Author's Note: Hey everyone! I've got another chapter done!
Also, I'd like to personally thank: SyndiDowell, lizardmomma and PiperPaigeP3 for their kind, helpful and encouraging reviews for the last chapter! Please keep it up!
Also thanks to Lauren for helping me out! Majorly!
That very second Phoebe Halliwell rushed into her office from a mandatory staff meeting at The Bay Mirror and closed her door and locked it. Her face was stained with painful tears. Her wrist was burning and she could feel the blood leaving her body.
She tried to make it to her desk, but she collapsed onto the floor. "My…baby…" she cried before falling unconscious…
Keeping Her Close
By: Piper Chris Melinda Halliwell
Chapter Thirteen: Fading Lines
Blackness had invaded her vision as she hit the floor. A second later she felt her feet hit scoria. How odd, she thought. This doesn't usually happen in my Premonitions. The pain in her wrist had increased substantially she noticed so she figured there was a reason for her being here.
There was an odd feeling about the place. Like something was missing that shouldn't be.
A crib was to the far left wall, a changing table in the middle, a small chest was to the right. She knew she was in the Underworld, but this place it didn't seem ominous. Almost like it was homey. This is where they're keeping her, Phoebe thought. This is where fake demon M—mommy and daddy are rai—
She didn't have time to complete the thought as screaming pierced her ears from down the hall. Tears filled her eyes as she ran out and to where the screams were issuing.
"Shut her uuuup!" the demon yelled as the tiny child cried after being cut with the athame.
Temcara picked her up, but it did no good. She wasn't oblivious as to why the kid was crying—far from it—but she had to act like she was. "Maybe she's still hungry?" she said.
Frustrated, the demon ripped the child from her grasp. "SHUT UP!" he yelled, but it only caused her to cry louder which made him throw the child to the wall.
Phoebe, having seen the spectacle, was now running to catch her little girl before she collided with the wall.
"What's she—?" he began, but was cut off as Temcara threw an energy ball at Phoebe, which hit her in the stomach and caused her to trip and fall.
"NO!" she screamed as she saw Paytin collide with the scoria, and fall to the ground. Struggling to her feet, she began to walk toward her. Hearing footsteps, she froze and turned on the spot.
Her eyes turned yellow as her lightning whip formed around her wrist. She cracked it causing the male demon to explode and Temcara thought the fire and rage in the mother's eyes was enough to make any demon cower at her feet. "Take one more step, just one and I swear I'll kill you slowly and excruciatingly." She threatened.
The demoness nodded.
Satisfied, though still not convinced, Phoebe made her way over to where Paytin lay in a lifeless pile.
She dropped to her knees, crying as she gently picked her up, rocking her. "Please cry! Please! Anything! Please show Mommy you're alive!" she pleaded, holding her to her. Forgetting about her pain, Phoebe stood with her back against the wall.
A second later, it felt like a thousand volts of electricity ran a circuit in and out of her body. She released the child, who shimmered over to the demoness. Her tears increased so much she couldn't see.
"Go ahead," she admitted. "Do it. My baby doesn't love me. Kill me." Phoebe walked away from the wall toward the demoness.
Temcara sighed. In truth, she hated when her prey groveled at her feet. They just weren't as fun to kill. Strangely, she also found herself sympathizing with the witch. In the end she would die, but for now—
"It's not that she doesn't love you," Temcara answered. "It's the original crystal effect."
"B-b-but she left me!" Phoebe cried. "Sh—she used to do anything to protect me when she was inside me. I just don't—"
A second later, Phoebe felt something hit her chest . . .
"Phoebe," Elise called, banging on the door. "Phoebe, are you all right?" she said, jiggling the knob, but finding it locked. "Phoebe!"
Phoebe mumbled incoherently, sobbing as she pulled her feet to her chest.
Unlocking the door, and stepping in she immediately rolled Phoebe onto her back. "Phoebe! Phoebe!" she called. She grabbed half a glass of water and splashed a bit on her face.
