Prue Halliwell knew all too well what dying felt like. It was the strangest feeling like slipping out of your body, dreaming. Only it was real and you couldn't wake up no matter how much you wanted. It was a terrifying experience.
Now, standing in Halliwell Manor, seeing her motionless body lying next to Piper's, Prue knew exactly what had happened. Given her and her sisters' lifestyle as witches, death had always been a threat that loomed over them like a shadow. Yet, it didn't mean that she was entirely prepared when it happened.
"No," she murmured shaking her head in denial.
"It's time," a familiar voice said to her left.
Whipping her head around, she saw the Angel of Death standing next to her, hand stretched out expectantly.
"No," she repeated.
"You already know you cannot fight me and win," Death reminded her.
That was another thing that Prue knew all too well.
"It's not fair," Prue said, not moving.
"I'm not about fairness."
"There's still so much I haven't done. So much I need to do," Prue continued, unshed tears in her eyes. Apparently the dead could still cry.
"There is nothing you can do," Death said, his hand still outstretched towards her.
Biting her lip and looking away, Prue knew in her heart of hearts that he was right. She looked over at her younger sister, hating to see her broken and bleeding. She purposely kept her eyes off her own body.
"Come now, I don't have all day," Death told her. "I have to make a second trip here." He gestured towards the window where a limp and motionless Dr. Griffith lay bent over a windowsill, shattered glass everywhere.
"So my sacrifice means nothing," she said bitterly.
"You managed to save a life. Just not his."
Her eyes snapped over to look at him, confused.
"It will be explained later. Now come," Death commanded.
Still hesitant, Prue looked over at Piper again. "She'll be okay, won't she?" she asked uncertainly. She would never want her little sister to die with her.
"It is not her time. Not yet, anyway."
"But Piper and Phoebe…they still need me."
"They will mourn you and then they will move on," Death replied. "The same as you did with your mother."
For now, Prue accepted that. Trembling, she reached out and took Death's hand. Deep down, she knew there was no way out of this one, magical or otherwise. She was dead for good and there was no way to fix that.
The next thing she knew, Prue was in a different place. It still looked like Halliwell Manor, only empty. The wall and window were still in ruins, yet there was no Dr. Griffith and no Piper. She looked around, confused.
"This is the ghostly plane," Death explained. "A sort of transition plane shortly before you move on to the afterlife."
Suddenly a bluish black portal opened up in front of her.
"Go through there and you will reach the afterlife," Death instructed her.
"Are you coming with?" Prue asked, almost timid. Death was not the best company, but it would still be better than being alone.
"No. You go alone. I am only to guide you to this point. Now, go. I still have more work to do," he told her impatiently.
Taking one last look at her home Prue carefully stepped through the portal. She was instantly engulfed by a set of familiar arms.
"My darling girl."
"Grams?" Prue asked, looking at the familiar face.
"Yes," her Grams replied, holding her eldest granddaughter at arms length, looking at her.
"I'm so confused right now."
"I know, my darling, but we will help you adjust."
"Prue," another familiar voice said, before she received another hug.
"Mom," Prue said, hugging her back. Once again, there were unshed tears in her eyes. "It's not that I'm not happy to see you and Grams, but…what about Piper and Phoebe? It's not fair! They need me!"
"We know," Patty replied. "They will always miss you, but you will see each other again."
"But what about the power of three? All the innocents we still haven't saved?"
"The power of three will not end," Grams reassured her. "It will be reconstituted."
"Reconstituted? What do you mean? How?" Prue asked, even more confused.
Penny Halliwell looked sideways at her daughter, signifying that it was for her to say.
Patty hesitated before asking, "Do you remember when you were seven and you thought that I had gained a lot of weight?"
Already having an inkling of what would come next, Prue's eyes widened. "You…"
"Yes. Sam and I had a daughter. You have another sister, a baby half-sister. Her name is Paige."
"Paige?" Prue repeated. "What happened to her? How come me, Phoebe, and Piper never knew her?"
"Before Piper and Leo," Patty began, "Whitelighters and witches together was just utterly unthinkable, let alone having children together. Sam and I decided giving her up would be the best choice. We brought her to a church and asked a nun to find a good home for her. And she did."
Prue could only stare at her Grams and her mother. This revelation was something she had never imagined even in her wildest dreams. "This…" she started, "This is too much."
"We know, honey," Grams said, embracing Prue once again. "We will help you adjust."
