♫  O thus be it ever,
when freemen shall stand
loved homes and the war's desolation,
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n-rescued land
Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we
must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our
motto: "In God is our trust."
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. ♫
Phoebe, still standing at attention, lowered her hand from
her heart. The audience began to sit down and Phoebe took her seat next to
Lorna Palmer. She could see Lorna's daughters Nicole and Marion, dressed in
their white blouses and blue skirts, standing on the stage, together with the
other the children of the choir.
"We're going to be singing in the choir at the school
graduation, Phoebe," Nicole told her the day before.
"And something special - the first and last stanzas of the National Anthem.
You have to
come hear us sing."
Of course, at eleven and nine, neither Nicole nor Marion was
graduating from school. But they had been chosen for the commencement choir,
comprised of children from the fourth through the seventh grades.
Phoebe had become close with Lorna Palmer's two daughters
since she, with Prue and Piper, had saved the girls from the ghost Fiona. A
week later, Phoebe had invited the girls to The Manor and told them the story of the
Witches of the Carribean. And the girls had just been involved with Phoebe and her sisters in the benitoite robberies
and the vanquishing of the demon Oralius.So Nicole and Marion felt a strong bond with her.
"They're going to sing the fourth stanza of the
Star‑Spangled Banner - that's a treat," Stuart told Phoebe.
"You rarely hear it sung - few people even know it exists. Don't miss
Stuart knows history, Phoebe had thought, and so she was
looking forward to coming to the graduation and hearing the girls sing. But she
didn't know whether she - and Prue and Piper - would still be there in San
Francisco to come to it. Having vanquished Argyris, she expected The Elders would be
sending them back home to LA; back to being the actresses they had been. And
The Elders would be removing Charmed from the real world.
But The Elders had not done that - Phoebe didn't
understand why they hadn't - so she, and Piper, accompanied Lorna Palmer to hear the girls
And Stuart had been right, she thought.
It was stirring and special hearing not just the
first stanza but also the last stanza of the
Star‑Spangled Banner. She didn't recall ever hearing it before.
The children in the school band accompanying the choir were ready to continue and the choir resumed singing
♫ O beautiful for spacious skies,
waves of grain,
fruited plain . . . . . . ♫
Graduating from school is something special, Phoebe thought,
then reflected on her own 'graduation'. Much of her schooling had been done on
the set with Hollywood's cadre of child‑actor tutors. Her being part of real
high schools had been limited. She looked at the children who were graduating
and for a moment had a brief feeling of jealousy. The relationships, the
comradery, the fun - and the emotional graduation itself. She didn't regret
having been a child actress. But for a moment she missed not having had what
these children were having that night.
The choir became silent as Nicole and another girl stepped forward to sing together.
♫ O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human
The two girls stepped back and the full choir resumed singing the refrain.
♫ America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea ♫
The children started marching down from the stage and the
audience applauded. Phoebe saw how Lorna Palmer was beaming proudly.
"Marion and Nicole were great," Phoebe said to
"Weren't they!" Lorna replied, smiling.
The graduation over, Lorna, Piper and Phoebe waited for the
girls outside the hall.
"You were great!" Lorna said as she hugged her
"You certainly were," Phoebe concurred.
"Thank you Phoebe, and Piper, for coming," Nicole
"It was our pleasure," Piper replied. "I'm
really glad we were able to come." And glad that The Elders haven't sent
us back home yet so that we could come, she thought.
Huh!? Piper said to herself, realizing what she had thought.
I'm actually glad that The Elders haven't sent us back to being our real selves
She looked at Nicole and Marion, remembered what she had been through with them
with the ghost Fiona, and smiled.
Yeah, she thought. We, and the world, will both be back to
being 'non‑Charmed normal' soon enough. Another day as Piper Halliwell so that
I could be here tonight with them is OK.
Phoebe had taken Nicole's hand and now Piper took Marion's
and together with Lorna they walked the girls back to their car.
Phoebe and Piper got out of their car in the The Manor's driveway. They had taken Lorna
and her girls home, were thanked again by them for having come to the graduation to hear them
sing, then drove home to The Manor. As they walked from the car to the back
door, they heard a rumbling sound.
"Earthquake!" Phoebe cried.
"No...I don't think so," Piper responded.
"The sound isn't coming from the ground. It's coming...from above."
They looked up and saw dark clouds rolling in quickly and
covering the sky.
"That's not thunder," Piper said.
"No...it's not," Phoebe agreed. "The
rumbling's not coming from the clouds, either. It's coming...from something
"I don't like this," Piper said, pointedly.
"The writers used clouds and rumbling like this on Charmed,"
Phoebe said. She stared at the black clouds as they kept rolling across the
sky. "And whenever they did, it was meant to show that some big, major
change was about to happen."
"And with Charmed part of the real
world..." Piper began, apprehensively.
"Something big in the real world is about to change,"
Phoebe said, finishing Piper's thought.
Piper opened the back door and was about to go inside.
Instead, she stopped and turned around.
"But what is about to change?" she asked,
looking up at the clouds again. "And why?"
felt so good lying next to her. Even in his sleep, her being near him made him
feel relaxed and peaceful.
She rolled over on to him so she could reach the alarm clock
on the night table, stretched out her arm and shut it off.
Stuart turned his head, opened one eye and looked at the
"It's four‑thirty," he said.
"It's time to get up," she replied.
"It's the middle of the night, Shannen," he
"I have a seven‑thirty call at the studio with the
makeup wagon," she said.
"You're Shannen Doherty, the show's star, honey," Stuart said. "You
should be able to come in later than the other actors."
"I am coming in later," she replied. "They
have to be there at seven."
"Come on, Shannen, just a few minutes more," he
"No can do, Stuart," she said, smiling at him.
"We had a few weeks break from shooting the show and now you've forgotten
my daily routine."
Shannen reached the lamp switch and turned on the light. She
got out of bed and took her robe from the chair and slipped into it. Cream
colored with square shoulders and a tailored look, it reached mid‑way down her
thighs and felt cozy against her body. She closed the robe, pulled the belt
together and looped it over itself once.
"Uh..." she said.
"What?" Stuart asked.
"Something...something doesn't feel right," she
"Yes...getting up in the middle of the night," he
"No...not that," Shannen said. "Waking up
early for a studio makeup call...that feels exactly right.
But...everything else...it feels like it's all new. Like...it all
Stuart sat up in bed. He looked at Shannen with a worried
expression on his face.
"Honey...how long...are we married?" she asked
"What!?" Stuart exclaimed. "How long ‑"
"Just...just tell me," Shannen pleaded.
"Five months...and one week," Stuart answered,
"Yes...of course," she said. "And we met when
"Dropped a small box outside that boutique hotel in
Pasadena," he said, eyeing her worriedly, "and I picked it up for
"And..." she prompted him, as if she couldn't
remember what had come next and wanted him to tell her the rest of the story.
"And I recognized who you were and told you how I felt
a special leaning towards your character, Samantha Stephens. Shannen...what's
"Uh...I don't know," she replied, feeling
confused. "Uh...it's nothing," she said, trying to re‑assure herself
more than she was trying to re‑assure him.
Stuart stared at her for long moment.
"Show me you're OK - give me your character's famous
witch's nose wiggle," he said.
"That wiggle...it's wrong," Shannen said, slowly.
"That's not how witches do things. You have to use your hand...or your
eyes. They...they should change that on the show."
"What? How do you know what a real witch does?" he
asked. "Assuming there really are any."
"I...I don't know," Shannen answered, feeling even
"Shannen...you've really got me worried now,"
Stuart said. "You need to lie down...with me. The show will wait - they
can't start without you."
Shannen thought for a moment. Not feeling any better nor any
less confused, she opened her cream colored robe and let it slide off of her
body and fall to the floor. She stood for a moment - naked, confused and tense -
by the side of the bed.
After a moment she exhaled, then slowly got back into bed. She closed her eyes and tried not to
think about everything that was suddenly in her mind. Everything that was leaving her all
"You are so special, so wonderful," Stuart said quietly, as he slipped one arm underneath her. He
gently ran his other hand across her forehead and down her cheek. "I just love you. Sometimes...I
pinch myself to believe that...that famous actress Shannen Doherty really married me."
His arm around her and his body against hers, Shannen felt an inner comfort, a happiness and
security that made everything feel all right.
"You make me so happy," Shannen said. "There's no one else I would ever want to be married
She eased her arms over Stuart's back and initiated a sensual kiss. Her tension leaving her, she
relaxed and let herself go. She wanted more of the comfort and security that he gave her - and
with a small smile on her lips, she pulled him firmly to her.
Piper came down the stairs at a little after eight o'clock
in the morning, walked past the living room and continued towards the kitchen.
Then she stopped short, turned around slowly and stared at the living room.
Her mouth open, Piper gaped at the furniture. The chairs and
the sofa were different. They were not the same chairs and sofa that had been
in the real Manor the past seven and one‑half weeks, not the ones that had been
on Charmed's set for the two years before that. They were not the chairs and
sofa that had been there when she had gone to sleep after the
Slowly Piper approached one of the chairs and ran her hand
along the edge of its back. It was real - not some kind of image. And it was
there in The Manor's living room - where it had no place being.
Piper slowly backed away from the chair, then turned and
with some apprehension went into the kitchen. And stopped short again.
The table was a different size than the table that had been
there - a good foot shorter in its length. And the chairs were different. A box
of cereal on the counter caught her attention. Slowly, she walked over to the
counter and picked it up.
What's this? she thought. She stared at the box in her hand
and the name that was on it:
Hollin's Toasted Corn Flakes Breakfast
Bewildered, Piper slowly turned the box around - and stared
even more incredulously at what was on the other side of it.
Hollin's Petit Déjeuner Grillé de Flocons de Mais
Piper started to shake her head dumbfounded when Phoebe
burst into the kitchen.
"Piper, look at this!" Phoebe said. "I went
to get my robe and it wasn't there. But this was."
Phoebe extended her hand, holding a dark purple robe, to
"Where is my robe and what is this doing in my
room?!" Phoebe demanded.
"Phoebe, haven't you noticed ‑" Piper tried to
"And look at this label!" Phoebe continued,
ignoring what Piper started to say and showing the robe's label to her. Piper
took the label between her fingers and looked at what was written on it.
Fabriqué dans la République de la Louisiane
"If I remember what little I know of French,"
Piper said, "I think that means 'made in the Republic of...Louisiana'?"
"That doesn't make any sense," Phoebe said,
"nor does this being in my room instead of ‑" Phoebe stopped and
looked at the box of cereal that Piper was holding.
"Where did that come from?" she asked.
"Phoebe, didn't you notice everything is changed?"
Piper asked. "The living room furniture, the kitchen, this box of cereal
from...somewhere. Your robe is just one more thing that's been changed."
Phoebe slowly looked around the kitchen.
"The clouds last night," Phoebe said, taking in
how different the kitchen now was. "The clouds...of change."
"Where are Prue and Stuart?" Piper asked.
"I don't know," Phoebe said. "I didn't see
Stuart when I got up."
"Prue! Stuart!" Piper shouted as she and Phoebe
quickly ran to the staircase. "Prue!? Stuart!?" she repeated as they
ran up the stairs.
Piper opened the door to Prue's bedroom as Phoebe did the
same to Stuart's.
"She's not here," Piper announced. "This room...it
looks like it isn't even being used."
"It's the same with Stuart's room," Phoebe said.
"Leo!" Piper shouted."Leo!"
There was no response to Piper's call.
"The Book of Shadows!" Phoebe said, worry in her
voice. They quickly ran up to the attic and opened the door.
The scene that greeted them was not what they expected.
Bright yellow curtains with small orange and brown flowers - a gathered valance
with tie backs beneath it - hung from the window at the far end. A small sofa,
its slip covers the same pattern as the curtains - stood against the left wall.
Wallpaper in a complementary yellow covered the walls. An ivory chest of
drawers, an armoire of a matching color, two glass‑doored bookcases and an
easy chair filled out the room. Everything was neat and orderly.
Piper and Phoebe looked on in stunned silence, then slowly
walked into the attic.
"What..." is all Phoebe could say.
"There's no bookstand...and no Book of Shadows,"
Piper said. She walked over to the sofa, took a throw pillow from it, threw it
up in the air and raised her hand. The pillow fell to the floor.
"And no witch powers," she said grimly.
Phoebe picked up the throw pillow, held it tightly, and
closed her eyes.
"Nothing," she said. "No premonition."
She thought for a moment.
