Chapter 74: A Shark in the Water...
All rights to the Halliwells and Charmed go to The Wb and Aaron Spelling.
This is a spin-off of his creation, of which we're all thankful for. Please
Do not plagiarize or anything. LOVE YA
I slowly sat up, quickly dispelling Wyatt's arm. I slid out of bed, making sure Wyatt was still asleep. After I was sure he was, I walked out of the room and to the kitchen. Something woke me up, a feeling. Something evil was with me, watching me and it was here now. I took a sip of juice to calm myself, but the feeling persisted. I put the glass in the sink and walked to the living room. I stopped quickly, jumped really, and looked to the dark silhouette watching me.
"Who—" I started.
"Dumb question." The silhouette said.
I realized whose voice that was, "What are you?" I asked.
The silhouette stood and walked into the moonlight, half-revealing itself, "I am you, sexy." He said.
"No, I'm me. Who...and/or what are you?" I asked.
"That's not important, sweet cheeks." The other me said.
"What are you called?" I asked.
"Something very powerful is coming. The Source, and not one of those interim Sources you've been facing." He said quickly, "But you know that. Not knowing won't make it any less hard and when the Source comes for you, he's coming hard."
"Who is the Source? Do we know him?" I asked.
"I'm not here to answer all your questions; I'm here to warn you." He said, "You can take that baby and run and hide, but the Source will find you. You know it. And this time, you can't fight it. You and the Halliwells are dead."
I watched him quietly.
"You think you know what you are...what's to come...but you have no idea." He said, disappearing.
"Babe?" Wyatt said, coming out and rubbing his eyes, "Who are you talking to?"
I turned back to the other me, but he was gone.
"And this...you? came to help us or to warn us?" Chris asked.
"Definitely warn. I don't think that helping us was high on his list." I said.
"How do we even know that this wasn't a figment of his imagination?" Melinda asked.
"No, I heard him talking, or at least I thought I did." Wyatt said, hugging me tighter, "He obviously wanted to be just felt by Drake."
"It must have been some powerful magic if you couldn't sense him and Drake could." Kyle said.
"And it wasn't benevolent. It was dark and evil." I said, trying to understand it all, "It felt like everything malevolent in the world."
"It's okay," Melinda said, putting her hand on my shoulder, "We just need to crystallize your house."
"Maybe you two should stay at the Manor until we've vanquished this thing and the Source." Chris suggested.
"Good idea." Piper said.
"Why would it come to you?" Warren asked. He had been sitting and thinking the entire time, but now he was ready to speak, "And why would it take your appearance? Wouldn't it take someone close to you's appearance? And why didn't it hurt you if it was so malevolent? None of this makes sense."
"I think that's the point." Chris said, "Who said it was helping us by warning us. I think it was scaring us."
"It worked." I said quickly.
"Maybe we should call Phoebe and Paige." Piper said nervously, "I don't feel comfortable with them by themselves."
"I'll go and inform mom." Warren said, shimmering out.
"I'll tell Paige." Kyle said, orbing out.
"It said even if I take my baby and ran, the Source would find me." I chuckled nervously.
"Honey..." Wyatt started.
"He's right. I think we let all the demons that came before and took the Source's place muddy what being the Source actually means." I frowned, "This evil has been growing for who knows how long. This Source is different, he's the real thing. The thought of him makes my skin crawl."
"Mine too." Piper added.
"And he's coming for my baby." I said sitting on the couch, "The last true Source killed Prue. I don't know how, but I know this Source has been rising ever since my parents were dethroned. I can feel it. We're not safe anymore, not any of us."
Wyatt stood in front of me and knelt, "You listen to me! Nothing is going to kill you!" he said, "Not childbirth and not all evil because we are all Good!"
"That same feeling is telling me that the Source doesn't want to kill me or the baby, He's coming for you and the rest of the Halliwells." I said slowly.
Wyatt looked away from me, "Well, he's going to fail. We're a family and nothing is stronger than us." He frowned.
"Wyatt's right." Piper said, "Our power has always been about our family. The Source may be deadly, but we're evil's nightmare."
"We all just need sleep." Leo said quickly.
