I Don't Want to Let You Go
by Catheryne@leopiper.cjb.net
archived at http://leopiper.cjb.net


"Phoebe, I am going to murder you when we get home!"
"What did I do now? How was I supposed to know that that spell will do this?"

Piper shook her head. They'll never see eye to eye, and she couldn't help having some doubts. Was she right in inviting Phoebe back? It seems that everything just went downhill since their little sister arrived. "Guys, come on. Blaming and fighting isn't bringing us back home. We have to figure out when and where we are and what we're supposed to do here."

Suddenly, they heard a deafening roar overhead. They all looked up. Three pairs of eyes widened at the site of half a dozen fighter planes swooping down and dropping what looked to be bombs.

"I'm going to kill you, Phoebe!" Piper screamed.

Prue grabbed her and Phoebe's hand and began to run. Phoebe yelled, "I thought you didn't want me blamed."

"That's before I knew you sent us off to the end of the world in the middle of a war!"

The three found a small tree and ran to it. "It's not like this tree is going to protect us from grenades, you know."

"Shut up, Phoebe!" Prue and Piper snapped at the same time.

"How do you guys even know we're in the middle of a war?" The sound of gunfire ripped the air, and Prue looked at Phoebe indifferently. A cannon exploded. Phoebe sighed. "Okay, okay, not a tough guess."

They sat there for three hours. "When are they even going to run out of ammunition?" The sun was setting and Prue came up with the idea that maybe they were sent there to protect an innocent. "Hey, listen! It stopped!"

Phoebe was the first to run forward. "Look, there they are! They're coming in this direction."

Piper and Prue craned their necks to see where Phoebe was pointing. The soldiers were tired and worn out as they trudged on towards camp.

"Piper, honey, you have a cut on your forehead. I didn't even notice," Prue frowned at her sister.

But Piper couldn't answer her. She was staring at the man walking at the frontlines. His hair caught the dimming rays of the sun. He was dusty and dried mud and blood mixed and caked on his uniform. She could feel her heart racing at the sight.

They were sent here to find him.

--

Piper tried to pry Prue's fingers off her arm. "What are you doing, Prue? Let me go."

"Your forehead needs to be seen to. I'm sure they have a doctor at their camp."

"It's fine. Really. I'll just wash it."

Phoebe tapped her foot on the ground. "Come on, Piper. You always told me that I should listen to Prue because she knows best."

Piper glared at Phoebe but let Prue lead her to the tents. "You know, Prue, they probably have so much stuff to do. They're treating people with real battle wounds."

"And that isn't? Come on, Piper. You probably got that when we were running. Some stray shrapnel or something."

"Fine. Fine."

At the camp, people seemed to mill about in a hurry. "They're busy," Phoebe whispered.

"And we need help." Prue let go of Piper's hand to tap one soldier's shoulder. "Hi, I'm sorry. I know you guys are busy treating the soldiers but my sister has a cut—"

"Hey, that's one nasty cut. Let me have a look at that." The man led Piper to a chair and sat before her, moving his face close to hers to see the wound more clearly. "Well, it's really shallow so that's good. I'll just clean it up a bit and you'll be fine."

"Thanks," Piper murmured. It was the man who caught her eye a while ago. He still hadn't changed his clothes. He was still dusty and bloody and she suddenly felt foolish for being there, seeking attention when these people were the ones who just risked their lives in the field. "Look, I'm really really sorry we bothered you this way. My sister—"

"It's nothing." The man cleaned the wound and Piper winced when he disinfected it. "It's my job. I'm a medic and you're a civilian. My services are open to you." He turned a bright smile to her. "You know, I hope you don't mind this but… your clothes are really… different. I've never seen women wearing denim pants and… Your sisters—"

"What about me sisters?"

"They're not very good girls, are they?"

"What do you mean?"

"Their blouses are not really blouses."

Piper glanced at her sisters. Phoebe was wearing one of her spaghetti straps and Prue was… well… Prue was bared with the tightness of her top. Piper couldn't say anything to that. "What year is it?" The man glanced at her oddly. "Come on please. Just tell me."

