The Miracles on Prescott Street
Chapter 3: Family


"You really think it'll be okay?" Paige asked. She and Cole were sitting together at the top of the stairs, waiting for Phoebe and Piper to finish their sisterly talk.

"I think so. As long as we can protect Piper, it'll all work out."

"All I know is that with only three fighters, you me, and probably Phoebe will have to work as a team," Paige said.

"And that'll happen as long as we can trust each other, and we do trust each other, right?" Cole asked.

"Right," Paige agreed. "Come on, let's go prepare this battlefield!"

***

More than an hour later, the whole family was gathered in the living room. Piper was lying comfortably on a bed of pillows and blankets on the floor. The Siderite crystals were placed in a wide circle around her.

"If Siderite crystals can trap demons from getting out, then they can stop demons from getting in," Phoebe had theorized.

The original idea was for Piper to have the baby on the couch, but the Siderite field wasn't strong enough to protect Leo, Piper and the couch. The second plan was for Leo and Piper to deliver the baby upstairs, but Cole pointed out, "If Grral decides to come after you two instead of us, we'll never make it upstairs in time."

The third plan, which was in use right then, was for Leo and Piper to deliver the baby right there in the living room. They were moved out of the way so that the battle and delivery wouldn't get in the way of each other. In addition to the circle of crystals protecting Piper and Leo, there was also a ring of apples around them. They had all been blessed by Phoebe and Paige ('knowledge and reverence, knowledge and reverence, knowledge and reverence') and now created a protective circle.

Phoebe and Leo sat with Piper. Cole and Paige, though they were part of the family, did not feel comfortable enough to help Piper with the delivery. They were on the other side of the room sparring with each other. Cole was doing his best to help Paige become a better fighter.

"Keep your arm up to block," Cole said as he lightly swung a fist at Paige.

From across the room, they heard Leo say, "The contractions are close. I think it's time."

"That was fast," Paige commented and she and Cole walked over to them. "I thought labor was supposed to take a couple of hours."

"Consider me lucky," Piper said, gritting her teeth in pain.

Paige entered both the protective circle and Siderite field and knelt down next to Phoebe. Cole, forgetting that he was part demon, slammed into the protective field and stumbled backwards.

"It works!" Phoebe exclaimed, completely delighted.

Slightly annoyed, Cole asked, "Do you guys need anything?"

"Nothing except for a little privacy," Leo replied. "We all don't need to deliver this baby."

"Um, do you want me to leave?" Cole asked.

"Leave before the party even starts?" a deep voice asked. "Where's the fun in that, Belthazor?"

Everyone gasped. Cole quickly spun around and created a fireball. Behind him, Phoebe and Paige exited the protective circle and Siderite field. They both drew out their weapons.

"My name hasn't been 'Belthazor' in years," Cole loudly declared to the unseen foe.

"Cole," Leo hissed. He tossed the gold short sword to Cole, who nodded and received it with a smile.

"Keep your eyes open and be prepared," Cole told Phoebe and Paige. As soon as those words were out of his mouth, a big, muscular, red skinned demon shimmered in on the other side of the room.

Grral snickered at them as he surveyed the room. "Two witches, a Whitelighter, a half demon, and a Whitelighter-witch. This should be an interesting battle, but–" he pulled a remorseful face, "–I can see that the white lighter and a witch are preoccupied!" He shook his head slowly from side to side. "What a pity." Then her turned to Piper and asked, "Can I get you anything? A slow death, perhaps?"

"Don't you dare talk to her," Phoebe growled. Her face was contorted with fury.

Grral sniffed the air.

"Witch," he said, pointing to Phoebe. Then he turned to Paige. "That must make you the Whitelighter-witch!" he happily assumed. "I've never met one before, let alone killed one."

Cole stepped in front of Paige.

"Don't... threaten... her..." Cole said slowly, looking at Grral with narrowed eyes.

