12/10/16 - Hey guys, so, I still get a lot of requests to finish this story. And I'd like to! But seeing as how I started it over a decade ago when I was a teenager, it's pretty awful, so I've decided to rewrite it first. It's basically going to stay the same because I don't want to make *that* much work for myself, but just hopefully a little less sucky. And then... to be continued
Chapter One: Nightmare
"Come on, Paige! Can't you just do one damn thing right?" Piper stood across from her half-sister in the attic of their home, the impact of yet another demon attack obvious from the broken objects strewn across the room, as well as the blood dripping from a gash in Piper's arm.
Paige opened her mouth to apologize, but shut it again as Phoebe moved to stand next to the eldest Halliwell.
"Honestly, it's just so disappointing," Phoebe chimed in. "Prue could have handled this." Her brow wrinkled as she looked into Paige's eyes. "But you're not Prue, are you? You're just Paige. Just Paige. Paige. Paige!"
Paige's eyes shot open, and she quickly took in her surroundings. Ceiling. Bedroom. Phoebe. Nightmare, she thought. Got it.
"Paige? Honey, are you okay?" Phoebe asked, a hint of concern motivating her words as she sat down on the edge of the bed.
Paige slowly sat up, still shaken from another iteration of the dream she'd been having all too often lately.
"Yeah. Yeah, it was just a nightmare," she replied.
Phoebe cocked an eyebrow. "Must've been some nightmare to make you cry like that."
Paige suddenly noticed the hot, damp trail of tears running down her face. She brought a hand up to quickly wipe them away, wishing she could wipe away Phoebe's memory of them as well.
"Do you wanna talk about it?"
Part of Paige did want to talk about it. Desperately. Have her sister tell her she was just being stupid, and that they'd never want her to be anyone other than exactly who she is. But… Phoebe and Piper think I faced that fear when Barbas came after us. I can't let them find out. I'm supposed to be stronger than that.
"No, I'm okay." She saw Phoebe considering whether to push further, so she barreled on. "Crap. Actually, I'm late for an interview with another temp agency."
"Another temp agency, Paige? What happened to the last one?"
Paige's heart sunk ever-so-slightly at the tone in Phoebe's voice. "Nothing, just— okay, a thing. A witchy thing. And a not-showing-up-on-time kind of thing." She pushed herself out of bed and took a moment to stretch before heading towards the hallway to fight whoever was around for use of the manor's single bathroom. "Don't worry about it. This one's going to work out fine."
"Okay," Phoebe acquiesced. "Let's talk later okay?"
"Nothing to talk about!" Paige flashed her a forced grin as she left the room.
"Don't get into any trouble today!" Phoebe yelled after her. "Love you!" She heard the bathroom door slam closed and wondered if Paige had heard her. She didn't know what was going on with her sister, but she knew there was something. She didn't have to be an empath for that.
In human form, Corathon was attractive by all conventional standards. He was strong, but not overly so, with green eyes and dark brown hair, slicked back against his head in a way that made him seem professional but with a boyish edge.
At the moment, he was pacing back and forth in the depths of the Underworld, impatience slowly turning to frustration, until a young woman shimmered in next to him.
"Trisa." He bowed as the name left his lips. The woman was beautiful; tall, with deep red hair that flowed down her back with ease, but the heartlessness in her eyes was impossible to hide.
"Get up," she commanded. Corathon obeyed, but kept his gaze to the ground as she continued speaking. "Have you found a way to destroy the witches?"
"Our greatest chance lies with the youngest witch, Paige." He waved his arm and an orb appeared in the air next to them. In it, a scene played out: a demon attacking the Charmed Ones in the manor's attic, Paige not orbing the vanquishing potion at him quickly enough, Piper getting hurt — it quickly turned into the exact scene from Paige's dream, with her sisters standing across from her, disapproval emanating from both.
"It's her greatest fear," Corathon explained. "That her sisters find her to be a disappointment. That they secretly wish she had died instead of Prue."
Trisa looked away, rolling her eyes. "That's it? A fear? How many times has Barbas gone up against these witches and failed to use their fears to defeat them? Your powers are nothing compared to his. Do you even have a plan?"
"I know I need to separate her from her sisters. Turn them against her. Make her feel as if there's no one on her side, and there never was. There are some…finer details that need hammering out, but I am confident that this will work."
The red-haired demon stepped forward and took Corathon's chin in her hand, tilting his face up to meet her gaze. "It had better work. For your sake and mine. This is your last chance, Corathon. I expect you to destroy this witch as you promise. Through any means necessary. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Trisa. I understand completely. The Power of Three will be shattered. And so will the witch."