Charmed Role Reversal



Hearts and Minds


The large red letters and yellow number '9' over the entrance shone in the evening darkness above Stuart and Phoebe, as they stood in front of the landmark Fisherman's Wharf restaurant.

They were at the corner where The Embarcadero and Taylor Street meet - and where both streets end. They began walking up Taylor, passing on their right the adjacent famous Alioto's restaurant - run by one of San Francisco's most prominent families for almost eighty years - and continuing towards the huge Fisherman's Wharf sign that stood at the corner of Jefferson Street. Almost fifteen feet in diameter, the illuminated round yellow sign stood out against the night sky, its large brown lettering leaving no room for doubt as to which neighborhood of the city this was.

Fisherman's Wharf Sign

They turned right at the corner, away from the sign, and started walking down Jefferson. They were on the quieter side of side of the street, the side without the un-ending string of tourist stores that lined the other side of Jefferson. Part way down the block Stuart took Phoebes hand.

"This way," he said as he led her off to the right. "This is the Wharf's Inner Lagoon." They walked beside Tarantino's restaurant, the windows from its second floor affording its patrons a cozy nightime view of the Lagoon. Just past the restaurant, Stuart led Phoebe to the left, down a small walkway that extended into the Lagoon itself. Fishing boats were tied up on either side of the walkway, a few of them slightly swaying in the night's dark water.

"I love this spot," he said, leaning back against the broad wooden railing that lined the walkway. Lamps were set in the railing about every twenty feet, giving off just enough illumination to see where to walk, without affecting the atmosphere and solitude of the night lagoon.

"In the morning," he continued, "sea lions come in and you can hear them barking. But now, at night, is when it's special. You can watch the people walking by on the street, hear their voices, see the stores lit up on the other side. You can see the Wharf's activity. Yet you're removed from it. It's quiet and peaceful here.

"See there," he pointed, "above and behind the stores, the hotel with its subdued light. And above that, the lights of the homes on Russian Hill.

"I come here every night when I'm in San Francisco. At least, in the past I did. I just stand here, leaning back against the wooden railing, watching the scene, and thinking."

Phoebe took a deep breath, smelling the water all around her. "What are you thinking now?" she asked.

"How fortunate I am to be here," he said. "And who I'm fortunate to be with." He turned and kissed her gently.

"All of those people," she said, looking up at the lights on Russian Hill, "all of those innocents. And it's my responsibility to save them."

They silently looked at the homes for a moment, lost in their thoughts.

"I wonder how many of those people are meeting tonight and finding love," she said.

"Love is...wonderful. It's real. But it takes work to find it," he said.

"I know," Phoebe said. "But lot's of people manage to find it without the work."

"And lot's of people think they have love, but don't," Stuart said. "Eventually reality sets in and the relationship can't be sustained.

"People confuse love with infatuation. Love requires honesty but there's no honesty in infatuation."

"So you think a person who's infatuated with someone is a liar?" she asked, surprised.

"I'm talking about being honest with one's self," he answered. "If you're thinking about love, and a relationship, then first you have to be honest with yourself as to who you really are, or what you're trying to become. Presenting your character, your interests, your priorities as other than what they really are lay the foundation for a future breakup.

"Then you have to be honest about what you're expecting of the girl. What you're looking for her to bring to the relationship.

"And then, you have to be honest about who the girl really is - her character, her personality, her qualities. Who she really is, not who or what you want - or imagine - her to be. That's why infatuation is a lie. It's a fantasy. A relationship - and love - require reality.

"And that's why many relationships, and marriages, fail. The honesty of the reality isn't there at the beginning."

"Being honest with yourself - sometimes it's not that easy, even if you want to be," she said. "And I've known men who have said things like that. But men who actually mean those words...they're in short supply."

"Well, I mean it," he said, without hesitation.

"So if you had someone like that," she asked slowly, "is that a commitment you'd be able to make?"

"Yes...I would make that commitment" he said, looking into her eyes.

He had not wanted to push their relationship; had not wanted to say what he was feeling for her. But he had answered her question too quickly without thinking of what he was saying. And now, he felt he had no choice. There wasn't any way to leave the rest of it hanging un-said.

"I would make that commitment - to you," he said.

