Charmed Role Reversal



Kelly & Rose

T he object moved easily through the air. As seen from the ground, it appeared to be soaring high across the sky, the province of the paranormal and unidentified flying objects. Yet it wasn't a round sphere, instead being wide at its center, then tapered to its softly pointed ends.

And in reality it was traveling much lower, flying past the middle branches of the trees, standing out against the green background of the first leaves of spring.

The afternoon sun, its light diffused by a few thin clouds, shone upon it. Nothing obscured nor hid the object as it flew along its path. It was there for all to see.

The object slowly began its descent, continuing along the planned trajectory in a gently degrading arc. A bright shaft of sunlight broke through between two clouds, enclosing the object in a pseudo‑ethereal glow.

"Got it!" Stuart exclaimed as he looked over his shoulder and raised his hands. The football fell snugly into his grip. He continued running another thirty feet, then stopped.

"Touchdown!" he proclaimed.

"Oh man, that's your fourth one this afternoon," Jack said.

"And time is up," Kirk announced, as he glanced at his watch. "The game is over. We won."

"That's five straight games you've beaten us," Jack complained. "Ever since you convinced Kelly and Stuart to join your team. Her aim with that football is unbelievable. Everything she throws Stuart catches."

Stuart Weston trotted back and met a smiling Kelly Anderson midfield. San Francisco's Golden Gate Park did not have a real football field. But teams used a clearing in the park which, though much shorter than regulation field length, allowed them to play the game. They had no team uniforms, wearing whatever sports clothing appealed to them.

Today, Stuart was wearing a black Crissy Field sweatshirt, with it's marsh and white crane logo. Kelly was wearing what had become her trademark uniform: her namesake kelly green sweatshirt with white shorts and white socks, her blond hair tied back in a ponytail that stuck out the back of her black Golden Gate Bridge cap. Her slim body radiated excitement.

Most of the country had, come spring, given up playing football. But in San Francisco, with its own versions of the seasons and its unique weather, it was quite "in" to still be playing the game in early May.

"Go on, kiss your quarterback partner," Lonnie, a member of the winning team, said to Stuart. Stuart happily planted a small kiss on Kelly's lips.

"I don't know...are you using some kind of supernatural something on your throws?" Henry, a member of the losing team asked, with a smile.

Kelly would never cheat and use her powers to win a game. In fact, it had been quite some time since she had used her powers for anything at all. But though she knew Henry's question was in jest, it still left her uneasy. No one could ever know the truth that she was a witch. No one, that is, besides Stuart. She turned to Henry and forced a smile.

"Yeah...like she has some secret powers," Kirk said, laughing. "You're just jealous that we have the Dynamic Duo on our team."

"Lucky for you that you had two openings on your team because Ken and Andrea moved away to Coronado in March," Jack said.

"It was more than luck," Kirk said. "It took some convincing to get the two of them to come play with us."

"The Dynamic Duo are just so in synch with each other," Lonnie said, putting his arm around Stuart's shoulder, "that Kelly's throws just find Stuart's hands."

"And speaking of being so much in synch with each other, you've been together quite some time. You should get married, already." Kirk said. "What are you guys waiting for?" he added, as Kelly began to blush.

"Hmmm...a history teacher marrying an art historian," Jack said. "Now that would be a...historic wedding."

"Oooo," most everyone responded together, shaking their heads.

"Putting aside Jack's bad puns, it's obvious how Stuart here feels about Kelly," Lonnie said.

"Yes, it is," said Tali, Lonnie's wife who also played on their winning team. At five foot seven ‑ a little over two inches shorter than Kelly but with dark brown hair and a rounder face ‑ her slim body gave no hint that she had a year old daughter. "When two people are so in tune with each other, in so many ways, then marriage is so wonderful for them. And that's why you should do it.

"Plus the bonus," she added.

"By bonus Tali means her daughter Emily," Kirk said. "She's saying you'll love having your own bonus."

Kelly and Stuart were speechless, and just looked at each other in the special way that only special partners do.

"And I can tell that Kelly is equally in love with Stuart," Tali added.

"I am," Kelly said, her eyes and her lips smiling as she looked at Stuart. "I am in love with Stuart...very much."




Click speaker for Opening Credits Theme Song


    Sometime in the past...

Piper Halliwell poured the dry cat food from the box into the bowl, and placed it on the kitchen floor.

"Here you go, Kit," she said, as the cream colored Siamese cat made its way around the chairs to its breakfast.

"There's my toast," her sister Prue said, as two slices of seeded rye bread popped out of the toaster. She grabbed them, and the jar of strawberry vanilla fruit spread from the shelf, and sat down at the table.

"Oops...we're missing the news," Piper said. She took the jar of instant coffee from the counter in one hand while turning on the radio with her other hand.

"...of the National Weather Service said that high tides did not occur until 2:10 AM this morning, hours after the flooding at Pier 39," the woman's voice on the radio said.

"Any orange juice left?" third sister Phoebe asked, as she walked into the kitchen.

"Shh!" Piper said, motioninng to the radio.

"No one was hurt by the sudden rise of the bay's waters but a lot of people did get wet, including twins Iris and Sue Kennard, teenagers visiting from Oxnard in the San Fernando Valley down the coast. How wet did you get, Sue?"

The voice on the radio changed to that of a teenage girl.

"I was drenched," she said. "I was wearing shorts so that was good but my Reeboks were soaked. I kept squishing when I walked."

"How about you, Iris," the reporter asked. "Were you caught by surprise by the water overflowing the pier?"

"Yeah," Iris replied, with a little hesitation. "But...like before it happened I thought I saw something kinda weird. I guess he was a guy. He was standing at the edge of the pier near the water and waving his hand over it. He was real tall, like way more than six feet. And he had this really huge, ugly head. And his eyes...they kinda glowed. Kinda freaked me out like he was from outer space or something. But I guess they were just reflecting the colored lights on the pier. Maybe he was, you know, just a performer taking a break."

"Thank you both and I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in San Francisco," the reporter said, clearly not wanting to pursue Iris' comment. "Authorities have refused to speculate what caused this strange rising of the water from the bay. From Pier 39 this is Lisa Apelt, KABL Radio News."

Pier 39, on the bay at the edge of Fisherman's Wharf, was an indoor/outdoor tourist complex with all manner of shops and restaurants, a merry‑go‑round and outdoor performers.

"The bay doesn't suddenly flood Pier 39 on its own," Prue said. "Could be the work of a demon."

"Maybe we can find something in The Book of Shadows," Phoebe said. "That girl gave a description."

"A very general description," Piper said. "That could fit half of the demons in the Book. If that Valley Girl wasn't just ‑ like, kinda totally exagerraing the whole thing, you know," she added, mimicking Valley Girl "talk".

The telephone ringing interrupted them.

"I'll get it," Piper said and went into the living room and picked up the cordless phone.

"Hello," she said.

"Piper? It's Daryl," the voice on the other end of the line said. Daryl Morris was the Police Inspector who was their friend.

"Good morning, Daryl," she said.

"That remains to be seen," he said. "Something strange happened at Pier 39 last night."

"Yes, we just heard it on the news," Piper said.

"When something strange happens, I think of you and your sisters," he said. "I know ‑ but I don't want to know how ‑ you sometimes have information and insights into these...kinds of things. I've landed the case and with tourists getting caught in a flood that shouldn't have happened, it's a high profile case. So anything you can tell me will be appreciated."

"I can honestly tell you, Daryl, that we have no idea what caused that flood," Piper said. "But if we get any 'insights' into what happened we'll let you know."

"Thanks," Daryl said and hung up.

"That was Morris, asking for our help ‑" Piper began as she came back into the kitchen. But she was interrupted by a growl coming from Kit.

"Kit?" Phoebe asked. "Was that you?"

Kit gave another growl followed by a rumbling sound in her throat.

"That's not like Kit to make those sounds," Piper said. "Is something hurting her?"

"She was just contentedly eating her breakfast," Phoebe said.

"On Charmed, Kit could sense the presence of a demon and made that kind of sound as a warning," Prue said. "So she'll do the same thing here when she's real, too."

"If there's a demon coming we'd better get prepared," Phoebe said. They got up and hurried towards the stairs to go up to the attic when they heard a noise behind them in the living room. They slowly went inside to look but didn't see anything. When they turned around, a huge demon was facing them.

He raised his hand and sent an energy bolt towards them. But Prue raised her hand and deflected the bolt away from them and towards the end table lamp, smashing it. Piper raised her hand but the demon did not freeze.

Prue waved her hand at the demon. He went flying backwards towards the staircase, but then immediately sprung back to exactly where he had been standing.

"That's not good," Piper observed.

"Hold hands and we'll have the Power of Three," Prue said. "Phoebe make up a spell fast!"

The sisters held each other's hand.

"Uh...uh," Phoebe began.

     "Demon though we don't know who you are

       With this spell we send you away from here far"

There was a flash of light and the demon was gone.

"You didn't vanquish him," Piper complained. "He can come back again. He knows where we live."

"I had to make up that spell without time to think about it," Phoebe answered back. "It's not as if I had an hour to refine it.

"And besides, vanquishing spells have to be specific to the vanquishee," she added.

"The vanquishee?" Piper asked.

"Yes," Phoebe said. "We're the vanquishers so the demon is the vanquishee."

"This is no time for a lesson in grammar and vocabulary," Piper said. "That was a deadly demon."

"About whom we know nothing," Phoebe said.

"He tried to kill us!" Piper said, getting exasperated. "Isn't that enough? Or do we have to know whether he got up this morning and decided today was such a beautiful day that he would go out and kill the Halliwells. Or whether he was just passing by and decided to give killing us a try."

"It was neither of those," Prue said. "He didn't try very hard to kill us."

"And you're complaining?!" Piper asked increduously.

"Just pointing it out," Prue replied. "He sent only one energy bolt at us. And while we were trying to use our powers against him without success, he didn't take the opportunity to send another energy bolt at us.

"And we do know who he is. Almost seven feet tall, huge ugly head and gleaming eyes. He matches that teenage girl's description. He's the demon who flooded Pier 39 last night."

Stuart Weston came down the stairs and saw the smashed lamp lying on the floor.

"I guess I missed some excitement," he said.

"Oh, a demon dropped in and tried to kill us, that's all," Piper deadpanned.

Prue told Stuart what happened, as well as the incident at Pier 39.

Stuart was quiet for a moment as he carefully sat down on the sofa, brushing away small pieces of the broken lamp.

"I don't get it," Phoebe said. "A half‑hearted attempt to kill us and a meaningless incident at Pier 39."

"It wasn't meaningless," Stuart said. "That demon was testing his powers, to see what he could do."

"And he was also testing his powers when he attacked us?" Piper asked.

"Or testing yours," Stuart answered. "To see what you could do. That's why he waited and didn't do anything while you were figuring out what to do."

"He looked like an old demon, not someone just starting out," Phoebe said.

"Be that as it may, that's the only explanation that makes sense," he said. "Perhaps he hasn't used his powers in a long time and wants to see if they atrophied.'

"What demon wouldn't use his powers at every opportunity he had," Piper said.

"Maybe he couldn't," Stuart answered.

"You mean as in having been locked away somewhere," Prue said. "Like in that Charmed episode this past season...uh, what was it?"

"That Old Black Magic," Phoebe said.

"With the evil witch...Tuatha, that was her name," Prue said, recalling the show. "She had been entombed for two hundred years. So this demon could have been entombed like that, too."

"We're just speculating," Piper said. "We should go look through the Book of Shadows. But I have to go to P3 and check inventory. Someone is making a birthday party at the club tomorrow and I have to know what I'm out of and need to order."

"And I have to be at a shoot at the Ferry Building for a new 415 article on its restoration," Prue said.

'No," Stuart said, "you have to stay together. We don't know who nor what this demon is. If he discovers he still has his powers and comes after you again and finds you alone, you'll be in danger.

"I'll go to the club and do the inventory for you Piper. You and Phoebe go with Prue to the shoot, as 415 Magazine's new photo‑journalist interns. When you're done there you can come back and search through the Book of Shadows."

The three girls looked at each other with a slight surprise at Stuart's take‑charge orders.

"Yes, boss," Phoebe said, and winked at him.

 

Prue was taking her last two shots of Karen Pond, the civic leader who was the driving force behind the planned restoration of the Ferry Building.

"Come back in 2003, Prue, when the restoration will be finished," Pond said, "and then you can do a before‑and‑after article. The first floor Marketplace will be filled with local produce and specialty food shops. Together with the returning ferry service, the Ferry Building will be a star attraction and vibrant landmark of the city."

"Thanks for the invitation, Karen," Prue said. "And good luck with the project. I'm sure you'll be successful." She started to put away her camera while her "interns" took down the lights and umbrella and began packing them away.

The workers started breaking down the restoration mock‑ups, the center pieces of Karen's promotion. One of the workers turned on his radio to listen to music as he worked.

"You'll have to hold the umbrella in the back seat again, Phoebe," Prue said. "I can carry one of the lights to the car, Piper."

"It's OK, I've got them," Piper said.

"Karen, did you feel a quake about a half‑hour ago," her assistant asked, as he hurried over to her. "They're saying on the radio there was one."

"I didn't feel anything," Pond said.

The girls looked at each other and shook their heads. "We didn't feel anything, either," Piper said.

"Turn it up," Pond said to the worker. He raised the volume.

"...registered 5.5 on the Richter scale," the woman on the radio said. "That's about the middle of the moderate range of earthquakes. If it was an earthquake."

"Why do you doubt that it was?" the female reporter asked.

"Because it wasn't felt anywhere else besides Battery Spenser," the woman answered. "That would be the epicenter of the earthquake. There should have been shock waves and tremors emanating from there. But there weren't any. Nothing was felt anywhere else outside of that immediate area."

"If it wasn't an earthquake, what else could it have been?" the reporter asked.

"That's a good question," the woman said. "I don't have an answer...yet."

"Thank you, Dr. Hellweg," the female reporter said. "That was Dr. Peggy Hellweg, Operations Manager of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory at UC Berkeley, talking to us from her monitoring laboratory.

"The two sinkholes opened about a dozen feet from each other," the female reporter continued. "I can't get close enough to see them, as police have roped off the area, but I'm told each one is about eight feet in diameter and almost five feet deep. Two women were hurt when they fell into one of the sinkholes. They've just been taken to the hospital though I'm told their injuries are not serious.

"Two people who just missed falling into the sinkholes are Sara Marcoux and her twelve year old daughter Annie. Tell us what happened, Sara."

"We were standing near those two women who fell into the hole," Sara said. "But there was this man near us. He was short with pointy ears and a broad face. He was kneeling down and waving one hand just over the ground. His other hand was in the dirt and he was just moving the dirt around. He didn't look normal. We wanted to get away from him so we walked away.

"It's a good thing we did because right after that the hole opened up right where we had been standing. And then all the dirt started flying around in the air. We could hardly see where to run to get away."

"Fortunately you did," the female reporter said. "Thank you for your eyewitness account. Authorities are withholding comment on what caused the sudden sinkholes and the thick cloud of dirt that filled the air. This is the second odd occurence in the past twenty‑four hours, following the un‑explained sudden flooding of Pier 39 last night.

"Battery Spenser, a reinforced concrete gun battery, was part of the Fort Baker coastal defense, all of which is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

"Hendrik Point, some thirty yards past the battery, is almost at the level of the top of the Golden Gate Bridge's north tower. The bridge is often obscurred by the fog, with just the tip of the tower visible. People come to Hendrik Point for that dramatic view.

"But today, it wasn't fog that obscurred the bridge but thick, swirling dirt. And people weren't coming here but instead trying desperately to get away.

"Live from Hendrik Point at Battery Spenser, on the Marin Headlands, this is Lisa Apelt KABL Radio News."

Karen Pond hurried off with her assistant to make a phone call.

"If that was a demon who did it then it wasn't the same one who attacked us," Phoebe said as they walked back to the car.

"Completely opposite description," Prue said.

"Two demons testing their powers?" Piper asked. "What's the chance of that?"

"A good chance," Prue said, "if another demon has been awakening them. That means there's at least three demons out there that we have to worry about."

"We need to find them," Phoebe said, as they put the equipment in the car, "before they find us."

