band finished the song they had been playing and paused to take a break.
With the music and dancing having ended for the moment,
the three sisters maneuvered their way through the crowd back to their table.
P3 was fuller than usual for a Monday evening and
Piper kept being stopped by people wanting to say hello to her.
"It's great to have finally a night where we can actually
relax," Stuart said, after they sat down.
"After saving the world last night, we're entitled to
celebrate," Phoebe said. "We deserve one demon-free, warlock-free
"Oooh - don't say that," Piper said. "Every
time we said that on Charmed one of them would come after us."
"This isn't Charmed," Phoebe said, "and the
writers aren't here to do that to us."
"Well, I think we've accomplished what we were sent
here to do," Prue said, munching on some nuts. "We've vanquished
demons and warlocks, thwarted their plans of major destruction and saved the
"And last week's episode of The Demon Dimension
was the season finale. They'll be in reruns so there won't be any new demon
information for us."
"After what we did to Argyris, I think they'll be
cancelled," Piper said.
"Good. Then we can get back our time slot on Thursday
night," Phoebe quipped.
"I think we'll be sent back home soon," Prue said.
"It's been so different here," Piper said,
sounding wistful. "Saving innocents, living in The Manor, not to mention
running P3." She paused and looked around the club.
"So I've prepared some things to take back with
me," she said. "Business cards from the club.
"And The Book of Shadows."
"What?" said Prue. "You can't. They'll never
let you take it."
"Why not?" Piper asked. "I want something to
remind me of everything we did. I want to remember all of this. And besides,
maybe someday we'll need it."
Stuart was surprised by Piper's wanting mementos of their
being witches. But after what Piper had said to her in the car that morning,
Phoebe wasn't surprised at all and she turned to Prue.
"Are you taking anything back?" Phoebe asked her.
"My pictures," she answered. "I've shot a
couple of rolls for myself besides the Four One Five assignments. I also found
the family pictures in the envelopes, pictures of Grams... and of Mom. I'm
taking them all back with me, along with Mom's scrapbook."
"What about you, Phoebs?" Piper asked.
"There's only one thing I want to take back," she
said. "What I brought with me."
"Stuart," Piper said, as Phoebe smiled and grabbed
his hand. And then Piper realized that she wouldn't have Leo anymore.
"I...wish I could take Leo. We've become...I feel..."
Piper paused, trying to find the right words.
"What I'm feeling...is very real," she said.
"Only...Leo isn't. At least, not real enough to come back with us.
"Or...is he? Do
you think he could exist in the same world with Brian?" she asked Prue,
her expression showing that she already knew the answer.
Prue shook her head. "I don't think so," she said
"I'm going to have to say goodbye to Leo," Piper
said, a serious, sad look coming to her face, "and go back to
"Having Leo helped you get through being here,"
Prue said, taking her hand. "You'll be OK when we get back home."
Piper took a deep breath and nodded.
"So now we wait," Phoebe said. "But in the
meantime, we celebrate."
"Excuse me," Prue said, "but I need to go
"Well?" Stuart said, looking at Piper and
Phoebe. "On Charmed, every time one of you goes, you all go. It's like
some secret witches’ ritual," he said smiling.
"Well..." Phoebe said, looking at Piper.
"We'll be right back," Piper said and they laughed
as they all got up.
They were heading to the back of P3 when Gina approached
"Piper, I think there's someone outside by the back
door who wants to see you," Gina said.
"Who is it, Gina?" Piper asked.
"I don't know. She just handed me this." Gina gave her a piece of paper with 'PIPER'
written on it.
"Why doesn't she come in?" Piper asked.
"She's not old enough to be in the club," Gina
"Hummm...I'll meet you guys inside," Piper said,
as Gina went into the kitchen to get an order.
"OK," Prue said.
Piper went to the back door and walked outside. A little
girl stood about twenty feet from her. She looks to be about eleven or twelve
years old, Piper thought.
"Hi," Piper said. "Are you looking for
The girl said nothing but motioned with her hand for Piper
to follow her. She walked further down behind the adjacent shop where there was
less light. Piper followed her a bit warily until the little girl stopped,
turned around and approached her.
"What's your name," Piper asked. The little girl
said nothing. She opened the flap on a small brown pouch that was slung over
her shoulder, took out some powder and threw it on Piper.
The little girl grabbed both of Piper's hands and held them
tightly. Piper felt herself shaking and after a few seconds and a final
convulsion she stopped.
What happened? Piper
thought. I can see myself. I'm...I'm outside of my body. She looked down at
herself and realized that she was inside of the little girl.
"There...that's much better," the one in Piper's
body said. She pulled the pouch off of Piper's shoulder and slung it over her
"You won't need that." She took out some more powder and threw it on Piper. "Be
gone!" she commanded and blew on Piper.
Piper felt herself suddenly hurtling threw space.
The fake Piper turned around and headed to the back door.
She crumpled the paper with Piper's name on it that was in her hand, threw it
to the ground and went inside.
