Disclaimer: Phoebe and the concept of Charmed belong to Constance M. Burge and Spelling Entertainment. Corin is mine.

Author’s note: This was written for Ryca during the second round of the Charmed Flashfic. Thank you, thank you to Tptigger for the betaread.

Phoebe Halliwell froze the minute she entered the offices of the San Francisco Bay Mirror. Something was wrong. Very wrong. Normally, the offices were buzzing with sound as people ran in and out to cover different beats. Not today, though. It was eerily quiet as there didn’t seem to be signs of life anywhere. In fact, the entire place was decorated with various stone statues.

Curious, Phoebe crept towards one sitting at a desk. She gasped the minute she realized it looked like one of her coworkers. She ran over to another one, a second one, a third, all the while making the same realization. Everybody had been turned into stone.

“How do you like my latest work?” a deep, sinister male voice asked from behind her. It rumbled through her and dripped with sarcasm.

Whirling around, Phoebe saw a charmingly handsome man standing there. His wavy dark hair fell to his shoulders, and his pale blue eyes flashed at her. He grinned as he stepped towards her. Cautiously, she stepped backwards, almost running into one of the statues.

“Who are you?” she questioned as she narrowed her dark eyes.

He swept past her and leaned on the head of a statue sitting at the nearest desk. Phoebe’s eyes never left him. “I’m Corin, and you must be Phoebe Halliwell. Believe me, darling, pictures and crystal balls do not do you justice. I can see why Belthazor couldn’t kill you.”

Realizing the door was free, Phoebe turned and ran for it. She had to get out of there and back to the Manor. Grey mist floated around her to the door, slamming them shut. A wall of stone blocked her path. She spun around to face the demon.

“Fortunately, I don’t have that kind of weakness,” Corin continued as he sent another gray mist towards her.

Unsure of how to kill him, Phoebe jumped out of the way and kicked him in the face. Corin hit the floor hard as she flew over his head and landed in front of her office. Racing into it, she closed and locked the door behind her. Outside, she heard cursing and loud breaking noises.

“Chris!” she called as she ignored the noises outside. She looked upward, hoping to see the blue sparkles of her whitelighter’s orbs. Nothing happened.

“You can’t hide forever, witch!” Corin yelled from the other side of the door. It sounded like he had regained his balance and was truly pissed.

“Chris! Get your butt in here now!” Phoebe ordered more urgently.

Finally, sparkly blue lights swirled around in the middle of her office until they turned into Chris Perry. The dark haired young man looked like he was about to make a comment when a loud bang hit the door. Just then, it exploded into a million stone blocks. Dust rose up from the floor and almost choked her. Corin found them standing beside her desk, his smile back in place.

Before Chris could say a word, Phoebe grabbed his hand. “Let’s go!”

Seeing the gray mist, Chris didn’t hesitate. Instantly, the office vanished, and the two found themselves in the attic of the Manor. Once she felt stable enough, Phoebe grabbed the Book of Shadows and flipped through the pages.

“Who was that?” Chris asked, concerned.

Phoebe explained who he was, never once looking up from the book. She described the scene she found at the office as she continued to turn pages. She stopped when she saw the drawing of a familiar face staring back at her. Same dark hair, same creepy eyes.

“Corin,” she read. “A lower level demon with the power to turn things to stone.”

“Okay, we’ve established that,” Chris interrupted. “How do we vanquish him?”

“Looks like I can do it by myself.” Phoebe shut the book and grabbed Chris’s arm. “I’ve got an idea; orb me back to the Mirror.”

Chris shook his head. “No way. Not until I can get Piper and Paige; you might need back up.”

“Chris, we don’t have any time. Paige is at a job interview, and Piper is spending time with Wyatt. It says in the book if the statues are frozen for too long, they die. Come on.”

Sighing, Chris gave in, and within a few seconds, they were back in the main part of the Bay Mirror offices. It appeared that the demon had wrecked everything. Desks were overturned, papers were destroyed, and statues had tumbled to the ground. For a moment, Phoebe worried that he had tried to follow them to the Manor.

“Thought you could hide from me?” The witch turned to see Corin emerging from Elise’s office. The cocky grin had returned to his face. “I knew you’d be back. You couldn’t very well leave everyone like this.”

“You’re right; I couldn’t.” When Corin made a move to encase Chris in stone, Phoebe sent a swift kick to his crotch. The gray mist flew sideways and changed a plant sitting in the window.

“Go!” Phoebe ordered Chris.

“I’m not leaving!”

“Go! I don’t have time to worry about you.”

Chris hesitated for a few more moments before disappearing in a blue light.

As the demon tried to regain his balance, Phoebe tore through desks, file cabinets, and stacks of paper looking for anything that could be used as a weapon. Not one sharp object could be found. Why on Earth didn’t she bring a weapon with her? She started for Elise’s office when Corin stepped in front of her. He still winced in pain, but he stood his ground. Releasing his gray mist, he aimed for Phoebe.

Without a weapon, Phoebe thought she was a sitting duck. Then, she remembered the time she had helped win Paige’s soul back. She had to channel his power; it was the only way. Closing her eyes, she dropped the walls she had learned to build around her empathic abilities. Hatred and anger flooded into her, all of it coming from Corin. Harnessing it, she opened her eyes. Holding out her right hand, the palm facing outward, she sent the mist back to its creator. Almost immediately, Corin was encased in stone. With one rapid kick, she shattered the statue into a million pieces, all of which vanished into thin air.

At that moment, all of the stone statues became human again. The front door turned back into glass as noise filled the office. Everyone looked at each other, confusion in their eyes. No one seemed to notice Phoebe standing in the middle of the room. She took a deep breath and headed for her office.


© 2004 Crimson Idealist