Meant To Live

By Pink-Charmed-One

Disclaimer: I don't own this song or Charmed or the lovely Drew Fuller.

Fumbling with his confidence and wondering

Why the world has passed him by

Hoping that he's bent for more

Than arguments and failed attempts to fly, fly

"Let me go, you bastard," he spat. But Wyatt couldn't possibly hear him—it wasn't as if he was behind bars in his cell again. No, he'd escaped Wyatt's hellish prison, but he'd never escape Wyatt. Right now he was tasting the one benefit of his newfound freedom, the fresh air of the bridge he'd yearned for so long. Soon enough, though, he'd be forced to leave. He'd made a mental promise to himself that someway, somehow, he'd save the family he'd left behind in the prison.

He had an older cousin, Mel, who was seventeen and three years older than he. She was Phoebe's and Cole's secret daughter that Cole raised unbeknownst to Phoebe until she was three years old. Phoebe was dead now and had been for over a year. The last he heard from his Uncle Cole, he was still fighting with the Resistance.

Mel and Chris worked with him in the Resistance, too. Cole was almost like his father after Leo had pretty much abandoned him. Just knowing that Cole was out there surged a new hope in his heart. Cole knew they had been captured, missing for—wow. Had it really been four months in that dark, damp cave?

There was also his littler cousin, Matt. He was Paige's eleven-year-old son with her ex-husband, Jake. Not that Jake was a bad person—they'd divorced because he, as a mortal, feared magic. Chris couldn't blame him, though. Even he himself, one of the most powerful witches of his age, feared magic. Jake was a great father to Matt, especially now that Paige was missing. Presumably captured by Wyatt as well; but something made him doubt that. In the four months he'd spent there, he'd found no trace of his aunt, missing for twice that amount of time.

So she, too, was most likely dead.

As for Piper and Leo, he had no idea and didn't particularly care. They were always so busy doting over Wyatt—"Wyatt this and Wyatt that"—and yet they were blind to his ever changing cruel nature. It sickened him. Leo was probably Up There or in an honorary elder asylum for his denial over Wyatt's turning of four years. Piper could even be at the manor, for all he knew. She was definitely not with the Resistance.

Now he had a mission, one more important than any of his previous assigned tasks of fourteen years: Save Mel and Jake before Wyatt realized he was missing.

We were meant to live for so much more

Have we lost ourselves?

Somewhere we live inside

We were meant to live for so much more

Have we lost ourselves?

Somewhere we live inside

"Cole," he called, his voice weak and rasp from so many days in silence. "Uncle Cole! Can you hear me? It's Chris. It's me. Uncle Cole?"

A flurry of blue orbs appeared beside him. Cole had been made a whitelighter after dying shortly after the birth of Mel, but only to fight for the Resistance against a great force the Elders felt approaching. They hadn't known it was Wyatt, though.

"Chris," Cole cried, shocked. "You're—I thought you all were—" He hugged his nephew, eyes watering. "You're alive! What happened? Are the others…? Are Mel and Jake…?"

He was avoiding the word "dead," Chris noticed.

"They're okay," he rasped, clearing his throat. "Sorry. It's a little hard to talk. I don't know where we were, but it was dark and we couldn't orb or shimmer out. We're trapped. Jake and Mel are down there, too."

"I'm so glad you're here," said Cole. "When you guys disappeared after that mission—if I'd known about it, I'd have never let you go alone—I thought…we all thought…Wyatt's killed so many people."

"I know," Chris said softly. He felt his own eyes tearing up but bit them back. There was no time for reflecting on the trauma.

"Do you have any information?" asked Cole eagerly after a moment of recollecting themselves.

"I—I think I heard one of the demons saying we were underground in San Francisco. We weren't too far." He coughed. The fresh air was refreshing, but it felt as if the air was so thin that it came too fast. "I saw pipes. We must have been in the sewage system or something, locked up in these individual cages."

"Right under our feet," mumbled Cole, staring down at the murky waves and shaking his head. "All this time, the three of you were right under our feet! How could we forget to look underground?"

"It's better that you didn't. It was too dangerous—going back there…I don't know if we stand a chance. But I'm going to try," he added quickly.