"And the half demon formerly known as 'Belthazor'," Grral spat. "You have quite the reputation in the Underworld. Fell in love with a witch, vanquished his demon half, married his witch, became possessed by the Source, got vanquished by his witch, escaped demonic limbo, and divorced his witch."

"That's me, except that I'm still madly in love and happily married to my wife," Cole said smugly. "I'd ask you to clear that up in the Underworld for me, but it doesn't look like you'll be making it outta here alive."

"No more small talk," Grral announced nonchalantly. "I'm getting hungry and rumor has it that infant flesh is very tender..."

Completely enraged that a demon would threaten her niece, Phoebe flew at Grral. She aimed a flurry of kicks and punches at his head and chest, hoping to knock him down. Unfortunately, Grral seemed to be a skilled fighter, too. He matched Phoebe move for move, blocking all of her attacks and throwing in some of his own.

Phoebe stumbled away from Grral, both winded and wounded. But, she hadn't given up yet. Channeling her anger, Phoebe took a levitating leap and planted her soles on Grral's face. He staggered backwards, clutching his face in pain.

"Cole! Paige!" she called.

Paige reacted first. She hauled her arm back and threw the dagger as hard as she could. It flew through the air, flipping end over end as it neared her target. It was inches from hitting flesh when Grral, who was still clutching his face, threw out his hand. The athame suddenly spiraled away and flew back at Paige!

"DON'T ORB!" Paige screamed to herself. "DUCK!" but she was too slow. She saw the athame head towards her, but she couldn't move out of the way. Instead, she just threw her hands over her head and squeezed her eyes shut. She waited for the cold gold to rip her flesh... but it never did.

"Grab it, Paige!" Piper yelled.

Paige opened her eyes and saw the athame suspended in time. She grabbed the athame's handle just as the freeze wore off and felt its momentum jerk her arm.

"Thanks, Piper!" she called, but the only response she from her sister was a cry of pain.

Grral's deflection power seemed limited to weapon blows, so Cole and Phoebe were mainly battling him in hand-to-hand combat. Every now and then Cole would throw a fireball to distract him and try to get a hit with his sword, but he had yet to be successful.

Phoebe gave up on her useless star. She tucked it into her belt and relied solely on her martial arts and levitation.

Paige saw how distracted Grral was with having two attackers. Using this to her advantage, Paige sneaked behind him. Cole understood her plan and began to throw a series of fireballs at Grral's face.

Grral began to scream in frustration at Cole's harmless, but annoying attacks. He swung a beefy arm and knocked Phoebe and Cole clear off their feet. He whirled around to find Paige, who was ready to leap in front of him and cut into his tattoo with a surprise attack.

Caught off guard by Grral's sudden movement, Paige blindly stabbed at his chest. The demon caught her by the wrists in mid-attack. She dropped her dagger as he swung her over his head and let go.

Paige felt herself fly through the air and skid across the floor, taking out half of the protective circle and Siderite field.

"No!" Paige and Leo cried in horror as she scattered the apples and crystals. The protection was lost.

Cole had seen the destroyed protective circle and Siderite field, as did Grral, but Phoebe had not. Oblivious to Leo and Piper's vulnerability, Phoebe pulled out her throwing star. Paige and Cole knew she was going to throw it at Grral and he was going to deflect it; at Leo and Piper!

"No, Phoebe!" Paige cried. She reached for the Siderite crystal lying near her. Half a dozen apples had been scattered from its circle but only two crystals were missing from their field. If she was going to save Leo and Piper, her best chance was to reestablish the Siderite field.

"Leo! Catch!" she called and threw the crystal. Leo caught it and set it in place.

"Get the other one!" he bellowed.

Paige looked around and saw that the other crystal had flown halfway across the room. She'd never make it in time.

"If only I could orb," she wished as she dashed across the room.

