“H ere you go," Piper said, emptying the can into
Kit's bowl and placing it on the floor. "Enjoy breakfast. And I will too,
as soon as Stuart gets back from the store with the milk and rolls."
wistfully thought about other breakfasts.
Breakfasts at home. In her
kitchen, in familiar surroundings, looking out through her window.
Breakfasts being Holly Combs.
She missed it, she thought. She missed the breakfasts, she
missed her home, she missed-
She reluctantly brought herself back to The Manor - and to
being Piper Halliwell. She sighed,
tossed the can into the garbage and went to answer the door.
"Good morning," the man said. He was in his late
twenties, a bit under six feet tall, with sand colored hair and an eager
face. "Is this the Halliwell
"Yes," Piper said. "And who are you?"
"I'm Jason Van Haag,"
he replied. He saw there was no recognition on Piper's face.
"Phoebe's never even mentioned me?" he asked, more
disappointed than surprised.
"No, she hasn't," Piper said. "Should she
"I would have hoped so," he said. "Uh, who
"I'm Piper, her sister."
certainly told me a lot about you," he said. "She knew that no
matter what happened, no matter what trouble she got herself into, you were
still her sister."
"Uh...yes, we are close," Piper said, suddenly
feeling self-conscious. "Uh...where do you know Phoebe from?"
"New York," he said. "Two years ago, we were pretty much together for four
months, including the whole summer.
Until things just got too much for her, losing her job and being broke
and feeling her life was floundering.
That's when she came back here."
"So...you were...uh, together with Phoebe...in New
York," Piper said, hoping she hadn't heard what she thought she did.
"We had a great relationship," Jason said.
"But...it couldn't overcome her feeling that she had nothing, except for
her bicycle. And so she wanted to go home.
"But Phoebe promised me that if I ever came out to San
Francisco she'd spend a day with me. And I actually got a regular job, which is
part of the reason I'm in San Francisco.
"So, here I am."
"Ooooh...here you are, indeed," Piper said, her
mind quickly assessing this un-expected complication. "Uh, Phoebe hasn't come down yet this morning."
"Well - can I come in and wait for her?" he asked.
Piper started to say something, changed her mind twice about
what to say, then finally gave up and motioned him to come in.
"Have a seat," she said pointing to the sofa,
"I'll tell Phoebe you're here."
Piper ran up the stairs and knocked on Phoebe's door.
"I'm not ready yet," Phoebe called out.
"Yes, you are," Piper said and walked into the
room. "You have company."
"Your past, your New York past, has caught up with
you," Piper said.
"What New York past?" she asked. "I left
Brooklyn when I was a small girl. I don't have-"
"Not Alyssa's past," Piper said. "Phoebe's past. Specifically, one Jason Van Haag. Who Phoebe spent four months with in New
York when she was broke before moving back here. Four very close months, from the way he tells it."
"Huh? How can that be?" Phoebe asked. "That's
not part of our becoming witches to save the world from demons."
"No," Piper said, "but it is part of
our history on Charmed. The very first
episode gave you the background of being pennyless in New York. And then that Cupid episode listed off a
bunch of boyfriends you had. That
combination creates a logical scenario for your past before you came back home
to The Manor. A scenario that is
sitting downstairs in our living room."
"Maybe he's just making this up," Phoebe said.
"Maybe he's a demon who's trying to get close to us."
Piper shook her head.
"A demon who just happened to catch the first episode
of Charmed?" she asked. "He
even knew about your bicycle, the one you rode in that episode. Your one and only possession that you, uh,
brought back with you from New York.
"Just tell him I'm sleeping. And that you'll tell me he
came by," Phoebe said.
"That won't work," Piper said. "You promised
him that you'd spend the day with him if he ever came out here. He'll just keep
coming back until you do. You're going to have to see him. Just the way Phoebe would have."
"No!" Phoebe said, making a face.
"Yes!" Piper said, grabbing her by the arm.
"Because until you do, he's going to be in our way. And if he's in our
way, we can't vanquish demons. And if we can't vanquish demons, we can't go home."
Piper opened the bedroom door, pulling Phoebe through the
doorway as she did, and pointed downstairs.
"I don't know what I'm supposed to say to him or how to
be with him," Phoebe protested.
"You're an actress," Piper reminded her.
Phoebe gave Piper a look and took a deep breath.
"Oooooh," Phoebe said, made another face and
walked into the hallway. "Why
couldn't Connie Burge have written me being pennyless on a desert island,"
"Because you would have had a tough time riding your
bicycle on the sand," Piper said drolly, pushing her towards the stairs.
