Disclaimer: Charmed was created by Constance M. Burge

I make no monetary profit from this story.

Warning, Disclaimer II, author's notes: Touches on delicate subject. (No, it's not sexual/substance abuse). No offence meant to those who have gone through this, or if you know of someone who has. I do not trivialise it in *any way.* This fictional story is written for development of the characters - Somewhat AU - Cole never turned evil again and was not vanquished and Leo is still the Charmed Ones' Whitelighter. Background info: Chris left in my story and Phoebe still has long hair! Set after "Oh My Goddess Part II." Based on a dream I had.

Summary: Something devastating has happened. Piper is at her wits end and desperate, enlisting the help of Leo and Cole and an ancient God.

Rating - Mostly PG - M in some parts




"No ... No .... NO!!! LEO! .... LEO!!!!" Piper screamed. "LEO! LEO! LEO!" She screamed so hard her taut throat ached.

In an instant, her beloved shimmered by at her side, extremely concerned, sensing her distress he felt something was definitely wrong. A raw chill gripped him - in the height of Summer. "What's wrong ... I sensed ..."

Piper babbled something unintelligible and Leo looked down into her arms. He felt as though a rock as big as the Nargun had hit him in the stomach. His eyes widened with shock. In the next instant, Paige orbed in, clutching Phoebe's arm, both with very worried looks and their mouths hung open in utter shock.

"NO!" Phoebe exclaimed.

Paige shook her head, "No ... no ... this can't happen ..."

Tears streamed down Piper's face as she handed Wyatt's limp body to Leo. Gently, he took his son and sat down.

"You *have* to save him..." Piper rasped. She could barely remain upright, feeling as though her skeleton would give any minute and she would be a pile of putty on the floor.

The Whitelighter sat down and closed his eyes, took a deep meditative breath and placed his hands over his son. The sisters held their breath. Piper felt as though she would pass out, but forced herself to remain conscious and took hold of Wyatt's white wooden cot for support.

Leo's breathing slowed. His hands glowed, the subtle low surrounding Wyatt's body. The Charmed Ones waited with baited breath

After what seemed like an aeon, Leo looked up, tears streaming down his cheeks.

"There's ... nothing I can do ..." he could barely speak.

His words were barely audible, but to Piper, it seemed as though he had broadcast through an industrial sound system.

"NO!! ... NO!!! There's got to be ... You're a Whitelighter! You're his FATHER!!!!"

"I know ..." Leo's voice was shaking.

Piper hit her fists on his shoulders. "You *have* to save him..."

"I tried and .."

"Try again!"

Leo sighed and once again placed his hands on Wyatt's body in his lap, though deep within him he knew the results would be the same. His warm glow did nothing.

"Try again!" Piper screamed, desperate.

"Piper, it's ..."


For Piper, Leo tried a third time. Nothing. Piper shook her head in disbelief. Her sisters caught her as she collapsed, shaking like an earthquake. Leo stood with Wyatt in his arms. Phoebe and Paige sat the grieving mother on the bed.

"The Elders ..." she said suddenly, looking at Leo.

"They might be able to help..." the Whitelighter said, hopefully.

Piper stood. "After all we've done for them, they *must*."

"There's no guarantee," Leo sighed gravely.

"There *has* to be ... They have to save him!..." Piper wailed.

"I'll do everything I can," Leo promised.

Clinging onto hope like a barnacle to a whale, Leo orbed out with baby Wyatt.

At the moment Leo orbed, Cole's form materialised. He looked concerned and eve more so when he saw the tears streaming down Leo's face just before he orbed and seeing the forlorn looks on the Charmed Ones faces, and sensing their despair and distress.

"What's happened?"

Paige looked at him, harshly wiping tears away from her pale face. "Wyatt's-"

"Don’t say it!" Piper screamed, standing. "Leo's going to save him!" She spoke with a strength she did not feel. The eldest Charmed one sat back down before she collapsed again. Paige sat by her. Phoebe knelt beside the bed and placed her head in her sister's lap. Piper instinctively stroked her hair.

Cole smiled inwardly at the touching scene. "Is there anything you need me to do?" It surprised him when the question came out directed at Piper rather than Phoebe.

The eldest witch looked at him for a moment, then sighed. "No ... there's nothing... nothing..."

She went back to stroking Phoebe's dark hair.

Cole left the Charmed ones be. He sighed to himself as he made his way to the living room. As usual there was not much out of place in the Halliwell Manor. He began to pick up the few things that were. He wanted to feel useful and this was the only thing he felt he could do right now until Leo returned with Wyatt. If the Whitelighter was not successful, Cole was not sure what would happen, but he would wait and see.

He picked up a few of Wyatt's baby toys and placed them in a basket and also some clothes strewn over the sofa, which he took to the laundry.

