'm learning to get downright fond of Grams" said Paige' "ugly white boxer shorts" she said as they flew off him. "oh shit " she said dropping them in the dark and turning up her nose, while Roger lay in a shuddering and now silent heap.


"It probably would be cruel to leave a ..an innocent in a cemetery full of lost souls and demons wouldn't it "said Prue.


"Regretfully" said Paige.


"Good " said Prue. "Time to go sweetie " she told Paige." feel better " she asked.


"Yeah, yes Prue I do " said Paige. "I.."


"I'll be in touch," said Prue and held her arms out as Paige moved toward the spectral form, and if she did not feel the flesh and blood form of her sister, she felt her heart.


"I'll be in touch" Prue said to Roger. The last thing he saw before Paige blew the candles out was Prue's passionate, knowing smile.


"I'll be in touch too "Paige said and disappeared in a cloud of orbs, leaving Roger alone in the cold dark demonically haunted crypt of Cole's ancestors. Pantess and jockless Roger screamed and whimpered and tried to find his way out as the haunted souls of Cole's family came to laugh at him in the dark. He fell over two of the sarcophagus and stubbed his toe on a step and then stood on parts of the broken pottery that had never got cleaned up from the banshee's fight with Belthezor quite a number of years ago.


After a few minutes Paige orbed back "Dammit" she told Roger "it is cruel to leave an innocent here alone, without protection."


Paige put her hand out and orbed Roger. As he screamed she came out of the orb on the San Francisco bridge, "Have a nice walk home Roger" she said leaving him pantless, jockless, sockless and shoeless and shaking to find his way home. She orbed back to the manor.


The next morning Cole came down for breakfast and found Paige reading the morning paper. She wished him good morning in a voice that almost had some life in it.


"You sound.. a little better" he said touching her hair gently.


"I'm not over Mark, not by  along way " she told him "but Leo taking me 'up there', it helped give me a sense of closure. Made me realise some good came out of Mark's choices."


"I'm glad sweetie " he said all big brother and concern and was delighted when Paige managed a smile for the first time since Mark died. "its knowing that the innocents were saved that makes it worth it" Cole told her.


"I know " said Paige.