Charmed Role Reversal

Independence Day

Click playbutton to hear Nicole, Marion and the choir singing
Click playbutton to hear Nicole, Marion and the choir singing
♫  O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

       Between their loved homes and the war's desolation,

       Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n-rescued land

       Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation.

       Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

       And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."

       And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave

       O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. ♫

Phoebe, still standing at attention, lowered her hand from her heart. The audience began to sit down and Phoebe took her seat next to Lorna Palmer. She could see Lorna's daughters Nicole and Marion, dressed in their white blouses and blue skirts, standing on the stage, together with the other the children of the choir.

"We're going to be singing in the choir at the school graduation, Phoebe," Nicole told her the day before. "And something special - the first and last stanzas of the National Anthem. You have to come hear us sing."

Of course, at eleven and nine, neither Nicole nor Marion was graduating from school. But they had been chosen for the commencement choir, comprised of children from the fourth through the seventh grades.

Phoebe had become close with Lorna Palmer's two daughters since she, with Prue and Piper, had saved the girls from the ghost Fiona. A week later, Phoebe had invited the girls to The Manor and told them the story of the Witches of the Carribean. And the girls had just been involved with Phoebe and her sisters in the benitoite robberies and the vanquishing of the demon Oralius.So Nicole and Marion felt a strong bond with her.

"They're going to sing the fourth stanza of the Star‑Spangled Banner - that's a treat," Stuart told Phoebe. "You rarely hear it sung - few people even know it exists. Don't miss it."

Stuart knows history, Phoebe had thought, and so she was looking forward to coming to the graduation and hearing the girls sing. But she didn't know whether she - and Prue and Piper - would still be there in San Francisco to come to it. Having vanquished Argyris, she expected The Elders would be sending them back home to LA; back to being the actresses they had been. And The Elders would be removing Charmed from the real world.

But The Elders had not done that - Phoebe didn't understand why they hadn't - so she, and Piper, accompanied Lorna Palmer to hear the girls sing.

And Stuart had been right, she thought. It was stirring and special hearing not just the first stanza but also the last stanza of the Star‑Spangled Banner. She didn't recall ever hearing it before.

The children in the school band accompanying the choir were ready to continue and the choir resumed singing

Click playbutton to hear Nicole, Marion and the choir singing

O beautiful for spacious skies,

         For amber waves of grain,

    For purple mountain majesties

         Above the fruited plain . . . . . .  

Graduating from school is something special, Phoebe thought, then reflected on her own 'graduation'. Much of her schooling had been done on the set with Hollywood's cadre of child‑actor tutors. Her being part of real high schools had been limited. She looked at the children who were graduating and for a moment had a brief feeling of jealousy. The relationships, the comradery, the fun - and the emotional graduation itself. She didn't regret having been a child actress. But for a moment she missed not having had what these children were having that night.

The choir became silent as Nicole and another girl stepped forward to sing together.

O beautiful for patriot dream

        That sees beyond the years

    Thine alabaster cities gleam,

         Undimmed by human tears  

The two girls stepped back and the full choir resumed singing the refrain.

America! America! God shed His grace on thee,

    And crown thy good with brotherhood

    From sea to shining sea  

The children started marching down from the stage and the audience applauded. Phoebe saw how Lorna Palmer was beaming proudly.

"Marion and Nicole were great," Phoebe said to her.

"Weren't they!" Lorna replied, smiling.


The graduation over, Lorna, Piper and Phoebe waited for the girls outside the hall.

"You were great!" Lorna said as she hugged her daughters.

"You certainly were," Phoebe concurred.

"Thank you Phoebe, and Piper, for coming," Nicole said.

"It was our pleasure," Piper replied. "I'm really glad we were able to come." And glad that The Elders haven't sent us back home yet so that we could come, she thought.

Huh!? Piper said to herself, realizing what she had thought. I'm actually glad that The Elders haven't sent us back to being our real selves!? She looked at Nicole and Marion, remembered what she had been through with them with the ghost Fiona, and smiled.

Yeah, she thought. We, and the world, will both be back to being 'non‑Charmed normal' soon enough. Another day as Piper Halliwell so that I could be here tonight with them is OK.

Phoebe had taken Nicole's hand and now Piper took Marion's and together with Lorna they walked the girls back to their car.

Phoebe and Piper got out of their car in the The Manor's driveway. They had taken Lorna and her girls home, were thanked again by them for having come to the graduation to hear them sing, then drove home to The Manor. As they walked from the car to the back door, they heard a rumbling sound.

"Earthquake!" Phoebe cried.

"No...I don't think so," Piper responded. "The sound isn't coming from the ground. It's coming...from above."

They looked up and saw dark clouds rolling in quickly and covering the sky.

"That's not thunder," Piper said.

"'s not," Phoebe agreed. "The rumbling's not coming from the clouds, either. It's coming...from something else."

"I don't like this," Piper said, pointedly.

"The writers used clouds and rumbling like this on Charmed," Phoebe said. She stared at the black clouds as they kept rolling across the sky. "And whenever they did, it was meant to show that some big, major change was about to happen."

"And with Charmed part of the real world..." Piper began, apprehensively.

"Something big in the real world is about to change," Phoebe said, finishing Piper's thought.

Piper opened the back door and was about to go inside. Instead, she stopped and turned around.

"But what is about to change?" she asked, looking up at the clouds again. "And why?"

Click speaker for Opening Credits Theme Song

Stuart felt so good lying next to her. Even in his sleep, her being near him made him feel relaxed and peaceful.


She rolled over on to him so she could reach the alarm clock on the night table, stretched out her arm and shut it off.

Stuart turned his head, opened one eye and looked at the clock.

"It's four‑thirty," he said.

"It's time to get up," she replied.

"It's the middle of the night, Shannen," he countered.

"I have a seven‑thirty call at the studio with the makeup wagon," she said.

"You're Shannen Doherty, the show's star, honey," Stuart said. "You should be able to come in later than the other actors."

"I am coming in later," she replied. "They have to be there at seven."

"Come on, Shannen, just a few minutes more," he implored her.

"No can do, Stuart," she said, smiling at him. "We had a few weeks break from shooting the show and now you've forgotten my daily routine."

Shannen reached the lamp switch and turned on the light. She got out of bed and took her robe from the chair and slipped into it. Cream colored with square shoulders and a tailored look, it reached mid‑way down her thighs and felt cozy against her body. She closed the robe, pulled the belt together and looped it over itself once.

"Uh..." she said.

"What?" Stuart asked.

"Something...something doesn't feel right," she said.

"Yes...getting up in the middle of the night," he said.

"No...not that," Shannen said. "Waking up early for a studio makeup call...that feels exactly right. But...everything feels like it's all new. all just...suddenly happened."

Stuart sat up in bed. He looked at Shannen with a worried expression on his face.

" long...are we married?" she asked him.

"What!?" Stuart exclaimed. "How long ‑"

"Just...just tell me," Shannen pleaded.

"Five months...and one week," Stuart answered, slowly.

"Yes...of course," she said. "And we met when I..."

"Dropped a small box outside that boutique hotel in Pasadena," he said, eyeing her worriedly, "and I picked it up for you."

"And..." she prompted him, as if she couldn't remember what had come next and wanted him to tell her the rest of the story.

"And I recognized who you were and told you how I felt a special leaning towards your character, Samantha Stephens. Shannen...what's wrong, honey?"

"Uh...I don't know," she replied, feeling confused. "'s nothing," she said, trying to re‑assure herself more than she was trying to re‑assure him.

Stuart stared at her for long moment.

"Show me you're OK - give me your character's famous witch's nose wiggle," he said.

"That's wrong," Shannen said, slowly. "That's not how witches do things. You have to use your hand...or your eyes. They...they should change that on the show."

"What? How do you know what a real witch does?" he asked. "Assuming there really are any."

"I...I don't know," Shannen answered, feeling even more confused.

"'ve really got me worried now," Stuart said. "You need to lie down...with me. The show will wait - they can't start without you."

Shannen thought for a moment. Not feeling any better nor any less confused, she opened her cream colored robe and let it slide off of her body and fall to the floor. She stood for a moment - naked, confused and tense - by the side of the bed.

After a moment she exhaled, then slowly got back into bed. She closed her eyes and tried not to think about everything that was suddenly in her mind. Everything that was leaving her all confused.

"You are so special, so wonderful," Stuart said quietly, as he slipped one arm underneath her. He gently ran his other hand across her forehead and down her cheek. "I just love you. Sometimes...I pinch myself to believe that...that famous actress Shannen Doherty really married me."

His arm around her and his body against hers, Shannen felt an inner comfort, a happiness and security that made everything feel all right.

"You make me so happy," Shannen said. "There's no one else I would ever want to be married to."

She eased her arms over Stuart's back and initiated a sensual kiss. Her tension leaving her, she relaxed and let herself go. She wanted more of the comfort and security that he gave her - and with a small smile on her lips, she pulled him firmly to her.


Piper came down the stairs at a little after eight o'clock in the morning, walked past the living room and continued towards the kitchen. Then she stopped short, turned around slowly and stared at the living room.

Her mouth open, Piper gaped at the furniture. The chairs and the sofa were different. They were not the same chairs and sofa that had been in the real Manor the past seven and one‑half weeks, not the ones that had been on Charmed's set for the two years before that. They were not the chairs and sofa that had been there when she had gone to sleep after the graduation.

Slowly Piper approached one of the chairs and ran her hand along the edge of its back. It was real - not some kind of image. And it was there in The Manor's living room - where it had no place being.

Piper slowly backed away from the chair, then turned and with some apprehension went into the kitchen. And stopped short again.

The table was a different size than the table that had been there - a good foot shorter in its length. And the chairs were different. A box of cereal on the counter caught her attention. Slowly, she walked over to the counter and picked it up.

What's this? she thought. She stared at the box in her hand and the name that was on it:

Hollin's Toasted Corn Flakes Breakfast

Bewildered, Piper slowly turned the box around - and stared even more incredulously at what was on the other side of it.

Hollin's Petit Déjeuner Grillé de Flocons de Mais

Piper started to shake her head dumbfounded when Phoebe burst into the kitchen.

"Piper, look at this!" Phoebe said. "I went to get my robe and it wasn't there. But this was."

Phoebe extended her hand, holding a dark purple robe, to Piper.

"Where is my robe and what is this doing in my room?!" Phoebe demanded.

"Phoebe, haven't you noticed ‑" Piper tried to interject.

"And look at this label!" Phoebe continued, ignoring what Piper started to say and showing the robe's label to her. Piper took the label between her fingers and looked at what was written on it.

Fabriqué dans la République de la Louisiane

"If I remember what little I know of French," Piper said, "I think that means 'made in the Republic of...Louisiana'?"

"That doesn't make any sense," Phoebe said, "nor does this being in my room instead of ‑" Phoebe stopped and looked at the box of cereal that Piper was holding.

"Where did that come from?" she asked.

"Phoebe, didn't you notice everything is changed?" Piper asked. "The living room furniture, the kitchen, this box of cereal from...somewhere. Your robe is just one more thing that's been changed."

Phoebe slowly looked around the kitchen.

"The clouds last night," Phoebe said, taking in how different the kitchen now was. "The clouds...of change."

"Where are Prue and Stuart?" Piper asked.

"I don't know," Phoebe said. "I didn't see Stuart when I got up."

"Prue! Stuart!" Piper shouted as she and Phoebe quickly ran to the staircase. "Prue!? Stuart!?" she repeated as they ran up the stairs.

Piper opened the door to Prue's bedroom as Phoebe did the same to Stuart's.

"She's not here," Piper announced. "This looks like it isn't even being used."

"It's the same with Stuart's room," Phoebe said.

"Leo!" Piper shouted."Leo!"

There was no response to Piper's call.

"The Book of Shadows!" Phoebe said, worry in her voice. They quickly ran up to the attic and opened the door.

The scene that greeted them was not what they expected. Bright yellow curtains with small orange and brown flowers - a gathered valance with tie backs beneath it - hung from the window at the far end. A small sofa, its slip covers the same pattern as the curtains - stood against the left wall. Wallpaper in a complementary yellow covered the walls. An ivory chest of drawers, an armoire of a matching color, two glass‑doored bookcases and an easy chair filled out the room. Everything was neat and orderly.

Piper and Phoebe looked on in stunned silence, then slowly walked into the attic.

