"AN AFTERNOON IN BABYSITTING"
The middle-aged man and his two daughters climbed the stoop leading toward the manor's front door. Piper glanced at her father, who wore a mournful expression on his face. "Are you okay, Dad?" she asked.
Victor heaved a sigh. "Oh . . . uh, yeah. Yeah, I'm okay." He shot a reassuring smile at his daughter. "You don't have to worry about me crying again. I'm okay."
"I guess Aunt Lillian must have been very close to you," Phoebe said, as she slid her key into the lock and opened the door.
Nodding, Victor replied, "You could say that. She was almost like a second mother to me."
Once inside the manor, the two sisters and their father found Leo pacing back and forth, across the living room floor. Piper immediately stiffened at the sight of her former husband. "Leo? What are you doing here?"
The Elder immediately rounded on Piper. "Where's Wyatt?" he demanded. "I tried to sense his whereabouts, but I couldn't find him. And why isn't Paige here?"
"Huh?" Piper gave Leo a confused stare.
Phoebe spoke up. "Wait a minute, Leo. Piper and I were at a family funeral with Dad. In San Jose. So, Paige had agreed to stay behind and baby-sit Wyatt. Are you saying that both of them are missing?"
His face red with emotion, Leo cried, "Yes Phoebe! That's exactly what I'm saying! After I had finished a Council meeting, I realized that I couldn't sense Wyatt. So, I rushed home and . . ."
"Home?" Piper snorted with derision. "That's funny. I don't recall this house being your home, any longer!"
Victor patted his daughter's shoulder. "Piper . . ."
Through gritted teeth, Leo corrected himself. "What I meant to say was when I got 'here', there was no in the house. Including my son!"
"I wonder what happened to Paige and Harry," Phoebe said, frowning. "You couldn't sense them?"
"Paige is no longer my charge. And Harry has never acknowledged me as his whitelighter."
Victor murmured, "Smart kid." His comment earned him a glare from the Elder.
At that moment, the front door opened. Paige and Harry rushed inside the house. Piper noticed her youngest sister, holding the side of her jaw. "Hey, I see you guys are back," Harry greeted. "How was the funeral?"
Victor replied, "Oh, it went . . ."
"Where's Wyatt?" Leo demanded, interrupting his former father-in-law. "Where's my son?"
Piper added, "Leo's got a point. Where is Wyatt?"
"Ed wid Lide und Co," Paige mumbled. Everyone stared at her. "Uh . . . Sowee."
Phoebe demanded, "What happened to you?"
Harry spoke for Paige. "She had a little dental emergency. Something about a molar."
"Oh my God! I knew you had an appointment on Tuesday. Was the dentist able to do anything?" Phoebe rushed over to comfort her younger sister.
Harry added, "We couldn't get in touch with Paige's dentist, so I took her to mine."
"And what about Wyatt?" Piper asked, before Leo could. The blond-haired Elder looked as if he was about to blow a gasket.
"Oh. I couldn't get hold of Mom or Gran. So, I left Wyatt with Olivia and Cole." Harry paused and frowned. "Ooops. I guess I forgot to pick him up."
Leo's face turned a deeper red, as he shouted, "YOU LEFT MY SON WITH THAT DEMON?"
Olivia stirred briefly from her slumber, wondering why she was hearing bells. A groan left her mouth and returned to sleep. Unfortunately, it did not last, for more bells rang in her ears. Another minute passed, before she realized that the penthouse's doorbell had been ringing.
"Huh? Oh." She glanced down and saw Wyatt sleeping peacefully in her lap. Cole sat next to her on the sofa, with his arm around her. And also fast asleep. The doorbell rang for the third time. Olivia groaned and gently lifted Wyatt from her lap. She placed the infant in Cole's lap and slowly stood up. Wyatt squirmed for a few seconds, clutched at Cole's shirt with his tiny fist and fell back to sleep.
Again, the doorbell rang. Olivia reluctantly dragged her body toward the front door, muttering, "I'm coming, I'm coming." She opened the door and found Harry standing out in the hallway, along with Piper and Leo. "Where's my son?" the latter demanded, as he tried to enter the penthouse.
Olivia shoved the Elder back into the hallway. "What are you doing?" she cried. "Haven't you ever heard of waiting for an invitation?"
A sigh left Piper's mouth. "Sorry about that. Leo's just . . . worried. About Wyatt . . ."
"He's on Cole's lap. Sleeping." Olivia stepped back, and allowed the visitors to enter - including Leo. She led them toward the sofa, where Cole and Wyatt presented an odd picture of domesticity.
