By Julien Gregg

Book 1 - Chapter 7
A Charmed Future

Drake opened his eyes and looked around the room. He was back in the manor, but was he in his own time? The living room looked different, and he couldn't figure out why he was lying on the sofa. Where were Dean and Damon? He got up and the first thing he noticed was the ache in his back as he stood. He'd had no idea that traveling through time was so painful. Then he looked at the portrait above the fireplace. It was the three of them, but they looked older. Dean had a beard and mustache while Damon was bald. He saw a scar on his own face that he didn't remember.

He looked around the room at the other pictures that were sitting on tables and hung on the walls. There were pictures of people he didn't know on the tables. There was a picture of three young men standing side by side on the front lawn. They were blond haired and attractive. Something about them was familiar but he couldn't place it at first. He wondered what was going on. When he stepped up to the mirror on the wall he got the shock of his life.

His hair was starting to gray and there were age lines on his face. The scar that extended from just above his left eyebrow and continued down the side of his face just to the side of his left eye was there. He looked down at himself and saw that his body had changed as well. He'd always been fit from working out to maintain a certain physique. Now he was muscled and a considerable amount bigger than he'd been. He understood what was happening all too well. He was in the future. Had they all come to the future?

"Feeling better?" asked a dark haired man who look a lot like him but older still as he came into the living room.

"I guess," he said slowly.

"Well then we'd better get to the club before Lexie comes back," said the strange man. "Have you seen the boys?"

"Boys?" he asked, looking around the room. His eyes settled on the portrait of the three young men again. "No."

"Well they're probably off chasing some demon or another," replied the other man. "I tell you they're more reckless than even you and your cousins were."

"What is going on?" Drake asked, turning to face the man. "Who are you?"

"Who am I?" asked the man, coming close enough to put his hand on Drake's forehead. "You sure you're all right? That demon must have really done a number on you."

"Demon?" he asked, looking around again.

"Uncle Dax is my dad . . ." said a teenaged boy with dark hair and Drake's eyes as he came into the living room. "Oh."

"He's not doing so hot, Damon," said the other man. "I think he hit his head harder than we thought."

"Why? What's wrong?" Damon asked, coming closer to them. "Dad, are you all right?"

"Your name is Damon?" Drake asked with a smile, thinking that it was cool to know that he'd name his son after one of his cousins. "Where are my cousins?"

"Your cousins?" the boy asked, looking at the other man in confusion.

"Damon, go find Wyatt and make sure that he doesn't come in here," said the other man. "I don't want him to see your dad like this. He wouldn't take it well."

"Wyatt?" Drake asked, looking back and forth between them.

"Your other son, Dad," said Damon. "My brother."

"Go, kid," said the other man.

"All right, but Uncle Dax, I want to know what happened," he said, eyeing the other man hard before he walked out of the living room.

"My sons," sighed Drake as he sat back down on the sofa. "Where are my cousins?"

"Look," said the other man, sitting in the chair and looking at him. "I don't know what happened to you . . ."

"We went to the past and summoned Melinda Warren," Drake said. "She cursed Farren into her ring and then we were sent back to the future, but this isn't my future."

"Oh," said the other man. "I remember you telling me about that. You said that something strange happened, but you would never tell any of us what it was. Drake, this is the year twenty-one twenty-five. You are forty-eight years old with two sons. Damon and Wyatt. You named Damon after your cousin."

"Who are you?" Drake asked, cutting him off.

"I'm your brother," replied the man. "My name is Dax."

"Wait a minute," sighed Drake, running his fingers through his hair. "What is going on?"

"I think that I know what that strange thing that happened twenty-seven years ago was now," said Dax. "I think when they sent you back to the future you came here, but Dean and Damon went back to twenty ninety-eight because they couldn't come here."

"Couldn't come here?" Drake asked. "Why not?"

"Because they're dead, Drake," said Dax. "Damon died twenty-four years ago. Dean died right after the triplets were born. I don't know where Jamie is."

"Jamie?" he asked.

"Right," said Dax, looking away. "You don't even know Jamie yet."

"This is crazy," said Drake as he shook his head. "I didn't intend to come here. I just want to get back to my time."

