Summary: Buffy Summers and Prue Halliwell died. That Powers that Be foresaw that Willow would resurrect Buffy and slide the balance of power from neutral to good. To prevent that from happening. They placed Buffy in Prue's body.
Pairings: Piper, Phoebe and Paige (Canon pairings), Buffy/Willow/Tara (yes a poligamy relationship, if you have trouble with poligamy then I suggest you don't read.)
A/U: Buffy post season five. Charmed post season three
Disclaimer: I own neither BTVS or Charmed. Buffy is owned by Disney and Charmed is owned by CBS
Chapter 1: Say What?
May 22, 2001
Glory's Tower, Sunnydale, California
Unbeknownst to Buffy and Dawn Summers the tower they stood on had not been stable, it had been built by crazy people after all. And with one burst of mystical energy from the portal Buffy and Dawn fell over the edge. The sisters held on tightly to each other as they fell. "I love you," they said to each other knowing that once they hit the portal and then the ground below, they would be dead.
As the sisters passed through the portal, a million jolts of electricity surged through their bodies, electrocuting them almost instantly. If it had not been a quick death, it would have been a most painful death and as the portal closed, they fell to the ground below, dead.
Halliwell Manor, San Francisco
"Aggh!" Leo screamed as he orbed into the foyer of the manor, instantly feeling the pain of his dying charges, his wife and sister-in-law. "Piper! Piper!" he called as he rushed over to his unconscious wife.
"Prue. Oh no. What happened?" Instinctively he placed both of his hands over the sisters, Prue on the left, Piper on the right and began the healing process, his hands glowing with golden rays. A few painful seconds passed, which felt like hours, long, painful hours. Piper's wounds healed, the blood faded and the rips in her clothing disappeared.
"Ouch," Piper groaned, feeling her aching joints hurt as he sat up. "Leo?"
"Shhh," he replied, still concentrated on Prue, who Piper had not yet noticed.
"What's taking so long?" There was no reply from her husband, who was deep in concentration, although part of him already knew it was too late. "Leo?" Piper's long dark hair still stuck to her face, draped over her eyes, and her arms and legs ached more than anything she had ever felt before in all these years fighting evil, but all she could think about was hoping Prue would pull though.
"Piper," Leo whispered, closing his left hand and ending the healing attempt. "It's too late. I'm sorry."
"No! No! Leo, no try again! Leo!" Tears poured down her face as she gazed at Prue's lifeless body. She stroked Prue's face, and collapsed onto her chest. Not wanting to let her sister go.
It was at that moment that Prue's body began to glow as her body began to heal. Piper blinked as she watched. "Leo?" she said.
Leo watched as the glow faded away. "I don't know," he admitted.
Piper and Leo turned to face a man neither of them recognized standing there in a bowler hat. Piper raised her hands ready to freeze him.
"Your powers won't work on me," the man stated looking at the Charmed One. "The name's Whistler. I'm a balance demon, I work for the Powers that Be."
"Leo?" Piper asked questioningly as she wondered who these Powers that Be were.
"There are three factions," Leo said interpreting Piper's gaze as the question it was surely meant to be. "You've known about two of them. Good and Evil. The Source, Darklighters, Warlocks and Demons are one faction. Elders, Whitelighters and Witches are the other. The Powers that Be are the third, with their faction made up of the Powers that Be themselves, their Oracles, Balance Demons and their Champions. They strive for balance between good and evil." He turned his attention back toward the bowler hatted man. "What do they want with Prue?"
"With Prue?" Whistler said as he looked toward the body that still lay on the floor. "Nothing." He looked back at the husband and wife duo. "With her body, everything. One of their Champions along with her sister died in a battle against a very powerful entity, a hellgod named Glorificus."
"Leo?" Piper said as she looked at her husband. "Hellgod?"
