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 Post subject: Ready or Not (Cole/Piper) Companion Piece to Heaven or Hell
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 2:05 am 
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Charmed


Ready or Not

By Teri AKA tessalynne

TEEN

Cole/Piper

AU

Disclaimer:
I do not own Charmed, its characters, or events. They are merely being borrowed for this work of fanfiction and no copyright infringement is intended.


Authors Notes: This is a companion piece to ‘Heaven or Hell’. It is Piper’s point of view with a bit of Cole/Piper sweetness thrown in for good measure. To recap for those who may not have read the first story, it was Cole’s point of view on a developing relationship between he and Piper. I do recommend reading the first story for a more complete understanding of this piece. And again for the purposes of this story, please note the following: Leo is an Elder, Cole retains his powers as Belthazor, and Phoebe works at the Bay Mirror with Jason Dean.





I wasn’t ready. The thought drifted through Piper’s mind like a summer

breeze gently ruffling a curtain on a still day. From her seat at the vanity her

eyes followed the moonlight streaming through her window. Tracing its path

to the rumpled bed she had so recently left and the man who still slept

there. The corner of her mouth lifted in a mischievous smile; she could wake

him, though in truth he could probably use a little more sleep. No. Her

thoughts were company enough for the time being.



It wasn’t guilt that had awakened her but, rather, it’s absence that now

weighed on her mind. Piper picked up her hairbrush and glanced again at

the bed. Tousled dark curls resting against the snowy pillowcase, the sheet

twisted at his hips revealing a wide expanse of broad, well-muscled chest; he

looked so peaceful. “Beautiful,” she breathed. And still the guilt wouldn’t

come.



She began brushing her hair distractedly. Last night and tonight had been

coming for so long that right and wrong no longer seemed a factor. Piper

knew she hadn’t set out to fall in love with him. But she also knew the

moment she had goaded him about the mistletoe that she had forever

crossed an invisible boundary. She’d spent the longest half-hour of her life

waiting to see if he would cross that line with her. That he had still held a

dream-like quality to her.



If she needed something to blame, she supposed that she could fault pity.

It was pity that colored her first conscious emotion toward Cole. It had

swelled within her as she watched his face the first time Phoebe had returned

from Jason’s without even the pretense of an excuse. She’d seen the rage

and pain he held so carefully in check, and her heart had bled as she

imagined his was doing. Piper had come closer to hating her sister in that

moment than she ever wished to again. But as Cole’s pain had shifted to

resignation she found some small understanding for her sister. Perhaps

they should have listened to her doubts about being ready for marriage.

And Piper had had her own problems to deal with.



She and Leo had gone from soul mates to something less than meant to be.

The arguments had occasionally been bitter, but the journey itself a sadly

quiet transition. They had built a wall of silence between themselves a brick

at a time. When he had gone off in the service of his ‘greater good’ to

become an Elder, Piper had watched him go with something akin to relief.

She wondered, as she replaced the hairbrush, if Cole had pitied her as well.



He stirred in his sleep, drawing Piper’s attention to the bed again. He’s

getting restless.
That thought brought another small smile. It was one

of the reasons love had eventually been born of pity. It actually mattered

whether she was there.



As they had spent an increasing amount of time in one another’s company it

became apparent that he didn’t see her needs or desires as an imposition.

He didn’t accommodate her demands; he enjoyed her company. They

valued the same things in life. He heard her when she spoke and talked to

her, not at her. For her part, Piper grew to cherish each moment they spent

together. Cole saw much of the world with the simplicity of a child. Every new

experience was an adventure for him. His joy and excitement were often

contagious.



“Just like an oversized kid,” she laughed quietly to the listening moon.



She shook her head as she remembered the Christmas shopping trip. Two

weeks until the big day and she had dragged him to a packed mall. She had

been flabbergasted that he had never been Christmas shopping. He had

been appalled by the crush.



“My God, doesn’t anyone do this ahead of time?” he’d asked in a horrified

whisper.



“It’ll be okay. I’ll protect the big, bad demon from the Christmas shoppers,”

she’d told him with a laugh and a pat on the arm.