"Phoebe!" Jason called as she came down the
"Jason?" Phoebe said, unsure of what else to say.
Jason walked over to her, embraced her and kissed her
lightly. Phoebe stood there but did not respond.
"Phoebe..." he said, confused, "what's wrong?
You're acting like...like you don't know me."
"Uh...Jason," Phoebe said. "I...don't exactly
remember everything that happened in New York."
"What? What do you mean don't remember...How can
you not remember me?...us?"
"Jason...I had a very traumatic experience when I came
to San Francisco-"
"What? What happened?" he asked.
"I...it's not good for me to talk about it," she
said. "But it...was
"It certainly was," Piper said.
"So...you don't remember all of our time
together?" Jason asked.
"Not...very well," she said.
"Phoebe...I came here to see you," he said.
"And I'm going to see you.
Even if you don't remember promising that you'd spend a day with me if I
came out here."
"I promised you..." Phoebe stopped as something in the back of her mind suddenly came
into the forefront. "...that I
would spend the day with you...didn't I."
A look of confusion crossed Phoebe's face.
"Yes," he said, a hopeful smile on his face.
"I...remember," she said, and looked in
bewilderment to Piper. "But...how-"
"Come on," Jason said, "let's go."
"I...I haven't had breakfast," she said.
"We'll get breakfast on the way," he said, taking
her hand and pulling her towards the door.
"The way we used to at Ricky's.
We'd each eat half a bagel because we couldn't afford two of them."
"Nice meeting you, Piper," he shouted as he opened
the door and pulled Phoebe outside. As
he did, Stuart, carrying a bag, was coming up the steps.
"Hello," Jason said as they continued past him.
Phoebe turned back to Stuart but all she could manage to do in her confusion
was to look at him. Jason helped Phoebe into his car, got in on the other side
and they drove off.
"What was...that?" Stuart asked as he closed the
door behind him.
"Oh, just think of that as a scene from the pilot for a
prequel to Charmed," Piper replied, taking the juice out of the bag he was
"Thankfully," she added, "an un-sold
“Have you seen my nail clipper?” Prue asked as she blew into
the kitchen. “It’s missing.”
“No, and Phoebe’s toothbrush with her name on it is missing,
too,” Piper said.
“Hmm...that’s odd,” Prue said, then shrugged her shoulders.
"That's good that you've had breakfast already,"
"We're not quite done yet," Piper said, finishing
her yogurt. "You can still join us."
"No, I'll just grab a cup of coffee. And then we have
to get going," Prue said.
"Going where?" Piper asked.
"To find the demons who want to cause major
destruction," Prue answered.
Stuart looked up from his cereal in surprise.
"I don't want what happened to us with Jôlét to happen
again," Prue said, pouring the coffee into her mug.
"And as long as we're here, as witches,
something like that can happen.
So we can't
just sit around waiting anymore.
The sooner we find these demons and vanquish them the sooner The Elders will change
us back into being our real selves. Actresses, not demon targets."
"I'm all for that!" Piper said, her hopes suddenly buoyed. "But...we don't have a good record when
it comes finding demons. We didn't exactly find Donato on our own. And The Frubos and Driskoll found us."
"I just watched the tape we made of last week's episode
of The Demon Dimension," Prue said.
"That house that Álvaro and one or two other demons hang out in
looks just like a house I saw near Tallor's warehouse. We're going down there
and see for ourselves."
"Uh...Prue...isn't that, uh, a bit of a stretch?"
Stuart asked. "It's just a house they picked to use when they need to show
the outside of the demons' lair."
"The Demon Dimension is there to give us information
about these demons," Prue said. "So the house they use on the show is
there for a reason."
Stuart shot Piper a skeptical look as Prue drank her coffee.
"As much as I want your idea to work," Piper said,
her vision of a speedy conclusion evaporating, "we can't just barge into
the house to see if there's a demon around."
"Phoebe can first try to get a premonition from
touching the house," Prue said.
"Uh...where is Phoebe?"
"She went out," Stuart said.
"Out? Where?" Prue asked in surprise.
"She's re-living her carefree, irresponsible past that
she never had," Piper said.
Prue looked at her quizzically then turned to Stuart, who
shrugged his shoulders.
"Then we'll do it without her," Prue said. "We'll find out what we can about these
demons, come back here and look for them in The Book of Shadows. Then we'll go back to the house and vanquish
"I don't think you're going to find them just like
that," Stuart said, his skepticism evident.
"Watch me," Prue said obstinately, finishing her
coffee. "Let's go."
"Jason," Phoebe said, "what we had...was
before." A gentle breeze was
blowing in off the water as they walked barefoot along the beach, carrying
their shoes and socks.
