It was dark in the Manor. Outside, the rain poured down upon the city in heavy sheets, and the young boy was certain it was leading up to a powerful, climactic storm. With no lights turned on in the entire house, the coming tempest seemed magnified ten fold and already served as a reflection to the boy's own inner turmoil. He couldn't fight the pain. He couldn't stop the tears pouring down his face.
Nothing had changed in the past four hours. Nothing, that was, except for the darkness that slowly blanketed each room as night fell. The boy had hardly moved from the corner in which he now huddled. As the shadows defeated the waning light, he could barely make out the small piles of dust that had once been his mom, his aunt, and his cousin. Nor could he keep his eyes off the separate pile of dust… that had once been the murderer.
No. Chris Perry Halliwell could not manage to even turn a light on. There was no way he could even move, much less attempt cleaning that dust up. He couldn't even bring himself to call for help. He couldn't do anything. Instead, he sat huddled on the floor, completely alone, and he cried. He was only fourteen. Why couldn't his life be like other kids? Why was everything being taken from him?
Sitting in the kitchen, Chris had a clear view of the dining room, and could almost see into the front hall of the Manor. And from his vantage point, he could see a dazzling blue white light reflecting off the walls as someone orbed into that front hall.
Tense enough already as it was, Chris felt his heart stop beating while at the same time feeling the weight of it bearing down on his chest. He wasn't alone anymore.
Chris trembled as he felt the presence of his brother. It was easy to recognize. It was powerful and confident, and more than that, it was Wyatt, plain and simple. But the thought of his older brother standing only two rooms away didn't bring Chris comfort. It terrified him.
"Chris!" Wyatt shouted, his voice strangely accented and surprisingly concerned. "What happened?"
Instead of answering the call, Chris finally managed to regain some control of his body. Pushing himself onto his feet, he awkwardly stumbled towards a basement door – away from Wyatt.
But that was a mistake. Wyatt heard him from the front hall. His hearing had always been sharp, and with the Manor being otherwise abnormally silent, any sounds Chris made seemed to echo out to the older boy. In an instant, Wyatt was in the kitchen.
Right as Chris reached the door, it slammed shut in his face. Having expected as much, Chris immediately reached for the door handle. Only when he found that the door would not open was he unable to keep the surprise off his face. Trapped yet again, Chris turned to look behind him at his older brother.
"Christopher," Wyatt's voice was almost gentle as he took a step towards the frightened boy. But then he stopped short, glancing down at the dust covering the floor. For one moment, Chris could detect the pain on Wyatt's face as he realized what he had been told had in fact been the truth. The Charmed Ones were gone now entirely.
Fourteen Years Earlier:
The hospital that evening was buzzing with activity. Literally. An intercom constantly rang out while men and women called, answered, and talked on cell phones, or stared at clipboards or magazines, or were simply pacing around the waiting room. Everyone seemed tense or nervous, and while there was no panic or threat of any kind, a hospital could only ever be what it was. A hospital.
Phoebe Halliwell sat impatiently on a chair near the Reception Desk. Her brown hair was pulled neatly out of her face, but her chestnut eyes were bright with worry and anticipation. Looking around, she wondered why Piper was always so adamant about delivering her children in a hospital. Though she hadn't been able to do so in Wyatt's case, she refused to have a repetition of that joyous day with her next child. Not that Phoebe particularly blamed her.
It's just that I should be in there with her right now, Phoebe justified. Instead of waiting for her nephew out in this overcrowded room. But then Phoebe smiled, thinking about having another nephew. Or a niece. Phoebe had learned not to expect things like an unborn child's gender the first time around. All she knew for certain was that she just couldn't wait.
I wish Paige could be here, Phoebe found herself thinking suddenly and without warning. Instantly regretting how easily her mind wandered even still, Phoebe felt another burst of pain in her heart. It had been a year since her baby sister's death, and no amount of time would end the pain and guilt the youngest living Halliwell sister felt at the loss. It was the same with Prue. Some scars never healed. Silently she cursed the Shax demon, and the titans, and evil all together. Why must it all bring her and her family so much pain?
The baby would come soon. Piper could almost sense it as she lay in a hospital bed, waiting. Glancing down at her round stomach, Piper couldn't help her smile from forming. Her son had grown inside of her, and was ready to be born. Though Piper had given birth before and knew what to expect, she was still struck by how miraculous it all was, even at this crucial point. The fact that the two of them had survived the nine months at all with everything that had happened was a miracle unto itself. Without Paige, the Power of Three had been broken. It was taking everything Piper, Leo, Phoebe, and even Wyatt had to stay alive. But perhaps, if all went well, with the baby, they could find hope once again, and live with happiness once again.
That was what Piper dreamt of. It was the one hope that was keeping her going. It was her strength. But at that moment, one thought grew prominent in her mind. Where was Leo?
The caverns of the underground, a hellish land of demons, were dark and cold and immense. The shadows seemed to move with their own force, and the evil there was vile and perverted. Leo hadn't even fully arrived in the midst of it before he felt the familiar and sour bitterness of its taste in his mouth. The foul atmosphere of hell was in no way welcoming to a stray guardian angel.
Leo shivered slightly as he glanced around, taking in cavern walls and stalagmites and the reddish tint of lava from far away reflecting slightly on the walls around him. This was no place for a two year old boy. And god help any demon, spirit, or Elder that might dare get in the Whitelighter's way.
"Do you feel that you have any power over this boy?"
The Fear Demon, Barbas, glanced down at the child that stood before him and his companion, trapped by magical crystals. The crystals seemed to prevent the spawn of the witch and Whitelighter from orbing, but other than that, Barbas was unsure of how effective they would be in the moments to come. Wyatt was no ordinary child. He had power unlike anything the Fear Demon had ever seen before. He was incredible.
"Being so young, I'm afraid the boy doesn't even know what fear is, much less experience it himself," Barbas explained ironically, glancing back up at the man who stood hidden in the shadows around them. "He's got potential. Killing him would almost be a shame."
"Killing him is the only option left," the man said in an abnormally calm voice. Stepping out of the shadows, Barbas could at last see the Elder clearly. There was a cold glint in Gideon's eyes that the Fear Demon would never have expected in any of his companion's kind. He slowly pulled an athame out from his robes. "Wyatt should never have been allowed to be born. He will be the death of us all."
Barbas smiled slightly, cocking his head at the Elder. "Is that fear I hear in your voice?"
Gideon glared sharply at the demon. "Don't get any ideas, now, Barbas. The very fact that I am interfering with Leo's family should prove to you that I am no being to trifle with."
"Ah, yes," Barbas nodded slowly and deliberately. He stared back down at Wyatt. The child looked back up at him, not crying, his eyes dry, unafraid, almost expectant. "But this is no ordinary boy."
"He shall have no ordinary death," Gideon said, as if that were some small way to show contrition for what he was about to do. Despite everything, he considered Leo to be his friend, and he respected the Charmed Ones more than any other witches. It would not be easy to come back from this, but Gideon could only do what he believed to be right. And this, he knew, was right. He held up the athame and blessed it.
The baby was coming! Pain tore through Piper's body as several attendants and a doctor coached her through the labor and delivery. The pain was unlike anything she could remember, even with Wyatt. She screamed as exhaustion wore her down. She pushed. She pushed. And only one name tore through her mind. "Leo!"
"Leo!" Wyatt turned his head away from the demon and the Elder. He thought he had heard his mom. Longing to see her washed over him, and despite his youth, he felt homesick. What was this place and why was he being kept here? Where was his father?
Wyatt looked back at Gideon in time to see the Elder hand Barbas the athame. Barbas didn't see it at first. He had been studying the boy very carefully, and once he noticed Gideon holding the dagger out to him, he hesitated in accepting it right away.
"Bless it now," Gideon warned coldly, narrowing his eyes in impatience. "This must end now. The boy must die."
The severity in Gideon's tone alarmed Wyatt. Sensing that alarm, Barbas glanced back hungrily at him, waiting for it to turn into fear. He wanted to feast on fear that night, and somehow, he was interested to sense, Wyatt could recognize that desire. For a moment longer, Barbas ignored the athame.
Once again, Wyatt heard a voice. Only this time it called his name, and he was certain it belonged to his father. Leo sounded afraid. Very afraid. For his son. Wyatt had to go to him. Had to find him and comfort him. Trying once more to orb, Wyatt remembered that he was trapped inside a circle of crystals.
"Barbas!" Gideon snapped angrily. The tone startled Wyatt, who felt tears form in his eyes. Tears of frustration and nothing more.
"There's no need to shout," Barbas objected, lazily turning to face the Elder. "I can hear you just fine."
"Take the athame," Gideon snarled. "This ends now."
Wyatt merely wanted to go home. Be with his father. Be with his mother and his aunt. He didn't like this place. He could sense the darkness wrapping around his small frame and consuming him. It felt heavy and liquidy and warm.
Gideon was forcing the dagger in front of Barbas. Wyatt found that he didn't like either of them. Especially the younger, darker haired man holding the blade. Wyatt wanted out, and it was Gideon keeping him locked in. Resentment built inside him. The Elder was right. It was time for this to end.
Barbas was a fracture away from accepting the athame when suddenly it orbed from Gideon's hand. They both started, and looked at Wyatt in alarm. The boy's eyes flashed a shade of red before the athame reappeared, buried deep in Gideon's chest. The Elder's eyes widened in shock and pain.
Barbas sneered at Gideon as the man slowly slipped onto the ground. "Hell never suited Elders in the first place, Gideon," the demon remarked before glancing once more towards Wyatt. When the boy turned his attention onto the evil creature, Barbas quickly counted his losses and shimmered from the chamber. There would be other days to fight this little guy – if fighting Wyatt even proved necessary any more.
