Title: Lonely Light of Morning
Chapter 1: Prologue
A/N: Hey people! We, that is Warriora and Stoneage Woman, figured that since we love each other's writing and have both beta-read for each other, we could try working as a team on a Charmed/Supernatural fanfic. We stand before you after much trans-continental chatting on G-talk, many late nights, some obsessive planning, and much paranoia. A couple of things you should make note of before we begin- this fic obviously messes with the timelines of cannon a little- Season 3 of Supernatural takes place in 2007-08, and Charmed Season 6 took place in 2004, so it's technically impossible for the two timelines to coinside like this. But hey, that's why they call it artistic lisence, right? Also, we're both completely mental. That means much gore, angst, and trauma. Consider yourselves warned! We are so excited to be working on this project together. Happy reading!
We believed that we could change ourselves
The past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
The lonely light of morning
The wound that would not heal
It's the bitter taste of losing everything
That I have held so dear.
- Sarah McLachlan, "Fallen."
Sam Winchester's grip on the wooden stake tightened as he rounded the next dark corner- but it had been an unnecessary action. The shadowed alley was empty.
Still not convinced his prey had merely fled in fear, Sam hung close to the leaky concrete building and edged into the alley, his eyes sharp and gleaming eerily in the silver moonlight. The night's hunt was far from over.
Just as he was considering moving on to the next dark alleyway, a quiet, rustling noise caught his attention. Without a sound and hardly a movement, he melted into the shadows and concentrated on the direction of the noise. As he stared harder and harder, he was able to make out a dark silhouette beneath a fire escape ladder. A shift in the clouds and moonlight revealed a young woman, curled tightly in a ball with her long blond hair blanketed over her frame. Even from across the alley, Sam could see her shaking and trying to make her quivering breaths as noiseless as possible.
What an act, a snide voice drawled inside his head. A smirk twisted the corners of his lips.
Using the darkness to his advantage, Sam slipped across the passageway and crept up close behind her. She stiffened and stopped breathing entirely when his foot disturbed a small puddle by her hand. Her saucer-wide eyes shot up to meet his and a scream erupted from her throat at the sight of him. Without a moment's hesitation, Sam clasped a calloused hand over her mouth and used his position to drag her up and slam her into the stone wall. She instantly kicked out and tried to run, but Sam held fast.
Adjusting his position so that he could hold her against the wall with one arm, Sam used his other arm to swing back the wooden stake. Just as he plunged it forward, though, the vampire girl shot under his arm and took off at a frantic sprint.
She knows I have a stake, Sam thought, only pausing momentarily before taking off after her. Why doesn't she turn into a bat or use super-speed?
He shoved the chilling doubt aside roughly. He had done the research. He had done hours of investigation. The results all pointed to the same conclusion: Annie Hicks was a vampire. She was. End of story. …She was just a very stupid vampire, apparently.
Sam tackled the girl to the ground before she even reached the end of the alleyway. She started to scream again, but Sam was prepared this time. Without a word to her, he gripped the stake so tightly he felt the skin on his palm tear then drove it through her chest.
The scream she let out was bloodcurdling. Even Sam was taken aback by the sheer pain and terror in its glass shattering tones.
After a few more seconds, the girl's breathing stopped, and a single drop of blood trickled from her lips. She was dead.
Why isn't she turning to ash? Sam stood, feeling the adrenaline seep away quickly. Something wasn't right. She was a vampire. Vampires turned to ash. Why wasn't she?
He swallowed hard and pulled the stake out of Annie's chest. He was positive. He had been positive. This girl… the deaths that surrounded her… the motive, the lack of human evidence… it had to have been her…. There was no one else it could have been. It was Annie Hicks.
He took a deep breath and steeled himself. He was right. She was supernatural, or at least dealing with the supernatural. She deserved death, and Sam had given it to her.
Without another thought on the matter, Sam pulled out his machete and brought it forcefully down upon her neck. He didn't even flinch as her still-warm blood splattered across his face.
"Guys, this is ridiculous. You can't just keep putting demon vanquishes on hold like this. I get that you have your lives, but this is your job! And besides, this demon might be the one that hurts-"
"Don't even say it, mister," Phoebe growled, frustrated, as she poured herself a cup of coffee. She was already late for work. "Have you ever heard that story, about the boy who kept crying 'wolf' so that people stopped believing him when there really was one? You can only use the same excuse so many times before your sheep get killed, Chris."
"Sheep? You're comparing Wyatt to sheep?" Chris stared at her incredulously.
"Okay, so maybe I have to work on my analogies a little," Phoebe conceded, blushing a little.
"I think you've been spending too much time in Hong Kong. And by the way? Unlike the boy who cried 'wolf,' I am not lying about the existence of these demons!" He exclaimed, "I just don't know exactly what got to Wyatt in my future! And anyway, it's your job to vanquish demons! You're a freaking Charmed One!"
