Summary: Cole Turner has survived for 4 years without Phoebe, raising their son by himself. But what happens when young Warren wants his Mommy?
Disclaimer: When I buy it, I'll let you know it's mine.
As Piper and Phoebe were having their heart to heart upstairs, Paige was making notes on the house and trying to get through to Joel's social worker to get his details and talk to her about fostering him.
"No luck." She sighed eventually. "Bel's not answering her phone. Maybe you could help me out with some of this stuff until she gets my message and calls me back?" she asked the teen. He shrugged.
"What do you need to know?"
"Um, ok. Let's start with your parents first. Names, dates of birth, their parents, stuff like that. And your date and place of birth would help too."
"Well, I was born in San Francisco General. September 4th, 1992. My mom's name is Pia Peterson. Her birthday's the 12th of January, 1969. My dad's got the same name as yours, actually."
"What? Paige?" asked Cole.
"No, I think he means Matthews." Leo told him quietly. Cole aahhed in understanding and Paige shook her head, a grin gracing her features.
"Is he Matthews?" she checked with Joel. The boy nodded.
"Yeah. Andrew Matthews." Paige looked interestedly at him.
"What?" Leo questioned.
"Oh, nothing. My dad's brother's name is Andrew, but I haven't talked to him in years. He and dad had some big fight a while back, and I didn't see him much after that. I wasn't even sure if he would come to my parents' funeral. He did show up, though. He didn't come for the wake, I think he stayed at the grave for a while. I don't even know where he is now." She tapped her pen to the paper, then shook her head. "Anyway, go on, Joel."
"Ok, well, he was born April 10th, '69 again. He was younger than mom. And my grandparents on my dad's side ar – were Mark and Jane Matthews."
"What? No way." Now Paige was more than shocked, and it was Cole's turn to enquire what she was thinking about.
"I just…but they're…no way." She repeated.
"Something wrong, Ms – Paige?" Joel wondered.
"Where did they live? Your grandparents. In San Francisco?" Paige demanded, ignoring his question.
"Um, no. Not exactly. In the suburbs. 1524 Wood –"
"Woodview Terrace." Paige finished. "Ok, that's it. The Elders are out to give me a heart attack." She decided. "First Phoebe, and now this…"
"Paige, what are you talking about?" Leo asked.
"His grandparents. Joel's dad's parents."
"Yes? What about them?" Cole motioned for her to continue as she trailed off.
"They're mine too."
A knock sounded at the door to Patty Halliwell's bedroom.
"Go away, Sam! Leave me alone!" she sobbed. It was Saturday, or so she hoped. It felt like she had been crying for days without stopping. Her mother Penny, after much persuasion, had agreed to take Prue, Piper and Phoebe to their father's house, to spend some time with him. The door creaked open, and Patty stifled her tears. Demons didn't use doors, but Sam knew to leave her alone…
"Patty?" a soft voice called, and suddenly she was enfolded in her mother's arms. "Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry. I should have told you, warned you…"
"What? How much it was going to hurt? How it feels as though my heart is being pulled from my chest? How could you possibly know how I feel, mom? I've just given up my baby daughter. She'll never get to play with her sisters, never get her powers, she won't know I'm her mother, won't know how m-much I love her!" The tears she had stifled upon her mother's entrance into the room were flowing freely again now.
"What you did was for the best, Patty. It's keeping your baby girl safe, and allowing your other daughters to come into their birthright. Your baby will have a good life, Patty. I'm sure of it."
"How do you know how it feels?" her daughter asked bitterly. "Oh, Goddess, I just want her back! How can you possibly know what I'm going through?" Penny bit her lip.
"I've never told you this, Patty. You've never needed to know, but…I once had – a fling. With a demon."
"That's good to know." Patty said sarcastically. "What does it have to do with my daughter?"
"I can't believe you're my cousin!" Paige cried excitedly, after quizzing Joel to find out if his relatives were, in fact, her own through her adopted family. He though his grandparents might have had another son, though he'd never spoken to his uncle. Yes, he did have a second cousin Albert on his father's side. Yes, he did remember the horrible gnome in his grandparents' back garden – the one with the leaf umbrella and the chipped off nose above his pout? His powers were from his mother's side, as far as he knew, and he had of course heard about the family's claim to fame, Penny Day Matthews – Oh, the old time actress! – .
"I didn't think any of my relatives were even still alive! They could never get in contact with anyone after dad –" he cut himself off.
"Joel, do you know where your father is? Is he still alive?" Paige asked enthusiastically.
'Maybe we could contact him!' her family reunion bubble burst as Joel shook his head.
"He used to go away on business a lot, even while Mom was sick. I suppose he couldn't hack the pressure. His plane crashed into the Atlantic on his way to Europe on one of the trips. About 3 years ago now. Mom was told she was terminal shortly after." Understandably, he seemed hesitant to continue talking, so Paige quickly changed the topic.
"Well, what about your other grandparents?"
"They're still around. They live near Chicago, though, and I didn't want to leave, not when Mom's grave is here…I don't think they would have been able to look after me anyway, because Social Services didn't force me to move. Umm, I don't know if you should put them down on the sheet, they're not really my mom's parents. Well, they are her real parents, but they're not."
"Your mom was adopted?" Paige understood instantly. Joel nodded.
"I don't think she ever went looking for her birth family. I did, once. When mom was told how long she had to live…I thought she might want to get to meet them. Grandma Peterson said that Mom's birth mother got in contact with her through an adoption agency. She chose my grandparents as the best couple to raise my mother."
"Did you ever find her? Get her name?"
"Umm, if you don't want me here it's ok, you know." Joel proclaimed suddenly.
"What? No! Why would you think we don't want you?"
"Well, you just seem to want to…"
"Joel, we're not trying to get rid of you." Cole reassured him. "Besides the fact that Paige is one of your few contactable relatives, I'm looking forward to having someone else around for Warren. He's already fond of you."
"Don't you want to get to know your grandmother?" Leo asked. Paige nodded.
"When I found these guys, I was thrilled. Dysfunctional as it is, you belong to this family. You poor thing." She grinned to show she was joking as Leo frowned at her.
"Leo, face it. The Halliwell family is dysfunctional." Cole snorted. Paige nudged him.
"Yeah, and you're family too, now. But you fit in perfectly." Leo sniggered at Cole's indignant look. "But Joel," she asked, turning again to her cousin, "don't you want to find everyone? In case you ever get sick of us." He shrugged.
"Not really. If I can make it work with you I don't need to know anyone else."
"Aww!!" Phoebe, coming through the doorway with Piper at her heels, pitched forward and gave Joel a sudden hug. Nobody so much as blinked.
"Um, I'm taking it that she does this a lot?" Joel looked at the gathered people. He earned a variety of nods. "Ok." He tolerated the hug patiently, and Phoebe eventually pulled back.
"Well, if you don't want us to contact her, that's ok. But do you want me to find out the name, in case you ever change your mind?" Paige checked.
"No need. Grandma knew that, so she told me when I asked. It's Penelope Halliwell."
AnimeAlexis: Don't ask. I know, it's been what, 3 months since I updated? Yikes. Well, at least it's summer now! I'm not too too happy with this chap. Yep, it's pretty much another filler. But! We've now got the second plot arc. Sorry to leave you hanging, but this time I know it will definitely not be so long until I update. Please review, even if it's just to yell at me for being late! Again. :-)