Unblessed the Child



Episode 3, season V


By


Christine Lemieux


The characters and the premise to the story are properties of Charmed and Spelling Productions. However, the story is my creation.





TEASER
MANOR, RESTROOM

Scene 1:

Piper is wrapped in a towel, her hair still wet from the shower, and she is looking curiously at her profile. She flattens the towel over her stomach with a grimace of discontent. Sighing, she looks down on the counter, and picks up a stick hesitantly.
The coloring on the testing spot is blue and she grimaces anew, picking up the box and comparing the two.

PIPER:
That's not possible, how am I not pregnant by now?

The irritation in her voice is palpable as she throws the stick and the box in the wastebasket. As an afterthought, she picks it up and puts it in a bag, closing it. A discreet knock on the door has her jumping. She doesn't answer however, and Paige's voice comes from out of sight:

PAIGE:
Are you about done? I gotta go to work, you know. I can't be late again.

PIPER:
I'll be done in a minute. Can't a girl take a shower in peace in this house?

MANOR, HALLWAY:

Scene 1a:

View of Paige, her head almost touching the bathroom door, as she pursues:
PAIGE:
I've been waiting for almost thirty minutes, Piper. And the water stopped running ten minutes ago. Couldn't you wait until after I'm gone to do whatever it is you're doing? You don't even have to go to work this morning.

PIPER (OUT OF SIGHT)
Paige! I told you, I'll be out of here in a minute. But if you don't stop pestering me about it, I won't.

Paige steps back with an annoyed expression. She is about to reply when Phoebe's door opens and this one comes out of her room with a frown:

PHOEBE:
Is she still in there?

PAIGE:
Yes, and don't go get any ideas. I'm next!

Phoebe shrugs:

PHOEBE:
Been there, done that. By now, you should know that the spoil goes to the early bird here.

Paige turns completely toward her with a teasing smile forming on her lips:

PAIGE:
Look who's talking? You're always the last one up. What's different today?

Phoebe smiles weakly:

PHOEBE:
Just have to be somewhere this morning. Actually I'm off right now…

Phoebe vaguely nods in Paige's direction, and then quickly moves toward the stairs.

PAIGE:
Good morning to you too.

But even then, Phoebe doesn't answer. She seems preoccupied, and Paige stares at the spot she just vacated with a puzzled expression.
Piper comes out of the bathroom at this moment, eyeing Paige irritably:

PIPER:
Hey, weren't you in a hurry?

She asks this when Paige doesn't seem to pay any attention to her. Without looking at her, Paige answers distractedly:

PAIGE:
Yeah, I still am… Piper, do you think that something's wrong with Phoebe?

Piper frowns slightly.
PIPER:
No…Why?

Paige shrugs uncertainly, still staring at the stairs:

PAIGE:
It's just…

Piper interrupts, as if she couldn't be bothered to worry about this:
PIPER:
Come on, Paige. If there was something wrong, don't you think we would've seen it by now? It's been three weeks already and nothing happened.

PAIGE:
I don't know, maybe I'm just imagining things…


PIPER:
Yes, you are. You should mind your job more and Phoebe less.

Paige reacts to the brusque tone of voice, turning toward Piper at last.

PAIGE:
I'd already be on my way if it weren't for you.

Piper doesn't even try to protest, as, shrugging dismissively, she walks toward her bedroom. As Paige watches, Piper closes the door behind her without looking back. Paige has a movement of annoyance, as she grumbles to herself, while heading for the bathroom:

PAIGE:
Have a nice day too… I'm gonna have to teach those girls some manners.

She shakes her head while closing the door behind her.

Off the Door, to:
UNDETERMINED CAVE:

Scene 2:

A lightning bolt explodes with bright sparks against the rocky wall. Cole comes rushing through the cave and throws himself behind an uneven column. Another lightning bolt hits the column, and the sparks shower him, provoking a grimace of pain. Breathing hard, he risks a quick look. Another projectile comes his way, as he quickly retreats behind the meagre protection. He lifts his hand slowly, looking at it as if it's going to bite him. Quickly, he brings it back down, leaning against the rock, eyes closed. Pearls of sweat form on his forehead, as he seems to be debating what to do. Belthazor shimmers by his side, apparently unconcerned by the attackers.




BELTHAZOR:
You know what you've gotta do. Are you so far gone that you'd prefer dying rather than using your powers?

Cole has a movement of irritation at this. Opening his eyes, he looks squarely at Belthazor.
COLE:
Why won't you leave me alone?

BELTHAZOR:
Because you have to recognize that you need me. You can deny as much as you want. You can try to reject me, but I'm a part of you. You'll only suffer more by ignoring me.

COLE:
I refuse you. You're not part of me anymore. You only tagged along for the ride. Now, leave!

Belthazor shakes his head dejectedly.

BELTHAZOR:
You won't be able to keep me away for long, Cole. I'm not the Source, I'm you.

COLE:
NO! You're not. Not anymore.

BELTHAZOR:
Look at you! You're trembling in fear where you should be standing up for yourself. You're all powerful, yet, you cower here like a human.


COLE:
Humans are stronger than you think.

BELTHAZOR:
Let them try to fight this!

Just as he is saying it, another lightning bolt hits behind Cole and he jumps.
He takes a deep breath before turning back toward Belthazor.


COLE:
None of this is real. You're doing it somehow.


BELTHAZOR:
You don't know that for sure.

The demon pauses. Then he pursues when Cole doesn't react:

BELTHAZOR:
Suit yourself. I've been in hell much longer than you. I got used to it. Looked like it was a lot harder on you.

Cole brings his hand up again, trembling with indecision. However, once more he drops it, staring back at Belthazor with renewed determination. This one scowls at him:

BELTHAZOR:
You stubborn idiot. Sooner or later, I'll get you to face the truth…

Cole looks away, apparently resolved to forget about Belthazor even being there. At that moment, the attackers strike again, and another lightning bolt hits the column behind Cole, causing a bright flash of light.

Fades on the flash.

MAUSOLEUM:

Scene 2a:

Cole falls to the mausoleum floor. Belthazor stands by his side:

BELTHAZOR:
You got me…I see you're more stubborn than I even thought. But maybe here, you'll listen to reason.

Cole gets up angrily, facing Belthazor.

COLE:
I want nothing to do with you. How many times am I gonna have to say it.

BELTHAZOR:
Say what you want, but it won't change the inevitable. Even the necessity…

Cole shrugs angrily without replying. Belthazor pursues:

BELTHAZOR:
What the hell happened to you? You used to be smarter than that. If you don't get with the program soon, your son'll pay for it.

This shakes Cole:

COLE:
Don't speak of my son. You know nothing about him.

Belthazor takes a few steps toward him, almost grinning.



BELTHAZOR:
Oh but I know enough. What do you think she'll do?

He says this as he looks to the side, and the Seer glimmers in with a grin. Cole takes a step back while staring angrily at her. However, she stands as immobile as a statue. Belthazor continues then, speaking of the Seer as if she wasn't there:

BELTHAZOR:
What are you gonna do without powers when she goes after him. Or did you think that she'd given up on him.

COLE:
Phoebe and her sisters are perfectly capable of defending themselves and my son.

The demon grins anew.

BELTHAZOR:
What if the Charmed Ones decide that he's a danger to them?

Cole can't help the worry to show at the possibility.

COLE:
They won't. He's only a child, not a threat.

BELTHAZOR:
That's what you try to tell yourself, but you know better…

Belthazor shimmers out then.
The look of worry deepens on Cole's features in spite of his resolve. He is so absorbed in his thoughts that he forgets about the Seer. This one builds a fireball and throws it at him in one quick move. He doesn't have time to get out of the way, and screams in pain, as he explodes in a large fireball.

Fades out:

ACT 2:

MANOR, PIPER'S BEDROOM:

Scene 1:


Piper is folding some clothes, while sitting on the bed. She seems distracted when Leo comes in with an inquiring look, and Piper ignores him.

LEO:
Hey, do you have something to tell me?

When Piper finally turns to him, she looks as if she doesn't know what he's talking about.

LEO:
Piper! This morning, you told me that you were almost certain…

Piper sighs deeply.

PIPER:
Sorry to disappoint you again… but it was a false alarm…

Leo comes to sit by her on the bed. He wraps his arm around her shoulders with a solicitous expression:

LEO:
I'm so sorry, honey. But that's ok. It's not the end of the world.

Piper shrugs him off angrily:

PIPER:
What if we can't have babies? What if something's wrong with me? Look at Phoebe. She didn't even want to be pregnant, yet, there she is. Me, try as I may, I can't!

Leo frowns slightly at the outburst:

LEO:
Come on, Piper. It's only been a few months…

PIPER:
But what if I can't? Wouldn't you be disappointed?

LEO:
Piper, you know that we can. You saw the future and we had this beautiful baby girl in it. That should be proof enough. I'm not worried at all.