Piper murmured, "Talk about a disturbing scene."
"Actually, I think they look cute together," Harry commented. Both Piper and Leo stared at him. "What?"
Olivia shook Cole's shoulder. "Hey! Wake up! Piper and Leo are here for Wyatt."
The half-daemon groaned, as his eyes fluttered open. "Huh? Wha . . .?"
"Wake up! Piper's here to pick up Wyatt."
"Oh." Cole gathered Wyatt into his arms. The infant squirmed a bit, before he finally woke up. Then he yawned. Cole blinked at the visitors. "Uh . . . Piper, Leo. Hi."
Piper gave the half-daemon a polite smile. "Cole. I see you and Wyatt have managed to . . ." A perplexed frown appeared on her face. ". . . bond?"
"Have they ever!" Olivia added in an enthusiastic voice. "They've become quite close."
All eyes fell upon Wyatt, who seemed preoccupied with chewing Cole's shirt. "Yeah . . . uh, being with Wyatt has been . . ." Cole gently pried the baby from his shirt and immediately handed him over to Piper. ". . . uh, interesting. Let alone, hell on my shirts."
"I hope he didn't give you any other trouble," Harry said. His green eyes twinkled with amusement.
Both Olivia and Cole exchanged cryptic glances. "Oh, no trouble at all," the former replied.
"But what?" Leo asked, looking suspicious.
Olivia shook her head. "Nothing much. "Um . . . we took Wyatt out for a walk at the Marina Green. He . . . uh, sto . . . teleported some things from a few people."
"What?" Leo looked horrified.
Piper gave her son an admonishing stare. "Wyatt . . ." Harry's amusement remained unabated.
Olivia continued, "Don't worry. Cole managed to return the items. Without anyone being the wiser. And when we had returned to the building . . . um, a few daemons tried to kidnap Wyatt in the parking lot. By using me as a hostage."
Piper shook her head in disbelief. "Oh my God!"
"But not to worry," Cole added. "They weren't a real threat. Just a bunch of morons with a bad kidnapping plan. Both Olivia and I took care of them."
Her anxiety abated, Piper said, "That's a relief." She gave the two babysitters a grateful smile. "Well, thanks a lot, you two. I guess we better get going."
Cole said, "If you need a lift to the manor, I'd be more than happy to provide it for you."
"I'd . . ." Piper hesitated. She glanced at Leo with mild distaste. "On second thought, maybe I'll take that offer. Uh, where are Wyatt's belongings?" A second later, the carry-on bag appeared on Piper's shoulder. And the pram, along with the baby's car seat, materialized in front of the visitors' feet. "Oh. Okay."
Harry added, "Don't forget to send me back. My car is there."
Cole walked over to where Piper held Wyatt and chucked the latter's chin. "Good-bye Partner. It's been . . . interesting. Don't be a stranger." The baby gurgled.
Olivia planted a kiss on the baby's soft cheek. "Bye Wyatt. Maybe we'll do this again, some day." Cole muttered something under his breath and Leo wore a doubtful expression. But Olivia ignored them and said good-bye to both Piper and Harry, before Cole teleported the three adults, the infant and everything else back to the Halliwell manor.
Disbelief illuminated the half-daemon's blue eyes, as he stared at Olivia. "Uh, what exactly did you mean by 'do this again'?"
"You know," Olivia said with a shrug. "Baby-sit Wyatt."
"You mean . . . 'you' might baby-sit him, again. I don't recall volunteering for another afternoon with that kid. Not if I want to keep my shirts and sanity in check."
Olivia regarded Cole with surprise. "I thought that you had grown to like Wyatt."
Sighing, Cole returned to the sofa and sat down. "Okay, the brat's not so bad. I just don't want to go through another afternoon like that again. And that includes being pissed on."
Chuckling, Olivia replied, "Oh come on. It wasn't that bad." She headed for the liquor cabinet and reached for the club soda and a glass. "Despite the crying, Wyatt pissing on your shirt, the stealing and those demonic morons who . . ." She paused, as she poured the club soda into the glass. "Okay, this afternoon was a bit . . . busy. But it wasn't all bad. Right?" Olivia faced the sofa and found Cole fast asleep.
After returning the bottle of club soda to the cabinet, she strolled over to the sofa, and sat down. Shaking her head in mild disbelief and amusement, she began to stroke Cole's forehead. "What do you know? The mighty Belthazor brought to his knees by the shenanigans of an eight month-old baby." She plant a kiss on his forehead, laid back against the sofa and began to sip her drink.