Naruto x Phoebe x Prue x Piper x ?
With a slam to her car door Prue rushed inside the building while attempting to keep a hold of all her papers. Her phone was pressed against her shoulder as she attempted to push open the door with her foot. "No, Monique, just stall for another minute. I'm walking in the door now...Ow!" She trailed off abruptly as she didn't quite make it past the threshold before the door slammed into her back. "I just have to take the elevator up."
With a dramatic sigh Prue settled into the corner of the elevator. There was no response from Monique on the phone. The elevator dinged as the doors opened onto the floor of her office. Rushing down the hallway Prue caught a glimpse of Claire being held back by Monique, Prue's assistant, inside one of the offices. She narrowed her eyes at the door and it slammed shut while Prue hastened by and slipped into her own office. She threw everything unceremoniously on her desk and dropped into her seat just as Claire sauntered in.
"Prue, you're late." Claire stated, pointing at the clock on Prue's wall.
Prue's eyes followed her pointing hand. The clock read 7:45. She ran a hand through her hair nervously. She was thirty minutes late and she hadn't had a moment to think of an excuse. "Um…"
Claire didn't wait for one of her famous excuses. "In all honesty, Prue, if it weren't for you, I'm not sure the auction house would've been able to stave off bankruptcy." She admitted.
Prue appeared surprised at the praise. She had expected about her lateness and not a compliment. With a faint smile she responded, "Thank you." Prue appreciated, sitting up just a little straighter.
"Oh, don't thank me yet." Claire warned, smirking faintly as Prue's hopeful smile faded. "Now, I have tolerated your unexplained absences and the endless family emergencies, but no more. Buyers interested in purchasing Bucklands will be visiting in the next two days and it's important that we make a big impression… It's important that you make a BIG impression if you expect to keep your job." She explained coldly. "Do I make myself clear?" Claire asked.
"Perfectly." Prue answered immediately.
Monique opened the door before anything else could be said and walked in with an apologetic glance in Prue's direction. "I'm sorry, Prue, but your sister's on the phone." Monique announced.
Claire glanced pointedly in Prue's direction, listening intently for her answer. Prue bit her lip slightly, aware of the attention. "Um, I will call her back." Prue decided with a hesitant smile.
"She says it's an emergency." Monique added to which Prue sighed but stood up to get the phone.
Hey, have you ever heard of the ghost of Alcatraz?" Phoebe questioned into the phone as she absently searched the web for the supposed identity of the ghost.
"Are you kidding me? This is why you pulled me out of a meeting?" The near hysteria in her sister's voice could be heard.
"No, Prue, you don't understand. I think the ghost really exists." Phoebe explained hastily.
"Did you see it?"
Phoebe hesitated trying to decide whether to admit it or not. "I think so. I went with Marianne to Alcatraz… you remember Marianne?" She prompted, expecting Prue to blow up on the other end but instead received silence. "Well, actually I think I saw two ghosts. I'm not really sure about one of them…" Phoebe rambled nervously.
"Look, Pheebs, I cannot leave right now." Prue finally replied. Suddenly her tone changed. "Um… I'm really sorry the furnace blew up, but you're just gonna have to handle it on your own."
Phoebe frowned, appearing irritated with Prue's reaction to her news. "Okay, but Prue, I thought we might be able to…"
"Call Paige and Naruto." Prue hissed into the phone before hanging up abruptly.
Time seem to tick by slowly for one Andy Trudeau. Sitting at his desk in the police department he was going over some old case files.
Darryl walked up behind him with the storage box for older files. "Did you take some of the old case files home with you by any chance, Andy?" He asked with underlying suspicion.
Andy offered Darryl a quick glance before turning his attention to the new files in front of him. "No, why?" He inquired.
"We're missing a couple…" He replied with a shrug. "… Hope the Captain's not reviewing them." Darryl added slyly. There was no response from Andy so Darryl continued. "You want to talk about it?" He prompted.
Andy raised his gaze for another moment. "Talk about what?"
"About why you've been walking around here like a zombie lately." Darryl elaborated. "Come on, what's up?" Darryl pressed.
"I wish I could tell you, I really do. I just have to work things out on my own first." Andy finally replied.
"Okay, you guys are the experts on the freaky cases, figure this one out…" Inspector Blakely interrupted as she dropped a new file on the desk in front of the two cops. "…A victim was stabbed thirteen times in the chest. Circular pattern. CSI combed the scene and other than the knife, found no evidence. Except, check this out." She continued, passing Andy a picture.
Andy's gaze flickered over the photo of the knife with a fingerprint clearly visible on the pommel of the knife. "A solid thumbprint." He remarked, allowing Darryl to take the photo.
Inspector Blakely gave a slight nod as she took a seat next to Andy. "Yeah, but we didn't get it from dusting. We got it from fluoroscoping."
"Ultraviolet fingerprint. Never heard of that." Darryl admitted after a moment.
"We ran the print…" She started but paused with glance around her. "… This is where it gets freaky. It matches up to Jackson Ward, the serial killer that was executed in Alcatraz thirty-six years ago." Inspector Blakely finished passing another picture of Jackson Ward to Andy.
Andy hesitated, his gaze shifting over both the photos thoughtfully. "Are you sure about this?" He demanded, a little too interested.
Inspector Blakely shrugged. "Checked it twice." She offered.
"Dead guy's prints on a murder weapon? It's gotta be a mistake." Darryl decided though he cast Andy a suspicious glance at his interest.
Andy suddenly leaned forward and grabbed the picture. "Can I borrow this?" He asked Inspector Blakely. He didn't wait for an answer nor did he look at Darryl's reaction as he grabbed his jacket.
"Whoa, where are you going?" Inspector Blakely inquired, but received no answer as Andy left with the file.