"Maybe The Elders sent us back last night," she
said, "and removed Charmed from the real world."
"There weren't any yellow lights that The Elders used
the other times," Piper said. "And if they had sent us back,
then where are we? We're not at my ranch. And we're not in your house."
"Let's take a look outside," Phoebe suggested.
They gave one more look around the yellow attic, then
hurried downstairs, went to the front door and opened it.
"This looks like our street in San Francisco where The
Manor is," Piper said.
"But those cars parked...uh...they look -
different," Phoebe said.
"We'd better see if we still have a car,"
Piper said. They went back into the house, through the kitchen and out the back
"It's a car," Phoebe noted, "but not ours.
And the style...it's different."
The car that stood before them was a robin's blue, with a
high roof, slightly boxy and with elongated chrome above the rear fenders. The
name of the car was prominently displayed on the trunk.
"That's...not our car," Piper said, stating the
"Studebaker...I vaguely remember Stuart telling me
something about that name," Phoebe said. "Stuart and history...I
think he said that used to be a car company in the 60s. What's it doing
"And what are we doing here?" Piper asked.
"Look at that license plate!" Phoebe added.
"That's...not what a California license plate looks like. What...where...did that come from?" Piper asked.
"Dalios!" Phoebe exclaimed. "He's done
something again with reality or with parallel worlds or...with something. He's
managed somehow to undo Charmed."
Piper slowly shook her head.
"No, Phoebs, I don't think so," she said.
"I...I don't think this is Dalios' doing. Leo told us that The Infernal
Council wouldn't let him do anything like that again."
"So maybe Dalios just didn't listen to them,"
Phoebe countered. "Maybe he just did...whatever he wanted to do anyway and
ignored the Council. He did try to kill us again just two nights ago."
"Yes, but he used Darnella for that," Piper said.
"He didn't do anything directly himself. And all of this...is very direct.
I don't believe it's Dalios."
"Then if not Dalios, who is it?" Phoebe asked.
"Let's start by finding out the 'what',"
Piper said. "The Demon Dimension helped us understand what happened
when we were first brought here. Maybe there's something on television now that
will help us again."
They went back into the house, walked past the spot where
Grams picture had graced the wall until that morning, but where a picture of
Phoebe in a red and yellow mini‑dress now hung in its place, to where their
television had been.
"It looks like a television...more or less,"
The television they were standing next to had a square
screen, set into what looked to Phoebe like black formica, and sat on a
rounded, black cart. A small, narrow triangular silver antenna, entwined in
similar black formica, protruded from the top of the screen. A small flat
device made of the same black formica lay on the cart. It was circular except
for the '11 to 1' position, which had a silver triangular antenna, identical to
the one over the screen but without any of the black formica around it.
"I guess this is the remote control," Phoebe said.
"The buttons...they're marked in English and in French."
Phoebe found the button marked power/puissance and
pressed it. The screen lit up with a picture of a pretty young woman sitting at
a desk. She was in her early thirties, with long auburn hair that reached her
shoulders, a light complexion and a sparkle in her eyes. She was wearing a
light blue tailored blouse under a navy blue suit jacket. On the wall behind
her in large white and blue letters were the words Your Morning News with
"- border crossing problem," Sami Groff said from her desk.
"Columbia Provincial Premier Catherine Gale and California Governor Jerry
Brown have agreed to meet next week at the Governor's Mansion in Sacramento to
try to resolve the dispute. Until then, both border crossings between
California and Columbia will remain closed. Anyone wanting to drive across the
border between the CWA and Canada will have to use the border crossings in
Nevada, or further east in Arizona.
"However, flights from William B. Ide International
Airdrome in Los Angeles and Davey Crockett Memorial Airdrome in San Francisco,
to the Columbia Provincial capital of Seattle, will not be affected by
the land crossing closures.
"In more bad news, the continued turmoil in Mexico has
prompted the five state governors to come to Austin Federal City, Texas, later
today for a Governors Conference. Texas Governor George W. Bush and California
Governor Jerry Brown initiated the un‑scheduled conference in the CWA capital
in reaction to the lawlessness in the northern part of Mexico and its spillover
into the CWA. Governor Bush spoke to reporters last night at the State House in
the Texas capital of Houston."
The TV picture changed to that of Governor Bush.
"The cross‑border escalation of lawlessness into the
CWA," Governor Bush said, "especially from the Mexican state of
Coahuila and the Sonora Corridor, through the indifference or powerlessness of
the Mexican government, cannot be tolerated."
"The Governors Conference will meet with President Jennifer
Monreal at the Ranch House," Sami continued in a voice‑over. The picture
changed to that of a young woman in her early thirties. Slim, very attractive
with medium complexion, large olive green eyes, long, dirty blond hair falling
to just below her shoulders and wearing a black tailored shirt, the woman was
talking to an un‑identified man as the overlay on the screen said 'File Footage
of President Monreal'.
"The Congress has directed President Monreal,"
Sami's voice‑over continued, "to dispatch additional army troops to the
CWA‑Mexico border and to send them across the border into Mexico to protect the
border communities. But so far, the President has refrained from doing that.
"Ranch House Press Secretary Kathie Iannaci had this to
The image changed to that of a confident looking woman in her mid-forties, with medium length,
dark hair brown hair and a slightly long face.
"President Monreal is withholding using these
measures," Kathie said, standing at a podium, part of the audience of
reporters visible in front of her.
"One of the reporters tried to rattle Iannaci with some leading questions about the President's approach,"
Sami said in a
voice‑over. "But the
Press Secretary, experienced at handling reporters, deftly deflected the queries and maintained her
control of the briefing."
"The President," Kathie said, with self-assurance, "wants to use her common
Spanish heritage from her father that she shares with Mexico, and her native Spanish
language, to try to reach an agreement with the Mexican government to restore
order and exert control on the border areas."
The TV image returned to Sami Groff at her news desk.
"Governor Bush said that he supports the President's
plan as long as there is also an alternative plan, should her initiative fail.
"From problems in the south to problems in the
north," Sami continued. "The Soviet Union's newly established missile
sites in the Alaska Panhandle and its recent missile tests in the Pacific Ocean
along the Vancouver Province coast of Canada have triggered an emergency
meeting of the North America Defense Association."
The image changed to that of President Monreal, walking
through a garden followed by Ranch House staff.
"Early yesterday evening," Sami continued in a
voice‑over, "President Monreal, walking through the Ranch House Rose
Garden in her trademark black pants suit, paused to respond to a question from
"The provocative moves of the Soviet Union cannot be
ignored," President Monreal said. "NADA will take appropriate
measures in response."
"Austin Federal City, Texas," Sami continued as
her image returned to the screen, "was to host the next scheduled NADA
meeting in September and will therefore host the emergency meeting that will be
held this Friday, according to Ranch House Press Secretary Kathie Iannaci."
The image switched back to the Press Secretary standing at
"Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, British America
Prime Minister Hollis Reynolds Jr. and Louisiana Premier Étienne Séverin will
be coming to the Ranch House on Friday for the emergency NADA meeting,"
Kathie said. "King Kamehameha VIII of the Kingdom of Hawaii has been
invited to attend the meeting as a guest of President Monreal."
The image of Sami Groff re‑appeared on the screen.
"Hawaii has expressed concern over the Soviet Unions'
presence in the Pacific waters near the island kingdom," Sami said,
"and the Soviet support for the recent revolution and establishment of a
Communist government in Samoa. King Kamehameha has broadly hinted that Hawaii
would benefit from becoming a member of NADA. Though British America and
Louisiana have been less than enthusiastic about expanding NADA membership,
President Monreal has expressed support."
The screen switched back to President Monreal in the Ranch
House Rose Garden.
"Hawaii's location in the Pacific," President
Monreal said, "could be a strategic bulwark for NADA to counter the Soviet
Union's aggressive expansion. Bringing the kingdom into NADA could benefit both
Hawaii's and North America's security."
The screen switched back to the Press Secretary.
"Following the NADA meeting," Kathie said,
"President Monreal will brief the leaders of the Congress on the
discussions and on any decisions reached about NADA actions."
"The world is all upside down," Phoebe said,
shaking her head.
The newswoman was back on the screen.
"We wanted to finish Your Morning News with
something besides all of the strife and depressing news that we've
reported," Sami said. "But we couldn't find any hard good news
anywhere in the world. So we've had to go to the entertainment industry for our
"Actress Shannen Doherty will headline the annual
California Children in Need Benefit tonight," Sami said. "The star of
the number one rated televideo series Bewitched Again will be joined by
a host of Pasadena's cinema and televideo stars. Including pop‑tart favorite
Alyssa Milano ‑"
"Pop tart!?" Phoebe exclaimed, indignantly.
"-actress Amy Meredith, legendary singer and dancer
Susan Anton and four‑time Cinema Star Award winner Meryl Streep." A
picture of each of the stars mentioned was briefly flashed on the screen as
Sami said her name.
"Where did they get that picture of me!?"
Phoebe complained. "It's awful!"
"The Benefit will be held at the Dorothy Chandler
Pavilion in the heart of the Pasadena cinema and televideo studios
entertainment capital," Sami continued, "beginning at
The newswoman gave a warm, endearing smile to the camera.
"And that's Your Morning News for Wednesday, the
twenty‑third day of June, Two Thousand. This is Sami Groff. Have a great CWA
"The Soviet Union shooting missiles?" Phoebe
asked, rhetorically. "The Soviet Union fell apart almost ten years ago.
And what's the CWA?"
"And the words are different," Piper said.
"Airdrome instead of airport, televideo instead of television. Pasadena,
not Hollywood, being the entertainment capital.
The Cinema Star Awards sounded like the Oscars.
All close but not the
"We're not Halliwells," Phoebe continued.
"At least you and Shannen are," Piper said.
"I don't know who I am, here."
"Shannen's starring in Bewitched Again," Phoebe
said. "That show first ran thirty years ago."
"Apparently it's been revived here," Piper said,
"wherever here is. At least we know that the date is the same our
"The world is in a mess, we're not The Charmed Ones anymore
but we're not home either," Phoebe said.
"No," Piper said, "but Shannen is playing a
witch. And we're still in The Manor, even though it's changed inside. I think
that whatever happened last night, The Elders did what they could to keep some
connection with us. Just like they did when Dalios undid you and our whole
reality came apart. The Elders managed to make Sliders real and keep a
connection through me. And this time...I think the connection is through
"You mean they made Bewitched a show again
here?" Phoebe asked.
"They made The Demon Dimension a show so why not
Bewitched," Piper replied.
There was a bookshelf to the right of the television and
something on it caught Piper's eye. She went over to it and took a large book
from the shelf. She glanced at the book's spine then turned it over to see the
"An Illustrated History of North America," she
said, reading the title. She opened the book and looked at the first page. January,
2000 Edition it said in large letters.
"This is current," she said and turned a few
"Look at this map," she said, showing it Phoebe.
"Where's the U.S.?" Phoebe asked, bewildered.
"There isn't any," Piper replied. "But look
here - the CWA that Sami Groff kept referring to - The Confederation of West
America. There's Texas, California and a few more states."
"Republic of Louisiana?" Phoebe asked in surprise.
"Now we know where your robe came from," Piper
said. "I'm going to look through this history book. This may explain
what's happened. While I'm doing that, look around The Manor - uh, the house -
and see what you can find."
It was some ninety minutes later when Piper closed the Illustrated
History book, rubbed her eyes, stood up from the sofa and stretched. Phoebe
had searched through all of the rooms, going through drawers, desks and
closets. She had neatly stacked on the kitchen table whatever she had found
that seemed important, though there weren't too many items. Now she came into
the living room to inform Piper of her findings.
"I found out that this is my house," Phoebe
said, "and that you are my agent. You seem to stay here with me whenever
you come up to San Francisco from Hollywood. Uh, sorry, I mean from Pasadena.
Hollywood doesn't even exist here, as far as I can tell. I've cut a few
records, done some shows, enough to make me a - a favorite with the young
crowd." She carefully and clearly avoided using the pop‑tart description
that Sami Groff had applied to her. "What did you find out from the
"The answers," Piper said. "At least, to how
this happened. I started in the beginning of the book. As far I can remember
from school - how I wish Stuart with his knowledge of history was here -
everything seems to have been the same as it had been. Columbus, the other
explorers, the thirteen colonies. There's the Declaration of Independence,
George Washington as General of the American army - I think they're being
called the Continental Army in the book is the same - Nathan Hale being hung as
a spy. Until we get to Benedict Arnold."
"The traitor who tried to sell America out to the
British," Phoebe said.
