The X-Philes - Charmed: Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble 3

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Nightclub, 11.30am

Piper is sitting at the bar going through the stock sheets and writing up her weekly order, her barman is cleaning up after the previous night. Piper looks up and sees a man coming through the door. 'Salesman on the offchance' she thinks. No, he hasn't got that I-can-do-you-a-great-deal look on his face. In fact his face says law enforcement. Piper sighs. Pheobe had called her an hour ago and told her about the FBI agent at the hospital. She'd also told her about the vision she'd had and would tell her about it when everyone was at home.

'Can I help you?' asks Piper.

'Yeah, I'm Agent Doggett from the FBI.' Doggett replies. He fumbles in his pocket for his ID. Piper sees small balls of white light swirling around - that meant Leo was about to orb in.

'Ohh, eek!' squeaks Piper. She raises her hands and time freezes. She turns to face a now fully-formed Leo. 'Why can't you use the door like everyone else?' Leo smiles.

'Sorry! I did check it was safe. He must have appeared when I was in mid orb. What does he want?' he says.

'He's with the FBI investigating the attack the other night. Pheobe's
already had a run-in with one at the hospital.' replies Piper. Leo looks
Doggett up and down.

'Hmm he's got that G-man look about him, could have stepped off one of J Edgar Hoover's recruitment posters.' he says. Piper frowns then smiles. Sometimes it was easy to forget her husband had been dead for sixty years. Leo had been killed in 1942 during the battle for Guadalcanal. After that the Elders had decided to make him a guardian angel and now he was her husband. She had often wondered what marrage guidance councillers would make of her situation. She smiled again.

'Honey they're not called G-men anymore.' He grins sheepishly. 'He's going to unfreeze any minute. Get behind the bar and pretend you're fixing the tap or something.' she says. Leo ducks behind the bar as Doggett unfreezes.

'... I'd like to ask you about the attack the other night.' Doggett
continues as Leo stands up from behind the bar.

'All fixed.' he says as he looks from one to the other. 'Umm have I missed something?'

'No, honey, this is Agent Doggett. He's with the FBI. This is my husband Leo.' says Piper. 'So how can we help?' Doggett looks suspiciously at Leo.

'I'd just like to know what happened here the other night.' he replies.

'Well we heard screams and went out to investigate. We found a woman lying on the floor. Leo administered first aid then the cops turned up.' Piper shrugs. 'That's about it. Not much more I can tell you.' Leo nods.

'That's about all that happened.' Leo adds. Doggett is still eyeing him suspiciously.

'You heard a woman scream outside a busy nightclub?' he states. Piper and Leo look at each other.

'It was early so it wasn't that busy.' she replies.

'You said your husband administered first aid. How badly injured was she?' Doggett asks.

'Erm, well, she was unconsious when we got there. I checked for injuries to the head but couldn't see any. Other than that just a couple of scratches on her neck.' Leo replies.

'You checked for head injuries? Bit advanced for basic first aid. Did you know what you were doing?' muses Doggett.

'Leo's a former army medic.' Piper adds quickly.

'You must have seen action in the Gulf then.' he says. Leo nods cautiously.

'Where were you?' Leo looks to Piper for help.

'He was right up there in the front line, weren't you honey!' he nods again. She leans over to whisper to Doggett. 'He doesn't like to talk about it, not even to me.' Doggett can't help noticing the pentagram on her necklace. Maybe there is something in what Cortez had said about these sisters.

'Ok, I'll be in touch later.' says Doggett as he turns to leave. Piper leans her head on the bar and groans.

'He's going to be difficult to put off. He's got that I-don't-believe-a-word-you're-saying look about him.' Leo puts his arm around her.

'Maybe you should start brewing a memory erase potion.' He laughs.

South Bay Social Services, 12.30pm

Paige is sitting at her desk. The two people in Mr Cowens office made her nervous. She'd had phone calls from both Piper and Pheobe about their visits from the FBI and she was sure that these two were them. Mr Cowens opens the door and beckons.

'Paige could you come into my office for a moment.' he says. Paige tries to stay calm. Her orbing powers tended to go a little haywire when she was nervous. She comes in and closes the door.

'What can I do for you?' she asks.

'This is Agent Doggett and Agent Scully. They'd like to ask you some
questions about the attack outside P3 the other night.' Cowen replies.

'Miss Matthews, can you tell us what happened that night?' says Scully.

