Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Prue, Paige, past Andy/Prue
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 111: Four and 1_million_words: Rare Pair
Warning(s): Cannon Character Death
Word Count: 1,720
Date Written: 20 May 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Spelling Entertainment, not the author, and are used without permission.
“Paige!” The sharp exclamation behind her made Paige drop her paintbrush. “What are you painting?!” Prue demanded, appearing a second later with her hands perched on her hips.
Paige stepped back from her easel, her lips pursed together. She gestured through the air with her paintbrush. “Isn’t it obvious?” she asked. “I think it looks like him. At least it looks like the picture I found of you two together. Piper and Phoebe both said he was your true love.”
“He . . . He was,” Prue said softly. She started to sink onto Paige’s bed, but when she began literally passing through the mattress, she snatched herself back upright. “Old habits,” she muttered, embarrassed.
“I just -- ,” Paige admitted, finally turning to face her. “I just want to get to know you better, Prue. There’s so much we missed out on.” Paige sighed and glared up at the ceiling, clearly angry with the omnipotent Powers far above them. “I don’t know why it couldn’t be the Power of Four instead of the Power of Three.”
“Because Evil wouldn’t have stood a chance,” Prue joked, flashing her a wide grin.
“That’s true.” Paige giggled. “We are pretty badass, aren’t we?”
“Totally. I wish I could have gotten to know you in life, too, Paige, and I’m so thankful for you keeping my secret -- “
“Hey, you totally freaked me out the first night I snuck in here and saw you!”
Prue laughed. “Well, this was my room!”
“It still is,” Paige offered quickly. “As far as I’m concerned, we’re roomies.”
“Thanks, . . . sis.”
“Seriously, though,” Paige said, sighing and dropping onto her bed, “I wish I could have met you guys earlier. It would have been so cool to have you as a sister. Piper and Phoebe are always going on about how cool you were.”
“What?” Paige asked. “I’m serious!”
“Well, Phoebe sure didn’t feel that way about me when I was alive,” Prue explained, rolling her eyes. She grew serious again after a moment. “But Death does have a way of changing you and making you thankful for those you lost even when you never thought you would.”
“I know you guys fought, but she loves you.”
“I know she does. I wish I could tell her -- I wish I could tell them both how much I love them.”
“I could tell them for you.”
“That would mean telling them that you’ve seen me, that we’ve talked. It would bring questions, and besides, They -- “ It was her turn to glare up at the ceiling. “ -- don’t want them to know I’m still with them. If they know I’m a ghost likes Grams and Mom, they’ll stop at nothing to get to see me again except they won’t be able to because They will snatch me back up.”
Paige sighed. “That’s true,” she agreed, “and it sucks.”
“Majorly. I never have liked all their rules.”
“Me neither.” Paige stuck her tongue out at the ceiling, causing Prue to giggle this time.
They were silent for a moment longer, just hanging in comfortable companionship, before Prue spoke softly once more, “I’m glad I have you to talk to.”
Paige grinned. “I’m glad I have a big sister like you. All my life,” she admitted softly, “I wanted a family, a real family, but no matter how much my adopted parents loved me and cared for me, and how much I loved them, nothing ever felt right.”
“It never does when things aren’t they way should be,” Prue spoke, her voice as soft as a Summer breeze.
“No, but now,” Paige said, grinning, “I have three sisters and I’m the baby!”
Prue made a face. “Phebs never liked being the baby. But she did always use it to her advantage.”
“I like being the baby,” Paige declared, “and I do use it to my advantage!” They laughed together, and the sound was musical to both their ears. “What about you?” Paige asked a moment later.
“What about me?”
“Did you like being the oldest -- or, do you?” Paige asked, uncertain of the proper way to phrase the question to her phantom sister.
“I did, and I didn’t at other times. Being the oldest meant I had a lot of responsibility. But I’m glad I was able to be there for Phoebe and Piper.”
Paige reached over and stopped her hand just beside Prue’s. She wished she could actually touch her, could hold her hand, could hug her, but everything they’d ever tried had always sent her very solid body passing through Prue’s incorporeal form. “And for me,” she added softly.
“And for you,” Prue acknowledged with a nod. “So,” she said, looking back at the painting with which Paige was half finished. It was a copy of a picture she well remembered Phoebe snapping of herself and Andy sitting together on the steps of the Halliwell Manor. “You found a picture of me and Andy?”