Cole let go of his sword and stumbled to his feet. He didn't even bother to try and stop Phoebe from throwing the star. It was too late. The weapon was already thrown and Cole was running to where Leo and Piper were. Grral threw out his hand and eagerly deflected the star to where Cole had predicted. It was now heading towards Leo, who was holding his daughter!

"Leo!" he cried, and watched his brother-in-law look up in horror.

Running even faster, Cole stretched out his hand to catch the star, but it was too far away. The rotating blades were still heading for Leo and his daughter. It was inches from tearing into them… and then it froze. But Cole never stopped running.

"In Piper's condition, she won't hold it long," he thought, and reached out his hand to bat the frozen star away.

"ARGHHH!" Cole bellowed in pain. He had reached his hand in front of the star just as it had started rotating again. It struck the inside of his palm, one point cutting clear through to the other side. He collapsed to the ground clutching his bloodied hand. He could feel the cold gold between his flesh.

"Cole? Oh my god, are you okay?!" Piper asked frantically as blood began spilling onto the floor.

Paige suddenly appeared with the second Siderite crystal.

"Ohh…" she cooed softly, looking at the baby. "She's beautifahhhh! Oh my god, Cole!"

"I'm so sorry Cole. I couldn't hold it any longer," Piper apologetically cried.

"We can heal him," Leo said, gently handing Piper their daughter. "Paige?"

"Ugh," she said, looking at Cole's hand. "If only we could transfer a wound like that to Grral."

Cole's eyes widened as she said those words. Transfer the wound. That was it!

Paige took Leo's hand and they reached for Cole's wound.

"Wait," Cole said and ripped the star out of his hand. Blood poured out of the deep would but he ignored it. "Heal me later. I've got an idea." He looked around and saw a glass vase.

"Here," he said, tossing the vase to Leo. "When I tell you to, throw this at Grral and have Piper blow it up."

Paige shrugged at the confused looks that appeared on Piper and Leo's faces. Setting the final crystal in place, she reactivated the Siderite field.

"What are you planning?" Piper asked as she cradled her daughter.

"I don't want him to overhear us," Cole said, gesturing to the demon. "You'll just have to wait and see. And make sure you cover your daughter. This vanquish is gonna be loud and messy."

Grabbing Paige's hand and pulling her back into the battle, he called over his shoulder, "She's beautiful by the way!"

Leo and Piper looked at each other in surprise.

"Cole sure has changed," she observed. "It's like he was never a demon."

"I think you're right Piper, but Cole's right too."

"About what?" she asked.

"Our daughter really is beautiful," Leo said and kissed Piper.

***

"If you really trust me Paige, now's the time to prove it," Cole said as he pulled Paige by the hand. "Just stand here and don't move. I've gotta go help Phoebe."

"Uh… sure Cole," she said with confusion.

Gathering his energy, Cole formed a massive fireball. Phoebe was still fighting with Grral, and he could see the fatigue on her face.

"Get out of the way Phoebe!" he yelled. He let the fireball go just as she ducked. Grral threw out his chest and let the fireball hit him.

"Was that supposed to hurt?" he asked.

"No." He motioned to Leo. "This was."

Grral looked around in time to see the vase shatter. Caught off guard, he wasn't able to deflect all of the little shards. He screamed in pain as bits of glass tore into him.

Using the distraction, Cole ran up to Phoebe.

"Phoebe!" Cole whispered urgently. "Throw this at Paige with this when I tell you to." He handed her the bloody star.

Phoebe looked over Cole's shoulder to ask for Paige's permission. Before she could even ask anything, her little sister nodded to her.

"Okay," Phoebe agreed, looking at the two of them with uncertainty.

"Hey!" Grral yelled, finally recovering from the surprise attack. "That hurt! We're done playing!" His eyes turned red to match his body. "The next hit is gonna be your last!"

"So will ours," Cole taunted.

He nodded to Phoebe as Grral stalked towards them. She pulled her arm back and let go of the throwing star. Cole watched it fly at Paige and hit her just below the chest. He raised his hands and waited for it…

"AHHH!" Paige cried in pain.