Though the words did not surprise her, she was not prepared for them. Not for their being said to her, not for her having to respond to them.

Sub-consciously, and consciously too, she had been hoping those words would get put off indefinitely. Now, she realized, she had inadvertently forced them to be said. And she wasn't ready to face the situation.

She was not given to rash decisions, certainly not ones involving love. She had known Stuart for less than three weeks. Yet in that time, she had gotten to see the real Stuart, gotten to look inside him and see who he really was.

She had seen him in life-and-death situations and in daily, routine living. She had seen him in more situations, seen inside him more, than she had seen with others over many months. She had, she realized, seen his soul.

And what she saw was a normal person. Not obsessed, just someone looking at her clearly and sincerely liking what he saw. Someone who looked beyond the surface at who she really was. And because of that, almost dying twice saving her life.

Someone whose thoughts about love and relationships were sensitive - and sincere. Someone who made her happy...and who felt ‘right’.

What they had been through together had accelerated their relationship. And now she was faced with the moment where she had to admit to herself what these weeks together had really meant to her. To what her heart wanted to say, if given the chance.

But her heart was not being given the chance. Because the thoughts of two people filled her mind. Alyssa's and Phoebe's thoughts of fear - fear of being hurt in a relationship, fear of the pain her heart would feel.

The words her heart perhaps would have wanted her to say, were words that her fears had not let her admit even to herself in her own thoughts. And they were more than just words. They were a commitment...to him. But even more, they were a commitment to herself.

Commitment. That's what the words were. A commitment to a dedicated relationship with him that her mind said she wasn't ready for. And a commitment to making herself vulnerable to hurt and pain.

The feelings of her heart - or what may have been the feelings of her heart had it been given free rein - were competing with the fears of her mind. And the fears of her mind won.

And so she couldn't, and didn't, say anything. She just looked at him - a confused and un-comfortable look on her face.

"Oh!" he said, "I'm sorry. I...I got way ahead of you didn't I. That was wrong of me to do."

"No," she said with some sadness. "I'm the one who should be sorry. I'm just not ready..."

It was a silent short ride back to The Manor. They got out of the car and walked up the steps.

"Stuart," she said as he was about to open the door."It's...I just can't bring myself to make that kind of commitment. It's not you...it's me."

"You're a beautiful girl, Phoebe," he said. "And you have the qualities of being kind, caring and sensitive. But you're also a TV star while I'm just a plain, ordinary person. When you get back home you can get someone from Hollywood who'll be much more in keeping with who you are. And someone you'll have more time with, more time to get to know better. And when you do have that much more time, then perhaps you'll be ready and able to make that kind of commitment."

"Stuart..." she began, but couldn't find the words that would follow.

"No, Phoebe," he stopped her. He opened the door for her and followed her into the house. "Commitments are big undertakings. It's a very human thing to find them difficult to make. I may be disappointed but I understand and respect that. I would never pressure anyone to make a commitment. And I won't bring this up again. Let's just continue being close friends - with neither commitments by nor restrictions on either of us."

Phoebe looked at Stuart, hesitated for a second, then kissed him gently on his lips.

"Still close friends, without 'attachments'?" she asked.

"Still close friends, without 'attachments'," he repeated, with a smile.



Click speaker for Opening Credits Theme Song

"I still don't understand why you're going off with this guy by yourself," Piper said, as they finished breakfast.

"Because he won't take me if anyone else comes along, Prue answered. He wants money or recognition...maybe both, I don't know. But for some reason he trusts me, so he wont show anyone else until the magazine agrees to give him whatever it is that he wants."

"I don't like this," Stuart said. "He comes into Four One Five's office, asks for you by name, then wants to take you out to someplace that's connected to the demon who's been murdering these women.

"He could be a demon - or working with them. This is too dangerous for you to do alone."

"He may have nothing, Prue agreed, but I can't take the chance of letting this go by in case he knows something. We have to know what these demons are planning and we don't have anything yet that can help us. And if he is a demon, I have my powers to use against him."

"You have to let me come with you or meet you there," Stuart said.

"If he sees someone with me he won't take me," Prue said. "And you can't meet me. I don't know where we're going. All he told me was that it was somewhere near the Muir Woods." She looked at her watch.

