|The Power of Four
Time stood still as the sisters looked on in awe at who stood before them. Frozen now within Piper's hold. Phoebe's mouth stood open for a long moment beore turning to her sisters. Piper had no idea what to do next, but or insurance purposes, her hands stood out in case she had to freeze him again. Four minuits had passed by without a single word or sound, and suddenly his body began to unfreeze. Paige noticed his body started to move as the freeze wore off. "What are we going to do?" she asked her sisters. "I dunno." Piper responded. "I can keep freezing him, but I don't think it will last for too long." Piper was curious more than fearful. She had seen him relaxed and apparently on her side when she lay on her death bed a year ago. "I don't think he'll hurt us."
Phoebe and Paige looked at Piper with a long hard stare, as though she was crazy to even think such a thing let alone say it. Suddenly the freeze wore off, and his body began to function fully. "What did you do that for?" He asked as he looked at Piper. Phoebe jumped in and of course with her usual defensive attitude. "What the hell are you doing here Cole?" Her eyes were far from relaxed, and Paige jumped in before he could get a word in edge wise. "We vanquished your sorry ass." Cole chuckled and it was by far humerous to him. His usual cold hard eyes looked over to phoebe after giving Paige an evil stare. "I'm not here for you if that's what your worried about Phoebe." His cold hard stare went soft and he looked over at Piper with a solemn gaze. "I'm here for you."
Piper's brows furrowed as shock and curiosity came over her. If Leo were still around, maybe there was something that could be done, but now they were on thier own and it was time to see even the worst hard times through.
"Here for me? But why?" The short intense smiled came over Piper as it usually did when she had something to hide. She had not been completely honest with her sisters about what had happened when she nearly died. Cole approached Piper carefully, he now knew she would not hurt him, but still he was not completely sure. "Well now that Leo's gone you can't really survive as witches without a whitelighter now can you." More of a statement than a comical question. Phoebe's heart began to race as her breath became more and more heavy. "Whitelighter? Are you kidding me with this Cole? There is no way you could ever be our whitelighter." She waited a few seconds after she looked at her sisters. A disguested look came over her face as she finished her sentence. "Your evil."
"No, not any more. Well, i'm sure Piper can fill you in, I have to go let them know I finally told you." Cole pointed upward as he spoke, ready to orb out to the elders. "Wait a minuit." exclaimed Paige beore Cole had a chance to leave. "How is it you get to be our whitelighter again?"
"Quite easy Paige. I helped Piper in her most roughest spot in her wiccan life, and here I am to do the same for the rest of you. I mean, come on let's face facts shall we. If I were evil, the elders would know it, and they wouldn't give me access to go up there." He stated bluntly while pointing upward. "Would you want someone you already know, or someone you don't know?"
"Someone we don't know." Paige and Phoebe jumped out. "I don't know, I think having Cole as a whitelighter could come in handy." Phoebe and Paige looked at her in shock. "What?!" Piper's head turned as they shouted at her. "Well, look on the bright side. He knows most of the demonic underworld, and he has a way of getting things done." Phoebe interjected. "Piper, I know things are looking down because Leo's gone, but that doesn't mean we need a demon..." Cole cleared his throat to correct her, but Phoebe simply ignored it. "A demon, to help us be better witches."
"Well if you don't need me as of now, I am going to alert the elders about the situation at hand. I hope you all come to your senses about me as your whitelighter." At the last word he smirked an adoring smile at Piper and then orbed out just as Leo did in beautiful baby blue and white lights.
Phoebe huffed and smacked her arms to her side after watching Cole leave. "I can't believe this is happening. What the hell were they thinking letting Cole be our whitelighter?" She was angry of course, quite angry, but there was nothing she herself could do about it. "Well I think I'm going to pay them a little visit." Stated Paige as her tone was no longer calm and steady. "What do you mean pay them a visit, like, go up there?" Asked Piper, confused now. "No, Leo and Chris used to go to the bridge and call to them for guidance. I do it too only because I don't want to go up there." Pointing upward as Cole did, gesturing to the elders. "Try and make them reconsider. For me at least. I don't think I can have him around, not with everything going on." Phoebe's voice sounded saddened as she now sat down on the windows platform. Paige nodded before orbing out and leaving her sisters in the attic.
"You know, we have to think of something, and quick before anything get's out of hand." Siad Phoebe before taking a seat over near her sister. "I mean, this had to have happened for a reason." She looked at Piper for support, figuring she wouldn't get any feedback. "Yeah but the question is why? Why would they let Cole out from his plane, only to be our whitelighter? It just doesn't make sense." Piper, now concerned, knew that the elders may have something up thier sleeves, the question was what. "Well whatever the reason, let's hope Paige finds the answer.