"Maybe we can," Prue said, "but it's just a hunch. If Stuart is right and that demon came to test us, then they may want to know more than just the extent of our powers. They may want to know how we think, how we go after demons. If we go after demons."

"What's your point?" Piper asked.

"A way for them to know would be to see if we go out to Hendrik Point to look for them," Prue said. "And the only way they'd know that ‑"

"Would be if they hung around waiting to see if we did come," Phoebe said.

"Exactly," Prue said. "So going out there may be our best chance of finding them."

"I guess it's worth a try," Piper said.

"Start working on a spell, Phoebe," Prue said, as they got into the car, "in case I'm right."

"That's going to be hard to do," Phoebe said, "as we don't know anything about the third demon. And there may be more than just the three."

"I know," Prue said. "Just do the best you can. And we'll hope that it's good enough."

 

They drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, then turned left on to Alexander Avenue and went through the bridge underpass to the Marin Headlands. They turned up the road that led to Battery Spenser, but then turned off of it on to a smaller road which led to a slightly higher elevation. They went a small distance then pulled over to the side. The view of the bridge was partially blocked, not a place where people came to see it and take pictures. But it did afford a decent view of Battery Spenser.

They got out of the car and looked around.

"Even if they're watching, maybe they're doing it from someplace else," Piper said.

Prue exhaled. "This gives the best view of the battery and it doesn't have lots of people around who could see them," she said. "But you may be right."

There was a sudden loud noise. They turned around and saw that three figures had appeared on the other side of the road. One was very tall with a huge head and gleaming eyes. The second was short with pointy ears.

But the third figure looked the most fearsome of them all. Because there was nothing odd about him. What was frightening was the fury in his eyes, the sardonic smile on his mouth, the look of absolute self‑confidence on his face. And his overall countenance that projected power and destruction.

"Hold hands!" Prue shouted and the three girls did. "Start the spell, Phoebe."

    "Three demons who are testing this day

       Burn now in fire and be forever away"

But the three demons had also taken each other's hand. And they stared challengingly at the three sisters.

A wind suddenly started to build, churning in a circle between the witches and the demons.

"We have the Power of Three. Why isn't it working?" Piper shouted above the rising noise of the wind.

"Say the spell again," Prue said, and the girls repeated it. But the demons remained as they had been across the road. And the girls felt the wind building up stronger, pushing them back.

Dark streaks began to swirl in the wind, outlining the area that stood between them and the three demons.

And then Piper saw it. "There's a car coming up the road," she shouted above the ever louder noise of the swirling wind. "If it comes between us and them this wind will destroy it."

The wind had pushed them back a few feet. The ground behind them dropped off into an incline.

"Let go and jump down that incline," Prue said. The girls dropped their hands and jumped down. The swirling winds disappeared just as the car reached the spot where the winds had been.

The girls slowly crawled back up the incline, took each other's hand for the Power of Three and carefully peeked over the top.

The demons were gone.

 

"They were able to withstand the Power of Three," Leo said, shaking his head in disbelief. They were in The Manor's living room, where Prue had told Leo, their whitelighter who guided them, about their encounter with the threee demons.

"Not just withstand us," Phoebe said, "but they seemed to be getting stronger than us the longer we stood there."

"I'm going to tell Kelly Anderson to come here right away," Leo said. "We need to add her witch powers to yours." With that he orbed out in a twinkle of light.

"If Stuart's right and that third demon brought the other two back from wherever they had been," Prue said, "then the question is why does he need them."

"He must be planning something that he can't do by himself," Piper said.

"We know all too well that there are lots of other demons around," Phoebe said. "He could have hooked up with any of them. Why specifically those two that he had to bring back from wherever they had been locked away?"

"If we knew the answer to that we'd probably know why they were so strong against us," Prue said.

"OK ‑ I'll take first crack at the Book of Shadows and see what I can find," Piper said.

 

It was about thirty minutes later when Kelly Anderson and Stuart arrived at the same time at The Manor. Piper took a break from searching through the Book of Shadows and came down from the attic.

"I went through the inventory and ordered what you need for the party," Stuart said.

"Being ready for that party is the least of our worries," Piper said, then went on to explain to Kelly and Stuart what had happened with the three demons.

"A half‑hour of page turning is about all I can take right now," Piper said. "After a while the demons all start to look the same."

"I know you have it but I've never looked through the Book," Kelly said. "It's all new to me. Let me try it. Maybe I'll find something."

"It's tedium," Piper warned her.

"Maybe a fresh perspective is what we need," Stuart said.

"Go ahead, Kelly, and give it a try," Prue told her.

"I left it open to the last page I looked at," Piper said.

"Come on. I'll take you up to the attic and help you get started," Stuart offered.

 

"This is amazing," Kelly said, as she slowly began turning the pages of the Book. "There is so much in here. Drawings of demons, descriptions of their powers and how to defeat and vanquish them. And this has been handed down through the Halliwells' ancestors?"

"All the way back to Melinda Warren," Stuart said. "And Prue and her sisters have added to it, as well. Every generation of Warren‑Halliwell witches do that."

Stuart had waited about ten minutes, making sure that the young witch was comfortable going through the book, as she carefully examined each page. "I'll be downstairs," he told her, then walked out of the attic to the stairs.

"Stuart, wait," Kelly called to him. "I think I found something." He turned around and walked back into the attic and stood beside her.

"This drawing of a demon matches one of the descriptions," she said. "Huge, rather ugly head and gleaming eyes. It says here he is almost seven feet tall. He's called 'Uthyr'.

"'A very powerful demon, he can affect parts of reality'," Kelly read aloud. "'The danger he poses to existence is so great he must never be underestimated nor ignored'." Kelly quickly read down the rest of the page. "It says that ordinary witches' powers don't affect him. That's why Piper's trying to freeze him didn't work."

"Then how do you vanquish him?" Stuart asked as Kelly turned the page to the other side.

"You can't," the young witch said, reading down the page. "The only way to stop him is to entomb him. Someplace he can't get out of. It seems that whoever added this to the Book did just that ‑ almost three hundred years ago."

"That third demon must have found him and is powerful enough to have broken him out," Stuart said. "How did the witch who entombed him do it?"

"With the Rollek Orand," Kelly said. "It's a small diamond‑shaped object, apparently some type of crystal. There's a very exact, very detailed drawing of it."

"Why would that witch bother to do that? That's odd," Stuart said.

"Or prescient," Kelly responded. "That one day it would be needed. That one day I would need it." Kelly paused. "You know that's my power. To duplicate in reality something that I see only in a picture." That was a power Kelly had used when she went with the Halliwells back in time to 1955 to save Leo, and to 1967 to save Stuart, when each had been kidnapped by a siren.

"With all of this detail I can recreate the Rollek Orand," she said. She stared at the drawing in the Book for about ten seconds. Then she began to concentrate, her breathing becoming slower and more pronounced. After about another half a minute, a real Rollek Orand appeared in her hand.

"Wow!" Stuart said. "That's amazing, Kelly. You are one talented and powerful witch."

"Not as much as the Halliwells," she said modestly and, what she felt, was honestly.

"But they couldn't do what you just did," he said. "You're a special witch in your own right."

"Thanks," Kelly said, with a hint of a blush and a smile. "Let's see what we can find about the other two demons." She quickly read the next page, then turned it over. Stuart didn't leave but stayed with Kelly, looking on with her. She went through two pages about unrelated demons, then turned over to a third page.

"This is it," she said. "They said the second demon was small, with pointy ears and a round face. Look at the picture."

"You're right," he said. "He's called 'Egill'. And look at what's written about him."

"Almost word for word what was written about Uthyr," Kelly said. "Affects reality, never to be underestimated. And...immune to ordinary witches' powers. The only way to defeat him is to weaken him with the Xeled Orand and entomb him. That's what was done two hundred fifty years ago."

"I'm guessing the Orands have that power but must be specific for a particular demon," Stuart said. "That's why there are two different ones."

"And a detailed drawing of the Xeled Orand, too," Kelly said. She exhaled. "For me."

Kelly stared at the drawing, then began to use the power of her concentration so that the replication would begin, just as Piper came into the attic.

"Leo's just orbed in and asked if you've found anything," she said.

At the same instant there was a loud bang. The three demons appeared across the attic, Uthyr and Egill on either side of the third demon, holding hands that united their powers.

Kelly broke off her concentration on the drawing. She grabbed Stuart's hand and pulled him behind her to protect him. With her other hand she aimed the Rollek Orand at Uthyr, who was on the left end of the three demons.

The large demon instinctively raised his right hand to shield his face, as he began to falter backwards. But the middle demon held on to him even tighter. He quickly turned towards Kelly and motioned his head at her. A bright light leapt from his eyes and struck her in the chest.

She was still tightly holding Stuart's hand. In an instant they were both gone.



  The present time...

Stuart's face was nuzzled on Kelly's right shoulder. She gently pulled herself away from him and sat up in the bed. Stuart started to murmur.

"Shhh," Kelly softly whispered, then placed a small kiss on his forehead. As Stuart became quiet, she slipped out of bed, then pulled the blanket up and tucked it in over his shoulders.

She was uneasy as she walked over to the window and partially opened the blinds. Moonlight from an almost full moon shone in and illuminated her trim, naked body. Just shy of five foot nine, blond with a fair complexion and medium‑boned with small breasts, she didn't have a model's looks nor build. But she was nonetheless a beautiful girl, with a bright, softly oval face that showed there was a depth to her beyond her surface beauty.

She stared out the window into the night but she wasn't seeing what was outside. Instead, her mind was going back to when she and Stuart first came there, two years earlier. The demons Uthyr and Egill. Kelly had learned that their names mean "terror" in Welsh and Ancient Scandinavian, respectively. The Book of Shadows said that they were dangerous because they could affect reality. And they had, sending her and Stuart into what was obviously an alternate world...an alternate reality.And five years into the future, as well.

Kelly was a young and exuberant witch. But though she had been only twenty‑one years old at the time the demons sent her here, and not as powerful nor as experienced a witch as the Halliwells, she was nevertheless a capable and reliable witch with whom the Halliwells had worked on four or five occasions to defeat demons and others like them.

But try as she did, Kelly could not get her and Stuart back home. She said every spell she knew that might go through time and realities. And when she ran out of those spells, she made up new ones. But all to no avail.

When she couldn't even send them back in time within their new reality, she realized that a time lock had been set to keep them when and where they were. And a time lock could not be broken.

After a week of those futile attempts, they accepted the fact that they were stuck in that future time and alternate reality. And that, as there weren't any Halliwells in this alternate reality ‑ nor to their greater surprise was there a Leo ‑ they had no one to turn to, no one upon whom they could rely. Except each other.

A traumatic, life‑changing experience often creates a bond between the people sharing that experience. And so Kelly and Stuart began to come closer to each other. They had liked each other in the other reality but just as acquaintances who together fought demons. Kelly had gone back in time with the Halliwells to save Stuart when he had been kidnapped but there wasn't any personal feeling on her part in doing that. Now it was becoming something more. Having only each other in whom to confide about who they were and from where they came, and with whom to make this new life work, their relationship had to evolve.

The first time they explored an affection was very awkward. Their memories of the other reality, and the relationships that existed for them there, got in their way. But the second time, they made the effort to put those memories out of their minds, to concentrate on what they had now. To not hold back but to open up to each other.

And with that they became closer. Their feelings for each other, no longer restrained, began to grow. And in little over a month, they had fallen in love. Not a whirlwind love affair with skin‑deep attractions. But rather a love based upon knowing who the other person really was, recognizing the character and the goodness inside. A love built upon a solid foundation.

They had quickly realized that they needed jobs here. There wasn't any Stuart Weston in this reality, at least not one that they could find in San Francisco. There might have been one in New York from where Stuart had come but they weren't going to ask for problems and pursue that. But with Stuart's knowledge of history, becoming a history teacher was a natural fit. Using her power to duplicate in reality something that she saw only in a picture, Kelly created authentic education degrees for Stuart. Then she used a spell to get into the university's office and insert Stuart's records into their files.

Kelly had been impressed with Stuart's approach to teaching. No boring text books, he said. He used the books only when teaching specific historical documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution with its Amendments.

Instead, he used class notes and lectured on the backgrounds, the personalities and the sidebars of history. He loved connecting with his students, using interesting but little known episodes to engage them in the story. Which, he would tell them, is what history was ‑ a fascinating, intriguing, story.

Episodes such as the joke that Napoleon sent in reply to Louis XVIII when the King sent soldiers to, unsuccessfully, capture him. And that Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother whom he installed as Emperor of Spain and was subsequently overthrown, lived out his days in exile in Bordentown, N.J., where he was known as the "Good Mr. Bonaparte". And also had a summer home in upstate New York ‑ a lake there is named for him ‑ with a secret escape tunnel should his European enemies ever find him. About Elbridge Gerry, whose obstinate refusal to sign the Constitution deprived him of his place in history, with Roger Sherman, as the only signers of all three of America's founding documents. And William B. Ide, the first, and only, President of California.

Kelly Anderson, however, did exist in this reality. But she had disappeared without a trace two months before they arrived. They had found her home ‑ a comfortable, sunny Victorian house on Casa Way in the Marina District, with a street level under‑the‑house garage, bow windows, two bedrooms, a study and a small balcony. They had moved into it, Kelly assuming the role of that reality's Kelly. She had explained her absence by telling people that she had had an accident on a trip and had suffered temporary amnesia. They had used the savings in the other Kelly's bank account to survive their first two months there.

Though it was logical that this reality would also have demons, and there had been a few odd incidents which could not be readily explained, they had not seen any real evidence of a demon since they arrived. And though they had searched the other Kelly's ‑ and now their ‑ home carefully, they could not find anything to prove that this reality's Kelly had also been a witch. But if she had indeed been a witch, Stuart said that being killed by a demon would be a logical explanation of her disappearance. But it bothered Kelly to think that her double had been killed, so Stuart hadn't brought that up again.

The only unusual things they did find in her home were two small odd looking objects locked away in a hidden safe. A flat triangular object and something that resembled a house's outside lantern‑lamp, but with metal instead of glass panes. Kelly used a spell to open the safe and then changed the combination, placing the Rollek Orand in the safe along with the two odd objects.

What they also discovered was that this reality's Kelly Anderson was an art historian, with a job as Assistant Curator at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. A renowned fine arts museum in the reality from which they had come, it held the same prominence in this alternate reality, as well. That solved the problem of having a job and income. But Kelly had little knowledge of art history.

To assume the role of this reality's Kelly Anderson, she had taken to reading every book she could find on the subject, locking herself away at home for three weeks. But she had a good mind and learned quickly and, using the "crutch" of some residual amnesia when she got stuck not knowing something at work, she assumed the Assistant Curator job. The museum's staff was more than willing to accept her occasional "forgetting" a fact at work and to help her through her "recovery".

Kelly exhaled. Her mind came back to the present. At the football game seven weeks ago, Tali had emphatically said that getting married was the best thing that they could do ‑ that they should do. Afterwards, they had briefly talked about Tali's advice. Then two weeks later, Stuart surprised Kelly by presenting her with an engagement ring. And had somehow managed to find a kelly green velvet ring box in which to place it.

Kelly had broken into tears when he gave her the ring. But they were tears of joy. They had been with each other for two wonderful years. But marriage gave it permanence. They would be there with and for each other permanently. It was, she felt, the happiest day of her life.

And so now they were engaged to be married. The date was being planned for the very beginning of October, which in San Francisco's unique weather meant a lovely mid‑summer wedding. In a little over three months she would become Kelly Anderson Weston ‑ Stuart wanted her to keep Anderson as her middle name so she would keep a connection with her family, even though it was in the other reality ‑ and that gave her a warm feeling all over her.

But suddenly that warm feeling was gone. Kelly shivered. Something was making her uneasy. It had begun the night before, when she also had woken up in the middle of the night.

But tonight the uneasiness was stronger. And there was more. She could feel that something bad was coming. She didn't know what it was nor understood how she could be feeling it. Perhaps her witch's sensitivity was at play. But whatever it was, it frightened her.

She turned to look back at Stuart sleeping in their bed. When they first arrived in this reality she had decided that Stuart was her responsibility to protect. But now it was different. Stuart was her soon‑to‑be husband. Now she would protect him out of love.

