Disclaimer: Give me some credit, people! If I owned Charmed, Chris would still be on it.... in other words I don't own Charmed.
Author's Note: Hello out there!!
Yes, tis me.... starting yet another story... I know I should try finishing one...
Anyway... it's about Chris (of course) and basically people, I've written this entire chapter as scaffolding for this one scene that's in my head and that won't leave me alone. (You'll see it next chapter.)
Please Review. )
"Is this a bad time?"
His voice rang out in the suddenly, silent bedroom.
Three pairs of eyes immediately fastening onto his face. All three registering the vulnerable expression there.
Piper watched him pale a little, watched him take a hesitant step back. After a moment Paige elbowed her, motioning for her to say something.
She opened her mouth as but no words came out.
What was she supposed to say?
Chris smirked a little, "I'll take that as a yes," he said softly.
His eyes downcast, he prepared to orb out.
"Chris don't..." Phoebe called out, walking over to him, Paige right behind her.
"Stay... you and Piper need to talk," she continued.
Paige nodded, walking over to him and pulling him inside the bedroom. "Take all the time you need," she said sweetly, giving his arm a supportive squeeze.
His mouth went dry as his eyes followed them out the door...
He paused a moment before swinging his gaze over to meet his mother's. She was staring at him... had been doing so since he'd appeared in the doorway.
"... they never could a keep a secret..." he said wryly, shifting his feet a little.
She remained silent.
"There's really not that much to talk about..." he stated, as calmly as he could.
This was Piper, not Mom.
As long as he remembered that, everything would fine...
This was Piper, not Mom.
"Nothing has to change..." he continued, then smiled a little, "Well you could stop being so suspicious of everything I do... 'cause that really makes everything so much more difficult. It makes it so that - "
She took a step towards him and he stopped talking.
"I didn't know," she whispered, "I'm sorry..."
He shook his head, "You don't have to be sorry... you didn't do anything - "
"I should've known..." she continued, her voice soft.
"I should've realized... why else would you have come... why give up your entire world... why risk your life... unless... unless... it was for family..."
Piper was talking more to herself than to him, and Chris took another step back.
"Don't worry about it Piper, it's not - "
"I'm pregnant," she stated suddenly, her eyes sharpening, "With you... you are inside me at the moment..."
Chris swallowed hard, "Uh... yeah... technically speaking I guess that's true... but - "
"I think I'm going to be sick," Piper cut him off, as she staggered to the bed, sitting heavily on it.
Chris didn't move, just shuffled his feet some more, "I know this must be a shock - "
"Do you?" the words were sharper than she'd intended but she couldn't help it...
... Chris was her son...
"Okay maybe I don't know... but I can imagine... and I just... if you don't think about it it's like it's not real," he offered.
"What?" again there was more aggravation in the word than she intended.
"If you don't think about it... about who I am... if you just think of me as your whitelighter than it... it won't change anything... things can stay the same."
She blinked at him a few times. He was telling her it was okay for her to ignore him and treat him like shit.
"But I'm your mother."
He shook his head, "No, you're going to be my mother... you aren't yet."
Piper stood, all ambivalence gone.
She was certain now.
"No, Chris. I am your mother. I have a responsibility to the child inside me, and that child is you. To me a mother isn't just a mother from birth... she's a mother from conception... and quite obviously... you've been conceived."
Chris took yet another step back, "Still though, it doesn't have to affect how you and I interact... I'm still your whitelighter..." he trailed off; could see that his arguments weren't even reaching her let alone swaying her.
Her eyes were focused on him intently, studying him.
"You don't look much like Leo... only the eyes... mostly you... you look like me..." she said softly, her feet carrying her closer to him.
She was less then four feet away now.
He finished backing away, "I have to go," he said nervously, and began orbing out.
"Chris wait!" she called, a hand outstretched.
He told himself to go – he didn't.
"Yeah?" he asked, staring at her. Doing his best to keep the uninterested expression on his face, and failing miserably at it.
"I... will you... I mean... I just..." she stuttered, struggling for something to say; anything really... this was her son.
"Would you... I mean... why don't you... uh... come for dinner... I can, I can cook for you and we can... talk," she finished softly. Her eyes riveted on his face.