Left completely alone, Wyatt stared down at the crystals. They were still all that was left between him and home. How to get past them?
The young boy once again turned his head, only this time, it truly was his father who ran into the darkened cavern. But Wyatt found that he was not as happy to see his father as he would have expected. No; the boy felt contempt towards Leo, and no admiration. Something inside of him had changed in the moment he had orbed the athame into Gideon's chest.
"Oh, god," Leo immediately took in the sight of the fallen Elder, and could easily see the knife that had brought him down. "Gideon." Torn between rushing to the side of his close friend and immediately saving Wyatt, Leo found himself first at the dying Elder's side. "Gideon? What happened?"
Wyatt's eyes narrowed slightly at being ignored. His father had chosen to go to his would be murderer before coming to him. When had Leo stopped caring about him?
Gideon's eyes could barely remain open as he looked up at Leo. "I'm sorry, old friend…"
"I can heal you," Leo assured the Elder, reaching down to pull free the athame. Wyatt felt a surge of anger rip through him at the prospect of his father healing the Elder.
"You… can't…" Gideon's eyes were glazing over, and Leo's own eyes were full of tears.
"Who did this to you?" Leo demanded, but before Gideon could answer, he slipped into the afterlife. And his body turned into light and evaporated towards the heavens.
"No!" Leo shouted as tears filled up in his eyes. "Gideon!" The Whitelighter was unaware of the Elder's part in all of this, and the pain at losing his close friend threatened to overwhelm him. Jumping to his feet, Leo spun around, looking, and expecting, to find a demon. "Barbas! I know you're here!"
The Fear Demon did not come and did not reply. Leo angrily wiped his tears from his eyes as he tried to regain some control of his emotions. He was failing. He paced back and forth, looking up and down, searching for someone to blame. Someone to punish. All the while, Wyatt watched, somewhat surprised by his father's lack of control, and all the while growing more and more resentful. The young child could not understand why his father was so angry that someone who could do what Gideon attempted to do was dead, nor could he understand why his father continued to ignore him.
"Using an athame isn't like you, Barbas!" Leo shouted at no one. "I can't believe…" Leo shook his head, already beyond the known levels of grief and hate that a Whitelighter should ever feel. Wyatt could feel it forming inside his father. Darkness. A darkness that eventually grew to consume Whitelighters, and turn them into beings of darkness. Wyatt was too young to truly understand the concept of a Darklighter, but even he knew that it didn't suit someone as pure as Leo.
Leo shouted in anguish. Collapsing to the ground, he slammed his fists on the stone floor, his tears beginning to fall. "Barbas! Why…?"
Though Wyatt felt no sympathy for Leo, he did feel reluctant to allow his father to change. And Leo was changing. The baby could sense it, and he wanted to stop it. He didn't know why. He didn't understand any of this. But he wouldn't let it happen. For the first time since this all had started, Wyatt shrieked in a way only little children could. The sound was so young, so innocent, it would have fooled anyone into believing Wyatt was an ordinary, helpless child.
Leo looked up in surprise. Immediately remembering his son, Leo pushed himself to his knees, only able to stand half way up, and he stumbled clumsily over towards the circle of crystals. When he reached them, he pushed them away, breaking their spell. Wyatt looked up at his father triumphantly. That had been easy.
"Oh God, Wyatt," Leo's voice sounded close to breaking utterly and completely. He scooped his son up into his arms, and held him close and protectively. "I love you, Wyatt. I love you so much."
Wyatt could sense that love. But he didn't care about it, and he felt none of it in return.
Phoebe was still sitting in the waiting room of the hospital. She had heard nothing from Piper's doctor and had no idea how it was going or how long it would take. Worry bit at her, and she couldn't help but wonder where Leo was. She sighed and shifted slightly in her chair. It was near impossible getting comfortable in this room.
The sounds that came with an opening door caught Phoebe's attention and she looked up in time to see her brother-in-law enter the waiting room. And in his arms was Wyatt.
Phoebe grinned and jumped to her feet. Rushing over to the Whitelighter, she held out her arms to her nephew. "Hey Wyatt!"
The boy stared up at Phoebe blankly as the woman took hold of him, relieving Leo. She stared down at him with a loving smile. "Guess what? You're gonna be a big brother really soon! It's so exciting!"
"How's Piper?" Leo asked, and Phoebe stared up at him in sudden concern. She could see in Leo's face that something was wrong. Very wrong.
"Leo, what hap-" Phoebe was suddenly overwhelmed by emotion. Her empath powers took control of her mind, and everything that Leo was feeling in that moment transferred over into the younger witch.
"Phoebe!" Leo grabbed his sister-in-law as she stumbled forward, caught off guard by a wave of dizziness and confusion. Even after Leo's emotions left her, she was still unsettled by the shock of it.
Leading her over to a chair, Leo took Wyatt back into his arms and helped her sit down. Phoebe had tears in her eyes as she remembered the intensity of Leo's emotions. Sometimes, being an empath sucked.
"All right, Leo, what happened?" Phoebe demanded, leaning forward and resting her head in her hands.
"Gideon's dead," Leo told her gently, knowing how pointless it would be to lie. Phoebe would hear the truth sooner or later, and after feeling Leo's emotions, she deserved to understand.
"Oh my God," Phoebe looked up at the Whitelighter. "I'm so sorry, Leo." The pain and sympathy in her voice did not go unnoticed by Wyatt, who once again could not understand why they cared. Gideon had wanted to kill him!
"And Barbas is after Wyatt," Leo continued in an even softer voice. "He showed up at the Manor. He took Wyatt underground. He… I followed him."
Phoebe sat up sharply, staring at Leo in disapproval. "You should have come to me."
"I think Gideon tried to save Wyatt," Leo whispered, ignoring Phoebe's disapproval. "But Barbas… was just too strong. If he comes back, I don't know how we'll be able to fight him. Without the Power of Three…"
"And Barbas didn't kill you?" Phoebe asked, her head spinning from all this information.
"He wasn't there when I got there," Leo explained, looking down at Wyatt. "Wyatt was trapped by crystals, and Gideon was dying. I couldn't… I felt so helpless."
"I know," Phoebe assured him, reaching out to gently touch his arm. "You still do."
A doctor entered the waiting room and walked straight for Phoebe. She and Leo looked up, their expressions matching a deer's that had been caught by headlights. The doctor looked first at the witch. "Phoebe Halliwell?
"Yeah?" Phoebe asked, feeling all the strength leave her arms and legs. The doctor smiled then, and there was true joy in his eyes.
"There is someone your sister would like you to meet," he told her.
Later, when Piper was allowed more than one visitor, both Phoebe and Leo sat with her and the children. They were in a small recovery room, and Piper was lying on a white bed in a white gown, holding a small little form close to her chest.
Phoebe stood back holding Wyatt while Leo sat on the bed beside his wife and son. The joy pulsing through the room was unlike any they had felt in over a year. There were tears in Phoebe's eyes as she watched Piper and Leo meet their newborn son for the very first time.
"He's so beautiful," Leo whispered, reaching down to gently touch the baby's cheek. The feel of his son was soft and warm and fresh. Nothing that had happened in the past few years could touch this child. The Shax, the titans, Prue and Paige's deaths, and everything in between had no meaning in this room, because they were past, and this new baby was the future.
"I'm never letting him go," Piper told her husband as she stared down at the baby in her arms. Tears were beginning to form in her arms as well. "He's… so… he's such a blessing! I can't believe how much I love him."
They both gazed at him with a happiness they hadn't thought they would ever feel again. Evil had taken so much of their family away. But now love was bringing a new family into their hearts, and Piper and Leo felt waves of love resonating around them and promising to consume them. They surrendered to it.
Even Wyatt, as he stared down at his newborn brother, was pleased with the feeling. But then, without any warning at all, it shattered to an end.
Three men in white-gray robes suddenly appeared in the room. Phoebe jumped so hard she was surprised she didn't levitate to the other side of the bed. Leo was on his feet in a split second, and Piper's face had paled unnaturally.
"Leo," one of the strange men spoke calmly, lowering his hood. He had a kind, elderly face, and the Whitelighter immediately recognized him and relaxed.
"It's the Elders," Leo told his wife and sister-in-law. The first three Elders, in fact, to have taken the place of the hundreds massacred by the titans, who had later, mysteriously, kind of just vanished. Everyone knew that there had to have been something more to their sudden disappearance, but hard as any of them tried, they had been unable to determine the cause of the missing titans. But then, there were other demons to contend with, and the Charmed Ones weren't too anxious to go looking for trouble. But now… Elders had come to them? In a hospital?
Phoebe closed her eyes and sighed, knowing three Elders wouldn't be as bad as three demons, and she bounced Wyatt slightly as relief washed over her. Piper, on the other hand, was furious.
"What the hell are you doing here?" she demanded angrily. "Are you crazy?"
"Don't worry," one of the other two Elders spoke in a harsher voice. "No one but you will realize we're here. We've taken precautions."
"Oh, you hear that Leo? They've taken precautions," Piper's eyes were ablaze. "I guess that makes everything peachy, now doesn't it."
Wyatt glanced at his mother, somewhat delighted at her tone. He had heard her speak this way before, but at that moment, he truly appreciated it.
Leo ignored his wife, looking back instead at the first Elder. "Are you here because of Gideon?"
"Yes," the Elder replied sadly. Piper's eyes narrowed in confusion, and she looked from the Elder to Leo.
