Author's Notes: This has spoilers for the episode of Charmed called 'Charmed on Trial', which I kind of thought was a bad episode, so I made lots of changes while trying to keep the major events the same. Written August 2006
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, and I am not making any money from these stories.
Warning: Disciplinary spanking of an adult by a parent - dubious consent.
Home Again Chapter 3
Two weeks had passed since Leo had given Chris his orbing abilities back. Chris had been extremely careful not to lie to any of his family members over the past two weeks. He didn't consider keeping information to himself lying, but instead preferred to think of it as protecting them. Piper was living at magic school, and having a pretty good time there. Paige and Phoebe were taking care of things without Piper as much as possible, and Chris and Leo helped where they could. Chris and Leo continued hunting demons together as often as possible, and Chris found himself liking Leo more and more despite his past memories.
Leo, Chris, and Paige were all eating cold cereal for breakfast when a sleepy looking Phoebe stumbled in and poured herself a cup of coffee. The three at the table exchanged a look. Once Phoebe sat down and saw the table she said, "Cereal again?"
Paige sighed, "Feel free to cook yourself something else."
Chris snickered at that and mumbled, "As long as I don't have to eat it."
Phoebe glared over at him, but he just kept eating and ignored her. Paige looked to Phoebe and said, "What time did you get in last night? You look beat."
Phoebe squinted while thinking about it. "Two AM I think."
Paige smiled and said, "So it was a good date with Sean then?"
Phoebe shook her head and smiled, "Nope. I touched his shoulder when we ordered our drinks, and I had a premonition about him. He's not the one. So after dinner I went to P3 and checked the place out."
Chris said with distaste, "So you went trolling for guys in a club? That's kind of desperate."
Phoebe sat up straighter and set her coffee down. She glared at him and said, "Desperate? I'm not desperate, it's called a biological clock, and mine is ticking. I need to find my partner so that I can have kids. Ever since I saw them in my vision quest, I can't just sit by and wait for it to happen. I need to be proactive and work on it. And you know who I'll meet, when I'll meet him, and when I'll have kids. If you would just tell me, then I could relax a little and not be so anxious about it."
Chris glared back, "But you know it will happen, so why worry about who and when? Just let it happen. I'm not telling you, because if I do it could change the future, and then you might not end up with him. I've explained this more then once!"
"I can't just sit back and wait! I need to do something about it."
Chris looked at Leo and said, "A little help here please?"
Leo looked over at Phoebe and said, "Chris is right. Telling you could change the outcome of that relationship. And you've been working a little too hard on finding that special someone. It would probably happen faster if you just didn't try at all."
Phoebe held up her hand and gave them both a little 'go away' motion. "I'm not talking about it with you anymore."
Paige said, "Do you have another date tonight?"
Phoebe thought she had found someone who was on her side and smiled, "Yes. His name is, Jack and he has lots of potential. He's a doctor, and he's
Chris interrupted with a mean, "And he's not the one."
Leo said with disapproval, "Chris."
Phoebe glared and said, "Oh, so you'll tell me when it's not the right guy, but you won't give me any of the information I really want."
Chris mumbled, "Sorry. I shouldn't have said anything."
Phoebe took her coffee and stood up. "I'm going to get ready for work, and then I guess I have a date to cancel."
Chris glared at her as she was leaving the room and said, "Or you could just go out anyway and have a good time you know."
She was out of his sight now so he yelled out, "Or better yet help us hunt some demons, or help Mom with her research on who might want to hurt Wyatt!"
She yelled back, "I'm having a premonition that you're gonna get whacked in the back of the head if you don't shut up."
Chris rolled his eyes and gave her a dry, "Ha. Ha."
That evening Phoebe got home from work, and started getting ready for her date. Paige passed her in the hallway and said, "Are you staying for dinner?"
"No, I have a new date."
Paige said with disbelief, "Another one?"
"On line dating services are an amazing thing. I could date three guys a night if I timed it right."
Paige gave her a look of distaste, and Phoebe said, "It's not like I'm sleeping with them. I'm just meeting them. Jeez."
Phoebe suddenly put her hand up to her head as she had a vision. She saw a guy breaking into a pawn shop. Then she saw the same guy trying to sell a ring to a young woman. When the woman wouldn't buy, the guy's eyes turned a red color, and he yelled at her with an otherworldly voice right before he stabbed her in the stomach.
When the vision was gone she looked at Paige and said, "Looks like we have work to do before I can go."
Paige had seen Phoebe having visions often enough to know the signs and said, "What did you see?"
Phoebe told her, and Paige said, "Should we call Piper?"
Phoebe shook her head. "No. I've seen this kind of thing before. It's a phantasm. We'll need to get a wand from the attic, and we should be able to take care of it ourselves."
Paige nodded, and as they went to get the wand, Phoebe told Paige everything she knew about phantasms. "Phantasms can't be vanquished like normal demons. The can travel freely between this world and hell. So even if we vanquished them, they could just come right back. So we have to catch them and hold them in a special wand that the power of three put a spell on. They can't get out unless the wand gets broken. We have five in the wand so far. I don't know how many can get sucked into it, but once it's full, we'll have to make a new wand."
"So this wand, you guys made it with Prue?"
Phoebe nodded. They had made it to the attic, and she found the wand. They went back downstairs, and as they were about to head out the door, Phoebe said, "Actually let's call Darryl."
"Phantasms don't tend to go into people who are good. They infect people who are susceptible, because of their bad morals. So this guy would probably have robbed the pawn shop anyway. Darryl can arrest him once we get the phantasm out."
Paige nodded, and Phoebe called Darryl.
Paige and Phoebe met Darryl on the street that was next to the pawn shop from Phoebe's vision. Phoebe explained all she had seen to Darryl, and they all went into the ally. Darryl saw that the man was already there, and that he was trying to pick the lock of the pawn shop's front door. Darryl got out his gun and said, "Freeze, police."
The guy turned around, and gave a growling scream in Darryl's direction. The guy reached into the back of his pants and pulled out a gun. He shot at Darryl, but Darryl ducked in time. Darryl shot the guy twice in the chest, and the man fell. As soon as he was down, Paige held the wand out in front of her and said some words in Latin. A big green blob came out of the man, and floated in the air above him. The blob screamed and was then sucked into the wand that Paige was holding. Darryl reached down and put his hand on the man's neck to check for a pulse. There wasn't one.
Darryl took his cell phone out of his pocket and called for an ambulance, and then for backup. Paige said, "Are you gonna be okay Darryl? Are you going to get into trouble for this?"
He shook his head no and said, "You guys get out of here before anyone shows up. This is a cut and dry case of self defense. I'll be fine."
Phoebe smiled and said, "Good. I need to go hunt down the future father of my children anyway."
Darryl gave her an odd look as she turned to walk back to her car. Darryl looked at Paige who said, "Don't ask." and followed Phoebe.
As they got into the car Paige pointed at a car and said, "I don't remember that car being there when we got here. What if someone saw us?"
Phoebe started up the car and said, "Don't be ridiculous. There's no one else here. I need to get going, or I'm going to be late."
Paige shrugged trusting Phoebe to know what was best since she had been doing this a lot longer then Paige had.
As soon as they drove away a woman peeked up from where she had been hiding behind the dash of the car. She had long light brown hair, pale skin, and she was wearing a police badge. She had a look of shock mixed with fear on her face. After a few seconds of just sitting there breathing hard and letting the adrenaline pump through her veins, she held up a small video camera and played back what she had recorded. Even after seeing it a second and a third time, she couldn't believe what was there.
She looked over at the file that was sitting on the passenger seat. She picked it up and looked through it again. It was a file on Darryl, and all of the cases he had taken care of where suspects had gone missing or ended up dead. The woman said to herself, "Is that why your suspects go missing? Some kind of supernatural, magical stuff?"
She put the file down and watched the video one more time. She saw that backup for Darryl had arrived, and no one was paying attention to her car, but they probably would if she turned it on. She decided she needed a drink or maybe five. She quietly got out of her car and walked away from the scene and towards a bar she had seen three blocks away.
As she walked she tried to decide what to do with this information. Suddenly she had the feeling that something was behind her. She turned around but there was nothing there. She muttered to herself, "Stop being so jumpy."
She turned back around and was face to face with a green blob. Before she had a chance to even scream the phantasm enveloped her. A few seconds later the woman looked like herself again, but something else was in control of her body.
The woman walked with a purpose now, no longer headed towards a normal bar, but in search of a special bar. A few hours later she found the bar, and the demon she was looking for. She walked up to the demon and said, "Shorb?"
Shorb was slightly intoxicated and held up his drink in a solute to her as he noticed her badge, "Hello officer. I have no idea who Shorb is, but let me know if there is anything else I can help you with."
The woman looked annoyed and took off her badge. She stuck it in her pocket. Her eyes glowed red as she said, "I need you to do a job for me."
Shorb looked into her eyes and started to laugh. He said, "You possessed a cop? Talk about stupid. I'm staying as far away from you as I can get."
The woman leaned over so she could speak in his ear. "Barbas said I could count on your support. He said if you helped him, he would owe you."
Shorb put down his drink, and looked the woman in the eye. He said, "You talked to Barbas?"
"He's not happy in hell. If you resurrect him, he'll make sure you never run dry." she indicated his alcohol as she was talking.
Shorb thought about it for a few seconds. Then he waved at the bartender and said, "Coffee. Black."
The woman smiled and Shorb shook his head. "Don't be too happy yet. I might not be able to do it. I've never tried to resurrect someone as powerful as Barbas."
Three hours later Shorb finished his ritual, and Barbas appeared in the middle of the pentagram that Shorb had drawn on the floor. Barbas was dressed all in black. He looked around for a second, and when he realized it had worked, he got a huge grin on his face. He looked at Shorb and said, "Looks like I was right not to underestimate you friend."
