Author's Note: This is a follow up to Confessions Of An Elder In Love. You don't really need to have read that to follow this story as it basically was just the set up for Gideon to reveal his true feelings to Paige.
However, what is important to know is that this 'verse is AU as Cole works at Magic School under Gideon along with Leo and Paige and was saved from being possessed by the Source. Also, Gideon is going to be considered part of the Charmed family as he never wanted to go after Wyatt.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Charmed or Bewitched.
A warm breeze wafts through the air as night falls outside of Halliwell manor and signals the start of Paige's birthday celebration. Phoebe and Cole are laying out the place settings in the dining room while Phoebe turns to Victor with a wide smile. "I'm so glad that you decided to drop by tonight, Dad, we don't get to see you nearly often enough," she chirps before throwing her arm around his side and hugging him to her.
"Well, you can expect all of that to change, what with the rate that this family is growing," he states determinedly, referring to Wyatt and Piper's pregnancy. "I don't want to miss out on watching my grandchildren grow up the way that I did with you girls."
"Glad to hear it," chimes in Piper as she and Leo bring out various dishes from the kitchen.
"So am I," adds Leo. He casts a worried look towards Victor as he sets down the food and asks, "I don't mean to bring up any bad memories or anything, but is it going to be a problem for you celebrating Paige's birthday?"
When Victor stares at Leo in bewilderment, Cole expounds, "I think Leo means because she's Sam's daughter." Leo's expression is sheepish as he nods in confirmation.
"Nah," denies Victor. "I made my peace over Sam and Patty a long time ago. Besides," he says as he reaches down and picks up Wyatt, "Paige may not be my daughter but she's part of the family now just the same."
"That's a really nice thing to say, Dad," remarks Phoebe as she gives him another sideways hug.
"That's because I'm a really nice guy," comments Victor confidently as he places a kiss atop Phoebe's head.
Paige is just coming down the stairway when Gideon orbs into the manor. She immediately heads over to him and taking note of his suit, she greets, "Gideon, I thought I told you the party was casual."
Gideon replies, "You did, this is my casual suit." Then with a roguish grin and a wave of his hand, a gift wrapped box magically appears which he rapidly hands over to her.
Gideon proudly declares, "I wanted to show you that I could fit into the mortal world as well as you fit into the magical one. I hope you like it."
"Thank you, Gideon," she tells him before giving him a quick peck on the cheek. "I can't wait to see what it is!" Having heard their voices, the rest of the family file out of the dining room and gather around Paige as she tears off the ribbons and wrapping in excitement. When Paige instantly stills at the sight of her gift, the others dart confused and worried looks at each other while Gideon contributes her speechlessness due to extreme happiness.
Cole is the first to break the awkward silence as he inquires, "Well, what is it?" He looks at Gideon with a smile. "I have to admit that I'm kind of curious as to what an Elder would choose as a mortal gift."
Paige continues to stare down at her present with a blank expression as she answers, "It's a Betamax."
Gideon nods and stands a little straighter with pride. "Yes, the man that I bought it from said that it was quite popular."
Victor shifts Wyatt in his arms and mutters under his breath, "I'll bet he did."
Piper bites down on the inside of her cheek in an attempt to withhold her laughter while she takes the box out of Paige's hands. "Here, I'll take that for you, Paige. I'll just go ahead and put it right over here." She walks over with Phoebe to the table laden with Paige's other presents and whispers laughingly, "Right over here in the 1970s." Phoebe elbows Piper in the ribs and does her best to hold in her own laughter as well.
Victor puts down Wyatt when he starts squirming around too much in his arms and anxiously watches as the little boy runs straight over to a ring of candles on the floor. "Hey! Shouldn't somebody move those candles before Wyatt starts playing with them? And what are they doing on the floor anyway?"
"Leave them where they are, please, Dad," instructs Piper. "We're going to need them."
"For what?" asks Victor feeling a bit uneasy.
"For our special guests," answers Phoebe as she straightens from lighting the last of the candles. As soon as she's done, a swirl of magical lights engulfs the area within the circle and both Penny and Patty Halliwell's spirits appear. They instantly step out of the circle to become corporeal and embrace all the girls.
Patty stands in front of Victor with a huge smile and Victor leans down to kiss her on the cheek. As he straightens, he gazes at her fondly and compliments, "You look as lovely as ever, Patty."
"Why thank you, Victor," she responds with a slight blush. "That's so sweet."
