A Slight Change in Destiny's Plans

The Past and The Power

"Phoebe has gone nuts. She's cuckoo." Paige flopped down on the sofa and crossed her arms.

Piper stuck her head out of the kitchen. "Why?" she asked.

"Because," the redhead began, annoyance lacing her voice, "she told me that she wants to try it again with Cole."

"She what?" Piper asked. "Paige, it's not April Fool's Day, even though that holiday's demon did just show up two days ago."

"I'm not joking."

"She is cuckoo," agreed Piper, letting her white dishrag fall from her hand unnoticed. "I mean, I could almost see why she took him back after the whole Brotherhood thing. His mentor guy tricked him into killing--"

"You know what?" Paige broke off Piper's reminiscing about her younger sister's tumultuous relationship with the half-demon. "The past is the past, and it should stay there. We've finally moved on from Cole and we're happy, right? Phoebe is happy."

Piper picked up the cloth and sighed. "I don't know."

"She has a life," Paige went on. "She has Miles. It's a clean slate for her. It'd be like sending a white dress out to get dry-cleaned and then baking an eight-course meal wearing it!"

Piper nodded. "You're absolutely right," she said. "But you can't get rid of the love of your life by paying a fortune in dry-cleaning bills."

"And she has a new power…" Paige shook her head. "It's too much for one person to handle at one time."

"Since when did you become the psychology expert?" Piper asked, a smile playing on her lips.

"Shush." Paige stood up. "Now if you don't mind, I'm going to try to talk some sense into that sister of mine. Again."

Piper watched as Paige went up the stairs. Headstrong, she thought wryly. Both of them. If only Grams were here.

XXX

"If Paige won't give me the stupid potion," Phoebe muttered under her breath, "then I'm going to make my own." She squinted down at the Book of Shadows. "What the heck is a Valkyrie?"

"Step away from the podium, lady," a voice instructed from the doorway.

Phoebe looked up. "I'm trying to do something here."

"Yeah, get us killed," Paige said, striding in.

"No, that's what you'll be doing if you don't give me the power stripping potion," said Phoebe, flipping the page. "Cole isn't dangerous if he doesn't have powers."

"Cole is always dangerous," Paige corrected. "Period."

"You haven't known him for as long as I have. There's a good side to him. All the times when he tried to kill me…" Phoebe trailed off. "Bad example."

"I can't believe you're even considering this."

"Give him a chance, Paige," said Phoebe, meeting her eyes. "You met him with the pre-conception that he was evil. He's not. He's part good, like you're part Whitelighter."

"Yes, but my half heals. His half maims."

"Enough." Phoebe picked up the book and headed out of the attic. "I don't want to talk, I want to work. I'm going to my room which, incidentally, has a door that locks. And don't even think of orbing in."

Paige rolled her eyes. "I hate to have to do this."

"What?" Phoebe turned around, wishing that she was someplace peaceful to deal with the sudden change in her attitude.

Paige held out her arms. "Book," she commanded.

No sooner had she uttered those words did Phoebe disappear in a swirl of blue and white orbs with a shriek. Paige looked around cautiously and winced.

"This is not good."

XXX

Phoebe blinked several times as she struggled to get her balance and not drop the Book. She'd never liked orbing. Shimmering was worse, sure, and her form of travel with Prue last night hadn't been her definition of fun, but this Charmed One preferred buses to supernatural transport.

She looked around, not certain of how she'd gotten where she was. She wasn't even certain of where she was. There were evergreen trees…birds chirping…and headstones?

A haggard-looking wooden sign caught her eye:

Peaceful Rest Cemetery: Hawthorne, Washington

"Something tells me that this new power thingy is a little more than throwing lightning bolts." Phoebe shuddered. "Leo!"

A/N: This chapter is dedicated to movieholic, who gave me a kick in the butt to turn the engine over on this one. This fic, while on the back burner for a zillion and a half years, has been spinning in my mind over and over…plot ideas, various alternate universes, the whole shebang. When it originally started, I had no clue where this was gonna go. Now, I think I do.