Shorb gave Barbas a little nod of respect and said, "It was an honor."
Barbas soaked that up, and then turned towards the woman. He looked at her closely and said, "Glok?"
The woman nodded. Shorb wanted to impress Barbas and said, "The idiot possessed a cop."
Barbas nodded and said, "Good."
Shorb was surprised at that and shut up. Barbas said to the woman, "Who are you in?"
The woman said, "The human's name is Inspector Dianna Sheridan. She was sent to this city to look into the actions of Lieutenant Darryl Morris. She had just seen and videotaped Zlok getting sucked up into a wand by those bitches before I took her over."
"The Charmed ones got your brother?"
Sheridan nodded. Barbas thought about that for a few seconds. He said, "Well let's plan our revenge."
Just before daybreak Barbas appeared in Darryl's bedroom. He saw Darryl sleeping next to his wife. Barbas slunk up to the bed, and held his hand up in front of Darryl's head with his palm facing away from Darryl. Then Barbas looked at his own palm and whispered, "Your greatest fear is getting caught doing something illegal to help the Charmed Ones protect magic. You know it will be the last straw for your wife, and she will leave you and take the kids with her."
The next morning Paige came downstairs to find Phoebe in the kitchen cooking something, but Paige couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be. Paige said, "Is that supposed to be breakfast?" Chris came in and got himself some coffee and started to look in the refrigerator for food.
Phoebe said to Paige, "Nope it's a potion to try and boost my premonitions. Hopefully I'll only have to come within three feet of a guy to know if he's the one."
Chris shut the refrigerator door a little more forcefully then necessary and said, "You've got to be kidding me."
Phoebe glared. "I wasn't even talking to you buster."
"Haven't you learned anything about personal gain after all these years? It's bad enough you're using your premonitions to do your own version of speed dating, but now you're trying to make your premonitions stronger? I can't believe it!"
"I know what I'm doing, and you need to keep your nose out of my business. I don't really think I need to take advice from my nephew."
Chris' voice got louder, "In this time I'm only about six years younger then you Aunt Phoebe, so I think you should listen to me. Besides that I'm your Whitelighter, and it's my job to help guide all three of you in your Charmed duties. Now I'm telling you what you're doing is not only misguided, but it could be dangerous."
Phoebe glared, "I've been practicing magic for a long time now, and like I said I know what I'm doing."
Chris set his coffee down and crossed his arms. "Really? Let's add it up. You've been using your magic now for about six years right? And I've been at it for about twenty one years now. Are you really going to stand there and tell me I have nothing useful to say about what you're doing?"
Phoebe tossed in the last ingredient and, "It's done."
Chris yelled, "Are you even listening to me?!"
Phoebe scooped some of the potion up with a spoon, blew on it until it was cool, and swallowed it.
At that point Leo came into the room with a serious expression and said, "We have a problem."
Everyone looked over at him. He said, "I just got off the phone with Darryl's wife Sheila. Darryl's been arrested for murder."
Phoebe looked pale and said, "Oh my God."
Paige looked over at Leo and said, "We just saw him last night. He helped us with a case."
Leo nodded and said, "He told her about it, that's why she called."
Chris sneered at Phoebe and said, "Is personal gain sounding familiar about now?"
She glared at him and even pointed her finger at him as she said, "Don't you dare start bickering with me about that. Darryl is in trouble and this is serious."
Chris yelled, "I know it's serious! I'm being serious; you just won't take me seriously!"
Leo said, "Hey now, what's the problem here?"
Chris and Phoebe both started talking at once. Leo shook his head and held his hands up. He said, "One at a time please. Phoebe."
Chris crossed his arms irritated that she was going first. Phoebe said, "Chris is implying that Darryl being in jail is the result of me using my premonitions to try and find the father of my child."
Leo looked over at Chris. Chris said, "She just made a potion so that she doesn't even have to touch a guy to get a premonition off him, and swallowed some of it the second before you came into the room."
Leo looked at Phoebe with some disappointment and said, "How is this potion for the greater good exactly?"
Phoebe said, "Well
. This way I'll be able to find my soul mate that much sooner, and get back to concentrating on my work."
Leo looked unconvinced. "I don't think that pans out Phoebe. I would suggest you toss that potion down the sink and get started on finding out what happened with Darryl."
Phoebe thought about it for a second, and then pouted as she poured her potion down the sink. Chris yelled, "So you'll listen to him but not me when we tell you the exact same thing?"
Phoebe whacked Chris on the upper arm. Chris said, "Hey!" and put his hand up to cover the spot where she had hit him.
Phoebe just glared at him, and he said, "What was that for?"
"For being right. I hate it when you're right." Phoebe walked off towards the stairs and said to Paige, "Let me get dressed, and then you can orb us to the police station and we'll see if we can get in to see Darryl."
When she was out of earshot Paige said, "You know Chris, you might have been able to make her listen to you if you hadn't started out by attacking her the way you did."
"I didn't attack her!"
Paige nodded and said, "I think you kind of did."
"Just because I don't have the patience of a saint like Leo does, doesn't mean I wasn't right, or that she shouldn't listen to me."
Paige walked out of the kitchen without responding. Leo put a hand on Chris' shoulder in a comforting way and said, "Ever heard the phrase you can attract more flies with honey then vinegar?"
Chris gave Leo a half hearted glare and said, "Yes, about a million times. All of them from you in the future."
Leo smiled and said, "Do you think it will sink in after a million and one?"
Chris muttered, "I need more coffee." and walked over to retrieve his mug.
Phoebe and Paige went to the police station and asked to see their friend Darryl. They had been seen around the station enough that most people recognized them as Darryl's friends. They had to wait for a while, but eventually they got to go in and visit him. Right away Phoebe could tell that Darryl was more worried and even looked scared. He had his head in his hands and wouldn't even look up at them. Phoebe and Paige were standing behind the bars, and Phoebe said, "Darryl?"
He looked up at them and walked over to the bars so they could talk quietly. Paige asked, "What happened?"
"I found out today that I've been under surveillance for a while now. I also found out that Inspector Sheridan was actually sent here to investigate me."
Phoebe shook her head. "But why?"
Darryl hissed with anger, "Why? Why do you think Phoebe? Because of you three and the stuff I do to help you."
Paige said, "What murder are you being accused of?"
"The guy from last night."
"But that was self defense!"
Darryl shook his head. "It would have been, except that Sheridan got it all on video."
Phoebe put a hand to her mouth, and Paige turned to her and said, "The car."
Phoebe nodded. Paige turned to Darryl and said, "But the video should prove that it was self defense."
Darryl glared at her. "It would if it hadn't been altered. My lawyer got a copy and showed it to me. It shows me killing the guy in cold blood. You two aren't even in the video. It just has me shooting the guy. He isn't holding a gun or any weapon at all."
Phoebe said, "We'll find out who did this, and I promise you we'll fix it."
Paige said, "Magic got you into this, magic will get you out."
Darryl rolled his eyes and said, "Great. That's your answer to everything isn't it? More magic. My wife took the kids and left to go visit her mother this morning. She may never be back. She has begged me more then once to stop helping you guys. She kept telling me it would end up killing both my carrier and our marriage, but I was too stubborn to listen. Maybe you guys should just stay out of it."
Phoebe shook her head. "I'm sorry Darryl, but I'm not about to let you do time for a crime you didn't commit."
She turned to Paige and said, "Let's start with Inspector Sheridan. I'll touch her arm and get a premonition from her. See if she had something to do with the altered tape."
Paige nodded, and then said to Darryl, "We'll keep you updated."
Darryl just went back to his bunk and put his head back in his hands trying to quell his rising panic.
Paige and Phoebe found Inspector Sheridan easily. They asked her about Darryl, and Phoebe 'accidentally' touched her arm. Sheridan blew them off telling them she couldn't discuss the case with them, and to go home. As soon as they were outside Paige turned to Phoebe and said, "Well?"
Phoebe turned to her with wide eyes and said, "Nothing."
"What do you mean nothing?"
"I mean I got nothing from her. No premonition, no empathy feelings, just nothing."
Phoebe walked out into the street and 'bumped' into the first guy she saw. She apologized, and he steadied her with a hand on her arm to make sure she didn't fall. She said thanks, and then walked back to her sister. Paige said, "Well?"
Phoebe sounded a little scared and said, "Nothing."
They went around the side of the building to the ally, and Paige orbed them both home to the attic. Chris and Leo were looking in the book of shadows and discussing Wyatt as usual when they showed up. Phoebe looked ashamed of herself before they even started talking. Chris was impatient and said, "Well?"
Paige said, "We should probably go to magic school, so that we can talk to Piper at the same time. She's going to want to know."
All four of them orbed, and soon found Piper in the daycare area playing with Wyatt. She saw them, and told one of the teachers she would be back for Wyatt a little later. Soon they were all in Piper's room in the dormitory. Piper said, "This must be serious if all four of you are here at the same time."
Leo told her, "Darryl has been arrested for murder. Paige and Phoebe just got back from seeing him, and they thought you'd want to hear what they found out."
Paige said, "We found out that a woman detective named Sheridan was sent to this police station to investigate Darryl. They've been a little suspicious of him lately since his suspects tend to end up either dead or missing. I guess she was following him last night."
Leo asked, "What did you guys do last night?"
"We got rid of a phantasm, and we had Darryl there to arrest the guy that the phantasm was possessing. But the guy tried to shoot Darryl, so he shot back and killed the guy. I guess Inspector Sheridan got the whole thing on tape."
Chris yelled, "What? And you guys didn't even notice an innocent standing by taping the show?! You can't just go around using magic and not clean up after yourselves."
Phoebe yelled, "Oh please, you did the same thing! A few weeks ago you got video taped stealing money and orbing to do it!"
