Author's Note: This story takes place in the sixth season of Charmed during the episode "Spin City" and has references to the following episodes: "Chris Crossed", "I Dream of Phoebe", "Midnight Rendezvous", and "Hyde School Reunion". Written May 2005.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, and I am not making any money from these stories.
Warning: Non consensual disciplinary spanking of a teen by a parental figure.
Home Again Chapter 1
Chris paused in mid swing. He could feel the antidote working. He wasn't sure how his mom and aunts had done it, but he could feel the spider demon's effects on him going away. He thought for just a second about what had happened. A few minutes ago when he had been turning into a spider demon, he had tossed his father, Leo, across the room. Then when Leo was lying on the floor on his back, Chris had crouched down on top of him, and punched him repeatedly in the face while yelling 'You don't know me!'.
Now Chris was back to normal. But because he had spent so many years suppressing all the emotions he had for his father, they refused to be shoved back down now that they had been released. Chris glared down at Leo and took aim. He punched him in the face again, and again, and again. He couldn't stop himself. He knew it was wrong. He knew his father wouldn't fight back. But he couldn't stop. He felt a mix of satisfaction and guilt as he saw a trickle of blood on the side of Leo's mouth, but still he kept punching.
Somewhere in the back of his mind he heard someone say, "NO! Chris no!" but he refused to listen.
Then he felt someone grab his upper arm to stop his swing. He was startled into stopping. He looked up and saw his mother looking at him with shock. He let her pull him up. As she pulled him she said, "Stop it! Chris, stop."
Soon Piper had a hand on each of Chris' arms, and she was looking up into his face as she said, "It's over."
Chris felt both shame and justification at the same time. He wrenched his arms away from his mother's touch and ran out of the cave passing his two aunts along the way. As soon as he was a few feet away, he turned back around and looked at the cave entrance. He couldn't believe what he had just done. He knew that everyone would want to talk to him at length about all of it, but he just couldn't deal. He orbed away before any of them came out.
Chris orbed to his room at the manor, but soon realized his family would quickly follow. He grabbed a jacket and thought about orbing to his old room at P3 but decided against it. He eventually orbed to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge to sit and think. He knew no one but Leo would know to look for him there, and he was pretty sure Leo wouldn't show up. Chris needed time and space to concentrate so he would be able to calm himself down. It took work to cram his emotions back down into the little wounded corner of his heart that he tried so hard to ignore every day.
He closed his eyes and concentrated on his thoughts. 'Okay Chris, take a few deep breaths and calm down. You shouldn't have hit him.'
His mind refused to be calmed as it yelled, 'He deserved it! Asking what he did in the future that was so bad! Then he actually had the gall to make guesses that were so
.not me! Did he miss a school play? Does he think I'm that shallow? Did he take away my favorite toy? Does he think I'm five?'
Chris took another deep breath as he felt himself getting angrier instead of calming down. He heard his father's voice in his head asking again, 'Did I play favorites with Wyatt?'
Chris shook his head as if he could knock that question out of his memory. There it was. The real source of most of his anger. He though, 'Of course you played favorites Dad. How could you not? Evil brother Wyatt was a full time job, and I was just in the way.'
Chris could hear his mom calling him. He ignored it and thought, 'Yeah, like I'm really gonna just orb home so you can yell at me, or give me that Look.'
Chris could hear Piper pleading with him to come home, but when he didn't show up, the pleading changed to angry yells. In the end she even yelled, "I know you can hear me, so you get your butt home right this minute young man!"
Chris was unimpressed. He wasn't about to go home until he was ready to talk about it. He was relieved when she stopped calling him after that. Chris tried to get back to talking himself into not caring what his father did or didn't do. 'It's okay that Dad didn't have time for you. He had to protect Wyatt, and then he had to protect others from Wyatt. Once Mom was gone he made sure Grandpa was there to watch after me. It's not that he doesn't love you, it's just that other things were more important. He said he loved you pretty often, especially in the letters. He just didn't have time to be with you. You shouldn't hate him for that. He was trying to protect other people, and he did still check on me once in a while.'
Chris didn't think his self talk was working very well. He was still just pissed. He could feel the anger pulsing in him. He said out loud to himself, "This isn't helping."
Chris tried a different approach. He looked down at the little lights from the cars rushing around hundreds of feet below him, and tried to concentrate on his mission. He was there to save Wyatt. To make sure Wyatt didn't end up becoming the heartless evil bastard he was in Chris' future.
When he and Bianca had first come up with the plan, it had sounded so easy. Go back in time, and save Wyatt from becoming evil, all the while never letting anyone know why he was really there. He sure as hell hadn't planned to let any of them know he was related. That just complicated everything and made it that much harder to focus on his mission.
Chris said to himself, "How did it get so messed up?"
He tried to come up with the exact moment his plans had gone to crap, but he couldn't come up with one moment. Instead it was a bunch of little moments that added up to his current predicament. He muttered, "Aunt Phoebe and her stupid vision quest."
He had specifically taken the same potion he had given to Page and Piper, so that Phoebe couldn't read his emotions. Then she had to go and have that vision quest which let her see Wyatt had a little brother in the future.
Chris thought back to the day in P3 when Phoebe had confronted him about who he was. He muttered, "Should have lied."
But even as he was saying it, he knew he couldn't have done it. And even if he had, she would have known. Chris thought, 'Then there was the whole Genie debacle. Not only did Paige find out the truth, but Phoebe
Chris' thoughts were interrupted when he saw Leo orb in next to him.
Fifteen minutes earlier:
Leo looked up at Chris and saw him change. Just a few minutes earlier, Chris had tossed him across the room. Then Chris had been punching him in the face. He could tell Chris was back to himself now, and he knew Piper and her sisters had found a way to save Chris from becoming a spider demon. Leo's relief about that was short lived, as Chris resumed punching him. Leo had just found out that Chris was his son a couple of hours ago. He wasn't about to fight back. He was pretty sure Piper was coming, and she would be able to talk Chris down.
Sure enough, a few blows to the head later Piper was there and pulling Chris off him. Chris ran off immediately, and Piper knelt down and asked, "Are you alright?"
Leo felt his jaw and pulled his had away to see a little blood. Leo said, "I've been better."
Piper sighed and held out her hand to help him up. He stood and she said, "Let's go home."
Leo orbed Piper home without a second thought to Paige and Phoebe. Paige looked at Phoebe and said, "The club?"
Phoebe thought for a second and realized Piper and Leo needed some privacy to work things out. She nodded and held Paige's hand as Paige orbed them to P3.
Back at the manor Leo and Piper orbed into the living room. Piper, feeling huge already at six months pregnant, went to sit down on the couch. Leo sat beside her. They were quiet for a few minutes. Eventually Leo asked, "Why didn't you tell me Piper?"
Piper looked at him. "Because it was hard enough for you to leave in the first place. I didn't want to make it even harder."
Leo shook his head. He looked away and said, "You should have told me anyway."
"Would it have changed anything?"
Leo didn't know. He wanted to say yes, but he just wasn't sure he honestly could. Piper said, "Let's get Chris over here to talk with us."
Leo nodded, and Piper called, "Chris."
A few seconds passed and then Piper yelled a little louder, "Chris!"
Piper and Leo looked at each other. Piper tried a more gentle approach, "Chris honey, please come talk to us."
Piper waited a couple of seconds and tried again. "Come on Chris, it's not that bad. We can all sit down and talk it out."
Leo said, "Maybe he needs some alone time."
Piper was losing her patients with the situation. Her sisters and Chris had noticed that the bigger Piper got, the shorter her temper was. Piper said, "Maybe he needs a kick in the pants."
Leo chided, "Piper. He's hurting. We need to try and help him deal with his past, and to do that we need to be patient with him."
Piper gave Leo a dismissive snort, and yelled in an angry tone, "Chris!"
Piper glared at her ceiling and said, "Christopher, don't you ignore me!"
A few seconds later she lost it and yelled, "I know you can hear me, so you get your butt home right this minute young man!"
Leo put a hand over her hand and said, "Yelling louder isn't going to do any good. He hears you. He's just not coming."
Piper crossed her arms and said, "Then you take me to him."