"Right," Piper said. "Only here...he
succeeded. Major John André was Arnold's contact in the British Army. Arnold
had been given command of West Point. He gave the plans of the defenses of West
Point to André so that the British could successfully attack it while he, Arnold,
depleted the supplies of the fort to leave it unable to withstand an attack.
"According to the history book, André was traveling
with the plans through the American lines going back to the British Army,"
Piper continued. "He was wearing civilian clothes and had the plans and
letters from Arnold with him. He was only a few miles from the British lines
when he saw three Americans in his path. He was concerned about getting by
Piper stopped and exhaled.
"The book says that André later told of there suddenly
being a clap of thunder and a bright light that seemed to encompass them, the
sky, the trail and everything around them. It lasted for perhaps fifteen
seconds. And here, as best I can tell, is when everything changed." Piper
had placed a piece of paper in the book as a bookmark. Now she opened the book
to that page.
"When the light dissipated," she said, reading
from parts of the page, "the three Americans ignored André. He continued
safely to the British lines. With the plans in hand, British General Henry
Clinton attacked and captured West Point. Its critical position gave whoever
controlled it the control of the Hudson River and much of the Hudson Valley.
Now under British control, that split the American colonies and the Continental
Army. Washington was trapped and his armies could not get through to save him.
The war ended six months later with a British victory."
"A bright light?" Phoebe asked. "From a
demon's energy bolt?"
"And a clap of thunder? That wouldn't come from any
energy bolt that I've ever seen," Piper said. "It has to be
"So there's no United States," Phoebe said.
"And no Louisiana Purchase," Piper said. "Do
you remember that, Phoebs?"
"Uh...sort of," she replied. "Didn't Thomas
Jefferson buy that from uh...France?"
"Yes...I'm pretty sure that's what happened,"
Piper said. "Or, didn't happen. Louisiana eventually gained its
freedom from France as a separate country."
"And French speaking," Phoebe noted. "That's
why everything is in English and French - the cereal, the remote control. It's
all one big North American market for products so everything has to be in both
languages. And the...the CWA?"
"The history book says that many Americans refused to
stay under British rule after they lost the Revolutionary War," Piper
answered, turning pages to get to a different chapter. "They began moving
into Texas and eventually into California, which were both part of Mexico.
After a while, it says, they felt they were being unfairly treated by the
Mexican government in the same way the British had mistreated their
forefathers. There was a rebellion - the Alamo and Davey Crockett happened here
too - and they won their independence from Mexico. California and Texas were
separate countries for a while but then they joined together to form the
Confederation of West America - the CWA. The territory in between them was
carved into three more states. Austin in Texas became the CWA federal capital."
"Let me see that map again," Phoebe said. Piper
flipped the pages to the front of the book.
"It's all so different," she said. "Canada is
so much bigger. Aroostook - what's that? That's where Maine should be.
Columbia...is where Washington and Oregon should be. And the Soviet Union...is
in Alaska! And no U.S.A."
"The CWA is the closest thing to it," Piper said.
"Though it's really more of just a reflection of it. It's not a
superpower. It's all western oriented - that's why the President's home is
called the Ranch House and not the White House. The original
colonies eventually combined into British America. But neither it nor Canada is
fully independent from Britain and not full democracies."
Piper turned to the last chapter in the book.
"See, it says here that Louisiana is not a monarchy but
not a democracy, either," Piper said, showing Phoebe a paragraph on the
page. "Most of the members of what they call the Estates‑General are
either appointed aristocrats or people who inherited their seats from their
fathers. Very few of them are elected by the people."
"Now that we know how this happened,"
Phoebe said, "we need to find out why it happened. And what that
light that Major André saw really was."
"The only way to know that is to go back in time to
that day," Piper said, "and see what actually happened. And the only
one who can do that is Prue."
"We don't even know if Prue has her
powers," Phoebe countered.
"She's playing the part of a witch on TV," Piper
said. "I have to believe that's the reason why."
"You mean you want to believe," Phoebe
said. "When The Elders made us into real witches, we had a role reversal.
We stopped being actresses playing the witches' roles and became real witches,
instead. But Prue...uh, Shannen is still herself playing a witch. It's
not the same."
"Maybe that's all The Elders could do under these
circumstances," Piper said. "Or maybe they left her as herself, as a
famous actress, so that we could find her. If she had become just her Bewitched
character in real life, we'd never know where to even look for her."
"Even if you're right about Shannen," Phoebe said,
"and even if she can go back in time to find out what that light
was, what do you expect her to do?"
"Stop history and the timeline from changing,"
Piper said. "Get things to happen the way they were supposed to happen.
The way they did happen...before the timeline was changed."
"We don't even know what was supposed to happen
that day," Phoebe countered.
"We know that Benedict Arnold's treason failed,"
Piper said. "So we can assume that Major André did not make it back
to General Clinton with the maps. What we don't know is why he
"And so we don't know what to change,"
Phoebe said. "If we change things the wrong way - change it in a way that
didn't really happen - we could still throw the timeline out of wack. Remember
what happened when we went back in time after Jôlét."
Piper remembered all to well what happened when they went
after the demon Jôlét.
"We changed one little thing in the past and Prue died
in the present," Piper said. "Everything is connected." She
exhaled. "Stuart could tell us exactly what happened that day so we would
know what to make happen again. But we don't have him." She was silent for
"We're going to have to try it anyway," she
continued. "We can't leave things the way they are. The world is in a
mess. Not to mention that we are, too."
"Piper, we're basing everything on Prue," Phoebe
said. "Even if she does have her powers, she may not remember Charmed.
Or even know that she has powers. After all, The Elders didn't put
her here with us."
"And if they had she wouldn't have her powers just as
we don't have ours," Piper said, "because Charmed never
existed here. No...I'm sure they put her in Bewitched so that they could
make her powers real and she would have her powers. And as for her not
remembering Charmed...I can fix that.
"When that demon Mordun put thoughts in your mind to
make you think that you had killed that young woman in the alley," Piper
said, "and your own thoughts were hidden in your sub‑conscious, I used a
spell on you to make you remember what was hidden. I'll use the same spell on
"You remember that spell?" Phoebe asked,
"You're the spell maker on Charmed," Piper
said, "and so you've been the spell maker in real life, too. So on the
rare occasion that I made up a spell...yes, I made a point to remember it. I'll
have to replace the demon reference but that shouldn't stop the spell from
working the same way on Prue as it did on you."
"But you don't have any powers," Phoebe pointed
out. "You can't say the spell."
"I know," Piper admitted. "We're going to
have to get Prue to say it herself. We know that she'll be at the Children in
Need Benefit tonight in Pasadena. We have to hurry and find a way to get down
"That will not be a problem," Phoebe
replied. She went into the kitchen, took something from the stack of items she
had previously collected and put on the table, and hurried back to Piper.
"I'm performing at the Benefit tonight," Phoebe
said, "and you, my agent, not wanting to miss the opportunity of being
with Pasadena's movers and shakers to book me for more shows, were coming with
Phoebe held something up in her hand.
"Two tickets on the 3:00 flight to LA," she
announced. "And a reservation receipt for a limo to meet us there and take
us to Pasadena."
The limo pulled up at the back entrance of the Dorothy
Chandler Pavilion. Security men waiting outside quickly whisked Piper and
Phoebe into the hall. They made their way down a corridor, twice stopping to
ask where Shannen's dressing room was. Following the directions, they came to a
door. Phoebe knocked, heard a familiar voice say "come in", and
opened the door.
"Alyssa," Shannen said. "It's so good to see
"More than you can imagine," Phoebe replied, going
to her and giving her a hug.
"We haven't met," Shannen said to Piper.
"We have...but you don't remember," Piper said,
realizing that Shannen did not remember Charmed.
"My...uh...agent, Holly Combs," Phoebe said.
"My apologies," Shannen said. "I seem to have
forgotten a few things today."
Phoebe gave Piper a quick glance.
"What kind of things?" Phoebe asked.
"Oh, just...it's not important," Shannen said.
"It might be," Piper said.
"Shannen, we have something important to try to explain
to you," Phoebe said. "And we don't have much time in which to do
"About what?" Shannen asked.
"About...you," Phoebe replied. "I know this
will be hard for you to understand but you aren't the Shannen you think you
are. I mean you are Shannen just not this one. And you're also Prue
"What?" Shannen asked.
"What Alyssa means," Piper said, "is that
something happened during the night last night. And when we all got up this
morning, things had been changed. A lot of things had been
"I know this is hard for you to understand -"
Phoebe started to say when she saw the look on Shannen's face. Something had
registered with Shannen and she slowly nodded her head.
"You realized that somethings had changed, didn't
you," Phoebe said.
"Things..." Shannen stopped, trying to find the
words to express what she had felt. "It was as if...this is silly...as if
my whole life...had just happened. Like...it was all new."
"It...was all new," Piper said, gently.
"What?...this doesn't make any sense," Shannen
said. "I'm feeling as confused now as I did this morning when I woke up
and forgot things. Stuart was so worried about me -"
"Stuart!?" Piper interrupted her. "Stuart...Weston?"
"Yes," Shannen said, not understanding the
surprise in Piper's voice. "You know, my husband."
"Your husband?!" Phoebe shouted.
"Yes...why are you surprised, Alyssa," Shannen
asked. "You know Stuart. You were at our wedding.
"At least, I think you came to the wedding. Or
have I forgotten that too - that you weren't there?"
Phoebe was stunned, her mouth hanging open.
"OK," Piper said, recovering from her shock
quickly, taking Phoebe's arm and squeezing it supportively.
"Shannen, there's only one way that you are going to
know that what we're telling you is true," Piper said, "there's only
one way for you to understand this. You have to say this spell. It will make
"Spell?! Shannen exclaimed. "What are you
talking about. I'm not a real witch. I only play being one on Bewitched."
"Oh no, here we go again," Phoebe said, with an
audible groan. "This is the same thing that you said the last time when
you wouldn't accept your being a real witch."
"Last time? What last time?" Shannen demanded.
"Last time it took you three days to accept what had
happened," Phoebe said, "but this time we don't have three days to
wait. We don't have three hours or even three minutes. You have to accept this
"And there's only one way that you'll do that,"
Piper said, handing Shannen a piece of paper. "Say the spell that I've
"What?...No -" Shannen said but Phoebe interrupted
"Just read the words," Phoebe implored her.
"That's all you have to do. Just read them."
Shannen looked at the paper that Piper had proffered.
"Just indulge me," Phoebe said,
Shannen looked at Phoebe and then at Piper. She looked again
at the paper in Piper's hand, then slowly and suspiciously took it from her.
"Just...read the words," Phoebe said again.
Shannen exhaled and started to say the words very slowly.
"Let thoughts I didn't know I had
That are hidden inside my head,"
Shannen paused and looked at up Phoebe, who nodded her head
in encouragement. Shannen exhaled and resumed saying the spell.
"Come out now from my sub-conscious
And be remembered and said."
The memories starting bombarding her mind. Names, places,
people. A childhood in Memphis; Brenda Walsh; Kris Witherspoon; Buckland
Auction House; Connie Burge; Leo acting in a scene healing her on a set; then
Leo healing her in real life; being surrounded by a yellow light; Frubos
demons; Ray‑Art Studios.
"AGH!" Shannen screamed, grabbing the sides of her
head with her hands. She lowered her head, her chin resting on her chest, and
squeezed her eyes shut. Phoebe and Piper looked on in silence.
Shannen stayed that way for some thirty seconds. Then,
slowly, she raised her head about two‑thirds of the way. She looked to her left
and then to her right, as if trying to get her bearings.
"Phoebe...Piper," she said, and raised her head
all the way.
"You remember!" Phoebe said, excitedly. "The
"I...remember," Shannen said. "Some of it is
still blurred together. But I have most of it separated and distinct."
"OK - now you have to go back in time and stop the
timeline from being changed," Phoebe said. "We can't do it because we
don't have our powers."
"You don't?" she asked, surprised.
"No. Our memories are only of the real timeline,"
Piper said. "The Elders managed to keep that for us. But there wasn't any Charmed
in this timeline so we're not Halliwells - and not witches."
"That's why The Elders got you to play Samantha Stevens
on Bewitched," Phoebe said, "so that they could make her
powers real for you. But...you could take us back in time with
"No...uh, no," Shannen said. "Without your
powers you may not be safe there." She paused, sorting out the thoughts
and memories. "And if we got separated, you...uh, wouldn't be able to say
the spell to get back."
