DISC: I DO NOT own any of the chars from Charmed. They belong to The WB.

A/N: Again, this is another old Charmed story of mine. I Hope everyone likes it! Thanks to Susannah for sending it to me!

"Lights Out"

Fifteen-year-old Piper gave a contented sigh as she turned the page to the book she was reading. It had been such a relaxing evening so far. It was 11:00 on a Friday night and Phoebe was already in bed, Prue was due in any minute from a date, and Grams was out of town at a friend's house.

"And I have time to just sit back and read," Piper said out loud to herself as she closed the book of Stephen King's short stories and sat up in her bed. She sat there just looking at her far wall then nodded. "And I'm hungry." She slowly stood up, grabbed her unfinished book and started downstairs to get a snack.

The sound of the front door closing made her heart skip a beat and her breath quicken. She stopped mid-step in the hallway outside of Phoebe's room and slowly turned her head to look behind her then in front of her. Someone was walking up the stairs. 'Oh my God,' she thought. 'I am going to die! Just like in the last chapter I read. Oh my God, oh my God,'

"Hey, Piper!"

Piper gave a shriek and dashed into Phoebe's room, closing the door behind her. She leapt on the bed, causing Phoebe to grunt and slowly sit up.

"Wha-?"

"Shh." Piper put her hand of her sister's mouth. "There's a killer outside your door and they know my name!"

Phoebe started to tense, but rolled her eyes instead.

It was only after they heard footsteps in the hallway that she started to believe Piper's words.

Both sisters looked at the door as it began to open.

"Piper," Phoebe whispered. "What do we do?" She sniffed. "I don't want to die."
"On the count of three, we jump him." Piper readied herself. "One, two,"

The light was turned on and both girls screamed. Phoebe threw the covers over her saying "We're gonna die. We're gonna die!"

Piper held her book in front of her face. "Don't kill us! Please, I'll give you anything!"

"Anything, huh?"

The two frightened girls slowly looked out from their shields and were shocked and relieved to see their older sister Prue in the doorway, looking amused.

Phoebe jumped out of bed and threw her arms around her oldest sister.

"Oh, Prue! I am soooooooo glad it's only you! I thought I was about to die!"

Prue cut her eyes over to Piper, who was still on the bed studying the suddenly very interesting quilt.

"Piper?" Prue started.

"I'm sorry, Prue!" Piper looked up and gave a small smile. "I heard the door and I thought you were a killer like in this book and, and…..um…sorry?"

Prue just rolled her eyes.

"What have I told you about reading this kind of stuff? It scares the living daylights out of you!"

"I know, but it is so good!"

Prue sighed and walked Phoebe back to the bed.

"Have you finished it?"

Piper shook her head and made room for Prue to sit next to her while Phoebe got back under the covers. "I have one more story to go."

Prue smiled.

"Okay, well, finish this one and then no more. I'll sleep with you tonight if that will help."

The middle sister grinned, kissed Prue on the cheek, kissed Phoebe on the forehead, and scrambled out the door back to her room.

Prue just shook her head and looked back at her youngest sister. Phoebe was a little less tense but she still had that frightened look in her eyes.

"Prue, what if a killer does come?"

Prue sighed and put a lock of Phoebe's hair behind her ear and out of her face. "Then I'll protect both you and Piper."

Phoebe smiled. "Thanks, Prue." She yawned. "Um, if I get scared tonight, can I come into Piper's room and sleep with you and Piper?"

"Sure thing, honey." Prue bent to turn off Phoebe's bedside lamp but the 12 year old's hand stopped her. "Leave that on tonight. Please?"

Prue smiled. "Okay."

Now, the action of this little story starts as Prue walked out of Phoebe's room, Piper closed her book, finished with the last and scariest story, and Phoebe rolled over, pulling the covers closer. There was no warning. No siren, no bang, no nothing. Just darkness. Everywhere.

Prue blinked and stopped walking. "What the hell?"

Piper gripped her book to her chest, trying to see through the piercing darkness. "Prue?"

Phoebe sat up with a gasp. "Prue!"

Prue slowly brought her hand in front of her face and waved it a few times. Nothing. Not even a shadow. Her name being called from her sisters made her stop.

"Okay, Piper you stay right there. Let me get Phoebe and we'll come to your room."

Piper nodded when she heard this then realized that Prue couldn't see that. "Okay. Just hurry." Something creaked to her left. She whipped her head around. Something was in her room. And it wasn't Prue.

