A/N:

Disclaimer: All characters who have appeared in the series 'Charmed',except those I've created, are the sole copyright property of Aaron Spelling, Constance M. Burge, E. Duke Vincent, and the Warner Brothers Television Network.

Hay everyone I am back after a little break. This story will not be just about Piper but the whole family as the story moves on. They is a hug twist at the end that I hope will surprise everyone.

Left to fend

Chapter 1

Just missed it

"Run we are almost there!" Phoebe yelled with Paige in front and Piper behind her as the white portal was flashing in front of them. They were jumping over fallen tree stumps and other forest obstacles as they rushed towards the portal. Paige was the first to jump through followed by Phoebe and they landed hard on the floor in the attic as the portal flashed like a light bulb ready to go out. "Dam that was close," Paige said as she turned to a sitting position after landing on her stomach. Phoebe also stood up and started to brush herself off when Leo ran into the room. "Your back," he said with a smile but after looking around the room for his wife his face fell," Where is Piper?" he asks while looking at Phoebe.

"She was right behind me," Phoebe replied and began to search the room for her older sister.

Paige put her hand to her mouth as she looked at Phoebe's back that had fresh blood on it," Phoebe your hurt," she said and ran to her so she could heal her but when the orange glow did not come, she swallowed hard that it was not hers. "Its not yours," she said and ran to the book. Phoebe placed her hands on her back and could feel the warm wetness as she squeezed the bottom of her shirt.

"Where is my wife?" Leo yelled as he felt fear rush through him while Phoebe looked at her shaking hand that was coded with blood.

"Oh god, I don't understand nothing was chasing us and why didn't she make it through?" Phoebe asks as she joined Paige by the book.

"Phoebe you need to reopen the portal," Leo said as Wyatt came into the room.

"Where is mommy?" he asks with little Chris behind him.

"Its ok boys just go to your room," Leo replied and picked up Chris as he held Wyatt's hand. He did not want them to see the blood on Phoebe's back or no that something was wrong. He looked back as his sister in laws with pleading eyes as he took them to their rooms.

"What the hell happened?" Paige asks as she turned the book of shadows.

Piper felt a burring on her chest as she rolled over to her back while her eyes flutter open and her face felt like it was ripped off on one side. It did not take long for her to realize that she was still in the forest and not at home as the braches above her swayed in the gentle wind and the stars loomed above them. "Owe god what hit me?" she said in a whisper as she tried to rise up," Phoebe, Paige," she said but was only answered with a deep growl. Her cold sweat would have frozen in place by that noise if it was colder outside. She put her hand to her chest and could feel the warm liquid coming out of her body while she tried to see the maker of the growl. She was dizzy and ready to pass out when she saw something raise on its back legs and tower over her. Its claws were the size of a man's hand and its teeth were the size of its fingers while it growled and seemed to be very proud of its catch. "Is that a bear?" she asks herself and tried to crawl away towards where the portal was, but it was gone and now she was terrified as their powers did not work this far in the past. She felt the ground under her shake as the bear landed on its front legs while she looked for any kind of weapon. The dirt was mixing with blood that came from her wound as she crawls on the wet ground on her chest, pulling on anything that would give her leverage. "Shit where are you?" she said in hopes her sisters would come through and rescue her at the last minute like they always do. The bear would swipe at her feet almost playfully as she inched along on the ground and would make deep grunting noises. Piper decided to face her enemy as she turned on her back and readied herself for death one more time. This process has become all too common in her family's life but she closed her eyes and put the images of her family in front of her. Leo and the boys, her sisters and brother in laws all came forefront as the bear now stood over her, its face inches away from hers and she could feel its warm breath on her face. Her whole body shook and she was terrified, not of death but the pain that was about to come and hoped she would lose consciousness soon but the last thing she would hear is the sound of a gunshot.

Phoebe was wearing out the floorboards as she walked back-and-forth while Paige continued searching the book," I don't understand they opened the portal for us to go, why the hell can't they open it again?" she asks as Leo came in with Coop and Henry. Coop was holding a very tired infant in his arms and walked past Leo as Phoebe stopped pacing to hold her baby girl." Hello Ladybug," she said and hugged her tight.