In the Halliwell manor. "Phoebe, Paige, I'm home." Prue announced, tossing her purse on the table next to the front door and heading for the kitchen. She found Phoebe at the kitchen table surfing the web on the laptop while Paige was attempting to cook something on the stovetop. "You cook?" Upon reflecting the question Prue realized that it might had come off as a little presumptuous to question Paige's cooking skills considering that this is the first time Paige had cooked.
"Yeah, I figured a little pasta would be nice. Too bad someone didn't want to help me." Paige finished as she sent a pointed glance at Phoebe.
"Paige this is important. We have a killer ghost on the loose; besides, I'm not much of a cook anyway." She admitted.
"Look before we get into this there's at least one thing I want to know." Prue finished the statement as neutrally as possible.
"Don't worry about the groceries Prue I made sure to do the shopping before I went with Mariane." Phoebe couldn't help the slight smile that tugged at her lips. In the old days she probably would have completely forgotten, but thanks to a bit of careful planning she was able to complete most of the errands which would thankfully mean Prue wouldn't be disappointed in her for flightiness.
"What about the dry cleaning?"
"I picked it up on the way back to the mansion." Phoebe added.
Prue couldn't help but be a bit surprised. Looks like Phoebe was on the ball today. Before she could compliment here a rang from the doorbell caught her attention. She went to it and was surprised to see Andy at the doorbell.
"Andy, hi." Prue greeted, leaning casually against the doorframe.
"Hi." Andy returned. "Can we talk?"
They fell silent for a moment and Prue finally started to speak but stopped as her gaze caught sight of a car pulling into their driveway. For a moment Prue's look of nervousness changed into one of warmth. Andy turned curiously around to see what had caused the reaction. His question was answered when Naruto stepped out of the car and walked over to them.
"Prue." He greeted warmly.
"Naruto." She responded back as a small smile formed on her face.
"Officer Trudeau, this can't be good. What has Phoebe done now and what are damages?"
Prue sighed and covered her face to hide the growing smirk on her face. She knew if she smiled or laugh she would be encouraging the antics of those two.
A hint of a smile formed on Andy's face. He was no stranger to the stories of Phoebe's wild antics. When it came down to it Andy had no beef with the man. The worst thing Andy could say about the man was that he invoked feelings of jealousy from him due to his relationship with Prue, but was that enough to hate someone?
Sure he had money but he didn't act like your typical young rich jackass with money. He seemed like a regular and normal guy. Years of police training had thought him to read body language and subtle cues. Prue's reactions and body language gave no indication that he was abusing or threatening her. Piper and Phoebe also seemed to interact well with him and he gave no indication of being hostile.
"I was not aware she did anything wrong."
"Hhm, that does not bode well." He answered and then turned to Prue. "Anyway Phoebe called me because we have a bit of a situation apparently."
"She's in the kitchen." Prue answered, stepping aside to allow the blond in. "So, about why you're here?" Her gaze shifted down to the folder in his hand. "What's that?" She questioned.
"Actually, a case. A kind of case where, frankly, before I would probably be looking for a more logical explanation." He explained hesitantly. "But if you're really busy…"
Prue shook her head and took the file from him before he could leave. "We're good at multi-tasking." She joked, holding the door back so Andy could follow her in. Prue slipped out of her jacket, hung it up next to the door, and led the way into kitchen. "What's the case?" She asked curiously as she opened the file.
"Something up?" Phoebe asked as she, Paige, and Naruto exited out of the kitchen.
"Hey Phoebe…" He greeted and was surprised when another lady followed her. "…and friend."
"Oh right," Prue interjected with a wince. This was kind of awkward. "Andy this is Paige Matthews…she's our baby sister by our mother."
"Hey," Paige greeted as Andy eyes widened in surprise. He switched from Paige to look at Prue, to back at Paige then Prue again. Upon really focusing he could see some form of resemblance, it wasn't as close Prue, Phoebe, and Piper of course, but it was there.
"Wow…" he answered breathily almost left speechless at this bomb shell.
"Yeah, I think that's about how I felt at that moment I learned too." Phoebe said as she crossed her legs and took a seat next to Paige. "Too bad I missed all the fun being a big sister years."
"From the stories I've heard from Prue so far think I don't think she could had handle both of us." Paige lightly joked as Phoebe pulled her into a hug.
"I love you nonetheless baby sister."
A chuckle escape Naruto's lips. "Not that I don't enjoy family bonding, but I think the Inspector is here for a reason."
"The son of a former D.A. was brutally murdered. The only quote-unquote evidence points to the last man executed on Alcatraz before it was closed down." Andy briefed.
"Jackson Ward." Phoebe guessed suddenly.
Prue, Paige, Naruto and Andy all turned curious glance at Phoebe as she stood up from the arm of the seat she was sitting on. "How did you know that?" Andy inquired.
"Yeah, how did you know that?" Prue followed.
"I told you, I was trying to figure out who the ghost of Alcatraz was, remember? Jackson Ward's name was at the top of the list." Phoebe answered.
"Ghost?" Andy repeated, his eyes narrowing thoughtfully and more than a little in surprise.
"Wait… the ghost of Alcatraz that you saw this morning is the same ghost that we're talking about now?" Paige received a slight nod from Phoebe. "Okay, then, just purely out of curiosity, how did everyone react when you started yelling at this Jackson guy?" She wondered eagerly.
A faint blush fell across Phoebe's face. "They looked at me like I was insane." She admitted.
"Hey a step up from the criminal conspiracy that was building around you girls." Naruto added as Paige looked up at him.
He mouthed to her, "I'll explain it to you later."
Paige was the first to turn her attention back to the folder in Prue's hands. "What is that?" She asked, pointing at the photo of the knife and fingerprint.
"Ultraviolet fingerprint. Although, technically, there's no such thing." Andy answered.
"Could be the ghost's ectoplasm. It's outside the visual spectrum." Phoebe suggested thoughtfully. "Book of Shadows." She hissed under her breath to her two sisters.
Andy nodded slightly to himself. "Ectoplasm…" He repeated uncertainly.
