AN: Thank you to those who reviewed. You brightened my day immensely! I don't want to ruin anything for those who haven't seen the last Charmed episode, but I'd just like to say that I prefer what the writers did to Leo better than the alternative.
Disclaimer: If Charmed were mine, Piper and Leo wouldn't be going through all that heartbreak. But that's why we love them so much.
Piper sank gratefully into the tub overflowing with scented bubbles and smiled in contentment. This was just what she needed, a warm bath and maybe a nice, relaxing nap. If only a certain someone would recognize her for more than a supernatural demon exterminator, it would be a whole lot better.
Piper huffed in frustration, causing bubbles to fly in all directions.
What was with Leo anyway? She could have sworn he had some resemblance of feelings for her. Why won't he just ask her out?
Piper was sure she gave him all the right signals. She had offered more inviting smiles and dropped way more subtle hints than she ever had in the past. Was she not being clear enough? Maybe she should take Phoebe's advice and do the asking. It was the 21st century after all.
However, call her old-fashioned, Piper could not bring herself to blurt out the simplest of phrases. She felt that as a man, Leo was the one with the prerogative. And since he hasn't asked, then he probably didn't want to go. Damn that man.
Her attention drifted away from what she felt to be a doomed relationship—one that never even got a chance to begin—to the muffled sounds outside her bathroom door.
"Piper? Piper, have you seen the baby?"
"No, why would I see him? Check with Paige." Piper yelled so she could be heard.
"I told her to check the backyard. Give a shout if you see him, okay?"
"Yessir, I'll be sure to thoroughly check every inch of the bathtub."
"Oh," on the other side of the door, Phoebe paused. "You're taking a bath?"
"No, I'm making dinner. Of course, I'm taking a bath. The baby wouldn't be here."
Piper could just see her sister think it through.
"Maybe he wanted a bath, too?"
As if on cue, the baby poofed into the bathroom. He settled himself on the opposite side of the bathtub from Piper, who gave a strangled yelp.
"Oh my god, what is it, Piper?" She could hear Phoebe's concern through the wood. Piper sunk deeper into her bubbles.
"Phoebe, I found the baby."
There was a pause from the other side.
"You know I was kidding, right?"
Piper tugged a sleek red tank top over her head and slid her arms into a denim jacket to complete her outfit. She could hear Phoebe and Paige coo over baby Cupid downstairs.
They had been having trouble getting him out of the bathroom, his attention choosing to focus on the clumps of bubbles. Finally, it had been Paige who orbed the baby out so that Piper could drag her wrinkly body out of the tub.
As Piper made her way downstairs, she heard the baby gurgle happily and saw the familiar glow of somebody orbing. That must mean Leo was here. Hoo boy.
Upon entering the living room, she found both her sisters sitting on the floor and Cupid Jr. in their whitelighters lap.
He looked up at her and gave her a hesitant grin. His cautiousness grated on Piper's nerves.
Piper offered her own tight smile back. If he wasn't going to ask, she won't bother with holding her breath.
"Where'd you guys get such a cute baby?" Leo asked, not even bothering to greet her otherwise. That man could be so frustrating.
"Target. Five bucks." Piper answered sardonically. Her bitter thoughts were getting the better of her.
Phoebe shot her a look. Leo focused his attention on the squirming baby.
"Well, it seems this little guy caused some love issues, so Cupid Sr. asked us to baby-sit him." Paige answered, ignoring the fuming older sister.
"Hey, Piper. Look what I found buried in the couch cushions." Phoebe waved a slender object in her hand.
Piper sat down on the couch behind her two sisters. "A stick?"
"No, silly. It's an arrow. And it's even got a little bow to match. Isn't it cute?"
"Just darling." Again with the sarcasm. She shouldn't let her loveless life bother her.
Phoebe handed the miniature bow and arrow over to the baby.
"I thought Cupid used those ring thingies. Are they regressing, or what?" Paige asked.
"Well, baby cupids start off with bows and arrows. The rings are too powerful for a toddler who hasn't fully developed yet. They could really mess with somebody's mind, and heart, with that sort of access." Leo explained.
Cupid Jr. waved the arrow as if in agreement.