Leo closed his eyes for a second and said, "He's on the Golden Gate Bridge."
"Okay, so take me."
Leo shook his head. "No. It's too high up. Something could happen."
Piper glared at him and seriously thought about blowing him up. But baby Chris inside her chose that moment to kick her in the bladder, and she said, "Excuse me, I have to use the restroom
Leo gave her a fond smile as he remembered her using that same line when she was pregnant with Wyatt. While Piper was gone, Leo had a few minutes to think about things. He didn't know for sure why Chris hated him, but he was pretty sure his comment about playing favorites with Wyatt had set him off. Leo hated not knowing how he had let his son down. He couldn't imagine himself playing favorites between his kids. But then he couldn't imagine his sweet baby Wyatt turning evil either.
Leo shook his head and thought, 'Heck, I can barely get my head around the fact that I have a second child on the way. Another baby. Another son. One son grows up to hate me, and the other grows up evil
Leo saw Piper come back into the room. He saw her smile, and as she walked up to him she took his hand in hers. She placed his hand on her belly, and he could feel the baby move. Leo looked at her bulging stomach, and then looked into her eyes. In that moment he made a promise to himself. He thought, 'Chris won't grow up to hate me, and Wyatt won't grow up to be evil, because I'll make a different future.'
Piper could tell Leo already loved the baby. He said, "I'll go get him."
Piper nodded and let him go. Leo orbed to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Chris and Leo stared at each other for a few seconds.
Eventually Leo said, "Piper was calling you."
"Why didn't you come home?"
"I don't want to talk to anyone right now, I just need some time to be alone and think."
"We need to talk about what happened Chris."
Leo just stared at Chris for a second. He said, "Because you obviously hate me, and I want to know why."
"It doesn't matter."
"Of course it matters."
"Look Leo, I came here to do a job, and that job isn't done yet. Talking about what happens between us in the future isn't going to make a bit of difference, and really isn't going to help us save Wyatt."
"I think I deserve to know what happens."
Chris couldn't hold back any more. He said, "You really wanna know?! Fine. You were never there for me. You were there for Mom, for Wyatt, and even for the rest of the world. But you were never there for me."
Chris' speech had started out sounding snide, but by the end he was close to tears. Leo believed Chris was telling the truth, but at the same time, he didn't understand how he could become the man Chris was talking about. Leo paused a second and then said, "Did you ever think that maybe you came back here not just to save Wyatt? Maybe you came back to this time to save us too."
Chris looked in Leo's eyes and said, "I doubt it."
Chris could feel himself about to cry, and quickly orbed away, not wanting to add that humiliation to the conversation.
Leo looked out over the city and tried to decide what to do. He wanted to comfort Chris, but knew Chris wouldn't accept that. He knew Piper wanted him to bring Chris home, but he thought Chris could use some time to pull himself together first. So Leo stood on the top of the bridge, closed his eyes, and waited for Chris to calm down before he went to get him.
Chris was too emotional to think straight, and orbed to the first place he thought of, which was his old room at P3. There was no one in the room, but he could see the club was busy, and the band was loud through the open door. He walked over, shut the door, and locked it. For some reason the noise from the band made it easier to let his emotions go. He turned and leaned his back against the door. He slowly slid down until he was sitting on the floor, put his head in his hands, and cried.
He couldn't stop thinking, 'He doesn't know me now. He didn't know me then. He doesn't care. He was never there for me. He was never fucking there for me.'
These thoughts looped around in his head while he cried. About five minutes later he was almost done crying. Until he thought about his mom. That set off fresh tears. The image of his mother's body lying dead from Wyatt's hands was always there lurking in the back of his head. Since Chris could remember, Wyatt had never been normal, or even nice, but at sixteen Wyatt's evil had fully taken over. Piper had tried to stop him from leaving home and joining the underworld, and Wyatt had proved his evil to everyone by killing her, and thus ending the power of three. Chris had been fourteen at the time, and even though that had been eight years ago, Chris still couldn't get past it.
Ten minutes later an exhausted Chris pushed himself up off the floor, wiped his face on his sleeve, and walked over to the couch. He lay down on it, and tried to focus his thoughts on what he was going to do tomorrow. He would blow off his parents and aunts, and go directly to the book of shadows. He would again look at every demon listed, and go after them one at a time in an attempt to vanquish them before they could get to Wyatt.
But his mind refused to focus on his self appointed mission. Instead it wandered over the past seven months, again trying to figure out how he had become so intertwined with the family he was trying to protect and stay apart from at the same time. He remembered where he had left off when Leo showed up. He had been thinking about the Genie.
He had been desperate to get his parents back together so that he would be born. Time had been running out, and then by a strange twist of fate his Aunt Phoebe had become a Genie, and he had become her master by grabbing the bottle. Phoebe and his mother had warned him against making wishes, but he'd done it anyway. The first time was a mistake, but that one had turned out okay, because it made Leo trust him, and that was essential to saving Wyatt. But the second wish had been deliberate, and didn't work out well at all. In fact in a round about way it had almost resulted in the death of his mother and both aunts. If Leo hadn't healed Piper in his sleep, it would have.
Six and a half months ago:
Chris was nervously pacing around the room waiting for his parents to wake up. Phoebe was waiting with him and trying to keep him calm while he worried. Finally Piper and Leo woke, and after a slightly altered explanation for why they were asleep together in the first place, they went off together to pick up Wyatt from Magic School. Chris called, "Wait! What about
His parents, who didn't know they were his parents, didn't hear him. He stood there feeling sorry for himself and almost forgot that Phoebe was still in the room. She quietly said, "Don't worry. There may be hope for you yet."
Chris was too depressed about his impending non-conception to really listen to her. That was until she used that tone. The tone he remembered from when he was really little, and that seem fairly inappropriate now that he was twenty-two. She said, "You mister are in a lot of trouble."
Chris turned to her with irritation and said, "I know! That's what I've been trying to tell you all day!"
Phoebe waved that comment away with a swooping motion of her hand, and said with irritation of her own, "Not about that! About the wish you made when I was a Genie."
Chris, not wanting to hear it, crossed his arms, cocked his head to the side, and gave her a sneer when he said, "You mean when I was your master?"
Phoebe glared at him. She stood up and poked a finger in his chest as she said, "I think you better remember that I'm out of the bottle."
Chris just looked down at her finger with boredom. Phoebe put her hand down and tried a different approach. She said in a serious, but not angry voice, "It's wrong to make wishes with Genies Chris. You knew that before you even made your wish, and still you did it anyway."
Chris thew his hands in the air with exasperation and said, "Because you were the Genie Aunt Phoebe! I didn't think my own family was going to trick me!"
Phoebe's anger softened a little when he called her Aunt. She shook her head at him and put a hand on his upper arm as she said, "But it would have been wrong Chris. I'm sorry if you feel betrayed by what I did, but I couldn't let you do it that way. We'll find another way."
Chris started to feel a little guilty and looked down. She patted his arm and said, "So no more wishing with Genies right?"
Chris reluctantly nodded his head. Phoebe continued, "And you've tricked us more then once since you've been our whitelighter. In fact, you've been downright dishonest with us more then once."
"I have my reasons."
"I'm sure you do, and I'm also sure that Piper won't see them as valid when she finds out you're her son. She's not very forgiving about lying when it comes to family."
Phoebe could tell that Chris believed that to be true and was worried. She decided to change the topic. She smiled as she said, "Maybe you should think about moving in here with us."
Chris darted his eyes back to her, and for some reason Phoebe thought he looked close to panic. He stammered, "I
I don't think that would be good. I gotta go."
Chris started to orb away and Phoebe called out, "Chris wait!"
He ignored her.
Chris nodded to himself and mumbled, "Then I was stupid and moved in anyway."
Chris could hear the band out in the main room start up another song. He sighed and thought, 'Not like I really had a choice. Once Mom found out she was my mom, that was the end of living here.'
He opened his eyes and sat up to look around the back room at P3. He wasn't attached to it. He didn't have any fond memories from this place. He mostly just wanted to go home to his room in the manor, but he still didn't want to talk to anyone about what he had done. He looked down at his hands and had a flash of punching his father. He lay back down, groaned, and closed his eyes again. This time he was assaulted with thoughts of the day Piper had found out she was pregnant for a second time.
