Chapter 8: Calling for help.
Chapter 8: Calling for help.
“Come on, Phoebe, I need to be at Buckland’s in an hour.” Prue yelled through the downstairs bathroom door.
After Prue had quit her job at the museum the week before, she had been lucky enough to get a job with Buckland Auction House. I was a place where old and valuable antiques were auctioned off. Prue was not only going to be cataloguing items and watching over auctions but she would also be in charge of bringing in new artifacts.
“Hang on a minute.” Phoebe’s voice yelled back.
“Okay.” Piper said, coming into the hallway. She wore bright blue polo shirt and dark denim jeans. Her shoes were a pair of Prue’s shirt heels with a silver buckle. “Phoebe, I’m ready! I’ll wait for you downstairs.”
“Remember what we talked about yesterday.” Prue said. “Only stay at the Hyperion for half an hour. Call me when you go in and when you come out. If you don’t I’ll be down there ASAP.”
“Yeh, yeh, it all just came screaming back to me.” Piper said with a grin.
The night before, the Halliwell sister decided that they would check out Angel Investigations. They had agreed that there must be a reason for Phoebe to have that premonition. Since Piper had the day off, she and Phoebe, who was still unemployed, were going to suss out this group of people. None of them suspected they were evil, but they’d only been witches for a week, what would they know?
Piper headed back downstairs to wait for Phoebe who promptly popped out of the bathroom. Prue glared at her sister before jumping in herself. Phoebe headed into the kitchen in a low slung pair of jeans and a low cut purple halter top. Piper eyed her sister up and down as she entered.
“What? The guys I saw in my vision were all kinda cute. Especially the tall one.”
“I didn’t say anything.” Piper said. “But I have the odd urge to throw you a jacket.”
“Well, are we ready?”
“Totally.” Piper picked up her keys, yelled a good-bye to Prue and hurried out the back door with Phoebe behind her. The pair piled into Piper’s jeep and piled out of it twenty minutes later out the front of the Hyperion hotel. They both gazed up at it.
“I thought they were going to tear this down?” Phoebe said.
“They were…but I guess they didn’t.” Piper responded.
“Come on.” Phoebe said, taking her sisters arm.
“Wait, Phoebe, wait.” Piper suddenly said, pulling her sister back.
“What? What’s the matter?”
“I don’t know about this…”
“Calm down, if it all hits the fan you freeze them, okay?”
“Okay, but I can’t control it.”
“Well, if they are demons that will probably scare you enough to do something.” Phoebe prompted her sister. This time, Piper allowed her to pull her along.
“Should we knock?” Piper asked, eyeing the large double-door with brass handles.
“I dunno…but people don’t normally knock on hotels doors.” Phoebe pointed out, opening the door.
“Yes, but something tells me this isn’t a hotel anymore.” Piper realized as the two sisters stepped inside the building. For one thing, it was empty. There wasn’t a person in sight. No one behind the desk, no one in the chairs. No one anywhere.
“What do we do, do we call out?” Phoebe asked as she and Piper, still with their arms linked, stepped cautiously down the short few steps into the foyer.
“Maybe there’s a bell on the desk.” Piper offered, directing her sister to the large bench covered in papers, files and folders in front of them. She raised her hand above it and set it down on the bell. A shrill ring rang throughout the room and bounced of the walls.
A woman, the one from Phoebe’s vision, jumped up from behind the desk. Piper and Phoebe screamed in shock. The woman screamed back.
“Oh my God, Piper and Phoebe. I didn’t mean to scream at you. Y’all just startled me.” She said in a definite Texan accent. “My name’s Fred, Winifred, but y’all can all me Fred.” She grinned at them and stuck her arm out to shake theirs but Piper and Phoebe remained rooted to their place a foot away from her with shocked looks on their faces.
“Easiest vanquish ever.” A man came into the hotel. It was the black man from Phoebe’s vision. And behind him was the other man, the one with the glasses. The sisters turned around quickly.
“I must admit, Haxlaw Demons do usually take more than a beheading to kill.” The man with the glasses spoke with a definite English accent.
“Well, we’re gifted with weapons, English.” The man said playfully, tossing the giant axe he had in his hands. It spun around twice before he caught it again.
“Haxlaw Demons?” Piper asked, getting more terrified by the second.
“Beheading?” Phoebe added, gripping her sister tightly.
“Vanquishing?” Piper asked.
The two men noticed Piper and Phoebe in the foyer.
“Well, well, if it isn’t the Halliwell’s.” The man in glasses said smiling, walking up the girls with a hand out. The other, Piper and Phoebe could plainly see, held a loaded crossbow.
“Scared enough now?” Phoebe asked Piper.