He gazed at her a moment, his beautiful eyes clear and mesmerizing, before shaking his head slowly, "No, Piper, I don't think that would be a good idea."
And then he just orbed out.
Just like that.
Without another word, without any more explanation, without telling her when he'd be back...
Piper wanted to burst into tears... she was pregnant.
Pregnant with Chris...
And Leo was gone...
... Pregnant ...
That meant another child, another innocent human being that she was bringing into this world of magic, of demons, of danger...
... another child whose life would be at risk 24/7...
... most importantly though, that meant she would be a single mother to two boys instead of one...
"You need to talk about it, Piper," Phoebe stated as calmly as she could. Her gaze studying her older sister.
"Not talking about it isn't going to make it go away," Paige added.
There was no response.
"It's been two days," Phoebe continued, her voice insistent.
Piper hissed, whirling around to face them from where she'd been standing at the sink.
"I do not want to discuss this, okay," her words were terse and brooked no argument.
Phoebe glared at her, "Well too bad, it's been three days – I swear you've stopped eating, you barely talk, I don't think you sleep, the house is spotless, and we've got enough food in the fridge to feed the U.S Navy – In other words sister, you're a mess."
"And we want to help," Paige added gently.
Piper stared at them before sighing heavily; she turned and left the kitchen. Her sister's followed her.
Dropping onto the sofa she stated sadly, "I don't know how to fix this."
"Fix what, honey?" Phoebe asked dropping down beside her.
Piper sighed, "This whole situation... Chris is my son and I've been... just... mean... to him."
"We didn't know," Paige reminded her, "If he'd said something things would've been different."
"But their were hints," Piper said softly, "I mean lets face it... just the fact that he came... meant he had a special connection with us,"
"... not necessarily..." Phoebe began but Piper cut her off.
"Of course it did!" she exclaimed, "Why him? Of all the people supposedly suffering under Wyatt why him?"
Paige shrugged, "He had the opportunity..."
"Do you realize how lame that sounds?" Piper asked her, her eyes flaring.
"No I mean it! Think about it... he knew the Manor... he knew the book... he knew us!!!"
"You need to relax..." Phoebe stated, reaching out and stroking Piper's arm, "You've spent way too much time thinking about this."
She sighed again, seeming to deflate, "There were signs... a lot of them... if I'd been paying attention."
"Oh honey," Paige said sympathetically, "It's not like we were expecting the future-boy to be family."
"He said in all his life..." she murmured.
Phoebe and Paige exchanged looks, "What?" they asked softly.
"When those blonde witches tried to replace us... you know the ones who did replace us... he said he knew we were telling the truth because in all his life he'd never seen us take the bait so quickly."
They were silent a moment, before Phoebe sighed, "Yeah that was kinda weird..."
"Okay... so we shoulda seen somethin in that," Paige acknowledged.
"I should have, I'm his mother."
The fact that she was making herself miserable over this was more than clear, her next words confirmed it.
"He hasn't even come over since I found out, I think he's mad at me... he should be... I'm mad at me..."
"Would you stop!" Phoebe exclaimed suddenly, "There was no way you could've known! So stop beating yourself up over this."
Piper was silent.
"CHRIS!" Paige screamed.
"What are you doing?" Piper nearly yelled.
Paige smirked, then repeated, "Chris!! We need you!!!!!"
It was another moment before blue swirls appeared in front of them.
His expression was distant and his tone firm, "This had better be about magic," he said sternly, "... otherwise I do not want to talk about it."
Phoebe giggled, "That's exactly what she said."
Chris glared at her.
"You're not mad at Piper are you?" Paige asked.
"What?" he spit out, his expression skeptical.
"You're not mad at her right?" Paige asked again.
"Of course not."
"See..." Phoebe stated, "... he's not mad at you."
Piper stared at her son, "Then why haven't I seen you since I found out about this?"
He shrugged, "I've been busy."
"I understand if you're mad at me," Piper continued.
"I'm not mad," he repeated.
And he wasn't.
In all his time here he hadn't gotten mad at his mother.
His father, yes, but not his mom.
He was hurt.
That was different.
And irrational, he told himself.