He grimaced when he returned and saw the kitchen. Dishes everywhere ... more cloths than he cared to poke a sword at, strewn about the place. Cole felt and heard something crush beneath his foot. Upon looking down, he saw the remnants of a ceramic mixing bowl smashed on the floor. He surmised Piper was in the middle of making lunch and dropped the bowl in shock when she sensed something wrong with Wyatt. He waved his hand over the mess, disintegrating the white ceramic pieces and wasted white sauce. Cole realised he could have this whole place literally done in a flash, though he knew, then he would have to sit idle until Leo returned, and he wanted to keep busy.

He looked at the unfinished lunch, baked salmon, not yet baked, he assumed he the sauce he had just vanquished was to go with the fish and a half made Lebanese tabouli salad. Cole followed the instructions carefully to finish the salad, whip up some more white sauce in a rather crappy scratched plastic, bowl and he placed the now lemon peppered fish into the oven. He surmised that food would be the last thing on the Charmed ones minds right now, but they would need to eat sooner or later. Cole chucked to himself. The ex-source of all evil, feared by the most powerful of demons, washing dishes. There was something funny about that, but the humour was short lived in light of such a dire situation.

He began to clear away the mess and clutter and wiped down the bench.

Cole turned around to the other bench and saw a potion in the midst of being made. More mess, though slightly more organised. He sniffed and screwed up his face.

"Ah. Wolfsbane. Very handy."

He added the final ingredient and mixed it in. The ex-demon lord took a little of the potion onto his finger and tasted it. His face twisted violently as he spat it out in the sink.


He wolfed down a large wooden spoonful of tabouli to take away the foul taste of the potion, before he placed the salad bowl in the fridge.

He labelled the wolfsbane clearly, took it to the attic and placed it with all the other useful potions. The place looked like Professor Snape's office from Harry Potter.

Cole returned to the kitchen and began to wash the utensils from the potion making. Yes, he surmised, Professor Severus Snape would be proud. Cole chuckled to himself, picturing the Charmed Ones going to school at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Phoebe, a Hufflepuff, he surmised. Piper, a Gryffindor, absolutely and Paige, she would be harder to place. Cole pictured the Sorting Hat placing her in Ravenclaw. And Leo, Gryffindor, definitely. As for him Cole knew he would be a Slytherin.

He placed away the magical ingredients and had to admit he was impressed with Paige's idea of having a separate cupboards for the herbs and spices used in magic, cooking and both, like basil and ginger. It may be a small thing on the scale of the world, but nevertheless, it was important. Piper and Phoebe had gotten used to it and the eldest charmed ones had taken it a step further - there were now two lots of herbs and spices used for both cooking and magic, in their retrospective cupboards and now no one got confused. Cole was careful to put the ingredients in their correct cupboards. Not only did he definitely not want to incur Piper's wrath - sometimes the fate of the world literally did depend on a pinch of ginger.

While he cleared away the other bench, he found a shopping list. He wiped the small spill of wolfsbane from it.

"Looks like I'm going shopping," he said to himself, but not before he took the countless dirty dish and washing up cloths to the laundry and started a wash cycle.

Cole felt he needed to get out into the fresh air and this was the prefect opportunity. He first stopped at the magic shop and stocked up on powdered Asphodel, sandalwood shavings and Elf leaf, of which he noticed the witches were running short, before he headed to the supermarket to stock up on various toiletries, fruits, vegetables, protein and other foods including chocolate and he picked up a new white ceramic salad bowl as well.

When he returned, he placed away the ingredients and saw the oven had turned itself off. The fish was done and being kept warm. Cole hoped that it would be put to good use. Grief suppressed the appetite, but it was always good to be kept nourished. Cole checked the laundry and placed the clothes in the dryer. He planned to rest for a while after he packed the shopping away, but he would not get the chance.

He returned to the kitchen and packed away the shopping. He almost dropped the new salad bowl when he heard Piper scream, "NO!!!!"

Cole closed his eyes for a moment. "No rest for the wicked..."

He did not know at this moment why he was drawn to help Piper. In an instant, he materialised in the room. He had never seen Leo of the Charmed Ones look so forlorn and helpless.

"No ... no ... no ..." Piper kept wailing. "There has *got* to be something they can do..."

Heartbroken, Leo shook his head. "I pleaded with them for over two hours ... There's nothing they can do ... nothing ..." He held Wyatt's body gently in his arms.

Cole could sense Leo was using every cell in his body to be strong for Piper, but he wanted to fall apart.

"There has to be a spell ... a potion to bring him back..." Piper said, desperate.

"Piper ..." Leo said seriously ,"none of us have the power of the authority to raise the dead, not even the Elders ... There are severe consciences for-"

"I don't care! I'll suffer the consequences! There *has* to be a way!"

"Piper ..."

Her gaze burned into him. "Don't you want to save your son?"

Her words cut through the Whitelighter like a sword. "Of course I do!" he said, hurt. "But I don't know how!"

"You said it was possible to raise-"

"I never said that."

"You implied it."

"Yes ... but ... I also said there would be severe consequences. Do you want that?"

