A Beginning

Disclaimer: I don't own Chris or the concept of Charmed; they belong to Constance M. Burge and Spelling Entertainment. I don't own the concept of The Sentinel either; it belongs to Pet Fly Productions and Paramount. I do, however, own Lorelai.

Author's Note: In this world, Wyatt is good, and Chris is a photojournalist (much like his Aunt Prue). Plus, he never met Bianca. Chris's last name is Halliwell because I'm assuming Perry was a cover name.

Chris Halliwell was late. As he rushed past all of the props and confused stagehands backstage at the San Francisco Ballet, he cursed himself for not arriving earlier. This was his big break, his first real story for 415 Magazine, and he couldn't seem to follow a simple agenda.

Cutting the corner, Chris smacked headlong into someone and fell hard on the concrete. On instinct, he clutched the bag that held his camera, praying it wouldn't hit the ground. He lie there stunned for a minute before he attempted to sit upright. When he did, he groaned at the pain coming from his now tender backside.

"Hey, why don't you watch where you're going next time?" an irritated female voice said.

Chris looked straight ahead to see a pretty redhead slowly trying to sit up. She winced in pain, and at that moment, Chris wished he had inherited his dad's power to heal.

Standing up, he offered his hand to her. "I'm really sorry. I was running late and wasn't paying attention."

"I'll say," she huffed, but she took the offered hand anyway. Her blue eyes met his as she stood.

"Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?" Chris asked, still feeling badly.

"No, no, it's okay. I'd better go and change, or I'll be late for my entrance." With a quick smile, she made a move to walk by him. Chris, however, wasn't ready to let her go.

"You know, I have to take pictures of this rehearsal. Maybe afterwards, we could get something to eat?"

Her anger seemed to vanish as a slow smile spread across the redhead's face. "Are you asking me out?"

Chris shrugged. "Yeah, I guess I am."

"I'm sorry, I can't. My parents are in town, and I promised to have dinner with them," she explained, the smile disappearing.

'Rejected,' Chris thought, but he wasn't going to let that stop him. "Will you at least tell me your name?"

She narrowed her eyes. "Will you tell me yours?"

He quickly offered his hand. "Chris Halliwell."

"Lorelai Sandburg." She shook his hand. "Well, it was painful bumping into you, but I've really got to go." She turned around and headed for the dressing room.

"Maybe I'll bump into you in the neighborhood sometime!" He called, wincing as soon as the words were out of his mouth. 'Yeah, that was really intelligent, Halliwell,' he thought. Lorelai, however, had already disappeared down the hall.

Lorelai Sandburg. He was definitely going to have to talk to her again. With a goofy grin on his face, Chris readjusted the shoulder strap to his camera bag and headed off towards the stage.