"What..." is all Phoebe could say.

"There's no bookstand...and no Book of Shadows," Piper said. She walked over to the sofa, took a throw pillow from it, threw it up in the air and raised her hand. The pillow fell to the floor.

"And no witch powers," she said grimly.

Phoebe picked up the throw pillow, held it tightly, and closed her eyes.

"Nothing," she said. "No premonition." She thought for a moment.

"Maybe The Elders sent us back last night," she said, "and removed Charmed from the real world."

"There weren't any yellow lights that The Elders used the other times," Piper said. "And if they had sent us back, then where are we? We're not at my ranch. And we're not in your house."

"Let's take a look outside," Phoebe suggested.

They gave one more look around the yellow attic, then hurried downstairs, went to the front door and opened it.

"This looks like our street in San Francisco where The Manor is," Piper said.

"But those cars parked...uh...they look - different," Phoebe said.

"We'd better see if we still have a car," Piper said. They went back into the house, through the kitchen and out the back door.

"It's a car," Phoebe noted, "but not ours. And the's different."

The car that stood before them was a robin's blue, with a high roof, slightly boxy and with elongated chrome above the rear fenders. The name of the car was prominently displayed on the trunk.

"That's...not our car," Piper said, stating the obvious.

"Studebaker...I vaguely remember Stuart telling me something about that name," Phoebe said. "Stuart and history...I think he said that used to be a car company in the 60s. What's it doing here?"

"And what are we doing here?" Piper asked.

"Look at that license plate!" Phoebe added.

"That's...not what a California license plate looks like. What...where...did that come from?" Piper asked.

"Dalios!" Phoebe exclaimed. "He's done something again with reality or with parallel worlds or...with something. He's managed somehow to undo Charmed."

Piper slowly shook her head.

"No, Phoebs, I don't think so," she said. "I...I don't think this is Dalios' doing. Leo told us that The Infernal Council wouldn't let him do anything like that again."

"So maybe Dalios just didn't listen to them," Phoebe countered. "Maybe he just did...whatever he wanted to do anyway and ignored the Council. He did try to kill us again just two nights ago."

"Yes, but he used Darnella for that," Piper said. "He didn't do anything directly himself. And all of very direct. I don't believe it's Dalios."

"Then if not Dalios, who is it?" Phoebe asked. "And...why?"

"Let's start by finding out the 'what'," Piper said. "The Demon Dimension helped us understand what happened when we were first brought here. Maybe there's something on television now that will help us again."

They went back into the house, walked past the spot where Grams picture had graced the wall until that morning, but where a picture of Phoebe in a red and yellow mini‑dress now hung in its place, to where their television had been.

"It looks like a television...more or less," Phoebe said.

The television they were standing next to had a square screen, set into what looked to Phoebe like black formica, and sat on a rounded, black cart. A small, narrow triangular silver antenna, entwined in similar black formica, protruded from the top of the screen. A small flat device made of the same black formica lay on the cart. It was circular except for the '11 to 1' position, which had a silver triangular antenna, identical to the one over the screen but without any of the black formica around it.

"I guess this is the remote control," Phoebe said. "The buttons...they're marked in English and in French."

Phoebe found the button marked power/puissance and pressed it. The screen lit up with a picture of a pretty young woman sitting at a desk. She was in her early thirties, with long auburn hair that reached her shoulders, a light complexion and a sparkle in her eyes. She was wearing a light blue tailored blouse under a navy blue suit jacket. On the wall behind her in large white and blue letters were the words Your Morning News with Sami Groff.

"- border crossing problem," Sami Groff said from her desk. "Columbia Provincial Premier Catherine Gale and California Governor Jerry Brown have agreed to meet next week at the Governor's Mansion in Sacramento to try to resolve the dispute. Until then, both border crossings between California and Columbia will remain closed. Anyone wanting to drive across the border between the CWA and Canada will have to use the border crossings in Nevada, or further east in Arizona.

"However, flights from William B. Ide International Airdrome in Los Angeles and Davey Crockett Memorial Airdrome in San Francisco, to the Columbia Provincial capital of Seattle, will not be affected by the land crossing closures.

"In more bad news, the continued turmoil in Mexico has prompted the five state governors to come to Austin Federal City, Texas, later today for a Governors Conference. Texas Governor George W. Bush and California Governor Jerry Brown initiated the un‑scheduled conference in the CWA capital in reaction to the lawlessness in the northern part of Mexico and its spillover into the CWA. Governor Bush spoke to reporters last night at the State House in the Texas capital of Houston."

The TV picture changed to that of Governor Bush.

"The cross‑border escalation of lawlessness into the CWA," Governor Bush said, "especially from the Mexican state of Coahuila and the Sonora Corridor, through the indifference or powerlessness of the Mexican government, cannot be tolerated."

"The Governors Conference will meet with President Jennifer Monreal at the Ranch House," Sami continued in a voice‑over. The picture changed to that of a young woman in her early thirties. Slim, very attractive with medium complexion, large olive green eyes, long, dirty blond hair falling to just below her shoulders and wearing a black tailored shirt, the woman was talking to an un‑identified man as the overlay on the screen said 'File Footage of President Monreal'.

"The Congress has directed President Monreal," Sami's voice‑over continued, "to dispatch additional army troops to the CWA‑Mexico border and to send them across the border into Mexico to protect the border communities. But so far, the President has refrained from doing that.

"Ranch House Press Secretary Kathie Iannaci had this to say."

The image changed to that of a confident looking woman in her mid-forties, with medium length, dark hair brown hair and a slightly long face.

"President Monreal is withholding using these measures," Kathie said, standing at a podium, part of the audience of reporters visible in front of her.

"One of the reporters tried to rattle Iannaci with some leading questions about the President's approach," Sami said in a voice‑over. "But the Press Secretary, experienced at handling reporters, deftly deflected the queries and maintained her control of the briefing."

"The President," Kathie said, with self-assurance, "wants to use her common Spanish heritage from her father that she shares with Mexico, and her native Spanish language, to try to reach an agreement with the Mexican government to restore order and exert control on the border areas."

The TV image returned to Sami Groff at her news desk.

"Governor Bush said that he supports the President's plan as long as there is also an alternative plan, should her initiative fail.

"From problems in the south to problems in the north," Sami continued. "The Soviet Union's newly established missile sites in the Alaska Panhandle and its recent missile tests in the Pacific Ocean along the Vancouver Province coast of Canada have triggered an emergency meeting of the North America Defense Association."

The image changed to that of President Monreal, walking through a garden followed by Ranch House staff.

"Early yesterday evening," Sami continued in a voice‑over, "President Monreal, walking through the Ranch House Rose Garden in her trademark black pants suit, paused to respond to a question from a reporter."

"The provocative moves of the Soviet Union cannot be ignored," President Monreal said. "NADA will take appropriate measures in response."

"Austin Federal City, Texas," Sami continued as her image returned to the screen, "was to host the next scheduled NADA meeting in September and will therefore host the emergency meeting that will be held this Friday, according to Ranch House Press Secretary Kathie Iannaci."

The image switched back to the Press Secretary standing at the podium.

"Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, British America Prime Minister Hollis Reynolds Jr. and Louisiana Premier Étienne Séverin will be coming to the Ranch House on Friday for the emergency NADA meeting," Kathie said. "King Kamehameha VIII of the Kingdom of Hawaii has been invited to attend the meeting as a guest of President Monreal."

The image of Sami Groff re‑appeared on the screen.

"Hawaii has expressed concern over the Soviet Unions' presence in the Pacific waters near the island kingdom," Sami said, "and the Soviet support for the recent revolution and establishment of a Communist government in Samoa. King Kamehameha has broadly hinted that Hawaii would benefit from becoming a member of NADA. Though British America and Louisiana have been less than enthusiastic about expanding NADA membership, President Monreal has expressed support."

The screen switched back to President Monreal in the Ranch House Rose Garden.

"Hawaii's location in the Pacific," President Monreal said, "could be a strategic bulwark for NADA to counter the Soviet Union's aggressive expansion. Bringing the kingdom into NADA could benefit both Hawaii's and North America's security."

The screen switched back to the Press Secretary.

"Following the NADA meeting," Kathie said, "President Monreal will brief the leaders of the Congress on the discussions and on any decisions reached about NADA actions."

"The world is all upside down," Phoebe said, shaking her head.

The newswoman was back on the screen.

"We wanted to finish Your Morning News with something besides all of the strife and depressing news that we've reported," Sami said. "But we couldn't find any hard good news anywhere in the world. So we've had to go to the entertainment industry for our closing.

"Actress Shannen Doherty will headline the annual California Children in Need Benefit tonight," Sami said. "The star of the number one rated televideo series Bewitched Again will be joined by a host of Pasadena's cinema and televideo stars. Including pop‑tart favorite Alyssa Milano ‑"

"Pop tart!?" Phoebe exclaimed, indignantly.

"-actress Amy Meredith, legendary singer and dancer Susan Anton and four‑time Cinema Star Award winner Meryl Streep." A picture of each of the stars mentioned was briefly flashed on the screen as Sami said her name.

"Where did they get that picture of me!?" Phoebe complained. "It's awful!"

"The Benefit will be held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the heart of the Pasadena cinema and televideo studios entertainment capital," Sami continued, "beginning at seven‑thirty."

The newswoman gave a warm, endearing smile to the camera.

"And that's Your Morning News for Wednesday, the twenty‑third day of June, Two Thousand. This is Sami Groff. Have a great CWA day."

Piper exhaled.

"The Soviet Union shooting missiles?" Phoebe asked, rhetorically. "The Soviet Union fell apart almost ten years ago. And what's the CWA?"

"And the words are different," Piper said. "Airdrome instead of airport, televideo instead of television. Pasadena, not Hollywood, being the entertainment capital. The Cinema Star Awards sounded like the Oscars. All close but not the same."

"We're not Halliwells," Phoebe continued. "We're ourselves."

"At least you and Shannen are," Piper said. "I don't know who I am, here."

"Shannen's starring in Bewitched Again," Phoebe said. "That show first ran thirty years ago."

"Apparently it's been revived here," Piper said, "wherever here is. At least we know that the date is the same our date."

"The world is in a mess, we're not The Charmed Ones anymore but we're not home either," Phoebe said.

"No," Piper said, "but Shannen is playing a witch. And we're still in The Manor, even though it's changed inside. I think that whatever happened last night, The Elders did what they could to keep some connection with us. Just like they did when Dalios undid you and our whole reality came apart. The Elders managed to make Sliders real and keep a connection through me. And this time...I think the connection is through Prue."

"You mean they made Bewitched a show again here?" Phoebe asked.

"They made The Demon Dimension a show so why not Bewitched," Piper replied.

There was a bookshelf to the right of the television and something on it caught Piper's eye. She went over to it and took a large book from the shelf. She glanced at the book's spine then turned it over to see the book's jacket.

"An Illustrated History of North America," she said, reading the title. She opened the book and looked at the first page. January, 2000 Edition it said in large letters.

"This is current," she said and turned a few pages.

"Look at this map," she said, showing it Phoebe.

"Where's the U.S.?" Phoebe asked, bewildered.

"There isn't any," Piper replied. "But look here - the CWA that Sami Groff kept referring to - The Confederation of West America. There's Texas, California and a few more states."

"Republic of Louisiana?" Phoebe asked in surprise.

"Now we know where your robe came from," Piper said. "I'm going to look through this history book. This may explain what's happened. While I'm doing that, look around The Manor - uh, the house - and see what you can find."


It was some ninety minutes later when Piper closed the Illustrated History book, rubbed her eyes, stood up from the sofa and stretched. Phoebe had searched through all of the rooms, going through drawers, desks and closets. She had neatly stacked on the kitchen table whatever she had found that seemed important, though there weren't too many items. Now she came into the living room to inform Piper of her findings.

"I found out that this is my house," Phoebe said, "and that you are my agent. You seem to stay here with me whenever you come up to San Francisco from Hollywood. Uh, sorry, I mean from Pasadena. Hollywood doesn't even exist here, as far as I can tell. I've cut a few records, done some shows, enough to make me a - a favorite with the young crowd." She carefully and clearly avoided using the pop‑tart description that Sami Groff had applied to her. "What did you find out from the history book?"