"Before what?" he asked.
"Before I came home," she said. "Before
I...started seeing someone."
"You're seeing someone now?" he asked, dejected.
"His name is Stuart. You saw him as we left the
"The one carrying the bag?" Jason asked and took a
deep breath. "How long have you known him?"
"It's been only two weeks-"
"Two weeks? Two weeks? That doesn't count," he said, feeling better. "Phoebe, we had four months
together. I'm not someone you just
met. We knew each other. That's a relationship."
"Jason, what we had in New York was...was two years
ago. You've changed since then. I know I've changed."
"That's good news," he said. "We both know
that it wasn't only because you were broke that you went home. It was
also because you were afraid...of commitment. You were afraid to open up your
heart long-term. I hope that's what's changed in you."
It's changed, Phoebe thought, but the other way. Phoebe's
fears have become mine.
Or, she thought, was Prue right?
Were they really my own fears to begin with?
"I once saw a TV show about someone with amnesia,"
Jason said. "At the end of the
show he got an emotional shock and his memory came back. The kicker was that he realized then that
the memory was so painful that sub-consciously he hadn't wanted to remember.
"Maybe that's what you need, Phoebe." He stopped,
took her hand and looked into her eyes. "A shock to jar your memory. So
that you'll remember me. Remember us."
"No thanks," Phoebe said. "I've had enough
jarring since I've...come home. And no, it's not that I'm trying to forget you.
Something familiar. She realized there was something
It was his hand. The feeling of his hand holding hers.
It can't be, she thought.
We've never held hands. I wasn't
really in New York with him. He only
thinks that I was because of how reality was changed.
And yet - it is. Familiar.
"Familiar," she said, very low.
"It's just...familiar," Jason repeated, a smile
coming to his face. He leaned towards her and gave her a small, gentle kiss.
"That should be familiar, too," he said. Phoebe
closed her eyes. What is happening? she thought. I shouldn't be feeling
But Jason was right. The kiss felt familiar, too.
"The door is open," Prue said, pushing on it
gently. "See, I was right. Demons aren't worried about locking their
doors the way people are."
"They're not?" Stuart asked.
"Not with their powers," Prue replied.
Stuart raised an eyebrow and looked to Piper, who took a
deep breath but didn't say anything.
Prue slowly opened the door and walked inside, then motioned
for them to follow her.
"Look around upstairs," Prue said. "I'll see
what I can find down here."
Piper and Stuart headed up the stairs while Prue walked into
an adjacent room.
"It doesn't look like anyone's been here for a
while," Piper said, running her finger across the dusty table.
"Not exactly what you'd expect demons to keep in their
cabinet," Stuart said, taking out a started box of oatmeal and a
half-empty package of cupcake holders.
Piper shook her head as she walked into the next room. A bed and a chest of drawers were on
opposite walls and the shade from a small table lamp lay on the floor. She was
about to open one of the drawers when Stuart came in.
"Be careful," he said facetiously. "There
might be a world-destroying demon inside waiting to jump out at you."
Piper looked at him and gave him a half-smile.
"Prue - and Shannen - can be stubborn sometimes,"
Piper said, opening the drawer.
"You just have to let her do it her way until she realizes that she
"It took her three days to realize that she was wrong
about not being Prue Halliwell," Stuart said. "I don't want to spend
the next three days looking in empty houses for demons who aren't there."
"Maybe we won't have to," Piper said. "She'll
probably realize she was wrong after she sees that there isn't anything
"I was right!"
Prue said aloud to herself. She
was holding three silver squares, a green pentagram on each. Their colors seemed to change as the light
coming through the window shone on them.
"I know you're here, demons," she said. Suddenly,
there was a low rumbling sound. She could see the two chairs in the room move
slightly and the chandelier sway.
"Demons!" she said, and raised her hand.
"Earthquake!" Stuart shouted. "Under the
table." He grabbed Piper and they ran back into the other room and got
underneath the dusty table. The rumbling lasted for another five seconds and
"That seems to have been a very small one," Piper
said, looking around the room after they stood up. "Nothing damaged
"Everything looks OK outside," Stuart said,
looking through the window at the people and the building across the
"I'm surprised you recognized the earthquake so
quickly," Piper said.
"I have experience," he replied.
"I didn't think you had earthquakes in New York,"
"I've been through three of them in LA," he said.
"I can tell that sound, that certain feel of it, when it happens."
"Let's make sure Prue's OK," she said.
right," Prue said as they came into the room. "A demon knew we were
here and started to do something to the house."
"You saw him?" Stuart asked.
"I felt him. Didn't you feel the house shake?"
