The cursor on the blank word document was teasing her, Phoebe had decided. Her mind had seemingly been devoid of any helpful advice. It was too preoccupied with the latest debacle that involved their whitelighter and his latest confession.
"Pheebs?" called out Piper whose voice was echoing off the walls of the stairs leading up to the attic. Before Phoebe could call out an affirmative, Piper appeared. In her hands were mugs of tea. Phoebe took hers great fully and began to gulp down the warm substance. Piper slumped into the seat across from Phoebe. Her eyes finding her son in the entanglement of the blankets in the pack n go. Wyatt looked every bit the angel with his blonde hair and his rosy cheeks. Her son, Victor Patrick, took after his father with his dark hair and crystal blue eyes. The boys were born nearly two weeks apart, Victor on the twentieth of January and Wyatt on the second of February. Both born with immense power, but Victor's demonic half was bound moments after his birth as decreed by the Elders. For all purposes he was just a witch. A witch with more active powers than his mother or his aunts.
"Piper have you got any sleep since-
"It's not true." Piper vowed. Her eyes leaving Wyatt's sleeping face. She had that brazen glare upon her face. The warning one, the don't piss me off too much face. "He's half angel for Pete's sake." She continued. "if anyone's destined to be evil…," Piper trailed off guiltily.
Phoebe knew it was rational for her to say that. She'd been wondering about her son's future since Chris Perry arrived and told them he was here to save Wyatt from some unknown threat. Sometimes when she was alone at night she wondered if it were Victor that was the threat or maybe something had happened to Victor. Why wouldn't Victor have come to save his cousin? But hearing it from her sister, enraged her inner mama bear, "well, Chris said nothing about my son."
"I didn't mean it that way."
"You did." Phoebe retorted. She slammed shut the lid of her laptop and stalked towards her son. Victor stirred slightly as he was lifted out of his crib.
Piper watched as her sister carried her nephew down the attic stairs. She knew it wasn't right for her to voice that but the larger part of herself didn't care at the moment. She was too occupied with what Chris lied to them about. The whitelighter hadn't been seen in days. Not at the house or at the club, but he'd still been here. She'd find potion ingredients used or spells written on post-it notes in handwriting that didn't belong to her or her sisters. The need to question him further or blow him up only grew with each passing day. That was why she decided right then, to hoist her sleeping baby out of his travel cot and to her car.
The club was closed but when she approached the door she could hear voices from within its halls. She pressed her ear to the door. At first she could not make out any of the muffled noise but it soon grew to loud shouting. Shit. She shifted Wyatt to her hip, startling him awake as she burst into the door expecting her whitelighter to be engaged in some sort of fight but instead found Chris sitting at the bar with a man who was crudely cleaning Chris' shoulder wound with alcohol. Chris stood immediately when he caught sight of her descending the steps.
"What the hell Chris! Sit still!' barked the unknown man. Chris didn't answer him. Instead he'd gone pale. That's when Piper noticed all of the bloodied dish rags scattered around the floor of her club and when she saw all of the scars lining the torso of her whitelighter.
The other man whipped around to face her. He was tall with a head of curly brownish black curls and light eyes. There was something oddly familiar about him, but before her mind could process where she knew him from, Chris stumbled forward. The other man managed to catch him before he collapsed to the ground.
"A little help?" the man called out.
"Ah hello? Who the hell are you?"
"Ben," the man answered, "Ben Perry. You must be Pippa-
"Piper, are you Chris' brother?" Ben nodded. They both kind of looked alike.
"A huh. Can you help me please? The damn idiot's been hunting demon clans by himself."
Piper flicked her free wrist but found it had no affect upon Chris' alleged brother.
"You can question me all you want in a moment. Just help me,"
"If you're part whitelighter why don't you just heal him?"
Ben had shuffled the comatose whitelighter into his arms and was now dragging Chris towards his bedroom in the back. "What…makes…you…think I'm part whitelighter?"
"Chris is one."
"Oh, so you know that. Okay. But no, we're half-brothers. Share a witch mom."
That tidbit was new. Though Piper could've guessed that.
"Can you call your husband?" he begged Piper, "Leo? Please. Call Leo for him and I'm all yours."
Instead of giving him an answer she flicked her wrists about four times for good measure. It was odd to hear that familiar chime he hadn't heard in so long. But it did nothing. "Satisfied now?"