"I want my baby back!" She sniffed back tears. "How could this have happened..." she said in despair. "His shield should have protected him ... If any demons were-"

Cole sniffed the air. "No demons were here."

"No magick was used either," Paige said. "We tested and ruled that out."

"SIDS, perhaps," Cole said.

Paige and Phoebe gave him a puzzled look.

"Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," Cole explained. "No one knows how it despite continuing research."

"How could it have happened to my baby?" Piper wailed. "Why did it happen?!"

Cole offered another theory, which he knew Piper would not like. "Many followers of new age beliefs believe that when one dies, they choose to leave this life."

Piper glared at him. "My baby did *not* choose to leave."

Cole nodded. "I only offered a theory, though I'm not completely convinced on it myself."

Piper placed her face into her hands, then she took them away and turned to Cole. "Can you do anything..." She held Wyatt's limp body out to Cole in sheer desperation.

He shook his head. "No ... I don't have the power to raise the dead."

"He's not dead ... he just can't be ..."

Cole wanted to say 'face facts, Piper,' but he did not want to upset her any further.

She looked at him again. "You must know of demons who can ..."

"Piper ..."Leo cautioned, but she ignored him.

Cole shook his head.

"You were the source of all evil for Merlin's sake!" Piper exclaimed. "You *must* know someone who can-"

"I do, but trust me, you don't want that."

"I want my child!" Piper screamed. "You are going to the demon world and demand-"

"No," Cole stated. "I won't, and it won’t work."

"You haven’t even tried!"

"I don't need to."

"You *have* to! Someone may be able to save him!"

"Yes, they might."

"Then ..."

Cole shook his head and gently pushed Wyatt back to Piper's chest.


Leo gently placed his hand on his wife's shoulder and became a little hurt when she shook it off.

Cole's gaze burned into Piper's eyes. "And what if some demon does decide to help the son of his or her mortal enemy? Do you think that won’t come with a price?"

"I'll pay it."

"With the lives of one of your sisters? Or Both? Or Leo? Or perhaps with your souls."

Piper backed down.

"Even if they don't want a reward, what makes you think everything will be hunky dory afterwards? Imagine they resurrected Wyatt with an evil soul and super strength and he murdered your sisters *and* his parents in your sleep?"

"Stop ... Stop..." Piper said, clearly distressed. She could barely hold Wyatt anymore and Leo took his baby from her.

"Those are the facts, Piper, Cole said. "I am sure you would rather Wyatt rest in peace than have his soul violated."

Piper's body shivered. "It's not FAIR!" she screamed, raising her hands and blasting a bookshelf.

The others in the room winced amidst the destruction. Piper sat down hard on the bed. A big, thick book fell to the floor with a loud thud. Piper jumped and looked over to it.


Her body tingled. "That's it!" she cried, jumping up. She grabbed Leo's shoulders with so much force, it hurt.

"The Elders *can* help!"

Leo didn't follow.

"The Elders *can* raise the dead."

Leo shook his head. "No, they can't. I know, Piper, I know what they can and cannot do."

"Yes," Piper said, firm. "They can. They can ..." her eyes lit up, excitedly. "They brought the Gods to Earth."

Leo still didn't quite follow.

"Hades was the only Greek God that had the power to raise the dead ... The Elders can make one of us the Goddess of Death and then we can..."

Leo saw where this was going and shook his head.

"It won't be for long ... just a little while ... not even an half an hour ..."


"You sound like you don’t even *want* to save him!"

"Of course I do!" Leo exclaimed, hurt and angry, "but the Elders ruled..."

"The Elders rules be damned! They can do this!"

"The Elders are not going to resurrect the Gods, Piper, not even one of them. Not for half an hour. Not even for five minutes."

"You have to go to them and ..."

Leo sighed. "They won't do it, Piper. They didn't even resurrect the Gods when the world and their very lives were in danger - even after the Titans had murdered half their kind."

"They don’t care about Wyatt, do they? They don't care about us..."

"Of course they care," Leo said, a little annoyed. "If you only saw how much it pained them."

"If they only saw how much it pains *me.* I'm his MOTHER!!!" Piper paused for a few moments, gathering her thoughts. "Hades is the only on who can help..."

"Wait a minute," Paige said. "Hades? Isn't tat Hell?

Leo shook his head. "A common misconception. Hades was the God of the Dead in ancient Greece. The Egyptians called him Osiris. The Romans called him Pluto and his Realm was called Hades, which is beneath the Earth where Hell is thought to be, so that's where the modern confusion comes from. Hades is also the god of Justice, and Death is the final judge. Hades himself was never evil. He punished the evil and rewarded the good. In essence, he's one of the good guys."

"Hades can bring Wyatt back," Piper said, firm.

"I'm sorry, Piper, but the Elders will not-"

"Well, if we can't being Hades to us, then we'll have to go to him ... Phoebe... Paige ... A spell - Address: the Underworld, Under the Earth, Ancient Greece. Attention Hades."