Chris turned pink and shut up. Leo stepped in and said calmly, "But that doesn't make what you did right Phoebe."
She looked away and nodded once. Paige said, "But that isn't even the real problem. The problem is that Darryl says the tape was altered. His lawyer let him see the tape, and he says in the tape he shoots the guy in cold blood. The guy isn't even holding a knife let alone a gun."
Chris looked at Leo and asked, "The Cleaners?"
Leo shook his head. "I doubt it. Darryl has protected magic more then once. I don't think they would do that to him."
Chris said, "I guess it doesn't really matter who did it, we can just do a spell to mess up the tape like Phoebe did for me, and then they won't have any evidence. Give Inspector Sheridan some white powder to forget, and they won't have a witness. The charges will be dropped."
Piper shook her head, "No it matters, because someone is trying to get to us through Darryl and hurting him to do it. We need to find out who or what is behind this."
Phoebe said, "That's not all."
Piper sighed and said, "Of course not. What else?"
Phoebe looked worried. "I couldn't get a premonition off of Sheridan. In fact, I couldn't get a premonition or any empathetic feelings from anyone in the station or on the street."
Piper looked surprised. "So I guess whoever did this to Darryl has also targeted you. Maybe a demon did a spell to block your powers."
Chris jumped in with, "Or it's because of your misuse of magic!"
Phoebe yelled, "What about your misuse of magic?!"
"My misuse of magic?! You don't see me using my magic as a dating service!"
"No, you just use it to manipulate us into getting your own way all the time!"
Everyone heard popping noises from Piper, and then heard a grunt of pain from Chris and a yelp from Phoebe. As soon as Chris had heard the noise, he had known what was coming, and didn't react too much, but as soon as he heard Phoebe yelp he stared at his mother with surprise.
Phoebe had both hands on her butt. She looked at Piper in utter shock. "Did you just swat me?"
Piper didn't look apologetic, and in fact looked angry still. She said, "I have had heartburn for three days straight now, baby Chris keeps kicking my bladder, my back is killing me, and this is interrupting my quiet time. You two need to knock it off."
Chris muttered, "Sorry."
Phoebe said, "I can't believe you just did that! How is that even possible, you can't freeze other witches, how can you use that power on us?"
Piper shrugged not knowing the answer.
Leo changed the subject. "You know Phoebe, Chris may have a point."
Phoebe was feeling ganged up on. "I doubt it."
Leo said, "Try to levitate."
Phoebe nodded and jumped into the air. She landed with a 'thud' on the floor hitting bottom first. She said, "Ow!"
Leo put his hand out for her and helped her stand up. Phoebe looked at him for some kind of explanation. He said, "You have been misusing your powers Phoebe. You've been using your premonitions for your own personal gain, and you even did a spell to try and boost your powers. If you misuse your powers enough, they'll go away."
Phoebe shook her head no, and Paige said, "Really?"
Leo nodded and said, "Yes. Magic itself knows when it is being misused, and it will reject the person using it."
Phoebe said, "What will I do? How can I get it back?"
"It will come back in time, probably in stages like it did the first time, and if you use it correctly you will gain back more."
Paige said, "What about the power of three?"
Leo thought about it for a second. "Phoebe is still a witch, so she should be able to do spells, and make potions."
Phoebe sighed, "Thank goodness for that."
Piper said, "You and Paige were getting rid of a phantasm right?"
Phoebe nodded. Piper continued, "If Sheridan taped it, she must have seen the phantasm. That has to be a big shock to most people, but you said you saw her at the police station today and she seemed fine?"
Paige said, "Yeah, she did."
Piper turned to Chris. "Don't phantasms usually travel in pairs?"
"Well maybe Sheridan has been possessed."
Leo sounded doubtful, "Phantasms don't usually go for high risk people like that. They would be much more likely to possess a drug dealer."
Chris said, "But they might if they had someone else telling them what to do. A demon who was higher up."
Piper nodded and said, "Okay, Chris you go use your underworld connections to go find out what you can about the phantasm we sucked into the wand, and about who may be pulling the strings. Leo, go with him."
Chris and Leo both orbed. Piper turned to Paige and Phoebe and said, "You two go back to the jail, and see if you can get close enough to the tape to do a spell and delete it."
Phoebe nodded and took Paige's hand. Paige said, "What are you going to do?"
"If you could bring me the book of shadows, I'll look through it and try to see if I can find out who would have the ability to alter the tape, and to have control over a couple of phantasms."
When Chris and Leo got to the underworld Chris said, "I can't believe Phoebe has misused her powers so much that they just went away. How did you deal with her when you were her Whitelighter?"
Leo smiled and said, "Phoebe is impulsive, but that has helped save the sisters more then once, so I like to see it as an asset."
Chris muttered, "You would." and headed off to start interrogating demons. Then he had another thought and said, "How is it not a misuse of power for Mom to swat me and Phoebe?"
Leo said, "Magic itself must see it as a valid use of power."
Chris shook his head and gave a sarcastic, "Just great."
They wandered the underworld for the next two hours looking for the demons Chris knew. He had many of them convinced he was a demon as well, and Leo had to keep hidden, because as Chris put it, Leo's good nature was 'sickeningly obvious'. Leo spent a lot of time blended into the wall invisible to most while keeping an eye on his son. Leo had been doing this for a while, and he was still surprised at how good Chris was at playing evil.
Chris was beginning to lose hope of getting any information about the phantasms when he finally caught a break. He had just gone into another of the bars in the underworld, when he saw Shorb sitting at the bar. Shorb was talking to a female demon loudly, but Chris had come in at the middle of the conversation. Shorb said, "The one and only. I'm telling you it was a beautiful thing. I had no idea I could resurrect someone so powerful, and the best part is that now he's in my debt."
The female looked properly impressed and said, "What's he like in person?"
Shorb took another drink of alcohol and said, "He's not much to look at. Kinda short and thin with bad teeth, and graying hair. But his looks don't matter. You can just feel the power coming off him."
The female sighed and said, "What are you going to ask him for to repay his debt to you?"
Shorb took another drink. "Nothing for now. Although he did promise to keep me in drinks, and so far he's been really good about that."
The female said, "Does he seem scary? I mean he is the demon of fear right?"
Chris felt the hair rise on the back of his neck. He had had dealings with Barbas before. In his future Wyatt had used Shorb to resurrect Barbas, and he had used him to go after the people he really didn't like.
Shorb shrugged and said, "Not really. I mean maybe he would be to an innocent, but not to me."
Chris walked up to Shorb and interrupted the conversation by saying, "Hey Shorb, remember me, or are you too wasted."
Shorb smiled and said, "Hello friend. Need another job? Seems my talents are in high demand lately. My prices have gone up."
Chris smiled back. "Sure I have another job for you, and money isn't an issue. But being sober is. How about some coffee?"
Shorb shooed him away and said, "I don't need to be sober to resurrect some little demon. If you want me to dry out, you'll have to wait a few days."
Chris turned to the girl and used his telekinesis to choke her with her own necklace. Her eyes got wide and her hands went to her throat to try and get the pressure off, but she couldn't loosen it. Chris smiled at her and said, "Leave us or I'll be inclined to kill you."
Her eyes were wide with panic, and she nodded as best she could. Chris turned his back on her, and as soon as she could breath again she ran away from them and out of the bar. Shorb looked disappointed and said, "That was just mean. She liked me."
Chris pulled on Shorb's arm and said, "Come on."
Shorb tried to fight back, but he could barley walk, so it wasn't too difficult for Chris to pull him along. He took him into the restroom and made sure there were no other demons around. Then he said, "Leo?"
Leo appeared in front of him. Shorb said, "Hey, what's with this guy? I thought you wanted me to do a job."
Chris ignored him and said to Leo, "Follow my orb."
Leo nodded. Chris orbed himself and Shorb to a tiny ledge on a cliff face in the underworld. Far below them was a lake of molten lava. Shorb saw the lake and hastily tried to step back, only to find he couldn't. He pressed his back up against the cliff wall, and looked to Chris in fear. He said, "What do you want with me witch?"
Chris and Leo were standing on the small ledge as well, but neither was all that worried about falling because they could orb if they did. Chris said, "Information."
Shorb said, "Buy an Encyclopedia."
"Tell me about Barbas."
Shorb thought for a second and then said, "Barbas is a fear demon. Well really the most powerful fear demon any one has ever come across. He was vanquished by the Charmed Ones some time ago. Everyone knows that, so why are you asking me?"
Chris flicked his hand at Shorb, and Shorb lurched forward about an inch. Shorb yelled in fear and pressed himself up against the wall again. Chris looked bored and said, "Tell me about Barbas, unless you think you're gonna enjoy the lakes of hell."
Shorb looked down again and said, "I resurrected him last night."
"Some possessed woman told me to do it."
"Yes, that's right. Said she had made friends with Barbas in hell, and that he would pay me quite well to resurrect him. I wasn't sure if I could, but I did."
"What did the woman look like?"
"She was white with long light brown hair. She was some kind of cop."
Chris and Leo exchanged a look. Chris said, "What's Barbas up to now that he's back?"
"How should I know?"
Chris flicked his hand again, and this time had to grab the back of Shorb's shirt before he fell off the ledge. Shorb screamed and said, "Please! I'll tell you anything you want to know, just please don't kill me."
Chris pulled him back to rest against the wall and said, "What is Barbas up to?"
Shorb was shaking and said, "He's getting back at the Charmed ones for vanquishing him, but he doesn't want to go after them directly since they won the last time that happened. So he's trying to hurt that cop that helps them."
Chris nodded and said in a more soothing voice, "Good. Now where can I find him?"
Shorb shook his head. Chris said, "How do you contact him then?"
Shorb said, "I don't. He has people check up on me and make sure I have what I need."