"We'll do what we can to get you back to your own time," said Dax. "I just never expected anything like this. We fought Fahr today and you got hurt again because you wouldn't wait for the boys."

"My sons fight demons?" he asked, looking at his brother hard.

"Your sons? No. They help in other magical ways, but it's the triplets that fight demons," said Dax. "They are the Charmed Ones after all."

"The Charmed Ones?" Drake asked with wide eyes. "But they can't be."

"They are," said Dax. "Look, I know this is a lot to take in, and I suppose I shouldn't be telling you any of this. I should probably lock you in a room and keep you from knowing anything about the future."

"You know I won't let you do that," Drake said.

"And what's to say that you could stop me?" laughed Dax. "You don't even know me."

"True," replied Drake. "I do know my powers though."

"Well yes, you were always stronger in power than I am," said Dax. "But Drake you have to understand what could happen if you go back and try to change things."

"We've done it before," he said, looking away. "I think that's why I'm here instead of in my own time."

"What do you mean you've done it before?" Dax asked with raised eyebrows.

"I mean we've changed the past before," said Drake. "When we went back to stop Farren we asked our parents not to bind our powers so that we would be used to them and be able to use them better in the future."

"And did it work?" asked Dax.

"I don't know because all I remember is what I've always remembered," said Drake. "I suppose they may not have kept their word. I don't know."

"You honestly think that changing that one little thing would have brought you here instead of to your own time?" Dax asked. "I don't think so. I think the boys are responsible for this. They said they were going to get help before they left. Then I came in here and found you . . . like this."

"What do they need help with?" asked Drake. "And if they needed me why wouldn't the me from this time be sufficient?"

"Well your powers have been a little off lately," said Dax, looking away from him.

"Liar," Drake replied.

"All right," said Dax with a sigh. "Your powers were taken by the Hollow."

"The Hollow?" Drake asked. "What is that?"

"You don't know about the Hollow?"

"If I knew I wouldn't have asked," snapped Drake. Then he sighed. "I'm sorry. I guess I'm a little on edge."

"Well I can understand that," said Dax. "What I need to know is if you have your powers again."

Drake shimmered out of the Manor and back in again to prove that he had his powers. It felt different for some reason but he thought it was probably because he was still a little more than unsettled by everything that was happening. Then he tried to form an energy ball in his right hand and gasped as a fireball appeared instead.

"Well that's new," laughed Dax. "I thought I was the only fire starter in the family."

"Huh?" Drake asked as he willed the fireball to go away.

"Never mind," said Dax. "The point is you have your powers. What do you say about going to the club and helping the boys?"

"I don't even know what we're up against," said Drake.

"Well that's easy enough," said Dax as he pulled the Book out from under the chair. "He's marked."

Drake flipped through the Book, noticing all of the new spells that he'd never seen before. There were even spells in there written by Dean. The page marked was for the demon Fahr. There was no known vanquish and no one had ever defeated him. The Book said that everyone who had gone up against this demon was thought to be dead or turned. He had no idea how a demon could turn a witch or mortal but he didn't want to find out either.

"You said the boys are at the club?" he said once he'd read about Fahr.

"No, Lexie's at the club," said Dax. "I don't know where the boys are, but she's cleaning up the mess Fahr left behind so if they come back that's where they'll come to."

"Who is Lexie?" Drake asked as he stood.

"Alexis Halliwell," said Dax. "Dean's wife."

"Let's go," replied Drake. This was all way too much for him.

"It'd be faster if you just shimmered us there," said Dax.


"P3," replied Dax.

Drake took his brother's hand and shimmered them to P3. The club was a disaster. Tables were broken and there was broken glass everywhere. The bar had been blown up and pieces of it were everywhere. A blond haired woman was attempting to sweep up a bunch of the debris in the center of the dance floor when they shimmered in. She looked up at them and gasped.

"You got your powers back?" she asked when she saw Drake.

"Lex, this isn't the Drake you know," said Dax as they walked over to where she was standing.

"What do you mean?" she asked, looking afraid as she glanced at Drake.

"He's from the past," said Dax. "I don't have time to explain though. Where are the boys?"

"They'll be here soon," she said. "Xander thinks he has a lead on Fahr."

"They went alone?"