Penny slowly advances towards the duo and bitterly greets, "Victor."
Victor stares back at her while wearing a matching grimace and welcomes, "Endora."
"Careful, Victor," she retorts, "I don't need magic to think of a place to keep my broomstick."
Remembering more curses being thrown at him than even Darrin Stevens had to suffer through; Victor hastily throws his hands up in surrender and backs away while Patty shakes her head at their childish behavior.
Satisfied that her word of warning has hit home, Penny swivels away from Victor and stalks over to Gideon to turn her attention onto him. "I don't think I need to warn you what will happen if you hurt my granddaughter, do I?"
Gideon calmly but readily reassures, "Of course not, Penelope. I still remember your threats from when we attended Magic School together and I can assure you that there's no need to remind me of your capability to carry them out."
Penny bears a victorious smile while Paige holds up her hand and says, "Wait a minute. You went to Magic School with Grams?" Gideon nods and then Paige turns to Leo. "And you knew Grams from way back when she was married to her first husband?" Leo nods. Paige's eyes narrow and she turns to Cole. "So did you hang out with Grams too?"
Cole laughs aloud and holds up his hands in a defensive gesture. "No, I'm afraid that even Belthazor wasn't demon enough to hang out with your Grams."
Penny remarks with a smirk, "You got that right."
Leaving the others to catch up, Leo grabs Piper by the hand and tugs her over to the dining room to enjoy a rare moment alone. She stares at him quizzically as he simply returns her gaze with a bright smile and opens a drawer in one of the side tables.
Her gaze jumping back and forth between Leo and their guests, Piper's voice rises as a slight panic laces her tone. "What are you doing, Leo? We need to finish putting everything out on the table for dinner!"
"And we'll do that, Piper," he hushes so that they won't be disturbed. "I just want to show you something that I found earlier when you sent me out for extra groceries."
Piper huffs in frustration. "Okay, fine, but hurry up and show me so that we can finally get this party started and relax! I've been dying to see my mother again without, well you know…actually dying!"
Knowing how quickly a hormonal swing can ruin a good mood, Leo swiftly removes a small bag from the drawer and presents it to Piper. "Here you go," he declares proudly. "It looks like Paige isn't the only one receiving gifts, tonight."
Piper rolls her eyes at his corny version of flirting but smiles sweetly back at her husband as she opens the bag and peers down into it. "Leo," she questions uneasily as she withdraws a tiny item of clothing from the gift bag, "what is this?"
"It's a plaid onesie!" exclaims Leo in delight. "I found it at a new baby store downtown, and look," he reaches down into the bag and pulls out a small shirt, "there's a matching shirt for Wyatt." He flashes a huge grin her way as he poses excitedly, "Now we can all match when we go out!"
"Oh…wow…really?" bleats Piper. "That would be great except," she takes the shirt for Wyatt out of his hand and places it back in the bag along with the onesie, "I don't really think that dressing my children like lumberjacks is something that I really want to encourage."
"What are you talking about?" asks Leo. He tugs on his own shirt. "I wear plaid all of the time and I don't hear you complaining about it."
"Well of course you don't, honey," soothes Piper while she drops the bag back into the drawer. "I love you so I either leave the room or I mutter under my breath so I won't hurt your feelings."
"Piper!" protests Leo as he tries to reach for the bag again. "There's nothing wrong with these clothes and - "
He stops talking as Piper takes in a breath and grabs the side board to steady herself from the sudden onset of pain. "Piper, what's wrong? Are you okay? Do you need to go to the hospital?"
Piper smiles back at him while she gathers her composure. "I'm fine, Leo. The baby's just kicking. Here," she places his hand over her abdomen. "Can you feel it?"
"Yeah," whispers Leo in amazement, then in a stronger and more excited voice. "Yeah, I can!" Lost in the wonder of their latest child, any further argument is quickly forgotten.
In the other room, Cole and Phoebe are busy hurriedly stepping back as Wyatt proceeds to display his new tricycle to everyone by riding around and nearly through his family members. Glancing away from Wyatt's antics, both Cole and Phoebe's gazes settle on Leo and Piper and they watch on with soft smiles as Leo feels the baby kick.
Phoebe turns to Cole and mentions, "You know, Piper pretty much called dibs on Prue's name for her first daughter. So I was thinking that when we have a girl that we could name her Paige."
