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Chapter 28 Progress (and P/C Drabbles)... - Whispers of the Muse

Jun. 10th, 2007 04:04 pm Chapter 28 Progress (and P/C Drabbles)...

Sorry for the long wait for a progress post! 2922 words into (still untitled) Chapter 28, although still recovering from end-of-semester burnout. My Circadian rhythms right now are pretty much nocturnal and need straightening out, but I only have revisions to make on one last assignment and then I WILL BE FREE.

Right...back on topic. Goddess!Phoebe was actually easy to work with, surprisingly enough, but had some problems with Goddess!Piper, as I had to keep her singular focus on Leo (and Wyatt, albeit to a lesser extent) from changing her into the 18th century "angel of the house" archytype--i.e., the perfect wife/mother and nothing else. I think I have that resolved now, and am working on the initial confrontation with the Titans. Depending on length/what the story decides, I may break the "Goddess" arc into three chapters, particularly as Cole's power advancement may be better portrayed in his PoV than Phoebe's.

The end of that arc will also end S5--I still need to decide whether S6 should be a separate story or just continue on from where S5 leaves off. So far, I'm leaning toward the latter, if only because I like my entire hit/review count in one place.

Also: I wrote ten drabbles charting the canonical progression of the P/C relationship I'd like to share with you.

1. Flesh Against the Thorn—Heather Alexander
(“A love this rare one cannot gain/ If truth is not yet sworn.”)

He loved her, and damn the consequences.

Grand words, he thought bitterly, in the face of such total treason.

He’d done what no demon before had been able to: broken the Power of Three, had the Charmed Ones completely at his mercy…and one woman’s tears had broken his resolve. He’d thrown away time, effort, his choice of prestigious assignments…simply because he couldn’t stand to make Phoebe cry.

He wasn’t supposed to be able to feel love! That was a human feeling, and he—

Was human enough.

Ironic, that if she ever found out what he was, she’d never believe it.

2. Lion—Rebecca St. James
(“I’m scared and I’m not sure that you are safe/ But your eyes seem to say that you are good.”)

Why couldn’t she vanquish him? He was Belthazor, with the blood of countless Innocents on his hands—a demon sent to kill her and her sisters—

But he hadn’t. And it wasn’t like he hadn’t had chances…

Her sisters would only see a monster—but he was also Cole, who had laughed with her and held her when she’d cried. The same hands that had killed had touched her almost reverently, like she was the most precious thing in the world.

It had been easy, before, to draw a line separating ‘human’ from ‘demon.’ And it was easy to cross it now.

3. Faerie Queen—Heather Alexander
(“I see you have the courage, dear, but skill is what you need.”)

From the moment she decided to let him go, she’d begun to save him. To give him her strength, her faith. It was such a lovely, idealistic thing, for love to reach the man inside the demon.

The reality was that keeping him in the light she’d drawn him to wasn’t that easy. He was good for her sake, and not because of any self-regulated moral imperative. She was effectively responsible for his conscience as well as her own.

Her responsibility to nurture his soul, to check the not-entirely-demonic ruthlessness.

But that was love: unselfish.

4. Bring Him Home—Mandy Patinkin
(“Let him rest, heaven blessed/ Bring him home.”)

Every time he shimmered out, it was so hard to push away the dark thoughts that pervaded her mind. What if he were seen? What if he were caught? What if—

She wouldn’t think about it (but couldn’t help thinking about it, and the fear froze her heart).

He acted like there was no possibility he could make a fatal mistake. Like the Source didn’t have a legion of bounty hunters after him.

She wished she could share his confidence. She wished she didn’t think he’d get himself killed. Powerful, clever, well-trained, even ruthless—none of it ever seemed like enough.

5. I Will Believe—Nichole Nordeman
(“One of us is tempting fate/ And the last-but-not-least of us has faith enough for each of us.”)

Logic said it could never work. A witch and a demon, even a half-demon…was she just blind, refusing to see a century of slaughter and hands soiled with innocent blood?

