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 Post subject: Heaven or Hell Cole/Piper
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:06 am 
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Hi, Just a quick note before I start. This story was originally a one shot POV piece. There is now a companion to it and probable future installments of everyone elses point of view as well. But as each can stand alone they will be individual posts. Now, on with it, I hope you enjoy.

Heaven or Hell

By Teri AKA tessalynne

Rating: Teen
Pairing: Piper/Cole Strongly Implied


Disclaimer: I obviously do not own Charmed or any of its characters. They are the property of WB Television. I am merely borrowing them for entertainment purposes and promise to return them unharmed.


Authors Notes: This is a very short, one shot ficlet that was inspired by an opening line requirement for a writing contest. As the pairing indicates, it is AU and though it follows no particular timeline there are a couple of things to note. Leo is an Elder, Cole retains his powers as Belthazor, and Phoebe works at the Bay Mirror with Jason Dean. It is written in a very passive, reflective style from Cole’s POV. That said, on with the story, before I chicken out.



Hell had found him. There had never been any question that it would

happen, over a century of demonic activity had more than guaranteed that it

would come to pass. But, as was often the case with any long anticipated

event, it was the form it took that was surprising. These were Cole Turner’s

first thoughts as he watched Piper climb the stairs.



Cole turned away from the stairs with a sigh and sat down heavily on the

sofa. How the hell had this happened? The merrily twinkling Christmas

lights mocked his troubled thoughts and drew his eyes to the seemingly

harmless sprig of mistletoe. That damned little plant had started all kinds of

trouble tonight. No, that wasn't true. If he were going to be brutally honest

with himself, Cole would have to admit that the trouble had started long

before tonight. He just needed to sort out how things had come to this

point.



It had been almost three years since the Triad had sent him to destroy the

Charmed Ones. Three years since the mighty Belthazor’s failure, a failure so

spectacular it would long hold a place of dishonor in demonic history. Cole

laughed aloud in the dimly lit room. He had thrown away the only life he had

ever known with that failure traded it all for the love of a witch and a sense of

family that he had never known. It was one of the universe’s great ironies to

now realize that you can be naïve at any age.



He had believed that what he and Phoebe had was true love. Believed in it

strongly enough to betray, to live on the run, to fight all the odds, and to

change. All of this for a lovely illusion. Everything had seemed so right at

the time, so wonderful. That was before Jason Dean.



Cole smiled to himself ruefully. Jason Dean, the man his wife was sleeping

with. His name didn’t even inspire anger any more. He’d known about the

affair for months. At first he had been livid, every instinct had screamed for

him to kill the bastard. But he hadn’t done it, he’d done nothing, he’d said

nothing and he’d stayed. It was while laying in bed reflecting on why he

didn’t just leave that several truths began to dawn on him.



It hadn’t been real love for either of them. For Phoebe it seemed that it had

been the thrill and danger of the forbidden, when that had disappeared after

their marriage so had her interest in her husband. She hadn’t calmed down

after New York as much as everyone had believed. As for himself, Cole had

been forced to acknowledge that he had suffered a severe case of puppy

love at a rather advanced age. Intense, a bit obsessive, based on genuine

affection, but doomed to be short lived. Yet, it was because of this he had

found something that was important to him, a home and a family, peace,

and a sense of belonging that he wasn’t willing to give up. So he stayed.

With his silence he protected Phoebe from the open disapproval of her

sisters, though everyone knew what was going on and he protected the life

that had become so important to him. It had seemed a harmless enough

trade off.



“You would think that if I’ve learned anything, it would be that nothing

around here is ever harmless”, Cole said to his silent audience of holiday

decorations. He glanced at the grandfather clock and was surprised to find

that it had only been ten minutes since Piper had gone upstairs. It was

amazing how quickly thoughts could race through the mind sometimes.

Piper… It was different for her. Cole knew there were some similarities

from stories he’d heard, but he still believed the differences outweighed

them as he drifted into thought again.



Piper and Leo had overcome a lot of the barriers to their being together by

the time Cole had entered their lives, but the tales of the Elder’s interference

in their love life were legendary in the Halliwell household. When she and

Leo had married Cole had been certain they were destined for great

happiness together. Now here he sat reflecting on the disintegration of their

relationship.



