Charmed Role Reversal



Sleepless in San Francisco

It was a voice.  Low, distant but unmistakably a voice.  Piper shook her head slightly on the pillow and turned onto her right side.

The voice got louder.  A young voice.  Piper could make out only parts of words.  She twisted and turned again, her blanket partially slipping off of her bed.

A voice.  A child's voice.  Far away.

But getting closer.

"Hel...me"

Getting clearer.

"Help me."

"Mommy!  Help me!"

"MOMMY!  HELP ME!"

Piper sat up with a start.  That voice.  Those words.

Again.

For the second night, she thought, she’d heard those words.

Or was it the second night?

No. It was the second time that night, she realized. She had heard it in her sleep earlier and it had woken her up.



Click speaker for Opening Credits Theme Song

"Morning," Phoebe said as Prue walked into the kitchen reading the paper.

Prue didn't answer but kept reading and walking until she reached the table.

Phoebe closed the refrigerator and looked at Prue.

"Hel-lo-o," Phoebe said to her.

Prue looked up and recognized that Phoebe was there.

"There's been another kidnaping," Prue said. "An eight year old girl disappeared from her back yard last night without a trace."  She looked back at the newspaper.

"No ransom note and no suspects," she said, then looked up at Phoebe again.  "That's the second girl in two days."

"We didn't see any connection to demons after the first kidnaping," Phoebe said.

"Maybe we were wrong," Prue said, worried.

"Morning," Piper said flatly as she came into the kitchen.

"I would have expected a happier note after your date with Leo last night," Phoebe said as she opened the jam.

"I didn't sleep well," Piper said, yawning.  "I kept hearing...a voice in my sleep."

"Whose voice?"  Prue asked, but before Piper could answer Leo began to materialize.

"Good morning, Leo," Piper said.

"We've got trouble," Leo said.

"Good morning, Leo!"  Piper said again, slightly louder and slightly annoyed.

"This is urgent," Leo said, as he walked over to the table.

"Leo!  It is customary to say 'good morning' back when someone says it to you," Piper said, becoming even more annoyed. "Especially when that someone is who you went out with the night before!!"

"Uh, good morning, Piper," he said as he looked at her with a half-smile.

"But this is serious."

"WHAT IS?"  Piper practically shouted at him.

"This is," he said, jabbing his finger at the newspaper on the table.

"The little girl who was kidnaped?"  Prue asked.

"Not just any little girl," Leo answered.  "She’s a witch.  Or will be when she grows up.

"A demon has her."

"How do you know a demon took her?"  Phoebe asked.  "Maybe it was a mortal who kidnaped her and didn't even know she was a witch."

"Because Carol Reynolds, the little girl who disappeared two days ago, is also a witch," Leo said.

"And this demon is not restricting his kidnaping to the present.  He's been going through time taking these girls."

"Through time?"  Prue asked.

"Kelly Anderson, a twenty-one year old witch, disappeared yesterday morning," Leo said. "Without a trace."

"I didn't see anything in the paper about her," Prue said.

"That's because no one ever heard of her," Leo said

"What!?"  Phoebe exclaimed.

"Someone else was living in her house," Leo said, "someone who never heard of her.  Neither her best friend nor the people at her office where she worked knew who she was.

"Then I went to her parents home while they weren't there and started going through some of their things.  And I found this."  He handed Piper a newspaper clipping.

"It's from 1987," Piper said, "thirteen years ago.  It says that Kelly Anderson disappeared from her school...without a trace."

"I checked the newspaper archives," Leo said.  "Her body was never found.  And now she doesn't exist anymore. And hasn't existed since she was eight years old."

"You went to a lot of trouble trying to find out what happened to her," Piper said.

"That's because I'm..."  Leo hesitated.  "I was her whitelighter."

"Ohh," Piper said.  No one said anything for a moment.

"A demon is going around kidnaping little girls," Leo said, breaking the silence, "before they can grow up and become full witches and fight evil.  Before they can fully use their powers - or even know that they have them."

"Where is he taking them?"  Prue asked.

"To another dimension," Leo answered.  "If they were still in this dimension I'd be able to sense their presence."

"How would we get them back here?" Phoebe asked.

"When you leave another dimension and return here, everyone should come back to where and when they had been at the time that they went to the other dimension."

"Should?"  Piper asked.  "You're not sure?"

Leo raised his eyebrows.  "Pretty sure," he said.

"We may not have our powers in another dimension," Prue said.

"You probably won't," Leo said.

"Oh-K.  Leo, would you excuse us for just a moment," Piper said as she hustled Prue and Phoebe into the living room.