"Leo told me what happened, have you guys found out anything yet?" Coop asks.

Paige slammed the book and sighed heavily as she rested her hands on its cover," No the dam elders said they can't reopen it," she replied.

"Why?" Henry asks as he walked over to her.

"They said that the portal could only be opened when three planets are aligned which apparently only happens every hundred years," Paige replied.

"Oh god," Coop said and then looked at Leo who was clearly distraught.

Leo wiped his eyes," Dammit we can't just give up," he said.

"Leo we are not giving up we just need to find another way," Phoebe said as she patted her baby on the back to help her sleep. "Coop honey can you take Ladybug home we have a long night ahead of us?"

"Sure," he said and took the baby but when Phoebe turned around he noticed the blood on her back," Phoebe your hurt," he said.

"Its not mine and I need to change my shirt before the kids see," she replied and could see some relief in Coop's eyes but also realized it was Piper's and knew how worried Leo must be.

Coop took ladybug home and Henry stayed behind to help Leo in the morning with the boys while the sisters looked for a way to reopen the portal.

Piper opened her eyes and found she was no longer lying on the cold ground but instead on a somewhat lumpy but soft bed. Her chest was burning along with the left side of her face as she tried to get a clear view of her surroundings, but her eyes were fighting with her and the need to close them was a battle. At first she thought she was home but the smell of wood burning and other odd scents were flooding her nostrils as she could hear sounds in the background. "Leo," she said but it was week and her lips stuck together as she tried to move but felt a hand on her shoulder holding her down.

"Now now stay put your lucky to be alive," a man's voice said as she felt his weight as he sat down on the bed next to her.

"Leo," Piper said again but the man just put a cold cloth on her head.

"Joseph, my name is Joseph," he replied.

"Who the hell is Joseph?" Piper thought as she looked at the man with blurring vision. "Where am I," she asks and looked away as she felt dizzy.

"My home I found you in the woods and a bear was about to make you his lunch but I scared him away," he answered.

"Where are my sisters?" she asks almost ignoring his answer.

"I don't know I just found you and what is your name?" he asks while checking her wounds. She had three small but long cuts on her face and it started over her eye and continued down her cheek, just missing taking her eye out. Her chest had three deeper cuts that started at her left shoulder and continued a crossed her left breast to her abdomen. He stitched them up the best he could with some thread her found but they were still bleeding.

"Piper," she whispered and could no longer fight the need to sleep as her eyes closed shut.

The next morning Leo stood at the end of the bed in a daze as one side was partially made as the other looked somewhat slept in. In all the years they have been doing this, none of them have been gone longer than 24 hours and it was now almost 36. Paige and Phoebe have been up all night trying spell after spell to reopen the portal but nothing worked. Chris came in the their room last night looking for his mother as she would read him a story before he went to bed and his face fell when he had to tell him she was not home yet. Leo was still wearing the same clothes he had last night and could feel the five o'clock shadow already on his face.

"Dad is mom home yet?" a blonde headed six year old asks at the door.

Leo did not reply as he just stared at the bed until he felt a tug on his arm that pulled him out of his world. "Dad?" Wyatt asks.

"What son?"

"Is mom home yet?"

Leo pressed his lips together and focused his tied eyes on everything in the room but his son. "Um no not yet," he replied.

"Could you make us breakfast?" he asks.

"Sure," Leo replied and picked him up and led him to the kitchen where Chris was already sitting at the table playing with an action figure. Wyatt knew something was wrong because Leo could see it in his face but Chris just thought Piper was at work as she sometimes would not get home until late after starting her restaurant. Phoebe and Paige were asleep on the couch surrounded by papers and books and they did their best not to wake them.