“Uh-huh.” Piper responded by flinging up her hands. The man in glasses froze mid-step; the guy on the stairs had been halted halfway down and the woman, Fred, was stopped as she was coming out from behind the desk.
“Okay, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” Piper yelled quickly. She and Phoebe were looking at Fred. As they turned, they ran straight into someone and screamed. Phoebe recognized him as the last person from her vision.
“Piper and Phoebe Halliwell. I was wondering when you would come and visit us.” The man said to them. Piper raised her hands.
“Wait! No, don’t freeze me!” He said. “I don’t want to hurt you, I want to help you.”
Piper kept her hands raised but did not freeze the man. Who, she had to agree with Phoebe, was actually really hot. “Why? Why do you want to help us? How do you know who we are?” she asked.
“Look, if you’ll unfreeze my friends I will tell you everything you want to know. My name is Angel, by the way.” The man said.
“Well that’s very nice but I can’t unfreeze them. It happens on its own.”
At that moment, the three other people in the room unfroze. The man on the steps continued down them, Fred came out from behind the desk and the man with his hand out kept walking, but all three jumped when they realized the girls had moved.
“What the devil?” the man with his hand out asked, turning to see Angel and the Halliwell’s standing to his right.
“How did you get over there?” Fred asked, also clearly stunned.
“Piper froze you.” Angel said. “Ladies?” Angel led them to his office.
With a skeptical look at each other, Piper and Phoebe followed him, their arms still locked into each other.
Angel held the door open for them and the sisters entered his office. They sat in the chairs in front of his desk and Angel sat behind the antique table. They sat in silence for a moment.
“So.” Said Angel, rubbing his hands together. “I’m…not really sure where to begin…”
“How about how you know who we are?” Phoebe demanded, arms crossed in front of her.
“Well, that might take a while.” Angel admitted.
“We don’t have to be anywhere.” Piper spat back at him.
“Okay, look, the first thing you need to know is that we seriously are not bad people. We aren’t evil, we fight it. Like you and your other sister, ah, Prue, right?”
“Okay, wow.” Piper waved a finger at him. “Before you even mention my sister, what do you mean you fight evil? Are you witches too?”
“No, not exactly.” Angel admitted. “We’re kind of like a detective agency. People come to us with demonic and evil problems and we solve them. That almost always means that there’s some kind of monster or entity of some kind that we have to destroy.”
“Do you guys have powers?” Phoebe asked.
“Well, Angel here is like a martial arts expert.” The black man from the foyer came into the office. “And I fancy myself a bit of a fighter. But I’m also the man to talk to ‘bout weaponry.” He held his arm out to the sisters. “Gunn. Charles Gunn.”
Piper and Phoebe reluctantly shook his hand.
“And I didn’t mean to say that in a Bond, James Bond kinda way. Call me Gunn, everyone else does.” Gunn sat himself on the lounge in the corner.
“So, you literally fight evil. Like, battles?” Phoebe asked, slightly impressed.
“For lack of a better term.” The man with glasses entered the office, arm outstretched as it had been when Piper froze him earlier. “Wesley Windum-Price.”
Piper and Phoebe, again reluctantly, shook his hand.
“So what do you do?” Phoebe asked him.
“My main interest is in the history and importance of the supernatural. I can identify most demons and evils with a short description. I trained at a fine Academy in England. I have experience with deciphering prophecies.” Upon seeing the girls raised eyebrows, Wesley cleared his throat and added. “I can also wield a crossbow when necessary.”
“Okay, great. But let’s get to how you know about us? How do you know our names and how did you know we are witches?” Piper asked.
“Wesley?” Angel raised an eyebrow at him.
“Right.” Wesley grabbed an envelope of the bookshelf next to him. “Yes, well, I received this letter a week and a few days ago. It was with our other mail. There’s nothing written on it and all that was inside was these.” He held out the newspaper clipping and the letter.
“Protect the descendants.” Piper asked, skeptically looking at the three men in the office. “Are you kidding me? From these three tiny words, you figured out who we are?”
“No, no. Look at the newspaper article.” Wesley told them.
Piper read the article. “Grams.” She said quietly, slightly saddened at the inclusion of her dead grandmother in all of this.
“We have a contact with the police and she ran your family name and we came up with you guys.” Angel said to the sisters. He removed a small file out of his filing cabinet and handed it to Phoebe.
“Wait, wait, wait a minute.” Phoebe said as she took the folder. “You’re stalking us?”
“No, no, nothing like that.” Angel reassured them. “We’re here to help you.”
“How? Whenever we have a demonic problem we’re supposed to call you and you’ll come a running with your fancy axes and super-natural strength?” Piper retorted loudly. “We can look after ourselves.”
