Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Prue, Phoebe, Darryl, Piper
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 64: Bullet
Word Count: 1,104
Date Written: 9 May 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Spelling Entertainment, not the author, and are used without permission.
She's still staring at the gun on the floor long after its last bullet has been fired, long after she's defeated the woman who wanted to kill her and take her life (as though it's some grand trophy -- if only she knew!), long after what's left of the crazed lunatic has been dragged away in handcuffs. A tea pot whistles as an investigator picks up the weapon with a gloved hand and slides it into a bag. Prue blinks, her mind only now coming to the present.
Phoebe's arms are still tight around her side. "Are you okay?" she whispers, eyes full of concern.
Prue looks into her little sister's eyes and, for the first time in a while, realizes just how much Phoebe has grown. This isn't the Phoebe from before, the one who was so concerned about herself and which hot boyfriends she could steal. This is her little sister who cares far more about her and about the innocents they save on a daily basis than she does herself or any guy. "Y-Yeah," Prue says uncertainly. "Yeah." She looks back again to where the gun had lain and from whence the investigator is now carrying it away in a plastic bag. "I think so."
Phoebe squeezes her. "That was scary."
"Yeah." She nods. That much is definitely for certain. They save innocents every day. They fight evil every day, but this . . . This is a new kind of evil, a kind she didn't expect even after al their battles against Demons, Warlocks, and the like, and it hits too close to home.
"Yeah," Piper says, pressing a steaming cup of hot tea into her hands, hands whose slight trembles Prue only now recognizes. "Drink this. It's Grams old recipe."
"For soothing her nerves." Phoebe grins. "I always wondered if she put something extra in there."
"Yeah," Piper tells her with a pointed look, "camomile and lavender for invoking calmness."
"Are you three okay?" Darryl asks, rushing over to them after the other investigators have finally left. Though she's been in a fog for the last little while, Prue has the distinct feeling that this isn't the first time he's asked this. She lifts her head, shaking her hair back as she does so. "Yeah," she assures him, looking into his fearful eyes. "We are. Thanks to you."
Darryl lets out an audible breath and glances back to where Abby's body had lain after Prue had knocked her out. "I'm just glad she didn't succeed."
"We all are, Darryl," Phoebe agrees gently.
Darryl looks back at all three of them. "I just don't know what I would have done if . . . "
"There's no need to worry about that now," Prue tells him, stopping him from completing his thoughts out loud and smiling reassuringly at him. "We're safe." For now, her mind whispers, but for how long? Still, the other threats are something she and her sisters have grown adept at dealing with. They can and will determine exactly who this Triad, and their agents, are and stop them.
But a human trying to kill her . . . Even now, a chill races down Prue's spine. She sips the tea Piper made her, trying to calm her nerves, but as she lowers her favorite mug, her eyes still go back to the same spot as before: to where Abby and her gun had been. After all the evil they've stopped, she had come so close tonight to being killed by a mortal, by one of the very humans whose lives they've saved time and again.
"Andy would be proud," Darryl says softly, trying to ease Prue's worries.
"Yes." Her gaze flicks back up to his. "Thank you." She smiles at him genuinely this time, and Darryl smiles back this time, the cold fear he's been feeling since their stalker first made herself known finally beginning to ease.
"I need to get back to the precinct, make sure everything gets squared away properly, and file a report if you're sure you don't need me?"
"We'll be fine, Darryl." Prue leaves the protective huddle of her sisters to wrap her arms gently around the investigator who's become such a dear friend. "Thank you," she says again.
He hugs her back. "Any time. It's the least I can do for the . . . for the Charmed Ones, isn't that what you said you and your sisters are called?"
"It's the least I can do after all the lives you've saved." And the promise I made Andy. His last few words go unspoken, but Prue knows. He had promised his partner, her best friend and greatest love, that he would look after them if something ever happened to them. They just hadn't expected that something to be so very mortal in nature. Her skin still has goosebumps just thinking about it.
"It's funny," she says after he's gone, "I always thought it would be something evil to come so close to killing us."
"If I learned anything in New York," Phoebe, still at her side, speaks up quietly, "it's that humans can definitely be evil. Maybe the greatest evil there is, since they choose to be evil when they are."
"What?" Piper asks, casting her younger sister a curious look. "You don't think Demons have a choice?"
"I dunno." Phoebe shrugs. "I mean . . . They're Demons. Who's to say what they have a choice in?"
Prue shakes her head. "I don't know," she says, agreeing. But what she does know is that she'll be here to protect her sisters for as long as she can, both from the Supernaturally Evil and from the evil humans in the world, although she hopes never to have to face another of the latter. She glances around them at the damaged kitchen. "Come on. We have a lot of work to do."
"Tomorrow, Prue," Phoebe says as Leo orbs back in and wraps his arms around Piper. "Tonight, you need to rest."
"I can't sleep, Phoebe, not after -- "
"Yes, you can." She reaches out and hugs her tightly and swiftly. "I'll help you." She catches her hand in hers and leads Prue toward her bedroom. Prue hasn't needed to sleep with her sisters since she was little -- she's never really needed to sleep with Phoebe as Phebs has always been so much younger than herself -- but tonight, she doesn't argue. She just lets Phoebe lead her to her bed, resisting the urge to glance back again at that dreadful spot, and hopes they're always around to protect each other form all the evils in the world.