"Are you sure you're up to going by yourself?"
"Going...where? And when?" she asked.
"To the Revolutionary War," Piper said, "to
the time of Benedict Arnold. There's a Major John André who was bringing the
plans for the defense of West Point sent by Arnold to the British General
Clinton. In the real timeline, he never made it to Clinton."
"But in the changed timeline," Phoebe said,
"he did bring the plans to Clinton. And that caused the timeline to
change. We know there was some great light, obviously from some demon, that
day. Some demon did that to change the timeline."
"We have to know why André didn't get to Clinton in the
real timeline and what stopped him," Piper said. "We need Stuart to
tell us what really happened to André. So that you can go back and undo
whatever that demon did and not let André get to Clinton. And restore the real
"Stuart won't remember anything from that timeline,"
"We'll use the same spell on him that we used on
you," Phoebe said. "The Elders must have managed to have it hidden in
his sub‑conscious, just as it was hidden in yours. That's why The Elders
arranged for you to be married."
"We got married because we were in love with each
other," Shannen said, sharply.
"Do you really remember that?" Phoebe asked.
"Yes...I do!" she answered, emphatically.
"How did you meet Stuart?" Phoebe asked her.
"We met..." she paused, thinking back to what Stuart
had told her that morning. "When I dropped a box outside of a hotel.
Stuart picked it up for me."
"The same way he met me in the real
timeline," Phoebe said. "Because that had already happened in the
real timeline, that somehow made it easier for The Elders to make it happen in
this timeline, too.
"Don't you see, Prue," Phoebe continued, "The
Elders manipulated things for you to marry Stuart so that we could find
"And use this spell to make him remember the real
timeline," Piper said.
"You can't use it on him - that's too dangerous,"
Shannen said. "I could take those conflicting memories and put them into
separate compartments in my mind because I have witch powers. But Stuart's a
mortal. It would be too much for him to handle. It...it could drive him
"We're going to have to take that risk, Prue,"
"NO!" Shannen shouted, banging her hand on her
vanity, the impact knocking one of her makeup jars to the floor. "I love
Stuart. And I won't let you do that to him!"
Piper and Phoebe were taken aback by Shannen's reaction. She
looked at them intensely for a moment.
"I have Prue's memories," she said, "but
that's all that they are. Memories of another timeline. But I'm not Prue.
I'm not even the other Shannen. Who I am...is the Shannen Doherty from this
She paused for a few seconds, slightly shaking her head.
"I feel such a loneliness in Prue, such an
emptiness," she said. "She didn't have anyone in her life on Charmed.
When she became real, that became real for her, too.
And even Shannen in the other timeline didn't
have real fulfillment. But I have it now...with Stuart.
"And even if it did...just happen, the way you
say - it doesn't matter. But it happened. And even if I don't remember
everything about it - I have it. And I can feel it. And I can feel Stuart's
Phoebe took a deep breath.
"Pr-" She started to say Prue but caught
herself. "Shannen," she said, "you...realize that this is
not the right timeline. Here, there isn't and there never was a United
"Canada and British North America are only limited
democracies. They're British Dominions, controlled to a large extent by London,
where they have little influence on the decisions made there for them.
Louisiana practically has no elections.
"And the whole world is in a terrible state. The Soviet
Union, Europe - you know how important for the world America is. The United
States' example of democracy and liberty that inspired so many causes of
freedom around the world is missing.
"And you know that this had to be the work of some
demon...doing something with that bright light. And therefore...you know the
real timeline has to be restored."
Phoebe paused for a moment, looking at Shannen to see if her
words were having the affect she wanted.
"And if you don't change whatever happened with André
back to exactly what happened in the real timeline," Phoebe continued,
"that in itself could change the timeline in some other way, creating a
third timeline with its own, different problems.
"The only way we can avoid that is if we know what
happened to André in the real timeline. And for that we need Stuart. You know
he's the history expert. And you know that The Elders...would have somehow made
that knowledge remain in his sub‑conscious."
"The Elders got things wrong in the other
timeline," Shannen said. "I remember that."
"So do we," Piper said. "But they got it
right with what they did with you in this timeline. We have to trust
them...that they got it right with Stuart, too."
Shannen looked at Piper for a moment. Then she took a deep
breath and exhaled.
"We'll see about this...later. Right now, we have a
show to put on," she said.
"What!?" Phoebe exclaimed. "No - this can't
"We can't go away and leave them with a hole in their
Benefit show," Shannen said. "There'll be a theater full of people expecting
"If you go back in time and fix the timeline, there
won't be any show to worry about," Phoebe said.
"And if I go back in time and can't fix it,
we'll have left them stranded," Shannen countered.
"No matter what happens," Phoebe said,
"you'll come back to the same time that you left."
"Your spell can't guarantee that," Shannen said.
"I remember when it didn't. Like in Brooklyn. Don't you?"
Phoebe exhaled. She did remember that on their time
travel to Brooklyn they came back later than when they had left.
"After the show we'll meet here," Shannen said.
"We'll go back together to my ranch and do everything there. We can't risk
my traveling through time from here and then coming back here to a locked
"I'm...not prepared to do a show," Phoebe
protested. "I don't have clothes, makeup -"
"They're all in your dressing room," Shannen said.
"You sent it all ahead."
"And what am I supposed to perform?" Phoebe asked.
"You're singing," Shannen explained.
"Singing? Singing what?" Phoebe asked.
"The song you're fans love the most," Shannen
said. "I Had a Dream."
"I had-" Phoebe began. "That song!?
That song...was barely known here."
"That was in the other timeline," Shannen replied.
"But in this timeline - it's made you wildly popular." Shannen
paused. "In some circles," she added.
"I...I don't even remember the lyrics," Phoebe
"It'll be in your dressing room, too," Shannen
said. "You always look over your song lyrics and the arrangement notes
before a show."
There was a knock on the door. Without waiting for a
response it opened. And Stuart walked into the room.
"Honey I -" He stopped when he saw Shannen was not
"Uh...Alyssa Milano," he said, a smile on his face
as he recognized her. "Hi. It's so nice to see you. I don't know if I ever
properly thanked you for singing at our wedding."
Phoebe just stared at him. So many thoughts were racing
through her mind. So much emotion was filling her.
"Stuart," she said. She wanted to touch him,
wanted to take his hand. She wanted to say things to him. But she couldn't. All
she could do was stare intensely at him.
Piper saw the difficulty Phoebe was in. And saw that Shannen
was determined to go on with the show.
"Uh...OK, Alyssa," Piper said. "Let's get
ready in your dressing room. We'll get together again afterwards," she
She took Phoebe by the hand and started to lead her out.
"I'm sorry - I don't believe we've met," Stuart
said to Piper.
"You have," Shannen said, repeating the words Phoebe had said
to her, resignation in her voice. "You...just don't remember."
Phoebe's dress, such
as it was, was of a light cream color. A wide red satin belt, with two rows of
rhinestones around its length, separated the top of the dress from the short
fringed bottom, which ended half‑way down Phoebe's bare thighs. A similar but
narrower red satin band, with a single row of rhinestones, encircled the dress'
neck. The sleeves of the dress, fringed as well, came down to just below her
elbows. Snug fitting boots, the same color as her dress, reached up to four
inches below her knees. Phoebe felt...like a pop‑tart. I'm the Britney
Spears of this timeline, she thought.
Meryl Streep had just finished an amusing half‑singing,
half‑talking duet with Shannen. Phoebe stood, unusually nervous, in the wings
of the stage, awaiting her cue to come out. She had not had time to rehearse
her song, just barely enough time to refresh her memory of its words.
"And now," Shannen said, wearing a semi‑formal
black gown, a wireless microphone in her hand, "the favorite of today's
young generation - and of my generation, too. The exiting, the dynamic and the
The audience applauded as Phoebe came out from behind the
curtain on stage right. The younger people in the audience were out of their
seats, applauding wildly in anticipation of Phoebe's performance.
As Shannen handed the microphone to Phoebe, she gave her a
small smile and a supportive wink.
"Make it really lively," Shannen whispered, then
left the stage as the band started up the song's intro.
Phoebe lowered her head, looked down at the stage and took a
deep breath. Then she looked up at the audience, saw the anticipation on their
faces and gave them a broad smile. When she heard what she thought was her
music cue, she held the microphone up to her mouth and began to sing.
♫ Sometimes it seems the world is getting you down
Sometimes it seems a friend can never be found
And you're lost in a desperation
With no rainbow in sight
But sometimes you find your dreams can really come
If you believe - it might just happen to you
How I bless the day - that you came my way
You made everything better ♫
Now Phoebe was getting in to her groove, moving around the
stage, connecting with the audience.
♫ I had a dream that you're always gonna love me
I had a dream that you'll always be there
I made a wish to the stars up above
That you'll always stay in my heart I had a dream ♫
The band played the instrumental segment and Phoebe took a
break, nodding her head to the music. The sound system had added some reverb to Phoebe's voice.
Piper was surprised that it made her voice sound much younger.
Despite her having wanted Prue to go back right away to change
the timeline, despite her not having wanted to sing, and despite her feeling
like a pop-tart, Phoebe was enjoying her part of the show. It
wasn't being before a camera but it was performing.
And it felt good. It felt very good.
She waited for her second music cue and picked up the song.
♫ Sometimes you think your best just isn't enough
Sometimes the road you choose is lonely and tough
And you search for the consolation
That's just nowhere around
But then there are times when things will all go your way
Each day of the week feels like a holiday
Give your heart to me - for eternity
I will love you forever ♫
That this was the wrong timeline, that it all needed to be changed, had moved out of the forefront of Phoebe's mind.
She was completely caught up in being on stage and putting on her show.
♫ . . . . . .
I made a wish to the stars up above
That you'll always stay in my heart
I had a dream that you're always gonna love me
I had a dream that you'll always be there
I made a wish to the stars up above
That you'll always stay in my heart
I had a dream ♫
The audience was reacting enthusiastically, many of the
younger people shaking their heads and hands to the song's rhythm.
♫ When all my hope was out of sight
You came along and made it right
Oh how I thank my lucky star
I had a dream that you're always gonna love me
I had a dream that you'll always be there
I made a wish to the stars up above
That you'll always stay in my heart
I had a dream that you're always gonna love me
I had a dream that you'll always be there
I made a wish to the stars up above
That you'll always stay in my heart
I had a dream ♫
As the band finished the song, much of the audience was out
of their seats, standing and applauding. Phoebe smiled broadly, slightly bowing
her head a few times in 'thank yous'. Shannen came out on stage, gave her a
hug, then stood next to her.
"Great job - Phoebe," Shannen said to her.
Phoebe put her hands to her mouth and blew two kisses to the
audience. She turned to Shannen, smiled, and left the stage.
Piper and Phoebe had dismissed their driver and joined Shannen
and Stuart in their limo. Given the relationship between Stuart and Shannen,
Phoebe felt uncomfortable sitting in the back seat with them and so she sat in
the front. Piper did ride in the back, holding the Illustrated History Book they
had brought with them from San Francisco. She wasn't sure why they had bothered
taking it along. Maybe because it was their link to understanding this
With Stuart sitting between them, Piper could see the look
on Shannen's face. What she saw was a feeling of unhappy sacrifice, of having
to give up something very dear to her. As if confirming Piper's thoughts,
Shannen put her arm around Stuart's. Then, as she held his arm tightly, she put
her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.
They sat in Shannen's living room, drinks sitting on the
coffee table in front of each of them. Shannen sat on the sofa as close as she
could to Stuart. Piper and Phoebe had only politely taken small sips from
their glasses. Shannen, however, took a long drink from her glass, to fortify
herself for what she was going to do.
"There's something important we have to talk
about," she said, turning to Stuart. "Remember how you've told me
that if one small thing in the past had not happened it could have changed
Actually, Shannen wasn't sure that she remembered him
telling her that. But she hoped that he had.
"Yes...uh, sure," he replied.
"And a couple of examples..." she prompted him.
"There are many," Stuart said. "Umm...if
British General James Wolfe's scout had not found the unguarded path up the
cliff to Quebec in the French and Indian war, Quebec and Montreal would not
have fallen and France would likely have won the war. Or if Lacy Wescott had not
given her husband the extra flask of whiskey to keep in his pocket, the flask
that stopped the enemy bullet, General Charles Wescott would have been killed. And the
British America forces would have been routed in the Malta Campaign. Uh...why
are you asking about that, honey?"
"Because..." Shannen began. She stopped, exhaled
and took Stuart's hands in hers.