Moments later, atop the San Fransisco bridge stood Paige shouting out to the elders for one of them to come down. Within seconds, bright shimmering orbs appeared before her and an elder she did not know appeared before her. "You called." Paige stood in curiousness as to who this elder was, but because she orbed, she didn't second guess it. "I want to know why you guys sent Cole to be out whitelighter, and I want to know right now!" Demanding them for reason, Paige stood firm on the steel frame with angry fists. The elder looked at Paige with an absolute look. "Cole was taken from the spirit realm to help guide you in this now precious moment in your lives." Paige still didn't understand and continued to demand answers. "Precious moment. What precious moment?" The elder reamained in the same spot, explaining the situation to Paige. "With the war coming, you will need someone who is experienced in this. Sending a whitelighter that you are unfamiliar with may set you back with second guesses. Cole's life is set on your winning this war with evil. If he betrays you, there will be consequences I assure you. Instead of wondering why he is here, you should focus on what you will do to prepare for the war. It is coming soon, and you need to be on your guard."
Paige was still unsure this was the best idea, but as it all sank in, the elder wished her and her sisters good luck, and orbed out before Paige could respond. "Well, this is great." She said blusterly as her hands waved into the air before she herself orbed out. None the happy was Paige, nor was she relieved. Still, she had to return to the manor and alert her sisters that nothing had changed and Cole was at least telling the truth. Phoebe would be more angry than Piper, and Paige understood this.
Back at the manor, Piper and Phoebe were still stumped on what to do, and the only thing they did was wait out the time and see what Paige's results were. When Paige orbed in, Phoebe and Piper knew that nothing was to be done just by reading the look on thier sister's face. "So what are we supposed to do? I mean we can't just sit here and let this happen." Said Phoebe with an overexhausted tone in her voice. She was far from tired, but she was angered by the situation in which the elder's had placed not only her, but her sisters as well. "After everything we have done, after all that we went through, and oh, let's not forget what Cole put me through, we have to stand by and let them make this descission without our say?!" Piper stood back as Phoebe kicked in the "Oh" and gave a frightful look. Phoebe was pacing the wooden floors of the attic, simply because she couldn't stand to be in one spot for another minute. "This can't be happening." She continued on before coming to an abrupt stop hard towards the window. She spun around and faced her sisters. "I've got it!" She shouted with great enthusiasm. "Strike! We go on strike." The statement came clear to Piper, Phoebe seemed to have gone mad.
"What are you talking about? We can't strike, and even if we did, demons would attack without a care." Piper stated with most concern for not only herself and her sisters, but for her two boys and Leo. "If we strike, we risk our lives, and not to mention your nephews." This seemed to have gotten Phoebe to simmer down because her form became sunken at the thought.
"Your right, well, there has to be something. Cole can not come back like this. Not after everything we went through to get rid of him." Phoebe's disgust only came more paining to her stomach than before. All the images of turning evil, taking the seer's tonic, and even having a demonic heir in her stomach came all back to her, and she knew, there may never be an escape from Cole after all.
"Don't worry, i'm sure Cole won't do anything this time." Paige commented as she walked into the attic. "After all, the elder I talked to made it perfectly clear that if he tried anything, there would be consequences." Paige tried her best to calm Phoebe down, and apparently this time it had worked. Phoebe said nothing, and Piper looked at Phoebe, then to Paige in hopes that her sister's words were true.
"This better work. If it doesn't than everything we, I have worked for, will go very bad for you. This is our only hope to gain the charmed one's powers. Once their powers are gone, only then can we let our plan go into action." A petite woman stated. She had long dark brown hair, green eyes, and an olive complexion. Her tattered clothes and impish scars made her known in the category of a demoness. She had spent months compiling a potion that would in fact bring to life those who had fallen before her time in the underworld.
"I assure you, this potion will bring them back as they were before thier fall. Angry, and vengefull than ever." A tall man with a bald head stated to the woman. He was a low level demon, but on occasion had what high level demons needed, and in return, he would recieve something he ached for. More power and a better demonic status.
"Tomorrow night is a full moon, I will cast the spell and then await the fun." Her eyes had gleamed an ominous shade of silver, almost as off type as silver could be.
"May I ask who you are bringing back?"
"No!" She shouted to him. A heavy wind picked up in the enclosed cave, and without another word, the demon before her shut his trap.
