The black coffee swirled in its painted cup as Prudence Minerva Halliwell carefully stirred it with her straw. She glanced up when the bell above the door rang but her eyes returned to the cup when a middle-aged woman entered. She sipped the coffee, the bitter taste had succumbed to all the creamer she poured in but it still wasn't sweet enough.

Prue reached out and picked four sugar cubes from the small dish by the salt and bowl of prepackaged fake sugar. She dropped them in a stirred some more with her straw. She contemplated taking out a book or her math homework to consume her time until he got there.

But Prue wasn't one to read to fill time, maybe for fun or as school work, but not as a time-filler. She used her foot to prod the school bag leaning against the leg of her chair. Wishing, as she always did whenever she was bored or nervous, that she had her saxophone. The café owner was kind and probably wouldn't have had any problem with her playing it.

Prue absently drummed her finger tips against the table top, offering a grateful smile as the girl from behind the counter set down a piece of cake on a plate. Still, she didn't touch it and cast a worried look out the wide café windows at the swarming streets. Men in sharp suits, women in dresses with cell phones fused to their hands, and everybody else.

She fanned out her fingers, wondering if she could get Poesy to give her a manicure.

The scrap of a chair being pulled out brought her back to reality. She smiled at her grandfather as he sat down and pushed the plate towards him. It was red velvet with thick, white icing, his favorite. Victor smiled pulling it the rest of the way and digging into it with a fork.

The sixty-year-old man was very good looking with a full head of peppered hair and a very healthy tan. His face was accented with just the right lines to make him look wise, long laugh lines curving around his mouth. He smiled, brushing a lock of dark hair from her check.

"Prue, I missed you while yo- I was gone," He quickly corrected himself, plunging a bite of cake into his mouth.

Prue pretended not to notice, bringing her cup of coffee up to her lips to hide the partial scowl that had formed.

She smiled brightly and chatted with him, feeling the emotions and thoughts swirl around in her grandfather's head. She saw him at family gatherings: family dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and, sometimes, Halloween.

He watched her quirks, listened to her voice, stared at her facial expressions, because he couldn't see her.

He didn't see Prue, his granddaughter. He saw Prue, his dead daughter.

He wanted to meet up with her alone because, to him, it was his way of making up for all the things they fought about. All the things they didn't have time to resolve. And she knew that even if she didn't have empathy and partial mind-reading powers, she'd know. It was evident on his face.

So, she pretended to be somebody she worked so hard not to be.

It was all for that relaxed, content smile he wore when she left.

And, the next time they met up in that same café, him still being an hour and a half late, her still stirring the quickly cooling coffee, and him still addressing her wrong. He would still sit down and eat his red velvet cake and chat with her about things she didn't have to even think about.

Prue hated the same mistake he made every time he talked. Covering it up with a lie.

And she knew that soon, he would forget completely that she wasn't his granddaughter. There was only a small part of his brain that kept that huge mistake from happening.

Prue waited for the day that he wouldn't stop himself short.

She waited for "Prue, I missed you while you were gone."


oh, i needed a distraction. I can't find out how to work on my Naruto story (I think i'm going to separate it into a couple of different one shots) This came to mind. I'm going to do one one-shot for every one of the Halliwell children (except maybe Wyatt). I had actually no idea how to end it properly. I guess Victor is getting Alzheimer's disease.

Sakiya