“I imagine you have questions.”
Prue shrugged a single shoulder that, even in death, seemed prettier and more slender than Paige’s own shoulders. “Shoot away.”
“Was he as good as our sisters say he was?”
“Better,” Prue replied with a fond smile. “They never did quite forgive him, I think, for the times he made me cry.” Paige nodded. “He didn’t like the idea of Witches. He couldn’t get past all the preconcepts of us.”
“You mean like we’re evil, ugly, and wear pointed hats? At least they got one of the three right.”
“We don’t wear pointed hats.”
“We do sometimes.”
Prue laughed, and Paige smiled. “He died for us in a way,” Prue admitted in a small, quiet voice after another long moment of silence had passed between the sisters. “He was a good, good man.” A lone tear trailed down her face. She wiped away as she spoke with conviction, “He is actually.” She shook her head. “Death isn’t a stopping place, Paige. It’s just the continuation of our stories. Your parents ask about you all the time,” she added quietly.
“Do they?” Paige asked in earnest surprise.
“Yes,” Prue said with a nod, “and they are so proud of you.” She wiped another tear away, but as fast as she wiped it, more fell.
“What about Mom? Does she -- “
“Oh, yes, all the time and Grams too.”
“It must be so cool,” Paige spoke admiringly, “to be able to be with them all the time.”
“Not all the time,” Prue replied, “but it is nice to be able to be with them and know they’re happy and they’re -- they’re okay. But I can’t be with them and with my sisters at the same time. I can’t be with Piper and Phoebe at all.”
“I know,” Paige said quietly. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Prue told her, once more wiping her own tears away. “But I think I’m starting to get why we’re not all allowed to be together at one time, and it’s not just because of the whole Good versus Evil balancing act.”
“Then what -- “
“They need you,” Prue explained, “and I -- I needed Andy, and I needed Mom and Grams. Death freed me but trapped me at the same time, but it’s a trap I allowed. I didn’t want to leave Piper or Phoebe. I still don’t. I don’t even want to leave you.” She smiled sadly at her.
“No. But you should. You can always come back, you know. That’s the really cool thing about being a ghost: You can slip in and out between the worlds.”
“Only when they don’t know or when they actually give permission, which is very, very rare.”
Paige nodded. “I understand that. But you have family on both sides. You deserve to be happy. They would want you to be happy, all of them. I want you to be happy.”
Prue nodded and let her hand fall from her face, where her tears continued to slip quietly down. “This isn’t the end, though -- “ she said.
“No. It’s just a continuation. The next step of the journey.”
“Precisely,” Prue said, smiling, “and I will be back. And you’ll take care of my sisters for me, right?”
“For us,” Paige agreed. “Tell my parents ‘hi’ for me? Tell them I love them.”
“They know, and they can hear you.”
“Tell them anyway,” Paige whispered, now also beginning to cry as she gazed up at the ceiling and tried to imagine what Heaven must be like with all her dead family members, both blood and adopted, gathered together and gazing down upon her.
“I will,” Prue vowed, “and I’ll hug them for you. And I’ll be back.”
“I’ll be here,” Paige whispered as Prue vanished. After a moment, she shook herself and returned to her easel. As she painted Prue’s smile, she hoped Prue was genuinely happy but knew, too, that she would hold to her word and would return. It had to be difficult, being caught between the lands of the living and the dead with loved ones on both sides. One day, she thought, gently stroking her easel with her paintbrush, we’ll all be together. The old, gospel song was right: What a joyous reunion that was going to be!
She heard the front door slam shut and her sisters call out, letting her know they were home. “I’m up here,” she called back to them.
Piper was the first to come. She stood in the doorway, leaning against its frame and watching her sister paint her sister and her true love with a smile. Paige only became aware of her presence when Phoebe joined her. “That’s beautiful,” Phoebe acknowledged.
Piper nodded, grinning despite the tears in her soft, dark eyes. “Prue would love it,” she told her.
Phoebe frowned in confusion. “How do you -- “ she started to ask, but Paige just shook her head and raised her shoulders in a shrug.
“Call it sisterly intuition,” she said, smiling at her sisters. “I just know.” Piper and Phoebe walked into her bedroom, the same room that had been Prue’s before, wrapped their arms around their younger sister, and hugged her. Paige hugged them back tightly, her eyes closing as she relished the moment and considered what it would feel like on the day they all finally hugged together.