Author: Kat Lee
Dedicated To: My beloved Drew, who's been hankering for a new Cole/Piper
Character/Pairing: Cole+/Piper, mild Leo/Piper and mentioned Cole/Phoebe
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 96: Mess
Word Count: 812
Date Written: 21 January 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Spelling Entertainment, not the author, and are used without permission.
“How’s the spell coming?” Piper asks, whisking a mixture as she rushes around where Cole has just stepped into her kitchen.
He turns slowly and gapes incredulously. “It’s . . . coming,” he answers hesitantly. “Piper, what is all this? The way to a man’s heart may be through his stomach, but the way to defeat most Demons isn’t through theirs!”
“I didn’t say it was,” she counters. “I never thought it was. I just . . . “ He watches as she zips around him again, carrying a muffin pan into which she’s just poured the mixture. She pops it into the oven and takes out a pie. She pauses as she turns from the oven and surveys her kitchen in search of a place to put the pie. “ . . . had to do something to keep busy,” she finally finishes her own sentence.
“So I take it you’re done making the potion?”
“I finished that an hour ago. At least an hour ago,” she babbles, stepping around him again and placing the pie on the one empty spot on her table. “The cookies are done,” she remarks a second before a timer chimes. “Do you mind taking them out?”
He turns, bends, and has just taken two trays of cookies that were already beginning to get a touch too brown out of the oven. “Only an hour ago?” he mutters, standing and surveying her mess in the kitchen again. There is food on every available surface. Pies, cookies, and brownies are cooling. There’s also some kind of meat stuffed into a bread whose sight alone makes his mouth water and his stomach growl. He hadn’t even realized how hungry he was until just now. As he stops to consider when he last ate, he can not remember when, but that idea leaves him as she darts around him again, grabbing the cookies.
She lays them on top of two bowls of cookies that have already cooled. He grasps her wrists gently but firmly as she turns from the counter. “Piper,” he breathes her name, wanting to steady her. Now that she’s stopped moving, he can hear the hard pounding of her heart.
“Cole, I -- I just need to stay busy.”
He doesn’t release her. Instead he gazes down into her eyes and sees yet again what a beautiful sister his young lover has. If he hadn’t met Phoebe first, he could have just as easily fallen for this Halliwell sister. Perhaps that’s part of the Charmed Ones’ charm: bewitching any opponent who might otherwise be able to stop them into falling in love with them.
She starts to pull free, but he holds her tight and pulls her closer to him. She gazes up into his dark, enchanting eyes, and he hears her heartbeat triple. “Cole -- “ she starts again to protest, but he cuts her off.
“We’re going to find her, Piper,” he says firmly, breaking eye contact with her and pulling her into a tight, warm hug. “We’re going to rescue Prue.”
“I-I know.” Her heartbeat falters this time. She pauses a moment longer, enjoying the warmth and comfort of his strong arms embracing her. It’s been too long since they last heard from her husband. “But what makes you so certain?” she asks.
“Because I know you. And I know Phoebe,” he quickly adds, “and I know you both will stop at nothing to bring Prue home. We’re going to get her back. You’re going to succeed. She’s going to be fine.”
“I’ve got it!” Phoebe calls, suddenly joining them in the kitchen. She barely glances at them as she mutters, “Hell of a time for the Muses to go on strike.”
“We wouldn’t be in this mess,” Piper says, breaking away from Cole and nervously tucking a strand of dark hair behind her ear, “if it wasn’t for that in the first place!” They’d started out to help one Muse against incredible odds, and now they’re fighting for their sister’s life!
“We’re going to get her back, Piper,” Phoebe tells her firmly. “We’ve got what we need now.”
“And I know where she is,” Leo adds, orbing into the room.
Piper doesn’t look at him or Phoebe as both her sister’s and Cole’s words resound in her head. We’re going to get her back, they had both said, and she knows in her heart it’s true. If her heart beat a little harder and faster while she’d been in Cole’s arms, it was just her nerves. She hadn’t wanted to kiss him. He’s her sister’s boyfriend, after all, and she’s a happily married woman. She kisses her husband’s cheek, reminding herself that he’s a bonafide Angel. “Then let’s go get her,” she announces and leads the way, never once daring to look back at Cole who just smiles and watches her walk. Yes, he could have very easily fallen for her instead!