"This is going to be hard for you to understand and
believe," she resumed. "That...has really happened. Something that
should have happened...that actually did happen once...has been changed.
It's been...undone." Shannen paused. She saw the look of bewilderment
starting to cross Stuart's face.
"What we have today...what we see...is not what's
supposed to have happened. It's a...changed timeline." she told him.
"Not supposed to have...changed timeline," Stuart
repeated. "Honey...what are you talking about?"
Shannen closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"One incident in the past was changed," Shannen
said, opening her eyes. "And everything is changed because of that."
"What?...How do you...?" Stuart stammered.
"How do I know?" Shannen asked, finishing his
sentence. "Because...I have powers that let me see what had been
"Powers?" he asked. "What powers?"
Shannen squeezed Stuart's hands tightly between hers.
"These powers," she said. She half-squinted at the
drink in front of Stuart and concentrated. The glass moved down the coffee
table. Stuart's mouth opened and he looked at the drink in shock. Shannen took
her right hand away from holding his hands, waved it at the glass and it moved
back towards him.
"Samantha Stevens' powers are not just acting on the
set of Bewitched, Again," she said. "They're real and...I have them.
Because...I'm a witch. A real witch."
Stuart looked up into Shannen's eyes. She could only guess
what was going through his mind.
"I didn't know about my powers until tonight," she
said. "And when I found that I had them...I also learned about the change
in history...and in the timeline."
"This morning...you said that witches used their hands
to move things," Stuart said. "Just like...you just did."
"This morning I didn't know why I knew that,"
Shannen said. "It was part of what was in my sub-conscious that somehow
Stuart shook his head slowly.
"How did you...how do you know...?" he asked.
"I said a spell that brought out was hidden in my
sub-conscious," she said.
"A spell?" he asked. "Where did you get a
"From Holly...and Alyssa," Shannen admitted,
"What!? They're...you're...witches!?" he said.
"In the other timeline, the real timeline,"
Shannen said, putting both her hands back on Stuart's.
Stuart shook his head again.
"I...I don't know you," he said to Shannen.
"I don't know...who you are!"
Shannen could feel her insides tearing apart at his words.
He was silent for a moment as he looked at her.
"No...that's not true," Stuart said. "There
are things about you that I don't know. But I know who you are.
You're the caring, thoughtful, kind and sincere girl I fell in love with. And
that I still love. And nothing will ever change how I feel about you."
Shannen felt a sense of relief. But there were small tears
forming in her eyes. If only that were true, she thought. But if I fix the
timeline, your feelings about me will change.
She let go of Stuart's hands, threw her arms around him and
hugged him tightly. He hugged her equally as tight, closing his eyes as he did.
Piper saw the expression on Phoebe's face as she watched them. I don't know how
their relationships will ever get resolved, Piper thought.
Presently, they released their embrace and sat back facing
"So," Stuart said, "just when was history
"Then...you believe me," Shannen said.
"I would believe anything that you tell me,
honey," he replied. "That's part of loving you." He looked into
her eyes and a small smile crossed his lips.
"It was with Benedict Arnold and Major John
André," Piper said.
"Yes...Arnold sent the plans of West Point with André
to the British," Stuart said, "and that turned the tide. Because of
that Britain was able to put down the revolution. Arnold and André were
"Only," Piper said, "in the real timeline
André was stopped. And Arnold was a traitor. And the American Revolution
"You mean...the United States of America...actually
existed?" he asked, incredulously.
"Yes...and it was a great source and model for freedom
and liberty throughout the world," Shannen said.
"So," Stuart said, "you and Alyssa and Holly
are the only ones who know that history has been changed."
"There's one more person who knows," Piper said.
"That is," Shannen quickly interjected, " we think
you know it. In your sub-conscious."
"Just the way Shannen did," Piper added.
"In the other timeline," Shannen said, "we
were all together. The four of us. And we were...fighting evil together."
"Evil?" he asked.
"Evil demons...and warlocks," Shannen said,
"You mean...I have powers, too?" he asked.
"No, you don't," Shannen said. "But you
were...you are...brave and caring. And you...fought evil with us. Even
though you had no powers."
"And that's why we...believe you have the
knowledge of the real timeline - the real history - in your sub-conscious, too," Piper said.
"And we need you to remember it."
"Why?" he asked.
"Because...we have to fix the timeline...fix
history," Shannen said. "We don't know what really happened with
André. But you do because you're the expert in history. We need you to remember
and tell us what...really happened."
"How will that help?" he asked. "How...can
what's already happened be fixed?"
"Because...I'm going to go back in time," she
said, "and put things back the way they should be. The way they had been
before someone changed it."
"You...you can do that?" Stuart asked, in
"I...can say a spell and travel back through
time," she answered. "To the time when a single event that didn't
happen as it should have changed history. And I can try to make it
"Travel...through time!?" he exclaimed. He started
to say something then stopped and exhaled. "If say you can do that, honey,
then I believe you." He paused for a moment as he looked at her.
"Why didn't it happen?" he asked.
"We think a demon went back in time and stopped it from
happening," she said.
"Then you'll be there at the same time as...that
demon," Stuart said. "You'll be in danger."
"I have my powers," Shannen said. "I can
handle the demon." She didn't know whether she really could but she was
not going to let Stuart worry about her.
"What do you want me to do?" he asked.
"Let Shannen say a spell on you to make you remember
what's in your sub-conscious," Piper said. "The details of what
happened with Major André in the real timeline. So that Prue...uh, Shannen can
make it happen again."
"But there's a risk," Shannen said. "A
risk...to you. If the spell works, your mind will be filled with the memories
of more than one timeline. Conflicting and contradictory memories.
"I..." Shannen stopped, took Stuart's hand again and held it tightly.
"I don't know whether your mind can withstand it."
"You managed to," he said.
"My witch powers helped me," she answered.
"You...don't have any powers to protect you."
Stuart thought silently for a moment.
"This sounds like the whole fate of the world...all of
history rests on me," he said.
"Grams, our...uh, my grandmother once told us
'destiny always gets its way'," Piper said, remembering a line from That
70s Episode on Charmed. "Destiny is for the real timeline to be
restored. You're just helping it happen."
"Do you want me to do this, honey?" Stuart asked
She was silent for a moment. Want? she thought. I want
to keep you, and not lose you if the timeline is fixed. She exhaled.
"The timeline...has to be fixed," Shannen finally
said. "There are... a lot of things that are very bad in this timeline
that have to be undone." And one very good thing that will get undone with
them, she thought. Your love.
"Then I'll do it," Stuart said. "But...one
question. In the other timeline...were we married, also?"
Shannen glanced at Phoebe, then took a deep breath.
"We were all living together in one house,"
Shannen said. "But...things...were different."
Stuart understood what that meant. It was not what he wanted
"I love you, Shannen," Stuart said. "Being married to you is the best thing that's happened to me.
I...I can't lose..."
Stuart felt small tears forming in his eyes. He was sure he saw the same thing happening in
Shannen's eyes, too. He swallowed hard, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath.
"Then there's one condition," he said, opening his eyes. "If
you fix that event and restore the 'real' history, you have to then restore my
memories of this timeline. Of...my love for you. If you can restore my memories
of the other history here, you can do the same thing with my memories of this
timeline over there. That's the condition."
Piper glanced at Phoebe and saw that she was biting her lip.
Shannen looked at Phoebe, too. After a very long moment, Phoebe nodded her head
slightly at Shannen.
"If..if it's safe for you," Shannen said.
"I'm not going to do anything...that will hurt you." Not
physically...nor emotionally, she thought to herself.
"OK," Stuart said. "You said I fought evil
demons in the other timeline. I guess I should fight them in this timeline,
Shannen looked intensely at Stuart. Then she threw her arms
around him and started to kiss him. He embraced her as well and they kissed
with a lot of feeling.
"You're going to need appropriate eighteenth century
clothes to wear," Phoebe said.
"It's possible they might have some in wardrobe at the
studio," Shannen said.
"We're not at the studio and we can't wait until
tomorrow to first go there on the chance that they might have,"
"Maybe we don't have to," Piper said. "You
remember Davis Rolfe and what he did to you?"
"I have Prue's memories of what happened," Shannen
replied, remembering that he had changed her feelings about how to use her powers.
"While you were under his influence," Piper
continued, "you made up a spell for personal gain - to take pictures of
clothes in magazines and make the clothes real for yourself. Do you remember
the spell you used?"
Shannen thought for a minute. "I think so...yes. I
"This history book has pictures from the Revolutionary
War," Piper said, opening the book that they had brought with them.
"I didn't see any drawings of ordinary people but there are ones of
soldiers from both sides. Use that spell and make the soldiers' clothes
"A soldier's uniform?" Phoebe asked. "That
could be very dangerous."
"We don't have any choice," Piper said.
"Those are the only pictures from that period in the book. Prue...uh,
Shannen can't wear year 2000 clothes.
"I can do that," Shannen said, "but which
uniform? British or American?"
"That will depend upon what Stuart tells us,"
Piper had changed the spell back to be more like the
original version she had used on Phoebe. Shannen said the spell and they held
their breaths and waited.
They didn't have long to wait.
Stuart grabbed his head and began screaming in pain. His
breathing became labored and he squeezed his hands into his head. Shannen took
him in her arms and held his head to her chest.
"Everything...is backwards," he said.
"It...it can't be two ways at the same time." He was starting to cry
from the pain his mind was going through.
"Just concentrate on me...concentrate on me,"
Shannen kept repeating, holding him even tighter to her. "I warned you it
would be too much for his mortal mind to handle," she said over her
shoulder to Piper and Phoebe.
After a moment his breathing began calming down. Shannen
took a deep breath.
"Stuart...honey...I need you to try to concentrate,"
she said. "You know history - you're our expert. Concentrate on Benedict
"Benedict Arnold...hero...traitor," Stuart said in
confusion. "He's both...but he can't be both," he cried.
"Honey, just think about him being a traitor,"
Shannen said. "Just focus your mind on Arnold the traitor."
Stuart's hands were squeezing Shannen's arms. As his mind
started to focus his hands began to relax.
"He sent plans with John André," Shannen led him.
"What happened to André?"
"André...fake passport...John Anderson," Stuart
said. "He...he was stopped by...three men. Americans. Near a wooden bridge
over...over a creek. They became suspicious."
"Where was the bridge?" Shannen asked gently.
Stuart closed his eyes and squeezed them tightly shut. As if
he was trying to keep other thoughts - conflicting thoughts - away.
"Tarrytown...New York," he said. "A quarter
mile north of Tarrytown. They searched him and found...found nothing. Then they
made him take off his boot. They found the plans...in his boot. They...they
took him prisoner as a British spy. AGGHH!" The conflicting memories
started to intrude in his mind.
"Paulding...one of the American men was...named
Paulding," he added. "Another...Williams. Arnold learned of what
"And West Point was not captured?" Shannen asked
Stuart squeezed his eyes shut again.
"No...it was safe," he said. "Key point...in
the Continental Army defeat of the British in the war."
"Yes - it certainly was," Piper said, in a very
serious tone. The whole timeline was dependent upon that one point, she
thought. "What was the exact day and time that André was captured?"
Stuart half-opened his eyes and his body relaxed a little.
"September 23rd, 1780," he answered. "At...at
nine o'clock in the morning."
"OK honey, just relax now," Shannen said, still
holding him in her arms. "That's all we need to know."
"That answers the question - you need the American
uniform," Piper said.
"Nine in the morning - that doesn't give you much
time," Phoebe said. "We don't know exactly where the spell will put
you. We have to leave you enough time to find the place. And traveling back
then took lots of time."
"I'll have to go there the afternoon before, on the
twenty-second," Shannen said. "To be sure I'll have enough time to
get to that bridge. You do know the spell Phoebe, right?"
"Oh, yes," Phoebe replied. "We've used it
enough times. Too many times, for me. Except for this time, tonight. I wrote it
down for you."
"Use your spell to make the uniform in the picture
real," Piper said. "We've got to do this now."
Prue was dressed in the Continental Army uniform that had
been pictured in the history book: a red-faced blue jacket with white buttons,
a white waistcoat, white pants and white boots, buckled tightly. She had tied
her hair into a short ponytail, a not uncommon hairstyle for men in the late
eighteenth century, and wore a dark leather helmet with a small peak and a
black plume tipped in red, over it. A smoothbore flintlock musket, standard for
the average soldier and which had been in the same picture in the book, was in
"Everyone has to believe that you're a man," Piper
said. "Women weren't in the army back then - on either side. If they find
out that you're a woman, there's no telling what they'll do to you."