Piper shrugs again, looking away.

PIPER:
I know… But still… what if it wasn't that simple? Maybe we used some special means to get pregnant…
Leo seems dumbfounded by this idea.

LEO:
Like what?



PIPER:
Lots of people do that. They go to doctors and use extraordinary means.

LEO:
You're telling me that you're willing to do that?

Piper bites her lips nervously now, not looking directly at her husband:

PIPER:
I took the liberty of scheduling an appointment with my doctor, yes…

LEO:
Oh come on, we're not there yet…

PIPER:
I just wanna keep all my options opened, that's all.

This, Piper says in a falsely casual tone of voice. It doesn't fool Leo however.

LEO:
Don't you know how difficult these things are? And really, it seems so unnecessary. I mean since when is it such an emergency, anyway?

Piper gets up stiffly.

PIPER:
I told you. It's only an inquiry. I won't do anything yet…

LEO:
Well, if you really feel that you need to do this…

PIPER:
Yes, I do.

Dismissing any further protestations, she goes to the door and leaves without another word. Leo is a little startled, and it takes him a second to react.

LEO:
Piper?

This one is already on her way and doesn't answer. Leo stands up and slowly goes after her with a preoccupied look about him.


SHOP IN AN ALLEY, EXTERIOR

Scene 2:

A blond woman is walking slowly down a narrow alley. She stops in front of an ancient looking shop. In the display, an assortment of old books is lined up, along with strange artefacts. However, the woman pays no attention to this. She is rather staring at the door, as if paralyzed by uncertainty. Gingerly, she finally grabs the doorknob and enters the shop. The place is poorly illuminated, but she can still see shelves with strange containers of all shapes and sizes. Some of them are jars that appear to hold a variety of remains, which she hopes are from animals, as she shivers.
The store seems deserted while she moves slowly inside. Behind her, the door closes on its own, and a bell jingles loudly. She jumps and turns toward it.
A male voice startles her again:

SHOPKEEPER (OUT OF SIGHT):
What can I do for you, my dear?

The woman swings around as if she has been caught:

BLOND WOMAN:
Huh, don't you remember me? You asked me to come back this morning.

She is faced with a man of short stature, with very dark hair and bushy eyebrows. His eyes are of a deep brown, almost black, and he stares at her with a very serious expression.
SHOPKEEPER:
Oh yes, Miss Larsen, isn't it?

Miss Larsen nods in the affirmative. She still looks anxious however.

MISS LARSEN:
Did you manage to get me what I asked for?

The shopkeeper suddenly smiles enigmatically.

SHOPKEEPER:
I think that you'll be very satisfied. Give me a few minutes and the item in question will be in your hands.

The woman shivers anew, unsure. However, before she could question him any further, the shopkeeper turns around and retreats toward the back of the store. The woman stands alone and looks around with mounting anxiety.

BACK STORE:

Scene 2a:

The room is only illuminated by a large assortment of candles. The shopkeeper enters it slowly and moves toward the center. There, a man is tied up on an old looking gurney, his mouth covered with a wide tape. The man can only inch his head toward the newcomer and his eyes express a deep terror. He mumbles something unintelligible through the tape, while trying to fight against his bounds, but to no avail.

THE SHOPKEEPER:
There, there. It won't be long now. My customer has finally showed up.

The man on the gurney, who looks to be in his thirties with sandy blond hair, opens his eyes even wider. The mumbling becomes louder, panicked. His chest is exposed and the shopkeeper comes nearer, extending his hands over it. Right away, he begins chanting some odd humming. Soon a reddish glow emanates from his palms and descends toward the man's chest. The man tenses and seems in extreme pain suddenly, while the glowing red light expands on his chest, deepening in color, until it becomes red hot. Suddenly, a flash of light explodes and the man's heart appears to be coming out of his chest, slowly moving toward the shopkeeper's extended hands. The lying man utters one more agonizing muffled scream through the gag, and then he falls back, unconscious. The shopkeeper grabs the beating heart in midair, smiling contentedly. Ignoring the man, now dying on the gurney, he goes to a small shelf against one of the walls and picks up a jar of the appropriate size, where he drops the heart.
Without another look for the gurney, he moves back toward the shop.

INSIDE THE SHOP:

Scene 2:

The woman is nervously examining some display. She grimaces at a jar with what looks like a heart suspended in liquid. When the shopkeeper speaks up, she takes a step back in surprise, as she tries to catch her breath.
The shopkeeper ignores her anxiety and instead, utters calmly:

SHOPKEEPER:
Miss Larsen, here's what you wanted from me.

The young woman turns toward him slowly, and then opens wide eyes at the sight. Inside the jar he is holding, she sees another heart. However, this one is still red with fresh blood. And even as she stares, she is certain that she saw it moving.

MISS LARSEN:
Www...Huh, what is that?

The shopkeeper takes a few more steps toward the young woman.

SHOPKEEPER:
This is the item that you wished for.



MISS LARSEN:
Nnn…No. I asked you for a magic way to make Greg suffer, as much as he did me. This can't be it.

The young woman is now shaking uncontrollably, worried that this is what she fears. The shopkeeper pursues relentlessly:

SHOPKEEPER:
This is what you truly wanted. I read your thoughts, and they were eloquent. You felt that he stole your heart and broke it. You wanted me to deliver his own beating heart in your hands. In exchange, you were ready to sell your soul in order to get your revenge. Here it is.

This, he says as he almost drops the jar toward her. The woman catches it reflexively. But after only an instant, she drops it and it breaks noisily on the floor, where the heart seems to have a life of its own.

MISS LARSEN:
This can't be. No!

As the shopkeeper is observing her, we see a whitish aura surrounding her. This one quickly turns to a darker color and the shopkeeper smiles contentedly, ignoring the mess on the floor.

SHOPKEEPER:
The deal is sealed.

Miss Larsen stares back at him in horror. Then, her eyes roll up, as she falls heavily to the shop's wooden floor, her face only inches from the bloody remains.

Fades to:
APARTMENT BUILDING, LOBBY:

Scene 3:

Phoebe enters the lobby and looks around, as if wondering what she's doing there. She stands just inside the lobby, hesitating, even as other people are coming and going. She almost turns back, but a familiar male voice calls to her:

DOORMAN:
Mrs. Turner!

Phoebe takes a moment before reacting, but then she turns toward the Doorman with a wan smile.


PHOEBE:
Hello, Mr. Sanders. Long time no see.

The Doorman gives her a saddened look:

DOORMAN:
I'm sorry that things didn't work out with your husband. You seemed so happy together.

Phoebe has a little movement of irritation at this:

PHOEBE:
Who said that we're not together?

The Doorman looks away with some embarrassment.

DOORMAN:
I'm sorry…It's just that since you're not living under the same roof anymore…

Phoebe bites her lips, but doesn't answer. There is a pause filled with an awkward silence. Then the Doorman continues:

DOORMAN:
Mr. Turner left a letter for you.

Phoebe seems unpleasantly surprised:

PHOEBE:
What do you mean? Where did he go?

The Doorman's embarrassment deepens.

DOORMAN:
I thought you knew. Mr. Turner gave his notice two weeks ago and left the building the next day.

Phoebe is so stunned that she doesn't even react when the Doorman moves away, and then comes back with a sealed letter. He hands it to her almost timidly. She picks it up gingerly and only nods toward the Doorman before turning back and heading for the door.

EXTERIOR OF THE BUILDING:

Scene 3a:

Phoebe walks slowly toward a bench and sits heavily, still clutching the letter.
With slightly trembling fingers, she opens it and pulls a single sheet of paper carefully folded. She immediately recognizes Cole's handwriting.
Sighing, she begins to read.

Phoebe,
I don't know how to tell you how sorry I am. I've made so many mistakes, and most of them ended up hurting you. That's the last thing I wanted. I love you, but it seems that I can only bring you pain.

Phoebe drops the letter in her lap at this point, unable to continue. Then angrily looking up, she utters:

PHOEBE:
How dare you? How dare you decide what's best for me?

Irritably, she looks back down at the letter, and then at the envelope. She realizes that he left a forwarding address on the back of the latter.

1265, Circle Lane
Apt. 507,
San Francisco

PHOEBE (SOTTO)
Well Cole, you may have thought that you could dump me this way, but you got another one coming.

She stands up then, and resolutely goes to the silver convertible, which Cole never came to reclaim.

MANOR, FRONT PORCH:

Scene 4:

Piper comes out of the house and distractedly pulls papers and letters out of the mailbox. As she is doing so, a pamphlet falls to the ground and attracts her attention. She puts back the rest of the mail in the box with a dismissive gesture, and then picks up the pamphlet:

PIPER:
Azarius, Sorcerer Extraordinaire…

She continues dubiously:

PIPER:
No problem is too big or small. I guaranty that you will get your heart's desire… Yeah right!