Gasping, the witch sat up, stunned. "El-Elise? What happened?"
"You ran out of the meeting and when you didn't come back I got worried, so I went to find you." She answered. Phoebe looked at her wrist, noticing the blood trail on the inside of her sleeve. "Did you fall?"
"Ya-yeah." Phoebe said shakily. "I'm fine. Listen, I'm not feeling really well actually. Do you mind if I work from home today?"
Elise shook her head.
"Come to think of it," she said while glancing at Phoebe's complexion, "you look pale. Go home and get some rest. Didn't you say your sister was a doctor?"
"She's a healer." Phoebe corrected her.
"Well, maybe she should look at you."
Phoebe nodded in agreement.
"I'm gonna call her to pick me up."
"Okay. I hope you feel better." With that, Elise was gone.
Taking a deep breath, Phoebe called as quietly as she could while still being heard, "Paige!"
Paige appeared a few minutes later.
"Pheebs, what is it?" She asked. She got a good look at her arm and gasped.
"Okay, you really need to let Eva take a look at that."
Phoebe was about to protest when Paige orbed them both to the hospital.
Fortunately, they orbed in the middle of complete and utter chaos from a large trauma. This meant nobody noticed them arrive.
Paige flagged down a doctor named Kelly and told her they were there to see Eva.
"She's busy right now, but I can tell her you're here."
"That would be great." Paige said. "My sister needs medical attention."
"Okay. Why don't you wait in chairs and I'll see what I can do."
Paige led Phoebe over to chairs and helped her sit down.
"Maybe I should call Piper." Paige thought aloud. "Something tells me if she finds out we're here any other way, she's gonna be pissed off."
It wasn't long before Eva came out of the trauma room she had been working in.
She smiled when she saw Paige and Phoebe.
"Hey you guys!" She greeted. "What's up?"
"We need you to examine Phoebe's arm." Paige replied. "She's had this star shaped cut for a while and I can't heal it."
"Okay." Eva said. "Let's see what we have here." With that, she led Paige and Phoebe into an exam room.
"How did you get this?" She asked once she had seen Phoebe's arm more clearly.
"It's a long story." Phoebe replied. "The short version is, a demon gave it to me."
"Okay." Eva replied. She sensed Phoebe didn't want to go any further and she respected that. Instead, she concentrated on the examination.
After looking at the mark thoroughly, Eva frowned.
"The only thing I can think of is to give Phoebe antibiotics and see if they work. It's actually a cream that needs to be applied twice a day. Wait ten days. If it doesn't go away after using the antibiotics for ten days, she needs to come back."
"Okay." Phoebe replied. "What if it doesn't work?"
"Then there are other remedies I can try." Eva replied. "We wouldn't have to do anything medically invasive unless it became infected. You came to see me just in time. I'll call in a prescription at the pharmacy for you."
"Thanks." Paige said, echoing Phoebe's words from earlier.
"No problem." Eva replied. "It was nice to see you guys." With that, she left to get the prescription filled.
"See? It wasn't that bad." Paige said with a grin. "We got your cut looked at and got to see a friend in the process."
Phoebe sighed. "Paige, I just wanna get the medicine and go home."
"Okay." Paige said. She could tell her sister was exhausted.
After getting the medicine, they ducked inside the bathroom and Orbed to the Manor.
Paige sat Phoebe down on the couch and rolled up her sleeve to apply the medicine. Phoebe flinched as it was applied, feeling the sting. She cast her eyes downward as the memory from moments earlier came to mind.
When Paige was finished she rolled the sleeve back down. "Something on your mind?"
Phoebe shook her head, but she felt hot tears trailing her cheeks.
She tried to wipe them away, but Paige grabbed her wrist. "Phoebe, what is it? Did you get a Premonition?"
She wiped her eyes with her free hand. "I don't know."
Paige raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean, you don't know? It's a simp—"
Wrenching her wrist from her sister, Phoebe stood up. "I don't know, okay? I just don't! I mean, it was like a Premonition, but it couldn't have been!"
