Disclaimer: “Angel”, along with all related characters and concepts, was created by Joss Whedon and Co., so they don’t belong to me, while “Charmed” characters and concepts belong to Constance M Burge. Anyway, enjoy
Feedback: As always, I’d appreciate it
AN: Same rules as last time; whatever you don’t see here- such as the sisters’ conversation in the kitchen where Paige gets frustrated at Piper and Phoebe’s attitudes, or Cole’s initial meetings with Phoebe and Darryl- happened the same as they did in the showThe Love of a Vampire
“OK,” Paige sighed as she walked into the lounge of the mansion, putting her bag and umbrella off to one side as she did so, “I just cut work on the day of my big promotion and sped through a rainstorm to get here; what is the nine-”
Her voice trailed off as she saw the sight before her; Piper and Leo were standing behind the couch while a young woman with short blonde hair lay on it, her bare legs stretched out before her as Phoebe used a hair-dryer over them while sitting on the table, dressed in a pink dressing-gown that Paige couldn’t immediately recognise.
The disturbing thing was, as Paige entered, she saw what looked like scales
on the woman’s legs before they vanished under the hot air being generated by the hair-dryer…
“One… one…?” she finished, looking in confusion at the sight before her. She knew that it wasn’t the most polite thing to do, but she could hardly help it if it was a bit of a surprise to come home and find someone with scales on her leg, even if the scales had just vanished as she entered.
“Phoebe found a mermaid,” Leo said by way of explanation (It wasn’t much, Paige freely admitted, but at least it accounted for the scales; maybe the girl just lost her tail when she wasn’t wet or something like that).
“Actually, she found me,” Phoebe corrected. “On the way to a very
important court date, I might add…”
Paige was just grateful that Phoebe had been laughing when she said that; as much as she wanted Phoebe to finish the issue of Cole’s continued legal presence in her life as soon as possible, she didn’t want to give the woman who seemed to be their latest innocent the wrong impression about them.
“Hi,” the woman- mermaid
- said, standing up to shake Paige’s hand. “I’m Mylie; you must be Paige.”
Before Paige could reply to that, the door opened once again, the familiar sound of Angel’s footsteps soon reaching her ears as he walked towards the lounge.
“OK,” he said, as he walked into the room, “what’s the sit- uh, hi?” he said, nodding uncertainly at Mylie as he registered her presence. “I’m-”
“Angel, right?” Mylie said, stepping forward to shake his hand with a broad smile as she looked between the two of them. “I know who you are; the two of you have a very
big underwater fan base.”
“Really?” Angel said, blinking in surprise at that statement; only the slight smile on his face betrayed how pleased he was to hear that comment.
“You’re a mermaid?” Paige said, barely even registering Angel’s smile as she stared incredulously at the woman before her. “You guys actually exist
“Uh, excuse me,” Piper said, raising an inquiring hand to attract Mylie’s attention, “when you said “sea hag”, did you mean like “old woman” hag or “evil magic” hag? Because see, I'm not really in the battle mood today…”
“Uh… she’s kinda both,” Mylie replied, looking apologetically at Piper.
,” Piper said, looking away from Mylie in a manner that made it clear how uncomfortable she was with the current topic.
,” Paige said, waving a hand dismissively as she looked at Mylie with renewed interest; hopefully if she focused Mylie’s attention on her- particularly by discussing relatively trivial matters-, the mermaid wouldn’t think too much about Piper’s rudeness. “What’s life like under the sea? Does your skin get wrinkly? Does algae pose a personal hygiene problem?”
“Uh, Paige?” Angel said, walking over to place a hand on his girlfriend’s shoulder. “Maybe we should just give her some time…”
“No, it’s OK; I don’t mind,” Mylie said, nodding reassuringly at Angel before she turned back to Paige. “Actually, there's nothing like being a mermaid. Swim in the open sea all day… explore endless wonders… it's… it’s pure freedom.”
“Sounds like heaven,” Phoebe said, standing up as she spoke. “I’m sure you want to get back; I can drop you off at the beach on my way-”
“Wait, you don’t understand,” Mylie interjected, looking over at Phoebe. “It was
a great life… for the first few hundred years.”