No. No, she knew all that, but there was more there—he could be good, even selfless—and all right, it was playing with hellfire, but she liked a little danger. Surely, if they had enough love, enough strength, enough faith…

(Years later, safe in her typical marriage, she would remember how deeply she’d loved him, and the scar of the loss would ache when her husband’s kisses failed to compare.)

6. I’ll Try—Jonatha Brooke
(“I try, but it’s so hard to believe/ I try, but I can’t see where you see.”)

She didn’t have any more faith. She’d tried—tried so hard!—but it was never going to be easy for them, and she was tired of the pain. Tired of the heartbreak. Tired of fearing evil would reclaim him and drag them both down.

How could he imagine a future for them now? After everything, how could he say it would be so easy to pick up the pieces? How dare he be strong, when she didn’t have any strength left?

“I taught you too well,” she whispered, as though he could hear. “I made love too important to give up on.”

7. The House Upon the Hill—Company
(“There in the house is a lonely man, still haunted by her beauty/ Asking what a life can be when naught remains but duty.”)

He hated the penthouse. It had been a farce to start with—marital bliss was impossible as the Source’s unwilling host—but it was worse now. Empty, except for the memories.

Why keep fighting to be good? Why keep handing his heart to her and having it thrown back in pieces?

This was punishment for daring to love: the attendant pain of heartbreak.

His gaze lit on their picture on the mantle, and he summoned it with an absent gesture, tracing the lines of her photographed face with a fingertip.

He’d killed more gently than she was treating him these days.

8. Quartet—Company
(“Then they turned and asked my pardon/ I couldn’t speak, my heart grown cold.”)

He’d expected damnation after death.

Limbo, in its own way, was worse. To be trapped in the manor, to see their lives—her life—go on while he remained static.

He’d always hated to sit aside. Always hated uselessness.

He’d spoken to them all, at first: venomous, hateful words that burned with the fire of his own pain and rage. They’d refused him forgiveness—and what else was left?

I’m sorry.

I miss talking to you.

I wish I could hold you.

Emptiness no words—words she couldn’t hear him say—would ever fill.

Her silence: the worst of all possible punishments.

9. Feathers, Bones & Shells—Beth Nielsen Chapman
(“The touch of your hand still lives in my skin/ Like a shadow I can’t embrace…”)

Something had been in the manor today. Unseen, but that didn’t mean it hadn’t been there.

Why had it felt so familiar?

She remembered Piper’s words, how she’d been helped out of Limbo by ‘an old friend’ and couldn’t help but wonder…could it have been? She’d always been able to feel his presence in a room, had some instinct that just knew.

But it’d been so long, and he was—wasn’t he?

But he’d had a soul. And surely he’d done enough good that it would have escaped damnation.

“Wherever you are, Cole,” she whispered, “I hope you’re at peace.”

10. My Own Home—Darlene Carr
(“Then I will have a handsome husband/ And a daughter of my own…”)

“Mommy? Who’s this?”

She looked up from the potions ingredients she was sorting to face her daughter, seeing her looking at the Book and knowing which page it was open to. Only one would prompt that particular question. “Someone Mommy loved, ladybug,” she said quietly, “a long time ago.”


Such a complicated question, and the whole of the answer wasn’t anything such a little girl could understand. “Because he loved me,” she said. “He wasn’t supposed to, but he did.” And paid dearly for it.

“Tell me about him?”

She let the memories play behind her eyes and began.

As ever, feedback is immeasurably appreciated.

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4 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry


Date:June 11th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
Aw, I loved the drabbles! And you could really feel the progress their relationship made:)
Date:June 11th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed! They were a lot of fun (if a little bittersweet) to write.

(By the way, I'm taking requests for TRD-verse drabbles in my most recent post--feel free to visit and give me a prompt!)
Date:June 11th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
wow great drables!! this one was the one the caught me: "He’d killed more gently than she was treating him these days." I just gave me goosebumps. Your writing is excellent, I can feel the stages of their relationship so clearly.
Date:June 11th, 2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! The brevity of the drabble is tricky to negotiate, but rewarding in that it hits hard when it's done right.

(And that line sent a shiver down my spine, too.)