"It's the residue of ghostly or spiritual beings." Naruto answered.
Prue flipped through the pictures until she found the picture of Jackson Ward. "Is this him?" She inquired of Andy and upon receiving a nod of confirmation, she turned to Phoebe with the photo. "Familiar?"
Phoebe took the photo carefully and scanned over it. "Yep, that's him." Phoebe announced before turning to Andy. "And what about this former D.A.'s son. Did Ward know him?" She questioned.
"Ward knew his father. He was the prosecutor who convicted him." Andy explained, slowly turning away from the sisters as they began to put pieces together.
"Coincidence? I think not." Phoebe decided eagerly as she turned to face Prue and Paige.
"Uh, Andy, are you okay?" Prue asked hesitantly.
Andy slowly turned around to face her. "I don't know. Just getting used to the idea of demons and witches. I don't know if I'm ready for ghosts too." He admitted.
"You ain't seen nothin' yet." Phoebe remarked, earning an elbow in the side from Prue.
Andy smiled at the sisterly exchanged, but otherwise didn't comment. "But if you're right, if it is the ghost of Jackson Ward who's the killer, how do I stop him from killing again?"
Prue and Phoebe exchanged a glance and a half-smile. "I'd say hire the Exorcist." Phoebe answered.
"Wait don't exorcist just exercise the demons out of possessed people?" Paige asked as Phoebe covered her mouth to cover her snickering.
"Yes Paige, with the power of exercise." Phoebe said as hints of laughter broke out from her statement. She knew what Paige meant, but she couldn't help but take the moment to tease her.
"Come on now, don't pick on the rookie." Naruto added as Paige sent him an angry look as a pout formed on her lips. "I think something burning by the way." He said as he inhaled the scent of burning food.
"My pasta!" Paige cried out as she jumped up from her seat and dashed into the kitchen.
"I guess the trend of Piper being the cook hasn't been broken." Andy remarked earning looks of indignation from Prue and Phoebe. Naruto couldn't help but also start laughing.
"That is too true man." He added as the two sisters cried out, 'betrayal.' Naruto got up from his seat. "Thankfully I learned how to cook myself. I'll fix up something."
At the Court House Judge Renault was sitting behind his desk while going through some documents. Unknown to him the spectral form of Jackson Ward had walked through the office door. Next to the door, Jackson Ward flipped the light switch and the room was bathed in darkness. Judge Renault found nothing strange with the situation and calmly reached over and turned on the desk light to continue his work.
"Judge Renault. Long time, no see. You could've shown me mercy giving me life in prison. But you wanted me put to death." Jackson Ward stated though Renault couldn't hear him. With an eager glint in his eyes, Ward picked up Renault's name plate and held it up so that, to Renault, it appeared to be floating in mid-air.
It took a moment for Renault to notice it as his attention was on the papers in front of him. When he did he pushed his chair away from his desk while his eyes widened in fear. "What's goin' on?" Judge Renault demanded. "Who's there?"
Ward let the nameplate fall back onto the desk with a loud crack and Renault stumbled quickly away from his desk. He unwittingly walked right by Jackson Ward, who roughly grabbed Renault's tie in such a way that it began to strangle him. "Do you have any idea how long it takes to die in a gas chamber? How much you suffer, what a cruel and horrible death it is?" Jackson Ward challenged. Judge Renault struggled to relieve the pressure around his throat but to no avail. Ward snatched a letter opener off the desk and brought it around in front of Renault. Renault saw it just before the ghost stabbed him with it. Jackson let Renault's body fall to the ground just as the soul collector flamed in next to him.
"I helped you get your revenge. Now it's your turn to help me get a witch." She ordered him.
Jackson Ward laughed at her. "Are you kidding, lady? I'm just getting started." Taking up the letter opener again, Ward began driving it into Renault's lifeless body again and again.
Andy kneeled down next to Darryl and the body of Judge Renault while other officers gathered evidence around them. "Thirteen stab wounds, circular pattern just like the other victim." Darryl related without a glance in Andy's direction.
"Matches Jackson's M.O. too." Andy agreed somberly. As soon as he got that call from dispatch while at the Halliwell mansion he knew it was nothing good.
"Must be a copycat killer." Darryl decided.
Andy smirked faintly. "How would he know? The M.O. was never released to the public." He pointed out before turning his attention to a passing inspector who held the letter opener. "Can I see that?" Andy asked.
"I've already dusted for prints and nothing." The inspector replied as he set it down on the table in front of him.
"Did you fluoroscope it?" Andy inquired.
The inspector's face fell in confusion and suspicion. "What?" He prompted. Andy reached past him and scanned the fluoroscope over the pommel of the letter opener, illuminating the fingerprints. "What the hell is that?" The other inspector exclaimed in awe.
Andy chuckled. "Don't ask." He passed it back and turned to Darryl, who had come up behind him while the letter opener was taken to search for the owner of the fingerprints left behind. "Ten bucks says it matches Ward's." He bet.
"Andy, don't go jumping off the deep end on me, okay. Jackson Ward is dead. Been that way for a long time now." Darryl responded as if talking to a child.
"Well, someone's going around killing people, or the descendants of people who put him away." Andy argued while grabbing his jacket and putting it on.
"Where are you going?" Darryl demanded.
Andy reluctantly turned back to face him. "Look, have someone put together a list of potential victims. Anybody who had anything to do with his conviction." He ordered.
"Andy, wait! Wait!" Darryl called after him, but received no response as his partner walked out.
The following day came around. Prue's office fell silent as the three clients had finished their introductions with Claire and Prue had yet to show up. Claire kept casting angry glances behind her at the door as if willing Prue to appear. "I'm sure Prue will be here shortly. She has a lot of… family emergencies." She explained, rubbing the temple of her head in a soothing manner.