"Prue, that was an earthquake, not a demon," Piper
"Earthquake?" Prue asked.
Stuart nodded. "Earthquake," he said.
"There's nothing here," Piper said. "Demons
didn't shake the house. They haven't even been here."
"You think I'm wrong?" Prue said, holding up the
squares. "I found these in a closet." She handed one to Piper, who
looked at it and passed it to Stuart.
"These...these don't have to belong to a demon,"
Piper said. "There's nothing else
here to link the house to them."
"We'll take these back to The Manor and find the link
in The Book of Shadows," Prue said, determined. Stuart made a face and exhaled as he and Piper followed her as
she opened the outside door. As she did
they found two big men, arms folded, staring down at them.
"Here's your link," Prue said to Piper.
"What were you doing inside the house?" the first
"Who's asking?" Prue said.
"The name's Henderson. I own the house. And that
warehouse across the street, too.
"Now, who are you? And why were you in my house?"
Piper saw people going in and out of the warehouse and some
cars driving by. They're too far away
to be frozen, she thought. If I freeze
these two those people will see it. I
can't do it.
"I'm Holly Combs," she said cautiously and
extended her hand. "I'm a tech
scout with Spelling Television in Hollywood.
This is our location manager Shannen Doherty and my assistant Stuart
"You're from television?" Henderson asked.
"That's right," Piper said. "We thought your
house would make a good location for a new TV series."
"Well why didn't you say so right away," Henderson
said. "You should have called
first the way the others did."
"The others?" Piper asked, hesitantly.
"The people from Warner Brothers," Henderson
said. "They just finished using
the house for a supernatural TV movie they were making. Those squares you're holding are left over
Stuart turned the square over in his hand, smiled at
Henderson and handed it to him.
"That's how you knew about my house, right?" he
"Uh, of course," Piper said. "All of us who
do location scouting...we, uh, share information."
"Don't you like that spooky look it has?"
Henderson asked. "Everything is pretty much the way they left it. You
probably could save a lot of money and use it the way it is."
"Yes," Piper said, "that's an important
consideration. It's a good thing you dropped by."
"I was in the warehouse," Henderson said,
"and figured I'd take a look here to make sure nothing was damaged by the
"The...earthquake," Piper repeated, and
glanced at a sullen and quiet Prue. "Uh...no. Uh, the house is fine."
"What kind of show will this be?" Henderson asked.
"It's about witches who have to vanquish demons,"
Stuart said. "Only they don't seem
to be able to find them and instead they mistake ordinary people for
being the demons."
"Oh. Inept witches," Henderson said. "You're
doing a comedy."
Prue glared at Henderson and her lips tightened.
"Does one of the witches wiggle her nose to make her
magic, like on Bewitched?" Henderson asked, half-laughing.
"No," Prue said, fuming. "She waves her hand,
"Now Shannen," Piper said, grabbing Shannen's hand as
she lifted it up and holding onto it tightly. "We can't give away all
of the storyline, now can we."
Prue squinted at Henderson, took a deep breath and relaxed
"Well, I think we've seen enough here," Piper
"Here's my number," Henderson said, writing it on
a piece of paper and handing it to her.
"I left my cards back at the hotel," Piper said.
"That's OK, Holly Combs," Henderson said, smiling. "I'm good at remembering
"We'll be in touch after we get back to
Hollywood," Piper said. "Bye-now."
"Nice to have met you," Henderson said.
They walked down the front steps and headed back to the car.
"That was the first time in over two weeks that I've
been called by my real name," Piper said. "And it felt very
"Don't get too used to it," Stuart said.
"Piper Halliwell still has demons to find and vanquish."
"Maybe...I was wrong," Prue said, with obvious
difficulty, as she got into the car. "Maybe we have to have some patience
and think more about who these demons are."
"Well," Stuart said as he closed the car door and
smiled at Piper, "at least it took only half a day this time."
Jason pulled the car onto the gravel alongside the
house. Mill Valley Antique and Curio
Shop the sign read.
After leaving The Manor, they had driven across the Golden
Gate Bridge and over to Sausalito. Breakfast at a waterside café had been
followed by a stroll past the shops that lined the marina. Then they had
continued driving up a local road alongside Richardson Bay, past Marin City,
towards Mill Valley and Tiburon.
"Come, let's have a look," Jason said.
"Remember how we used to go through the aisles in the flea market, hoping
we'd find something really valuable that everyone else had missed?
"Oh, uh, no, I guess you don't remember," he said,
"This is a real store, not a flea market, anyway,"
Phoebe said, smiling. The two-story
house was old and stood by itself, on the edge of a small hill that sloped down
just behind it. They walked up the two
steps to the wooden porch where a couple of rockers, spotlessly clean, sat.