"Who was it?"
"There was no one there," the fake Piper said and
continued walking past them.
Phoebe looked at Prue, shrugged her shoulders, and they
headed towards to their table.
"Now - this looks interesting," the fake
Piper said as a young, handsome man walked by. "Hi. Care to dance?"
"Uh...sure," he answered, surprised at the offer.
Fake Piper took his hand and led him over to where the others were dancing.
"What was that all about?" Phoebe asked Prue.
"I don't know," she said, looking at them.
"Where's Piper?" Stuart asked as they sat down at
"She...seems to have found someone to celebrate
with," Phoebe said.
Piper landed on the sidewalk in front of a house . What
happened - where am I? she thought. She stood up and looked herself over. She
didn't seem to be hurt. A car was parked under a street lamp and she walked
over to it and looked at her reflection in it's window.
I'm inside this little girl, she thought. A little girl with
such a cold look. A little girl who was a demon.
Piper tried to smile, she tried to frown, she tried to
wrinkle her nose. But nothing helped. The cold, emotionless expression, frozen
on her face, stared back at her.
A squirrel scampered down a nearby tree. Piper turned to it
and raised her hand but nothing happened.
I've lost my powers, she thought.
"That was fun," demon-Piper said as she sat down
at the table.
"Uh...Piper," Prue said, "what's going
on? I know you're struggling to accept
not having Leo when we go back. But...picking up that guy like that?"
"Leo?" she asked. "What Leo? Do you see a Leo here? I don't. Ahh...but I do see him." She stood up and went over to another
handsome young man standing a few feet away.
"Care to dance?" she asked, taking him by his arm
without waiting for an answer.
"What's gotten into her?" Phoebe asked.
"I don't know but it sounds like a good idea,"
Stuart said. "Care to dance?"
"Uhh..." Phoebe hesitated as she looked at Prue.
"It's OK," Prue said to them. "We're
celebrating tonight. Go ahead - I'll be fine."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. Now go before I wave my hand at you," she
Stuart took Phoebe's hand and they headed over to the dance
Piper had walked aimlessly for a few blocks as she tried to
figure out what to do. I have to get back to The Manor, she thought, but it's a
very long walk from here. She didn't notice the police car pull up behind her
"It's rather late for you to be out by yourself,"
the policeman said to her as he got out of the car, startling her. "Do you
live around here?"
Piper tried to say 'no' but no sound came out of her mouth.
She tried to say something, anything, but she couldn't speak. She could barely
move her mouth.
"Can't speak?" he asked kneeling beside her.
"It's not safe for you to be out here so late. Come with me. I'll take you
to the stationhouse and we'll get you home."
Maybe Morris will be there, she thought, and he'll help me
get back to The Manor. She nodded and the policeman opened the back door of the
car and helped her get in.
I guess I'm going to miss coming here, too, Prue thought, as
she looked around the club. I'm glad they're enjoying themselves tonight, she
thought, as she saw Stuart and Phoebe dancing together. She got up and walked
over to the bar to get something to have with her drink.
"Maybe we'll do that again later," demon-Piper
said, then kissed the young man and went back to the table. After checking to
make sure the others couldn't see her, she took some powder from her pouch and
dropped it into Prue's drink.
Stuart and Phoebe danced a little more, kissed and then went
back to the table. They sat down just as Prue came back balancing four dishes.
A couple walking by didn't notice Prue and bumped into her.
"Ohh!" Prue exclaimed as she lost her grip. One of
the dishes fell on the table, knocking over her drink.
"Ah!" Stuart said as he reached across the table
and grabbed the glass before it all spilled out. "Saved some of it,"
he said as Prue put down the other three dishes.
"Sorry for the mess," Prue said.
"Why didn't you freeze everything," Phoebe asked
demon-Piper, "the way you always do when something falls?"
"If you were more careful that wouldn't have
happened," she replied, some anger in her voice.
Prue and Phoebe looked at each other as if each wasn't sure
she heard right.
"Piper...what's wrong?" Stuart asked. Demon-Piper hesitated a few seconds.
"Nothing," she said.
"What's that?" Phoebe asked, pointing to the pouch
slung over her shoulder.
"Just something I found outside," demon-Piper
answered. "I rather like it."
"It doesn't exactly match what you're wearing,"
"I think it goes just fine'" she said. "And
it's my taste that counts."
Phoebe stared at demon-Piper, not knowing what to make of
how she was acting.
Prue looked at what was left of her drink, slowly picked it
up and drank it.
"I'll go get you a full one," Phoebe said, as she
started to get up. "Anyone else want-"
Prue's face was contorted in pain and she doubled over.
"Prue - what happened?
What's wrong?" Phoebe
Stuart jumped up and turning her towards him grabbed her
"What is it?" he asked. "Where does it
"Arrghh!" was all she could say but she managed to
point to her chest. People at the adjacent table started to notice and some of
them got up to see if they could help. But demon-Piper didn't move.
"We have to get her to a hospital," Phoebe said,
frantically. "Piper - how can you just sit there?"
