Charmed Role Reversal

Thirty Seconds Over London

“ Thanks for lunch, "Cindy said, "I really enjoyed it."

“So did we,” said Phoebe.

"We'll do this again, soon," Prue said.

"I'm looking forward to it," Cindy said. "I really don't have any other friends here yet."

"The three of us should make up for that," Phoebe said.

"You really are a good cook, Phoebe," Cindy said. 

"I'm sure you are, too," Phoebe said. "I just know you must be talented."

"I am," Cindy said, confidently. "In other things." They waited for Cindy to elaborate on what those other things were but she didn't.

"Uh...stop by the club tonight," Piper said, "and we’ll have a drink together.  And as it's Sunday night, I think there'll be someone there I can introduce you to.  Just because you're new here isn't any reason for you not to have a date once in a while."

"While you're at it," Phoebe said, "maybe you can introduce Prue to someone, too."

" I'm fine," Prue said.

"Hmph...You could have fooled me," Phoebe said, tilting her head.

"I’m going to be busy tonight, but thanks anyway," Cindy said, as she went out the back door. "‘Bye."

"‘Bye," they said back to her.

“I’m glad we’ve become friends,” Phoebe said as they walked back inside.

“And it gives us a chance to have one relaxed meal together without discussing vanquishing demons,” Prue said.


"I'll get it," Piper said.

"Oh.  Hi Darryl," she said after opening the door.


"Come in."  Darryl made his way into the living room where the others joined them.

"Prue, Phoebe," he said.

"Hi Darryl.  Are you here because there's been another murder with the pentagrams?" asked Prue.

"No.  This is something else," he said. "It's about missing persons."

"That's not the usual thing you come to ask us about," Prue said.

"It's not a usual missing person," Morris said. "Three men have been reported missing since last night.  They were each at home, either in their house or in their back yard.  Their wives left them reading a book and when they came back a little while later they were gone.

"All three were reading the same book."  He handed it to Prue.

"Flowers of Darkness," Prue said, looking at the title.

"It's a historical novel," Phoebe said. "I read the book. It's set in London during the Battle of Britain in World War II. It's about a girl who takes care of some flowers in her apartment.  She brings them down to the air-raid shelter at night and then brings them back up to her apartment where they get sunlight during the day. It's a symbol for them, a way of showing that despite the bombings going on around them they will make it, they'll flower and survive."

Prue and Piper looked at Phoebe in amazement.  "It was on the best seller list," Phoebe said in explanation.  "I do read, you know."

"It's a strange co-incidence," Morris went on.  "And when there's something strange going on, I know I'd better check with you."

"I don't know anything now Darryl, but we'll look into it," Prue said.  "I'll let you know if we come up with anything.  Can we hold on to the book?"

"Officially there hasn't been a crime so officially this isn't evidence," Morris said. "Just give it back to me when you're done so I can return it."

Click speaker for Opening Credits Theme Song

"What do you think?"  Piper asked after Morris left.

Prue looked at the book.  "There was something on last week’s Demon Dimension.  One of the demons asked about...the 'daisies in black'.  And Álvaro, that secretive demon, said that's it's almost ready but didn't say anything else about it."  Prue thought for a moment.

"That's it," she said. "Look at the book.  The flower on the jacket is a daisy.  And the background on the jacket is black.  Daisies in black - Flowers of Darkness."

"You're right," Phoebe said.  "This must somehow be connected to their plan of major destruction." Phoebe picked up the book and held it for a few seconds.

"Oh!" Phoebe exclaimed

"What did you see," Prue asked

"People in a small room," Phoebe said. "I don't how many, the light was dim.  One was pushing against the door trying to get out but the door was locked."

"I'll go up to the attic and look through The Book of Shadows and see what I can come up with," Piper said.


"Nothing that exactly matches but two possibilities," Piper said as she descended the stairs. "Number one is Karallas, the demon who combines that which isn't real with that which is.  The novel with the real people reading it?

"Number two is Donato, a demon who exchanges war with peace, moving parts of war from one place to another.  I took him just because the book is about a war."

"I vote for number one," said Prue.

"Me too," said Phoebe.

"Me three," said Piper.  She folded the paper on which she had written down the spells and put it in her pocket.

"If Karralas combines fact with fiction, then he's likely taken those people into the book and its wartime London," Prue said.  “That means we'll have to get into the book too, to vanquish him and free them."

"I found a spell that's close to what we need to get into the book, but it's not exactly right. You'll have to work on it, Phoebs," Piper said handing her The Book of Shadows.