"The answers," Piper said. "At least, to how this happened. I started in the beginning of the book. As far I can remember from school - how I wish Stuart with his knowledge of history was here - everything seems to have been the same as it had been. Columbus, the other explorers, the thirteen colonies. There's the Declaration of Independence, George Washington as General of the American army - I think they're being called the Continental Army in the book is the same - Nathan Hale being hung as a spy. Until we get to Benedict Arnold."

"The traitor who tried to sell America out to the British," Phoebe said.

"Right," Piper said. "Only here...he succeeded. Major John André was Arnold's contact in the British Army. Arnold had been given command of West Point. He gave the plans of the defenses of West Point to André so that the British could successfully attack it while he, Arnold, depleted the supplies of the fort to leave it unable to withstand an attack.

"According to the history book, André was traveling with the plans through the American lines going back to the British Army," Piper continued. "He was wearing civilian clothes and had the plans and letters from Arnold with him. He was only a few miles from the British lines when he saw three Americans in his path. He was concerned about getting by them.

Piper stopped and exhaled.

"The book says that André later told of there suddenly being a clap of thunder and a bright light that seemed to encompass them, the sky, the trail and everything around them. It lasted for perhaps fifteen seconds. And here, as best I can tell, is when everything changed." Piper had placed a piece of paper in the book as a bookmark. Now she opened the book to that page.

"When the light dissipated," she said, reading from parts of the page, "the three Americans ignored André. He continued safely to the British lines. With the plans in hand, British General Henry Clinton attacked and captured West Point. Its critical position gave whoever controlled it the control of the Hudson River and much of the Hudson Valley. Now under British control, that split the American colonies and the Continental Army. Washington was trapped and his armies could not get through to save him. The war ended six months later with a British victory."

"A bright light?" Phoebe asked. "From a demon's energy bolt?"

"And a clap of thunder? That wouldn't come from any energy bolt that I've ever seen," Piper said. "It has to be something else."

"So there's no United States," Phoebe said.

"And no Louisiana Purchase," Piper said. "Do you remember that, Phoebs?"

"Uh...sort of," she replied. "Didn't Thomas Jefferson buy that from uh...France?"

"Yes...I'm pretty sure that's what happened," Piper said. "Or, didn't happen. Louisiana eventually gained its freedom from France as a separate country."

"And French speaking," Phoebe noted. "That's why everything is in English and French - the cereal, the remote control. It's all one big North American market for products so everything has to be in both languages. And the...the CWA?"

"The history book says that many Americans refused to stay under British rule after they lost the Revolutionary War," Piper answered, turning pages to get to a different chapter. "They began moving into Texas and eventually into California, which were both part of Mexico. After a while, it says, they felt they were being unfairly treated by the Mexican government in the same way the British had mistreated their forefathers. There was a rebellion - the Alamo and Davey Crockett happened here too - and they won their independence from Mexico. California and Texas were separate countries for a while but then they joined together to form the Confederation of West America - the CWA. The territory in between them was carved into three more states. Austin in Texas became the CWA federal capital."

"Let me see that map again," Phoebe said. Piper flipped the pages to the front of the book.

"It's all so different," she said. "Canada is so much bigger. Aroostook - what's that? That's where Maine should be. where Washington and Oregon should be. And the Soviet in Alaska! And no U.S.A."

"The CWA is the closest thing to it," Piper said. "Though it's really more of just a reflection of it. It's not a superpower. It's all western oriented - that's why the President's home is called the Ranch House and not the White House. The original colonies eventually combined into British America. But neither it nor Canada is fully independent from Britain and not full democracies."

Piper turned to the last chapter in the book.

"See, it says here that Louisiana is not a monarchy but not a democracy, either," Piper said, showing Phoebe a paragraph on the page. "Most of the members of what they call the Estates‑General are either appointed aristocrats or people who inherited their seats from their fathers. Very few of them are elected by the people."

"Now that we know how this happened," Phoebe said, "we need to find out why it happened. And what that light that Major André saw really was."

"The only way to know that is to go back in time to that day," Piper said, "and see what actually happened. And the only one who can do that is Prue."

"We don't even know if Prue has her powers," Phoebe countered.

"She's playing the part of a witch on TV," Piper said. "I have to believe that's the reason why."

"You mean you want to believe," Phoebe said. "When The Elders made us into real witches, we had a role reversal. We stopped being actresses playing the witches' roles and became real witches, instead. But Prue...uh, Shannen is still herself playing a witch. It's not the same."

"Maybe that's all The Elders could do under these circumstances," Piper said. "Or maybe they left her as herself, as a famous actress, so that we could find her. If she had become just her Bewitched character in real life, we'd never know where to even look for her."

"Even if you're right about Shannen," Phoebe said, "and even if she can go back in time to find out what that light was, what do you expect her to do?"

"Stop history and the timeline from changing," Piper said. "Get things to happen the way they were supposed to happen. The way they did happen...before the timeline was changed."

"We don't even know what was supposed to happen that day," Phoebe countered.

"We know that Benedict Arnold's treason failed," Piper said. "So we can assume that Major André did not make it back to General Clinton with the maps. What we don't know is why he didn't."

"And so we don't know what to change," Phoebe said. "If we change things the wrong way - change it in a way that didn't really happen - we could still throw the timeline out of wack. Remember what happened when we went back in time after Jôlét."

Piper remembered all to well what happened when they went after the demon Jôlét.

"We changed one little thing in the past and Prue died in the present," Piper said. "Everything is connected." She exhaled. "Stuart could tell us exactly what happened that day so we would know what to make happen again. But we don't have him." She was silent for a moment.

"We're going to have to try it anyway," she continued. "We can't leave things the way they are. The world is in a mess. Not to mention that we are, too."

"Piper, we're basing everything on Prue," Phoebe said. "Even if she does have her powers, she may not remember Charmed. Or even know that she has powers. After all, The Elders didn't put her here with us."

"And if they had she wouldn't have her powers just as we don't have ours," Piper said, "because Charmed never existed here. No...I'm sure they put her in Bewitched so that they could make her powers real and she would have her powers. And as for her not remembering Charmed...I can fix that.

"When that demon Mordun put thoughts in your mind to make you think that you had killed that young woman in the alley," Piper said, "and your own thoughts were hidden in your sub‑conscious, I used a spell on you to make you remember what was hidden. I'll use the same spell on Prue."

"You remember that spell?" Phoebe asked, surprised.

"You're the spell maker on Charmed," Piper said, "and so you've been the spell maker in real life, too. So on the rare occasion that I made up a spell...yes, I made a point to remember it. I'll have to replace the demon reference but that shouldn't stop the spell from working the same way on Prue as it did on you."

"But you don't have any powers," Phoebe pointed out. "You can't say the spell."

"I know," Piper admitted. "We're going to have to get Prue to say it herself. We know that she'll be at the Children in Need Benefit tonight in Pasadena. We have to hurry and find a way to get down there."

"That will not be a problem," Phoebe replied. She went into the kitchen, took something from the stack of items she had previously collected and put on the table, and hurried back to Piper.

"I'm performing at the Benefit tonight," Phoebe said, "and you, my agent, not wanting to miss the opportunity of being with Pasadena's movers and shakers to book me for more shows, were coming with me."

Phoebe held something up in her hand.

"Two tickets on the 3:00 flight to LA," she announced. "And a reservation receipt for a limo to meet us there and take us to Pasadena."


The limo pulled up at the back entrance of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Security men waiting outside quickly whisked Piper and Phoebe into the hall. They made their way down a corridor, twice stopping to ask where Shannen's dressing room was. Following the directions, they came to a door. Phoebe knocked, heard a familiar voice say "come in", and opened the door.

"Alyssa," Shannen said. "It's so good to see you."

"More than you can imagine," Phoebe replied, going to her and giving her a hug.

"We haven't met," Shannen said to Piper.

"We have...but you don't remember," Piper said, realizing that Shannen did not remember Charmed.

"My...uh...agent, Holly Combs," Phoebe said.

"My apologies," Shannen said. "I seem to have forgotten a few things today."

Phoebe gave Piper a quick glance.

"What kind of things?" Phoebe asked.

"Oh,'s not important," Shannen said.

"It might be," Piper said.

"Shannen, we have something important to try to explain to you," Phoebe said. "And we don't have much time in which to do it."

"About what?" Shannen asked.

"," Phoebe replied. "I know this will be hard for you to understand but you aren't the Shannen you think you are. I mean you are Shannen just not this one. And you're also Prue Halliwell."

"What?" Shannen asked.

"What Alyssa means," Piper said, "is that something happened during the night last night. And when we all got up this morning, things had been changed. A lot of things had been changed."

"I know this is hard for you to understand -" Phoebe started to say when she saw the look on Shannen's face. Something had registered with Shannen and she slowly nodded her head.

"You realized that somethings had changed, didn't you," Phoebe said.

"Things..." Shannen stopped, trying to find the words to express what she had felt. "It was as if...this is if my whole life...had just happened. was all new."

"It...was all new," Piper said, gently.

"What?...this doesn't make any sense," Shannen said. "I'm feeling as confused now as I did this morning when I woke up and forgot things. Stuart was so worried about me -"

"Stuart!?" Piper interrupted her. "Stuart...Weston?"

"Yes," Shannen said, not understanding the surprise in Piper's voice. "You know, my husband."

"Your husband?!" Phoebe shouted.

"Yes...why are you surprised, Alyssa," Shannen asked. "You know Stuart. You were at our wedding.

"At least, I think you came to the wedding. Or have I forgotten that too - that you weren't there?"

Phoebe was stunned, her mouth hanging open.

"OK," Piper said, recovering from her shock quickly, taking Phoebe's arm and squeezing it supportively.

"Shannen, there's only one way that you are going to know that what we're telling you is true," Piper said, "there's only one way for you to understand this. You have to say this spell. It will make you -"

"Spell?! Shannen exclaimed. "What are you talking about. I'm not a real witch. I only play being one on Bewitched."

"Oh no, here we go again," Phoebe said, with an audible groan. "This is the same thing that you said the last time when you wouldn't accept your being a real witch."

"Last time? What last time?" Shannen demanded.

"Last time it took you three days to accept what had happened," Phoebe said, "but this time we don't have three days to wait. We don't have three hours or even three minutes. You have to accept this now!"

"And there's only one way that you'll do that," Piper said, handing Shannen a piece of paper. "Say the spell that I've written."

"What?...No -" Shannen said but Phoebe interrupted her.

"Just read the words," Phoebe implored her. "That's all you have to do. Just read them."

Shannen looked at the paper that Piper had proffered.

"Just indulge me," Phoebe said, "please!"

Shannen looked at Phoebe and then at Piper. She looked again at the paper in Piper's hand, then slowly and suspiciously took it from her.

" the words," Phoebe said again. "That's all."

Shannen exhaled and started to say the words very slowly.

"Let thoughts I didn't know I had
That are hidden inside my head,"

Shannen paused and looked at up Phoebe, who nodded her head in encouragement. Shannen exhaled and resumed saying the spell.

"Come out now from my sub-conscious
And be remembered and said."

The memories starting bombarding her mind. Names, places, people. A childhood in Memphis; Brenda Walsh; Kris Witherspoon; Buckland Auction House; Connie Burge; Leo acting in a scene healing her on a set; then Leo healing her in real life; being surrounded by a yellow light; Frubos demons; Ray‑Art Studios.

"AGH!" Shannen screamed, grabbing the sides of her head with her hands. She lowered her head, her chin resting on her chest, and squeezed her eyes shut. Phoebe and Piper looked on in silence.

Shannen stayed that way for some thirty seconds. Then, slowly, she raised her head about two‑thirds of the way. She looked to her left and then to her right, as if trying to get her bearings.

"Phoebe...Piper," she said, and raised her head all the way.

"You remember!" Phoebe said, excitedly. "The spell worked."

"I...remember," Shannen said. "Some of it is still blurred together. But I have most of it separated and distinct."

"OK - now you have to go back in time and stop the timeline from being changed," Phoebe said. "We can't do it because we don't have our powers."

"You don't?" she asked, surprised.

"No. Our memories are only of the real timeline," Piper said. "The Elders managed to keep that for us. But there wasn't any Charmed in this timeline so we're not Halliwells - and not witches."

"That's why The Elders got you to play Samantha Stevens on Bewitched," Phoebe said, "so that they could make her powers real for you. could take us back in time with you."

"No...uh, no," Shannen said. "Without your powers you may not be safe there." She paused, sorting out the thoughts and memories. "And if we got separated, you...uh, wouldn't be able to say the spell to get back."

