A Matter of Relativity

Part 4: All truth is relative

Chapter 41


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

Part 4 of 4 Parts

Very late that night or rather in the early hours of the morning, the family went back to the Manor. Melinda had been asleep for hours, first in a cot that was kept at P3 and now happily in her own bed. Cole and Phoebe had also decided their own bed was the best place to have a honeymoon.


They sat around the living room all to tired to sleep. Leo was still in tux pants and shirt with a sweater over the top, Cole still had his jacket on but finally had the tie undone. It had stayed done up all day. Every time he fiddled with it he caught Francesca glaring at him. Piper and Phoebe were in pyjamas. Paige still had her bridesmaid dress but had replaced the high heels with big fluffy rabbit slippers.


Phoebe was lying with her head in Cole's lap.


"P3's a mess and we have to open up tomorrow" Piper sighed.


"Want me to go fix it?" Cole asked.


"Don't you dare," breathed Leo and Piper.


"That was a nice wedding," sighed Paige.


"I wish ..you weren't there ..on your own" Phoebe asked concerned.


"It was okay " Paige said "I didn't forget about Mark or…I didn't pretend I wasn't missing him, but I lived, I enjoyed a day on my own. It was okay." but her voice shook a little.


After a small silence Piper said to Phoebe "Well missy was it the happiest day of your life?"


"Gee" sighed Phoebe reaching up to touch Cole's face "let's see. Only demon activity was Cole getting slimed. Melinda swore in front of the minister, I wrecked three pairs of pantihose, everybody thought Paige was drunk when slipped on the melted ice."


"I especially liked the view of the black lace thong" Cole commented and got hit for his trouble.


"Knickers left a panty line with this dress," said Paige embarrassed.


"What else?" said Phoebe "Beryl smacking Margaret down so hard she's going to have bruises on her bum for a month was good."


"Figuratively speaking" said Leo.


"Daddy getting drunk and forgetting Cole's name during the speeches was fun," said Piper.


"That speech Darryl made was hilarious" said Leo still laughing.


"Sheila was going to kill him" said Paige "I nearly wet myself."


"Ha" said Cole and Phoebe.


"I don't think Elise likes you Cole " Paige said.


"Elise doesn't like any-one" said Phoebe.


"I particularly enjoyed the daughters in law have a cat fight over the middle one flirting with Cousin Joe." said Leo who was much less of an angel and more of an apprentice philosopher these days."


"Aunt Eleanor was mortified "said Paige "Wasn't half as funny as watching you two try to do a romantic bridal waltz," she said to Phoebe and Cole. "Phoebe. I thought he was going to drop you when he picked you up."


"Nahhh," said Phoebe reaching up to touch Cole who just smiled.


"Talking about dancing, Francesca does a mean tango," said Piper. "Who the hell was she dancing with anyway?"


"Yeah" said Phoebe pulling herself up to face Cole "that reminds me. I thought we had a rule about me knowing every-one there. He looked demonic."


Cole winced' "Not really. He's a guardian called Proctor" the others stared at him. "He's a watcher. He probably came to watch." Cole said defensively.


"Then why was he dancing with Francesca?" demanded Paige.


"She didn't know any-one else?" Cole speculated.


"I thought Francesca didn't really like guardians," said Leo.


"So did I," Cole mused.


Phoebe stood up and held out her hand "Coming to bed hubby" she said.


"Yes Mrs Turner," Cole said taking it.


"Ms Turner-Halliwell " said Phoebe.


"Well missy was it the happiest day of your life?" Piper asked again.


Phoebe glanced at Cole who just stood there with the smile on his face, the special one. The one he saved for her.


"Yes" said Phoebe "it was. It was goddamned wonderful."


Three days after the wedding Darryl and Sheila took Cole and Phoebe out to dinner, as much to declare the Haslett trial a thing of the past as anything else. It was a pleasant friendly meal, and everything had been easy and happy.


"How does it feel to be married?" Sheila asked.