"She would likely be from a hell dimension," Leo answered looking at his wife. He glanced at Whistler who nodded in confirmation. "This Glorificus would likely have been on par with the Source." He looked back at Whistler. "How could one of their champions defeat something as powerful as the Source, since their champions are normally mortals?"
"It wasn't easy," Whistler said. "In the end she didn't. You see this hellgod was banished from her dimension and bound to a mortal to live and eventually die trapped within the body of that mortal. But she eventually managed to escape for brief periods of time. The champion beat Glorificus till she retreated back into her mortal host. It was a friend of hers who killed the mortal host, killing Glorificus at the same time."
"I'm missing something," said Leo. "Obviously the champion is dead otherwise you wouldn't need Prue's body…"
"You see the champion's sister was the vessel for an item known only as the Key. It was able to open the breach between dimensions. Glorificus wanting to return home kidnapped the kid and performed a ritual to open the portal. To close it the champion wanted to sacrifice herself for her sister. But because of where they were on a tower that was not entirely stable, they both fell before the sister could get safely to the ground. They fell into the portal as it electrocuted them and then to the ground, dead.".
"So, what does this have to do with Prue?" Piper wondered.
"The Powers foresaw that if events were allowed to continue the champion would be resurrected in a few months due to an extremely old spell by an extremely powerful witch," Whistler said as he looked at Piper. "A witch that some believe could be as powerful as the Charmed Ones. If events were allowed to play out the balance would slip from balance to good, irrevocably."
"That's good though isn't it?" Piper said thinking that would be a thing.
"I would think so," Whistler agreed. "But the Powers are about balance, and believe good cannot exist without evil. Therefor they will do what they can to maintain balance. Hence what they are doing now. Your sister is dead, her soul has gone on to heaven, or whatever afterlife dimension you all believe in."
"You're putting your champion in Prue's body?" Leo asked as understanding entered his mind.
Whistler nodded. "Yes," he said. "The Powers knew that she would want to continue the fight against evil and are giving her the way to do that, even though it effectively removes her from their purview."
"Who is she?" Leo wondered as he looked at Prue.
"Buffy Summers," Whistler answered. "The Slayer."
Leo's eyes went wide. "Leo?" Piper said seeing the reaction.
"The Slayer fights mostly vampires and lower level demons," Leo said. "The Slayer is always female, usually no older than eighteen when they die."
"This Slayer just passed her twentieth birthday, and she was called about five years ago." Whistler added. "Which made her till her death tonight one of the longest living Slayers in history."
"She is mortal but she has several physical abilities," Leo continued, "instead of magical powers, that help her. She can be an extreme force of good, if the Powers would allow her to be."
"There are a few things to mention. To help the Slayer she will receive Prue's memories. That is to help her integrate into your life. While legally she will still be the eldest sister. The body has been youthened till it matched the Slayer's age at the time of her death. That way she would not have a shortened life because of being placed in an older body. The last thing is that she is now pregnant."
"The sister?" Leo asked realizing that Whistler had mentioned the sister dying as well.
Whistler nodded. "She had it bad that kid. Originally, she was supposed to survive and live. But events can change with every choice that is made, as is the case here. So, the Powers decided that she should have a normal life, or as normal as being the daughter of a Charmed One will be. But the thing is she will have a normal life, no fake memories. Well she like her sister will remember her old life, sure. But she will grow up this time around." He looked toward Prue's body. "I better go. Once the former Slayer wakes, she won't be happy to see me. Something about wearing my ribcage as a hat." He then flashed out.
Piper sighed as Cole shimmered in with Phoebe.
"I can't stay long," Cole said. "The Source likely will have bounty hunters on my tail. I will check in when I can." He shimmered out.
Phoebe noticed that Prue lay on the floor and then looked at Piper. "Prue?"
Piper sighed. "You explain it. I just …" she turned and walked up the stairs.