"Are you sure you're up to going by yourself?" Phoebe asked.

"Going...where? And when?" she asked.

"To the Revolutionary War," Piper said, "to the time of Benedict Arnold. There's a Major John André who was bringing the plans for the defense of West Point sent by Arnold to the British General Clinton. In the real timeline, he never made it to Clinton."

"But in the changed timeline," Phoebe said, "he did bring the plans to Clinton. And that caused the timeline to change. We know there was some great light, obviously from some demon, that day. Some demon did that to change the timeline."

"We have to know why André didn't get to Clinton in the real timeline and what stopped him," Piper said. "We need Stuart to tell us what really happened to André. So that you can go back and undo whatever that demon did and not let André get to Clinton. And restore the real timeline."

"Stuart won't remember anything from that timeline," Shannen said.

"We'll use the same spell on him that we used on you," Phoebe said. "The Elders must have managed to have it hidden in his sub‑conscious, just as it was hidden in yours. That's why The Elders arranged for you to be married."

"We got married because we were in love with each other," Shannen said, sharply.

"Do you really remember that?" Phoebe asked.

"Yes...I do!" she answered, emphatically.

"How did you meet Stuart?" Phoebe asked her.

"We met..." she paused, thinking back to what Stuart had told her that morning. "When I dropped a box outside of a hotel. Stuart picked it up for me."

"The same way he met me in the real timeline," Phoebe said. "Because that had already happened in the real timeline, that somehow made it easier for The Elders to make it happen in this timeline, too.

"Don't you see, Prue," Phoebe continued, "The Elders manipulated things for you to marry Stuart so that we could find him."

"And use this spell to make him remember the real timeline," Piper said.

"You can't use it on him - that's too dangerous," Shannen said. "I could take those conflicting memories and put them into separate compartments in my mind because I have witch powers. But Stuart's a mortal. It would be too much for him to handle. could drive him insane."

"We're going to have to take that risk, Prue," Piper said.

"NO!" Shannen shouted, banging her hand on her vanity, the impact knocking one of her makeup jars to the floor. "I love Stuart. And I won't let you do that to him!"

Piper and Phoebe were taken aback by Shannen's reaction. She looked at them intensely for a moment.

"I have Prue's memories," she said, "but that's all that they are. Memories of another timeline. But I'm not Prue. I'm not even the other Shannen. Who I the Shannen Doherty from this timeline."

She paused for a few seconds, slightly shaking her head.

"I feel such a loneliness in Prue, such an emptiness," she said. "She didn't have anyone in her life on Charmed. When she became real, that became real for her, too. And even Shannen in the other timeline didn't have real fulfillment. But I have it now...with Stuart.

"And even if it did...just happen, the way you say - it doesn't matter. But it happened. And even if I don't remember everything about it - I have it. And I can feel it. And I can feel Stuart's love."

Phoebe took a deep breath.

"Pr-" She started to say Prue but caught herself. "Shannen," she said, "you...realize that this is not the right timeline. Here, there isn't and there never was a United States.

"Canada and British North America are only limited democracies. They're British Dominions, controlled to a large extent by London, where they have little influence on the decisions made there for them. Louisiana practically has no elections.

"And the whole world is in a terrible state. The Soviet Union, Europe - you know how important for the world America is. The United States' example of democracy and liberty that inspired so many causes of freedom around the world is missing.

"And you know that this had to be the work of some demon...doing something with that bright light. And know the real timeline has to be restored."

Phoebe paused for a moment, looking at Shannen to see if her words were having the affect she wanted.

"And if you don't change whatever happened with André back to exactly what happened in the real timeline," Phoebe continued, "that in itself could change the timeline in some other way, creating a third timeline with its own, different problems.

"The only way we can avoid that is if we know what happened to André in the real timeline. And for that we need Stuart. You know he's the history expert. And you know that The Elders...would have somehow made that knowledge remain in his sub‑conscious."

"The Elders got things wrong in the other timeline," Shannen said. "I remember that."

"So do we," Piper said. "But they got it right with what they did with you in this timeline. We have to trust them...that they got it right with Stuart, too."

Shannen looked at Piper for a moment. Then she took a deep breath and exhaled.

"We'll see about this...later. Right now, we have a show to put on," she said.

"What!?" Phoebe exclaimed. "No - this can't wait!"

"We can't go away and leave them with a hole in their Benefit show," Shannen said. "There'll be a theater full of people expecting us."

"If you go back in time and fix the timeline, there won't be any show to worry about," Phoebe said.

"And if I go back in time and can't fix it, we'll have left them stranded," Shannen countered.

"No matter what happens," Phoebe said, "you'll come back to the same time that you left."

"Your spell can't guarantee that," Shannen said. "I remember when it didn't. Like in Brooklyn. Don't you?"

Phoebe exhaled. She did remember that on their time travel to Brooklyn they came back later than when they had left.

"After the show we'll meet here," Shannen said. "We'll go back together to my ranch and do everything there. We can't risk my traveling through time from here and then coming back here to a locked theater."

"I'm...not prepared to do a show," Phoebe protested. "I don't have clothes, makeup -"

"They're all in your dressing room," Shannen said. "You sent it all ahead."

"And what am I supposed to perform?" Phoebe asked.

"You're singing," Shannen explained.

"Singing? Singing what?" Phoebe asked.

"The song you're fans love the most," Shannen said. "I Had a Dream."

"I had-" Phoebe began. "That song!? That song...was barely known here."

"That was in the other timeline," Shannen replied. "But in this timeline - it's made you wildly popular." Shannen paused. "In some circles," she added.

"I...I don't even remember the lyrics," Phoebe protested.

"It'll be in your dressing room, too," Shannen said. "You always look over your song lyrics and the arrangement notes before a show."

There was a knock on the door. Without waiting for a response it opened. And Stuart walked into the room.

"Honey I -" He stopped when he saw Shannen was not alone.

"Uh...Alyssa Milano," he said, a smile on his face as he recognized her. "Hi. It's so nice to see you. I don't know if I ever properly thanked you for singing at our wedding."

Phoebe just stared at him. So many thoughts were racing through her mind. So much emotion was filling her.

"Stuart," she said. She wanted to touch him, wanted to take his hand. She wanted to say things to him. But she couldn't. All she could do was stare intensely at him.

Piper saw the difficulty Phoebe was in. And saw that Shannen was determined to go on with the show.

"Uh...OK, Alyssa," Piper said. "Let's get ready in your dressing room. We'll get together again afterwards," she assured her.

She took Phoebe by the hand and started to lead her out.

"I'm sorry - I don't believe we've met," Stuart said to Piper.

"You have," Shannen said, repeating the words Phoebe had said to her, resignation in her voice. "You...just don't remember."

Phoebe's dress, such as it was, was of a light cream color. A wide red satin belt, with two rows of rhinestones around its length, separated the top of the dress from the short fringed bottom, which ended half‑way down Phoebe's bare thighs. A similar but narrower red satin band, with a single row of rhinestones, encircled the dress' neck. The sleeves of the dress, fringed as well, came down to just below her elbows. Snug fitting boots, the same color as her dress, reached up to four inches below her knees. Phoebe a pop‑tart. I'm the Britney Spears of this timeline, she thought.

Meryl Streep had just finished an amusing half‑singing, half‑talking duet with Shannen. Phoebe stood, unusually nervous, in the wings of the stage, awaiting her cue to come out. She had not had time to rehearse her song, just barely enough time to refresh her memory of its words.

"And now," Shannen said, wearing a semi‑formal black gown, a wireless microphone in her hand, "the favorite of today's young generation - and of my generation, too. The exiting, the dynamic and the marvelous...Alyssa Milano!"

The audience applauded as Phoebe came out from behind the curtain on stage right. The younger people in the audience were out of their seats, applauding wildly in anticipation of Phoebe's performance.

As Shannen handed the microphone to Phoebe, she gave her a small smile and a supportive wink.

Click on the playbutton to hear Phoebe's performance as you read

"Make it really lively," Shannen whispered, then left the stage as the band started up the song's intro.

Phoebe lowered her head, looked down at the stage and took a deep breath. Then she looked up at the audience, saw the anticipation on their faces and gave them a broad smile. When she heard what she thought was her music cue, she held the microphone up to her mouth and began to sing.

♫ Sometimes it seems the world is getting you down

   Sometimes it seems a friend can never be found

   And you're lost in a desperation

   With no rainbow in sight

   But sometimes you find your dreams can really come true

   If you believe - it might just happen to you

   How I bless the day - that you came my way

   You made everything better 

Now Phoebe was getting in to her groove, moving around the stage, connecting with the audience.

♫ I had a dream that you're always gonna love me

    I had a dream that you'll always be there

    I made a wish to the stars up above

   That you'll always stay in my heart I had a dream 

The band played the instrumental segment and Phoebe took a break, nodding her head to the music. The sound system had added some reverb to Phoebe's voice. Piper was surprised that it made her voice sound much younger.

Despite her having wanted Prue to go back right away to change the timeline, despite her not having wanted to sing, and despite her feeling like a pop-tart, Phoebe was enjoying her part of the show. It wasn't being before a camera but it was performing.

And it felt good. It felt very good.

She waited for her second music cue and picked up the song.

 Sometimes you think your best just isn't enough

   Sometimes the road you choose is lonely and tough

   And you search for the consolation

   That's just nowhere around

   But then there are times when things will all go your way

   Each day of the week feels like a holiday

   Give your heart to me - for eternity

   I will love you forever 

That this was the wrong timeline, that it all needed to be changed, had moved out of the forefront of Phoebe's mind. She was completely caught up in being on stage and putting on her show.

♫ . . . . . .

   I made a wish to the stars up above

   That you'll always stay in my heart

   I had a dream that you're always gonna love me

   I had a dream that you'll always be there

   I made a wish to the stars up above

   That you'll always stay in my heart

   I had a dream 

The audience was reacting enthusiastically, many of the younger people shaking their heads and hands to the song's rhythm.

 When all my hope was out of sight

   You came along and made it right

   Oh how I thank my lucky star

   I had a dream that you're always gonna love me

   I had a dream that you'll always be there

   I made a wish to the stars up above

   That you'll always stay in my heart

   I had a dream that you're always gonna love me

   I had a dream that you'll always be there

   I made a wish to the stars up above

   That you'll always stay in my heart

   I had a dream 

As the band finished the song, much of the audience was out of their seats, standing and applauding. Phoebe smiled broadly, slightly bowing her head a few times in 'thank yous'. Shannen came out on stage, gave her a hug, then stood next to her.

"Great job - Phoebe," Shannen said to her.

Phoebe put her hands to her mouth and blew two kisses to the audience. She turned to Shannen, smiled, and left the stage.


Piper and Phoebe had dismissed their driver and joined Shannen and Stuart in their limo. Given the relationship between Stuart and Shannen, Phoebe felt uncomfortable sitting in the back seat with them and so she sat in the front. Piper did ride in the back, holding the Illustrated History Book they had brought with them from San Francisco. She wasn't sure why they had bothered taking it along. Maybe because it was their link to understanding this timeline.

With Stuart sitting between them, Piper could see the look on Shannen's face. What she saw was a feeling of unhappy sacrifice, of having to give up something very dear to her. As if confirming Piper's thoughts, Shannen put her arm around Stuart's. Then, as she held his arm tightly, she put her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.


They sat in Shannen's living room, drinks sitting on the coffee table in front of each of them. Shannen sat on the sofa as close as she could to Stuart. Piper and Phoebe had only politely taken small sips from their glasses. Shannen, however, took a long drink from her glass, to fortify herself for what she was going to do.

"There's something important we have to talk about," she said, turning to Stuart. "Remember how you've told me that if one small thing in the past had not happened it could have changed history."

Actually, Shannen wasn't sure that she remembered him telling her that. But she hoped that he had.

"Yes...uh, sure," he replied.

"And a couple of examples..." she prompted him.

"There are many," Stuart said. "Umm...if British General James Wolfe's scout had not found the unguarded path up the cliff to Quebec in the French and Indian war, Quebec and Montreal would not have fallen and France would likely have won the war. Or if Lacy Wescott had not given her husband the extra flask of whiskey to keep in his pocket, the flask that stopped the enemy bullet, General Charles Wescott would have been killed. And the British America forces would have been routed in the Malta Campaign. Uh...why are you asking about that, honey?"

