"Cole!" ordered Xander. "Get me back to the manor asap. We need to neutralize Paige until we can snap her out of this!"
"But..." protested Phoebe. "You're not in full control of your ice powers yet!"
"True. But I've got my empath powers. I can simply channel her powers right back at her. You guys take the Jeep and we'll meet you there. Cole? Now!"
The half-demon grabbed the young man and shimmered them both away leaving the witches standing in the parking lot of the Social Services beaureau.
"Well, we better get there before somebody gets hurt," said Phoebe. Piper merely nodded her agreement and the pair climbed into the 4x4 and drove back to Prescott street.
Xander and Cole heard the crashes from the Conservatory, when they shimmered in. They were coming from the dining room. Rushing in, they saw Leo dodging and orbing away from various items that Paige was orbing at him. Xander went into action immediately. He threw himself towards Leo, in an attempt to draw her fire and she took the bait. "Lamp!" she demanded. The lamp she indicated disappeared in a shower of sparkles and hurled itself at the newcomer. Xander threw his hands up and focused his empathy on the orbing object. For a brief moment it resisted before launching itself back at her, she dodged, rolling to the side.
"Now, Paige, can we talk about this?" questioned Xander in an attempt to placate her, before sending the vase she had orbed at him straight back at her. She dodged it again. "Guess not" he grumbled.
"Bowl!" the entranced witch grabbed for a decorative crystal bowl and hurled it with all her magical might. Xander concentrated and grabbed it in midflight. Time to change tactics
he thought. Channelling her orbing power, Xander pushed it through the room next to him, and made it arc around through the hallway and crash against her skull, knocking her flat out, just before Piper and Phoebe burst through the front door.
"What did you do?" demanded the eldest witch.
"Just knocked her out," replied Xander calmly. "She'll recover. Until then, we need a plan."
"Maybe there's some kind of Wiccan exorcism in the Book of Shadows," offered Piper. She went to go upstairs when the power started to fluctuate. The eldest Halliwell immediately stopped, seeing a dark-haired stranger standing in the hallway. "Who are you?" she asked, before the stranger's eyes glowed before turning completely black. Power emanated from him and hurled Piper up through the staircase.
"Piper!" bellowed Leo. Followed by Xander and Phoebe's exclaimations.
Phoebe ran towards the stairs as the man hurled an energy sphere at her. She levitated over it and it crashed into the dining room table. Phoebe immediately levitated into a forward kick, but the stranger disappeared in a flash of flames leaving her to crash into a cabinet. Piper struck, blasting him into pieces as Xander pulled the now-conscious Paige to her feet. The Source, for that's who it had to be, sent the young man flying before reforming in front of Paige. The newest Halliwell stood there gaping at him.
Letting out a startled "Ooh!" Phoebe pulled the enchanted sunglasses onto her face, gazing at the other man in the room. She saw a cloaked figure, but no features in the deep hood. "That's him...that's the..." she began going over to the others.
"I know who that is," said Piper refusing to put on the proffered glasses.
The man spoke with an echoing voice. "Your powers are strong, but are they going to be enough without the Power of Three?"
A nervous Paige asked, "Shane? What's going on?"
Shane's voice returned to normal. "It's okay, honey. I'm here now," he said as he slowly moved towards her.
"Stay away from me."
"She still has free will. You can't force her to choose," broke in Leo.
"Oh, but she's already chosen," insisted the Source. "Haven't you? Come with me. You'll be safe forever, I promise."
"He's lying out his ass Paige. Don't listen to the bastard," entreated Xander.
The Source ignored them all. "They only want you for your power. He can't contribute to the Power of Three, so they'll take you instead. You don't have to share it, it's yours." Fire flashed and Paige's boss stood before her.
"You've already seen what you can do with it. You do what nobody else could do." Again the fire flashed and the mother of the child Paige was trying to save appeared.
"You nearly saved my son from his father, from all the pain and suffering he's put him through," said the woman, before the Source's form shifted into that of the boy's.
