Crashed the Wedding
Summary: Set in S1. AU. Prue Halliwell has only ever had one true love in her life… a courageous inspector known as Andrew Trudeau. He's getting married to someone, and it's not her. If she were a normal person, she'd most likely just sit around the house and sulk for a few days with a tub of ice cream super-glued to her lap, but she isn't normal. She's a Wiccan Wonder, and everybody's favourite workaholic is ready to crash Andy's wedding.
This was some kind of cruel cosmic joke. It had to be. Only deities of immortal power would deem this sort of thing humorous, and Prue Halliwell had certainly had enough of dealing with the universe's "little injustices". She and her sisters had been battling demons, warlocks, and love-struck ghosts (because Piper was just that unlucky) for a full year now, and, as Prue had discovered, it was nearly impossible to balance her Charmed Life and her personal life equally. Her Charmed Life was always the bigger priority; it came only second to the welfare of her family. Prue's overall health and well-being was at the bottom of her ever-expanding list of responsibilities. She'd accepted that a long time ago, she griped about it sometimes (mostly during PMS), but overall Prue was able to manage being a super-witch, a maternal sister, and an employed citizen with just as much grace and dignity as the next 28-year-old woman. She liked to think she was good in stressful situations, but this…
This was almost inhumane. After a year of risking her butt for the "greater good", this was how the universe repaid her? She had to have some good karma somewhere. Not that it was helping any, because this problem couldn't be vanquished by a potion, or wished away by a spell, this was a little more complicated than that.
Prue glanced at the embossed wedding invitation through the corner of her eye, she could feel the anger building behind her eyelids, it lay flat on the kitchen table. It was mocking her. Why the hell was this happening?
Taking a deep breath, Prue twisted around in her seat and lifted the invitation. It was cream, decorated by an if-you-slip-you'll-slice-your-hand-open-on-it golden border. The text on the invitation was formal, as was customary for most wedding summons. But that wasn't the thing that made Prue's heart stop temporarily. On the inside of the invitation it read:
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Dunn
Request the honour of your presence
At the marriage of their daughter Susanna Dunn
Mr. Andrew Trudeau
Friday, the fifteenth of March, 1999
At twelve o'clock in the afternoon
At St. John the Baptist Church
The only thing on that invitation that Prue really gave a damn about was the name of the groom. Andrew- oh, to hell with it, she knew he liked Andy way better than his full name- Trudeau. Andy had been her high school sweetheart. Her only true love. And at this point in time, there were two questions racing through the young witch's mind: Who the hell is Susanna Dunn? Why would I receive an invitation to their wedding?
Prue couldn't even imagine being there, standing in a dress that she'd only ever wear once, watching as Andy and She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named exchanged their vows of 'till-death-do-them-part commitment. Well, she could, but the mental images made her queasy. She read the invitation over and over again until the words were seared into her brain and she knew the whole thing off by heart. The bile in her throat was begging to escape, but she held it back.
Wait a minute…
Prue stared hard at the overdone invitation, squinting as she tried to pick out the peculiar detail on it. That was when she noticed the wedding's date.
March fifteenth, 1999.
March fifteenth, as in the Ides of March (which translated into impending doom). Heh, poor suckers.
March fifteenth. Today was March fifteenth!
Prue didn't even bother asking herself why the reception of her mail had been so delayed, right now, it wasn't significant. Maybe the universe was trying to tell her something instead of kicking her while she was down. Maybe this was the sign she'd been hoping for, deep down, the sign that indicated she could have a life outside of magic and she could make time for true love again. With Andy, the only boy who had ever really taken the time to get to know her. The only male who had ever shown her any type of respect, the guy she'd known since preschool. She'd watched him grow into a man; she knew that they were destined to be together, just like Piper and Leo (even though they would never admit it to themselves). Prue glanced at the clock on the microwave, Kit was perched on the counter beside the device, staring at her with sharp cobalt eyes. It was 12:19, the ceremony had started already.
Prue heaved a sigh, wilting into her chair. She was just letting her imagination run away with her, there was no way she'd be able to stop Andy from marrying Susanna. He didn't love her anymore.
No, the little voice in the back of her head was egging her on, you two have always loved each other. Nothing has changed in the years that you've been apart, and you know it… otherwise you wouldn't still feel such a strong connection to him.
Prue was about to forgo the whole mission- crashing somebody's wedding was hardly the responsible thing to do- when Kit meowed at her, as if to say "get your butt out the door missy! It's time you did something for yourself!"