Kelly closed the blinds and made her way back to their bed. As she slid in next to Stuart, she felt his arm go around her, holding her close to him. It should have made her feel safe and secure. It always had.

But tonight, it didn't. Tonight was different. Tonight she remained uneasy and fearful of what was coming.

 

Kelly answered the phone on the third ring. She was wearing an ecru tailored blouse and a heather grey A‑line skirt, that fell just above her knees, and matching low‑heel pumps.

"Really?" she said. "That's disappointing. I understand. I'll see you at the museum."

"What was that?" Stuart asked as Kelly ended the call.

"That meeting this morning with Tess Clark to settle the museum's purchase of her Lois Dodd painting has been cancelled," Kelly answered. "Clark has to 're‑think aspects of the sale' with her husband, which in plain English means she's changed her mind and isn't selling it. We were counting on having that painting as an outstanding example of plein air work ‑ paintings of the outdoors actually painted outdoors. It's a difficult task, given the continuous changes in light and weather."

"Their loss," Stuart said. "They don't get to see you in your business‑like but so attractive outfit."

She gave him a small smile.

"Well ‑ the museum will have those funds available and will find something even better to buy," he said. "Things may look terrible when they happen but later on you see how it was really for the best. Like when we got sent to this reality and couldn't get back. We thought it was disastrous. But our two years here together is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I wouldn't trade them for anything."

"Nor would I," Kelly said. "I would never want to go back." But Stuart noticed a distraction in her voice.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Nothing," she said. The memories of the past two night's uneasiness had come to mind. With an effort she pushed them away.

"Nothing at all," Kelly said. She smiled, then kissed him warmly.

.

Well over one hundred people filled the lecture room at the de Young Museum. But even if no one else had shown up, Stuart would have not have felt alone. Kelly was sitting next to him on his left and he never felt alone when he was with her.

The lecture was about the affect of historical events on the art of the periods in which those events had occurred, a topic that intersected both of their disciplines. Kelly, who had been promoted to Associate Curator five months earlier, had arranged the lecture.

When Stuart had begun teaching history, he quickly realized there were surprises in store for him. Some differences existed between the history of this alternate reality and the history of the reality from which they had come, a history which he knew very well.

He had made an effort to learn these differences, such as that Napoleon had not lost the Battle of Waterloo but instead had been victorious in his defeat of the Duke of Wellington. But as the French Emperor was defeated three days later, by Prussian General Gerhard von Blucher at the Battle of Mont‑Saint‑Jean, the course of European history was essentially unchanged. Save for the absence of the Wellington Monument in London.

He had also learned that the Battleship U.S.S. Oregon, not the Battleship U.S.S. Maine, had blown up in Havana harbor, precipitating the Spanish‑American War. "Remember the Oregon", rather than "Remember the Maine", had been William Randolph Hearst's newspaper's rallying cry to promote the war in this reality.

And that Harriet Quimby, the young, pretty and popular aviator with her identifying purple flying suit ‑ the first American licensed female pilot ‑ didn't die in the mid‑flight malfunction of her plane in 1912. In this reality, unlike in the other reality, she had been wearing her safety belt. She was badly cut and bruised but survived when her plane glided down and flipped over in the mud. In addition to resuming her flying, she had continued her parallel career of writing Hollywood screenplays ‑ her 1911 works had been made into films by D. W. Griffith, and she made history in 1930 by becoming the first female writer to win an Oscar ‑ while also becoming a mentor to Amelia Earhart.

But these sometimes small differences could be hidden anywhere. So for Stuart, any opportunity to learn more historical anecdotes was always welcome.

The speaker had concluded his presentation with his last "proof". That just as the bold and grandiose artwork under Louis XIV reflected the Sun King's philosophy of L'État, c'est moi, so was the softer, pastel paintings under Louis XV a reflection of the King's passivity and lack of self‑confidence.

"That last bit was a rather fanciful linkage," Kelly said quietly to Stuart. "With Louis XIV's direct, personal involvement in painting and architecture, especially with Charles le Brun, it was natural that the art would reflect the man. His great‑grandson Louis XV simply was not involved in it. The paintings were more a reflection of the absence of the King's direction than of the King's weaknesses."

"His other parts made more sense and were even interesting," Stuart said with tempered approval. "He should have quit while he was ahead."

"The other parts were interesting and I enjoyed them," Kelly agreed. So she felt that having the lecture had been worthwhile.

Now finished with the post‑lecture "thank‑yous" and any remaining introductions, Kelly grabbed her jacket and left the de Young Museum with Stuart. They walked slowly to the "Reserved for Staff" parking area, admiring the beautiful night sky.

"The night is so nice," Kelly said, holding Stuart's hand. "Let's go for a drive up to Twin Peaks. We haven't been there in a while. I love the view up there looking down at the city."

"That sounds rather romantic," Stuart said, a smile on his lips. It was only a few minutes' drive from the museum to reach Twin Peaks Boulevard and begin the winding climb up the curvy road to the nine hundred foot high summit. The small parking lot was almost empty and Stuart pulled their car into one of the spots. The Sutro Tower, with its broadcast antennas and nighttime flashing red warning lights, behind them, they made their way to the eastern side of the darkened viewing area.

"The city lights below look so beautiful," Kelly said, zipping up her jacket against the breeze. She looked down for a moment, then turned to Stuart. Checking that no one was nearby, she slipped her arms around him, drew him closer, and kissed him.

"Romantic, indeed," Stuart said happily, when their kiss ended.

They looked down towards the neighborhoods of the Mission District and South of Market. And off in the distance, they could see the illuminated Oakland Bay Bridge.

"And it's so peaceful here," Kelly said, enjoying her view.

Suddenly there was a very loud bang coming from behind them. They turned around and saw what looked like an explosion coming from the Twin Peaks Reservoir. The reservoir was about seventy yards from them and they began running towards it.

As they came closer they saw what looked like an electrical arc striking the reservoir, causing a second explosion. They ran even faster but when they were just a few yards away from it they were able to barely make out a figure standing by the reservoir. And they realized it wasn't an electrical arc they had seen. The bolt of energy was coming from the figure's hand.

They stopped short, staring at the figure but not approaching him. It took a few seconds for the shock to wear off, for them to realize what they were seeing. Kelly grabbed Stuart's hand and quickly pulled him towards a small bush. Despite the almost full moon, the bush would prevent their being noticed as they crouched down behind it.

Stuart heard Kelly breathing heavily. In the moonlight, he saw her eyes close and her body become tense. Stuart said nothing, both for not wanting to interrupt her concentration for whatever she was doing, as well as for not wanting to be heard by the figure. She stayed like that for minute while another explosion came from the reservoir.

Then Kelly opened her eyes and stood up, pulling Stuart up with her. She moved in front of him, pushing him protectively behind her as she stepped out from the bush.

   "Let the one causing destruction here

    Receive that which he sends out, and fear

    As I will cause him pain while I am near"

Hearing Kelly, the figure turned towards them. For a second he seemed uncertain, but then he raised his hand and sent a bolt of energy towards them. But the bolt went backwards and hit the figure.

"ARGGHH!!" he screamed.

"I suggest you don't try that again," Kelly said.

"What?...How?" he stuttered. "Who are you?"

"A witch," Kelly answered, defiance in her voice. "And you are a demon."

"A witch?" he repeated. "That's impossible. There are no witches left in this reality. Grimaldo assured us..." He stopped.

"Go on," Kelly ordered him. "Who is Grimaldo? And what do you know about realities?"

The demon remained silent. Kelly stared at him with concentration.

"ARGGHH!!" he screamed.

"That's your own demon power turned against you that you're feeling," Kelly said. "And with this spell I can keep doing that to you. So answer the questions." Kelly concentrated again.

"AGGHH!!" he screamed again. "OK...OK. What do you want?"

"Who is Grimaldo?" she asked.

"A powerful demon. He sent us through from another reality," the demon answered.

"There's more than just you?" she asked.

"Yeah...I don't know how many," he answered.

"How did Grimaldo do that?" she asked.

"He has two others who can affect reality," the demon answered. "Together with them he can do it."

"What does Grimaldo look like?" Stuart asked. From what the demon had already said he was sure he knew the answer. But he wanted verification.

"Just imagine the most fearful, frightening demon you've ever seen," the demon said, then smiled. "His power and his evil are in his eyes and on his face."

Kelly and Stuart glanced at each for a second. The face of that third demon in The Manor's attic, the one holding hands with Uthyr and Egill when he sent Kelly and Stuart to this reality, was etched in their memories. Now they knew that demon's name was Grimaldo.

The demon tried to take advantage of that second of their distraction to start to disappear but Kelly quickly concentrated again.

"ARRGGHH!!" he screamed.

"You're not going anywhere until I say so," Kelly said, then concentrated on him again.

"ARRGGHH!!" he screamed. "OK...what more...do you want?"

"What did you mean when you said there aren't supposed to be witches here?" she asked.

"There's a Grimaldo in this reality, too," the demon said. "The two of them can sometimes communicate with each other. That's how Grimaldo in my reality knew there were very few demons here. Those other two demons who can affect reality don't exist here so only the Grimaldo in my reality can send someone through. And the Grimaldo in this reality had a big plan and wanted some help."

"So your Grimaldo sent you and others across realities for the opportunity to do evil here," she said.

"Yeah," the demon said, and a sardonic smile came across his face. "And we will despite you, whoever you are. This reality's Grimaldo got rid of the few witches who were here. And he'll get rid of you, too."

"When did he do that?" Stuart asked.

"He said he killed off the last witch around two years ago," the demon answered.

Stuart saw Kelly become very still.

"Who was the witch?" she asked.

"Who cares," the demon answered. Kelly concentrated for a few seconds and the demon screamed in pain.

"Who was the witch?" she repeated, her voice rising with emphasis.

"Grimaldo must have bragged about it when you came here," Stuart said.

The demon exhaled. "Yeah...he was reliving a happy occasion. She was Andrews or Anders ‑ something like that," he said.

"Anderson?" Kelly asked.

"Yeah...I think that was her. No witch is a match for Grimaldo," the demon continued. "She found that out. And so will you."

Stuart quietly took Kelly's hand in his. He felt she had gone ice cold. And very still. She just stared at the demon.

"Where do I find Grimaldo? What is he going to do next?" she asked.

The demon smiled. "I'd be happy to tell you. So you can go there and he can kill you. But I don't know." Kelly started to concentrate. "Wait...wait!" the demon shouted. "We'll be...tending to the Jones Street Water Tank and to Pumping Station Number 2 tomorrow night and the next night. He'll be taking care of one of them personally. I don't know which one will it'll be. And I don't know which of the two nights."

Kelly exhaled. "Tell him it's to be the Water Tank and tomorrow night," she said, ice in her voice.

The demon chuckled. "Maybe I'll be there, too. I heard your spell before and it won't work on me again. I have this little trick that can make me immune to it."

"I don't need this spell again," she said. "And Grimaldo is going to want to show he can face me alone, so you won't be there anyway." She took Stuart's hand and turned to walk away. Stuart looked over his shoulder and saw a bright arc hit the demon.

"ARGGHH!!" he heard the demon scream.

"This spell won't wear off for a while so I advise you to not try to kill anyone," Kelly said without turning around.

"Honey," Stuart said when they were out of earshot of the demon, "he's going to go straight to Grimaldo. And that demon will be waiting for you tomorrow night."

Kelly exhaled. "That's what I'm counting on," she said.


 

Though the blinds were closed, bits of sunlight peeked into the bedroom. Stuart reacted by slowly opening his eyes. The clock on the night table read 6:24. He rubbed one leg up and down against the other as he stretched. Then he turned on his left side towards Kelly.

This was the best part of the day for him. He had spent enough mornings waking up without anyone next to him. He never wanted to feel that loneliness again. And with Kelly beside him, he didn't. The first time he had woken up next to her in this reality had been very special to him. And though he had been with her now for two years, he still felt the specialness of that very first morning every day.

He felt the softness of her thighs against his, the warmth of her body against him. He ran his hand from the tips of her fingers, up her arm and across the top of her chest just below her neck. Kelly began to stir, slowly putting her left arm around him. Her fingers began to play his back as a pianist plays a piano's keys, up and down, up and down, as her hand moved in slow circles.

Stuart brushed Kelly's blond hair from her face, then ran his fingers gently across her forehead. She was awake now. Kelly had also known her share of lonely mornings and she cherished waking up with Stuart. She realized she had not known real happiness until she and Stuart had been thrown, with only each other, into this reality.

Now new dangers had invaded this reality. Or perhaps they were just old dangers, dormant dangers that had awakened. There was the risk that after all this time without facing demons they had become rusty. But as she looked at Stuart and remembered how they had reacted last night, she didn't give that fear any credence. They would be at their best just as they had been in the past in the other reality. But now they would face these dangers together. As an engaged and soon‑to‑be‑married couple. As one.

Kelly moved her hand around Stuart's body until her fingers found the place they sought. His feeling of closeness with her was even stronger. He felt so content with her. And so in love with her.

Then their lips found each other's. Kelly maneuvered Stuart from his side as she wrapped both of her arms around him. Stuart felt her love for him bringing them closer together...until they were one.

 

The voice reached out to her. It seemed distant, as if it was coming through a long tunnel, like a far away echo. Yet at the same time it was clear and distinct. A paradox, Kelly thought.

"Now is the time...now we must be ready."

The room was dark, yet there was some small illumination. Kelly looked around but couldn't see from where it came. But it was just enough to let her see how to walk. She slowly took a half dozen steps forward, coming to a solid door. Illuminated on the door was a combination lock and handle, the same type of lock and handle found on a safe. But this was a door to a room, not to a safe, she thought. What is that lock and handle doing on a room door?

Kelly tentatively extended her hand to the lock. She began to turn it left and right, turning it with the combination. But how did she know the combination? she thought. Before she could try to answer that, she felt a click and the lock was open.

She lifted the handle and slowly opened the door. And then she gasped.

She was looking at herself on the other side of the doorway.

Her other self was inside a five‑sided tall object. It looked like an outdoor house lantern‑lamp. It looked like the similar odd object that Kelly and Stuart had found in the house's safe, but this one had clear rather than metal sides. Clear sides so that she could see her other self inside of it.

She saw her blond hair was hanging loose, falling past her shoulders. She saw her face had a determined expression, her eyes meeting her own. Her clothes were indistinct ‑ Kelly couldn't tell what she was wearing, though she seemed to have a hazy glow over her body. But she could see that in her right hand she held up the three‑dimensional triangular object that they had also found in the safe. And the object was also glowing.

"Now is the time...now we must be ready," her other self repeated.

And then Kelly understood. That wasn't herself she was seeing. That was the other Kelly. The Kelly from this alternate reality. The Kelly who had been killed by the demon.

"UHH!" Kelly sat up straight, breathing heavily. For a moment she sat frozen. Then she looked around. She was safely in their bed. The sun behind the blinds was strong. The clock on their night table read 9:35.

Kelly took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. She remembered waking up with Stuart just after sunup. She must have fallen back asleep with him. Then this had all been just a strange dream, she told herself.

She sat there for a couple of minutes, trying to convince herself of that. And then she realized that it wasn't working, that she couldn't accept that. She was just telling herself something she knew in her heart wasn't true. No...it had not been just a dream, she thought. The other Kelly had come to her, though she didn't understand how. She had come to tell her something, to help her. She didn't understand what she had meant. But she would find out.

 

Kelly sat on the sofa, a small snack table open in front of her. The two objects from the safe lay on the table.

"You've been playing with those things for over an hour and we still don't know what they are," Stuart said.

"She emphasized the word 'we'," Kelly said. "'Now we must be ready.' She was trying to connect herself to me. But how? Why?"

"I don't know, honey, but we need to put this aside," he said. "We have to figure out what to do tonight. This reality's Grimaldo will be at the Water Tank. And he'll be ready and waiting for you. For us."

"I know," she said. "Maybe challenging him wasn't the best idea. But you don't understand how I felt when he told me Grimaldo was the one who killed this reality's Kelly. She's...I feel...she's my twin sister. Sometimes I feel like she's nearby. Like I'm stretching my hand out to her ‑ but she'd always be just beyond my reach."