There! Cole waved his hands and switched Paige's and Grral's positions. Suddenly, Grral was the one standing in Paige's position, with a gold star in his tattooed chest!

"No…" he whispered, pulling the star out of his chest. "NOOOOO!"

He suddenly tensed up and his red body started to swell…

"HIT THE DECK!" Cole bellowed and dove to the ground. Grral's swollen body burst, filling the room with red slime and his echoing scream.

After sheets of red goo had stopped raining down on them, Cole looked up to see Phoebe running to Paige. She knelt down next to her little sister and tried to wipe the slime off Paige's face.

"Are you okay sweetie?" she asked worriedly. Paige moaned softly. Phoebe placed her hand on the cut in Paige's chest and she pulled back a bloody hand.

***

BZZZZZZZ! BZZZZZZZ! BZZZZZZZ!

The Siderite field was working overtime blocking wave after wave of demonic goo. The large circle in which Leo, Piper, and their daughter were sitting in was still complete free of demonic guts.

"Are you okay?" Leo asked.

Piper nodded and pulled back the blanket that was covering their daughter. "She's okay too, aren't you my precious little baby?" she cooed to her daughter. Leo smiled at Piper.

The Siderite field had stopped buzzing, meaning that the red goo had stopped flying. Leo took a crystal from the circle to break the field. All of the slime that was clinging to the field suddenly fell to the floor, and Leo could see the rest of the room again. His eyes fell onto Paige who was lying on the floor unconscious and bleeding.

***

"Why didn't you switch them faster?" Phoebe demanded, glaring at Cole. "You just made me hurt my own sister."

"I'm sorry Phoebe, but I had to," Cole said.

"Had to what? You had to tell me to throw a weapon at my sister and you had to wait until it almost killed before you moved her out of the way?"

"How is she?" Leo asked as he ran over to them. He started to heal Paige.

"She's alive, but barely," she said, glaring at Cole, who was still standing a distance away from them.

"Phoebe…" Paige whispered. "Don't be mad at him."

"You did great," Cole said, coming to the side of his fallen sister-in-law. "Are you okay?"

She smiled and nodded.

"I'm sorr–"

"You don't have to say it," she told him. Looking to Phoebe she said, "He really did have to let you hit me. If he had switched us before the star actually cut me, then Grral would have had a chance to deflect the attack."

Phoebe sighed and gave Cole a look. It wasn't apologetic, but it wasn't angry either. Turning back to Paige she said, "I can't believe you agreed to be hit with a throwing star."

Leo helped Paige to her feet and then they healed Cole's hand together. "I didn't know Cole was going to do that. And believe me, if I knew he was going to do that, I never would have agreed."

"What?" Leo asked as the four of them headed over to Piper. "You mean that Cole told you to do whatever he said and you listened to him?"

"Pretty much. Anyway, I knew Cole wasn't going to kill me."

Leo and Phoebe sat down next to Piper in the only clean area of the living room and thought about what Paige just said.

"Wait," Piper said. "Are you telling me that Paige actually trusted Cole? That's a miracle."

"Ha ha ha," Paige retorted sarcastically and sat down too. "The miracle is this cute little girl that I haven't gotten a chance to hold yet. May I?"

Piper glanced at all of the demonic slime that had settled on Paige and gave her a skeptical look.

"Are you kidding me?"

"Oh yeah!" Paige said, looking at herself. "Give me a second."

Closing her eyes, Paige took a deep breath. She orbed out, leaving the slime behind her. All of the red goo fell to the ground. She orbed back in and ran her finger through her now clean hair.

"It feels good to orb again."

"Wow," Piper said, utterly amazed at her little sister's display of magical talent. "When did you learn to do that?"

"You're not the only one who's been practicing their magic," she replied, referring to Piper's demonstration skills in the attic. "Now hand over the cutie pie."

Piper held out her daughter to Paige who gently took her in her arms.

