RATING: PG-13 - Violence
SUMMARY: The Halliwells, along with other friends, deal with the aftermath of Cole and Olivia Turner's deaths. AU Season Six. Set after "Double Emnity".
FEEDBACK: - Be my guest. But please, be kind.
DISCLAIMER: Cole Turner, The Charmed Ones, Chris Halliwell, and Darryl Morris belong to Constance Burge, Brad Kern and Spelling Productions. Olivia McNeill Turner, the McNeills, Andre and Cecile Morell, Artemus and Scott Yi are thankfully, my creations.


Part I

Piper Halliwell reached for the cold water faucet and turned it on. The bathroom sink's pipes rattled for a few seconds before water gushed out. Piper heaved an exasperated sigh. Damn sink! The damn thing has been acting up since the . . .

The Charmed One's thoughts came to a screeching halt. For some reason, she could not bring herself to finish that last thought. To do so would remind her of the gloomy cloud that hung over the household. It would remind Piper of her younger sisters' grief, along with her own sense of loss and deepening fear.

After washing her hands, Piper left the bathroom. She passed by Phoebe's bedroom and heard deep sobbing. Another sigh left Piper's mouth. Poor Phoebe. Five days had passed since the double tragedy. She still found it difficult to believe that Cole and Olivia Turner were dead. Both brutally murdered on the same day.

While out on a police call, Olivia Turner had ended up with a bullet in her chest and another in her stomach. Instead of dying instantly, poor Olivia slowly bled to death inside an ambulance conveying her to the nearest hospital. Piper shuddered at thought of what the red-haired witch must have endured. She would like to believe that her older sister, Prue, had not suffered as much following Shax's attack, nearly three years ago. However, Cole's death frightened Piper. Someone – possibly the same person who had murdered Olivia – managed to strip away Cole's powers and stab him in the heart. And now that person possessed Cole's powers.

Piper made her way downstairs to the manor's first floor. She had a bottle of milk warming on the kitchen's stove for Wyatt. The moment she entered the kitchen, blue lights appeared in front of the refrigerator. They eventually materialized into the form of her former husband.

"Leo," she greeted in a less-than-enthusiastic voice. "I guess you've heard about . . ."

The blond-haired Elder nodded. "Yeah. Um . . . Chris had informed the Council. I . . ." He broke off and sat down in one of the kitchen chairs with a heavy sigh. "How are you dealing with . . .?"

"Cole and Olivia's deaths?" Piper finished bluntly. "Not very well. It's been a shock for me. And to be honest, I rather miss both of them." She had spoken the truth. She could honestly say that she missed the couple. Despite the shaky beginnings of her relationship with Olivia, Piper had grown to appreciate the redhead's vibrant personality and caustic wit. And she must be honest that she and her sisters have learned a lot more about magic in the past year-and-a-half than they had during those years before becoming reacquainted with the McNeills. And ever since Cole had saved Wyatt at least twice – from a group of inept demons and from the very dangerous Daley Baker – Piper found herself warming to her former brother-in-law. They had even managed to start swapping recipes.

Leo nodded. "What about Phoebe and Paige?"

Piper turned off the stove. "Phoebe has been on a crying jag for the past four days. And Paige has been staying away from the house as much as she can, even though I keep telling her that it might be dangerous." Shaking her head, she added, "I'm scared, Leo. Someone either very powerful or very smart managed to take Cole's powers and kill him. What if she decides to come after us?"

"She?" Leo said with a frown.

Piper explained that on the very day of the Turners' deaths, Phoebe had a premonition of a woman's hand stabbing Cole. "And that's exactly how he had died . . . stabbed through the heart."

The Elder heaved a sigh. Piper noticed his melancholic expression. Which did not make her feel any better. "I don't know if this . . . woman will, Piper. Maybe you and Wyatt should join me in the Whitelighters' Realm. Stay at our Magic School with Phoebe and Paige. Maybe even the McNeills."

The Whitelighters' Realm? Piper wondered if those months as an Elder had eroded Leo's sense of reality. "Leo, what makes you think that the Elders can protect us? Someone has Cole's powers. That means that she can go . . . up there without any problems. Cole was able to, when those darklighters were killing your former bosses. Or have you forgotten?"