It had been so gradual, starting with little things that were so easy to miss.

Piper’s constant craving for at least the appearance of a normal life, Leo’s

belief that Piper didn’t understand the importance of his work, and Prue’s

death, admittedly not a small thing, had all been weathered as well as any

couple had a right to expect. Cole believed that discovering that they

couldn’t have children had been more strain than they could handle. It had

seemed to drain the magic from their relationship. The arguments had

become loud and bitter, usually centering on Leo never being around. And

to be honest, Cole had to admit that he had long suspected that Leo stayed

away at times even when it wasn’t really necessary. Cole shook his head at

that thought. In trying to avoid having arguments with Piper, Leo had

actually fueled them. The real end though had come a few months ago,

when Leo had become an Elder. Technically, Cole supposed, they were still

married, but Piper had no fight left and Leo was never around. Thankfully,

demon activity had been low.



So there they all were, a houseful of people trying to get what they needed

from life. Leo was gone, Phoebe was always out for long stretches of time

‘working’, and Paige was just young and on the move looking for her

direction in life. Cole realized now that that is when things started to change.



There hadn’t been anything conscious about it; it was more like a natural

slide toward balance. The houseful of people became him and Piper. She

cooked a family meal and he made sure he was at the table to eat it. He’d

be running late for work and mess up his tie, she’d laugh and help him

straighten it. When she needed help to set up or decorate P3, he was there.

They had decorated the house for so many holidays together that it was

rapidly becoming a tradition. They laughed together, they talked, and they

spent peaceful evenings doing nothing in particular when work and life

allowed that luxury. They took care of one another. Piper nurtured his

humanity; she took the time to introduce him to all the things in life that he

had never experienced. In return, he gave her someone to depend on, he

didn’t treat her like her only purpose in life was to take care of the house

and the club and mediate her sister’s arguments. He didn’t ignore her as

though she were a comfortable old piece of furniture and he got damned

angry that the others seemed to do just that. Somewhere in time Cole

realized that he had come to appreciate the beauty that was uniquely Piper.

Less blatantly physical a beauty than that of her sisters and all the more

alluring because it shone from somewhere deep inside her. And tonight…

Tonight a tiny sprig of mistletoe and tradition had conspired to take his body

someplace his mind had already discovered. With a smile and a glance at

the clock, Cole allowed his mind to replay the scene that had left him sitting

there with his thoughts.



“Cole, we have to. It’s mistletoe and it’s tradition.”



“ What do you mean we have to?”



“ Come on, it’s only a kiss,” she cajoled. “ If we don’t use the poor lonely

thing, it probably won’t get used at all. You’re not afraid of one little kiss, are

you?”



“Wouldn’t be much of a demon if a kiss scared me.” He laughed, then

hesitated. “ I’m just not sure this is a good idea.”



Piper’s face fell, her thoughts clearly visible before she tacked on her holiday

smile. “ I guess this is just one tradition you’ll miss out on,” she said with

false brightness.



“ Piper, it’s not what you’re thinking, I want to kiss you,” Cole said softly.



“Then why won’t you?”



The plaintive quality of her question could not be borne and Cole found

himself moving toward her, even as every instinct demanded he stop. He

knew they were lost the moment he touched her. The kiss began simply

enough, a light brushing of lips to lips. If only it had stopped there. The

seconds began to lengthen to a minute; the space between their body’s

evaporated as they slid completely into one another’s arms. Lips were joined

by heatedly exploring tongues and wandering hands. Drawing a breath

became a supreme effort. As Piper’s hands wandered to the buttons on his

shirt, Cole summoned the shredded remains of his will and catching her

hands in his, broke the kiss with a gasp.



“Piper, we have to stop. We have to stop now or I won’t be stopping at all.

It can’t be like this, it can’t just be some accident, something that just got

out of control.” At her soft sound of protest, he drew a shaky breath and

continued. “No, let me finish, please. I’ve survived a lot in my life, but the

one thing that I know I can’t survive is you looking at me and thinking oh my

God, what have I done and who have I done it with. That would kill me,” he

finished softly.