"I have to go meet him now, she said, and unfolded a piece of paper. She looked at it, dropped it on the table and headed to the door.

Stuart looked at Piper. "She's the headstrong one, remember?" Piper said, as they followed Prue out to the car.

"Prue, even if you're not afraid of going alone, I'm afraid for you," he said. "And I'm letting you down by allowing you to go alone."

"Stuart...you're so caring. You didn't let me down," Prue said as she came closer to him. "I would be foolish not to have some fear of what this may be.We all have our fear demons inside of us. If they're going to hurt someone we care about, then we have to vanquish them. If not, we just accept that they're there and let them lie in the corner and not get in the way. And that's what I'm doing now - letting it lie in the corner out of the way"

She saw the look of worry still on Stuart's face.

"I'll be fine," Prue said. "I'll call and let you know Im OK." She got into the car and drove off.

Phoebe was thinking about what Prue had said as she went back inside. She slowly went up the stairs to the attic and started going through the Book of Shadows until she found what she was looking for.

Spell to Remove Fear From Yourself, it read. Phoebe took the Book and went down the stairs to her room. She sat with the Book in front of the mirror and looked at herself in it. After a moment, she closed the book and took it back up to the attic without using the spell.

"Can we talk for a minute?" Piper asked Phoebe as she came into the parlor.

"Sure," Phoebe answered.

"I got the feeling that things were a little awkward between you and Stuart when you came home last night," Piper said.

"Stuart wanted me to fully commit myself in a relationship to him," Phoebe replied. "I couldn't do it." She saw the look of concern on Piper's face.

"Prue was right," Phoebe continued. "We each have fear demons inside of us. My fear demon is the fear of being emotionally hurt, the fear of commitment to something that isn't what I think it is. And the fear that this would leave me open and vulnerable to being hurt. The fear of the pain if a relationship fails.

"We don't want to accept that we have them so we make believe we don't have them. Because then we don't have to face them.

"I know that Stuart cares for me and I care for him. We're close friends but without strings attached. I'm willing to see where our relationship will go, to give myself the chance...to find out if I want to - and if I can - make that kind of a commitment."

"Doing that without any strings attached runs the risk that he'll find someone else with whom he'll have feelings, someone who will be willing to make that commitment, before you can figure yourself out and decide," Piper said.

"I know. We agreed we'd remain close friends without restrictions," Phoebe answered. "The only way that I can try to overcome my fears and come to a decision is if I feel that we're both free."

"Over there," he said to her. Prue pulled the car over to the side. A trail led up the hill to a small cabin.

"We're not going any further until you tell me what you know," Prue said.

"Look, up there, in that cabin," he said. "I saw this strange guy. Then he came down and pointed to the ground in a few places. Then he left.

"I was curious so I walked over and I saw these marks on the ground. Only I don't know what they are but they look familiar. Then I remember they were in the paper, about this woman who was murdered. My curiosity got the better of me so I go up the trail and peek in the window. The whole place is full of them, on the walls, on the floor, all over. And I can see on the table the page from the paper with the picture of the dead woman."

"There aren't any pentagrams on the ground now," Prue told him.

"Penta...oh, you mean those marks," he said. "I came back past here about three hours later and they were gone. He must have erased them."

"Did you see anyone else?"

"No."

"Did you go inside?" she asked.

"Are you kidding? It was bad enough I even looked in from the outside," he said.

"OK, Mr. Howard," Prue said. "It's safer if you wait here. I'm going to go up and look around."

Prue went up the path and carefully looked in the window. It was dark inside and she couldn't make out anything. She went around the side of the cabin and found the door. She gingerly tried to open it and saw that it was unlocked. She quietly opened it, peeked inside and, not seeing anyone, went in.

The room had two old wooden chairs but aside from that it was bare. A doorway led off to another room and Prue went into it. A single chair stood next to a small table, a page from the newspaper reporting the woman's murder spread out on it. But there weren't any pentagrams nor anything else that would associate the cabin with a demon.

Prue picked up the page, turned it over and not finding anything unusual put it down. She turned and went back into the first room and started walking towards the front door. The blow came suddenly, across the back of her head and she fell to the floor, unconscious.