"How did you get out? I mean, how come they're still…?"

"They were going to kill me," said Chris, face turning hard and cold. "Wyatt ordered them to put me to death, slowly and painfully." Wyatt's name tasted bitter on his tongue. "They got a few shots at me, too." He indicated the bloody wounds by his tattered shirt he'd been wearing so long. There were other dried bloodstains from previous beatings.

Cole gulped. His nephew wasn't as sweet and innocent as he remembered. He seemed as hard as stone, like a warrior. Like…like himself before he met Phoebe.

"They took me out of my cage to kill me, the idiot henchmen," Chris continued, a small, defiant smirk escaping him. "I tried to orb on reflex when the first few energy balls made contact, and I ended up here."

"I wish I could heal you," said Cole, "but you know how things are."

"I know—don't take your chances. Wyatt could sense us. It's not so bad, anyway," Chris lied.

Cole knew that he wasn't speaking the truth, and that it was the proud Halliwell blood in his veins causing him to say that. He'd seen hints of it in his own bold daughter. Well, his daughter, as powerful as she was, was a coward compared to the others. She was always trying to be something other than what she was: a witch. But she always came through when they needed her most; for that, he was proud.

Dreaming about everything and

Whether mice and men have second tries

Maybe we're living with our eyes half open

Maybe we're bent and broken

"Is there anything else you remember that might help us? A location? A name? Some random street address?" Cole pried.

Chris thought hard, retracing every movement in the past for months. The torture and beatings he'd worked so long to forget came rushing back and he winced for a moment. There was something important. He'd told himself to remember…


What was it? He mercilessly wracked his weary mind until it throbbed from thought. He felt dizzy and grabbed a pillar, when finally the answer burst from him. "The Bay Mirror," he gasped. "We were below a sewer hole near a billboard for the Bay Mirror!" His voice came out like a scary out-of-tune violin with torn strings, but he didn't mind. The unearthed memory shot a new inspiration through him.

"The cell—when they took us through, we were unconscious. They knocked us out to get us there and I thought I was dreaming…they took us underground and I saw the billboard. That's where we were! C'mon!"

"What billboard?" asked Cole, frazzled. "There aren't any billboards anymore."

"What?" Chris' mind went blank.

"Last month or so, everything in the city went down, destroyed by Wyatt's probes."

"Probes?" Chris questioned. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Cole sighed. "You've all been down there longer than I thought. Wyatt has probes now to seek out Resistance members, witches, and all those a threat to his plans. They're beams can kill in an instant."

Chris' mouth fell open. "Then we'd better get out of here," he said. "I think I know where it is. I can remember where a few of the billboards were since Phoebe used to point them out on the way to school…Sorry." He knew that Cole was sensitive about the death of his wife.

"No, it's fine," Cole told his nephew. "Are you strong enough to orb us there?"

"Of course I am," Chris said stubbornly, frowning.

Cole hid a small smile. Chris never gave up. He took his nephew's hand, waiting patiently as Chris closed his eyes to mentally seek out the location. The familiar, comforting blue surrounded the pair of them until they reappeared by the rubble of an old building. Beside it lay two large poles and a tall, slim ladder. Decaying wood was shattered to splinters nearby; he could decipher the "Ba" in the beginning on "Bay Mirror" on one of the stray chunks.

"This is it," Chris whispered. "It has o be."

Sure enough, below their feet was a manhole, leading to the sewer lines.

We were meant to live for so much more

Have we lost ourselves?

Somewhere we live inside

"You stay here," Cole ordered impulsively, concerned for Chris' safety. The boy looked pale and thin in this light, he was noticing. He'd stand no chance after these months of captivity.

"What?" Chris demanded.

"You heard me. Stay here. Please," he added desperately.

"No way. They're my cousins, Uncle Cole! You can't—I won't—"

"Listen to me, Chris," Cole said firmly. "I've been your guardian pretty much all of your life and I'm asking you to listen to me now. You are to stay here. Don't move unless you're in danger. By no means are you to follow me down here. Got it?"

Chris bit his lip, eyes fleeting to the manhole. "But…"

Cole glared. "Don't make this any harder than it has to be."