"Piper . . ." Leo broke of with a shake of his head.


Leo heaved another sigh. "Nothing. I . . . When will the funeral be held?"

Piper removed the bottle from the saucepan. "Tomorrow, around eleven in the morning. It'll be a double funeral." She stared at Leo. "Are you going?"

Uncertainty clouded Leo's blue eyes. "I . . . I don't know. Olivia's family might not . . . you know . . . welcome . . ."

"Do you want to go, Leo?"

A long pause followed before the Elder answered, "A part of me does. Another part of me doesn't want to face . . ." He paused, as his mouth twitched uncontrollably. Then he took a deep breath. ". . . face the McNeills. I . . . I wish I had apologized to Olivia and Cole . . . for that whole mess with Paul Margolin. Only Olivia is dead and it's too . . ." The Elder broke off with a sob.

Pity welled within Piper as she watched her ex-husband weep for his dead friend and former charge. She also felt like crying. Instead, she encircled her arms around Leo's neck to offer him comfort. Several minutes passed before Leo glanced up. Piper frowned. "What is it?"

"They're calling me," Leo replied. "The other Elders."

Great! Piper refrained from heaving an exasperated sigh. "Right," she said in a slightly bitter tone. "Only I thought you wouldn't have to worry about being summoned, once you became an Elder. I see that some things never change."


The Charmed One disengaged her arms from around Leo's neck. "You might as well go."

Leo stood up with a frown stamped on his face. "About Wyatt . . ."

"What about him? Are you still suggesting that we go . . . up there? Who's going to protect us from whoever has Cole's powers, Leo? You? The other Elders?"

Unable to say, the Elder merely shook his head and orbed out of the kitchen. Feeling a surge of anger and frustration, Piper grabbed Wyatt's bottle. She had been right. Some things never change.

A very somber Bruce McNeill descended the curved staircase inside the McNeills' manor. He had just left his parents' bedroom, where he found his mother pouring over the family's many photo albums. Naturally, Mom's attention seemed to be focused upon those photographs of Olivia.

His father, on the other hand, happened to be at the McNeill Corporation's office building – dealing with work that Bruce suspected might not be so urgent. But ever since Olivia and Cole's deaths, Jack McNeill had been spending a great deal of time away from home.

Grandmother Elise seemed bent upon spending most of her time inside her room. This did not surprise Bruce. She had done the same when his Grandfather Kenneth's death had left her a widow, over three years ago. With his brother Harry clinging to Paige Matthews and his wife Barbara bursting into tears every other hour, it fell to Bruce to deal with the aftermath of his sister and brother-in-law's deaths.

A sigh left the oldest McNeill sibling's mouth as he reached the staircase's bottom. He still could not believe that Olivia and Cole were gone. Murdered by some mysterious person . . . or being. Bruce had been wracking his brain to figure out the killer's identity. But this has been difficult, since the very two people who might have some information on the Turners' deaths – namely Phoebe Halliwell and Darryl Morris – had followed Grandmother Elise's example by secluding themselves.

Bruce opened his mouth to call for the McNeills' manservant. Then he remembered sending Davies to pick up the visitors from New Orleans. He still recalled Cecile Morell's reaction to the news of the tragedy. The Vodoun priestess had cried out in pain, forcing her husband to continue the conversation. And even Andre, who had been one of Cole's closest friends during the past decade, barely seemed able to talk.

Nearly everyone seemed to be falling apart. And Bruce had been so busy trying to keep everything together that he barely seemed to have the time to mourn his sister. Right now, he needed to continue making arrangements for the funeral, the burial and the wake. He had already scheduled the funeral for the day after tomorrow. Bruce wondered if Paige could ask Piper to help him prepare food for the wake. The doorbell rang. Bruce halted in his tracks. Then he turned on his heels and strode toward the front door. Seconds later, he found himself ushering Scott Yi into the house.

The handsomely thin-face Scott happened to be one of Olivia's colleagues with the San Francisco Police. He was also a Taoist disciple and a very talented sorcerer. "Scott," Bruce quietly greeted. He noticed the box in the younger man's arms. "Are those Olivia's belongings from the station?"