“You’re immortal?” Angel said, looking at Mylie with renewed understanding; Paige supposed that if anyone was going to understand that
particular problem it would be Angel, even if his immortality wasn’t the same ‘type’ as Mylie’s (After all, Mylie certainly didn’t seem
to be technically dead).
“Yeah,” Mylie confirmed, nodding at Angel. “We can spend eternity at sea, because our hearts are… well, some say are as cold as the water. But sometimes a mermaid gets lonely, and her heart warms, and… she wants more.”
“Is that what happened to you?” Angel asked, looking with a renewed sympathy at the mermaid. Paige briefly wondered if she should feel jealous, but quickly pushed that thought aside; from what Angel had told her of his initial meeting with Whistler, he’d lived pretty much the same way that Mylie had- in the ‘disdaining human emotions and contact’ sense; life on the streets definitely
wasn’t as interesting as life in the ocean sounded- prior to meeting her, so it was only natural he’d sympathise with her.
“The ocean’s floor is littered with bones of mortals who died for love; I just… felt that I had to know why
,” Mylie explained, looking up at Angel. “You can understand that, right?”
“Better than you can imagine,” Angel confirmed, reaching over to give Paige’s shoulder an affectionate squeeze; Paige returned the gesture with a soft smile as she glanced back at him.
“Now, these… bones-” Piper began.
“Is that why you went to the sea hag?” Angel interjected; clearly he’d recognised, like Paige had, where Piper was most likely going with that particular line of questioning and wanted to cut it off before she could get started. “So that you could feel love?”
“Yes,” Mylie confirmed, nodding at Angel. “If a mortal professes his love to a mermaid, she becomes human. The sea hag agreed to give me legs, but if I didn't find love before her deadline I would have to give her my immortality.”
“All that for a guy?” Phoebe said, an incredulous smile on her face as she stood up from the table. “Boy, did you get taken for a ride…”
“I’m making an effort to not
be insulted here,” Angel said, looking pointedly over at Phoebe as Paige tried to suppress an amused smile. Angel still wasn’t great at it, but he could actually sound almost human on some occasions after spending the last few months out with her again; given how quiet he’d been before he started dating her, she regarded any kind of progress as good progress right now.
“But I did find love,” Mylie said, her tone sounding uncertain even as she spoke.
“I-I mean, um… I think I did,” she admitted, growing increasingly uncomfortable as Phoebe looked at her. “But… I might be dead before I get to find out for sure; Craig's getting on a plane to New York soon.”
“Oh, no-no-no, this is good,” Piper said, looking around at the others. “All we gotta do is find the fish lover, get him to spill his guts and then we don't have to face the sea hag.”
“Piper!” Paige said, glaring over at her sister.
“What?” Piper asked.
Deciding to put the issue of Piper’s nonchalant reaction aside for another time- with an innocent mermaid at risk, nothing could be accomplished by them getting into an argument right now, even if Piper’s sudden non-confrontational attitude didn’t exactly encourage her-, Paige turned back to look at Mylie. “If your boyfriend's love can make you human, why don't you just tell him you're a mermaid?”
“You mean, that I'm a genetic freak with a fish tail coated in glandular slime?” Mylie countered, a sceptical expression on her face as she looked back at Paige.
“She raises a good point,” Leo said, nodding slightly as he indicated Angel. “I mean, look how long it took you to admit to Paige that you were a vampire.”
“That’s not really
the same thing,” Angel replied; he wasn’t denying that the essential facts were similar, but he’d hardly concealed his identity solely because of what he was. “I mean, Paige already knew
about the supernatural by the time I met her-”
“Uh, as fascinating as it is for my love life to be used as an example at a time like this, can we please stick to Mylie
here?” Paige said, looking up at Leo and Angel before she turned back to Mylie. “Look, you may be half fish, but you're still a woman, and women… you know, they generally know when a man's in love even before he does.”
!” Phoebe said, almost laughing as she looked at Paige. “If I wrote that slop in my column I'd be driven out of town!”
