Piper sat on the couch in her living room. Her boys had fallen asleep a while ago. Phoebe and Paige had taken them to bed. Today has been a day full of pain and grieve, for the charmed sisters had just buried Leo. Leo had tried to stop the avatars after they saw the way they were ruling the world. All seemed happy and dandy, but make one small mistake and you were killed. Luckily with the help of their dead grandma, the sisters were able to stop them and make everything go back to normal. Unfortunate they were not able to bring Leo back since it was too late. So here you have her crying silent tears missing the one man, that made her complete.

"Demon!" Paige's yelled from upstairs.

Piper jumped to her feet. She already lost her husband! No way in hell was she going to lose another member of her family. Jogging up the stairs she spotted the demon, throwing a ball of energy she vanquished him. Piper leaned against the wall, sliding to the ground. Tear rolling down her face, she can't keep doing this!

Paige ran to the kids, making sure they were safe. While Phoebe kneeled beside piper, trying to calm her down.

"Shh it's okay." Phoebe whispered, hugging her close with a hand running up and down her back. "It's okay."

Piper shook her head. "No, it won't. We will never live in peace! I am sick and tired of not being able to live life and looking over my shoulder! Waiting for a demon to show up and try killing us! I want a normal life for my son's, they already lost their father! How long before they lose an aunt or me?! How long!" Piper sobbed into her sister. "I can't take it any longer Phoebe, we have lost too many and gained noting, but death."

Paige stood by the door crying, having heard her sister, and what hurt the most was that every word she said was true. Kneeling on the other side of Piper, she hugged both sisters. "We will get thru this no matter how hard. We stick together and pull through it."


The pain in Piper had lessened a little, as for the demons. They kept popping up here and there, it was as if they sense the exhaustion in the woman.

Piper vanquished the last demon from the attack. Looking around she groaned at the mess of a house. Falling onto the couch in between her sisters she huffed.

"Who's turn is it to clean?" Paige asked, getting looks from both women. "Augh fine I'll get the broom." But before she could get up a man popped into her living room. "Demon!"

"Wait! Don't shoot!" The man jumped behind the couch hiding in fear.

The girls shared incredulous looks.

"Who are you?" Piper asked, taking over the situation.

"I-I am Claud a demon, I have come with a solution to your problem." Claud said behind his hiding place.

"What problem?" Paige snapped.

"The constant demon attacks."

Piper frowned. "Okay, we are listening." They took a seat on the couch.

Phoebe rolled her eyes when Claud stayed put. "Will you come out of there!"

Claud slowly creeped out from behind the couch. Taking a seat across from them he cleared his throat. "I have the solution to your problem. Which will also be the solution to our problem."

Paige snorted. "Already no liking it."

"The underworld is under attack. After Balthazar was killed, it was left with no leader. We have been divided into sides. Malik and Zankou." Claud glanced around. "Before Balthazar…"

"Cole." Phoebe snapped. "His name was Cole."

"My apologies. Before Cole, Zankou's father was the leader. But Malik's father wanted that power. So they fought, Tharow believed that killing Angelus would be his fixer. He thought the powers Angelus possessed from all of his kills, would transfer into him."

Piper rolled her eyes. "Let me guess they didn't."

Claud shook his head. "No, they were given to Zankou. At the time Zankou was a strong and good leader, accomplished everything he promised. Of course, as always the elders were afraid. Afraid of what he could do to you three. So they made arrangements for Tharow to help take him down. In the battle Zankou killed Tharow." Claud explained. "Malik has come back stronger than ever and getting stronger by the day. He wants to take over the underworld and destroy you five." Claude flinched at the look in the mother's eyes.

Paige slapped her palms on her legs. "Very entertaining story, but I still don't see how this benefits us."

Claud grumbled to himself. "Zankou is the only one that can destroy Malik and keep you 5 safe from any attacks giving you the relax and demon free life you so much beg for."

Paige laughed humorlessly. "So in English words, you want us to use him as a bodyguard?" Claud nodded. "That's insane."

"Where is your so called powerful leader?" Phoebe asked.

Claud sighed. "In the battle between Tharow and Zankou, a sorceress encapsulating him, having seen him close to killing Malik as well. You are the only ones who can free him. In doing so he will be in debt with you for life. A very good benefit is, no demon would dare attack those under the protection of Zankou. His reputation is well known. Think of having another Cole around."

Piper shared a look with the other two. Seeing the way phoebe flinched. "We must discuss it first."