"Chris, lay off already wouldja?" Paige said as she came in, and, to Chris's irritation, she was already dressed for work. "You really need to lighten up a little, have some fun. Remember fun?"
"Like I told you guys before, I didn't come here to have fun," Chris snapped. He knew losing his temper was probably not the best way to get them to come demon-hunting, but their attitudes were really starting to piss him off.
Paige threw up her hands. "Sorry I spoke."
"And as for my job, I can't be late for it again, or Elise will kill me." Phoebe stood, draining the last of her coffee. "I know it's not my only job, but it's the one that pays most of the bills around here. So, if you don't mind, or even if you do, actually, I am out of here."
"That makes two of us," Paige said, following her out of the room. "Sorry, Chris, but I really have to-"
"No! No way! I am not going after a demon that you are supposed to take care of, alone, again! You can't just-"
"Saved by the jingle," Paige interrupted, looking skyward. "Sorry, Chris, but the Elders are a-calling…" Normally she wasn't a fan of the Elders, and she did have to go to work, but their call had at least spared her from Chris's endless nagging. "Toodles!" She said brightly, waving and orbing out before he could say anything.
"No, wait! Damn it!" Completely frustrated, Chris kicked at the carpet, swearing colorfully.
"Hey, Mr. Potty Mouth," Piper said, eyebrows raised as she entered the room. "What's wrong with you this morning?"
She poured herself the last of the coffee and stood leaning over the kitchen counter as she sipped it. "Piper, I need your help vanquishing the demon I told you about yesterday," He said, "It'll be really difficult to take on without the power of the Charmed Ones. You have to help me, or get Paige or Phoebe to help me."
"Paige and Phoebe have their own lives, and so do I," Piper said. "Can't the demon wait till later?"
"No, it can't. I'm on a tight schedule here." And the fact that it was taking him twice as long to fight demons without their help was not helping keep up with it. There were just so many threats to take care of.
"Well, I'm sorry, but I have a date with Gregg. And considering that on our last date, I had to freeze him and take off again without any explanations, I owe him. So I'm going to eat breakfast, and you are not going to interrupt me halfway through my date unless Phoebe and Paige have turned into demons and the house is on fire."
"Can't you go later today?" Chris pleaded, "Lunch-date? Dinner? Who the hell has breakfast dates, anyway? Please, Piper, I really need your help on this one. It's an Upper Level demon, and an exceptionally powerful one at that."
"Gregg works during the day, Chris, and I have a nightclub to run, so this is the only time. And anyway, I can't keep rescheduling my life around demon vanquishes."
"Uh, yeah, you can! It's your job!"
"So I'm not entitled to a normal life at all, just because I'm a Charmed One? Is that what you're saying?" Chris didn't say anything, knowing that whatever he said would only antagonize her further when she was in this mood. "I thought so. And you should keep in mind that I've been doing this for a lot longer than you have, Chris, so I think I know what my job is."
"This could be the demon that gets to Wyatt," Chris said, though he already knew it would do nothing to convince her.
"Yeah, like every other demon you've told us to vanquish since you came here," Piper said, skeptical. "Come on, Chris. Wyatt's with Leo for the day- he's perfectly safe, unless you do something to go and change that." There was a warning in her voice; she still hadn't been able to forgive him for lying to them about being a whitelighter.
"I'm trying to save him," Chris said through clenched teeth, angry and hurt by her distrust, "But your normal life is clearly more important to you than your son, so have fun on your date." The moment the words escaped his mouth, he regretted saying them.
"Get out of my house," She said coldly.
"You don't have a right to talk to me like that," Piper said, and her words were like a million sharp needles piercing his heart. "And you certainly have no right to talk to me about how much Wyatt means to me, or about how I choose to raise him."
"Shut up. I've heard just about enough-"
"Look, I'm sorry okay?" Chris said, knowing when to quit where his mother (future mother, he reminded himself) was concerned. "I shouldn't have said it."
"You're damn right you shouldn't have," Piper said angrily, "Please, just leave Chris. Don't come back for a couple of days, because I don't think I can stand the sight of you right now."
Chris flinched. My mother can't stand the sight of me. "I need," He faltered. "The Book of Shadows, I need to-"
Piper sighed in frustration. "Fine. Stay. But you'd better be out of here by the time I come back." She turned on her heel and strode out of the room, and a moment later, the front door slammmed shut.
Chris sighed, dropping into a chair and burying his face into his hands. Damn it. He hated this- hated arguing with the sisters, and particularly Piper. And he hated the fact that he had to boss over them so much to get anything done. Not that that always worked. Once again, they had left him alone to vanquish a really powerful demon which they knew would be much harder for him to vanquish without them. Not that he couldn't take care of a demon without their help (after all, he was the son of a Charmed One and a whitelighter), but these weren't ordinary circumstances. He couldn't use all his powers for fear that the Elders would sense how powerful he was and start asking questions. And that meant going up against an Upper Level demon only able to use half his powers- not good.