"Because..." Shannen began. She stopped, exhaled and took Stuart's hands in hers.

"This is going to be hard for you to understand and believe," she resumed. "That...has really happened. Something that should have happened...that actually did happen once...has been changed. It's been...undone." Shannen paused. She saw the look of bewilderment starting to cross Stuart's face.

"What we have today...what we not what's supposed to have happened. It's a...changed timeline." she told him.

"Not supposed to have...changed timeline," Stuart repeated. "Honey...what are you talking about?"

Shannen closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

"One incident in the past was changed," Shannen said, opening her eyes. "And everything is changed because of that."

"What?...How do you...?" Stuart stammered.

"How do I know?" Shannen asked, finishing his sentence. "Because...I have powers that let me see what had been before."

"Powers?" he asked. "What powers?"

Shannen squeezed Stuart's hands tightly between hers.

"These powers," she said. She half-squinted at the drink in front of Stuart and concentrated. The glass moved down the coffee table. Stuart's mouth opened and he looked at the drink in shock. Shannen took her right hand away from holding his hands, waved it at the glass and it moved back towards him.

"Samantha Stevens' powers are not just acting on the set of Bewitched, Again," she said. "They're real and...I have them. Because...I'm a witch. A real witch."

Stuart looked up into Shannen's eyes. She could only guess what was going through his mind.

"I didn't know about my powers until tonight," she said. "And when I found that I had them...I also learned about the change in history...and in the timeline."

"This said that witches used their hands to move things," Stuart said. "Just just did."

"This morning I didn't know why I knew that," Shannen said. "It was part of what was in my sub-conscious that somehow came through."

Stuart shook his head slowly.

"How did do you know...?" he asked.

"I said a spell that brought out was hidden in my sub-conscious," she said.

"A spell?" he asked. "Where did you get a spell?"

"From Holly...and Alyssa," Shannen admitted, slowly.

"What!? They''re...witches!?" he said.

"In the other timeline, the real timeline," Shannen said, putting both her hands back on Stuart's.

Stuart shook his head again.

"I...I don't know you," he said to Shannen. "I don't know...who you are!"

Shannen could feel her insides tearing apart at his words. He was silent for a moment as he looked at her.

"No...that's not true," Stuart said. "There are things about you that I don't know. But I know who you are. You're the caring, thoughtful, kind and sincere girl I fell in love with. And that I still love. And nothing will ever change how I feel about you."

Shannen felt a sense of relief. But there were small tears forming in her eyes. If only that were true, she thought. But if I fix the timeline, your feelings about me will change.

She let go of Stuart's hands, threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly. He hugged her equally as tight, closing his eyes as he did. Piper saw the expression on Phoebe's face as she watched them. I don't know how their relationships will ever get resolved, Piper thought.

Presently, they released their embrace and sat back facing each other.

"So," Stuart said, "just when was history changed?"

" believe me," Shannen said.

"I would believe anything that you tell me, honey," he replied. "That's part of loving you." He looked into her eyes and a small smile crossed his lips.

"It was with Benedict Arnold and Major John André," Piper said.

"Yes...Arnold sent the plans of West Point with André to the British," Stuart said, "and that turned the tide. Because of that Britain was able to put down the revolution. Arnold and André were heroes."

"Only," Piper said, "in the real timeline André was stopped. And Arnold was a traitor. And the American Revolution succeeded."

"You mean...the United States of America...actually existed?" he asked, incredulously.

"Yes...and it was a great source and model for freedom and liberty throughout the world," Shannen said.

"So," Stuart said, "you and Alyssa and Holly are the only ones who know that history has been changed."

"There's one more person who knows," Piper said. "You."

"That is," Shannen quickly interjected, " we think you know it. In your sub-conscious."

"Just the way Shannen did," Piper added.

"In the other timeline," Shannen said, "we were all together. The four of us. And we were...fighting evil together."

"Evil?" he asked.

"Evil demons...and warlocks," Shannen said, carefully.

"You mean...I have powers, too?" he asked.

"No, you don't," Shannen said. "But you are...brave and caring. And you...fought evil with us. Even though you had no powers."

"And that's why we...believe you have the knowledge of the real timeline - the real history - in your sub-conscious, too," Piper said. "And we need you to remember it."

"Why?" he asked.

"Because...we have to fix the timeline...fix history," Shannen said. "We don't know what really happened with André. But you do because you're the expert in history. We need you to remember and tell us what...really happened."

"How will that help?" he asked. "How...can what's already happened be fixed?"

Shannen exhaled.

"Because...I'm going to go back in time," she said, "and put things back the way they should be. The way they had been before someone changed it."

" can do that?" Stuart asked, in amazement.

"I...can say a spell and travel back through time," she answered. "To the time when a single event that didn't happen as it should have changed history. And I can try to make it happen."

"Travel...through time!?" he exclaimed. He started to say something then stopped and exhaled. "If say you can do that, honey, then I believe you." He paused for a moment as he looked at her.

"Why didn't it happen?" he asked.

"We think a demon went back in time and stopped it from happening," she said.

"Then you'll be there at the same time as...that demon," Stuart said. "You'll be in danger."

"I have my powers," Shannen said. "I can handle the demon." She didn't know whether she really could but she was not going to let Stuart worry about her.

"What do you want me to do?" he asked.

"Let Shannen say a spell on you to make you remember what's in your sub-conscious," Piper said. "The details of what happened with Major André in the real timeline. So that Prue...uh, Shannen can make it happen again."

"But there's a risk," Shannen said. "A you. If the spell works, your mind will be filled with the memories of more than one timeline. Conflicting and contradictory memories. "I..." Shannen stopped, took Stuart's hand again and held it tightly. "I don't know whether your mind can withstand it."

"You managed to," he said.

"My witch powers helped me," she answered. "You...don't have any powers to protect you."

Stuart thought silently for a moment.

"This sounds like the whole fate of the world...all of history rests on me," he said.

"Grams, our...uh, my grandmother once told us 'destiny always gets its way'," Piper said, remembering a line from That 70s Episode on Charmed. "Destiny is for the real timeline to be restored. You're just helping it happen."

"Do you want me to do this, honey?" Stuart asked Shannen.

She was silent for a moment. Want? she thought. I want to keep you, and not lose you if the timeline is fixed. She exhaled.

"The timeline...has to be fixed," Shannen finally said. "There are... a lot of things that are very bad in this timeline that have to be undone." And one very good thing that will get undone with them, she thought. Your love.

"Then I'll do it," Stuart said. " question. In the other timeline...were we married, also?"

Shannen glanced at Phoebe, then took a deep breath.

"We were all living together in one house," Shannen said. "But...things...were different."

Stuart understood what that meant. It was not what he wanted to hear.

"I love you, Shannen," Stuart said. "Being married to you is the best thing that's happened to me. I...I can't lose..."

Stuart felt small tears forming in his eyes. He was sure he saw the same thing happening in Shannen's eyes, too. He swallowed hard, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath.

"Then there's one condition," he said, opening his eyes. "If you fix that event and restore the 'real' history, you have to then restore my memories of this timeline. love for you. If you can restore my memories of the other history here, you can do the same thing with my memories of this timeline over there. That's the condition."

Piper glanced at Phoebe and saw that she was biting her lip. Shannen looked at Phoebe, too. After a very long moment, Phoebe nodded her head slightly at Shannen.

"If..if it's safe for you," Shannen said. "I'm not going to do anything...that will hurt you." Not physically...nor emotionally, she thought to herself.

"OK," Stuart said. "You said I fought evil demons in the other timeline. I guess I should fight them in this timeline, too."

Shannen looked intensely at Stuart. Then she threw her arms around him and started to kiss him. He embraced her as well and they kissed with a lot of feeling.

"You're going to need appropriate eighteenth century clothes to wear," Phoebe said.

"It's possible they might have some in wardrobe at the studio," Shannen said.

"We're not at the studio and we can't wait until tomorrow to first go there on the chance that they might have," Phoebe said.

"Maybe we don't have to," Piper said. "You remember Davis Rolfe and what he did to you?"

"I have Prue's memories of what happened," Shannen replied, remembering that he had changed her feelings about how to use her powers.

"While you were under his influence," Piper continued, "you made up a spell for personal gain - to take pictures of clothes in magazines and make the clothes real for yourself. Do you remember the spell you used?"

Shannen thought for a minute. "I think so...yes. I do."

"This history book has pictures from the Revolutionary War," Piper said, opening the book that they had brought with them. "I didn't see any drawings of ordinary people but there are ones of soldiers from both sides. Use that spell and make the soldiers' clothes real."

"A soldier's uniform?" Phoebe asked. "That could be very dangerous."

"We don't have any choice," Piper said. "Those are the only pictures from that period in the book. Prue...uh, Shannen can't wear year 2000 clothes.

"I can do that," Shannen said, "but which uniform? British or American?"

"That will depend upon what Stuart tells us," Piper said.


Piper had changed the spell back to be more like the original version she had used on Phoebe. Shannen said the spell and they held their breaths and waited.

They didn't have long to wait.

Stuart grabbed his head and began screaming in pain. His breathing became labored and he squeezed his hands into his head. Shannen took him in her arms and held his head to her chest.

" backwards," he said. " can't be two ways at the same time." He was starting to cry from the pain his mind was going through.

"Just concentrate on me...concentrate on me," Shannen kept repeating, holding him even tighter to her. "I warned you it would be too much for his mortal mind to handle," she said over her shoulder to Piper and Phoebe.

After a moment his breathing began calming down. Shannen took a deep breath.

"Stuart...honey...I need you to try to concentrate," she said. "You know history - you're our expert. Concentrate on Benedict Arnold."

"Benedict Arnold...hero...traitor," Stuart said in confusion. "He's both...but he can't be both," he cried.

"Honey, just think about him being a traitor," Shannen said. "Just focus your mind on Arnold the traitor."

Stuart's hands were squeezing Shannen's arms. As his mind started to focus his hands began to relax.

"He sent plans with John André," Shannen led him. "What happened to André?"

"André...fake passport...John Anderson," Stuart said. "He...he was stopped by...three men. Americans. Near a wooden bridge over...over a creek. They became suspicious."

"Where was the bridge?" Shannen asked gently.

Stuart closed his eyes and squeezed them tightly shut. As if he was trying to keep other thoughts - conflicting thoughts - away.

"Tarrytown...New York," he said. "A quarter mile north of Tarrytown. They searched him and found...found nothing. Then they made him take off his boot. They found the his boot. They...they took him prisoner as a British spy. AGGHH!" The conflicting memories started to intrude in his mind.

" of the American men was...named Paulding," he added. "Another...Williams. Arnold learned of what happened...and escaped."

"And West Point was not captured?" Shannen asked gently.

Stuart squeezed his eyes shut again.

" was safe," he said. "Key the Continental Army defeat of the British in the war."

"Yes - it certainly was," Piper said, in a very serious tone. The whole timeline was dependent upon that one point, she thought. "What was the exact day and time that André was captured?"

Stuart half-opened his eyes and his body relaxed a little.

"September 23rd, 1780," he answered. " nine o'clock in the morning."

"OK honey, just relax now," Shannen said, still holding him in her arms. "That's all we need to know."

"That answers the question - you need the American uniform," Piper said.

"Nine in the morning - that doesn't give you much time," Phoebe said. "We don't know exactly where the spell will put you. We have to leave you enough time to find the place. And traveling back then took lots of time."

"I'll have to go there the afternoon before, on the twenty-second," Shannen said. "To be sure I'll have enough time to get to that bridge. You do know the spell Phoebe, right?"

"Oh, yes," Phoebe replied. "We've used it enough times. Too many times, for me. Except for this time, tonight. I wrote it down for you."

"Use your spell to make the uniform in the picture real," Piper said. "We've got to do this now."


Prue was dressed in the Continental Army uniform that had been pictured in the history book: a red-faced blue jacket with white buttons, a white waistcoat, white pants and white boots, buckled tightly. She had tied her hair into a short ponytail, a not uncommon hairstyle for men in the late eighteenth century, and wore a dark leather helmet with a small peak and a black plume tipped in red, over it. A smoothbore flintlock musket, standard for the average soldier and which had been in the same picture in the book, was in her hand.

"Everyone has to believe that you're a man," Piper said. "Women weren't in the army back then - on either side. If they find out that you're a woman, there's no telling what they'll do to you."