"It's her own fault," she said. "She
shouldn't drink so much if she can't handle it."
Phoebe exclaimed incredulously.
"Let's get her to the car," Stuart said, ignoring
demon-Piper as he put his hand under Prue's right shoulder. "It'll be
faster than waiting for an ambulance."
Phoebe put her hand under Prue's left arm, then looked down at Piper who
was still sitting.
"I'll meet you outside," demon-Piper said,
They helped Prue out the back door and over to the car.
Stuart opened the door and they eased Prue into the back seat.
"No...wait," Prue said. "I don't
want...arrghh...a hospital." She
paused as her breathing began returning to normal. "It seems to be
passing...just take me home."
"No," Phoebe said. "We have to have you
"I don't want to spend the night in the hospital,"
Prue insisted. "It's OK...it's starting to ease." She took a few deep breaths. "Really -
I'll be OK. I just want to go home."
Phoebe and Stuart looked at each other.
"OK - but if you're not a lot better by the time we
reach The Manor we're going to the hospital," Phoebe said. She was about
to get into the back seat with Prue when she saw a piece of paper lying near
the car. She kneeled down to pick it up and then froze with her eyes closed.
"Phoebe - what's wrong?" Stuart asked.
"I just had a premonition," she answered. "I
was in The Manor... the front door opened and a little girl was standing there.
She ran in, rushed over to me and threw her arms around me."
"Who was she?" Stuart asked.
"I don't know. I've never seen her before."
Phoebe opened the crumpled paper she was holding and saw
'PIPER' written on it.
"What is it?" he asked.
"It's the paper Gina gave Piper," Phoebe answered.
"She said a little girl handed it to her out back behind the club. Piper
took it with her when she went out to see her. But when she came back she said
no one was there."
"But she must have been there for you to get the
premonition," he said. "And now she's going to come to The
Demon-Piper came out the back door and headed slowly towards
"Don't say anything," Phoebe said to him, stuffing
the paper into her pocket. She got into the back seat next to Prue, leaving the
front seat for demon-Piper.
"We're going home instead of to the hospital,"
Stuart told her as she got in the front. "Prue thinks the worst is
"Does she," demon-Piper said, turning to Prue and
giving her a cold stare.
"OK, young lady," the man said. "I'm
Inspector Corona. We're going to help you get home. What's your name?"
This wasn't Morris' stationhouse. There wasn't anyone here
that Piper could confide in, even if she could speak. Which she couldn't. Her
face was frozen in a cold, unfeeling expression. She could move her mouth a
little, enough to drink the water the policeman had given her. But not enough
to mouth any words.
"Can't you talk?"
he asked her.
Piper shook her head. The Inspector exhaled and looked
across the room for assistance. The patrol car officer had dropped her in his
lap. Babysitting a lost kid was not how he wanted to spend the night. But the
other officers weren't paying attention to them and he reluctantly turned back
I can't speak but I can use my hands, she thought. She
raised her hand and made a writing motion.
"You want to write something?" the Inspector
asked. Piper nodded and he leaned over and grabbed a pad from another officer's
"Here," he said, giving her his pen along with it.
Piper took them and wrote something.
"Piper Halliwell. Is that you?" he asked. Piper
nodded. "And this is your telephone number?"
Piper nodded again and the Inspector breathed a sigh of
relief. Maybe he'd be able to get her off his hands in a little while.
"Hello?" demon-Piper said as she answered the
"Hello. This is Inspector Corona of the San Francisco
Police. I have a little girl here with me. An officer picked her up a little
while ago because she seemed to be lost. She says - er, uh, rather she wrote -
that her name is Piper Halliwell. Is she your daughter?"
Hardly. I'm Piper Halliwell. And I don't have a daughter."
"Oh. Then you don't know this little girl?" he
asked, disappointment evident in his voice.
"I know that she's been following me around,"
demon-Piper said. "She even came to my club tonight. She has a fixation.
She thinks she's me."
"And you don't know her name or where she lives?"
"No, I don't. And I'd appreciate your keeping her away
"OK, Ms. Halliwell," he said and exhaled.
"I'm sorry to have disturbed you at this hour. Thank you for your help.
We'll try to find her family and have them keep her away from you. Good-night."
"What was that all about?" Phoebe asked as she
walked into the living room.
"Nothing," demon-Piper said. She put the phone
down and went into the parlor.
"Well, young lady," the Inspector said, annoyed.
"You're going to have to stop making things up and tell me, uh, that is
write down for me, your real name and where you live."
Coming here hasn't helped me, Piper thought. I have to get
out of here. She thought for a few seconds then starting pointing to herself
below her stomach.
"What's the matter?" he asked. "Are you
Piper shook her head and kept pointing.
"I think she needs to use the bathroom, Corona,"
an inspector at the next desk said, his look implying that Corona should have
understood that himself.
"Is that it?" he asked her and Piper nodded.