"What the hell is he talking about?" she asked, her voice somewhat softer. "What's wrong?"
"Gideon's dead," Phoebe gently informed her older sister. Piper looked at the other witch in amazement.
"Wyatt," the second Elder spat. "Your son killed Gideon!" The anger in the man's voice was easy to recognize.
"You're lying!" Piper spat in equal fury.
"It wasn't Wyatt," Leo agreed. "Barbas-"
"Your love for your son blinds you, Leo," the third Elder scolded. "It is not your fault, but we cannot let the deed of your child go ignored."
"Barbas did not kill Gideon," the first man assured Leo. "It was Wyatt. We were watching it all."
Leo spared a glance at his son. Wyatt was watching the whole confrontation expectantly. It was almost as if he understood what was going on. Leo looked painfully back at the Elder. "Why would Wyatt do that? What about Barbas?"
"Yeah!" Piper practically shrieked. "Leo! Why the hell are we talking about Barbas?"
"Barbas kidnapped Wyatt," Leo informed the Elders, not glancing back at Piper. "I don't understand."
The first Elder sighed. "Barbas was taking orders from Gideon. Gideon ordered Wyatt be kidnapped, and Barbas obeyed. We don't know Gideon's motives, Leo, but whatever they were, he is dead now."
"Well maybe he deserves it if he's been working with a Fear Demon!" Piper snapped. All three Elders glared at the witch in resent, and Leo found himself maneuvering between his wife and them. Wyatt, on the other hand, was pleased that someone wasn't sorry that Gideon was gone.
"We've taught Wyatt to defend himself if he's in danger," Leo reasoned. "If Gideon threatened him in any way, you can't possibly hold it against a two year old boy for protecting himself. He doesn't even know what an Elder is!"
"We understand, Leo," the first Elder assured him. "But the fact is simple. Killing an Elder is a way for a person to Turn. Wyatt killed Gideon, and there's no denying that. It's possible that he's Turned, and if that's the case, he's a threat now."
"No!" Piper spat. "He's my son!"
Leo gazed at the Elders with more pain in his eyes than any one man should ever have to feel. Gideon was his best friend. Wyatt killed him. Somewhere in all of this, Leo had been betrayed twice. And by two people he cared greatly for. He suddenly felt sicker than he had when poisoned by the arrow of a Darklighter.
"Wyatt can't be evil…" Leo closed his eyes against the tears forming in them once again.
"He's not!" Piper told him confidently. She turned her head towards her eldest son. "Wyatt! Come see your mother." Wyatt immediately orbed from Phoebe and appeared beside his brother on his mother's lap. He glanced down at Chris, who was asleep and practically glowing with new life. Something about him drew Wyatt, and the older boy felt fond of this child. He looked up and smiled at Piper, who had tears in her eyes. Piper glared hatefully at the Elders. "If you come near either of my sons, I'll make you pay. I love them too much!"
"If you love Wyatt," the first Elder warned. "Then strip him of his powers and allow us to monitor him until we can determine if he is good or evil."
"How dare you even suggest that he might be evil?" Piper demanded.
"Piper," Phoebe spoke gently, trying to calm her sister. But Piper wouldn't be calmed.
"Magic has taken away my mother and two of my sisters!" Piper told the Elders. "I will not lose anyone else! You will not touch Wyatt!"
"What is so unreasonable about stripping his powers?" the first Elder asked. He glanced at the Whitelighter. "I doubt it would be permanent. Just allow us time to work past this." He then looked past Leo to Piper. "Your son needs help."
"My son needs protection," Piper spat back. "In case you've forgotten, the Charmed Ones aren't! Paige is dead! The Power of Three is gone! Asking us to strip Wyatt of his powers is unreasonable because we can't protect him every second of every day! It's a struggle keeping Wyatt safe when he does have his powers! I will not remove Wyatt's ability to protect himself!"
The first Elder opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out. Piper took a short breath, waiting for them to fight back, and ready to hold her position.
"It's too late," the second Elder finally replied. "You're a Charmed One, Piper. You can't protect evil."
Piper stared at the Elder stubbornly. When she spoke, her voice was sharp, cold, and steady. "I. Will. Protect. My. Son." Wyatt glared at the Elders victoriously.
"Leo," the first Elder looked to the Whitelighter for support, but Leo was just too dazed by what was happening to his family. He looked about ready to break down again.
"Leo!" Piper snapped, angrily waiting for her husband to take her side. And her voice did not go over Leo's head like the Elder's had. He stared at the three of them.
"Piper is a mother," he informed them softly. "The love she has for her children is something you can't fight. And what's more… I'm a father. Wyatt is my son and Piper is right. Removing his powers would be like asking a demon to come kill him. We can't do that."
The first Elder stared at Leo sadly, and then turned towards the last person who might still support him. "Phoebe…"
The empath was staring at the floor, and when every eye in the room landed on her, she still wouldn't look up to meet their gazes. When she spoke, her voice was heavy and full of sorrow. "It's not my choice. All I can say is that when Cole asked for a second chance, and I wanted to give it to him, Leo and Piper supported me. I owe them for that."
"And where is Cole now?" the second Elder sneered. "I thought the lot of you were smart enough to learn from your mistakes." Phoebe finally glanced up in anger, but she didn't say anything more.
"Get. Out." Piper ordered the Elders.
"We're sorry," the third Elder told them. "But we can't do that. We've given you enough leniency as it is. But this we cannot ignore." He held out his hand and the second Elder followed suit.
"I hope one day you will be able to forgive us," the first Elder told Leo sadly before he too held out his hand. The three of them began to chant.
"No!" Leo rushed forward, but the second Elder tossed up his other hand and Leo was suddenly on his knees, trying to breathe. Piper instinctively tossed up her hands, but none of her powers had any effect on the Elders.
"Phoebe!" she screamed frantically. The fear of losing Wyatt was beginning to overwhelm her.
Phoebe had rushed to Leo's side to help him in any way that she could. But her sister's call caught her attention and she looked up in panic. "I don't have an active power, Piper! I can't do anything!"
Piper stubbornly continued tossing her hands, but they didn't do anything. A white light began emanating out of Wyatt. "Please don't do this!"
The Elders did not reply. It was already being done. There was no stopping it now. Or so they thought.
Wyatt's eyes suddenly flashed red again. And then a moment later he was gone. The spell the Elders had been casting ended abruptly, as their victim had shimmered out of the hospital room. He had not orbed. He had shimmered and everyone there had seen or felt him do it.
"Wyatt!" Piper screamed in horror. Leo was suddenly able to breathe again, and he fell forward into Phoebe's arms. The Elders were enraged.
"You see?" the second hissed at Piper. "He has Turned!"
"Then we'll Turn him back," Leo growled from his place beside Phoebe on the floor. "This isn't the first time something like this has happened. They've all been evil at one point or another."
"They've never killed an Elder," the second continued. "You can't come back from that."
"Wyatt will," Phoebe whispered.
"He can't be allowed to grow up evil," the third Elder warned them.
"He won't!" Piper assured them. "I promise you that much."
"I certainly hope so," the first Elder told them gently. "If you cannot solve this, Piper, it will be up to us to do it for you." With that said, the three Elders vanished from the room, leaving behind Leo, Phoebe, Piper, and the newborn baby.
For a moment, no one spoke. Leo had tears in his eyes, and he was trying to blink them away. Piper looked like someone had dug a knife into her chest, and Phoebe, for all her experience with giving advice, did not know what to say or do.
Finally Piper could move again. She struggled to pull herself out of bed. "We have to find Wyatt."
"No, Piper, you're still recovering," Phoebe jumped to her feet and rushed to push Piper back into the bed. "You're too weak to go looking for Wyatt." Leo slowly turned to face his two girls. The look of anguish on his face tore into Piper's heart. She glared at Phoebe.
"Don't you get in my way Phoebe!" she hissed sharply. "You could have been more supportive, you know!"
Phoebe fell back as if she had been stung. "I'm sorry." Piper glared at her and once again struggled to get out of the bed. The baby she held close to her heart.
Phoebe's pain melted into concern. "No, Piper. Please. You have to stay in bed. You have to stay strong."
"My son is out there somewhere!" Piper reminded her furiously.
"And your son is here!" Phoebe shot back with equal ferocity. "Piper I will get Wyatt back for you! I promise that and you have to trust me! But for now someone needs to protect the child in your arms! He needs you just as much as Wyatt does!"
Piper stared at Phoebe, taken aback. But then she glanced down at her son, and her anger melted into sorrow and love. This child was so small. So fragile. She didn't want anything to hurt him. She had faith in Wyatt's strength, but this boy wasn't even twenty-four hours old. He was more precious to Piper than her own life was. Nothing could happen to him. She glanced back up at Phoebe and Leo.
While her sister was staring at her with those brown eyes that made her look so young and sad, Leo looked lost to Piper. He was in so much pain. They both gazed at her expectantly. Piper had long ago assumed the role of leader, and no matter what Phoebe said, the choice was hers to make. She took a deep breath.
"Okay," she agreed, falling back onto the bed. She nodded. "But please hurry."
Phoebe nodded in return before looking to Leo. He held his hand out to her, and upon accepting it, the two of them orbed out of the hospital.
Hell had not changed in the short period that Wyatt had been gone. The only difference between then and now was that now Wyatt was here of his own free will and now there were at least a dozen demons standing in his presence. And none of them were going to try hurting Wyatt. They were here to serve him.