"It's 1942."

"World War II."

"Yes, I think they're calling it that. Personally, it doesn't make a difference. We're still here fighting to survive. The titles don't matter." He blew at the wound and then stood up. "There. All done."

Piper thanked him and turned towards her sisters.

"My name is Leo, by the way. Not that you asked or anything."

"Thanks, Leo. My name is Piper. Not that you asked either…"

He walked towards her and took her hand. "Well how about me not asking you if you'd like to go for a walk?"

Piper glanced back at Prue and Phoebe. Prue mouthed her reaction, which Piper could perfectly understand. "Charming. Utterly charming. But go and see. He might be our innocent."

"How about me not asking you if you'd like to meet me tomorrow too?"

"I'm not sure." Piper's face fell. "Well I'd love to. But I don't know if… you know." Piper didn't. "The enemies might decide to drop by tomorrow too."

"Oh! I completely forgot." To Phoebe's shock, Piper giggled. "How could I forget that!" Piper grabbed Leo's hand and pulled him out. "Well come on let's go for that walk."

Leo smiled back as Piper dragged him away, waving to the sisters and saying, "Nice meeting you!"

--

"Come on." Leo pulled Piper with him towards the boulders near the shore. "This is one of the most peaceful places here. Well, as peaceful as anything can be in the middle of a war."

Piper caught her breath at the sight. It was sunset, and the color of the horizon bordered between red and orange. Streaks of red, deep yellow, orange and even blue stained the sky. They had been walking and talking for hours, laughing and sharing confidences as though they've known each other for years. This was the only moment they were actually silent.

Piper let him lead her to the shore. He helped her up to sit on a boulder, and he jumped up to sit beside her.

"It's beautiful."

"I know. Whenever I look at the sunset here I think I've seen the best life has to offer." He turned to her and Piper was amazed at the excited brilliance in his eyes. "I know I won't regret it if I died the next day."

"Oh."

"But that was before I met you."

"What?"

"I always told myself I can die and not even mind. Now I think there's still so much I'll miss. Like knowing you."

He was such a lovely man. Leo Wyatt is definitely the best person she had ever met, the best man. How ironic that they were separated by so many decades. If he was still living during her day, he'd be somewhere around eighty.

She didn't know what possessed her. All she knew is that she felt the irresistible urge to take his face in her hands and press a very deep and intimate kiss against his lips.

"Piper, I—"

"Shhh… Don't argue. Let me take advantage of you," she whispered.

"But…"

"And you thought my sisters are the only bad girls. Well, I am too. Just in a more subtle way." Piper unbuttoned the uniform and pushed it back off his shoulders. "I can't believe we can't ever be together."

"That's a matter of—"

Leo stopped when he saw that Piper was looking at his chest. She looked crestfallen and very near tears. "Leo."

"I was trying to tell you," he explained quietly.

"You're- You're-"

"I'm married." He took the wedding ring hanging from the gold chain around his neck. "Her name is Lillian. I've known her for years." Piper shook her head and moved restlessly. She started to slide off the boulder, trying to get away from him. "Let me help you."

"No! Just… let me go."

"I don't want to."

Piper jumped off the seat. She hit the ground heavily and fell to her hands and knees, cutting herself on the rocks. "Ahhh!" she gasped.

Leo jumped off and knelt beside her. He took the bleeding hands in his. "I don't want to let you go. I've fallen for you."

"Don't say that," she commanded through her tears. "You have no right to say that, Leo!"

"Why? It's true."

"You have no right! You're married!"

"But I…"

"Piper! Leo!"

Piper hastily shoved her hand into Leo's pocket. Medics always had white hankies. This one should be no different. She hastily wiped away the tears. They both turned to see her sisters running towards them.

"Hey. We were just heading back."

Phoebe caught Leo's arm and took a deep breath. "Listen. I had a premonition and you have to take me seriously."

"My sister has some sort of ability. You better believe her."

"I didn't say I won't."

