Leo comes to the sisters with some devastating news that will change The Charmed Ones forever.
Benny’s Report, Day 14
It was an ordinary Wednesday morning and Benny and his team had started to get the hang of how the sisters lived their lives on Prescott Street. They knew that Chris was the first human to wake up at seven o’clock. He would subsequently wake up his older brother and together they woke up Piper with their wailing. Paige would go up half an hour later and make breakfast for everyone. Phoebe was the last one up; she was always so late to her job that she never had the time to sit down to eat with her sisters. Benny suspected that she did this intentionally.
This Wednesday morning was different – before Phoebe was able to escape through the door, Leo had shown up with a grim look on his face. Benny paid attention immediately; he knew something of great importance was about to happen. He also suspected that Mr. Ledin and his so far unknown associates had something to do with whatever the whitelighter was about to say. But Benny would never have been able to guess how devastating the news would be to the sisters - news that would break the Halliwell family apart.
“Well, well look at that! The prodigal father returns!” Phoebe said with a smirk on her face.
“Shut up Phoebe. Leo! Where have you been??? Do you have any idea of how worried I have been and your so… ” Piper looked worriedly at her husband who directed her to sit down. He obviously had something important to say.
“Please Piper, I have some very important things to tell you.” Leo looked haggard and tired. “You better sit down.”
“Ok, but you better be quick Leo because I have a deadline and it has to be… ” Phoebe tried her best at looking very stressed and busy so that she could get out of the kitchen before Leo delivered the bad news. He looked so upset; it couldn’t be anything other than bad news.
“Shut up Phoebe. What’s up Leo? Is it another rising in the underworld? Another Source?” Paige was all business, ready to go off fighting demons in an instant.
“Paige… you might want to sit down as well when I tell you what I have to say.” Leo pointed at one of the empty chairs around the kitchen table. Paige reluctantly sat down.
She sat down beside Piper. The three sisters were all giving Leo their absolute attention and the kitchen was totally silent except for little Wyatt who was munching on a banana. After three seconds of silence Leo’s theatrical pause almost became unbearable. He looked at them, struggling with the words he was about to say.
“Well, it looks like… I don’t know how to say this… but it looks like Paige might not be your sister.”
“WHAT???!!!” Phoebe was the first one to react.
“What are you talking about!!!??? How can she not be…?” Piper looked very upset, almost angry.
Phoebe started to ramble:
“Of course she is our sister! I would know this, I feel this!!!”
“You tell them Elders that they finally crossed the line! They have played with our lives and emotions for the last time!!!” Piper got up from her chair and started to pace around the kitchen.
“Where is Ma or Grams? THEY can tell us the truth!!! Tell them to come down here and explain everything this minute!!!” Phoebe was more or less shouting at this point while her older sister continued to walk around and curse everything that lived up in heaven.
“Piper, Phoebe! Please!” Leo’s voice cut through the sister’s protests. “I know this is painful and hard but you need to listen to what I am saying. After Gideon’s betrayal and… and… Chris’s death, no one of the Elders, including me, knew what to believe anymore. For a while accusations flew in every direction, paranoia and talk about conspiracies was the only thing we were capable of, up in heaven. I must admit that I was probably among them who were the loudest of them all.” As Leo told them this he was looking at youngest son with pain written on his face.
“With good reason Leo. With good reason… ” When Piper said this she couldn’t help giving him an encouraging smile. She still loved him dearly but she also felt how far they had drifted from each other.
“After a while all the Elders calmed down and started an investigation. The investigation uncovered that there actually WAS a conspiracy and that there still is.”
“A conspiracy among the Elders! That’s absurd!!!” Phoebe couldn’t help sounding off her doubts.
“Please let me finish Phoebe.” Leo said. He knew that the sisters would be upset but it was grating his nerves to be constantly interrupted. “You say it’s absurd, but still Gideon was able to murder Chris and HE was an Elder. There is still a conspiracy out there that is trying to kill Chris and Wyatt, trying to prevent two very magical children from growing up and become maybe even more powerful than the Elders… “
“Oh wow! But that doesn’t explain Paige not being our sister.” Phoebe still didn’t want to believe a word Leo had said.
"This conspiracy has been around for a very long time, trying to prevent The Charmed Ones from gaining more power. We just uncovered some documents and that clearly states that Paige isn't your sister. She was placed here to weaken the Charmed Ones but the whole thing misfired and she actually saved you instead of destroying you. Please understand this – Paige herself has nothing to do with this conspiracy. She was merely a tool. She knew nothing of this. Paige is as much of a victim as you are.” Leo said trying to explain how he had started to believe this impossible scenario.
“This is crazy! What do Elders say???” Phoebe was still doubtful.
“They don’t know what to do right now… some have even been talking about reinstating the original Charmed Ones with Prue but… ” Leo stopped and regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth.
“Can they do that???” The hopefulness in Piper’s voice was so apparent for everyone in the kitchen it was embarrassing. Phoebe even winced when she saw the look of Paige’s face when Piper vented her most secret wish – to get Prue back.