"A child like you, Wyatt…"
Wyatt looked up to see a very familiar demon leave the shadows and walk slowly to stand before him. "A child like you might never find fear. A child like you might well become the next Source." Barbas sneered. "In that case, any intelligent creature would do well to not get in your way. I have brought you demons that will serve you and do your bidding. As shall I." Barbas slowly inclined his head, gazing at the floor while Wyatt gazed up at him.
The young boy tilted his head slightly, staring at Barbas curiously. It felt amazingly refreshing and satisfying to have these demons flock to his service. Even to him, a boy not yet three years old, it was addicting. He wanted it to last. He wanted more of it. His eyes flashed red.
The demons all spun at the sound of the new voice, and Wyatt looked up in interest. At the other end of the cavern, not even a hundred feet away, stood Leo and Phoebe. The majority of the demons hissed at the sight of the witch and Whitelighter. Wyatt's expression remained unchanged, and Barbas looked utterly delighted.
Leo took a step towards his son. "Wyatt, it's me. It's your father. It's time for you to come home." Wyatt's head shook slowly from side to side.
"A Whitelighter and a witch with no active power," Barbas breathed gleefully. His head rolled towards his shoulder. "And you've come to save the child. How truly touching. And pathetic."
"Pathetic my ass," Phoebe shot back, producing a vial of a potion. She threw it at a demon, who a moment later burst into flames. Pulling out two more vials, she levitated and shot forward. The demons instantly attacked, but in the year since Paige's death, Phoebe had become a very proficient flier and fighter. She easily dodged their attacks, throwing vials or chanting curses to vanquish the demons. She was, after all, a Charmed One, and even without the Power of Three, the Charmed Ones were not to be reckoned with.
Barbas watched, unconcerned. More demons were arriving, and not even Phoebe could fight forever. Especially with only Leo as backup. Wyatt was not in any danger.
The Whitelighter orbed beside his son. Wyatt looked up at his father as Leo fell to his knees before the boy. He gently took hold of Wyatt's arms. "Wyatt, please! I'm not going to let anything happen to you. The Elders won't touch you, I promise! Just come home with me!"
The baby disappeared, and the sudden space brought Leo roughly forward, forcing him to rely on his hands and arms to remain upright. Wyatt reappeared a few feet away from his father. Barbas turned towards Leo and looked casually down at the palm of his hand. There was plenty of fear in the Whitelighter to suck dry.
The Whitelighter spun around in time to see Phoebe fall to the ground. His heart jumped into his throat when he realized there was a dagger lodged in her shoulder. The demons shrieked in triumph and dove towards her.
The pain in Phoebe's arm was like fire as she landed on the ground. Blood began seeping through her shirt, staining her skin and the cold dirt on which she lay. A moment later, three demons were on top of her. She screamed and fought back as their hands groped her body and as claws cut her skin. One hand found its way to her throat, and for a moment she couldn't breathe. This was not how she had wanted to die. This was not how she had expected to die. The demons were laughing as they beat at her, and she tensed as her shirt ripped in their abuse.
Suddenly white light appeared between her and the demons. Suddenly Phoebe was blanketed by Leo's solid form. She dared open her eyes and a moment later she was once again consumed by a white light. And she felt the familiar magic as Leo orbed her away from harm.
A moment later, Phoebe was lying on the floor of the Manor with Leo still lying on top of her. Her blood was now soaking him as well, and Leo wasted no time in tearing out the dagger, pressing his hands to her wound, and healing her.
Once the pain was gone, Phoebe burst into tears. Leo threw aside the dagger and pulled the witch up into his arms, holding her close, wishing to comfort her.
"I'm so sorry Leo!" Phoebe told him between her sobs. "I couldn't fight them!"
"Ssh," Leo slowly rocked her back and forth. "You did your best. It's not your fault. None of it is."
"I don't think I can stand it!" Phoebe sobbed. "What did we do wrong? Why is this happening to us?"
"It's because we're strong," Leo whispered as he held her. He found that he was trying to convince himself of this as much as he was trying to reassure her.
"If we were strong," Phoebe cried. "Prue would be alive and Paige would be alive and good would win and evil wouldn't! That's the way it's supposed to be!" She shook violently and she couldn't keep from crying. "Everything is supposed to be okay!"
"It will be," Leo promised her. But Phoebe didn't believe it.
"It won't be," she sobbed. "Nothing will ever be okay."
It was almost eight o'clock. The rain poured outside harder than ever, and lightning shot across the sky with a violent burst of thunder following it close behind. Chris felt sick as he was orbed into another mansion, this one just as dark as the Manor. But other than that, this mansion was nothing at all like the place Chris had grown up in. It seemed larger and much, much colder. It had not been dusted in a long time, and cobwebs grew in the corners of the rooms. Whatever furniture was left in this empty, forlorn house, was covered in white sheets, making the entire place look haunted.
"No!" Chris shouted when he realized he was in a place he knew nothing about. Not even certain where he was anymore, Chris felt more exposed and more vulnerable than ever. "Let me go!" He turned towards his brother, who was standing behind him and holding his right wrist tightly. Chris tried pulling it free, even using his left hand to try prying Wyatt's fingers off. But there was little point. Wyatt was enormously powerful, and Chris just wasn't.
After a few moments of struggling, Wyatt finally humored the boy and savagely released him. Chris landed heavily on the floor, his breath knocked cleanly out of him. Shivering, he crawled as far away from Wyatt as he could before his strength completely left him. Curling up into a ball, he shivered as if the cold were too much for him.
Wyatt slowly sank to his knees, staring down at his little brother in some concern. "What happened, Christopher?" he asked again.
Chris glared fiercely at his brother. "Didn't she tell you? I'm surprised you care."
"Don't be like that," Wyatt's voice grew harsh. "I didn't want this to happen!"
"She was…" Chris closed his eyes and tried fighting the pain once again. "Aunt Phoebe… There was gonna be another…" Chris choked and for a moment he struggled to breathe.
"I'm sorry you had to watch it happen," Wyatt whispered. "I'm sorry I didn't get there in time to stop it."
"Let me go," Chris pleaded softly, looking down at the floor. The blue velvet carpet was soft to his skin, but the wood underneath it was hard to his body. "I just want to be left alone."
"I can't let you go, Chris," Wyatt told him sadly. "At least not until I find out who's responsible. The Elders are against us, and now without mom and Phoebe to protect you, there will be others out there who will want you dead."
Those words rang heavy in Chris's ears. Who could possibly want him dead? He was just a fourteen-year-old boy! He had never done anything to anyone in his life! Unintentionally, Chris let out a small sob.
"I'm not going to let anything happen to you, Chris," Wyatt told him fiercely.
Chris looked up at his older brother. "Why do you care about what happens to me?"
Wyatt stared at his brother with a strange kind of intensity. "You're the only family I have left."
Ten Years Earlier:
Summer was ending, but the warm evening air in San Francisco was as humid as it had been for most of the season. The Halliwell Manor was alive with light that night, and though only two figures occupied the beautiful house, there was a peaceful atmosphere present that was all too often a stranger inside those walls.
The TV was on – the channel tuned to a cartoon station where Tom and Jerry were literally tearing down the house. On the floor of the parlor, an aging man lay with a four-year-old boy, both of whom were coloring in a small black and white paged book as they watched the television.
Victor Bennett felt a slight pang of guilt about allowing Chris to watch the TV. He knew Piper preferred to keep her kids away from it, fearing that with too much exposure to the magical box, they would grow up to be lazy couch bums. But at that moment, Piper wasn't home, and Victor would spend time with his grandson as he saw fit.
"Grandpa," the four-year-old boy stopped coloring long enough to glance up at his companion.
"Hmm?" Victor glanced down at Chris attentively. He loved the child to death, and every time Chris called for him, Victor felt a wave of joy flow through his heart and soul.
"Where's mommy and daddy?" Chris asked in his soft, baby voice. And in that instant, Victor's joy melted into bittersweet sorrow.
"They'll be home soon, sweetie," he told the boy. "They're looking for your brother."
Chris contemplated that for a moment, then turned back to his coloring. For awhile, Victor watched the little child, wondering once again how it was possible to love some tiny boy as much as he loved Chris. Sometimes it threatened to consume him. He couldn't stand it, the overwhelming desire to just pull the boy close into his arms and never let go. His love for Chris was suffocating, and he wanted to be suffocated by it. He promised himself that since he hadn't been there for Prue, Phoebe, and Piper, he most certainly would be there for Chris.
At that moment, the front door opened and both Chris and Victor heard the familiar sound of Piper and Phoebe entering the Manor, chatting away like best friends in high school. Chris's face lit up, and Victor grinned.
"You see?" he said triumphantly. "I told you they'd be home soon." Chris jumped to his feet and rushed into the front hall.
Piper was standing by the door, balancing a grocery bag in one arm and a small boy in her other arm as she struggled to lock the door. Phoebe stood close by, carrying only one bag, but with a rather swollen stomach.
"Hi, Chris," Phoebe smiled enthusiastically at her nephew before looking back at Piper. "I'm telling you, Piper, if I do move out, we can make it work."
From his place in the parlor, Victor struggled to his feet. "Who's moving out?" he demanded as he turned towards the front hall. When he saw Piper and the small boy in her arms, he stood deathly still.
"Is that the TV I hear turned on?" Piper demanded, marching purposefully into the parlor. She glared at Victor in annoyance before gently placing the boy on the floor and grabbing the remote. Once the TV was off, she let out a large grin and turned towards the kitchen. Grabbing the second grocery bag from Phoebe, she disappeared into the other room.