"What I don't understand," Prue said, "is why?  We're here to stop these demons from causing major destruction and devastation in the world.  But how does this fit in?  It seems like just the average demon taking souls for his benefit.  How could taking a few people like this be part of their big plan?"

"The book is a best seller.  Maybe if millions of people buy it they'll have taken millions of innocents," Phoebe suggested.

"Maybe," Prue said.


Three chairs were set up in a circle.  Phoebe and Prue sat in two of them while Stuart sat in a fourth chair in the center of the circle.  Flowers of Darkness rested on a small stand next to him.

"That was Morris on the phone," Piper said as she took the empty seat.  "Two more people disappeared today.  Both were reading Flowers of Darkness."

"You're sure you want to do this?"  Prue asked.  "We haven’t tried this before."

"I'm not letting you go off into danger without me," Stuart said.

"This is exciting," Phoebe said.  "I've wanted to do a World War II movie since I saw
Twelve O'clock High."

"You're not old enough to have seen that movie," Piper said.

"They screened it at a Gregory Peck Festival a few years ago,” Phoebe said.  “I even told my agent I wanted a part in Saving Private Ryan but there weren't any female roles."

"We're not going into this book to fight World War II again," Prue said. "We go in, find Karallas, vanquish him, get the innocents and bring them back with us.


The others nodded.  The sisters clasped hands.  Stuart put one hand under Phoebe's and Piper's and the other under Phoebe's and Prue's, as they began to say the spell.

     "World that is fiction and world that is real

          Break that which divides you, we appeal,

      A tale of strength and a tale of glory

          Take us now inside this story."

The music coming from the next room could clearly be heard inside the small kitchen, where Prue found herself standing. Prue listened for a moment and then recognized the music. That's the Glenn Miller Band playing In the Mood, she thought.

Click playbutton Click playbutton to hear the music playing while you read the episode
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She was alone in the kitchen and looked around it - a table with three chairs, a gas range with a standing cupboard to it's right, a sink with a small cupboard above it, and an icebox next to it.

An icebox, Prue thought. An honest-to-goodness icebox. She knew they had existed before refrigerators but she had never seen a real one.

There was a little water on the floor and Prue knelt down beside it. The water pan underneath the icebox, into which the ice drained as it melted, was overflowing. Prue picked up the pan, poured the water into the sink and put the pan back under the icebox. Then she stood up and walked through the doorway into the next room.

"There you are," Piper said. She was wearing a dark blue jacket with high shoulders and matching long skirt, her hair done up in a bun.

"Well, at least you're not as drab as I am," Piper said.

"Huh?" Prue said.

"Look in the mirror," Piper said. " Prue walked over to one that was mounted on the far wall.

"Military?” she asked as she saw herself in a uniform. “I'm in the military?"

"And I'm in the most un-fashionable clothes ever designed for women," Piper grunted.

Prue stared at herself in the mirror for a minute amazed at what she was wearing. As she turned away, she saw the phonograph sitting on a low table. She looked down at the shiny black Glenn Miller 78 rpm record, with its RCA Victor Bluebird label, spinning quickly.

There was a knock on the door and Piper went to open it.

"We made it," Phoebe said as she came into the apartment.  She was wearing a paisley dress with half-sleeves, her hair styled in a bob.

"Wow!" she said looking at Prue.  "That uniform. You're the cat's meow."

"The what?"  Prue asked, looking up.

"The cat's meow," Phoebe repeated. "Isn't that what they said in the Forties when someone looked cool?”

"No - you're off by only two decades," Piper said.

The high notes signaled the finish of In The Mood. Prue knelt down by the phonograph, carefully lifted the tonearm from the record and placed it on its hook. She had always liked Glenn Miller's music and knew that in the past, in the early 1940s, In The Mood had been the number one song. But here, it wasn't the past. It was the top song now. She turned the small Off knob and as the record stopped spinning she stood up.

"This didn't work out the way I expected," Prue said. "When we went back in time in That 70's Episode on Charmed we were outside of the people who were there. Now we seem to be-"

"Inside the story," Piper cut in, "just like the spell said."

"Ooops," Phoebe made a face. "I had to modify the spell in The Book of Shadows. I don't have a lot of experience yet with spells. The writers always did it for me, remember?"

"So who am I?" Prue asked.

"You're in the WAAF uniform," Phoebe said, "'re Meg Tremayne. You're in the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force and you're assigned to an RAF radio room at the aerodrome. And Piper, you're her sister, Paula."

"Paula," Piper said, "of course.  It would have to be another name with a 'P'.

"So now I'm Paula Tremayne. Who's...really Piper Halliwell. Who's... really Holly Combs...I think.

"Or -" she asked half squinting, "is it...the other way around??"