"Of course, simply yell for me and I will appear." Claud, stood slowly as to not alarm them. "Keep in mind that not only Zankou would be looking after you, but those who are with him as well." Giving them a small bow, he flamed out. "It was an honor charmed ones.

The trio watched as he flamed out, leaving no trace of him even being there. Neither spoke a word trying to digest what just happened.

"Did-did that just happened?" Paige asked, letting out a shaky breath.

"I think it-umm-it did." Phoebe whispered. "Or it finally happened."

"What?" Paige asked.

"We have gone crazy! Nuts! Lost a screw!" Both Paige and Piper jumped at her sudden outburst.

"I say we do it." Piper said, speaking for the first time.

Phoebe gawked at her. "I rest my case! I told you we have lost it!" Paige couldn't help but giggle at Phoebe's over dramatic.

Piper grabbed both her sisters hands and pulled them to the couch. She stood before them. "No, I am being realistic. For the past 5 months, we have been attacked non-stopped. Phoebe, you were hit just last week and Wyatt was almost kidnapped two days ago. It's getting harder for us to protect each other. I can't, will not stand by and watch my family fall before me. First grandma, Prue, Leo, and Kyle. Who's next? You? Paige? One of the boys?" Phoebe looked at her hands knowing every word was right. "If this Zankou demon is as good as Claud says he is then I'll give it a go."

Paige raised a hand "The Last one was Cole and he did it for Phoebe. What makes you think this one will do it for free?" Paige debated. "For all, e know he'll kill is the moment he is free."

"That's a chance I'm willing to take." Piper said, looking at each of them. "Are you willing to take it with me?"

Paige jumped to her feet, a cheeky smile on her lips. "I'm with ya."

Phoebe huffed, standing up. "I'm with you, but if he so much as looks at us wrong, I am vanquishing his sorry ass to hell."

Both sister laughed. "Would be surprised if you didn't."

"Claud!" The three yelled.

Claud appeared within seconds. "If I do say so myself, I thought it would take you much longer to decided." Claud rubbed his hands together. "So what it the verdict?"

Piper took a step forward, with a grim look. "Can you guarantee 100% Zankou will keep us safe?"

"I promise you he will keep you safe, for he will be in your debt for life." Claud assured them. "Now shall we go?"

"Paige take the boys to the school." Piper said. "We will wait for you."

Paige nodded running out of the room. She appeared about five minutes later. "Alright kids are safe, let's go."

Claud smiled. "I'll see you down there."

Phoebe shuddered. Last time she was in the underworld, was with Cole. "Why do I have a feeling this is a bad idea." The three sisters held hands as they shimmered.

Piper huffed. "Because it probably is." They appeared in a cave like room, just in front of Claud.

"Zankou is just over there. The key if the staff, but like I said only a charmed one can touch it. And only a charmed one can use it." Claud said.

Piper took a deep breath as she moved forward, slowly reaching for the staff, she released a breath when nothing happened. Causing Claud to roll his eyes. The girls walked into the back area, where a tall rock stood. In the middle, it had a hole, where a bright blue light streamed out. A group of what seemed like fly's swarm within that light. Paige and Phoebe stood a few steps back from Piper and the rock.

"What do I do?" Piper asked.

"Insert the staff into that hole on the ground." Claud instructed.

Piper shared a look with her sisters before doing it, praying the whole time this would work. They were about to un-leash a demon-powerful demon- all so they could live a normal life. Was it worth it? Was it worth bring the one thing they despise? Glancing at her sisters, she got nods from them. Hell yeah it's worth it! Inserting the staff into it and turning the key, Piper jumped back to the others. The blue light flashed, before turning off releasing the swarm of flies. They flew around before gathering and creating a man. Said man's back was turned to them.

"I'm free, but why?" Zankou wondered.

"Sir? The charmed ones have released you." Claud said, a slight tremble was detected in his voice.

Zankou snapped around, his dark cold eyes landing on the sisters. "Charmed ones. Shouldn't there be four of you? What was her name? ahh yes. Prue. The eldest of the sisters."

Paige stepped forward. "Now there are three."

Zankou smirked. "Not that I don't…appreciate you releasing me, but I have to ask why? You of all are so desperately trying to rid the world of us. So why bring me in?" Piper frowned at the way his voice made her feel. It sent chills down her back.

Phoebe took over. "We need protection."

The demon laughed. "Protection? From what?"

"Demons. Ever since Leo passed, it has been non-stopped." Piper said. It still hurt to talk about him.

