Leo's wrapped his fingers around the edge of the stand, his tired eyes boring into the Book of Shadows. His blonde hair flopped into his eyes but he didn't bother brushing it away. He squinted. Vaguely, he registered footsteps coming up the hallway. When the attic door opened, his gaze remained on the Book.
"I haven't found an antidote yet." He admitted, finally glancing up. Piper, Phoebe, and Paige stood before him in a row. Piper had that look on her face… He frowned, started to speak.
"That's okay. I think we did." Piper said, then twisted her neck to the side. It cracked loudly and Leo's frown deepened. Before he had a chance to say anything, the three girls before him morphed, their skin melting down and sliding into something not altogether human. Leo's eyes widened.
Piper, deformed almost past recognition, snarled at him.
"Language!" She shrieked, backhanding him across the face. Leo flew halfway across the room, landing not so gracefully in a pile of boxes. Phoebe reacted swiftly, reaching for her sister with bulky arms.
"Leave Leo alone!" Her anger was almost as irrational as Piper's, and the oldest sister struggled under her grasp.
"He's my husband!" Piper yelled back, finally ripping away from Phoebe. Paige, apparently eager to jump in, just shoved Piper away from Phoebe. "What'd you do that for?" Piper snarled. Paige shoved her again.
"I just felt like it!" Paige yelled back. Across the room, Leo lifted himself from a pile of crushed boxes, brushing at dirt on his arms.
"Stop it! You guys are gonna kill each other!" The three half-demon sisters turned to look at him. "How did this happen?" He moved closer to them, his eyes a little wide.
"We made it happen!" Phoebe responded defensively, crossing her arms over her chest. Her vision was a little blurry with rage, but something was unreachable in the back of her mind, some nagging memory.
"All right, we have work to do." Piper said. It seemed to snap them out of it. Leo watched as a slightly surreal scene unfolded: Phoebe swept a massive pile of books of the potion table with an easy swipe of her hand, and Piper held out a plastic card to Paige who swung a pendulum over the city map. It began to swing uncontrollably, faster than Leo had ever seen it go. His eyes widened a little more.
Phoebe was exhausted. Her bones were aching, her muscles where burning, her head was pounding. Maybe she was getting old. She took another sip of her tea, looking up from the steam when Leo walked in.
"Do you know when Piper and Paige are getting back?" He asked, lifting his own mug from the rack above the island.
"Pretty soon. I'm sure that talk with Murphy won't last long." Phoebe smirked. Leo shook his head.
"I'm just glad you managed to pull everything off, especially considering the danger you put yourself in." His tone was stern now and Phoebe glanced away. She didn't regret an instant of it. How could she?
"Gotta do what you gotta do." Was Phoebe's reply. She stared back into her mug. "I just wish the demons hadn't gotten the cure, too." She sighed. Suddenly, her eyes lifted, her body tensing in the silence. "Did you hear that? Is Billie up?" She didn't bother looking to Leo for an answer. Sliding out of her stool, she grabbed the hot cup of coffee out of Leo's hands and moved into the living room. Leo smiled good naturely.
Billie was sitting up, her eyes darting around the room in surprise when Phoebe walked in. The older girl's heart was already pumping. Fueling her relief at seeing the girl moving and breathing, a little bit of color back into her cheeks, It didn't matter if Billie's last request- the kiss, the touch –had been caused by desperation, as long as the younger girl was okay. As long as she was still there.
"Whoa! Easy, easy." Phoebe moved to Billie's side as the girl sat up and leaned against the back of the couch. "Slow." She handed Leo's coffee over and grinned. They ended up a few inches apart, Phoebe's arm resting comfortably behind the blonde. Billie took in Phoebe's easy-going smile and glanced around.
"Umm…what happened?" She asked, her voice husky from sleep. Phoebe's smile shifted into something resembling adoration. She caught it before Billie did, and it almost surprised her. She lifted her arm and rested her head on her hand.
"Cliff Notes version: We hulked out, kicked ass, and saved the world." She smirked, leaning a little closer. "You know, just another day at the office." She pressed her fingers into her forehead and a lone curl of dark hair trailed past her eye. Billie looked over, her eyes straying to the piece.
"Yeah, I can see that." She admitted.
"We got the antidote to the Elders and they're curing everyone as they speak." Phoebe continued.
"What about demons?" Billie was just a shard of hopeful. Her leg brushed Phoebe's and her breath stuttered for a moment. Ridiculous.
"They got the antidote, too." Phoebe said, frowning a little. Billie couldn't help it anymore- that tiny curl, that soft pout, the accidental brush- she had to touch. She stretched her fingers out and brushed the hair behind Phoebe's ear. The older girl's skin blushed pinker beneath her fingertips.
"You guys risked yourselves to save me." Billie said. Phoebe smiled back sweetly.
"Well, we gotta keep you around so you can find your sister, right?" She half-teased. They were inches apart now, both leaning back against the couch. Phoebe's dipped her head further in her hand, edged a little closer.
"I don't know what to say." Billie breathed out. Her heart was beating double-time. She really couldn't think.
"You don't have to say anything." Phoebe reassured her. "We think of you as part of the family now." She moved her own hand, reaching up to brush away Billie's messy hair. "Not gonna let anything happen to you."
The sound of orbing cut in and Phoebe pulled her hand away smoothly, carefully removing her body from Billie's. She had been half-expecting it. She didn't know how to explain her and Billie. She didn't know if there was much to explain.
Her two sisters shimmered into sight. When the sparkle cleared and Piper saw Billie, she smiled.
"Hey sunshine! Good to see some color in those cheeks." She grinned cheekily and Paige chimed in.
"Yeah, grey and pasty- not your color scheme." Billie, still a little lost in Phoebe's hands, could only smile.
"How'd it go with Murphy?" Phoebe took over, her arm still loose around Billie's shoulders.
"Well, he decided we were a little too difficult to work with, so I don't think we'll be hearing from him any time soon." Piper smirked, sarcasm dripping through her words.
"How rude!" Phoebe exclaimed, leaning back on her hand. She grinned.
"Meh." Was Piper's only reply.
"Well, if you guys will excuse me, I'm gonna go check on little Ramon." Paige smiled again, and it slid up into her eyes. Piper raised an eyebrow.
"Don't you mean Henry?" The oldest sister teased.
"No." Paige frowned, but she was blushing. "I mean Ramon."
"Kiss him for me." Phoebe grinned, the sweetness from before slipping back into her tone. Paige's eyebrows went straight up.
"No! Ramon." Phoebe chuckled. Paige sighed.
"Oh. Okay." She waved once more to Billie on the couch and orbed out. Piper eyed her sister, hands on her hips.
"He got to you, didn't he?" She accused. Billie turned to Phoebe to watch for a reaction.
"Don't you have some kind of ski trip to get ready for?" Phoebe avoided answering, her arm back around Billie. She was kind of anxious to be alone. She tried to ignore what that meant.
"Yeah." Piper admitted.
"Yeah." Phoebe suggested, and Piper rolled her eyes. She disappeared up the stairs and Billie laughed, leaning a little closer to Phoebe.
"I want that." She said quietly, half her face pressed into Phoebe's collarbone. Phoebe wrapped a hand around the girl's soft blonde head, stroking her fingers through Billie's hair.
"I know, sweetie." She pressed a kiss into Billie's head. "And we're gonna help you get it."