Note #1: Since this is the sequel to "Whose Power Is It Anyway?", it'll be better understood by those who have read the previous story. Keep in mind that it has nothing to do with "Redemption", "The Demon's Advocate" and "So Mote It Be".
Note #2: Remember how "Whose Power Is It Anyway?" took place on a Friday night? Well, this story starts one week later, on the next Friday morning.
Credits: I don't own Piper, Phoebe, Paige, Cole or Leo. David is mine, though, and so are the Master of the Game and all his evil creatures.
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"Good morning," says Phoebe as she and Cole enter the kitchen, holding hands.
"Good morning!" says Piper, putting some freshly baked pancakes on Leo's plate. "Pancakes, anyone?"
"Please," says Phoebe, pulling a chair and sitting opposite to Leo. "I'm starving."
"Am I entitled to have pancakes, too?" Cole asks, sitting by Phoebe's side.
"Considering you arrived just in time to save my life yesterday," says Piper, smirking, "I'd say yes, you deserve some pancakes. How is your arm, by the way?"
"I'll live," says Cole, stretching his arm and looking at the partially closed wound, where the claws of the demon they vanquished yesterday scraped him. "Although Leo's powers can't heal me completely, they were enough to clear the poison."
He carefully touches the wound, wincing as his fingers graze the more sensitive area in the center.
"Ouch!" says Leo, grimacing and holding his own arm.
"Honey, are you okay?" Piper asks, worried.
"I must have hit my arm harder than I thought when that guy sent me flying across the room," he says. "Although there are no visible bruises, it's been sore all night."
"When Paige wakes up, ask her to heal you," says Piper, putting a plate with pancakes in front of Phoebe and Cole and sitting by her husband's side. "Where's she, by the way? She's gonna be late for work. Again."
"She'd better not lose that job," says Phoebe, helping herself to some pancakes, "this house cannot afford another unemployed resident."
"Uh-hu," Cole agrees absently, spreading Piper's famous home made cranberry jelly over his own pancakes. God, he loves this cranberry jelly! So sweet, and tart, and... wait a minute, honey like? Cole stops chewing, bewildered. He didn't put honey on top of his pancakes. Did he? He looks at the pancakes: no honey here. Yet, he definitely tastes honey. He spits the pancake back on his plate, causing the three people sitting at the kitchen table to give him horrified looks.
"Cole!!! Ick!" shrieks Piper, grimacing.
"Baby, what are you doing?" Phoebe asks, shocked.
"This isn't honey," says Cole, frowning as he examines the remains of the pancake with an intrigued expression.
"Gee, Cole, if you wanted the honey all you had to do was ask!" says Leo, pushing the honey pot towards him.
"I didn't want the honey," says Cole, impatiently. "But my cranberry jelly tasted like honey." Seeing the incredulous looks on their faces, he insists, stubbornly: "Well, it did!"
Leo reaches out and takes a piece of pancake from Cole's plate, carefully avoiding the half-eaten remains he has just spat, and eats it.
"Tastes like jelly to me," he says after swallowing.
Cole puts another piece in his mouth, and says, puzzled:
"Yeah, it does taste like jelly now. But it tasted like honey before!"
"Okay, now you're scaring me," says Phoebe, apprehension spreading all over her face. "This is the second time this week you feel something out of place." -- Cole opens his mouth to protest, but she cuts him off -- "Baby, there's no way you could have heard the Star Wars theme song in Golden Gate Park."
"Well, for that, there may be a rational explanation," Leo offers, "Piper rented the trilogy on Wednesday, and we watched all three episodes in a row. Maybe the song got stuck in his head."
"No," says Cole, "Phoebe and I were out all day on Wednesday. While you were here watching the movie, I was in Golden Gate Park... hearing the theme song," he adds, eyeing Phoebe, and she sighs heavily.
"There wasn't..." she starts, but then Paige bursts in.
"Damn, I'm late, I'm late, I'm so freaking la..." -- Paige hits her hip hard on the corner of the table.
"OUCH!!!!" she and Piper yell at the same time, each one holding her own hip.
"Oh, man, why does everything happen when I'm..." -- Paige stops short as she notices the heavy silence that has fallen over the room.
"What's wrong?" she asks, warily.
"Paige, have you experienced anything, uh... unusual lately?" Piper asks, massaging her sore hip.
"You mean, besides me exploding things, my boyfriend orbing, Whitelighters throwing energy balls, demons having premonitions, witches shimmering and, oh, let's not forget that gator like demon that came over yesterday..." -- Paige furrows her brow in mock concentration -- "Gee, I don't know!"
"Now that you've amused us with your clever sense of humor," says Piper, making a face on her, "care to answer my question?"
"I'm serious, Piper," says Paige, reaching out between Cole and Phoebe to pick up the coffeepot. "Unusual like what?"