"Don't know," said Phoebe." I've been feeling a bit funny since the wedding. Haven't .. ah consummated it yet. He could still get it annulled . She said looking at Cole slyly while the waiter coughed and put dessert in front of her.


"If you feel funny why did your order double chocolate mousse and whipped cream for dessert." Cole snarked. And Phoebe stuck her tongue out at him.


Just as she finished the last mouthful, Phoebe put her spoon down, clutched the table and then said "Cole, I feel funny."


"You should lay off the chocolate," he said not to sympathetically.


"Really funny," she said and stood up and gasped as she felt a rush of water between her legs drench her clothes and everything else around her.


"The water just broke," she said unnecessarily, as waiters came hurrying. Cole half on his feet froze totally transfixed.


"We see that," said Sheila


The head waiter looking at the mess and Phoebe and asked somewhat grimly if they wanted an ambulance.


Cole, came out of his shock's "I can,.." he said


'"No you can't" said Darryl' "Hospital's only ten minutes away. "I've got the siren."


"This is the last time I come to this restaurant, " Phoebe muttered as they helped her out.


Darryl got the to the hospital almost as fast as Cole could have shimmered, while Cole called home and reached Paige. Paige who was baby sitting so Leo and Piper had a night out frantically called them and Marly to come and ran around trying to throw things into the bag that Phoebe had been planning to pack next week for the last six weeks,


Cole got to find out in the next 25 hours what eternity alone really felt like. The labour went on and on and on. Phoebe was adamant she was going to have a natural birth, no epidurals and definitely no caesareans, not unless there was no other choice for Whosit but as she got weaker and weaker and more insistent, the doctors told her anxious family that it was looking increasing necessary.


"Is the baby at risk " Piper asked.


"Baby is still doing fine " said the doctor " Its Phoebe. She is a little girl and it’s a big baby, and we are getting to the point where there a re concerns for her.


"Phoebe doesn't wasn’t it" Paige said understanding a little. "She meant it, she wants a natural birth unless Whosit is at risk."


"Damn Phoebe " said Piper grimly to the doctor and held out her hand to sign the permission.


The doctor looked at her and as gently as he could Cole said, "Piper, I'm the next of kin."


Piper froze realising that she no longer had the right to make that decision and she looked at Cole with pleading eyes.


"Phoebe may never forgive you," Paige said.


"Which is a damn sight easier to live with than never forgiving myself." Cole said and to Piper's intense relief he signed the paper.


"How you going to explain it to Phoebe?" Paige asked tears in her eyes.


"I'm not," Cole said grimly. "I'm going to tell her."


To the horror of the medical staff Phoebe summoned her rapidly fading energy and called Cole everything she could lay her tongue too.


"How could you?" she yelled using the last of her energy and leaving the doctor wondering how they were going to calm her down.


"Easy"; Cole told her "You remember how you wanted to protect Whosit from my worst instincts. I'm returning the favour."


 Phoebe was silent while those around watched with concern.


"Damn you" she hissed at Cole and bit her lip, tears welling as they gave her an epidural.


"Say it, " he said.


"You're right, " she whispered.


"We're going to be parents in a couple of minutes." He said his voice a little shaky.


"Daddy's an arsehole" Phoebe told Whosit the next day after explaining to three visitors why she had had to have a caesarean despite all the long speeches she had made about doctors being to quick to interfere with a natural experience. Margaret did not understand why any-one would want to put up with the pain Aunt Eleanor was of the opinion that natural childbirth was the only way to experience real motherhood.


"It'd be murder," Paige hissed at Cole when she caught him playing with fire between his fingers.


"It would feel so good," he whispered back.


Whosit didn't show any signs of caring and was far more interested in feeding. Phoebe looked up and saw the expression on Cole's face the first time he watched her breast feeding their baby… somewhat awkwardly. And she swallowed a little as the brightness in his eyes matched hers. "Never thought of this being me," Phoebe said teary.


"I did," said Cole not much off them either.


"Just as well for you this part works naturally," she told him. And he smiled the smile he saved for her. The one that said he loved her for eternity. The one that said he love her for being who she was.