Stuart was sitting on the sofa. Every so often he would
shudder and moan as the conflicting memories hurt his head.
Shannen sat down next to him and looked into his eyes. Then
she threw her arms around him, held him tightly and kissed him passionately.
Tears filled her eyes. She knew that if she was successful and the timeline was
restored, she wouldn't be able to kiss him again.
The kiss ended, Shannen stood up and turned to Phoebe. She
thought about Phoebe's relationship with Stuart in the other timeline, thoughts
that she had tried to push out of her mind - until now.
"Take care of Stuart," she said to Phoebe, the
words being difficult for Shannen to say. "He needs...someone to hold him
now. And to help him."
Phoebe exhaled. "I...will," she said.
"We'll wait up for your return," Piper said.
"OK," Shannen said. "Let's do this."
"One more thing," Piper said. "You'll need
your powers ready to use without thinking. To do that, you have to stop being
Shannen. You have to become Prue, again."
Shannen exhaled. "I know," she said, with some
reluctance. "Give me the spell."
Prue was standing in a small clearing. Some large rocks,
bushes and a few trees were about thirty yards away on either side of her.
"What are you doing!?" a voice from behind the
bushes on her left shouted. "Are you mad!?"
"Come quickly!" another voice shouted from the
same direction. Prue saw someone's head and waving arm sticking out from behind
one of the large rocks on her left. Then she heard what sounded like a gunshot
from her right and something whizzed by her.
Prue started running to the rock where the voice had come
from. She was only a few yards from it when there was another gunshot from
behind her. And then she felt something rip into her left side, by her ribs.
"AGGHH!" she screamed and fell to her knees. She
stayed like that for a few seconds. "Agghh," she moaned, then fell face
down on the ground.
A shot rang out from the gun of the person who was behind
the bushes. As it did, the one who had waved at Prue ran out from behind the
rock. He grabbed Prue's hands and quickly pulled her head first on her stomach
along the ground until they were back behind the safety of the rocks.
Prue heard more shots from both sides, then cries of agony
from the other side of the clearing. Another volley of shots was exchanged and
Prue heard a final scream from the other side. And then all was quiet.
The one who was behind the bushes carefully crept out to
check the situation. As he did, the one who had pulled Prue to safety gently
turned her over on to her back. Prue saw that he was a Continental soldier,
wearing a uniform identical to hers. His face was smooth without a trace of
beard. How young he must be, she thought.
"Whatever came upon you to be out there in that
manner?" he asked.
His voice was high too, she thought. He can't be more than a
young teenager. Did boys have to fight this War of Independence?
Prue grimaced in pain.
"I...lost my way," she said.
"I am Robert Shurtleff," he said. "What is
My name, Prue thought. She hadn't expected to need a
name here. Can't say Prue, or even Shannen, she thought. Can't be a girl's
"Stuart...Weston," Prue said, grimacing in pain.
I'll use Stuart's name. We are, after all, married. At least for a little while
longer, she thought.
The other soldier returned, leading two horses.
"Three Redcoats dead," he said. "One of their
horses ran off but the other two horses will be of use to us."
"James, this is Stuart Weston," Shurtleff said to
him, pointing to Prue. "There's a small abandoned farmhouse about five
hundred yards from here. Help me take Stuart there and I will treat his
"Uh...no," Prue protested.
"You took a musket ball," Shurtleff said.
"Your waistcoat and shirt are bloodied. It must be attended."
Shurtleff put his shoulder under Prue's and helped her up.
James put her other arm around his and together they slowly walked Prue to the
farmhouse. Coming inside, they eased Prue down onto a small bed.
"Let me look at your wound," Shurtleff said and
started to open Prue's waistcoat.
"No...ARGH!" Prue said, grimacing in pain. If he
opens my shirt he'll see I'm a woman. He'll stop me from getting to André. Or
worse...they'll think I'm some kind of spy.
"I am no doctor but I have experience in treating
wounds," Shurtleff assured her. "I've treated my own."
James was on the other side of the room, looking around for
what could be salvaged for their use. Prue was in too much pain to stop
Shurtleff and he unbuttoned her waistcoat and her shirt.
That's it, she thought, it's over. He sees my breasts. He
knows that I'm a girl.
Shurtleff stared silently at Prue for a long moment.
"James, it's important that General Wayne know that we
encountered the Redcoats behind our lines," Shurtleff said to him.
"Take one of the horses and ride to him. I'll tend to Stuart's wounds and
join you tomorrow."
"Very well," James said. He threw what he had
collected into a cloth bag and left.
"Now, let me see your wound," Shurtleff said,
after he heard James ride off. He carefully removed Prue's jacket, then her
waistcoat and her shirt.
"You are fortunate," Shurtleff said. "The
musket ball passed through you and came out. A rib was likely broken and you
have lost blood. But I can cover the wounds and stop the bleeding."
Shurtleff took something out of the pouch that he was
wearing, then stood up and looked around the room. Prue did not understand why
he had not said anything about her being a woman.
Shurtleff sat down again next to Prue. He poured some liquid
from a jar he had found onto a piece of cloth, then rubbed the cloth across
Prue's open wounds.
"ARGH!" Prue cried.
"It will hurt," Shurtleff said, "as will what
I do next." He took another large cloth and carefully began to wrap it
around her wounds and her ribs. Prue screamed again from the pain of the
pressure of his hands and the bandage.
"That will hold you for now," he said. Prue was
surprised that someone who was no more than a young teenage boy would be so
adept at treating a gunshot wound. "Tomorrow I will take you to where a
doctor can treat you," he said to her.
"No...uh, no," Prue said. "I can't. I have to
"You are not fit to travel anywhere but to a surgeon,"
"You don't understand...I have to," Prue said.
"There is a spy...I have to stop him."
"A spy?" Shurtleff asked, his high pitched voice
sounding even higher. "Who? Where?"
"What...ARGH...what is today's date?" she asked.
"The twenty-second day of September," Shurtleff
"In...1780," she said, to be sure.
"Of course," he said, giving her a curious look.
"I know where he will be passing through tomorrow
morning," Prue said, grimacing again. "North of Tarrytown. Near a
wooden bridge one-quarter mile north of the village. Do you know where that
"I am familiar with this county and the area
surrounding it," Shurtleff said. "How do you come to know of
"It is not important," Prue said. "I just
have to get there and stop him. Please...will you tell me how to get
"You will not make alone it in your condition,"
Robert replied. "I will accompany you."
"No...that...won't work," Prue said. Robert was
not there in the real timeline, she thought, and his presence can change what's
supposed to happen. "I have to do this myself. It is my...my mission.
Please...Robert...you must trust me. I must go alone."
Shurtleff stared at Prue for a long moment.
"You cannot go on foot but perhaps on a horse you will
succeed," he said. "Take the second horse in the morning. I will show
you the trail to take. Tonight, you will stay here and rest."
"I...ARGH...must be there before nine o'clock,"
"Then I will see to it that you leave in time. It is
not that far away," he replied. "For now, I will get you something to
eat and then you will rest and sleep. You will need such strength as you can
muster for your...mission on the morrow."
Robert had helped Prue onto the horse and given her
directions to the small bridge, which, as they were north of Tarrytown, lay
between them and the village. The night's rest had helped Prue, though her rib
cage still ached and her wounds still hurt some, as well.
Robert told her it was no more than a forty minute ride to
reach the bridge but in her condition it would likely take her closer to an
hour. She had left early enough to give her the extra time. Following Robert's
directions, she reached a spot where she could see a bridge some forty yards
from her. She dismounted and tied up her horse, then stealthily approached the
bridge through the shrubs that surrounded it.
Prue saw that there was a small creek running under the
bridge, just as Stuart had told her. And off to the side, before the bridge,
three men were resting under a tree. This has to be the right place and time,
she thought. Now I just have to wait for André to show up.
Prue sat down on the ground, at a spot where she could see
both the bridge and the men. Her ribs hurt when she moved and she tried to
think of other things to distract her from the pain. She went through her
memories - Prue's memories that, thanks to Piper's spell, were now her
own. Memories of how they had become witches, their desire to lead normal lives
and their reluctant acceptance of their powers - and their responsibilities to
That was on Charmed, she thought. Or was it as the real
Charmed Ones witches they had become? The line between them - between Charmed
scripts and Charmed real life - was still partially blurred. Which
things had they really lived through in the other timeline? And which ones had
been only acting on a studio set?
The Halliwell Manor...that had to be -
The sound of a horse's hooves interrupted Prue's thoughts.
She looked through the brush and saw a rider cross the bridge. That must be
André, she said to herself. The three men under the tree stopped him and began
speaking to him. Prue started to get closer to hear their conversation when
something else caught her attention.
The bushes between her and the men began to shimmer. Then
the bushes, or at least the image of the bushes, seemed to tear open. A dark
slit about three feet tall and about half as wide opened up. Something rolled
out from the slit and fell to the ground. Was that a hand that had opened the
slit? Prue couldn't tell. Then the slit closed and the shimmering of the bushes
What lay on the ground was mostly round and about the size
of a large grapefruit. On one end was a cylinder, about the diameter of the
round part and some six inches long. It was all a bright white, its edges not
clear but rather fuzzy. And it was pulsating, with thick vapors coming
from every inch of its surface.
Prue recognized was it was. She had seen it just three days
before. Just before midnight on the eve of the solstice. In the hand of
A time bomb. That's what Argyris had called it. A time bomb
to insure that his reversal of time would be permanent.
Prue wanted to get to the time bomb but before she could
move the bomb seemed to explode, the vapors spreading outwards in all
directions. There was a rumble of thunder as a great white light covered Prue,
the trees and bushes, the men and everything for as far as any of them could
Prue fell face down to the ground and covered her head.
After about half a minute, she peeked from the corner of one eye. The bright
light seemed to be gone. Prue lifted her head and saw that everything looked
like it was back to normal. She stood up and looked over to where André and the
men had been talking.
But the men were no longer there. They had apparently walked
away from André, who was now on his horse and continuing on his way.
Prue couldn't understand what had happened with the men and
André. Time bomb, she thought. And then the understanding came to her.
We had it wrong, she said to herself. Argyris didn't mean a
time bomb - a bomb that has a timer that would set it off. He had meant a time
bomb - a bomb that destroys time.
In the real timeline the men should have detained André and
found the plans. The time bomb destroyed that timeline. So the men no longer
had anything to do with André. And he was free to continue as he had been.
But he can't be allowed to do that, she thought. I have to
patch the timeline back together. I have to get those men to stop André.
But first, Prue realized, she had to stop André from
getting away. She moved a few yards to where she had a better view of him as he
rode his horse. The trail was narrow and there were trees on either side of it.
Prue concentrated and squinted and some tree limbs fell over in front of André
and blocked the trail.
André's horse was startled and he quickly reined it back in.
There was a fork where a side trail split off from the main one and André turned
his horse around and headed back to it.
Prue started over to the three men, now some thirty yards
from her. She walked as fast as her wounds allowed her to. The men turned to
her as she approached them.
"You must help!" Prue exclaimed.
"Yes...I see the blood on your coat," one of the
men said. "You are but a lad and you have been wounded."
"No, not me," Prue said. "Your help is needed
to stop that man who just rode by. He is a British spy."
"What?" the man asked. "What man?"
"The man you were speaking to just a few moments
ago," Prue said.
"Uh...I have a vague recollection of our speaking to
someone," he said. "But I do not recall who it was."
"It was him," Prue replied, pointing in the
direction of André. By now he had returned to the fork and was about to
continue along the secondary trail. I can't let that happen, Prue thought. She
squinted her eyes at the trees, concentrated and a half-dozen limbs suddenly
fell from the trees.
André's horse was startled again and this time it took more
effort on his part to control it. He could not understand what was happening
with the trees. With both trails blocked, he had no choice but to retrace his
ride back to where the men stood and to find another way around to the British
lines. André did not like having to ride some more in the American controlled
area and his discomfort left him nervous.
"He is using the name John Anderson," Prue said,
turning again to the three men, "but that is not his real name. He is a
British Army officer and he has secret plans of West Point with him that he is
bringing to the British."
"How can you know that of him?" a second man asked
"I know many things," Prue said. "I know that
you are Mr. Williams and Mr. Paulding." She didn't know which of the three
men they were so she looked at all three as she said it.
"Uh...yes, I am John Paulding," one of the men
"And I am David Williams," said the first man who
had spoken to her, "but how do you know of us?"
"There isn't time to explain," Prue said.
