"Baby's First"

by shel

© april 2002

disclaimer: the charmed ones, cole, and leo and the rest of the cast of characters we've come to know and love, belong to spelling television, inc. and possible other copyright holders. i intended no true infringement on their copyrights; i only wanted to borrow these marvelous characters for a short time in my own scenarios and hopefully return them no worse for wear; the only things i've gained from this story are the satisfaction and pleasure of having written it and in knowing that others may have enjoyed it too

rating: "pg"

summary: a baby's first is always an exciting event

timeline: july 2003

archive: please don't without express permission

notes: based on events leading up to, and including, those of bite me'please let me know if you enjoyed my tale and why and, if not, why notand, please, don't bother wasting your time or mine by sending any flames

acknowledgements: my thanks again to each of those readers who have commented on my other charmed' fics — hope that this one will charm' you too

"So, ya think the Source of all Evil is in this evening?" Paige asked Piper as they quickly looked around the penthouse living room into which she had just orbed them.

"Paige" Piper warned.

Paige shrugged and called out, "Phoebe? You here?"

"Ow! Dammit!" was Phoebe's yell from the kitchen.

"Phoebe?" Piper whispered in fear as she and Paige rushed into the kitchen.

The sisters held their breath as they stood in the kitchen's doorway. And then they burst out laughing.

Phoebe sat at the table and struggled to clean the face of her unhappy, red-faced, seven-month old son who was strapped into a baby's high chair that was covered with strained peas. Green mush covered the baby's face and bib. Phoebe's hair, face, and blouse were splotched with the green food. And green specks even decorated the wall behind Phoebe's seat.

"It isn't funny!" Phoebe angrily responded as she turned to face her sisters.

"What happened?" Piper asked, barely able to contain her laughter.

"I'd say he doesn't like peas," Paige piped up with a smirk.

"Nobody asked you," Phoebe glared at Paige as she again tried to wipe the baby's cheeks by firmly grasping one of his flailing hands in one of hers. "Why don't you try, Miss Social Worker?"

Paige stepped back, "That's okay, that green's really not my color."

"Why'd you yell?" Piper asked as she stepped forward to help her younger sister.

Phoebe looked down at the back of her hand and showed off a red welting circle the size of a quarter. "Burn," she answered with a smile.

"Ouch," Paige commented, "why are you smiling?"

"What happened?" Piper asked at the same time as she cooed to the baby who grabbed her long hair and gurgled.

Phoebe stood up and shoved the baby food and spoon at Paige. "Go on."

"Don't you want me to heal you?" Paige asked. But Phoebe shook her head and Paige hesitantly took the items from her sister. "Look, he's happy now with Piper. He doesn't like peas so why torture the little guy?"

"Peas are good for you," both Piper and Phoebe answered simultaneously. The two sisters looked at each other and laughed. At Paige's confusion, they both simply explained, "Grams."

"Remember when Prue babysat and forced us to eat those peas?" Phoebe asked with a wistful smile. "What was I, five, at the time?"

"Four, I think," Piper corrected with a smile, "and remember how we got her back?"

Phoebe laughed, "She could never wear those shoes again."

"I'm not sure I want to know," Paige smiled politely, "but remind me never to make you eat peas."

"But we like peas," her sisters responded together, "and they're good for you."

"Whatever," Paige muttered as she sat down and spoke to the baby in a cheerful tone, "Mmmmmm, look what Auntie Paige has for you. Mmmm, yummygood for you."

The baby started squirming as he noticed the spoon's approach and he began waving his arms in protest.

"C'mon, sweetie, it's just a little spoonful," Paige encouraged, "and it's good for you. Your mommy said so." Before she could continue, a tiny energy ball shot from the baby's hand and hit her on the wrist. "Ow!" Paige cried as she dropped the spoon on the high chair's plastic shelf and quickly rubbed her wrist.

"What the hell was that?" Piper asked as she turned to Phoebe.