“OK, that is it
!” Paige said, glaring over at her sisters as she stood up. “Can I see you two in the kitchen?”As the three sisters walked out of the room, Angel and Leo exchanged a brief, awkward glance; this was the first time Angel had really been alone in a room with any member of the Halliwell family other than Paige since his soul had been restored.
“So,” Angel said after a moment’s pause, turning to look at Mylie. “How did you meet
“Uh… ran into him at a coffee house while I was looking for a job,” Mylie replied, looking almost amused at the normality of the encounter. “He bought me a drink, we started talking, and, well…”
She shrugged. “What can I say?”
“Hey, at least it’s simpler than how I met Paige; a balance demon took me to see her and then I actually met
her a few months later after I’d… cleaned up a bit,” Angel said, smiling uncertainly at Mylie as he sat down beside her; social conversation still wasn’t something he’d quite managed to get the hang of, but at least for the moment he had somebody to talk to who wouldn’t ask any awkward questions if he did anything stupid.
“Yeah, Craig and I definitely met in a more… traditional… way,” Mylie said, smiling slightly at the vampire before she sighed. “It’s just… have you ever had that feeling where you know you did something wrong without knowing what
“All the time,” he said, smiling reassuringly at her. “It’s always hard to know how they’ll react to what you do when you’ve spent years operating outside society; watching stuff happen from the outside’s no substitute for living in it.”
“I’ve always felt that you should just go with what you feel you should do; if he loves you, he’ll be prepared to ignore any little ‘quirks’,” Leo added, nodding reassuringly at Mylie before he stood up. “Well, I’ll just check to see how things are going through there;
As Leo turned and headed towards the kitchen, Angel was only slightly surprised to see Phoebe run past the Whitelighter as she hurried out of the kitchen (Angel didn’t bother trying to say anything to her; Leo and Piper might have been more accepting of his return to their lives since he regained his soul, but his relationship with Phoebe was still awkward at best) and ran towards the door; evidently she wanted to get the court date dealt with as soon as possible.
“Uh… is she all right?” Mylie asked, looking anxiously at Angel as she indicated the direction that Phoebe had just walked in.
“Don’t worry, it’s not you,” Angel said; his social skills might not be the best, but even he knew when someone was worried they’d caused offence. “She’s just… well, she’s had a busy time of it lately, and you just caught her in the middle of something she’d like to take care of; it’s nothing personal.”
“Oh,” Mylie said, lowering her head slightly as a regretful expression crossed her face. “I… uh…”
“Didn’t think about timing when you dropped in to ask for help?” Angel finished for her, smiling reassuringly at her. “Trust me, there’s never
a good time to have to vanquish evil; all we can do is take it as it comes and hope that it won’t screw up our lives too much. You just came at a bad time, that’s all; we’ll manage.”
-ly my point!” Paige said as she hurried back into the room, followed closely by Leo and Piper. “OK, Mylie, I need to know which flight Craig’s going to be on; I’ll see if I can stop him from getting on that plane while Piper, Leo and Angel work on a means of vanquishing the sea hag.”
“Uh… are you sure that’s the right thing to do? Mylie asked, looking uncertainly at Paige. “I mean, what if he decides to-”
“Hey, if you don’t want me to tell him about the mermaid thing, I won’t bring it up; I’m just saying that you need to at least try
and give him another chance to tell you how he feels,” Paige said, looking reassuringly at Mylie. “Hey, if I hadn’t given Angel a chance to explain himself back when I first found out he was a vampire, I’d have probably ended up staking the guy; sometimes you need to go with your gut and hope for the best.”
After a moment’s uncomfortable silence as Mylie stared back at Paige, the former- currently indeterminate, Angel amended; Mylie was still
a mermaid, she just wasn’t one full-time at the moment- mermaid sighed.
“OK,” she said, her voice low as she spoke. “I’ll… I’ll tell you what I can.”