Yet it was there, nonetheless. The tone of her voice when she'd kicked him out, the coldness in her eyes, the words themselves.... it hurt because... all his life... he'd been her baby...
"Will you Chris?" Piper broke into his thoughts suddenly, her expression hopeful.
He blinked a little, "Will I what?" he asked, noting that his aunts looked amused.
"Will you stay for dinner?" Piper asked.
"... to prove that your not mad, of course," Paige stated smoothly.
"I have things to do," he said after a moment, "I can't waste time here."
Piper flinched a little.
"Your time wouldn't be wasted, Chris, you'd be spending it with us," she paused for emphasis, ".... your family..." she stressed the word.
"... don't you wanna spend time with us Chris?" Paige asked woefully.
"... don't you like us, Chris," Phoebe added.
He stared at them, refusing to be moved by their cajoling, "I can't," he stated, "I have things to do."
"Oh come on Chris..."
"He said no," Piper cut in, her voice harsh, "If he doesn't want to. You don't have to force him." Her expression was distant and she wouldn't meet his eyes.
She was hurt.
Great, now they were both hurt.
"Look," he said, looking around at them, "... if I had time I would but I can't. I have meetings today. I have to follow all the leads on who could turn Wyatt. It's why I'm here, remember, to save Wyatt, not to have family dinners with you. So just back off. "
With that he orbed out.
Four days later Piper walked into the kitchen and found him sitting there.
"Hi," she said tentatively, her voice soft.
His head lifted, slowly, his eyes meeting hers, "Hi," he answered just as softly, his green eyes hazy and unfocused.
Then there was silence.
After a moment she took another step towards him, "So... what's up?" she asked.
He was quiet again.
"Is something wrong?" she asked, concern tainting her tone.
"You think you could call Leo for me?" he asked softly – too softly.
Piper felt the beginnings of panic swell in her – something was wrong.
"I'm not feeling so hot," he continued, just as calmly.
She hurried over to him, "What's wrong? – LEO – are you sick?" she asked, noticing that he was sweating.
She pressed her to his forehead, "Chris you're burning up!!"
He nodded slightly, instinctively turning towards her hand.
"LEO!! I NEED YOU!!!" she yelled.
"Darklighter..." he murmured his eyes closed, his breathing beginning to get erratic.
"Where?" she asked, removing her hand from his face. Forcefully she pulled the chair out and turned him towards her; grasping his shoulders with her hands.
He didn't answer.
He didn't have to.
She could see the blood stain spreading upwards from his right side. Lifting the blood-soaked shirt, she found a gaping wound. It seemed liked he'd pulled the arrow out himself and in the process had managed to tear the flesh.
"DAMNIT!! LEO WYATT GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!!!"
A moment later blue orbs filled the kitchen and her ex-husband materialized in front of her.
"Blessed be Pip - "
"Cut the crap and heal!" she snapped at him. Her gaze still locked on Chris who seemed to be unconscious now.
She was holding him up against the backboard of the chair; otherwise she was pretty sure he'd slump off it.
Leo gave her an odd look before calmly walking over to Chris, "Darklighter?" he asked, almost nonchalantly.
Piper nodded without looking at him.
He reached out and a moment later the comforting golden glow appeared.
Piper sighed in relief, earning herself yet another odd look from Leo.
Abruptly though, the glow stopped.
"What happened?" Piper asked, her voice tense again.
"I'm not sure," Leo stated, holding his hand up and looking at it, "It was working fine."
"Well don't just stare at it, TRY AGAIN!!" Piper screamed at him.
Chris was still unconscious, although the wound had healed a little – it looked less raw – it was still there though, and Piper was worried.
Leo lowered his hand again, the glow appeared, but quickly fizzled out.
"I don't understand... it's just Darklighter poison... I should be able to heal that..."
Piper was silent a moment, then lifted her gaze to meet his, "Try it again," she stated.
Leo frowned at her, "I just - "
"Third times a charm, right... do it," her tone brooked no argument.
He hesitated a moment before lowering his hand.
"And concentrate..." she chastised him.
Leo took a deep breath and closed his eyes, still though, the glow did not appear.
"Come on Chris..." Piper whispered, smoothing the side of his flushed face.
Leo closed his eyes tighter, concentrating on the wound, searching out the magic, the poison in the young man's system.