Six months ago:
Chris walked into the room where his two aunts were sitting together and Piper was standing in front of them with her back to him. Chris, leaned against the doorframe and casually asked, "Is this a bad time?"
Piper spun around and stared at Chris, and Chris could tell that his Aunts had told Piper he was her son. He didn't know what to do and decided to stare at his feet for a while.
A few seconds later Piper said, "Chris?"
Still looking at his shoes he said, "Yeah?"
"You're my son?"
Chris nodded at the floor, and then stole a quick glance at her to see her reaction. All he could see was surprise. He quickly looked away and tried to sound like it didn't matter when he said, "But that really doesn't change anything. I'm still here to make sure Wyatt doesn't turn evil, so I think I'm gonna go take a look at the book of shadows and see
Piper interrupted with, "Wait just a minute. Did you actually think this information wouldn't change anything? It changes everything!"
Chris looked over at her and said, "Not really. I'm still here for one reason, and we all know what it is. I'm gonna go check the book."
Chris turned to walk upstairs, and Piper said with calm resolution, "You're going to move in here with us."
Chris turned back around and said, "What?!"
Piper turned to Paige and Phoebe and said, "Could you two help him pack, and then orb all his stuff into the guest bedroom."
Chris said, "No way! This is not going to happen, Piper. I can't live here with you guys! I haven't lived with you guys since I was
Piper raised her eyebrows at him as he tapered off. She said, "Since when Chris."
"I can't tell you that, but I am telling you that I can't live here."
Piper gave him a look that was vaguely familiar to him. She said, "Riiiiiight. Well, I'm telling you that you are going to live here, so deal with it."
Piper turned to Phoebe and Paige who both nodded. Paige took Phoebe's hand and they orbed to P3. Chris said, "But I
..I'm twenty two
Piper walked over to him as he was starting to protest again, and pulled him into a tight hug. She said, "It will be easier to work together to protect Wyatt this way, and I want to have you close by so I can get to know you better."
Chris pulled away and shook his head, "But I really think it would be better if
Piper put a hand over his mouth to stop him and said, "If you make me, I'll tell the bouncers at P3 that I'm not letting you live in the back room anymore."
Chris looked at her carefully as she took her hand away. He said, "You wouldn't?"
Piper stared him down and said, "Try me mister."
Chris' eyes got a little wider as he realized she was serious. He slowly nodded and said, "Okay. I guess I could live here for a little while, as long as I'm free to come and go as I please."
Piper smiled and nodded. "Of course."
.I guess I'll go help Phoebe and Paige."
Chris orbed to his room at P3, and saw his aunts putting all his clothes in a box. Phoebe said, "You can get another box from the kitchen and start packing those papers you have all over the desk."
Chris was slightly frustrated about the whole situation and said, "You two didn't have to tell her you know!"
Paige waved him away and said, "You know Phoebe can't keep that kind of thing to herself."
Chris glared at Phoebe, who said, "What? It's better this way. Now you can live at home, like you should have all along."
"Why do you assume I agreed to the move?"
Phoebe gave a little snicker and said, "Haven't you seen how stubborn Piper can be when she gets an idea in her head?"
Chris thought about the day she had died. He looked away and said quietly, "Yeah, I have."
Chris noticed that the band had stopped playing. He said to himself, "Even after I moved in things weren't that bad. Until Grandpa came to visit."
Chris thought about the five months following his move into the manor. He had made sure to stay as aloof as possible, and put as much time and energy into hunting demons as he could. He tried hard not to get very involved with his mom or his aunts. He continued to call them all by name, and he tried to only be there when he had official business. When he wasn't undercover with some kind of demon, he would orb to his room late at night to sleep, and he would get up early in the morning to leave. But that had resulted in Piper calling her father, Victor. Chris couldn't help but smile and relax a little more when he thought about his Grandpa.
One month ago:
Chris orbed home and had his usual business filled conversation with his mom. As he walked off to look at the book of shadows, he could hear Piper tell Paige, "He hates me."
Chris wanted to go tell her he didn't hate her and that in fact he loved her very much, but he refused to let himself. Because if he did that, there would be no turning back, and then who knows if he would succeed in his mission.
Chris took a look in the book for a spell to protect him if the Scabber demons discovered he wasn't who he claimed to be. Then just as he was about to go back to the Scabber demons he thought he heard a familiar voice in the living room. He walked over and saw his Grandfather talking to his Mom. Chris was very surprised, but he couldn't stop the joy his voice held as he said, "Grandpa?"
Victor looked over at the young man who had just called him 'Grandpa', and smiled unsure what to think. Piper had just told him that the baby she was carrying inside of her was named Chris, and that Chris hated her, and was treating her like she wasn't even there most of the time. She had told Victor she wanted him to talk to Chris and find out why. Victor hadn't really understood, but he had been game and he started talking to her stomach. As he was talking, adult Chris came into the room. Chris walked over and pulled Victor into a hug and said, "Grandpa, it's so great to see you."
Victor gave Chris an awkward hug back and said, "Um
.It's nice to see you too?"
Piper couldn't believe the warm reception her father was getting. She said, "Well it's good to see that you like your Grandpa."
Chris looked over at her and then back to Victor. He said, "Of course."
Victor said, "I'm confused."
Piper said, "Let's go get a cup of coffee, and I'll try to explain."
Soon the three of them were sitting at the kitchen sipping coffee, and Piper said, "Dad, this is your grandson Chris. He came back to our time from the future to prevent Wyatt from becoming evil."
Victor looked back and forth between Chris and Piper waiting for the punch line. When there wasn't one he said to Chris, "Evil? How does Wyatt become evil?"
"I can't tell you that."
Frustrated with that excuse, Piper said, "Because of future consequences?"
Chris nodded. Piper sighed. Victor said, "Okay so, you and me, we're close in the future?"
Chris nodded enthusiastically and said, "Yeah, your awesome Grandpa."
Victor couldn't help but smile over at Piper as he said, "Did you here that? I'm awesome."
Piper smiled, "I heard."
Victor turned to Chris. "I really wasn't the best dad. I wasn't around much for the girls, so it's really nice to know that I could make up for that a little bit with my grandkids."
Chris nodded sincerely and said, "You do. Especially after the event."
Piper said, "Wyatt turning evil?"
Piper said with more then a little irritation, "Another something you can't tell us about Chris?"
Chris huffed and raised his voice as he said, "Look Piper, I've explained this more then once, anything I tell you now could have drastic and unexpected repercussions in the future, so maybe you
Victor interrupted, "Hey, don't talk to your mother like that."
Piper was amazed when Chris actually looked a little embarrassed and said, "You're right. I'm sorry."
Victor and Piper shared a look while Chris was looking at his coffee. Piper was pleased that Victor seemed to have some kind of influence over the son she couldn't seem to get through to. Chris sighed and said, "I should get back. The Scabber demons will notice I'm gone."
Piper stood up and started to leave as she said, "What? And leave your awesome grandpa? Visit for a while. Grab a sandwich, grab a beer
." Piper leaned in towards Victor as she said, "
..get some answers."
Chris and Victor looked at each other for a second. Then Victor said, "You wanna go out to get something to eat?"
Chris knew he should get back, but it was so good to see his Grandfather that he just nodded and said, "Let me go change clothes first."
Once he had changed, they both got in Victor's car. Victor started it and said, "What do you like to eat?"
"Anything. You like Italian, and that sounds good."
Victor nodded and started driving to a restaurant. The car was silent for a few minutes. Then Victor said, "So when you say Wyatt turns evil, what exactly do you mean?"
"He kills anyone who stands in his way, both demons and innocents."
They were silent again, and then Victor said, "He seems so sweet."
"He's not evil yet. I don't know what made him change. Right now he's good. I can tell he hasn't been changed. But because I don't know what changes him, I'm doing everything I can to take out as many demons as possible before they can get to him."
"So tell me about the demons you are undercover with right now."
