Author notes: I felt compelled to write this little vignette after the cameras stopped rolling in Muse To My Ears.

And The Music Played

The soft, jazzy sounds of a cheerful forties’ hit song spilled from the speakers at P3 and floated across the dancefloor where a tall man with broad shoulders cloaked in an immaculate uniform guided his partner through lazy patterns. She fitted easily in his arms; the top of her head barely reached his shoulder, and she wore a snug, ankle-length dress that clung to her curves.

The dancers appeared very much absorbed in each other and had an observer been present, he would have seen their mutual affection radiate from the couple in large, gentle waves. But no one was there to watch. P3 was empty. Beverly’s theme-party was over; the guests and catering had gone home, the band and singers silenced. On the walls, the decorations waited patiently for the morning clean up crew to come and take them down.

Phoebe pressed her face close against Cole’s chest. She took a deep breath and inhaled the masculine smell that was so Cole. It was a scent she associated with feeling safe and secure. The beat of his heart was steady in her ear. His arms were strong around her; his hands warm on the small of her back where they burned through the thin fabric of her old-fashioned dress.

It had been a long and frightful day, worse than most. It left her feeling drained and empty but her brain kept mulling over the memories. She had come frighteningly close to dying from the knife wound in her back. The sisters’ overconfidence had made them underestimate the warlock Devlin and it nearly cost them the muses forever. However, the worst recollection of all was her fight with Cole in the attic; sudden and vicious. The harsh words they had flung at each other kept echoing in her mind. A cold shiver ran down her spine and she molded her body even closer to Cole’s. He tightened his grip as if he knew what was on her mind.

With a reluctant sigh, Phoebe pulled away and tilted her face up. It was nice to be in Cole’s arms and she wished the dance could last forever. But she couldn’t put the memories out of her head; she needed to get a few things off her chest before she could fully enjoy this time together.

“Cole,” she began.

“Phoebe,” Cole said at the exact same moment.

A hint of a smile flitted across her face before her expression turned serious again. “You go first,” she said with a nod.

“Phoebe,” Cole repeated, then paused as if collecting his thoughts. He stepped back and took her hands between his. He kept his eyes on their hands when he continued. “Phoebe, about the marriage thing ā€” I’m sorry that I pressed so hard. It’s just… I am confused. Everything I knew has changed. I don’t really know who I am any more and when you turned me down Iā€””

“I haven’t turned you down, Cole,” Phoebe interrupted softly. “I should have explained it better. I can’t give you the answer you want. Not yet.”

Cole raised his head so he could meet her eyes. “I know,” he sighed. “You’re not ready.”

Phoebe confirmed his words with a shake of her head. “Cole,” she said and touched her fingers against his cheek. She gently caressed his jaw, trailed her thumb across his lower lip. “I love you. I have no doubt about that. Maybe someday I will be ready to get married. But not today. Can you understand that?”

Cole nodded. “Yes, I guess so,” he said with another sigh. “I can wait, Phoebe. I can wait.”

She smiled and pressed her forehead to his chest for a moment. “I need to apologize too,” she murmured. She pulled her head back again and craned her neck. “I have been treating you like… like a child. And I’m sorry. I’m scared, Cole, I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

“Shh,” Cole whispered. “It’s okay. I know.”

Phoebe shook her head. “No, she said, “it’s not okay. You lost your powers, you didn’t lose your wits. And I should treat you like a grown man who can take care of himself. I’ll try to do better. But Cole?”

He cocked an eyebrow.

“If you and Leo ever go Underground again without telling us, I’ll kill you myself.”

Cole broke into a sudden grin. “We won’t, I promise.”

“Good.” Phoebe returned to take her place in his arms. For several minutes they glided around the dancefloor in companionable silence, the sound of the big band orchestra guiding their steps.

“Cole?” Phoebe murmured into his uniform when the song stopped and another started.

“Hmm?” he said.

“What you said, do you really believe that? That I won’t be happy until you don an apron and become a… houseboy?”

Cole chuckled. “No,” he admitted. “That was Inspiration talking.”

“Thought so,” Phoebe said. “Because it’s not true.” A twinkle appeared in her eyes. “Although I think the white one with the yellow flowers would look really good on you.”

Cole laughed, a merry laugh that made his chest vibrate beneath her hands. “Phoebe,” he said while attempting to keep his expression serious, “there are many things I would do for you. Wearing an apron isn’t one of them.”

“Pity,” Phoebe said, but the rest of her words were lost when Cole’s mouth closed over hers and she drowned in his kiss. He guided her toward the nearest settee and pushed her down, his hands exploring the curves of her body.

Neither was aware that the song ended. A second later, the sound system’s repeat kicked in, and the music played on.

***

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2 Reviews

  1. Anonymous
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    awwwww…………… that was so CUTE! it warmed my heart.

  2. Sharane Alvarez
    Posted July 11, 2008 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful. They should have added this in the show…beautiful.

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