Sighing, he orbed up to the attic. He had work to do.
"This had better not take too long; I have to go to the temp-agency this morning," Paige told Leo the moment she orbed in front of him.
Leo raised his eyebrows slightly at the harried look and the uncharacteristic lack of greeting. "Blessed be, Paige," He said pointedly.
"Sorry. Hi. Chris has already put me in a foul mood, and I'm half an hour late for work already, so excuse me if I'm not a bundle of sunshine this morning."
Leo nodded sympathetically. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this Paige, but you're going to have to call in a sick or something. You're being assigned a charge."
"What? Leo, no, I can't handle-"
"You're going to have to, Paige. I know it sucks, but he's important. He's got a destiny- he's supposed to rid the world of some great future evil, and he's been straying from his path. And now it's reached a point where we have to intervene."
"And they just had to pick me as his whitelighter," Paige said flatly. "I'm sorry, Leo, but I can't manage this with everything else that's going on. You're just going to have to assign him to someone else."
But Leo was already shaking his head. "I'm sorry, Paige, but it has to be you."
"Why? There are, like, hundreds of other whitelighters here who are much more experienced than I am-"
"It has to be you because his destiny apparently involves you guys. The Haliwells."
"Well, can you tell me something about this guy at least? What does he do? What do you mean he's been straying from his path?"
"No. You'll have to find out on your own. The Elders haven't even told me. Whatever it is, it's really important. They think you need to figure this out on your own, because you're all directly involved."
"Great. That's just peachy." She felt like banging her head against a wall in frustration. "I don't have a choice in this, do I?"
Richard was going to love this. So much for 'Magic-Lite.'
"I'm afraid not." He hesitated. "And you might want to get moving on this one as fast as you can. He's important."
"You mentioned that." She took a deep breath, steeling herself, trying to let go of all her frustration. "Fine. I'll go now- as soon as you assign him to me and I start sensing him. But can I at least know the guy's name first?"
"Sam Winchester. His name is Sam Winchester."
Downtown Atlanta is gross, Paige mentally declared as she surveyed the damage to her new shoes. The unidentifiable slime on some of the streets had her shivering in her very skin. She was quickly coming to regret her decision to orb a few blocks away from her charge so that she wouldn't scare him on their first meeting. Since Leo hadn't even told her if "Sam" was magical, she was assuming he wasn't. But if he and the Halliwells' destinies were connected… he had to learn about magic sooner or later, if he didn't already know.
One last look at her ruined shoes convinced her. She sensed for him, found him alone, and orbed straight there…
…Just in time to see a young woman's head rip from her body, and the young man responsible whip around to face her.
She didn't even have time to speak before a gun was pointed at her and pain exploded in her abdomen.
Only a small choking noise escaped her throat as her knees gave out and she folded to the ground, clutching her stomach. She had barely even registered that he had shot her with something blunt- for she wasn't bleeding- before even more pain exploded in her shoulder, knocking her backwards to the ground. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to force her lungs to take in air through the blinding pain, but she couldn't. She opened her mouth, to scream, to call for help, to tell him to stop, to do anything, but no sound would come out. She was too numb to even orb.
Then she heard the sound of a gun being reloaded, and fear flooded her veins like ice-cold battery acid. She opened her mouth to cry out, to say anything, but was saved by the miraculous arrival of orbs.
Suffice to say, Paige was immediately sorry for anything bad she had ever said to or about Chris, especially when he lashed out an arm and tore the gun telekinetically from her crazed charge's grasp. The weapon made a resounding crack as it hit the stone wall and clattered to the ground, just as Sam shot to his feet. The Winchester faced Chris with a slightly insane glint in his dark eyes.
Paige managed to haul herself into a sitting position just in time to see surprise and recognition wash over Chris' paled features. Without a thought to her presence, the neurotic whitelighter breathed faintly, "Sam?"
"What are you two?" Sam demanded, his voice raised to a yell and his fists clenched at his sides. He appeared to have missed the soft admittance from the otherwise closed half-breed. "If you guys are spirits, then how the hell are you corporeal? It's impossible!"
"We're not spirits," ground out Paige, who was hauling herself stiffly to her feet and watching Chris' strange expression carefully. "Chris?" she ventured hesitantly when he continued to ignore her.
Chris blinked furiously as though trying to clear his head and looked, confused, over to Paige. But the Charmed One didn't seem to be able to hold his attention, for his eyes wandered almost immediately back to Sam, who was now looking suspiciously between the two magical ones.
Sam and Chris' eyes caught, and, for a split second, some understanding seemed to flick between them.
Sam's eyes narrowed, calculating and perplexed. But he had already realized what his mind couldn't make sense of.
"Do I… know you?"