He felt something fight his healing power... something dark... and strong...
"Leo it's not working..."
He heard Piper's concerned words, followed by more soothing and gentle words for Chris.
His focus intensified... he shifted through darkness... and slowly, a gentle glow emanated from his hands.
It wasn't nearly as strong as usual though and the wound took much longer to heal than was customary.
Chris gasped for breath a few minutes later, his eyes shooting open, his body going rigid.
"Shhhh," Piper cooed, pushing him back, "It's okay... let Leo finish up...you're okay..."
Once again Leo gave her that odd look, before pulling back and sighing, "That's the best I can do... there's still... something in you're system though... was it... are you sure it was a Darklighter?" he asked of Chris.
Chris nodded but didn't meet Leo's eyes, "The cross bow was a Darklighter's I don't know if the person was one."
Leo nodded, standing.
"So there's still poison in him?" Piper asked, standing also, but keeping a hand on Chris's shoulder.
Leo eyed that hand a moment before nodding, slowly, his eyes meeting hers.
"Yeah... I can ask around and see it what it could be..."
"You do that."
Both Chris and Piper spoke at the same time.
Chris was standing and Piper opened her mouth to protest.
"I'll figure it out on my own," he said firmly. He still looked a little pale, but otherwise didn't seem any worse for wear
"No you won't Chris," Piper stated, her voice firmer than his, "You're going to give Leo a description of what it was and wait here while he goes to check on it."
Chris met her gaze, "I can't."
Piper was not going to back down, "You can. And you will."
It was a threat and when her eyes shifted over to Leo and then back to him. He knew what it was.
Either let Leo check it out, or tell him you're his son.
"I didn't get a good look at it. It surprised me, was in the shadows. I was meeting with a Meynorei... following up on a lead. The Meynorei had just left when I felt the arrow..."
"What's a Meynorei?" she asked.
"Mid-level demon that can see the futures of individual people," Chris responded.
Leo stared at him, "Don't they have to eat the individual's eyes in order to do that?"
Chris shrugged, "Yeah."
Piper sighed, "Great, so you were in the lair of this eye-eater and the possible Darklighter attacked you... are you sure you didn't see anything?"
Chris nodded, still not meeting her eyes, "I didn't see anything."
It was a lie.
There was silence for a few minutes before Piper broke it with a command, "Go ask something, Leo... anything... come back when you've got some way to heal him completely..."
Leo stared at her.
"GO!" she hissed.
He jumped back a little, before nodding and orbing out.
"As for you," she said, "Sit."
"Piper - "
"Chris you're not completely well, so you are not leaving."
She wasn't backing down. He knew that; had heard her don't-mess-with-me tone enough to recognize it's presence now.
He wouldn't win.
Not to mention that he was tired.
Sighing softly he sat back down, "I'm only staying because I'm afraid you'll blow me up if I try to leave."
She was silent a moment before reaching out to touch his cheek, "You're still hot," she said softly.
This time he turned away from her instead of into her.
"You scared me," she whispered.
"I'm sorry," he croaked out, his face still averted.
"How long had you been here?" she asked.
"A few minutes..." he paused than turned to face her, "Thanks for calling Leo for me."
"You could've called him yourself," she said softly.
He met her gaze, "No, I couldn't have."
The words were firm and held a wealth of history in them. They were oozing with meaning and Piper wished he'd share it with her.
She wished he share anything with her.
She wished he'd tell her why sometimes he'd look off into space, why he'd get this glazed look in his eyes... tell her what he'd lived through... the things he'd seen.
He was her son.
She wanted to help him.
Gently, she cupped his face, looking into his beautiful eyes, "My darling boy," she whispered, caressing his face with her eyes.
He flew out of her grasp, moving so quickly he nearly toppled the chair. His back to her he said harshly, "DO NOT CALL ME THAT."
After a moment he turned and the expression on his face was distant, his eyes, those of a stranger, "I am not your darling anything, Piper. You aren't my mother."
Their eyes met and held --- and she saw... behind the coldness was pain... sorrow.
Instinctively she placed a hand on her abdomen, opening her mouth to respond.
Phoebe chose that moment to barrel in through the back door, carrying several shopping bags and cutting off anything Piper had been about to say.