As Prue came to, she found herself tied up in a chair, her hands secured behind her and a blindfold over her eyes.

"It's about time," he said. "I was worried that I hit you too hard. Does your head hurt?"

It did but she wasn't about to let him know that. "What do you want?" she asked.

"Direct. Right to the point," he said. "So I'll get right to the point, too.

"My name isn't Howard. It's Johnnie Norwell. Know the name?"

Prue didn't answer.

"I'll take that as a no," he said. "But you will, I assure you. You'll remember my name for the rest of your life."

"OK, I know your name," she said. "What do you want?"

"Prue Halliwell," he said glaring at her. "Patty Halliwell's daughter."

That caught Prue off guard and startled her.

"I made up the story about seeing those marks to get you up here, alone, Norwell said. I want to know if you have a special power, the same magic power your mother had."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Prue said.

"Of course you do," he said.

"Twenty-five years ago when I was young, my friends and me were robbing this jewelry store. No one was supposed to get hurt only it went down bad. A couple of people got shot. We ran out of the store and split up.

"This woman was passing by the store as I ran out. One of the people in the store must have run out into the street because I heard someone yelling they'd been shot. I'm running down the block and look over my shoulder. I can't believe what I see - this woman is running after me.

"I turned the corner and I'm in an alley. The only way out was a fire escape ladder on the side of the building. But before I can do anything she's in the alley coming towards me.

"I pull out my gun just to frighten her away and she waves her hand at it. The next thing I know my gun is flying out of my hand and hits the wall on my side. I tried to run at her but she waved her hand again - and sent me flying through the air into the wall behind me.

"It hurt - but I got up and tried to run past her. And she did it to me again. Only this time I hit the wall so hard it fractured my arm. As I'm lying there in pain she slowly backs out of the alley. In a minute she flags down a cop and tells him she thinks I'm the one he's looking for. And that I fell trying to jump up to the fire escape.

"I tried telling the cops, the DA, about her magic - no one would even listen."

Prue was trying to make sense of it. She couldn't understand how this could be. They had been The Charmed Ones for less than four weeks. How could there have been a Halliwell twenty-five years ago?

But it was distracting her from thinking about what to do now. She had to accept that somehow, it had all happened.

"I managed to get hold of a newspaper and I read their story of what happened," Norwell continued. "The police must have given them her name because they wrote how she helped the police capture me. That's how I found out who she was.

"Patty Halliwell.

"I remember every detail as if it happened yesterday because I've been thinking about it all these years. I had a life ahead of me. Patty Halliwell took it from me.

"When I got paroled a few years ago I checked up on her and found out she was dead. I thought that was the end of it. Until last month, when I'm looking through this magazine and the name on a picture caught my eye. Photo by Prue Halliwell, it said. So I did some checking and found out you're her daughter.

"I went by your house one night to see what I could find out about you. You were leaving and I followed you, right to where that woman was murdered. And the next day the paper describes those marks that were found there. Something to do with magic. So I know that you've got to be involved with magic just like your mother was."

"So you want what - revenge?" Prue asked "Against me for what...my mother supposedly did?"

"Revenge. Yeah, revenge," he said.

"For twenty years I lived in a cage without any life of my own. I had no privacy, always being watched, always being told what I could do and what I couldn't.

"Yeah, I'm going to get revenge. But I'm not going to kill you. That's too fast." He paused and stared at her.

I'm going to expose you.

"Then they'll come for you and put you in a laboratory cage. The government is good at that. They'll watch you eat, watch you sleep, watch your most private moments to find out what makes you tick.

"And when they do let you out, you'll be followed everywhere you go. Reporters, expose writers and all the crazies trying to find out what they can about the 'magic girl'. You'll never know a day's peace, never be left alone. They'll all be watching you.

"And you won't have a life. Just like I didn't have a life for twenty years. And I'll be watching it all happen.

"That's my revenge. It's worse than killing you."

"I don't have any magic powers," Prue said.

"No? Let's see." He went over to her and removed the blindfold. He untied her hands then walked over to the doorway and stood by it.

"This is the way out. All you have to do is get by me. So just use your magic on me."

Prue stood up but did nothing.

"You need some encouragement," he said. He put his hand inside his jacket, pulled out a gun and aimed it at her.