"That," Phoebe proudly stated, "was his first energy ball." She looked at her own hand and quickly added, "Second energy ballI have got to call Cole."

Piper and Paige exchanged worried glances with each other.

"Um, Pheebs, do you really think that's a good idea?" Piper asked cautiously as her sister removed the baby from his seat and smothered him with hugs and kisses.

"Maybe you should wait until later," Paige suggested, "after we leave. Him being the Source and all and us being..."

"Don't be silly," Phoebe waved her off, "this is an exciting day for this family and --"

"Maybe Paige is right," Piper interrupted. "We came here for your help. You need to write a vanquishing spell."

"Oh?" Phoebe commented distractedly as she reached for the phone with one hand while bouncing her suddenly gleeful baby with her other arm.

"Yeah," Paige answered as she ran cold water over her hand, "really creepy snake."

"Literally," Piper muttered.

"Oh?" Phoebe asked with slightly more interest as she carefully dialed with one hand.

"Forked tongue, beady eyes, slithering arms, the whole charmed bit," Paige continued, "no pun intended. He cornered me at my car when I left work but I orbed out just as he spit this gross venom at me."

"And he tried for me at the manor a little while ago. Blew him to bits but obviously it wasn't enough. We need a power of three spell," Piper insisted. "He could already be on his way here."

"Please," Phoebe waved her off, "this is the Source's home. No demon would dare attack." Piper and Paige again traded worried glances. Phoebe noticed and said, "Don't worry, I'll come up with something just as soon as I -- Cole?Yeah, I know you're in a but this is importantNo, we're okayNo, it can'tCole Turner, you flame your Source's butt to this kitchen this minute!" Phoebe angrily hung up but calmed as her son babbled happily to her.

Piper and Paige exchanged extremely worried glances and moved close together as Paige suggested, "I think we should be going now."

"That's a good idea," Piper agreed. "Pheebs, why don't you just --"

"You do not speak to me like that!" Cole ordered as he suddenly flamed in.

"Oh, honey, you're home." Phoebe greeted him with an innocent smile as she set their son back in his seat.

Cole continued to glare at her, "Wife or not, do not presume to --"

"Come, feed your son," Phoebe interrupted with a wide smile as she tugged on Cole's hand.

"Feed my --" Cole didn't budge and angrily continued, "Phoebe, you interrupted a --"

"A what?" Paige asked with interest.

"What is she doing here?" Cole barked when he suddenly noticed the sisters standing nearby.

"Just feed your son," Phoebe insisted with a coy smile as she handed the baby spoon and jar to Cole.

Cole's glare immediately disappeared when he faced to his son. He smiled as his son continued to babble happily. He looked at the jar and questioned Phoebe, "Strained Peas?"

"He's starting solids so we're trying different things," Phoebe shrugged. "Besides, he has to start with peas some time." She turned to her sisters and winked.

The baby reached for Cole's hand with a green encrusted one of his own and wrapped his tiny fingers around Cole's index finger.

Cole ignored the green globs and smiled at his son. He then looked around and, for the first time since his arrival, noticed the kitchen's new décor. "Phoebe, he obviously doesn't want any."

"It's good for him," Phoebe insisted. "Besides, you might have better luck."

Cole sighed and turned back to his son and dipped the spoon into the jar. He wiped off the excess and zoomed the spoon in close like an airplane. "Come on, big guy, show mommy how you can eat your peas."

Phoebe's eyes glowed at the scene before her and she whispered to her sisters, "Any second now."

The moment the spoon touched his lips, the baby let loose another tiny energy ball.

Stunned, Cole ignored the sting and watched a welt quickly form on his hand. He looked at Phoebe who, with a wide grin, stepped closer to him. He looked back at his son who had begun to angrily wail. Cole quickly put the jar and spoon down on the table and lifted his son out of the seat. "And if he doesn't want to eat his peas, he doesn't have to," he excitedly decreed.

"His first energy ball," Phoebe proudly told her husband as she showed him her hand.

