Something Called Hope

My very first Charmed story; a one shot. I hope it turned out okay!

No one slept at the Halliwell manor anymore. Still, Phoebe was surprised when at midnight, as she lie spooned in Coop's arms, a ruckus began upstairs. She heard things breaking, shattering, being tossed around.

"What the -?" Coop started. Phoebe hushed him with a finger trembling against her lips. She scrambled from the bed. Coop followed. They crept down the hall, calling Piper and Paige's names.

Paige appeared at the end of the hallway with Henry. "What the hell is going on?" Henry asked.

"Where's Piper?" Phoebe asked. Paige quickly darted her head into Piper's room.

"She's not there," Paige replied. "In fact, her bed hasn't been slept in."

"What kind of demon are we looking for now?" Coop asked warily.

"I don't think it's a demon this time," Phoebe said. "You two get the kids. Take them somewhere. Paige and I are going to get Piper."

"Wait. It's Piper causing that racket … You think she's possessed – again?"

"No, I think she's heartbroken," Phoebe said. "Get the kids out of here, you guys! I don't want them to have to hear all of this." She then grabbed Paige's hands and they ran for the stairs on bare feet.

They clamored through the attic door in the next minute. They couldn't believe what they saw. Piper had utterly destroyed the place in her fury. Everything was in tatters. She now advanced on the podium where they kept the Book of Shadows. She didn't even seem to see her sisters – not even when they addressed her by name.

"Piper! What are you doing?" Phoebe cried.

"Nooooo!" Paige screamed as Piper took the book into her hands and began to chant a spell that would obliterate it - destroy every spell and take away all of their family's history with it.

Phoebe dove for Piper and yanked the book from her hands. She levitated to the ceiling as Piper screamed.

"Get down here. Bring it back dammit!" Piper demanded. Her eyes were wild. The expression in them, quite terrifying.

"No, Piper. I know what you're doing. You're trying to destroy the Book of Shadows."

"And we can't let you do that," Paige added.

"Why not? What good has it ever done us?" Piper demanded. "All it does it cost us. Ever since we found it, nothing good has happened for any of us."

"That's not true," Paige defended. "We are The Charmed Ones after all."

"Oh yes. So 'charmed'," Piper spat. "We're in danger constantly. Worse, our family and friends are too because of who we are. People have died. People we love – Prue, Grandmother, and now –" A sob caught in her throat – "my husband is gone forever. Magic can't bring him back to me. Believe me I've tried every spell and nothing!"

"He had cancer, Piper." Phoebe was empathetic but firm. "Magic didn't cause that."

"No, but it didn't solve it either. What good is magic if everyone just keeps dying?" Tears streamed down Piper's face. "Now give me the book, Phoebe, or I'll take it by force."

"No. This is how we save people. Maybe we can't save everyone but we have to do what we can to protect The Innocents."

"Leo was an Innocent! He was the best person there ever was and yet nothing could save him – not a spell or an incantation. That book is useless! It has to go. Give it to me, Phoebe! Don't make me come after you."

Phoebe simply zipped across the room as Piper began to chant a spell to crush her powers and bring her to the ground. "Don't make me hurt you!"

Phoebe shook her head resolutely. "Paige, take the book. Orb out of here. Now!" She tossed the book to Paige who caught it in time and quickly zapped herself into the ether. Piper's furious howling could no doubt be heard down the block.

She glared at Phoebe. "I hate you!"

"No, you don't," Phoebe said, trying not to feel hurt. Her sister was a grieving, angry mess. It was understandable she was lashing out - even as if cut Phoebe to the quick. "You're angry at the universe, the world, the disease that took Leo but you don't hate me. Don't let yourself hate anyone. That's not who you are."

"No –no I hate you!" Piper sputtered. "Why are you doing this to me?"

"I'm not." Phoebe dropped to the ground and approached her sister.

"I could kill you right now. I will!"

Phoebe kept moving towards her older sister. "You won't do that because you're not evil. You're everything that is good and right… You're heartbroken; I know that. You have every right to be but you won't kill me because you wouldn't be any better than the demons who took our family members away. I love you, Piper. And I'm not going to let you forget it. We all need you. You have three children, Piper, and they really need you right now. You don't always have to be the strong one but you can't let this sadness canker everything good inside you either. And there's so much good. Believe that."

"No! No!" Piper said and went to lash out at Phoebe. Phoebe accepted the blow and still advanced. She grabbed Piper in her arms and wrestled her to the ground. Piper struggled for a moment and then slackened in Phoebe's iron-like embrace.

"It hurts, Phoebe. It hurts so badly!"

Phoebe just nodded. She tucked her sister's head beneath her chin and stroked her long, dark hair. "I know it does. No one will ever begrudge you your feelings but don't destroy the book. Don't wipe out every good thing we've done – all the people it helped us rescue."

Piper just nodded as she lay there in Phoebe's arms for sometime before Paige rematerialized. Paige immediately dove for her sisters and held them both tightly in her slender arms.

"It's going to be okay, somehow, someway," Paige said. "Just as long as we stick together, okay?"

Phoebe nodded now as she rocked Piper. Outside a storm raged. The shutters slammed against the windowpane fiercely. The wind howled. It would go on like that all night - well into the wee hours when the first ray of sunshine began to peek its way through the darkness. That light, Phoebe mused, was called hope.