Phoebe took a while to recover so it was nearly six days before she and Whosit could come home. Phoebe was still moving gingerly with stiches and itching uncomfortably. At one point she was all for finding a demon to chase so she could rip the stiches and have a whitelighter heal her.


"Damn," she told Piper "the one time I could really use a whitelighter."


"I know honey," said Piper sweetly.


Leo fixed a sort of nursery in the corner of Cole and Phoebe's  room. Cole and Phoebe had been arguing over it so long they never did get around to actually doing it.  When Paige said they needed more than a cot in the corner, Cole under pressure said he would use magic to fix it.


"I’ll do it," said Leo hastily.


"Leo will do it," said Piper just as quickly.


"I can't .." said Cole.


"Love to do it," said Leo.


"Wedding present, " said Piper.


"Whew," said Piper and Leo as Cole went to visit Phoebe.


That first night Phoebe and Whosit came home Cole woke up with the hated feeling of being alone in the bed. He put his hand out and the other side and it was decidedly empty. He turned on his side and could see Phoebe wrapped up in a towelling bathrobe, hair in very untidy pigtails sitting on the dresser stool and staring into the Whosit's cot.


"Baby," he said.


"Shhh " she said "you'll wake Whosit."


He got out of bed "You've got to be awake anyway in another two hours" he said "To feed Whosit. Come back to be and rest. Whosit's fine, breathing normally. " he said "Whosit's fine."


"Whosit's perfect you know," she sighed "10 fingers, 10 toes."


"No horns," he said.


"Cole," she hissed.


"Whosit's perfect," he said.


"I've been a mother for 6 days" Phoebe sighed. "How did this all happen?" Phoebe asked with a little catch in her voice.


"As I recall you didn't tell me you forgot to take the pills nine months as ago.. Okay " Cole said smiling as Phoebe caught her breath. He put a finger out to touch the baby's face.


"I mean the whole thing," Phoebe said. "Right from the start. How are we going to explain it all to Whosit?"


"Well " said Cole" we could say that Daddy got called out to investigate a murder and there was this witch who threw herself at is head."


"That's not true," Phoebe whispered indignantly " we could tell Whosit four and a half years after daddy deliberately stalked mommy with the intention of killing her you came along."


"Well truth is in the eye of the beholder," Cole said "Come back to bed. Baby."


"Just so you know, " Phoebe told Cole as they spoon fashion because it was the only way she could be comfortable, "The stiches itch, my insides feel like they have been ripped apart, my breasts throb and my nipples are so tender I want to cry and I couldn't be happier."


Cole put his arm across her "Get some sleep," he ordered her.


"And" she said "I can forgive you for the caesarean because you were right ..probably. But I'm never going to forgive you for the names you put on the birth certificate."


"We agreed it was going to be traditional," Cole said innocently "I thought that was what we agreed about the names" he said "We said middle names were going to be after our fathers" he said. "Benjamin Victor… Turner." he said.


"It was going to be Victor Benjamin Halliwell." Phoebe said.


"We agreed to tradition," he said "If you get tradition on the first name.  I get tradition on the last."


"Ha "Phoebe said.


"It balances," Cole said.


"Ha" Phoebe said.


"Go to sleep," Cole said "while you can."


Phoebe softened "I love you baby " she whispered '"Nite Coleridge Benjamin." she said.


"Of course," Cole said happily. "Nite Phoebe Patricia."


"Anyway " she sighed "you needn't be so superior. I saw you crying when they put Whosit in your arms.'


"Goodnight Baby " he said.


"Nite Baby " she said


She sighed and listened to soft waffling breath.


"Goodnite Whosit Patrick Victor Benjamin Halliwell," Phoebe said.


"Patrick Benjamin Victor Turner," said Cole.


Perhaps Love

Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home

Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don't know what to do
The memory of love will see you through

Oh love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
Some say they don't know

Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict full of pain
Like a fire when it's cold outside
Thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

Sung by John Denver and Placido Domingo