"Rather quaint," Jason said, "but
appropriate, I guess." He opened the door for Phoebe and a small bell
"Hello," the woman greeted them. She was in her
early sixties, Phoebe thought. Her grayish dark hair was done up in a modified bun.
A few inches taller than Phoebe, she projected an air of quiet self-assurance.
There was something about her that said she'd
been running this store for a long time.
"Hi," Jason said. "We're just browsing."
"Go right ahead," the woman said, "and take
your time. There's no rush. Let me know if I can help you."
"Thank you," Phoebe said.
Assorted types of antiques lined the shelves along one
wall. They walked slowly past them,
picking up one now and then to look at.
A combination of trays and free-standing objects filled the next wall's
shelves. Jason picked up a cupid figurine, aimed it at Phoebe and smiled.
Phoebe smiled back but as Jason put the cupid back something
caught her eye. It was in an open tray
just below the cupid's shelf. She
picked it up and held it to the light to see it better.
"Odd design," Jason said.
"The Triquetra," Phoebe replied slowly, surprised.
"You're familiar with witchcraft?" the woman
"Witchcraft?" Jason said in surprise.
"A little," Phoebe said.
"Since when?" Jason asked.
"Then come down to the basement," the woman said.
"There are some things among the curios there that may interest you."
She took them to an open door along the far side of the shop and led them down
The basement's shelves were set up similar to the ones on
the first floor, with large display cases running their length underneath them. But whereas those upstairs had contained
mostly antiques, these were almost all an eclectic variety of curios,
knickknacks and bric-a-brac.
"Curios are too diverse to be readily segregated neatly
into the trays," the woman said. "So things are not rigidly
separated. But I believe...ah yes, over here."
She pointed to a tray on a shelf to their right. Amid a 1939 New York World's Fair
medallion, a Golden Gate Bridge locket and a miniature plate with a color
picture of a smiling Walt Disney in its center, lay a small disc. Phoebe picked it up and looked at the
pentagram etched onto it.
"There's also one on the reverse," the woman said.
"But as you can see, it's rotated just enough so that the points don't
line up with the ones on the obverse."
"What is this, Phoebe?" Jason asked.
The rumble cut her off. They looked up and saw the fixtures
begin to sway and felt the house vibrate.
"It's an earthquake," the woman said. "Hurry,
we have to-"
One end of a ceiling beam came crashing down behind them, smashing
shelves and sending their contents flying all over the floor.
The fixture and part of the ceiling above Phoebe broke
loose. She twisted around to get out of
its way but lost her balance and fell sideways, her head making a loud thud as
it hit the corner of a display case.
Part of another beam came down at the top of the stairs,
blocking the doorway.
Jason called out as the rumble stopped.
The air was heavy with dust as he made his way over the fallen beam to
her as she lay on the floor. He was
coughing as he dropped down beside her and lifted her head in his arm.
Phoebe started to open her eyes.
She tried to sit up but could do no more than barely lift her head. She ran her hand up the side of her head and
looked at the blood that came off on it.
"My head...really hurts," she said. "And
"When you fell your head hit that display case
corner," Jason said. "Don't try to move."
Phoebe nodded and lay back in his arms.
"Are you all right," he called to the woman.
OK," the woman said. "What about you?"
"Phoebe hit her head on the case," Jason said.
"She's bleeding - it looks bad. We have to call for help."
"Cell phone...in my pocketbook," Phoebe said,
Jason eased Phoebe's head down on to the floor and crawled
over her. He pushed off part of the fallen ceiling and broken shelves, reached
her pocketbook and pulled out the cell phone.
"They don't work in the basement," the woman said.
"The house's location gets a poor signal. And being under ground, even
that doesn't reach."
The cell phone's signal indicator confirmed what the woman
had said and Jason dropped it back into the pocketbook.
"We can use the store's phone," he said.
"That beam came down right on it," the woman said.
"There's nothing much left of it."
"We have to find a way to get help," Jason said.
"We'll just have to wait for my nephew," the woman
said calmly. "He comes by every
day at three o'clock."
"Three o'clock? That's almost three hours from
now," Jason said.
"There's not much else we can do," the woman said.
"That other beam is blocking what's left of the stairs."
Jason crawled back to Phoebe and lifted her head in his arm
again. He took a deep breath and brushed some of the dirt off her face.
"How are you doing?" he asked.
"The same," she said.
"This reminds me," Jason said, "of the time
you went skateboarding in Central Park.
You flipped over, hit your head and twisted your ankle. I had to half carry you to the train and
back to your apartment. Remember?"