"You're right, Kit." Prue spoke to the feline, "I have to do this." She pushed herself away from the table, chair legs scraping against the floor vociferously as if to warn her against going through with her plan. But Prudence Halliwell had already left her sensible side in the dust; she was finally ready to take what she wanted.
"Piper! Phoebe!" Prue called for her siblings as she sped down the hallway, snatching her coat from the hall closet and trying to shrug it on. She was so nervous that she couldn't button it properly and after her shaky fingers slipped twice, she gave up the venture altogether.
"What's going on?" Piper appeared at the top of the stairs, her eyes red and puffy, Prue guessed she'd been holed up in her bedroom, thinking about Leo again while watching a chick flick on TV.
"What's wrong?" Phoebe skidded to a halt beside Piper in a sports bra and track pants. Her hair was secured by a headband, the slight perspiration dotting her forehead showed that she'd been following along to one of those workout tapes she'd ordered online.
Prue almost laughed when she saw her siblings' alarmed expressions. They'd mistaken her excitement for panic and rushed to her because they thought that all hell was breaking loose in the form of a demon (again).
"Come on, you guys!" Prue snapped her fingers bossily at them, "we have to get to the church Andy's getting married!"
"Whoa!" Piper exclaimed. "Hold it… Andy as in our Andy? Andy Trudeau?"
"Do we know any other Andys?" Prue rolled her eyes playfully, "come on, come on, let's get a move on!"
"Prue, what's wrong with you?" Phoebe frowned, she knew her sister had been pushing herself to exceed in the past couple of months, but to show this much enthusiasm- or any at all, really- at the prospect of going to her high school sweetheart's wedding was borderline crazy. Phoebe thought that her sister needed a vacation.
"Prue," Piper spoke up. Timidly, as always, because she was the middle child who hated stepping on others' toes, even if it meant that hers got squashed in the process. "I can't go to a wedding… I'm in my pyjamas." She looked down at her night time apparel pointedly. She was wearing one of the oversized t-shirts that Leo had left behind (red and green and plaid), along with a pair of comfy pants.
"Yeah," Phoebe chimed in, "and I'm all sweaty from my workout."
"Oh girls, be adventurous!" Prue insisted, "You know you want to help me crash the wedding."
"WHAT?!" The younger sisters couldn't believe their ears. This wasn't the Prudence Halliwell they were used to; in fact, the idea of crashing a former friend's wedding was simply ludicrous… but it actually sounded kind of fun.
"Guys," Prue stamped one foot, pouting up at them. "The wedding's started already, are you helping me or not? Come on Piper, this way you'll have something to keep you distracted from pining over Leo; Phoebes, you've worked hard enough today. If you're not going to help then I'll do it by myself."
"I'm not pining over-" Piper began.
Phoebe cut her off by leaping down the stairs with gusto. "All for one!" She declared cheerfully.
"And one for all," Piper finished with a wry smile. She was going to go along with it because her family needed her.
"Perfect. Now let's go." Prue was so excited that she almost didn't give her sisters the chance to bundle themselves up before going outside. In the record time of ten point seventy six seconds, the girls had made it to the car. Prue hopped into the driver's seat and fired up the ignition, the roaring of the motor matched the adrenaline pumping through her veins.
The church was only fifteen minutes away from the Halliwell Manor, though the trip took the girls almost double that time because of Prue's increased nerves. She almost hit a pedestrian, as well as a stoplight, but thankfully no cops were following them yet.
Providence was on her side.
At exactly 12:54, Prue screeched to a halt, bumping the curb with her wheel. The church was in eyeshot now, and even from that distance, it was clear that all of the available parking was taken.
"Guys…" Prue took a shaky breath and grabbed Piper's hand; her younger sister squeezed it encouragingly. Prue glanced at Phoebe in the rear-view mirror, sending eternal thanks with her eyes. "Thanks. You know, for being here for me today." She choked out, she could feel some of that heady impulsiveness slipping away… her logic was fighting to the surface. No! She couldn't just let life pass her by; she had to take a chance. Sure, she might end up making a big fool of herself but seeing Andy one more time would be worth it.
"Anytime, sweetie." Phoebe snapped her out of her daze.
Prue smirked, unclenching her hands from the steering wheel. "Let's do this." They sprinted across the parking lot to the church, Phoebe, being the one in the lead, pulled open the door to reveal an empty church.
"They're not here!"
"Is the wedding over already?" Prue felt herself deflate, hope evaporating.