Seeing his Aunt looking so young and so pissed off was petrifying. Ben had never had that directed towards him, okay, maybe once or twice like when he dented her car with a baseball but this expression looked lethal. His cousin had been reluctant to divulge about his mission. Something about trust issues and the Order. All he knew was that they had no idea who he was and that he wasn't welcome back to the manor. His Aunt calculated it for a moment before she bellowed the Elder's name. Ben could scarcely remember the last time he saw Leo. Grandpa said he'd been at the funeral but Ben had been too drunk to remember any of that.
Leo glared at him when he appeared but Piper shooed it away and directed Leo to the sofa where the whitelighter lay. Chris came too moments later, his eyes still glossy as he stared up at the form of his parents. He opened his mouth to say something but Ben cut him off, "welcome back Chris!" And threw his shirt at him. Chris shoot upward and shrugged into his t-shirt. Ben was acutely aware that Chris was giving him the death glare, but Ben was focusing on Piper and Leo.
"So hi um, Wyatt." Piper said walking to the spare playpen they kept at the bar from when her sisters couldn't babysit and put her baby into it. The blond boy was falling asleep once more. "We need more from you and you."
"Who is he?" asked Leo.
"I'm Chris' half-brother. His witch half-brother." Ben interceded. He and Chris hadn't exactly discussed who was he supposed to be. He was already born. He couldn't just tell them his name was Victor or Patrick, they'd surmise his identity too quickly and Chris would've actually murdered him for that. Why Chris refused to tell them was beyond him. Future consequences be damned. The future was already damned anyways. And though Chris may hide behind his trying to not change as much as possible, thousands upon thousands of things would change. The thousands of people killed under Wyatt's regime would be alive. "But back to Wyatt, yeah he's evil personified. Chris wasn't lying about that."
Chris scowled at him. And for a moment Victor saw his little cousin and not the leader of the resistance. A resistance he'd spent the last years dodging. Many of them only wanted him there for his powers. To unbound his demonic half. The half he'd spent living in fear of for most of his life. His mom always made it a point to tell him that powers were neutral, that it was the user who determined whether they were benevolent or not. He never wanted to tempt it.
"The last person who came from the future tried to kill him." Leo uttered, "whose to say you're not here to do the same?" The concern in his tone surprised Victor.
"You mean Bianca?" he asked before he could stop himself. Would he appear shadier too know too much? "She's dead. Wyatt impaled her. Hung her body outside the manor for all other Phoenixes to see." He realized he said something wrong when all eyes in the room turned to him with mixes of shock and anger. Chris orbed out before anyone could say anything else. Victor watched as the last of his orbs disappeared.
"Did you not know that she was your brother's fiancé?" Piper retorted.
"Fiancé?" Victor repeated, "but she was. Never mind. And no I didn't know. I haven't spoken to Chris in about four years."
"Why?" Leo asked.
"Lets say the future isn't exactly the ideal environment to foster good familial relationships." His right hand had flown to the left and his finger ghosted over the lingering indent of his wedding ring. But he didn't let himself think of that time. "I'm sorry to cut this short but I think I should go find him."
"Another one?" Paige cried outraged the next morning as she sipped on coffee. She was only donned in a slip as she had just orbed in from Richard's. Piper was filling both her and Phoebe in on the appearance of Ben Perry. Paige had yet to comment on the frostiness between her sisters.
"He's a witch," Piper rallied off, "and Bianca's dead. Ben Perry has no tact."
As Piper finished speaking, witch orbs began to circle around at the end of the table forming into the man they were just discussing. He was wearing the same clothes as the night before, but was now wearing a worn Dodger's cap. He looked as if he hadn't gotten any sleep at all.
"Whoa, hey! You can't just appear here!" Piper shouted.
"Apologies. Next time I'll aim for the porch and I'll knock." He said distractedly as his eyes had found Phoebe. They paused for a second just too long for normal. He recovered after a moment faking a raspy cough, "have any of you seen Chris?"
"You didn't find him?" Paige questioned.
"No. He's purposely been playing orb and seek with me all night. Can one of you just call him? I don't know, feign worry in your voice?"
Piper frowned, "he's not really welcome here. And for the matter, neither are you. He's done nothing but lie-
"He-We are risking a whole hell of a lot to try and save your son. It'd be a lot more helpful if you helped us. I get it. Your son being akin to the next Source is very terrible, very sad news. But there's a chance we can save him," Ben pressed onward massaging at his temples, "we know something turns him before he turns two. How old is he now?"
"Almost one." Piper answered reluctantly. Whatever Future Boy number two was about to say, it was cut off by the sound of gurgling from within the walls.
"Shit." Was all Ben said.