"I vote we don't do this," Piper said.  "We'll be risking our lives going someplace where we probably won't have our powers, for people we don't even know that we can save - and who aren't even real."

"Aren't real?"  Phoebe asked.

"We risk our lives for innocents because they really exist," Piper said. "But witches - they only exist because we're here.  They aren't real people."

"We don't know that," Prue said.  "We know that reality about us was changed when we became witches  but we don't know how much of it was changed.  We don't know that these witches are part of that change. They could have been here before we came."

"How many witches did you know in Hollywood?"  Piper asked

"Umm...I can name a few who've made it on to the A-list,” Prue said, dryly.

"Just because we didn’t know them doesn’t mean they weren’t there,” Phoebe replied. “How many people here know that we're witches?" 

"Leo was her whitelighter," Piper said.  "Leo only exists here because of us so she only existed here because of us."

"Leo is also our whitelighter," Phoebe said. "And we certainly existed before coming here."

"And there's one other thing," Prue said.  "We have a past here.  What if this demon takes one of us as a child.  If we cease to exist as a Halliwell then we'll cease to exist as our other self, too."

Leo stepped out of the kitchen.

"We're losing time that we can't afford," he said.

Prue and Phoebe looked at Piper.  She half turned her head and exhaled, then looked back at them and reluctantly nodded her head.

 

"This is it," Phoebe said, "The spell to go through a portal to another dimension."

"If we can't use our powers once we get there how will we get back?"  Piper asked.

"The spell to take us there can be set to bring us back after fifteen minutes," Phoebe replied.  "It will work because we'll have already cast it while we still had our powers here."

"How do we know which dimension to go to?" Piper asked.

"By using the pictures of the missing girls," Prue said.  "I cut them out of the newspaper.  We'll direct the spell to send us to whatever dimension they're in."

"And hope that whatever may have happened to them there won't happen to us," Piper said, unhappily.

"Hmm...I think I'll take one of those pictures with me," Phoebe said.  "I'll use it to try to get a premonition of where to find them in the dimension."

"How will we get them out once we find them?"  Prue asked.

"The Book of Shadows says that whatever we're holding when we leave the other dimension will return with us," Phoebe answered.

"And how do we stop the demon from kidnaping them again?"  Piper asked.

Phoebe turned The Book of Shadows around for them to see.

"This is the spell to seal the portal," Phoebe said.

"If we seal it how do we get out?"  Piper asked.

"We cast the spell just as we're returning," Phoebe answered.  "It's like walking out the door and slamming it shut behind you."

"The spell needs the power derived from witches' love combined as one," Prue read.  "That must mean our love - the Power of Three as the Power of One. Like in that Charmed episode."

"But if our powers don't work there we won't have the Power of Three," Piper said.

"There's nothing we can do about it now," Phoebe said.  "We'll worry about that when we get there."

"What about Stuart?"  Piper asked.  "I haven't seen him this morning but he's going to want to come with us."

"He closed up the club for us last night and got home pretty late," Phoebe said.  "He's still asleep."

"Good," Prue said.  "We'd have trouble protecting him if he came."

"We'll have trouble protecting ourselves," Piper said, glumly.

"OK."  Prue said, "Let's do it."

They sat down at the table and held hands.  Prue put one of the girls' pictures in the center of the table.

       "To another dimension where this child was taken

             Bind us all as this spell is cast,

        Bring us there this very hour

             And return us here when a quarter has past."

 A black and yellow ball appeared over their heads.  It grew larger and larger until it enclosed them within it.  They felt themselves being taken and hurtled through - they didn't know what.  After a few seconds the hurtling stopped and the ball disappeared.

They looked at the scene before them.  It was desolate, bleak - and brown.  Everything was brown. The sky, the ground, the rocks were all brown, un-relieved by even a hint of another color.  There was no sun but there was a sepia light.  The dead trunks of two trees stood some thirty yards in front of them.  Beyond them in the distance to their right were some boulders.

"Not exactly a park," Piper said.

"Not exactly anything," Phoebe said.  "This gives a whole new meaning to the word desolate."

Phoebe pulled out the picture of the little girl she had brought with her from her pocket and held it with both hands.

"Nothing," she said after a while.  "It looks like Leo was right and we don't have our powers."

"Let's head for those boulders," Prue said.  "Maybe there's something behind them."

They headed off towards them, looking around the landscape as they went.

"This must be a demon's idea of a scenic countryside," Piper groused as they walked.

When they reached the first boulder they stopped to look it over.  The boulder was about ten feet high and about six feet wide.  Phoebe got closer to it and touched it.

