Title: Journey's End
Summary: Wyatt comes after Chris to finish what he started in 'Chris-crossed'.
The story is placed somewhere after 'A wrong day's journey into right' and before 'It's a bad bad world'. Let's just make a few alterations and say Chris managed to keep his secret from everyone.
Spoilers: Basically season 6
Disclaimer: I don't own anything :( Can't I borrow Chris for a little while?
1. Halliwell's Path
Stars were shining brightly over an almost silent city. Only now and then a noise could be heard; restless cats stalking through the streets, a lonely car driving on empty highways, the sudden sound of a motor starting when some people went home late or had to go to work early, disrupting the soothing silence of the quiet hours before dawn.
It was during these early hours of morning that a loud wail startled an owl out of her watch on a tree and a single light went on in the house on the opposite side of the street. The silent watcher witnessed a young man bending over a cot, taking a toddler into his arms, rocking him gently, speaking to the child, trying to soothe him back to sleep. Even after the creature of the night had lost its interest and had flown away to better hunting grounds, the young man stood over the bed of the child he had layed back there, watching with sad yet hopeful eyes.
Only the clouds shadowing the horizon foretold of coming darkness.
Later that day, a bright blue light illuminated the attic of the old manor and then the silhouette of tall burly man stepped out of it. When it died down, it momentarily took the shape of the triquetra on the wall behind the stranger before disappearing completely.
Wyatt took in his surroundings for a moment before trying to sense for his brother. The attic of his former home hadn't changed all that much under time's influences. There was still a sofa under the roof, still chairs standing around the spot where the Book of Shadows had its sacred place.
A small part of him almost yearned for the way things were back then. Back here. Things had been so easy when he was small. There were no problems his parents and aunts couldn't take care of, his little brother still adored him and his world still had the golden shine of childhood.
However, he steeled his resolve. His family had died fighting a fight they couldn't win starting with his mother, his father had turned into a workaholic, rarely coming down to see his first born anymore and even less for his second son.
And now he had a brother to find. A brother who betrayed him.
Why did Chris have to be so stubborn? Couldn't he see that Wyatt only wanted to make things easier for them? He didn't want to end like his ancestors, fighting and dying for the 'Good Cause', never being able to rest, never being able to just sit back and enjoy the victory because there was no victory, not when ever more demons, ever more threats had to be dealt with. There was only a life of pain and unfullfilled dreams waiting down that road.
Look at their mother; when her older sister had died she had been a wreck, and as much as she wanted her children not to notice, it killed her each time when Leo left her because he had to put his work over his family again. Look at aunt Paige; she hadn't even been allowed to grow up with her siblings because her parents had feared what the Elders, the so-called 'paragon of good' might have done to the offspring of their forbidden union. Look at aunt Phoebe; she had lost the love of her life because after all that she had had to go through to be with Cole, when it came down to it they were still fighting on opposite sides. And all that for what? For strangers they didn't know, didn't care for, who didn't even know them or what they were doing for them? Never getting a reward for the risks they took at a daily basis? Always having to worry if the next demon would be the one whose name was hanging over their heads, like the sword of Damokles? Innocents his ass!
No, Wyatt thought. He didn't want to end like that and he didn't want that fate for his little brother either. It was so much easier not having to think about consequences, not having to answer to anyone but himself and he had the power he needed to achieve that. He already had achieved that. If only Chris could see that.
But that little brat stubbornly held on to a set of old overcome values and morals, despising his brother for what he wanted for the two of them, taking away the last link to a family he never had gotten over to lose. Chris' repeated rejection had hurt more than Wyatt wanted to admit. That day when Bianca had brought him back from the past, it had hurt more than any other time before. And not because of their fight. They had fought before. But because Chris claimed there was something wrong with him, claimed he wanted to 'save' him from whatever made him the way he was. Didn't his brother understand that he only wanted to spare them from going down the same path that all their family had followed? What was wrong with that? If Chris wanted to prevent that, he would have to prevent their mother's death, their aunts' deaths, their father's neglect and defeat every demon that was likely to pose a threat to them all.
