A Matter of Relativity
Part 1: Home is where the Heart is
"They do not love that do
not show their love"
Phoebe stood in the bathroom staring at the pink line on the stick. She actively hated that stick. She felt ill with shock and she did not know why. It was no surprise after all because the stick only showed her what she had known for nearly six weeks, what she had felt from days after she and Cole had returned from their anniversary trip.
She was pregnant and now nearly six weeks gone. She had known even before she missed the first period and tried to convince herself it was only because she had stuffed up the birth control pills. She had known when she told Cole the first lie she had ever really done, when he asked when the pyjamas were coming out. She said her period started that morning and she realised that despite all his groaning about its not a month already and muttering, he kept track of time more than she did.
She sat on the edge of the toilet another 10 minutes staring into space before she realised she was actually shaking, shaking with fear and dread. Because it was one thing to unconsciously more or less, "forget"; to let fate and destiny take its course and quite another to face the reality of pregnancy that no-one particularly Cole could know about. Her sisters, Cole, Guardians, whitelighters would all have only one idea and that was there was no place in the world, in the realm for this baby. It was to dangerous. "Look what had happened the last time you were pregnant to Cole" they would say. Okay it was the source but it was genetically Cole.
She shut her eyes, pretending she had not given into the overwhelming need to carry Cole’s child. Pretending she had not "forgotten" while ignoring the consequences. Praying that if she opened them, she would be asleep, cuddled up beside Cole, having a nightmare. Only when she opened her eyes she was still sitting on the edge of the toilet with a pregnancy test stick in her hand that showed she was clearly pregnant.
She staggered into the shower, so numb it was impossible even think. Ten minute standing under a shower the first coherent thought that came to her was Evil would not want this baby either. The order was established with Tempus and the hierarchy and this baby could present a threat to demondom as dangerous as witches and powers of good. Her baby was in danger which ever way she looked. Which in the recesses of her soul she always knew would be the case but now she knew in her brain and her heart.
And as she stood under that shower letting the warmth of it take away the shock and help her comes terms with the fear, she tried to feel in her soul and her body to find that overwhelming black hole of nothingness that had been there last time, the ball of evil that had possessed her and took control of her . And she all most cried with relief when she realised that feeling of knowing she was pregnant did not include recognising evil inside her.
Only what she felt was an awareness of something just a little demonic. And she put her hand on her stomach which seemed to her to have bump even at that stage. "Poor little Whosit" she said out loud "I want you" and she made a promise "I’ll protect you no matter what."
She dressed and went downstairs. While dressing in less of a state of shock she went into an over revved form of planning. She decided to gradually start wearing fuller clothes so Piper or Paige did not pick up on the growing bump. So far she had been lucky with the nausea, just queasy tummy. "Oh god "Phoebe thought, all the things she was going to have to hide. Sitting in her car driving to work, she told Whosit "You had better be nice to Mommy if we’re going to make it.
And all of a sudden in the midst of her fear and pain she burst into tears of happiness as she realised the thrill of motherhood, the fact that she was not only pregnant but was going to have a baby. Phoebe was overtaken by the excitement, the feeling of fulfilment and completeness. She Phoebe Halliwell was going to have a baby. She was going to be a mother.
All day long the thoughts kept coming to her, what to do, how to keep Whosit hidden from a hostile world.
Cole rang he a few time during the day. He often did, sometimes for nonsense talks and sometimes because he wanted something. The three times he called although he pretended it was nonsense, his voice was tight, and she knew with her heightened senses he was getting very suspicious something was not right with her.
By the day’s second phone call, Phoebe had to accept openly what she had known and refused to acknowledge. Except in the deepest corner of her soul. Except in the moments over the last six weeks when she could not avoid feeling the life inside her, in the moments when the what ifs of not getting her period caught her off guard. Of all of the things she needed to protect Whosit from, the most dangerous to Whosit was Daddy.
She realised Cole has suspected something was wrong with her for nearly a month. He almost daily had asked her how she was, he rang her on very flimsy excuses, she caught him watching her and it was not with a smile on his face, she sometime looked up and saw the concern. When she had complained about queasiness or tiredness he had fussed, nagged at her to see a doctor. Cole was concerned and it would only be time and with sudden premonition Phoebe realised it would be very little time before he knew.
Because very soon Daddy would feel Mommy’s aura and know that she was carrying his child. Because if the not quite light she felt inside turned out to be something more than a residue of demon inheritance, Daddy could recognise Evil in her, even a little evil. Because Daddy to protect her, and the realm may just decide, as Daddy had been known to do in the past, that he preferred Mommy and the realm to be safe even if Mommy hated him for it.
If Daddy knew she was pregnant, he was liable, very liable, and with encouragement from whitelighters and sisters and guardians to decide that Whosit was not meant to be, Whosit was outside the Great Plan.
