Author: Kat Lee
Prompt: 1: Bitter
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, names, codenames, places, items, fandoms, titles, and etc. are always © & TM their respective owners, not the author, and are used without permission. Any and all original characters and everything else is © & TM the author and may not be reproduced in any way without the author's express, written permission. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Monday was cold sandwiches and fish steaks, neither of which appealed to her but were the best she felt capable of doing on the start of her workweek. She stopped by a fast food joint while winging her way home to get an important paper she'd forgotten on Tuesday. The cheeseburger she ordered was both too small and thin for its price, and the fries were barely any better. Wednesday's TV dinners were so blah that the lack of taste made her promise herself she'd never buy another one. Thursday's food was so remarkable that she'd forgotten it by Friday, when she finally went to a buffet for lunch.
She should have known better before she ever walked through the lion-guarded doors, but Prue was hungry and desperate for a good meal. She ignored the scent of something burning as she ordered sweet tea, but she couldn't ignore what she ended up with on her plate. Every food she'd selected was either cold, soggy, or so hard that her fork simply stuck in the meat. Prue's disgust showed clearly on her face when she tasted her tea. It not only wasn't sweet; it was salty! The pie she had at the end of her so-called meal was the final straw. She took one bite of the bitter pastry and tossed her fork down.
"Is something wrong, ma'am?" a waiter, appearing instantly at her elbow, asked in concern.
"My sister cooks better than this! This food is barely even edible! You don't deserve a tip, the cook doesn't deserve his job, and this place most certainly does not deserve to call itself a restaurant!"
"Ma-- Ma'am, I -- I'm sorry," the waiter stammered.
Prue sighed. "It's not your fault, kid, but I'm not paying my bill." She stood and pushed her way out pass the skinny boy. "Good luck finding a better job."
His calls and the manager's yells were lost on Prue as she walked out of the restaurant and got into her car. She kept thinking about the first thing she'd told the waiter: Her sister did cook far better than whatever chef that little Chinese restaurant had hired, but then, her sister cooked better than most of the world. A sad smile etched over Prue's face as she reflected that Piper probably cooked better than everybody else in the world, that Naked Chef guy and Martha Stewart included.
Prue found herself stopped at a red light and slapped her steering wheel. That was really what was wrong with her and had been not just this week but ever since she'd last left Piper. She wasn't just missing having fabulous meals of her sister's cooking; she was missing her. She drove on to work but couldn't get Piper out of her head for the rest of the day.
As soon as she got off, Prue bit the proverbial bullet and drove home. She found the front door open, Piper already home, and delicious aromas wafting out of the Manor. Prue's mouth instantly salivated; her stomach rumbled, roaring its complaint of how long she'd been gone to her. Prue pulled in and parked before her old home, but still, she hesitated, sitting in her car and looking up at the Manor.
She'd been purposefully staying away from her sister ever since Grams' death. She still didn't know how to handle her family life or where to go, or what to do, now that they were truly free. There wasn't a day or night that went by that Prue didn't recall the sweet and tender kisses of puppy love she'd shared with her sister behind closed doors, and there also wasn't a day or night that went by that she didn't remember how sternly their grandmother had reprimanded them when she'd discovered them one day, sitting on Piper's bed, holding hands, and kissing.
Piper and she hadn't touched like that since. They had, in fact, promised that they would never do anything else to upset Grams so badly, but now, Grams was dead. There was nothing standing in their way of being together -- nothing except the memory of her words and disapproval. "Aw, Grams," Prue whispered in her car, "why did it always have to be your way? Why couldn't you just let us be happy?"
Tears shimmered in her eyes. She wasn't happy. She could say she was all she wanted, but the pride she felt in her career did not have any affect upon her true happiness. She hadn't known joy since she'd last held Piper in her arms in the tender embrace of a love they'd thought would never end. It had, in fact, not ended, Prue thought, but simply been stopped. She had allowed her grandmother to take the one thing from her that had made her happier than anything else.
Prue opened her door. She started up the drive. She heard Piper singing along with the radio she had playing and quickly turned back around to run back to her car before she could be seen.
She froze. It was too late; she'd already been seen. She turned slowly back around with a grimace. "Piper."
Her sister was beaming at her. Prue's heart quickened with hope that she hadn't felt since the first time Piper had kissed her so many years ago. "Come in!" Piper waved at her. "I'm making your favorite lemon meringue pie!"
Prue caved. The combination of Piper's scrumptious lemon meringue and her own beautiful self was just too much for any woman to be able to deny. She walked in to a feast far beyond anything she knew she'd ever be able to get in a restaurant. She ate the first two plates in silence before finally asking curiously, "Why do you cook like this, Piper?"
Piper's brown eyes shimmered with mirth; the glowing look upon her cherished sister's lovely face warmed Prue's insides. "I know you like it."
"That's not what I mean." Prue grinned, dabbed at her mouth with a napkin, and sipped true sweet tea before explaining, "You couldn't possibly eat all this by yourself. Were you expecting some one else?" She ignored the pang of jealousy she felt.
Piper's smile turned both shy and sly; it was a look that only she could master in Prue's eyes. "I was hoping to have company." She'd hoped every day since they'd last parted that her beloved Prue would return to her, but she didn't say so. Instead, she rose and asked, "Are you ready for that piece of pie now?"
"Definitely," Prue replied, although tempted by the idea of a third plate.
Piper leaned over beside her and gathered up her plate and used napkins. Then, quickly before Prue could pull away or she could lose her courage, Piper planted a soft kiss on Prue's lips. She blushed as she pulled away and hurried to the kitchen, leaving Prue smiling and glowing behind her.
Prue was no longer only warm on the inside. She was now tingling with the heat that only her sister inspired from the top of her foot through to the ends of her toes. She hadn't been this happy in years, not since Grams had found them. Not only did no one cook like her Piper, but no one loved like her, either!
She rose, walked into the kitchen behind Piper as she was cutting the pie, and wrapped her arms around her sister. She laid her head upon her shoulder and brushed her lips over the side of her neck. She squeezed her both in a gesture of love and a sign of ownership. "I love you," she whispered.
"I love you too!" Piper cried, her eyes shining with tears of joy. She turned in Prue's arms, leaving the spatula in the pie pan, and hugged her tightly. Prue closed her eyes, relishing the moment, as her heart shouted with happiness. She was full. She was loved. She was home, and she was never leaving again!