Phoebe glanced quickly at her reflection in the hallway mirror before smiling at her father. "Hi daddy. You wouldn't mind if I moved in with Jason, would you? I mean, I'm due in a few months, and he wants to be close to me and our baby." She looked down at her round stomach and rubbed it lovingly with her hands. "I never thought I'd be a mommy."
"Phoebe…" Victor's face was pale, and Chris could sense his grandfather was upset about something. The little four-year old walked slowly into the room, staring at the other boy curiously. The other boy looked to be two or so years older than him, probably six. In his hands he was holding a small toy truck, and was staring at it very intently.
Phoebe's eyes narrowed in concern. "What's wrong, dad?" She looked up at him as if nothing out of the ordinary were going on. That was what concerned Victor the most.
He gestured to the other boy. "Is that Wyatt?" His voice was a soft hiss, but Wyatt heard it and looked up at his grandfather innocently. He looked exactly like any other boy his age. He was small, pale, his hair was a striking blonde, and his eyes a brilliant blue. He wore white sneakers, jeans, and a reddish purple soccer jersey. His round face and soft skin looked so pure, so untainted, Victor couldn't believe that this was his eldest grandson. He was just like any other normal six-year old boy.
Phoebe playfully hit her father's shoulder. "Of course it is, you goose. Who else would it be?" She let out a sharp laugh before turning towards the stairs. "Well, I think I'm gonna get some sleep. Jason and I are planning a big day tomorrow."
"Now wait a minute!" Piper strode back into the front hall, glaring at her sister in disapproval. "We have not finished discussing this yet. Phoebe, you can't move out!" Piper's gaze landed on Chris and Wyatt. She took in her younger son watching her older son play with the toy truck and smiled lovingly. "Now Wyatt, share your toys with Chris, you hear me?"
Wyatt glanced up at his mother for a second before he looked down at the toy in his hands. Ever so gently, the boy placed it on the floor and looked over at Chris expectantly. The younger boy cautiously made for it, but Victor reached Chris first and picked him up. There had been nothing evil or threatening in Wyatt's movements, but Victor wasn't going to take any chances. Holding Chris firmly in his arms, the aging man glared at his two daughters.
"Will someone tell me what the hell is going on?" Victor demanded. Phoebe blinked in surprise, and Piper frowned angrily.
"Watch your mouth, dad," the witch ordered, obviously irritated. "What's gotten into you? There are children in this room!"
"Yeah!" Victor agreed, glaring at Wyatt in concern. "It's the 'children' part of that statement that's got me upset, Piper!"
"What are you talking about?" Piper asked, her anger turning into concern. "Dad, what's the matter."
White blue light filled the corner of the room. Everyone turned in time to see Leo appear, looking confused and as alarmed as Victor felt.
Chris smiled. "Daddy!"
However, Leo ignored his younger son as his eyes fell onto Wyatt. Then he turned frantically towards Piper. "Where'd you find him?" Wyatt's eyes narrowed at the sight of his father.
"What are you talking about, Leo?" Phoebe asked, coming up to join her sister.
"I'm talking about Wyatt," Leo informed them urgently. "Where'd you find him?"
"We didn't find him, Leo," Piper frowned, growing concerned with her father and her husband's apparent hallucinations. "We raised him. Don't you remember?"
Leo glanced at Victor, and the latter suddenly paled in understanding. "Oh god." He gently placed Chris on the floor before rushing towards his daughters. "He's done something to the two of you! You have to snap out of it!" Victor grabbed Phoebe's shoulders and held her tightly. "What did he do to you?"
"Dad," Phoebe tried pulling away from her father, obviously scared. "Dad! Lemme go! What's wrong with you?" She managed to break free and she stumbled backwards a few feet, her face pale and her eyes bright with worry.
"That's not going to help, Victor," Leo warned the other man. Piper looked from one to the other. Her patience was wearing thin.
"Look," she barked. "If the two of you don't calm down right now, I'll freeze ya both so Phoebe and I can figure out what's wrong with you in some peace!"
"There's nothing wrong with us, Piper," Leo told his wife in concern. "It's Wyatt…"
"There's nothing wrong with Wyatt," Piper snapped. Leo calmly shook his head.
"He's doing this to you," he told her gently. He refused to look at either of his sons as he focused entirely on his wife. If he had glanced at Chris, he would have seen a small, hurt, and terrified little boy. If he had glanced at Wyatt, he would have seen a furious one.
"No," Piper denied, suddenly vicious. "Wyatt's our son, Leo! And he wants to be loved again!"
"Wants to be loved again," Leo repeated coldly. "Why? Wasn't he loved yesterday?" There was obvious sarcasm in his voice, and though Piper didn't understand it, Phoebe did.
Her eyes flashed white for a second before returning to their normal chestnut brown. And then they filled with horror. "Oh my God."
Piper spun around towards her sister. "Phoebe, not you too…?" Phoebe looked from Piper to Wyatt, and then up at Leo.
"I was hoping you could tell us," Leo told her, glad to see the spell was reversible at least.
"Piper!" Phoebe turned towards her older sister, close to panicking. "Yes! It is Wyatt and he is your son and I know how much you love him! But he's evil and he's trying to trick us!"
Wyatt glowered at his aunt and slowly began walking across the parlor, glaring at each of the adults in turn.
Piper was shaking her head in denial. "You're wrong!" she screamed and tossed her hands up. Phoebe was thrown across the room and landed hard against the far wall. She let out a soft groan before crumpling to the floor.
"Phoebe!" Victor shouted in alarm.
"Piper!" Leo shouted in horror. Both men rushed towards Phoebe in concern.
Piper stared at them as they helped her sister. Then she looked down at her hands in shock. What had she done? Fear began filling inside of her, and she looked over towards Wyatt and Chris. Both of her children were staring at her, one in approval, the other in complete horror. And then, a moment later, Wyatt orbed out of the Manor, taking Chris with him.
"No!" Piper screamed as her eyes flashed white for just a moment. And then the spell was broken.
Phoebe's eyes fluttered open. "I'm okay, I think." She winced as Leo and Victor helped her to her feet. They all turned towards Piper. The other woman was standing with her hands tangled in her long brown hair, looking for all the world like she had just broken out of a hundred years of isolation. There were tears burning in her eyes.
"Piper?" Leo asked, concern for his wife replacing any other priority he might have had in those moments.
"They're gone," Piper was trembling as she sank to the floor of the Manor. "They're both gone!"
Wyatt orbed Chris into a small park that was at that moment abandoned. There was a small pond nearby, a swing set, several benches, and monkey bars. The grass was green and well kept, and it would have attracted great attention in the afternoon. But at that hour, most small children were safe in their houses eating snacks or watching TV. Wyatt and Chris had the place to themselves.
Wyatt grinned at the other boy. "This is good! It was so boring in there with 'em grownups. Now we'll play!"
Chris struggled away from his brother and plopped down on the ground, pouting. "I don't wanna play. I wanna see my mommy and daddy. And I was watch'n Tom 'n Jerry!"
"That ain't no fun, little brother," Wyatt objected, pouting right back at Chris. "What's fun is actually being part a Tom 'n Jerry. Have you ever made a mouse fight a cat before? In real life? That's fun! We should have fun, you and me!"
"Why?" Chris asked, suspiciously. "You're a big kid. Big kids are mean!"
"I know," Wyatt grinned. "But you 'n me's brothers. We gotta play together."
"You're not my brother," Chris disagreed. "You jes' another kid! My brother's something important! It wouldn't be another boy. I'm the only boy my mommy and daddy need!"
Wyatt cocked his head at Chris in confusion. "Don't cha know what a brother even is?"
"Yeah!" Chris nodded importantly. "It's what they're all looking for! They always tell me I have one and that they're looking for it."
"I bet cha don't know what it is," Wyatt said cruelly. "I bet cha don't know what it even looks like!"
"I do too!" Chris objected, glaring at Wyatt resentfully. He opened his mouth to say something more, but couldn't think of anything. His lip trembled and tears formed in his eyes. "I do too know what it is…" he said grumpily.
Wyatt took pity on his little brother and walked over to sit next to him. "I'm your brother, Chris… It means I gotta look out for ya. We both got the same mommy and daddy."
Chris glanced up at Wyatt curiously. "How come I never seen ya before? Why you make mommy and daddy sad?"
Wyatt frowned. "They ain't sad."
Chris glowered at Wyatt resentfully. "They are too! Very sad! And it's your fault because they're sad because of you!"
Wyatt glowered at his little brother. "You ain't fun." He crossed his arms sullenly.
"I'm plenty fun!" Chris objected. "No one's sad because of me! They're sad because of you! You're no fun!" Wyatt pouted.
At that moment, there was another flash of blue white light. Both Wyatt and Chris looked up in time to see Leo orb into the park with Phoebe.
"Chris!" Phoebe called when she saw the little boy. Chris grinned.
"Daddy! Aunt Phoebes!" He ran past Wyatt and straight towards the grownups. Leo knelt down and scooped the little boy into his arms, never taking his eyes off Wyatt. Phoebe took a few steps towards the older boy, who then retreated a few steps. Phoebe stopped short and stared pleadingly at her nephew.
"I love you, Wyatt," she told him sincerely, kneeling down on the grass. Her round stomach was easily noticeable in that position, and she smiled. "I'm gonna have a daughter soon, honey, and she's gonna want two older cousins to look after her. You need to come home now."
"They don't want me," Wyatt objected, meaning his father and grandfather. Leo shook his head.
"That's not true, Wyatt," he told his son gently. "I love you very, very much, and so does your grandfather. We want you to come home with us."
"I tried to," Wyatt pointed out.