Piper eyes a recycling container, almost throwing the pamphlet in it. But then she pockets it instead, and goes to her jeep…

Fades out.

ACT 3


SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICES:

Scene 1:

Paige is sitting at her desk, shuffling papers impatiently. She looks toward her boss's office. This one is on the phone and as she stares, he gives her an inquiring glance. Paige turns away quickly, busying herself the best she can.

PAIGE:
I'll never finish this in time. When am I gonna learn to get organized.

She's mumbling this to herself when a new arrival catches her attention. Miss Larsen, the blond woman who was at the shop, is coming in. She seems distraught and unfocused. As she walks by Paige's desk, this one calls to her:

PAIGE:
Hey Sharon! And I thought I was the only one having problems getting here on time…

Sharon ignores her and instead, moves on toward her own desk, where she sits heavily. Paige frowns and giving another dejected look at her paperwork, she dismisses it and stands up to go to her.

PAIGE:
Sharon? What's the matter with you?

Sharon avoids her eyes.

SHARON:
Nothing, don't worry about it.

Paige seems a little put off by her attitude and almost turns back, when she notices a pamphlet with a singular announcement on her co-worker's desk.

PAIGE:
What is that? Azarius, Sorcerer Extraordinaire?

Sharon suddenly reacts to this, covering the pamphlet with her hands quickly.

SHARON:
It's nothing really, just some stupid publicity. I need to get to work now.

Paige looks closer at Sharon when she notices the broken voice. Even as she watches her, Sharon can't repress the tears any longer, and soon begins to sob uncontrollably.

PAIGE:
My god Sharon, what's wrong? And don't give me that crap with it's not my business. I make it my business when a friend of mine's hurting.

Sharon takes a few quick breaths, trying to stop her sobbing long enough to talk.

SHARON:
You wouldn't understand. I barely understand it myself.

Paige frowns, and then tries to probe further:

PAIGE:
Is it Greg? I thought you guys were over? Didn't he hurt you enough already?

Sharon's sobbing renews at the mention of her ex-boyfriend.

SHARON:
Paige, I think he's dead.

PAIGE:
What? How?

SHARON
The Shopkeeper… He killed him.

Paige is dumbfounded and pulls another chair by her friend, determined to get to the bottom of this.

PAIGE:
Sharon, you're not making any sense. Are you sure that Greg got hurt?

Sharon turns almost angrily toward Paige.

SHARON:
I know! I'm not crazy! He put his beating heart in my hands.

PAIGE:
What?

Sharon becomes more animated at this:

SHARON:
I saw it with my own eyes. I even held it… But when the police got there, all they found was a sheep's heart.

Paige stares at her friend commiseratively.

PAIGE:
Well, maybe that's what you saw? Did you try to call Greg?

SHARON:
I don't need to. I know he's dead. The Shopkeeper told me. He killed him as I wished. He said that he read it in my mind.

Paige opens wide eyes.

PAIGE:
Sharon, you can't be serious! Besides, if the police told you…

SHARON:
They don't know anything. He hid the evidence. But I know. Greg is dead because of me. And that…that monster killed him…

She says this as she extends the pamphlet toward Paige.
This one gives another look at the pamphlet and reads the advertisement aloud.

PAIGE:
"No problem is too big or small. I guaranty that you will get your heart's desire." This is ridiculous. You can't think that it means he read your mind.

SHARON:
He told me. He told me exactly what was in the back of my mind. I was so angry, Paige. So angry! For a while there, I wanted him to die, Paige. I'm so sorry…

Sharon finishes as she breaks in tears again.
For a moment, Paige is uncertain of what she can say or do to help. Then, she seems to make a decision.

PAIGE:
Let me get to the bottom of this. Meanwhile, I'm sure that Greg is just fine and will turn up sooner or later. This charlatan probably just wanted to scare you. He must be some wacko…

When Sharon looks up, Paige can read abject fear in her eyes:

SHARON:
No! Don't go there, Paige. He's dangerous. God knows what he'll do to you.

Paige smiles reassuringly:

PAIGE:
Trust me, I've seen worse. After work, I'll have a word with this… Azarius, is it? And if I find that he did hurt Greg, I'll make sure that he pays for it.

SHARON:
No you can't. I don't want you to get hurt too.

PAIGE:
I won't, don't worry. Everything will be just fine. You should go home and get some rest. Anyway, it's noon already. You wouldn't get anything done, even if you stayed here.

Then, Paige mumbles to herself.

PAIGE:
I've been here all morning and even I couldn't get anything done.

She turns back toward Sharon, who still seems uncertain.

SHARON:
I don't wanna be alone Paige. I'm scared.

PAIGE:
Do you have a friend, or a member of your family that you could call?

Sharon breathes deeply first. Then she utters in a slightly calmer voice:

SHARON:
My sister…

Paige smiles encouragingly, as Sharon stands up slowly.

PAIGE:
There you go. That's a plan. I'll take care of the rest. I'll even tell the boss that you're sick. You won't have to worry about a thing.

She picks up the pamphlet and pats her friend's shoulder encouragingly. A deep frown appears on her forehead at this point. She stares curiously at Sharon, while this one is already on her way. Then she looks down at the pamphlet again, but this time with deep concern.

Fades to:

EXAMINATION ROOM:

Scene 2:

On a metal shelf, we see a jar with cotton balls and instruments lined up carefully side by side. A soft man's voice is heard out of sight.

DOCTOR:
I assure you, Miss Halliwell…

We see Piper, sitting sideways on an exam table. She interrupts him:

PIPER:
Mrs. Halliwell.

She is facing a man in a white coat, with grey hair and soft features. He looks to be about fifty years of age.

DOCTOR:
Of course…

He smiles paternally. Then, he pursues:

DOCTOR:
This first exam revealed nothing wrong with you, Mrs. Halliwell. Obviously, we'll wait for the results of your tests, but I wouldn't be surprised that nothing comes of it. You seem to me like a healthy young woman, and I don't see any reason why you couldn't get pregnant. You'll just have to be patient.

PIPER:
Are you sure? I mean, we've been trying for a few months already. Shouldn't it have happened by now?

DOCTOR:
These things are never certain. It could take a few months, or you might find out that you're pregnant next week. You just have to let nature take its course.

Piper is about to protest, but he pursues:

DOCTOR:
However, if we find anything wrong with the tests, I'll recommend some very good fertility clinics. I just want you to understand that this probably won't be necessary…

PIPER:
But that would have a good chance to work, wouldn't it?

DOCTOR:
Possibly… But again, I don't think that you'll need it. Although, I'd have been more certain if we could have taken some of your blood…


PIPER:
I'm sorry Doctor, but I can't allow it. It has to do with my personal beliefs… You do understand, don't you?

DOCTOR:
Well, I'm not certain…

PIPER:
This is non-negotiable. Can you still give me an accurate answer with the other tests?

DOCTOR:
I would think so, yes. I'll have the specialist look at them carefully, and I'll call you in a day or two if something's wrong.

PIPER:
Thank you, Doctor…

Fades to:

UNDERWORLD, SEER'S CHAMBERS:

Scene 3:

Cole shimmers into the empty chambers of the Seers and looks around somewhat tensely.

COLE:
Seer? Show yourself. I need to have a talk with you. Now!

He waits moment longer, and then becomes impatient:

COLE:
Show up. I won't leave until you do.

A glittering red light appears only feet from him, and the Seer materializes. She seems uncertain, but still says almost amiably:

THE SEER:
Cole, I wasn't expecting you anymore.

Cole scowls at her:

COLE:
Didn't you visions tell you I was coming?

The Seer's expression darkens:

THE SEER:
You, more than anyone else, should know that I no longer have any visions. You made sure of that. A little departing gift that I could have lived without…

Cole replies angrily:

COLE:
Not me! Him! I had nothing to do with the Source!

A mocking smile forms on the Seer's lips:

THE SEER
If you prefer to think that… Maybe, it helps you sleeping better. Or not… I can sense that the void has been filled again.

Cole moves threateningly toward her then.

COLE:
Shut up! I don't wanna hear it from you!

THE SEER:
I'm sure you don't. How long are you gonna deny what you are, Cole? I could be of help to you.

Cole takes another threatening step toward her:

COLE:
I said, shut up! I'm not here for this.

The Seer appears unconcerned by his outburst:

THE SEER:
Then, why? You got what you wanted, haven't you? You're rid of the Source.

COLE:
I'm here to warn you. Stay away from Phoebe and my son, you hear me? If I find that you were anywhere near them, I'll come back here, and there won't be any need for talk.

THE SEER:
Even as Belthazor, you're not strong enough to vanquish me. You're deluding yourself. Besides, it seems that she is not yours to defend anymore. The honeymoon didn't last very long, now, did it?

