What a Day

What a Day

Ever close your eyes
ever stop and listen
ever feel alive
and you've nothing missing
you don't need a reason
let the day go on and on

She had begged him to go on a picnic with her. Personally, he didn't trust the weather that much. Sure, it was sunny and warm in the morning, but he was convinced rain clouds would invade before the sun set. But she insisted it would be fine - the weatherman had predicted a beautiful sunny day, after all. So they went on a picnic.

"Aren't you glad I insisted on doing this?" Phoebe asked when they finished lunch. She was lying back with her hands behind her to keep herself propped up. She closed her eyes and welcomed the sun beating down on her face.

"Yes," Cole said, trying not to be distracted by the clouds on the horizon. Summer storms struck suddenly and mercilessly.

Phoebe opened one eye and smiled lazily at her boyfriend. "What're you so nervous about? Don't tell me you're still obsessing over the weather."

Cole was surprised she had picked up on his edginess. But then, she was getting much better at recognizing his moods. It wasn't something he was used to, having people reading him like an open book, but it didn't disturb him nearly as much as he always thought it would. "You obviously haven't seen the clouds," he said.

"You worry too much," Phoebe told him. She breathed in deeply. "Smell that," she ordered.

"Smells like rain," Cole remarked.

She smacked him. "Stop it," she complained.

He grinned and lied down beside her. "Stop what?" he asked.

"It's a beautiful day out," said Phoebe. "Stop being so pessimistic."

"Sorry," Cole apologized. He rolled over onto his stomach and rested his head on his arms. "It's a beautiful day," he dutifully said. "And I'm spending it with a beautiful girl."

"Flatterer," Phoebe said, although it was obvious she enjoyed the compliment. "This is nice," she commented after a few minutes of contented silence. "Why don't we do it more often?"

It would spoil the mood to remind her about the various demons, warlocks and other sources of darkness they faced daily - indeed it was ruing Cole's mood just thinking about it. "I don't know," is what he said. "We really should do it again. It's nice, just you and I without a care in the world."

"And it's a perfect day," Phoebe had to add.

"Except for the rain," teased Cole.

"For the last time, it's not going to rain!" Try as she might, Phoebe couldn't keep the laughter from her voice.

Cole had been toying with the grass in front of him and now he reached over and picked a daisy that was growing nearby. "For you," he said, offering Phoebe the flower.

She put in up to her nose to smell it. "It's beautiful," she said smiling. "Thank you."

"You're welcome," Cole said. "Turn around. I'll put it in your hair."

Phoebe sat up and twisted around so her back was to Cole. He tried to tuck the flower into her hair without messing it up. "You know," she said, "traditionally, girls picked all the petals from daisies. It's supposed to predict true love. If there are an odd number of petals, the guy you're talking about loves you, an even number means he doesn't."

"You don't have to decimate the flower, I can already tell you there's an odd number," Cole declared.

"How can you be so sure?" Phoebe asked lightly.

"Trust me," he said. "I know." It was now or never. He took a deep breath. "Finished. You can turn around now."

He reached into his pocket and pulled it out. Down on one knee, by the time Phoebe had turned around, he had the jewellery box open. "Phoebe Halliwell?" he proposed. "Will you marry me?"

Phoebe stared speechlessly at the ring. Obviously she hadn't guessed what he had been up to, like Cole had feared. Then a look of absolute ecstasy crossed her face. "Yes," she answered. "Yes!"

Cole took the ring out of the box and slipped it on her finger. She threw her arms around him and he, unable to contain his joy anymore, twirled her around. They were both laughing. When he finally set her down again, they kissed, long and passionately. It was awhile before either of them settled down enough to say anything coherent.

"It's beautiful," Phoebe said at last, holding her hand up to admire the ring. The sun caught the diamond, reflecting a rainbow of colours.

"It was my grandmother's," Cole explained. At her startled look he was quick to add, "Paternal grandmother. My father's mother. I didn't really know my grandparents, I think I only saw them once or twice, but as I was their only living relative, they willed everything to me."

"And you kept it this entire time?" Phoebe asked, surprised.

"Not exactly," Cole admitted. "I had all their things packed up and it's been lying in the bottom of a musty box for the better part of a century. I went looking for it a couple weeks ago."

"A couple weeks ago? How long have you been planning this?"

"Awhile," Cole acknowledged. "I wanted to wait for the perfect moment."