Piper walked down the stairs. "What are you two arguing abou—" she started, accidentally missing a step.
Paige caught her movement, concentrating. "Piper!" she called.
Her sister disappeared mid-tumble and reappeared on the floor in front of them on her hands and knees. She stood up. "Thanks," she said, sitting beside them.
"Uh, y—you're welcome," she stuttered. "Is this a normal thing?"
"Ha! Define normal," Piper replied.
"Has it happened more than once?" Phoebe asked.
She sighed, running a hand through her soft locks. "No, but it felt really weird. Like I was so sure my foot was on the next step, but low and behold."
"Hmm." Phoebe walked over, grabbing a chair cushion. She then walked into the middle of the room. "Freeze this."
"What's that gonna prove?" Piper asked. "Anyway is your make-up smeared? Were you crying? What happened?"
Phoebe sighed. "Look, just humor me, alright? Freeze this!" she threw it toward her.
"Oh alright!" Piper threw up a hand, attempting to freeze it, but she ended up throwing it back at Phoebe with so much force it knocked her off her feet. "Wow!" she exclaimed.
Phoebe smiled, getting to her feet. "Yeah. So?"
Phoebe walked over and sat beside Piper. "Oh, come on! You just exhibited a power that you don't have, so that can only mean one thing."
Paige's eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. "Why didn't tell us?"
"I-I-I didn't know. I haven't been sick or anything."
"Paige, you're jumping to conclusions," Phoebe said. "We don't know for sure."
"Gee, you're a ray of positivity."
"Well, excuse me, but I'm not in the greatest of moods! You wouldn't be either if you suddenly appeared in the Underworld, saw your baby crash head first into a cavern wall, then shimmer over the very person who kidnapped her!" She yelled, her fists balled.
"Whoa! Slow down," Piper said, walking over to sit on the arm of the couch beside her. "You had a Premonition of this?"
She threw her hands up in defeat. "That's just it! I don't know, but it felt real."
"Like you were pulled in both mentally and physically?" Paige asked.
She nodded. Her tears were in rivers. "I-I-I thought she d-died when she hit the wall, 'cause I heard a crack like-like something broke, but—"
"But she left you," Piper answered as Phoebe's arms came around her and she buried her head in her neck.
"That doesn't seem like her," Paige said, rubbing her back. "She would've protected you."
Phoebe lifted her head from Piper's neck. "Temcara said it was the crystal's original effect, but I don't believe her!" she cried.
"Wait, hold it," Paige said. "Temcara was there?" Phoebe nodded. "And she didn't try to kill you?"
"I killed her partner with lightning. Told her if she tried to interfere she'd meet the same fate."
"Okay, well, that explains why you're still here," Piper concluded. "Coop!"
"No need to call, Piper. I've been here the whole time," he said, stepping in from the entry.
"But if you were here, how come—"
"If she needed me, Paige, she would've called for me," he said walking over and sitting on the coffee table. "Though, I do have to admit that I'm a little hurt that you didn't call me first," he told his wife.
Phoebe looked up. "I-I couldn't with Elise there."
He nodded. Piper stood up and switched spots with him. "I know," he said, as she leaned into him. "And you did tell her that your sister, Paige, was a Healer, so it does make sense."
"Well, if it does, why are you doing this?" Paige asked.
He shook his head, sighing. "Just wish I could've been included sooner."
She looked up at him. "I'm sorry, Coop. I just—I mean, I kinda thought they'd be able to help more. Not saying you couldn't ju—" he cut off her rant with a kiss.
"Sshh, I know. Your sisters are better at dealing with magical issues," he wiped a tear away. "And to answer your next question, no, I'm not going to leave you. We're bound to hit a few bumps along the way. We just need to avoid the holes."
"Sometimes that link is creepy 'cause it leaves us out of the loop," Paige said.
Phoebe smiled. "Well, maybe you don't need to know everything about my personal life."