I woke up to a very good aroma. It was breakfast. As I dressed, I couldn't help but feel watched. I headed downstairs quickly, still buttoning up my shirt. When I made it, Chris, Leo, and Bianca sat at the table eating. Matthew was in his high chair and giggled when I came in. Melinda was washing dishes while Piper stood over the stove with Wyatt making French toast. I chuckled to myself when I walked in, causing everyone to acknowledge my presence. They all greeted me and I walked to the stove.
"You're making French toast...I love French toast." I smiled, "Why are you making French toast?"
Wyatt looked at Piper and turned to me, "I know how much you love French toast." He smiled.
"You Halliwells are liars." I chuckled.
"You know, you are a Halliwell now." Leo chuckled.
Piper walked over and playfully swatted Leo, "You could have disagreed." She smiled as she put French toast on his plate.
"Well, since I have to go out today and everybody else has something important to do, I want you to stick with Melinda." Wyatt said.
I nodded, "You know what, oddly, I don't want to be alone." I said.
Wyatt stared at me, "You...huh?" he asked.
"Well, I have a lot of work to do and as much as I really hate to say this, I do not want to be alone." I shrugged.
"I expected more of a fight." Wyatt said, "I had this whole speech and everything."
"I would stay with you but I'm going to visit relatives out of town." Bianca shrugged, "I would totally stay with you. I have a lot to tell you."
"It's cool." I smiled, "I mean, if any of you has anything to do, Melinda included, feel free. I'll just hang with Caleb." I said.
"You're not getting rid of me." Melinda smirked.
I turned to Wyatt, "Where are you going?" I asked.
"I have an appointment." Wyatt said.
I just stared.
"I need money to start the practice." Wyatt confessed, "So, I'm getting a loan."
"What's wrong with our money?" I asked.
"Well, I don't want to take out all of our money. We have a baby coming." Wyatt said, "I'd feel better just getting it from somewhere and paying it back."
"Wyatt, you're not going to a bank. We've got money." I said, "Or you could ask my brother."
"Asking family for money?" Wyatt asked, "Isn't he having a baby, too?"
"He lives in a penthouse; I think he can help us out." I chuckled.
Wyatt engaged in a staring contest with me, "Fine! What if he says no?" he asked.
"I love you and you're really smart, but sometimes you're really dumb." I said, "If he says no, then you will use money from our account because that's why it's there."
"You're amazing." Wyatt smiled.
"And hungry and nauseous." I said, "Now move." I said, grabbing a plate of French toast.
"I'll be back as soon as I can." Wyatt said, orbing away.
"I need to go too." Piper said, "You sure you're going to be okay?"
Melinda and I nodded as Piper left.
"Me too." Leo said, disappearing.
I looked to Bianca and Chris as I sat down. Bianca said her goodbyes and kissed Chris, taking Matthew and disappearing too.
I sat down beside Chris, "So, what's up for today?" I asked.
Chris smirked, "Don't deflect." He said.
"Deflect?" I said, stuffing eggs and bacon into my mouth.
"Why are you letting Melinda stay with you? And the money thing..."
"Well, I figure it wouldn't help if we argue." I frowned, "And the money thing is marriage, ya know? I mean, I love him, he loves me...that's what we do. Besides, it's half his anyway and he really wants this."
Chris nodded, "You're very zen." He smiled.
"No, I'm freaking out on the inside." I said, still eating, "But everything works out."
"So, have you talked to your shiny, new brother?" Chris asked.
"The one that killed my dad? Nope." I said, staring intently at the plate.
Chris sighed, "I'm not going to force you into a very belated family reunion, but he's your brother. Even though Wyatt's not evil now, I still have a fear of him turning." He said.
"It's not like Wyatt..."
"It is." Chris said, "They were both very ignorant of what they could do and the destruction they could cause."
"The Collective tricked him, Drake. It could have been anyone." Chris smiled.
"Except you." I smiled, "You're so much wiser than I ever gave you credit for."
"Thanks?" Chris said nervously.
"I just mean...You're awesome." I frowned, "And you're also right."
"Do you need me to orb you?" Chris asked.
"I've got a car, right?" I said, standing and heading out the door.