"Beleil went with them," she said dismissively. "I was more worried about Drake."

"Drake is fine for the moment," said Dax.

"You know, I'm standing right here," said Drake with a sigh. "Does nothing ever change?"

"What do you mean?" asked Alexis, coming to stand in front of him.

"Dean and Damon are always talking around me," said Drake, glaring at them. "I come to the future and it's still happening."

"Dean," she said softly with pain in her eyes. Drake felt like an ass when he saw that pain in her eyes.

Just then a shower of bright white lights began to swirl around just a few feet from where they were standing and then the triplets were standing there. Drake was so shocked by this power that all he could do was stare at them. He couldn't imagine what that power was. It reminded him of the orb that Gregory had made in the air in the past but it was slightly different.

"Boys," said Alexis. "Any sign of Fahr?"

"None," said one of them. "He's just gone again. We'll find him though. Wyatt is killer with a scrying crystal."

"Just make sure that your cousin does nothing more than scry," said Dax. "We don't want the underworld to realize that they're magical yet."

"Duh," replied the young man. He smiled at Drake. "Hey, Drake, feeling better? We'll get your powers back. I promise."

He reached out and patted Drake's shoulder and as soon as he touched him, Drake saw him throwing energy balls and screaming in terror as he ran from a demon with long curly black hair. He didn't recognize the place but it looked like a cave or something. He could feel the young man's fear though. The vision was so powerful that he could smell the smoke from the fire they ran past and he could feel the rocky cave floor under his feet. When the vision ended he was nearly rocked off his feet. He jumped back from the young man with an explosive, "Uh."

"Drake?" said the young man.

"I had a premonition, but it was like nothing I've experienced before," he explained and wished that Dean and Damon were there. He turned back to look at the young man who'd touched him. "I could see you running away from a demon with long curly black hair. You were throwing energy balls at him as you ran. I could smell the smoke from the fire and feel the rocky floor under my feet. It was like I was there with you."

"You had a premonition?" asked another of the identical young men as the third came to stand on his other side.

"You got your powers back already?" the third asked.

"It was strange," he replied. "I've never had a premonition that powerful before."

"Calm down, Drake," said Dax, coming to stand in front of him. "Where did this premonition take place? Describe it to me."

"It was a cave, but a really big one," he said slowly, closing his eyes and flinching as the vision came back again. "There are wood torches on the walls and gravel like rock on the floor. They pass a roaring fire with what looks like human bones burning in the flames. There's a scent in the air like burnt sulfur but faint." Then the vision was gone again and he opened his eyes.

"That's the underworld," said Dax. "You said that Tory was throwing energy balls?"

"Yes," said Drake. "He was throwing them over his shoulder as he ran. He was terrified."

"But Tory doesn't have demonic powers," said Alexis as she looked at her three sons in confusion and fear.

"That's what I saw," said Drake.

"Well your premonitions are definitely different," said Dax as a demon shimmered in.

Drake looked at him and instantly an energy ball formed in his left hand while a fireball formed in his right. He was about to throw them when one of the triplets jumped in front of the demon. Drake was confused as to why the boy would be protecting a demon. As he willed the energy and fireballs to go away the demon shimmered out again.

"What were you doing?" he demanded of the young man who'd jumped in front of the demon.

"Drake, that's Beleil!" cried the young man. "What's wrong with you? You know him!"

"Calm down, Matthew," said Dax. "He doesn't know him. This isn't the Drake you know."

"What do you mean?" asked another of the blond young men.

"I'm from the past," said Drake. "Really far in the past. Where I came from I'm Charmed. My cousins and I are the Charmed Ones."

"So you came from before Dad died," said Tory. "That explains why you have your powers. But why are your powers so strong?"

"I don't know yet," said Drake. "I think it has something to do with the favor we asked of our parents before we left them to return to the future."

They stood there for a few minutes saying nothing. Drake was still trying to figure out what was going on with his powers. Could his aunt not binding his powers have made them so strong? He didn't know but it sounded like the right answer. He just wished he could use his powers to get back to his own time. As they stood there another demon shimmered in. This was the demon from his vision! He formed another fireball in his hand and threw it at the demon before anyone could react. At the same time the demon threw a little ball of silver light at Tory. When the ball hit Tory, the young man screamed. The demon shimmered out before the fireball reached him. They all ran to Tory as he fell to the floor.