"That's sweet," Phoebe said, "but shouldn't you have, I don't know, done something? I mean, this whole picnic thing was my idea. Were you just going to wait forever if I didn't suggest it?"

Cole shrugged. "I knew the perfect moment would come up sooner or later. Besides, it's always better to be spontaneous."

"I suppose," Phoebe said demurely. She looked at her left hand again and a smile spread across her face. "I can't believe I'm going to be Mrs. Phoebe Turner. Imagine that."

"I'm imagining," Cole murmured. "And I like it."

They kissed again, only drawing apart when a loud thunderclap made them both jump. The storm Cole had been fearing had finally arrived. The rain followed, and in less than a minute, it was pouring.

Phoebe and Cole feebly tried to shield themselves from the downpour with their arms. Cole grabbed Phoebe's free hand and they raced for the shelter a nearby willow tree offered.

"We should get inside," shouted Phoebe.

"Why bother?" Cole asked. "We're already wet." He tried to brush the hair that was palstered to his forehead out of his eyes.

"What?" Phoebe screeched. "Are you insane?"

"Look at us!" Cole held out his arms so Phoebe could get a better look at his dripping wet figure. "We're already soaked. We're not about to get any wetter."

"Still," Phoebe said reluctantly.

Cole pulled her close to him. "A little rain never hurt anyone," he said, kissing her.

"You're right," Phoebe said almost inaudibly, returning the kiss.

"I knew you'd see it from my point of view."

Phoebe broke off long enough to grin wickedly and say, "I always wanted to do it in the rain."

Let the rain fall down
everywhere around you
give into it now
let the day surround you
you don't need a reason
let the rain go on and on

It was hard doing anything with a newborn baby, but the Turners managed to make it to the park that day. They sat under the willow because three month old Patricia Turner was too young to be exposed to the sun for any length of time.

"It's hard to believe it's been a year," Phoebe commented, setting her daughter down on a spread out blanket.

"We were supposed to do this more often, weren't we," Cole said.

"That sounds familiar," Phoebe said dryly. "Of course, we were going to do lots of things you can't do while pregnant or with a new baby."

Cole looked between his wife and daughter and said, "I'd rather it have turned out this way."

Phoebe also looked at Trish. The little girl was intently studying the grass. Finally, deciding she liked the colour, the baby grabbed a handful of it and tried to stuff it in her mouth.

Unfortunately, she never did find out what it tasted like - at least not that day - because her mother was faster than she was. Phoebe made a quick lunge and intercepted the grass before it reached her baby's mouth. Then she moved the girl into the centre of the blanket so she didn't have to worry about her.

"Quick reflexes, mommy," Cole commented.

Phoebe sighed. "You know, sometimes I think I've learnt to react quicker with a baby than I ever did all those years fighting demons."

"Well, they do say maternal instinct is the strongest instinct." He gazed over at Trish, who had fallen asleep, her tiny fist was curled up beside her cheek. The little girl looked angelic, especially to her adoring parents. "We did good, didn't we."

"Yes," Phoebe said, cuddling up to her husband. "We did."

Neither of them said anything, for they enjoyed the silence; it was a rare state at the Turner household with the new baby. Phoebe eventually dozed off, leaving Cole to watch over his sleeping wife and daughter.

What a day
what a day to take to
what a way
what a way
to make it through
what a day
what a day to take to
a wild child

Patricia had pulled off her sun hat. Again. Cole picked it up and chased after his daughter, who was surprisingly fast. Ever since she had learned how to walk and run, Phoebe and Cole's lives had become a lot more interesting.

"No," Trish protested when her daddy caught up with her. She was squirming and shaking her head, trying to keep Cole from tying the hate back on. "No hat."

"Yes hat," Cole said firmly. "You have to wear a hat outside. No hat and we go home."

Trish obviously didn't think much of them going home because when Cole putt her down again, she didn't touch her hat. Cole let her go exploring, which most consisted of running around the willow tree, always remaining close to her parents. He went back over to his wife and dropped down on the picnic blanket beside her.

"Doesn't want to wear her hand, huh?"

Cole looked over at Phoebe wearily. "Of course not. She never does. We always have to fight with her to wear it. Why would she suddenly change now?"

"Poor baby," Phoebe teased. "A fifteen-month girl got the best of you?"