"It's warm," she said. "No it's cold.  Now it's warm again.  It keeps changing."

Prue walked around to have a look at the other side.

"Over here," she said.

The top of the boulder jutted outwards about two feet.  The side of the boulder below it was open. Phoebe stuck her head inside.  The same sepia light was inside it, too, and she could see that the opening went down under the ground.

"Anyone here?" she called into it.

"Let's try the next one," Phoebe said.  It was about fifty feet in front of them and looked to be the same as the first boulder.  As they started walking to it they heard a noise.

"What was that?"  Phoebe asked.

"I don't know," Prue said.  "Let's see if this boulder also has an opening on the side."

They walked around to its side and saw the opening.  And then they heard something. 

Crying.

They slowly approached the boulder and saw a little girl sitting inside it and crying.  She looked up at them, frightened.

"Don't be afraid," Prue said.  "We're here to help you."

The little girl climbed out of the opening and ran to them.

"Carol Reynolds," Prue said.  "I recognize her from her picture."

The girl, still crying, clutched at Phoebe's blouse.

"It's OK Carol," Phoebe said.  "We've come to take you home."

"Look," Piper said.  A second little girl was coming out of the boulder.  She saw Carol with fsem and ran to them, too.

"What's your name?"  Piper asked her.

"Kelly Anderson," she answered, sobbing slightly.

"How did you get here?"  Prue asked her.

"Kroge took me from my home."

"Kroge?" Prue asked.

"I think he's a...a demon," Kelly said.

"Look out!"  Phoebe shouted.

A large fireball landed a few feet from them.

Prue waved her hand at it but nothing happened.

"That confirms it.  We don't have our powers," she said.

"Kroge does that," Kelly said, "to kill us."

"Hurry - get under the boulder," Prue shouted.  They ran to it and reached it just as another fireball landed behind them.

"We can't stay here much longer," Phoebe said.  "Those fireballs are spreading towards us."

"Two minutes," Prue said, looking at her watch.

"Over there," Phoebe said.  Two more girls were running towards the boulder but a fireball landed just in front of them.

Without thinking, Piper instinctively raised her hand.  The fireball froze.

"You froze it," Prue said, in amazement.  "You have your power. But we don't."

"That doesn't make any sense," Phoebe said, as the two other girls reached them.

"Take us out of here," one of the girls said.

"We will," Prue said.  "In about a minute we're going to -"

"EEYYEE!!"  Another fireball landed beside them.  Before Piper could freeze it the fire jumped onto Prue's blouse.

Phoebe threw herself against Prue and smothered it before it could burn her.

"I'm OK," Prue said.  "It's time.  Everyone - hold hands.  We all have to be holding hands together."

As they took each other's hands they saw another little girl running towards them.  But the black and yellow ball was forming.

"How many more of you are there?"  Phoebe asked.

"Only one," Kelly answered.  "There was also Carly but she was killed by a fireball."

The little girl was running straight to Piper.  She was only a few feet away from her when she stretched out her hand to her.

"HELP ME, MOMMY!" the little girl shouted at Piper.  "Don't leave without me!"

Piper stared at the little girl, unable to move.

"Melinda," Phoebe said to herself, as the black and yellow ball closed around them.

 

 "The little girls aren't here," Phoebe said, looking around the attic.  "If it worked as it was supposed to they went back to when and where they came from."

"It did work," Prue said, picking up the newspaper.  "There's no kidnaping story in the paper.  They went back to the time that they were taken from.

Piper was silent, staring into nowhere.

"That was Melinda," Prue said, turning to her.  "From the Charmed episode that sent us into the future. A future where you had a daughter."

"No," Piper said, shaking her head.

"Leo said Kroge traveled to the past to kidnap girls who would grow up to be witches," Prue said. "There's no reason he wouldn't travel to the future to do the same."

"I watched you do your scene with her," Phoebe said to Piper.  "That's definitely Melinda."

"That was a script," Piper said, getting tense.  "That's wasn't real...that's not the future."

"Whatever happened on Charmed is real here," Phoebe said.  "So whatever the episode showed for the future is real here, too."

"We were given a full past here," Prue said.  "It's only logical that we have a future also."

"No!  I'm not a mother, I didn't have a baby," Piper said firmly.

"Holly didn't," Phoebe said, gently.  "But Piper will."

"No!  She isn't my future..." She paused and shook her head slowly.  "I have a reposnsibility to vanquish demons and save innocents now because I’m Piper Halliwell now. But only for now. That’s what keeps me going. My future isn't Piper Halliwell's future.  It's Holly Combs' future." There was fear in her voice. A fear that her future - Holly’s future - was indeed slipping away.