Chris told him about the Scabber demons the rest of the ride. Soon they were in the restaurant, and had ordered their food. Victor could tell by the way Chris kept looking at his watch and looking around the room that he mostly just wanted to get done so he could go. Victor said, "I guess you don't really want to be here."
Chris sighed, "No, it's not that I don't want to be here, it's just that I need to get back before they find out something is wrong."
Victor nodded. He said, "We don't have to eat, we can just go back."
"No, I need to eat something. It's been
..I guess it's been a day and a half since I ate."
"Jeez! No wonder you're mom is worried about you."
"Piper needs to stop worrying. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself."
Victor gave Chris a disbelieving look and said, "Yeah, I can tell."
Chris said nothing. Victor changed the topic, "You say we're close in the future, so what kinds of things do we do together?"
Chris shrugged. Victor said, "Do I take you fishing?"
"Do I take you to ball games?"
"Do I take you to strip clubs?"
Chris looked horrified and said, "God no!"
Victor smiled at that and said, "So tell me what we do."
Victor paused and then said, "Oh."
Chris said, "Look, maybe this was a bad idea. I'll just orb home and grab a sandwich before I go back."
Victor held up his hand and said, "No, no. You say what we do is talk, so let's talk."
Chris sighed but waited. Victor said, "How have you been getting along with your mom?"
Chris leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms defensively. He said, "Let me guess. She asked you to talk to me."
Victor nodded and said, "She's worried."
"Well, she needs to get over it."
"Why are you so angry with her? Why do you hate her?"
Chris looked truly shocked. "What?! I don't hate her. Why does she think I hate her?"
Victor sat back too and said, "I saw how you were with her at home. You don't look at her very often when you talk, and you say as little as possible. She can tell just by your body language that you're angry with her."
Chris shook his head. "I'm not."
"Then why are you treating her like she doesn't exist?"
Chris looked at Victor with tears in his eyes as he said, "Because in my future she doesn't."
Victor paled and said quietly, "What?"
"She dies when I'm fourteen."
Victor said in a shocked monotone, "That's the event?"
Chris nodded. They were silent for a few minutes. Then Chris said, "That's why I can't get close to her. Because I have to go back to the future where she isn't."
Victor sat up again and said, "Maybe that's all the more reason to get close to her now."
Chris looked down. Victor continued, "If there is one thing that I've learned from having a witch for a wife, and daughters, it's that every minute you have together is important. My wife and Prue both died so young. If I could go back in time, I would spend every minute I could with them. I would be with them as much as possible so that I could take those happy memories back with me when I had to leave them again."
Chris said nothing still, but Victor could tell he was thinking about it. Victor said quietly, "The pain of losing someone you love may seem overpowering, but if you can remember the happy times you had together, then they are never really that far gone. Talk to Piper. Get close to her, and keep those memories close to your heart when you leave. And you never know, you might have already changed that event in the future."
Chris looked up at him and gave a slight nod. Chris wanted to believe that was true. The food arrived, and they both ate quietly thinking about what the other had said. When they were done Victor drove them home. As they pulled up Chris said, "I'd better go change."
Victor nodded and went to find his daughter. He found Piper and Paige in the attic. Piper smiled and said, "Did you have a nice time?"
Victor went and gave her a hug as he said, "I love you sweetie."
Piper looked surprised at the sudden affection, but hugged him back and said, "I love you too Dad."
Chris appeared in the doorway, and said, "I'm headed back."
Piper nodded, and then before anyone could say much, two Scabber demons appeared in the attic. They looked at Chris, and then they both shot greenish slime out of their mouths towards him. He orbed quickly, and the green slime melted the bookshelf it hit. Piper yelled at her dad to get out, which he quickly did. Piper flicked her hands at one of the demons and tried to blow him up. The blow damaged him slightly, but he didn't blow up. He looked at her and spit some green slime at her. Paige called out, "Icky stuff!"
The slime then went back to the demon that had spit it. The demon exploded, and the other demon shimmered away before he could be vanquished too. Everyone stood up and surveyed the damage.
Piper asked Paige, "Icky stuff?"
"What, it worked didn't it?"
Chris felt guilty about the mess and said, "Sorry about this."
Piper said, "It's okay. Kids are messy."
Chris thought to himself, 'I'm not a kid.' But let it go.
Chris said, "Well, I guess my cover is blown. I'll have to get a vanquishing potion ready, and get down there before he rounds up some more of them and they come after me."
Piper said, "No way. It's much too dangerous now that they know you aren't one of them."
"Well, I can't stay here, that will put all of you in danger."
"Well, you can't go, because that will put you in danger!"
"I'll be fine."
"Yes you will, because you're staying here. We'll create a force field with crystals here in the attic, so they won't be able to detect you for a while. Paige and I will work on the vanquish, and you can get some rest."
Chris gave her an incredulous look. "Rest?! You've got to be kidding me."
"You look tired."
"No Piper, you look tired. You and little me inside you should be the ones resting, not me. I'll go so that you'll be safe. I'll make the vanquish, and find them."
"Demons try to kill us every other day Chris. I'm as safe as I'm gonna be
.unless you know something I don't."
Chris looked away. Piper realized she had guessed right. She said, "Oh
..so is something going to happen to me?"
Chris mumbled, "I can't tell you."
Piper said, "Am I gonna
She could tell it was true before she completed the sentence. She said, "Oh
Victor had been watching this whole exchange from the doorway. At this point he said, "Not right now honey. Later."
Chris shot Victor with an angry look for even giving Piper that much information. Piper nodded and looked back to Chris. She said, "And this is what you've been living with?"
Chris nodded again. The room was silent for a few seconds, and then Piper took a deep breath and said, "Well, whatever it is, it obviously doesn't happen until after you're born, so save it."
Chris looked into his mom's eyes, not quite believing she was all business again. Piper put her hands on her hips and said, "You are going to stay up here in the attic and rest while Paige and I make the vanquishing potion. Got it?"
Chris was still reeling from the fact that Piper knew she was going to die sometime in the next twenty two years, and responded to the tone of voice that was familiar to him with, "Got it, Mom."
Chris belatedly realized he had called her 'mom' and looked at her with surprise. She looked surprised too, but then smiled and nodded. "Good. Paige, get the crystals please."
Half an hour later the potion was ready, and Paige, Piper, Phoebe, and Chris all went together to vanquish the Scabber demons while Victor watched Wyatt.
Chris yawned while he was still thinking about Victor. He thought, 'After that I was a part of the family whether I wanted to be or not.'
He was still trying to decide if that was a good thing when he fell asleep.
Leo had been up on the Golden Gate Bridge for the past half an hour waiting for Chris to stop sending off waves of anger. He could finally sense that Chris was at peace, so he orbed to him. He saw Chris asleep on the couch. Leo looked at him closely and saw the resemblance to Piper. He walked over to him and gently put a hand on his shoulder. Leo orbed them both into the guest bedroom at the manor, which had become Chris' bedroom six months ago. Chris stayed asleep. Leo walked out to go find Piper.
Piper was in the kitchen baking cookies to try and calm her nerves. She didn't know what was taking Leo so long, but she didn't think it could be good. It was late, and she was tired, but she knew she couldn't sleep until she heard from both Chris and Leo. She looked up from her dough and saw Leo coming into the kitchen. Piper exclaimed, "There you are! What happened? Where's Chris?"
Leo said, "Chris is asleep."
Leo took her hand and led her over to the kitchen table. He pulled out a chair for her, and then sat in one himself. He said, "Chris says I was never there for him when he was growing up. After he told me that he orbed away and spent at least fifteen minutes crying
Piper almost cried herself at that news. She said, "What could have gone so wrong with our future Leo?"
"I've spent the past half hour trying to answer that question myself, but I haven't come up with anything. The only thing I'm sure of is that we need to change it. We need to make sure we do a better job this time around no matter what it takes."
Piper put her hand over his and said, "I agree."
Leo said, "I think we should let him sleep for the night, and then we can talk to him in the morning."
Piper nodded and said, "I'm tired too."
"If you don't mind, I think I'll go sit with Chris incase he wakes up in the night"
"Good idea. Come wake me up if there are any problems."
Leo nodded. Piper got up and went to go check on Chris and Wyatt before going to bed herself.
