Title: After Life
Written for: Yuletide Treasure
Characters: Prue/Andy & Chris
He walked into the room and chuckled to himself when he saw her pacing back and forth, back and forth as she waited for the new arrival.
“If you keep that up, you’re going to wear a hole in the floor,” he said by way of greeting.
With a dramatic sigh, Prue Halliwell turned and rolled her eyes at her soul mate, Andy Trudeau.
“I’m sorry, Andy, I’m just anxious.”
He walked over and put his arms around her to keep her from pacing. “I know, Prue, and I understand. But haven’t you always told me that you have to maintain a calm façade when you’re welcoming a new soul to heaven since they’re already anxious about their encounter with the Angel of Death?”
“Yes, but this soul is different. This isn’t a total stranger.”
“I know. And I think that should be all the more reason for you to relax before he gets here. You know he is very likely to recognize you immediately.”
“You’re right,” she said with a smile. She crossed the room and settled on the overstuffed couch, patting the spot next to her for Andy to sit in. He returned her smile as he joined her.
Being dead wasn’t so bad, Prue mused as Andy placed his arm around her and she rested her head on his chest.
When the Angel of Death had first appeared to her in the living room of the manor where she had resided with her sisters, she was resistant. Her sisters needed her, she argued. She was a Charmed One and by taking her, the Angel of Death would upset the balance between good and evil, giving evil the upper hand and wasn’t he supposed to be neutral she questioned as he led her towards the swirling vortex. He just smiled his serene smile and took her hand and led her into the vortex. She cast a quick look over her shoulder and saw Leo arrive and begin healing Piper. Then the vortex closed and she was surrounded by bright lights.
The next thing she remembered was being greeted by her mother. Her mom explained that it had been her time and that she was appointed as Prue’s spirit guide to help her acclimate to her life after death.
Naturally Prue’s first concern had been for Piper and Phoebe and the fate of the Power of Three. Her mother took her to a place where she could look in on her sisters and she watched as they reconstituted the Power of Three with Paige Matthews, the half sister their mother had given birth to after an illicit affair with her white lighter and given up for adoption to keep from getting in trouble with the Elders. Prue watched as Piper and Phoebe helped their newly found sister adjust to life as a Charmed one and she was only able to comfortably settle into her after life once she was assured that her death would not put her younger siblings in jeopardy. Even in death, Prue was the consummate big sister.
After several months of “settling in” to her after life, Prue was reunited with her high school sweetheart, Andy, by far the best thing that had happened to her since she had died. Andy had been killed by a demon less than a year after the sisters regained their powers and began fighting evil. And his death had saved the sisters lives.
Despite having had an on-again, off-again relationship while alive, Prue and Andy’s relationship in the after life flourished. Mostly because Prue no longer had to keep her heritage and destiny a secret. The two even underwent a hand fasting ceremony, presided over by Prue’s grams. In some ways, it seemed silly to Prue to go through with the ceremony, but Grams insisted it would bind their souls together forever.
Prue continued to watch over her sisters from time to time. She loved watching Paige grow as a witch and was glad that Piper and Phoebe had been able to accept her. She got extremely anxious at times, watching the messes her sisters got into, and was often afraid one of them would be joining her in the after life much too soon. But somehow, the Charmed Ones always managed to save themselves.
Shortly after the arrival of Chris Perry, the mysterious white lighter who claimed to be from the future, Prue was approached by the Angel of Death. He asked her to join his force of spirit guides that welcomed newly departed souls to heaven. Prue jumped at the opportunity to do something to help people again and soon became an in demand spirit guide. Many of the souls she met were mortals who had no idea that magic existed and many were skeptical that there even was an after life.
Prue became so busy with her work and with her relationship with Andy, that she didn’t take the time to check in on her sisters as often. So it came as a complete shock to her to see the name Halliwell on her assignment list one day.
Not recognizing the first name, she stormed into the Angel of Death’s office and demanded an explanation.
“Who is Christopher Halliwell, how is he related to me, and why is he on my list?”
The Angel of Death motioned for her to take a seat. “Christopher Halliwell is your sister’s youngest son,” he stated.
“Which sister? Piper is the only one that has any children and she only has one son, Wyatt.”
“You haven’t checked in on your family lately, I see.”
Prue was silent as she tried to recall exactly when the last time she had looked in on her sisters was. “I guess the last time I checked in with them was when they were fighting the Titans,” she admitted, shocked to realize how long it had been. “I guess I’ve been so busy working for you and spending time with Andy that I haven’t had a chance.”
He sighed. “Go and check in on your sisters,” he instructed. “I’m too busy to take the time to explain it all to you. If you still have questions after you catch up with them, then you can come back and see me.” He dismissed Prue by disappearing from the room.
