The Day Before
Disclaimer: I only own the ones you haven't heard of before.
It was April 22, 2020. For some people this date signified absolutely nothing, with the exception that it was another Friday and the work week was almost over. However, for Molly Vettle this day signified something much bigger: her last chance to find a date to her senior Prom.
She'd had such high hopes at the start. Her best friend Bryan wasn't seeing anyone anymore, so she'd thought for sure that they'd just end up going together as friends. This thought was dashed when Bryan scored a date with one of the cheerleaders, who apparently didn't mind being seen with someone a little too skinny and a little too brainy. Sara Tomson, the aforementioned cheerleader, obviously saw in Bryan what Molly did: a sensitive, intelligent guy, who despite the stick thin frame, was actually quite cute.
In any case, this left Molly without a sure thing. So, she'd tried to think of guys to ask, but no one was really interested in being seen with her, let alone be her date to the senior prom. It wasn't that Molly was so hideously ugly that her face could scare away a pit bull. On the contrary, she had a lovely face with eyes that switched from hazel to green depending on her mood, full coral lips, and a smile that lit up a room. She even had pretty dark black hair that fell just below her shoulders. No, those traits were all great. It was just. . .her weight.
Molly was a bigger girl than most. She'd tried everything to lose the weight, but heaviness just ran in her family. Her mother, her aunts, her grandmother, and pretty much all of her cousins too suffered from being 'big boned'.
It made her uncomfortable. She'd wear oversized, dark clothes to try and hide from the world, so they wouldn't judge her. She wouldn't talk in class or participate in school activities, so no one would realize she was even around. If people didn't know she existed, they wouldn't hurt her like they did in elementary school when they called her blubbery, two ton Molly, or just plain fatso.
Her technique of simply not being seen or heard had worked pretty well so far. Except now, she wanted someone to notice her enough to go to Prom with her. She'd never been to any of the other dances unless it was with Bryan, and he was taken. So, as much as it terrified her, Molly was going to have to ask someone– rejection or no. This was her last dance of her highschool career, and she didn't want to miss it.
There was one person that Molly had liked for as long as she could remember. He had never said mean things to her when they were growing up, and he always smiled at her when he saw her, which was funny because most people didn't even see her. Then of course was the fact that he was gorgeous. Tall, muscular, with trimmed blonde hair and big baby blue eyes that could melt any highschool girl's heart into a big mushy puddle. Wyatt Halliwell was perfect.
So, she figured if she was going to make an idiot out of herself by asking someone it might as well be the person she actually wanted to go with.
He was at his locker talking to one of the other football players. It was right before lunch, so she had plenty of time. She just had to gather up the courage.
"Um. . .Wyatt?"
The young man in question turned to look at her, and smiled politely. "Hi."
"Well, if it isn't little– ahem– big Molly Vettle," the other jock commented. "Didn't you hear the lunch bell? You must be starving, go run and fill your trough– oops, I meant tray."
Wyatt turned a dark look on the man. "Don't talk to her like that. Apologize, Trevor."
"What? Why? I'm only helping her see how disgusting she is. I mean, come on. It's her own fault."
Molly bit her lower lip, looking to the ground. She wouldn't cry. She'd heard the same thing too many times before to let it affect her that much.
The Halliwell boy folded his arms over his chest. "Trevor, stop being a jerk. No one deserves to be talked to like that. And if you don't apologize, you can forget about me helping you out of the dog house with Caitlin."
"Sorry, Molly," Trevor muttered. "I'm a jerk. Just ignore what I said."
Molly's head shot up, and she smiled softly. "Thank you."
"Whatever," Trevor rolled his eyes. "I'm getting food. You comin'?"
"Actually, I'll catch up with you."
Trevor rolled his eyes again before sauntering down the hall toward the cafeteria.
"So, did you need something?" Wyatt asked, his smile for her still there.
"Firstly, I want to thank you. No one's ever stood up for me like that before," she started, a blush slowly creeping onto her cheeks.