Stuart moved closer to Kelly, turned her towards him and put his arms around her, resting her head on his shoulder.

"I do understand...because we're one," he said.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I shouldn't have said that. I know you do understand." She took a deep breath, then pulled away from his arms.

"But you're right. We have to concentrate on tonight," she said. "Grimaldo's expecting me can work to our advantage. He'll be overconfident that he can kill me like..." She paused for a few seconds. "That he can easily handle me. So his guard won't be up. We can set a trap."

"What kind of trap?" Stuart asked.

Kelly thought for a moment, idly fingering the triangular object in her hand as she did. "If I had something like Prue's crystals. She showed them to me a few days before we got sent here. She used them to trap a demon. Put each crystal in a corner forming a square. When the demon walks into the square, the crystals react and lock him in."

"I know what you're talking about," he said. "But Prue didn't even know how she knew about them, let alone how to get them."

"I don't even remember them that well, not that it matters," she said, as she concentrated on her memory of them. Suddenly Kelly felt something warm in her hand.

"That object in your hand...it's glowing," Stuart said. They both looked at the triangular object.

"That's just how it glowed in my dream," she said. "And...now I remember...the crystals."

And then they stared at the snack table. Four fuzzy, translucent objects appeared on it. In a few seconds, they changed into four solid, diamond‑shaped crystals.

For a moment Kelly did nothing but stare at the crystals. Then she looked at the triangular object in her hand. It was no longer glowing. Nor was it warm. She looked back at the diamond‑shaped crystals, then slowly picked up one of them.

"This looks like the crystal that Prue showed me," she said. "But...how?"

"It...has to be your power to replicate things," Stuart said.

"But I can do that only when I have a picture of the object," she said.

Stuart thought for a moment. "The other Kelly must have had the same power of replication," he said. "And you did have a picture of it, somewhere in your memory."

"She had this," Kelly said, opening her hand and looking at the triangular‑shaped object. "It increased her powers."

"Letting those powers use a picture that was just in her mind," Stuart said.

"More than that," Kelly said. "I didn't even have a clear memory of these crystals. The image of them was in my sub‑conscious. This...amplified that memory into something I could picture in my mind. Then it used my powers to replicate them."

"That's what she was showing you in your dream," he said. "That you needed to use this...amplifier. I don't know what else to call it."

"She did come to help me," Kelly said. "To protect me." Small tears ran from Kelly's eyes. She dabbed her face with a tissue and took a deep breath. Then she looked at the other object they had found in the safe. Five‑sided, and a little long, its lantern‑lamp shaped sides solid metal. What had her twin ‑ for that was how she thought of her ‑ been trying to tell her about it?

Kelly was still holding the triangular‑shaped object ‑ the amplifier as Stuart had named it ‑ as she picked up the second object.

And then she felt a tingle in both hands. And the triangular amplifier began to glow again. The lantern‑shaped object in her dream, the one her twin had been in, had clear sides.

Kelly drew in her breath. The object's clear sides in the dream were to show her what was inside the real object that had metal sides, sides that could not be seen through. Sides that protected what was inside of it. "Now we must be ready" her twin had told her. And now Kelly understood what she had meant.

She quickly put both objects down on the table.

 

Kelly stood at the side of the Jones Street Water Tank. Seven Hundred Fifty gallons of water and the mechanism to send it to where it was needed in the city's upper fire zone. Though they didn't know what this Grimaldo's plans were, the water tank was certainly a target for any demon wanting to do evil.

Kelly stepped further back, The darkness on the side of the tank was her ally but Kelly wanted to be seen. She moved to her left where a small yard light made her visible. She heard a noise coming from behind the tank. A figure slowly came around the side of the tank, then stopped. The figure stared at Kelly.

"It can't be," he said. "You're dead. I killed you."

"Witches are more resilient than demons," Kelly said. "Here I am."

"No ‑ you're not," Grimaldo said, with malice and certainty in his voice. "Kelly Anderson's dead body lay sprawled at my feet. I felt her all over, even sent a few more energy bolts into her helpless and lifeless body, to make sure she was good and dead. Then I grabbed her legs and pulled her from where she lay, her arms and blond hair trailing above her head, her eyes open but looking nowhere in death. I enjoyed standing over her and looking down at her impotent body. And then I got rid of her corpse.

"So you are not Kelly Anderson, the witch. Who ‑ are ‑ you?" he demanded.

Kelly stared at Grimaldo. "Her twin sister," she said, her words cold and hard. "And I'm here to avenge my sister's death."

Kelly stepped back out of the light as Grimaldo started to laugh, an evil hideous laugh. As he took two steps towards Kelly, Stuart, hiding in a dark corner, rushed out and placed the fourth crystal around Grimaldo. All four crystals lit up.

Kelly's keeping Grimaldo's focus on her, together with the darkness along the side of the Water Tank, had kept him from noticing the other three crystals. Grimaldo looked at the crystals, then tried to keep approaching Kelly. He took three more steps and then cried out in terrible pain.

"You can't get out, Grimaldo," Kelly said. "That demon trap comes from a stronger witch than me."

Grimaldo pointed his hand at one of the crystals and sent an energy bolt at it, the strongest energy bolt Kelly had ever seen. The crystal remained as it was. The demon sent a second, then a third and a fourth energy bolt at it. But the trap did not break. The crystal remained, though there was a very slight discoloration.

"It is only a matter of time," Grimaldo said. "Eventually I will destroy that crystal. And then I will come and destroy you. With even more pleasure than I took in killing your sister. You will look beautiful dying under my power."

"Time is something that you don't have," she said. "Number one, I'm told you have a 'big plan'. What is it? You may as well tell me as you'll never get to use it."

"Oh, I'll use it all right," Grimaldo said. "When I get out of here it will still be waiting for me. So I have lots of time. And I won't tell you a thing."

"Then we go directly to number two," Kelly said. "I'm going to vanquish you. Here and now."

Grimaldo began to laugh again. "You're sister was too weak to take me on. And despite your little game here, you're no stronger a witch than she was. You can't hurt me."

"You're right," Kelly said. "I'm not strong enough on my own to vanquish you." She took something out of each of her jacket pockets, holding one thing in each hand.

"But the two of us together are," she said. Her left hand held the triangular amplifier. As she began to concentrate, the amplifier became warm and began to glow. In her right hand, she held the lantern‑lamp object, which began to tingle her hand. The more she concentrated, the more the amplifier glowed and the more the lantern‑lamp object tingled.

Suddenly the top of the lantern‑lamp object blew off. Something semi‑transparent began coming out of the object. It coalesced next to Kelly and began to take shape. The shape of a young woman, the same height and build as Kelly. There was enough detail for Stuart to make out features. They were the same features as Kelly's.

"My sister is here," Kelly announced. Kelly took the semi‑transparent hand and held it. Though the rest of the young woman's semi‑transparent body was not solid, Kelly felt a solid hand holding hers. She turned her head towards the semi‑transparent figure and gave a small nod. Stuart was certain he saw the semi‑transparent girl's head nod back.

Kelly turned to Grimaldo. And two voices were heard.

   "Your name is Grimaldo and with that known

    This spell has all its power aimed at you

    We use the Power of Good that will defeat evil

    And with that power we vanquish you forever"


A great fireball immediately engulfed Grimaldo. He struggled against it but his screams were overwhelmed by the fireball's large roar. And then all was quiet. Nothing remained of the fireball, nor of Grimaldo.

Kelly stared at the empty space for a few seconds. Then she turned to her "sister". She was sure she saw a small smile cross the semi‑transparent face. And she knew without doubt that she felt a squeeze of her hand.

Then the figure relinquished Kelly's hand. Her image started to dissipate and in a moment she was no more.

Kelly looked at where she had just been. She felt sadness and a sense of loss. Stuart came over and put his arm around her.

"She's gone," Kelly said quietly.


Kelly sat on the end of the living room sofa, her legs tucked underneath her, her arms folded across her chest. She had taken a shower and changed into a San Francisco Municipal Railway Museum tee shirt, navy blue with a white logo, and matching navy blue knee socks. She was still feeling the loss of her "sister". Stuart sat in the middle of the sofa

"Her powers...her being...could only be used one time," Kelly said. "She concentrated on her own powers and used the amplifier to replicate them and make them real, then captured them in that container." Kelly exhaled. "Maybe she was afraid Grimaldo would steal them. Or she felt...she might not survive...and someone else would need them."

"You," Stuart said gently. "Maybe she had...some feeling that you existed in another reality. And you...would need to call on her powers."

Kelly moved closer to him. She put her head against his chest, moving her folded legs over his thighs. Stuart put his arm around and held her tightly to him.

"I'd like to think that she knew about me," Kelly said.

"She did," Stuart assured her. "In the dream last night. And with you tonight, you felt her hand holding yours, together vanquishing Grimaldo. You avenged her death. You did everything a...a sister could do."

"I could feel her reading my mind as I said the spell," Kelly said.

"That's how she was able to say it word for word together with you," Stuart said.

Kelly closed her eyes and pulled herself tighter to Stuart. "For those few minutes tonight, I felt so close to her." She sighed. "I miss her."


Kelly used her spatula to lift the pancakes out of the frying pan. She put four of the Hungry Jack pancakes on each of the two plates that sat on the counter, then brought the plates to the kitchen table. Stuart opened the refrigerator, grabbed the milk and maple syrup ‑ Northern Comfort Grade A Syrup, Kelly's favorite which she specially ordered from The Green Frog store on South Hero Island in Vermont ‑ and set them down on the table.

"I'm glad Tali is helping us plan the wedding," Kelly said, as she sat down across from Stuart. "Even though it will be a small affair, I know she'll make it seem larger that it is."

"Tali is very capable," Stuart agreed, drowning his pancakes in the maple syrup. "She's almost as happy about planning the wedding as we are about getting married."

"What she said about the 'bonus'..." Kelly said, leaving the sentence unfinished.

"That would be wonderful," Stuart said.

"Really?" she asked, her face brightened.

"Having a little you would be terrific," he said.

"It could be a little you," she pointed out.

"Possibly," he admitted. "But I'd rather think of having a Kelly junior around," he countered. "A little, blond haired witch."

Kelly smiled at the thought. Having a family with Stuart would make her so happy.

"Getting back to the wedding, what age will I put on the marriage license?" she asked, as she filled her glass with the low‑fat milk.

The two years Kelly had been living in the alternate reality had given her added maturity. Though it tempered the youthful exuberance she had displayed as a twenty‑one year old witch, she still brought tremendous vitality and energy to everything she did. Now she was twenty‑three, though as this reality was five years ahead of the other one, she was technically twenty‑eight.

"We both know how young you really are," Stuart said, "but I don't believe the records that exist here will give us a choice. But I'll still put only twenty‑four candles on your next birthday cake come February," he added smiling. "And there aren't any candles on the wedding cake."

"The wedding," Kelly said wistfully, then exhaled. "You know there are things that I have to do first. Things I hadn't planned on doing."

"You mean the other demons," he said.

"Even though Grimaldo is vanquished, and we saved the Water Tank from being destroyed by him, the other demons may pick up his plan, whatever it is," she said. "And even if they don't, they're still going to be at Pumping Station Number Two tonight. I...I can't ignore that. We hadn't seen any evil for the two years that we've been here. But now we have."

"It's all part of what I've been feeling...that something bad was coming. Grimaldo, the demons, the 'big plan'. I'm still a witch. I can't ‑ I won't ‑ ignore evil when I find it.

"Or it finds us," Stuart said. He thought back to how often that had happened when he was in the other reality with the Halliwells. He hadn't really thought about them, and the demon fighting they had done together, for a long time. "Then let's do whatever has to be done."

"Me," she said. "I will. I won't let you be in danger. Last night was...different. But not tonight. Not whatever else is out there."

"Honey, we're engaged. We're going to be husband and wife. Whatever danger you'll be in, I'll be there with you," he said. "That's what marriage means. That's what you mean to me. We are one now.

"And you know I have experience fighting demons," he added.

She paused for a few seconds. "I know you do," she said, then exhaled.

"I used the 'amplifier' to re‑create the Xeled Orand," Kelly said.  

"To see if it would work on that fleeting a memory?" Stuart asked.

"I suppose that too," she said. "But maybe just because I'm a witch. And I need to always be prepared for anything."

Kelly got up from the table, moved next to Stuart and put her arms around his neck. "I love you with every ounce of me. And I will use every ounce of my powers to protect you." She brought her head around beside his and kissed him on his lips."

She took a deep breath. "OK," she said. "Then after breakfast, we're going vanquishing potion ingredient shopping."


In the other reality, Kelly had had a choice of three or four stores from which to buy her potion ingredients. In this reality, she managed to find just one, downtown off Market Street. Rather than contend with downtown parking, they drove to Russian Hill, left the car there and walked down the few blocks to Fisherman's Wharf and the F‑Line Trolley car.

The sleek PCC trolley cars ‑ once prevalent throughout the country but now almost entirely limited to San Francisco ‑ were painted in livery representing the cities in which they had originally run. Kelly was happy to see that the car they were on had Brooklyn's green and silver livery. Though she grew up in San Francisco, her father, at least in the other reality, had grown up in Brooklyn. He would regale Kelly with stories of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Kelly had been thrilled that in this reality, the Dodgers had not only also won the 1955 World Series but, unlike in the other reality, had won the 1956 World Series as well.

After buying the potion ingredients, they walked back towards Market Street and the trolley car stop. As they passed a music store, Kelly looked longingly in the store's window. Had this been two days earlier, when their lives were still normal, they would have gone inside and browsed through the different music sections.

But today their life was no longer normal. Today their focus had to be on defeating the demons.

Stuart saw the look on Kelly's face as she peered in the window. "Come on ‑ we'll keep it to ten minutes, no more," he said, "Let's go in."

She thought for a moment, the bag of potion ingredients, and what she had to with what she made from them that evening, weighing heavily on her. With some hesitation, she nodded her head in agreement.

To save time, they split up in the store, separately going down different aisles. Stuart had gone up one aisle and down a second, not seeing anything of interest that was new. He was heading back to the store's entrance when Kelly caught up with him.

"Look at this," she said excitedly, distracted for a few moments from the demons.

"The New Glenn Miller Orchestra ‑ the Sounds Of Your Life," Stuart read from the CD cover. "Moonlight Serenade, Pennsylvania 6‑5000 ‑ they've done his top songs. It must have just come out."

Though Glenn Miller had been famous in this reality as well, no one had previously attempted to put together an orchestra playing with Miller's unique "sound".

"You love Big Band so let's add this to our collection, along with the Tommy Dorsey re‑mastered CDs we bought last month," Stuart said.

After paying for the CD, they left the store and crossed Market Street to the trolley car stop.

"Tonight, after we've done what we have to do, we'll come home and play the CD," Stuart said. "And we'll dance together to the music."

"That would be nice," Kelly said. A normal evening in a normal life. But would their lives ever be normal again?


Kelly put the cover on to the large, over‑sized jar, the orange liquid inside it settling down.

"I haven't made this kind of potion in two years," she said. "Since I went to New York with Prue Halliwell." That was Kelly's trip to the SuperNatCon film festival, where she had acted in the role of a girl who was the target of a demon. She had helped to vanquish that demon, and consequently solved Detective Nikki Heat's murder case.

"I'm not concerned about that," Stuart said. "You're a great witch. I know you've got the potion right."

"Thanks for your vote of confidence," Kelly said, with a smile. "But...it's more than just that. For two years, we've lived like normal people. Going to work, coming home at night, having dinner together. Our excitement has been running in Crissy Field, going to shows...playing football with Tali and Lonnie in the park."

She went over to a drawer, took out an envelope, then put its contents ‑ pictures ‑ on the table.

"Our vacation last summer in Waterton Lakes Park," she said, slowly thumbing through the top few pictures. "We didn't have to think about demons, we didn't have to continuously watch out for danger."

She held up the picture of them that another guest had been kind enough to take. They were sitting in the lobby of the Prince of Wales Hotel in the park's village, having the traditional British afternoon tea in the Alberta hotel ‑ as many Canadian hotels maintained British traditions ‑ and looking out through the picture window wall at the sun beginning to set over the lake, mountains on either side framing the water.