The door to Prue's office suddenly burst open and a haggard-looking Prue ran in. "Claire, I'm so sorry…"
"Prue let me introduce you." Claire interrupted, grabbing Prue by the arm and dragging her toward the clients. "This is Mr. Yakihama, head of Acquisitions. Mr. Yakihama, this is Prue Halliwell, one of our top specialists." She introduced without a moment to spare.
Prue shook hands politely. "Hi, nice to meet you, Sir." She greeted with a slightly forced smile.
"Nice to meet you too I trust everything is all right with your family." Mr. Yakihama replied.
"Oh…" Prue mumbled, hastily pushing a lock of her hair away from her face while trying to come up with a decent response.
Prue's office door opened again and the group turned to find Monique. "Excuse me, Prue." Monique started.
"Not now, Monique." Prue replied through gritted teeth. Monique looked vaguely uncomfortable as Andy walked up behind her.
Claire stared pointedly at Andy. "May I help you?" She demanded.
Andy nodded and pulled out his police mark for Claire to see. "Yeah, I need to see Miss Halliwell. It's police business." He explained.
Everyone turned to look at Prue who forced a smile and an uncomfortable laugh. "Excuse me." Prue offered to the clients before walking out, not daring to look at Claire. She ran a hand through her hair and spun on Andy as soon as they were out of her office and Monique had closed the door behind them. "Are you trying to get me fired?" She exclaimed.
Andy stopped just in front of her. "I think Jackson Ward has killed again, Prue." Andy admitted, his voice lowered so as not to let anyone overhear.
"Great… just great." Prue muttered, her stress beginning to channel into anger. "Why don't you just wait here a second and I'll take care of everything." She snapped. Leaving Andy, she threw her office door open harder than necessary and forced a pleasant tone in her voice. "Hi…" The door shut behind her.
Later that day Prue returned to the manor. She finally found the others in the Attic going through the Book of Shadows.
Prue walked in several moments later with Andy following behind her. He stopped just inside the door and glanced around in awe. "I always wondered what was up here." He remarked casually.
"Look, Jackson Ward has killed again. We have to figure out a way to stop him. Have you guys found anything?" Prue asked hopefully.
"Well there is one. It took us a while to find it because of all the references. Ghosts, poltergeists, evil spirits, phantasms. We're not dealing with a typical demon here. In theory it should work."
"In theory?" Prue asked, walking around to stand next to her sisters so she could look at the book. Andy quit his inspection of the attic and moved around behind the sisters so he could look over their shoulders.
"The problem is an evil spirit can't be vanquished on the Physical Plane. Only the Astral Plane… his plane."
"Okay, so then how do we say the spell?" Prue wondered aloud.
"Our spirits would have to say it." Phoebe answered in which Prue remained confused.
"In theory Paige is the only one that can actually say the spell. She's half white lighter making her part angel which would classify her as a spirit along with a white lighter and witch. The only other alternative is for the caster to be dead." Naruto clarified.
"Oh, it gets worse." Paige added, turning her attention to the notepad in her hand. "We think the other being Phoebe saw was a Soul Collector. If my saying the spell doesn't work and one of us were to die to say the spell the Soul Collector could capture our soul and take it to Hell…"
"Keep looking for a backup." Prue ordered lightly. Phoebe and Paige nodded eagerly.
The three sisters and friend/lover turned around to find Andy staring at the book and seeming overwhelmed by what he was reading of. He glanced up and noticed they were watching him with a hint of worry and concern. "I've always believed there was another world behind or beyond this one. I even sort of believe in demons, but I never in my wildest dreams… I could never have imagined that this existed." Andy explained to which the sisters exchanged understanding glances.
"Yeah, neither did we. But we've come to believe that there's a reason for why that world was opened up to us which means there's probably a very good reason why it was opened up to you too." Prue soothed with a half-smile.
"Welcome, to our little shop of horrors." Phoebe quipped, earning soft laughter and a hesitant smile from Andy.
The pages of the Book of Shadows suddenly began flipping causing Andy to step back nervously. "Are you doing that?" Andy demanded with a glance at Prue.
"No, sometimes it just does that on its own…" Prue trailed off as the page stopped on the Truth Spell. She immediately blushed and fell silent.
Andy didn't notice at first as his gaze was drawn to the page. "The Truth Spell?" He read.
"Oh…" Phoebe mumbled, casting Prue a sympathetic glance.
Prue inwardly swore. She was hoping that the Truth Spell incident would never come up. Ever. Though if she ever wanted things to stop being awkward she was going to have to admit the truth.
"We'll give you two a moment. The three of us have that thing we need to do." Naruto spoke up, strongly sending glances to Phoebe and Paige.
"Right…that thing. "
Paige confused, was led away by the two.
With that Prue finally elaborated to Andy the truth.
"I can't believe you did that." His voice was raised as he finally got that missing vital clue as to why Prue started acting differently to him all those months ago.
Prue sighed loudly as she followed after him. "Look, I just wanted to see how you would react to finding out I was a witch." She explained, desperately trying to keep calm.
Andy hesitated and looked over his shoulder at her. "Why didn't you just ask?" He returned.
"Oh, because I was afraid you'd freak out on me. Which is exactly what you did by the way, you just don't remember." Prue snapped. "Part of the spell." She added for his benefit.
Andy rounded on her as he realized another piece of the story. "Wait a minute. My reaction to your being a witch was the moment things seemed to cool down. That's the reason why you didn't want to see me anymore isn't it? Why you ended up choosing Uzumaki over me" He questioned coldly.
Prue crossed her arms defiantly. "You're the one who wanted to stop seeing me first." She accused.
"Because you wouldn't tell me what your secret was!" He argued.
"Yeah, which turned out to be a good thing considering how you reacted." Prue retorted.
"Freaked out?" Andy repeated harshly.
Prue nodded sharply. "Exactly, kind of like what you're doing right now."
"You haven't answered my question. Did that have anything to do with your choice?" He inquired a second time.