"You must believe me! Just as I know who you are I know that man is a spy.
Stop him and search him!"
The three men stared at her just as André came upon them
Paulding took a deep breath and then turned to André.
"Stop here sir," Paulding said to him. "We will
have a word with you."
"Stop?" André asked. "For what reason,
Prue quietly stepped backwards and away from them. For the
timeline to be restored things had to go as before and she didn't belong in
this part of history. She could not hear their conversation but saw André show
Williams a document.
The third man now began to look through André's pockets.
After a moment, Wiliams returned André's document and it appeared to Prue that
they were not going to do anything further.
Oh no, Prue said to herself. I have no choice. She walked
back to where the four of them were standing.
"There is nothing wrong here," Paulding said
to Prue. "His name is as you said but he has a passport from General
"Look in his boot!" Prue exclaimed, almost
shouting at them. "Make him take off his boot."
At those words, André became visibly nervous.
"A gentleman is not told to remove his boot,"
André said, trying to act imperious but with a distinct note of worry in his
voice. The three men noticed André's reaction.
Paulding looked at Prue and saw the assuredness on her face.
He contrasted that to the look on André's face.
"Under these circumstances," Paulding said,
"it would be best if you would remove your boot, sir."
"That is un-called for," André replied.
Paulding moved his hand to the pistol he had in his belt.
Williams saw him do that and did the same to his own pistol.
"Remove your boot, Mr. Anderson, or I shall remove it
for you," Paulding said.
Prue was sure she saw perspiration on André's face. He stood
motionless for a moment. Then the three men stepped closer to André. He
swallowed hard and realizing he had no way out, sat down and removed his boot.
The third man took the boot, placed his hand inside it and
"What have we here?" the man asked. He unfolded
the papers and held them out for Paulding and Williams to see.
"Plans," Paulding declared. "Of West Point's
"You are a spy," Williams said to André. "And
you are our prisoner."
"Here," he said, taking his watch from his pocket.
"This is an expensive watch. Take it and my fine horse in exchange for my
"We are Americans and your enemy," Paulding said.
"You cannot bribe us."
Williams and the third man took charge of André and Paulding
"You have done a great service to these United States
and to our cause," he said, "though I know not how you came to know
of this. You will be honored, young man. General Washington will know of your
"Uh...no," Prue said. "You must not tell
General Washington of me. You must tell no one of me. That...it would cause a
lot of trouble for me."
"Surely that cannot be," Paulding said. "Not
after what you have done here today."
"Uh...I'm not supposed to be here," Prue said.
"I am supposed to be somewhere else. No one can know that I was
"I do not understand," Paulding insisted.
"You must at the very least be properly thanked."
"It you truly wish to thank me," Prue said,
"there is only one way that you can. And that is not to speak of me to
anyone. The honor and the glory of this spy's capture must belong to the three
of you and to no one else. History must only speak of the three of you here
"I truly do not understand you," he said, "but
I shall respect your wishes. Your presence here will not be told to anyone.
"And as for history," he continued, "I
daresay that we will not be remembered in the writing of it. There are far
greater events happening that will affect the future of this country and those
are the ones that shall live on."
Prue was silent for a moment. She thought about the timeline
that she was from - or at least that she felt herself from - and the CWA and
the rest of the fragmented North America and the problems of the world. And
then she thought of how very different everything would be because of what had
just happened here.
"No, Mr. Paulding," she said to him. "Nothing
will have a greater and more vital affect than what you have done here
"How can you possibly know -" he started to say.
Then he stopped. How could this lad have known about this spy and about who we
were? he thought. I will not challenge him on this.
"Farewell and good luck to you," he said.
"And to you too, Mr. Spaulding," Prue said. She
turned and began to walk away.
"Wait," Spaulding called to her. "I do not
even know your name."
"It is best that way," she replied. "What you
don't know you don't have to worry about not revealing."
The men having left with their prisoner, Prue retrieved her
horse and walked over to the creek that ran under the bridge. A tree stood
beside the creek and she sat down underneath it, pulled up her knees halfway
and leaned back against the tree's large trunk.
She picked up a few small stones and gently tossed them one
at a time into the water. A war was being waged around her but sitting there
Prue felt tranquillity.
Everything had happened so fast. Learning of the timeline
change, getting back her memories, the Children in Need Benefit, traveling here
and being shot, dealing with André. She hadn't had time to reflect on all of
My life that I lived - that I thought I lived - I
didn't, she thought to herself. It wasn't real. Stuart wasn't...
No - Stuart is real. And his love for me is real. But
with the timeline restored, he won't feel that way about me anymore. He won't
even remember that he felt that way. I'll remember because I'm a Charmed
witch. But the feelings - they won't be there. They'll be the ones of Prue and
the other Shannen.
The feeling of emptiness from Prue and the other Shannen,
the feeling that she had felt in her dressing room, came back to her.
This emptiness is what will be waiting for me when I say the
spell and go home, she thought.
But what home would the spell would bring her to? Would it
really be in the restored timeline? True, she had seen to it that André was
captured as he was supposed to be. But she had been a direct participant
in the affair. One small change in the past could make major changes in
the future, Piper had told her. And she knew that was true.
But it didn't have to change the future, she thought.
Not if she was careful. And she had been careful.
Prue picked up another small stone and threw it into the
creek. A circular ripple in the water began extending from where the stone had
fallen until it reached all the way to the banks of the creek. The stone is
just like a small change in time, the ripple the major change in the future,
But was I careful enough? she asked herself. Or did I
change something that will make another wrong timeline.
That thought frightened her. As did the thought of the
emptiness she would have again without Stuart.
I don't have to go back...at least not for a while, she
thought. I can stay here. She tossed another stone into the water and watched
the ripples forming again.
The country is so new, so fresh. Maybe I'll travel a little
and go to George Washington. I could actually meet him.
Prue took a deep breath. She remembered her trip back to
Sleepy Hollow. That was 1799 - almost twenty years from now, she thought. It
was still the eighteenth century, but not quite the same as being here at the
birth of America.
Shannen's thoughts about the CWA came into her mind. That
had been her home. Or at least the home she remembered as being hers. It had
tried in its limited ways to fill the void of the America that didn't exist in
She would miss it.
Well, let me see where I can go, she thought. She started to
stand up - and fell to her knees in pain. Robert's bandages had loosened and
her ribs and her wounds hurt. She realized she needed medical help.
Where could she go? It didn't matter anymore if a doctor saw
that she was a girl in an army uniform. But regardless of what he would do for
her, it would take a long time to heal. Could she stay here in that condition,
let alone travel the countryside?
Saddened, Prue knew there was only one place she could go.
She slowly and painfully stood up and took a piece of paper from her pocket.
She looked at the spell Phoebe had written on the paper for her and exhaled.
She needed Leo to heal her. She had no choice.
But...would Leo really exist in this timeline she had
It was pitch black. Prue couldn't see where she was. She
started to walk slowly, not knowing where she was going. Then she felt herself
bang into something.
Whatever it was, it had fallen over and made a loud,
smashing noise as it hit the floor.
Then she heard footsteps running. She stood still, ready to
use her powers against whoever was coming.
Suddenly a light went on.
"Prue!" Phoebe shouted. She was wearing a powder
blue chemise and she quickly started towards Prue.
"Whoa!" Phoebe said, as she almost fell down the
steps, grabbing onto the top of the bannister to stop her fall. "Steps!
Your ranch doesn't have steps. It doesn't have a second floor. Oh - we're back
in The Manor!"
Phoebe ran down the steps, rushed to Prue and hugged her.
"Oh honey, we were so worried about you," Phoebe
"Argh," Prue grimaced from Phoebe's hug.
"OH! Prue, what happened?" Phoebe cried, seeing
the blood on Prue's shirt and jacket.
"I was shot," Prue answered.
"Shot!?" Phoebe exclaimed.
"What...what is it?" Piper asked from the top of
the steps. "Prue! You're back!" She hurried down the steps, ran to
her and hugged her.
"Argh," Prue moaned again.
"Prue's been shot," Phoebe said.
"Shot!? Uh...we need Leo," Piper said.
"If there is a Leo," Prue said.
"You stopped André from bringing the plans to the
British, right?" Phoebe asked.
"Yes, I did," Prue said, nodding her head.
"We went to sleep at your ranch but now we're in The
Manor," Piper said, looking around her. "You must have fixed the
"Why were you sleeping?" Prue asked. "When I
left you said were going to stay up and wait for me to come back."
"Honey - you've been gone for over a day," Phoebe
said. "You left Wednesday night. And now it's Thursday -" Phoebe
turned to look at the clock, which read half past three. "Uh...it's Friday
"Friday?" Prue asked. "The spell didn't bring
me back to the time that I left. Just what I was afraid might happen."
"Well it doesn't matter. The important thing is that
you're back," Phoebe said. "And everything is back to normal."
"Is it?" Prue asked.
Piper grabbed a pillow from the sofa, threw it into the air
and raised her hand.
"It certainly looks like that way," Piper said, looking
at the pillow frozen in mid-air.
She unfroze the pillow and Phoebe caught it and closed her
"Your premonition power is back?" Piper asked.
Phoebe nodded her head.
"I saw grams buying this pillow," she said.
"And haggling with the salesman about the price."
"That's Grams," Piper said, as Leo orbed in.
"What's wrong?" Leo asked.
"Prue's been shot," Piper said.
"Shot? How?" he asked, as Phoebe eased Prue on to
the sofa and helped her lie down. "And why is she wearing that
"Later, Leo," Piper commanded. "First heal
Leo went over to Prue and placed his hands on the side of
her ribs. The light shown from beneath his hands as he used his power. After
half a minute, the light stopped and Leo removed his hands.
"How do you feel, honey?" Phoebe asked anxiously.
Prue took a deep breath, sat up, then rocked herself from
side to side.
"Better," she said. "Much better. Thank you,
"Now will you tell me what happened?" Leo asked.
"Prue had to fix the timeline," Phoebe said.
"The timeline!?" Leo asked.
"Yes, the timeline was changed," Phoebe said.
"Now, you're going to say the same thing that you said the last time the
timeline was changed - 'But nothing has changed'. And I'll say 'everything was
changed'. Then you'll say 'Everything's been as it always has been. Nothing was
any different'. And I'll say 'The United States was gone, we lived in the CWA,
Russia had missiles in Alaska, there was little democracy anywhere and the world
was a mess. Oh, and Piper and I didn't have our powers. And Prue went back in
time to the Revolutionary War and fixed all of that so now everything is back
as it should be'."
A self-satisfied smile was on Phoebe's lips and in her eyes.
"There," she said, looking in turn at Piper, Prue
and Leo, "I think that covers it."
Leo stared at Phoebe, then turned to PIper.
"Don't try to figure it our Leo," Piper said to
him. "Just accept that's what happened."
Kit came bounding down the stairs, ran to Phoebe and began
rubbing herself against Phoebe's leg.
"We missed you too, Kit," Phoebe said, picking her
"Hey - are you having a party without me?" Stuart
They turned and saw Stuart at the top of the steps. As he
started walking down the steps, Phoebe turned to look at Prue. With the
timeline restored, he wasn't in love with Prue anymore. Phoebe heard a slight
sigh from Prue and saw the sadness that was in her eyes.
Piper looked at Stuart and then at Prue. She knew what Prue
was feeling but there was nothing that she could do to help her.
"The timeline was changed," Piper said to Stuart.
"Prue went back to the Revolutionary War to fix it."
"The Revolutionary War!?" he exclaimed.
"And with your knowledge of the real timeline's
history," Piper said, "you told Prue what had happened with Major
John André. That's how she knew what to fix."
"We used Piper's spell to make you remember the real
timeline," Phoebe added.
"Major John André...and Benedict Arnold. But I don't
remember telling her that. Nor anything at all about the changed timeline,"
Stuart said. "Last time the timeline changed I was able to write a note
about it and give it to Kit so I'd remember what happened. This time...did I
leave something in Kit's collar again?"
"No, this time...you didn't," Phoebe answered.
If only you had, Prue thought. If only you had
written something...about us.
"Tell us what happened," Piper said to Prue.
"Who was the demon who changed the timeline?"
Prue didn't respond. Her mind was lost in thought about
"Prue? The demon?" Piper repeated.
"Uh...the demon," Prue said. "Uh...there
wasn't any demon. At least, not one that I really saw."
"No demon?" Phoebe asked. "Then who changed
"Argyris," Prue said.
"Argyris!?" Piper and Phoebe exclaimed together.