She put it down and picked up another one. It was a picture Stuart had taken of her sitting on a two‑seater surrey bike, the morning sun shining on her below the blue‑striped canopy, wearing her grey with red lettering Waterton Lakes sweat shirt and smiling cheerfully at the camera.

"We had such a wonderful time there together," Stuart said, smiling at the memories the pictures evoked.

Kelly turned the surrey bikes steering well to the left, turning down a small street.

"When you drive through the park's village on the surrey, you see the village is a lot bigger than we thought it was," Stuart said, as he sat on the surrey bike's bench seat next to Kelly.

"Did you see the goats?" she asked. "I went outside early this morning while you were taking a shower and saw them coming around to the porches, looking for food."

"Like the deer do around sunset," Stuart said. "It really is so nice and relaxing here."

"We didn't have to be constantly looking over our shoulders, nor worrying about whether a noise in our house meant danger. But now... if the demons are coming through between realities...all of that may change," she said.

He hadn't thought about that life, the life he had lived with the Halliwells and the continuously dangerous demon fighting they had done together, for a long time. At first it was a conscious effort, but after a month with Kelly it became natural not to think of it. He had put that life behind him.

Actually, two of his lives behind him. The years he had been in the real world's normal reality and the two months he had spent in the real world's Charmed modified reality.

The life that he cared about now was his life with Kelly the past two years.

"It...may not end tonight." she said. "If demons besides these are back...whether coming out of hiding or new ones...then everything will change. Because even if just one person needs protection, I'll do whatever I have to do, regardless of the risk. I'm the only witch in this reality. I won't ignore people in danger whom I can help."

"I know you will help them. Because that's you ‑ caring, selfless, responsible," he said. "And that's part of what I love about you.

"But there's one thing that won't change," he said, taking her into his arms and looking into her eyes. "We have each other. And in three months, we will be Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Weston."


Pumping Station Number Two was a key part of the city's fire fighting system. A white stucco two‑story building, with arched pseudo‑Palladian windows along its front wall and a Spanish‑style red‑tiled roof, it sat at the end of Van Ness Avenue, at the western edge of Aquatic Park. The horseshoe shaped Municipal Pier, jutting out into San Francisco Bay to form the park's lagoon, began just off to the Stations's right.

Stuart and Kelly had come there just after sunset. Selecting a grassy spot between some trees up a small hill, past the Station and towards Fort Mason, they settled down to wait and watch. A large pouch rested easily around Kelly's shoulder. As darkness came, the last few strollers made their way eastward, past Ghiradelli Square to the shops and restaurants of Fisherman's Wharf, leaving the area around the Station deserted.

After twenty minutes of silence, they heard noises coming from behind the building. Carefully, they slowly made their way back down towards it. They were about ten yards away when they heard the sounds of activity around the Station. Then from their left they heard footsteps racing from the Municipal Pier towards them.

And then they saw what had been making the noise and activity. Translucent figures, with what seemed to be electrical sparks inside of them, filled the area behind the Station.

"Get down!" a girl's voice shouted at them. Stuart and Kelly hit the ground but raised their heads just enough to see a young girl with long, blond, shoulder length hair standing a few feet to their right. She had said only two words but there was no mistaking her British accent. She was holding, with both of her hands, the largest gun either of them had ever seen. Only it wasn't an ordinary gun. Slung around her back and over her left shoulder, it was longer than a rifle and three times as wide, with an oversized pistol grip and trigger guard.

A young black man with crew cut hair was with the girl as she aimed the gun over Stuart and Kelly and fired. A huge burst of energy hit two of the translucent figures, blowing them up.

Kelly looked in wonder at what had just happened. Then she saw a figure coming around from behind the Station to the side of the girl and the young man, pointing a hand at them.

"Get Down!" Kelly shouted at them and they instinctively dropped down. The figure sent an energy bolt, the arc reaching to where the two of them had been standing. But as they were now flat on the ground, it passed over them and hit the pier's railing, burning a hole in it.

Kelly jumped up and in one motion, removed a flask from her pouch and threw it at the figure. Her quarterback's aim hit the demon squarely in the chest, the flask breaking on impact and covering him in an orange liquid. The demon, engulfed in smoke and fire, began to scream. But in a few seconds he and the fire were gone.

"What was that?" the blond girl asked.

"No time for questions now," the young man said, also with a British accent. They got up and ran towards the back of the Station. Kelly and Stuart hesitated for a second, then followed them.

The blond girl raised her gun and fired at another translucent figure, blowing it up. Kelly and Stuart watched, but then their attention was drawn to a figure at the far corner of the building. They ran past the girl and rounded the corner.

"And so we meet again," the figure said, as they quickly stopped. They recognized the figure in front of them. He was the demon from the Twin Peaks Reservoir. "You actually vanquished Grimaldo. I don't know how you did that. But it doesn't matter. I know what Grimaldo's plan was. And now I'm going to use it.

"And like I told you, I'm now immune to your little spell. But you're not immune to my power that will kill you."

"Then you won't mind telling us what the plan is," Stuart said.

The demon laughed. "You're seeing it. They," he pointed to the translucent figures, "will take and use all of this reality's power, electrocuting anyone in their way. Grimaldo contacted them and 'invited' them here. And we will bring destruction and take whatever life forces are left for ourselves.

"Starting with your witch power. And your mortal friend's life force."

"We won't let you do that," Stuart said. "You underestimate the power of good. And the power of this witch."

Kelly began to speak.

   "Demon against whom a spell was cast

     And is immune, but let that not last

     I call upon all the forces of good

     Combine to vanquish this great evil as we should."


For a few seconds nothing happened. But as the demon began to laugh and raised his hand to point at Kelly, a great spinning ball of small red and yellow flames appeared above them. The ball slowly began to descend over the demon. He tried to run but the ball held him where he stood, until it had completely enclosed him within it.

The demon screamed but his cries were muffled by the spinning ball of flames. When the ball began to rise, there was nothing left in the place where the demon had stood. And then the ball was gone.

"That's amazing," the young man said. He stared at the space where the ball and demon had been, as the blond girl fired her gun again, blowing up the two remaining translucent figures.

They looked around them, then walked all around the Station. No translucent figures nor demons remained. They all took a deep breath.

"Who are you?" Kelly asked.

"Tell us yours and we'll tell you ours," the young man said.

"I can't," Kelly said. "I can't let my secret be known."

"I think we both know that we each have a secret," the blonde girl said. "After what happened here, we have to trust each other."

Kelly looked over at Stuart. He hesitated, then nodded his head affirmatively.

Kelly exhaled. "Kelly Anderson. I'm a witch. Those were demons, at least the ones that looked human were. I vanquished one with a potion, the other with a spell."

"I'm Stuart Weston. I'm not a witch. But whatever Kelly does, I do it with her."

"A witch," the young man repeated.

"You can't believe it?" Kelly asked.

"No, we can," the young, blonde girl said with assurance. "I'm Rose Tyler."

"I'm Mickey Smith," the young man said.

"What were those translucent things? And what kind of a gun is that?" Stuart asked.

"They're Calitron," Rose answered. "They're aliens...from another world. That gun is specially designed to destroy aliens. Any kind of alien."

"You mean there are others?" Kelly asked.

"Right now the aliens of concern are the Calitron," Rose said. "We should go somewhere we can talk."

"We can go to my house," Kelly said. She looked at the Pumping Station. It wasn't damaged. Together the four of them had averted a disaster.

Demons and aliens. The feeling she had had those uneasy nights that something very bad was coming was being realized. And in a way even worse than she could have imagined.


Kelly handed Rose a cup of tea, then put the teapot on the snack table, next to the plate of cookies. She would have rather had coffee herself, but as her British guests preferred tea, she took that as well. She took her cup from the table and sat down on the sofa next to Stuart.

"You'll find this quite strange and hard to believe," Kelly began, "but we're from a different reality. And a different time." Kelly paused to watch Rose's and Mickey's faces for their surprised reactions.

"Not strange at all," Rose said. "I've been through time and realities. So has Mickey, though not as many different times as I've been in."

Now it was Kelly who had the surprised look on her face.

"You're not a witch. How did you do that? And why?" she asked.

"I traveled...with a friend," Rose said. "Usually for fun and adventure. But somehow we always wound up saving...those who needed saving. Why are you here?"

"We were thrown here by a demon ‑ actually three demons joined together," Kelly said. "Two of them have the power to affect realities. I was trying to vanquish them but before I could the lead demon Grimaldo sent us here. Stuart was with me...helping me even then...and he was sent along with me. And five years into the future, too.

"We've been here two years. When we first came I tried every way I knew but nothing worked. We can't get back."

"I was thrown into this reality, too," Rose said, "while trying to save my world. I've crossed back when my world, when all the realities, were in danger. It took a lot of work and effort to do that. But in the end I had to come back here. And I can't do it again. Crossing realities destroys the fabric of the universe. That's what The Doc ‑ uh, my friend told me."

Kelly heard the sadness in Rose's voice. Was it her own reality, or her friend, that she so missed.

"So we protect this reality from aliens that come here," Mickey said.

"Aliens," Kelly said, then shrugged her shoulders. "I suppose they're not any more surprising than finding demons. Have there been many here?"

"There have been in both realities," Rose said. "And affecting both realities." She stopped and thought for a moment. "You say you've been thrown five years into the future. That's why you missed the aliens coming to your reality. That's the reality we come from, too."

"And you were there?" Stuart asked. "And fought the aliens there too?"

"Yes," she answered and sighed. "It was really the Doc‑...my friend who fought them. I...helped out."

"You did a lot more than that, Rose," Mickey said. "Don't be so modest. He couldn't have done it without you."

"Were you 'together'?" Kelly asked gently.

"No," Rose answered. "Yes. Yes and no." Kelly saw a small tear come from Rose's eyes.

"You and Stuart?" Mickey asked.

"We're engaged to be married," Kelly replied.

"Congratulations," Mickey said.

"Tell us about the aliens," Stuart said.

"The Calitron came to London about two months ago," Rose said. "Most aliens invading Earth show up there."

"And most demons doing evil show up in San Francisco," Stuart noted. How odd they should each have a preference, he thought. "But until the past few days we hadn't seen any in the two years that we've been here. But we've learned that Grimaldo in our reality has been sending them across."

"From what you said, that in itself can destroy both realities," Kelly said.

"We eliminated the first Calitron that came to London," Mickey said. "They were soaking up electrical energy and electrocuting people who were in their way. Then more came but they all left London. We traced them and followed them here. But we don't know why they came here."

"The demons brought them," Stuart said. "Grimaldo was the head demon here ‑ there was one of him in each reality. His plan was to work with the Calitron ‑ apparently their consuming electrical energy would leave this reality without power ‑ and the demons would cause the rest of the destruction of this reality. He somehow contacted them and brought them to Earth. Kelly vanquished the Grimaldo from this reality but the other demons were going ahead with his plan."

"We don't know if there are any more demons left here, after the ones we vanquished," Kelly said.

"But we do know that there are lots of Calitron here," Mickey said.

"Thousands of them," Rose added. "We have to find a way to defeat them. Even without the demons, they can destroy this reality on their own."


Kelly did not sleep well that night. The hazy feelings of something bad coming, that had previously disturbed her sleep, were replaced with the worry of a specific and terrible danger that was already there.

Stuart also slept poorly. The Calitron, with or without more demons, concerned him, too. But something stronger than that had prevented his having a restful night. Something inside of him felt different, as if something inside of him was changing. As if he was changing.


Kelly had a new exhibit that would soon be on display at the de Young Museum but she had time to go in later in the morning to review it. With the semester nearly over, Stuart had no classes. There were final exams to mark but they weren't due for another few days so he made his morning free. He arranged for them to meet Rose and Mickey, then go around the city together, looking for signs of Calitron or demon activity.

Mickey had brought along a tool case. The gun and a few tools were in it, he said, in case they found the Calitron and needed them. They had started along The Embarcadero near the Alcatraz Ferry, continued to Pier 39, then crossed into North Beach. After Kelly left them to go to the museum, they crossed into Russian Hill, then skimmed the Marina District where Stuart and Kelly lived.

They were walking through Crissy Field in the early afternoon when they gave up their quest. Mickey went back to their motel to put away the tool case. Rose continued to walk slowly with Stuart along the linear park's breakwater.

"This is frustrating," Rose said. "We know that at least the Calitron, if not any demons, are here somewhere. If The Doc‑...that is, if my friend was here, he'd know how to find them."

"He sounds like an extraordinarily capable person," Stuart said. "And clearly you miss him a great deal."

"I do," Rose said. "Sometimes I just close my eyes and make believe that he's here with me. Sometimes...I feel like he is."

"I'm sure he is...inside of you," Stuart said. "That's how you make him feel so real. And...from what I've seen of you, Rose...you're a special person. I'm sure he misses you, too."

They continued to walk along the bay for a while longer, the Golden Gate Bridge looming in front of them, Rose relating bits and pieces about her time travels. And the bind that she had ‑ and still felt ‑ with "her friend".

After a while they turned around and walked back to the beginning of the park, crossed Marina Boulevard into the Marina District and turned on to Casa Way where Stuart's and Kelly's house was. Kelly had come home too and met them as they reached the house.

"Give me a few minutes and I'll make something for us to eat," Kelly said.

"I'll help you," Rose said. "I'm good in the kitchen. I can do things besides shooting aliens," she added, with a smile.

Stuart sat down on the recliner, leaned back and closed his eyes. Though he had intended to take a brief nap he wasn't napping. Instead, thoughts started racing through his mind. And that feeling that he had during the night ‑ the feeling that something about him was changing ‑ came back to him.

By the time Kelly and Rose returned to the living room with the food, it had come to him. He knew what to do. He knew how to defeat the Calitron.


"Vanquish them?! How can I vanquish them?" Kelly asked. "They're not demons and they're not warlocks."

"No...they're not," Stuart said, very slowly. "And they're not humans, either. They're evil, just like demons and warlocks. And you, Kelly Anderson, can vanquish evil."

Stuart had, with the utmost of confidence, explained the plan to Kelly and Rose. There was no doubt, he had said, that this was the only way to do it. And that it would work.

Rose had said nothing. She had listened and stared at Stuart, quietly accepting what he was saying as if it was what she had been expecting and waiting for. Just as she had been many times in the past, when she had heard "the plan" to defeat whatever threat that faced them explained to her.

But all of those times she had heard it from someone else. Yet she was reacting to this plan the same way as she had in the past. Acceptance...and trust.

"But they're all over," Kelly protested. "Even if I could vanquish them with a spell, I'd need them all together in one place."

"In one place," Stuart slowly repeated. Then his eyes suddenly brightened and a small smile crossed his lips. "Then we'll get them in one place.

"Rose, how did the Calitron come down here?" he asked.

"Through lightning," she replied. "They followed the electricity down."

"And then spread through the electric grid everywhere," Stuart said with assurance. "So we go to the power station, the main power station that connects all of the other stations on the grid ‑ and we short it out."

"Then...everywhere will go dark," Kelly said.

"Everywhere will be without electricity," Stuart emphasized. "Except for the power station. The shorting will cause arcs and sparks and...well you get the idea. It will be the only place that has any electricity."

"And the Calitron will rush to that power plant," Rose said.

"And they'll all be in one place for you to work your spell on them, Kelly," Stuart said excitedly, starting to run forward. Then he turned around and ran back to them.

Rose gave Stuart a long stare.

"Come on, Rose. We're going to need your friend Rickey. And his tools and equipment," Stuart said, his eyes still gleaming as he ran off ahead of them.

Rose kept staring after Stuart.

"'Rickey'", she repeated. "That's what The Doctor ‑ what my Doctor in his first incarnation ‑ always called Mickey." She paused, confusion showing on her face. "And that excitement in his voice and in his eyes...he's sounding like my Doctor. And the way he just ran around...he's acting like my Doctor in his second incarnation."

"The Doctor...is that your friend?" Kelly asked. "What's his name?"

Rose exhaled. "Just...The Doctor," she answered. "And yes ‑ that's my 'friend'".

"What do you mean 'incarnation'?" Kelly asked.

"The Doctor can re‑generate himself when...when he has to. Change his appearance, his mannerisms ‑ but still be the same Doctor inside," Rose said.