"And I'm Connie," Phoebe continued. "I live upstairs. I'm the one who tends the flowers."

Phoebe looked around the room. "Well, at least my spell did get us here to London."

"Us...where's Stuart?" Prue suddenly realized. "We have to find him and make sure he's OK before we do anything else."

"Let's check outside," Piper said. They left the apartment and walked down the two flights to the street.

Most of the buildings were small, three-story row houses attached to each other, with but a single apartment on each floor. All of the houses, including a couple of free-standing structures at the far end of the block, looked alike, with modest gardens fronting each of them. As the sisters looked down the street, their attention was drawn to the rubble of what appeared to have been a house down the block on the other side, it's remains still smoldering. They crossed the street and walked towards it as the fire brigade, having done all it could, was leaving.

"This must have happened during last night's air-raid," Prue said. "Phoebe, you said the historical aspects of the book were accurate so this must be the way it really was."

"Devastating," Piper said.  "I don't know how they held up under this, day after day."

"That's why the flowers are so important," Phoebe said.  "It's a sign of defiance in the face of all of this."

An RAF officer in his dark brown uniform with its stylish double-breasted jacket, standing in front of the rubble, turned around to them as they approached.

"Stuart!" Phoebe shouted. "Wow," she said looking him over. "It's true what they say that a girl can't resist a man in uniform.

"Let me see who you are here," she said as she looked at his name tag.

"Oh no!!" she cried. "You're Lieutenant Jack Mac Donald."

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Mac Donald goes on a mission - and never comes back," Phoebe said. "His bomber is shot down."

"Even though we're inside fictitious people, we're real," Prue said. "Whatever happens to us here is real for us. So we'll have to vanquish Karallas and save the innocents before that happens."

"Meg!" They turned and saw an Army officer striding quickly towards them. Tall and handsome, his officer's cap at a jaunty angle, he had a thin mustache, that, Piper thought, made him look dashing, with perhaps a fleeting resemblance to Clark Gable.

"That's probably...Reg Edwards," Phoebe said to Prue.  "You're going steady."

Before Prue could react, Reg had his arms around her, hugging her and giving her a very long kiss. After a few seconds, Prue threw her arms around him as well.

Reg finally stopped and let her go.  Prue, pleasantly overwhelmed, tried regaining her composure.

"Hi Paula, Connie," Reg said. "Hi Jack, how do you like your new wing commander?"  Stuart just stood there for a few seconds before he remembered that he was Jack.

"Uh...he'll, uh...take some getting used to," Stuart said, not knowing what to answer.

"That's an understatement if ever I heard one," Reg laughed.  "Meg," he said turning to Prue, "I managed to get an extra petrol ration from someone who owed me.  So I'll be able to drive us back to the aerodrome tonight.  I'll meet you at your flat at eleven o'clock - Luftwaffe permitting, of course," he added with a smile.  He leaned over and kissed Prue lightly, then nodded to the others and headed off down the block.

"You didn't tell us about him," Piper said to Phoebe as Prue stood looking after Reg.  "Anyone for me?"

"Uh, sort of," Phoebe said. "Paula is seeing someone, but his war assignments keep getting in the way of their having time together."

"Of course," Piper said closing her eyes. "Naturally, for me it would be like that. Just as it's like that for me with Leo. At least in fiction, that part could have changed."

"Come on," Phoebe said, grabbing a reluctant Prue's hand and pulling her along.  "We have to find Karallas and those people."

"But..can't we wait..just a minute," Prue said, still looking down the street after Reg.


"Now where would he keep them?"  Piper asked sitting in Connie's apartment as Prue reluctantly switched her mind back from Reg to the demon.

"The room that I saw in the premonition was dimly lit.  I couldn't tell where it was," Phoebe said,

"He wouldn't keep them in an apartment," Prue said.  "They'd shout and someone might hear them."

"In a basement," Piper said.

"The basement in this house is an air-raid shelter," Phoebe said.  "He couldn't keep them down there."

"But maybe there's one house on this block that doesn't have a shelter," Prue said.

"I'll go around and check," Stuart said.  "Won't do for you to do that.  You live here so you should already know if there was one like that.  Uh, I don't live here, do I?"

"No, you only come here to visit me," Phoebe said, smiling.

"Hmm...I like the way this author writes," he said, smiling back.  "I'll meet you back here later."

"And I'm going to see if I can find Karallas," Prue said.

"But we don't know what he looks like," Piper reminded her.

"No, but maybe he'll sense that I'm a witch and reveal himself to me," Prue said.

"That's dangerous," Piper said, "I'm coming with you.  Phoebe, wait here for Stuart."


