Little Miss Spell-of-the-Week: Heh, sorry, but they sisters won't discover Chris's identity, nor will he receive all of his memories until near the end. Yeah, Wyatt's really corrupted, even as a teenager . . . thanks for the review!
Sorry about the random last two chapters. I had gotten stuck at that point in the outline and just sort of wrote in those filler chapters. Oh, and if part of the plot of this chapter looks familiar, it's because I used the outline for this chapter as a basis for my two shot See the Sun. Thanks for the reviews! Here's a hopefully a more interesting chapter to make up for it. Hmm . . . it didn't turn out as angsty as I thought it would be . . . oh well. Enjoy!
Piper and Phoebe turned around to see Paige running up the stairs, piece of paper in hand.
"Got what?" Piper asked, glancing suspiciously between her two sisters, both looking somewhat guilty.
Phoebe muttered something indistinct, but raised her voice at her eldest sister's glare. "The vanquishing potion we used for Balthazar."
"WE ARE NOT GOING TO VANQUISH MY SON!" Piper roared, her expression livid.
"Piper! Calm down!" Paige snapped, "It's just a precaution."
But Piper did not look convinced. Instead, she strode over to the playpen where the miniature version of the evil despot was standing up, his bright blue eyes wide in distress at his mother's yelling. "Oh, I'm sorry, baby, Mommy didn't mean to yell." She cooed, picking her son up and holding him defensively.
"Piper . . ." Phoebe said, with a hint of impatience in her voice, "It probably won't kill him; just weaken him. Listen, we know he's back in the past and manages to become the evil overlord of the world, so we know he's powerful and dangerous. And after Chris. You have to accept that we might have to hurt him to stop him." At Piper murderous glare, Phoebe started to get impatient. "He's my nephew too, Piper! Do you really think I want to hurt him? But right now, he's as good as a demon."
Paige nodded vigorously, completely agreeing with Phoebe. Although Piper still did not look convinced, she didn't protest any more, merely bouncing Wyatt. But she suddenly burst out, "So we're willing to risk vanquishing my son for Chris? Chris, of all people!"
"He's an innocent in this," Phoebe gently reminded her, "It's our job to protect him."
"We don't know that," Piper snapped sharply, absentmindedly patting Wyatt's back, "He could still be a threat."
Paige scoffed. "Please. What could a witch-whitelighter with amnesia possibly do to be a threat?"
A blood curdling scream of agony echoed throughout the cavern, the demon's eyes wide and shocked as flames consumed his body, shrieking until he finally combusted into ash.
Christopher Halliwell smirked in satisfaction but didn't have time to revel in his victory as another spike came hurtling his way. He nimbly dodged the sharp spikes that come from beneath the demon's wrists; relying on the adrenaline rush and the instinctive skill he had before the amnesia to guide him. However, he hadn't expected a demon to come in from the side and shoot his spike straight at Chris's side.
He yelled out in pain as the spike drove deeply into his arm, adding to the many scratches and burns he'd received already. Chris hadn't been able to feel these minor injuries, but as he stopped and the numbing rush slowed down, sharp pain shot up his arm and the place of various inflictions. Taking a brief moment to scrunch up his face and remove the spike, he then used his telekinesis to hurl it at the offending demon, who had been moving closer to attack and didn't expect to be staked in the heart by its own weapon.
Spotting a sharp rock on the ground, with effort Chris directed the rock at the demon's head, who turned into ash.
Finally, the battle being over, Chris fell to the ground, cradling his heavily bleeding arm, starting to feel slightly lightheaded. Carefully, he made his way over to the wall, leaning his head back against it, clutching his arm tightly.
That had felt so good. Well, at least until the demon had finally got him. Still, there was such an amazing rush of invincibility, of power . . . just the simplicity of the predicament; the uncomplicated matter of fighting for survival helped Chris clear his mind of his other troubles. Granted, it was a dangerous exercise, but he decided to risk it nonetheless. Memories were starting to trigger everywhere, driving him insane with the constant pressure on his mind, and he needed to let loose some steam.
Another thing on his mind was the sisters, his mother and aunts. To tell the truth, Chris still wasn't quite used to that fact yet. It's just that lately, he's felt extremely detached from them, deadened and dreading everything. Trying his best to hide the secret of his parentage, Chris had been avoiding the sisters as much as possible, minimizing the opportunity to slip up. In doing so, with no one else he could possibly talk to, Chris had become somewhat secluded, and restless.
He had been looking over his shoulder constantly, eyeing everything suspiciously, afraid that it'd be his brother, ready to make good on his word. Chris hated sitting on his butt, fidgeting and waiting for trouble to come to him. No, he decided to find trouble, and did it feel good to vanquish. Riding scum from the world and getting a twisted form of therapy in one go? He'd take it.