Piper stared at him at his final words then, drawing a deep breath, she began to speak.



“We aren’t children Cole. I know all the reasons this is wrong, probably

better than you do. But I can’t seem to make myself care about any of that.

I’m sure of what I want. If you want to think about it, that is fair. I’m going

upstairs, if you aren’t there in half an hour, we’ll both just have to do our

best to forget this ever happened.”



The grandfather clock struck midnight, ushering in Christmas with its chimes

and Cole rose to turn off the lights on the tree. He didn’t need another five

minutes of thought. People would be angry and even hurt to some degree

when they found out. He had no doubt that they would find out either; this

was not a one-time fling. But in this house hard times came and went and he

knew they would get through this too.



Yes, Hell had found him. It didn’t take the form of fire and brimstone, but

rather that of a petite brunette in whose arms he had no right to be. And if

this were hell, then perhaps he’d pass on heaven.


~ The End ~

_________________
If I were half the person I want to be, I'd be twice the person I am.

~ Teri ~


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:00 am 
Great fic! I loved it!!! I felt Cole's emotions, the love he felt for Piper. I think that this story could easily continue with promise for some heated scenes between them.... :D Okay maybe that's me wanting more! (ha!) But I loved it! Great job!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:40 pm 
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This is a wonderful story and it is so realistic. It could easily have happened in the series. Teri is a great writer and I hope she gets lots of reviews for her stories. I know the "future" stories are just as good and everyone will look forward to them as much as I do. Great job, Teri, and keep up the good work.

Jerry


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:16 am 
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Angie wrote:
Great fic! I loved it!!! I felt Cole's emotions, the love he felt for Piper. I think that this story could easily continue with promise for some heated scenes between them.... :D Okay maybe that's me wanting more! (ha!) But I loved it! Great job!!!


Thank you for the kind words Angie. There is one companion piece to this so far and I will be posting it in the next couple of days. Hope you will enjoy it as well. I don't know that I can promise you heat, but I think it's safe to promise emotion.

So glad you enjoyed it.

_________________
If I were half the person I want to be, I'd be twice the person I am.

~ Teri ~


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:19 am 
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CenTexMale wrote:
This is a wonderful story and it is so realistic. It could easily have happened in the series. Teri is a great writer and I hope she gets lots of reviews for her stories. I know the "future" stories are just as good and everyone will look forward to them as much as I do. Great job, Teri, and keep up the good work.

Jerry



Thanks so much Jerry. You already know that I consider that high praise from my favorite Canon author. Will try not to let the readers down.

_________________
If I were half the person I want to be, I'd be twice the person I am.

~ Teri ~


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:18 pm 
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I definitely agree that this deserves to be continued, and I will definitely be reading the companion piece when you have it up! :D

I loved it! Especially this part:
Quote:
She

cooked a family meal and he made sure he was at the table to eat it. He’d

be running late for work and mess up his tie, she’d laugh and help him

straighten it. When she needed help to set up or decorate P3, he was there.

They had decorated the house for so many holidays together that it was

rapidly becoming a tradition. They laughed together, they talked, and they

spent peaceful evenings doing nothing in particular when work and life

allowed that luxury. They took care of one another. Piper nurtured his

humanity; she took the time to introduce him to all the things in life that he

had never experienced. In return, he gave her someone to depend on, he

didn’t treat her like her only purpose in life was to take care of the house

and the club and mediate her sister’s arguments. He didn’t ignore her as

though she were a comfortable old piece of furniture and he got damned

angry that the others seemed to do just that. Somewhere in time Cole

realized that he had come to appreciate the beauty that was uniquely Piper.


That was well put, Teri! :heart :heart :heart :thumbsup

_________________
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Gerry
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Hopeless Candy-Coated, Stargazing, Dreamer!
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 2:18 am 
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Gerry,

So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for the feedback.

The companion piece is now up, I hope you enjoy it as well. :D

_________________
If I were half the person I want to be, I'd be twice the person I am.

~ Teri ~


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:47 am 
Hey that's cool. I prefer emotion anyway! :)


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