The gesture though, had drawn Chris's eyes to her stomach and he felt a sudden wave of nausea as he realized --- he was wrong.
She was his mother.
"Oh good you're both here!" Phoebe exclaimed, oblivious to the tension in the room, "You can both see what I bought for the baby."
Piper seemed to snap herself out of a trance, pulling her gaze away from the baby.
"Phoebe I'm barely a month along..." she said, trying hard to sound normal.
Phoebe shrugged, "So what. We know you are, and we know it's a boy. I couldn't resist," she stated as she pulled out a soft, blue wool jumper, it had a little hood and the ears of a bunny attached to the hood, "... isn't this cutest little thing you've ever seen," she said profusely, looking back and forth between them.
Chris stared at it, forcing himself out of the contemplative stupor he'd descended into, "If you make me wear that, I'll hate you for eternity," he stated after a moment.
Phoebe grinned, running over to him, "I knew you'd like it!" she exclaimed, "... I'll be sure to take lots of pictures so I'll be able to pass them around to you're girlfriends."
She was hanging on his arm now and reached up to pinch his cheek, "...'cause you're just the cutest thing --- you're burning up! -- " she exclaimed in surprise, cutting herself off.
Her eyes widening as she felt his forehead, she looked to Piper in concern. Piper nodded, "He was hit by a Darklighter arrow but Leo wasn't able to heal him completely. He's looking into it now," she explained.
"Oh god," Phoebe said and began pulling on his arm, "Come on have a seat..." she was leading him to the living room.
Chris pulled out of her grasp, "While Leo looks into it. I'm going to check something out. I'll be back later."
Before either of them could argue, he was gone.
"Okay there's one thing I don't get..." Phoebe said an hour later.
They were in the kitchen all working on dinner and Piper had filled her sisters in on the details of what had happened with Chris.
"Why didn't he call Leo himself?"
Piper shrugged, "I asked. He said he couldn't."
"But that makes no sense," Phoebe insisted.
"Maybe he thought Leo wouldn't come," Paige suggested.
Piper sighed, "I just wish I knew what he was thinking or feeling or... something... he's just so hard to read."
"This would be a good time for me to get my powers," Phoebe said, tilting her head and directing her words to the ceiling.
"Funny you should mention that," Paige said grinning.
Her sisters stared at her, "I think the council made a mistake," Paige proclaimed.
"So you've been saying," Piper replied warily, not liking the glint in her little sister's eyes.
"Well I was thinking... why don't we cast a spell to give Phoebe her powers back."
"Why not? If we can summon spirits from the beyond, why not powers?"
"Because the elders allow us to summons spirits from the beyond, there not going to allow us to summon Phoebe's powers since they took them away," Piper explained rationally.
"I still think we should try it," Paige insisted, "We've got nothing to lose."
"I don't think it's a good idea," Piper replied.
"I do," Phoebe interjected, her eyes shining, "I accepted the punishment. At the time I thought I deserved... I know I deserved it... but I'm getting sick of having no powers. There's no harm in giving it a shot."
"Yeah," Paige agreed, more enthusiastic now that she had a sister on her side, "... and if we want to know more about Chris, Phoebe's premonition power could really come in handy."
Piper arched an eyebrow, "Are you trying to blatantly bribe me onto your side by offering me possible snit-bits of my son's life?" she asked.
Paige nodded, "Yeah, is it working?"
Piper hesitated, "... I guess... giving it a shot wouldn't hurt...as long as you're careful..."
"Oh we will be!" Phoebe exclaimed, hopping up from her seat, "I'm going to go work on it right now."
"Actually..." Paige called out, stopping her in her tracks, "I have the first part written...we can just add a little about Chris at the end."
Phoebe laughed, "You've been planning this..."
Paige nodded looking a little sheepish, "I like the added back up of knowing I have two sisters that can do stuff."
"You two work on that I'll stay here and clean up a little," Piper said.
"It is clean... everything in the house is clean... come with us..." Phoebe stated, grabbing her sister by the arm.
Together the Charmed Ones made their way up the attic.
"What do you think?"
"It could work...."
"Let's give it a shot..."