Upstairs Chris was dreaming of his past. He was having the same nightmare he had every time he got too emotional about his mom. The same nightmare he had actually lived through eight years ago. The day his brother had killed his mom.
Chris could see her on the floor with a charred hole through her chest where Wyatt had thrown an energy ball at her. She still had a look of shock on her face. Chris looked at Wyatt. Wyatt glared and said, "You tell them all to leave me alone little brother, or I'll do the same to all of them."
Chris couldn't speak as Wyatt left in a haze of black orbs. Chris said, "Mom?"
He slowly walked over to her and reached for her hand. He knelt down and held her hand as he said louder, "Mom!"
He looked up and yelled, "DAD!!"
Leo immediately orbed in. He rushed to Piper's side and held his hands over her to heal her. Nothing happened. He yelled, "NO!"
He tried again to heal her to no avail, and then looked over at Chris. Leo looked back at Piper and reached up to close her blank staring eyes. This time Chris was the one to yell, "NO! Mom! Please no!"
Leo pulled Chris into a crushing hug and held onto him while they both cried.
As Piper went in to check on Chris she could see him tossing and turning in his sleep. She heard him say "Mom." in a desperate voice.
She went over to him and put a hand on his forehead. She whispered said, "It's okay Chris. I'm here. You sleep now."
Chris rolled over and sighed. Piper patted his back and went to check on Wyatt. Piper ran into Leo in the hallway coming out of Wyatt's room. They smiled at each other and Piper went to Wyatt while Leo went to Chris. Leo sat in the armchair that was next to Chris' bed. He stayed up for three hours just watching his sleeping son. Eventually he fell asleep.
The next morning Chris woke up and looked around. The events of the night before came rushing back to him when he noticed that he was back in his room at the manor, and that Leo was asleep in the chair beside his bed. Chris shook his head and orbed back to the room at P3. He started pacing around the room thinking. He didn't know what the hell he was going to say to his parents. He was sure they would be coming for him in a few minutes, but he couldn't think of anything good to say. Two minutes after he had gotten there, Leo orbed in. Chris panicked and started to orb. Leo raised his voice and said, "Chris!"
Chris was startled into staying where he was. Leo said, "Running isn't going to help son, I can follow you wherever you go."
Chris knew this was true. He crossed his arms defensively and said, "What do you want Leo?"
Leo raised his eyebrows at that. "I want you to come home and talk to me and your mom."
"You know why Chris."
"Fine. I'm sorry I hit you. I was under the influence of the spider demon. It's not like you can't heal yourself."
Leo shook his head. "You were yourself in the end, and me being able to heal myself has nothing to do with the fact that you are so hurt and angry."
"You know what? Maybe this conversation would mean something to me if I was still a kid. As it is, you're too late. Could we please just get past it and concentrate on Wyatt. You're usually pretty good at that."
"I think it's time to concentrate on you."
"I know, why don't you write me a letter about it. While you do that, I'll do something important like look at the book of shadows and try to find out who is after Wyatt!"
Leo remembered that during the Genie incident Chris had told him that his father had often written him letters of apology, and that another one from him wasn't going to 'matter a whole hell of a lot.' Leo shook his head. "I don't think I'll be writing you any letters. I think it will be face to face from now on."
Chris rolled his eyes, not believing it in the least. "Tell you what, I'll go home and make nice with Mom if you'll go away. I'm sure the Elders need you more then we do here."
Leo shook his head. "I've already decided to stay. I won't be going away again until your mother and I have made sure that both you and Wyatt are safe."
"Jesus Leo! Do you really think I'm buying into this lode of garbage you're trying to sell me?" Chris made his voice slightly deeper as he mocked Leo; "I'll stick around this time. I won't put Wyatt first like I always have before. We'll be a happy family." Chris glared at Leo and went back to his normal voice when he said, "Get bent Dad."
Chris orbed away and Leo just stood there staring at the spot Chris had vacated a few seconds ago. Leo was a whitelighter, and whitelighters were pacifists by nature, but he was also a father. This time the father in him won out. He glared at the spot Chris had left and said, "I don't think so."
Leo closed his eyes and concentrated on finding his son. He found him at the entrance to the spider demon's cave. Leo orbed there. Chris was standing there looking at the entrance, but knew when Leo arrived behind him. He said, "Just leave me alone for a little while Leo. I'll come home in a few hours."
Leo held his hand out and closed his eyes. Some blue light came out of Chris' back and was absorbed into Leo's hand. Chris immediately felt it and spun around in time to see the last of the light going into Leo. He said, "What the hell did you just do to me?!"
Leo opened his eyes and gave Chris a sad look. "I think you know."
Chris did know, but couldn't believe it. He tired to orb, and then tried again. He knew that as an Elder, Leo had the power to revoke Chris' orbing abilities, but he never would have believed his father possible of actually doing it. When he found he couldn't orb, he glared at Leo and said with a deadly calm, "Put it back."
Leo said, "No. We're going home."
Chris started to say, 'No we're not!' But he was only able to get out, "No we
.." before Leo had taken the three steps to reach him. Leo grabbed his upper arm and orbed them home to the manor.
They arrived in the living room and Chris yanked his arm out of Leo's grasp. He said, "How dare you!"
Leo crossed his arms and said, "Sit down."
Chris yelled at the top of his lungs, "Screw you!"
Chris turned to leave the room and almost ran into Piper and Wyatt. Piper was standing there in her pajamas holding Wyatt, who was eating part of a banana. Both of them were looking at Chris with shock. Before anyone could say anything else, Wyatt's face crumbled and he started to cry.
Chris had grown somewhat attached to baby Wyatt over the past six months, even though he really hadn't intended to. It was so different to see Wyatt happy and so much smaller then him, that it was hard not to like him. Now Wyatt was crying because he had yelled, and Chris felt bad about it. Wyatt reached up to him, and Chris sighed and reached out for Wyatt. Piper handed him over. Chris patted Wyatt's back and said, "It's okay buddy. You're fine, I'm not mad at you."
Wyatt sniffed a few times and leaned his head on Chris. A few seconds later he sat up and noticed the banana that was still in his hand and took another bite. Piper said, "What is all the yelling about?"
Chris glared at Leo but said nothing. Leo said, "Chris didn't want to come home, and I made him."
Piper looked confused, "Made him?"
"I clipped his wings."
..you mean he can't orb? I didn't know you could do that."
Leo looked back at Chris and said again, "Sit down."
Chris wanted to yell and storm out, but found it difficult to do with Wyatt in his arms. He gave Leo his best 'I hate you' stare and went to sit on the couch. As soon as he sat, Wyatt squirmed down and toddled over to Leo. Leo picked him up and turned to Piper. "Is Phoebe here?"
"No, she already went to work."
At that point Paige was coming down the stairs and said, "Did I hear my name?"
Leo said, "Morning. Do you have any temp jobs today?"
"Would you mind getting Wyatt dressed and taking him to magic school for about an hour?"
Paige saw Chris sitting back against the couch with his arms crossed and obviously tense and pissed off. She nodded and said, "Sure, I'll take him."
Paige held out her hands to Wyatt and smiled. "Hey Wyatt, do you want to come with Aunt Paige to magic school today?"
Wyatt happily went to her, and she took him upstairs to get him dressed. Once they were out of the room, Piper went and sat down next to Chris on the couch. She put a hand on his knee and asked, "Why didn't you come home last night when I called you?"
Chris refused to look at her, and kept his eyes on the coffee table in front of the couch. "Because I wanted to be alone." Then he muttered, "As if what I want matters around here."
Leo crossed his arms again and said, "Let's try to have a talk without the sarcasm."
Piper tried to stay calm and kept her voice level as she said, "I know that in the future you are used to dealing with things on your own, but for now you don't have to. You live here with your family, and we all love you, so let us help."
"You can't help."
Piper was getting irritated with his stubborn refusal to open up to her. "Well if you won't talk to us, we probably won't be able to help."
Chris didn't say anything. Piper said, "Look at me Chris."
Chris glared over at her. She said, "Why were you punching your father even after you were back to normal last night?"
Chris looked away again. A few seconds later Piper prompted, "I expect an answer Chris."