"Prue is dead," Leo said as he saw tears falling from his sister-in-law's face. "But she's not at the same time. Well her body is not anyways. Her soul went on to the afterlife." He proceeded to tell Phoebe everything that Whistler had told him and Piper. When he finished Phoebe was sitting on the couch overwhelmed.
Phoebe let out a sigh. "So, she's our sister, yet she's not."
"That's pretty much it," he agreed. "As soon as she wakes. She may not remember you at first till Prue's memories surface.".
"Oh, what a headache. Will? Giles? Is Dawn okay?" Buffy said as she sat up. She looked around and frowned. Where was she? Then she spotted Leo and Phoebe. "Who are you two? Where am I?"
"Buffy Summers?" Leo asked as he looked at the woman in front of him.
"My name is Leo Wyatt and this is Phoebe Halliwell," Leo said as he introduced himself and Phoebe. "This is going to come as a shock to you. But you and your sister died."
Buffy looked around having expected to be in heaven and at peace instead of in someone's house. "This doesn't look like heaven or any other afterlife dimension," she admitted. "So, want to try that again?"
Leo looked to Phoebe who sighed and walked over to her purse on the table next to the front door. She returned and handed a compact mirror to Buffy.
Buffy looked into the mirror and her eyes went wide. What she saw in the mirror was a face not her own. "What's going on?"
"Buffy," Leo said. "Are you familiar with a balance demon by the name of Whistler?"
"Yes," Buffy growled, remembering the demon who had told her she would have to kill Angel. "And if I see him again I will wear his ribcage as a hat. Is he responsible for the way I look?"
Leo sighed as he glanced at Phoebe before looking back at Buffy. "In a roundabout way, yes," he said as he went on to explain what had happened. "The Powers that Be foresaw that a powerful witch would resurrect you and if that happened the balance of power would shift firmly to the side of the good. And being they are neutral, that was not a situation they wanted. And so, they made it so you could not be resurrected. They placed you in the body of another who had died at the same time you had. As they healed the body, they made some minor modifications. The body you are in is thirty-one-years-old. But they used their powers to de-age the body back to your original body's age of twenty. So that you would have the same lifespan as your original body. That said though from a legal standpoint you are still thirty-one."
"Oh great, and I thought I would be done," Buffy said and then she remembered that Dawn had fallen off the platform with her. "What about Dawn? Did he say anything about my sister? Did she get to go to heaven?"
"No. Let me explain before you curse the Powers that Be or Whistler," Leo said when he saw that Buffy was about let loose on the profanity. "Whistler explained how she came to you. Created to hide a mystical artifact that you were meant to protect. That in itself made it bad for her, especially when she found out."
"Yeah," Buffy said. "Dawn questioned her mortality. So, what did they do?"
Phoebe glanced at her brother-in-law deciding to spare him from having to make the announcement that would in effect startle her new sister. "Congratulations," she said. "You're pregnant."
Buffy's eyes went wide as she looked down at her stomach.
Leo sighed. "They decided to give her a new start in life," he explained. "A start she should have had from the beginning. She like you will have her old memories. But the thing is she will grow up."
Buffy smiled as she thought about it and nodded. Out of everything the Powers had down to her over the years. She had to agree they had been especially nice to Dawn. If she had to be pregnant with her sister, no she corrected herself, daughter. She would be happy to watch her get the chance to grow up.
"That said," Leo continued. "With time, how much time I don't know, you will get Prue's memories of her life."
"Wow," Buffy said. "I guess that will be nice since it seems I was stuck into someone else's family."
"Phoebe," Leo said. "Maybe you should show Buffy to Prue's room? Let her get some rest?"
Phoebe nodded and led Buffy up the stairs. Leo orbed out.
"We know, Leo," Roland said when Leo orbed in. "We sensed Prue Halliwell's death and that the Power that Be meddled with her body. Is it true that the Slayer has been placed in the body of the eldest Halliwell sister?"