Chris wondered what exactly would Wyatt do, and if the Charmed Ones were taking any measures to ensure Chris's safety. Somehow, he doubted it. The sisters didn't seem to have any warm feelings for him, and he couldn't honestly say he had any for them either. With his fragmented memory, Chris didn't know these women, and with how slightly coldly they were treating him now, it was hard to feel that unconditional love a son and nephew was supposed to have for his relatives.
Nevertheless, he would attempt, at the very least, what he was supposed to do in the past, even if it felt like a huge, unwanted, and uninspired burden now. Chris just could not see why he had gone through all this trouble to come back to the past where he was met with constant suspicion to save a dictator. Searching Wyatt's icy blue eyes for a sign of humanity, Chris had found none, and he could only chalk up the answer to his own question as the fact that they were brothers.
But then, wouldn't it have been easier if Chris had just gotten rid of the baby Wyatt? No, a brother that remembered all the good times with his sibling couldn't murder easily. Chris didn't think he would carry that plan either; he was not a killer. Just as he thought that, he was struck with an image of himself stabbing the vision Wyatt with a sword. Chris shivered.
The main thing that has been bugging Chris is the fact that he doesn't know who he is. Sure, he knew he was Chris Halliwell, son of Piper Halliwell, a Charmed One, and Leo Wyatt, insufferable Elder extraordinaire. But he didn't know who he was, deep inside.
Chris had no idea what his soul was like. Was he some kind of hardened fighter, or something? He didn't know. Was he capable of love? He certainly wasn't feeling that emotion lately; although he recalled the vision Wyatt mentioning that he had a fiancé.
Vaguely, Chris wondered what his fiancé was like; was she pretty, smart, kind, or resourceful? Was she a witch or some other magical being as well, or was she a regular mortal?
So basically, Chris had gotten the main piece –his identity –but the majority of the puzzle, his heart and soul, were still unfilled mysteries to him, mysteries he hoped to solve somehow.
His thoughts halted when he realized that his breathing was starting to become shallow, that each ragged lungful of air brought a sharp pain to his chest. Groaning after sparing a glance at his arm, he saw that it was bleeding pretty badly, and everything started to catch up to him.
No! Chris thought, refusing to fall unconscious in the Underworld, the most dangerous place for him. Well, the second most dangerous. Facing the fury of Hurricane Piper ranked as number one.
Chris! Phoebe's voice rang in Chris's head. He groaned; he really did not need this right now. Summoning up his strength, Chris orbed to the Manor, managing to stop himself from looking like he was hurt.
"Good, you're here. Where the hell were you? I've been calling!" Phoebe demanded. Apparently this is her version of a greeting, Chris thought, amused.
Paige scrutinized him carefully. "Hey, you okay Chris?"
"What?" Chris asked, flinching. "No, I'm fine."
Phoebe rubbed her temples as a flurry of emotions hit her all at once. "Oww . . . okay, who's giving me an empathic headache?"
But Piper wasn't paying much attention to what her younger sister was saying. Something about Chris disturbed her; his face was much to pallid, beads of sweat were trickling down his face, and he looked very restrained, as if he were hiding something from them.
Phoebe was the one who voiced Piper's observations aloud though. "It's you!" she said suddenly, pointing to Chris, "I'm feeling you!" Phoebe paused before frowning and wrinkling her nose in disgust. "Wait, ew. Never mind."
"What, are you hiding a weapon in there or something?" Piper barked, still peeved from earlier.
Weakly, Chris shook his head, his eyes darting back and forth, searching for an escape route or something to distract the sisters with. Unfortunately, at this point he was far too tired to attempt any sort of subtlety or tact, so it wasn't very surprising to him that all three sisters noticed his shifty actions.
Narrowing her eyes, Paige orbed Chris's jacket off to him, much to his protest when he saw blue orbs surrounding him. Once she had orbed it to the corner of the room, all three sisters involuntarily gasped at their whitelighter's condition.
"You're bleeding!" Paige observed, noticing the huge, bleeding gash on his arm.
Duh, Chris thought sarcastically, but instead of saying it out loud, he hissed in pain, collapsing onto a nearby chair.
"What the hell were you doing?" Piper demanded, feeling concerned despite trying very hard not to.
Chris mumbled something inaudible.
"What was that?" Phoebe asked in a gentle voice, having felt the agony the young whitelighter was in. Plus, she liked to believe that there was something good in anyone who had at least a pint of humanity in them; blame Cole for showing her that even demons (well, half demons) could love. And Chris was half angel, after all; Phoebe was convinced that although his methods may be questionable, his intentions were good. Especially since he had lost his memory, Chris suddenly struck Phoebe, and Paige, as a bit vulnerable; Piper was the only one who refused to see that, though.