Chris nodded and looked over at Leo. He said, "Anything else?"
Leo shook his head no. Chris turned back around and flung his whole arm out towards Shorb. Shorb screamed as his entire body was flung away from the ledge, and out over the void between the cliff sides. Chris watched with a smile on his face as Shorb fell towards the swirling molten lava. Leo held out his hand and suddenly Shorb was orbed back to the ledge from his fall. Shorb was still screaming, and when he realized he wasn't falling he looked around with wild eyes. Chris turned to Leo with anger. "What the hell are you doing Leo?"
"What are you doing Chris?"
Chris glared at Leo and said, "You don't understand. This demon is going to be Wyatt's right hand man. He is going to bring back every last one of our worst enemies to work with Wyatt against us. I don't have that many demons that I actually want to kill, but this guy is one of them."
Shorb said, "Please don't! I don't know any Wyatt! You let me go last time, please show some mercy on me."
Chris yelled, "I let you go because I thought you might still be useful, and because I didn't realize you could already resurrect upper class demons!"
Chris flung his hand again and Shorb went over the ledge. Shorb screamed again, and Chris watched him fall to his death. Once the lava had swallowed Shorb, he yelled down, "Good luck resurrecting yourself!"
Chris turned back to Leo with a smile on his face. But his smile died when Leo gave him a look of sadness and pity. Leo put a hand on Chris' shoulder and said, "In our line of work killing demons is necessary, but it should never be fun Chris, no matter what the demon has done."
Chris couldn't stand the tone of voice or the look Leo was giving him that screamed disappointment. Chris was conflicted. It had felt good to kill Shorb, because he knew it was one more chink in Wyatt's evil future. But he could feel his face getting red with shame at the look his father was giving him. He mumbled, "We should get back to Mom and tell her about Barbas."
Leo nodded and they both orbed to magic school. They found Piper, Phoebe, Paige, and Wyatt in Piper's apartment in the dormitory. Before they could ask Phoebe said, "We couldn't get close to the tape. It's being tested for authenticity right now.
Piper saw Chris' face and said, "Is something wrong sweetie?"
Chris covered up what he was really thinking about and said, "We found out who is behind all of this."
Phoebe said, "Who?"
Leo said, "Barbas."
Phoebe shook her head. "That can't be right, we vanquished him for good. He's not coming back."
Chris said, "There is
was a demon named Shorb, who could resurrect demons that had been vanquished. He resurrected Barbas last night. Right before Darryl got arrested. Anyone want to guess what Darryl's greatest fear is?"
Piper said, "Getting arrested because of us."
Paige said, "Sheila left him and took the kids too. All of that added up together sounds like a nightmare to me."
Chris said, "I'm pretty sure Sheridan is being possessed by the other phantasm. Shorb said it was a female cop with white skin and long light brown hair."
Phoebe nodded. "That's her."
Chris said, "We need to orb over to the jail, get Darryl out, and bring him back here. He's in danger from both Barbas and Sheridan. Barbas could just show up in his cell anytime and kill him with his own fears, or Sheridan could shoot him or put him in with other prisoners."
Piper said, "I don't see how we can get him out without exposing magic."
Chris scoffed, "Who cares? Darryl has helped us more times than we can count, and now that he's in danger we need to protect him no matter what."
Leo shook his head. "Who cares Chris? Me, your mom, your aunts, the elders, the Cleaners, heck even some of the demons we fight against all care about exposing magic. And you need to care too."
Chris rolled his eyes. "I care about Darryl and getting him out before he ends up dead."
Piper said, "We all care about Darryl, that's not the issue. The issue is we don't want to get him into even more trouble. If he is discovered gone from his cell he'll be wanted for not only murder, but for trying to escape."
Chris crossed his arms and said, "Then what should we do Mom? Just sit back while Darryl gets killed?"
Piper gave him a glare and said, "Excuse me?"
Leo interrupted, "Hey, you need to tone it down Chris. We all want to help Darryl, but you need to have some patience and see if we can all come up with a better plan then just orbing in there and taking him. But since you're so worried about him, I'll monitor him with my mind while we're talking, so I'll know if he's in danger."
Chris gave a resigned sigh and said, "I'll just go after Barbas while you guys work on getting Darryl out. I can't vanquish him by myself, but I can hurt him, and make sure he doesn't have the energy to go after Darryl for a couple of days."
Piper said, "What? No! No way you're going after Barbas alone, or even with us. He's dangerous."
Chris shrugged, "He can't hurt me."
Piper shook her head in disbelief, "Of course he can Chris. He almost killed us the last time we were up against him."
Chris looked her in the eyes and said, "I've already lived through all of my worst fears in the future. There's nothing else he can show me."
Piper felt herself tear up at that. She believed he had lived through his worst fears. She couldn't stand the empty look in his eyes as he had said it.
Leo said, "No" firmly.
Chris looked over at Leo. Leo said, "You will not go after Barbas yourself. I don't care if you believe he can hurt you or not, I believe he can, and you're not going to do it."
Chris said, "Jesus Leo, I'm not five. I think I can handle myself. I'm telling you I can take care of it."
Leo shook his head and again said, "No."
Chris' temper came to a boiling point. He uncrossed his arms, jabbed a finger towards Leo, and yelled, "I'm sick of you telling me what to do!!"
Leo crossed his arms and said patiently, "I don't particularly care if you're sick of it, as long as you do what I tell you to do."
Chris just stood there with his mouth half open not knowing what to say to that.
Piper glared at Chris for a few seconds, and then turned to her sisters and said, "We need to get to that tape, and to Sheridan."
Paige said, "I've come up with a spell that should make the tape revert back to the original footage, and then it should go blank right after the guy gets shot."
Piper nodded and said, "Good, but we still have to get to it."
Leo said, "The three of you could go together, and Piper could freeze everything in the station long enough for you three to get to the tape, do the spell, and then get back out."
Piper smiled at him. "Great idea."
She turned back to her sisters and said, "What about Sheridan?"
Phoebe shook her head. "She's seen me and Paige, so she'll know something is fishy if we go to see her."
Phoebe looked over at Leo and said, "You and Chris should get the phantasm wand from the attic, and then once we're done with the tape, the two of you can go ask to see her at the police station. Tell her you have information about a crime, and tell her you want to talk to her alone. Then when you're alone in a room take the phantasm out, and help her forget what she originally saw with some of your white powder."
Leo nodded. "That's a good idea Phoebe."
Piper said, "Sounds like a plan. You and Chris go get the wand while the three of us go to the station. Then once we're done changing the tape we'll meet you back here, and the two of you can go get Sheridan. They won't be able to hold Darryl for long once they have no evidence or witnesses."
Everyone nodded in agreement except Chris. Piper said, "Chris?"
Chris was still pissed, but did think it was a good plan. He nodded once, but didn't look at anyone. Piper and Phoebe both took one of Paige's hands, and the three of them orbed.
The sisters appeared in the ally behind the police station. They made sure no one was around, and then walked around to the front. They walked in, and before anyone even noticed they were there, Piper froze time in the room. They walked past everyone and Piper said, 'Do you guys know where they're testing the tape?"
Phoebe shook her head no. Piper sighed and said, "I guess that means we'll have to search."
They walked to another room, and Piper froze that room while the room they had just left started back up again. They wandered this way for a few minutes, until they found the correct room. There were three people in the room, and they were all watching the tape. Paige got out a little scrap of paper that held the spell she had written. She and Phoebe read it together:
This tape will show
the truth of that night
while protecting magic
by keeping it out of sight
They waited a second for it to take effect, and then walked out of the police station the same way they had walked in, with Piper freezing rooms as they went. Once they were outside, they went back to the ally, and Paige orbed the three of them back to magic school. Chris and Leo already had the wand and were waiting for them. Leo asked, "How did it go?"
Piper smiled, "Very well. They should be seeing the original tape footage as we speak."
Chris put the wand in his pocket and said, "We'd better find Sheridan before she finds out it's been changed."
Phoebe said, "I need to get in to work, I'm really late as it is, but call me or come get me if there's anything else I need to do."
Paige said, "I need to go to work today too."
Piper waved them off and said, "We'll let you know if anything new happens."
Paige took Phoebe's hand and they orbed. Piper waved Leo and Chris off too and said, "Go get Sheridan."
Chris and Leo both orbed over to the police station, and walked through the front door. They went to the front desk and Chris said, "I'd like to speak with Detective Sheridan please."
The lady at the front said, "I'm sorry, Detective Sheridan isn't in today. Is there someone else who can help you?"
Chris didn't have to fake disappointment at this news. He shook his head no and asked, "Will she be back in tomorrow?"
"I'm not sure, she's out sick."
Chris and Leo walked a few feet away so they could talk privately. Chris said, "Phantasms don't get sick. I'm sure she's helping Barbas. We need to warn Darryl and let him know what's going on."
Leo nodded and said, "I'll stay and get in to see Darryl, it may take a while. You should go back and tell your mom what's going on. Maybe the two of you can come up with a plan to find her."
Chris nodded and walked out of the building. He knew the best way to find both Barbas and Sheridan, but he didn't think his parents would approve. But Leo would be busy in the jail for at least an hour, and Piper wasn't expecting them back right away, so he thought this would be his chance. Chris knew that both his parents would most likely find out what he was up to, and thought, 'I haven't lied about it, or manipulated them in any way, so they can't be too mad about it.'
Chris orbed to the attic in the manor, still thinking about his parents. He thought, 'And I'm not putting anyone in danger or hurting anyone either. Well
.. they may think I'm putting myself in danger, but I'm not, and I'll just have to prove that to them.'
He gathered up some supplies and did a quick spell. Once he was done he looked in the mirror and grimaced at his appearance. He orbed down to the underworld, and walked towards the first bar he saw with a purposely unsteady gait. He went straight to the bar and banged on the counter to get the bartenders attention.