"Fine. I was just saying."

Phoebe and Prue looked at each other. "Okay, I don't know what's up with the two of you but listen. You're going to get killed tomorrow."

"Excuse me?"

"Tomorrow. You can't go to the field tomorrow."

"I have a job to do."

Leo walked off. Prue and Phoebe start off after him and Piper holds up a hand. "Let me. I'll talk to him."

"Okay. Good luck."

--

"Leo. Leo, could you wait?"

Leo turned around and gave her a sad smile. "Why? If your sister's right then I have too short a time to be waiting for girl who just can't run fast enough."

"You believe Phoebe? Just like that?"

"The three of you are wearing clothes that I don't exactly see everyday. You just appeared on the island yesterday with no visible sign of transportation." He took her hand. "You know what really convinced me though?"

"No. What?"

"This." Leo wiped away the lone tear that Piper had been trying to keep from falling.

'Don't go out tomorrow."

"I can't."

"Leo, if you go out to battle tomorrow you're going to get killed!"

"Piper, I believe the Lord has great plans for me. It's just that maybe, it's not in this life."

"Leo…"

"Put your faith in that, Piper. Who knows… maybe the next life is better. Maybe then I'm not married," he teased.

"I don't want you to die."

"Are you staying here?" She shook her head. "I thought so."

"Leo, I don't want to let you go."

"I don't want to let you go either, but there are some things we can't control."

"We can control this! That's why we warned you."

Leo was silent. And then he took her face in his hands and he kissed her. "Just tonight."

She nodded. "I'm sure your wife won't mind," she choked out.

"Don't cry. Sooner or later we all pass away. I'm just dying sooner. And it's kind of dramatic too. I'll be killed in a war for freedom. Isn't that noble?"

"Yes," she whispered. "You're a very noble man."

"You're still sad, aren't you?"

She nodded, her forehead against his chin. "Yeah."

"So am I." He led her back to the camp. "I'll see you tomorrow morning before I go out. Then we'll say goodbye. I'd like to push it back as far as I can."

"Okay, Leo."

Quietly, hand in hand, they walked.

--

The girls woke to the sounds of war. "No!" Piper exclaimed, running out of the tent. "They're gone!" She turned to her sisters. "Hurry. We have to get to the field to save him now."

Prue took Piper's hand in hers. "We'll go there. But you have to remember that Leo chose to go through the battle. We should respect that."

"He's going to die there, Prue! We know it. Isn't it true, Phoebe?" she demanded of her youngest sister, who mutely nodded. "Why were we sent here at all if we're going to let him die?" Piper frantically turned around and rushed through the deserted camp, picking up bandages, a bottle of antiseptic and gauze. "What else do we need?" she asked. Prue and Phoebe merely looked at her in pity. "What else do we need, dammit? Are you two just going to stand there?!"

"Piper, you don't need those. They bring—"

"The hell I don't need them! That is a war!" she cried, pointing to the distance. "Everything's going to be messy and dangerous and disorderly. If I see him hurt I am damn well not wasting a minute looking for first aid kits!"

"Piper…"

"This is enough. This is enough, isn't it?"

"Yes, Piper."

"Well let's go." She hurried off to the direction where the noise was coming from. Already, from afar, they could see the smoke. She immediately ran towards it.

"Piper! Piper, wait!" But she was not stopping for anything, not even for her sisters. She was out to save a life, and she would do it.

--

"Have you seen Leo Wyatt?" The young soldier hissed through his teeth. Piper had thoughtlessly bumped his wounded soldier. "The medic?" He shook his head.

"Leo! Leo, where are you?" Prue and Phoebe called. They looked through people in the infirmary, both the patients and the doctors.

"Have you seen him?"

"He's probably attending to someone, Piper."

"Then why isn't he here? This is the infirmary, isn't it? He's a medic. He's supposed to be here!"