"Will I be able to see them?" Prue asked, looking up at Penny. "Will they be able to summon me like they can with you and mom?"
An uncomfortable silence fell, giving the eldest Halliwell sister her answer.
"Prue, you need to understand that you and your sisters need to move on. If they saw you right now and you saw them, it would be as if you never died," Grams explained.
"What? But that's not fair! After everything we've done, they won't even let us—" Prue broke off angrily, pulling back from her grandmother's arms.
"I know it isn't," Penny replied. "We never wanted to see you here so soon, but you need to remember that there is a reason for everything."
Prue did not know how to respond.
The phrase, 'Time heals everything' was another thing Prue was familiar with. She had also become familiar with the fact that it was a complete and utter lie.
Time had not healed the pain she had felt from her mother's death, or Gram's death, or Andy's death, or even her own death. Time could never heal death.
Time moved differently in the afterlife, but in earth only a few days had passed. During that time, Prue witnessed her own funeral and both of her sisters' pain over her death. It ripped her apart, seeing what she had done to her sisters.
No, time did not heal all wounds.
The only thing that comforted her was knowing that they had Paige now. It would take time for them to adjust, but she knew they would eventually. The power of three would not be broken because of her death and her sisters would continue their destiny as the Charmed Ones.
Nothing shocked her like Piper's angry outburst when she had become a Fury. The words replayed in her head over and over again like a broken record.
"How dare you leave me!" Piper shrieked, banging on Prue's headstone as hard as she could. "How could you go and die and leave me here all alone?" her younger sister's hits became weaker and weaker as her tears became stronger. "Please come back! I need you please come back!" she sobbed before letting out a scream and sinking to the floor, engulfed in tears.
"It's okay," Leo said tentatively, lowering himself to the floor to embrace his wife.
"No, it's not okay," Piper sobbed shaking her head. "She risked her life everyday and she never thought about what would happen to me and Phoebe if she was gone…how could she think that I could live without her?" She clung to Leo, sobbing.
Prue's heart shattered into a thousand pieces upon hearing those words. She never intended to cause her sisters so much pain. She never intended to actually die.
Later, she discovered what had really happened. She and Piper had accidentally leaked magic out to the world while Phoebe was in the Underworld, trying to retrieve Cole. Piper ended up getting shot and dying, causing Prue and Phoebe to find a way to reverse time.
She found out that there was stipulation, however. Phoebe had to stay in the Underworld. It was carefully orchestrated plan by the Source. Without Phoebe, there had been no one to call for Leo while Prue and Piper lay dying from Shax's deadly blast of wind.
Fortunately, Leo was able to save Piper in the nick of time, but it was already too late for her and Dr. Griffith.
Still, Prue would rather have it be her who died instead of any of her sisters. She could never, ever wish that on them. Yet still…
It wasn't fair that she couldn't see them. It wasn't fair that it was her who caused this hurt. It wasn't fair that she couldn't hold and comfort them as they cried like she had always done since their mother dead. None of this was fair.
"Prue," a male's voice said from behind her.
Her mind on a completely different plane, the one her sisters lived on, Prue turned around, not really paying attention. Until she saw exactly who it was.
"Andy!" she rushed to him, snaking her arms around his neck and practically jumping on him. She hadn't thought to look for him since she had died, being preoccupied with other matters.
He held her, smoothing down her hair with one hand. "I didn't want to believe it when Grams and your mother told me that you were here."
"I didn't want to believe it myself," she replied dryly, trying to suppress the stinging tears in her eyes from falling. "Piper…she was so angry with me," Prue told him, trembling slightly. "I've never seen her so angry before…especially at me." The tears began sliding down her cheeks.
"She's not angry with you," Andy reassured her, wiping the tears with his thumbs. "She just misses you terribly."
"That doesn't make it any easier. I can't even tell my sisters how sorry I am."
"I know," he said. "It doesn't seem like it, but everything will be okay." He bent down, kissing her on the forehead. She clung to him like her life depended on it, which was ironic considering she was dead and all.
No, time would truly heal everything, but with it Prue would feel better.
She wouldn't get the long fulfilled life that most had expected, but at least she would get to see her sisters live it. At least she wasn't completely alone. She had Grams, and Mom, and Andy. There was also a whole line of Halliwell witches that she would get to meet.
She knew that at some point her story and her sister's story would have a silver lining at one point or another.
And that gave Prue Halliwell, the eldest Charmed One, peace.