The bartender yelled out, "I see you Shorb, keep your shirt on."
Chris waited, and a few seconds later the bartender brought him Shorb's regular. Chris nodded and said, "Put it on Barbas' tab."
The bartender rolled his eyes and said, "I know old man, you've told me twice today."
Chris took a drink and then said a little too loudly, "He's in my debt you know."
The bartender said, "Yeah, yeah." and walked off to help other customers.
Chris looked around the room for any young female demons. He saw two of them sitting together at a table a little ways off. He took his drink and stumbled over to them. He gave them an exaggerated smile and said, "Hello ladies, how would you like to hear the story of how I resurrected the greatest fear demon of all time?"
One said, "Yeah right."
The other one said, "Get out of here creep."
Chris looked offended. "You don't believe me? I can prove it!"
Chris turned around, spread his arms open and called out loudly, "Barbas! Barbas where are you?"
He waited a couple of seconds and the girls behind him both started laughing at him. Then he called out, "Glok! Hey you stupid little Phantasm, show yourself! Your boss is in my debt, and I want payment!"
The girls laughed some more, and Chris stumbled back to the bar, being careful to spill his drink on the floor as he went. He banged on the bar again and said, "Refill!"
He sat there waiting for about fifteen minutes hoping that it had worked while sipping the drink. He figured he would only have about another half an hour at most before he was noticed missing, and he really wanted his plan to work so that he could prove to his parents that he could take care of himself, and be a valuable part of the team. He was about to make another scene when Sheridan walked in. Chris tried not to smirk, as he mumbled incoherently into his drink.
Leo waited around for over half an hour before he was allowed to see Darryl. But as promised, Leo kept Darryl's wellbeing in the forefront of his mind to make sure nothing was wrong with him as he waited. He had confidence that Piper and Chris could come up with a good plan together for getting Sheridan.
He finally got in to see Darryl, and Darryl looked almost happy to see him. He said, "Hey Darryl, how are you holding up?"
Darryl went over to the bars so they could talk quietly and said, "Not so good Leo. Please tell me you have some good news for me."
"The good news is that the girls 'fixed' the tape so it will show what originally happened without showing the magic. So now the evidence against you is gone."
Darryl nodded and said, "That is good news, and if it works, they'll probably have forensics take a closer look at the crime scene and the man I shot. They should be able to find the bullet he shot at me, as well as powder residue on his hands from firing the shot."
Leo nodded. "And we haven't gotten to her yet, but we're working on Sheridan. We've figured out she was possessed by a phantasm. By the end of the day today, she will hopefully be back to her normal self, and I'm going to help her forget what she saw that night, so your eye witness will be gone too. I'm guessing you will be out of here in a day or two tops."
Darryl nodded wanting badly to believe that. He said, "Thanks man."
"Don't thank me yet, I haven't gotten to the bad news yet."
"Bad news? Maybe I don't want to hear it."
Leo sighed, "You're in danger. There's a demon named Barbas who is behind all of this, and he targeted you because you've helped out the sisters so often. He wanted to get back at them, but he knew he would loose if he attacked them directly."
"But I don't understand
. Is he the thing that possessed Sheridan?"
"No, but he is working with the phantasm. Barbas is a fear demon. He can see anyone's greatest fear, and then use that against them. He can literally scare people to death."
Darryl looked around at his cell and said, "Well he can't get me in here."
"Actually he can. He can orb in anytime he wants."
"But that would expose magic
..unless he messed with the security system"
Leo sighed, "I wouldn't put it past him. And we think he's already put your worst fears into action. Getting put in prison for protecting magic, and having Sheila take the kids and leave
It's all part of it. And if he wanted to kill you, he could show up here and make you see things that weren't really happening. He could show something like Sheila killing herself because she was so upset with you, and you would believe she was there dying in front of you."
Darryl shook his head not wanting to believe it. Leo said, "I've been monitoring you for the past hour or so, making sure that you're not overly upset."
"So that we can come rescue you if Barbas shows up and tries to kill you."
Darryl thought about it for a few seconds, and then started to shake his head. He said, "No."
"If this Barbas guy shows up, then I'll just have to deal with it on my own. I don't want you guys coming in here and having a magical showdown in my cell. Not only would that expose magic, but it would scare people."
"If he shows up, I could orb you to magic school where the sisters can protect you, or if you don't like that idea I could at least orb you to the manor to get you out of harms way."
Darryl looked upset and shook his head no. "Leo, you can't just come in here and orb me somewhere else. I'm a cop. I don't think you people understand what that means to me! I'm accused of murder. It will be detrimental to my case if I go missing, and they think I've escaped. I won't leave."
"But there won't be a case if you're dead."
Darryl looked Leo in the eyes and said, "I'd rather be dead then a criminal. I will not leave this cell until I'm cleared of the charges. If this is what I get for helping you guys and protecting magic over the years then so be it. I've always been uncomfortable with covering up what really happens with my cases, so maybe this is some kind of justice. But understand me here Leo, I'm not going anywhere with you no matter what."
Leo gave Darryl a short nod and said, "I'll respect your decision, but if Barbas comes in here to kill you, the sisters and I will most likely show up and vanquish him whether you want us to or not. We can't just sit by and let our friend die, especially a friend who has put himself on the line for us more then once."
Darryl gave him a nod as well. Leo said, "I've got to get back to Piper and Chris. I'm sure they're working on getting Sheridan. Do you have any tips for us on finding her?"
Darryl shook his head, "Sorry, I don't even know where she lives."
"Okay. I'll be monitoring you still, and one of us will let you know when we find her and get the phantasm out."
Darryl nodded and watched Leo walk away.
Sheridan walked up to Chris and hissed, "What do you want now Shorb?"
Chris pretended to just notice her and smiled. He looked over to the female demons and said, "I want you to tell them who you're working for, and I want you to tell them what I did."
Sheridan growled, and said, "You called me all the way over here for this? Barbas and I are busy. He is keeping you in drinks, and since you can apparently drink your weight in alcohol every day, I'd say he's more then repaid you. So why don't you go pass out somewhere and stop bothering us."
Chris glared and shook his head while sloshing his drink a little. "That isn't the way it's gonna work if Barbas wants me to resurrect someone else for him."
Sheridan's eyes got red with anger and she grabbed his arm. She pulled him into the bathroom so that she could threaten him in private. He stumbled and dropped his drink on the floor, but that didn't slow Sheridan down. Once they were in the bathroom Sheridan let Chris go and said, "Listen up buddy. You need to learn your place. You are a lower class demon with a drinking problem. Barbas is NOT at your beck and call. If you keep this up, you're going wish for death."
Chris nodded and said in a more normal voice, "Good threat. Probably would have worked too."
He took the wand out of his pocket and held it up in front of Sheridan. She screamed as the phantasm was ripped from her body and sucked into the wand. It only took a few seconds, and when it was done Sheridan fell to the floor unconscious. Chris leaned down over her and checked her pulse. It was strong. He put the wand away, and then reached into his other pocket to get some of the white powder that Whitelighters used to help innocents forget upsetting magical things. Chris sprinkled the right amount over her forehead and held a hand over her head for a few seconds while he muttered a spell. Then he checked her pulse again. He was about to pick her up and orb her out of the underworld when he heard a voice behind him.
"Shorb certainly wasn't smart enough or sober enough to get rid of my phantasm, so why don't you show yourself. I always like to know who I'm killing."
Chris didn't even have to turn around to recognize Barbas' voice. As he turned he flung his arm out and used his telekinesis to toss Barbas against the far wall. As soon as Barbas made contact with a loud 'thump', Chris used his magic to pick Barbas up again and fling him head first into the corner of the metal stall door.
But Barbas recovered quickly, and he orbed before his head made contact. He showed up behind Chris. He held out his hand to see who Chris really was, and to get his greatest fear, but Chris was too fast for him. Barbas went flying towards the porcelain sink. He hit it stomach first, and his head made contact with the mirror that was above the sink before falling to the ground with shards of mirror falling with him. Before Barbas had time to recover, Chris used his magic to pick up all the sharp shards of glass and jam them into various parts of Barbas' body all at the same time.
Barbas screamed and orbed. Chris expected him to orb away, but Barbas surprised him by orbing right behind him again, but even closer this time. Barbas grabbed Chris' shoulder, pulled the largest shard of mirror out of his stomach, and jammed it into Chris' back on the right side. Chris screamed and went down to his knees. His appearance changed, and Barbas looked at him in his true form. He smiled and said, "Nice try witch."
Chris grit his teeth and pulled the shard out of his back with another scream. While he was doing that, Barbas held his hand up next to Chris' face. Barbas looked at his hand and said, "Your greatest fear
was your reality."
Barbas took a closer look at Chris. Chris glared and tried to focus and gather his strength so he could fling Barbas again. Barbas gave him a nasty smile and said, "But not anymore."
Now Chris started to look a little worried. Barbas started pulling shards of the mirror out of himself as he was talking, and his wounds started scabbing up as soon as he pulled each shard out. Barbas said, "Now your greatest fear is failing in you mission and going back to that same reality. The reality where Mommy is dead, Daddy might as well be, and Brother Dearest only keeps you alive to torture you."
Barbas got control of Chris' mind, and soon Chris could see those things right in front of him. Piper was dead on the floor with a hole in her. His father was looking down at him from the sky with a bored look of indifference on his face. Wyatt was standing beside him smirking at the situation. Wyatt held up his hand and Chris started to choke. Wyatt said, "I can't believe you actually went back in time to try and change me little bother. You can't change history! Especially mine! You had to know you were going to fail before you even left. Not only did you not change things, but you ended up killing Bianca in the process. Nice work, by the way. I didn't tell you about that did I? I healed her and killed her again a few times. You know, just for fun."