"Now you'd better use your magic power."

I can't do it, she thought. I have to call his bluff.

Norwell moved his thumb to the hammer and cocked it. "A bullet in your leg won't kill you. But it'll be very painful. Might even break a bone. Or leave some permanent damage."

He lowered the gun and pointed it at her thigh. Prue still wanted to hold back. But she decided he wasn't bluffing.

In a flash, she waved her hand and the gun went flying across the room. She waved it again and Norwell went flying into the wall and fell to the floor.

"They didn't believe you twenty-five years ago," she said looking down at him with disgust. "They won't believe you now either." She turned and walked through the doorway into the outer room.

"They will after you use your magic to save all of those people from the bomb," he called after her, a small smile on his face. Prue stopped.

"You don't want to leave until you hear about the bomb, do you." It was a statement not a question. Prue slowly turned around and walked back into the room.

"Of course you don't. You're a do-gooder, just like your mother."

"What bomb?" she asked.

"The one I planted. In a public place," he said as he stood up. "Lots of people come there, lots of children. And the only way to save then will be for you to use your magic to dislodge the bomb and throw it far away from them. And everyone will see you do it.

"And just for good measure, I called the newspapers and the television stations and told them there was going to be a 'save the earth' demonstration there. So they'll be there and report everything you do and expose you - probably on prime time TV.

"And then your life will be over."

"You're lying," she said.

"Am I? Are you willing to take that chance? What are you going to do this afternoon when you hear the news that all of those people died - and you could have saved them?"

Norwell was right, Prue thought. They'll be exposed. Even if they're here only a short time it will still be intolerable. And it will stop them from finding the demons who want to cause major destruction in the world. And besides, they have to live the same way the sisters would on Charmed and do what they would do. They couldn't let themselves be exposed on Charmed so could she let it happen here, either.

But those people are real, they're innocents. She can't let them die.

"When will it go off?" she asked.

Norwell looked at his watch. "Very soon."

"Tell me where it is," she said.

"Tell you? I'll do better than that," he said. "I'll take you to it.

"And don't get any ideas about calling for help," he added. "If you do, I won't show you where the bomb is and it will go off. And when I do show you, you'll have only enough time to get rid of it."

"We're wasting time," Prue said. "Take me to it."

Phoebe was cleaning off the kitchen table. She put the coffee cup into the sink then went back and picked up the napkin and the piece of paper.

She stopped suddenly, her eyes closed.

"Oh no! Piper! Piper!!"

Piper and Stuart came running into the kitchen.

"Prue's in big trouble," Phoebe said. "I just had a premonition. A man was standing in front of her pointing a gun at her."

"Where was she?" Piper asked.

"I don't know," Phoebe said. "It was just a room. I didn't see anything else except them."

"What did he look like?" Stuart asked.

"Uh...he was a little taller than Prue...dark, wavy hair...and...he was wearing a grey jacket."

"What were you holding when you saw it?" Piper asked

"The napkin and this paper."

"That was the paper Prue was looking at before she left to meet that guy," Piper said.

Phoebe opened the paper and read it. "It's the time and place of where she was meeting him."

"No name?" Stuart asked.

"No," Phoebe said.

"Was what you saw in the past or in the future?" Piper asked.

"What I saw already happened."

"Since when do demons use guns?" Stuart asked.

"They don't," Piper said.

"So we're not dealing with a demon," he said.

"Then Prue's been kidnapped," Piper said. "We have to call Morris."

"And tell him what?" Phoebe asked. "That Prue's been kidnapped. We don't know by whom, we don't have a ransom note and we haven't been contacted. But we just know it."

"Then we have to find her ourselves. But where do we start?" Piper asked.

"Where she met him," Phoebe said.

"They won't be there," Piper said.

"I know, but that's all we have," Phoebe answered.

"Here's the car," Stuart said. He checked it then looked around. "It's locked. She must have gone in his car."

Phoebe pulled out her spare car key. She opened the door, got in and put her hands on the wheel. Suddenly she was motionless, her eyes closed.

"I saw them. There was grass all around them. And bushes and a few trees."

"Was this also in the past," Piper asked.

"No. This was in the future, I'm sure of it."