Leo placed his hand on his wife's shoulder. "Piper ... Are you sure about this? I mean we're talking about Hades here."

She turned to him. "I thought you said he punished the evil and rewarded the good. You said it yourself - he's one of the good guys, right?"

"Well yes, but I didn't exactly mean we go knocking on his door with a plate of brownies."

Piper managed a small smile, her first smile in what seemed like an age. "Do you think he eats brownies?"

Leo chuckled softly. It was a relief to have even a smidgen of humour in such a dire situation. Piper took her baby from him.

"How's this?" Phoebe said. And she began to read the writing scrawled down on a scrap of paper she had found on the bedside table ...

"Take us now to ancient Greece

The mythical land of the Golden Fleece

Take us this day to Hades' domain

To bring and end to our despair and pain."

Piper was too worried about Wyatt to congratulate Phoebe and Paige's combined efforts on such a well written spell on such short notice. Leo, Cole and the Charmed Ones appeared to disappear.


They materialised in a dimly lit cavern.

"Is this the Underworld?" Piper asked, looking around.

"Yes," Cole replied.

"It seems awfully quiet," Phoebe said. "Not even a demon to greet us."

Cole shook his head. "This is the ancient Greek Underworld, not the demon underworld, very different. All the evil souls here are trapped in Tartarus. Don’t worry, they won't be going anywhere."

Piper relaxed.

"It's Hades we have to worry about," Cole said.

"I thought Leo said he was one of the good guys," Phoebe said.

"He's never taken kindly to visitors," Cole said.

"Now he tells us," Phoebe said, dismayed.

"You should brush up on your mythology," Cole admonished gently.

The Charmed Ones, Cole and Leo advanced cautiously. Piper was drawn to a light emanating from a large opening. The others followed her toward it.

"Be careful," Cole warned.

Leo took her hand. "He's right. We are in Hades after all."

"I know it's all right," Piper said. "I can sense it somehow." She continued to walk toward the light. The other followed her, cautious.

Piper reached the opening and stared in awe. The others looked in equal wonder. Before them in the opening lay lush green fields, glowing with life and spirit. Trees stood tall, the fields stretching far. Faeries and Elves played in the forest. Unicorns ran free. In the far distance, Mermaids played with whales and dolphins in the ocean.

Glowing beings dressed in radiant white roamed the Fields, in love and bliss.

"Whoever thought Hades would be so beautiful..." Piper gasped.

"Well thank you," came a voice from behind them. Took ages to get the Elysian Fields right."

The newcomers turned to face Hades. He stood in a regal vermilion robe, embroidered with platinum and gold and wore a platinum crown atop his head, and an exquisite necklace of the same metal. Hades regarded the visitors as they stared at him.

The God of the Dead broke the silence. "I know why you are here. Like countless mortals before you, you have come here as you wish me to resurrect a loved one."

Piper nodded and stepped forward.

"Full marks for effort and ingenuity," Hades said, "but you must also know to do so is strictly against the rules and goes against everything I am."

"And what are you?" Piper challenged.

Leo shot her a cautionary glance.

"I am the God of the Dead ~ Sovereign of the Underworld."

Piper noticed Hades said that mater of factly, not a single a hint of arrogance, pride or superiority. The God continued. "It is my duty to care for the dead or punish them if need be, in accordance to how they lived their mortal lives, and to keep the balance."

"Balance?" Piper asked.

"If I went around resurrecting people willy nilly because I felt sorry for their loved ones, their friends and families, chaos would ensue. You can't even imagine the catastrophe it would be."

"But wouldn't it make people happy?" Phoebe asked.

"For a time," Hades said, "in the short run, but in the long run, overpopulation would eventually decimate the world. The imbalance would be incredible and wholly unnatural."

Piper swallowed. " But he's only one tiny baby..."

Hades features softened. "Piper, it's always only one. Just one husband, wife, daughter, son, sister, brother, friend... I am sorry, but I cannot make an exception for you."

"Why not?"

"Because I am also the God of Justice."

"My baby is dead! You call that justice!?"

Hades sighed. "It would not be just of me to resurrect Wyatt when I have refused others. Not last month I told Gabrielle that I could not resurrect Xena."

"Xena's real?" Phoebe asked, incredulous.

"A little known fact, but yes," Hades said, "despite the inaccuracies of the timeline when her journeys were shown in your world, and the Gods are alive and well, thank you very much, but as for the gist of the show, it's pretty much accurate."


Piper's mind was not on the fabled Warrior Princess - all she cared about was Wyatt. "So won't you ..."

Hades placed his hands on Piper's shoulders. "I can't, Piper. I have helped people this way in the past and in the long run it wasn't the best thing I could have done. You are welcome to leave him here," Hades said. "His spirit will be well cared for in the Elysian Fields."

Hades led Piper inside the cave. The God and witch began to glow. To Piper's surprise, Wyatt seemed to come to life in her arms, taking on a warm glow.