“Yeh we know, we saw the way you three killed that Jeremy guy in your attic. I mean, wow.” Gunn complimented them.
“Wait, you’re watching us?” Piper asked.
“Oh my God, you really are stalkers.” Added Phoebe.
“No, we…we help people.” Angel said.
“You help the helpless.” Piper said, suddenly remembering the business card.
“Well, we’re not helpless.” Phoebe told them. “We have powers.”
“Right, if anything we should be working with you.” Piper added. “Our Book of Shadows said that our powers are to help innocent people, and that’s what you all claim to be doing.”
“Right…that’s correct.” Wesley said, sounding as though he was on the edge of an epiphany. “And the letter said protect the descendants. Out of interest, was your grandmother a witch?”
“Apparently so, yeh.” Piper told him. “It goes pretty far back. Melinda Warren was the first witch in our family line, in 17th century Salem.”
“Wait, so you’re not the first witches in your family?” Angel asked.
“No, far from it.” Phoebe told him. “But we are the most special. The book said that each generation of our family line would grow stronger and stronger until three sisters would be born and become the most powerful force of good the world has ever seen. The Charmed Ones.”
“A destiny.” Wesley said.
“I guess.” Phoebe replied.
“A destiny set in time hundreds of years ago.” Wesley continued.
“Sure, why not?” Phoebe said to him.
“What are you on about, English?” Gunn asked Wesley.
“Something, maybe, I think…I’ll be in the library.” Wesley looked determined as he headed out of the office.
Piper took that moment to look around the office. “Wow, this place is really…weird.” She noted, looking at the odd artifacts on the shelves.
“Yeh, this is Wesley’s place of work but we use it as an office a the moment since the other was destroyed by vampires.” Angel told them. “Do you have any idea how long it takes to re-build a room so small? And the money, well-”
“Hold up!” Piper said, leaning forwards in her chair. “Vampires?”
“Yeh, vampires.” Angel repeated.
“The drinking blood, kill with a stake and turn to dust kind of vampires?” Phoebe asked.
“Yeh…you’ve never heard of them?” Angel asked.
“Only in stories and movies…are you telling me they’re really…real?” Piper asked.
“Not only are they real but Angel here-”
“-fights them almost everyday!” Angel finished for him with a nervous laugh. “They like to hang around here. And yes, you kill them with a stake, or anything sharp into their heart and they die. Trust me, working with us you’re going to meet a lot of them.”
“Who said we’re working with you? This may all be a big scam to get our powers.” Piper said. “Anyone can cut an article out of the paper.” She held up the obituary.
“Can I see that?” asked Phoebe. Piper handed her the paper. Phoebe jumped as a premonition formed in her brain.
…These people…Angel Investigations…fighting about twenty other people…all of them had contorted faces and large fang but looked otherwise human…vampires…the team fought each one until all that was left was dust piles…the group turn and head home…
Phoebe jumped again, back into reality.
“Phoebe?” Piper asked her.
“I had another vision. Of you guys.” Phoebe said to Angel and Gunn. “And the other two.” Phoebe turned to her sister. “They’re not evil Piper, they’re telling the truth. I saw it…I felt it.”
Piper looked and Angel and Gunn skeptically. “So…what now?” she asked them. “There’s nothing after us at the moment. We don’t exactly need your help…no offense.”
“Well, how about this.” Angel began. “Next time you need help fighting anything, or information or just wanna talk about this world, call us. We won’t sit out the front of your house and watch you anymore.”
Piper thought about it for a minute. “Okay, fine.” She got up out of her chair.
“I guess we’ll be seeing you.” Phoebe said, rising to follow her sister. “Next time, we’ll bring Prue.”
“Come on, Phoebes.” Piper called from the doorway.
“Bye.” Phoebe said, rushing to her sister. The two linked arms again and left the hotel.
“Well, that went as well as can be expected.” Angel said.
“Why did you stop me telling them that you are a vampire? I would’ve added the soul thing, you know.” Gunn asked Angel.
“I know, I just figured that…they’ve only known about their destiny for what, a week? Then they come across four people that they’ve never met but who know them and are also told that vampires exist. The last thing they need to hear is that me, a guy who just agreed to help them, is actually a vampire.”
“You don’t think they’ll figure it out? Angel, what if a demon attacks them during the day and they call you for help? Evil isn’t exactly courteous, ya know.”
“I will tell them, I have to. Just not now.” Angel said to him. Then he turned and headed upstairs to his room, thinking over the events that had just happened. Angel got a lot of different reactions when he told people of his vampire-ness. Some were scared, some were intrigued and all were curious. Angel wondered, as he sat on the end of his bed, what reaction the Halliwell’s would have? Especially Piper.