A flash of anger bolted through him. How dare he treat Chris like a toddler! He had proven himself worthy, hadn't he? Now Cole was speaking to him like he was trying to coax a little kid out of the swimming pool.

"Fine," he said coldly. "I'll wait here."

"Thank you," said Cole curtly, slowly opening the manhole. He nodded at his nephew a last time before slipping inside and disappearing from view.

Chris found that he was shaking with rage. Or was it because of the cold? Either way, he was furious and apprehensive and freezing all at the same time. He hugged his arms and remained standing, refusing to give into his aching muscles until Cole returned.

Five minutes passed without a noise. Another ten minutes went by…then twenty. What was happening down there? He remembered his promise to stay above ground unless he was in danger. Yeah, well, he was in danger. Without Cole, he'd be utterly alone. So that was his excuse for sliding in after Cole a few moments later.

After carefully maneuvering his quivering legs down the stairs as silently as he could muster, he gasped at the chaos before him. Cole, nose bleeding and grunting with effort, stood poised in mid-battle with three of the henchman. Two lay dead on the damp floor beneath him and two others lay motionless, presumably dead as well, off to the side. It was clearly a losing battle now, though. Chris hid himself from sight. This was a battle he knew he'd be no help in, considering his powers. Orbing and premonition weren't the ideal abilities for a witch. Cole kept assuring him that more power would come to him eventually, but when would that be?

"Now, please," he begged.

We want more than this world's got to offer

We want more than the wars of our fathers

And everything inside us screams for second life

We were meant to live

A rush of heat flowed through his veins, warming him. It was an unbelievable flurry of emotions. Every moment of Wyatt's sick glory he'd envied so greatly…every forgotten birthday, every lost tear in an ocean of woe…every last second of being powerless to protect his cousins deep in this prison—it all flooded through him in a moment.

It burst.

He let out an animal-like cry, whipping around to face the demons. He seemed to radiate with energy, eyes burning with anger. The demons' faces contorted in fear and Chris felt a sickeningly sweet pleasure at their torment. Yes, they sensed his power. They sensed that he was out of control and he took great delight in their fear.

So this was what it was like to feel power.

Ignoring Cole's shocked expression, he released the power, eyes in focus on the three remaining demons. Everything else in the world seemed to evaporate all around him; it was only himself, the demons, and this great, uncontrollable power he was creating. Cole swaggered back just as the great blue light enveloped the demons and ripped them from the inside out, crumbling them to dust.

They were gone. It was over, they were free.

Chris watched, dazed, as Cole tore his gaze from Chris and freed Jake and Mel. "Orb out," he cried. Chris couldn't hear him through his hazy thoughts but made out the words by reading his lips just before Cole orbed away.

He couldn't move. He was stone, stationary as the ground beneath him rumbled. One by one, the pipes were bursting, a great demonstration of his freed anger. Slowly the water flooded to his knees, succumbing him, carrying him out—

The water filled his lungs, choking him. He gasped and struggled, unable to orb in his sudden panic. He tried crying out for help, but no sound came out. His face contorted in a new fear. Would he make it out alive, after all these months of captivity? Would he ever fight beside his cousins again in the name of the justice that had been stolen from him? Would he ever make the difference in the world he'd always known he was destined for?

Something grabbed at his shirt, pulling him up just before it all went black.

We were meant to live for so much more

Have we lost ourselves?

Somewhere we live inside

"Is he okay? Daddy, is he all right?"

"Mel, I'm sure he'll be okay—Chris, can you hear me? Leo, get back here! Chris. Chris. Chris?"

"Uncle Leo! Cole said to get back here!"

"Chris, can you hear me?"

He was being shaken. Chris moaned, opening his eyes to the bleary face of his uncle. "What…?" he croaked.

Cole breathed a sigh of relief. "You're okay," he assured Chris. "We're going to get you the Resistance's first aid and you'll be fine, okay, sport? Just stay calm."

"Who…who saved me?"

Cole bit his lip. "Your father."

Chris closed his eyes.

He had to be dreaming.

Somewhere we live inside


Sorry I've been gone so long, guys. My computer's been busted for an eternity and I couldn't update. Well, here's another fic, finally! Read and review, please!