"Laugh all you want," Cole said, not impressed. "Trying to make a baby understand logic is tougher than dealing with the most paranoid demon. And I've known some very paranoid demons."

"Try labour," Phoebe told him. "It hurts more than any ol' demon could."

"So you've said. And I remember. You almost broke my hand, remember?" Cole asked.

"You don't know pain." Suddenly, she gasped and Cole was instantly at her side.

"What's wrong? Are you okay?" he demanded frantically.

"I'm fine," Phoebe said. "The baby just kicked. Feel it." She took his hand and placed it on her swollen stomach.

Although they had been through pregnancy before with Trish, it was no less amazing for either Phoebe or Cole the second time around. "Amazing," he said, awestruck.

"The baby's going to be just as spirited as its daddy and big sister," Phoebe said. "Speaking of big sister . . . "

Cole looked up and muffled a groan. Trish was running by, chasing a butterfly. Not only was her hat streaming behind her, but the girl had also managed to lose a shoe.

"I'll get her," he said.

"Thanks," Phoebe said, giving him a peck on his cheek.

Only take the time
from the helter skelter
every day you find
everything's in kilter
you don't need a reason
let the day go on and on

It was raining and although Phoebe and Cole were not going to miss their annual trip to the park, they had decided it would be a bad idea to take Trish and Ben with them. So they had dropped the two children off at their Aunt Piper and Uncle Leo's house and, without telling anyone where they were going, headed off for the park. It seemed unlikely that anyone would understand the reason why Phoebe and Cole were heading to the park without their kids on a rainy day. But to them, it was a tradition they could not miss.

"Does this remind you of anything?" Phoebe asked while the rain drizzled down on them.

"The day I proposed," Cole said. "Except that day it was pouring."

"We had a thunderstorm," Phoebe reminisced.

"I told you I would," Cole reminded her. "I told you all day we would get rained on. But you didn't believe me."

Phoebe laughed. "That's because it was a beautiful, sunny day and there was no way it would ever rain," she explained.

"And who was right?" Cole asked. "Hmm?"

Phoebe grinned wickedly. "Me."

"Excuse me?" Cole said incredulously. "I believe it rained. Just like I said it would. Unlike you who didn't think it would."

"You've forgotten the first rule of marriage," said Phoebe.

"What?"

"I'm always right."

"I'll show you always right." With a mischievous grin, he started to tickle his wife. She yelped and tried to defend herself. It didn't work very well.

"Stop, stop," she pleaded, laughing.

"Hmm." Cole pretended to consider. "Why should I?"

"Because you love me?" Phoebe suggested.

Cole wrinkled his nose. "Not a good enough reason. What'll you give me in return?"

"A kiss?" offered Phoebe.

"That's more like it." He stopped tickling his wife. She kissed the tip of his nose. "Hey," he protested. "That's not what I meant."

"You didn't specify where I had to kiss you," Phoebe said impishly.

"That's not fair," Cole complained. "I want something else."

"How 'bout . . . " She trailed off, trying, only somewhat successfully, to hold back a smile. Then she attacked him and finished, "I tickle you back!"

"Hey!" Cole tried to squirm away, but it didn't work very well. So he started tickling her as well and soon they were both on the ground, laughing so hard it was getting hard to do anything else while all around them, the rain fell on and on.

Every summer sun
every winter evening
every spring to come
every autumn leaving
you don't need a reason
let it all go on and on

Phoebe pushed the stroller with Benjamin in it while Cole carried Patricia on his shoulders. He was holding onto her legs, mostly because when he let them free she invariably started to kick them and would kick him in the head. Unfortunately, by holding her legs that meant he couldn't hold her arms and she was very excited about going to the park. Trish ended up smacking her daddy's head quite a few times that day.

"I wanna go on the slide," Trish announced when the family was halfway to their picnic spot.

"But Trish, honey," her mother tried to reason with her, "we have to eat first."

"But I donwanna," she whined. "I wanna go on the slide."

"Slide! Slide!" Benjamin joined in the clamour, banging his hands on the stroller.

Phoebe and Cole exchanged a frazzled look. There were times when the parents had to take charge but then there were the times when, if they knew what was good for them, they had to give into their children's demands.

"The playground it is," Cole said.

What a day
what a day to take to
what a way
what a way to make it through
what a day
what a day to take to
a wild child

"What are you girls whispering about," Cole asked suspiciously.