"Lourdes!" he yelled to a female officer across
the room. She looked at him, turned her hands over palms up and raised her
shoulders, a 'what do you want?' expression on her face.
"Come over here and earn the citizens' trust of your
dedication to duty - and your paycheck," he said.
Lourdes gave him a look and reluctantly walked over to his
"This young lady needs to use the bathroom,"
Corona said to her. "Escort her to it and then bring her back here."
Lourdes frowned at him but changed to a smile as she turned
"Come on," she said as she put her arm around
Piper's shoulder. She walked her into the hallway then turned right and took
her down a corridor.
"Here it is, sweetie," she said. "I'll wait
right here for you."
"Lourdes - what happened last night?" another
female officer called to her as Piper opened the door. Lourdes turned around
and took a few steps down the corridor towards the other officer.
"I don't know. I thought it was a routine
response," Lourdes said to her.
Piper waited inside for half a minute and then peeked out.
"-and they want to put the blame on me." Lourdes, her back to the door, was engrossed
in what she was telling the other officer. Piper slipped out and quietly closed
the door. Keeping an eye on Lourdes, she edged towards the end of the corridor
and went around the corner.
The exit to the street was just ahead of her. A policeman
walked by her into the corridor. Two other policemen were standing to the side
of the door talking to each other. Piper started walking quickly towards the
exit. The two policeman took no notice of her and she opened the door and
She kept walking, trying not to draw attention to herself,
but once she reached the corner she turned it and started running. She didn't
know where she was running to. Just as long as it was away from the
stationhouse. She turned left at the first corner, ran a block and then turned
She hadn't been able to run as fast as she always did. Maybe
because this was a twelve year old's body, she thought, or maybe the slowness
of her legs was related to the frozen muscles in her face. After another block
she stopped and looked around but she didn't know where she was. She started
walking again, not knowing where she was going but when she reached the corner
of the next street she saw something familiar - cable car tracks.
Piper crossed the street and walked another block to the
cable car stop. She didn't know what time it was and whether the cable car was
still running. But she decided she didn't have anything better to try. She
stood back in the shadow of a doorway so that she wouldn't be seen by any
passing police car and waited.
Feeling better, and hungry, Prue had gone down to the
kitchen to find something to eat. Phoebe and Stuart were upstairs and
demon-Piper was alone in the living room. Checking that Prue was still in the
kitchen, she walked over to the staircase and took out a little powder from her
pouch. She was about to start up the stairs when she heard Phoebe's voice.
Hurriedly, she tossed the powder up the steps as far as it would go and rushed
back to the living room and concentrated.
Phoebe came down the steps and, reaching the fifth step
where the powder had fallen, tumbled and fell down the remaining steps to the
Prue heard the fall and came running from the kitchen. She
saw Phoebe on the floor just as Stuart, who also heard it, came down the
staircase. As he reached the fifth step, he too tumbled, falling down the
stairs and landing on the floor next to Phoebe.
Prue rushed to them. "Are you hurt?" she asked as
she kneeled down next to them.
"My elbow," Phoebe said. "I landed on it. It
"Arrghh," Stuart said, "my head."
"What is happening here?" Prue exclaimed. "Piper? Why are you just standing there?"
"There's nothing to be done," demon-Piper replied.
"They seem to have survived their falls. They should both be more careful
on the stairs." She walked past
them and as she went upstairs discreetly blew the powder away.
The red and green cable car came to a stop and Piper climbed
aboard. She went into the enclosed rear of the cable car so that she couldn't
be easily seen by any passing police car. The cable car started up and then
stopped at a red light at the next corner.
"Tickets," the conductor said, having left his
position at the open rear of the car and come inside.
"Do you have a ticket," he asked her.
Piper shook her head.
"Are you by yourself at this time of night? he asked.
Piper nodded. The conductor hesitated.
"Are you going home?" he asked and Piper nodded
"It's OK," he said. "Let me know when you
want to get off."
"What is going on here tonight?" Phoebe asked, as they sat at the kitchen
"I don't know but it had better stop," Prue said.
"We're all out of ice packs."
Stuart switched his ice pack from his right hand to his left
"Arrgh. I suppose my head would feel worse if I didn't
keep it on," he said.
"And what is with Piper?" Phoebe said, adjusting
the ice pack on her elbow. "She's been so un-caring, so callous. With you
in the club. And with Stuart and me here. I just don't understand."
"It's not the only thing I don't-" Prue started to
"Who is that at this late hour?" Phoebe asked.
They left the kitchen, walked to the front door and Stuart
"You!" Phoebe said, amazed. "The little girl
in my premonition."
Piper stood there for a second and then she ran towards
Phoebe. She stretched her arms out towards her when she suddenly froze.
"Don't touch her!" demon-Piper said. "She's
dangerous. She'll hurt you."
"What? How do
you know that?" Phoebe asked.
"I just know it," demon-Piper said. "I can
"No you can't...that's my power, remember?" Phoebe
Phoebe went over to Piper and was about to touch her.
demon-Piper shouted at her, afraid that Phoebe would get a premonition.