"I went . . ." Chris coughed, spits of blood flying out onto the floor tiles, "demon hunting . . ."
At the mention of demon hunting, Paige had snapped out of it and immediately grabbed the white towel next to her and wrapped it around Chris's injured arm, ignoring his stunned stare. "Put pressure on that, okay?" she instructed, "At least until we can get Leo or someone to heal you,"
"O . . . okay." Chris said, still looking confused. But nevertheless, he put his good hand on the towel and applied pressure to the wound.
Piper sighed. "Why were you demon hunting? Actually, who were you vanquishing?"
"Spike demons," Chris muttered, fidgeting uncomfortably under their intense gazes.
"Wait, weren't we going to tackle them after we made the Wyatt vanquishing potion? Uh, I mean, the weakening potion," Phoebe corrected after catching Piper's mutinous glare.
Chris shrugged. "I decided to help you out. What's wrong with that?"
"What's wrong with that is that you got yourself badly hurt!" Piper exploded, acting far angrier than she should be, taking out all of her frustrations on Chris. "Leave the vanquishing to us! We've had a hell of a lot more experience than a whitelighter, okay? We can handle it, you can't!"
Fearing that this could escalate to dangerous territory, Phoebe quickly called Leo's name. Piper was distracted mid-rant by the blinding blue lights of her ex-husband.
"Yeah?" Leo asked.
"Dropped the 'Blessed Be' crap, I see," Paige teased playfully, eternally happy he did get rid of that annoying saying.
Leo frowned at Paige, but otherwise didn't comment, instead turning to Phoebe. "You called?"
"Healing, now," Phoebe said, but took a step backwards when Leo started walking towards her, "No, him." She corrected, pointing behind Leo.
Turning around, Leo stifled a groan, clearing remembering his last encounter with Chris. It hadn't gone very well. He had half a mind to refuse, but after seeing the younger man's state, the pacifist in him got the best of him. Rushing over to Chris, he quickly let the warm golden glow envelop his body, effectively healing him. Leo thought he heard Chris mutter his thanks.
"How'd you get these wounds?" Leo asked, curious now.
Chris sighed and unwrapped the formerly white towel on his arm, pointing tiredly at Piper. "Ask them."
"He vanquished the Spike demons . . . by himself," Paige explained at Leo's questioning look.
"You really should take better care of yourself," Leo admonished, frowning in disapproval.
Chris scowled at his castigating. "You can't tell me what to do; you're not my father."
Piper's frown matched Leo's. "He's right, you know; you really should be careful." She had cooled down by now, and those concerned feelings were surfacing again.
"You're the one who needs to be careful," Chris shot back, gesturing at her gigantic pregnant stomach. Flinching, Chris groaned inwardly as he felt a sharp pain in his head, indicating the triggering of another memory. Shit. Great, just great.
Ten year old Chris smiled as he inhaled the delicious scent of his mother's lasagna, taking his time to enjoy the taste while his brother wolfed it down eagerly. The atmosphere of the happy kitchen table was just of a family enjoying each other's company, everyone feeling relatively at ease. It was a little emptier than usual: Wyatt was at a friend's house and Phoebe's family was out doing something.
The only thing that felt wrong about everything was that Dad had said he would come down for dinner, but never showed. Chris glanced at his mother, who was laughing at something Aunt Paige had said, and could tell from her eyes that she was little sad that Dad hadn't come, but was trying not to show it.
Well, he could understand. After all, Chris was pretty used to his father's absence by now.
Suddenly, without warning, a ripple of magic ripped through the air, causing everyone to flinch. A strong looking demon broke through the magical barrier and into the Manor.
Penelope screamed, her little lungs causing the demons to smirk in satisfaction. Quickly, Mom flicked her wrists to vanquish the demon, to no avail. He staggered backwards, harmed from the blow, but only laughed and plunged forward, glaring at Penelope. The little girl stiffened and her eyes became blank and unfocused.
Chris, realizing the demon was doing something to his cousin, flung his hands out in desperation, activating his telekinesis and sending the demon skidding backwards a few inches. The demon smirked as his attention was focused on Chris. Glancing swiftly in the corner of his eye, Chris was relieved to see Penelope blinking as if waking from a dream, and hurriedly orbed out of there, like she was instructed to do if a demon attacked.
The demon scowled menacingly and gestured with his hand, ripping a chair leg off the table, sending it flying towards Chris, who leaped out of the way to avoid a fatal wound, but was staked in the leg. He cried out in pain, knowing the demon's shadow was on him, ready to finish him off . . .