"Phoebe?" Prue felt the doorframe of Phoebe's room. "Are you still in the bed?"

"Uh huh," was the reply.

Prue ran into the bed and muttered a curse.

"Well, I'm here now." She felt Phoebe put her arms around her neck.

"Prue, I'm really scared."

"Oh come on, Pheebs. You're ten now. It's only the dark. We'll go get Piper and go downstairs and get some flashlights, okay?"

She felt Phoebe nod and they started their way to their sister's room. Piper's scream made them walk a little faster.

Piper didn't know what it was. Just that it was walking around her room. And it was getting closer to the bed. And closer. And closer.

"Piper?" Prue's voice came from the doorway.

"Prue?" Piper scooted to the side of the bed closest to the door. "There's something in here."

"Oh, Piper." Prue's voice was getting closer. "No one could be in here with us. The door was locked when I came home and I locked it behind me. There's no way –"

She was cut off by a rustle across the room. Piper screamed and Phoebe gripped Prue's shirt a little tighter.

Piper launched herself off the bed toward Prue's voice and clung to her. Sure, she was only two years younger than her but Piper was scared out of her mind.

Prue grunted when she felt Piper grip her left arm; the one Phoebe wasn't attached to. The sisters stood still for a few seconds, just listening.

When nothing else came from the side of the room, Prue slowly turned around, taking her sisters with her.

"Let's go downstairs and get a flashlight," she said, trying to sound brave. Inside she was screaming and crying like a little girl. But she had to be brave for Piper and Phoebe. They depended on her.

The trip down the stairs was an adventure in itself. It would have been fine if the three girls had walked down individually but with Piper and Phoebe clinging to Prue's arms it proved very difficult.

Finally, they reached the last stair. Prue gave a sigh of relief and grabbed Piper's hand.

"Piper, you take Phoebe's hand for right now. I'll be right back."

Piper whimpered.

"That's what they said in the last story, Prue! And they never came back!"

Phoebe started crying. "Don't leave, Prue!"

Prue rolled her eyes.

"You two…." She sighed and hugged one of them. Since the one she hugged was crying she assumed it was Phoebe. "I've got to get a flashlight. Just stay right here."

She untangled herself from her sister and walked to the kitchen. Piper took a deep breath and pulled the crying Phoebe closer. Prue was gone now; she had to be the big sister.

"It's going to be okay, Phoebe. I promise."

Phoebe sniffed and nodded into Piper's arm.

Piper tried to peer through the darkness that surrounded her. Nothing. There was nothing there. Well, nothing that she could see. Which wasn't really saying much. A thump to her right made her whip her head around. Phoebe stopped crying and tensed up.

"Piper?" she whispered.

"Shh," Piper said back.

The two listened. Silence surrounded them. It was almost as thick as the darkness.

"Guys?"

Piper and Phoebe jumped as one and looked over toward the voice. "Prue?" Piper called out.

Prue's voice was still coming from the kitchen.

"I can't find a flashlight. Where did Grams put them when she rearranged the drawers?"

Piper closed her eyes, trying to picture the kitchen in the daytime.

"Um, in the drawer beside the refrigerator, toward the back."

There was the sound of rustling and then an "Ah-ha!" from Prue and a beam of light shot out from the kitchen and toward the other two Halliwells.

"Yay, Prue!" Phoebe said.

Piper followed Phoebe to the kitchen, not wanting to be left alone in the darkness. Prue handed her a flashlight as she entered the kitchen and Piper turned it on right away.

"Now what?" The middle sister asked.

"We find out what was in your room."

"But,"

"No buts," Prue said, holding Phoebe's hand and walking out of the kitchen. "The electricity is out all over the neighborhood. Something happened at the power company and if someone is in our house we need to find out who, what, and why."

Piper sighed in resignation and followed her. "

I hate it when she's right."

Walking back up the stairs was easier with flashlights but not any less frightening. All three sisters jumped at the slightest sound and Phoebe was still whimpering.

Piper kept her eyes on Prue's back, not wanting to look in the shadows that seemed to move on their own. She hated walking in the thick darkness that surrounded her and that was pierced only by the small beam of light that came from her flashlight.

And she knew she was going to die when something small and furry brushed against her leg.

She screamed loud and long, terrified.

Prue turned around so fast her head started spinning.

"Piper? What is it? What's wrong?"

Piper ran up to her, breathing fast and shaking.