Piper and Paige stood back and looked uncomfortably at each other.

Cole took Phoebe's hand and tenderly kissed her wound. He smiled at her and then kissed the baby's cheek. "Such a big boy," he murmured as he stroked the baby's soft brown hair.

"Phoebe," Piper quietly interrupted.

After a moment, Phoebe glanced away from Cole towards her sister. "Oh, right, sorry," she apologized. She turned back to Cole and requested, "Honey, do you think you could possibly stay a bit longer and give the little master his bath? Please? Pretty please?"

Cole gave his sisters-in-law a look of annoyance and was about to protest when the baby began repeating the phrase dada' over and over again. His features quickly softened and he kissed his son again. He leaned in close to Phoebe and brushed his lips against her cheek as he carried the baby out of the room.

Phoebe faced the empty doorway with a smile for a few moments before she turned back to her sisters. "Okay, spell-time. Did the Book of Shadows have anything on this demon?" Both sisters shook their heads in response. "Okay, what did Leo have to say?"

"He didn't say anything," Piper answered. "He was urgently called away to another of his charges this morning before the attacks."

"Didn't you call him?" Phoebe asked while she grabbed a small spiral-bound notebook from one of the kitchen drawers.

"Nothing happened," Piper replied with a shrug, "and I didn't want to call Leo if it wasn't that important."

"We can handle Snake-Man," Paige insisted. "We just need that spell."

"Okay," Phoebe agreed as she rummaged the drawer for a pencil, "just give me a couple of minutes." Piper and Paige moved in close around Phoebe who sat at the table and looked back at them with annoyance. "Breathing room, please." The sisters offered looks of apology and Phoebe sighed, "Why don't you wait in the living room? I left a couple of magazines on the table. This shouldn't take me long."

***** ***** ***** ******

"Done!" Phoebe announced as she entered the living room and stuck the pencil behind her left ear.

"Great!" Piper responded as she put down a fashion magazine. "Let's see."

Phoebe handed the paper to Paige who shared it with Piper.

As she and Piper read it, Paige asked, "Phoebe, I can't read that word covered with that pea stain."

"Sorry," Phoebe muttered. She peered closer at the paper and squinted. "HmmmOh, right, it's slither'."

"Slither doesn't rhyme with deliver," Piper questioned.

Phoebe shrugged, "Close enough. Don't worry, it'll work." A shriek of laughter was heard and Phoebe smiled, "He loves bath time with his daddy."

Piper gave a sideways glance to Paige. "Paige, you okay?"

Paige's concentration was broken and she looked back at her sisters. "You hear that?"

"What?" Phoebe asked as she looked around.

"That hissing?" Paige answered.

The sisters frantically looked around the room and Piper suddenly pointed to the floor opposite them, "Snake!"

They jumped on the sofa as the snake quickly slithered closer.

"The spell!" Phoebe shouted as the snake suddenly transformed into a man dressed in black.

"Not ssssso fasssst, witch," he warned as his arm suddenly snaked out to grab Paige.

In her fear, Paige dropped the paper and orbed behind them to the patio's French doors. At the same instant, Phoebe grabbed the paper from the floor and levitated out of the demon's reach. And Piper leaped off the couch and joined her sisters by the doors.

"Look who's all clean," Cole happily announced as he unknowingly entered the dangerous situation while carrying the baby who was wrapped in a duck robe.

"Cole! Demon!" Phoebe shouted as the demon suddenly grabbed the baby from a stunned Cole's arms. "NO!" she screamed as she ran towards her son.

"Tasssssty witch'sssss morsssel," the demon commented as he squeezed the baby.

Phoebe froze in her spot and the baby screamed and cried harder.

Cole instantly stepped forward and demanded, "Stop!"

"I don't ansssswer to you," the demon stated, "but to the Sssssssourcccce."

Cole's eyes flamed, "And who do you think I am?"

"Cole, please," Phoebe begged as their son continued to scream within the demon's grip.