COLE:
This is none of your business, and as far as destroying you, I'll find a way.

The Seer walks passed him. Then, she utters:

THE SEER:
I'm sure that you would… But it's immaterial. I no longer intend to go after your son.

COLE:
You can't fool me. I know what you want.

THE SEER:
Things change. Besides, your witches friends convinced me of the foolishness of my plans. I fully intend to live. I won't give them any reasons to come after me.

COLE:
Make sure you remember that.

He seems half reassured as he shimmers out.
As soon as she is certain he's gone, the Seer frowns angrily.

Fades to:

COLE'S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM:

Scene 4:

Cole shimmers in the middle of his living room, and has barely materialized that Phoebe's harsh voice startles him:

PHOEBE:
When were you gonna tell me?

He swirls around and finds a very angry Phoebe, standing besides the apartment's door.

COLE:
Phoebe!

Fades to:

UNDERWORLD, THE SEER'S CHAMBERS:

Scene 5:
The Seer paces nervously, obviously more unnerved by Cole's visit than she let out. A sudden whooshing noise stops her however, and she turns to find a woman only a few paces away. The tall woman, although beautiful, has severe features. She stares icily at the Seer with her piercing blue eyes.

THE SEER:
Dalila! What are you doing here?

DALILA:
I have come for information.

The Seer seems to become even more nervous, as she takes a step back.

THE SEER:
I can't help you anymore. I lost my visions.

DALILA:
Oh, but you can still be helpful to me. You have the knowledge that I seek.

Dalila takes a few steps toward the Seer, and then asks almost casually:

DALILA:
Wasn't it Belthazor that was here a moment ago?

THE SEER:
What of it?

The woman glares at the Seer.
DALILA:
Don't take me for a fool. I wanna know where the witch is. The one he bedded. We both know how important she is. I want the child…

THE SEER:
I can't help you. You should leave, now.

The woman's voice becomes low and menacing.

DALILA:
You know where she is, and you will tell me.


THE SEER:
Even if I knew, why would I wanna help you? As soon as I talked, you're going to kill me.

DALILA:
I've always thought that you were a smart demon. Do you really believe that I will just go and let you live if you don't?

THE SEER:
I believe that as long as you think I can be of use, you will spare me.

Dalila eyes the Seer angrily. Then she turns around and walks away slowly, apparently thinking. Suddenly, she turns back and without warning, she throws a fireball toward the Seer. This one doesn't have time to react and burns brightly with a loud agonizing scream.
A cruel grin forms on Dalila's lips as she watches.



DALILA:
You were always too presumptuous.

This, she says with utter contempt, as her eyes begin to glow with a reddish light. Then she shimmers away, and the glowing eyes are the last things seen of her.

Fades to:

COLE'S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM:

Scene 6:

Phoebe looks angrily at Cole, who stays silent, unsure.

PHOEBE:
So, when were you gonna tell me? What is it this time? The Source? Someone else?

Cole frowns unhappily:

COLE:
Phoebe, you don't understand.

Phoebe's voice rises noticeably:

PHOEBE:
Is that why you dumped me? You were afraid I'd figure it out? Well, I know now. You might as well fess up, or I'll come back with my sisters, anyway.

Cole shrugs angrily at this:

COLE:
Why don't you do that?

He turns away from her, as if he meant for the conversation to end there.

PHOEBE:
If you think that I'll just go and let you off the hook, you're mistaken. You owe me an explanation.

COLE:
What more can I say? You've already made up your mind.

PHOEBE:
What do you expect, Cole? You shut me out of your life after I saved yours. You moved out of the apartment without even telling me. And this, I had to find that out from the doorman. Then, when I see you after three weeks, I find that you're using demonic powers again.

COLE:
I don't know what you want from me…

PHOEBE:
You could start by looking at me and telling me whether you intend to come after us again.

Cole sighs deeply before slowly turning toward her.

COLE:
Whatever I tell you, it won't make any difference. You'll still never trust me again. So what's the point?

PHOEBE:
Are you evil again?

COLE:
Yes… and no.

Phoebe takes a deep breath. Then, she questions angrily:

PHOEBE:
What kind of an answer is that? Is it yes, or no? Or are your lies running so deep that you can't tell them from the truth anymore?

COLE:
Phoebe…

He stops himself and looks away.

PHOEBE:
Cole, I wanna know.

COLE:
You just said it yourself. You have no reason to believe me…I'm not even sure what the truth is myself, Phoebe. I've been trying to figure that out for the last three weeks…

PHOEBE:
What do you mean?

He sighs heavily.

COLE:
There's only one thing I'm sure of, Phoebe. It's that I don't wanna hurt you anymore. That's why I left…

PHOEBE:
You knew? You knew then and you didn't tell me?

COLE:
You didn't wanna hear that. I tried to warn you. I asked you to leave me behind. If I'd told you, would it have made any difference?

Phoebe seems uncertain.

PHOEBE:
I don't know. All I know is that I thought that we had a chance. But if you're evil again…

When Cole looks back, his eyes are filled with pain.

COLE:
I have come to the conclusion that nothing can prevent that, Phoebe. We tried everything. You stripped my powers and I ended up worse than before. I died, and when you brought me back, I couldn't help Belthazor from coming back with me… It seems that…that you were right in the first place. Deep down, I'll always be evil. That's why I can't impose that on you. No matter how much I wanna be with you…

Phoebe seems deeply disturbed then, as she reflexively touches her stomach. Cole fails to notice the latter, however.

COLE:
You see? You're scared of me now. Even though it was the last thing I wanted to happen. You should go. Leave me. It's better this way.

Phoebe only then seems to realize what he surmised:

PHOEBE:
Cole, I…


COLE:
Please, don't…It's hard enough as it is, for both of us…

He pauses, looking away as her eyes are filling with tears.

COLE:
If you need my help, I'll be there for you, but other than that…

Phoebe hesitates a long moment, watching him but not finding the words, as she is barely holding back the tears. Then, she simply turns away and leaves the apartment. Cole painfully watches the door closing behind her…

Fades out.


ACT 4:

MANOR, FOYER:

Scene 1:

Piper enters the Manor with a more relaxed attitude. As she is taking off her coat, she hears the ruffling sound of paper coming from her pocket, and only then remembers the strange pamphlet. She pulls it out and after one more look at it, she drops it on a small table before moving on. Leo is coming downstairs at this moment.

LEO:
Hey, what did the doctor have to say?

PIPER:
Ah, I think that you were right. He's very optimistic. I don't know what's the matter with me…

Leo takes her in his arms with a warm smile brightening his features:

LEO:
Nothing's the matter with you. You're just not a patient person… but that's part of your charm.

PIPER:
Leo! I'm a very patient girl…

This, she says with a self mocking smile that tells Leo she is just not going to agree openly she thinks he's right. She leans closer to him.

PIPER:
I'm sorry for this morning. I was rude.

LEO:
It's all forgotten, don't worry.

They hold each other for a moment, and then Leo seems to think of something else.

LEO:
Piper, did you notice anything wrong with Phoebe today?

PIPER:
To be honest, I haven't seen her. But now that you mention it, Paige asked me almost the same thing this morning. Why do you ask?

LEO:
Well, she came back home about an hour ago and she's been moping in the dining room ever since. I tried to talk to her, but she just dismissed me…

PIPER:
Hum…Maybe she's just now dealing with the Cole situation?

LEO:
Speaking of… Heard from him lately?

PIPER:
Not a peep…Let me give it a try, with Phoebe.

Piper kisses her husband lightly, and then she pulls away from him. He watches her going with a sweet smile.

MANOR, DINING ROOM:

Scene 1a:

Piper finds Phoebe just where Leo said she was. She is flipping the pages of a magazine, but she obviously isn't reading it. Piper frowns with concern.
She calls softly:

PIPER:
Phoebe? Is there something the matter?

Phoebe lifts her head toward her.

PHOEBE:
Nothing that you wanna hear…

Piper comes to sit by her at the table and pursues:

PIPER:
Anything that bothers you concerns us, Phoebe. You can't keep it all to yourself. You should know better by now…

Phoebe bites her lips uncertainly.

PHOEBE:
I don't wanna talk about it, Piper.

PIPER:
Ok Phoebe. Remember all the troubles we went through not long ago? You did the same thing and kept all your doubts and worries to yourself. If you'd told us then, maybe it wouldn't have gone so far.

Phoebe sighs heavily, but then she caves.

PHOEBE:
Alright. Well, I…I went to see Cole today…

Piper tries to encourage her with a solicitous expression:

PIPER:
I thought it might be something like that. What's wrong between you two?

PHOEBE:
Piper, do you think…Do you think that my baby is doomed to become evil.

Piper opens wide eyes at this, not having expected this.