Melinda came back in, "Where'd he go?" she asked.
"He'll be back." Chris said, "Are you okay to be here alone?"
"Yeah." Melinda said, "Is this going to get us in trouble with Wyatt?"
"I don't think so." Chris said, "He shouldn't be long."
Wyatt materialized just as the door shut to Caleb's office and his assistant left. Caleb's eyes widen when he saw Wyatt and he walked over, locking the door. Wyatt just stood there, smiling.
Caleb looked over at him and frowned, "You can't do that! People are in and out of this office and the surveillance tapes could catch wiff..."
"I made sure there wasn't any and that you were the only one in the room." Wyatt frowned, "Dude, I'm sorry. I'll materialize somewhere close and walk next time."
"Is Drake okay?" Caleb asked nervously.
Wyatt shook his head, "No. He's fine. We got a little visit that freaked him out and we're staying with mom and dad for a while, but...we're good." He stammered.
Caleb nodded, "Not to be rude, but why are you here?" he asked.
"Oh, right, well..." Wyatt stammered.
"Did you want something?" Caleb asked with realization and a smirk, "You want something? Okay, good, I thought you were here to vanquish me or something."
"No, nothing like that." Wyatt smiled.
"But you want something?" Caleb asked, "Go ahead and ask."
"Well, this is going to sound really...I need money." Wyatt said.
"You and Drake having money problems?" Caleb asked, leaning on his desk.
"Umm, no, I just...well, seeing as how I'm a whitelighter and charmed one, I can't really work at a hospital. And I can't be a teacher and a hospital doctor, so..."
"You want to own your own practice?" Caleb nodded, "Smart. Actually, Dad did leave some company money to go wherever I saw it most charitable."
Wyatt looked at him oddly.
"Not that you're a charity. I just don't see a better way to spend it." Caleb said, walking to behind the desk and grabbing a checkbook, "Just tell me the amount, bro."
Wyatt nodded and smiled.
There was a knock.
"Alright, I'm coming!" Brian's voice came from inside.
A minute later, he was face to face with me. I smiled politely and noticed that he looked a lot better he had before and he was in pajama bottoms. It was weird, he looked like a mix between me and Caleb. He was taller than me, as tall as Caleb. His listless face dropped when he figured out my face.
"Hi." I said softly.
"Come in!" Brian said, pulling me inside, "I didn't think I'd ever see you again."
"You almost didn't." I shrugged, "Not sure what I'm doing here."
"I always wanted little brothers...well, one, but you can be like my little sister!" He smiled.
"Don't think of me as a girl." I chuckled, "Please don't."
"You killed my...our, father." I said, causing Brian to look shocked and terrified, "I'm not here to kill you. I just need to know why."
"I told you..."
"What did they say or promise?" I asked.
"You." Brian said, "You came and you promised me a solid family...ironic, huh?"
"I came to you?" I asked.
"Your pitch was amazing." Brian said, "I mean, I'd met you before but it was gradual and then you finally revealed this world to me. Another world, where I was better and I could help."
"Whoa! Go back!" I frowned, "I came to you? And the same me that came to you before, many times from the sound of it, came to you and convinced you to join the Collective?"
"Yeah. That wasn't you?" Brian asked.
I shook my head.
"Wow...I feel totally used. Again." Brian said.
"You're not the only one." I frowned.
Wyatt walked into the attic to find Drake standing by the book, just staring at it. Wyatt stood in the doorway, watching as Drake reached for the book, but stopped and looked at it again. Wyatt was overcome with a sense of dread. A sense of emptiness and evil. Without flinching, Drake turned to him and looked at him as if he hadn't seen him in forever. Wyatt could only muster a sideways grin for Drake because everything was telling him that something wasn't right, something was off.
"Babe, what are you doing up here?" Wyatt asked.
Drake was silent.
Wyatt continued, "I got the loan from your brother." He said, "I mean, he said it was okay to not pay him back, but with the baby coming and him getting married, I figured after we get a little business going, I could pay him...back. Are you okay?" he asked.
Drake nodded, "Right. That's good! I was just...checking out the book." He smiled, "I mean, whatever demon was here before might be in there."