The sisters were sitting on the sofa in the attic. Paige had showed Phoebe what she'd written and Phoebe had added to lines at the end that were specific to Chris.
Piper wasn't sure they should be doing this, but in the event that it did work she'd really like to learn more about Chris.
"Okay, lets go..." Paige said.
Together they read the words from the page.
"The council was sadly mistaken
Return what was unjustly taken
This middle witch her powers she will no longer abuse
Therefore this request will not be refused
Power which is rightfully hers
We beseech you, come take hold before anything evil occurs
Her power to see is what we need
To see what it is in Chris's future we need to impede."
They were silent after reading it, their eyes wide in expectation.
Nothing happened though, no loud noises or bright lights... nothing.
"Oh fooey!" Paige exclaimed.
"Oh well... at least we tried..." Phoebe said, disappointment etched on her face.
Piper sighed, as well.
Orbs appeared in the attic suddenly, cutting off their wallowing.
Leo stood there, the expression on his face grim.
"What did you find out?" Piper asked immediately.
"Nothing good," he stated, "...a new concentration of power has been detected in this realm... and no one's been able to identify anything about it yet."
"About Chris, Leo!" Piper nearly screamed at him, "What did you find out about Chris! What the hell do I care about concentrations of power??!!"
Leo blinked at her, "Uh... well... not much..." he said, "... there's nothing I can do if I don't know what it was that attacked him."
Piper groaned, "This is not good," she said.
Leo frowned at her, "Why the sudden preoccupation with Chris?" he asked.
"Why do you suddenly care what I am or am not preoccupied with?" she hissed at him.
Leo flinched, "Look Piper I know haven't been around much lately, but - "
"Save the platitudes Leo... do something useful and go find Chris."
Her sisters were looking at her oddly. And she knew she was being unnecessarily unkind to Leo... but he... he was an Elder.
An Elder who said Blessed Be and wore robes and couldn't live on earth.
And she was pregnant.
And Chris was hurt....
"I'll be back," he said softly, meeting her gaze he added, "... with Chris."
The tinkling of his orbs faded into absolute silence.
Phoebe spoke first, "You're being too hard on him."
"It's not his fault."
Piper sighed, "I know that... I just... I can't... think right now... Chris is out there and he's hurt and he won't let me near him and I just wish I could..."
"... fix this..." Phoebe finished for her.
"Yeah," she said on a sigh.
Paige growled, "This should'a worked!" she stated, shifting the topic of conversation as she stared a hole through the piece of paper.
"It was a long shot, Paige," Piper reminded her.
"Try and levitate," she said to Phoebe, a glimmer of hope in her eyes.
Phoebe took a deep breath and pushed off with her toes... nothing happened... she shook her head, "Nope, no power there..." she said then closed her eyes, "Nope can't feel nothing from either of you, either."
"But we drank the potion maybe it's still working..." Paige said.
Piper shook her head, "It just didn't work Paige."
Paige sighed, "That really sucks!"
Phoebe chuckled, "Tell me about it..."
"Piper wants you back at the manor."
The words were cold and hard and so not what he needed right now.
Not only did he feel like he needed a nap and like his was imploding, but he had just confirmed, to his utter dismay, that he'd been right.
His brother had sent another assassin after him.
One that wouldn't hesitate to kill him...
... one who had with him a specially brewed form of Darklighter poison that only Wyatt had the anecdote to...
"I'll be back when I'm ready," he said not bothering to look at Leo. He didn't need his family's over protectiveness right now; didn't want it; couldn't risk it.
"She's worried," Leo tried again.
"Not my problem," he said carelessly.
And it wasn't.
... except for the fact that he was inside of her...
... that stress combined with her pregnancy couldn't be good for her – or him...
... but other than that it wasn't his problem...
"No it's mine," Leo said firmly, "... she wants you at the manor... so you're coming to the manor..."
And with that Leo grabbed his arm and orbed.
They appeared in the attic a moment later. The sisters looked up, from where they were all sitting on the couch.
Chris staggered as he pulled away from Leo.
"Thank god!" Piper cried running over to him. She grabbed one of his arms and reached up to feel his face.
"Chris, you're even hotter than when you left..."
"I'm fine," he hissed pulling away from her, "I do not have time to be here, okay. I'm in the middle of something."