He said with venom at the coffee table, "Because I hate him."
Leo felt like someone had punched him in the stomach. Piper said, "Why?"
"Lots of reasons, but you know I can't talk about them."
Piper shook her head. She reached over, grabbed Chris' chin, and forced him to look at her again. "You don't hate him. Maybe you hate who he becomes in your future, but you don't hate the man standing here right now. He hasn't done anything to make you hate him, and he doesn't deserve your anger."
Chris' glare turned to a look of uncertainty. His voice didn't hold much anger when he said, "But he's going to become that man."
Leo walked a couple of steps to the coffee table and sat in front of Chris and Piper. Chris looked over at Leo who said, "No Chris, I'm not. I'm committed to making a different future." He looked at Piper and said, "Both of us are."
Piper brought Chris' face around to look at her again and said, "And even if Leo does become that man, he isn't that man now. You need to get to know him and give him a chance to get to know you. And I truly believe if you open up to us, and let us know what went so wrong in the future, we will be able to make a new future for all of us."
Piper let go of Chris' chin. He looked at her with pleading eyes. "How can you keep defending him Mom? He's been gone for the past six months! He just left us. Why aren't you angry about that?"
Piper put a comforting hand on the side of his face when she said, "Because I know how hard it was for him to leave, and I know that he did it because he thought it was what was best for his family."
Chris had gotten pretty close to Piper over the past month. They both worried over each other, and he had quite a few new happy memories of spending time with her. He knew that she was right, and that what she was saying was true. He knew that the Leo in this time hadn't done anything to hurt him. But knowing that didn't make the feelings that were swirling around inside him go away or change. Chris stood up abruptly and backed away from both of his parents. He said with fresh anger, "Best for his family?! Are you blind! He LEFT us, even though he KNEW Wyatt was in danger! If he were any kind of REAL father he would have STAYED!!"
Chris turned and started to storm away. Piper glared at her son's back raised one of her hands and flicked it at his backside. Chris felt a surge of pain in his butt that felt something like a mild electric shock. He yelped and put both hands behind him to cover his butt as he spun around to look at his mother with disbelief.
Leo reached up and put his hand over Piper's and put it back down in her lap. His voice held disapproval as he said, "Piper."
Piper turned her glare to Leo, and once he saw the look, he held his tongue and let go of her hand. Piper pointed at Chris, glared and said, "Christopher Wyatt Halliwell, you get back here, sit down on this couch, and have a civil conversation with us right now."
Chris was so stunned he almost didn't believe it had happened. He knew his mom tended to have a short temper, and that it was worse with the pregnancy, but she had never used her powers on him. Chris thought, 'She may have yelled pretty often, and grounded me sometimes, but she certainly never used her powers on me
.or Wyatt. She never even spanked us. The only one who ever did that was Grandpa.'
Chris shook his head not needing to bring up that memory. He rubbed his butt once and knew that his mother really had done it, because it still stung. He dropped his hands to his sides and slowly walked back to the couch. He could feel his face getting bright red with embarrassment as the reality of what had happened came to him. He kept his face down and sat back down on the couch as far away from Piper as he could.
Piper said, "Thank you. Now Leo, why don't you explain why you left."
Leo looked back and forth between Chris and Piper, not really knowing what to think about this turn of events. After a few seconds of silence he looked at Chris' bent head and said, "I had more then one conversation with Gideon, and with some of the other Elders about my situation. They all seemed to be in agreement that my staying here while I was an Elder myself, was doing more harm then good to my family. They said that I was putting you all in danger by staying here, and that the best way I could help my family was to leave. Then after that darklighter specifically targeted me, and put Piper in danger too
.I believed them. Now I think they were wrong. I should have stayed. Of course it would have made it easier to make the correct decision if you had been honest with us up front Chris."
Chris looked up at Leo for the first time since sitting back down. He said, "But I couldn't."
Leo leaned forward and looked intently at Chris. "Yes you could have, and you should have. The minute you got here, you should have told us who you really were, instead of making up some story and sending me to Valhalla. That was you, wasn't it?"
Chris looked away and gave a slight nod. Leo continued, "Then over the next few months you spent all kinds of time and energy trying to manipulate all of us to get us to do what you thought needed to be done. It would have been so much easier to just tell us the truth. We could have all worked together as a family and probably gotten a lot more done. We might have already found out how Wyatt turns evil
..unless that was a lie too, and you already know what happens to him."
Chris looked back up with surprise and shook his head no. "I don't. I swear."
Leo nodded. "Okay, I believe you. But you have to be up front and honest with us from now on Chris. You can't hold out on us, or try to manipulate us to get your way. You have to tell us what's going on, and give us all the information you have, so that your mother and I can make the right choices for this family."
The room was silent for a second, and then Leo said, "Can you agree to do that Chris?"
Chris didn't know if he really could, but he gave a slight nod anyway. Leo smiled. "Good."
Piper smiled too and said, "So where do we go from here?"
Leo had been thinking about that. He said, "If you don't mind Piper, I'd like to stay here until we know both boys are safe."
"Of course. I think that's a good idea."
"And I think this next week Chris can spend his time with me."
Piper nodded and Chris yelled, "What?!"
Leo said, "For the next week you and I will spend pretty much all of our time together, like it or not. If you want to go investigate a demon, I'll go with you. If one of the sisters needs help, we'll go help them together. If one of my old charges needs help, you will come with me to help them. And while we're together, you can tell me everything you know about what happens to turn Wyatt evil, and you can list all the reasons you hate future me."
Chris shook his head and said, "No way."
Leo said with calm, "I wasn't asking you if you wanted to Chris, I was telling you what's going to happen."
Chris was incredulous and it showed in his voice, "So you're like grounding me or something? It's a little late in life for that don't you think?"
Leo said, "It's never too late to get close to your family."
Chris looked over at Piper and pleaded, "Mom?"
Piper leaned over and kissed Chris on the forehead. She agreed with Leo, and decided to change the subject. "You're still in the clothes you were wearing yesterday. Why don't you go take a shower and get changed, while I make us all some breakfast."
Piper stood up and went to the kitchen. Leo patted Chris on the knee and said, "It'll be good for us. You'll see."
Leo got up to follow Piper. Chris said, "Hey, what about orbing. Now that we've talked, are you going to put it back?"
Leo turned around and gave Chris a thoughtful look. He said, "If I do, will you promise to stay with me for the next week? No running off?"
Chris would have agreed to anything at that point, and said, "Yes."
Leo held his hand up, but before he closed his eyes he said, "You better not be lying about this, because I can and will take it away again if you break your promise."
Leo closed his eyes, and a blue light left his hand and went into Chris' chest. Chris felt it, and immediately orbed to his room. Leo was surprised by the sudden orb, and was worried that Chris had already tried to run off, until he sensed that Chris was up in his room. Leo knew he would have to monitor Chris' whereabouts for the next couple of days, and made sure that a little part of his focus was always on where Chris was. He went to the kitchen to help Piper.
Chris stood in his room thankful that he could orb again, but not quite believing what had happened. He was angry that his father had made this decision even though Chris had made it clear that he didn't agree. But Chris also felt a little bit of hope, even though he tried to deny it. For the first time since coming back in time, he actually believed that maybe the future he went back to really would be different.
He gathered up some clean clothes and went into the bathroom. He told himself along the way that it wasn't because his mom had told him to. It was because a shower sounded good. He turned on the water, and as he was undressing he realized his butt still kind of stung. He frowned as he got in the shower and let the hot water run over him. He had mixed feelings about what his mother had done. He knew that she loved him, and he didn't exactly think she had been wrong to do it, but he thought it was a little odd that she would choose to do it now that he was an adult. As he started to wash his hair, he couldn't help but think about the one and only spanking he had ever received in his twenty-two years.
Eight years ago
Three days after her death, the family held a funeral for Piper. It was just a small group of friends and family. After the service Leo, Paige, Phoebe, Chris, and Victor had all gone back to the manor. They all sat in silence staring at various flower arrangements, and platters of food that people had sent. Leo looked over at Chris, who looked so much like Piper, that he had to look away. Then he looked at Victor and said, "I need to ask you a favor Victor."