"How can...never mind, explanations will have to wait for when we have time," Kelly said. She took both of Rose's hands in hers and closed her eyes.

"You're projecting your friend The Doctor," Kelly said after a moment. "You feel that The Doctor is the one needed to save everyone. And you're projecting that feeling...along with your thoughts of who and what The Doctor is." Kelly paused. "Stuart is picking up all of that."

"How?" Rose asked.

"I...don't know," Kelly said. "Stuart is just a mortal. But he's been around witches ‑ very closely...and intimately ‑ for a long time. Something somehow...rubbed off on him. At least as far as his senses are concerned. And he's sensing what you're projecting about The Doctor. And reacting to it."

"That's more than just reacting," Rose said. "He's becoming just like him."


They stood at the entrance gate to the power plant. There was limited light but enough for them to see the gate and the locking mechanism securing it.

"Hmmm...we'll have to get the gate open without alerting whoever is inside monitoring it," Stuart said, then turned to Mickey. "Let's see what you have in that tool case of yours." Stuart opened it and began taking out its contents one at a time.

"Wire cutter, chain cutter, jumpers, that very big gun again, acetylene torch ‑ how did you get all of this into this small case? Hmm...it must be that it's bigger on the inside," he said matter‑of‑factly, then continued pulling out items. "Electrical wire and cables, a meter ‑ what does this do?"

"It tells you if there are any Calitron in the wiring," Mickey answered.

"Umm..." Stuart said, then continued. "Plasma cutter, hammer, heavy duty flashlight ‑ two of them, electrical tape...nothing that will help us here," he said.

"We also have this," Rose said, holding up a narrow, cylindrical object with a blue top.

"What's that?" Kelly asked.

"A sonic screwdriver," Rose replied.

"Where did you get it?" Kelly asked.

"From...someone special," she answered.

"Sonic...screwdriver," Stuart said very slowly, staring at it with an expression of complete puzzlement. As he reached over to take it from Rose to examine it, his hand briefly rested on her hand.

"Sonic screwdriver! That will do it!" he exclaimed. His face showed that now he completely understood what it was and what it did. "I'll pop the lock and keep the screwdriver touching one side, so the security system will think the gate's circuit is unbroken."

Rose and Kelly stared at one another with some disbelief as Mickey quickly returned everything to the case.

Stuart held the sonic screwdriver to the lock and pressed the screwdriver's button. The top of the screwdriver lit up blue and it emitted a steady buzz. In a second he pushed the gate open, holding the screwdriver to the stationary side's part of the lock.

"Now ‑ through the gate ‑ quickly!" he commanded. They squeezed through the opening into the plant grounds. Stuart pulled the gate shut, then re‑sealed the lock circuit with the screwdriver.

"Where do we go now?" he asked, as Rose pulled out the plant's floor plan and he looked over her shoulder.

"Inside here, then down the second corridor to the right," she said.

"No...that room is too small," Stuart said. "That's only a secondary feeder to the grid. Small turbine. There," he said, pointing to a large room down the third corridor, "that's the main room. Let's go."

Stuart started racing towards the entrance and the others quickly followed him. They dashed down the hallway, came to the third corridor and turned right. And abruptly stopped.

Dozens of translucent forms, electrical sparks visible inside of them, filled the corridor, blocking the entrance to the grid room.

"The Calitron," Mickey said. "They anticipated what we'd do."

"No...they're just taking precautions," Stuart said in a low voice. "They don't know that we're here."

"We can't get past them into the grid room," Rose said. "They're smart. What's the plan, now? You do have a plan, Doctor."

"A plan," Stuart repeated slowly, a blank look on his face. "Do I have a plan?"

Kelly and Rose looked at each other. Rose ‑ inadvertently...or subconsciously ‑ had called Stuart "Doctor". And he had responded to that name.

Realization came to Kelly. "Take Stuart's hands," she said to Rose. "When he touched your hand before, he suddenly knew all about the sonic screwdriver. That came from your projections of The Doctor. Stuart's physical contact with you amplified them. Along with the name 'Doctor'.

"Now take both of his hands and hold them tightly in yours," Kelly continued. "And think of everything you can about The Doctor, about your Doctor. Think of everything you know about him. And project all of it."

Rose hesitated for a few seconds, then turned to Stuart. She took his hands in hers and stared deeply into his eyes. And then she began to think. She began bringing back memories of trips and adventures. Of fun and of danger. And memories of always being able to count on one person to come up with a plan to save the day. And to save her.

The Doctor.

Stuart jerked backwards, pulling his hands free from Rose, his eyes wide open. He stared off into nowhere for a moment. Then he shook his head a few times.

"A plan? Of course I have a plan," he said with confidence. "You said the Calitron are smart," as he turned to Mickey.

"Well...yes, they are," Stuart said, turning back to face all three of them. "But we're smarter! We have Kelly and Rose." He put his arms around their shoulders, pulling them together.

 "And...Rickey," he added.

"It's Mickey," the young man grumbled.

"What we need is a diversion, something to get the Calitron's interest somewhere other than by the entrance to the main grid room," Stuart said. "So...we give it to them. That small sub‑feeder room down the other corridor. Go down there, Rickey, and start breaking into it. Make noises, use your torch, anything to make the Calitron think that room is under attack.

"The floor plan showed a small passageway from outside the main room to the feeder room. Its closest so they'll use that to go there to protect it. After you've made your noise, get out of there fast down the main corridor and get back here."

Mickey hurried down to the sub‑feeder. He took out his hammer and began to bang loudly on the room's door. He kept an eye on the small passageway. When the first Calitron appeared in it he put away his hammer and dashed back to the others in the main corridor.

"Come on," Stuart said when the last of the Calitron went down the passageway to the sub‑feeder. They hurried inside the main grid room.

Stuart went directly to a large diameter cable coming out of a conduit on one wall and connecting to the huge turbine. He took the sonic screwdriver and held it to the cable. In a moment the cable burst, smoke coming out from burnt wires.

"That severed the grid," Stuart said. "The only electricity left is what's in this room. The Calitron should be coming here any minute."  

The Calitron who had gone to the sub‑feeder quickly returned and came into the room as Calitron from throughout the city began flowing through the grid conduit into the room.

"Your plan is working, Doctor," Rose said.

"Maybe working too well," Mickey said. "They're flowing in here so fast they'll overrun us. We've got to use the spell."

"We have to wait until we get all of them," Kelly said.

"They're still coming," Rose said, looking at the conduit emptying more Calitron into the room.

"They have to all be here before I say the spell," Kelly said. "If they keep coming while I'm saying the spell on the ones already here, the new ones will get to us before I can start the spell again on them."

The Calitron were quickly filling the room in front of them. Stuart looked around and saw a door at the far side of the room.

"Rose, remember the very first thing I said to you when we first met?" Stuart asked.

"When we first met? Rose asked, confused. That had been only the day before.

"The plastic mannequins that came to life and the Autons," he added.

"Oh," Rose said. She realized that Stuart wasn't talking about himself. He was talking about when The Doctor, in his first incarnation, first met her in the London department store where she had been working. Her projections of the Doctor had put that into his mind.

"You said 'run'," she answered.

Stuart nodded his head in agreement. "Run!" he shouted

Stuart dashed for the door at the far side. Rose, Kelly and Mickey were right behind him. The door led into a room smaller than the main grid room. The room was dark. There was a large inside window against the wall to the main grid room, which allowed some light in and also let them see the circuit through which the Calitron were flowing from the grid. But there was no door on the room's other side. The only way out was the way they had come in ‑ the main grid room.

That room was filled with Calitron. And now the room they were in was, too. They stood in the middle of the room, where they could see through the inside window at the conduit, as the Calitron came into it and spread out all around the room.

"They're behind us!" Kelly said.

"We're surrounded ‑ there's no place else to go," Mickey said.

The Calitron were advancing towards them from all sides, getting closer and closer, pushing the four of them into a circle shrinking smaller and smaller.

"Wait...wait," Stuart said, as he kept one eye on the incoming circuit and one eye on the encroaching Calitron.

Mickey held the gun ready in his hands. But he knew it was useless against the thousands of Calitron around them.

Stuart looked at the circuit. Nothing more was coming from it. He knew that now all of the Calitron were there.

"Now, Kelly!" he commanded.

Kelly took a deep breath, closed her eyes and began.

    "Evil in whatever form

      Demon or alien, there is no norm,

      But never will you return anew

      The power of this spell will forever destroy you."

Fire and smoke surrounded them. Sparks flew. They shielded their eyes and covered their mouths and noses.

And then after a minute the fire and smoke were gone. Mickey put down the gun and pulled out the heavy‑duty flashlight, shining it around the room.

"They're gone," Mickey said.

"Wait, the meter," Rose said. She pulled the meter out of the case as Mickey aimed the light at it.

"They are all gone," she said. She ran over to the circuit and held the meter next to it "Not a single Calitron left."

"Ohhh...Kelly Anderson...you did it," Stuart said, smiling.

"Wait," Rose interjected. "Everything is still dark. The whole city is dark." She glanced out the small outside window in the far side wall.

"We have to fix that," Mickey said.

"Wel‑l‑l..." Stuart began, "you could take that acetylene torch and try welding the two ends of the grid connector, then use that splicer with the wires between them, then take your electrical tape and wrap it around all of it. That will take you...a while.

"Or...I can just use the sonic screwdriver on one end like this and on the other end like that," Stuart said, as he quickly ran the screwdriver along the two ends. "And then seal them together like this." He ran the screwdriver up and down along the seam.

"And..." he said.

"Lights!" Mickey exclaimed, as the lights in the room came on.

"And in the city," Rose said, peering through the small outside window.

"You did it," Kelly exclaimed jubilantly.

"We did it," Stuart said. "We all did it."

Stuart and Kelly hugged each other as Rose and Mickey did the same. Then Rose hugged Kelly as Stuart looked at Mickey and hesitated for a second. And then he gave him a hug, too.

Then Stuart and Rose looked at each other with a special look, opened their arms wide and embraced each other.

"Rose Tyler...just like old times again," Stuart said.

Her head over Stuart's shoulder, Rose froze. The words. Old times? And that voice. And that accent. That...that wasn't Stuart's voice and accent, she thought. That's...The Doctor's voice.

No...it's just in my mind because I've been thinking about him. My mind is playing tricks on me. I'm letting my imagination fool me.

Their embrace ended and Rose pulled back ‑ and stared at Stuart.

"Oh my..." Kelly began in disbelief.

"That's...impossible," Mickey said, staring at Stuart.

"Why are you all staring at me?" Stuart asked. "Do I have two heads? I have two hearts," he said, placing one hand over the left front of his chest and one hand over the right front. "But not two heads." He put one hand on his head and felt all around it. "See...only one head."

Rose stood there not moving, just staring at Stuart. Then slowly she placed her hand on the side of his face and gently ran it down to his chin. But it wasn't Stuart's face that her hand was touching.

It was The Doctor's face. The face of the second incarnation, the re‑generation, of her Doctor.

Rose's mind was rejecting it. Her logic was rejecting it. But her heart desperately wanted to accept it.

And her emotions won.

She threw her arms around him and hugged him with all of her might. Small streams of tears ‑ tears of joy ‑ ran down her face.

"Ooooh," Stuart said, hugging her as well. "You really have missed me, Rose Tyler."


Kelly, Rose and Mickey sat quietly in Kelly's living room, absorbed in each own's thoughts.

"It's not him," Mickey said. "He only looks like him."

"I know," Rose said in a low voice, her eyes staring at nothing.

"He's not a Time Lord ‑ he can't regenerate into someone else," Mickey added.

"I know," Rose said, her voice even lower.

"But he's not Stuart anymore," Kelly said.

"I know," Rose said, her voice barely audible.

Kelly took a deep breath and exhaled. "But somewhere inside I know Stuart is still there. And we're going to find a way to reverse the process and bring him back," Kelly said with conviction.

"We have to understand his makeup and find what it is in him that's doing this," Rose said slowly. "And you understand him best."

"I do," Kelly said. "But it's more than just something inside of him reacting to you. It's something inside of you too, Rose. All of that traveling you did through space and time...it did something to you. It changed you and gave you you're ability to project on to him like that."

"Kelly's right," Mickey said. "I spent twenty minutes with him, talking about my cousin James. I concentrated on everything I could think of about James. I even sat there with my arm around Stuart the whole time to keep the physical contact.

"And nothing. It didn't do a thing to him. He didn't change one bit. It is you, Rose. You once had the TARDIS' time vortex inside of you ‑ that's what the TARDIS uses to travel through space and time," he explained to Kelly.

Two years earlier, in the other reality, Rose had consumed the TARDIS' time vortex and used its power to save The Doctor. But that power had almost killed her. The Doctor withdrew it from her, through a kiss, into himself, the power burning up his body and forcing him to re‑generate ‑ the second incarnation of Rose's Doctor.

"I'll wager there's some residual power from it left in you," Mickey said. "And that you also absorbed bits and pieces of The Doctor when he re‑generated. It was so powerful and you were standing next to him when he did.

"Now put the two together. You're not just projecting your thoughts and feelings of The Doctor because you know that we need him. You're projecting The Doctor himself."

"Stuart said that I have The Doctor inside of me," Rose said. "Maybe...he was right."

She was silent for a moment, thinking about what Mickey said.

"But as much as I miss The Doctor I didn't do this on purpose. I didn't mean to hurt Stuart. And I didn't mean to hurt you, Kelly," she said, taking Kelly's hand.

"I know you didn't," Kelly said. "It's not something that you could have foreseen as even being possible. Or that I could have foreseen, when I told you to take and hold his hands."

Kelly took a deep breath. "We need to find what to change in both Stuart and Rose to so that it will reverse the action/re-action combination. So that it will undo what's happened," she said.

"When we go back to London we'll be far enough away where my projections can't reach him," Rose said. "He won't have anything to which he'll react."

"But we can't go back until we're sure there aren't any more demons around bringing more aliens here," Mickey said.

"Then I'll stay away from him for the rest of the time that we're here," Rose said. "Maybe that will let it begin to wear off and he'll change back."

"But can you?" Kelly asked. "Can you stay away from your Doctor?"

Rose didn't answer Kelly's question. She knew what her answer should be, what it must be. But she didn't know if that answer would be a truthful one.


It was late afternoon when the cell phone rang. Kelly hurried into the living room to get it.

She had stayed home from work to be with and watch Stuart. She had responded to his requests to go to the TARDIS ‑ Rose had explained to Kelly the night before that it was the Doctor's "ship" for traveling through space and time ‑ that it was hidden but that Rose was trying to find it. But Rose's not being around him most of the day had not made any change in his actions, his speech, nor his appearance.

"Kelly," Rose said on the other end of the call. "There are Cybermen in Crissy Field. You have to come now."

"Cybermen?" Kelly asked. 'What's that?"

"They're cybernetic machines. They used to be human but now they're almost all metal, with no feelings, no emotions. They upgrade people and turn them into more Cybermen," Rose answered quickly. "We've been up against them before. Now hurry. At the end of the park close to Fort Point."

"Cybermen?" Stuart asked, as Kelly closed the cell phone. "Cybermen here? Why are they here now? Who brought them here?"

"I've got to get to Rose at Crissy Field," Kelly said, grabbing her jacket.

"Of course we do," Stuart said. "Earth is in great danger!"


Kelly and Rose stood straight and tall next to each other, their feet spread apart in defiant stances. Rose had the strap of her gun around her neck and slung over her left shoulder, the gun in her hands. Kelly had the strap of her pouch, filled with vanquishing potion flasks, around her neck and slung over her shoulder, a flask in her hand.

Each had a serious, determined look on her face as the two blond girls looked out together at the figures that were before them, ready for what they had to do.

"Now!" Rose shouted. She raised her gun and fired at three Cybermen, blowing holes in them.

Kelly ran to the left as she saw someone who wasn't metal.

"Take them all," he commanded the Cybermen. "We brought you here. Now upgrade them."

"A demon," Kelly said as she approached him. "You brought the Cybermen...Grimaldo sent you through the realities and told you how to contact them."

"How do you know...you're a witch!" he said, as he realized what Kelly was. "There aren't supposed to be any witches here...well now there definitely won't be any." He raised his hand to send an energy bolt at Kelly. But she was ready for him and hurled a potion flask at him before he could attack her.