PIPER:
Why should he? You've been fine since this happened. We feared at first, but…

PHOEBE:
What if he can't escape what he is? What if I'm give birth to a monster, a worse monster than the Source?

PIPER:
Where does that come from?

Piper seems appalled.

PIPER:
Does it have anything to do with Cole?

Phoebe makes a dismissive gesture:

PHOEBE:
That's not important now. I'm more worried about the baby.

PIPER:
If Cole told you something…

Phoebe interrupts rudely:

PHOEBE:
I said it's not important!

Phoebe seems to realize how this sounded because:

PHOEBE:
I'm sorry Piper. I'm just so worried. I wonder if…

The words seem to be stuck in her throat.

PIPER:
What?

Phoebe gives a painful look at her sister:

PHOEBE:
Do you think I should consider…Maybe…Do you think I should get rid of the baby while there's still time?

Piper's jaw drops in dismay:

PIPER:
Phoebe, you can't be serious.

PHOEBE:
Oh, but I am. I can't bear the thought that I might be the mother to a worse evil than the Source, Piper. This is killing me…

PIPER:
But we don't know that. You haven't felt anything…evil, have you?

PHOEBE:
Not since that first time, no…

Phoebe's voice trails. Then she becomes more animated:

PHOEBE:
But what do we really know?

PIPER:
Phoebe, I…I can't believe you're saying this. What the hell did Cole tell you?

Phoebe gestures impatiently:

PHOEBE:
This is not about Cole, Piper. At least, not really… It's about me and the baby. Much more than this, it's about the rest of the world and the risk to everyone. Do I have the right to put my own feelings ahead of the greater good?

Piper stares at her with deep concern, but can't seem to find an argument.

Fades to:

COLE'S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM:

Scene 2:

Cole paces the room, apparently very unnerved. Suddenly, he moves toward the door and picking up a jacket, he goes out.
As soon as he left, Dalila shimmers in, watching the door coldly.

DALILA:
You were not easy to find, but I knew that I would…

She surveys the surrounding with a disgusted expression:

DALILA:
What did that witch do to you, Belthazor?

She shrugs in annoyance, but then resumes looking around, as if she expects to find Phoebe there. She enters the bedroom and stops in front of the dresser, where she sees a picture of Cole and Phoebe.

DALILA:
So, that is the one. Pretty, I guess…

She picks up the portrait and observes it for an instant. Then, she puts it down and begins opening drawers and tossing Cole's effects around…

MANOR, ATTIC:

Scene 3:

Piper is frantically flipping the pages of the Book of Shadows. She seems very upset.

PIPER:
Why is it that this book never seems to have the answers we really need?

She says at last, exasperated, as she closes the book with a loud thud.

PIPER:
There's got to be a way to know for sure about the baby…

She looks up, half expecting the answer to come from there. After an instant however, she shrugs dismissively.

PIPER:
Nah, If I asked you, you would feed me this crap about non interference. I don't think I can hear once more that we've got to make our own destiny…

Again, she waits expectantly, but nothing comes.

PIPER:
Crap, you won't even bite at that? The hell with it, I'll find my own answers. That's what you want me to do, isn't it?

Only silence answers this. Piper shrugs almost angrily and walks out of the attic.

View of the book, as the pages begin to flip on their own. It stops on a page marked by the words:

Balance
Through the balance, harmony will come.
For one evil, one good will be.
Though hardship will pave the way,
The path has to be followed to secure the spoil.

Slowly the book closes…

Fades to:

MANOR, BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS

Scene 4:

Piper comes down the stairs quickly, but stops abruptly on the landing. She seems uncertain all of a sudden, as she casts a hesitant look toward the foyer. Leo comes down the hallway with a smile, but soon becomes serious at Piper's preoccupied expression.

LEO:
What's wrong? Did you talk to Phoebe?

PIPER:
What's new?

LEO:
What did she tell you?

Piper sighs.

PIPER:
I don't wanna talk about it right now.

Then, she turns directly toward Leo with more irritation than concern:

PIPER:
Why is it that things are always so complicated? Can't we have one thing that doesn't go wrong?

LEO:
Wow, must have been some talk!

PIPER:
Let's just say that once again, things got messed up royally, and I'm not even sure how. Or for that matter, what can be done to fix it.

LEO:
Can't you tell me what it is?

Piper hesitates. Then, she seems to get an idea.

PIPER:
Can we talk about this later? There's something I wanna try first.

Leo frowns unhappily:

LEO:
Do I wanna know?

Piper smiles then:

PIPER:
You know me…

LEO:
Yes, and that's why I'm worried. Are you sure you don't wanna talk about this now?

PIPER:
I'll tell you all about it later. Please?

This she says as she gives him her most charming look. Leo frowns anew, but soon caves:

LEO:
Alright! If you promise to explain yourself?

PIPER:
Cross my heart.

Leo kisses her lightly and moves away, as Piper resolutely heads for the front door. She picks up her coat and keys before turning toward the table where the pamphlet rests. She bites her lips hesitantly.

PIPER:
Piper, you're insane. What would a charlatan be able to do that all our magic can't?

She then shrugs, and picks up the pamphlet anyway.

PIPER:
On the other hand, what can it hurt?

Again she moves resolutely toward the door, and this time, leaves without another moment of hesitation.

Fades to:

SHOP, EXTERIOR, DAY, NARROW ALLEY:

Scene 5:

Paige is standing across the narrow alley, facing the shop indicated on the pamphlet. She looks uncertain.

PAIGE:
Maybe I should've called Phoebe and Piper for this…

She hesitates some more, but then steps toward the shop, mumbling:

PAIGE:
Nah, I'll just check it out. Nothing wrong with a little reconnaissance…

She is almost there, when she hears a car coming down the alley and stopping. She looks back and is amazed to recognized Piper's jeep. She turns all the way toward it, as Piper comes out and is just as surprised to see Paige there.

PIPER:
What are you doing here?

PAIGE:
I was about to ask you the same thing. I'm here because of a friend myself…

PIPER:
Well, I'm here because of Phoebe.

Paige suddenly becomes distraught:

PAIGE:
Did something happen to Phoebe?

PIPER:
Not really, why do you ask?

PAIGE:
Because my friend's had a bad experience with the owner of this place…

Piper lifts her eyebrows questioningly:

PIPER:
What kind of bad experience?

PAIGE:
Well, I'm not sure if there's any truth to it. I was coming here to check it out. It's just that, when I touched her, I got the weirdest sensation…

They are slowly walking toward the shop as Piper questions:

PIPER:
What kind of sensation?

PAIGE:
Well, I can't exactly define it. It just felt dark and cold…

Piper stops and gives her sister an irritated look.

PIPER:
If you thought there was anything evil about this, you should've called us first.

PAIGE:
If I called you every time I get a bad feeling, you wouldn't have time for anything else. No really, I still think that I was just worried for my friend and got my signals crossed. But I couldn't drop it without making sure.

Piper stares at her with annoyance for a few seconds. Then she utters:

PIPER:
Alright then! Let's check out your freaky sensation.

This, she says as she turns resolutely toward the shop and walks away without waiting for an answer from Paige. This one watches going her for a moment, shaking her head dejectedly. Then, she follows her.

MOVING TO INSIDE THE SHOP:

As before, the shelves are lined up with containers and strange objects. Unlike Miss Larsen, this doesn't impress Piper, or Paige, as they have seen some strange shops during their chases for magical items. Piper is however mildly interested by the volumes lined up on the wooden counter toward the back of the store. When no one shows up at their entrance, she goes toward it. As Paige moves inside the store in turn, she is startled by the bell, but immediately scans the place for the owner.

PAIGE:
Anyone here?

At first, no one answers, and as Piper goes on browsing through the volumes, Paige moves deeper into the store.

PIPER:
Patience Paige, I'm sure they heard the door closing.

Paige looks back toward her in annoyance, still thinking of her friend's purported misadventure. As she looks back, she jumps at the sight of the Shopkeeper, who has seemingly materialized out of thin air, and is now standing before her.

PAIGE:
Huh? Hello…

The Shopkeeper smiles amiably, but Paige can't return the smile.

SHOPKEEPER:
May I be of help?

PAIGE:
I hope so…I'm here about a friend of mine who told me she was your customer.

The Shopkeeper' smile seems to fade somewhat:

SHOPKEEPER:
And who would that friend be?

PAIGE:
You shouldn't have too much trouble remembering her. She was here this morning and ended up sending the police to you…

The Shopkeeper flinches only for a second. Then, he seems to regain his countenance:

SHOPKEEPER:
I'm sorry if your friend is still upset. I've told the police everything I knew, and they have seen for themselves that there was no truth to your friend's allegations.

PAIGE:
So, you're saying she lied about you telling her you killed her boyfriend?

Piper moves closer, interested in his reaction. The Shopkeeper opens wide eyes, as if he couldn't believe that Paige would even mention this.