Chris still couldn't breath, and he was starting to see stars. He almost welcomed death. The only reason he wanted to hold on was to smash the look of satisfaction off Wyatt's face, but he didn't get the chance.
Leo walked out of the police station and went to the side of the building. He looked around to make sure no one was there, and then orbed back to magic school. He found Piper in the library. She smiled at him and said, "How'd it go?"
"Okay I guess. Darryl says if his life is in danger he still doesn't want us to orb him out of there. He's really upset about the whole situation. I don't know how our relationship is going to work once he gets out, but I don't think it will be the same as it was before."
Piper was confused, "But
what about Sheridan? Where's Chris?"
Leo looked around the room and said, "He's with you."
"No, he was with you. You were supposed to see Sheridan and get the phantasm out of her."
Leo started to panic and concentrated on trying to sense Chris. He said, "I sent him back here as soon as we found out Sheridan was out sick. That was half an hour ago."
Piper's heart rate went up and she gave Leo a look of panic and worry. "You don't think he went after Barbas do you?"
Leo held out his hand to Piper and said urgently, "That's exactly what he did, and he's found him. Come on."
Piper put her hand in his, and they both orbed into a bathroom in the underworld. Barbas was standing over Chris. Chris had his hands on his throat, and his eyes rolled back in his head just as they arrived. Piper channeled all her rage at seeing Chris hurt, and flicked both her hands at Barbas. Barbas lost his control over Chris' mind as he felt pain shooting through him from the large gaping wound Piper had just put in his back. Barbas orbed away as quickly as possible, but Piper was able to give him one more wound on his upper right arm before he got away.
As soon as Barbas was out of the room, Chris collapsed on the floor and took some gasping breaths of air. Leo rushed over to Chris' side and knelt on the floor next to him. Chris looked up at Leo with confusion and said, "Dad?" before passing out.
Leo felt the word more then he heard it. His emotions were running high, as he held his hands above Chris' body to check for injuries. Piper kneeled down on the floor on the other side of Chris. Leo looked at Piper and said, "He's alive, but seriously wounded."
Piper heard someone at the door. The bartender opened the door and said, "If you and Shorb can't keep the noise down in
He stopped short when he saw what was going on, and called out to the demons in the other room, "Witches!"
Leo told Piper, "Touch Chris, and Sheridan too if you can."
Piper could see Sheridan lying on the floor about a foot away. She was just able to touch both Chris and Sheridan at the same time before Leo orbed the four of them back to magic school. The second they were gone, a fireball landed in the middle of the bathroom floor. Some of the demons growled in disappointment that the witches had gotten away.
As soon as Leo saw that all four of them had made it to magic school he held his hands over Chris to sense exactly where his injuries were. He said to Piper, "Check Sheridan."
Piper checked for a pulse and breathing. She said, "Her vitals seem normal, and she has some white powder on her forehead."
Leo nodded and said, "Chris has a stab wound in his back."
Chris had been lying on his back, and Leo turned him to his side. He held his hand over the wound, and some blue light came out of Leo's hand for the next few minutes while he healed Chris. Once it was fully healed Leo ran his hands over Chris a second time and said, "I can't sense any other injuries, but he's not waking up."
Piper kneeled down next to Chris and put a hand on his forehead. She said, "Chris honey, can you hear me?"
She got no response. She looked at Leo and said, "Maybe it's a residual effect from the fear? Maybe his body needs some time to sleep and recover?"
Leo said, "We'll give him a couple of hours, and if he's not awake by then, we'll have to try something else."
Piper realized they were already in her apartment at magic school and said, "The floor doesn't look very comfortable. Why don't you orb Chris into my bed, and Sheridan can go on the couch."
Leo waved his hand twice, to orb them both. Leo went to Sheridan and held a hand over her. He said, "The phantasm is out, and Chris has already made her forget what she saw. We shouldn't let her wake up here though. I'll orb her to a hospital a few towns away. When she wakes up she won't know how she got there, and she'll have lost a few days of memory."
Piper nodded and said, "I'll sit with Chris until you get back."
Chris opened his eyes and looked around the room confused. He thought, 'Where am I?
Mom's bedroom at magic school? How did I get here?'
He sat up and looked around, trying to remember. Once he remembered, he reached around to find the wound in his back, but there was nothing there. Then he had a fleeting memory of Leo being there. Chris wondered how long he had been out, and where everyone was. Then he heard voices coming from the living room.
Leo said, "She's awake now, and complaining loudly about being held overnight in the hospital for observation. She has a couple of cops taking her statement, but there's not much to take down, because she doesn't remember anything. Chris did a good job with the white powder. He's probably used it before, because it's difficult to know exactly how much to use."
Phoebe said, "So magic is protected, but what about Darryl?"
Leo said, "I called him from a pay phone and told him Sheridan didn't remember anything. He thinks the charges on him should be dropped in a day or two at the most."
Paige asked, "What about Barbas?"
Leo said, "I'm still monitoring Darryl to make sure he's calm. If he has any sudden attacks of fear, I'll know."
Piper said, "Do you think Barbas will go after Darryl?"
Leo said, "I'm not really sure."
They heard a knock on the door to Piper's apartment. Leo answered it and saw Gideon standing there with Wyatt in his arms. Gideon said, "It's lunch time at the daycare, and they told me Piper usually picks him up before then, so I thought I would check on you."
Leo took Wyatt from Gideon and said to Wyatt, "Hey buddy. Did you have a good time playing this morning?"
Wyatt gave him a smile. Leo looked over at Gideon and said, "Come on in. Thanks for bringing Wyatt home."
"Of course, any time."
Phoebe said, "Hey Gideon, did you hear about Barbas?"
Gideon came in and sat on the couch. He said, "Yes, Piper informed me of the situation this morning. What has happened since we last talked?"
Piper said, "Sheridan is back to normal with some slight memory loss. All the evidence the police had on Darryl has been eliminated. Barbas is injured, and he knows that we know he's back. The three of us will make a vanquish for him tonight, and we'll all carry some of it with us until we know he's gone. The vanquish won't actually send him back to hell unless the three of us are there to do a spell on him at the same time, but it should hurt him and make him stop whatever he's doing at the time."
Gideon nodded and said, "Good. I think that's the best you can do."
Phoebe asked, "Do you think Barbas will still try to get to Darryl?"
Gideon thought about it for a few seconds. Then he shook his head and said, "I doubt it. Now that he's injured and he knows you are aware of his presence, he'll stay hidden for a while. He doesn't want to go back to hell, and he knows if he goes up against you three he'll end up back there. I doubt you'll hear from him again for quite some time."
Chris spoke up from the doorway of Piper's bedroom, "We should go after him now, while he's still weak and vanquish his ass. We can't give him time to build his powers back up and make new alliances in the underworld."
Everyone had turned to see Chris as soon as he started talking. Leo was the first to react. He set Wyatt down, walked over to Chris, and pulled him into a hug. Wyatt walked over to Phoebe and sat in her lap. Chris was a little uncomfortable with Leo's hug since everyone was staring at them. He didn't hug back, but he didn't try to get away either. A few seconds later Leo held his hands over Chris' chest, and checked for injuries again. Chris saw what he was doing and said, "I'm fine Leo. Thanks for healing me earlier."
Leo's eyes snapped up to meet Chris' eyes. Chris took a small step back at the amount of anger in that look. Piper had gotten up and was now beside Leo. She put her hands on her hips and said, "What were you thinking going after Barbas alone young man?!"
Chris took another small step back and said, "Well
Leo turned back to the rest of the room and said, "If you could all excuse us, I think Piper and I would like to speak with Chris in private."
Chris' eyes got a little wider at that pronouncement. He felt like orbing away, but he knew there was no where he could go that Leo couldn't follow. He also knew that Leo would take his orbing away again if it came down to that.
Phoebe didn't need her empathy or her premonitions to know that the impending confrontation was going to be unpleasant. She said, "I should really head back to the office, since I was late to work in the first place."
Paige made a show of looking at the time and said, "Has it been half an hour already? Yeah, I have to get back too."
Phoebe said, "I'm glad you're not hurt Chris. See you tonight."
Paige gave him a sympathetic look and said, "Same goes for me."
Phoebe gave Wyatt a kiss on the head, put him down, and held out her hand for Paige, and Paige orbed them both away. Gideon stood and said, "Yes
I suppose I should get back to work too."
Leo said, "Thanks for bringing Wyatt back Gideon, and as always your opinions are both welcome and respected."
Gideon gave him a little nod and made a hasty retreat. Wyatt toddled over to Piper and put his arms up to be picked up. Piper picked him up and then glared at Chris. "You'd better start explaining mister. I want to know what you did from the time you left your dad at the police station until we showed up just in time to keep Barbas from killing you."
Chris decided he needed to get his parents to see his side of things pretty quickly since they both seemed a bit angrier then he had been expecting. He looked back and forth between them and said, "Leo suggested that I come back here and tell you what was going on, but I already knew the best way to find Sheridan and Barbas, so I
Leo interrupted, "What do you mean I suggested you go back? I told you to go back and you agreed."
Chris shook his head, "No you said I should go back and tell mom, and I agreed with you that I should."
Leo shook his head, "You know very well that it wasn't a suggestion Chris."
Chris lied, "I thought it was."
Leo grabbed Chris' arm and turned him to the side. He gave him four hard swats and said, "Don't lie, you're in enough trouble already."
Chris didn't like where this was headed. He pulled his arm away from Leo, and Leo let him. Chris said, "Okay fine Leo, you're right I knew what you meant, but last time I checked, I was an adult and working on my own as a whitelighter, which means I don't have to follow any orders you might give me."
Leo crossed his arms. "Okay Chris, if you want to look at it that way, then I'm an Elder which makes me your boss, and you do have to follow my orders. And if you don't follow my directions, I can take you up to the council of Elders, and we can see if they think you should have your wings clipped permanently."