I...do, Phoebe thought.
How can that be? Am I imagining
that I remember? Is this 'memory' from
hitting my head? Or am I somehow
getting some of Phoebe's memory. Or
what would have been Phoebe's memory.
"Phoebe...I can't let you lie here like this,"
Jason said. "You need a doctor - a hospital."
Jason looked at the staircase leading upstairs. Two steps
under the fallen beam were gone.
"I'm going to get you out of here," he said to
Phoebe. "I can jump from that last step and grab onto the beam. I'll crawl
over and squeeze between it and the door jam and get upstairs."
Phoebe nodded her head.
"It'll work," Jason said and squeezed her hand.
Phoebe froze, her eyes staring ahead, her mouth open. She
saw Jason jumping on to the beam, then his weight pulling the beam down,
bringing the crossbeam down with it. She saw him fall the eight feet to the
floor and the two beams and the ceiling crashing down on him.
"No!" she shouted. "Don't! You'll be
"I'll be OK," he said.
"Jason...listen to me...I have...a gift," Phoebe said. "I get
"Premonitions?" he asked. "You never told me
anything about premonitions."
"It began...after I moved back to San Francisco,"
she said. "I don't know when I'm going to have them. But when I do have them, they're always
"I don't pay attention to premonitions," he said,
"I know you want to do this for me," she said.
"I know you want to show me that you care for me. But I don't want
anything to happen to you."
"Nothing will happen to me," he said, confidently.
"Don't do anything," she implored him and tried to
sit up. "Arrgghh!" The pain was intense and she fell back into his
"For me," she said. "Please."
Jason hesitated and looked into her eyes.
"OK," he said reluctantly. "You always were
able to get me to do what you wanted."
They were silent for a moment, Phoebe with her eyes closed
and Jason lost in thought.
"Sitting here like this," he said, speaking
softly, "reminds me of that time in Far Rockaway. After we went bar hopping all night and
wound up on the beach."
He paused, gently wiping the blood from her head with his
"I held you like this as we watched the sunrise,"
he said. "And you told me that was
the most wonderful sunrise you'd ever experienced in your life."
Jason leaned closer and kissed her.
And suddenly it was all there for her. The memory of being held by
And the feelings.
And she kissed him back.
A small apartment, makeshift furniture. And Jason lying next to her in bed, his arms
around her. And a feeling of comfort and serenity. That memory was suddenly there, too.
Jason saw the look on her face and knew she was remembering
something from their past together. He leaned over and kissed her again.
Filled with the feelings of the memory, Phoebe put her hand
behind his neck and kissed him back, again.
"It's going to take a little while," the emergency
worker called down to them. "If we
touch this beam here it'll bring down the crossbeam and half the ceiling with
it. We'll shore it up and then get you
Jason stared at Phoebe in disbelief.
"You...you were right," he said. "You knew
what would happen. I don't understand how..."
"I told you...my premonitions are always right,"
"You...saved my life."
"I wouldn't want any un-nice thing to happen to
you," Phoebe said.
Rain beating relentlessly on the window. An ecstatic night together. And those words
in the early hours of the morning.
In her mind she heard herself saying those same words. The memory, the feelings, the...happiness.
"I remember," she said. "I remember saying
that to you once before."
"No un-nice things," Jason said, and
smiled. "I remember exactly when
and where we were." She slid her
hand behind his head, pulled him closer to her and kissed him with feeling.
"I'm coming with you," Jason said to Phoebe as
they lifted her gurney into the ambulance.
"Are you her husband?" the para-medic asked.
"Not yet," Jason said, "but just as
"You can ride in the front," the para-medic said.
"I'll be with the driver," Jason said to
Phoebe. She nodded and he leaned over
to her and they kissed.
Piper pulled the car up by the hospital and they quickly
jumped out. Running in, they saw Phoebe
being wheeled down the hallway.
Stuart was about to go to her when he saw her put out her hand and take Jason's hand
in it. Jason leaned close to her and
"How is she?" Prue asked.
"She's stable," the paramedic answered as he
walked past her to go back to his ambulance.
Stuart stood there for a few seconds, swallowed hard, and
then turned away. Seeing the look on
his face, Piper took his hand and squeezed it.
"Maybe it's just from the shock," Piper said, not
really knowing what to say to him.
"She can't change that drastically in one day."
"She did the day she became a witch," Stuart
"The wound to the side of her head isn't as bad as it
looks," the resident told them. "It didn't require stitches.
"The trauma to her head from the impact is another
matter. The x-rays are negative but she has a slight concussion. We're going to
keep her for observation over night."
"Can we see her?" Prue asked.