"Maybe that explains why your power worked and ours didn't," Prue said.  "Melinda is your daughter so she must have your power.  Somehow, there was a link between mother and daughter.  One witch's power isn't strong enough to work in another dimension but two witches' combined power is."

"No... she isn't my daughter," Piper said. "She doesn't exist, she won't exist...she isn't real." Piper said it in desperation, hoping that if she repeated it enough, strongly enough, it would change.

Even as she realized that it would not.

"You were real enough to her when she called to you to save her," Phoebe said.

Piper started sobbing and tears began to roll down her cheeks.

"That voice...that was the voice that called to me in my sleep,"  Piper said, closing her eyes for a second.

"That call for help had to cross dimensions to get to you," Phoebe said.  "And it did, because you and Melinda are connected... it was you that she was calling for help."

"She stuck out her hand to me..." Piper said. "And the way she looked at me...like I was her whole world."

Piper shook her head slowly, her sobbing getting stronger, and half turned away for a moment.

"I know Piper wouldn't abandon her," she said, turning back, "...and...I am Piper."  She looked at Prue.

"Does any part of Holly still exist in me?"

Her sobbing turned to crying as she fell on Prue's shoulders.  Prue threw her arms around her and held her tightly to her.

"How dare they do this?" Piper cried between her tears.  "How dare The Elders play around with my feelings... How dare they play around with my heart?"

After a moment she let go of Prue.  She looked at Phoebe and then at Prue again.  She was silent for a few seconds as she wiped away some of the tears.

"I can't leave her there...I'm going back for her," she said.

"We're going with you," Prue said.

"No," Piper said. "You almost died, Prue.  Your powers don't work there and you can't protect yourselves."

"Then you'll protect us," Prue said.

Piper shook her head.

"This is not part of being The Charmed Ones," Piper said. "This is something...that I...have to do."

"When we were brought to San Francisco, we said that whatever happens to us here we would be in it together," Phoebe said.  "We're going with you."

"And we're going to seal the portal," Prue said.  "We misunderstood The Book of Shadows.  The power derived from witches' love combined as one.  We thought that meant our love - the Power of Three as the Power of One.  And Phoebe and I don't have our powers there.

"But it didn't mean that.  What it really meant was the power of love of you and Melinda.  The power of your love combined as one."

"The love of a mother and daughter," Phoebe said.

"I'll substitute 'whence we just came' in the first line of the spell to get us back there," Phoebe said.

Piper managed to pull herself together as she looked at them.  She opened one of the drawers in the chest and took out a paper and a pen.  She opened the Book of Shadows to the page with the spell to seal the portal, copied it onto the paper and put it into her pocket.

"Let's go," she said.

 

The yellow and black ball opened and they were back in the brown dimension.

"We don't know where she's hiding. We don't even know if this is the same place where we were before," Phoebe said.  "We'd better spread out."

"Stay where I can see you," Piper said.  "I'm the only one with powers."

"Melinda," Prue called out as she walked towards a large rock as Phoebe, walking to her right, called her name, too.

"Melinda," Piper shouted.  "Melinda."

Piper walked for a minute until she saw a boulder on her right.  As she approached it she saw that it was open on the right side, just like the one that two of the girls had come out of.

"Melinda," she shouted, "Melinda."

A small head stuck itself out from the opening.

"MOMMY!!"

"MELINDA!"  Piper shouted as tears filled her eyes.

"Phoebe, Prue - over here," she shouted as Melinda ran to her.

Melinda threw her arms around Piper and hugged her.  Piper kneeled down, threw her arms around Melinda too and started kissing her.

Phoebe and Prue reached them just as a giant ball of fire headed towards them.

"Piper!" Phoebe shouted.  Piper looked up and froze the ball just above their heads.

"Over there," Prue shouted and they ran to the boulder's overhang for cover.

Piper kneeled down again and held Melinda in her arms.

"I knew you'd come back for me, Mommy."

"I wouldn't leave you," Piper said through her tears.

"I called you last night after the demon took me," Melinda said.  "I knew you'd hear me."

"I did," Piper said, "I did."

"I tried not to be frightened, just as you taught me, Mommy,” Melinda said. “I kept thinking about the story you told me of how Aunt Phoebe was in the locked forest but she didn't let herself get frightened.

"I tried to be brave just like you," she said, looking up at Phoebe.

Phoebe found that there were tears in her eyes as she knelt down and gave Melinda a kiss.