SHOPKEEPER:
Miss, I'll forgive this because I know that you're well intentioned. I understand that your friend was in a bad place with her boyfriend… Maybe that accounts for her strange reaction.

PIPER:
So, you're saying that none of what she told Paige is true?

SHOPKEEPER:
I'm just saying that when she got the sheep's heart that she asked for, it may have provoked some remorse in her, and she projected on me. She was very angry with this Greg… I could sense that. I have a gift for this sort of thing.

Paige snidely utters:

PAIGE:
Oh yeah? Can you sense how little I trust you now?

Piper turns toward Paige impatiently:

PIPER:
Paige, please.

PAIGE:
I'm just saying that I trust my friend a lot more than a stranger who sells beatings hearts, even if they came from sheep…

PIPER:
Paige!

Paige rolls her eyes impatiently but takes a step back.

PIPER:
You have to excuse my sister. She's very passionate about her friends' wellbeing.

The Shopkeeper' smile returns, as he stares directly at Piper:

SHOPKEEPER:
Don't worry. I admire people with such loyalty and heart…

Piper smiles in return, although uncertainly.

PIPER:
So you're saying there's nothing to it?

PAIGE:
Piper, how can you give more credit to that man than my instinct?

PIPER:
You said it yourself, Paige. That's only your intuition talking. Would you excuse for a second?

She asks this from the shopkeeper, who nods as Piper grabs Paige's arm and pulls her away. Whispering, she pursues for Paige:

PIPER:
Paige, you won't get any answer by confronting this man. We've got to play it smart…

PAIGE:
So you do believe me?

Paige gives an amazed look at her sister, but this one pulls her even further, making sure that the shopkeeper can't see Paige's expression.

PIPER:
I'm just saying that whatever the truth is, you won't find out by accusing him with vague intuitions…

Paige nods in understanding and the two return toward the Shopkeeper.
Piper pretends to give Paige a severe look, and this one plays along by making her a face, although she stays silent. Then Piper asks as casually as she can:

PIPER:
So, what exactly did Paige's friend ask you to end up with a sheep's heart? And what was it supposed to do? I'm curious.

She smiles encouragingly. The Shopkeeper doesn't really seem fooled, but he still answers.

SHOPKEEPER:
It was only a symbol. Something to help her through the pain…

Paige can't help adding:

PAIGE:
Rather gory, if you ask me.

Piper gives her another severe look and then turns back toward the shopkeeper.

PIPER:
I have found your pamphlet and you advertise that you're some kind of… sorcerer?

The Shopkeeper smiles sincerely this time:

SHOPKEEPER:
In a way, yes… I've learned the ways of magic and also, I have a strong intuition of my own about what people want. Like in your friend's case…

He says, as he casts a quick glance toward Paige. Then turning back to Piper, he says intently:

SHOPKEEPER:
I can also sense that you're here for something more than this little misunderstanding, am I right?

Piper is startled and a little uncomfortable at this.

PIPER:
Possibly…

SHOPKEEPER:
I think that it has to do with someone else you're worried about. Am I getting close?

Piper frowns at the shopkeeper's accurate guess:

PIPER:
How?

The Shopkeeper smiles mysteriously.

SHOPKEEPER:
As I told you, I have a strong intuition. Would you care to tell me what it is that you wish for?

Piper looks back and forth between the Shopkeeper and Paige. She seems uncertain, and yet, she ends up asking anyway:

PIPER:
I was wondering if you knew of a way to determine whether a person is…

SHOPKEEPER:
Yes?

PIPER:
It's going to sound strange and I don't even know why I'm asking you this…

SHOPKEEPER:
Maybe you simply need to get it off your chest. Nevertheless, you don't have to worry about surprising me. I've heard all sorts of strange things in the course of my business dealings…

PIPER:
All right! Is there a way to tell whether a person is good or evil? I mean…

SHOPKEEPER:
Say no more… Give me a day or two and I might just have what you need.

Piper looks at the Shopkeeper in total amazement:

PIPER:
Really?

The Shopkeeper simply smiles. Paige stares at her sister in puzzlement.

PAIGE:
Hey! What about my business here?

The Shopkeeper turns to her:

SHOPKEEPER:
I know that I can't convince you of your friend's misguidance. It's obvious that you care a lot about her. I assure you that I'm sorry for what she's going through and forgive whatever accusations she's made…

PIPER:
Paige, I think that our business is done here.

Then, turning back toward the Shopkeeper, she continues:

PIPER:
How will I know when it's ready?

SHOPKEEPER:
Come back right here two days from now.

Then the Shopkeeper extends his hand toward Piper. She takes it, and as soon as their hands meet, the Shopkeeper' smile expands considerably.

SHOPKEEPER:
Consider this a deal…

PIPER:
Huh, right.

She pulls her hand away and turns to leave the shop. Paige stays put a moment longer, until Piper calls to her irritably:

PIPER:
Paige, you coming?

Paige stares at the shopkeeper almost angrily, and then she reluctantly follows Piper outside.

The Shopkeeper watches them going, apparently unimpressed by Paige's anger, as an enigmatic smile expands his lips… As soon as they are out of the shop, he says:

SHOPKEEPER:
Well, Mrs. Piper Halliwell, you will get your true heart's desire, and so will I…

Fades out.

ACT 5:

COLE'S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM:

Scene 1:

Dalila is sitting on the couch and seems to be waiting. The jingle of keys in the lock attracts her attention, and she immediately changes into the Seer's likeness.
Cole enters the apartment without noticing her at first, as he seems preoccupied.
DALILA/THE SEER:
Belthazor, nice of you to finally show up…

Cole jumps and turns angrily toward the Seer:

COLE:
Didn't I tell you to stay away?

DALILA/THE SEER:
What can I say? I enjoy your company.

COLE:
The sentiment is not reciprocated. Get out before you regret it.

Dalila/The Seer seems totally unconcerned and pursues almost in a friendly manner:

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Where is your lovely wife? I thought that you couldn't live without her…

Cole eyes her suspiciously:

COLE:
Did the source scramble your brain as well when he took your visions? You know perfectly well that she's not with me anymore.

DALILA/ THE SEER:
That's too bad. I was hoping to have a little chat with her…

Cole moves angrily toward Dalila/The Seer:

COLE:
You stay away from Phoebe. I'm telling you this for the last time…

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Oh, I'm scared…

Her slightly mocking tone of voice somewhat puzzles Cole:

COLE:
Seer, you used to be smarter than this.

Dalila/ The Seer stands up, her eyes ablaze:

DALILA/ THE SEER:
So did you!

Then, suddenly, her attention seems attracted toward something else. She looks back at Cole, who seems confounded by her attitude:

DALILA / THE SEER:
Never mind. We'll have this discussion another time. It would seem that I won't need you after all…

Without another word, she glimmers out, leaving Cole to ponder on what she meant.

Fades to:

SHOP, EARLY EVENING:

Scene 2:

The Shopkeeper is standing in the middle of the store, eyes closed. Dalila/ The Seer glimmers behind him.

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Azarius, you have something for me?

Azarius turns around abruptly, seemingly surprised at her appearance:

SHOPKEEPER:
You're not the one I was expecting…

Dalila/ The Seer smiles cruelly:

DALILA / THE SEER:
Do not mind this appearance. I'm exactly whom you called, and I'm waiting for your answer.

For a short instant, the Shopkeeper watches her curiously, but a single flash of red firelight in her eyes convinces him that he has found the person he was looking for. He bows respectfully and utters with fearful respect:

SHOPKEEPER:
My Lady!

DALILA/ THE SEER:
My patience wears easily Azarius. And it already has been stretched to the limit…

SHOPKEEPER:
My Lady, I heard that you were looking for a very specific item. It so happens that I recently found out where this item lies…

Dalila/The Seer advances on him threateningly:

DALILA/ THE SEER:
I want it now. Do not play games with me.

SHOPKEEPER:
My Lady, I wouldn't dream of it. However as you know, I'm a businessman. And since I seemed to be the only one who can give you the answer you seek…

Dalila/The Seer stares at him severely, but he keeps his head down. Then the smile returns to her lips:

DALILA / THE SEER:
So be it. What is it that you want in exchange?

SHOPKEEPER:
Simply a place by your side when you reign on this world and the underworld, my Lady…

Dalila/The Seer seems annoyed.

DALILA / THE SEER:
Your ambition has no bounds, Azarius.

SHOPKEEPER:
Maybe, but never did I find an item of such great value before…

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Very well, if you deliver, you'll have more powers than you could ever dream of. But if I don't get me what I want…

The threat is obvious and even in his bowed position, Azarius obviously flinches:

SHOPKEEPER:
I promise you that you won't be disappointed…

Dalila/The Seer turns away from the shopkeeper with a victorious smile. More to herself than for Azarius, she utters:

DALILA/ THE SEER:
My brother thought that he could get rid of me and reign on his own. Look what good it did him. I already got my revenge, but now I will be smarter than he ever was and take what is due to me…


The Shopkeeper dares looking up at this:

SHOPKEEPER:
Long live the Source…

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Yes…

She turns toward him then.