"Everyone is alive here," Hades said. "A soul can never die."

"I thought the Underworld was full of death and decay..." Piper said.

Hades gave an understanding smile. "Most do. A common misconception."

"No offence," Piper added.

"None taken," Hades said with a smile.

A beautiful woman, dressed in pure, pristine white appeared, holding an ignited beeswax candle.

"Celesta," Hades said. "My sister. The Spirit of Death. She will care for your son for eternity."

Piper's eyes welled with tears. "There's nothing ... anyone can do...?"

"There is one thing," Hades said.

Piper looked up.

"There's only one thing you can do to save your son," the God said.

" Why didn't you say this before? What is it? Tell me! What can I do?" Her eyes burned into the Lord of the Dead.

"I cannot tell you, Piper Halliwell."

"Why ... why the hell .... WHY!!"

"You have to discover it for yourself."

"Hades, I-"

Gently, he placed his hand on her shoulder. "Do not doubt yourself, Goddess."

Piper saw the God smile slightly when he spoke. She knew there was a clue in there somewhere.

"There is another thing I can do to help," Hades said. "I will preserve young Wyatt's body for a time, but you must find the answer in that time, otherwise I am afraid Wyatt will have to return here for eternity."

"I understand ... But how long..."

"That I cannot tell you, but from what I know of you, Piper Halliwell, it will be enough."

Piper sighed. "Thank you, Hades."

"I wish I could do more, but it is up to you now."

Piper looked into Wyatt's baby eyes before Hades lead her out of the Elysian Fields. A lump stuck in her throat as Wyatt went limp once more.

The others looked a little hopeful, but somewhat forlorn.

"I have confidence in you all," Hades said. "You are all good people..." He glanced at Cole. "Mostly."

The Ex-demon smiled. "I make no secret of my past, but that's not to say that I was proud of it."

"And you're working on it," Hades said. "Which is good, but you still have a long way to go if you want to visit the Elysian Fields upon your departure."

"I know," Cole said softly.

Phoebe took his hand, comforting him. "I know you will," she said, giving him a kiss. Cole felt heartened that someone believed in him. Hades smiled

"We need a spell to get back," Piper said.

"Allow me," Hades said, "but next time you come, bring brownies."

He and the visitors smiled as the ancient Greek God raised his arms, surrounding them with a light orange glow, sending them back to the future, before returning to his chambers to watch other his Realm, awaiting Persephone's return.

* * *

Piper and the others returned home, feeling somewhat defeated, though a little hopeful. Hades had told them there was still hope.

"We'd better hurry," Cole said. " We don’t even know how much time we have."

"At least we have time..." Paige said.

Piper nodded.

"It's the only lead we have," Leo said, grateful their ancient Grecian escapade was not for nought.

"When he called me a 'Goddess,'" Piper said, "there was something in his eyes. He was trying to tell me something..." Her gaze fell to the slightly charred Gods and Goddess book. Gently she handed Wyatt to Leo and picked up the thick book. She sat on the bed and instinctively opened it up on the entry on Gaia.

  • Piper began to read. After less than half a page, she looked up, her eyes lighting up. "That's it!" she exclaimed, excitedly. "It's our only hope ..."

    She took Wyatt for his father. Piper undressed the limp baby as gently as she could. The others looked puzzled. Piper began to walk out of the room.

    "Where are you going?" Leo asked, concerned.


    "Outside, but-"

    "Come with me. All of you."

    With puzzled looks, the others followed Piper out into the back yard.

    Wyatt's mother sat down on the grass and placed Wyatt onto the ground. She closed her eyes and connected to the spirit of Mother Nature.

    After a while, she opened her eyes. Baby Wyatt still laid motionless.

    "It's not working ..." Piper said, despair rising up.

    "Perhaps it takes time," Paige offered hopefully.

    "No ... " Piper shook her head. "It should have happened almost instantly.."

    Leo knelt down beside his wife and placed his arms around her. "Piper ... I want to save my baby as much as you ... we all did, but perhaps you put too much faith into it."

    "No! Hades said-"

    "Perhaps he told you what you wanted to hear."

    Piper shook her head. "No ... I was so sure ..."

    "It will work," Cole said suddenly, "but not here."

    Piper looked up at him.

    "You have the right idea," Cole said, "but the wrong place. The connection will be stronger along the leylines, energy currents running through the Earth, the Earth's spiritual aura for want of a better word."

    "I read about those in our Elemental Magick book," Paige said. "There are some not too far from here."

    Cole shook his head. "No, we need something stronger, a convergence of many leylines."

    "So where?" Leo asked.

    "Glastonbury," Cole answered. "Otherwise known as the mythical land of Avalon." Cole looked at Piper. "Either myself or Leo can take you there."

    Piper picked up Wyatt and stood. "Both of you. Take me." She was not about to take any chances.