Chris was shaking his head no. Leo said, "So now you don't want to look at it that way anymore?"
Chris looked away. "No."
"Then we'll look at it as a family. Like it or not, I am your father, and I'm always going to have your best interest in mind when I tell you to do something. I also have more experience in fighting demons then you. I've been helping witches fight demons for over sixty years now, so I know my demons pretty well. I told you Barbas was dangerous, and I told you not to go after him. You claimed to understand me at the time, so what happened between then and now?"
"I didn't technically go after Barbas, I was looking for Sheridan."
"But you knew Barbas would be close by."
Chris couldn't deny that. Instead he said, "I've been up against Barbas before. One time when I pissed Wyatt off, he sent Barbas after me to teach me a lesson. But when Barbas looked at my worst fears he saw that I was already living them, and there was nothing else he could show me. He tried beating me up physically because no one wants to fail in a mission Wyatt gives, but I send him home to Wyatt half broken. I probably could have killed him, but Shorb would have just resurrected him. So I truly believed that Barbas couldn't hurt me."
Leo shook his head. "It doesn't matter if you thought Barbas could hurt you, because I told you he could."
Chris tried not to sound whiny as he said, "But I wasn't after Barbas."
Piper could see that argument wasn't going anywhere and said, "Okay so you weren't after Barbas, you were after Sheridan. How did you find her?"
"As soon as I left the police station, I went home and did a spell to make myself look like Shorb. Then I went to the underworld, went to the same places he would go, and made a scene while making disparaging remarks about Barbas. I knew Barbas would be having Shorb watched, so I knew this would attract his attention, but probably wouldn't be enough to send him running himself. He would send one of his flunkies. And sure enough a little while later Sheridan showed up. I got her alone in the bathroom and took the phantasm out. I put the white powder on her, did the spell, and I was about to orb her back here when Barbas just showed up."
Leo said, "But if he hadn't shown up, you wouldn't have gone after him by yourself?"
Chris shook his head no. Chris told himself it wasn't really a lie, but he couldn't keep eye contact as he shook his head. He wouldn't have gone after Barbas right then, because he had to take care of Sheridan. He didn't think Leo needed to know that he had planned to go after Barbas later that night when everyone was asleep.
Leo shook his head not believing Chris. He asked, "Barbas showed you something that scared you. What was it?"
Chris muttered to the floor, "Going back to the same future I left. Failing to keep Wyatt from turning evil."
Piper took the couple of steps that separated them and pulled Chris into a one armed hug with Wyatt still in her other arm. She said, "It's already changed Chris, some bad things may still happen in your future, but it won't be exactly the same. It can't be now that we all know about Wyatt and are going to try and stop it."
Wyatt squirmed a little and pushed on both Chris and Piper. He said, "Eee, eee."
Piper let go of Chris and said to Wyatt, "I know you're hungry sweetie. We'll go get something to eat in just a few seconds."
Leo sighed, turned to Piper, and said, "Go ahead and get Wyatt some lunch down at the cafeteria, and if you could bring some back for me and Chris when you're done, that would be nice. I'm afraid I'm going to have to spank Chris."
Piper gave him a sad look but nodded in agreement.
Chris took a big step back and his voice was slightly higher then usual when he said, "What?! No! Look L
Dad, I know that you're not very happy with me right now, but I don't think this calls for a
. for that. I didn't lie, and I didn't manipulate anyone. I didn't steal anything. I didn't intentionally put anyone in danger. You're over reacting. Why don't we all go down and have some lunch together, and you can have some time to think about it."
Leo was a little surprised at the 'Dad' but knew it was more manipulation then anything else. He shook his head no. "I'm sorry Chris, but both your mother and I told you not to go after Barbas alone."
Leo saw Chris start to protest, and he held up a hand to stop him. "I know, you already told me you weren't going after him, but you knew there was a strong possibility you would run into him by going after Sheridan. You'd be dead if we had shown up a few minutes later, so don't tell me you didn't intentionally put yourself in danger. I'm not going to change my mind about this."
Chris crossed his arms and said with a sneer and false bravery, "So basically you're going to punish me for saving Darryl and Sheridan, protecting magic, and hurting one of our worst enemies. I took some calculated risks with my life, but in the end they paid off. I'm an adult Dad, and you need to back off. This whole father act you've been doing to try and make up for the mistakes you're going to make in the future is getting old."
Leo looked over at Piper and Wyatt. Piper understood the look, and started walking towards the front door. She said, "We'll bring you both back some lunch."
Chris yelled after her, "Fine! Take his side. Like you've never put yourself in danger to protect others!"
Piper paused with her hand on the door. She turned around to face him and said, "You're right Chris, I have put myself in danger before, but not when there were other options available, and certainly not behind my family's back."
She went out and closed the door behind her and Wyatt. Once they were gone Leo reached for Chris' arm, but Chris orbed. Leo stood there for a second, too surprised to react. Leo didn't understand what Chris thought he was doing. He sensed him on top of the Golden Gate Bridge, and he orbed after him.
Chris had panicked, and orbed before really thinking much about it. Leo showed up on the bridge a second later and said with irritation, "What are you doing?"
Chris shook his head not knowing and orbed to the manor. Leo took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down before following Chris this time. Four minutes later he followed Chris home and found him pacing around the kitchen. Leo could have easily taken Chris' orbing away, but he didn't. He could tell that the time he had taken to calm himself down had given Chris a chance to think about what he was doing, and to realize how futile it was.
Leo stayed where he was and asked, "Are you afraid of me Chris?"
A few emotions flickered across his face, and then Chris looked Leo in the eyes and said, "No."
"Then stop running from me. You know I can follow you, and you know I can take your orbing away. You're just delaying the inevitable."
Leo walked over to the kitchen table and pulled one of the chairs away from it. He put it in the middle of the kitchen floor and sat down. He looked over at a wide-eyed Chris and said, "I'm done chasing you, come here."
Chris shook his head no. Leo leaned forward, put his elbows on his knees, and laced his fingers together. He said, "Since the first day I found out I was your father, I've seen you differently. I don't see you as a fellow Whitelighter, I don't see you as the person responsible for advising and helping the sisters, and I don't see you as a young adult who's finding his way in the world. I only can see you as my son. My son Chris. I love you, and I can't just turn that off. Maybe you're right, maybe I can't see you as an adult, because in my time you're not even born yet. Maybe I am being ridiculously overprotective. Maybe after hearing about all the things that happen to you in the future I'm overcompensating. But I can't stop, and frankly I don't even want to."
"I want you to feel like you're loved, because you are. I want you to feel like you're a part of the family, because you are. I want to make up for all the times I wasn't there for you, by being around more then you need me to be. I could write you a hundred letters telling you I loved you, I could give you a hundred lectures telling you to stay out of dangerous situations, but I doubt that would teach you even half of what this spanking is going to. This is going to be an immediate, up close and personal lesson about not putting yourself in danger simply because I told you not to, and because I love you too much to sit back and do nothing about it when you don't listen to me."
As Chris listened to Leo's speech he found himself closer and closer to tears, and before it was over, tears had spilled down his face. He couldn't say which emotion had caused them. Joy at hearing his father cared and loved him. Relief upon hearing that his father saw he was being overprotective, and a strange kind of trepidation mixed with relief upon hearing that he wasn't going to stop being that way. Acceptance that his place in the family was even more secure in this time then it was in his own. And finally shame at having gone behind his father's back to get to Sheridan and Barbas.
Leo saw the tears and said quietly, "So come here."
Chris found himself moving towards Leo even while his head was shaking no. Once Chris was at his side, Leo said, "Good. Thank you. Now drop your pants."
Chris wiped at his face with the back of his hand, and sniffed loudly before reaching down and unbuttoning and unzipping his khaki pants. They fell to the floor as soon as he let go. Leo reached up and took Chris' hand and helped guide him over his lap. Chris held himself up with both hands on the floor on one side, and his feet touched the floor on the other. There was no getting comfortable in this position, so he just stayed where he was, ridged, tense, anxious, and wishing he were somewhere else.
Leo was pleased with the attitude change, and hoped they had had some kind of breakthrough in their relationship. He knew Chris hated every second of this, and didn't want to draw it out any longer then necessary. He put his arm around Chris' waist, pulled him up tight against his stomach, and brought his hand down in the center of Chris' butt on top of his boxers. Chris let out a little grunt at the first swat, but then tried to stay quiet.
Leo was spanking with deliberately slow and heavy swats, and Chris could feel his whole body jarring with each one. He wasn't able to take very many without squirming. By the time Leo got to twenty, little noises of pain were escaping from Chris' throat. Leo stopped to pull the boxers down.
As soon as Chris felt Leo's fingers in the waistband of his boxers he decided he had had enough. "No Dad! I'm sorry, okay?"
Leo thought that was a much more sincere 'Dad', which made him happy, even though the situation was unpleasant. But it didn't stop him from pulling the boxers all the way down to Chris' knees and saying, "Sorry for what?"
Chris hung his head and said, "I'm sorry I went behind your back to get Sheridan."
Leo made a non committal sound in his throat and started spanking again. He put a little less force behind the swats, but went at a much faster pace. Chris yelled out a loud, "Nooooooo!" and started struggling to get up.
For the next few seconds Leo had to work on keeping Chris in place while also keeping up the rapid-fire swats. Chris was amazed at the immediate intensity of the pain. He had started out struggling in protest of the spanking continuing, but soon his struggles were less deliberate and more in reaction to the pain. Scattered thoughts ran through Chris' mind. 'I can't believe I walked over to him for this! Damn it hurts. He has to be done soon, it fucking hurts! If he doesn't stop soon I'm gonna
.. Shit, I'm gonna cry.'