Piper awoke again but this time was not as dazed or dizzy but still felt weak and a little confused about where she was. She knew that she was in the Wild Wild West days in about 1890s but had no idea how far she was from the portal that she was so close to before it closed. She used her hands to push herself up into a sitting position and took in her surroundings with clear eyes for the first time. She could see a fireplace that had a pot hanging over the fire and tin with wood bowls on its mantel. There was a small wooden table and two chairs that were made by hand not that far from her. The bed room and kitchen were pretty much in the same room and the cabin was only about 5oo square feet. She looked at the quilt that covered her and it reminded her of the one her Aunt used to have as she pulled it up to her chest. She was afraid to look at her injuries as she could see a small amount of blood still coming from the cloth that covered them, but most of all she was very concerned at the fact she was no longer dressed and felt a little vulnerable at the moment. Her powers did not work and she was unable to defend herself like she was used too, but she still knew some self-defense moves that Phoebe showed her and could do them if needed.

"You're up," Joseph said as he came around a wall caring a bowl and cup.

"Where are my clothes?" Piper asks as she pulled the blanket up higher.

Joseph put the bowl and cup on the table next to her and then pointed to the end of the bed where there was a trunk. "Right there and I did not do anything," he said replied defensively.

Piper felt bad about accusing him of anything but still she did not know him or if he was a demon. "Sorry its just, how long have I been here?" she asks.

"Almost two days," he replied and gave her the bowl," Here you need to eat something.

Piper took the bowl and moved the wooden spoon around trying to identify what she was about to put in her mouth," What is it?"

"Soup," he replied.

"Thanks," she said and took a small bite of the stew like mixture and tried not to show how bland it was. Piper took a drink of the water and it had some grit to it, like little pieces of sand were floating around at the top.

"What were you doing out in the woods all by yourself?" he asks as he pulled up a chair.

"I wasn't all by myself, my sisters were with me," she replied and put the bowl down on the table.

"Not to your liking?" he asks.

"I'm just not that hungry," she lied as it tasted horrible.

"Well you need to eat," he said and gave her some bred.

"Where am I?" she asks as she tore off a piece and ate it slowly.

"My home," he replied.

"Yeah I got that but where?"

"Montana," he replied and looked at her oddly.

Piper decided to leave it at that as she knew where she was but did not know how far she was from the woods and once she could get up, she would head back out there or her sisters would find her here.

"Could you excuse me while I get dressed?" she asks.

"You said your sisters were with you, where did they go?"

"Um not sure but they should be back soon."

"Your clothes are torn so I had to sew them up a little," he said and handed them to her.

"Wow a guy who could sew," she thought and took them from him. He left the cabin to give her some privacy as she got dressed. The task which on a normal day was easy was now very difficult as her whole body ached and she could feel the stitches pull. After she was done the only thing she wanted to do was lay back down and sleep, but she needed to get back to her family.

"All done," she said and he came back in. It was the first time she got a really good look at him as the light from the door filled the small space. He had short dark hair that either needed a cut or a wash and a dark beard and mustache. His shirt was black and he had what looked like old jeans that people in her time pay over a hundred dollars for and she had to contain a laugh from that as he put the chair back. He was definitely a mountain man and smelled a little to rustic for her as he got near her. Piper understood that running water was not common and working a farm was hard and grueling, so she said nothing about his hygiene as this was normal as he has probably already down a day's work before she got up.

"You should stay in bed," he said as Piper pushed past him using the walls to balance herself as she headed for the door.

"I got it," she said and then got a good look outside. There was a wood fence in the distance that needed some TLC and beyond that was tall golden grass that looked like ocean waves as the wind swept across them. She could see the tree line but it must have been miles away or it was the mountains in the distance, it was too hard to tell. The grass rubbed against each other creating a soothing sound as birds play their melody, there were no car alarms going off, planes flying overhead. It was just the dance of nature around her and if she was not stuck in the past and injured this would have been a great vacation spot, of course with running water and room service. She felt the dizziness return and if Joseph would not have grabbed her, she would have hit the dirt floor hard. She was unconscious once more and at the mercy of the stranger as he put her back in bed.

To be continued…