"It's true," Leo said. "Though she is technically speaking no longer the eldest as the Powers de-aged her. Anyways one of their balance demons told Piper and I about Buffy and her sister Dawn."
Roland sighed. "What do you recommend? Bind her powers? Wipe her memories?"
"I don't think Phoebe or Piper would allow that," Leo said. "While yes, Prue is dead. It is still her body. Besides they will need her for the Power of Three."
Roland looked at the Whitelighter and knew that Leo was right. If they wiped her memories, they would in effect ending the Charmed Ones. They would need the former Slayer for the Power of Three. "You are correct, of course," he agreed. "Ease her in gradually."
In the attic Piper angrily placed five candles in a lose circle on the floor and lit them. "I'm a witch, damn it," she said as she moved behind the Book of Shadows. "I've summoned people before and I'm going to summon Prue now whether you like it or not! No more games, no more playing the good witch. I want to talk to my sister. I need to talk to my sister. At the very least, you owe me that." She took a soul-cleansing breath, and then glared at the Book. "Here these words. Hear my cry spirit from the other side. Come to me, I summon thee. Cross now the Great Divide."
Inside the circle of candles, orbing lights ever-so-slowly began to appear as Piper looked up, her anger replaced by hopeful wonder as she stepped from behind the book, anticipating Prue's appearance.
"Grams?" Piper said surprised when the orbing lights had solidified into her grandmother instead of Prue.
"Hello, my darling. How are you?" Grams asked already knowing how her granddaughter was doing. She knew that the meddling Powers that Be had pretty much stolen Prue's body and placed their champion in it.
Piper sighed. "How am I?" she said sarcastically. "Are you kidding? Do you guys not get the news up there?"
"I meant, how are you holding up?"
"Not very well," Piper sighed as a tear escaped her eyes. "I'm a little lost."
"I know, dear," Grams said as she stepped out of the circle and became corporeal. She pulled Piper into her arms. "In essence you've gained a new sister."
Piper relaxed slightly in her grandmother's arms. "Which was why I was trying to summon Prue," she admitted. "I needed her advice."
"You will just have to do with me," Grams said as Piper pulled out of her arms.
"Why?" Piper asked as she frowned.
"Because you're not allowed to see her, at least not for a while anyway."
"But, why?" Piper asked a second time.
"Because seeing Prue right now, speaking to her, keeps her alive for you," Grams explained. "Which keeps you from being able to move on with your life, to continue with your destiny."
"A destiny with someone I don't know, that is walking around in Prue's body," Piper growled.
"I know, sweetie. I know…" Grams said as she pulled Piper back into her arms. "But if there's one thing you've learned over the last three years, it's that there's a reason for everything… which means there's a reason for this, too."
"What reason could there be?" Piper wondered with a sigh.
"Why don't you ask me," Buffy said from behind Piper.
Piper turned to face her new sister, her eyes wide. She wondered how long Buffy had been standing there. "How …?"
"How long?" Buffy asked as she sighed. "Long enough. Long enough to know you have doubts and wanted to speak to your real sister about them. I can understand that, believe me. I understand better than you think." She looked down at her stomach. The one of the few people she could talk to out of everyone she had known was inside her. While she and Dawn had never had the stellar of relationships, she still wished she could talk to her sister right now since Dawn was going to be going through the same thing she was after she was born.
Piper's gaze followed Buffy's gaze to Buffy's stomach in understanding. In essence they had both lost someone. Unlike herself she knew the woman in front of her could get her sister back in the form of a daughter. But would it be the same? Especially when it would be several years before the baby would be old enough to understand let alone talk about any of this. "Let me introduce you to someone," she said. "Grams, this is Buffy Summers. Buffy, this is my grandmother, Penny Halliwell. We call her Grams."
"Hello, Mrs. Halliwell," Buffy said.
"Please, call me Grams. I am in essence your grandmother now, too," Grams said wanting to hug Buffy but knowing that the young woman wasn't ready, not yet.