"Sorta." Prue replied, suddenly more hesitant. She bit her lip when Andy narrowed his eyes. "Okay, yeah, it did." She admitted. "I didn't have to worry about it being a secret or a big deal with him."
Andy nodded as if he expected that answer. "And just out of curiosity, how much time did you give me to react anyway?" He questioned.
"Why? What difference does it make?" Prue returned.
"How much time?" Andy insisted, enunciating each word sharply.
"A minute." Prue answered off-handedly before she made eye contact and noticed how angry he actually was. "… Or two…" She amended.
"A minute?" Andy repeated in disbelief.
"… Or two… It was a twenty-four hour spell, all right, I was against the clock." She defended herself.
"And that's what you based your entire decision about us on? Prue, I've had over a week to react this time. I still don't know how I feel. You should've given me more time. I think I deserve that, I think we deserved that!" Andy vented. A tense silence fell between the two during which Prue avoided eye contact with Andy and he attempted to calm his frustration with his ex-girlfriend. "That's just it. There isn't an us anymore, remember?"
For a moment he had forgotten that Prue was seeing someone else. "Right."
With that Phoebe and Paige walked back into the room from upstairs. "Hey, you guys, we might be able to stop Warren from killing his next victim until we're ready to do the vanquish…" Phoebe began with a nervous glance between Andy and Prue. "Um, are we interrupting something?" She asked.
"I told you we should have waited longer." Paige hissed under her breath.
Andy glanced at them a little annoyed and he was silently glad he had been an only child. "No, we're through." He answered. "What do you mean stopping him from killing his next victim? How do we do that?"
"It's simple, but we're going to need your help." Phoebe explained as she glanced at Prue as if seeing if that was okay with her. Prue stayed silent. At least she didn't object.
After Phoebe explained the plan Andy got in his car and drove down to the Police Department where he casually threw open the door to the evidence storage warehouse and stepped up to the desk. "Excuse me." He called for the officer on the other side of the desk. The officer turned around to face him with a questioning look on his face. "Inspector Andrew Trudeau." Andy flashed his police mark before continuing. "I need the murder weapon for case R-13658." He explained.
The officer passed a clipboard across the desk to Andy. "Sign that. I'll go get it." He turned away again and searched through the folders in an adjoining room before coming back out with the correct one.
"Thanks." Andy appreciated. He made a quick check inside the folder and left with a faint nod back at the officer.
The door closed behind Andy and the officer grabbed the nearby phone. He dialed a number and waited several moments for someone to pick up. "Yeah, you told me to call if Trudeau showed… yeah, he just left…" He spoke into the phone with a short glance at the security camera.
"Did you get that list of potential victims yet?" Andy asked, coming up to stand next to Darryl.
Darryl cast a look over his shoulder at Andy. "Still working on it. It's a lot of names. Especially when you add in the descendants." He answered, pointing down at the file in front of him. "Where you been?" Darryl inquired.
Andy shrugged and picked up the papers. "You don't want to know." He stated simply.
Darryl reached out and stopped Andy from turning away. "Really? Try me."
"Maybe later, okay. Look, I gotta go. I'll take what you have so far and check back with you later." Andy replied. He pulled his arm out of Darryl's grasp and started for the door.
Darryl narrowed his eyes and strategically stepped in Andy's way. "We're partners, Andy. That means we work together." He reminded him shortly.
"I know, but this is an exception." Andy returned. Andy lightly clapped Darryl on the shoulder before finally succeeding in escaping out the door.
No sooner had the door closed than Darryl returned to his desk only to find Inspector Rodriguez approaching him with his partner. "Inspector Morris. Inspector Rodriguez and Anderson, internal affairs." He introduced them. "We need to talk to you about your partner."
Speaking of said partner after about several hours he had returned to the precinct with one Iris Beiderman. Andy kneeled down in front of the chair Iris Beiderman was resting in while placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. "We're gonna put you up in a hotel for a little while, Mrs. Beiderman, under police protection. At least until we catch whoever's trying to hurt you." He explained gently. "Okay?"
Phoebe's plan to use the file he checked out to gain a premonition worked. While he and the Charmed Ones intercepted Ward Naruto was gathering the tools and tracking down Wards grave. Once the sister's began the exercising process on his grave it would draw the killer right to them.
Mrs. Beiderman nodded faintly and slowly stood up from her chair. She started to turn away but turned back to Andy without taking a step away. "I'm not crazy, am I? You saw it too, didn't you?" She pressed, worry and shock evident in her tone.
"Yeah, I did." Andy admitted after a moment of hesitation. He suddenly smiled a little mischievously. "Let's just keep it our little secret for now, okay?" Andy suggested.
She gave another nod of agreement before joining the officer that would be taking her to her hotel. Andy watched her leave and walked back to his desk where he stared down at the file of potential victims.
Darryl joined him and sat down on the edge of Andy's desk. Andy hastily threw the classified police report on top of the potential victims list. "Who was that?" Darryl questioned coldly, pointing behind him to the door where Mrs. Beiderman had just disappeared.
"Someone who got attacked." Andy answered matter-of-factly.
"Attacked? By who? Why?" Darryl interrogated while pushing the report off the other papers. He harshly grabbed the paper with Iris Beiderman's information on it. "Iris Beiderman. Jury foreperson who helped convict Ward." He read. Andy rolled his eyes at Darryl's sarcasm but otherwise didn't respond. "Now how about that?" Darryl finished.
"Look, Morris." Andy started.
"Don't 'look Morris' me, man. You go flying out of here with that file; you come back with somebody in that file who just happened to have been attacked. Wanna tell me what's going on?" Darryl snapped.
Andy clenched his hands in frustration. "I told you, I can't. I'm sorry." He refused. Andy grabbed his jacket and headed for the door.
"Well, fine, whatever, it's your funeral." Darryl muttered just loud enough for Andy to overhear.