This off the cuff remark causes Cole to sway slightly and swallow nervously before whispering, "This isn't your way of telling me that you're pregnant, is it?"
Phoebe laughs and smacks his shoulder. "No, I'm not pregnant, Cole. I was just thinking about our future. You know…having the power of premonition, I tend to do that." She looks up at him expectantly. "So what do you think of my suggestion?"
Cole says, "Honestly? I think it's awful."
Shocked, Phoebe asks, "What? Why? Ever since we exorcised the Source from you, you and Paige have gotten along fine."
"Phoebe," he says in a disbelieving tone. "Think about it. Our daughter's name would be Paige Turner. Do you really want to do that to her?"
Realization quickly dawns in her eyes before she admits, "You're right. She'll have enough problems with demons after her; she doesn't need schoolyard bullies on her case too."
In the meantime, Victor has ensconced himself safely away in the living room hoping to avoid any further injury from Wyatt and his runaway tricycle of doom. He takes a peek and notices that the women are all gathered round trying to head off Wyatt while the men have wisely chosen to keep their distance.
They're probably up to something magical, muses Victor before grunting smugly as he listens to Grams suggestion that they cast a spell.
"I doubt that we need to resort to witchcraft to stop a little boy on a tricycle, Mother," admonishes Patty.
Paige yelps as she avoids another near miss with Wyatt. "I don't know, I think I'm with Grams on this one." She pulls Piper safely to the side as Wyatt heads back in their direction. "Although knowing him, do you think our combined magic will be strong enough?"
Yeah, agrees Victor silently, you're probably going to need a Power of Three spell with that kid. Not visualizing any progress being made soon, Victor calls out, "Hey you guys, whenever you're ready to leave the women to talk or do whatever they do, I brought along some movies from my private collection."
Remembering the last time that Victor brought movies, Leo and Cole head straight over for their father-in-law with Gideon in tow. Wide grins of approval meet Victor's selections when the two men rummage through the bag of dvds. Cole enthuses, "That's great, Victor! We can have a Charles Bronson festival!"
Gideon comes closer and leans down to go through the bag. "I'm not familiar with the gentleman, but I do love a good festival! What sort of poetry does he write?"
No one is quite sure how to respond to that statement with the exception of Victor who whispers to Leo, "Is he for real?" to which Leo responds with a quiet nod while Cole takes Gideon aside to illuminate the finer points of action movies.
Leo suddenly goes stock still and murmurs, "Uh oh," as he feels the Elders calling him.
Piper stares at him in disbelief and bemoans, "Oh, come on, seriously? Can we not have just one night off from fighting demons? Is that really too much to ask?"
Leo offers her a look of sympathy as he puts his arms around her while Gideon interposes, "No need to upset yourself, Piper, I happen to know exactly why they're calling. Recently, a witch inadvertently uncovered an ancient magical artifact during a fight with a demon. This particular artifact is only a step below that of the Hollow's power and needs to be re-hidden but it's going to require the power of all of the Charmed ones in order for that to happen."
"Well that's no problem," states Paige, "one little Power of Three spell shouldn't ruin the whole night."
Gideon shakes his head and adds, "It's going to take more power than the three of you are able to generate, Paige."
Penny walks over and interjects, "Well then it really is no problem, with Patty and I here that should be more than enough magic to banish whatever needs banishing."
"I'm afraid it's not that simple, Penelope," notes Gideon. "The spell casters must all specifically be Charmed ones."
"Then how exactly is that supposed to work?" asks Phoebe. "Seeing as we're all Charmed but the Power of Three still isn't enough power?"
"Then how about the Power of Four?" asks a voice from behind them, a voice that belongs to Prue Halliwell.
"Prue!" scream Piper and Phoebe as they rush over to the circle of candles that she and Andy are just exiting.
The three girls are all crushed together in one giant hug as Phoebe murmurs, "You have no idea how much we miss you."
Prue only hugs them tighter to her as she tells them, "Oh, I think I have some idea." She pulls back and gives Piper a once over. "I see that someone's been busy since I've been gone," and giving a smile and a wave to Wyatt, she adds, "twice."
Ignoring her teasing, Piper simply smiles at her son as she wipes away her tears. "Prue, we've missed you so much! What's taken you so long to come visit us?"
Andy, Patty and Penny all wear matching expressions of sympathy tinged with sadness at the question. "I just couldn't do it yet," she answers with a slight shake of her head. "It was so just hard knowing that I needed to be here for you…not just as a sister but for the Power of Three."