"Maybe, in time," Buffy said confirming Grams' suspicions.
"I understand," Grams said as she smiled at her newest granddaughter. "I think I will leave you two to chat." She then disappeared in the same swirl of orbing lights that brought her.
Piper moved to the couch and sat down. She then motioned for Buffy to join her as she sighed. "I've not been the most welcoming."
Buffy nodded as she sat down. "I understand. Your sister wakes up and is not the person you know. I can relate. I actually had the whole body-swap deal once before. I wish I could swap your sister back for you."
"Can I ask you," Piper said. "How did you …"
"Die?" Buffy asked.
"I know the details," Piper admitted. "How you and your sister fell from the tower into the portal, which electrocuted you both. But I am wondering what led to the decision that you would sacrifice yourself for her."
Buffy sighed as she thought about Dawn. "Whistler explained about the Key didn't he? That Dawn was created to hide it?"
"Then you know about Glory and that she was after Dawn," Buffy said with a sigh. "When I first learned about Dawn I was in shock. I wanted my memories back, but the monks refused to give them back. In time I found that I loved her. There were several things that led to the decision but that was one of them. Another was a vision quest I went on where this spirit guide told me death was my gift. I didn't understand what that meant till I was on the tower. Before the battle with Glory we found out that for the portal to close was for Dawn to be…"
Piper let out a gasp as she realized what Buffy was saying. "When she was dead, it would close?"
Buffy nodded. "And so, since she was made from me, I intended to jump, intending to close it. So that my sister would live. Sadly, that didn't happen."
"While you the end result was to save the world, you died for your sister," Piper said as Buffy nodded. She looked at Buffy with new found admiration. Whistler and Leo had talked about the Slayer. She wondered if someone with Buffy's knowledge had been fighting alongside them the last three years, if things would have changed. Would Prue not have died?
Piper nodded slowly to herself. It would take time for her to come to love Buffy and her niece when Dawn was born. But she was sure she would with time. "Thank you for telling me."
"You're welcome," Buffy said.
"Now," Piper said. "I think it's time we start your training."
"Training?" Buffy asked.
Piper smiled and nodded. "Prue, Phoebe and I are witches. Not your everyday witches, either. We have magical powers."
"Powers? Really?" Buffy asked. "Willow, never had powers."
"One of your friends?" Piper asked.
Buffy nodded. "Probably the one that was going to try and resurrect me."
Piper sighed. "That is so personal gain."
"Personal gain?" Buffy asked.
Piper nodded. "You know the Wiccan rede? That's not how it's supposed to work. We can't use our powers for our own personal gain, only for the benefit of others."
"That makes sense," Buffy said. "Kind of like with my, guess it's my old Slayer abilities now. I never used them for personal gain. Though I am sure I could have gotten a job as a female wrestler or a bouncer at a night club or something."
"Okay," Piper said. "Prue seemed to always channel her anger into her power and then mentally moved something with her mind. It's called telekinesis."
Buffy looked around and then at the Book of Shadows. She concentrated on it as the podium on which the Book sat shook, but nothing else happened.
"That's a good first try," Piper said. "Work on that for a bit and we'll move on from there. If you need me, I will be downstairs."
Buffy nodded as Piper headed down the stairs.
Piper passed her bedroom door as Leo walked out. "How's Buffy?" he asked.
"She's okay," Piper said. "She's practicing Prue's telekinesis in the attic. I thought I would have her practice that before moving on to astral projection."
"Good idea," Leo said. "How are you doing?"
Piper sighed. "I won't say it's not been rough. I know that's not Prue. But seeing Buffy walking around in Prue's body, and knowing that Prue is dead …"
Leo nodded in understanding. "It will take time. Especially when you and Phoebe effectively don't get time to grieve."
"I'm grieving, Leo. I'm just …" Piper sighed as she laid her head on Leo's chest as tears flowed down her face. "I just didn't want to show it in front of Buffy. She already has it hard. She doesn't need me breaking down in front of her."