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Now, where is my prize?

SHOPKEEPER:
Wait for me in the lower chambers, my Lady, and I'll bring you the item myself.

DALILA / THE SEER:
You have better.

She then glimmers out without another word.
The Shopkeeper stares at the spot she vacated a moment longer. Then he vanishes in a puff of black smoke…

MANOR, FOYER, EARLY EVENING:

Scene 3:

Piper and Paige are re-entering the manor while Paige still seems irritated:
PAIGE:
I say that we should've insisted. I don't trust this Azarius guy.

PIPER:
And I told you that we should be more careful. We don't even know what we're faced with. It may just be as he said, but we should check in the Book of Shadows. If nothing's in it about him, I'll ask Leo to consult the Elders as well.

PAIGE:
All right! But let's not lose any more time. If he's a demon, who knows how many more innocents he might hurt?

Piper nods, and after hanging her coat, she moves toward the stairs without waiting for Paige. This one hurries behind her.

Moves to:

MANOR, PHOEBE'S BEDROOM:

Scene 4:

Phoebe is sitting on the bed, holding a cell phone in her hands. She is looking at it somewhat hesitantly. Then, she punches the numbers and puts it to her ear.
After two rings, Cole answers:

Scene 4a:

COLE'S APARTMENT/ SPLIT WITH PHOEBE'S BEDROOM:

The view is cut in half as we see both of them on each side:

COLE:
Hello?


PHOEBE:
Cole? I need to talk to you…


COLE:
I thought we said all there was to say…

PHOEBE:
You got it all wrong, Cole. I want us to talk, but there's so much that I still don't understand. It scares me…

COLE:
Like what?

PHOEBE:
Like about our baby… I'm afraid of what he is, Cole.

Cole jumps slightly, and Phoebe can feel the anxiety in his voice:

COLE:
Did something happen?

She hesitates, but still replies:

PHOEBE:
Nothing yet… But what if…?

Cole stays silent, lost in his own worries and Phoebe becomes restless:

PHOEBE:
Are you worried as well? Please Cole, I need to know.

COLE:
And you'd trust anything I'd tell you?

PHOEBE:
Cole, please! I don't think anyone else can help me now.

COLE:
What do you want me to tell you? I've got no answer, Phoebe…

Phoebe is about to protest, but as the view focuses back on her, black smoke materializes behind her. The slight noise attracts her attention, and she sees the Shopkeeper appearing.

PHOEBE:
What the?

However, before she could say anything else, the Shopkeeper moves quickly toward her and she barely has time to utter a scream before he waves his hand in front of her face. She then falls to the bed, unconscious. The door burst opened on Piper and Paige, who enter to see the Shopkeeper grabbing Phoebe and vanishing in another puff of black smoke. From the cell phone, Cole is calling loud enough for them to hear:

COLE (OUT OF SIGHT)
Phoebe? PHOEBE!


Piper moves toward the bed, intent on picking up the phone. Paige is petrified and yet, angers begins to show on her features. However, before Piper can say a word to Cole, he shimmers in the room with them… Both girls stare at him with a mix of astonishment and resentment:

PIPER:
What the hell?

Cole dismisses her comment anxiously:

COLE:
You can give me the third degree later. What happened to Phoebe?

Piper stares a moment longer, unsure if she should tell him anything.
Paige speaks for her:

PAIGE:
That shopkeeper kidnapped Phoebe. I told you he was demonic, didn't I?

Piper shrugs this away irritably.

PIPER:
Cole, did you have anything to do with this?

Cole closes his eyes and sighs dejectedly:

COLE:
I said that we had no time for this. I didn't take Phoebe. Who's this Shopkeeper?

PAIGE:
We just went there after my friend told me that he killed her ex boyfriend. Then he handed her his beating heart…

Cole turns to her in horror:

COLE:
Does he go by the name of Azarius?

PIPER:
What, you know of him?

COLE:
Yes, well enough to know that he wouldn't have come here unless he had some kind of deal. What else did you talk about with him? Did you discuss Phoebe?

PIPER:
Change this tone of voice alright? I'm just as worried as you are. And no, we didn't really discuss Phoebe. I… I simply asked him for a way to distinguish evil from good… this would be of use right now!

This, she adds with contempt in her voice, but Cole ignores the obvious implication:

COLE:
There must've been something else. Did he touch you? What were you thinking about?

PIPER:
We shook hands and I wasn't thinking of anything…

Piper suddenly stops, with a deepening horror dawning on her expression…

COLE:
What?

PIPER:
I was just thinking that…

Moves to:
UNDERWORLD, CAVE:

Scene 5:

Phoebe is lying on a rocky altar, while Dalila/the Seer, along with Azarius are observing her. Dalila/The Seer seems very content, but still questions, as the Shopkeeper prepares some candles and spreads them around the altar:


DALILA/ THE SEER:
How did you find her?


SHOPKEEPER:
The witch who came to me… She was wishing for a child of her own. She also resented this one for wishing to rid herself of the anointed child… She thought that this one should never have become pregnant, as she believed that she didn't deserve it…

Dalila/The Seer smiles at this:

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Well, then I'll be glad to help her out. Hurry Azarius. I don't want anything to get in my way…

The Shopkeeper bows to her, as he replies:

SHOPKEEPER:
Anything that you want, my Lady… From now on, I live to serve you and the child.

Then he moves toward Phoebe and lifts her shirt to expose her stomach. Without wait, he brings both his hands over her and begins to chant the strange humming, as a red glow starts emanating from his extended hands…

Fades to:

MANOR, PHOEBE'S BEDROOM:

Scene 6:

Paige and Cole are staring incredulously at Piper. This one seems mortified, and yet she turns toward them resolutely after a moment.

PIPER:
Think what you want, but right now, it's not important. We have to find Phoebe before it's too late.

Cole sighs, while Paige nods in agreement.

PAIGE:
But how?

COLE:
I'll do it. I'll find her.

He almost shimmers right then, but Piper moves quickly toward him, grabbing his arm:

PIPER:
Wait a minute. You're not going on your own. I'm going with you.

COLE:
Piper, Phoebe has very little time left. I need to go now.

PIPER:
As I told you, I'm going with you.

Paige hesitates only slightly:

PAIGE:
Are you sure that we can trust him?

PIPER:
Not really.

She stares at Cole for a moment, but he sustains her look steadily.

PIPER:
However, I still believe that he cares about Phoebe…

PAIGE:
If you say so…Well… Then I'm in…

COLE:
All right, there's no time to argue, but stay behind me.

PAIGE:
I wouldn't dream of having you in my back…

Cole has a movement of impatience, but he still grabs both their arms, and then he shimmers them out immediately before they can protest further.

UNDERWORLD, CAVE:

Scene 7:

Dalila/The Seer is observing closely, as the glowing red light begins to turn red hot on Phoebe's stomach. The Shopkeeper seems very concentrated and doesn't notice the slight movement of Phoebe's arms. Suddenly, Phoebe opens her eyes and sits up, uttering in a deep voice:

PHOEBE:
NO!

This she says imperatively, before she lifts her hand toward the Shopkeeper and this one goes flying backward several feet. He falls rudely on the rocky floor and stays there, unconscious. Dalila/The Seer takes a step back and stares at Phoebe with a questioning expression.

PHOEBE:
No one will touch me. Is that understood?

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Who are you?

Phoebe suddenly smiles cruelly:

PHOEBE:
You should know. You wanted me bad enough. My name is Damon…

Dalila/The Seer stares in amazement:

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Come to me. You and I will rule the world.

PHOEBE:
No! I can't. But I will need your help…

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Why should I help you? I only have to kill her and I'll rule on my own if I have to…

PHOEBE:
You don't have what it takes. Besides, what makes you think I'll let you hurt her? Let's get things straight here. I'll rule when I'm ready. Meanwhile, you're going to serve me. You'll bring my mother to our side, by whatever means necessary. I need her to be with me.

DALILA/ THE SEER:
You don't know who you're talking to…

PHOEBE:
Oh but I do…However, my powers, even in this weakened state, far exceed yours. I suggest you do not tempt me to find another to serve me…

Dalila/The Seer looks upon Phoebe with obvious doubt.

DALILA/ THE SEER:
My plans didn't involve being a servant.

PHOEBE:
Do not worry yourself, Dalila… You will get all the power that you wanted and reign by my side along with my mother.

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Why her? We don't need her.

A whitish glow begins to grow around Phoebe. She still has time to add before falling back on the slab:

PHOEBE:
In time, you'll understand.