"I need you to watch Chris for a little while."
Everyone looked over at Leo. Leo said, "It's not safe for him to be around us right now, because we don't know if Wyatt is going to try and come after us next."
Chris thought he should protest, but he didn't. He hadn't cried at the funeral. In fact, he hadn't cried since the day Piper had been killed. He felt like he was walking around in a daze, and when he wasn't numb he was angry. Chris was angry with his father for not being able to heal his mom, angry with his mom for trying to stop Wyatt, and angry with himself for not doing more to stop Wyatt. But mostly he was angry with Wyatt for what he had done.
Victor shook his head and said, "But Chris needs to be with you now more then ever."
Leo looked away and said, "I
..I can't lose him too. With you, I know he'll be relatively safe. Wyatt doesn't see either of you as a threat. He won't go after you. He will be coming after his aunts and me. And the three of us need to find a way to stop him, and change him back. Something has turned him evil, and we need to find out what that is."
Chris mumbled, "Something a long time ago."
Leo had heard this before. He had never really believed Chris when Chris had come to him to tell him about the things Wyatt had done. He always assumed Chris was just trying to get attention. He walked over to Chris who was sitting on a chair. He knelt down in front of him and pulled him into a hug. He said, "I'm sorry I didn't listen to you Chris. All those years
.you tried to tell me, but I just didn't want to believe. I won't doubt you again, I promise."
Chris nodded and hugged Leo back, but he didn't really believe him. Leo looked over at Victor and said, "Please. Just for a while. I'm not sure how long it will take to help Wyatt."
Victor eventually nodded.
The first two weeks were strained for both Victor and Chris, but as they got through each day things became more routine for them. But even as he settled into his new living arrangement, Chris couldn't stop thinking about what Wyatt had done, and he couldn't forgive him the way his father wanted him to. Chris had nightmares about the day his mother died at least once a night, but by the second week he no longer yelled out and brought his Grandfather running in the middle of the night. He knew that Paige, Phoebe, and Leo were all trying to come up with a way to save Wyatt, but Chris didn't want him saved. Chris wanted revenge.
In his fourteen years, Chris had seen the real Wyatt even when his parents couldn't. He knew from experience that while Wyatt might play nice in front of his parents, the second they turned around Wyatt was hurting small animals for enjoyment, and finding new and inventive ways to hurt Chris. Chris knew the real Wyatt, and wanted him dead. But he also knew that Wyatt was ten times more powerful then he was.
Over the past two weeks, Chris had been formulating a plan. He knew he couldn't hope to fight Wyatt with magic, and he couldn't fight him with regular weapons because of his protective bubble. But as Chris had been waking up in the middle of the night lately, he had begun to wonder what would happen if he tried to kill Wyatt in his sleep.
Once that idea was in his head, it wouldn't go away, and two weeks after the funeral Chris decided to try it. He waited in bed until he heard Victor go to sleep. Fifteen minutes later he snuck down to the kitchen and grabbed a butcher knife. He thought about closing his eyes to try and sense Wyatt so he could orb to him, but he realized Wyatt would be able to sense him at the same time. So instead Chris just orbed to a place he had been before in the underworld while fighting demons with his parents. There was no one around, so he started to wander.
Soon he came across two female demons talking to each other. Chris hid the knife by sticking the blade down the side of his pants. The handle was sticking up out of the waste band of his jeans, but he covered it with his shirt. He walked up to the demons and said with a confidence he didn't feel, "Where's Wyatt?"
The taller of the girls was brunette, and the shorter was blond. Both were dressed in black leather, but very little of it. Both girls looked at each other, and then smiled at Chris wondering if he would make a good toy. The taller girl said, "Who?"
Chris rolled his eyes and said with irritation, "You know, the all powerful evil kid who's starting to unite the underworld as we speak."
The blond tilted her head to the side and said, "That blond kid?"
The taller girl said, "He was kind of cute, except that he killed Mick."
"He's still cute. Mick was an idiot. You're better off without him."
Chris said a little louder, "Where is he?"
The tall girl gave him a thoughtful look and said, "Who wants to know?"
Chris held up his hands and used his telekinesis to throw her against the wall of the cave as hard as he could. His powers were still forming, and that took a huge amount of effort for him, but he tried not to let it show. The girl yelled, "OW!" as she hit the ground. She got up holding her shoulder. Chris smiled at her and tried to look menacing as he said, "I'm his brother, and if you don't want to end up like Mick, you should tell me where he is. I've killed my share of demons, you wouldn't be my first."
The shorter girl said, "He's staying with a group of demons who are already following him. Last I saw, they were about two miles that direction."
She pointed and Chris nodded and headed that way. Half an hour later he was hiding behind a large boulder watching Wyatt interact with the demons. He hid there for three hours until Wyatt and his followers finally went to sleep. Chris waited another half an hour before getting up the nerve to come out from behind the rock.
He walked up to the cot Wyatt was sleeping in. He looked down at his brother and slipped the knife out of his pants. He held it with both hands, raised it up over his head, and then just stood there. He tried to make himself bring the knife down into the center of Wyatt's chest. He thought about his mom lying dead on the floor from Wyatt's hand. He thought about the various times that Wyatt had hurt him, both physically and mentally. But still he couldn't bring the knife down. About three minutes later in a very calm voice, and with his eyes still closed, Wyatt said, "What's stopping you little brother?"
Chris stepped back away from the cot and the knife clattered to the floor as he dropped it. Wyatt opened one eye and looked at Chris as he said, "Pussy."
Wyatt sat up and continued, "Not that it would have done you any good, but at least it would have shown that you had some balls if you'd tried to bring the knife down."
Chris started to shake with fear and anger. Wyatt smirked. "Did you really think I wouldn't be able to sense you the second you were in the underworld?"
Chris started to orb home, but Wyatt put his hand up and said, "No orbing."
Chris tried to orb anyway, but knew it was futile. One of the things that made Wyatt the most powerful witch around was that he didn't have to make rhymes. He just had to think something as he said it and it came true. Chris knew from experience the best thing to do was to keep his mouth shut.
Wyatt sighed and stood up. "I have enough to deal with right now. I'm trying to prove myself to the underworld so I can unite it. And I have to keep dealing with our Aunts and Dad. I don't need you in the mix too. The only reason I'm not killing you tonight is because I want to find a way to turn you. Imagine it Chris. With you on my side working with me, we could rule the underworld AND the topside too. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to rule both, with or without you, but it would be easier and faster to do with you. But then again maybe I'll just find a way to make you stick with me even though you're good. I've always enjoyed watching you squirm, and I would miss that if you were evil or gone."
Chris felt sick. He berated himself for not trying to kill his brother when he had the chance. Wyatt smiled, and a note of excitement came into his voice when he said, "Hey, I know! You wanna watch while I summon Aunt Phoebe and kill her?"
Chris got pale and shook his head no. He whispered, "Please no Wyatt. Please don't. I'll do anything you say, just don't."
Wyatt laughed loudly. "See, I would miss our little talks if you were gone."
Wyatt got serious again. "Well this was fun, but I need some sleep before tomorrow."
Wyatt advanced on Chris. Chris cringed and covered his head. Wyatt said, "A cringe just for me? You're so endearing Chris."
He grabbed Chris' upper arm in an overly hard grip and orbed them to their Grandfather's house. They arrived in the living room and Wyatt shoved Chris to the floor as hard as he could. Wyatt pointed to the couch and said, "Grandpa."
Victor awoke from a deep sleep to find himself on the couch. He was startled and got himself into a sitting position quickly. Wyatt flicked on the lights from across the room and watched as Chris winced and got himself up off the floor.
Wyatt gave Victor a smile and said, "Hi Grandpa. I've heard that you're looking after Chris for a while. Is that true?"
Victor's only thought was that he had to keep himself and Chris alive by agreeing to whatever Wyatt wanted. Victor nodded. Wyatt said sarcastically, "How nice." Then he looked over at Chris and said, "Little brother here attempted to kill me tonight."
