“I t is
magnificent," Prue said, looking up
at the Golden Gate Bridge.
It was eleven o’clock Sunday morning. Though she had a late Saturday night shoot for 415 Magazine -
with a 9:00 AM
deadline that morning for processing and selecting the photos they would run
she had managed to get only five hours
sleep - Prue was not feeling sleepy. The beautiful sky and clear morning air
made her feel refreshed and awake. As did the smell of the water.
Prue was standing with Piper beside Fort Point, over which
the distinctively orange bridge arcs as it begins its span across the waters of
the Golden Gate. A small wave from the bay lapped at the rocks that extended
from the fort, at the northern tip of San Francisco, and continued along The
Presidio towards the city. Though the fort is of historical significance, being
almost one hundred-fifty years old, and preceding by many decades the recently
closed military reservation that The Presidio, now a park, had been, most
people did not come there to see it.
Some simply came by virtue of their walking or bicycling
along the park's partially completed promenade in Crissy Field, the former Army airfield portion of The Presidio,
that ended at the fort’s red
brick walls. But most came for the up-close underside view of the bridge, as
seen from ground level at the foot of the bay.
As, too, had Prue and Piper.
Prue's eyes followed the bridge's majestic span across the
water, then looked down to Fort Baker and the small, picturesque Horsheshoe Bay Marina at
Point Cavallo, nestled below the bridge's northern tower on the Marin side of the bay.
"Stuart's right," Prue said. "San Francisco is
Piper turned to her right and looked back, over the near
side of the bay, at the city. In the distance she could see the Marina Yacht
Harbor and the Bay Bridge behind it. Beyond the Marina and above it to it's right
stood Coit Tower
and Telegraph Hill.
"It's very different from Hollywood and The
Valley," Piper said. "But I've grown accustomed to it."
Two tour boats, filled with tourists, plied their appointed
routes as a score of sailboats played in the water, some making their way
towards Angel Island across the bay. A lone tugboat, its work for the day done,
passed slowly underneath the bridge.
"I've fallen in love with this city," Prue said.
"I have to come back here soon. Maybe on a weekend."
"It won't be the same," Piper said. "After The Elders change us back
our real, actress selves and
send us home, San Francisco will also change back to how it had been before we were
Manor won't be here, the club won't be here." In her mind she pictured both
places. And how comfortable, and at home, she felt in them.
Four One Five magazine won't
exist anymore. It will be...so strange."
A wave from the bay splashed hard against the rocks,
throwing up a spray in their faces.
"Strange," Prue repeated, not flinching from the
water, silently looking out at the bridge.
"It's amazing, isn't it," Prue said, "how our perceptions
have changed over the months that we've been here. The real world being
changed back to how it used to be without Charmed a part of it,
how it should be, will seem strange to
us. Yet living our lives as Charmed's TV characters seems perfectly normal."
"Maybe, in a way, our lives here have been more normal
then we've realized," Piper said. "We've grown up in Hollywood, we
live in Hollywood. Acting is pretty much the only life we've really known.
"Here, we've had to live and work like regular, normal
people. People who aren't in the industry. And do the normal things that they
would do. Like running a club, working for a magazine-"
"Vanquishing demons, casting spells," Prue
interjected. Piper looked at her for a second and they both laughed.
A twinling light started to form to their side and Leo, their whitelighter and guide,
"Leo!" Piper greeted him with a big hug and an
extra long kiss.
"I'll, uh, wait for you by the car," Prue said to
her, but Piper didn't even hear her.
"Wow...that gives me what to look forward to for
Tuesday night," Leo said.
"Tuesday night?" Piper asked.
"Now that you've vanquished the most dangerous demons and the world is
safe, at least for a while, they’re giving me Tuesday night off.," Leo
"Uhhh," Piper made a face. "Your timing is
happening?" he asked.
"Today is Saturday," she said. "Anything can
happen in the three days between now and Tuesday night."
"It's not as if the world is going to end by
Tuesday," Leo said. "You took care of that when you vanquished
Argyris." He was the demon who was going to bring major destruction to the world.
The actresses had been told they were transformed in real life to their Charmed
characters to defeat him. "And the Triad is not making trouble now so
they don't need your attention yet." The Triad were three powerful demons whose
original powers had been diminished when the sisters went back in time to protect their
ancestor from them.
"It might anyway," Piper said.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
What do I mean? Piper thought. She wanted to open up to him.
But how could she explain that the world as far as who she was, might end. Or
who Leo was, might end - whoever he really was.
Or...would it end for him?
"It's just that...we haven't seen each other, except
for work, in almost a week," she said trying to come up with a plausible
explanation. "Tuesday...is like forever."
Leo took her in his arms, held her close to him and looked
into her eyes.
"Nothing will keep me from you Tuesday night," he
said. "I promise."
"Don't make promises you can't keep," she said
with a little sadness.
"I'll keep this one," he said. "You can hold
me to it."
Piper took a deep breath. "Then...I will," she
said, looking into his eyes.
Leo kissed her again, then disappeared as the twinkling white light returned.
Piper slowly shook her head.
"Goodbye, Leo," she said sadly, a single, small
tear forming in each of her eyes.
"It's going to feel strange not being here," Phoebe said to Stuart.
Though he was engaged to young witch Kelly Anderson, he was still Phoebe's friend and
she had asked him to walk with her that morning. She needed someone to talk to openly
about her feelings, someone
who knew that she really was an actress on Charmed, brought to San Francisco and
turned into a real witch by The Elders.
She took a deep breath of the
fresh morning air as they walked along the Marina Green that runs beside the bay.
"Don't get me wrong," she continued. "I want to go home.
