Disclaimer: I do not own Charmed or its characters.
Author's Note: I discovered this chapter resting in my hard drive and realized it had never gone and should have. I hope you all enjoy it. :-)
"Where is my brother?" Wyatt coldly asked his staff. He watched, nearly amused as the demons hustled to pinpoint the location of his wayward sibling. Despite his penchant for blowing up his staff he never lacked for employees, or slaves rather, simply because every demon in the world knew that it was better to work for him than to be his target.
"Westside Clinic, Your Highness," someone stated respectfully.
Wyatt nodded, noticing the way they tensed—waiting to see his reaction… and if they would survive it.
Slowly he walked over to the window of the abandoned warehouse they'd commandeered for their visit. It had a glamour spell on the outside… while inside he'd conjured everything needed for the comfort he was used to.
His brother was at a clinic, he mused wonderingly. How… unexpected… of course Chris had already stated that he'd find an antidote, it's just Wyatt had expected him to seek a magical solution, not a mortal one.
He should have known though, since childhood Chris had always gravitated towards medicine—to their father's delight—and he'd been good at it too. Ironically though, it had been Wyatt who had inherited their father's ability to heal. Chris however, was a healer by nature and reveled in the ability to make someone well.
Now his little brother was turning that desire to heal full force onto their little cousin, and Wyatt knew he'd have to intervene before, through sheer stubbornness, Chris found an antidote to the poison.
He did, of course, plan on giving his cousin the antidote found in the Grimore—just as soon as Chris and Polly were back where they belonged. He wasn't too worried about the effects of the potion on his cousin; after all he had watered it down. He knew it was causing her discomfort, but then again if she hadn't decided to betray him, to choose Chris over him, none of this would be happening.
She had basically forced his hand; he'd had no choice…
The quiet word came from the depth of his conscience and startled him enough that he hesitated for an instant as he turned. Quick flashes of his mother's angry eyes and his aunt's furious gestures flooded his eyes… the words, no excuse, filtering into his mind.
He shoved the words and the emotions that came with them away…
"Leave me," he commanded of his staff, and watched as they immediately left. Slowly Wyatt began to pace around the room. He did his best thinking alone, when he didn't have to put on an act…
No, a whispered voice interrupted him; you do your best thinking when you're with your brother…
Again he jerked to a stop; trying to put a lid on the words that were invading his mind. Words that told him he was wrong, that he'd done something bad… evil even… words that came from a place inside him where he just couldn't forget the old evil versus good morass…
Polly's eyes flashed through his mind; the fear in them when she'd found him towering over her this morning, the fury when she'd accused him of murder, the sadness when he'd left her alone in her room.
He'd known at dinner that she was up to something. He hadn't been able to sense her as acutely as usual… but he'd ignored it. He'd had to. Logic told him that if he suspected his cousin of treason he'd have to act accordingly—have her arrested and questioned.
And he hadn't wanted to… he hadn't wanted to put her through anything more…
It was laughable really… considering he'd ended up poisoning her.
But it was the only way, he told himself yet again, the only way to get them both back.
And he would get them both back.
There was no other option.
Chris and Polly's trip to the past had to end. It set an unacceptable precedent for the younger children in the family.
If Chris and Polly could do it, why not them?
The image of his cousins, one by one, abandoning the world he'd created set off tiny bursts of panic in him.
He didn't pause to contemplate why; it didn't matter. Chris and Polly didn't belong here, and he would see them home – no matter what.
With a determined smirk he decided to he'd join his brother at the clinic.
A moment later he simultaneously froze the building and appeared behind his baby brother. He studied the glamour spell his brother had cast before speaking.
"You'll never find it," he said tauntingly, "There's only one antidote, and I have it."
Chris whirled around, nearly dropping the vial in his hand. He met his brother's gaze head on and scowled angrily in his direction, "This is a new low Wyatt, even for you." He hissed.
The older man shrugged carelessly, raking his gaze over his brother's appearance, before meeting the angry green eyes with his crystal blue ones, "So you do know how to use magic for personal gain..."
The green eyes flashed, "This isn't-"
"Isn't it? Do you normally look like a thirty year old technician with red hair?"
"This is for Polly," Chris said firmly, meeting his brother's gaze, "You know... our baby cousin... the one you poisoned."
Wyatt's gaze never wavered, "You've given me no other choice. You will come home with me Chris."
"Or Polly dies... is that?" Chris growled, taking a step forward, "Is that how far you're willing to take this? To let her die?"
"That won't happen... you won't let it happen, will you Chris..."
It wasn't a question.