Andy spun back on him with narrowed eyes. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Darryl hesitated trying to decide whether it was worth saying anything or not. "He told me not to say anything to you." He replied cryptically.
"Who did?" Andy asked.
"Internal affairs." Darryl answered shortly. "They got you in their cross hairs. Interviewed me for over two hours. Wouldn't tell me what it's about. Asked a lot of questions about you. Watch your back, Bro." With that Darryl turned away and left Andy to ponder what he had said.
At the same time the girls were orbed into the cemetery. Suffice to say Paige added to the Charmed Ones made things far easier. Naruto waved them down as they all began moving towards Ward's grave.
"I hate cemeteries at day." Phoebe stated.
"As opposed to the people who enjoy them?" He asked as Phoebe lightly slapped his arm.
They came to a stop in front of Ward's grave and Prue was about to read the incantation when Phoebe's phone rang. "Just take one second." She promised as her sisters sent her a look off disbelief. "Hello?"
"Hey, Phoebe, how's it going?" Piper asked as she took a seat in a wooden chair far from the luau. She thanked the passing by waitress as the drink she ordered was set in front of her. Around her neck were violet leis, a traditional item given to those who come to Hawaii.
"Hey, Piper, how's Hawaii?" Phoebe asked, trying to make talk and keep Piper from suspecting anything.
"I don't know, I haven't stopped working since I got off the plane." Sardonically remarked as she took a drink of smoothie which was expertly blended in the coconut.
"Sure, rub it in." Phoebe grumbled a bit louder than she attended.
"Excuse me?" Piper asked, wondering where that came from.
"Nothing. Hey, can I call you back? I'm sort of in the middle of something right now."
"Sure, I just wanted to make sure you guys were all right. Do you miss me?"
"More than you know, sweetie." Phoebe replied, being careful not to betray any anxiousness in her voice.
"Good. I love you."
"I love you too."
"Bye. " With that she hung up.
With the distractions gone Phoebe handed Prue the indication she written. "Hey, Jackson, let's party?" She read in surprise as she stuck it on the plaque.
"Okay, well, I couldn't think of anything else to write." Phoebe complained, crossing her arms in defiance.
"Looks like writing lessons 101 should be added to your to do list." Naruto playfully teased her.
"Jerk," Phoebe countered with a playful remark.
Prue threw the potion onto the plaque and it began to sizzle and melt. The wind picked up causing the screeching and rattling again. "Okay, okay, alright, let's go." Prue decided.
In another part of town Jackson Ward advanced quickly on an unsuspecting truck driver when he suddenly doubled over in agony. He pulled his hand away from his chest to find his skin seemed to be melting. "What's happening?" He yelled at the Soul Collector when she flamed in next to him.
She casually leaned back against the windshield of a large truck. "Witchcraft. Sucks, doesn't it? You should've helped me get them before when I asked." She answered.
"How do I get to them now?" Jackson Ward demanded through the excruciating pain.
The Soul Collector smirked in reply. "Visit your grave." She suggested before flaming out again. Jackson limped off in the corresponding direction, his eyes glowing with a dangerous light.
Back at the department Andy placed his book down on his desk when the last officer left the room. Most of the lights were turned off as the majority of officers had gone home. Only those working the night shift were around, but they were few and usually congregated in the coffee room. Andy kneeled down and used a key to unlock his filing cabinet. He paused and glanced around him one last time to make sure no one was around. When he was positive, Andy pulled out the lone file that read 'Prudence Halliwell.' Her confidential file. He quickly grabbed the witchcraft papers from the bottom of the filing cabinet and slid them into her file before slipping the whole thing into his bag. He hurried down the hall while dialing the number to Prue's house on his cell phone.
"Hi, we're not home. You know the drill…" The answering machine beeped and Andy silently cursed.
"Prue, its Andy. I gotta give you something and you gotta get it outta here. I'll explain when I get there." Andy replied as a message. He took the stairs down and had just closed his phone when Inspector Rodriguez and Anderson blocked his path out.
"Inspector Trudeau? Internal Affairs. Let's talk." Inspector Rodriguez ordered more than suggested. Andy shrugged with feigned casual indifference and had no choice but to follow the two officers.
Andy took a seat across from Anderson and leaned back comfortably while Inspector Rodriguez paced around him while reading a file. "A series of women murdered with an occult knife, prime suspect… missing. Series of victims with curious holes burned in their foreheads, prime suspect missing…" Andy rolled his eyes and shifted slightly so he could keep one eye on the moving Rodriguez and one on Anderson across from him. "…Victims found in a locked room with every bone in their bodies broken. Victims literally scared to death. The list goes on and on. You know what they all have in common?" Rodriguez questioned.
"That the perpetrators of both crimes had criminals who were using stolen identities." He remarked casually.
"Excuse me?" Rodriguez demanded.
"The cases under those files were attributed to five criminals. Three who committed suicide in custody and two who fled the city and have warrants out for their arrest. Looks like you didn't get the right information, the Halliwell sisters were cleared of any suspicion." Andy couldn't help but notice something in Rodriguez body language changed.
"Yet the Halliwells were connected with each incident with you and Morris being assigned to all the cases."
"We've been assigned to plenty of weird cases. Comes with the job."
"No good officer would dismiss that many incidents as a coincidence." Rodriguez followed while pushing Andy's bag to Anderson and taking a seat on the table in front of Andy. Andy's eyes flickered warily to his bag where the very information they wanted was located before forcing his attention back to Inspector Rodriguez. "What are you hiding?" He inquired.
Andy smirked faintly. "I'm not hiding anything." He insisted.
Rodriguez motioned to Anderson, who pulled a folder out and passed it across to Andy. Andy hesitated a moment before opening it and pulling out a picture of him taken earlier that night from a surveillance camera. He knew immediately it was the one from when he'd checked out the murder weapon for Prue and her sisters. Andy couldn't refrain a chuckle to hide his discomfort. "You guys spy on your wives too?" He joked.