"Nothing, dad," Trish sang. Phoebe tried to hide a smile. Cole didn't believe them.

"No, really," he insisted. "Why are you up to?"

"It doesn't matter," Ben crowed. "They're girls; they're icky. They're just giggling about girlie stuff." He just reached the age where interacting with the opposite sex was a definite no-go. Girls had cooties, after all.

"Fine," Cole said, still eyeing his wife and daughter warily. "We boys will stick together, won't we."

Ben nodded enthusiastically while Trish started giggling again. Yes, Cole decided, she and Phoebe were definitely up to something.

Phoebe pulled out the picnic blanket and spread it out under the willow tree when they reached their spot. She and Trish had insisted on taking care of lunch that year, not that Cole or Ben had objected, and now they were starting to unpack. Only they didn't pull out any food from the picnic basket, but rather two water guns.

"Attack!" Phoebe shouted madly. Two streams of water were aimed at the boys.

"Hey," Cole yelped, trying to ward off the water. It didn't work very well. "This means war!" He knew Phoebe and he knew there was no way she had brought only two water guns. He ducked out of the way and rolled over to the picnic basket. Sure enough, there were a few more water guns inside. He took out two of them. "Ben," he shouted, giving his son warning before he tossed one at him. The boy caught it and immediately started to chase his sister, soaking her with water.

"Freeze, mister," Phoebe advised. She was standing behind him, her water gun pointed at his head. "Don't move."

"Since when did you get the power to make people freeze?" Cole asked teasingly. "I thought that was your sister."

"Technically, yes, that is Piper," Phoebe said, relaxing slightly.

Cole seized the opportunity and before Phoebe could complete her sentence, he had whirled around and grabbed the water gun out of her hand. Grinning cockily, he trained the two guns on her.

"Don't you dare," Phoebe warned.

Cole's grin only grew bigger. The two guns trained on his wife, he mercilessly ignored her pleas and soaked her. Phoebe wasn't about to get wet without a fight, so she wrestled him to the ground, trying to gain control of the water guns.

This went on for a few minutes, neither of them getting either water gun, until two cherubic voices chimed, "Mommy, daddy."

Cole and Phoebe looked up to Ben and Trish standing together, pointing their water guns at their parents. They had obviously had enough of chasing each other around and had decided to call a temporary truce to get their parents.

Within seconds, Phoebe and Cole were drenched.

What a day
what a day to take to
what a way
what a way
to make it through
what a day
what a day to take to
Da-da-da-
Da-da-da-da-da-da
Da-da-da
what a way
what a way
to make it through
Da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da-da
Da-da-da
Da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da-da
What a way
what a way
to make it through
what a day
what a day to take to
a wild child
what a day
what a day to take to
a wild child

A demon had attacked, disrupting their plans for the day. Luckily, the Charmed Ones, with help from their children and spouses, of course, had managed to vanquish the demon quickly and efficiently. Cole and Phoebe had made it to the park just in time to watch the sunset.

Ben and Trish weren't with them; it had been a number of years since their kids had joined them on the annual outing. Trish was probably out on a date with her boyfriend while Ben had mentioned something about a party. Cole and Phoebe just hoped the party he was referring to wasn't being held at their house.

They were silent, not wanting to break the reverie, until the last tendril of light from the sun fell beneath the horizon. Phoebe shivered slightly; it could get chilly at night and there was a cool breeze blowing through the trees. They hadn't brought a blanket, so Cole enveloped her in his arms to keep her warm.

"Well, that's it," Phoebe said softly, trying not to break the mood. "The sun's set, the day is over."

"But the night's just begun," Cole said. "The moon's coming out and soon the stars will be dancing above. Nothing ever truly ends, Phoebe. It just begins."

Overhead, the first star of the night was seen.

"Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight.
I wish I may,
I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight."

It was Phoebe who muttered the old rhyme. Cole waited a sufficient time before asking, "What did you wish for."

"Nothing," Phoebe said, snuggling up to him. "I have everything I could ever wish for. A loving husband, two wonderful children, my life is perfect. There is nothing more I could want."

Cole kissed the top of her head. "I love you," he whispered.

"I love you too."

The End
Wednesday, February 14, 2001 (Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!)

As always, Charmed and its characters do not belong to me. The lyrics are from Enya's song, wild child from her CD, a day without rain. ~Trinity Day