Chris yelled out, "I said I was sorry! What more do you want?!"
Leo couldn't get rid of the image of Chris laying on the bathroom floor close to death with Barbas standing over him. He kept spanking and said, "I want to make sure it doesn't happen again."
"It won't! I swear it won't Dad! Leo, please! Please stop!"
Chris knew he couldn't take anymore without crying, and his squirming and kicking wasn't getting him away from the pain, so he put his hand back to cover as much of his butt as he could reach. Leo used his right hand to keep spanking, but moved the swats to Chris' upper thighs. Then at the same time he used his left hand to capture Chris' wrist, and pulled the hand away that was coving Chris' butt. Once the hand was out of the way, Leo went back to spanking Chris on his butt, which was a deep and painful looking red.
When Chris felt the smacks on his thighs his whole body jerked and the tears started, and then when the swats went back to his rear, he gave up on trying to hold the tears back. Chris' struggles all but stopped as all of his energy was put into crying. Leo both heard and saw that Chris was crying, and gave him a few more swats before stopping all together.
Once it was done, Leo let go of Chris' wrist, and rubbed his back for a second to let Chris catch his breath. Chris kept one hand on the floor and used the other to cover his face while he cried. Leo leaned over and pulled Chris' boxers back up. After they were in place, Leo put a hand on Chris' arm and pulled on him to stand up. Chris got up immediately, and once he was on his feet, he bent down to grab his pants from around his ankles and put them back on.
Leo stood as well, and put the chair away. He went back to Chris, who was wiping at his face with his hands and trying to stop crying, and pulled him into a crushing hug. Leo said, "When I came back from the police station and realized you were gone
.. I knew what you had done before I even tried to sense you, and I was scared. Scared that you'd be dead before we could get to you, and we almost didn't get to you in time."
Leo put his hands on Chris' shoulders and pushed him away slightly so he could look into his eyes. He said, "The next time I tell you not to do something because it's too dangerous, you'd better listen to me. Do you hear me?"
Chris almost had his crying under control before Leo started talking, but now he felt fresh tears sliding down his face. He nodded that he understood and was able to get out, "I'm sorry."
Leo pulled him back into a hug and said, "I know, and I forgive you."
After a few more seconds Leo said, "It's gonna be okay Chris. I know you were trying to do the right thing, but you went about it the wrong way. We could have carried out the exact same plan together. I could have gone with you to get Sheridan while staying out of sight like usual. Then I could have been down there with you when Barbas attacked, and he wouldn't have been able to get to your mind with both of us working against him."
Leo kept on holding Chris, and once his crying was a little more under control Chris said, "But I didn't think you would let me do it, so I had to try it myself."
Leo let him go again and put a hand on the side of his face. "No you didn't. If I had said no, then we would have come up with a different plan. You have to learn to work as part of a team. You're not on your own anymore."
Chris thought about that for a few seconds, and the words 'Not on your own anymore.' circled around his head. Chris gave Leo a little nod to show that had heard him. Leo said, "We need to get back to Piper's apartment. She should be back with some lunch for us any minute."
Chris and Leo orbed together. Once there, Leo said, "Why don't you go clean up Chris."
Chris walked into the bathroom and washed his face. He looked at himself in the mirror and asked, "Do you even know how to not be alone?"
Chris could remember having his whole family together, but even then he was somewhat of an outsider, because he was the only one who had known Wyatt was evil. He remembered being with his grandfather from age fourteen until eighteen, and that was the closest thing he could come to. He shook his head and said, "Probably about as well as you know how to stay out of trouble with your parents."
Chris dried off his face and hands, and then rubbed at his butt for a few long minutes before going out. The sharp sting was starting to dissipate, but he was left with a sore burning sensation, that was awful.
He walked out of the bathroom and found that Piper had just arrived. She had a sleeping Wyatt in one arm, and a sack filled with their lunch in the other. Leo and Chris both rushed to unburden her. Leo took Wyatt and put him down in his crib for a nap, and Chris got the sack of food and started to put things out on the coffee table. As he was doing that Piper put a hand on his shoulder. She said, "Chris?"
He made eye contact for a second and looked away embarrassed and said, "Yeah Mom?"
"How are you doing?"
Chris shrugged. He didn't want to get emotional again, so he kept getting stuff out of the bag and said, "I'll live."
Piper had seen his red rimmed eyes, and knew he had been crying. She put a hand on his arm to stop his movements. Once he stopped she hugged him and said, "I'm glad to hear it, because that was kind of the point of the whole thing now wasn't it."
Chris hugged back, but also rolled his eyes. "I know. I get it, and I'm sorry okay?"
Piper let go and gave him a look. She said, "You don't sound very sorry."
Chris looked down at the table and said, "I am, but
Piper rubbed his arm to let him know she was listening. "But what?"
"But the whole situation frustrates me too. It hurt, and it's really hard to feel like an adult when you guys keep busting my ass for doing my job, just because I don't do it the way you think it should be done. I did save Sheridan from the phantasm. I did protect magic by making her forget. I did help Darryl get clear of the charges. But all you guys can see is that I got hurt doing it."
Piper nodded in sympathy and said, "You're right Chris, it's really hard for both me and Leo to see past you getting hurt. And you're right that in a lot of ways you saved the day with Darryl and Sheridan. But maybe if you'd put a little more effort into finding ways to work with us instead of behind us or around us, you would find that we would all be less frustrated."
He gave her a nod while thinking about what she said. Leo came out and said, "What's for lunch?"
Chris said, "Sandwiches and chips."
Leo looked at Piper and said, "Thanks for bringing us lunch."
"Any time. Can I sit with you guys?"
Chris said, "Go ahead, I'll sit down here." and got down on his knees in front of the coffee table leaving a spot for Piper to sit on the couch.
Both Piper and Leo pretended not to remember that all three of them had fit on the couch plenty of times before. Chris pulled the last of the stuff out of the bag and as he handed a napkin to Leo he said, "Here Dad."
Leo stared at Chris for a few seconds not sure if he had heard him correctly or not, because it had seemed so casual. Leo looked over at Piper who was smiling at him with love and happiness. Chris hadn't really thought about it before saying it, but once he saw Leo's reaction he realized what he had said. He waited a few seconds and then said with impatience, "Well do you want it or not?"
Leo took the napkin and said, "Thanks son." hoping that Chris understood the underlying message.
Chris did, but didn't want to admit it, so instead he said, "So when are we all going to go after Barbas? Now that he's hurt is the best time you know."
Piper shook her head, and said, "Can we please give it a rest during lunch?"
Chris nodded and started eating.
The rest of the afternoon Chris helped Piper make a vanquish for Barbas at the manor, that would be completed once Paige and Phoebe came home to help do the spell over it. But Chris was worn out, and fell asleep on the couch before either one of his aunts came home from work. Leo orbed Chris to bed and spent most of his night playing with Wyatt while Piper told her sisters an abbreviated version of what had happened.
The next morning at breakfast, things were fairly quiet. Both Paige and Phoebe congratulated Chris on getting Sheridan to safety, and it made him feel a little better, even though he wasn't sitting comfortably. When they were almost done eating there was a knock on the door. Chris jumped out of his seat and said, "I'll get it."
Phoebe snickered and muttered, 'Yeah, I'll bet."
Chris glared at her for laughing at him and said, "Why don't you just tell us who it is Aunt Phoebe. How about a premonition?"
She lost her smile and glared at him. Leo sighed and said, "It's too early for this guys, give it a rest."
Leo got up and got the door. It was Darryl. Leo smiled and gave Darryl a hug as he said, "I take it I'm looking at a free man."
Darryl didn't smile as Leo let him go. He gave him a nod and said, "I have a message for you. All of you."
Paige and Phoebe had come over to the door along with Chris. Darryl said, "I won't help you anymore."
Phoebe said, "Darryl
Darryl shook his head. "No Phoebe. This has been a wake up call for me. From this day on it's by the book. I've promised Sheila, and myself. I know that you are good people, and I know that you are trying to do what's right, and that's why I came in person to tell you. The next time I find out one of you has done something less then legal, I won't just look the other way. The next time you call me for help
. Well just don't. I have to focus on my life right now. I'm already under investigation for the things that have happened over the past few years, and I'm not going to make it worse."
He looked at each of them and said, "You have fair warning."
Darryl turned to leave and Leo called after him, "Darryl."
But Darryl didn't turn around. Leo closed the door and looked at everyone. He said, "That's not good."
Leo and Chris went to magic school to tell Piper the news about Darryl as soon as breakfast was over. They found her talking to Gideon about her favorite subject Wyatt and how smart and powerful he was. Once they had told her, she didn't really feel like talking anymore, and took Wyatt with her to her room where she planned to call Sheila to try and repair the damage.
Once Piper was gone, Chris brought up Barbas again to Gideon. He said, "Please tell my dad that you agree with me Gideon. We should go after Barbas now while he's hurt, and before he has time to make alliances in the underworld."
Gideon shook his head. "Sorry Chris, but I don't agree. He's not a threat right now, and there's no reason to go putting yourselves in danger by going after him."
Leo gave Chris a look and Chris sighed and said, "Okay, fine."
Leo nodded once and said, "Come on Chris, let's go find someone else to go after today."
Leo and Chris orbed home to the manor. As soon as Gideon was alone Barbas showed up behind him. Gideon looked startled and said, "What are you doing here? This is a sacred place of good magic."
Barbas held up his hand to Gideon's face and then looked at his palm. He said, "I was wondering why you were defending me, but I see it now. Don't worry. I won't tell them you're the one who's really after Wyatt and turns him evil. I agree with you in fact. Make him evil or kill the little monster, just get him out of everyone's way. Let me know if you need help. I have a debt to repay."
Barbas orbed away, and Gideon sighed with relief.
(Feedback makes me happy.)
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