"Not directly," Prue answered. "It was
Argyris' time bomb, the one he was holding when Stuart pushed him into time. It
was a time bomb because Argyris made it to destroy time. The trees, the land,
everything on one side of me shimmered and then split open. The bomb rolled out
onto the ground. It exploded and that changed the timeline."
"Why just then?" Phoebe asked.
"The impact from Stuart when he pushed Argyris into
time must have knocked the time bomb out of his hand," Prue said. "It
must have rolled through time until it came to a stop in 1780. And then it went
"How did it get through from...wherever it was, into
our time and our world?" Phoebe asked.
"What it came through was a straight slit in the world that was around me.
Almost as if it had been neatly cut open. And..." Prue hesitated.
"And what?" Piper asked.
"Maybe...maybe I saw part of a hand pulling the slit
back before the bomb rolled out," she said.
"A hand?" Stuart asked.
"I can't be sure," Prue said. "I wasn't close
enough to the opening to get a good look. It could have been just the
shimmering around it."
"Or it could have been Dalios," Phoebe said.
"Cutting a slit through the walls of time."
"The Infernal Council forbade him from getting directly
involved," Leo countered.
"He would have made sure not to let himself be seen on
this side of the time wall so the Infernal Council wouldn't know about
it," Phoebe said. "And he wasn't seen. By cutting the slit in the
time wall, he didn't have to do anything. He could just make the opening and let
the time bomb roll out on its own."
"He just doesn't give up," Stuart said.
"Apparently not," Piper said. "We're going to have to
keep worrying about him until we're safely-" Piper was going to say safely
back in Hollywood as ourselves. But Leo was there with them and she
couldn't say that in front of him. "Until we're somehow safe from
him," she said.
"I remember there were vapors coming from the
time bomb when Argyris was holding it," Phoebe said.
"They could have been strong enough to burn a hole
through the wall between the time it was in and our time," Leo said.
"It doesn't have to be Dalios or any other demon."
"I suppose so," Piper said. "But we'll never
know for sure."
"How did you get shot?" Phoebe asked.
"I was shot by a British soldier," Prue answered.
"The spell put me in the middle of the shooting between the two sides. One
of the American soldiers saved me. He couldn't have been more than a teenager,
with his smooth face and high voice. Yet he knew had to treat my wounds. He
said he had once treated his own and knew what to do."
"Whoa - that was close," Phoebe said.
"In more ways than one," Prue said. "When
Robert treated my wounds, he saw that I was a girl in an army uniform. He could
have stopped me from ever getting to André. But he didn't say anything. He even
sent away the other soldier so that he wouldn't find out."
"Robert?" Leo asked.
"The boy soldier's name was Robert Shurtleff,"
"Uh...did you say Robert Shurtleff?" Stuart
"Yes...why?" Prue asked.
A small smile appeared on Stuart's face.
"Prue, you met one of the less well known but one of
the bravest people in the Revolutionary War," he said. "The reason
Shurtleff didn't give you away as being a girl...is because he was a
"What!?" Phoebe exclaimed
"His...uh her real name was Deborah
Samson," Stuart explained. "She came from Massachusetts and believed so much
in America's freedom that she disguised herself as a man, took the
name Robert Shurtleff and joined the Continental Army to fight for it."
"With her smooth face and high voice I thought she was
a young boy," Prue said.
"As did everyone else in the army," Stuart said.
"She had been wounded and treated her wounds herself to keep her secret.
She was wounded again and came down with fever. She was taken to a doctor who
discovered that she was a girl and she was discharged from the army.
"But Congress recognized, if likely grudgingly, what
she had done for America and granted her an army pension. She is the only woman
for almost two hundred years to receive an army pension for combat duty."
"When I was there," Prue said, "I wanted to
meet George Washington. I didn't meet him, but I see I did get to meet a true
American hero, anyway."
"Prue," Phoebe said, "we all have you to
thank for saving the timeline. And for saving us."
"I was worried that I did something while I was there
that would cause some other change in the real timeline," Prue said.
"Well you didn't, Prue," Phoebe said. "We're
back to being The Charmed Ones with our powers in The Manor."
"Uh...sorry, I'm being called," Leo said. "I
was supposed to be someplace else now," he added and orbed out.
"I think I know why The Elders didn't remove Charmed
from the real world and send us back yet," Phoebe said. "We still
had a job to do. Save the timeline from Argyris' time bomb."
"Argyris' time bomb destroying the timeline qualifies
as 'major destruction'," Stuart said. "Do you think The Elders have
any other jobs they still want you to do?"
"I certainly hope not," Phoebe said, emphatically.
"Was everything very different?" Stuart
"Different enough," Piper said. "Somethings
were sort of familiar We had an airport
in San Francisco named after Davey Crockett. But the one in LA was named
uh...William Ide, whoever he was."
"Really?" Stuart asked. "William Ide was the
first, and only, President of the Bear Flag Republic. That's what California
was called when it declared independence from Mexico in 1846. He was President
for only twenty-five days until America annexed California. He must have been
President a lot longer in the other timeline for them to name an airport after
"Hmm...I suppose that would explain the bear being on
the California license plate," Phoebe said.
"Well, I think we should all try to get some sleep for
what's left of the night," Piper suggested.
"I agree," Stuart said, looking at Phoebe.
Yes, Prue thought, looking at the two of them. But my sleep
will be alone tonight.
It was early afternoon when Prue came into
the conservatory and found Stuart sitting at the table, a single page of paper
in front of him.
"Prue, you said that you had been afraid that something
you did in 1780 had caused a change in this timeline," he said.
"There is something I remembered this morning about Deborah Samson.
Something that...I don't think I knew before this morning - before you came
from meeting her. I looked it up on Internet and I printed this out."
He took the paper from the table and handed it to Prue. As
he did he touched her hand and he suddenly froze. Then he closed his eyes and
starting breathing slowly.
"Stuart - are you all right?" Prue asked, but he
didn't respond. After half a minute he opened his eyes, then took a deep
"Stuart - what happened?" she asked, concerned.
"I...if I didn't know better, I'd say I had a
premonition," he answered. "A premonition...of the past. But of
course, that's not possible. I'm not a witch and Phoebe's power can't wear off
"What did you see?" Prue asked.
"I was..." he started. "No...I can't tell
"Yes you can," Prue said.
"No...I'll embarrass you," he said.
"You won't embarrass me," she said gently.
"Important?" he asked. "I don't
understand..." He saw the serious look on Prue's face, hesitated, then
"I...we...were kissing," he said,
haltingly. "And then we...we were together." He
paused again. "There was a clock radio on the night table and it had the
time and the date. The date...was two days ago."
Prue looked at him. It's the memories from the other
timeline, she thought. Or at least a little bit of them. They're in his sub-conscious,
just like the memories from this timeline
were in his sub-conscious yesterday. It seems The Elders couldn't stop it from working both ways.
She had all of her memories of being the other
timeline's Shannen Doherty. And those memories made her want to throw her arms around
him, to hold him close to her and to kiss him.
But she knew she couldn't do that. Not in this timeline.
"How...did you feel?" she asked.
"What?" Stuart asked. That was not the response he
"Please," Prue insisted.
Stuart exhaled again.
"I felt...love," he said, slowly. "I
Prue closed her eyes. Her mind went back to their days, and
nights, together in the other timeline. Or at least to the memories of
And to how complete he had made
her feel. He had made her promise to use the spell on him in the restored
timeline to make him remember his love for her.
But she had said she would do it only if the memories would not hurt him.
And she knew that with his feelings for Phoebe restored,
having feelings of love for her too would cause him confusion and grief.
And...she couldn't do it to Phoebe, either, she thought. Even though Phoebe still
can't bring herself to make the commitment of love to Stuart.
She sighed, then opened her eyes and smiled.
"Don't worry about it," she said. "The
memories...will go away."
"Memories?" Stuart began, "Prue, what do you
mean? Did...did something happen between us in the other timeline -"
"Oh, there you are," Phoebe said, as she and Piper
came into the room. "You said you found something on Internet you wanted
to show us."
"Yes," he said, "I was just about to show it
to Prue. She was afraid her being at Major André's capture changed something.
But there is no mention of anyone else being present at his capture so that
part of history was not changed. But I did remember something about
Deborah Samson that I don't believe I knew before today." He handed the
printout to Piper instead of Prue. He was afraid of what he would feel if he touched her hand again.
"At the time Deborah Samson was given the pension by
Congress," he explained, "she said there was another soldier, another
woman, who had also served in the army, had been shot, and should be given a
"Phew!" Piper whistled, looking at the printout. "She was talking
about you, Prue."
"But it hasn't affected anything," Stuart said.
"Samson said she had met her only once during the war, in New York, but
she couldn't remember her name. So no inquiry was made about her and that was
the end of it."
The front doorbell rang.
"I'll get it," Prue said. She went to the front
door and opened it. Marion and Nicole, Lorna Palmer's two young daughters,
"Hi," Prue said. "Come in." The girls came
in, Prue closed the door and they went into the living room.
"Hi," Phoebe and Piper said as they joined them.
"We came over to thank you, Prue," Nicole said.
"Thank me? For what?" Prue asked.
"For saving the United States," Nicole said.
"For saving our freedom and democracy, and everything that America is and
"Harmony told us what you did," Marion said.
"Harmony, your fairy godmother?" Prue asked.
"What did she tell you?"
"That you did something very brave and very dangerous," Nicole said.
"And if you hadn't done that, we wouldn't
have America anymore. Harmony said we should celebrate today, the Twenty-fifth of June, as a second Independence Day,
just like the Fourth of July because America got its independence a second time.
Thanks to you."
"And that Phoebe and Piper worked very hard so that you
could do it," Marion added.
"Harmony...knows what happened?" Phoebe asked,
amazed. "How could she...?"
"Harmony knows a lot of things," Nicole said, with
"Yes, she does," Prue agreed, remembering what
Harmony knew about them and their becoming witches when they had met her after having saved the girls from the ghost.
And how she undid what Rangor the elf had done to Piper and Phoebe.
"And we brought something for you," Nicole said.
"Our mother took us to the store this morning to get it for you." She
opened the bag she was holding, took out a small jewelry box and handed it to
"It's a replica of the original American flag with
thirteen stars," Nicole said, as Prue opened the box. "Harmony said
this would have special meaning to you for what you did. She told us where to
The flag brooch that Prue took from the box had a gold
colored flagpole, with a gold finial capping it. Thirteen miniature white
crystals in a circle filled the tiny blue canton, with thirteen rows of alternating
red and white miniature crystals filling in the flag's field. A golden S-shaped
halyard completed the jewelry.
It was a miniature of the flag that was used at the birth of
America. The flag that was used in the Revolutionary War. The war that Prue herself had
just been in.
"It's..it's beautiful," Prue said, turning it over
in her hand. "Thank you, Nicole and Marion. And yes, it does mean a lot to
"Harmony also told us that you made a big personal sacrifice to do this," Marion said.
Phew! Piper thought. Harmony even knows about Prue's relationship with Stuart.
"We don't know what it was," Marion continued, "but Harmony said we should try to make you
feel better about it."
"We don't have the music to accompany us as we did at the graduation," Nicole said,
"but we'll do our best without it. Ready
"Ready," Marion replied, and they began singing.
♫ God bless America... Land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her... Thru the night with a light from above
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God Bless America...My home sweet home ♫
"Happy Independence Day, Prue," Nicole said, pausing. Then she and her sister repeated the
♫ God Bless America...My home - sweet - home ♫
A small smile of anticipation and hope was on Phoebe's face as she looked at Prue. Since her return
from restoring the timeline, Prue had been in a funk,
knowing that she had carried out her responsibility to save America and the
timeline - but at the cost of losing Stuart's love.
But hearing Nicole and Marion sing God Bless America, together with the Revolutionary War Flag pin
they gave her,
had awakened in Prue her feeling of pride.
Pride in America - and pride in being an American.
People have made many
sacrifices for America's freedom, Prue thought to herself. She took a deep breath and exhaled.
Just as they accepted the sacrifices they had to make, I have to - I will - accept mine.
The Palmer sisters had snapped Prue out of her funk.
"Happy Independence Day, Nicole," Prue replied, and
~ The Revolutionary War capture of Major André as depicted in this episode is true.
The men who captured him, the girl soldier Deborah Samson aka Robert Shurtleff
and President William Ide of the California Bear Flag Republic, are all real.
~ The political and geographic map of North America in the changed timeline is a
researched, fact-based, historically plausible and logical, alternate history.