"You used magic," Phoebe reminded him. "You don't need magic to be with us. You don't need to cast spells to find your family, sweetheart, you just need to choose to be good. Make that choice, and we can be a family again. Wouldn't you like that?"
Wyatt stared at her, uncertainly. He took a step towards her, then hesitated and looked up at Leo. He was standing, holding Chris, waiting patiently for his eldest son. And as for Chris, he was sucking on his thumb and watching Wyatt intently, with his other arm wrapped around his father. And for a moment, Wyatt was jealous. He wanted to be held by someone just like that. Only, he didn't want it to be his father holding him tightly. He wanted someone else.
He took another step towards Phoebe. "I want my mommy."
Phoebe grinned joyfully, tears forming in her eyes as she held out her hands to him. "I'll take you to her, Wyatt, I promise."
Wyatt was about to run into his aunt's forgiving arms when out from the shadows, six young women emerged, striding meaningfully into the park. Wyatt hesitated, looking at the women in surprise. He hadn't sensed them approaching. Phoebe slowly rose to her feet, looking around her apprehensively.
The Whitelighter stared at the women in confusion. "They're witches."
One witch, a tall, thin woman with long, golden hair, glowered at the Whitelighter. "Leo."
"Tamora?" He shook his head in confusion. "What are you doing here?"
Phoebe glanced at Leo in even more surprise. "A witch that you're acquainted with?"
"She used to be one of my charges," Leo explained unhappily. He looked back at the witch. "I don't understand."
"I'm very sorry, Leo," Tamora told him, somewhat gently. "I respect you. I really do. But the Elders have assigned us with this task, and we're going to fulfill it."
"Wait a minute," Phoebe cut in, shaking her head. She glared at Tamora in confusion. "What task are you talking about?"
Tamora gestured towards Wyatt. "We must vanquish the potential Source. Please don't try to stop us."
Leo carefully placed Chris on the ground before stepping towards the six witches. "Are you telling me the Elders have ordered you to kill my son?"
"They didn't want you to know," Tamora explained gently. "They thought you couldn't handle it. I shouldn't have told you, but this has to end tonight."
"Now just, hold on!" Phoebe objected, stepping between the witches and the boy. "No one is going to kill Wyatt."
Tamora glanced at Phoebe thoughtfully. "I'm glad it's you here, Phoebe, and not Piper. You've made this sacrifice before. It'll be easier for you to accept."
"What are you talking about?" Phoebe asked, feeling a chill inside her heart.
"You've felt love for the Source before," Tamora reminded her. "But when he needed to die, you found the strength to see it through. You can do it again."
Phoebe felt sudden rage fill up inside her. She glowered angrily at Tamora. "You little slut."
"Wyatt is not the Source," Leo spat, just as angrily, stepping up beside Phoebe. "I won't let you hurt him."
"Very well," Tamora accepted that answer. "It does not matter. You are just a Whitelighter, and Phoebe's most threatening power are her teeth and nails."
"I've heard that before, believe me," Phoebe glowered.
"Wyatt dies tonight!" Tamora hissed.
Annoyed, Wyatt's eyes flashed red and within seconds six demons shimmered into the park. Tamora and the other witches felt their eyes widen in alarm as the demons moved to stand protectively in front of Wyatt.
"Oh, this is just great," Phoebe held up her arms in frustration, glaring at Leo. "What are we supposed to do now?"
"We protect Wyatt," Leo replied, much to Tamora and the other witches' surprise.
"You would fight on the side of demons?" Tamora asked. "On the side of evil? I thought you were a Whitelighter, Leo. Not a Dark one."
"I'm not a Darklighter yet," Leo shot back. "And Wyatt's not the Source. But if the Elders can't see that and you can't see that, then what else are we supposed to do to survive?"
"Wyatt can still be saved!" Phoebe added.
Wyatt scoffed at that before walking over towards Chris. No one noticed him do that, except for Chris himself. The smaller boy looked up at his older brother.
The older boy glanced down at Chris fondly, and smiled at him. "You don't think this is fun?"
Chris shook his head. "It ain't fun. It's bad."
"It's the way things are," Wyatt replied, taking Chris's shoulder and orbing him away from the park. A moment later, they were standing once again in the parlor of the Halliwell Manor.
"Leo?" Piper ran from another room, her voice filled with hope and fear at the same time. She froze when she saw Chris and Wyatt. Both boys looked up at her at the same time, a vision of a world where they were both part of a tightly knit family that evil could not touch. Tears flooded into Piper's eyes. "Wyatt…"
"Daddy and Phoebe are in a park three miles away," Wyatt told his mother softly. "They're fighting witches with my demons."
"Oh, god," Piper's tears dried as fear consumed her. They would need her help. She rushed towards Chris and Wyatt, falling to her knees before them. Taking Wyatt's shoulders gently by hand, she gazed at him pleadingly. "I have to help them Wyatt. But I'll come back, I promise. Please… Please, oh god, Wyatt, I love you so much! Please be here when I get back!"
Wyatt did not reply, but Piper wasn't waiting for him to. She turned towards Chris and kissed him tenderly on his forehead before jumping to her feet and racing towards the door. Both boys watched her leave in silence.
"Wyatt…" Chris turned towards his older brother, who looked back at him questioningly. Chris looked so lost and confused, but Wyatt found that he didn't hold his brother's apparent weakness against him. They were, after all, brothers. Chris pouted again. "Aren't cha gonna stay with us? We're family."
"I know, little brother," Wyatt put on a brave face for Chris. "We are, an' nothing's gonna change it. But I won't stay here. Maybe we can play together later."
"Wyatt!" Chris made to grab Wyatt's hand, but the older boy had already orbed out of the Manor, leaving his brother behind.
Only fifteen minutes had passed before Leo orbed Phoebe and Piper back into the Manor. Things had not gone as smoothly as planned. The witches had definitely put up a fight, and though Leo and Phoebe had fought against them on the side of demons, when the witches began to lose, Leo couldn't help it. He had to protect them. So he had begun fighting off both witches and demons, and Phoebe followed his lead. Neither one of them were particularly prepared for a fight at all, and things were looking grim until Piper showed up. And when that woman got angry, she was savage.
First she froze the demons, and then she blew them up one after the other. Both Phoebe and Leo, and especially the other six witches – some of whom were gravely injured at that point – were amazed that Wyatt had called for demons weak enough to be vanquished by Piper alone. In this one fight, the Power of Three didn't need to be bothered, and not even the Power of Two was necessary. Piper was enough. But then, she was also extremely pissed.
By that point, the three witches who could still stand had all rushed to the aid of the three who couldn't. Finding themselves on their knees before Piper, both Leo and Phoebe could read the alarm on their faces.
"Piper," Leo took a step towards his wife. "It's over. They might fight Phoebe and me, but they won't fight you."
Piper looked at him for a single moment. He could see the tears in her eyes. Tears of anger and extreme pain. He wanted nothing more than to comfort her. But before he could, she strode closer towards the six witches, who were watching her apprehensively.
"Piper," Tamora – who had not been hurt in the least, but was kneeling beside one of her friends protectively – tried calming the more powerful witch. "It needs to be done."
Piper, despite all her anger and torment, spoke in a low, calm voice. "If that's true, then no one is going to hurt him unless that person is a part of this family. Wyatt will not be killed by a stranger."
"He's not going to be killed by his mother, either," Tamora pointed out. "You don't have it in you to kill your son. And you won't forgive them if they do it for you." She gestured to Leo and Phoebe.
Piper looked down at the ground for a moment, as if considering the other witch's words. But then she looked up, and her expression was solid and stubborn. "I will do what is right. Saving Wyatt is what is right. And it can and will be done, but only if you and the Elders and everyone like you stays the hell away. If you come near my son, or my family at all, I will kill you."
The witches stared at Piper in shock. Even Phoebe was stunned and hurt by her sister's words. Leo walked towards his wife.
"Piper," he spoke gently, and she turned to him, tears in her eyes even then. He reached out lovingly and stroked her face. "Let's go home now. Put this behind us."
Piper's face broke, and her tears flooded down her face as she surrendered to Leo and allowed him to wrap his arms around her. Holding her close, he looked to Phoebe and nodded. She walked towards them and gently placed one hand on Piper's back and the other on Leo's shoulder. He orbed them back into the Manor.
Phoebe let go of Leo immediately, and the Whitelighter picked up his wife in his arms. Carrying her into the parlor, Leo whispered words of comfort into her ears. But those words ceased as he stopped short in surprise. Inside the parlor, Victor was sitting on a chair with Chris in his lap. Standing a few feet away, were the same three Elders who had visited them on the day of Chris's birth. Each of them looked completely and utterly furious.
"Phoebe!" Leo looked over his shoulder and watched his sister-in-law come running into the room. Her face paled considerably when she saw their guests.
Piper forced herself out of Leo's arms and, wiping the tears from her eyes, faced the Elders with surprising composure. "I just vanquished half a dozen demons. What do you want now?"
"Your husband and sister were fighting with those demons," the second Elder savagely pointed out. "And you threatened the other witches!"
Leo crossed his arms. "What's your point? You put a bounty on my son's head and you didn't even have the courage to tell me."
"It would have been less painful if your son turned out dead with no explanation," the third Elder explained softly.
Phoebe shook her head slightly. "No it wouldn't have. Not knowing… the uncertainty… It would have hurt more. And I promise you that if you keep sending witches after Wyatt, he'll just have his demons kill them. They're safer if they don't get involved."
The first Elder stared at Phoebe in consideration. "Maybe." Phoebe glanced towards her father and her nephew. Both were watching and listening with sorrowful expressions, and her father looked ten years older than he actually was. Phoebe regretted having to put them through this, and surprised herself by wishing that this entire problem would just disappear.