"She needs rest," the doctor said, "so just
for a few minutes. Only one person at a time. But someone is there with her
"Jason," Stuart said, feeling jealous.
"I'm so relieved that you're all right," Jason
said with a smile. "You're looking
better. How are you feeling?"
"I guess not as good as I look," Phoebe answered.
"Have you been resting?"
"That's all I can do here," she said.
"That and think."
"About me, I hope," he said and Phoebe nodded.
"I've been thinking about you, too," he said.
He sat down on the edge of the bed and took Phoebe's hands
"Thank you," she said. "For taking care of
me. And...for caring about me."
"I never stopped caring about you the past two
years," he said.
He leaned over and put his lips on her's. As he began to kiss her gently he felt her
hands pull away from his and slowly go around him. He slid his hands under her back and their kissing became
stronger with more feeling.
As they let each other go he sat up and looked into her
"I...I think I need to rest a little," she said.
"OK," he said, nodding. He leaned over and kissed her lightly.
"I'll come back in an hour," he said as he stood
up and looked at her.
"It's so good to be with you again," he said.
As he turned to leave the room he walked right into Prue who
was coming in.
"She wants to rest," he said.
"I'll stay only a minute," she said.
"Uh...who are you?" he asked.
"I'm her sister Prue."
"Oh," he said, with a somewhat disdainful look.
Prue's eyes narrowed and followed him as he continued past
her down the hallway.
"You're two seasons' episodes behind in our
relationship," she muttered, insulted. Then she turned around and walked
over to Phoebe.
"How are you doing," she asked her.
"My head is all mixed up," Phoebe answered.
"We're going to find Leo and bring him here," Prue
said. "He'll make you better."
"Leo can't make this better," Phoebe said.
"It's not from the concussion."
Prue looked at her.
"Jason?" she asked and Phoebe nodded.
"I'm remembering things that never happened,"
Phoebe said, "and I'm feeling things that were never there...before."
"But they're there now," Prue said.
Phoebe exhaled. "It's part of our becoming The
Halliwells, isn't it. Starting to get...their memory."
"And their feelings," Prue added.
Phoebe propped herself up and looked out the window. She saw a tall young woman standing across
the street. A young man approached her
and Phoebe could see, even from the distance, the young woman's face light up. The man took her hand, gave her a peck on
her cheek and they began walking away together.
"For some people it's so simple and easy. Why is it so
complicated for me?" she asked.
"Jason thinks he cares about you because the
combination of a couple of episodes on Charmed made it that way now in real
life," Prue said. "But once
we're back in LA and reality is changed back to how it was he won't even know
you. There's no commitment to anything
that happens here between you."
"No commitment," Phoebe repeated. And no
vulnerability, either, she thought. "No responsibilities. It's all
She leaned back and was silent for a while.
"Maybe that's what's best for me now," she
said. "A relationship that's as
temporary as who I am."
Prue wanted to say something but the nurse interrupted them
before she could.
"She needs to rest now," the nurse firmly told
"OK," Prue said to her. "I'll be back in a
little while, Phoebe."
"How is she?" Stuart asked when Prue came out of
"She seems OK," Prue said. "She's
"Good," he said.
But there was no relief in his face, Piper thought. Only
"What about you?" Piper asked him.
He closed his eyes and exhaled.
"It...doesn't really matter," he said.
"We don't...really know that anything's changed,"
Prue said nothing but the look on her face told them
otherwise. Stuart's mouth tightened and he nodded his head as if he was
accepting it. Piper saw a small tear form in the corner of one eye.
"Come on," Piper said, taking his hand and
squeezing it to support him. "Let's go find Leo."
Prue and Piper
entered Phoebe's room but stayed near the door when they saw Jason by her bed.
Phoebe was sitting up in the bed and now she took a deep
"Jason, today...when you held me...things came back to
me that I...hadn't remembered."
"I never forgot them," he said.
"I know," she said.
"Jason...this is...so hard...I..." She took
another deep breath.
"Jason...I can't...I can't see you. I...I have this
"For all of two weeks," he exclaimed. "That's
not a relationship. That's barely an introduction!"
"I...I can't make believe that...it isn't there,"
she said. "It is a relationship."
"Tell me," he said as he took her hand, "Do
you have feelings for him? Can you honestly tell me that you do?
"Can you honestly tell yourself that you
Phoebe looked at him silently for a while.
"I don't know where this relationship is going,"
she finally said. "I don't even know if I want it to go anywhere.
"But I do know that...I feel that...I shouldn't
stop it. That I have to let it go on and see where it will lead. And along the way,
maybe I can figure out what I really want...and what I'm ready for.