Finally Leo spoke. “It was decided against that. Piper, you have no idea how hard it is to turn someone who is dead into a permanently living person again. It is just wrong to do that, so many things can go wrong on so many levels.”
“Then send Mom and Grams down here NOW so we can sort this thing out!”
“We can’t… do that. Since we don’t know what the threat is we can’t really risk them coming down here. Besides, they have all been relocated to a safer place.” Leo didn’t want to get into more details since he actually knew very little of the dead Halliwell Women’s whereabouts.
“There is a safer place than heaven???” Phoebe looked totally perplexed.
“Phoebe, I can’t say more right now – it is all very complicated since Gideon’s death and no one really knows what and who to believe anymore. Their location is very top secret. All I can say is that they are safe in another realm right now.”
“In another REALM???” Phoebe was still totally baffled of the fact that there were other realms out there and some of them were even safer than heaven.
“Yes. So you don’t need to worry about them. I must go now but I promise that I will come back as soon as get more information.” Leo wanted to wrap up the whole discussion so that he could get back to business.
"Leo… " Piper didn't want him to go. They looked at each other and for Piper it felt like it was a giant abyss between them. This time it was Leo that offered her a little encouraging smile.
“I will be back as soon as I can, I promise. Now promise me that you start to look after yourselves and the boys. OK?” Leo almost started to orb before Piper reached out to him.
“Let me follow you out.” Which was a pretty stupid thing for Piper to say to her whitelighter husband who could orb from wherever he stood. Everyone in the kitchen, except maybe Leo himself understood that Piper needed some time alone with her estranged husband.
Piper more or less had to drag him out to the garden.
Left in the kitchen were Phoebe, Paige and the little boys. Paige hadn’t said a word since Leo had dropped his bomb about her not being their sister. Her face was white, paler than Phoebe ever seen Paige’s face before.
"Yes?" Paige looked up and Phoebe could see that her sister was struggling hard to keep it together. Paige's hands were shaking so much that she dropped the spoon she was holding. The clattering sound of the spoon falling to the floor made Wyatt cry. After two seconds Chris started crying as well.
“I… I better go to work now… otherwise Elise will have my head for lunch… We will all talk about this in the evening when I come back. OK?” After those affirming words Phoebe fled to her office. She kept saying to herself that she left because she wanted to give Paige some time alone to recover from the shock, but deep down inside Phoebe knew that she had bailed, when her little sister needed her the most.
In the garden Leo turned to Piper.
"Listen to me Piper, I feel I can't trust anyone up there anymore and I want you to do the same!"
"What do you mean Leo?" She looked at him
"I mean it Piper! Trust no one! They are after our children and you must do everything you can to protect them."
"What are you saying? Should I stop trusting Paige??? C'mon Leo, you know she would rather die a thousand deaths than let anything happen to Wyatt and Chris." She turned her back at him as if she wanted to hide how conflicted her feelings were.
"I'm not telling that Piper, but you must remember; if these documents are true then Paige is a tool in this great conspiracy that wants to destroy the Charmed Ones and kill our sons." When Leo said this he turned her around and wiped off a tear from her cheek.
Then he orbed out. Leaving Piper in the garden with a hammering heart and a feeling of heartbreaking loneliness that chilled her bones. "Goodbye… " She whispered to the few glowing white orbs from her husbands departure that were slowly fading in the cold morning air.
Benny and his team wildly discussed the morning's events that whole day. They all suspected that Mr. Ledin was behind this latest development. The whole team thought it was absolutely brilliant.
When the night came Benny’s team reported back; it was obvious that the three sisters were deeply disturbed by everything Leo had told them.
Björn told them that Piper had been occupied with her two children the whole day. She had even taken them with her when she went to check up some things at P3, never once asking Paige for help.
Agneta hadn’t been able to keep up with Phoebe during the day much to Benny’s frustration. Phoebe on the other hand hadn’t come home yet. Benny guessed she probably would sneak into the house somewhere after midnight when everyone was asleep. Then again, nobody of the sisters would be able to sleep after everything that happened that morning.
Annifrid’s report on Paige’s reaction was definitely the most interesting one. Paige had stayed in her room all day. She had been sitting, curled up, on her bed most of the day looking straight ahead at nothing in particular. She was obviously in shock.
Annifrid who possessed some small telepathic ability told to Benny and the others that on some level Paige wasn’t surprised at all. That Paige always known that it all would end - like every relationship she had with people she loved.
Later, when Benny was writing his report he couldn’t help thinking that his client, Mr. Ledin would be very pleased to know about the recent development in the Halliwell household. He would be pleased but probably not surprised.
But somewhere in the back of Benny’s structured and experienced mind he also wondered what kind of “associates” Mr. Ledin could have if he was able to cook up a conspiracy among the Elders.
To be continued in "Chapter 4. - A Star Is Born"...