"You froze her," Phoebe said, turning back to her.
"She can't do anything to me. Even if she is dangerous."
Phoebe turned back to Piper and took each of her hands in
one of hers.
"Ooooh!!" she said after a few seconds,
frustrated. "Why can't I get a premonition when I need one?"
"Un-freeze her and Stuart," Prue said.
"No! She's dangerous,"
"We don't know that," Prue said. "And until
we do, I'm not putting a little girl out on the street in the middle of the
Demon-Piper stared coldly at Prue for a few seconds then
raised her hand. Piper saw that Phoebe and Prue were not where they had been
when she came inside. She must have frozen me, she thought.
"What's your name?" Phoebe asked her and Piper
shook her head.
"Her face looks frozen," Prue said. "I think
she can't speak." Piper nodded,
then made a writing motion with her hand.
"But maybe she can write," Phoebe said. They
looked at the little girl and Piper nodded.
"There's a pen and paper in a drawer in the
parlor," Prue said.
"I'll get them," demon-Piper said. She hurried
into the parlor and found the drawer. Taking the pen, she immersed it in the
powder in her pouch, then brought it and the paper into the living room.
"Here," she said. Piper took it from her but
demon-Piper began concentrating and the pen fell from Piper's hand. She picked
it up but the muscles in her hand wouldn't respond and she dropped it again.
What did she do to me?
Piper thought. Now how am I going to tell them who I am.
"Looks like she can't write either," demon-Piper
said after Piper dropped the pen a third time.
Prue exhaled. "Let's just take her upstairs to Stuart's
room and let her go to sleep. We'll figure something out in the morning."
"Come on," Phoebe said as she started toward the
stairs. But Piper ran in front of her and went up first. Maybe this will get
through to them, she thought. At the top of the stairs she turned and opened
the door to Stuart's room.
"How did she know which one is Stuart's room?"
Phoebe asked turning to Prue. They followed her in while demon-Piper went into
"I don't know what's gotten into Piper tonight,"
Phoebe said in her room after they got the little girl settled in Stuart's
room. "I think she would have hit the little girl, or done something
worse, if she could have. I don't understand what's going on. This isn't
"Maybe," Stuart said, "this isn't
"What?" Phoebe asked.
"Piper said there was no one in back of the club when
she went out there," he said. "But if there wasn't anyone how could
you have gotten your premonition? What
if there was someone there? What
if it was the little girl? What if she
was a demon and somehow changed places with Piper?"
Phoebe thought for a moment. "That would explain your
sudden illness at the club and her not caring about it. Maybe she even did
something to your drink."
"And your both falling down the stairs," Prue
said. "And how the little girl knew which room was Stuart's."
"And that's what your premonition with Piper's name
was," Stuart said. "It was about Piper - and her coming home."
"If we're right, then Piper's really in your room...and
she's in danger," Phoebe said.
They hurried out the door and ran into Stuart's room. They
saw the little girl, cowering in a far corner on the other side of the bed from
where demon-Piper was standing.
"What are you doing?" Phoebe demanded.
"I told you she's dangerous," demon-Piper said.
"I came in to make sure that she didn't try doing anything to hurt
"I'm going to stay in my room," Stuart said.
"I'll watch her the rest of the night."
Demon-Piper gave him a long look. She stared at the little
girl, then turned and strode out of the room.
Piper got up and ran to Phoebe, throwing her arms around
her. Phoebe took her hands in hers, kneeled down next to her and looked through
her expressionless face into her eyes.
"Are you...Piper?" she asked.
Piper nodded. Phoebe looked up at Prue then turned back to
the little girl and thought for a second.
"What did Stuart give me yesterday?" Phoebe asked.
Piper put her hands together at the top of her chest, then
pulled each one around to the back of her neck, as if putting on a necklace.
No one besides us knows that, Phoebe thought. But we have to
"Who is Alyssa?" she asked and Piper pointed to
her. Phoebe took a deep breath.
"Who is Holly?" Phoebe asked her.
Piper pointed to herself.
Phoebe glanced up at Prue then threw her arms around the
little girl and hugged her tightly. Prue knelt down and Phoebe let her hug her
"It's really you Piper," Prue said and Piper
"The one in your body must be a demon," Prue said
and Piper nodded again. "How did she do this to you?"
Piper made a motion of the strap and pouch, taking something
out of it and throwing it. Then she grabbed Prue's hands and held them tightly.
"That pouch that she said she found in back of the
club," Prue said. "She took something from it and threw it on
you." Piper nodded.
"It must be a powder that her powers need," Prue
said. "That's why she hasn't taken it off all night. And holding Piper's
hands was how she made the transfer."
"How do we undo this?" Stuart asked.
"The Book of Shadows," Phoebe said. "There
has to be something in there."
"We can't all go up there," Prue said. "If
she hears us or sees that Stuart's room is empty she'll know we're on to
"Stay here and protect Piper," Stuart said.