"Then she's still alive," Stuart said.

"Did you see anything else," Piper asked.

"I saw the Golden Gate Bridge, Phoebe said. It was close by. And...they were high up, almost as high as the bridge. Like...they were on a hill."

Stuart thought for a second. "A bluff. Did you see San Francisco in the distance behind the bridge?"

"There was a lot of fog." She closed her eyes, trying to remember. "I could barely make out the bridge.

"But I did see something else. The ground off to the side was dug out in the middle. And in it, were what looked like old brick foundations."

"That's Battery Spenser, in the Marin Headlands," Stuart said. "It's on a bluff on the other side of the bridge, practically overlooking it.

"Let me drive, I know the way," he said. "Now call Morris."

Prue and Norwell slowly made their way up the path. About two dozen people, less than half the usual number on a clear day, were milling about, some with small children in tow. The bridge, in front of them, was shrouded in fog, the near tower only partially visible. Beneath them to the right, the waters of the Golden Gate at the foot of the bluff could just barely be seen.

"OK, you've won," Prue said to him. "I'm here. Now where's the bomb?"

Norwell looked at his watch. "In a moment." He turned around, searching for something and spotted what he was looking for.

"Over here," he called, waving. A two-man TV news crew and a newspaper reporter started over to them. "The demonstration is about to begin," he said as they drew closer.

He looked at his watch again. "Over there, by that bush," he said to Prue. "It's under those rocks. It took me twenty minutes to move those rocks into place. You have less than a minute to move them and dispose of the bomb."

The bush was in front of them. It was just to the side of where people were standing to get the best view of the bridge, limited as it was. There isn't any choice, Prue thought, as she raised her hand. Then suddenly all of the people around her froze.

"Prue!!" Piper shouted as she and Phoebe ran up the trail, leaving a frozen Stuart behind. "Are you all right?"

"Yes, but there isn't time to explain. There's a bomb under those rocks. Piper, keep everyone frozen."

"This is an open area," Piper said. "My power won't work much past that curve. And we ran past people below it making their way up here."

"We don't have a choice," Prue said. "It's going to explode in less than a minute."

Prue waved her hand twice, separating the rocks to the left and right. The bomb sat uncovered, a flashing light showing that it wasn't frozen.

Piper raised her hand and the flashing stopped. Prue gently picked up the bomb and put it on top of the bush.

"I'll send it far out into the water," she said. "With this fog, no one will see it going down. And because of the fog there won't be any boats on the water, either, so no one will get hurt." She waved her hand with force and the bomb went flying way out over the water before falling into it.

"Get back to where you were and unfreeze everyone," Prue said. "And stay there. Norwell mustn't know about you."

Prue waved the rocks back together as Piper, back with Phoebe in their places, raised her hand.

Prue stood looking at Norwell.

"It is going to go off!" he said, his voice a little anxious.

"Then we'll all go up together," Prue said.

"The rocks," Norwell said as he looked at them. "That's not how they were. You did something."

The blast startled the people around them. The TV crew and the reporter ran to the edge of the bluff to try to see what happened.

"The bomb. You threw it into the water," Norwell said. "You have another magic power."

"It's over," Prue said to him.

"No it isn't. I'll put another bomb somewhere else. And you'll have to come and I'll expose you."

"After I tell the police about you, you won't be doing anything." She moved closer, looking him right in his eyes.

"My mother helped put you away for twenty years. I'll help put you away forever."

Prue turned around but before she could walk away Norwell grabbed her hands from behind. He put his left hand around her wrists and pulled her back towards him, using her body to pin her hands against him. With his right hand he pulled out his gun and held it to her temple.

"No you won't," he shouted at her. "I'll kill you instead." Before Piper could react to freeze him two shots rang out. The people all around started screaming and Norwell fell to the ground.

Morris, his gun in his hand, was running up to Prue. "It's OK, I'm a police officer," he yelled at the people as they started fleeing down the path.

"Prue, are you all right?" Morris asked.

"Yes...I am now," she said, suddenly feeling weak.

Morris kneeled down and checked Norwell. "Dead." He stood up as Phoebe, Piper and Stuart reached them.

"I'm OK," Prue said to them, as Piper put her arm under hers to steady her.