"I guess its official," Phoebe said. "Cole is now trusted by everyone in this family." He knelt down and she hugged him. "And I'm sorry I got mad at you before."

"Apology accepted," he said and kissed her.

"Hey, I've gotta question Cole," Piper said. "How did you switch Paige and Grral's positions? Wasn't that magical movement?"

"Actually, it wasn't. That power didn't make them disappear. It just moved them really quickly into each other's positions."

"Okay, well I've got another question for you Cole. What's been up with you lately?" Piper asked. "You've been acting… I don't know… weird?"

"You mean nice," Paige offered.

"That's the word I was looking for."

"Have I really been acting weird?" Cole asked.

"You mean 'nice'? Yeah," Leo said. "A lot. Even I can notice it."

"Give me an example," Cole requested.

"Well there was you giving up the sword to Leo," Piper said.

"And you comforting me on the stairs," Paige broke in.

"You caught the throwing star with your bare hand to protect us," Piper continued.

"You defended me when Grral threatened me," Paige broke in again.

"You actually complimented my daughter," Piper added.

"And you just checked to see if I was okay and tried to apologize to me," Paige concluded.

Cole looked at the both of them. "Hmm. I guess I have been kind of nice. I think it was becoming human again that did it. Even after Phoebe turned me away from darkness as Belthazor, I could never fully grasp compassion. Even though I have demonic powers again, I think that being a human for a while changed me."

"Wow. I think a compassionate Cole is bigger news than Paige trusting him," Phoebe said teasingly.

Paige looked up from her niece long enough to give Phoebe a dirty look.

"Do you mind if I hold her?" Cole asked Piper.

"Sure, but lose the demonic guts first," Piper said.

"Allow me," Paige offered. She handed her niece over to Leo. Closing her eyes in concentration, she waved her hands at Cole and Phoebe. "Slime!" She orbed the slime off them and threw it over her shoulder and onto the sofa. Paige turned back to see the rest of the family giving her surprised looks.

"What?" Paige asked. "The sofa was already covered in slime."

Phoebe laughed. "Whatever." Turning to Piper, she held out her hands. "See? We're slime free. Can Cole and I have the baby?"

Piper nodded and Leo passed the baby to Cole who took her gently in both arms.

"Hello baby. I'm your Uncle Cole," he said in a soft voice.

"Next to the baby, I think you're the biggest miracle here," Paige said looking at Cole's gentle manner. "It looks like your demonic past is completely behind you."

As soon as those words were out of her mouth, Paige cringed inwardly. She hadn't meant to bring up his past again, and she looked around for someone to reprimand her. Surprisingly, no one did. They all knew Paige was right. Even Cole looked up and smiled at her.

"With all these miracles it feels like Christmas has come early," Piper said happily.

"Are you ready for one more?" Leo asked.

Piper gave him a curious look as he orbed out. Seconds later her returned with a baby blanket that looked similar to the ones the girls had when they were little.

"Is that what I think it is?" Piper asked softly.

"Yep. Fresh from the hands of Grams, Mom, and Prue."

"Really?" Piper asked, delighted by the gift.

"Yeah. They just finished it and they called me up to get it for you. They had a hunch on what we might name her, so they added the letter already."

He opened the blanket to reveal the letter 'M' in the lower corner.

"Melinda," she said, and he nodded.

Piper took the baby back from Phoebe and Cole and wrapped her in the blanket.

"Melinda," Piper said again and smiled down at her daughter. The baby opened her tiny blue eyes for the first time that day and stared up at her family.

The five of them sat in the slime filled living room, starring back at Melinda in awe. They were bruised, battered, and tired, but none of them could be happier. Piper, Phoebe, Paige, Leo and Cole were enjoying the first peaceful moments with their newest family member, feeling the joy that only love could bring.


Author's Notes: Totally forgot to finish editing this... So as an apology, instead of cutting this into two chapters, here's the rest of the story! XD

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