"Something….touched my leg. It was right here. And…" she took a deep breath. "It touched me!"

Prue moved the beam of light coming from her flashlight over where Piper was just seconds before.

Sitting there was a small black cat looking back at the sisters with its yellow, unblinking eyes.

There was a moment of silence. Then, Phoebe started giggling. It was soft at first but it gradually grew louder as her older sisters turned to look at her in confusion.

Phoebe just shook her head and started towards the cat. When she reached it, she picked it up and started petting it.

"Piper was scared of a cat!" Phoebe said, still giggling.

Piper put her hands on her hips, her flashlight still on and the beam pointing behind the girls now. "

I didn't know what it was!"

"So?" Phoebe stroked the cat's fur as it started to purr its content. "It's still funny!"

"Well, you were scared, too!" Piper shot back.

"I'm younger!"

"So? I bet Grams would have been scared if she was here!"

Prue sighed and stepped between the two.

"It doesn't matter, you two. Now we know that the cat was probably the thing in Piper's room. Now we just need to figure out how it got in."

Piper looked down at the floor.

"Um, I think I know how."

Prue and Phoebe looked at their sister, Prue's flashlight on Piper's face.

"Well?" Prue asked impatiently.

"I had the window open. The cat probably climbed in that way."

Silence.

Prue rolled her eyes again.

"Fine. Now we know everything. And we also know that Piper is scared really easily and that she forgets that her window is open."

"Hey!"

"Hush, Piper." Prue started back downstairs. "I say we stay downstairs for the rest of the night. We've had plenty of excitement for one night. Let's just all sleep downstairs and we'll all feel better in the morning."

"What about the kitty?" Phoebe asked, following her oldest sister.

"We'll just put her back outside. She probably belongs to somebody who misses her very much." She stopped and looked back at Piper, who was still standing in the middle of the hallway, looking upset. "Piper, you go close your window. We don't want any more night-time visitors."

Piper grumbled and went back to her room, keeping her flashlight in front of her. "She thinks she's so great." She walked into her room and to the window.

"She's just the greatest Halliwell of us all. She never makes a mistake."

Piper looked out her window and shone her flashlight outside then gasped in shock. She didn't think to tell Prue that there wasn't a tree or anything by her window to aid the cat inside. How did that cat get in her window? And why were her sisters screaming so loudly downstairs?

That last question made her slam her window shut and run out of her room. She practically flew down the stairs, trying to get to her sisters before what ever was making them scream did. She reached the den and stopped in her tracks at the sight before her.
Her sisters were screaming but not from fright. They were screaming from laughter.

Phoebe and Prue were on the floor tickling each other in the darkness. As for the cat, it was sitting on one of the chairs, watching them.

"Stop, Prue!" Phoebe gasped through her laughter. "I can't breathe!"

Prue just continued to tickle her youngest sister, not even stopping for a second.

Piper shook her head. Her sisters were so weird.

It was then that Prue noticed Piper standing there, shining the flashlight on her and Phoebe.

Stopping for just a second she smirked. "

Did the bad scary monster get you, Piper?"

Piper glared at her. She lunged, tackling Prue and tickling her before they even hit the floor.

Prue laughed loudly and tried to tickle her sister back but not succeeding. "Phoebe, help!"

"Like she'd help you after you just attacked her," Piper began but was cut off when Phoebe jumped on her back, giggling.

"Gotcha!"

"Hey, two against one! Not fair!"

"All's fair in love and war, dear sister!" Prue said, getting out from underneath Piper.

Penny Halliwell walked briskly up the front steps to the manor. When she had heard that the power was out in this part of San Francisco she had rushed home, worrying the entire two hour drive home about her granddaughters.

She opened the door. Walking into the den she stopped, a smile spread out on her face. There were her girls, all on the floor, fast asleep. Prue had Phoebe on her left and Piper on her right. Phoebe's head was on Prue's stomach and Piper was resting her head on her older sister's shoulder. They all had smiles on their faces and seemed worn out.

Penny gave a sigh of relief. "You girls. I was worried for nothing."

It was then that she noticed the solid black cat on the chair in front of the girls. The cat was watching her with yellow eyes and seemed to smile.

"Hello, kitty. What are you doing here?"

The cat stood up, jumped off the chair and winked at Penny.

Without a backward glance, it ran out of the Manor and disappeared in a swirl of white lights.

Penny gasped then smiled.

"Patty, I knew you would watch over the girls. I shouldn't have worried."

The End!