Victor looked over at Chris with disbelief, and Chris kept his eyes on the floor, too ashamed to look up. Wyatt looked fondly at Chris and said, "You should have seen it Grandpa, it was cute,
but I really don't have time to deal with it right now, and it would be a shame to have to kill him before I have the chance to bring him over to my side. Can I count on you to keep him away from me for the next couple of years?"
Victor said with sincerity, "You have my word."
Wyatt nodded and started to orb. Then he stopped and said, "Oops. Almost forgot."
He held his hand up towards Chris and said, "No orbing for a month." He looked over at Victor and said, "Just to make things easier on all of us."
Wyatt orbed away. Victor let out the breath he didn't realize he was holding. The room was silent for a few seconds. Victor stood and walked over to Chris. Chris didn't look up, and Victor pulled him into a tight hug. Victor kept thinking that he had almost lost Chris so soon after loosing Piper. A few seconds into the hug, Victor let go and grabbed both of Chris' upper arms. Victor leaned down so they were eye to eye and he said, "Is it true Chris? Did you try to kill Wyatt tonight?"
Chris had tears in his eyes when he nodded. Victor's face held a grim expression as he sat down on the edge of the coffee table and pulled Chris over his lap. Chris had never been spanked, but he knew from the position what Victor planned to do. He yelled, "Grandpa no! Don't!"
In response Victor brought his hand down hard on the center of Chris' butt. Chris yelled, "Owwww!"
Victor put one hand on Chris' back to hold him in place, and continued to spank him with the other. During the next few swats Chris yelled, "Grandpa
.Oww! Owwww! I'm Sorry!!!"
Once Victor had gotten to ten, Chris' legs were kicking and he was squirming around trying to avoid the swats. Victor could hear that Chris was crying quietly. Victor gave him six more even harder swats where Chris' bottom and thighs met, so that he would be reminded of this the next day whenever he decided to sit down. By the end of that, Chris was crying loudly. Victor stopped as abruptly as he had started. He looked down at his grandson, and gently picked him up. He turned Chris and sat him on his lap so that his legs were off one side and his butt was off the other. Victor held him close and started rubbing soothing circles on his back while he waited for the tears to slow down. Chris hugged Victor back and leaned his head on his Grandfather's chest while he cried. They sat that way for quite a while. When the tears had mostly stopped Chris said, "I miss Mom."
That statement started new tears. Victor hugged him a little tighter and said, "I miss her too." as a few tears slid down his own face.
Victor knew that Chris needed to grieve for the loss of his mother, and thought it was a good thing that he was finally crying about it, instead of walking around like a little zombie. Victor again just let him cry and started rocking them both back and forth a little. Half an hour later Chris was asleep in his arms. Victor winced and his back complained when he picked Chris up and carried him over to the couch. Chris was so exhausted he didn't even wake up as Victor laid him down on his side. Victor went and got a blanket off Chris' bed, and covered him up.
The next morning Victor woke first, and got ready for the day. He decided to call in sick, and to keep Chris home from school. Once he had made those two phone calls, he went to the kitchen and made some coffee. He let Chris sleep in an hour before waking him up. Chris groaned as he woke up. He felt sore all over, and his head hurt. Then as he rolled over and sat up, he remembered last night. He looked up at his grandfather who was standing beside the couch, and his face got bright red as he thought about what had happened.
Victor affectionately ruffled Chris' hair and said, "Go get ready for the day, and I'll make us some breakfast."
Chris nodded, and was relieved to get away without having to talk about what had happened. Every once in a while as he was getting dressed and brushing his teeth, he would reach back and rub his butt. He was glad that the worst of the sting had gone away, but it was still sore, and he figured it probably would be all day. He couldn't believe his grandfather had spanked him, and he was very sure he didn't want to ever give him a reason to do it again.
He stalled a little while in the bathroom, not wanting to go down and face him, but he knew he would have to be in school soon, so he eventually went down. When he got downstairs he checked the clock on the wall and said, "Crap, I'm late."
He called out, "Grandpa, can you drive me to school? I'm late."
Victor came out of the kitchen and said, "I called in for you. We're both staying home today."
Victor motioned to him and said, "Come eat some breakfast."
Chris followed Victor into the kitchen and saw that he had made pancakes, which was Chris' favorite thing to eat for breakfast. Chris was a little tentative, but made his way over to the table. Victor had everything on the table already, and sat down. He watched out of the corner of his eye as Chris sat carefully and put one pancake on his plate. Victor ate some of his pancakes, and tried not to be obvious about watching Chris. Once Chris was done with the first one, he stole a look over at his grandfather thinking how odd it was that Victor seemed to be treating this like any other breakfast. Chris looked back at his plate and got two more pancakes. Victor finished off his and sipped his coffee until Chris was done. Once Chris pushed his plate away Victor said, "I think we need to talk about last night Chris."
Suddenly the food in Chris' stomach felt less satisfying. In fact it felt kind of like a big lump. Chris turned sad eyes to Victor and said, "I'm really sorry Grandpa."
Victor nodded and said, "I know you are, but I want to know what you're sorry for."
Chris squirmed a little and said, "For trying to kill Wyatt?"
Victor shook his head and said, "No Chris, I don't want you trying to guess what I want to hear. I want you to really think about it, and tell me why you're sorry. You won't be in trouble for your honesty."
Chris looked down and thought about it for a few minutes. He looked back up at Victor and said, "I'm sorry I couldn't kill him. I'm sorry I couldn't protect mom. I'm sorry he got you involved."
Victor nodded and thought about what Chris had said. "Do you know why I spanked you?"
Chris turned red and said, "Because I tried to kill him?"
Victor sighed and said; "Well that's part of it, but it's certainly not all of it. The first reason was that you snuck out of the house in the middle of the night. I have to know where you are all the time Chris, especially with Wyatt on the loose. So that was part of it."
Chris nodded and said, "Yeah, I'm sorry about that too."
"Then the second, and biggest reason was that you put yourself in danger. I am not about to lose you too. Your mother's death was a huge blow to this entire family, and I don't even have the words to explain how much worse it would be if you were gone too."
Chris shook his head and said, "I don't think Dad would notice."
Victor had to count to ten in his head before responding. "Why do you say that Chris?"
"He hasn't been back. It's been two weeks, and he hasn't even visited. Not once."
Victor could see Chris was close to tears. He reached over and put his hand over Chris'. "He sent you two letters."
Chris nodded, and then looked over at Victor. A tear did spill out of his eye when he said, "He didn't come last night. He had to sense that I was hurt and in pain. He didn't even show up."
Victor scooted his chair back and pulled Chris over to sit in his lap. Victor said, "I'm sure he had his reasons Chris. Maybe he knew what was going on, and he agreed with me."
Chris tried to stop crying, but it didn't work. He shook his head and said, "He just doesn't care."
Victor pushed Chris back just enough so that he could look in his face. He said, "That's not true Chris, but even if it were, I do care. I wouldn't want to keep going if I lost you too. No parent should have to outlive his or her child. I've outlived two of my children, and my wife. I couldn't take it if I lost you as well. So no matter what I have to do, I'm going to make sure you stay safe. Even if it means coming down hard on you when you do something dangerous. Do you understand me?"
Chris nodded, and Victor pulled him back into a hug. After a few minutes Victor could tell the crying was tapering off. He said quietly, "The last reason I spanked you, was that you tried to kill Wyatt. You know that Leo and your aunts are trying to find a way to save Wyatt, and I think you know that your mother would want them to try. If they find a way to save him, at least your mother's death won't be in vain."
Chris nodded in understanding. A few minutes later Chris sat up and looked at his Grandpa when he said, "Thanks."
Victor wiped the tears off Chris' face and smiled at him when he said, "What for?"
Chris shrugged and said, "For talking to me I guess."
Chris noticed the water was getting cold and got out of the shower. He quickly dried off and got dressed. He looked at himself in the mirror. He thought about spending the next week with Leo and said to himself, "You're screwed. But I guess if it eventually prevents Wyatt from going bad, it will all be worth it. And if things are different in the future with Mom and Dad
..that will just be an added bonus."
He took a deep breath and went downstairs. He found his parents in the kitchen setting the table. He sat down, and Piper brought over a plate of pancakes, which made Chris smile.
(Feedback makes me happy.)