Stuart was sitting on the sofa. Every so often he would shudder and moan as the conflicting memories hurt his head.

Shannen sat down next to him and looked into his eyes. Then she threw her arms around him, held him tightly and kissed him passionately. Tears filled her eyes. She knew that if she was successful and the timeline was restored, she wouldn't be able to kiss him again.

The kiss ended, Shannen stood up and turned to Phoebe. She thought about Phoebe's relationship with Stuart in the other timeline, thoughts that she had tried to push out of her mind - until now.

"Take care of Stuart," she said to Phoebe, the words being difficult for Shannen to say. "He needs...someone to hold him now. And to help him."

Phoebe exhaled. "I...will," she said.

"We'll wait up for your return," Piper said.

"OK," Shannen said. "Let's do this."

"One more thing," Piper said. "You'll need your powers ready to use without thinking. To do that, you have to stop being Shannen. You have to become Prue, again."

Shannen exhaled. "I know," she said, with some reluctance. "Give me the spell."


Prue was standing in a small clearing. Some large rocks, bushes and a few trees were about thirty yards away on either side of her.

"What are you doing!?" a voice from behind the bushes on her left shouted. "Are you mad!?"

"Come quickly!" another voice shouted from the same direction. Prue saw someone's head and waving arm sticking out from behind one of the large rocks on her left. Then she heard what sounded like a gunshot from her right and something whizzed by her.

Prue started running to the rock where the voice had come from. She was only a few yards from it when there was another gunshot from behind her. And then she felt something rip into her left side, by her ribs.

"AGGHH!" she screamed and fell to her knees. She stayed like that for a few seconds. "Agghh," she moaned, then fell face down on the ground.

A shot rang out from the gun of the person who was behind the bushes. As it did, the one who had waved at Prue ran out from behind the rock. He grabbed Prue's hands and quickly pulled her head first on her stomach along the ground until they were back behind the safety of the rocks.

Prue heard more shots from both sides, then cries of agony from the other side of the clearing. Another volley of shots was exchanged and Prue heard a final scream from the other side. And then all was quiet.

The one who was behind the bushes carefully crept out to check the situation. As he did, the one who had pulled Prue to safety gently turned her over on to her back. Prue saw that he was a Continental soldier, wearing a uniform identical to hers. His face was smooth without a trace of beard. How young he must be, she thought.

"Whatever came upon you to be out there in that manner?" he asked.

His voice was high too, she thought. He can't be more than a young teenager. Did boys have to fight this War of Independence?

Prue grimaced in pain.

"I...lost my way," she said.

"I am Robert Shurtleff," he said. "What is your name?"

My name, Prue thought. She hadn't expected to need a name here. Can't say Prue, or even Shannen, she thought. Can't be a girl's name.

"Stuart...Weston," Prue said, grimacing in pain. I'll use Stuart's name. We are, after all, married. At least for a little while longer, she thought.

The other soldier returned, leading two horses.

"Three Redcoats dead," he said. "One of their horses ran off but the other two horses will be of use to us."

"James, this is Stuart Weston," Shurtleff said to him, pointing to Prue. "There's a small abandoned farmhouse about five hundred yards from here. Help me take Stuart there and I will treat his wound."

"," Prue protested.

"You took a musket ball," Shurtleff said. "Your waistcoat and shirt are bloodied. It must be attended."

Shurtleff put his shoulder under Prue's and helped her up. James put her other arm around his and together they slowly walked Prue to the farmhouse. Coming inside, they eased Prue down onto a small bed.

"Let me look at your wound," Shurtleff said and started to open Prue's waistcoat.

"No...ARGH!" Prue said, grimacing in pain. If he opens my shirt he'll see I'm a woman. He'll stop me from getting to André. Or worse...they'll think I'm some kind of spy.

"I am no doctor but I have experience in treating wounds," Shurtleff assured her. "I've treated my own."

James was on the other side of the room, looking around for what could be salvaged for their use. Prue was in too much pain to stop Shurtleff and he unbuttoned her waistcoat and her shirt.

That's it, she thought, it's over. He sees my breasts. He knows that I'm a girl.

Shurtleff stared silently at Prue for a long moment.

"James, it's important that General Wayne know that we encountered the Redcoats behind our lines," Shurtleff said to him. "Take one of the horses and ride to him. I'll tend to Stuart's wounds and join you tomorrow."

"Very well," James said. He threw what he had collected into a cloth bag and left.

"Now, let me see your wound," Shurtleff said, after he heard James ride off. He carefully removed Prue's jacket, then her waistcoat and her shirt.

"You are fortunate," Shurtleff said. "The musket ball passed through you and came out. A rib was likely broken and you have lost blood. But I can cover the wounds and stop the bleeding."

Shurtleff took something out of the pouch that he was wearing, then stood up and looked around the room. Prue did not understand why he had not said anything about her being a woman.

Shurtleff sat down again next to Prue. He poured some liquid from a jar he had found onto a piece of cloth, then rubbed the cloth across Prue's open wounds.

"ARGH!" Prue cried.

"It will hurt," Shurtleff said, "as will what I do next." He took another large cloth and carefully began to wrap it around her wounds and her ribs. Prue screamed again from the pain of the pressure of his hands and the bandage.

"That will hold you for now," he said. Prue was surprised that someone who was no more than a young teenage boy would be so adept at treating a gunshot wound. "Tomorrow I will take you to where a doctor can treat you," he said to her.

"No...uh, no," Prue said. "I can't. I have to get...ARGH...somewhere."

"You are not fit to travel anywhere but to a surgeon," Shurtleff replied.

"You don't understand...I have to," Prue said. "There is a spy...I have to stop him."

"A spy?" Shurtleff asked, his high pitched voice sounding even higher. "Who? Where?"

"What...ARGH...what is today's date?" she asked.

"The twenty-second day of September," Shurtleff replied.

"In...1780," she said, to be sure.

"Of course," he said, giving her a curious look.

"I know where he will be passing through tomorrow morning," Prue said, grimacing again. "North of Tarrytown. Near a wooden bridge one-quarter mile north of the village. Do you know where that is?"

"I am familiar with this county and the area surrounding it," Shurtleff said. "How do you come to know of this?"

"It is not important," Prue said. "I just have to get there and stop him. Please...will you tell me how to get there?"

"You will not make alone it in your condition," Robert replied. "I will accompany you."

"No...that...won't work," Prue said. Robert was not there in the real timeline, she thought, and his presence can change what's supposed to happen. "I have to do this myself. It is mission. must trust me. I must go alone."

Shurtleff stared at Prue for a long moment.

"You cannot go on foot but perhaps on a horse you will succeed," he said. "Take the second horse in the morning. I will show you the trail to take. Tonight, you will stay here and rest."

"I...ARGH...must be there before nine o'clock," she said.

"Then I will see to it that you leave in time. It is not that far away," he replied. "For now, I will get you something to eat and then you will rest and sleep. You will need such strength as you can muster for your...mission on the morrow."


Robert had helped Prue onto the horse and given her directions to the small bridge, which, as they were north of Tarrytown, lay between them and the village. The night's rest had helped Prue, though her rib cage still ached and her wounds still hurt some, as well.

Robert told her it was no more than a forty minute ride to reach the bridge but in her condition it would likely take her closer to an hour. She had left early enough to give her the extra time. Following Robert's directions, she reached a spot where she could see a bridge some forty yards from her. She dismounted and tied up her horse, then stealthily approached the bridge through the shrubs that surrounded it.

Prue saw that there was a small creek running under the bridge, just as Stuart had told her. And off to the side, before the bridge, three men were resting under a tree. This has to be the right place and time, she thought. Now I just have to wait for André to show up.

Prue sat down on the ground, at a spot where she could see both the bridge and the men. Her ribs hurt when she moved and she tried to think of other things to distract her from the pain. She went through her memories - Prue's memories that, thanks to Piper's spell, were now her own. Memories of how they had become witches, their desire to lead normal lives and their reluctant acceptance of their powers - and their responsibilities to use them.

That was on Charmed, she thought. Or was it as the real Charmed Ones witches they had become? The line between them - between Charmed scripts and Charmed real life - was still partially blurred. Which things had they really lived through in the other timeline? And which ones had been only acting on a studio set?

The Halliwell Manor...that had to be -

The sound of a horse's hooves interrupted Prue's thoughts. She looked through the brush and saw a rider cross the bridge. That must be André, she said to herself. The three men under the tree stopped him and began speaking to him. Prue started to get closer to hear their conversation when something else caught her attention.

The bushes between her and the men began to shimmer. Then the bushes, or at least the image of the bushes, seemed to tear open. A dark slit about three feet tall and about half as wide opened up. Something rolled out from the slit and fell to the ground. Was that a hand that had opened the slit? Prue couldn't tell. Then the slit closed and the shimmering of the bushes stopped.

What lay on the ground was mostly round and about the size of a large grapefruit. On one end was a cylinder, about the diameter of the round part and some six inches long. It was all a bright white, its edges not clear but rather fuzzy. And it was pulsating, with thick vapors coming from every inch of its surface.

Prue recognized was it was. She had seen it just three days before. Just before midnight on the eve of the solstice. In the hand of Argyris.

A time bomb. That's what Argyris had called it. A time bomb to insure that his reversal of time would be permanent.

Prue wanted to get to the time bomb but before she could move the bomb seemed to explode, the vapors spreading outwards in all directions. There was a rumble of thunder as a great white light covered Prue, the trees and bushes, the men and everything for as far as any of them could see.

Prue fell face down to the ground and covered her head. After about half a minute, she peeked from the corner of one eye. The bright light seemed to be gone. Prue lifted her head and saw that everything looked like it was back to normal. She stood up and looked over to where André and the men had been talking.

But the men were no longer there. They had apparently walked away from André, who was now on his horse and continuing on his way.

Prue couldn't understand what had happened with the men and André. Time bomb, she thought. And then the understanding came to her.

We had it wrong, she said to herself. Argyris didn't mean a time bomb - a bomb that has a timer that would set it off. He had meant a time bomb - a bomb that destroys time.

In the real timeline the men should have detained André and found the plans. The time bomb destroyed that timeline. So the men no longer had anything to do with André. And he was free to continue as he had been.

But he can't be allowed to do that, she thought. I have to patch the timeline back together. I have to get those men to stop André.

But first, Prue realized, she had to stop André from getting away. She moved a few yards to where she had a better view of him as he rode his horse. The trail was narrow and there were trees on either side of it. Prue concentrated and squinted and some tree limbs fell over in front of André and blocked the trail.

André's horse was startled and he quickly reined it back in. There was a fork where a side trail split off from the main one and André turned his horse around and headed back to it.

Prue started over to the three men, now some thirty yards from her. She walked as fast as her wounds allowed her to. The men turned to her as she approached them.

"You must help!" Prue exclaimed.

"Yes...I see the blood on your coat," one of the men said. "You are but a lad and you have been wounded."

"No, not me," Prue said. "Your help is needed to stop that man who just rode by. He is a British spy."

"What?" the man asked. "What man?"

"The man you were speaking to just a few moments ago," Prue said.

"Uh...I have a vague recollection of our speaking to someone," he said. "But I do not recall who it was."

"It was him," Prue replied, pointing in the direction of André. By now he had returned to the fork and was about to continue along the secondary trail. I can't let that happen, Prue thought. She squinted her eyes at the trees, concentrated and a half-dozen limbs suddenly fell from the trees.

André's horse was startled again and this time it took more effort on his part to control it. He could not understand what was happening with the trees. With both trails blocked, he had no choice but to retrace his ride back to where the men stood and to find another way around to the British lines. André did not like having to ride some more in the American controlled area and his discomfort left him nervous.

"He is using the name John Anderson," Prue said, turning again to the three men, "but that is not his real name. He is a British Army officer and he has secret plans of West Point with him that he is bringing to the British."

"How can you know that of him?" a second man asked her.

"I know many things," Prue said. "I know that you are Mr. Williams and Mr. Paulding." She didn't know which of the three men they were so she looked at all three as she said it.

"Uh...yes, I am John Paulding," one of the men said.

"And I am David Williams," said the first man who had spoken to her, "but how do you know of us?"

"There isn't time to explain," Prue said. "You must believe me! Just as I know who you are I know that man is a spy. Stop him and search him!"

The three men stared at her just as André came upon them

Paulding took a deep breath and then turned to André.