Kelly left him screaming in fire and went looking for more demons.

Mickey had gone to the other side, getting any people still at the end of the park away to safety. Rose was afraid of what Stuart might do in his condition and had convinced him that Mickey needed his help to save those people.

Kelly saw another demon commanding more of the Cybermen. Then he left them and went into the Warming Hut, the Crissy Field café and gift shop at the west end of the park. She followed him into the white clapboard building, flask in hand, the noise of the Cybermen's shooting and Rose's gun in response drowning out her footsteps. The demon was at the far wall, getting something from a shelf, when he suddenly turned around and saw Kelly.

She ducked behind a counter as an energy bolt leapt from the demon's hand in her direction. Then she popped up and threw a potion flask at him. In a second he was engulfed in flames.

After he and the flames were gone, Kelly went over to the shelf to see what the demon had wanted. But there was nothing there and she realized he had already taken it in his hand and it had burned up with him.

Kelly turned around to leave and stopped in her tracks. Three Cybermen had entered the Warming Hut and were advancing towards her. They blocked her way to the door and were hemming her in.

"You will be upgraded," the center Cyberman said. Kelly backed up as far as she could to the wall. But there was no escape as they were almost on top of her.

Suddenly there were loud noises. The Cybermen jerked backwards, their heads blown away, and then fell to the floor. By the door of the Hut stood Rose, her gun still aimed at where the Cybermen had been standing.

"Are you all right?" she quickly asked Kelly.

"I am now," Kelly answered, then exhaled. "Thanks."

"We're together, Kelly," Rose said, "and we watch out for each other. Come on, there's still more of them out there."

They hurried outside and looked towards Fort Point at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. A light was shining down from above in front of the red brick fort at the west end of Crissy Field.

"There are more Cybermen coming," Stuart said, startling Kelly and Rose, as they had not seen him run over to them.

"Doctor!" Rose cried out. She had not wanted to call him that but had blurted it out in her surprise at his being next to her. But in fact even Kelly had given in to calling him The Doctor, as he no longer responded to the name Stuart.

"They're using a teleport to send them down from their ship. That's what that light in front of the fort is," he said. "We have to stop them from sending down any more."

"How did their ship get here so fast?" Rose asked. "And undetected?"

"Grimaldo from the other reality sent more demons into this reality," Kelly said. "He told them how to contact the Cybermen."

"I'll venture he told them more than that," Stuart said. "How to get the Cybermen's ship here using demonic power. We have to disable their teleport. To do that, we have to get on to their ship. If the TARDIS was here that would be a simple matter. But it's not."

"We have this," Rose said, taking something from her pocket and showing it to them.

"A Time Watch," he said. "How did you get that?"

"It was a present from Captain Jack," she answered.

"Who's that?" Kelly asked.

"Captain Jack Harkness runs the Torchwood Institute in Cardiff," Rose quickly answered. "They also fight aliens."

"How many times did I berate him for using a Time Watch to go through space and time," The Doctor said, taking the watch from Rose. "But...it does have it's moments.

"So...we go up to the Cybermen's ship and disable their teleport. Then you, Kelly, say a spell to send it far, far away."

"A spell like that...I need time to prepare it," she said. "I don't know that I can do that on the spot."

"Kelly ‑ you are the greatest witch I know. The greatest witch anywhere," he said. "You can do it."

"I'm coming with you," Rose said. "While you're disabling the teleport and Kelly is making up her spell, someone has to be watching out for the Cybermen."

The Doctor hesitated. "I never could convince you, Rose, to stay away from trouble. OK ‑ hold on to me tightly. Going through space and time on the outside, without the TARDIS enclosing us, can be rough."

Kelly put her arms around and him. And then Rose did the same, the gun slung around her neck. And she felt what she had not felt for so long, what she had dreamed of for so long. She was really back together with The Doctor.

In a few seconds they were on the Cybermen's ship.

"Which way?" Kelly asked.

"Good question," he replied.

"It will be faster if we split up," Rose said. "I'll go down this corridor, you go that way."

"No, no, no!" he said. "Whenever you go off by yourself, Rose, it's a given that you're going to get yourself into trouble. And then I'm going to have to come rescue you.

"It happens every time," he added.

Rose stared at him for a moment. She knew that was what The Doctor would say to her. And she knew that was how he would sound when he said it.

And she also knew that what he said was true.

"We don't have a choice, Doctor," she said. "We're running out of time." And she started down the corridor.

He turned to Kelly. "Did I ever mention that Rose was stubborn?" He and Kelly went together down the other way, then came to a large room. Stuart immediately ran over to an instrument console and began examining a container that was attached to it.

Kelly gritted her teeth. "Doctor," she said, forcing the words from her mouth, "is that the Teleport?"

"What? No, this is not the teleport," he answered. "This is something quite different. It's not Cybermen technology." He paused to look at it from another angle.

"In fact, it's not technology at all," he said. "This is power. Pure power. This is how the ship got here so fast. The demons sent them this ‑ pure, demonic power. Connect it to your engines and wham! You're in the next galaxy."

He pulled out the sonic screwdriver and held it near the container. There was a loud pop. The container fell away from the console, its contents spilling out on to the floor.

"There ‑ that will stop them from coming back," he said. Then he and Kelly turned around towards the door. And saw two Cybermen approaching them.

"You will be upgraded," one of them said.

"Nah ‑ you don't really want to upgrade me," he said. "I have two hearts. That will mix up your insides, give you indigestion. And Kelly here is a witch. Having a witch's power inside of you will burn you up."

The Cybermen kept coming at them.

"You will be up‑". There were two loud blasts. The Cybermen's knees buckled and they fell to the floor. At the doorway stood Rose, her gun pointing into the room.

"Who has to save whom?" she asked.

"Uh...we...ah, there's an exception to every rule," he said.

"Come on," Rose said, "I found the teleport."

They quickly followed Rose into the corridor and towards the left. She led them into a small room.

"Over here," Rose said, leading them to a square enclosure to their left.

"Only one at a time can fit in here to be teleported, which is why there weren't more of them in the park," he said. "This will take care of that." He pulled out the sonic screwdriver, buzzing with its blue light on as he ran it along the side of the teleport. There was a small explosion. Sparkling smoke came out of the teleport and began filling the area around it.

"Now it's up to you Kelly," he said. "The spell needs to wait ten seconds after you say it before it takes effect so we can get off the ship with the Time Watch."

Kelly took a deep breath as she closed her eyes.

   "This ship that traveled to Earth to attack

     Send it and all who came with it back,

     To where it came from, far away 

     After granting us a ten second delay."

"We don't know if it will work," Rose said.

"It will work," he said. "I have absolute, total faith in Kelly's powers. Now hold on to me again." He pulled back his sleeve and pressed the button on the Time Watch.

Nothing happened.

"What's wrong?" Kelly asked.

"The residual teleport energy in that sparkling smoke is interfering with the Time Watch," he said.

"Doctor, do something fast!" Rose shouted.

Stuart put his arms around the two girls, grabbing them tightly, and dashed for the door, rolling the last two feet into the corridor as he put distance between them and the smoke, the pushed the Time Watch's button.

In a second they were lying on the ground in Crissy Field. They looked up above and the space ship was gone.

"Whew! That was a bit closer than I'd have liked it to be," he said.

"Your spell did it, Kelly," Rose said. "Their ship is gone."

"Not only their ship but all of the Cybermen in the park, even the ones that you destroyed on the ground, too," The Doctor said. "Your spell said to send all who came with that ship back. It took them all. That will save a lot of explaining to the police about parts of Cybermen lying all around Crissy Field.

"But that's not a surprise," he added. "I told you that you are the greatest witch anywhere." They helped each other stand up.

"You saved everyone, Doctor," Rose said, as she excitedly threw her arms around him, hugging him.

"We all did," he said, as his arms slowly went around her, too. Their faces came close together. They looked deeply into each other's eyes. Rose hesitated.

This may be my only chance, she thought. My last chance.

She pulled him tighter to her, putting her lips on his, and kissed him with all of her heart.

And he kissed her back.

Mickey joined Kelly as she looked at them, pain etched on her face.

"Right now, that's not your Stuart kissing Rose," Mickey said. "That...is The Doctor."


"This may not be the end of it," Mickey said. "If that demon from the other reality keeps sending more of his kind across, they may contact other aliens."

"If they don't destroy the fabric of the universe first by weakening the boundaries of the realities," Rose said. "We have to find a way to stop him."

"You're right," Kelly said, "but there's nothing that I can do. There's a time lock on us. A time lock can't be broken."

"A time lock?" Rose asked. "Are you sure?"

"I'm sure," Kelly answered. "I tried going back in time within this reality and couldn't."

Rose thought for a moment. "A time lock is placed on an event, on a specific point in time. It holds it and prevents anything from interfering with it or changing it. And you're right ‑ it can't be broken. But...you said that when you were sent into this reality you were also sent five years into the future."

"That's right," Kelly said.

"That's not a normal time lock," Rose said. "It was placed on you to keep you in this reality while it was sending you forward through this reality's time. Then...that's not a static time lock. It had a 'forward' setting to move you through time in this reality while keeping you locked in here.

"Whatever has a 'forward' setting will have a 'reverse' setting. So if the time lock has a forward setting...then it has a reverse setting, too," she added. "We can make the time lock go backwards."

"How?" Kelly asked.

"By using the Time Watch," Rose answered. "It can be set to connect to the reverse setting on the time lock. You could get back to the other reality."

"That means...that you could come, too, Rose," Kelly said. "You could cross back to the other reality and be with your real Doctor."

Rose was silent. Thoughts of The Doctor, of being really with him again, raced through her mind. After a moment she exhaled.

"It wouldn't work," she said. "Your time is about four years before the first incarnation of my Doctor. I'd have to hide out somewhere. I'm officially 'dead' in that reality, a casualty of the Dalek and Cybermen invasion. No one there knows that's when I crossed over here and I'm still alive.

"And I couldn't risk running into myself. That already happened once. The Doctor took me back in time to the day my Dad was killed in a car accident. The Reapers came to sterilize time because I had corrupted time by saving my Dad's life. The Doctor told me that there are fixed points in time that can't, that mustn't, be changed. My dad's dying was one of them. Then I made it worse when I touched myself as a baby. Then The Reapers started to destroy everyone.

"It was only through my dad's bravery ‑ he sacrificed himself and let himself be killed to restore time as it was supposed to be ‑ that saved everyone."

"I'm so sorry," Kelly said.

"But I have a Dad in this reality so I'm with him," Kelly said. "And my Mum crossed over so she's here, too."

"If the Time Watch could really reverse the time lock, that would take you back in your time line to when those demons sent you here," Mickey said. "You could vanquish them and stop them from sending any demons across the realities."

"Going back in our time line," Kelly repeated, thinking for a moment. "What would the affect be on us?" she asked.

"You told me the other day that you, and other witches, have traveled back reversing time lines and kept your memories of the time lines," Rose said. "That must be something in your makeup as a witch that shields those memories for you."

"Stuart's not a witch," Kelly said.

"I know," Rose said. "Reversing his time line...will mean that he'll forget everything that happened here."

"No," Kelly said. "He can't forget our two years together. He can't forget what we are to each...that we're getting married."

"I'm sorry," Rose said. "He won't remember anything."

"I'll make a spell to put the memories into his sub‑conscious," Kelly said, "then make him remember them once we're out of the time line."

"The reversal will still erase all his memories of his being in this time line, no matter how deeply you bury them deep in his sub‑conscious," Rose said.

Kelly took a deep breath.

"Then I won't do it," she said. "You can't expect me to give up Stuart. You can't ask me to do that. If you could keep The Doctor, would you reverse the time lines and lose him again?"

Rose was silent. Would she do something to lose The Doctor? Could she do it? Rose knew what she should say to Kelly. It required a sacrifice for the good of two realities. She took a deep breath.

"No, I wouldn't give up The Doctor," she said. I can't lie to Kelly, she thought. "And I can't ask you to give up Stuart, either."


Rose spent the day going around San Francisco with The Doctor. They walked across the Golden Gate Bridge both ways, rode both the Hyde Street and Mason Street cable cars, and visited the Palace of Fine Arts. For Rose, being with The Doctor ‑ for she had dismissed any thoughts of his really being Stuart ‑ was the happiest day of her life since she had "died". There was a shine in her face and a bounce in her step that had been missing from her for a long time.

At first, Rose had wanted to keep her word to Kelly and stay away, with the hope, at least for Kelly, that Stuart would revert back to being himself. But the thought of being again with The Doctor was too much for her to resist and she gave in and happily agreed when he asked her to tour the city with him.

"We'll go exploring, just like old times," he had said to her. "Remember when we visited the moon of Algoria, and the time we met Queen Victoria in Scotland in 1879."

For Rose, that's exactly what the day became. Just like old times ‑ traveling with The Doctor.

Kelly had spent her day preparing the new exhibit, hoping that concentrating on her work would keep her mind off of her heartbreak about Stuart.

Rose and The Doctor were strolling along the Marina Green late in the day. Coming to the end, they turned around to take a leisurely walk back.

That's when Rose saw it. She stopped dead in her tracks.

"It can't be!" she said, grabbing his hand tightly.

"What can't ‑" he began. Then he saw what Rose was looking at.

"No. No! NO!" he shouted, each word becoming more emphatic.

Rose whipped out her cell phone and called Mickey. Then she called Kelly and told her to hurry to them.


"What are Daleks?" Kelly asked, staring at them as they wobbled along the Marina Green.

"In short, mutants inside self‑sustaining mobile killing units," Rose explained.

"We have been enemies throughout time," The Doctor said. "I thought they were all destroyed in the Time War ‑ my people and my planet Gallifrey were ‑ but somehow they survived. And became even more deadly."

"Now they can levitate themselves," Mickey said.

"Exterminate! Exterminate!"

The grating, non‑human threatening voice startled Kelly. Rose turned around, saw two Daleks and blew them apart with her gun.

Daleks were beginning to fill the Marina Green, levitating as needed above the boats in the marina.

"There's too many of them," Rose said. "We can't destroy them all."

"Say a spell," Mickey said to Kelly, "and destroy them with it."

"It doesn't work that way," Kelly said. "They're all over. Neither my power nor any other witch's power can do that. If we could, evil throughout the world would have long ago been eradicated. Our powers can only be used on specific evil, in a limited area. We have to vanquish evil one at a time."

"Kelly is right," The Doctor said. "I can't take the TARDIS and just eliminate every evil throughout time. Battles against evil have to be fought one at a time. Whether in the present with a witch's powers or in the past and future with a Time Lord's."

"I don't see their ship," Rose said, looking up at the evening sky. "Where is it?"

"There isn't one," The Doctor said, looking up and around as well. "If there isn't a ship...that means they didn't come with one."

"Then how did they get here?" Rose asked.

"Oh‑h‑h," The Doctor said, as the understanding of what had happened came to him. "When Grimaldo sent his demon across the realities, he sent the Daleks with him."

"That means the Daleks are already in the other reality, destroying it." Mickey said.

"And sending them through is destroying the fabric of the universe," The Doctor said.

"Then how do we stop them, Doctor?" Rose asked.

"Let's find the demon who brought them here," Mickey said. "Vanquish him, Kelly, and the Daleks will have lost their leader. That should stop them."

"Hmm...maybe," The Doctor said.

"Up there," Rose said, pointing to someone standing on the stern of one of the small boats at the edge of the marina. Two Daleks were near him.

"I sense The Doc‑tor," one of the Daleks said. "The Doc‑tor is here."

"What doctor," the figure asked?. "Never mind that. Go exterminate the people."

"That's him," Kelly said, and started heading for the boat

"Wait ‑ where are you going?" Mickey asked.

"I'm too far away to vanquish him," Kelly said. "I have to get closer."

"You can't just go over there," Mickey said. "There are Daleks all around."

"I don't have a choice," Kelly replied. "This has to be done."

"Then we'll do it together," Rose said, moving over next to Kelly. "Let's go."

The two blond girls ran towards the boat. The Daleks turned their turret‑like tops and saw them with each of their single blue electronic eyes.

"Exterminate! Exterminate!"

Rose aimed her gun at them and blew off their tops.