"Uh…are you sure he's capable of handling sharp objects?" Piper worried as he waved the arrow in Leo's face. Leo laughed as the little boy wiggled in his lap.
"Don't be such a worrywart, Piper." Paige rolled her eyes.
"Yea, if cutie here couldn't handle it, I'm sure his daddy wouldn't have given it to him." Phoebe continued.
"Right, tell that to me after he pokes your eyes out. And I am not a worrywart. I'm just…more cautious than the average person." Piper said defensively.
All three sisters turned as Leo pulled the arrow out of his leg where baby Cupid seemed to have stabbed in his excitement.
"Oh geez, Leo, are you okay?" Piper rushed to his side as Phoebe took the baby and Paige too the weapons.
"Yea, I'm fine. It wasn't that deep." Leo assured her with a gentle smile.
Piper glanced at his thigh and was surprised to see the wound glow pink before it seemed to heal.
"Looks like junior here just healed Leo." Phoebe exclaimed happily. "I knew you couldn't harm a fly."
"Still, I think we better separate these from mini Cupid there." Paige said before getting up and searching for an adequate hiding place.
When Cupid Jr. say his toys being taken away, he let out an ear-piercing cry.
Leo winced. "Maybe you should just let him have it. Not like it'll do any harm. The arrow shouldn't have any effect since he's still young."
"Leo, you just got a hole in your leg." Piper reminded him.
"And he healed it."
"Please, Pippy?" Phoebe cut in, using the old nickname. "Just look at how sad he is."
She held little Cupid out and Piper's heart melted at the sight of his tear-streaked face. Contrary to how she'd been acting, she was not heartless.
Completely giving in, she held her hands out for the baby. Her maternal instincts were yelling at her to comfort the poor thing.
"There, there." She murmured and made soothing circles on his bareback. "You can have your toys."
He gurgled happily when the bow and arrow were back in his hands and settled himself in Piper's arms.
"Aw, Piper, a baby looks good on you!" Phoebe said with a smile.
"You think?" Piper asked, looking down at the baby.
Cupid Jr. smiled widely and poofed a red rose into his hands before offering it up to her. Piper smiled. He really was going to make a girl quite happy someday.
"A baby definitely suits you." A quiet voice stated.
Piper looked towards Leo to see him watching her, a cute grin on his face. She blushed under his gaze. He was feeling oddly complimentary today.
"Not to ruin the happy, fuzzy moment or anything, but I gotta go meet Richard at his house. He's taking me out somewhere special today." Paige said before orbing out.
"Would I be correct in assuming that she won't be coming back any time soon?" Piper asked to no one in particular.
"Nope. She's expecting one hell of a night. Sister's intuition." Phoebe said, a devilish glint in her eye hinting at what their youngest sister might be doing.
Piper coughed to cover her own smile. She could still feel Leo watching her. What was he thinking? Before he seemed uninterested to the point of avoiding her, and now…
"Um, I think I'll go put baby here to sleep." Piper muttered.
"Oh, I have to go meet Cole." Phoebe remembered.
Both turned towards Leo, expecting him to orb out and do his whitelighter duties.
"I guess I'll stay with Piper then."
Piper and Phoebe stared. Leo offered them a smile. "You know, to make sure nothing happens to the baby."
Piper nodded slowly, as if she understood. "Right…"
Phoebe, on the other hand, was grinning from ear to ear. Finally her sister was having a chance to get together with the man of her dreams.
"Okay, well you two have fun!" She said all too brightly. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do." And she left an awkward Piper with a very comfortable looking Leo.
"Well that means we can basically do anything." Piper stated. Somehow, it came out sounding like an invitation. "Uh…I mean—"
"It's alright, Piper." Leo gestured towards the baby. "Want me to put him upstairs?"
Piper looked down to find Cupid Jr. sleeping peacefully. "No, I'll do it."
She made her way to the stairs and turned to find Leo still watching her. Something about his expression was off. She continued up the stairs, the feeling of Leo's eyes never leaving her.
End Notes: I'm sure you've all figured out what's going on. If not, not to worry! All will be revealed…or not. I hope it's not too boring. I've been so busy lately that it's been hard to find time and upload this chapter. But I'm looking forward to the future chapters, it should be fun.