    Slightly unexpected, but both Leo and Cole agreed to take Wyatt and his mother to Avalon. Gently, they took hold of her arms. Piper felt a slightly stronger tingle than when she orbed with Leo, but she surmised that was Cole's energy. She didn't know why she wanted Cole with her as well, but she sensed she needed both of them for some reason.

    Piper was too worried about Wyatt to appreciate the beautiful, enchanting scenery. She sat down with her naked babe in her lap and placed her hands on the soft, verdant grass.

    "I can feel the energies," she said. "I can feel the Earth."

    Leo smiled. "You were the Earth Goddess after all. Perhaps the Earth senses that."

    "She does," Piper said with a warm smile.

    She placed Wyatt's body on a soft patch of grass, slightly greener than the rest and forced herself to remain calm. As a human, as a mother, she was distraught. Tapping into her Goddess self, she understood she had to be calm. She understood the cycle of like and death and if it was Wyatt's choice to leave, if it was his time, his soul would never die and he would rest in the blissful Elysian Fields, but still as a mother, she would give her very life and soul to save him.

    Suddenly, Cole looked around. "Get the baby!"

    Piper quickly took Wyatt into her arms. She tried to stand as she saw demons materialise. "I can't break the connection to the Earth..." She felt helpless. Powerless.

    "The Earth energies should protect you," Cole said.

    Leo nodded. A demon fireball sent his flying.


    Cole's head spun around. "He's all right."

    The Whitelighter stood, wincing. "Easy for you to say."

    "Get back!" Cole barked, dodging a fireball.

    Piper held onto Wyatt, connecting deeper and deeper to the Earth.

    ~Do not fear, My Child.~

    Piper felt warm, but still afraid and helpless. She knew now, both Leo and Cole were here to protect her and this is why she had needed them both and she gave the Earth her gratitude.

    Cole released two energy balls simultaneously, obliterating two of the demons. He swerved again and blasted two more. One of the hideous demons blasted him in the back and the ex demon stumbled. Piper saw him fall and became worried. Leo orbed behind the demon grabbed its head and snapped its neck. Usually gentle, the Whitelighter hated violence, but the demons were hardly going to sit around a round table and sort things out. He orbed out of the way as two fireballs came his way.

    The head demon grinned as he approached the seemingly helpless Cole, on the grass. Cole slowly turned, looked up at the two burly demons and backed off, looking terrified.

    Piper looked over at him, puzzled. He was invincible, wasn’t he? So why was he afraid? Could he be killed here? Did it have something to do with the leylines? Or the energy of this place? Leo too looked quizzical as he dodged another demon blast.

    Cole backed off on the grass. "No ... No ... please ..." His voice shivered.

    "Cole!" Leo exclaimed, wondering why he was so afraid.

    The head demon threw his head back and laughed.

    "So the Mighty Cole ... The Glorious Belthazor has been reduced to this. A snivelling, grovelling pathetic simpleton. A worthless heap. I will enjoy this." He signalled for three of his troops to approach. "Boys ... Join me in this memorable event..." The grotesque demon bared his charred teeth as three of his burly minions approached.

    Cole swallowed and took a breath. "Maybe we can make a deal ..."

    "Cole!" Piper exclaimed, shocked.

    The large demon stopped. "Okay. Here's the deal. We blast you, then feast upon your raw and tasty innards."

    "Sounds delicious," one of the other demons said, placing his hands over his stomach.

    "That's ... not what I had in mind..." Cole said, sounding desperate.

    "Too bad."

    "I have another deal..."

    "Too late," the demon head said, raising his arms, ready to blast.

    Cole tensed. In the next instant, he opened his hands, releasing a volley of energy balls, vanquishing the five demons almost simultaneously. "I kill all of you." Cole stood. "Deal?"

    "Good acting," Leo said, impressed. "You had Piper and I convinced."

    Cole smiled. "Where's my Oscar?" He was somewhat miffed that they actually thought he *was* that weak, but there were still more demons indahouse, so to speak, that needed to be dealt with. Cole blasted one into oblivion, then deflected a fireball shot at Piper. The other three demons surrounded Cole and Leo. The Whitelighter orbed out of the way as two of them came for him.

    Cole wrestled with one, and threw it onto the ground. The demon screamed and disintegrated. Cole looked puzzled for a while, then he realised. Leo did too. He backed off from the demons who came after him, ferociously, looking rabid. But with the next step they took, both demons screeched in pain before they disintegrated.

    "It's where the leylines cross," Cole said. "The energy is too pure for them."

    "What about you?" Leo asked, concerned.

    "It tickles."

    The Whitelighter managed a small smile. The last demon fled, but he did not get very far before Cole's fireball slammed into his back, vanquishing him.

    "We hardly need a harbinger for more of them," he said. "That's it for the gatecrashers, for the time being."

    Piper took a breath and placed Wyatt on the soft grass once more. The white witch centred herself again and connected deeper to the Earth, the energy protecting her and her baby. Piper connected with Wyatt's energy and the Earth energy surrounded and entered him.

    "Thank you..." she whispered to the Earth.