"I'll go up to the attic with Phoebe."
They quietly opened the door and Phoebe walked into the
hallway. The door to Piper's room was closed and she motioned for Stuart to come.
Silently, they made their way to the staircase and up to the attic.
through the Book of Shadows can take a long time," Phoebe said as she
opened it. "With Piper's life in danger, time isn't something we
"Ohh!" The pages started turning quickly by
Phoebe shook her head. "Grams??" she asked as she
looked on in disbelief.
The pages stopped turning and Phoebe looked at what the Book
was opened to.
"This is it," she said in amazement.
"Darnella, a child-demon whose face was frozen by Phoebe of Norwood.”
"Who's that?" Stuart asked.
"I don't know, maybe an ancestor," Phoebe replied.
"I'm named after an aunt but that could explain where her name came
"Why did she freeze her?" he asked.
"To warn those who see her that she was cold and
heartless," Phoebe said.
"We can certainly attest to that," he said.
"It says she roams the world looking for adult people
to change bodies with," Phoebe continued. "When she tires of her new
body, she summons her own back and returns to it."
"OK," Stuart said. "We'd better get back to
Prue and Piper,"
Phoebe closed the Book. "Thanks...Grams," she said
"That was fast," Prue said.
"We had help," Phoebe replied.
"Her name is Darnella, a child-demon," Stuart
said. “She changes bodies with adults, taking over their's and forcing them
“What I don't understand is why she did this
tonight," Phoebe said. "We've
already saved the world from Argyris and the other demons' plans of
destruction. And we think we're going to be sent back very soon."
"Maybe someone is trying to get us before they can send
us back," Stuart said. "The Book of Shadows said that Darnella also
does as she is told by adult demons who treat her as their ward. So maybe
someone sent her.”
“But who could even know that we're going back?” Prue
"Dalios," Phoebe said, the recognition of the
danger that meant showing in her face. "He knows who we really are. If The
Infernal Council is still clamping down on him he could have sent Darnella to
kill us for him."
"But why would Dalios send her tonight?" Stuart asked. "He could try to kill us after
we go back. It would be even easier for him then, when you won't have your
powers. The Infernal Council might even turn him loose once The Charmed Ones aren’t
"Once we go back he wouldn't be killing The Charmed
Ones," Prue said, "just actresses. Maybe it won't mean anything to
him kill us then. Maybe for his fame, and for his ego, he has to kill us while
we're still witches."
"For his revenge," Phoebe said. "He’s
tried to kill us three times. And we’ve we thwarted him each time. And got the
wrath of the rest of The Infernal Council on him, too. His revenge is to have
three dead witches, not three dead mortals."
"Uh, he wants one dead mortal," Stuart
said. "He promised to kill me, too."
"OK, but even if Dalios is behind this, we still
have to deal with Darnella first," Prue said. "Was there a spell in
The Book of Shadows to vanquish her?"
"No," Phoebe said, "just to banish her from
our land. But it doesn't explain what that means."
"We have to get Piper back into her body before we can
do anything else," Prue said. "We're going to need Darnella's powder
to do it."
"What good is Darnella's powder without Darnella's power?" Stuart asked.
"Piper's power remained with her body when Darnella
took it over," Prue said. "So Darnella's power must still be in her
"Then how has Darnella been using her power while she's
been in Piper's body?" Phoebe asked.
"The Book of Shadows said that Darnella eventually goes
back to her own body,” Prue said. “That means she has to be linked to it, both
to protect it so that she can use it again and to know where it is when she
wants it. That link to her body must let her use her powers that remained
there. So Piper has the powers, too."
"Can you tell if you have them?" Phoebe asked.
Piper shrugged her shoulders. I can't tell, she thought.
"It's the only thing we have to try," Prue said.
"How do we get the powder?" Phoebe asked.
"I'll astral project into her room and take the
pouch," Prue said. "She won't even know I was there."
"Be careful," Phoebe said.
Prue sat down on the chair, closed her eyes and slumped
"ARRGGHH!!" she screamed and fell off the chair.
Are you hurt?" Phoebe, startled, asked.
"I'm...I'm OK," Prue answered. She hesitated and
then stood up.
"I felt myself starting to be projected...and then I
hit something. And I felt charges going through my body."
"Like from a demon," Stuart said.
"She must have used her powder to protect her room
against your projection," Phoebe said.
"I'll have to go in the normal way," Prue said.
"No," Stuart said, "I'll go. She may have the
room protected against all of your powers. She tried to kill you once
tonight at the club, probably by mixing her powder into your drink. And she
would have succeeded had most of it not spilled out when you knocked it over.
It's too dangerous for you to go in there."
"It's just as dangerous for you," Prue said.
"I'm of no help out here," Stuart said, "but
you are. Piper is vulnerable. She needs your powers, and Phoebe's, here to
protect her. It has to be me."
Stuart walked over to the chest. He opened a drawer and took
out a small, cloth shoe mitt and put it in his pocket. Then he knelt down by
"I'll get the powder," he told her, "and
we'll get you back."