Frustrated and confused, she went home and used her special mirror to catch up with her sisters. She soon learned that the mysterious white lighter from the future was actually Piper and Leo’s youngest son, come back to save his older brother from some unknown evil. Piper was quite pregnant but it did not appear that she and Leo had gotten back together. Prue was also surprised to learn that for some reason or another, Darryl Morris was no longer speaking to the Halliwells. She had missed a lot in her sisters’ lives.
She watched her nephew as he, Leo and the sisters fought some demons that were hosting a reality television show. He was young and strong and reminded Prue a lot of herself. She wondered how and when he was going to die.
She went back to the Angel of Death’s office.
“Okay, I checked in with my sisters and saw my nephew. What I’d like to know now is how and when is he going to die?”
“Quite soon,” the Angel reported. “And as for how, well, it’s better for you to not know these things sometimes. All you need to know is that you will be called upon soon to guide your nephew’s spirit into the after life.”
“It is the spirit of the adult version of Chris that I’ll be guiding,” Prue clarified. “The baby hasn’t even been born yet.”
“Yes, it is the spirit of Chris from the future,” he said. “This is quite an unusual circumstance though,” he went on to explain exactly what the nature of Prue’s job would be.
“Do you want a cup of tea while you wait?” Andy’s question startled Prue out of her reverie.
“That would be great,” she started to answer, but was interrupted by the appearance of a swirling vortex. “On second thought, I guess it will have to wait.”
She got up from her seat and stationed herself at the opening of the vortex and watched as her nephew came through, looking very confused. His gaze swept over the room and when his eyes settled on her, his mouth fell open in shock.
“Aunt Prue,” he whispered to himself as his hand absentmindedly dropped to his side, feeling for the fatal wound that Gideon had inflicted.
“Hi Chris,” he said with a soft smile.
“So I guess I’m dead,” he said with a twinge of bitterness. “Gideon got me.” His bitterness quickly turned to fear. “Are mom, dad, Wyatt, Aunt Phoebe and Aunt Paige okay?”
“They’re fine,” she assured him. “And technically, so are you.”
Confusion immediately clouded the anger and concern that had been in his eyes.
“Why don’t you have a seat and I’ll explain everything,” she suggested, motioning to an over stuffed arm chair next to the couch.
Chris nodded and sat down, finally noticing Andy on the couch.
“Chris, this is Andy Trudeau,” Prue introduced the young man. “He was a very good friend of our family in life.”
“And his death saved you, mom and Aunt Phoebe from Tempus,” Chris finished before Prue had a chance.
Prue and Andy were both visibly impressed with Chris’s knowledge of Halliwell family history. “That’s right,” she said.
“So I’m dead,” he repeated, as if trying to convince himself. “What happens next?”
“Well,” Prue began. “Normally, a newly departed soul is assigned to a spirit guide to help them adjust to the after life. I work for the Angel of Death as a spirit guide.”
“You said normally,” he was quick to point out. “Am I different?”
“Actually, yes,” she said. “Given your unusual circumstances, I’m not actually here to serve as your spirit guide, but to explain to you what happens now.”
Chris looked at the floor, resigned to his fate. “I guess I deserve to be punished for breaking the rules and going back in time to change the future.”
Prue reached out and took his hand. “Honey, that isn’t what this is about,” she was quick to reassure him. “Your unique situation lies in the fact that you technically died before you were born.”
Chris looked his aunt straight in the eye. “So give it to me straight.”
She smiled a small smile, recognizing the Halliwell spirit that was so strong in her young nephew. He reminded her so much of herself.
“Well, as we speak, your mother is in labor,” she began.
“Is she safe?”
“Yes, your mother is safe. Your dad and your aunts are making sure that the baby will be born safely.”
“What about Gideon?”
She faltered for a moment. “He’s being dealt with,” is all she managed to get out.
“So what is happening to me?”
“Well, as you are aware from studying our family history, souls are reincarnated. It generally happens after about a decade, but in your case, it’s going to happen a little sooner.”
“How much sooner?”
“In about ten minutes.”
“See, because you technically haven’t been born yet, the decision was made to send your soul back into your newborn body.”
“Will I retain my memories of this life?”
“Most likely not, but since is the first time we’ve done anything like this, we aren’t one hundred percent certain,” she admitted. “If you do have any recollection though, it will likely be in the form of a dream or a vision.”
“So I won’t remember Wyatt turning evil or watching my mother die?”
“No, Chris, you’re being given a second chance to benefit from the good future you helped to create.”
They shared a smile as a vortex suddenly appeared again.
“It’s time, Chris,” Prue said, taking his hand and leading him to the opening. “Live a good life and remember that I’m always watching over you.”
Chris took a few tentative steps into the vortex. He turned and memorized his aunt’s face. He willed himself to remember her in his next life, even though he hadn’t known her in the previous one. With a deep breath, he turned and continued through the vortex to the newborn body that waited for him.
Tears glistened in Prue’s eyes as the vortex closed behind Chris and she turned back to Andy.
“How about that cup of tea now?” he asked. She managed a nod, knowing she was blessed to have met the courageous young man who saved her family.