"In the middle of what?" Paige asked coming up behind her sister.
...tracking the assassin that wants to kill me...
"Not your concern," he said.
"It is our concern..." Phoebe stated after a beat.
"... you're our concern..." Paige insisted.
"My concern," Piper whispered with emphasis.
His eyes shot quickly to Leo, who was eyeing them all oddly, and then back to Piper, "I'm fine, and when I finish what I'm in the middle of, I'll come back here..."
"Let us help you," Phoebe said softly, "... four heads are better than one..."
"... as long as they're no all on one body..." Paige amended quickly.
Piper shot her a look, she shrugged, a smirk on her face, "What? In this family you have to be careful of what you say."
Chris sighed moving away from them, "You can't..."
"Why not?" Piper insisted, following him, "You're sick and we're not, if you tell us - " she cut herself off, "You know who shot at you don't you? You know what it is?"
"You gotta let us help you," Paige jumped in, her expression eager.
"It's been kinda slow lately," Phoebe explained.
Chris rolled his eyes, "Don't you like it slow?" he questioned.
"Yeah, yeah, but I wanna see if maybe under action the spell'll work..." Paige clarified.
"What spell?" he asked, arching an eyebrow; looking so much like Piper that Phoebe and Paige blinked a little.
Paige looked at her sister then back at Chris and finally at Phoebe again, "How did we not see that?" she asked.
Phoebe shrugged, her eyes still glued to Chris's face, "Beats me, I say we claim temporary blindness."
"What. Spell?" Chris asked again, enunciating each word.
"Paige wrote a spell to try and get Phoebe's powers back," Piper told him.
The word was exclaimed at the exact same time by the two men in the room.
The three women looked between them with amusement.
Leo spoke first, "You can't do that! The council - "
"- was wrong," Paige interrupted, "... not to mention we kinda need more active powers around here."
"She'll get them back when she's supposed to," Chris stated.
"... and not a moment sooner..." Leo agreed.
"Awwwww how sweet," Phoebe stated looking between them.
"Figures the one and only thing you two agree on, beside keeping Wyatt safe, has to be annoying," Paige grumbled.
"Tell us who shot at you Chris," Piper insisted, "... maybe it's in the book."
"It's not," he said quickly, and then wanted to kick himself.
"How do you know?" Paige asked.
"'Cause it's from the future," Piper stated. Her eyes intent on her son's face, "When's the last time you ate?" she asked without missing a beat.
Chris started a little, both at the statement and the question.
"Is that true?" Leo asked, "... if it is... than maybe that's the new power surge that the elders sensed."
Chris sighed; he was getting a little tired – both physically and emotionally, "Yes, it is from the future which is exactly why you all have to stay out of it."
He paused then added softly, "It's my responsibility."
"And you're mine," Piper said firmly, "... so spit out everything you know then tell me what you want for dinner and take a nap while I make it for you."
"How come I never get to take a nap while you make dinner?" Paige questioned, while Chris sputtered.
"Yeah we always have to chop or dice..."
"And you still haven't clearly explained what the difference between them is..."
"Chopping is cutting into small pieces, dicing is cutting into small cubes," Chris stated, then continued, "I can't let you do anything, what if you get hurt? It could change the timeline," then looking at Piper pointedly, "You wouldn't want to get hurt, would you Piper?"
Piper narrowed her eyes, "No... but I'm the one with the most active powers, I won't get hurt."
"I can't risk it."
"You're not, I am."
"You can't tell me what to do Chris."
"I'm you're whitelighter."
"Yeah, well, I'm you're mo - "
"It doesn't' matter!!" Paige jumped in, cutting off Piper's last word, in an attempt to keep Chris's secret, "It doesn't matter what you say Chris," she continued, "... we're helping."
"You're his what?" Leo asked softly, staring at Piper, the effort at diversion not working.
"She's my charge," Chris states simply, before moving, rather unsteadily to the sofa and sitting on it's arm, "... and therefore my responsibility."
"I can take care of myself Chris."
"So can I!"
"But you shouldn't have to!!"
The words vibrated around the room for a moment. Before Leo stated, his voice filled with aggravation, "Would someone please tell me what's going on?"