He stood up and Phoebe turned towards him. She took his
hands in hers and looked into his eyes, trying to find the words she wanted to
say. But they wouldn't come to her. She gave up and just kissed him gently.
Stuart went out of his room, walked to Piper's room and
slowly opened the door. The room was dark but there was enough light coming
through the window from the street lamp for him to see Darnella lying in bed.
He closed the door and slowly walked towards her bed. The pouch lay on the
night stand next to it and he quietly picked it up.
Prue knelt down next to Piper.
"You have to try to find Darnella's powers, find how to
access them so that you can use them with the powder," she told her.
"It's taking too long," Phoebe said. "He
should have been out already."
"We don't know where she has the pouch," Prue
said. "It may be taking time for Stuart to find it."
Stuart walked slowly towards the door, the pouch in his
hand. He was two feet from the door when he froze.
"Come for a visit?" Darnella asked as she put her
hand down. "And you didn't even say hello."
She walked over to him and took the pouch from his hand.
"You want my powder?
Why of course you can have some."
She went to her night stand, took an open can of soda and
poured it into a glass. She took a handful of powder from her pouch, dropped it
into the glass and shook it. She walked back to Stuart and opened his mouth.
Pulling him slightly backwards against her body, she poured the soda down his
She straightened him out, stood back from him and raised her
Stuart started to gag but then she concentrated and he
doubled over. His stomach was in agony and he fell to his knees. He reached out
and finding the door knob, turned it and opened the door. He managed to crawl
around the door and as he reached the hallway the door shut behind him.
"Arrghh!" he screamed as he reached the door to
his room. Phoebe opened it and pulled him in. But the pain had reached his
chest and he felt his lungs freeze. He couldn't breathe.
Panic and pain made him roll over away from Phoebe. Muffled
sounds were all that he could make and his eyes began to bulge. His face contorted,
he grabbed the front of his shirt and with difficulty ripped open the middle
buttons, revealing the shoe mitt.
Prue grabbed it and looked inside.
"The powder," she said.
"Piper, you have to save him," Phoebe said.
"You have to use Darnella's power and undo what she did."
Piper nodded. She took some powder from the pouch and tried
to put into Stuart's mouth. But he was shaking and she couldn't get it in.
Phoebe grabbed his head and held it steady and Piper dropped in the powder.
"Concentrate on reversing what the powder did,"
Prue said. Piper concentrated and after a few seconds Stuart started to
Phoebe held Stuart up, his breathing exaggerated as he
gasped for air. Slowly the gasping stopped and he started to calm down.
"Darnella still has the pouch," he said after a
minute, still breathing heavily as he looked himself over.
"But you got the powder for Piper," Prue said.
"I took some off and hid it in case she caught me with
the pouch," he said, pausing to take a few more deep breaths.
"I was walking out with it...she must have frozen me.
The next thing I knew, I was doubled over...my lungs...I couldn't breathe.”
He took another couple of deep breaths.
"Thank you, Piper...thank you for saving me," he
"And now we'll save Piper," Prue said.
Thanks to you, Piper thought, as she took Stuart's hands in
HELP!!" Phoebe shouted. She ran
into the hallway and stood outside of Stuart's room.
PIPER!" she shouted.
Darnella slowly opened the door and stepped out into the
"Piper, come quick. Something's happened to
Stuart," Phoebe said, hysterically.
Darnella looked at Phoebe disdainfully. She hesitated, then
followed her slowly into Stuart's room.
Stuart was lying face down on the floor in the middle of the
"I came in here...and I found him lying on the
floor," Phoebe said, walking over to him. "He's not breathing.
"Piper, help him," she sobbed.
Darnella took a few steps towards Stuart and glanced down at
"And what do you expect me to do?" she asked,
"Go flying," Prue answered, pushing back the
opened door behind which she and Piper had been hiding. She waved her hand and
sent Darnella crashing into the wall, knocking over the table lamp. Stuart got
up as Phoebe ran to Darnella. She kicked her in her stomach, then gave her
chops on her collarbone.
Darnella fell to the floor and Piper took the powder from
the shoe mitt and threw it on her. She sat down on her, straddling her chest.
Darnella was hurt and stunned too much to throw Piper off.
Piper grabbed Darnella's hands but she pulled one free
towards her pouch which lay under her neck. Piper grabbed onto her hand, again.
She wasn't strong enough to stop her but she began concentrating with her
power. As Darnella's hand reached the pouch's flap her body began to shake un-controllably.
For a few seconds nothing happened. Then the Piper-body
pushed the child off of her and onto the floor. The Piper-body looked at her
hands for a moment, then threw them up to freeze the child as she started to
Prue and Phoebe stared at her, not knowing if it had really
worked. The Piper-body grimaced and sat up. She turned towards Stuart and
raising her hand un-froze him.
"I'm back," she said. "Oh...I'm really
back." She felt her arms and her
chest as she looked herself over and stood up.