    ~My pleasure, Dear Goddess.~

    Piper's eyes filled with tears as she saw Wyatt's soul come back to him. He began to move. Leo and Cole also looked relieved. Gently, Piper took her baby into her arms. She remained connected to the Earth until Wyatt had absorbed as much of the Earth energy as he needed. Leo sighed with relief as he saw his baby move. He wanted to collapse. The naked babe began to cry softly.

    "I don't know that one," Leo said, keeping back tears.

    Piper smiled lovingly at her baby. "He wants a cuddle from mommy and daddy , to go home, have something to eat, have a bath and go to sleep."

    "Oh, the everything cry."

    Cole shook his head and smiled. "Kids."

    They both helped Piper up. Leo held his son.

    Cole checked the baby over. "He's fine."

    Piper felt very tired, knowing she needed to rest as much as Wyatt and she assumed Leo did as well.

    "Thank you..." she said to him. "You kept a level head when I couldn't."

    Gently, he held her. "I had to be there for you."

    "And you were. I love you."

    "And I love you, my Goddess."

    Gently the two shared a kiss.

    "I hate to break this up," Cole said, "but I suggest we leave now before we attract any more uninvited party guests."

    * * *

    "I must say, I had my doubts about natural magick, but now ..." Piper said.

    Leo smiled warmly. Paige and Phoebe's faces lit up like fairy lights. Phoebe jumped up and down, grinning from ear to ear. Then she noticed Cole's singed shirt, or rather what was left of it and became concerned.

    "Some of my old mates decided to join the party," he explained. "But we sent them packing. All the way to Tartarus."

    Phoebe smiled. "So no one was hurt?"

    "Well apart from the demons ..."

    "That's good."

    "Yes," Leo said, "and Cole's a fabulous actor, you should have *seen* him play scared. He was gorgeous!"

    "Hey!" Piper exclaimed, playfully hitting Leo's chest.

    The Whitelighter chucked.

    Cole gave an embarrassed smile. Phoebe threw her arms around him. The ex-demon smiled. "Remind me to get attacked more often."

    "Oh, you..." Phoebe playfully hit his bare, soiled chest.

    "So Wyatt's fine now?" Paige asked.

    Piper nodded. "When I was Goddess of the Earth, some of the Earth energy transferred to him. Gaia told me he needs to be Earthed at least once a day... Relax, that doesn’t mean to have to trek all the way to Glastonbury on a daily basis. It reached a crisis point and he needed the energy of the convergence of many leylines."

    "But I do suggest leylines once a week, Cole said. "To strengthen him."

    "Why thank you, Dr. Cole," Piper said with a smile.

    The ex demon chuckled softly as he peered at Wyatt once more. The baby took hold of his index finger with his entire hand. "I can never get over how small babies hands are," Cole said.

    "I'm sure you had little cute demon hands when you were little," Leo teased.

    Cole smiled, flexing his fingers. "I don't think I can remember back that far."

    Phoebe took one of his hands and began to play with it and he gently kissed her head.

    "I've never been so happy to hear a baby cry," Paige said, ecstatic.

    "It was a close call..." Leo said. "And those demons, I'm still not sure how they found us. I hate to say this, but do you think Hades might've-"

    "Definitely not," Piper said, firm.

    "I was just wondering aloud, I guess I should have thought before I spoke," Leo said, feeling a tad guilty now. "After all, Hades did help us and he gave us the clue that saved Wyatt's life."

    "Doubt is natural," Cole said. "Though six people travelling back in time to Hades' Realm of all places is bound to attract unwanted attention - like walking naked down a busy street, you're bound to be noticed."

    Leo nodded. "I guess you're right. Demons do have a high perception."

    Piper spoke after a pause. "Thank you ... Thank you all."

    Leo smiled.

    "De nada" Cole said. {You're welcome}

    "What are sisters for," Paige said, placing her arms around Piper.

    Phoebe Untangled her eldest sisters hair.

    Leo fetched a bowl of baby food Piper had prepared earlier, and Leo fed Wyatt, though the baby wasn't too hungry and only ate a little.

    "He wants a bath," Piper said.

    "I'll bathe him," Leo said. "You get into bed, you've had one hell of a day. We all have."

    Piper nodded. "Thank you ..."

    Cole and the others left her to rest. Leo returned shortly after with a clean baby, dressed in his flannel pj's. Gently, he put his son to rest. He turned to see his wife fast asleep and smiled warmly as he kissed her cheek.

    "Sweet dreams," he whispered.

    Leo started to walk down the stars, but decided against it. He felt needed to be alone. He sat in the spare bedroom, and the tears came. He tried to stop them. It was silly, wasn't it? Everything was okay now. The Whitelighter felt a presence behind him.

    "Let it out," Cole said.

    "Why am I crying? Wyatt's fine."

    "Yes, but you're not. You felt you had to be strong for Piper, and you were, but you wanted to fall apart."

    Leo nodded slowly. "But everything's okay now ... so ..."