"Sebastian!" cried Matthew as he knelt next to his brother.

More of those slivery white lights swirled and then there was a young man standing next to them. He had dark hair and eyes and a lithe body. He was dressed in a business suit and he knelt next to Tory and put his hands over his chest. Drake watched as a golden light spread from the newcomer's hands for a few seconds before going out.

"He isn't injured," said Sebastian. "What happened?"

"Fahr hit him with some kind of energy ball," said Matthew.

"It wasn't an energy ball," said Dax. "It was a power ball."

"A power ball?" Sebastian asked, whipping his head around to stare at Dax with open fear on his face.

"Yes," said Dax. "The silver color tells me exactly which power he gave him too. Energy balls."

"Why would he do that?" Matthew asked. "Wouldn't that just make him more powerful?"

"It will drive him insane," said Sebastian. "You have to get the power out of him."

"I don't think we can," said Dax. "Fahr has to do it."

"There has to be a way," said Sebastian. "Fahr would never take it back. He did this to kill him."

"I don't think so," said Dax. "I think he's trying to turn him."

"That's even worse!" cried Sebastian. "We can't have a Charmed One turn evil. That would be almost as devastating as when Drake turned evil."

"What?" gasped Drake.

"Calm down," said Dax, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Seb you might not want to say anything more. This is Drake from the past. He came here by mistake when he, Dean and Damon were trying to get back from twenty seventy-one."

"Oh my God," said the third young man.

"Where the hell is he?" Dean asked, as he came back to the living room after they'd searched the house again.

They'd tried every spell they could find in the book. They'd tried the Calling A Lost Witch spell, the Blood To Blood spell and even the Power to Power spell. None of it had worked. They were getting scared. Had having their parents refrain from binding their powers in the past caused Drake to not exist in the present? The thought that Drake had been killed long before they got to San Francisco had occurred to Dean but it chilled him at the same time.

"His stuff is still in his room," said Damon as he came down the stairs. "He was actually here."

"That alleviates one fear," sighed Dean. "But where is he?"

"Wait," said Damon. "Didn't Grandfather say we'd be assigned a White Lighter in time?"

"He said that," Dean said slowly. "What does that have to do with Drake?"

"I don't know, but a White Lighter could help us," said Damon. "Call Pollock and ask him how to get in touch with a White Lighter."

They went back up to the attic to look up White Lighters in the Book. They stopped in their tracks when they got there. A swirl of white lights was in the center of the attic. They held their breath as they waited for whatever was coming.

"Oh I want to go home," sighed Drake as he sat on P3's dance floor and put his head in his hands.

He didn't want to know any more. Turning evil was one thing, but marrying a White Lighter? As far as he knew all of them were men. He had nothing against men at all. He'd had a boyfriend once when he was fifteen. But that had been a phase, or at least he'd thought it had been a phase. One he'd outgrown. He didn't know how two men could have children either. He'd seen one of his sons so he knew that he had children.

"We'll get you there," promised Dax. "We just have to take care of Tory."

"I don't know how to take care of Tory, Dax," he said. "I don't know how to do anything right now. All I know is that I don't belong here, and I don't want this future!"

The others were standing there looking at him. Even Tory had gotten back to his feet. He was pale and had to lean on one of his brothers for support, but at least he was standing. Drake felt like an ass for saying that. He didn't mean he didn't want the boys to be born. That wasn't it. Turning evil and Dean and Damon dying was what he didn't want. That was too much for him. He didn't think he could handle it all. He hadn't known his cousins for very long but he realized that he'd already formed a bond with them. He didn't want them to die. Was their dying what caused him to turn evil? His thinking was interrupted when Tory began to shake like he was having a seizer.

He could see the shimmering that was coming from the underworld. When he was taken, Drake followed as quickly as he could. He wished that his cousins were with him at the time, but he knew that he had to chase after Fahr as he chased Tory. As they began to run Tory began to scream in horror and throw the energy balls over his shoulder as Fahr began to laugh. Drake threw a fireball at Fahr and hit him in the back, causing the demon to fall flat on his face. Fahr flipped over and was on his feet in an instant.