"Stop here sir," Paulding said to him. "We will have a word with you."

"Stop?" André asked. "For what reason, sir?"

Prue quietly stepped backwards and away from them. For the timeline to be restored things had to go as before and she didn't belong in this part of history. She could not hear their conversation but saw André show Williams a document.

The third man now began to look through André's pockets. After a moment, Wiliams returned André's document and it appeared to Prue that they were not going to do anything further.

Oh no, Prue said to herself. I have no choice. She walked back to where the four of them were standing.

"There is nothing wrong here," Paulding said to Prue. "His name is as you said but he has a passport from General Benedict Arnold."

"Look in his boot!" Prue exclaimed, almost shouting at them. "Make him take off his boot."

At those words, André became visibly nervous.

"A gentleman is not told to remove his boot," André said, trying to act imperious but with a distinct note of worry in his voice. The three men noticed André's reaction.

Paulding looked at Prue and saw the assuredness on her face. He contrasted that to the look on André's face.

"Under these circumstances," Paulding said, "it would be best if you would remove your boot, sir."

"That is un-called for," André replied.

Paulding moved his hand to the pistol he had in his belt. Williams saw him do that and did the same to his own pistol.

"Remove your boot, Mr. Anderson, or I shall remove it for you," Paulding said.

Prue was sure she saw perspiration on André's face. He stood motionless for a moment. Then the three men stepped closer to André. He swallowed hard and realizing he had no way out, sat down and removed his boot.

The third man took the boot, placed his hand inside it and withdrew papers.

"What have we here?" the man asked. He unfolded the papers and held them out for Paulding and Williams to see.

"Plans," Paulding declared. "Of West Point's fortifications."

"You are a spy," Williams said to André. "And you are our prisoner."

André exhaled.

"Here," he said, taking his watch from his pocket. "This is an expensive watch. Take it and my fine horse in exchange for my freedom."

"We are Americans and your enemy," Paulding said. "You cannot bribe us."

Williams and the third man took charge of André and Paulding approached Prue.

"You have done a great service to these United States and to our cause," he said, "though I know not how you came to know of this. You will be honored, young man. General Washington will know of your great deed."

"," Prue said. "You must not tell General Washington of me. You must tell no one of me. would cause a lot of trouble for me."

"Surely that cannot be," Paulding said. "Not after what you have done here today."

"Uh...I'm not supposed to be here," Prue said. "I am supposed to be somewhere else. No one can know that I was here."

"I do not understand," Paulding insisted. "You must at the very least be properly thanked."

"It you truly wish to thank me," Prue said, "there is only one way that you can. And that is not to speak of me to anyone. The honor and the glory of this spy's capture must belong to the three of you and to no one else. History must only speak of the three of you here today."

Paulding exhaled.

"I truly do not understand you," he said, "but I shall respect your wishes. Your presence here will not be told to anyone.

"And as for history," he continued, "I daresay that we will not be remembered in the writing of it. There are far greater events happening that will affect the future of this country and those are the ones that shall live on."

Prue was silent for a moment. She thought about the timeline that she was from - or at least that she felt herself from - and the CWA and the rest of the fragmented North America and the problems of the world. And then she thought of how very different everything would be because of what had just happened here.

"No, Mr. Paulding," she said to him. "Nothing will have a greater and more vital affect than what you have done here today."

"How can you possibly know -" he started to say. Then he stopped. How could this lad have known about this spy and about who we were? he thought. I will not challenge him on this.

"Farewell and good luck to you," he said.

"And to you too, Mr. Spaulding," Prue said. She turned and began to walk away.

"Wait," Spaulding called to her. "I do not even know your name."

"It is best that way," she replied. "What you don't know you don't have to worry about not revealing."

The men having left with their prisoner, Prue retrieved her horse and walked over to the creek that ran under the bridge. A tree stood beside the creek and she sat down underneath it, pulled up her knees halfway and leaned back against the tree's large trunk.

She picked up a few small stones and gently tossed them one at a time into the water. A war was being waged around her but sitting there Prue felt tranquillity.

Everything had happened so fast. Learning of the timeline change, getting back her memories, the Children in Need Benefit, traveling here and being shot, dealing with André. She hadn't had time to reflect on all of it.

My life that I lived - that I thought I lived - I didn't, she thought to herself. It wasn't real. Stuart wasn't...

No - Stuart is real. And his love for me is real. But with the timeline restored, he won't feel that way about me anymore. He won't even remember that he felt that way. I'll remember because I'm a Charmed witch. But the feelings - they won't be there. They'll be the ones of Prue and the other Shannen.

The feeling of emptiness from Prue and the other Shannen, the feeling that she had felt in her dressing room, came back to her.

This emptiness is what will be waiting for me when I say the spell and go home, she thought.


But what home would the spell would bring her to? Would it really be in the restored timeline? True, she had seen to it that André was captured as he was supposed to be. But she had been a direct participant in the affair. One small change in the past could make major changes in the future, Piper had told her. And she knew that was true.

But it didn't have to change the future, she thought. Not if she was careful. And she had been careful.

Prue picked up another small stone and threw it into the creek. A circular ripple in the water began extending from where the stone had fallen until it reached all the way to the banks of the creek. The stone is just like a small change in time, the ripple the major change in the future, she thought.

But was I careful enough? she asked herself. Or did I change something that will make another wrong timeline.

That thought frightened her. As did the thought of the emptiness she would have again without Stuart.

I don't have to go least not for a while, she thought. I can stay here. She tossed another stone into the water and watched the ripples forming again.

The country is so new, so fresh. Maybe I'll travel a little and go to George Washington. I could actually meet him.

Prue took a deep breath. She remembered her trip back to Sleepy Hollow. That was 1799 - almost twenty years from now, she thought. It was still the eighteenth century, but not quite the same as being here at the birth of America.

Shannen's thoughts about the CWA came into her mind. That had been her home. Or at least the home she remembered as being hers. It had tried in its limited ways to fill the void of the America that didn't exist in that timeline.

She would miss it.

Well, let me see where I can go, she thought. She started to stand up - and fell to her knees in pain. Robert's bandages had loosened and her ribs and her wounds hurt. She realized she needed medical help.

Where could she go? It didn't matter anymore if a doctor saw that she was a girl in an army uniform. But regardless of what he would do for her, it would take a long time to heal. Could she stay here in that condition, let alone travel the countryside?

Saddened, Prue knew there was only one place she could go. She slowly and painfully stood up and took a piece of paper from her pocket. She looked at the spell Phoebe had written on the paper for her and exhaled.

She needed Leo to heal her. She had no choice.

But...would Leo really exist in this timeline she had started?


It was pitch black. Prue couldn't see where she was. She started to walk slowly, not knowing where she was going. Then she felt herself bang into something.


Whatever it was, it had fallen over and made a loud, smashing noise as it hit the floor.

Then she heard footsteps running. She stood still, ready to use her powers against whoever was coming.

Suddenly a light went on.

"Prue!" Phoebe shouted. She was wearing a powder blue chemise and she quickly started towards Prue.

"Whoa!" Phoebe said, as she almost fell down the steps, grabbing onto the top of the bannister to stop her fall. "Steps! Your ranch doesn't have steps. It doesn't have a second floor. Oh - we're back in The Manor!"

Phoebe ran down the steps, rushed to Prue and hugged her.

"Oh honey, we were so worried about you," Phoebe said.

"Argh," Prue grimaced from Phoebe's hug.

"OH! Prue, what happened?" Phoebe cried, seeing the blood on Prue's shirt and jacket.

"I was shot," Prue answered.

"Shot!?" Phoebe exclaimed.

"What...what is it?" Piper asked from the top of the steps. "Prue! You're back!" She hurried down the steps, ran to her and hugged her.

"Argh," Prue moaned again.

"Prue's been shot," Phoebe said.

"Shot!? Uh...we need Leo," Piper said.

"If there is a Leo," Prue said.

"You stopped André from bringing the plans to the British, right?" Phoebe asked.

"Yes, I did," Prue said, nodding her head.

"We went to sleep at your ranch but now we're in The Manor," Piper said, looking around her. "You must have fixed the timeline. Leo!"

"Why were you sleeping?" Prue asked. "When I left you said were going to stay up and wait for me to come back."

"Honey - you've been gone for over a day," Phoebe said. "You left Wednesday night. And now it's Thursday -" Phoebe turned to look at the clock, which read half past three. "'s Friday morning."

"Friday?" Prue asked. "The spell didn't bring me back to the time that I left. Just what I was afraid might happen."

"Well it doesn't matter. The important thing is that you're back," Phoebe said. "And everything is back to normal."

"Is it?" Prue asked.

Piper grabbed a pillow from the sofa, threw it into the air and raised her hand.

"It certainly looks like that way," Piper said, looking at the pillow frozen in mid-air.

She unfroze the pillow and Phoebe caught it and closed her eyes.

"Your premonition power is back?" Piper asked.

Phoebe nodded her head.

"I saw grams buying this pillow," she said. "And haggling with the salesman about the price."

"That's Grams," Piper said, as Leo orbed in.

"What's wrong?" Leo asked.

"Prue's been shot," Piper said.

"Shot? How?" he asked, as Phoebe eased Prue on to the sofa and helped her lie down. "And why is she wearing that uniform?"

"Later, Leo," Piper commanded. "First heal Prue."

Leo went over to Prue and placed his hands on the side of her ribs. The light shown from beneath his hands as he used his power. After half a minute, the light stopped and Leo removed his hands.

"How do you feel, honey?" Phoebe asked anxiously.

Prue took a deep breath, sat up, then rocked herself from side to side.

"Better," she said. "Much better. Thank you, Leo."

"Now will you tell me what happened?" Leo asked.

"Prue had to fix the timeline," Phoebe said.

"The timeline!?" Leo asked.

"Yes, the timeline was changed," Phoebe said. "Now, you're going to say the same thing that you said the last time the timeline was changed - 'But nothing has changed'. And I'll say 'everything was changed'. Then you'll say 'Everything's been as it always has been. Nothing was any different'. And I'll say 'The United States was gone, we lived in the CWA, Russia had missiles in Alaska, there was little democracy anywhere and the world was a mess. Oh, and Piper and I didn't have our powers. And Prue went back in time to the Revolutionary War and fixed all of that so now everything is back as it should be'."

A self-satisfied smile was on Phoebe's lips and in her eyes.

"There," she said, looking in turn at Piper, Prue and Leo, "I think that covers it."

Leo stared at Phoebe, then turned to PIper.

"Don't try to figure it our Leo," Piper said to him. "Just accept that's what happened."


Kit came bounding down the stairs, ran to Phoebe and began rubbing herself against Phoebe's leg.

"We missed you too, Kit," Phoebe said, picking her up.

"Hey - are you having a party without me?" Stuart asked.

They turned and saw Stuart at the top of the steps. As he started walking down the steps, Phoebe turned to look at Prue. With the timeline restored, he wasn't in love with Prue anymore. Phoebe heard a slight sigh from Prue and saw the sadness that was in her eyes.

Piper looked at Stuart and then at Prue. She knew what Prue was feeling but there was nothing that she could do to help her.

"The timeline was changed," Piper said to Stuart. "Prue went back to the Revolutionary War to fix it."

"The Revolutionary War!?" he exclaimed.

"And with your knowledge of the real timeline's history," Piper said, "you told Prue what had happened with Major John André. That's how she knew what to fix."

"We used Piper's spell to make you remember the real timeline," Phoebe added.

"Major John André...and Benedict Arnold. But I don't remember telling her that. Nor anything at all about the changed timeline," Stuart said. "Last time the timeline changed I was able to write a note about it and give it to Kit so I'd remember what happened. This time...did I leave something in Kit's collar again?"

"No, this didn't," Phoebe answered.

If only you had, Prue thought. If only you had written something...about us.

"Tell us what happened," Piper said to Prue. "Who was the demon who changed the timeline?"

Prue didn't respond. Her mind was lost in thought about Stuart.

"Prue? The demon?" Piper repeated.

"Uh...the demon," Prue said. "Uh...there wasn't any demon. At least, not one that I really saw."

"No demon?" Phoebe asked. "Then who changed the timeline."

"Argyris," Prue said.

"Argyris!?" Piper and Phoebe exclaimed together.