Both men knew it was the truth. Chris wouldn't let it happen— in that sense, Wyatt had already won.
"I'll find another way." He spit out. Then looked around angrily, "And unfreeze these people..."
Wyatt looked around calmly, "They're fine."
"If someone comes in-"
"I'll freeze them too." Wyatt retorted.
Chris glared at him, but didn't pursue the topic further, "Unless you plan to attack me right here and now— which you obviously don't since you would have done it by now if you did... could you leave. I have work to do."
"You're wasting your time, and Polly's health..."
"And you're an ass!" Chris hissed at him, "This isn't a game! This is her life you're gambling with!"
"No Chris. It's her life you're gambling with. She's in no condition to resist me. If I orb in there and take her she can't stop me..."
"-the sisters-" Chris interrupted.
Wyatt waved a hand dismissively, "Their powers are no where near mine right now."
"You wouldn't dare hurt them!" Chris roared.
"I'd encase them in a bubble." Wyatt stated simply, "I could take her," Wyatt continued smugly.
"She doesn't want to go." Chris argued, "I'd fight you." he said firmly.
"You'd lose." Wyatt countered, his eyes twinkling with devilry. Both brothers knew it was true. "If I just wanted Polly. I could take her. But the issue here is you. You've fought me long enough. You've been here long enough."
"Miss me, huh?" Chris asked sardonically, but his gaze was anything but amused. Wyatt's little visit was costing him time. Time Polly didn't have.
"You do not belong here and with each day you stay you endanger our world."
"Your world, don't you mean!? Isn't that the issue? The idea that I could be right! That there is something wrong with you and I could fix it, could make you different, could-"
"-could ruin everything I've created!!" Wyatt's words reverberated around the room, the fury in them shaking the walls.
Chris, however, was used to his brother's anger, "What you've created is an abomination!!"
"It was for you!!! For you and the girls! And Mattie! A world where you can practice magic openly-"
"A world where all there is, is magic!! Nothing else is acceptable!! And don't you dare bring the girls and Mattie into this— they have no idea what you've done!!"
"I've kept them safe!"
"You've destroyed the world they remember!" Chris roared.
Wyatt opened his mouth to yell back but seemed to realize suddenly what he was doing.
He never argued.
He ordered and he destroyed. But he didn't argue.
Only with Chris.
He ran a hand through his hair and fought to bring his rage under control, battling under the heavy weight of frustration that permeated his body whenever he was around his brother.
His brother, who didn't understand; who couldn't see...
"The world I've created is better for them, safer for them." Wyatt stated, doing his best to keep his voice calm. "… it's perfect for Halliwell's; A place where we're revered and honored and obeyed."
The blue eyes intensified suddenly and he was glaring resentfully at Chris, "Why can't you see that? Why do you have to fight that?" he asked bitterly.
"Because the world isn't composed of just Halliwell's; because I was taught to care about the well being of others; but mostly because I don't value reverence, honor, and obedience when it's spawned by fear."
"It doesn't matter how it comes about, Chris. The end is all that matters. I've created a better world for you, for us… for our family."
Chris shook his head, almost sadly, "It scares me Wyatt that you sound so sincere. Can you truly believe that it's possible to bring about a better world through destruction and suffering? Can you truly be that blind?"
The older man's eyes flashed and Chris knew that he'd gone too far. He watched as his brother drew himself up and spoke with the authority of an Emperor, "You will come with me when I return to our time, Chris. You will quit this fruitless rebellion and join me. You will rule beside me or at the very least accept my rule; and then I will give Polly the antidote." Wyatt paused and took a step forward, the brothers were less then three feet apart now, "Otherwise she will die... and her death will be on your hands."
With those words he shimmered away from his brother. Hardening his heart to the fear and sorrow he'd seen flash in his baby brother's eyes.
The room unfroze the instant Wyatt shimmered out. Chris stood there, though, as frozen as they had been moments earlier.
Wyatt had been serious.
The panic that had descended upon him when Polly had first felt sick threatened to overwhelm him again—but he couldn't let it. He had work to do.
Slowly, he pulled himself together and turned back to the equipment. As he worked though, Wyatt's words swirled around his mind.
He tried to push away them away, to focus on the task at hand… but…
"…her death will be on your hands."
The words churned in his mind until he felt like screaming. Reason told him it was a lie; the only person responsible here was Wyatt. He was the one who'd poisoned her, if she died, he would be to blame.
But reason wasn't ruling; instead he heard his brother's words and he knew -- in the end he would do anything to save his little cousin – even give up hope.