"That's a bit of my future I'll have to prepare for," Phoebe said, as Prue knelt down and hugged Melinda.

A giant fireball landed just behind them and Piper jumped up and froze it.

"When we go back, Melinda won't be with me," she said to Phoebe and Prue through her tears. "I didn't expect that I would feel this way about her...but I do.  I don't want to lose her.  After seeing her and holding her...I don't want to be without her. I...I want Melinda with me. It will hurt too much not to have her."

"She has to go back to where she belongs," Phoebe said gently, "wherever that is.  That's how the spell works.  And that's how time works, too. We can't change that."

"Two minutes," Prue said, looking at her watch.  Piper ran her hand across her face but new tears replaced the old ones as fast as she could wipe them away.

"Melinda, honey," Piper said as she knelt down again, "we have to stop this demon from ever hurting you or anyone else again."  Piper took the paper from her pocket and showed it to Melinda.

"You have to help Mommy and say this spell together with me like a big girl.

"OK?" she asked and Melinda nodded.

"And then we'll be out of here," Piper said.

"And we'll be home together again, right Mommy?"

Piper hesitated and fresh tears rolled down her cheeks as she looked into Melinda's eyes.

"You'll be home...with Mommy," she said, and hugged her tightly again.

"EEYYEE!"  Phoebe screamed as a fireball, coming from the other side, landed right in front of them.

Piper raised her hand to freeze it, then held the paper again with Melinda.

"One minute," Prue said.

"Ready?"  Piper asked.

"Ready, Mommy," Melinda answered, and they began to say the spell together.

        "As we leave this dimension

              To return to our own,

         Close this portal and seal in

              The evil here that we've known."

They heard a rumbling noise starting to build.

"Did I do it good, Mommy?" Melinda asked.

"Yes you did, honey. You did it very good," Piper said and kissed her.

"Hold hands," Prue said.  Piper took Melinda's hand and held it tightly as Prue took Melinda's other hand and then took Phoebe's.

"EEYYEE!" Phoebe screamed, startled.  "Kroge!"

He was big, with a horrifying demonic face and standing only ten feet away from them.

He pointed a finger at Phoebe and a giant bolt of light started towards her.  Phoebe pulled her head back and the bolt hit the boulder, shearing off part of it.

Piper was about to raise her hand to freeze Kroge but he pointed his finger at Melinda's head.  Piper pushed Melinda down and threw herself over her to protect her.  The bolt of light from Kroge's finger hit the boulder just above them.  The corner of the boulder broke off, and, still covered by the bolt of light, fell on Piper's head, the light entering her head just as the yellow and black ball appeared and enclosed them.

 

Prue and Phoebe were standing in the attic but Piper was lying motionless on the floor.

"Piper, Piper," Phoebe shouted, kneeling down beside her and lifting her head.

Prue knelt down on her other side and felt her pulse.

"She's alive," Prue said, looking at Phoebe.

Prue started to gently shake Piper and she started to move.

"Piper, Piper - are you all right?"  Phoebe asked as Piper started to come to.

"Arrgghh...I think so.  My head hurts.  Owww."  She took hold of their hands and they helped her up.

"What happened?"  Piper asked.

"A piece of the boulder mixed with Kroge's bolt and hit you," Phoebe answered.

"Boulder?  What boulder?" she asked.  "Who’s Kroge?"

"You don't remember?"  Prue asked.

"No," Piper said, rubbing her head.

"What's the last thing you do remember?" Prue asked,


"Uh...Phoebe calling me from the club...while I was having dinner with Leo in the restaurant."

"That was last night," Phoebe said.  "It's Sunday afternoon now."

"Ohhh...I've lost almost a whole day," Piper said. "What did we do?"

Phoebe glanced at Prue.  "We...just vanquished a demon," Phoebe said.

"Was he part of the plan for major destruction?" Piper asked.

"He might have been...we're not sure," Phoebe answered.

"Anything that I don't remember that I should know for the future?" Piper asked.

Prue looked at Phoebe who shook her head slightly from side to side.

"No," Prue said, slowly, "...there's nothing that you should know.  The future will take care of itself."

Piper shook her head as if trying to clear it.

"Hmmm...I have this strange feeling," she said. "Like...someone very close to me has gone away.  Someone I...love...and...miss a lot. I suddenly feel...very empty."

Prue and Phoebe looked at each other.

"I know it...doesn't make any sense," Piper said, rubbing her head again.  "I suppose the feeling will go away."

"It will," Prue said gently, taking Piper's hand in hers as the three women turned and walked towards the attic door.