And Phoebe knew she was not going to let Daddy get the chance to decide, and she choked back the tears as she realised that meant making sure Daddy was not around to feel Mommy’s aura. Cole must not know she was pregnant,
Phoebe was going to have to make a choice between Daddy and Whosit. Phoebe loved Daddy with every fibre of her being but this day she was starting to realise she loved Whosit and right at this moment she was going to chose Whosit, not because she loved one more than the other but because she was responsible for Whosit’s, the baby’s life and existence and she was all Whosit had. Which meant she had to get Cole out of sight and feel of her quickly. She had to get him out of her bedroom, the manor and for a while at least until Whosit was safe, her life.
That night they had the usual night time sex and then cuddled together and Phoebe felt weepy and strange. Cole offered her some comfort and she became frighted he may understand why she needed comfort and turned away and she knew he was hurt. And she was going to hurt him a great deal more tomorrow. She half dozed while he fell asleep. She woke up before dawn and lay there her hand across her belly, protectively.
She could feel the familiar presence of Whosit, only this time acknowledging it for what it was. In the dark, there was no evil hole, no ball of dark nothingness inside her but there was something and she knew it was something a little demonic. It was Cole’s child. She watched the demon, the ex-demon beside her sleep. He was so good and once again she was going to destroy him. Then she smiled. Cole could exist with a demonic nature and so could Whosit hopefully, and Whosit would have Daddy to help him as long as Mommy could keep Daddy from doing anything drastic or stupid before Whosit’s existence was strong enough to have a defined aura that Phoebe, dreamed , hoped , fervently believed was not going to be evil. And then the age old force of motherhood touched and she knew no matter what Whosit was she would protect her baby.
She sighed to herself. Her whole family would call her a great deal worse than stupid for taking risks that she knew could and did led to pregnancy. Deep down she hoped, a little carelessness and fate would take a hand, take away all the common sense and magic reasons that any sensible witch would have heeded. Phoebe badly wanted a baby and she more particularly wanted Cole’s baby. Phoebe was a risk taker, always had been, always would be. The urge to be a mother was strong, so strong it pushed away all consideration of consequences. Besides she sighed looking at Whosit’s father lying beside her. If she had not been willing to take incredible and fearful risks to be with Cole she would have lost her soulmate, the love of her life and her best friend. He was very proud of her taking all those risks for him. He had no right to complain when she did it for the next great love of her life. But he would.
Cole woke up and realised she was awake before dawn "What’s wrong? He asked.
"Nothing" Phoebe smiled gently at him. "I need to tell you I love you and I always will" she said straddling him and taking everything she could from him because it was all she would have for a very long time.
Afterward as she lay beside him, one leg and an arm across him, "That was fun" he said and he wasn’t smiling "But when you’re lying awake at dawn something’s wrong and we need to talk."
"Isn’t that what I usually say" Phoebe said. "Haven’t you got an early meeting?
He sighed and reluctantly got up. Phoebe watched him dress, taking in every movement, the look of him, the comfort and safety of his presence, taking it in to remember for the long time ahead."
He stood at the edge of the bed before he left and she looked up into blue, blue eyes that she loved so, "Cole everything you ever said about loving me for ever, unconditionally, it is true isn’t it" she asked intently.
His eyes narrowed "Yes " he said suspiciously " but why are you asking?"
And she bit back a sharp answer because he thought he was speaking from the safety of coming home tonight.
He went to work concerned and ill at ease and his heart missed a beat when Phoebe called him about lunchtime and said she had to talk to him.
At the restaurant she was already there, looking a little pale and uncomfortable.
"To scared to talk to me at home in case I turn demonic?" he asked.
"You know me well," Phoebe said awkwardly. She toyed with her food, refused alcohol and drank some herbal tea.
"What’s wrong Phoebe?" he asked very close to losing his temper in irritation.
She finally looked up and said "Baby I know there is no way in hell you are ever going to understand this but I need you to move out of the manor."
"Very funny" he said nastily, not taking her seriously.
"I mean it Cole" she said" I don’t want to see you again. I don’t want to live with you. I packed your things after you left."
He just gaped at her. "Why?" he said numbly realising she was serious.
"Because I want it," she said "because I need to be without you for a while."
"Is there some-body else?" he asked cryptically almost for something to say while he got his thoughts in order, not believing it.
She looked down not able to meet his eyes "Yes there is" she said slowly "and I guess… I never thought his would happen but there is somebody else and right now they’re more important than you." She took a deep breath "I’m asking you to go and if you ever loved me you’ll do as I ask." She finished in a hurry scared to let him get a word in.
"And when did this happen? This other… person?" he demanded.
"A few weeks ago" she said "more"
"I knew something was wrong with you" he bit out angrily.