"Nothing," Piper said a half-hour later, dropping down into an armchair as Prue sat down on the small sofa.

"These are the flowers," Phoebe said, taking them off the window sill and holding them up.  "This is Connie's part of the war effort.  Her flowers keep up the morale of everyone in the shelter.  That must have been a very hard thing to live through when this was real.  Night after night hiding, hearing the bombs falling, not knowing what, or who, would be left by morning.

"I felt that when I read the book and I felt how much these flowers meant to them.  I'm glad that I got Connie's part here."

"OK," Stuart said, as he came through the unlocked door.  "I think I found it.  The basement of the building across the street and two houses over to the left is too small to be used as a shelter. The people who live there come here when there's an air-raid.  I tried to get down to the basement but there were people in the hallway and it would have aroused suspicion had I gone down.  Doesn't look like anyone goes down there much, though."

"Perfect place to hide them," said Prue.

"But what's he hiding them for?" asked Piper.

"I don't know," said Prue.  "Come on, we'd better go check this out."

They went down the stairs and followed Stuart to the building and towards a door in the rear of the hallway.

"That leads down to the basement," he said and slowly they went down its steps.  Prue motioned to everyone to be quiet as she looked around the room, barely illuminated by a single small bulb. Off to the side was another room with a padlock on its door.

"Is someone there?" a voice came from behind the door.  "Please let us out."

"We're going to help you," Piper said.  "We're going to come back later and get you out."

"Tell us about who brought you here," Phoebe said.

"We don't know," the voice said. "We were at home, then suddenly we were here.  The light is bad...we couldn't see."

"Don't leave us here," another voice pleaded.

"We're not," Prue said.  "We're going to be back for you but first we have to find the one who brought you here and stop him so that he doesn't hurt anyone else."

"Just hold on a little longer," Stuart said.  "You're safer in here until we find him."

 "Now what?"  Stuart asked as they came back out to the street.

"We'll have to watch the house, follow whoever comes in and see if he heads for the basement," Prue said.

"I'll stay down here," Piper said, "You watch me from the window.  If I wave, come down quickly."


It was just under two hours later when Piper came through the apartment's door and plopped down on the sofa. "I followed a teenage boy," she said, "a short man with a huge dog which kept snarling at me and an old guy in his seventies who thought I was coming on to him!

"And, just in case Karallas is a 'she', I followed a middle-aged woman and a twenty-something. Nothing!

"And now it's night and someone forgot to pay the electric bill because there aren't any lights on," she added, exasperated.

"It's a blackout," Phoebe explained.  "London is blacked out every night because of the air-raids. The curtains here are drawn so that this light won't be seen."

"What now?"  Piper asked.  "We can't watch if we can't see anything."

"We'll have to come up with another plan," Prue said.  "I'm open to any-"

The wailing siren cut her off.  "That's the air-raid signal," Stuart said.

"We have to get down to the shelter," Prue said.  "We'll figure out something afterwards."

"The flowers," Phoebe said, grabbing them from the sill.

They headed down the stairs, following the building's other residents.  As they reached street level, the siren suddenly stopped.

"That's not right," Stuart said.  "The siren should continue the whole time during the air-raid."

"Maybe the siren has a problem," Piper said.  "We should go down to the shelter with everyone."

They started down to the shelter when suddenly the siren went off again.  "Wait," Stuart said, "this is different.  It's probably an all clear."  As he said that, the people who had been in the shelter turned around and started coming up.

"Bloody false alarm," he heard one muttering.  Stuart headed out to the street with the women following.  He saw someone walking towards them with a flashlight and recognized the person in its light.

"Tommy," he said and the airman stopped, "what's going on?"

"Oddest thing," Tommy said.  "I was on the line with Air Defense Command when the alarm went off.  A single HE 111 bomber was spotted over the Channel.  Then suddenly it disappears.  It just vanishes.  At least that's what Command says.  They must not have seen what they thought they did.  Those bombers don't just disappear."

"Thanks Tommy," Stuart said as the soldier continued on his way.  "I met him this afternoon while I was nosing around and we talked for a while.  I got a lot of information from him.  That's how I knew about the sirens.  Anyway, he says it's a false alarm."

"No," Phoebe said.  "There weren't any false alarms in the book.  Every time the siren went off there was an air-raid.  Something's wrong here."

Prue thought for a second.  "He said the plane just disappeared.  Stuart, what's the size of the crew on the HE 111?"

"Crew sizes vary among different German bombers," Stuart said, "but this one has five crewmen."

"How many people did Morris say disappeared?" Prue asked.

"Three yesterday and two today," Piper answered.

"That's five people."  Prue was silent for a second.