'Well we went out after we heard screaming. We saw a woman lying on the ground. Leo went over to help. Cole went to look to see if the guy was still about but he wasn't. The police turned up, end of story.' she says.

'So, as the club was quiet you heard the screams for help?' Doggett remarks. Paige nods. 'And your brother-in-law managed to diagnose head injuries. How'd he do that?'

'Umm I think he dropped out of med school. I... erm... haven't been in the family long. Piper and Pheobe are my half sisters. We kinda met after Prue's funeral. It's a long story that you dont want to hear.' she
states firmly.

'For now.' he replies. He notices the pentagram on her necklace. 'Pretty, where'd you get it?' Paige smiles.

'Present from my sisters.' she replies. 'Is that all?'

'Not quite. Where did your brother in law go to medical school?' Scully enquires.

'I have no idea, you'll have to ask Piper.' says Paige.

'I intend too.' mutters Doggett. 'How many jobs has this guy had?'

Halliwell Manor, 2.00pm

Piper, Pheobe, Paige and Leo are in the kitchen discussing their visits from Doggett and Scully. Pheobe has just finished telling the others about her vision.

'... so he calls out her name as Azrael drops the body and starts to
grow... and glow.' finishes Pheobe. She hands over a picture of Azrael's
alter ego she's drawn.

'And this is the guy who turned into Azrael.' remarks Piper 'What I can't understand is why you should get a vision of this Monica person from Agent Scully's tissues.' Pheobe shrugs.

'Who knows how it works. All I know is we have to save this woman or Azrael gets his powers back.' she says.

'How do you propose we do it! Go up to Agent Doggett and say 'oh by the way do you know someone called Monica, cos if you do tell her to stay away from San Francisco or she'll be a demons lunch and the said demon will regain all his power and if you'll forgive the pun all hell will be let loose.' He'll tie us to the stake personally retorts Paige. 'I don't think he believed the story I told him about hearing screams outside P3. He seemed more interested in Leo.'

'What did he want to know about me?' asks Leo.

'Where you got your medical skills from. I told him you'd dropped out of med school, did I do wrong?' she says noticing the faces.

'I told him he was an army medic.' cries Piper.

'Ah, I told Agent Scully he's a paramedic.' admits Pheobe, noting the look of anguish on Page's face. She smiles. 'Don't worry sweetie. We've never had a cover story for Leo's medical knowlege. We all dropped a clanger today.'

Paige smiles weakly.

'He's not going to be put off easily. He's got that determined look about him.' remarks Piper. 'So what's the plan? Write a spell to vanquish Azrael.'

'Find someway to get the FBI off our tail. Maybe Darryl can send them on a wild goose chase.' says Paige. Leo shakes his head.

'We can't let Darryl risk his job for us. Anyway, they're involved in this Azrael thing and, according to the Elders, they're involved in the much bigger picture.' The sisters stare at him. 'They think the Source is involved in a power struggle. Satan has power on Earth now and the Source's power is in the underworld. Unfortunatly they need each other and have an uneasy alliance. One would like to see the other dumped on his ass. You know the end of the world that was predicted in the bible? Well that is happening and it can be avoided. These agents are the key to defeating Satan. The thing is it needs four of them to do it and Satan needs the Source's help to get rid of them. If he succeeds in getting rid of the agents they've agreed to a power sharing thing and that's where Azrael comes in. One of them is in a coma and one of them is the innocent we have to protect, Monica. The only way we can help is if they trust us. The Elders think that whatever the outcome of this thing with Azrael is will shape the destiny of the world.' Leo replies.

'But the Source can't be trusted and neither can the devil. What makes them think the other can be trusted?' asks Paige.

'Even the ultimate evil needs allies.' he replies. Cole looks uncomfortable as Balthazar his demon half was once the Source's ally.

'They need each other until one or other of them is vanquished and then it's every demon for himself and God help Earth.' finishes Cole.

'But these guys are trying to out us. How can we protect them and us at the same time?' says Pheobe 'This Monica must be the key. If Azrael is killing witches with empathic powers then she must be one. Once we meet she's going to know about us. I got this feeling of you know... oneness. She's not a witch but she'll believe us. She's ok I'm sure. We have to trust someone. Darryl and Andy were fine with it, maybe she will be too.'

The others look at her with hesitation.

'Y'know, Pheobe, I think you're right. We are going to have to trust her but when the time's right. We can't just blurt out we're witches.' replies Piper.


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