Early the next morning Piper was found by Paige in the kitchen, as usual making coffee. Paige sniffed the open air and smelled the sweet scent of Piper's Caramel muffins rising in the oven. "Mmm, Caramel in the morning." She shivered and made a scrunched up face, cute pug nose and all, then took a seat at the kitchen table. Piper smiled at the compliment, and handed her a tall glass of orange juice.
"Have you seen Phoebe this morning? I noticed her bed was unmade." Asked Piper in a curious manor.
"Well, since I had no hot water this morning, and your pressed and dressed, I take it she went to work even earlier than usual." Paige pointed to the key rack near the laundry room door. "See, car keys gone."
Piper made a grunting sound. "She's probrably avoiding the appearance of Cole this morning."
"I don't know why, he's a whitelighter now, he can pretty much orb to wherever he wants."
Before Piper could respond, orb shimmers appeared in the middle of the door way. "Did somebody mention my name?" Cole said with a handsome grin while leaning against the doorway frame. Paige gave a roll of her eyes and picked up the SF times, trying to avoid the uncomfortable conversation that was about to take place.
"Actually yes, we were talking about you." Stated Piper with a bit of sarcasm in her tone. "But we did not call for you. You see there is a difference between calling your whitelighter, and talking about him."
"Yeah, why are you really here?" Paige questioned.
"Well I was bored." He said bluntly while looking over his well manicured nails. "Besides, I miss this house." He sucked air in through his teeth. "The contents within." He looked Piper dead in the eye. He thought perhaps she would know the meaning behind that, but apparently her look made him realize that he may have refferred to the book of shadows or the nexus. "It's not what you think at all." He finally stated when he noticed her look of accusation.
"Well what do you mean exactly?" Piper asked him with a stern look in her eyes. Her hands were flat to the counter as the caramel muffin scent wafted through the air.
"The action, Phoebe, you...." He turned his head and looked over at Paige. "Paige." He sent Paige a slick smirk and she made a disgusted face while rolling her eyes and returning to the paper.
The timer had went off and the ding let Piper know that the rest of the muffins were ready.
"Your cooking I enjoyed as well." Added Cole with hopes she would at least smile to the compliment of her cooking. She smiled all right, a sarcastic smile that would make demonic Cole very uneasy.
Piper took the tray of muffins from the oven, set them on a cooling rack one by one after shutting the door, and then transferred them onto a platter. Paige was the first to grab a caramel muffin, place it on a napkin, and take a bite. Her heavenly gaze as she bit a piece assured Piper it was fantastic. Piper smiled blushingly, and Paige announced she was leaving for work.
"I thought you were going to take the week off Paige." Said Piper wonderingly.
"No, after everything that's been going on, I sort of need to get out and do something. See ya." And that was that. Piper was now alone with Cole in the kitchen.
"Looks like it's just us two." Said Cole with a twitching smile. He was cute, she had to give him that, but anything but good. That she knew deep down inside.
"Noooo, I am bringing the boys to school, and then I am going to start making sense of all this war stuff."
"Well I can tag along if you'd like." Cole was desperate to help Piper through her ordeal, but Piper was more than reluctant to comprimise. Piper held up her hand and went off into the hall before descending up the stairs to the boys. Cole made a sad little face and orbed upward.
The Bay Mirror was a busy little paper. Dozens of phones ringing, papers cluttered on various desks, and people bustling themselves all over the office. Phoebe had shut her office door to block out the noise, and she had drawn the blinds so no one could bother looking in. Or rather her looking out at them. She locked her door in hopes no one would come in and interrupt her. Hundreds of response letters to write, and with the entire ordeal about a supernatural war on their hands, she was quite sure the letters didn't entirely matter. If they had lost, no one would get a single response to their problems. Not one. Something that didn't sit well in Phoebe's stomach.
Bright lights gleamed into the office, and Cole had emerged from them. Phoebe became aware of who it was, and her stomach began to get worse. Before Cole even had a chance to speak or take a step closer, Phoebe began her usual pushing from Cole.
"Just because your a whitelighter, it does not mean that you have a right to interrupt me at work." Pheobe's voice was incredibly tired and aggitated.
"I just came to see if everything was okay. That's all." Cole replied with a calm soothing tone. Pheobe gave him her famous 'Yeah Right' look. "Fine, if you don't want me here, then I will go." Phoebe's hands smacked down to the desk and her right hand shifted to her forehead as she completely did a one eighty.
"Look, I don't know what your up to, but I can assure you...."
"Look..." Cole cut her off before she could finish her sentence. "I didn't ask for this job, they gave it to me." Cole had approached her desk and made himself comfortable in the chair in front of it.