"It feels so good to be myself again, even if
everything hurts." She saw Prue
and Phoebe look at each other and then back at her, unsure expressions on both
of their faces.
"It's me, Holly," she said, grimacing as she
rubbed her collarbone. "If you really hit like that on Charmed, Alyssa,
we'd get sued by the actors playing the demons."
Phoebe looked at Prue then turned and ran over to embrace
Piper. Prue ran over and hugged her too. There were tears in their eyes when
they finally let each other go.
"Thank you," Piper said turning to Stuart.
"Thank you...for saving me."
She embraced him and gently kissed him on his cheek.
"That's just what friends do for each other,"
Stuart said. "Just as you did for me."
"Let's get rid of this," Piper said, taking the
pouch off. "And banish her."
Before they could do anything, a green light suddenly shone
on Darnella and in a few seconds she was gone.
"Hmmpph. Someone was watching out for her," Piper
"That must have been Dalios," Phoebe said.
"Uh...I've got to sit down," Piper said.
"Everything really hurts, Phoebs."
"Sorry," Phoebe said. "But I didn't want
Darnella to stop you from making the transfer."
"We've all had a rough night," Prue said.
"Let's go downstairs and unwind."
They made their way down the stairs and sat down in the
"So much for our relaxing, demon-free night of
celebration," Phoebe said.
"See - as soon as we said that," Piper said,
"they came after us, even without the writers."
"Whatever the writers did to you on Charmed became real
here. So it's still their fault," Stuart said, smiling.
"It's two a.m.," Phoebe said. "But the night
isn't over yet. We still have time to celebrate."
"Everyone's gone from the club," Piper said.
"There's no one there."
"Then we can have our own private party," Prue
They looked at each other for a moment.
"Let's go," Piper said.
The chairs were resting upside down on all of the tables -
except for one table, opposite the end of the deserted bar. A single lamp shone
from above the table, illuminating them in the otherwise darkened room.
"It's Tuesday morning," Prue said slowly.
"We've been here now over seven weeks."
"And it's starting to feel like it," Stuart said.
"My head is still sore from hitting that bottom step, not to mention how
my insides still feel from Darnella's powder."
"And my collarbone aches from Phoebe's chops,"
"My elbow hurts from falling down those stairs,"
Phoebe said, rubbing it.
"We have been through a lot," Prue said.
They were silent for a moment.
"But we did gain something from it," she added.
"We're closer now then we ever were on the Charmed set. We care for each
other, we risk our lives for each other, like real sisters would."
"And we're going to still be like that when we get
back," Piper said.
"Even when we're just Shannen, Holly and Alyssa
again," Phoebe said, "we're still going to be like real
"A toast is in order," Prue said, raising her
"To our having saved the world - and saved
ourselves," she said.
"To three very special, and the most wonderful, witches
- and women - in the whole world," Stuart said, raising his.
"To a devoted friend - who's part of our Charmed
family," Piper said looking at Stuart. "And to our discovering things
about who we really are, and what we could really do."
"And to us," Phoebe said, "for having played
our parts perfectly - without a script.”
"Cheers!" they all said. They clinked their
glasses, drank and leaned back in their chairs.
"Hmm...too bad all of this wasn't filmed," Phoebe
said. "This would have made a great Charmed episode."
"An arc," Prue corrected her. "All
that we've been through here could never fit into a single episode. It would
take at least twenty episodes in an arc to cover it all."
“That’s a whole season," Piper said, “and it’s
certainly felt like one. And now we've come to the season's
"And this time," Prue said, without enthusiasm,
"we don't have to wonder about being renewed"
"No...no renewal," Piper said, and exhaled, a
tinge of sadness in her voice.
"Well," Stuart said after a moment, "it's
been a very special season. And I've been part of it."
"And you don't even belong to SAG," Phoebe said,
trying to break the suddenly somber mood.
"And when we get back," she added, "we can
suggest some of the things that have happened here be used for the third
season. I think the cocoons would make for an interesting episode."
"No!" Piper said. "Absolutely no!
I don't want to ever live through that again. Not even on a set with a
whole crew standing around to save me."
"Hmm," Phoebe continued, "then how about that
square demon trap made up of crystals. The one you set up, Prue, to trap Marco
in that other time line. And that extra crystal you had that lights up to tell
you that the trap worked. Now that would give us something interesting
besides our powers to use against the demons."
"You know," Prue said, "I went looking for
that trap in the Book of Shadows. And I couldn't find it. Not even any
reference to it. So I have no idea where in that other time line I got it from.
"But I like the idea and I'll suggest it to Brad. I’m
sure he can get one of the writers to work it into a storyline that has us
trying to trap some demon.”
They turned to each other, smiled and took hold of each
other's hand. Phoebe kissed Stuart lightly and they all drank again.
The lamp spotlighted them in the darkness. And as they felt
the warmth of their drinks spread through their bodies, all the pain, the aches
and the tension from the dangers, the kidnappings and the life and death close
calls of the seven weeks began to melt away.