"We're after the wrong demon," she said.  "It's not Karallas we want - it's Donato.  He exchanges parts of wars with places that don't have a war.  He brought five people here and exchanged them with the bomber and its crew.  He sent that plane back to the real world."

"An old German plane suddenly appearing above the English Channel wouldn't arouse a response," Stuart said.  "They'd probably think it was an old plane restorer out for a spin."

"Even if it got through," Phoebe said, "it could do some damage but not that much.  It's only a single, slow World War II plane."

"When the spell brought us here," Prue said, "we were transformed into 1940's people - our clothes, our hairstyles, everything about us.  So when the HE 111 was sent to our time, it-"

"Was transformed into a modern, fast jet bomber," Phoebe said.

"With a modern bomb," Piper said slowly. "A nuclear bomb."

They stared at each other in stunned silence.

"Major destruction," Prue said.  "That's the major destruction."

"That plane can destroy not only London but half of England," Stuart said.

"We've got to send those people back now," Prue said.  "That will force the plane back here.  We'll worry about Donato later. Phoebe, you have to change your spell to send those people back but to leave us here.  Let's go."

They ran through the darkness holding hands, trying to find the right building without losing each other.

"Here," Piper said, "it's this one."  They followed her inside, through the hallway and down into the basement.

"It's padlocked," Stuart reminded Prue.

'We're back," Prue shouted.  "Stand as far away from the door as you can.

"I hope this wood is old," she said to Piper.  She concentrated on the door and threw her hand hard, palm up, in its direction.  The door came off its hinges and fell back into the small room.

"OK.  Everyone out here.  Hurry!" Prue ordered. Five bewildered people staggered out of the room.  "Stand as close together as you can," she commanded them.

Phoebe put down her flowers as the three sisters held hands and formed a circle around the five men.  "I'll say it slowly first, then you can say it along with me.  We'll need the Power of Three for this to work."

   "They're not of this story,

       They're not of this age,

    Send these innocents back,

       But leave us on this page."

"OK, I think we got it," Piper said.  "Let's do it together."

   "They're not of this story,

       They're not of this age,

    Send these innocents back,

       But leave us on this page."

A light covered the five people and then they were gone.  "Do you think it really worked?"  Piper asked.

"We'll know in a minute," Prue said. "If it did, that plane will be back here.  We'd better head back to the air-raid shelter."  Phoebe grabbed the flowers and they ran upstairs and into the street.

They were just in front of their house when the siren went off again.  "It worked," Phoebe shouted, "the spell worked."

"Hurry up inside," a voice commanded from behind them.  Prue turned around and saw that it was Reg. "Downstairs quickly.  I wish the Luftwaffe would make up its bloody mind."

They piled down into the basement along with the others.  Phoebe placed the flowers on a small stand along one wall, then got down on to the floor.  Stuart got down next to her while Reg sat down next to Prue.

The anti-aircraft batteries started up.  As the noise of the exploding flak combined with the siren's wail, Prue started to tremble.  Reg threw his arms around her and held her tightly to him.

"Ahh!!"  Phoebe jumped as a bomb exploded nearby.  Stuart already had his arms around her but now he covered her head with his body.

"That sounded close," Prue said, still trembling.

"It was close," Reg answered.  "If we take a direct hit...I'm afraid this basement won't offer much protection."

Every night, Prue thought, every night they came down here when this really happened during the war, waiting for the bombs to fall.  Maybe the next one will hit here.  Or the next one, or the next.  And when it was over they got up and went outside, not knowing what - or who - they'd still find.  And they somehow carried on.

Things that had seemed to be so important to her back in Hollywood now seemed so insignificant.

A few more bombs fell and then a different siren began.  "All clear," Reg said and breathed a sigh of relief.  He helped Prue get up as the others stood up, too.  Each one went over and gently touched the flowers, then walked out of the basement.

"Can we wait...just a minute Reg, until everyone leaves?" Prue asked.

"Of course," he said.

"Thanks," Phoebe said holding Stuart's hand and taking the flowers in the other, "for protecting me - again.  I know it probably wouldn't have helped had a bomb really hit - but your wanting to...thanks."  She gave him a kiss and they headed up to the street.

"We'll wait for you outside," Piper said to Prue as she passed them.

"I'm sorry," Prue said to Reg after everyone had left.  " got to me.  I know, I'm in the RAF, I shouldn't have let it-"

Reg put a finger to her lips.  "It gets to all of us at some point," he said to her gently.  "Only most of us aren't as honest about it as you are.  That's why I love you so much."

He slowly put his arms around her, brought her closer and began kissing her.  Prue threw her arms around him and kissed back passionately.