"Who was he?" Morris asked.

"Johnnie Norwell," Prue answered, trying to get her breathing back to normal. "Twenty-five years ago he was involved in a shooting at a robbery. Mom helped the police catch him"

"Mom?" Phoebe asked.

"So he kidnapped you in revenge," Morris said. "And that bomb down below?"

"It was...his revenge against the city," Prue said.

"In the middle of the water?" Morris asked.

"He...sort of lost it in the fog," she said.

Morris gave her a look, then looked down at Norwell. "Like mother, like daughter, I guess."

"Yeah...I guess," Prue said.

"You know that I don't want to know what your secret is," Morris said, turning to Piper and Phoebe. "So I'm not going to ask you how you knew they were here or what the kidnapper looked like or what he was wearing." He paused for a few seconds.

"I'm just glad that you did," he said.

"Thank you, Darryl," Prue said. "You saved my life."

"No need to thank me, Prue," he said. "I was just doing my job."

"Your job? I don't think so," Piper said. "Since when does your job cover this side of the bridge?"

"I asked for permission," Morris said. "We have an arrangement with the Marin County sheriff's department that we can come over here if we're in hot pursuit of a suspect."

"Which you actually weren't," Phoebe said.

"Hmm. I must have neglected to mention that when I asked."

"Thanks, Darryl," Phoebe said, smiling.

"Why don't you sit down on that bench, for now," Morris said.

Prue nodded. They walked over to the bench, leaving Morris to deal with the arriving sheriff's deputies, and Piper sat down with her.

"Mom? I don't understand. How can that be?" Phoebe asked.

"When we became The Charmed Ones," Prue said, "we were given a real history, longer and more extensive than we've realized. It seems that things that would have happened had we always been real...somehow did."

"Robbery...shooting...from twenty-five years ago...we have a whole history we know almost nothing about," Phoebe said.

"And...we had a Mom?" Piper asked.

"The Charmed Ones had to be born so there had to be a Mom," Prue answered.

"And that means there had to be a dad, too ," Piper said. "Im not about to have James Read...uh, uh...Victor Halliwell..uh..." She stopped and exhaled. "Im not about to have whichever one shows up on our doorstep be my father."

"How did you know what happened?" Prue asked.

"Phoebe picked up the paper that had your meeting place written on it," Piper said. "You left it on the table. It's a good thing you were in a hurry and didn't have time to throw it out."

Stuart walked over to the fence at the bluff's edge. He looked out silently at the fog as Phoebe joined him.

"The fog has its own charm, its own character, hiding the bridge beneath it," he said. "You almost forget that the bridge is there. But there's a little bit of the bridge that always manages to come through, a little bit of its character sticking out. Reminding you that when the fog goes away, the bridge will still be there."

"Sort of like us," Phoebe said. "We have the Charmed Ones' characters But some of ourselves, parts of our own characters, still manage to penetrate it. Reminding us who we'll be again when we're back home."

"Whether it's back home or here," Stuart said, turning to her and smiling, "and whoever's character it is - you're OK with me."

"What's that?" Phoebe asked Prue, who was sitting on the sofa.

"It's the scrapbook of Mom you were keeping on Charmed," Prue answered. "I found it in a drawer in the parlor. It's full...as it would be in real life.

"I went down to the Chronicle and they gave me a copy of the story about the robbery. Here's the paragraph about Mom," she said and handed it to Phoebe.

"I just felt that I needed...that I wanted to get it and add it to Mom's scrapbook," Prue said.

"Sounds like a loving daughter," Phoebe said.

Phoebe turned the scrapbook around so she could see it. She turned to the next page and recognized the picture. It had been a prop in the Charmed episode in which they went back in time and saw their Mom.

Only here it was real, in the scrapbook as it would really have been. It showed little Prue and little Piper standing on either side of Patty Halliwell, 'pregnant' with Phoebe.

"I guess...in a way...I am a loving daughter," Prue said. "The feelings Prue is supposed to have...they've been growing inside of me. I just feel this strong connection, a loving connection, to Mom."

Phoebe looked silently at Patty Halliwell in the scrapbook.

"Me, too," Phoebe said, gently running her fingers across the picture. "Me, too."