Author: Kat Lee
Dedicated To: My beloved Drew, who requested a new Cole/Piper
Character/Pairing: (pre?)Cole+/Piper, Kit, Cole/Phoebe, Leo/Piper
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 113: Flat and my sweet Drew's request for a new Cole/Piper
Word Count: 1,539
Date Written: 3 June 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Spelling Entertainment, not the author, and are used without permission.
Piper turns from the stove, a fresh tray of cookies balanced in her hands. Kit spits, his ears laying back against his head. She jumps and almost drops her cookies but steadies the tray just in time. She almost has it on the counter when a Demon shimmers into the room right before the hissing, Siamese cat. This time, with a sharp exclamation of “Cole!”, Piper does drop her cookies.
He reacts swiftly, grabbing the piping hot tray from her hands and using it to catch each cookie. In the blink of Piper’s eyes, he’s caught all eighteen cookies and is turning to sit the tray on the counter himself. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to make you lose your cookies.”
She glowers at him. “Not. Funny.” Yet her lips are twisted into a wry smirk against the urge she feels to grin. She’s still surprised he managed to catch them all -- and with his bare hands, at that! --, but it will take far more than that for a Demon, especially one who’s dating her baby sister, to earn her trust.
Cole shrugs. “I wasn’t trying to be,” he tells her as he turns his attention to Kit. The cat still has his ears laid flat against his chocolate-tinted head and his mouth open in a silent hiss. “You and I have got to become friends,” he says, slowly crouching before the frightened animal. He holds his hand out between them just a small space below Kit’s open, angry mouth.
Piper’s fully expecting him to get bit as she turns back to her stove and takes out the second tray of cookies. She’s seen other men, better men too, try with the animal. She and Prue have both had boyfriends who would bring little bits of meat to Kit. She dated a chef once who cooked fish fresh before every date -- the few they’d had -- and carried a piece to the Siamese, who had simply sniffed in seeming disdain, grabbed the fish, and left the chef alone until he tried to pet him. Then the man had almost lost his hand.
Grinning at the memory, Piper turns back around with the second tray of cookies and sees Kit carefully sniffing Cole’s hand. Any second now, he’s going to get bit, and it will serve him right. Still she doesn’t like the idea of seeing blood this early in the morning. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” she murmurs, but Cole ignores her.
She huffs quietly and speaks again after a moment, “Phoebe’s not here, you know. If you go to her college, you might catch her before her class begins.”
“It’s okay. I need to talk to the Charmed Ones anyway.”
“Phoebe’s a Charmed One.”
“Piper,” he asks softly in a tone whose gentleness catches her off guard, “why are you making this so difficult?” He raises his eyes to her, and she freezes in his imploring gaze. “I love your sister.”
They both look back down as Kit suddenly bumps his head against Cole’s hand. He grins from ear to ear and gently strokes the cat’s butting head. But then, suddenly, it’s his turn to freeze. His head snatches up, his eyes searching the empty air as though he sees or hears something she can not.
“I have to go,” he says quickly, running his hand down the length of Kit’s arching back. “They’re too close.” His eyes again zero in on her. “But I will be back and then I want to talk. I love your sister, Piper. I want to make things right by her, but I can’t do that if you and Prue stay against me.”
Their eyes lock for a moment, and she finds herself swimming in his deep, dark orbs. He grins up at her, and his smile is charming and sweet and makes something deep within her want to melt. Then he’s gone, leaving her and Kit alone. Kit hisses, but his back is relaxed. His fur no longer stands on end. He sits down and starts to bathe but stops and looks up expectantly at her.
She sighs audibly. “I know; I know. It would be easy to fall for him,” she admits. “Too easy,” she grumbles. As Kit keeps staring wordlessly up at her, she adds defensively, “He’s a Demon.” The cat doesn’t even so much as blink yet Piper can almost hear him mewing at her. “And I -- We’re Witches.” She grabs a cookie and takes a bite out of it. “And the two don’t mix.” She takes another angry bite, finishing off the cookie.
She busies herself around the kitchen, grabbing her spatula and beginning to lift the cookies off of their trays and put them on a plate. “Yeah, yeah, I know Angels and Witches aren’t supposed to mix either, but Leo’s different. He’s good, and he’s good for me. There’s no way Cole can be good for Phoebe. He’s a Deeeemon,” she says, drawing out the word as though the cat will understand her better if she emphasizes it.
Her brown eyes narrow as she gazes down at Kit who licks a paw. “I’m surprised at you, you know,” she remarks, waving the spatula at him. “You’ve always been such good protection, and now here you are letting a Demon pet you.” And here she is, feeling like she’s swimming in a Demon’s simple gaze -- and not just any Demon, but the one who’s dating her sister. Phoebe’s stolen boyfriends from both her and Prue before, and they’ve never let her live it down. She would never take her sister’s boyfriend!
And she’s fighting to be with Leo. She’s happy when she’s with him. She doesn’t need a Demon to complicate matters. She doesn’t want a Demon to complicate matters. She has an Angel! She has a man who loves her, who dotes upon her, and makes her feel like a Queen when they’re together! She has no need of a Demon!
Phoebe doesn’t either, she thinks, grumbling as she scoops up the cookies. Her sister can do a lot better for herself than a Demon who’s on the run. Cole is nothing but trouble with a capital ‘T’. And yet . . . Yet as she thinks back on their latest encounter, she can’t help but to smile. He had to have burned his hands when he grabbed that tray that had just come out of the oven, but he’d damn certain that not a single one of her cookies had been ruined when the whole pan could have hit the floor -- not that he hadn’t caused it in the first place.
The air before her ripples and grows a little hot. She raises her hands, preparing to have to freeze or explode another Demon, but a familiar hand appears out of nowhere, grabs a cookie, and vanishes again. She stares at the empty spot where the hand had just been -- stares at it for a long time before finally breaking up into giggles.
Behind her, Kit mews.
“All right! All right!” She laughs and turns dazzling, smiling eyes onto the Siamese. She shrugs, no longer able to defend her own actions or thoughts. “Okay. So he’d be easy to fall for.” Too easy, she thinks, reminding herself again that he belongs to Phoebe and she with Leo.
Kit looks up at her and meows. Piper laughs, shakes her head, and turns back to her cookies only to find three more missing. For just a moment, she wonders if he could have heard her, but no, he’d doubled back, unable to resist temptation like a little boy, and stolen her cookies and left again swiftly so as to not be followed to the Manor. He was staying constantly on the move not to protect himself but to protect Phoebe and, in a way, to protect all of them.
“Too easy,” she murmurs again aloud, shaking her head and turns back to her baking. In another world, another life, perhaps something more could have grown between them, but as it is, she may eventually try to help Phoebe and Cole mend their relationship but that’s all she can ever do for him, for them. She won’t be like her sister. She won’t be a boyfriend stealer, and she won’t break Leo’s heart.
Still she can’t help thinking of him as she continues to bake. She can’t help remembering back to that sweet, sly smile he’d given her or the feeling that she was the only other person in his world when their eyes had locked. Then there was the fact that, out of all the guys she and her sisters had ever dated, with the sole exception of the Angel sent to watch over them, Cole had managed to woo Kit without a piece of meat and only his hands and own, gentle touch. Oh, yeah, he’d be way too easy to fall for, she thinks, but it’s not going to happen for her. Maybe she can help him and Phoebe though. Still smiling, she turns from baking cookies to beginning to make her younger sister’s favorite cake and begins to scheme. Love needs help, and she’s always been good at giving it a helping hand.