"Not directly," Prue answered. "It was Argyris' time bomb, the one he was holding when Stuart pushed him into time. It was a time bomb because Argyris made it to destroy time. The trees, the land, everything on one side of me shimmered and then split open. The bomb rolled out onto the ground. It exploded and that changed the timeline."

"Why just then?" Phoebe asked.

"The impact from Stuart when he pushed Argyris into time must have knocked the time bomb out of his hand," Prue said. "It must have rolled through time until it came to a stop in 1780. And then it went off."

"How did it get through from...wherever it was, into our time and our world?" Phoebe asked.

"What it came through was a straight slit in the world that was around me. Almost as if it had been neatly cut open. And..." Prue hesitated.

"And what?" Piper asked.

"Maybe...maybe I saw part of a hand pulling the slit back before the bomb rolled out," she said.

"A hand?" Stuart asked.

"I can't be sure," Prue said. "I wasn't close enough to the opening to get a good look. It could have been just the shimmering around it."

"Or it could have been Dalios," Phoebe said. "Cutting a slit through the walls of time."

"The Infernal Council forbade him from getting directly involved," Leo countered.

"He would have made sure not to let himself be seen on this side of the time wall so the Infernal Council wouldn't know about it," Phoebe said. "And he wasn't seen. By cutting the slit in the time wall, he didn't have to do anything. He could just make the opening and let the time bomb roll out on its own."

"He just doesn't give up," Stuart said.

"Apparently not," Piper said. "We're going to have to keep worrying about him until we're safely-" Piper was going to say safely back in Hollywood as ourselves. But Leo was there with them and she couldn't say that in front of him. "Until we're somehow safe from him," she said.

"I remember there were vapors coming from the time bomb when Argyris was holding it," Phoebe said.

"They could have been strong enough to burn a hole through the wall between the time it was in and our time," Leo said. "It doesn't have to be Dalios or any other demon."

"I suppose so," Piper said. "But we'll never know for sure."

"How did you get shot?" Phoebe asked.

"I was shot by a British soldier," Prue answered. "The spell put me in the middle of the shooting between the two sides. One of the American soldiers saved me. He couldn't have been more than a teenager, with his smooth face and high voice. Yet he knew had to treat my wounds. He said he had once treated his own and knew what to do."

"Whoa - that was close," Phoebe said.

"In more ways than one," Prue said. "When Robert treated my wounds, he saw that I was a girl in an army uniform. He could have stopped me from ever getting to André. But he didn't say anything. He even sent away the other soldier so that he wouldn't find out."

"Robert?" Leo asked.

"The boy soldier's name was Robert Shurtleff," Prue said.

"Uh...did you say Robert Shurtleff?" Stuart asked.

"Yes...why?" Prue asked.

A small smile appeared on Stuart's face.

"Prue, you met one of the less well known but one of the bravest people in the Revolutionary War," he said. "The reason Shurtleff didn't give you away as being a because he was a girl, too."

"What!?" Phoebe exclaimed

"His...uh her real name was Deborah Samson," Stuart explained. "She came from Massachusetts and believed so much in America's freedom that she disguised herself as a man, took the name Robert Shurtleff and joined the Continental Army to fight for it."

"With her smooth face and high voice I thought she was a young boy," Prue said.

"As did everyone else in the army," Stuart said. "She had been wounded and treated her wounds herself to keep her secret. She was wounded again and came down with fever. She was taken to a doctor who discovered that she was a girl and she was discharged from the army.

"But Congress recognized, if likely grudgingly, what she had done for America and granted her an army pension. She is the only woman for almost two hundred years to receive an army pension for combat duty."

"When I was there," Prue said, "I wanted to meet George Washington. I didn't meet him, but I see I did get to meet a true American hero, anyway."

"Prue," Phoebe said, "we all have you to thank for saving the timeline. And for saving us."

"I was worried that I did something while I was there that would cause some other change in the real timeline," Prue said.

"Well you didn't, Prue," Phoebe said. "We're back to being The Charmed Ones with our powers in The Manor."

"Uh...sorry, I'm being called," Leo said. "I was supposed to be someplace else now," he added and orbed out.

"I think I know why The Elders didn't remove Charmed from the real world and send us back yet," Phoebe said. "We still had a job to do. Save the timeline from Argyris' time bomb."

"Argyris' time bomb destroying the timeline qualifies as 'major destruction'," Stuart said. "Do you think The Elders have any other jobs they still want you to do?"

"I certainly hope not," Phoebe said, emphatically.

"Was everything very different?" Stuart asked.

"Different enough," Piper said. "Somethings were sort of familiar  We had an airport in San Francisco named after Davey Crockett. But the one in LA was named uh...William Ide, whoever he was."

"Really?" Stuart asked. "William Ide was the first, and only, President of the Bear Flag Republic. That's what California was called when it declared independence from Mexico in 1846. He was President for only twenty-five days until America annexed California. He must have been President a lot longer in the other timeline for them to name an airport after him."

"Hmm...I suppose that would explain the bear being on the California license plate," Phoebe said.

"Well, I think we should all try to get some sleep for what's left of the night," Piper suggested.

"I agree," Stuart said, looking at Phoebe.

Yes, Prue thought, looking at the two of them. But my sleep will be alone tonight.


It was early afternoon when Prue came into the conservatory and found Stuart sitting at the table, a single page of paper in front of him.

"Prue, you said that you had been afraid that something you did in 1780 had caused a change in this timeline," he said. "There is something I remembered this morning about Deborah Samson. Something that...I don't think I knew before this morning - before you came from meeting her. I looked it up on Internet and I printed this out."

He took the paper from the table and handed it to Prue. As he did he touched her hand and he suddenly froze. Then he closed his eyes and starting breathing slowly.

"Stuart - are you all right?" Prue asked, but he didn't respond. After half a minute he opened his eyes, then took a deep breath.

"Stuart - what happened?" she asked, concerned.

"I...if I didn't know better, I'd say I had a premonition," he answered. "A premonition...of the past. But of course, that's not possible. I'm not a witch and Phoebe's power can't wear off on me."

"What did you see?" Prue asked.

"I was..." he started. "No...I can't tell you."

"Yes you can," Prue said.

"No...I'll embarrass you," he said.

"You won't embarrass me," she said gently. "'s important."

"Important?" he asked. "I don't understand..." He saw the serious look on Prue's face, hesitated, then exhaled.

"I...we...were kissing," he said, haltingly. "And then we...we were together." He paused again. "There was a clock radio on the night table and it had the time and the date. The date...was two days ago."

Prue looked at him. It's the memories from the other timeline, she thought. Or at least a little bit of them. They're in his sub-conscious, just like the memories from this timeline were in his sub-conscious yesterday. It seems The Elders couldn't stop it from working both ways.

She had all of her memories of being the other timeline's Shannen Doherty. And those memories made her want to throw her arms around him, to hold him close to her and to kiss him.

But she knew she couldn't do that. Not in this timeline.

"How...did you feel?" she asked.

"What?" Stuart asked. That was not the response he expected.

"Please," Prue insisted.

Stuart exhaled again.

"I," he said, slowly. "I felt...complete."

Prue closed her eyes. Her mind went back to their days, and nights, together in the other timeline. Or at least to the memories of them. And to how complete he had made her feel. He had made her promise to use the spell on him in the restored timeline to make him remember his love for her.

But she had said she would do it only if the memories would not hurt him. And she knew that with his feelings for Phoebe restored, having feelings of love for her too would cause him confusion and grief.

And...she couldn't do it to Phoebe, either, she thought. Even though Phoebe still can't bring herself to make the commitment of love to Stuart.

She sighed, then opened her eyes and smiled.

"Don't worry about it," she said. "The memories...will go away."

"Memories?" Stuart began, "Prue, what do you mean? Did...did something happen between us in the other timeline -"

"Oh, there you are," Phoebe said, as she and Piper came into the room. "You said you found something on Internet you wanted to show us."

Stuart exhaled.

"Yes," he said, "I was just about to show it to Prue. She was afraid her being at Major André's capture changed something. But there is no mention of anyone else being present at his capture so that part of history was not changed. But I did remember something about Deborah Samson that I don't believe I knew before today." He handed the printout to Piper instead of Prue. He was afraid of what he would feel if he touched her hand again.

"At the time Deborah Samson was given the pension by Congress," he explained, "she said there was another soldier, another woman, who had also served in the army, had been shot, and should be given a pension, too."

"Phew!" Piper whistled, looking at the printout. "She was talking about you, Prue."

"But it hasn't affected anything," Stuart said. "Samson said she had met her only once during the war, in New York, but she couldn't remember her name. So no inquiry was made about her and that was the end of it."

The front doorbell rang.

"I'll get it," Prue said. She went to the front door and opened it. Marion and Nicole, Lorna Palmer's two young daughters, stood outside.

"Hi," Prue said. "Come in." The girls came in, Prue closed the door and they went into the living room.

"Hi," Phoebe and Piper said as they joined them.

"We came over to thank you, Prue," Nicole said.

"Thank me? For what?" Prue asked.

"For saving the United States," Nicole said. "For saving our freedom and democracy, and everything that America is and stands for."

"Harmony told us what you did," Marion said.

"Harmony, your fairy godmother?" Prue asked. "What did she tell you?"

"That you did something very brave and very dangerous," Nicole said. "And if you hadn't done that, we wouldn't have America anymore. Harmony said we should celebrate today, the Twenty-fifth of June, as a second Independence Day, just like the Fourth of July because America got its independence a second time. Thanks to you."

"And that Phoebe and Piper worked very hard so that you could do it," Marion added.

"Harmony...knows what happened?" Phoebe asked, amazed. "How could she...?"

"Harmony knows a lot of things," Nicole said, with assurance.

"Yes, she does," Prue agreed, remembering what Harmony knew about them and their becoming witches when they had met her after having saved the girls from the ghost. And how she undid what Rangor the elf had done to Piper and Phoebe.

"And we brought something for you," Nicole said. "Our mother took us to the store this morning to get it for you." She opened the bag she was holding, took out a small jewelry box and handed it to Prue.

"It's a replica of the original American flag with thirteen stars," Nicole said, as Prue opened the box. "Harmony said this would have special meaning to you for what you did. She told us where to buy it."

The flag brooch that Prue took from the box had a gold colored flagpole, with a gold finial capping it. Thirteen miniature white crystals in a circle filled the tiny blue canton, with thirteen rows of alternating red and white miniature crystals filling in the flag's field. A golden S-shaped halyard completed the jewelry.

It was a miniature of the flag that was used at the birth of America. The flag that was used in the Revolutionary War. The war that Prue herself had just been in.

"It''s beautiful," Prue said, turning it over in her hand. "Thank you, Nicole and Marion. And yes, it does mean a lot to me."

"Harmony also told us that you made a big personal sacrifice to do this," Marion said.

Phew! Piper thought. Harmony even knows about Prue's relationship with Stuart.

"We don't know what it was," Marion continued, "but Harmony said we should try to make you feel better about it."

"We don't have the music to accompany us as we did at the graduation," Nicole said, "but we'll do our best without it. Ready Marion?"

"Ready," Marion replied, and they began singing.

 God bless America... Land that I love

Stand beside her and guide her... Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains to the prairies

To the oceans white with foam

God Bless America...My home sweet home 

"Happy Independence Day, Prue," Nicole said, pausing. Then she and her sister repeated the song's refrain.

 God Bless America...My home - sweet - home  

A small smile of anticipation and hope was on Phoebe's face as she looked at Prue. Since her return from restoring the timeline, Prue had been in a funk, knowing that she had carried out her responsibility to save America and the timeline - but at the cost of losing Stuart's love.

But hearing Nicole and Marion sing God Bless America, together with the Revolutionary War Flag pin they gave her, had awakened in Prue her feeling of pride. Pride in America - and pride in being an American.

People have made many sacrifices for America's freedom, Prue thought to herself. She took a deep breath and exhaled. Just as they accepted the sacrifices they had to make, I have to - I will - accept mine.

The Palmer sisters had snapped Prue out of her funk.

"Happy Independence Day, Nicole," Prue replied, and smiled.


Revolutionary War thirteen star flag

~ The Revolutionary War capture of Major André as depicted in this episode is true. The men who captured him, the girl soldier Deborah Samson aka Robert Shurtleff and President William Ide of the California Bear Flag Republic, are all real.

~ The political and geographic map of North America in the changed timeline is a researched, fact-based, historically plausible and logical, alternate history.