"We need to get one thing straight. This is buisiness. Nothing more. Just because your back for however long, it doesn't mean that we will ever be back. Ya got that Cole?" Phoebe was in her defensive mode right now. Cole had heard it many times before. When he betrayed her in the beginning, after her sisteres rescued her from his evil hold, and so many other times he couldn't quite forget.
Cole's hands flew up, showing her it was not a problem. "Hey I get it. Besides, I don't want you back. I have another love interest in hand." He said with a striking grin. Phoebe became quizzical of this and her brows furrowed as if she didn't understand.
"Oh yeah, who?"
"Well I believe that is none of your buisiness. Besides, you know that whitelighter's never state thier personal, and private reveals to thier charges." He was being slick as usual. Something he did often when he was trying to keep Phoebe at hand.
"Well whatever or whoever it is, keep me out of it."
"Oh I will." And before she could get another word in, Cole orbed out in flashing bright orbs.
Pheobe sat there at her desk and let a large consumption of breath release from her lungs as she was now, more than ever, baffled by the shocking news Cole had just told her.
Was it possible Cole was in love with someone else? That he had no feelings for Phoebe what so ever? Pheobe sat inside this ring of questions for over an hour until she stood, walked over to the window that split between her office and the ones outside it, placed a hand on the back of the chair were Cole had sat and got a premonition.
Phoebe's eyes enlarged after coming out of her vision. She had seen a destruction like no other, and she knew it was going to happen much sooner than later.
The underworld was now in an uproar when the demons found out that past evils would be brought back in hopes to elliminate the charmed ones.
After much thought the demoness had finally decided to tell them all of her plan. A demon shouted out that it had already been done, but little did they know she had in fact made a much simpler plan. One that would not only destroy the charmed ones, but one that would ultimately tip the balance to evil where no force of good could overthrow the demonic underworld.
"We have only one problem." stated the Oracle bluntly. The demoness turned her head to see the oracle spread askew over a large stone platform which had once been used as an alter.
"What would that be oracle?" The demoness asked with furrowed brows.
"The boy. He is a threat to us."
"The boy is a mere child. Hardly powerful to stop even this. The demoness assured her.
"Not that boy." The oracle bent upward to look at the demoness with concern. "The other boy."
The demoness laughed with near hysteria. "Chris?" She laughed again. "A younger child than his brother, and he has no power, yet you think he is a threat to us?" She rolled her eyes and laughed some more. "Your a more foolish oracle than the last three."
The oracle stood straight up and walked to the side of the stone alter, her hand waving over her crystal ball. White smoke poured through it, soon revealing the child Chris, however it was not the baby. No, this time, he was bigger, taller, older. The demoness's eyes grew wide with anger and she snickered before leaving the dungeon hall, but not before she gave her last words.
"This will be handled."
The demons in the hall had thier doubts, and began chatting aloud the mistake this demoness would make.
"Piper! Paige!" Shouted Phoebe at the top of her lungs as she entered the doorway in the front hall. She threw her purse on the hall table and called once more up the stairs and towards the kitchen. Piper flew down in a rush, worried that Phoebe had been hurt. Her worried expression formed and pulsed in her voice.
"What's the matter? Are you okay?" Asked Piper as she zoomed down the stairs.
"No Piper, actually I'm not alright." Her attitude coming out again, yet this time it was a fearful expression. One that informed Piper that danger was ahead.
"What happened?" Asked Piper as she reached the bottom landing, tending to her sister as her hands stayed on alert.
"I was talking to Cole at work, he left, and when I touched the back of the chair he was sitting in I had a premonition."
"No, although it might have had to do with him. I'm not sure." She said now with a puzzled expression. "It might be because he's our whitelighter, but something about it scared me so I had to come tell you guys." Her face looked distorted as she wondered where Paige was. "Where's Paige?"
"Oh, she's at magic school with Billie. Their trying to redo the school and put things right." Piper sounded amused and still strange. "If you ask me, I think it's a bad idea."
"Well we have to deal with this first."
"Well what did you see?" Piper asked as they were now in the living room taking a seat on one of the couches.
"I saw war. Lots of fire, death, demons. I think it may have to do with what is supposed to come." Her expression was unmistakeable to Piper. It was a look of worry and fear. Piper had seen this a few times on her sister, and it was not a pretty sight.
"Well if you saw the demon, we can look for it in the book of shadows, vanquish him, and move on."
"No." Said Phoebe back as she intook some air. "I don't think this one will be that easy."
"Well why not? We've done it thousands of times."
"Because. The demon I saw, or rather demons', we already vanquished."
"What are you talking about? who are they?" Asked Piper with a quizzical expression.
