Disclaimer:I do not own anything in relation to Charmed.
A burst of steam fills the room as Gideon steps out of the shower and into the main bathroom of Halliwell manor. Grateful to Paige for allowing him the use of the manor's amenities after vanquishing a particularly slime infested Yhsiuqs demon, he reaches for a towel to dry his hair as he exits the bathroom. I wonder if my clothes are dry yet.
As he steps into the hallway, he is instantly met with a shocked gasp and a wide-eyed gaze, an extremely impressed and interested gaze, belonging to Phoebe Halliwell. "Gideon!" she greets with a nervous giggle. "What are you doing here at this time of the morning and dressed," she waves a hand at his towel slung low on his hips, "or maybe I should say not dressed like that?"
Completely unfazed by her reaction, Gideon begins to explain himself when a very pregnant Piper suddenly waddles around the corner calling out to her family. "Okay, so what is taking everybody so long? Breakfast is getting cold!" She spies Gideon and her eyes simultaneously widen and dart to Phoebe as she inquires, "Phoebe, would you care to tell me what's going on here?"
Phoebe's giggling increases as she swivels back and forth between her sister and Gideon. "Well, I was coming downstairs for breakfast, just minding my own business, when I practically walked into Gideon here!" She takes a deep breath and looks him up and down. "Dressed like this!"
"I can see that," notes Piper admiringly as she takes another peek at Gideon.
"I think everyone can see that," remarks Cole as he appears behind a startled and flushed Phoebe. "You know, Gideon, I would think that being an Elder had taught you more about the importance of wearing a robe."
"Don't listen to him;" reassures Phoebe while she elbows Cole in the ribs, "you look fine, great in fact!" She places a hand over her fluttering heart and questions in a low tone, "Have you been working out?"
Cole throws a hand over Phoebe's face to cover her eyes and growls, "Gideon, go and get dressed!"
Taken aback by Cole's brusque manner, Gideon draws himself up to his full height and despite the situation, manages to retain an almost regal like bearing. "I am waiting for Paige to return with my clothes, Cole. She was kind enough to offer to clean them while I partook in a shower."
"Unfortunately, your clothes are a lost cause," announces Paige unexpectedly as she heads over to the Elder with a sheepish expression. "I'm sorry, Gideon. The washing machine was a bust and when I tried to use the Vanquishing Spell, your clothes disappeared completely." She shrugs helplessly at Gideon's stricken expression. "Consider it a result of personal gain?"
"Personal gain?" questions Leo as he exits his and Piper's bedroom while carrying Wyatt. "Who's using personal gain?" He stops in his tracks when he discovers everyone staring at Gideon. "And why is everyone standing around gawking at Gideon while he's half dressed?" Leo shifts Wyatt in his arms as he narrows his eyes at his wife. "Especially you, Piper!"
"What?" asks Piper defensively. "You're the one who told me that I should get to know Gideon better and you can't get any more personal than this!"
"Come on, Gideon," offers Leo with a huff of annoyance directed towards Piper, "you can borrow something of mine to wear."
Not wanting to upset Leo further, Gideon cautiously eyes Leo's attire. "That's very kind of you, Leo, but hardly necessary. It won't take me but a moment to conjure up something."
Gideon is about to wave his hand when both Piper and Phoebe move forward to grab hold of it. "No!" orders Piper firmly. "There will be no more magic," she aims a quick glare at Paige, "until we absolutely need it!"
At Gideon's baffled look, Phoebe explains, "See, we haven't been attacked by any demons in the house for weeks now so we haven't had to use any magic. Now that may be a coincidence, but we really don't want to test that theory."
"Phoebe," urges Cole, "you can let go of Gideon's hand now."
"What?" she squeaks, surprised to find that she's still grasping his hand. She releases another nervous giggle before flashing an apologetic smile to both Gideon and her husband as she takes a step back. "Sorry about that."
Leo's moving back towards his bedroom when Gideon throws out his arm to halt his progress. "Leo, no!" he shouts as all eyes turn on him in surprise and confusion. "Erm…it's only that I thought that perhaps it would be best if I borrowed something from Cole."
"Something wrong with my wardrobe, Gideon?" quizzes Leo suspiciously.
"Don't make him answer that, Leo," requests Paige while shifting uncomfortably. "By the time that he's done, well…Piper's already said that breakfast is getting cold."
"What's that supposed to mean?" grits Leo.
Cole quickly steps forward and answers for her. "Calm down, Leo. It simply means that Gideon's taste in couture matches his taste for wines." His smile becomes positively devious. "Besides, I have the perfect thing for Gideon to wear."
He clasps a hand on Gideon's shoulder and starts pushing him in the direction of his and Phoebe's bedroom. "Come on, Gideon, let's get you dressed." When Phoebe starts to follow them, he spins around and orders, "You stay here!"
"What?" yelps a startled Phoebe. "Oh yeah, of course," she apologizes while waving her hands nervously in front of her. She hazards a glance at Paige as she steps backwards next to her sister and mumbles hurriedly, "Sorry, so sorry."
"Alright everyone," announces Piper teasingly, "it's time for breakfast! So let's all go downstairs where the only thing that we have to worry about being stolen is someone's bacon and not someone's man."
Phoebe whacks her sister on the arm as she passes by with Leo and Wyatt and then turns to Paige with a sheepish grin. "She's such a kidder!" She leans in close and notes conspiratorially, "Gideon is yummy though."
"Come on, Sis," urges Paige as she throws her arm around Phoebe's shoulders, "let's go wait for our men." She gives her a sideways mock glare. "And be sure to keep your hands off my bacon."
Ten minutes later finds everyone seated around the breakfast table while Piper dishes out servings onto their plates. She bears a mischievous gleam in her eyes as she asks, "How are you doing there, Gideon? Those clothes are quite a bit of a change for you."