"To do that I have to...give it a chance."
"What about giving me a chance?" he asked.
"Jason...what we had...was in New York. But now we're in San Francisco. I promised you that I would go out with you
for a day if you came out here. I never
promised you that we'd pick up where we left off."
"Phoebe...when I held you today, I could tell what you
were feeling," he said. "I could feel the passion in you. How can you deny it?"
"I felt..." she said and looked into his
eyes. "I felt
stopped. She didn't want to say what
she had really felt. She knew it would
only make this harder. And she knew
that despite how strongly she had felt it...what she felt was still only part
of this temporary reality. It wasn't her
"And when we kissed, didn't that trigger
memories?" he asked.
Phoebe nodded. "Memories."
She took a deep breath.
"But memories are of the past. The present isn't always
the same," she said.
"I know you, Phoebe," Jason said. "He isn't
your type. He's not your style."
Where have I heard that before? Phoebe thought, and
shot Piper a look.
"I've changed, Jason.
I'm not the same Phoebe you...knew.
I'm more stable. I look at life
differently. When I look at people now
I look below the surface."
"And just what have you been able to see in him 'below
the surface' in just two weeks?" he asked.
"His soul," she said. "I've seen his caring soul.
Something...I've never seen, not really seen so openly, in anyone else.
" Maybe...if I hadn't seen it...maybe it would be
"You're still afraid of commitment, aren't you,"
he said. "Still afraid of leaving yourself open."
Phoebe looked into his eyes and slowly shook her head. If
only you knew, she thought. You're the safe harbor for my fears. It
would have been so easy to let you keep seeing me here.
"You walked out of my life once, Phoebe," Jason
said. "I'm not going to just sit back and let you walk out of it
"I'm not in your life, Jason," she said,
"We're not in New York now. What
we had...was...very good. But it's not something that we have now."
"We had it today, Phoebe," he said. "I
"And so do you."
Phoebe looked at him silently for a moment. Yes, she did
know it. Her mind knew it, her body knew it.
And her heart knew it.
But whose mind was it really? she thought. And whose heart? Was there a difference anymore between Phoebe's and
There had to be a difference, she thought. And I have
to keep it that way.
"I can't, Jason...I have to see what will come of this
relationship with Stuart. I...can't explain it to you...I can't even explain it
"I just know that...I have to give it some time.
And let it work its way to a conclusion...one way, or the other."
Jason looked at her for a while then gave a deep sigh.
"That's twice now that you've broken my heart,
Phoebe," he said. She could see small tears in his eyes.
"You're going to be OK," she said, as she took his
left hand in hers. "You're going to get over...this."
"Is that coming from your premonitions?" he asked.
"In a way," she said as she slowly nodded.
"And from my heart."
"I'll always be there for you, Phoebe," he said.
"I know you will," Phoebe said. "Like that
time I wound up broke in Greenwich Village and you came down and paid the tab
and took...me...home." Where did that come from? she thought, as
she realized what she had said.
"You remember that," he said.
Phoebe nodded. "And I'll always be there for you,"
Jason leaned over, hesitated, then kissed her on her cheek.
He turned around and walked to the door.
"Prue, Piper," he said.
Stuart and Leo were standing just outside the room. As Jason passed them he stared at Stuart for
a few seconds, shook his head slightly in disbelief and walked away.
"How are you feeling," Prue asked as she and Piper
approached the bed.
"Better than before," Phoebe answered.
"What changed your mind?" Prue asked.
"The feelings I had for Jason were so strong,"
Phoebe said. "They felt so
good...and they were safe. I just wanted to submit to them. It would have made
things so much easier.
"But I realized that those were Phoebe's
feelings." She stopped, looked at Piper and then back at Prue.
"I can't let myself forget who I really am," she
continued. "I can't let Phoebe control me. Those feelings...they were what I felt as Phoebe. But they weren't what I felt as Alyssa."
Stuart, standing with Leo behind Piper, moved to Piper's
"Hi," he said, quietly.
"Just 'hi', that's all?" Phoebe asked.
"Well, under the circumstances, I didn't know what else
to say," he said.
Phoebe saw the confusion on his face.
"Because of Jason?" Phoebe asked and Stuart nodded
"I've been confused too," she said. "Jason is from Phoebe's past. It's hard enough to deal with the
consequences of my own decisions in life without having to deal with those of
"I'm not going to let Phoebe's past take over and
complicate my present."
She paused for a few seconds.
"So, do we still have a date for tomorrow night?"
"I wouldn't miss it for anything," he said,
with a smile.
Nor would I, she thought. I have to see where this
will lead me. And whether I'm ready...or want...to go there.