As if on cue, Cole, Piper and Paige enter the chamber, without having noticed Phoebe being conscious.

Cole stares angrily at the woman he thinks is the Seer:

COLE:
Get away from her or…

Dalila/The Seer faces him, slightly mocking:

DALILA/ THE SEER:
Or what?

Cole lifts his hand, as if ready to strike, but suddenly, he hesitates. He looks down at his hands as before, acting as if it would bite him. His arm shakes as he closes his fist.
Piper casts him a surprised look but do not hesitate to attack, herself:

PIPER:
Well, or I'll blow you up.

She says this as she throws her hands up and tries her power on Dalila/The Seer.
This one seems pushed back but soon regains her balance. She smiles contentedly, and after one last look toward Phoebe, she glimmers out.
Piper frowns in perplexity.

PIPER:
Ok, did that seem too easy to you?

PAIGE:
I was gonna say.

Meanwhile, Cole moves quickly toward Phoebe. She remains unconscious. as he tries calling to her:

COLE:
Phoebe? Phoebe wake up, please…

Piper and Paige come quickly to rejoin him and Piper offers:

PIPER:
Let's bring her up there so that Leo can help her…

Cole nods hesitantly, while still staring anxiously at Phoebe. A moan coming from the Shopkeeper gets Paige's attention:

PAIGE:
What about him?

Piper turns toward the demon and without hesitation lifts her hands up, intent on simply blowing him up. However, before she can do a thing, the Shopkeeper disappears in a puff of black smoke. Piper shrugs dejectedly.

PIPER:
Never mind. We'll take care of him later.

She turns resolutely toward Phoebe, and then Cole shimmers them all out.

Fades to:

MANOR, LIVING ROOM:

Scene 8:

Leo is just finishing applying his healing on Phoebe, and then her eyes flutter opened. She seems somewhat confused.

PHOEBE:
What? What happened?

She looks around as if she expects the attacker to still be there, and her eyes fall on Cole at this point.

PHOEBE:
Cole…

He smiles weakly but stays silent.

Piper comes closer:

PIPER:
How are you feeling?

PHOEBE:
I'm not sure… What just happened?

PIPER:
You mean, you don't remember?

PHOEBE:
I was in my room, talking on the phone. That demon appeared, and then nothing…

Piper turns to Leo for reassurance:

PIPER:
Is…Is everything ok with her?

Leo smiles happily:

LEO:
Yes, very. As a matter of fact, I just found out something that'll make all of you very happy.

All of them turn toward him curiously.

LEO:
Well, I have the feeling that you were all very anxious about the baby, and I'd have offered to check it for you before… But I waited until you were ready… Just in case…

PIPER:
Leo?

LEO:
Alright. Phoebe, I know how worried you were, but there's no reason to be anymore.

PHOEBE:
What did you find out Leo?

LEO:
Your baby is just fine. A very healthy little girl…

Phoebe opens wide eyes at this, but says nothing, while Cole questions dubiously:

COLE:
Are you sure?

LEO:
Absolutely certain! Your child will be witch as all the others in your family before her, Phoebe. And on the side of good too…

Tears of intense relief come to Phoebe's eyes.

PHOEBE:
Thank you, Leo…

Then she turns to Cole, but this one still seems puzzled. However, when he sees how happy she is, he simply says:

COLE:
Well, I guess that everything is fine now. I'll leave you alone.

Before Phoebe could protest, he shimmers out. She breathes deeply.
Piper watches her happily still, but after the first moment of relief is passed, a shadow crosses over her. She turns to Leo and Paige.

PIPER:
Can I have a moment alone with Phoebe?

The other two nod and leave without protest.
Piper clears her throat before she calls to Phoebe, who still seems lost in thoughts.

PIPER:
Phoebe?

Phoebe turns to her askance.

PIPER:
I have a confession to make and it's not easy.

PHOEBE:
What are you talking about?

PIPER:
That Azarius… He came after you because of me… Because I was angry with you…

PHOEBE:
What?

PIPER:
I've been having some frustrations lately. I was jealous that you got pregnant while I apparently couldn't… Then, when you said that you were thinking of aborting…

PHOEBE:
Piper I…

PIPER:
No, I was wrong. I knew that you weren't saying this lightly, but I couldn't help resenting it. I'm so sorry. This demon came to take your baby because I wished you'd never been pregnant…Now that I know about Cole, I understand why you were worried…

PHOEBE:
I should've told you. I just didn't know how you'd take it… And that's ok. I guess that I understand what you were going through. The simple thought of doing this was killing me, Piper…

Piper smiles softly then:

PIPER:
I believe you, trust me, I do… Now about Cole…

PHOEBE:
What about him? Please Piper, we're not going after him, ok? He's done nothing wrong…at least not yet…I wanna give him a chance to explain himself first…

PIPER:
It's not that. Something strange happened down there. He could've used his powers against the Seer, but he didn't…

PHOEBE:
Really?

She stares at Piper in wonderment…

Fades to:

COLE'S APARTMENT BUILDING, HALLWAY.

Scene 9:

Phoebe puts down the baggage that she was carrying and hesitates only a moment before knocking on the door. At first, she gets no answer and she wonders if he left again. She knocks once more and this time the door opens on Cole. He looks surprised to see her there.

COLE:
Phoebe? What are you doing here?

Phoebe smiles softly:

PHOEBE:
Well, I thought that a husband and wife were supposed to live under the same roof.

She indicates her baggage as she is saying this, and Cole opens wide eyes at this.

COLE:
Phoebe, we've talked about this…

PHOEBE:
Why didn't you use your powers earlier?

The question startles him.

COLE:
I…I don't know really. Maybe I was afraid to use them and to fall back into the same pattern as before…

She watches him carefully for a moment, and he seems slightly ill at ease.

PHOEBE:
You're not evil are you?

Cole sighs:

COLE:
Why do you keep asking me this? How could you believe anything I say?

PHOEBE:
I will. Tell me, please…

COLE:
No… No I'm not.

Phoebe sighs deeply, then in lieu of answer, she moves toward him and wraps her arms around his neck.

COLE:
Are you sure?

PHOEBE:
I'm sure that I love you. I wanna be with you. Whatever it is that you've got to go through, I want to be there to help you with.

Then, she smiles teasingly:

PHOEBE:
Now, will you leave your pregnant wife in the hallway, or will you invite me in?

COLE:
Really?

Phoebe' smile widens:

PHOEBE:
It's been a while since the last time you "honoured" me… I'm kind of impatient for that…

Cole can't help a smile to spread his lips and this time his question seems full of meaning:

COLE:
Really…

She brushes his lips with hers lightly and whispers:

PHOEBE:
Really…

Cole doesn't need more as he picks her up and crosses the threshold with her in his arms.

PHOEBE:
Well, I thought we'd already been through this?

A shadow crosses over Cole's feature as he puts her down delicately. Phoebe notices his hesitation with a wince.

PHOEBE:
But that's fine… we can start over the right way…

She moves back toward him, leaning against his chest suggestively.

PHOEBE:
If you don't mind though, I'd keep the talk for later.

Cole's smile returns, as he bends toward her and they kiss passionately…

Fades to:

MANOR, RESTROOM, MORNING:

Scene 10:

Piper is again standing in front of the mirror, looking at her profile. She then picks up the little stick without looking at it.

PIPER:
Why do you do this to yourself?

This she mumbles as she slowly looks down. A wide smile spreads her lips as she sees the pink coloring on the testing spot. With almost trembling hands, she picks up the box and compares the results for reassurance. Then she utters a little joyous scream.

PAIGE (OUT OF SIGHT)
Hey, what is it now?

Piper smiles as she turns to the door:

PIPER:
Nothing… Nothing at all…

PAIGE:
Well, hurry already!

Even her sister's insistence doesn't temper Piper's mood.

PIPER:
In a minute…

Then she contemplates the little sticks with a dreamy look, while caressing her stomach…

Fades to:

DOCTOR'S OFFICE:

Scene 11:

A report is opened on the desk. We see what is written:

Results for Mrs. Piper Halliwell:
Although the patient is otherwise healthy, occlusions in both fallopian tubes will most certainly prevent conception. I recommend a possible surgery to remove the occlusions…

Outside the office and out of sight, someone says:

Doctor, I put Mrs. Halliwell's report on your desk.

DOCTOR (OUT OF SIGHT)
Thank you, Miss. I'll have a look at it after my next procedure.

A puff of black smoke appears in the office at this moment and the Shopkeeper materializes. The Shopkeeper looks upon the report, and then waves over it. The report now reads:

Results for Mrs. Halliwell:
The patient is in excellent health, and I see no reason that would prevent a normal pregnancy.

Satisfied, the Shopkeeper looks up and says:

SHOPKEEPER:
The deal is sealed!

Then, he vanishes in one more puff of black smoke.

Fades out.