    Cole sat beside him. "Yes, but that doesn’t change the fact that you almost lost your only child. That must have terrified you."

    "It did," Leo said, "and I couldn't save him ... I couldn't save him!"

    Cole pitied the Whitelighter. "You weren't meant to," he said. "The Earth was."

    Leo nodded. "Yes, but I felt so helpless ..."

    "I know. I would have felt the same if ... Wyatt were my child."

    Leo looked ta the other. "I never knew you liked kids."

    "Neither did I, perhaps someday..."

    The Whitelighter managed a smile. "Thank you, Cole."

    "For what?"

    "Sometimes you say the right thing at the right time ... Thanks for the kind words."

    Cole smiled. "I've been called many things in my time, but never 'kind.' "

    Leo smiled back to him. "There's a first time for everything."

    "Do you want to be alone?"

    "No," Leo said. "I know now what was meant to happen, happened, despite our fears."

    Cole nodded and Leo followed him out of the room, downstairs.

    * * *

    "Thank you, Cole," Piper said, sincere.

    "You already thanked me."

    "You did the things no one wanted to face. Washing up, completing the wolfsbane, the shopping, the washing and cleaning and finishing lunch. We were all ravenous after..."

    "Oh that. Well someone had to do it, and you were all out of your minds about Wyatt, understandably."

    "Nevertheless, I really appreciate it, thanks. But one thing, the mixing bowl .. I dropped that and it-."

    "I got another one at Woolies, on special at 3.99."

    Piper smiled. Cole did too.

    "I'll pay you back."

    "No need. Everyone needs a good mixing bowl."

    "I wanted to thank you too," Paige said. "Wolfsbane's a bitch to make and I wasn't sure if I'd done it right."

    "You had, just needed that final touch."

    "I can see you're more than just a pretty face," Paige said with a smile.

    "Hey!" Phoebe exclaimed, grabbing hold of Cole and kissing him.

    The youngest Charmed One smiled. "One day she would find her prince and have a relationship as special as her sister and Cole's. "I'm going to brush up on my mythology," she said. "Especially Hades. He was cute!"

    "A little known fact," Cole said with a smile.

    "Don’t you get any ideas," Phoebe warned, him playfully.

    "Wouldn't dream of it," Cole said with a smile.

    Piper smiled as Leo came to her and placed his arms around his beloved wife.

    "Before you ask, yes, I Earthed him this morning."

    "Good. He looked wonderful."

    The Whitelighter and witch left to find a place alone.

    Phoebe sat with Cole in the living room.

    "I wanted to thank you too." Suddenly, she kissed him passionately

    "Remind me to wash the dishes more often."

    The white witch smiled. "Not just for that ... But for everything you did to help Piper. I didn't even think you liked her."

    "Well, truth be known, I didn't ... But after this ordeal ... I couldn't help thinking ... 'what if it were my child? Our baby?' And I knew I'd never want anything bad to happen ... And I felt I had to do everything I could for Wyatt, because I'd want everyone to do everything they could for our child, should something like this happen."

    "Oh, Cole ..." Phoebe leant against him. "I didn’t think you wanted children."

    He shook his head. "At first, no, but seeing the way Piper and Leo positively glow around Wyatt, I thought ... Well maybe ..."

    Tears welled in Phoebe's eyes. "I had always hoped you would say that ..." She paused. "So what are we going to name our baby?"

    "What ... Well ... I ... I really hadn't thought that far ahead."

    Phoebe looked excited. "Well, how about this. I get to name him if he's a boy and you if she's a girl?"

    "Deal ... This is moving faster than I thought ... Do you really think we can have children?..."

    "We never know unless we try."

    Phoebe jumped up and pulled Cole up with her.

    "What? Now?"

    "No time like the present."

    Cole chuckled. "I hope Hades didn't hear you say that."

    Phoebe giggled. "Wait a minute ... Hades ... Now that's a great name. Unusual, powerful and mythical all at the same time."

    "Okay, but if she's a girl, it's Persephone."

    "I can live with that."

    And the two excitedly traversed the Halliwell Manor stairs.




    Author's note II: In the dream I had which inspired this fic, Cole feels sorry for Piper, as he does in the story, but he does takes the baby to see if there is anything his or other demon energy can do. In the meantime he steals a Wyatt lookalike from another mother. In a few days Piper realises it's not Wyatt and the sisters become angry with Cole, even though he meant well. Cole did feel guilty about the whole thing and took the baby back to his real mother in a basket with a note which he left on her doorstep. In the dream it's Cole who figured out the Earth Goddess thing and took Wyatt to Avalon (Glastonbury), but the story took a slightly different angle.

    Author's Note III: The Nargun mentioned in the beginning of the story is a enormous mythological living rock which has been travelling on the Earth for millions of years. For more information, please read the award winning children's book "The Nargun and the Stars" by Patricia Wrightson.

    Disclaimer III: Xena was created by Rob Tapert.



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