"You can still be you, Piper."
Piper and Leo turned and saw that Phoebe standing in her bedroom door.
"If Buffy is anything like Prue," Phoebe said as she looked at her older sister. "And from what we've learned so far she might be. You can still be yourself. I don't think she would expect you not to grieve for Prue."
Piper looked at her baby sister knowing that Phoebe was right. "How are you holding up?" she asked.
"About the same," Phoebe admitted. "I was thinking of taking Buffy over to Social Services in the morning." Piper and Leo looked at her shocked at the suggestion. "Oh, not to give up the baby. Dawn when she is born will be our niece after all. But none of us has any experience in having a baby. Maybe they can help direct her to someone that does or can help her in other ways in planning for Dawn's arrival."
"That is a good suggestion," Leo agreed.
Oracle's Chamber, Underworld
"May I be seen?"
"Have you found Belthazor?" the Source asked.
"No, something else..." the Oracle answered. He considered her request and then waved a hand in her direction and she became visible, stroking her ever-present crystal ball. "Something more important, perhaps."
"Nothing is more important," the Source growled.
"Not even The Charmed Ones?" she asked.
"The Charmed Ones are dead," she admitted.
"Not all of them," she reminded him.
"One gone ends the threat," the Source said as he glared at the Oracle. "Of course, if you had foreseen that the Whitelighter was going save his witch and Belthazor was going to save his, they'd all be gone. Be grateful I don't turn you into a snake."
"Yes, but then how would you see into the future without me?" the Oracle said.
"Without the Charmed Ones to worry about anymore, I may not need to."
Oracle smiled. "Mmm. Well, in that case, you'd better keep me around a little while longer," she said as she looked into her crystal ball.
"What do you see?" he asked.
"I see... I see... another," the Oracle answered.
May 23, 2001
South Bay Social Services
"Printing!" Paige Matthews called out looking at her computer screen and hitting the print button.
"Paige, you find that study yet?" Mr. Cowan, Paige's boss asked as he emerged from his office.
"Yeah it's in the printer," Paige answered looking up from her computer at the man who went and got the study from the printer before heading back into his office.
"Welcome to South Bay Social Services," said the receptionist as she saw Buffy and Phoebe enter through the front doors. "How can we be of help?"
"My sister is having a baby," Phoebe said as she wrapped an arm around Buffy. "And while she is keeping her. We just thought you might be able to help us with information and planning for when she arrives."
The receptionist looked around to see which of the social workers was available and saw they were all busy, which left only one person able to see the duo. "Paige!"
Paige got up and walked over to the reception desk approaching Phoebe and Buffy. She smiled at the women. "Hi, I'm Paige Matthews," she said. "What is it I can do for the two of you?"
"I'm looking for information and maybe some help in planning?" Buffy said. "I'm having a baby."
"Congratulations," Paige said. "Mrs. …?"
"Bu …" Buffy started and then remembered she was in a different body. "Prue, Prue Halliwell." She shook Paige's hand. "And Miss"
"Phoebe Halliwell," Phoebe said as she went to shake Paige's hand. She gasped, getting sucked into a premonition.
Paige was on a skyscraper rooftop helipad. She screamed as she squeezed her eyes shut in fear as the demon that killed Prue, Shax, gestured and sent a concussive blast toward her to kill her.
Phoebe stumbled to the floor after her premonition ended. "Phoebe," Buffy said, as she helped Phoebe up. "Are you alright?"
Phoebe glanced at Buffy; she saw a worried look on her sister's face. Which reminded her that Buffy didn't know about her power yet. "Yeah," she said as she looked back at Paige. "Uhm. Is there a restroom I can use?"
"Sure," Paige said as she motioned toward the ladies' room. "Over there."
"Thank you," Phoebe said as she walked into the restroom and locked the door behind her before pulling out her cell phone and dialing.