Charmed - Opening Night

Title: Opening Night
Written For: Variations on a Plot Challenge
Characters: Piper, Prue, & Phoebe, Paige, Daryl
Rating: PG
Author’s Note: Written for The Variations on a Plot Fic Challenge - Two characters meet once before canon says they do.

Piper Halliwell nervously surveyed the room. The opening night of P3 seemed to be going smoothly, but if there was one thing she had learned in the last year, it was that things could change in the blink of an eye.

“Quit worrying,” the voice of her big sister startled her out of her reverie. She turned and glared.

“Don’t sneak up on me like that, Prue. My nerves are bad enough as it is, worrying that everything is up to code, that I won’t run out of something, that demons won’t attack in the middle of this and ruin everything,” Piper stopped talking as her brain raced through a million other things that had her nerves on edge.

Prue hugged her sister. “Piper, you’ve triple-checked everything. Nothing is going to happen. Quit asking for trouble.”

Piper smiled. Her big sister always knew exactly how to make her feel better.

“Wow, this place is totally rocking!” They were joined by their youngest sister, Phoebe. “You did such an awesome job, Piper!” Phoebe, only slightly drunk, threw her arms around Piper’s neck and kissed her on the cheek.

“Yeah, well, you’re going to drink all of our profits, Phoebs,” Prue said disapprovingly. “Why don’t you settle down, drink some mineral water or something.”

“No fighting on my big night,” Piper declared before her sisters had the chance to start sniping at each other. Sometimes she wished she wasn’t the middle sister, always the peacemaker.

“Sorry, Piper,” Prue and Phoebe chorused.

The three sisters sat in the VIP booth that Piper had reserved for them and watched the crowd. The bartenders were busy and the dance floor was packed. Piper was finally beginning to relax and enjoy the opening of her very own nightclub, when a commotion on one corner of the dance floor caught the attention of the three sisters.

Piper reflexively lifted her hands to freeze the room, assuming the worst. Prue stopped her with a hand on her arm.

“Wait,” she said so only her sisters could hear, “I don’t think it’s demonic. It looks like it’s just some jerk hassling a girl.”

The sisters stood as one and walked over to where the commotion was occurring. A small, dark haired girl was arguing with a tall man.

“Hi,” Piper said with false cheeriness in her voice. “I’m Piper Halliwell, the owner here, is there a problem?”

The man looked over Piper and her sisters, and, apparently deciding they were no threat to him, responded, “Nothing that concerns you, ma’am. It’s between me and this little lady here. Nice club you’ve got here.”

He reached for the girl’s arm and, despite her effort to pull away, managed to grab hold tightly. Prue, Piper, and Phoebe could see the pain and fear in her eyes.

Still with false cheeriness, Piper said, “Well, sir, anything that happens in my club concerns me. And I really don’t like to see women being manhandled, so would you kindly let go of this young woman’s arm?”

For the first time, the man’s face showed his anger. He glanced around, looking for bouncers, and realizing that the three women in front of him were his only threat, he smirked.

“And what are you going to do about it if I don’t?”

Piper glanced at her sisters and froze the room.

“Why’d you freeze the room?” Prue asked, confused.

“Because I have no idea how to deal with this guy!”

“Don’t worry,” Phoebe said, “I’ll be your muscle.”

Prue and Piper both gave her a look.

“Trust me,” Phoebe smiled. Piper was wary, but unfroze the room.

“Come on,” the man said to his companion, pulling her towards the door.

“Not so fast, buddy,” Phoebe stepped in front of him. “I believe my sister told you to take your hands off this woman. And as you are in my sister’s establishment, I intend to see you follow her rules.”

He laughed. “And what are you going to do to stop me?”

Without warning, Phoebe threw a high roundhouse kick, her left foot connecting with the man’s temple. He staggered backwards, dropping his grip on the young woman, who took the advantage to scamper away and hide behind Prue and Piper. While he was off balance and confused, Phoebe threw a solid punch into his solar plexus.

“Damn, she’s good,” the young woman said to Prue and Piper.

“Yeah, that’s my baby sister,” Piper answered wryly.

“You want some more?” Phoebe asked, as the man began to regain his bearings.

“N…no…” he stammered, awed that such a small, attractive woman had been able to inflict so much pain.

Suddenly two policemen appeared through the crowd of on-lookers.

Inspector Morris looked at the Halliwell sisters and shook his head. “Piper?”

“This man was harassing this young woman here. Phoebe convinced him it wasn’t a good idea.”

Daryl looked at Phoebe. “Next time, call us, okay?”

“Sorry, Daryl.” Phoebe had the decency to look ashamed at her actions.

“Want me to run him in?” Daryl asked, addressing the question to Piper.

“I don’t care what you do with him, just get him out of my club.” Then Piper remembered the young woman he had been harassing. “Unless you want to press charges.”

“No, I don’t think he’ll bother me again.”

Daryl approached the young woman. “I’m sorry, but I am going to need to take a statement from you, Ms…”

“Matthews. Paige Matthews. And no problem Inspector. I just need to get my purse.”

Paige walked away and Daryl scolded the sisters about their behavior as he waited for her to return.

“I promise I’ll hire some bouncers, Daryl,” Piper was saying when Paige rejoined the group.

“Well, I’m sorry for causing trouble on your opening night,” Paige apologized to Piper.

“It wasn’t your fault. Here,” Piper said, handing the woman a small card, “it’s a VIP card. You won’t have to pay a cover charge next time you come, if you come again.”

Paige smiled. “This is a great club. Thanks so much. And don’t worry, I’ll definitely be back. I am not one to let some asshole keep me from having a good time. Inspector?”

Daryl took Paige’s arm and led her out the door of the club.

Piper and her sisters went back to their booth.

“Well, I guess I better get used to dealing with situations like that,” Piper said once they were settled back in with fresh drinks.

“It seems so mundane after fighting demons,” Phoebe mused.

Prue and Piper gave her a look.

“Well, it was. That guy wasn’t even a challenge. Hey, Piper, you should put me on the payroll as a bouncer!”

“Absolutely not.”

Before an argument could begin, Prue cut both of her sisters off by lifting her glass.

“To P3,” she toasted.

“To P3,” Piper and Phoebe grabbed their drinks and clinked them.