"I thought you said it wasn't a demon." Wyatt said, confused.
"I'm thinking maybe it was a shapeshifter." Drake mumbled, "So, you got the loan. What's next?"
"Well, I find a place." Wyatt said, "Is the baby okay?"
Drake looked at him suspiciously, "Why wouldn't it be?" he asked.
"The stress." Wyatt said quickly.
"We're good." Drake said, "I'd better go."
"Go? Where are you going?" Wyatt asked.
"To Hell, eventually." Drake said, leaving.
Wyatt walked over to the book, "Something is definitely not right." He frowned, flipping through the pages.
Later that day, Piper and Leo were cuddled up on the couch, watching television. It was peaceful at the moment. It was until Wyatt orbed in. Wyatt looked disheveled and had been crying. Piper and Leo sat up and Piper bounded from the couch to him, comforting him.
"I lost a charge." Wyatt said, trying to be as calm and collected as he could, "It was so brutal, the way she was murdered..."
"Oh, honey!" Piper said, hugging him close.
"You lose some, that's just the way it's meant to be sometimes." Leo said, trying to comfort him.
Chris orbed in beside them, cursing under his breath.
"What's wrong?" Piper asked.
"The club! The contracts fell through, there are rats and to top it all off, most of the crew is sick." Chris said, "The club's my only source of income!"
"Well, those things can be fixed." Piper said, "And we'll help out."
The door slammed, "Big problem! A man almost died at the restaurant because of a peanut allergy and he's threatening to sue!" Melinda said, coming into the sitting room.
"What?!" Piper asked, "What in the Hell!"
"I think we've been sabotaged." Leo said calmly.
"By who?" Piper asked.
"The only person I left with my soup is Drake." Melinda fumed.
"And Drake was supposed to secure the contracts." Chris said angrily.
"Wait a minute, so you guys are trying to insinuate that Drake is sabotaging all of us? And next you'll be saying that he killed my innocent!" Wyatt frowned.
The door shut again and I walked into the sitting room, "Something is very wrong!" I said quickly.
"I'll say." Melinda frowned.
I looked at her oddly before continuing, "I just woke up in my own bed." I said.
"That's it? That's all that happened to you?" Chris asked skeptically.
"No! I wasn't...um...I was at my brother's house. And I must have blacked out after I left and the next thing I know, I'm in my bed and I don't remember the last four hours!" I said quickly, "I don't even remember when I got home!"
"Okay, let's take a step back from all this..." Leo started.
"From what?" I asked, "What's going on?"
"You were at the restaurant and spiked my soup with peanut oil!" Melinda said.
"And earlier, you came by to drop off the contracts for the band and they never got there and suddenly, everybody's sick and I have rats!" Chris said.
"And my innocent died." Wyatt said.
"I don't remember...I honestly don't." I frowned.
"What's weirder is that I told you about the no peanut oil thing and you did it anyways." Melinda frowned, "I think he's possessed."
"What?" I asked.
"Until we work this out, I think you should go to our room." Wyatt said, surveying me.
"You're sending me to my room?" I asked.
"Room." He said, waving his hands causing me to disappear in orbs, "Crystals!" he said, waving his hand again.
"Did you just trap him in that room?" Chris asked.
"Something's not right with him." Wyatt said, "I sensed it earlier."
"We need to find out what's going on with him." Piper said, "I don't know that caging him up is the right thing to do, though."
"Whatever's after us is using him, maybe even turning him. We need him to be safe in that room until we can figure out what's going on." Wyatt said.
"What if it is him, doing all this stuff? Then what?" Chris asked.
"What do you mean?" Wyatt asked.
"He killed an innocent." Chris said, "We have to bind him."
Wyatt shook his head, "No." he said.
"I think he's right. If he's killing innocents, then we have to do something." Melinda added.
"What if he's bi-polar and not just depressed? What if he's schizo? The person he saw in our living room could have been him talking to himself." Wyatt said sadly, "I'm not losing him to a disease."
"No more what if's." Piper said, trying to avoid everything, "We're going to help him."
"Let's go and get the book." Leo said, herding them all to the attic.