"You're the demon who brought the Daleks here across realities," Kelly said.

"What?" the demon asked. "How do you know about that? Who are you?"

"A witch," Kelly answered defiantly.

"A witch? There aren't any witches left in this reality," the demon said.

"There's one witch left," Kelly said. "Me!" She pulled a flask of vanquishing potion out of her pouch and threw it at the demon. The demon screamed as a fire consumed him while Kelly and Rose hurried back to The Doctor and Mickey.

"Across the street, now!" The Doctor ordered them. "Those houses will give us cover." They followed him and quickly ran across Marina Boulevard, then hid beside a Victorian house. But then they heard two Daleks hovering nearby.

"Our demon leader has been killed," one of the Daleks said. "We have no one to direct us in the plan. We can not continue without a plan."

"We have our other plan," the second Dalek said. "The plan we have always had. To find The Doc‑tor and exterminate him. He is here."

Rose peeked around the corner of the house and raised her gun and aimed at the two Daleks.

"No!" The Doctor said. "Don't shoot them."

"But in a minute they'll have communicated that to all the other Daleks," Rose said. "They'll all be concentrating on finding you."  

"That's what I want," he said. "That's what will make the plan work."

"What plan?" Kelly asked.

"The plan to draw them into the void," he said. "The void that exists between the two realities."

Rose knew about the void. That was how she got caught in this reality to begin with.

"The Daleks have nothing else to do here except to find me," The Doctor said. "They'll follow me into the void. When they're all there, I'll use the Time Watch with the sonic screwdriver to seal both sides of the void ‑ the side to the other reality and the side to this one. Grimaldo won't be able to send over any more demons. No demons, no more Calitron, Cybermen, Daleks and whomever else they planned to bring here. This reality will be safe."

"But you'll be trapped inside the void with them," Rose said. "You won't be able to get out."

"No, I won't," he said. "Rose...everything has an end. Even me. But I'll have saved this whole reality. And I'll have saved you. That will be worth it."

"No, you can't do that!" Rose cried.

"I have to," he said. "It's the only way."

"No...it isn't," Kelly said, looking at him. She stood as if immobile, her face devoid of any warmth. "There is another way," she said, then turned to Rose. The two blond girls looked into each other's eyes. Rose understood the sacrifice that Kelly was making. Going back through their time line to stop Grimaldo would erase all of Stuart's memories of being here with Kelly and of their love, eliminating any chance she had of getting him back.

"I'm running home to get the Orands," Kelly said. "Without them Grimaldo and his two demons will just send us right back here again."

"Take this with you," Rose said, handing her gun to Kelly.

"Thanks," Kelly said, and started running.

"What does she means there's another way," The Doctor said.

"Just trust Kelly," Rose said. "The same way you would trust me."

Kelly's house on Casa Way was just two blocks away. She hurried inside, opened the safe and took the two Orands and the amplifier triangle. There was so much more she wanted to take with her. Two years of her life with Stuart. But there wasn't time. She started for the door but stopped, She hurried into the bedroom and grabbed the ring box. The kelly green velvet ring box that Stuart had somehow found and in which he had put the engagement ring that was on her finger when he gave it to her. Then she turned and ran out of the house.


"Exterminate! Exterminate!

The Dalek was behind Rose. The doctor pushed her down and the Dalek's blast hit him instead of her.

Running back, Kelly saw The Doctor on the ground. She had never shot a gun but she just aimed it at the Dalek and fired, blowing off the top half of him. Then she rushed to The Doctor.

Rose was kneeling on the ground, propping The Doctor up on her thigh and holding him in her arms. Kelly knelt down, dropped the gun and took his hand.

"No!" Rose cried. "No!"

Mickey came racing over to them as The Doctor began to change. The face of The Doctor left and Stuart's own face came back.

"He's dying," Mickey said. "Your projections of The Doctor on him worked only when he had the strength to react to them. But they can't make him re‑generate like a Time Lord does when he's dying."

"Leo...in the other reality...he can heal him," Kelly said. "If I can get him back there in time."

Rose took Stuart's hand from Kelly. She removed the Time Watch from his wrist and put it on Kelly's wrist, then pressed its buttons.

"I set it to stop the time reversal five seconds after you left the other reality two years ago," Rose said as they both stood up, "so that you won't risk touching yourself and bringing the Reapers."

The two blond girls ‑ the witch and the companion ‑ hugged each other tightly, tears streaming down both of their faces.

Then they let go and Kelly kneeled down and took Stuart in her arms.

"Save us and this reality," Rose said, then looked at Stuart. "And save him. Save..."

"Stuart...and The Doctor. I will," Kelly promised.

"Hold on to him tightly," Rose said, then bent down and pressed a button on the Time Watch.

Kelly felt herself being pulled backwards, space and time swirling around her. She held Stuart tightly to her body with all of her strength.

And then suddenly she was kneeling on the floor in The Manor's attic with Stuart in her arms. She saw Piper jump to one side, just missing an energy bolt from the demons that then smashed a chair and a mirror. Kelly lay Stuart down on the floor, then quickly took the two Orands out of her pocket and held them up, aiming them at Uthyr and Egill.

The two demons raised their hands to try to shield themselves as they began reeling backwards.

"What?" Grimaldo shouted, confused at to what was suddenly happening.

The two Orands' were shining, brighter and brighter, as Uthyr and Egill became weaker and weaker. And then there was a bright flash from the Orands and the two demons were gone.

"Piper ‑ take my hand. Hurry!" Kelly commanded.

Piper hesitated for a second, then rushed to Kelly's side and took her hand.

"Channel your powers through me," Kelly said. Both girls closed their eyes in concentration as Kelly began to say the spell.

   "Your name is Grimaldo and with that known

    This spell has all its power aimed at you

    We use the Power of Good that will defeat evil

    And with that power we vanquish you forever"

Grimaldo stared in disbelief as a fireball appeared and engulfed him. His screams lasted a few seconds and then both he and the fireball were gone.

Hearing the crash of the chair and mirror, Leo, Prue and Phoebe came running up to the attic.

"Leo ‑ hurry, heal Stuart. He's dying," Kelly shouted, as she kneeled down beside him. Leo looked confused for a second but then hurried over to Stuart, leaned over him and placed both of his hands on Stuart's chest. Prue, Piper and Phoebe looked at the scene before them in bewilderment.

An aura began to surround Leo's hands. He held them on Stuart's chest for what seemed to Kelly to be forever. Then he removed his hands and Stuart began to stir.

"He'll be all right," Leo said, then stood up. Kelly took Stuart's hand and put it around her finger, and the ring on it, as Phoebe rushed to his side.

"What..." he slowly began to speak.

"You're OK," Kelly said, squeezing his hand around her finger and the ring.

"What...happened?" he asked.

"That's a very good question," Piper said.

"You remember, don't you?" Kelly asked, continuing to squeeze his hand against the ring.

"The last thing I remember...was Kelly finding something in the Book of Shadows. And then...using her power to make it real."

"And nothing after that?" Kelly asked, fear in her voice.

"No...nothing else," he said as Phoebe started to help Stuart up. When he was standing, Kelly reluctantly let go of his hand.

"You should lie down for a while and rest," Prue said to him. "Go and stay with him, Phoebe."

"Come on," Phoebe said to Stuart as she slowly led him out of the attic.

"I'm being called. I'll come back later," Leo said and orbed out.

Prue and Piper saw the devastation on Kelly's face. Prue went over to her, took her gently by the arm and sat her down in a chair, taking a chair for herself and placing it next to her. Piper stood facing them.

"You weren't in the attic," Piper said. "I saw both of you disappear. For at least five seconds both of you weren't here. And then suddenly you're back and Stuart is...hurt."

Kelly didn't answer.

"That's an engagement ring on your finger," Prue said. "A ring that definitely wasn't there when you came to The Manor a little while ago."

Kelly closed her eyes as a few tears streamed down her face.

Piper kneeled down beside her and took her hand.

"It's OK, Kelly," Piper said. "Tell us where you were and what happened in those five seconds."

Kelly took a deep breath.

"It wasn't five seconds," she said slowly. "It was two years."

"Two Years?!" Piper repeated.

"Grimaldo with the other two demons sent us to another reality," Kelly continued. "Five years...in the future. Stuart and I were there for two years.

"Together!" she added as another tear rolled from her eyes.

They were silent for a moment as Prue started to sort things out.

"The ring is from Stuart, isn't it," Prue said. Kelly nodded her head.

"We were...getting married in three months," she said.

"Phew!" Piper exhaled, then paused for a moment.

"How did you suddenly know that demon's name, and the spell to vanquish him?" Piper asked.

"I...used it before," Kelly said. "There was a Grimaldo in the other reality, too." Kelly said.

"And the other two demons?" she asked.

"The Orands sent each of them back to where they had been entombed before Grimaldo found them," Kelly answered. And then she told them everything that had happened to them.

"I made a spell on the ring to take and keep Stuart's memories of our two years together," Kelly said, "because reversing the time lock and our time line would erase them from his memory. And then to give them back to him when he touched the ring when we were in the normal reality in the normal world. But it didn't work."

Prue pulled Kelly's face, streaked with her tears, to her shoulder and put one arm around her. This was the normal reality. And it was the real world. But not the normal world. It was a Charmed modified world. That's why Kelly's spell didn't work to restore Stuart's memories.

But how can she tell her that, Prue thought. How can she tell and explain Charmed and what The Elders had done. How could she tell Kelly that outside of the Charmed modified world she may not even exist.

Prue thought for a moment then exhaled.

"Something that is meant to be will be, regardless of the obstacles," she said, as she gently stroked the young witch's head. "If there is faith and patience."

Kelly slowly lifted her head from Prue's shoulder, looked at her and took a deep breath.

"Faith and patience," Kelly repeated resolutely, a determined look on her face. Then she looked at the ring on her finger.

"Faith...and patience."


It was late in the afternoon the following day when Piper asked Prue to come up with her to the attic.

"We need to talk privately," Piper said. "Stuart and Kelly were together for two years. They made a life together in that alternate reality, thinking they'd never get home again, despite how difficult that must have been for them. And they fell in love.

"Phoebe has spurned Stuart's efforts to get her to make a commitment to him," Piper said, "so it's not as if she hasn't had the chance. She set their relationship to be one with no commitments and no restrictions, and just to see where it would go. Phoebe's had plenty of time to make her decision, to make a commitment to Stuart. And she still hasn't been able to bring herself to do it.

"But Kelly did make that commitment. We can't deny Stuart the happiness he's had for two years. And we can't deny it to Kelly, either. It's wrong to keep Stuart and Kelly apart."

"Just what is it that you want to do?" Prue asked. "You know that Kelly...probably doesn't even exist outside of this Charmed modified world. So what's the point?"

"That's exactly my point," Piper said. "I have an idea. The Elders are going to be sending us back soon enough, undoing what they've done. Phoebe could then have another opportunity with Stuart, if she would be any more up to making a commitment as Alyssa than she has been as Phoebe, which knowing her I don't believe will ever happen. But for whatever time is left here, Kelly ‑ and Stuart ‑ could still have what they had in the other reality."

Prue exhaled. "Even if I agreed with you, we can't make her spell work. We're not in the 'normal' world."

"No, we're not," Piper said. "But remember what The Elders did. They didn't change the whole world. They modified the memories of only those people who were in some way connected to us.

"Shawn Papazian at the studio, your agent at ICM, Alyssa's parents. Who is the one person who wasn't changed, who doesn't have a Charmed modified existence here? The one person who is connected to us?"

Prue thought for a moment. "Do you mean Stuart?" she asked.

"That's right," Piper said. "Stuart is here but there isn't any Charmed modified world version of him. He didn't have a past nor a present here ‑ remember when Morris looked into his background and found nothing ‑ until we made up things for him. He is the one connection to the normal world. The connection that Kelly needs for her spell to work."

"But she put his hand around the ring and nothing happened," Prue said.

"That was here in The Manor, with the three of us surrounding him, which is as much a part of the Charmed modified world as you can get," Piper said.

"You want Stuart to go outside, away from here, away from us, and then hold the ring," Prue said.

"And that amplifier," Piper added. "Kelly told us what it did. It amplifies her powers. I'm counting on that amplifying her spell, too. Just enough to get the ring's spell to kick in and work within a small pocket of the non‑Charmed world."

"That's a long shot," Prue said. "Assuming we could get him to do it and that the ring and the amplifier would work on their own without Kelly's presence."

"The ring's not working now with her presence," Piper said. "There's nothing to lose if we try it."

"Where?" Prue asked.

"The one place we know had nothing to do with Charmed, wasn't in any of the episodes, and therefore is unchanged," Piper said.


"I don't understand," Stuart said. "You want me to go to the Golden Gate Bridge. Why? And for what?"

"Just trust us," Prue said.

"You have to be separated from the Charmed modified world," Piper said, "including The Manor. Take this bag but don't look inside it until you get to the bridge. Then open it and read the instructions."

"Are you trying to get me away from here because you're in danger and you're trying to protect me?" he demanded.

"No, it's not that at all," Prue said. "It's...please, just trust Piper and me."

Stuart hesitated for a moment, then exhaled. "Of course I trust you," he said. He extended his hand and took the bag from Piper.

"Don't worry," Piper said. "It's going to be all right. Really."

"OK," he said, his mind filled with questions. "See you in a little while."


The golden glows of sunset highlighted the bridge's orange color. Stuart walked over to a quiet corner, away from the tourists and natives who congregate there for the view. He took a deep breath and opened the bag.

He took out a sheet of paper and unfolded it. He read the words written in Piper's handwriting. He put his hand back into the bag and took something out. A kelly green velvet ring box. He had never seen a ring box that wasn't black or at most dark blue. Following the instructions, he opened the box. He saw that the ring inside was beautiful.

Following the last instructions that Piper had written, he removed the remaining item from the bag. An odd looking flat triangular object. Her instructions called it an amplifier. Amplifier of what? he thought.

Holding the amplifier in his left hand, he put down the ring box, took out the ring and held it in his right hand. Something about it felt familiar but he didn't know why.

Then he put the amplifier into his right hand and held it together with the ring. The amplifier began to feel warm. He looked at it and it was glowing. Then another glow caught his attention. The ring had begun to glow as well.

Thoughts and memories began to flood his mind. He felt overwhelmed and closed his eyes. It was like a bottle being opened, and once opened, all of its contents pouring into his head. It was more than he felt he could take.

After a moment it stopped. The memories were settling into his mind, into where they would have been had they been there all along.

And then it all came together. He couldn't believe it all.

And then he did believe it. Because they weren't just memories. There were feelings. Strong feelings from inside his heart. And then he knew that it was all true.


Kelly was sitting quietly in Piper's room. Piper had stayed with her, amazed at the calmness on Kelly's face. She thought that if this was herself, she could never be sitting so serenely, as if there was nothing about which to worry.

After an hour they heard footsteps on the stairs. Someone stopped at Piper's door.

"Faith and patience," Kelly said as she stood up and looked at the door.

The door opened and Stuart stood there. Kelly looked longingly at him. Stuart walked in and looked at Kelly. Then he rushed to her and threw his arms around her. She embraced him as well, her face shining in joy and relief. Then he took the ring out of the kelly green velvet box and slipped it on to her finger.

A small tear fell from Piper's eye as she looked at their happiness. Faith and patience, Piper thought. Kelly had followed Prue's words. And now she was re‑united with Stuart.

I don't how much longer The Elders will keep us here before they send us back and undo the Charmed modified world, Piper thought to herself. But for whatever amount of time there still is, they deserve to be with each other. Love is so elusive ‑ we have to grab it whenever we can. In whatever reality it comes along.

A smile crossed Piper's face as she slowly backed out of the room and quietly closed the door.






Rose



~ Notes ~

• The Berkeley Seismological Laboratory at UC Berkeley really does exist, monitoring earthquakes in Northern California. And Dr. Peggy Hellweg is the real Operations Manager of the laboratory.

• At the time this episode takes place in early July 2000, KABL was a real San Francisco radio station,
broadcasting at 960 AM.

• All of the historical references and anecdotes are true.

• The places, both in California and Alberta, are real. Some examples:

  
    
  



• As is Kelly's favorite maple syrup, Northern Comfort



Top