She falters slightly as she starts to speak again and then finishes, "It's just been really hard for me to let go." She looks back at Andy, all the love in her heart showing in her gaze as she flashes him a smile which he instantly returns. "Lucky for me, I had some help."
With a gentle prod, Gideon pushes Paige towards Prue so that she can introduce herself. "Um…Prue? Hi," greets Paige with a nervous wave of her hand. "My name's -"
"Paige," finishes Prue with a huge smile. "Yeah, I know. Being up there," she gestures towards the ceiling, "you can get to know a lot more than you do down here even if you can't communicate." If possible, her smile grows even bigger. "It's great to finally meet you."
"You're not mad or anything?" inquires Paige anxiously. "I mean because I'm down here with Piper and Phoebe and we brought back the Power of Three?" Her hands clench and unclench in apprehension as she tries to gather her thoughts and express what's been weighing on her heart since she accepted her role as both a sister and a Charmed one. "I'm not trying to rub your face in it or anything, but…I don't want you to think that I'm trying to take your place because I swear to you, Prue, I'd never do that. I couldn't even if I wanted to."
"I know," assures Prue. "And don't worry, no hard feelings, okay? It was just my time and nothing that anyone could have said or done was going to change that." She smiles warmly at Paige. "Besides, after all I've seen you do, I can't think of anyone else that I would have wanted to stand beside my sisters than you. Well," she adds with an impish smile, "besides me of course."
"Thank you, Prue," breathes Paige in relief.
"Oh, come here," urges Prue as she draws Paige into a tight hug. "Happy birthday, little sister," whispers Prue. Unable to say anything past the lump in her throat, Paige simply holds onto Prue even tighter and offers up silent thanks to finally have the chance to know all of her family.
Releasing a little sniff of emotion, Penny clears her throat and calls everyone's attention to her when she announces, "Oh this is perfect! Finally, I can have a picture of all of my loved ones together." Everyone is grinning at Grams' enthusiasm until Penny turns to Victor and says, "Here Victor," as she conjures a camera and hands it to him, "that means that you can take the picture."
Victor merely rolls his eyes while Patty says, "Mother!" in exasperation.
Victor holds up a hand to his ex-wife indicating that it's not a problem. "It's fine, Patty, I'm used to it by now." He's checking over the camera while Penny arranges everybody how she wants them for the picture. "But I'd like to offer you a proposition. The girls were talking about this spell earlier to vanquish a ghost but you have to be a ghost in order to say it."
"So?" she asks in confusion.
"So, I was wondering…how about I place a weekly order of roses to be placed on your grave if you just…you know…?" he poses as he nods towards Penny.
Patty chastises, "Victor! I'm not about to vanquish my own mother just to satisfy some ridiculous feud that you two persist on carrying on with."
Noticing how cozy Victor seems with her daughter, Penny walks up to them and remarks, "You know, I forgot how good you two look together." Her smile becomes saccharine as she adds, "Too bad that Sam came between you and ruined all that."
When she leaves to rearrange everyone again when she sees that they've shifted out of position, Patty turns to Victor and inquires, "What kind of flowers were those again?"
After several rolls of flash blinding pictures, Andy sidles up behind Prue and places his arms around her pulling her tight against him. He leans down close to her ear and whispers, "So what do you say that we go upstairs and sneak into your room like we used to?"
Prue leans back against him and sighs. "I'd love to, but it's not my room anymore."
He looks down at her with a slight trace of concern. "Are you okay with that?"
She takes a look around her, noting all the changes within both the manor and her family before answering him. "Yeah, I'm okay." She stares back up at him and assures, "Better than okay, actually, because now I'm right where I belong."
Andy's smile only grows wider before he murmurs into her ear, "It's about time that you finally realized that." Prue smacks his arm playfully before he pulls her closer and stops any further retort with a kiss.
Back in the kitchen, Leo's assisting Piper with the final touches on the cake. Well, maybe not so much as assisting as hoping to lick the spoon. "So we're agreed then?" queries Piper hopefully.
Leo rolls his eyes and grumbles, "This is ridiculous."
Piper throws up her hands in the air and reasons, "Look, all I'm saying is that I broke generations of tradition of having our baby's name start with a P when we named him Wyatt, after you, I might add. I only think it's fair that you quit trying to force your no longer closeted obsession with plaid onto my unsuspecting children."