"Well," he said after half a minute as their lips parted.  "If that's how you kiss after an air-raid, I'll just have to arrange with the Germans to have them do it more often."

He was looking deeply into her eyes and Prue could feel him, feel his soul touching hers.  This time, she initiated the kiss.


"We still have a date for eleven o'clock," Reg reminded Prue as he went down the street.

"Prue.  Prue!"  Piper shook her to get her attention back from Reg.  "We still have to vanquish Donato."

"Uh...Donato.  Right...vanquish Donato.  Uh, we still have to find him," Prue said, still unfocused.

"He knows the plane came back, so he'll probably go to the basement to check on the people he kidnapped," Phoebe said.

"Piper, do you have the spell for Donato with you?"  Prue asked.

"Right here," she said. "I wrote both spells on the same piece of paper."

"OK.  Let's go," Prue said.  Stuart started to come along.  "No, you can't," she said to him.  "We don't know what Donato looks like.  If Donato sees us before we spot him we'll be in danger. And you don't have any powers to use against him.  Wait for us.  We'll meet you back in the apartment"

"Prue, I'm-" he started to protest.

"No, Stuart," Phoebe said.  "Prue's right this time.  We can handle him, we have the spell.  Wait for us upstairs.  Please."

They left Stuart and made their way to the house, then slowly and quietly went down the stairs to the basement.  They heard nothing as they entered. Shadows covered the walls of the dimly lit room.

"Maybe he was here already and we missed him," Piper said.

Gingerly, they walked into the center of the room.

"WITCHES?" The booming voice seemed to bounce off of each wall.

"You're witches!!  And you've upset my plan!"

"Ahhh!"  They all jumped.  "Where is he?"  Phoebe asked.  "I don't see anyone."

"Can't see me, can you," the voice said. "You'll see me soon enough.  When I surround you right here with your very own part of this war!"

Suddenly the demon appeared from out of the shadows.  He towered over them, an aura of sparkling light around his hand.

"NOW!!" he cried and thrust his hand at them.

"Piper freeze him!!"  Phoebe shouted.  Piper threw up her hand and the demon and the sparkling light froze.

"The spell, hurry," Prue said.  Piper pulled out the paper on which she had written both spells.

"He's fighting it," Phoebe cried.  "Hurry!"

They moved over to the lightbulb and held the paper directly under it so they could read it.

      "Demon who brings untold pain and sorrow

          Demon who exchanges peace for war,

       Be gone from our midst today and on the morrow

          Be gone from this world forevermore."

"Arghh!!"  Donato screamed as a fire began to consume him.  In a few seconds he was gone.

The three sisters were hyper-ventilating, leaning on each other for support.

"Close," Prue said.  "That was close."

"They're always close," Piper said. "Haven't you noticed?  Remind me to complain to the writers when we get back.  If they would have only given us an easy story once in a while on Charmed, we might have been able to have one, just one, easy vanquish here in real life."

They climbed the stairs and Phoebe picked up the flowers she had left in the hallway and they headed back to the house.


"I think these flowers are a symbol for us too," Phoebe said as she placed them back on the window sill.  "We had to deal with an air-raid, bombs exploding, vanquishing a powerful demon - and we all made it through it all."

"Speaking of all, where is Stuart?"  Piper asked.  "He was supposed to wait for us here."

"Maybe he's downstairs in our apartment," Prue said.  "I'll run down and check."

Prue called Stuart's name as she came through the door but there was no response.  As she went to check the bedroom there was a knock on the door.

"Reg," she said as she opened it.  "Come in."

"Twenty-three hundred hours, Meg," he said with a smile. "And we have a date."

A date.  Those words coming from Reg sounded so good to her.

"Uh, before we go," Prue said, " we're concerned about...Jack.  He was supposed to meet Connie upstairs but he didn't come."

"Jack is on his way back to the drome," Reg said. "He was picked up off the street a little while ago.  Odd, he didn't seem to want to go.  They practically had to force him into the lorry.  Not like him at all."

"Why?" Prue asked. "I mean, why did they pick him up?"

"They must need him for something at the drome," Reg said, some hesitance in his voice.

"Are they sending him on a mission?" Prue asked. "Is that what it is?  Reg, I have to know.  Please."

"Ahh...It's really hush-hush."  He saw the look on Prue's face.  "Oh, very well.  Bomber Command is mounting a bombing run on German territory.  I don't know where.  Just to tweak them, show them that we can bomb them, too.  May boost the morale on the home front a bit."

"And the mission is tonight?" she asked.


The mission where Mac Donald is killed, Prue thought.  "Reg, you have to take Paula and Connie along with me to the drome."