"I WANT TO GO HOME," she repeated loudly, emphasizing each word as she looked upwards,
"I miss my mom, my dad, my home," she continued. "And it will be good to get back. I still want
a career as an actress, not as a witch. There are a lot of things that I want to do with my life as
"Fighting evil won't be one of them," Stuart said. "It won't be quite the same as vanquishing
"No, it won't," she said. "But we know that there are other witches. They can do the vanquishing
instead of me."
"Yes," Stuart said, "I suppose they can. But you also won't have your powers."
She thought silently for a moment. They reached the end of the Marina Green and continued
walking alongside the Yacht Harbor.
"I suppose I am going to miss being Phoebe Halliwell, after all," she admitted.
"Well...you'll still be Phoebe," Stuart said, "every time you step in front of the camera."
"That's going to feel so weird," she said. "Reading from a script and acting the role after having
lived it. Shooting individual scenes instead of everything flowing naturally as it has in real life."
She was silent for a moment again. "The changeover... it may be a lot harder emotionally than
I imagined it would be."
"Huh..." Stuart said. "You're making me almost...feel sorry for you going home."
"No! I'm happy that I'm going home," she said emphatically as they passed a small bench. "Don't feel sorry for
Phoebe stopped and jumped up on to the bench, then turned around and looked down at Stuart. In his head, Stuart could
hear the melody start accompanying Phoebe as,
with a play on the lyrics, she began to sing.
♫ It won't be easy, you'll think it strange
When I try to explain how I feel
That I have no regrets for all that I've done
You won't believe me
All you will see is a girl who is Charmed
With powers and spells to stop Evil's plans
And save innocents from being harmed ♫
Phoebe spread her arms outwards towards her audience of one.
♫ Don't cry for me San Francisco
The truth is it's time I left you
And left my powers
And left the demons
And left the danger
All behind me
I have to let it happen, I have to change
Couldn't stay all my life chasing evil around
Looking back at my acting, staying away from my career
So I chose freedom
Freedom to be who I used to be
Because I was never asked
When all this was thrust upon me
Don't cry for me San Francisco
I don't want to have these powers
I want to go home
I want to be home
And be myself
Just be myself ♫
Phoebe's arms remained outstretched as slowly she lifted her head and looked out dramatically across the
Marina Green to San Francisco.
"Wow! Bravo!" Stuart said. "That was great. That's just like in a movie musical when an actress
breaks out into song to say what she means." He turned around and was surprised that no one was
looking at Phoebe.
"Uh...this is weird," he said. "This really is like a movie musical, where no one even notices that
the actress was singing instead of speaking."
"Maybe not," Phoebe said, taking Stuart's hand as she stepped down from the bench. "Their
attention is focused over there."
She pointed to a commotion at the end of the harbor and they started walking towards it to see
what was happening. As they got closer they recognized someone in the middle of the crowd.
"What happened, Daryl?" Phoebe asked her friend Police Inspector
Daryl Morris, after they made their way through the crowd to him.
"A missing child," he answered. "That woman
over there was walking along the edge of the Marina with her three small
children. One of them tripped and fell and scraped his leg. She gave him her
attention and after she got him to stop crying, her two-year old was missing. I
was a block away when the call came through.
"I've called for help to go down into the water,"
he added grimly.
Phoebe looked at the woman who was crying hysterically.
After a moment, she turned back to Daryl.
"Give me something from the child," she said to
him. Daryl looked at her for a second then walked over to the mother. In a
moment he returned holding a small doll.
"The mother found it by the bricks," he said,
pointing to the brick-lined edge of the Yacht Harbor. Phoebe took the doll from
him and closed her eyes. After a few seconds, she opened them and looked around
at the boats, a few of which were sitting on supports on the adjacent land. She
saw what she was looking for and began walking quickly towards one of them.
Daryl looked at Stuart for a second and then they both quickly followed her.
Three land-locked boats sat behind a small walkway fence.
Phoebe hurried to the second boat and crawled underneath it. In a moment, she
crawled back out and handed a sleeping child to Morris.
"She must have wandered off, found a comfortable spot
under the boat and fell asleep," Phoebe said.
Morris looked at her silently for a moment and exhaled.
"I became a cop because I wanted to help people,"
he said slowly. "But I could never help anyone like this.
Whatever your secret is...you must feel wonderful
knowing that you can help people like that...when no one else
Morris turned around and carried
the baby back to his mother.
Phoebe stared after him silently for a few seconds, then
turned back to Stuart.
"Had he been working from a Charmed script, he couldn't have
had a better line to make me feel the responsibility to have my powers, could he," she
said, sounding shaken. They heard the baby's mother's sudden cries and watched
her grab her child from Morris and hug it.
Phoebe closed her eyes and just stood silently. Stuart could
only guess at what was going through her mind. After a minute, she opened her
eyes, stared at him and exhaled.
"Let's go," Phoebe said, barely audibly. As they reached the crowd, she turned to look at the
mother's face, now filled with tears of relief and joy. They passed her without stopping and
Phoebe took Stuart's hand for emotional support and held it tightly.
What Phoebe had known that she wanted and what she hadn't wanted was so clear to her just a
few minutes before - her happiness knowing that she was
leaving San Francisco to return home, that she would not have powers any more
but would be just a normal actress again. Now, it had all been turned upside down.
And the only thing that was clear to Phoebe was the
conflict she felt inside of her. Ready and wanting to
go home - yet at the same time, realizing the need to stay in
San Fransisco and keep her powers to save innocents.
Maybe San Francisco should cry for her, she thought.
Phoebe stared ahead blankly as they silently left the Yacht Harbor.