Zankou hummed, circling the sisters. "Now why would I waste my time watching over you three, plus the two brats? I have much more important things to handle."

"You owe us! We released you!" Phoebe growled.

"Who told you such thing?" He now stood in front of them, arms crossed across his broad chest.

"He did." All three pointed to Claud. Claud laughed nervously and before anyone could blink he was vanquished.

"Can't even trust your own now in days." He mumbled, before turning his attention back to the girls. "He was right. I am in debt to you."

"So you will protect us?" Paige asked.

He closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath and letting it out slowly. "Yes, but who exactly am I looking after?"

"Us and my two boys." Piper replied, hope slowly filling her eyes once more.

"Let's get one thing straight. I will keep my demons from harming you and any other that try and hurt you. But that is all. I still have an asshole to destroy and I don't want any of you interfering."

Phoebe crossed her arms. "If you keep it away from our city and world."

Zankou rolled his eyes. "No promises."

"Then we can't agree to the deal either." Paige retorted.

Growling he grumbled to himself. "I am actually missing the prison already." The sisters couldn't help, but chuckle.

"I have one question." Piper said, as they followed him through the caves.

"Ask if you must." He replied.

"Why weren't you vanquished?"

Zankou stopped, doing an about face. "What?"

Paige huffed. "Why lock you up if they could just destroy you."

They were shocked when he began laughing. "They were beginners beside me and my father. We had years over them."

"Years?" Piper frowned.

"How old do you think I am?" Zankou chuckled.

"30." Paige said.

"35." Phoebe guessed.

Piper just rolled her eyes.

"Try in the hundreds." He smirked. "Back then they didn't have the power to destroy me. They were only strong enough to have me locked up. A huge mistake." He hummed, having found the bedroom, he began ransacking.

"Why a mistake?" Piper asked.

"By locking me I had years to gather my streignht." He glanced at them. "I am much stronger than I was back then." With a happy smirk, he pulled out a book hidden beneath a desk. "They never look in the obvious places."

"What's that?" Phoebe asked.

"Nothing important." Zankou muttered, placing said book inside his leather jacket. "Now how about we go over this agreement."

Phoebe huffed. "Follow us to the house." Watching them shimmer out, Zankou released a sigh 'how did I get into this mess.' With a groan, he flamed out appearing right smack in the middle of the living room. "Where is the diva?" He asked only seeing two sisters.

Piper raised an eyebrow. "She went to the pick my sons up."

"Ahh yes Wyatt and Chris. Am I right?" He smirked.

Piper went into her mother bear mode. "How do you know their names?"

Zankou merely rolled his eyes. "I was locked up, not dead. I knew what was going on."

"Like what?" Paige asked, announcing her return.

"Well for starters…demons really don't like you. Phoebe here had a romance with one. Piper's husband was killed to proof the avatars were no so good. Paige lost her boyfriend to them as well." He kneeled in front of the two boys. "There is a lot of their father in them." Piper had her hands ready, waiting for the moment to react. "Would you relax! I agreed to your terms, I will not harm them."

Piper shrugged. "Sorry, force of habit."

Giving her a nod, he stood to address them. "Right then I'll be leaving. Don't worry I'll be able to sense if something happened." He flamed out before they could protest.

Paige fell onto the couch. "Just to be in the clear, we un-leashed one of the strongest demons-who is now stronger than before. Then we did a pact with him so he can protect us and the boys."

Phoebe grinned. "Yup, that about sums it up."

"What is going to happen when the council finds out?" Paige continued.

Piper groaned. "They don't need to find out."

"If Zankou is as strong as he claims, they must have watched over him. Believe me they will know." Paige grumbled, walking out of the room.

"she's right." Phoebe mumbled. "If that happened we won't just have the demons to worry about."

Piper leaned forward to pick Chris up. "I am willing to do anything to keep the family I have safe."

Zankou paced the cave, he was trying to come up with a way to destroy Mikal. Even through childhood both demons hated each other. All because Zankou was the offspring of their leader. His father was one of the strongest demons, nothing could destroy him. That was until Mikal's father and his followers ambushed him. The day he received his father's power's Zankou made sure to take the underworld. He was stronger than his father ever was, and the elders saw that as a threat. Now that he was free it was time to take his place once more. But now he didn't only have Mikal's to worry about, but keeping the charmed one's safe along with the two brats. He was pulled from his thought, by the 5 demons he had summon.

"Yes sir?" The oldest and roughest looking asked.

