Piper sighed, sitting at her vanity and looked at herself. The smoky eye and red lipstick were perfectly applied; her hair fell in fluid curls. Why had she even bothered? It was their third wedding anniversary and Leo wasn't here. All of her efforts to make this a special night were out the window. Phoebe and Paige had retreated to their boyfriend's apartments so that the married couple could have an uninterrupted night and Wyatt was over Daryl and Sheila's home.
Trying but failing to keep the tears from falling, Piper turned off all the lights but the lamp on her night stand before turning her comforter down. All she wanted was to feel as if she and Leo were connected again. Lately his job had meant putting his role as her husband on the back burner and though they were in marriage counseling the eldest surviving Charmed one knew her marriage was in trouble.
Climbing into bed, Piper felt a hand on her shoulder and she leaned back into the embrace. She knew his touch anywhere. Leo ran his hands down her arms, kissing her neck. One hand moved around to her abdomen, pushing her closer to his body and Piper's breath hitched. She didn't remember him touching her like this in such a long time. Leo moved his hand down until he could reach under the hem of her negligee, and kissed her behind her ear. Moaning, Piper's hands moved over his, guiding them to touch her just like she wanted.
Leo turned her and grabbed her head, pulling her into him for a long passionate kiss. Teeth scraped lips and teeth, biting and teasing as Piper arched her back in an attempt to get closer to him. Breaking apart, Leo pushed her onto the bed before stripping his shirt off and kicking off his shoes. Leaning over her, he once again found her center and began tormenting her as she felt her orgasm building. Her legs spread to accommodate him and she hurriedly undid his belt and pushed his pants down as low as they would go.
Leo took his time entering her, just enough to tease her for a moment before he pushed himself the rest of the way in, leaving her panting and toes curling. Rocking together, Piper let go all of her doubts and worries for the first time in months. They hadn't been like this since before Wyatt was born and suddenly there was hope that everything was going to be fine again. Enjoying him, she ran her arms up his back as he thrusted in and out over and over again, digging her nails in as she finally released.
Piper woke up at four in the morning and reached for her husband only to find him gone. She craved that closeness again but he had left her alone, probably to go help a charge. At least he had come home for a little bit, making time for her even if it was in between jobs. It was more than what he had been giving her lately.
Changing from her negligee into skinny jeans and a black t-shirt, she decided to let her hair fall loose as the curls had surprisingly kept their shape through the night. Her lipstick had worn off but her eyes were still made up and so Piper decided to stay that way. There was an extra bounce in her step as she ran errands before picking Wyatt up.
Making lunch for Wyatt, Phoebe and Paige made their way home as they talked about how her anniversary went. It was a good day, spent with her sisters as they talked about their sex lives and work without any demonic interference. Phoebe and Paige even helped with dinner, cutting up vegetables for Piper so as not to give anyone food poisoning. They set the table and Leo orbed in.
"Hey, buddy," he smiled at Wyatt before giving Piper a peck on her cheek. "Dinner smells good. Sorry I was gone so long."
"You were gone for the better part of the day, but at least it wasn't days on end," Piper said, making him a plate before returning to her seat.
Leo stared, confused. "Piper, I was gone for almost two days."
"Well, yeah but you came home last night for a little while before you took off again."
"No, I didn't," he replied and Phoebe and Paige looked back and forth from each other to Piper and Leo. "I was up there with the Elders last night after I finished with my charge. They felt a portal open and we were trying to figure out how and why it happened. It closed early this morning but then they pulled all whitelighters into a meeting."
Piper's brows furrowed and her lips opened but the words wouldn't come. Pondering what her husband just said, Piper drew in a breath and her hands immediately went to her mouth, covering her sudden gasp. "Oh, no," she whispered.
Phoebe's eyes widened in realization and she turned to her brother-in law. "Leo, did you ever figure out what happened with the portal?"
"No, the elders are still investigating," the angel informed them. "Why?"
"Because I think we know what it was," she said before Piper rushed out from the kitchen.
Phoebe knocked before entering the master bedroom where she found Piper curled up in bed, crying. "Oh, honey," she said and sat down next to her. "You didn't know," Phoebe tried to console her. "How were you supposed to know?"