"If you love me" she said" if you’re good, you’ll do as I ask. You’ll go"
"Don’t even try that line Phoebe," he said coldly "we went past it along time ago. What ever game your contrary little nature is playing, stop it and stop trying to manipulate me."
"Baby" she said getting frightened at the coldness, frightened of how dangerous he could be in that mood.
"Don’t call me that" he snapped. He lifted his hand and as he twisting his wrist, and she could feel him pulling at her aura. She tried to find hatred for him, to turn him away, but there was nothing she could summon, she loved him with every part of her being. But she found fear, fear for her baby, fear that if he would hurt Whosit, even if she could not find a way to hate him. He felt the fear overwhelm her and put his hand down, pulling away breathing deeply. "You love me," he said. "This is killing you."
She swallowed "There is someone else and I want you to leave. I can send your things to the Belview if you like but I don’t want to see you again."
He just stared at her angry hurt and very dangerous. Fear for Whosit gave her strength "Go Cole" she said, "Just go away. Leave me, please" she begged.
"If that’s what you want" he said and shimmered out of the restaurant not caring who or what people saw. Phoebe noticed a few people looking stunned and puzzled, staring around as if they had lost time. Nervously she stood up and paid for lunch, keeping her eyes down, not looking at anyone. She missed noticing a very elegant blond woman, dressed in expensive tailored black suit, her blond hair cut to fall in peek boo curls over rather brilliant blue eyes. The woman was sitting alone in a corner where she could observe where Phoebe and Cole sat but completely out sight. As Cole shimmered away the woman raised her eyebrows and smiled.
In tears, Phoebe went to her car and sat there crying. Finally she sniffed back the tears and called her office with an excuse about working from home. "If he loves me enough" she thought and she smiled to herself. She knew he loved her enough, "he’ll understand and be damned grateful, I stopped him having to make any choices." She told herself, actually believing it.
When she came home from telling Cole to leave, Piper, a grim and very annoyed expression on her face was waiting. She was washing up and slamming dishes around in the sink. Phoebe came into the kitchen and said "Hi" which Piper barely acknowledged. As more dishes came close to breaking point, Phoebe took a deep breath. "There’s something I have to tell you Piper" she said gulping.
"Don’t bother" Piper said shortly.
"What" said Phoebe "Cole called?"
" No" said Piper sharply.
"Oh" said Phoebe "then…"
"He was here, until you came in" Piper her voice hard. "I told him to go while I talked to you."
"Wh.. why was he here?" Phoebe asked feeling ill.
"Well probably because he and me and I suppose Leo and Paige, up until this morning thought he lived here" Piper answered her voice even harder "part of this family none of us are giving up on."
"I’m not saying its over between C..Cole and m..me" Phoebe stuttered "but its, I need to be away from him for a while, until I sort some things out."
"What things?" Piper demanded throwing the dishcloth down and turning around.
"Things" Phoebe answered uncomfortably.
"Who is it?" Piper demanded.
"He told you" Phoebe said surprised" I didn’t know you and he talked, I mean about things."
"Yeah well Missy" said Piper tightly "there are lot’s of things in life you don’t know. Who is it?" she demanded, not willing to be side tracked.
Phoebe swallowed but she had nearly two days to think it through. "Somebody who came into my life recently" she said quietly" and I care for them…very much."
"As much as you say you care for Cole" Piper said her voice cold.
"They’re as important to me as Cole, just different" Phoebe answered.
"You Miss are not telling the truth" Piper snarked. "I know you."
"I am telling the truth, Piper" Phoebe answered calmly "And at the moment you and Leo and Paige to will just have to accept that this is what I want and its what is going to happen."
"And what is Cole supposed to accept?" Piper asked" he’s out a home, a family."
"He’s only out a family if you make him out a family" Phoebe said quietly "and as for his home, there’s nothing to stop him coming back here. But" she said as Piper went to interrupt "He comes I go and I mean it" she added standing up leaving Piper hands on hips glaring at her back.
Phoebe stopped in the hall listening as she heard Piper dial the phone and say "I couldn’t get any more sense out of her than you Cole." Then Piper spent a minute or so trying to interrupt until she finally said "She’s is my sister" and then "Cole I know you’re confused and upset" silence and then Piper laughed a little "All right pissed and upset. Cole just stay at the hotel. Sit it out. I’ll call you" Piper was silent for a little while then she said" Cole just be…look take care of yourself, don’t be stupid or anything. I’ll call you in the morning and we can... No. No don’t come. She says she’ll run and you know Phoebe." There was silence again until Piper said. "She’s my sister Cole don’t damn her. Bye be .. good Cole. I’ll call you." and Piper hung up and said very loudly "Damn you Phoebe."
Phoebe knew she was meant to hear it. She smiled; at least she could trust her family, his family to look after Cole. She choked back the tears.