A couple of hours later, Angel, Leo, Piper and Mylie sat in the living room, currently watching the television as they waited for news from Paige or Phoebe; consulting the Book of Shadows hadn't turned up much about vanquishing the sea hag, so, given her own abilities at spell-writing weren't the best, Piepr had decided that the best thing to do was wait until Phoebe and Paige came back from their current locations. Phoebe, the last they'd heard, was still at the courthouse with Darryl arranging her divorce from Cole, while Paige had orbed to the airport to try and find Craig before he could get on his flight, but given that they didn’t want freak him out too
much by introducing magic to him in such a blatant manner, she would only be driving back with him rather than orbing him there directly.
The fact that they’d had to wait this long for Paige to get back at least suggested that she’d managed to convince Craig to come back with her, but that didn’t mean that the waiting was something they enjoyed. Leo had suggested watching the television to try and get a better chance to relax, but so far the results weren’t working; the weather report they’d stumbled across, providing shockingly detailed pictures of the results of the storm that was currently striking San Francisco, had only left Piper even more concerned than she’d been before.
“Now,” Piper said, lowering the volume as she turned to look at Mylie after a picture of a particularly large wave appeared on the screen, “the book says that the sea hag has power over her natural environment; would that be, like… rainstorms?”
“Yeah,” Mylie confirmed. “Rainstorms, hurricanes…”
“Hurricanes?” Piper repeated, looking anxiously over at the mermaid at that last statement.
“Even tidal waves,” Mylie finished.
“Leo…” Piper said, looking over at her husband after a moment’s uncomfortable pause, “she said tidal waves; how far do tidal waves travel
“OK, can you two just… give us a moment?” Angel asked, standing up and grabbing Piper’s arm to drag her off to one corner of the room; he freely acknowledged that, as Piper’s husband, Leo had a greater right
to talk to her, but at the same time he felt that he was probably the better candidate to encourage her to get over this current… mood.
“What’s gotten into
you?” he hissed, looking critically at the witch as soon as he was sure they were out of range of Mylie’s hearing. “You’re supposed
to be a protector of the innocent; you’re acting like a complete coward
“Look, is it my
fault if I don’t feel like myself at the moment?” Piper countered, hissing in frustration at the vampire. “It’s not like you
haven’t stayed out of our fights at times-”
“Staying away from daylight fights because I’d burn up in direct sunlight is not
the same as what you’re doing here; you’re panicking just because you had a bad family experience with a demon like
this, even though you defeated
that demon later!” Angel countered. “Look, can you at least try
and make an effort to show that you care
about what happens to Mylie?”
care-” Piper countered.
“Then act like you’re actually making an effort
, will you?” Angel replied, glaring at her. “Mylie came here for the Charmed Ones
her the Charmed Ones and do
something to help her, OK?”
,” Piper sighed, before she turned around to look at her husband as he sat on the couch. “Leo, any chance you can check to see if the Elders have anything we can use?”
“Sure,” Leo said, nodding briefly at her and Angel as he stood up. “I’ll try and be quick.”
No sooner had Leo orbed out of the room than the sound of the front door opening was heard in the room, followed closely by Paige walking in the living room followed by a tall man in a suit who- judging by the way he looked at Mylie- could only be Craig.
“Hey,” Craig said, smiling uncertainly at Mylie.
“You came?” Mylie said, standing up to look at him with an uncertain expression on her face.
“Yeah, Paige… told me your life was in danger,” Craig said, nodding briefly at her, his uncertainty about this situation flashing briefly across his face before he assumed a more serious expression. “What’s going on?”
“I need to know how you really feel about me,” Mylie answered.
Craig couldn’t stop a frustrated sigh from escaping his lips at that comment; evidently Mylie had been trying to convince him to talk about this subject for a while now.
“I can’t believe we’re back on this
,” he groaned, before he turned to look at Angel, Piper and Paige. “What, are you three in on this joke or what?”
“Trust me on this; this is not
a joke,” Angel said, shaking his head resolutely. “I get
how strange this might seem, but you have
to tell her how you feel-”
“What is this, the Delusion Club?” Craig said, cutting Angel off before he turned back to look at Mylie. “Come on, tell me what’s happening
“I…” Mylie began, before she seemingly lost her nerve and shook her head. “I can’t.”