"What?  Why?  You know they can't come," he said.

"I can't explain.  But they have to come with us," she said.

"They're civilians, they don't have clearance," he said. "Meg, what is this all about?"

"Reg, how long have we been going steady?" she asked.

"How long?  You know how long, eight glorious months."

"And in those eight months, have I ever asked you for anything unreasonable?  Have I ever asked you to do anything that made no sense, that I couldn't explain?"

"No, you haven't," he said.

"Then I'm asking you to trust me," Prue said. "Trust me this one time." She took a deep breath.

"Reg, this has nothing to do with the aerodrome, nothing to do with the war effort," she said. "I just can't explain it, as much as I want to."

"Meg, you're asking-"

"A lot, I know," she said. "But you said tonight that I was honest.  And that's why you loved me."  She moved closer, put her hand behind his neck and kissed him.  "Have I changed that much in an hour?"

Reg was silent, then took a deep breath.  "Go get them," he said. "I'll be waiting for you down in front."

"Thank you, Reg.  Thank you."  Prue pulled him to her and kissed him again.


Prue, Piper and Phoebe came running out the door.  Prue jumped in the front of the car while her sisters squeezed themselves into the back.  Reg looked at Prue, leaned over and gave her a kiss, and then hit the gas pedal.

"How are you going to get them past the sentry?" he asked her.

"I don't know yet.  I'll think of something," Prue answered.


Reg pulled the car to a stop by the sentry's booth.  The guard came out and looked inside the driver's window.

"Captain Reginald Edwards, Sergeant Margaret Tremayne," he said, using a calm voice of authority. "It is imperative that we get to the briefing room immediately.  We have information that is critical to tonight's mission."

"Who are these people in the back?" the sentry asked.

"They are part of a special assignment," Prue began.  "They had to wear civilian clothes and now they're coming back to report."

Prue could tell from the sentry's face that he wasn't buying it.

"And I'm the liaison for them," she went on, "and I'm responsible to get them back to be-"

"Enough!"  Piper said, raising her hand and freezing Reg and the sentry.  "We don't have time for this."

Piper and Phoebe got out of the back seat as Prue slowly got out from the front.  She went around to the driver's side, looked at Reg, leaned over and kissed him.

"Hurry up!"  Phoebe said, grabbing Prue by the hand and pulling her towards the gate.  Piper opened the gate and they ran through.

"OK," Prue said, forcing her mind back to what they had to do.  "With the description of the drome's layout that Reg gave me, we should be able to find the briefing room.  You'll freeze everyone in it, we'll grab Stuart and get out."

They went down a few corridors, then heard someone coming.  "Hide in there," Prue told them, pointing to a closet.  Piper and Phoebe quickly got into it.

"Uh...Tommy," Prue said as the airman turned the corner, recognizing him from earlier in the evening.  "I have to find Flight Lieutenant Mac Donald.  It's urgent.  Do you know where he is?"

"I do indeed," Tommy said, "but it's too late to talk to him. He's already on the Whitley. Just saw him climb aboard the bomber with the rest of the crew."

"That way," Prue said, pointing in the direction Tommy had come from, "right?"

"Yes," he replied, a bit confused. "You can just catch it taking off."

As Tommy turned and continued on his way Prue opened the closet door. "Let's go," Phoebe said. They turned the corner and ran down the corridor. "Here," Phoebe pointed, stopping at a door. The sign read 'Flight Line - Authorised Personnel Only'.

"You there - Stop!" a soldier, who had turned the corner in front of them, commanded them. He started running towards them, drawing his gun from his holster.

"No time for explanations," Piper said, throwing up her hand and freezing him. Phoebe quickly unlocked the door.

The twin-engine Whitley was designed for RAF night operations. As they ran outside, they heard the roar of the bomber, with its five-man crew, as it raced down the barely lit runway.

"Piper - freeze the plane!" Phoebe shouted.  Piper threw up her hand at the barely visible plane but nothing happened.

"I can't freeze it," Piper said. "It's too far away - it's out of my range."

"Prue!  It's taking off!  DO SOMETHING!!" Phoebe cried desperately.

Prue thought for a second.  "Hold me up," she said.

Piper put her hands under Prue's arms as Prue looked off at the distant plane and slumped.

The twin-engine, heavy bomber Whitley was taking off.  Its angle and acceleration made Prue lose her balance and she fell down hard on to the plane's floor.

"Arrhh!! " she grunted.

"Stuart," she called out as she grabbed onto a metal stud in the plane's fuselage to try to stand up.