"We cannot condone you fighting beside demons," the second Elder spat furiously. "If you persist in aiding evil, you will be considered evil."
"Wyatt was an inch away from coming home and renouncing any evil that might be inside of him," Leo spat back. "This could have ended tonight, but because of the witches you sent after us, it didn't work!"
"Leo!" the third Elder cut in. "We are tiring of your impertinence. Do not defy us!" With that, the three Elders once again faded and vanished.
"I hate them," Piper growled, stating aloud a feeling she had felt ever since they had tried tearing her and Leo apart.
"Piper," Leo turned to his wife and pulled her into his arms, holding her closely. She surrendered to him again, and he led her over to a couch and sat down with her, holding her while she cried. "I love you, Piper. I'm so sorry…"
Phoebe sank tiredly to the floor. She gazed once again at Victor and Chris, both of whom looked as exhausted as she felt. And then she turned towards her sister and brother-in-law. "We need to talk."
They both glanced at her and she took a deep breath. This wasn't going to be easy, but they needed to hear it. She looked down at the floor. "I've been thinking about this. I know, better than anyone, what it's like. I loved Cole more than life itself, but the longer I tried keeping him alive and making him good, the more he managed to hurt me and the stronger he became. Maybe the Elders are right. Maybe… if Wyatt dies, it'll hurt more than any torture any Source could put us through. But with time, things could become normal again. We could finally move on, and heal, and actually have our lives back."
"No," Piper pulled away from Leo and fled from the room. She ran up the stairs and a moment later Phoebe, Leo, Victor, and Chris heard her door slam shut. Phoebe winced, closing her eyes and trying not to cry.
Wyatt struggled to keep from crying. He knew it was okay for children to cry, but he didn't want to be a child. But he also didn't want to be a demon. He didn't know what he wanted, but he wanted things to be different. He was tiring of Hell.
In the shadows of the dark and menacing cavern, the Fear Demon watched with his head tilted backwards lazily. Rolling it forward, he stepped into the firelight, towards the small child. Wyatt fascinated him on so many levels. Not only had he no fears, but he looked small and delicate and just so… human. Outwardly, he looked like any normal six-year old boy. Inwardly, he had power unlike anything Barbas had ever encountered before. Not even Cole – Balthezar – had power like Wyatt.
"I don't understand!" Wyatt suddenly shouted out in a childlike tantrum. "Everybody hates me! I just want a family! What did I do wrong?"
Barbas sneered. The boy, like any other child, could not remember events that had happened in his life when he was a baby. No one could expect him to remember killing an Elder when he was two, and Wyatt certainly didn't. In his mind, this was how it had always been in his life, and there was seemingly no cause for it, not reason for it. It was just the way it was. And Wyatt despised it. But Barbas could easily use that to his advantage.
"It's not what you did, Wyatt," Barbas explained coldly, but in a soft voice. Wyatt looked up at Barbas sharply, his mind so easily manipulated. Barbas smiled softly. "It's who you are. No matter how hard you try to be good or evil, the Elders will always fear you and abhor you. Nothing you do can change that, and as long as they have their way, you will never be allowed to live with your family."
Wyatt's face twisted in anger, and he angrily held a hand up in Barbas's direction. Fire poured fourth from it, consuming Barbas in an inferno of flames. A moment later, the fire died, but Barbas did not. The Fear Demon could not so easily be vanquished, even by someone as powerful as Wyatt. But the display of anger and evil pleased the demon very, very much. He smiled slightly. But Wyatt was not any less upset. He looked thirsty for blood.
"The Elders have no power over me!" Wyatt declared furiously. "If I wanna be with my family, they can't stop me! And if they try to, I'll kill 'em!"
The atmosphere inside the Halliwell Manor had not eased, and Victor knew there would be no peace that night. It might take a long time for Piper to forgive Phoebe for her words, and Victor also knew the process of that forgiveness would be very, very painful. He didn't know much about magic or fighting evil, but he did know that ever since the girls had become Charmed Ones, it had been one ordeal after the next. And now, more than ever, magic tearing them apart. It was ruining their lives and they didn't deserve it. No one did, especially the children.
As the hour darkened, Victor held Chris in his arms and walked up the stairs towards Piper's room. The four-year old was tired and ready for bed. He had been through a lot, and he felt so small and delicate in his grandfather's arms.
"Grandpa?" the boy's voice was soft and high. Victor glanced down at the boy, who looked up at him with wide, tired eyes. "Why's mommy mad at Aunt Phoebes? I don't understand…"
"Ssh," Victor whispered softly as they came to a pause outside Piper's room. Before he could say any more, the door opened and Leo quietly walked into the hallway. When he saw Victor and Chris, he gave them both a tired smile. It seemed like everyone was ready to drop dead from exhaustion.
"Leo," Victor reached out to touch his son-in-law's shoulder. "How is she?"
"Tired," Leo replied in a soft whisper. "She's in bed now. She cried so hard I don't know if she has any tears left. I wish I could take away her pain."
Victor nodded his understanding. "She's not the only one in pain." Victor glanced down at the boy in his arms very quickly before looking back up at the Whitelighter. "Please. Spend a moment with your son. It'll make you feel better."
Leo shook his head, quickly looking away. "I better talk to Phoebe. Besides, it might do Piper some good to be with Chris." Without saying anything else, Leo headed towards the stairs and began his descent. Victor closed his eyes and sighed before turning towards Piper's door and knocking. When he was not favored with an answer, he opened the door and walked inside anyway.
The room was unlit and dark. Leaving the door open to allow the hallway light in, Victor walked towards Piper's bed. She was lying on it above the blankets, facing away from him with her head buried in her pillow. She was not moving.
"Piper…" Victor hesitated, wanting nothing more than to hold his daughter, but knowing it wasn't what she needed at that moment. She needed her son. "Chris wanted to say goodnight."
Piper slowly rolled over and looked up at her father and son. Even in the dark, Victor could see that her eyes were red and puffy. His heart ached to see her heart broken in her face. For a moment, no one spoke, and then Victor set Chris on the ground. The small boy looked up at his grandfather, who knelt down beside him and whispered something into his ear. When Chris nodded, Victor smiled, stood, and left the room.
A moment after his grandfather had retreated, Chris slowly walked towards his mother. She watched him as he carefully climbed up onto her bed. Sitting on the mattress beside her on his knees, he looked at her with extreme solemnity before he spoke. "I love you, mommy."
Piper let out a small sob before she reached for Chris and pulled him close into her arms. Holding him to her heart, not unlike the way she had on the day of his birth, she felt her anger and hate quickly evaporate. It was replaced with complete and unconditional love for her tiny son.
"I love you, Chris," she whispered into his ear. "And I won't let anything happen to you."
For a few more moments, the two of them remained in that position, unmoving, unspeaking. It felt like Heaven to Piper, and after an eternity, she still would never willingly let him go. When she spoke next, she spoke in a soft whisper, not wanting to spoil what peace Chris was able to give her.
"It's time I tell you something," she whispered. "There is something you need to understand."
Chris didn't move. He didn't look up at her, he didn't fidget, but just lied still staring off into the darkness of the room. "What?"
"There's two kinds of people, Chris," she told him gently. "There's good people, and there's bad people. And they're not the same." She paused for a moment, wondering where to go from there. "And… while good people want what's best for others, bad people want to hurt others. They want to cause people pain." It should have been easy to explain this to Chris. She should have had practice with Wyatt. But she had never been given that chance, and so this was her first time ever teaching one of her children the difference between good and evil. It simply wasn't fair.
Chris frowned. "Why?"
"Because they enjoy it," she told him. "Because they're mean and cruel, and they don't know any better. They're just… bad. And it's wrong."
"It's against the rules?"
Piper took a deep, slow breath. "Bad people don't care about rules, Chris. And good people don't need rules because they follow them anyway, and would follow them even if there weren't any."
"That sounds hard…"
Piper smiled slightly. "It is hard. Because sometimes, there really aren't any rules. Sometimes, you don't know what the rules are. You could do one thing, and it could be bad, or you could do something else that's good, and you don't know what to do because you don't know which is which. So you have to make a choice…"
Chris wasn't sure he understood. "When aren't there rules?"
"Whenever you don't know what they are," Piper felt like she was repeating herself, but she didn't lose patience. All the while, she wondered if a four-year old were even capable of understanding.
"Then how can you follow them?" Chris's voice was getting higher, as if he were close to giving up trying to follow his mother's words.
"You can't," she whispered into his ear. "If you don't know what the rules are, you can't follow them. In those moments, you don't search for a rule to follow, you figure out what's right and you do that."
"How'll I know what's right?" He was whimpering now, getting frustrated, but Piper didn't mind.
"Sometimes it's not easy," she warned him. "Sometimes it looks right in every direction. You have to search very hard sometimes to figure out what's good and what's bad. It's the hardest thing in the world. And you'll make mistakes, Chris."
"An' then I'll get punished?"
"You might," she replied truthfully. "But what's important is that you learn, and grow, and become better. You wanna get better, Chris. Always better."
"What if I'm bad?" Chris asked, sounding small, like a frightened animal. "What if I'm bad on purpose?"
Piper looked down at her son and bit her lip. "That'll make mommy very sad. She'll cry."
Those words finally led him to look up at her, and in great concern, too. "I don't wan' cha to cry!"
"Then don't be bad, Chris," she whispered, pulling him even closer to her. "Never be bad. If you're bad, it'll hurt me more than anything else will in the world. And I'll cry very hard."