"Why'd you check out the murder weapon, Inspector?" Rodriguez demanded.
"I was following a hunch." Andy replied.
"Really? Or were you following a ghost?" Rodriguez countered to which Andy clenched his fists in frustration under the table. "Words out, Trudeau. You specialize in the… what did Inspector Blakely call it?"
"The freaky cases." Anderson offered emotionlessly.
Inspector Rodriguez nodded and watched Andy closely for a reaction. "The freaky cases." He repeated. Andy smiled and nodded unperturbed. "You're a good cop. I've seen your jacket. Up until last year, you were headed for captain and now all of a sudden you seemed to come to a death stop in your career advancement." Rodriguez continued, determined to get more of a reaction from Andy. "What happened to you, man? What changed?" Andy still remained silent much to Rodriguez's growing irritation. "Are you covering for someone, is that it? Morris, maybe?" He pressed.
"Don't hang this on Morris." Andy warned.
"Then who do we hang it on?" Rodriguez questioned expectantly.
Andy carefully unclenched his fists and stood up where he leaned against the table. "Look, I told you my story, you don't believe me, you take my hardware right now and you charge me." Andy challenged, his voice radiating his agitation. When it became obvious the two officers didn't have any solid evidence to hold against him he continued. "Otherwise, drop dead." He snapped. He roughly grabbed his bag from Anderson and his jacket before storming out of the room. Inspector Anderson moved to stop him but Rodriguez made a motion to let him go.
Back at the Halliwell manor the group was waiting for the arrival of Ward." Maybe it didn't work. Maybe he's not coming." Phoebe rambled as she paced back and forth through the kitchen.
"You got to relax Phoebe," Naruto soothingly remarked as he grabbed her shoulders. "You keep that pacing up and you'll wear out the floor."
"It's been five hours." She pointed out.
"I know, but hopefully things go according to plan." He added. He was hoping like hell they wouldn't need to use that killer cocktail Prue cooked up. What he wouldn't give to have gotten his hands on the scroll detailing Dan's ghost ninjutsu. That would have solved their problem rather easily.
"Kind of getting nervous here," Paige called out from her chair. It didn't do her nerves any good to see her far more experienced sister being nervous.
"You'll be fine Paige, Phoebe's just being a bit of a worrywart." Prue did her best to console Paige. "Right Phoebe?" The eldest added while trying to keep the strain out of her voice.
Phoebe recognized that look all too well. "Right…" she added with a force chuckle. "Just really over thinking it."
"Well hopefully nothing will go wrong. I mean what's the worst that can happen?" Paige jokingly asked as looks of horror formed on the faces of the other.
"Oh my god please don't tell me she said what I think she said." Phoebe pleaded to Prue with a whimper.
Prue started to reply but was cut off when their answering machine clicked on. "Prue, it's Claire, you're late, you're fired." The room fell silent following the message.
"Oh…" Prue mumbled, glancing at Phoebe and Paige. Behind them Jackson walked through the wall and smashed a vase. He threw his arm back ready to throw the broken piece of glass at the sisters. Like lightning Naruto used his hands to quickly strike the shards of glass turning them to dust.
Jackson was stunned for a moment wondering just what the hell happened. Next thing he knew he was sent flying backwards with a solid kick to his midsection. "Remind me again why we don't send you after every demon again?" Phoebe asked.
"I could kick most of their asses all day long, but I can't vanquish or permanently kill the higher tier ones." Naruto reminded her. He could launch building destroying Rasengans at demons like the Source all day long if he wanted to, but the nature of their magical resistance and life made it where he couldn't actually kill them. Magic really could be an inconvenient pain in the ass sometimes. "…or in some cases those who are ghosts."
"Paige, the spell." Prue reminded the witch lighter.
"Oh right," she said before taking a calming breath and began reciting the chant.
"Ashes to ashes,
Spirit to spirit,
Take his soul,
Banish this evil."
"No!" Jackson Ward yelled defiantly as he felt the spell take effect.
Jackson began to fade away despite his cries of protest.
"Ashes to ashes,
Spirit to spirit,
Take his soul,
Banish this evil."
Ward yelled in agony before disappearing completely. The soul collector flamed in at that moment and grabbed at his soul. "Who are you?" Prue demanded.
"I was hoping to take you or one of your sisters, but it looks like your soul is safe… for now." She explained before flaming out again.
"Wow…that was…much easier than I thought it would be." Phoebe stated, finally releasing the breath she was holding.
"Well I'm glad my theory was right. I mean there can't only be one way to kill most of these creatures, especially if they required witches. How else so many beings of good were magic able to fight off or at least force a stand still against dark creatures prior to point humans would have evolved with those capabilities? You're not going to tell me the strongest beings of good magic can't just smite something like a specter or something.
A knock on the front door along with Andy's voice drew their attention. "I'll get it," Prue said as everyone went into the foyer.
The following evening at the Auction House Claire dropped a file into her filing cabinet and shut the drawer with a resounding thump. "I'm sorry, Prue, but I've made up my mind." She stated unsympathetically. She slowly turned to face her ex-employee with a serious expression.
"Claire, you cannot fire me. I love this job. I need this job." Prue pleaded desperately. Her grip tightened on the chair in front of her as she silently debated how far she was going to go to try and get her job back. She didn't want to have to resort to begging, but she really couldn't lose this job.
"I told you I wouldn't tolerate any more unexplained absences." Claire replied unwaveringly.
Prue opened her mouth to argue some more when Andy barged through the office door with Monique right behind him as if she had tried to keep him from entering. "Excuse me, Mrs. Price." He gave Prue a casual glance. "I'm sorry to interrupt…" He apologized before walking forward and shaking Claire's hand professionally. "… but I just wanted to stop by and say thank you."
Claire's penetrating gaze scanned over Andy in mild confusion. "Thank you, Inspector? For what?" She prompted.