"Come to save your cousin?" Fahr asked with a sick smile on his face. "Your powers are no match for mine, Drake. You know that."

"Try me," Drake said hatefully as he lifted his hands and huge bolts of electricity shot from them and arched toward that demon.

Fahr dove to the left, the electricity just missing him. Drake wasn't finished though. He rose his hands again and electricity shot from his left while a fireball shot from his right. Then a second fireball shot from his left hand as more electricity shot from his right. He repeated this alternating back and forth as he chased Fahr through the same corridor in the underworld cavern as he'd seen in his vision. He could still hear Tory screaming ahead of them and then he saw the energy balls again. He rose his hands right out in front of him and shot Fahr in the back with electricity. As he fell Fahr rose one hand and a solid wall appeared between Drake and Tory. Fahr shimmered out.

Drake shot electricity at the wall, but it didn't break. He threw fireballs and energy balls at the wall but nothing happened. Then he felt a curious sensation in his head and he saw the pages of the Book turning in his mind. A spell he'd seen when he was looking up Fahr came into his mind and he scanned the floor of the cavern for just the right rock. Finding what he was looking for he raced to the wall and drew a doorway with the rock.

"When you find your path is blocked," he said, "all you have to do is knock."

He knocked three times on the wall just inside the line of the doorway he'd drawn and it swung open. He bolted through it and ran after the fading sound of his younger cousin's screams. Fahr was nowhere to be found, but Drake didn't think the demon was actually gone. He knew that he was waiting for just the right moment to strike. When he was sure that he had Drake and Tory where he wanted them he'd appear again. Then just as he rounded a corner he saw both Fahr and Tory again. He put his hands up and sent as much electricity through them as he could. He was amazed at the power that flowed through him as he did so. Fahr cried out in pain as the electricity slammed into his back. Drake didn't let go of the power. Instead he lifted his hands and let the electricity lift Fahr off his feet. He jerked his hands and slammed Fahr into the wall with so much force that Fahr actually went through the wall.

"Tory!" he called as he started to run again. He caught up with the terrified boy and grabbed his arm as he shimmered them back to P3.

They shimmered in at a run. Tory was still screaming as Drake brought them to a halt as they reached the end of the bar. The others were looking at them with wide eyes ad Drake stopped to catch his breath. He was sure that Fahr wasn't dead but at least he'd brought Tory back to his family. He couldn't even imagine what would have happened if he hadn't saved Tory. The Charmed Ones would be gone, probably forever.

"Say this spell with us, Drake," said Matthew as he and Xander came to stand on either side of them. He held a piece of paper out in front of them so they could all see.

"A power that was given we now take away," they read together with even Tory joining in his shaking high pitched terror voice. "Restore him now to who he was. Take the evil power away."

Tory began to shiver and almost convulse as they held him. Then the silver ball of light came from his chest and floated across the room. Dax and Alexis stepped out of the way as it came near them. When it hit the wall behind the stage it exploded into a burst of silver sparks and was gone. Tory slumped between them.

"My powers are gone," he said softly.

"Say the spell, Tory," said Xander, kneeling down beside him.

"Powers of the witches rise," he said weakly. "Course unseen across the skies. Come to me I call you near. Come to me and settle here."

He collapsed completely after saying the spell. His brothers picked him up and orbed out of the club. Drake looked at his brother and Alexis for a moment before he sighed and sat down at the bar. His knees were still shaking from the adrenaline. He still couldn't believe the amount of power that had flowed through him as he used the electricity to lift Fahr and slam him into the wall. He wondered if his powers would stay this amplified when he finally got back to his own time.

"We may as well go back to the Manor," said Alexis. "I want to check on Tory."

"I'll shimmer us there," said Drake as he stood. He took both of their hands and shimmered them back to the house. Matthew met them in the sun room when they shimmered in. He told them that Xander was upstairs with Tory and that Wyatt was getting some cold water and a cloth to put on his forehead.

"He just needs to rest," he said as they started to all talk at once. "He's tired. His powers are restored and he'll be fine."

"Thank God," sighed Alexis. "I was so worried when he shimmered out. Then Drake went after him."