Chris abruptly changed the subject. "How come you don't laugh? I never hear you laugh!"
Those words stung Piper's heart, and she felt like it had been torn from her chest. She shivered slightly. "Chris… If you're very, very good, you'll make mommy very, very happy. And I promise you, you'll hear me laugh one day. Just stay good, and strong, and perfect… Like you are right now… and no matter what happens… I'll laugh. Just for you. I promise."
Piper wasn't sure how long she and Chris lay in that room, unmoving and silent. It had to have been at least an hour. She could tell that Chris was still awake – his breathing hadn't taken that soft regularity that it did when he slept. But still, just holding him in her arms, waiting the night away, brought more comfort to Piper than anything else in the world could.
The Elders thought she was evil. Or at least growing evil. But Piper knew that wasn't true. Just holding Chris in her arms, Piper could feel purity unlike anything the Elders could even begin to comprehend. In those moments, there was nothing evil in her or Chris or her room. The love was just too strong, the peace just too solid. Evil and the pain that was brought with it, had left her entirely.
That was the first thing Wyatt felt when he orbed into her closet. Carefully, and silently, he cracked the closet door open just an inch, and peered out into the room. He could not remember ever feeling anything like this before. The unconditional love resonating between the mother and child was like a blanket, covering Wyatt along with everything else. It was the most pleasing sensation in the world to him. He wanted more of it, and he wanted it to last forever.
Chris suddenly shifted in his mother's arms, and rubbing his eyes tiredly, he looked up at her. "Who was that boy in the park? Said he was my brother."
Piper nodded sadly. "His name is Wyatt. He is your brother, and I love him very, very much. I would do anything for him, like I'd do anything for you, sweetie. I just wish he'd come home."
"Why doesn't he?"
"I don't know," Piper pulled her baby close. "The bad people I was talking about earlier… They stole him from me… And he became confused… and people started trying to hurt him and he did what he could to protect himself. I just wish he didn't have to protect himself. I want to be the one protecting him."
"Those people that were here today…" Chris hesitated. "They were so angry…"
"I know," Piper agreed. "I wish you didn't have to see them like that. I wish everything was different."
"I felt safe with Wyatt," Chris said bluntly. "He was tough. And he wanted to play. I told him I wouldn't play with him, but I would have anyway. I wanted to. But he couldn't think of anything fun to do."
Piper smiled. "Well, maybe the next time you see him, you can think of a game to play with him. Tag or hide and seek. Something where neither one of you can get hurt."
Chris sounded surprised. "It's okay if I play with him? Those men said he was bad."
"Maybe he wouldn't be bad anymore if you played with him," Piper whispered hopefully. "Maybe if you're nice to him, you can convince him to be nice back. And then he'd be good. And we could be a family. I want that more than anything else."
Wyatt listened to all of this and beamed, incredibly pleased. Barbas had never in his life said anything that pleased Wyatt greater than this did. This was on an entirely new level of pleasantness. Both his brother and his mother offered him something that he wanted much, much more of.
"Mommy…" Chris hesitated once more before plowing on ahead. "When'll we be a family again?"
Piper felt fresh tears in her eyes. "I don't know, sweetheart. But it'll happen. I love you, and I love your daddy, and I especially love Wyatt too much to not let it happen."
And that was all Wyatt needed to hear. He pushed open the closet door and bolted out. Piper shot upright, ready to throw her hands up in defense. Chris slid off her lap and onto the mattress beside her. Wyatt, however, was unalarmed as he climbed up onto the foot of the bed.
"Wyatt!" Piper nearly shrieked. Mixed emotions burned through her veins as she stared at her son in uncertainty.
"Mommy!" Wyatt looked at her with a longing she had never seen in his eyes before. "Let's be a family now! Please! Make my nightmares go away!"
Once again, in one night, Piper's heart broke into pieces. "Oh Wyatt, come here!" She held out her arms, beckoning him. After what seemed like an eternity, Wyatt made his way into her arms. She pulled him close to her heart, and Wyatt held her back. She had never felt closer to her eldest son in her entire life.
Chris beamed, and not wanting to be left out, he climbed back onto his mother's lap and wrapped his arms around her. She was crying again, but as she held her two sons to her heart, the tears were of joy.
"I love you, Wyatt," she whispered tenderly. "I'll make your nightmares go away. I won't let anyone hurt you." Smiling, she caressed the back of Chris's head. "Chris, this is Wyatt. He's your brother. And I want the two of you to love each other as much I love the two of you."
Wyatt glanced over at Chris and Chris looked over at him. They both nodded slightly, but at that moment, neither wanted to be brothers. They wanted to be their mother's sons. And for a few more heartbeats, that was exactly what they were.
One softly spoken word ended it all. The three on the bed looked up in surprise to see Leo step into the room. His face was lined with fear and worry.
Piper sat upright once again. "Leo it's not what you think!"
Leo backed up and turned towards the hallway. "Phoebe!"
In a split second, Piper was off the bed and on her feet. "Leo don't!"
And then, before anyone could do anything else, a single, middle aged woman shimmered into the bedroom. Everyone stopped short and looked at her uncertainly. Her eyes immediately landed on Wyatt and she held up a hand. An athame instantly appeared in it.
"No!" Piper screamed as the woman threw the dagger towards the boy. Flinging up her hands, Piper managed to stop the blade mid-flight. Racing towards it, she grabbed it out of the air and stood in-between her son and the assassin.
By then, Phoebe was up the stairs and in the room. She stopped short when she saw Wyatt and the stranger.
The assassin glowered at Piper in annoyance before shimmering to the other side of the room. Piper sensed her presence and, spinning around, she threw the athame back at the assassin, who caught it expertly.
"Dammit!" Piper cursed, realizing Wyatt and Chris were both in the woman's line of fire. "Boys!"
The woman held her dagger poised to throw. When she finally tossed it, Wyatt wasted no time in grabbing Chris's arm and orbing out of the way.
"Oh thank god," Phoebe gasped when she saw both her nephews were unharmed. Wyatt and Chris reappeared on the floor behind Piper, and the athame embedded itself into the backboard of the bed.
Piper tossed up her hands in an attempt to vanquish the assassin. But she only succeeded in throwing the woman back up against the wall. The woman took only a second to catch her breath, and then she threw out her hand as well. Piper was thrown backwards.
"Piper!" Phoebe and Leo both screamed at the same time. They ran to help her get back on her feet. Meanwhile, the assassin turned her attention back onto Wyatt. They boy's eyes flashed red. All he wanted was to be with his mother! First his dad had to ruin it, and then this assassin had to show up and try killing him! The amount of frustration he felt coursing through his veins far outweighed the peaceful content he had felt in his mother's arms, and yet, it was that content that he had preferred. How dare this woman come and take that from him? Why couldn't he just be left alone?
Rage filled up inside his heart. He hadn't done anything wrong! He had just begun to embrace his mother's love! Maybe Barbas was right. Maybe he would never be allowed to be with the people who loved him. Not unless he fought for it.
Holding up his hand, Wyatt watched as fire flooded towards the assassin. She only had time enough to widen her eyes in alarm before she burst into a pile of dust.
"Wyatt, no!" Leo shouted in horror. By now, Victor had made his way up the stairs as well, and he stared into the room in shock. Phoebe, Leo, and Piper were still on the floor, and they were gazing at the six-year old boy with a new kind of dread filling their faces. Chris slowly backed away from him.
Wyatt glanced over at them in confusion. What was…? Then he realized what was wrong. He had killed someone. Not even his mother had wanted to see him do that, even if it was to protect them. Suddenly feeling shame like he had never felt before in his life, Wyatt couldn't bear to look back at them. Tears filled his eyes, and he orbed out of the Manor. There was only one place he could go to truly belong. And that was with Barbas in the underground.
Long after Wyatt had left, the Halliwell family remained as still as stone in Piper's room. No one could move, and no one could speak. Piper was finding it hard to breathe. Wyatt had killed a woman before their very eyes!
Finally, Phoebe was the first to overcome the shock. Pushing herself to her feet, she spun around to glare at Piper and Leo. "That is it! I have had it! I can't do this anymore!"
"Phoebe?" Leo slowly stood up, bringing Piper to her feet as well. Both stared at Phoebe in alarm. She was glowering at them, close to rage, close to tears, filled with great emotion.
"I can't live this life anymore," she told them frantically. Gesturing to her swollen stomach, she continued. "I'm going to have a baby! My own baby girl! I will not allow her to grow up in these conditions! And neither one of you should allow Chris to grow up in these conditions! Think about what you're putting him through! God, Piper, this has to end! You have to think about Chris's future! He can't grow up like this! And I refuse to life like this any longer! If I wanted this kind of life, God! I would have stayed with Cole!"
"You don't mean that…" Piper stared at Phoebe in disbelief, but Phoebe had never been more serious in her life.
"You have to accept this," she told them in a gentler, pleading voice. "You have to move on. Do it for Chris!"
"Chris will be just fine!" Leo snapped angrily. Piper grimaced at the sound in her husband's voice, and Victor looked at the floor. Phoebe didn't look away from Leo, but as an empath, she could feel the emotions of everyone in the Manor clearly and painfully. They didn't understand it was more than she could tolerate. Especially when she sensed Chris's anguish. But Leo had no idea what Chris was feeling. He had only one son on his mind. "It's Wyatt we need to be worried about!"
His words echoed in Chris's ears. "Chris will be just fine! It's Wyatt we need to be worried about!" Chris felt the tears build up in his eyes. He felt them fall down his face. And Phoebe felt like dying as the boy ran towards his grandfather and begged to be held and cared for.