"Like hearing things that aren't there, or realizing that something tastes or feels different than it was supposed to?..."
"I don't know if it qualifies," says Paige, "but my hands got numb for a little while yesterday... It didn't last long: I was typing a report, they got numb, I had to stop typing, and then they were back to normal. And even though I'm afraid I won't like the answer to this question, I have to ask it anyway: why do you want to know?"
"Well, my hip ached when you hit yours," says Piper, shrugging.
"And Cole's food tasted like what Piper was eating," says Phoebe, pointing at the honey covered pancakes on Piper's plate.
"Hum! Maybe that's why my arm aches," says Leo, frowning.
"Is it aching now?" Cole asks.
"No," says Leo, "but your jelly doesn't taste like honey any more, does it?"
"You're right: it doesn't. By the way, at what time did you and Piper watched Star Wars?"
"Right after lunch," says Leo, "so I suppose it was at about two o'clock. Does the time match?"
"I'm afraid so..." Cole sighs.
"So, my hands getting numb...?" says Paige.
"Yesterday? Probably, me defrosting the fridge," says Leo. "By the way, is any of you, uh, ticklish?" he asks, giving the others an uncertain look.
Cole nearly spits the coffee he's drinking, and Phoebe blushes furiously. It takes a few seconds for Leo to understand what followed the tickling, but when it sinks in, he, too, turns as red as possible, and quickly assures them:
"It only lasted a moment: all I felt was the tickling!"
"Eeeeeeeeew!" say both Piper and Paige at the same time.
"You know what?" says Cole. "Until whatever it is that's happened to us is reverted, there'll be no kissing, no cuddling, no touching anything around here!"
"It's a deal," say the others in one voice.
"Which leads to my next question," says Piper, "what the hell is going on here?"
"Paper and pen!" Paige calls. As the said items appear on her hand, she gives them to Leo.
"Here we go again..." he sighs as he starts writing. "Piper and Cole, Cole and I, me and Paige, Paige and Piper... Anything else?"
"Uh, french fries, Tuesday afternoon, anyone?" says Phoebe. As Leo raises his hand, she waves her finger at him, saying: "You put way too much salt on your food: I almost threw my own french fries away."
Leo picks up the list he's written and reads it out loud:
Piper --> Cole
Cole --> Leo
Paige --> Piper
Leo --> Paige
Leo --> Phoebe
He gives the paper a dejected look and says:
"Well, I'm clueless. Unless any of you have a better idea, I'll go check with the Elders."
"I think you should ask them," says Phoebe, pouring herself more coffee, then taking Cole's cup, intending to refill it, too. "I'm afraid I'm... Oh!" -- she drops the cup, spilling some coffee on the table.
"Premonition?" says Cole, passing his arm around her shoulders protectively.
"Y-yes," she says, shaken. "I saw you fighting this big, ogre like guy. And I don't think you were winning."
"Here?" Piper asks.
"No," says Phoebe. "Outdoors. There was a river, and a bridge over it, and they were on the bridge."
"Were any of us around?" Paige asks.
"Not that I saw," says Phoebe. "Then again, it was very quick, I could be wrong."
Just then, the phone rings, startling them all. Paige reaches out for it, and despite the seriousness of the situation, a smile spreads over her face as she recognizes David's voice.
"Hi, honey, I... You what???" -- Paige's eyes grow as big as possible -- "Uh, Dave, let me put Phoebe on the line, okay? I think you should tell it to her."
She hands the phone to Phoebe, saying:
"David thinks he's just had a premonition."
While Phoebe talks to David, Leo stands up, saying:
"Now I definitely think I should talk to the Elders."
"Wait," says Cole, reaching out for the paper on which Leo was writing. He writes the names of Phoebe and David on the bottom of the list and says: "I think I see a pattern here."
Leo, Piper and Paige give him inquisitive looks and he says, following the list:
"Last Friday, I had Piper's freezing power; Leo had my power to throw energy balls; Piper had Paige's healing power, Paige had Leo's radar, Phoebe had his orbing power, and David had Phoebe's levitating power."
"Oh dear..." says Piper.
"While Leo talks to the Elders I'll bring David here," says Paige, standing up.
"No, you won't," Leo promptly says. Paige gives him a surprised look and he says: "I had your TK power; if Cole's hypothesis is right, you won't get anywhere near David until this is over. You go get him," he adds, pointing at Cole.
Cole is just about to make a smart remark when he remembers that one week ago he had Piper's freezing power. As Phoebe hands him the phone so that David can give him his address, he says to her, pointing at Leo:
"Knock him out, if you need, but keep him away from Piper."
Once Leo has orbed out and Cole has shimmered out, Paige picks up the phone to call her boss and take a sick day. She turns to her sisters and says:
"This is gonna be another of those days, isn't it?"
"You bet..." Piper sighs, already on her way to the attic.