"What happened down there, Drake?" asked Dax.

"I just chased them for the most part," he replied, not knowing how much to actually tell them. "Fahr isn't vanquished. He'll be coming soon."

"Well we'll worry about that when he comes," said Alexis. "First we've got to get you back to where you belong."

"I think we can do that in the morning," said Matthew. "Xander and I were talking about that upstairs."

Drake thought about it. A night in the future was nothing he couldn't handle he supposed. Just eight hours or so and then he'd be back with his cousins in the right time. At least he hoped he'd be in the right time when it was all over. He didn't want to end up with his parents again, though he'd love to spend time with them. He just wanted to go back to his own time.

His room wasn't the way he remembered it. Instead of the big double bed there were two twin beds. Dax slept in one, and when he'd been told that it had made sense. The triplets shared a room and a room had been partitioned off in the attic for his own sons. He lay there tossing and turning throughout most of the night. He had so much on his mind.

How was he going to prevent the deaths of his cousins? Dax hadn't told him exactly how they had died so he didn't know what to do. He knew that Dax wouldn't tell him even if he begged. He needed to know though. He couldn't prevent it if he didn't know it was going to happen. He just hoped that he'd get a premonition when the time came.

He was alone in the room when he woke the next morning. He stretched and noticed the pain in his back again. It was no wonder with all of the demon fighting this body had done over the years. He was amazed that the scar on his face was the only one. He sat on the edge of the bed as he thought about the demon fighting.

His young cousins were remarkable. They were self assured and seemed to have a total grasp on their powers. He was proud of them and couldn't wait until they were born in his time. He supposed that knowing that Alexis was going to be Dean's wife would be hard on him until she arrived in their lives but just knowing what was in store for them would make the wait worth it. He just had to figure out how to keep his cousins alive.

"You're awake," said Tory as he stuck his head in the door.

"Come on in here," he replied with a smile. "Let me have a chance to see for myself that you're all right."

"I wanted to thank you for what you did for me," said the boy as he sat beside him on the bed.

"You don't have to thank me," replied Drake. "You're my family. I love you."

"But you don't know me," said Tory, looking at him evenly.

"No," admitted Drake. "But I have to say that just the knowledge that you and your brothers are coming in my future is amazing."

"What about Damon and Wyatt?" he asked.

"My sons," sighed Drake. "I don't even know how they got here."

"Excuse me?" Tory said with a sly smile.

"That's not what I meant," laughed Drake. "I meant . . . well, babies aren't delivered by a stork."

"No they're not," said Tory. "It was very sad when Laura died."

"Laura?" he asked.

"Your wife," said Tory. "She was a great witch."

"Well I can only say that I can't wait to meet her," he replied.

"You'll meet her," laughed Tory. "Don't worry."

"Don't tell me any more," said Drake after a moment. "Let me just know that she's coming in my life and that my sons will grow to be strong young men."

"Drake?" said Dax, knocking on the door. "We're ready. Did you want something to eat first?"

"No," replied Drake. "I'll eat when I get there."

It sounded so strange to say it that way. He knew that the spell would be instantaneous if it worked. He just hoped it would work. He so wanted to go back to his own time. With all the witches in the house he was sure that they could pull it off. They had to pull it off. The boys were all still there so that meant that he had to get back to his own time. If he didn't his sons wouldn't be born. He laughed to himself as he followed his brother out of the bedroom and up to the attic.

"It's only going to be us and Dax for this," said Xander when they got to the attic. "Damon and Wyatt don't know what to say, and Mom is with them. She said to tell you that she's glad she got to know the younger you."

"Tell her the pleasure was mine," he said with a smile as they lined up behind the book. He moved to stand in front of it.

They handed him a piece of paper and a pen and told him to write the date he wanted to go back to on it. When he handed it back to them, Dax set it on fire as they all began to speak.

"A time for everything and everything its place. Return Drake now through time and space," they said.

A swirl of white lights surrounded him and the faces of his future family began to fade. He held his breath as the whole world began to spin. When it stopped he was still standing in the attic, but his family was gone. He turned around and smiled as Dean and Damon walked all the way into the attic with huge smiles on their faces. He accepted their group embrace as he thought about how he was going to keep them alive.

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