"She's right, Paige. I know I'm glad we don't know everything," Piper said. "I'd be afraid of what I'd see if I opened the wrong door." She laughed.
"Hey! Not all my dreams are like that!" Phoebe protested.
"No, I'm sure they're not," Paige said. "But I'd be willing to bet a good percentage of them are!"
"Do you really want me to give you that image?" Phoebe smirked. "Come here, I'll show you!"
Paige sat farther away. "Ugh! No way!"
"Sometimes I forget the fact that now you can give Premonitions to people," Piper said. "Which could help in a situation, but I don't wanna see that either!"
"Did anything else happen?" Coop asked. "Did you find out anything else?"
She shook her head. "Not really. She just said Paytin didn't hate me."
Piper looked down at her hands. "That is a good thing."
"But how much good is it when she won't remember who I am?" Phoebe asked. "She'll grow up and not know me. Try to kill me. That's not a good family relationship."
"That's not a good anything relationship," Paige agreed. "We'll find her, Phoebe."
"Everybody keeps saying that!"
"Because it's true. We will," Coop said.
"But not until they want her to be found! And by then . . ."
"You don't know that there's no chance of getting her back," Leo said, walking down the stairs with Chris in his arms.
"How much have you heard?" Piper asked curiously.
He sat beside Paige on the armrest of the couch. "Enough to know why Phoebe's worried, why? Is there something else I should know?"
She took a shaky breath. Yes, she had to tell him, but it didn't have to be now. "No, I was . . . just wondering."
He nodded, handing Chris to Phoebe. Then he stood up and walked over to drag the playpen to the middle of the room. He walked back over, taking Chris and sitting him in his playpen with his fuzzy stuffed animals and toy trucks.
"Where's Wyatt?" Paige asked.
"Upstairs asleep," Leo answered.
Phoebe stood up and walked over to where Chris was playing. She felt an arm come around her and she wrapped her arms around it. Her body started to shake.
This was crazy! Paytin should be here with her. She—she should be sitting in her rocking chair singing her to sleep.
"Let's go home," he told her. "We still live there."
"Doesn't feel like it. Not anymore. A place to raise a family? Ha! I bet no one had to deal with this."
"Phoebe," he told her picking her up, "we will find her. But we need our strength, our energy to fight."
She wrapped her arms around his neck. "It just doesn't feel right to go home without her. I miss her so much!"
Coop walked over to the couch.
"He's right, sweetie," Piper told her. "We will find her and we'll get her back."
"I won't rest 'til I find her!" Paige declared.
Phoebe smiled. "I'm not gonna hold you to that, but I do believe you won't stop 'til you find her."
Paige smiled. "Oh, don't forget this!" she said, sticking the medication in her coat pocket.
"Thanks, but I really don't think that's gonna help. I think this scar is connected to Paytin because it started to hurt and bleed before I passed out and…"
"Don't worry about it now," Leo said. "Just get some rest."
"I won't be able to sleep!" she complained.
"Just try," Piper said.
"If you really need us, you have our numbers."
She smiled. "Thanks Paige."
Coop readjusted Phoebe in his arms. "Ready to go, Love?"
She nodded. They disappeared in a puff of pink smoke.
Paige sighed. "Okay, now what are we gonna do? We can't scry for her, we can't call on Grams or Mom for help," she looked at Leo, "and I'm guessing even if the Elders know something they won't tell us."
"Surprise, surprise," Piper remarked, dripping with sarcasm. "So what do we do? Go on a demon hunt killing until we find answers? Even I know how stupid that would be."
"But we can't just sit and do nothing! That'll destroy Phoebe!"
"I know, Paige, I know, but what else can we do?" Piper asked.
"Got an idea?" his wife asked.
"No, but they've got to give you something."
"But if They don't know, how does that help us?" Paige countered.
"It doesn't." He orbed out.
Author's Note: So, what do you think will happen next?
The next chapter will have a time jump!
Next chapter: Chapter Fourteen: Passing By
Please read and review!
Piper Chris Melinda Halliwell