Wyatt shrugged, still smiling that immovable smile. "I don't like bullies. And for what it's worth, he's wrong."
"It's worth a lot coming from you," Molly answered, her face turning beet red. She looked away from him, embarrassed. She cleared her throat. "I, uh, was just wondering if you– this is probably ridiculous– but would you maybe, possibly, I don't know, want to go to Prom with me?"
The young man's face fell.
"Oh," the girl said softly. She knew what that face meant. "It's not a big deal. I get it. I mean, it's the day before Prom and you're you, and even if it weren't the day before Prom you would never– "
"– Hey," Wyatt cut her off. He formed a 'T' using his hands. "Hold on just one minute, okay? It's not what I think you think. It's just that Amber Crider asked me a week ago, and I already said I would go with her. If you had asked first, it would be a different story."
"Really. Stop selling yourself so short. You're a sweet person, and that counts for a whole lot."
Molly swallowed the tears that were forming at his kindness.
"You know what," Wyatt suddenly said. "I have an idea. You need a date, and I think I know just the guy."
Molly quirked an eyebrow. "You think you can find a guy who'd want to go with me?" She jokingly remarked, "Are they blind?"
Wyatt rolled his eyes, "Stop that. I'm serious. It's your senior Prom, I'd feel awful if you didn't go just because you were counting on me. You guys can even share the limo with me and Amber."
"Okay, who'd you have in mind?"
"No freaking way."
Wyatt ran a hand through his hair in frustration. He was on the edge of his bed in the room he shared at the Manor with his kid brother, who was currently pacing in front of him. "Chris, it's just one night, and it'll make her dream come true. Plus, she's my charge, and the Elders said that if she doesn't get more confidence she might never become the whitelighter she's meant to be."
Chris paused in his tracks and glared at his sibling. "You just had to pull the future whitelighter card didn't you? You just knew I couldn't say no to all those innocents and witches she's supposed to save in the future. You suck, Wyatt."
"That a yes?"
The younger brother rolled his jade eyes heavenward. "I hate dances."
"It's a senior prom and you're only a sophomore. It'll earn you cool points just for being there at all."
"I hate popularity."
"Okay, well, you can make fun of all the popular people, and how they can't dance. Ooh, and there's gonna be punch."
"I hate punch."
"It's a favor to me."
"I hate you."
Wyatt sighed, eyeing his little brother. "You don't really."
The older sibling patted the spot on Chris' bed directly across from where he was currently perched on his own mattress. The younger brother reluctantly flopped down on it.
"Okay, Chris, I know you're in that whole anti-social stage, wearing all black and the trench coat and basically only interested in demon hunting, but I'm begging you. Please do this for me. Get in touch with your inner whitelighter and help guide this girl back onto the path she is destined for. I would do it myself, but I already have a date, and I can't back out. Besides, I think this opportunity came for a reason. You may be the best witch around, but you haven't been assigned any charges yet for a reason."
"Yeah, what reason is that oh-wise-one?"
"You don't connect with people as easily as me or Dad or even Aunt Paige. Maybe this girl can help you as much as you can her."
"Firstly, you sound like Dad, which is not needed. One person with the annoying whitelighter pep talk ability is enough for one house. Secondly, you're not going to drop this until I go, are you?"
Wyatt grinned. "Glad you understand me, Bro."
"Fine, but I'm not wearing a tux."
"But, Mooom," Chris whined.
Piper Halliwell rolled her eyes at her son's pitiful tone as she continued plating the stuffed chicken that she'd made for dinner. She then handed him a spoonful of the wild rice that was to be the side dish. "Taste this." A beat, "You are not going to prom without a tux, Christopher, and that's that."
"It's my prom," Chris shot back. "I should be able to express myself anyway I want to."
He tasted the rice and pulled a face. He handed the spoon back to her. "Pinch more salt."
"Thought so." She added grabbed the salt shaker off the counter, shook a little into her hand and then sprinkled some into the pot of rice. When that was done, she turned around to face her son. "All I'm saying, Chris, is that you can express yourself anyway you want to any other day, but Wyatt described your date to me, and the last thing she needs is some punk taking her to prom."