"Hold it!" Piper tipped her head, pushing her long hair out of her face. "They're in the back! The back! Hurry up!" The trio stumbled back down the steps and cut around to the church's large backyard, Prue's cheeks were flushed and her hair was messy but all she cared about at the moment was rescuing Andy from a catastrophic marital decision. As it turned out, the wedding guests had all assembled there. Andy and his bride-to-be were standing under a massively curved arch, decorated with red roses and white lilies. Over to the side there were several tables with catered goods, hidden by the protective shade of industrial-sized umbrellas. The priest conducting the union spoke in a slow, monotonous voice. When the Halliwell sisters straggled onto the scene, several heads turned their way in curious reprove. Darryl Morris, Andy's best man and the one cop who knew about the sisters' witch craft, gave them an "oh shit" sort of look. Andy and Susanna glanced over, too.
God, Andy looked so sexy in a tuxedo…
Prue smiled lightly when Andy saw her, his blue eyes locking confusedly with her grey-green ones. He was obviously wondering why she'd decided to show up. The priest was still speaking, not disturbed by the newcomers, and now that Susanna saw Andy's attention was diverted from her, she was urging the Father along with antsy little gestures.
"Heh. Piper!" Prue hissed, digging her pyjama-wearing sister in the ribs.
"Ouch! That was my boob." Piper returned grouchily before she threw up her hands, freezing the scene. "Now what?"
"I've got a plan. Come on." Prue zigzagged through the grass aisle, mentally summing up her appearance as she neared the arch, and her love. Underneath her bland grey coat she wore a coral Juke Box cardigan and a black pencil skirt. She looked ready for a casual day at the office, and for a second she wished she'd taken the time to slip into the appealing little black dress at the back of her closet- which was probably worn away from moth bites by now, she hadn't even looked at it in two years- but the superficial desire was shoved to the back of her mind as soon as she stepped onto the platform under the arch, stepping between the bride and the groom. She studied Andy's handsome face, exactly the same as she remembered it. She pushed her hair behind her ear nervously and looked over at Piper and Phoebe- both of whom had moved to the half-concealment of the food tables and massive umbrellas- she nodded quickly and Piper focused all of her energy on just unfreezing Andy.
Prue licked her lips as Andy was released from the numbing embargo; it only took a second for him to notice her. Seeing their close proximity, Andy jumped back slightly.
"Prue?" He questioned, "How'd you get up here?"
"Magic." Prue didn't bother lying, what was the point? She already knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, lying would only strain their relationship.
"Excuse me?" Andy had now registered that all of the other wedding attendants were still and unmoving. "Christ, Prue, what the hell?"
"I'm a witch. Piper and Phoebe are witches too." Prue shrugged, "we just found out like, a year ago."
"Uh huh." Andy blinked, "so you…" he waved his hand in front of Darryl's stoic face. "You stopped the world?"
"No, time's frozen." Prue amended, "and Piper did that. I'm a telekinetic, Phoebes can see the future."
"So, you're getting married…" there was a nervous little lilt to her voice now as she realized how ridiculous this was.
"Yeahhh," Andy was staring at her, attempting to hide his attraction to her. He was getting married for God's sake! But he couldn't deny the way he still felt about Prue… would always feel about her. He'd tried to move on several times, but his inner teenager would always remain steadfastly devoted to Prue (and she'd still be the subject of some of his hormonally-charged dreams and fantasies). But… he had Susanna now. He loved Susanna. Didn't he?
"Cut to the chase!" Phoebe cried, "Piper's freeze will wear off soon." She was getting impatient, having to stand around and watch the two of them twiddle their thumbs. They didn't even spare her a glance.
"I love you." Prue blurted.
"I'm getting married."
"I know. And I know, it's sick and wrong and delusional to think that we still have an innate attraction after all this time…. But I love you."
"Prue," his voice softened as he looked down at her, he could see the vulnerability lurking behind her composed figure.
"I know." She whispered sounding distraught, but no tears leaked from her eyes. She never cried… not since her mother's funeral. Andy knew that because he'd been there with her, his eight-year-old self trying to soothe her with a hug and a pat on the back and a lame joke about underpants. He had always loved her, since they were kids. When she needed protection, he was there, when he needed nurturing, she was by his side in an instant. But he'd already promised himself to Susanna…
"Prue," Andy took the girl in his arms, holding her against his muscular frame. He pulled back to look into her face- her beautiful, questioning, achingly scared face- wordlessly, he kissed her forehead and tucked her into his chest.
"You're okay with me being a witch?"
"As weird as it is, I am." He agreed with a chuckle and she laughed as well.
"I love you." She said again, in a small voice.
"Love you too." Andy sighed and let his arms drop away from her. "But I can't do this, Prue."