Piper pushed up into a sitting position. Wiping the tears from her eyes, Piper looked at her sister. "He touched me –this other Leo—in a way that my Leo hasn't touched me in more than a year, Phoebe. I should have known that it wasn't him, we haven't even been getting along lately and when I'm with him I don't feel the way that I used to whenever we were together. But last night I was so mad and upset with him for not coming home that when this body snatcher or doppelganger or whatever the hell it was that had my husband's face showed up, I thought it meant that things were going to be okay. I should have known," she cried and Phoebe hugged her. "I mean, I just broke my wedding vows with some stranger I don't even know."
"Paige and Leo are in the attic right now, looking for some kind of spell to figure out who it was you were with last night. We didn't tell Leo anything, though, so he doesn't know what happened between the two of you last night. We just have to pray for the best," Phoebe told her sister.
"The best what? That it was some Leo from another universe instead of a shape shifter that I cheated on my husband with," she sobbed.
"It's not really cheating if the other man was a version of Leo," the middle sister tried to come up with something to make her sister feel better.
"I'm not even sure if it's cheating on my husband with himself that's upsetting me or—" Piper sobbed again as she paused in between thoughts, "or if I'm upset because it was some other version of my husband who made me feel like that instead of our Leo. I know it's selfish but I'm jealous of the other version of myself who has him and I can't help but wonder if he makes her feel the way he made me feel last night; if the other me makes him feel like I made him feel. How screwed up am I," she demanded and cried at the same time.
"You guys have been through a lot," Phoebe reminded her. "You'll get through this. If watching you two has taught me anything it's that for some people love can conquer anything. You just have to get through this," she said, both sisters unaware of the eavesdropper at their door.
Piper and Phoebe went up to the attic where they found Paige at the book but there was no sign of Leo.
"Where's Leo," Piper asked.
"Oh, he said he was going to go check with the Elders," the youngest replied. "I think I know how to figure it out though. Phoebe sees the past and Leo told me where the portal opened so if we go there then I think Phoebe can get a vision and tell us what happened. You know, easy peasy and all that stuff," she waved.
Phoebe looked to Piper and saw her sister barely coping with all of this. "Let's do it." They orbed to a location not far from the house, right near Golden Gate park. Phoebe began looking for any signs of the portal having been there. Sighing, she sat down and began meditating as she tried to clear her mind and call a vision. Gasping, Piper and Paige kneeled to their sister's level and steadied her until she came out of her vision.
"What did you see," Paige asked.
"I saw another universe, one where Prue was still alive," she tried to remain calm as she mentioned their lost sister, "and they were fighting a demon when a portal opened and Leo got sucked through it. It really was Leo," Phoebe told Piper, "just not ours. It wasn't a demon. They figured out a way to call him back home. That's why the portal closed."
Piper sighed. "Let's go home. The nanny doesn't like being called in on her day off," she told them, and they disappeared in glowing lights.
Piper sat up, though she knew better than to think her husband would actually be home that night. Things between them had been messed up for awhile but she didn't know how to fix them after something like this. Finally, she turned off her lamp and settled in bed.
Leo orbed in during the middle of the night. He had spent his night on the bridge, quietly raging and sobbing as he thought about what he heard. There was no denying that he had put himself in this situation, forgetting that last night was their anniversary. Still, it ripped him apart to think that it had taken another version of himself to give Piper hope that their marriage could be fixed. He wondered what the other Leo was doing right now. Had he told his wife what he had done? Did he feel torn up about his betrayal of her as his Piper felt?
Climbing into bed, Leo wrapped his arms around Piper. She meant everything to him, even if he sometimes lost sight of that. He had to fix this. He couldn't lose her.
Leo had taken a sabbatical from work, focusing instead on his family as he and Piper continued to seek professional help. Things seemed to be turning around though there was still a lot they needed to work on.
It was a month after their anniversary and Piper was supposed to be getting ready to go with Leo and Wyatt to the park so they could spend the day as a family. Instead, she was sitting in her bathroom waiting to break down.
She had such a hard time getting pregnant before Wyatt was conceived and here she was, possibly with child after just one time with the Leo clone. Her phone chimed, indicating that it was time to check the results and found that her worse fear was confirmed. She was pregnant.
Leo didn't know how to feel. Biologically this child was his. It would share the same DNA as Leo and Wyatt, and would be his son's sibling. That was the important part. Wyatt and his relationship to this baby meant that Leo owed it to everyone to let go of whatever anger he was holding onto, and he wasn't willing to let go of Piper.