Aunt Paige had unclasped the potions bag she always carried with her, throwing random potions at the demon, hoping one would do the trick. It seemed to be working; the demon staggered backwards, away from Chris.
"Chris! Orb for help!" Mom shouted, still flicking her wrists.
Mom and Aunt Paige kept going on the offensive, while Chris tried to orb. But the agony of his wound made him unable to concentrate, and it was no use, instead just crouching behind Aunt Paige, trying desperately to orb.
The demon shimmered behind Aunt Paige, grabbing her roughly on the neck and began to choke her. Mom turned around, hands raised menacingly, but then demon merely tittered at her.
"Now, you don't want to go blowing up your sister, do you?" he sneered. His hands dug into Aunt Paige's neck, causing her to sputter and the flow of oxygen become harder.
Chris's eyes widened in fear, and out of pure instinct, reached his hands out to push the demon away, screaming, "NO!" But before he physically touched the demon, it exploded in flames, dropping Chris's aunt to the floor, grasping her neck.
Mom stared at her son in shock. "You –you can blow things up?" she asked, but after realizing that Chris was hurt, she immediately snapped back into momma mode. She crawled over to him, placing her hand on the table leg imbedded in his leg. "This is going to hurt a bit, okay?"
He merely gritted his teeth and painstakingly nodded.
"Okay, on the count of five. One, two, three!" On three, Mom yanked the stake out of his leg. Chris screamed as unbearable agony overtook him; for a moment he could feel nothing but pain. Quickly, Mom pressed her hands against the wound, trying to relieve the bleeding.
"LEO!" Aunt Paige called, her voice hoarse.
Mom waited for a second before trying herself. "LEO get your butt down here; Chris is hurt!"
They waited, and still Leo did not come.
"Paige," Mom said sharply. "Can you orb? Good. Go get Wyatt so he can . . ."
Chris couldn't hear any more. Images and colors blurred and swirled in front of him, sounds became dull, and he couldn't feel anything, not even pain. He was numb.
"C'mon, baby, just hold on until your brother gets here . . ." Mom pleaded, her hot tears stinging Chris's cheek.
After what seemed like an eternity, Chris felt warmth spread through his body as he was fixed. But even after it was all done, he just laid there in his mother's lap, emotionally and physically exhausted. Finally, he found the strength to look into the face of his savior. Chris half expected it to be his dad, come to the rescue at last.
Chris snapped out of it, and immediately felt suffocated by the concerned, confused looks everyone was sending his way. "I have to go and do something," he muttered quickly, orbing out with a glare filled with animosity directed towards Leo.
Piper and Leo unconsciously exchanged worried looks.
"What was that all about?" Phoebe asked, rubbing her forehead vigorously, as if trying to scrub Chris's emotions out of her head.
Everyone shrugged. Who knows what goes on in Chris's head these days?
A light breeze whipped through a mop of untidy brown hair, the only thing moving on Chris's body. Leaning back against the angel statue where he had first taken sanctuary when he had lost his memory, Chris enjoyed the quiet, subtle feeling of security.
There weren't any people in that section of the park, which suited Chris just fine. He was due for a little peace and quiet anyway. Instead of having an earful of Piper's lecturing, he closed his eyes and really listened to his surroundings. The perky chirp of a bird, the rustling of leaves in a swaying, creaking tree branch, the crunch of gravel as someone approached him. . .
Slowly opening one eye to see who it was, Chris immediately opened the other. He needed a pair of eyes to completely absorb what was in front of him.
A woman stood in front of him. A dazzling, beautiful, dark apparition that just emulated power, grace, and danger. But something broke the vision; she was hurt. Bruises and cuts littered her body, and the fear and longing in her eyes entranced Chris to her. She looked so familiar –as if he'd seen her from a dream.
Tentatively, Chris got up from the bench and began walking towards her, mesmerized by her. Like a sleep walker, he sluggishly made his way towards her, gingerly reaching out his hand towards her face, feeling breathless. But he was startled when she spoke, quickly retracting his hand.
"Chris," she said, her voice breaking, eyes pleading, "Help me."
Before Chris could answer, she disappeared in a swirl of blue orbs, but something in his gut told him that the orbs were not her doing. Chris felt the need to help her, so he extended his arm towards her. As she reached her arm towards him, Chris caught a flash of a red something on the inside of her wrist. As they reached for each other, their hands touched briefly, causing indescribable feelings to shoot up his arm, into his heart. Perhaps he wasn't as impassive as he feared he was. He held her eyes in his until even they were caught up in the orbs.
Chris's hand remained grasping at thin air.