“‘You can’t’?” Craig repeated, looking incredulously at the part-mermaid before him. “You yank me out of a business meeting, your friend ambushed me at the airport, I miss my plane and you can't tell me why?”
“No…” Mylie replied apologetically, her voice low.
“OK, buddy,” Piper said, stepping forward to glare at Craig. “Look, you obviously
wouldn't be here if you didn't care, so why don't you just… tell
her that you love her, for crying out loud?”
,” Paige said, leaning over to speak to her sister in a low whisper.
“What?” Piper said, glancing back at Paige. “If he doesn’t do this, then we’ve gotta fight the evil… person,” she amended at the last minute, evidently remembering to take Craig’s continued presence into account.
“You know what?” Craig said, raising a frustrated hand to cut off any further conversation before Angel could even try to say something to defuse the situation. “I'm outta here.”
“Craig, wait!” Mylie yelled, standing up to move after him, prompting him to turn around and look at her. “You want to know what I’m hiding from you?”
Reaching over to a vase that was positioned on a nearby table, Mylie removed the flowers that were currently inside the vase and sat back down on the sofa. “OK.”
-” Angel began, before the mermaid in question tipped the vase water over her legs, causing her legs to almost automatically grow gold scales and merge together to become her old tail.Great
… Angel groaned inwardly, as Craig stared in shock
“Please,” Mylie said, looking pleadingly at Craig, “don't be afraid; it's still me.”
“What… what are
you?” Craig asked, clearly shocked at the sight before him. “Geez…”
Before anyone could move to stop him, he raced out of the door, leaving the mermaid, the vampire and the two witches to stare at the area where he had once stood, a clearly devastated look on Mylie’s face as Paige and Angel exchanged sympathetic glance with each other.
They’d barely had any time to realise what had just happened before a gust of wind blew through the living room, culminating in a woman in what looked like her mid-fifties simply appearing in the middle of the room out of a pool of hat looked like water but was almost certainly anything but normal water.
If this wasn’t the Sea Hag, Angel would be very
“Did you find a vanquishing spell?” Paige asked, looking anxiously over at Piper, only to see her sister backing away from the Sea Hag, her face blank even as her eyes clearly conveyed terror.
“Piper, freeze her
!” Angel yelled, shifting into a combat stance even as Piper flicked her hands at the woman standing before them. As the woman raised her hand to create a water ball of some sort, Angel seized his chance; before she could do anything, Angel lunged towards the woman, arms outstretched as he prepared to grab her and hurl her to the floor…
Only for him to fly right through her and hit the wall behind her, his hair and coat suddenly as wet as if he’d decided to go swimming while fully dressed; evidently the sea hag was only as solid as she needed to be to accomplish whatever goal she had in mind. Even as he rolled over to get back onto his feet, Angel heard the sea hag hurl the water ball at something before he suddenly took a powerful blast of water directly to his face, preventing him from fully registering what was going on in front of him as he was sent hurtling into the wall once again.
The subsequent impact was so powerful that Angel was more than slightly certain that he would have broken his neck if he’d been a human; as it was, he was going to be out of it for a few minutes even with his vampire strength and endurance. Even with his best effort, Angel could only just focus enough to hear what sounded like running water and Mylie calling to someone for help… something was wrong… he knew
he had to do something…
Then the noise vanished, and, even as he weakly hauled himself back to his feet, his head still ringing from the force of the blow- that water must have hit him really
hard-, he could see that it was too late to do any good; Paige was standing in the middle of the living room, dripping wet, and Piper was standing shakily behind the sofa, while Mylie and the sea hag were conspicuous by their absence.Damnit
… Angel groaned, as he looked around the now innocent-free living room as Paige glared at Piper.
They’d barely even started to deal with their latest crisis, and not only was their innocent was in the hands of the demon they’d been meant to protect her from, but their strongest magic-based fighter was suffering from a panic attack.
There were some occasions where Angel wondered if it wouldn’t have been simpler for him to have just stayed evil after getting his soul back the first time around…