She handed him another spoonful of rice.
Chris rolled his eyes. "I'm not a punk. I'm merely refusing to conform to the images that society demands."
He paused in his tirade long enough to re-taste the rice. "It's good."
He handed the spoon back to her, "I think it's wrong to judge people by how they look or dress instead of on their merits. Just because I'm not wearing a penguin get-up does not mean I'm not a perfect gentleman just like you and Dad raised me to be."
"And tomorrow night you'll look it."
"Mom, you aren't listening to me."
His mother smiled softly. "Oh, I'm listening all right. Now, it's your turn. This girl deserves a prince charming for her prom." She paused frowning, "Or at least a Prince Charmed."
Her teenage son rolled his eyes at her pun.
"Chris, from what your brother told me Molly needs tomorrow night to be magical."
Chris grinned, "I could orb us to the prom instead of taking the limo. That'd be pretty magical. Heck, I could even summon some demons to vanquish– add a little firework show into the evening."
"Not what I meant, Christopher."
Wyatt and Leo walked into the room just then, both talking animatedly about the baseball game they'd just finished watching on television. They paused when they saw the looks in the eyes of the other two family members.
"Stubbornness showdown number. . ." Wyatt turned to his father, "what number are we on?"
Leo sighed, shaking his head. "This week? Thirty-eight."
"Thirty-nine," Piper amended. "You missed the one this afternoon when I informed him that skipping school to vanquish demons is not acceptable."
Chris folded his arms over his chest. "I'll have you know that demon killed innocent children. Children, Mom."
"And you could have vanquished it to your heart's content after school."
"After it killed more innocent children you mean."
"Christopher. . ."
Leo stepped in, "It's already vanquished, right?"
Both mother and son nodded.
"Then why don't we leave it in the past."
Wyatt got on his father's peace-making train. He grabbed one of the plates of chicken and then heaped a pile of rice next to. As he made his way over to the table he made sure to say loudly, "Wow, Mom, this food sure does look amazing. I can't wait to dig in."
"She's a chef," Chris muttered, a silent 'duh' hanging in the air.
Leo cuffed him upside the head.
"I thought you were a pacifist," the younger witchlighter grumbled.
"I'm pacifying the situation," his father innocently answered.
Meanwhile, Piper had already moved to sit at the table next to Wyatt, and was excitedly telling him where she had gotten the recipe from, and how she had been wanting to try it out for some time, but hadn't had the opportunity until that afternoon.
Chris and Leo grabbed their own plates and joined them at the table.
The little family had been chit-chatting about their days for ten minutes or so, when Leo asked the one question that he shouldn't. "So, Chris, Wyatt said you're taking a friend of his to prom. That's pretty exciting, huh?"
"Yeah, and he's not planning on wearing a tux," Piper cut in.
Chris rolled his eyes. "It's not like I'm going to be wearing a garbage bag."
"No tux?" Leo asked. "Why not? It's a formal dance."
Wyatt started putting more and more food into his mouth as he saw the tension building. The last thing he wanted was to be drug into this conversation.
"It's not a big deal," Chris answered. "People dress all kinds of ways for Prom. Right, Wy?"
The Twice Blessed pointed at his mouth and mumbled something incoherent.
"You're not people," Leo argued. "Your you. Don't you want to look nice for your first big dance?"
Chris threw his fork down on his plate and leaned back in his chair. "You two are not going to let this image thing go, are you?"
"If you won't do it for us, do it for your date," Piper finished. "Wyatt said she's never fit in a day in her life. Let her have the handsome date she deserves, all decked out in a nice tux."
The young man sighed and turned to his brother. "You really think it will mean something to her?"
This time Wyatt swallowed to answer. "She's a nice girl. She deserves the fairy tale. Even if it is stereotypical and goes against your grain."
Chris sighed, knowing when he had lost. "Fine. I'll wear a tux. But where am I supposed to find one on this short notice?"
Leo smiled, "I have one you can borrow."