"I have ssssserved the Ssssssourccccce," the demon continued, "and you are not he."

"What rock has this dude been living under?" Paige muttered to Piper.

The baby released a tiny energy ball and the demon flinched in pain.

"Return my son to his mother," Cole ordered as a fireball appeared in each his hands.

Fear struck the demon and he knelt before Cole. "Massssster. Forgive me."

Cole ignored his plea and reminded the demon, "My son."

The demon quickly stood, humbled, and held the baby out to Phoebe.

Phoebe snatched the baby away and began comforting the crying infant. "It's okay, sweetie, momma's here," she murmured as she kissed the baby over and over. She looked to Cole who gave her a slight nod of permission. She then removed the pencil from behind her ear and, while carefully balancing the baby, she angrily crossed out words and wrote new ones.

"I only wisssshed to sssssslay the Charmed Onessssss to pleasssse you," the demon beseeched Cole.

"Silence," Cole ordered. "Word was spread over a year ago. There is no excuse for attacking my wife or son."

"Cole," Phoebe requested as she continued to calm her son.

"Masssssster, pleasssse," the demon begged. "I have been loyal for hundredsssss of yearssssss."

Cole ignored him and took the baby from his wife's arms. And, as he gently rubbed the baby's back, the baby began to finally settle down against Cole's shoulder.

The sisters faced the demon and chanted from the paper:

"Thee have dared interrupt baby's first ~

So to hell in tiny flaming pieces shall ye burst."

The demon screamed in agony as fire consumed him and he burst into tiny flaming pieces and disappeared.

"Some spell," Paige commented.

"A mother's love," Piper responded.

"Better than slither' and deliver' I guess," Paige returned with a shrug.

Phoebe ignored them and rushed to Cole's side. "Thank you," she told him as she fingered the baby's hair.

"Impressive," Cole simply responded.

Phoebe smiled and reached for her son but Cole stopped her. "Cole?"

"This little duck just had his bath," Cole answered as he indicated to Phoebe's pea-covered state.

The baby gurgled happily to his mother and Phoebe sighed in relief. "As long as he's okay." She gently pressed the baby's nose and went, "Quack, quack." The baby laughed in amusement and grabbed her hand as she repeated her action.

"I'll get him ready for bed before I leave," Cole volunteered. He kissed Phoebe and whispered, "And, later, I'll give you a bath of your own."

"Promises, promises," Phoebe sighed happily. He turned to go but she called him back. He turned around and she requested, "When you go back to yourwould you please spread word of what will happen if anyone dares try that again?"

Cole reached for her hand and kissed her palm. "Your wish is but mine to command."

Phoebe smiled in return and watched as they entered the other room. "Can you guys stay for a bit?" she asked as she faced her sisters.

Paige looked in the direction of the bedroom and answered, "Maybe next time."

Piper smiled at Phoebe and added, "Don't worry, honey, eventually, your son will clean up his own mess. C'mon, Paige, let's go. I've got to get to the club."

"Not fair, Piper," Phoebe added, "when I helped you clean up at P3 last week. Remember? With three of us, it won't take long at all. I promise."

"Um, guys," Paige interrupted, "don't you think we have more pressing matters than a messy kitchen." Her sisters stared blankly at her and she explained, "Tiny energy balls? Problem, don't ya think?"

"No," Phoebe stated. "It's one of his powers. He'll learn how to control them."

"Phoebe, honey," Paige gently said as she placed her hands on Phoebe's shoulders, "you're missing the point. Junior Source suddenly has powers. You're one thing, but Cole will not let you turn his son into a force for good."

Phoebe smiled at Paige. "You're missing the point, Paige." She glanced to Piper, "You see, don't you?"

Paige saw Piper's nod and asked in confusion, "See what?"

"He threw energy balls, Paige," Piper answered, "not fire balls."

"So?" Paige continued, "It's painful just the same."

Phoebe shook her head and spelled it out to her sister, "It means our son inherited Cole's powers. Not the Source's."