"Piper," defends Leo, "this is what people wore when I was growing up. I simply want to pass on something of my own onto our children."
"Can't you just buy an old car to work on and then pass it on to them?" suggests Piper. "I mean, your era was all about fixing things wasn't' it? At least that's what I saw on the Waltons."
"I love that show," observes Leo fondly.
"You would," mutters Piper.
"And what's that supposed to mean?" asks Leo suspiciously.
"Oh, nothing, honey, nothing at all," she answers a little too innocently before giving him a quick kiss and heading back out to the dining room.
Leo watches her leave with a slight smile on his face. She may have been joking when she suggested the truck but Piper was right, fixing things was something that people did back in his day and he was a handyman after all. How hard could it be? he wonders. A little engine work, maybe a paint job…yeah…maybe Piper's idea has some merit after all.
Back in the dining room, the detective in Andy makes itself known as he wanders over to Paige's presents to have a little look see. "No way, it's a Betamax! I haven't seen one of these since I was a kid!"
Leo's setting up the highchair for Wyatt when Gideon turns to him in confusion at Andy's remark. "That's odd, I was under the impression that he hadn't died that long ago."
Leo shrugs uncomfortably as he replies, "Well, you know how time flies, especially up there."
Andy reminisces, "Man this takes me back. Look, there's even a tape of The Three Amigos, we should hook this baby up!"
Victor comes over to offer his assistance and asks, "Does anybody even remember how?"
"The Three Amigos?" inquries Cole of Gideon.
"Yes," replies Gideon, "there were three of them so it reminded me of the Charmed ones. Also, you would be surprised at how difficult it is to find Betamax tapes. They must be extremely popular."
"Yeah," nods Cole with a tight smile, not wanting to offend his friend since he has so few. "That must be it."
Piper is full of amusement along with the rest of the women as they watch the men try to figure out how to hook up the machine, "Well, that should keep them busy for a few hours."
Phoebe chuckles softly while she watches the men struggle through their current predicament. "Are you kidding me? It's a Betamax, Piper! Try a few decades!"
Sensing that this is going to take awhile, Paige excuses herself from the women and calls Gideon over to her so that they can take refuge in the sun room. As soon as they're alone, Paige throws herself against him and hugs him tightly.
"Thank you so much for bringing Prue here, Gideon. I couldn't wish for a better birthday gift." she breathes gratefully into his ear.
"Not even the Betamax?" he asks in mock surprise.
Paige pulls away and rolls her eyes and replies laughingly, "Not even that."
He's gazing down at her when he immediately notices her manner become more serious and that she's looking at him differently, in a way that he's never seen before. Hoping, or more like wishful thinking because he doesn't want to raise his hopes just to have them dashed, but he thinks that she's looking at him a bit like the way he looks at her, like someone in love.
"Gideon," she whispers.
"Yes, Paige?" he returns in a hushed voice.
"Thank you for my third gift," she informs him as she raises her hand to brush his cheek.
"What third gift?" he asks dazedly, due more from her touch than his confusion.
"You," she tells him before she kisses him thoroughly.
Our first kiss, he marvels. It's the only thought in his head before he loses all train of thought completely and savors every moment. The kiss is gentle while still reaffirming the strength of their love for each other, it's loving yet still passionate, and it is the sum of everything new that is blooming on the horizon for them, in short…it's magic.
The sound of someone clearing their throat begins to make itself known to them and they reluctantly pull away from each other to find Penny with Patty standing next to her while holding a cake covered Wyatt.
"Sorry to interrupt," apologizes Patty, "but we just came to warn you that if you wanted to have any of your birthday cake before it's all gone…" her voice trailing off as she holds up Wyatt, his smile smeared with frosting obviously finishing her sentence for her.
"Yes, don't mind us," says Penny. "It's not as if we," she gestures to herself and Patty, "have to worry about getting any older." She gives Gideon a very pointed look, "Well, some of us still do. Isn't that right Gideon?"
Patty makes a face of disgust and admonishes, "Mother, please!" Penny merely offers a smirk in reply before she leaves the room and Patty cuddles Wyatt closer to her. "Don't mind her, you two, you just take your time," and then leaves them with a wink.
"My sentiments exactly," agrees Paige while tugging Gideon down by his tie for another kiss to which he responds telepathically, I couldn't agree more, before all thought is lost once again.