"Prue!"  Stuart turned around from the air gunner's position.  He started to make his way to her but the plane's angle worked against him and he fell and slid backwards. He grabbed another metal stud and pulled himself up.

"What in blazes!!?" the bomb aimer shouted and tried to get to Prue.  Prue threw her hand at him and he fell back down.

"A bloody woman!!" he exclaimed. Prue turned towards the cockpit and saw one of the pilots getting out of his seat.  She threw her hand at him and he fell back into his chair.

Stuart had almost reached Prue.  She let go of the stud and fell onto him, throwing her arms tightly around him.  He was barely able to balance both of them with his one hand on the stud.

"Let go of it and hold me tightly with both arms around me," she shouted over the engines' deafening roar.

"Jack!" the pilot shouted as he tried again to get to them.

Stuart let go of the stud and they fell backwards to the floor, sliding towards the plane's tail. Prue was on top of him and he was able to quickly throw his arms around her.

Piper staggered from the weight as she was suddenly supporting both Prue and Stuart.  Prue let him go and Phoebe threw her arms around him and hugged him.

"I didn't know you could do that," Piper said.

"I didn't know I could either," Prue said. "It just suddenly occurred to me that just like I can hold things in an astral projection I could bring something that I was holding back with me from it and I should try it.  My powers seem to be growing."

Phoebe was about to kiss Stuart when the sudden loud blast of the siren interrupted them.

"An alarm," Piper said.  "The soldiers must have unfroze.  We've got to say the spell and get out of here."

"Reg!"  Prue said, looking back in the direction of the base gate.

"This area is too big for me to freeze everyone in it," Piper said. "If they arrest us and separate us, we won't be able to be together to say the spell.  We'll never get back home."

"Reg!  I'll take him back with us," Prue said. "I can take him with me."

"You can't," Piper shouted, trying to be heard over the alarm.

"Yes I can," Prue insisted. "I'll go back to the gate for him."

"You can't go back there.  The whole base is looking for us," Phoebe shouted at her over the siren's continuous wail.  "You can't even go back inside."

The wind suddenly picked up, blowing their hair across their faces.

Phoebe grabbed Prue by her shoulders.  "You can't bring him back, honey," she shouted.  "He can't stay in our world.  He's fiction.  Remember, I tried it - with Billy.  It doesn't work - he doesn't belong in our world."

A searchlight started sweeping the runway and the building.  "Duck," Piper yelled, "behind that shed."  Stuart and Phoebe grabbed Prue and they all ran for cover.

They had been behind the shed only a minute but it felt to Piper as if it had been an hour.  The siren seemed to get louder, the searchlight seemed to get brighter, the soldiers seemed to get closer and they had no place left to run.

"It's now or never for the spell," Piper shouted even louder, as the siren was now joined by the sound of lorries headed directly at them.  "Prue, you have to say it with us."

Prue, sobbing, closed her eyes.  Piper and Phoebe each grabbed one of her hands.  "Get in the middle," Phoebe yelled to Stuart and they closed the circle.

"Ready Prue?"  Piper shouted, squeezing her shaking hand.

Prue hesitated, then nodded, her cheeks covered in tears.

      "Worlds fiction and real

          Be no more the same,

       Divide once again

          Send us back whence we came."


"All of the people Donato took are back where they belong," Phoebe said as they sat in the living room Sunday night.  "It's a good thing you remembered that Leo's pain healing would erase their painful memories of where they had been.  They won't remember anything that happened."

"This could have been an episode on Charmed," Piper said.  "We had Morris bringing the problem to us, we had a demon to vanquish, spells changing on the fly, a plan that looked like it was working but wasn't, desperate 'no way out' situations and a last minute idea that saved everyone."

"The plot elements that the writers made up became part of the reality here," Stuart said.

"We did very well using our powers without the writers," Phoebe said.

"The scripts say that the more experience you'd have as witches the more you'd know what to do, and be able to do, with your powers," Stuart said.

"And that's happening, as long as we stay in character as The Charmed Ones," Phoebe said.  "That's the only way it would have occurred to Prue to use her astral projection to get you off that plane."

Prue had been pensive and quiet the whole time and now she turned to Phoebe.  "What happened to Meg?" she asked softly.

Phoebe hesitated.  "Reg decided, despite the war continuing, not to wait any longer and asked her to marry him," she said gently.

"And did she?" Prue asked.

"Yes," Phoebe said. "In a small ceremony."

"And did happily ever after?"

"The book ends when the Battle of Britain ends," Phoebe said gently. "I don't know if they did, honey."

Prue turned away and stared into space.  Her mind - and her heart - half a world and half a century away.

"They did," she said, a few tears in her eyes.  "They did."