"Please help me. Don't let him hurt me any more," pleaded the child as Paige shook her head in disbelief. "You're my only hope."
"Paige! Snap out of it!" demanded Xander. "That's not the kid! It's all a lie!"
The confused girl took the boy's hand as Phoebe rushed forward saying "No!" loudly. Just before the child's eyes turned black and he held out his hand, levitating Phoebe and electrocuting her. Paige turned to look at her half-sister as she danced in the air screaming for help.
"PAIGE! NOW!" bellowed their cousin.
Paige turned and knocked the Source down, releasing Phoebe, who collapsed to the floor. Paige finally joined her sisters as the Source of All Evil shifted back into Shane's body, and she seemed to come out of a trance.
"I guess blood's a little thicker than evil," said Piper sardonically.
Shane's body shook as the Source left it to stand in an incorporeal body. "I have broken the Charmed circle before. I'll do it again. Besides, it wasn't a complete loss, thanks to Belthazor."
"What did you do to him?" demanded Phoebe.
"Oh my god!" came a voice from beside the door. It was the Inspector with a video camera.
"Hey, Inspector! Are you completely stupid?" cried Xander, just before the Source attacked the man, sending him flying in a shower of sparks to be impaled on a coat hook. The inspector fell off and Xander rushed forward, tearing off his shirt to press into the wound in an attempt to stop the bleeding. He may not have liked cops, but he wasn't gonna just let one die.
The Source, for his part, flashed out of the manor, and the family rushed forward. Leo moved around the girls and took over. Xander pulled the shirt away to give the whitelighter better access to the injury. The puncture was healed and Xander helped the Inspector to his feet.
"How'd you do that?" asked Paige.
"That's what whitelighters do. We heal good people."
"We have to go find Cole," said Phoebe before walking out the door, the others soon followed her, while the Inspector attempted to check for the injury. He grabbed his camera and checked it.
"Sorry. Already erased the tape," said Xander. "Can't have it falling into the wrong hands, you know."
Cole lay near the road, gasping for air, a hole through his abdomen. Piper immediately froze him. "Heal him."
"You know that it's against the rules," protested her husband.
"Screw the rules. The elders owe us."
"Damn!" swore a male voice, before Xander arrived on the scene. "That looks nasty. He must have been taken after he got me into the manor. I was a little occupied. By the way, I took care of the Inspector and his video tape," he reported.
"Even if I could, I could only heal his human half. That won't be enough power to save him."
"Aren't I half-whitelighter?" broke in Paige. "I mean, couldn't I use my half to offset his half?"
"It's worth a try," allowed her brother-in-law. "Take my hand. Hold your other hand over his heart." Golden energy limned the wound and it disappeared.
"That was good right?" asked the Social Worker.
"That was very good," replied her oldest sister. "Let's just hope it wasn't all for nothing."
The family moved to P3 to celebrate. As they talked over various thing while sipping drinks, Xander noticed a familiar figure moving towards them through the crowd.
Paige approached from the other direction and after an awkward moment, joined her family and they talked of Shane and how he left because something strange had happened that somehow involved her.
As the girls left to show Paige something about good magic, Xander met with an old friend. "Jess? Is that you? I thought you were dead!"
"The Elders decided you needed a Whitelighter so that Leo could watch the Charmed Ones. I'm part of a new type of Whitelighter group. We were formed specifically to guide witches who lived on Hellmouths. I've been assigned to you, Willow, and Tara."
"You know about Tara?" asked Xander incredulously.
"I'm gonna be her Whitelighter. Of course I know about her."
"Willow is gonna freak. And Buffy...she blames herself you know. She says it's her fault you got turned."
"It doesn't matter, buddy. I'm back and I intend to stay. Besides, you need all the help you can get. After all, somebody's gotta keep you out of trouble."
"HEY!" protested Xander as Jesse grabbed him and hauled him out the door.
"By the way, Jenny, Kendra, and Joyce all say hi," said Jesse as they orbed to Xander's hotel room to get ready to go home.