A low growl had been his only response, but he had soon been caught up in

the good cheer. Smiling at the children waiting to see Santa, wide eyed with

wonder at the store displays. He’d happily followed her from store to store

and had even briefly wandered off on his own. The end of the day had found

them both smiling and tired, with yet another memory to be wrapped in

tissue paper like a secret treasure. So if this was wrong, Piper didn’t want to

feel right anymore.



It wasn’t that she didn’t care that others were going to be hurt. She did. But

she was so tired of caring more about everyone else’s happiness than she

did her own. This time she wanted to be happy. She didn’t want to be

responsible while everyone else got to play. Funny, it had taken this to help

her understand how Prue had felt when she and Leo had married. Prue.

Just one of the things that had been sacrificed for the sake of what was right.

Piper sighed.



“Well, not this time,” Piper whispered with resolve.



Being with Cole made her happy and it made him happy. If their happiness

would mean that things got a bit messy or complicated when the others

found out… Well, they’d sort it out then. Then would probably be the near

future as things were. This was the second night he had spent in her bed.

And any more gifts like her surprise Christmas present weren’t likely to go

unnoticed.



Piper reached out and ran her finger lightly along the silver trimmed

scalloped edge of the base. A pool of glitter snow surrounded two doves

encased in a glass heart. The ivory porcelain base was adorned with fragile

pale pink roses. She had admired the musical water globe on their shopping

trip. But she had never dreamed of owning it. He’d been so cute when he

had discreetly slid the box into her gift pile that morning.



Piper gazed at the box curiously.



“What’s this?” she asked quietly.



“ A Christmas present silly, you did drag me to the mall to go Christmas

shopping didn’t you?”



Piper smiled. “So what is it?”



“Well, you have to open it to find out. I’m not telling you what it is,” he

grinned secretively.



“Devil.”



“Not exactly.”



Piper waited until she was sure her sister’s were engrossed in their own gifts

before she reached for the box. She peeled the paper away carefully,

opened the lid and lifted the tissue paper from inside. Her eyes widened

and her heart stilled in her chest when she saw the globe. She raised tear

filled eyes to look at Cole, her lips quavered under the force of the contained

emotion.



“ Hey,” His soft voice conveyed his concern. “ I thought you liked it.”



“It’s beautiful,” she cast a sidelong glance at Phoebe and Paige to be certain

the exchange hadn’t been observed. “Thank you,” she whispered with a

squeeze to his hand.



Cole’s worried expression melted into a smile brighter than all the Christmas

lights in the room.



The memory alone caused Piper’s eyes to tear up again. She lifted the

globe gently from the vanity top, tilted it and wound the mechanism. She

set it down; a glitter snowfall swirled around the doves as the lilting strains of

Cavallaro’s ‘To Love Again’ filled the quiet night.



“Piper,” Cole mumbled from the bed.



Rising, she returned to bed, slipping between the sheets and into his arms.



“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you,” she smiled and ran her fingers along

his jaw.



“It’s alright,” he drew her closer and dropped a kiss on her forehead “ are

you okay?”



Piper snuggled closer still; “I’m fine.”



Laying her head on his shoulder, Piper realized that she might not have

been ready, but love had found her, ready or not.



~ 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: Fri May 05, 2006 2:29 am 
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Awwwwww, that was so nice! I loved the Christmas shopping together and her surprise at the gift! :thumbsup

And this made me grin:

Quote:
“My God, doesn’t anyone do this ahead of time?” he’d asked in a horrified

whisper.



“It’ll be okay. I’ll protect the big, bad demon from the Christmas shoppers,”

she’d told him with a laugh and a pat on the arm.


Great companion piece, Teri! I don't know how I missed this one, but I'm glad I found it. :D

_________________
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Gerry
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Hopeless Candy-Coated, Stargazing, Dreamer!
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 11:18 pm 
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Gerry,

quite glad you found this part and enjoyed it too. :D I know it is a bit of a pain that these are all posted seperately, but there really was never going to be more than one little one shot when I started. Go figure. :D

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

~ Teri ~


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