"Yeah," Scott answered. "From inside her desk. But there is one drawer that I wasn't able to open. Even with magic. Had Olivia placed some kind of hex on it?"

Bruce sighed. "She must have had something valuable inside that drawer. I'll ask Mom or Dad about a counter-spell." He paused. "How's Uncle Wei holding up?" Bruce spoke of Scott's local Taoist priest and sorcery mentor, Chan Wei Ku. Not only was the priest the McNeills siblings and Scott's kung fu master, but one of Jack McNeill's oldest friends.

Scott shrugged. "I don't know. He pretends that he's handling well, but I don't think so."

Nodding, Bruce replied, "I understand. Uncle Wei and Olivia were very close." He released a gust of breath. "Um . . . how is the case going, by the way? You know, Olivia and Cole's . . ."

"Looks like it'll turn out to be an unsolved case, as far as the Department is concerned," Scott replied. "Which is the truth, anyway. And if we ever find out who had killed them, the case will have to remain unsolved. Darryl is pitching the idea that their deaths might be linked to the Holly McMillan case. You know, Cole may have found something that the killer wants hushed up. That sort of thing. So far, the Department isn't buying. Not if it would make Mrs. McMillan seem innocent."

Bruce frowned at the police inspector. "What about you?"

"I'd say that our old friends from the Magan Corporation might be responsible. Wasn't a spy from the Gimle Order killed a day before Olivia and Cole?"

"Yeah, Cirhan," Bruce muttered. "Both Livy and Cole had visions of him being murdered by some woman."

Scott added, "And they both ended up dead. Strange."

Bruce shivered. "Yeah, very . . ." He paused. Scott had a point. It did seemed odd that both Olivia and Cole would end up dead after Cirhan. Bruce also recalled that Marbus – Cole's uncle – had said something about Olivia searching Cirhan's apartment for material on the Magan Corporation. "I wonder . . ." he began.

"You wonder what?"

Bruce revealed Olivia's favor to the police inspector. "You did help Harry and Paige search the penthouse for anything odd that the police might find . . . right?"

"Yeah," Scott replied. "But if Olivia had found anything on the Magan Corporation, don't you think it would be inside that locked drawer at the station?"

"But what if her killer didn't know?" The two men contemplated Bruce's question in silence. Then the witch shook his head. "Never mind. That seems pretty thin. The killer would have had to known that Olivia was at Cirhan's apartment in the first place." He added, "At least you managed to get some of the more questionable items out of the penthouse. Right?"

Scott nodded. "Don't worry. Paige had teleported everything – Olivia's Book of Shadows, Cole's little book of spells and God knows what other magical tools and items to here. Even their books and herbs. And Harry had seemed most insistent that Paige teleported the desk. You know, the eighteenth century desk. What's so special about it, anyway?"

Mild relief flooded Bruce's chest. "Olivia kept a lot valuable objects inside it. Magical objects that included her special Book of Shadows with more powerful spells and the Aingeal staff."

"She could fit a staff inside . . .?"

Bruce explained that the Aingeal staff could magically alter in size. "Thankfully, the desk is locked. Whoever killed Cole . . ."

Scott's next words chilled Bruce to the bone. "The desk wasn't locked. I was examining its contents before Paige had it teleported. I saw a good number of knick-knacks inside . . . including that book you had described. What does the staff looked like?"

In a hoarse voice, Bruce replied, "It's made of a white oak with carvings of Celtic symbols around it. There's a carving of a dragon's head on top . . ." He broke off at the sight of Scott's confused expression. "You did see it, right?"

A long pause followed before Scott answered, "No."

"Oh my God!" Bruce rushed toward the staircase. "If the desk . . ." He left the sentence unfinished as he rushed upstairs. Scott followed.

The two men headed for a room that contained the valueable items from the Turners' penthouse. One of the items happened to be the eighteenth century cylinder desk that Olivia had purchased in Paris, several years ago. Bruce hesitated before he pushed up the cylinder top. After a thorough search, he discovered to his horror that one item seemed to be missing – namely the very powerful Aingeal staff.