The attic was absolutely silent.
"Piper?" he asked, "... you're his what? And why shouldn't he have to?"
"I'm his mother, Chris is our son," Piper stated firmly after a moment, "... and that's why he shouldn't have to... because... it's my job to take care of him."
Leo stared at her in utter silence.
"No," he began, but Phoebe cut him off, her tone carrying none of it's usual vivacity, "Be careful Leo," she warned, her eyes looking behind him.
Leo swiveled to face Chris, "You're my son?" he questioned, his voice suddenly hoarse.
"Only biologically," Chris stated, his tone bored, his eyes burning.
Leo took a step towards him, Chris took a step back.
"But... how? I mean... when? How did... How did you... why didn't you tell us..." Leo sputtered.
Chris rolled his eyes, "I don't have time for this, okay, I have to go."
"It's a lie," Leo stated turning back around to face the girls, "...he's lied to us before, this is a lie too."
"No Leo, it's not," Piper stated, her tone harsh, her eyes shooting daggers at her husband.
"He's not my son."
Behind him, Phoebe saw Chris flinch, she rushed over to his side.
"Don't be a jackass, Leo," she stated heatedly.
"I would know, if he was my son."
"Phoebe saw it on a vision quest," Paige said softly, her heart hurting for her nephew, "... and I saw him disappear on Wyatt's birthday, then reappear after you two got back from the astral plane."
"And you and I both know what happened on the astral plane don't we Leo," Piper said harshly.
Leo blinked silently for a moment, "You're pregnant?" he finally stated.
Piper nodded, "With Chris."
"No," he said again.
"Dammit Leo! No wonder he wouldn't call for you himself!!" Phoebe spit out, reaching out to touch her nephew in an attempt to ease his pain, "He's you're son!!" she hissed at him.
She made contact with his shirt before the entire attic seemed to spin and swirl. A huge gaping vortex appeared in the center of the room and before any of them had a chance to even scream out, they were pulled into it.
They were deposited rather roughly on a bright side walk... the sidewalk outside the manor... the bright sidewalk?
It was close to seven at night....
"What was that??" Piper exclaimed righting herself.
"Whatever it was, I hope nobody saw it," Paige said looking around, "... and is it me or is it offally bright out here for 7 pm."
"Leo what was that?" Phoebe asked, pulling herself away from where she'd nearly toppled her nephew.
He shrugged, "I have no idea."
"You're a lot use today, aren't ya?" Piper hissed sardonically.
"Now, that's a Chris comment," Paige stated smiling, her eyes looking to the only member of the family that had yet to comment.
Chris wasn't looking at them, though; he wasn't paying them any attention.
His focus was down the street, his eyes wide, his face very pale.
"Chris?" Piper asked moving towards, "What's wrong? Are you in pain?"
He said nothing, but after a moment looked down at her with something akin to horror on his face, "What did the spell say?" he asked his voice hoarse.
"What spell?" Piper asked.
"...to give Phoebe her powers back... what did it say..."
"Uh..." Piper glanced helplessly at her sisters.
"Something like the council was wrong, give Phoebe her powers back especially premonitions," Paige said quickly, her voice nervous.
Chris's eyes were focused once again down the street, where two children could be seen walking, carrying book bags.
"Anything else?" he asked, quietly.
"Uh yeah... so that we can see what it is in your future that we have to change..." Phoebe finished.
His eyes slid shut slowly, and remained closed for a moment.
"Chris?" Piper asked fearfully.
She reached out and touched his arm, he pulled away, "It didn't occur to any of you that including my name in the spell could... I don't know.... have adverse affects?!"
They all looked at each other, "No, not really," Paige answered.
"What's going on?" Piper asked, "Do you know where we are?"
Chris looked back down the street again, the children were closer now. Two boys, one with blonde hair, the other brown; in a heated conversation.
"Chris?" Paige asked.
Leo watched silently, studying the boys from afar, his gut twisting. Even from this distance he could recognize Wyatt.
"Huh, Chris?" Piper tried again, "Do you know where we are?"
Chris nodded slowly, tearing his eyes away from the two boys, to meet her warm brown gaze.
"Yeah," he said, his voice thick, "... this is the beginning of the end."