"Piper, would you calm down for a second and tell us—"

"How can I calm down? Tell me, how can I calm down? I get sent to World War II within days of almost being killed by a man who I thought loved me and turned out to be some evil warlock who wants our powers! Oh yeah, did I mention I just found out my life had been drastically changed because now I'm not just a chef but one of the most powerful witches of all time? And then I meet this fabulous man who, unfortunately, I cannot have because he's in this time and I'm almost sixty years into the future. And now I find out he's dying and he won't listen to any warnings! Tell me, Prue, how can I calm down?!"

Prue and Phoebe stare openmouthed at their sister. "Piper, I'm sorry." Prue drew her into a tight embrace.

"I'm sorry too," Piper replied. "I'm just…"

"We understand, honey. We do," Phoebe assured her.

The three were shoved aside as three soldiers stumbled into the infirmary tent. One gasped out, "We're getting butchered in there!"

Piper's eyes widened as she recognized the insignia on the man's uniform. Leo had the same one on his. "Excuse me. Do you happen to know where Leo Wyatt is?"

She sighed in relief as the man nodded. "He was supposed to come back here with us. But one of the privates received a head wound and can't be moved. He stayed there to give him some first aid."

"Thank you!" This time, Prue and Phoebe did not yell at Piper to wait up when their sister started running. They ran with her.

"Leo!" Piper screamed. She stopped in her tracks as she saw, as if in slow motion, an enemy cannon explode. Her eyes followed a piece of metal shrapnel zip through the air. "No!! Leo!"

Her hands flew to her hair and tears filled her eyes. She watched the shrapnel fly to the back of his head.

Her arms rose up to freeze the scene.

"Piper, it's too late," she heard Prue whisper at her back. She reached out a hand, closing her eyes, imagining that he was touching his face.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Leo." She turned her head to look at her sisters. "Maybe he's not dead!" Phoebe gave her a brave smile. "Maybe he's just very very hurt, but he's not dead, Phoebe, is he?"

"Let it happen, Piper. Let it happen." Piper didn't want to, but she unfroze the scene nonetheless.

She could almost feel his body slam forward and back with the intense force of the blow. His face contorted in pain and his body seemed to wave through the air before slowly falling down. She found the strength to move his legs once more the moment he hit the ground.

"God, please, no!" Piper ran towards the body lying facedown in the mud. She fell to her knees beside him. "You were going to say goodbye, Leo! You still owe me a goodbye!"

Prue saw that the battle had fallen into the arms of the Japanese. She pulled her sister up. "Come on, Piper. We have to get out of here before they see us."

She held on to Leo's body tightly. "No."

"Piper, they'll kill us if they find us. They won't care if we're civilians!"

"No, Prue! I won't let him go!"

Her hands slackened their grip on him when the sky opened and a bright light fell focused on Leo. Prue and Phoebe took the distraction to their advantage as they pulled their sister away from the body.

"Leo!"

She sobbed out loud when he rose from the mud, glowing with an incredible light. She kept calling out his name, but he did not turn. He did not hear her. In front of their eyes, Leo, bathed in that golden light, began to float upwards. He was floating to the heavens!

The tears dried on their cheeks as they watched the young medic vanish up into the clouds. When they could see him no more, Prue reached out for Piper. But Piper walked forward, gazing at the sky.

"He's gone, Piper."

"Yes," she whispered. "And he still hasn't said goodbye."

An indescribable languor filled them and one by one, the Halliwell sisters fell down unconscious.

--

"Hey, sleepyhead." Prue and Phoebe greeted Piper as she stepped into the kitchen.

"Hey guys. You're up early."

"Yeah. I gotta run to Bucklands. You know I had the most incredible dream last night."

"Really? I did too!" Piper exclaimed. "But it fades…"

Phoebe thought hard. "Oh that's weird. I dreamt something too but now I can't seem to remember it either."

"Must be one of those things," Prue commented as she grabbed her bag. "Oh, Phoebe remember your dentist appointment this afternoon ok?"

"Sure, Prue."

Prue left the kitchen and then ran back.

"Forgot something, Prue?"

"Yeah, Piper. The attic door is a little wobbly. Call a handyman."

fin