"Why not?" Her voice came out pitchy and strangled, he realized he'd just shoved a double-edged sword into her gut- first telling her he loved her and then refusing to be with her- he berated himself as he watched that cold flash in her eyes. He didn't know how to make her understand his reasoning for this… hell, he couldn't even understand it himself.
Just then, the freeze wore off and the first thing Susanna noticed was Prue acting as a flesh-and-blood barrier between her and Andy.
"Who the hell are you?" The blonde demanded in a nasally voice, her long-nailed fingers moved to push Prue aside.
"Prue!" Phoebe shouted a warning just as a hunk of vanilla wedding cake splattered the bride's puffy, overdone dress.
"Ugh!" Susanna whimpered like a freshly-castrated man as the guests all turned to the side. Phoebe waved and Piper frowned. The middle sister had been the one to toss the cake.
"What?" Piper grumped crossly, "it's not baked properly anyhow."
"Prue," Andy said again, his own voice was strained. "I…"
"It's fine," she let out sharply, turning around and hopping off the stage. "I get it." She began walking away, feeling the pressure of multiple gazes burning into her back.
"How the hell did she get up here?!" Susanna wanted to know as Piper and Phoebe joined their lovelorn sister, flanking her as they neared the end of the back lot.
"Ahem," the priest cleared his throat pointedly, "now, as I was saying-" wow, he wasn't the least bit phased by the interruption. "Do you, Andrew Trudeau, take this woman to be your lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do you part?" Prue's face and heart scrunched up in pain as the priest uttered these words.
Well, it serves you right. What, did you expect him to just jilt his wife for you? Now you've exposed your magic for no good reason and you still don't have a boyfriend. Hannah was right (even if she was a floozy), that biological clock's a-ticking. Tick-tock. Tick-freaking-tock.
"I…" Prue froze. Was that doubt she heard in Andy's voice? Piper and Phoebe were still alongside her, ready to carry her out if she fainted from some sort of an emotional breakdown.
Meanwhile Andy was struggling with his own conscience. The seventeen-year-old inside of him had emerged and was grappling with his adult self for control of his brain.
"I…" Andy couldn't finish the vow. "I…" Why was he suddenly thinking of how gorgeous Prue would look in a wedding gown?
"Hurry up, Andrew!" Susanna insisted a plastic smile crept across her face whilst her eyes flashed with fury. She realized that Prue Halliwell was the only woman in the world who held such control over Andrew… not even Susanna herself could dictate his movements like she could (albeit, she did try). She watched his eyes stray to his former flame, felt her own cheeks flush with embarrassment. The crowd was getting restless and her parents were watching. Andy wouldn't dare embarrass her so publicly, would he?
"I'm sorry Susanna, I can't!"
Prue twisted back around, a wide smile of incredulity swamping her face. Piper and Phoebe were grinning as well, pleased with their sister's good luck. Susanna glowered.
"It's because of HER, isn't it?" Bridezilla shrieked, pointing an accusatory finger at Prue.
"I can't marry you," Andy answered her question in a roundabout way. "But don't worry; you should be fine without me. You still have your waiter boyfriend as a backup."
The entire congregation gasped at the revelation of the bride's infidelity, Susanna herself appeared stunned.
"How did you… how did you…?" She sputtered out.
"Know? He dropped off a bouquet of red roses for you the other day. I'm not stupid." Andy shot her a placating smile. "I think it's best if we part ways. Excuse me." He stepped down from the platform and walked across the grass towards the sisters with a beaming Darryl- as much as he didn't want to admit it, Andy's partner thought that Prue was a better match for him than Susanna- hot on his heels.
"Can we give you a ride?" Piper grinned ecstatically at Andy, who'd always been a quasi-older brother to her.
"Sure." Andy beamed, "I think I'm in the mood for some good food."
"Quake it is, then." Phoebe chimed, mentioning the name of the restaurant that Piper worked at. The group was twittering with merriment, Piper, Phoebe and Darryl walked on ahead. Andy spared one last look over his shoulder- Susanna was finding solace in her chief bride's maid, who was just as trashy as the would-be bride- before he turned to face his present.
"You okay?" Prue asked with a hesitant smile.
"Just peachy." Andy looped his arm through hers and they made their way towards the car. They were too decent to start sucking face right then and there, but that activity would happen as soon as they were away from the prying eyes of the public.
This was some kind of surprisingly benign cosmic act. It had to be. Only deities of immortal power would deem it humorous for Prue to go through hell and back, before finally cutting her some slack and giving her the man of her dreams.