"Probably part of Cole's genetic make-up," Piper suggested.

"The point is," Phoebe continued excitedly, "that our son's powers just may be the key to getting Cole back completely."

"Don't get ahead of yourself," Piper cautioned as she kissed her sister good-bye. "The Source is still in control most of the time. Let's take this one step at a time."

"One baby step at a time," Phoebe reassured them with a grin. She sobered just as quickly, "Don't worry. I've no illusions but suddenly I feel hopeful again and that can't be a bad thing." Her sisters nodded and she added with a smile, "Have a safe orb, you two."

***** ***** ***** ******

Cole knelt before his wife who lay on the sofa with her eyes closed. He watched her sleep for a moment before he tenderly kissed her lips.

Phoebe stirred as he brushed some strands of hair away from her eyes. "Don't," she sleepily requested without opening her eyes, "you'll get peas all over you."

"Peas?" Cole asked in confusion.

Phoebe opened her eyes but didn't seem to focus on Cole's face. "Has the little master given you trouble?"

"Honey, are you okay?" Cole asked in concern.

"Mmmhmm," Phoebe murmured as she closed her eyes, "is my bath ready, yet, Sire?"

Cole looked at his sleepy wife and grew concerned for other reasons. "Not yet," he answered as he quickly stood. "Sleep, Phoebe, you need your rest. I'll prepare your bath."

Phoebe didn't respond and the rhythmic rise and fall of her chest told him she was already asleep, if she had ever been truly awake.

He turned and the Seer appeared in the corner of the room.

"Is she pregnant?" he demanded.

The Seer's eyes glowed white for a moment before she reluctantly admitted, "That future remains cloudy."

"That's not good enough," Cole ordered. "She hasn't been well and collapsed the other day. Now with this dream she's hadWhat if it was a premonition? I won't have my plans for us ruined. I need to know." He waved his arm in dismissal and the Seer vanished.

***** ***** ***** ******

Cole again knelt before his sleeping wife. He traced her lips with his finger and softly called her name.

Phoebe stirred and, after a moment, opened her eyes. "Hi," she greeted with a sleepy smile.

"Hi," he smiled in return. "Your bath awaits."

"Bath?" she asked in confusion as she tried to sit up. She grew a little dizzy and grabbed at Cole.

"Hey," he said in concern as he quickly supported her, "easy. Take your time."

"I'm okay," she insisted as she took a deep breath. "Didn't mean to fall asleep. What time is it?"

"Late," he answered contritely. "It was a little crazy at the office. I'm sorry I didn't call."

Phoebe shook her head. "It's okay. I got home late from work myself."

"Phoebe, you shouldn't work so hard when you're not feeling well. Did the doctor get back to you yet about the anemia test?" Cole pointedly asked.

Phoebe shook her head as though to clear it and asked, "Did you say something about a bath?"

Cole let her dodge the question and answered, "You requested it."

"I did?" Phoebe asked in genuine confusion.

"When I woke you before," Cole informed her.

"Before? I don't remember," Phoebe commented in concern.

"Must've been some dream," Cole noted as he helped her up from the sofa.

"Must've been," she murmured as she let him lead her towards their bedroom.

"You don't remember?" Cole asked with interest.

Phoebe shook her head, "Strange, don't you think?"

"Not really," Cole answered in relief, "because you've been pushing yourself pretty hard lately. You're exhausted and I'm worried about you."

Phoebe kissed her husband and hugged him. "I'm fine. Really." He didn't look convinced and she kissed him again. "You know, a bath might be just what I need," she commented with a smile, "especially if someone offers to scrub my back."

"I think that might be arranged," he considered with a grin.

Phoebe wrapped her arm around his waist and added, "Oh, Cole, when you see her, would you mind telling Julie that, expected or not, she is still only an assistant and should knock before she enters our home?"

"Your wish is but mine to command," Cole promised with a reassuring smile as he reached for and kissed his wife's other hand and shut the bedroom door behind them.

the end