Andy widened his eyes in false surprise. "Why, for letting us borrow Ms. Halliwell." He explained, waving a hand at Prue and going to stand next to her. Prue unsuccessfully tried to meet his gaze and figure out what he was playing at. "See, an Asian gang was smuggling exotic jewelry and antiques. She helped us set up a sting, bust their operation." Andy lied calmly.
"Really? Prue never mentioned any of this to me before." Claire commented with a glance at Prue.
Prue ran a hand through her hair and searched quickly for an excuse, but Andy interrupted her before she could say anything. "Well, she couldn't compromise her cover. You're welcome to call my superior, Inspector Morris, and file a reimbursement claim if you'd like." He offered.
"No, that won't be necessary." Claire replied.
Andy nodded and turned to Prue. "As soon as you're done here, we need to talk."
"Oh, I think I'm more than done here." Prue stated. She started for the door with Andy following.
"Oh, uh, Prue." Claire called, causing both Prue and Andy to pause at the door. "Don't forget about our lunch with the investors tomorrow. Wouldn't want you to be late." Claire reminded none-too-subtly.
Prue smiled in relief. "I won't be. Thanks." She gratified.
"I cannot believe you did that." Prue exclaimed as she led the way into her office. She laughed at the very thought and quickly shut the door behind them so no one could overhear.
Andy chuckled and shrugged. "It's the least I could do. After all, you did help us bust somebody… sure he was already dead, but still…"
"Well, thank you." Prue appreciated softly.
"You're welcome." Andy replied but then fell silent. Prue dropped her gaze and bounced slightly as the silence stretched for several moments. "Listen, Prue, um, I've done some thinking about the truth spell and, well, I'm still trying to sort my feelings out, but I've kind of come to the conclusion that no matter whether I had a minute, a month, or a year to think about it, it wouldn't change the truth…" He paused but continued when Prue didn't respond. "… I know it may sound boring, but I know someday I want to have a normal life to come home to. With a white picket fence, a two car garage, a screaming kid…" Prue smiled faintly, almost longingly at his description. "… but no demons. Maybe it's because of all the evil I deal with every day on the job… I don't know…" He said with a shake of his head. "There's a part of me that has and will always love you, but I don't think I could handle all this magic business."
"You don't have to explain it, I understand." Prue interrupted with a genuine smile up at Andy. "Believe me, I wouldn't want to come home to it either if I could avoid it, but I can't. You still can." She assured him. Andy gave the faintest of nods before pulling her into a gentle hug.
They pulled apart. "This…Naruto…does he make you happy?"
"Yes, he does. Provided when he and Phoebe aren't trying to drive me insane with their little jokes and quips he makes me happy." She honestly explained. While being with Andy was nice, being with Naruto was allowing her to grow and deal with issues she had been carrying with her all her life. She wasn't willing to sacrifice growing as a person and becoming whole for the sake of nostalgia.
"Then I wish you two the best," he honestly replied and meant it.
Evening time was soon approaching as Prue, Phoebe, and Paige were standing in front of the stove having kicked Naruto out of the kitchen for making a joke about their cooking abilities. "Come now, we're three intelligent young women between the three of us we should be able to make something." Prue reasoned.
"I rather not almost be sent to the emergency room again thank you." Phoebe quipped remembering earlier's lunch.
"How is it that Piper is a chef, but you two can't cook?" Paige asked, shaking her head as she poked at the pot of, whatever that was on the stove.
"Oh and look who's talking? You nearly burnt down the kitchen yesterday." Phoebe countered as Paige's face flushed red in embarrassment.
"You're never going to let me live that down are you?" Paige demanded with a huff. "Prue tell her to stop." Paige added with an annoying whine.
Prue meanwhile was lamenting her life. "There you all are," Piper spoke as she walked into the kitchen carrying.
Piper let out an awkward cry as she found herself bombarded and hugged by her sisters. "I missed you all too." She replied, a bit flustered at the reaction.
"Sweet kitchen goddess! Please feed me." Phoebe dramatically cried out.
"You're early, I thought you weren't coming back till tomorrow." Prue pointed out, separating from Piper and trying to regain her composure. Piper puts a lei on Phoebe, on Paige and on Prue.
"I took an earlier flight. I had this terrible feeling that you guys were, um..." Piper hesitates as she puts her bag down.
"What?" Prue demanded, not liking where Piper's statement was going.
"Oh, I don't know, burning down the kitchen." She sheepishly answered. Piper loved her sister's to death, but they were simply not made to be cooks.
"Not that bad of a cook." Paige whispered sullenly.
"So nothing happened while I was gone?" Piper asked, relieved to see the mansion in one piece.
"Just, you know the same old boring stuff." Phoebe answered as Piper walked over to the stove, catching the scent of something odd.
"Oh my…WHAT DID YOU THREE DO TO MY POT?" Piper's holler echoed throughout the kitchen.
"Interview! Got to run!" Phoebe immediately exclaimed and made a mad dash for the exit. Her frequency for getting in trouble allowed her to develop a keen sense of when to run.
"Oh look its getting late I should be getting back home to my apartment." With that Paige orbed out. She made a mental note to thank Allison for helping her learn how to orb these past few days.
"…And I just remember I have this thing at Bucklands. Don't stay up for me." With that Prue also made a mad dash out of the kitchen.
"Uugh," Piper groaned and grabbed her head and began massaging it to ease the tension of the ensuing headache coming up.
"Is it safe to come into the kitchen?" Naruto jokingly asked.
"I think I understand Prue's pain now when she has to deal with your and Phoebe's antics." Piper responded with a sigh. That soon formed into a smile when Naruto wrapped his arms around her and kissed the back of her neck.
"Want to go upstairs so I can give you a massage?" He asked, hoping to persuade Piper to not murder her sisters. He was fond of them after all.
"Yeah…let's go." Piper agreed, deciding that they can just have takeout tonight and she could assess the damages tomorrow.