"I want you five to guard the charmed one's home. Stop and destroy any demon from hurting them or the kids." Zankou noticed the shocked and feared looks. "What?"

"Why must we protect them? They have killed thousands of us!" Another one yelled.

"It was not a request! Now go!"

Piper was in the kitchen preparing dinner when Paige screamed. Rushing out, she bumped into phoebe as they reached the family room. Piper didn't wait before vanquishing one of them, Phoebe going for the other. The three left, prepared to retaliate just as Zankou appeared getting hit by both parties.

With a growl he fell to the ground. Piper gasped, while his men just looked down right scared. "What the hell is going on!? I told you to guard the house!"

"They attacked before we could explain…sir." One spoke up, but kept his head down.

Zankou stood from ground, all evidence from the blast were gone. "This is how you expect me to help you? By killing off my men?"

Phoebe scoffed. "You could have warned us."

Zankou stepped up to her. "As if five demons standing peacefully before you is not enough!"

"Enough! Both of you!" Piper yelled, grabbing Zankou's arm, she yanked him away from her sister. "I'm sorry for killing two of your men, but a warning would be nice."

"They will be here when I am not. Please try not to kill them." Zankou walked up to his men. "I will be sending two more. I want you scattered around the house and at least two inside the house. No harm is to come to the sisters or brats."

"Why are we protecting them?" One asked.

"Because I said so, is this going to be a problem?" All three demons shook their heads. "Good now go. Scatter."

Paige narrowed her eyes at the departing demons. "I hope they are house trained."

Zankou growled at her. "Can I leave or should I stay and make sure you don't kill them?"

Piper glared at him. "Sorry alright! Won't happen again." She jumped at the nudge Phoebe gave her. "Listen I cooked more than we are going to eat, so I thought you might want to join us for dinner."

Zankou quirked an eyebrow. "No, I only agreed to this through black mail. That is our agreement, nothing more." Before Piper could snap at him, he flamed out with a little extra fire.

"I tell ya, demons can't kill them, can't befriend them." Paige grumbled.

Phoebe shoved her. "Well we don't want to befriend them. At least not him."

"Let's get ready for dinner." Piper whispered. In an effort to hide the fact that Zankou's rejection actually hurt, Piper set the table. Why would it hurt? He was right. The only reason they are being civil is through a debt.

Zankou appeared in his room. He couldn't shake this strange feeling in his chest. It felt as if someone was constaly poking him. He remembered his father telling him about that feeling, it happened whenever he had to leave his mother. "No, no, no, no! She's a charmed on and I am a demon. It's just pity, that's it just pity." Shaking all thought he focused on his plan to rid the underworld of Mikal once and for all. Half way through his father's book he began feeling uneasy. With a heavy sigh he focused on the sisters. Getting nothing, but fear and a large amount of power. With a growl he flamed into the kitchen only to find his men cowered behind the couch with the family.

"What in the devil's name are you doing!?" Zankou demanded.

One of the men looked up sheeply. "It's Mikal's men sir."

"And?" Getting no respond, he stomped into the kitchen, only to be hit by a fire ball. Staggering back he hissed. He was upset earlier, but now he was pissed. Taking a deep breath he formed a huge fire ball in between his hands and tossed it into the kitchen. Mikal's men yelled as they vanquished. The group walked out from behind the couch. Walking over to his men he towered over them. "Two! It took two of Mikal's men to have you coward behind the couch!" The demons kept their heads down. "I expected you to protect them not hide with them. One more mistake and it won't be them you'll worry about."

"Yes, sir." They flamed out, knowing he would take watch for the rest of the day.

Piper ran into her kitchen gasping at the burned room. It will take weeks to fix all of it. "Now what am I going to do? This will take months to fix!" Piper whined from within the kitchen.

Zankou massaged his head, annoyed at the headache rushing in. "Stop whining." Before she could snap at him, he waved his hand. Slowly everything began fixing itself. "Anyone have aspirin?"

Phoebe nodded. "One sec."

"Thank you." Piper mumbled.

Zankou just nodded grabbing the aspirin and walked out to the back yard. Phoebe watched him leave, something was telling her to follow him. Bad idea! She knew this was a bad idea.

"What?" He growled.

"You okay?"

"Fine." He glanced at her for a moment. "So, you are the one Balthazar fell for." He stated.

Phoebe stiffed at the mention of his name. "His name was Cole."


Phoebe turned to him. "Was. He died. We killed him."

The man chuckled. "Is. He's alive. You only killed the source in him. He is very alive."