Gideon exhibits a pained grimace as he stares down at his maroon t-shirt that states in large blue letters, 'ELDERBERRY WINE'. He looks over at Cole and remarks morosely, "I thought that you only wore suits."
Cole waves a hand dismissively. "Those are only for work, this is my casual wear." He nods his head to indicate Gideon's shirt. "I picked up that little number at a wine festival that Phoebe and I went to a few weeks ago. I believe that we still have some of the Elderberry wine left if you want to give it a try."
"No, no thank you," replies Gideon while he shifts uncomfortably in his chair. "Are jeans always so stiff?"
"You'll get used to it," comments Leo. "The more that you wear them, the softer the material becomes."
"Yes," drawls Gideon as he plucks at his shirt and shifts once more, "I see. Well, that should give me something to look forward to then."
"Cole," requests Piper as she balances several plates, could you move that for me so that I can set these down?"
He glances down at the Book of Shadows and wryly mentions, "You know, Piper, you and Paige can quit testing me to see if I'm evil." He reaches out with his hand and flips through the pages. "See? I can still touch the book."
"Cole," chastises Phoebe, "don't be ridiculous, they're not testing you!" She gives a slight laugh which abruptly stops when she arches an eyebrow at her sisters. "Wait a minute…are you testing him?"
"They must be," he answers for them. "Otherwise, why else would they keep asking me to move the book or hand it to them?"
Paige rolls her eyes at Cole's admission. "Oh, please, we only ask you because you're closer."
"Yes, that's it exactly," assures Piper patiently. "So if you want to eat then I suggest that you move the book."
After moving the book, he takes the plates from Piper as she informs the others in a stage whisper, "Whew! That was close; I guess we're still safe."
The table erupts in good-natured laughter and Cole's suspicion causes an old memory to resurface for Phoebe. "You know, even if they were testing you, you got off lucky. I remember when Piper used to freeze our boyfriends and prick their fingers to see if they were Warlocks since they don't bleed."
"Really?" inquires Paige laughingly as Piper nods proudly and the women all share a laugh while the men discreetly check their hands for any punctures.
Piper finally allows herself the luxury of sitting down for breakfast when she notices Leo grimace after he takes a bite of his biscuit. "What's wrong, honey?"
"Oh, it's nothing," hastens Leo to reassure his wife. When his reply earns him a hard stare, he amends, "It's just a little cold."
"I knew it!" huffs Piper in frustration as she throws down her napkin and begins to ease her large frame away from the table.
Gideon holds out his hand as he rises from the table and offers, "Please allow me to reheat them for you, Piper." Her mouth is barely opening to form a response when he throws his hands up in the air defensively. "I won't use magic, I promise. Paige has been teaching me how to use mortal appliances and I feel quite confident in my ability to function in the kitchen."
Peeking at Paige and watching her nod encouragingly, Piper relents in agreement. "Thank you, Gideon, I will definitely take you up on that," as she leans back comfortably into her chair with a soft sigh.
Unfortunately, Piper's respite is short-lived when a loud crack and the smell of smoke fill the air. "What the hell was that?" shrieks Piper as she bats away Leo and Phoebe's hands as they struggle to keep her in her chair.
Quickly following him into the kitchen, the others are stunned to see a giant crack in the glass of the microwave door with smoke billowing out of it along with flames and sparks that have spread over to the kitchen towels on the counter.
"I'm sorry, Piper, but I believe there's something wrong with your microwave," frets Gideon as he waves his hands to disperse the smoke.
"Piper," reasons Paige, "you really shouldn't be in here; the smoke isn't good for the baby!"
"I'm not going anywhere!" She points an accusing finger at Gideon. "Not until I find out what he did to my kitchen!"
"But I didn't do anything, I swear!" avows Gideon wholeheartedly. "I merely reheated the biscuits using the same process that Paige showed me." He gazes off seeming to ponder something for a moment. "Perhaps there was something wrong with the tinfoil."
"Tinfoil?" groans Paige as she and Phoebe hold Piper back and Leo and Cole work together to put out the fire. "Gideon, we used the tinfoil in the oven!"
"I know, but the microwave is so much faster," he states reasonably.
Both Phoebe and Paige grab Piper's hands when she raises them towards Gideon. They don't know whether she wants to freeze him or blow him up but they don't want to find out. "This is all your fault!" she growls at Paige.
"My fault? How is this my fault?" she demands irritably.
"I told you no magic, but would you listen? No! You just had to go and do a Vanishing Spell to clean your boyfriend's precious suit!" grits Piper between clenched teeth.
"To be fair," remarks Gideon, "it was one of my favorite suits."
Piper's eyes practically bulge out of their sockets as Paige desperately tries to call her sister's attention back to her. "Look, Piper, I'm sorry about this but look at the bright side. At least we weren't attacked by demons."
"I don't know," opines Cole in a hushed voice to Leo, "I think Piper's doing a pretty good imitation of one right now."
Shooting Cole a death glare while she rubs Piper's back, Phoebe suggests, "Hey Cole and Leo, why don't you take Gideon out of the house for a bit until we have a chance to clean up this mess?" And calm Piper down.
"Good idea!" snarls Piper as she stares around her smoldering kitchen wondering where to begin.
Leo pats Gideon's back and claims, "I have the perfect place, Gideon, and it's not too far from here. Come on guys, let's go grab our plates and give the ladies some space."
Are you sure that I shouldn't stay and help? he sends out to Paige telepathically.
Reading her mind, he receives, Only if you want to help yourself into an early grave. Now, go, shoo, we'll be fine.
Giving her a small smile, Gideon turns back to the other two men and allows them to lead him back to the dining room to collect their meals and head out of the house.
To Be Continued…