"Zanku, and The Source." Phoebe was blunt when she said it, and Piper's face would be considered the most terrified look of the century.
"We have to get Paige." Stated Phoebe bluntly. They would need the power of three, and with Billie learning faster than ever, maybe even the power of four.
Meanwhole, back at magic school, Paige was helping Billie stack books in the library. Billie loved the library because it was filled with magical books. Spells, refrence guides, and so much more. The only problem was that Billie insisted on looking in every single book that caught her eye. Paige had to keep reminding her that there was only a little bit of time before the school was to re-open. Billie rolled her eyes.
"Yeah yeah, I know."
And without thinking twice, she waved her hand in various sections of the library and all the books stacked themselves by her telekinetic force. Paige shook her head but played a litle smirk at the same time.
"Now, can I please look at some of the books? I still need to learn."
Billy was desperately trying to find out more about what she was supposed to do besides help her sister. Paige suddenly heard Piper and Phoebe as they called for her, and turned to Billie.
"I have to go, they are calling me."
"Good, then I have time to straighten up a bit and still look at some of these books." Stated Billy bluntly, but in her mind she was simply going to go straight for the books.
"Fine, but no magic. I don't need any more trouble. Not after what happened last time." Said Paige as she referred to the pixies that ended up destroying the manor. Piper was most furious at Billie.
"Okay, I won't do magic." Billie lied before Paige orbed out to the manor. Billie roamed throughout the library looking for an interesting book, and finally one hit her eye. Her eyes grew wide and lit up and she went over to the book, pulled it out, ran her hand over the cover which held a triquetra symbol on the cover. She brought the book over to the librarian's desk, sat down behind it and began sifting through the pages.
Bright orbs filled a tiny section of the attic as Piper and Phoebe stood there waiting for thier sister. Paige finally appeared, but had no time to ask questions on why she was summoned.
"We have a problem. A big problem." Stated Piper as she grabbed Paiges hand and led her to the book of shadows, where it sat on the podium.
"Some demon has, or is, trying to conjure some old friends to destroy us. We think it may be the start of the war." Said Phoebe as she approached her sisters.
"Well what demon? And why is this so important?" Paige asked with a quizzical expression.
"Well, I saw the demon's face, and we managed to look her up in the book, however there is no vanquish..."
"But we may be able to use the power of three spell." Piper interrupted.
"But there's more. Not only is this demon strong, but she is in league with a multiple heard of demons." Phoebe continued. "She plans to bring back the source."
Paige simply held a vacant expression as she stared at Phoebe.
"And Zankou." Piper finished. Paige simply looked into the book of shadows and read over the demoness's passage.
"Well we vanquished them before, and now that Zankou doesn't have our powers, it will be easier for us to vanquish him. We already know we can vanquish the source, so what's the problem?"
Piper intercepted Phoebe before she had a chance to speak. "The problem is, not only do we need the power of three, but we may need a little bit more than that."
"So then we use Billie." Paige said without thought.
"No." Phoebe insisted. "We need the power of four, by Halliwell blood."
"Well how the hell can we do that? I'm sure Grams isn't allowed to come down and help. Not after what happened last month."
"I don't know, but we need to think fast before they are conjured." Phoebe stated bluntly. "I saw what was going to happen, and it isn't good."
"Ya think we should....." Paige nearly asked before Piper and Phoebe gave her stern looks. Calling Cole for this was the last thing they needed. "Riiiiight." Paige rang out as she then realized she left Billie in magic school unattended with magical books. "Well I have to go back to Billie."
"What, Why?" Asked Piper.
"Well she's in magic school all by herself, and since she's still trying to find her sister, who knows what kind of trouble she'll stir up."
"Oh alrught, go. We'll call you if we need you." Said Piper, then Paige orbed out before another word could be said.
"Maybe this might find my sister." Said Billie as she came across 'A Broken Connection' spell. "All I have to do is read the incantation, and then I'll find her. Why didn't I look here earlier?" She asked herself before realizing that magic school was empowered by demons of all sorts. "Right. Demons."
In front of her lay a candle, and from her pocket she drew out a blue bic, then lit the white candle, followed by the incantation.
"Nothing more can now be done, except for with this spell,
Bring a loved one back to me, so all will now be well."
As Paige orbed in white shimmering lights appeared before Billie, and just as an image was going to emerge, Paige looked completely awe stricken. A woman, tall, with dark brown hair now became visible. Billie apparently had the same facial tone, for it was not quite who she expected, but Paige new exactly who it was.
"Prue?" Asked Paige, however she did not need to ask her, she already knew.
[To Be Continued]