That day, Wyatt had lost it. If Chris didn't want him as a brother the way he was, it was his loss. But he would be damned if he let some common demon kill his little brother. And Wyatt was certain that exactly that would happen some day if Chris continued to follow Halliwell's Path. But if anyone laid a hand on Chris, it would be Wyatt himself. His brother was his responsibility, his to kill before he suffered the same pain all of their family before them had suffered.
It had taken him some time to reconstruct the spell Bianca had used to get to the past and back again, but he had done it. What good was it being twice-blessed if not for that? So here he was. All he had to do now was find Chris, give him one last chance to return to him and end it all if he refused.
He didn't trust this man, this... Elder!
Well, he didn't like Elders to begin with, but this Gideon was just creepy. He seemed quite eager to help them find what turned Wyatt, but when he thought no one was watching, the man looked at his brother like he was scum. He really didn't like that look.
Chris was sitting in the living room of the manor, leafing through the Book of Shadows again in the futile hope that it would show him something he didn't know yet. It had been raining all afternoon and he actually enjoyed the small sounds the drops made on the window panes and in the puddles outside on the street. The sisters were out on a shopping trip or something, baby Wyatt in their tow. It was a nice feeling to have them calmed down and able to trust him again. Perhaps they just didn't want to believe the truth. It was hard to imagine sweet, innocent little Wyatt as the ruthless coldblooded ruler Chris had known for the past eight years. Hell, he wouldn't believe it himself if he hadn't seen it. But it hurt nevertheless to have people you loved, who had loved you once and had always been by your side when you were a kid, hate and distrust you with such fervor.
And it hurt even more to keep his identity a secret each passing day, knowing that, if he told them, they propably wouldn't even believe him. Actually, Chris admitted to himself, they might still believe him seeing their own record of journey's to the past. But he wasn't sure of himself, if he could handle them knowing. The distrust, the hate, he could deal with that. It had been a part of his life for the last few years. If they started wanting to act like a family again however, the young man didn't know if he could cope. They had been dead for so long. It had been hard to see them again after all those years, after all that had happened to him. It would be even harder if they knew who he was when later, he had to go back to a time where there was none of them alive once more. And he had to think about his mission. It would be so easy to surrender to them, to want to forget about the future he had come from and enjoy their closeness, their love one more time; but he could not let that happen. It would be enough if he had his brother back.
There had been a few moments when he thought he was busted. Phoebe had come close a few times; on that vision quest in magic school when she had seen Piper's two children – Wyatt and Chris; or that geenie incident. Paige almost had him there as well. Or when he almost vanished because the chances for his conception were getting so small it was almost impossible anymore. Fortunately he had learned to be a very good liar if he had to. And they believed him. It was ridiculous really. When he needed them to believe him, they wouldn't but those excuses they had swallowed without even blinking.
"Well, well, well." Chris froze at the words, at the voice that was suddenly coming from the door. "You were always the studious one."
Slowly, not wanting to believe his ears he looked up, already knowing who he would find. Wyatt. What was his brother doing here? He had destroyed the spells that brought him and Bianca to the past.
It hurt even more to see his brother than it had hurt to see his family. Hurt, because he knew Wyatt still loved him, wanted to save him from sharing the same fate as all Halliwells before them. Oh, he knew that. Knew that all to well, and he wanted to laugh at the irony. He was going down Halliwell's Path already. He couldn't let his brother continue to harm innocents, destroy everything in his way. And it hurt, because after all Wyatt had done he still could not bring himself to hate him.
"How? Why?" Those were the only questions he was able to articulate at the moment.
Wyatt smirked haughtily, leaning against the doorframe. "How? Oh please, Chris. Give me some credit and consider who I am and who I learned from. Why? To get you back to me, one way or the other."
"You know I won't give up." Chris told him, more dejected than angry this time. So this would be how it ended, one way or the other. If Wyatt killed him now, this whole farce had been for nothing. And Chris was pretty sure Wyatt would kill him, justified in his own twisted sense of brotherly love, if he didn't find a way to send him back before that. The young witch had once told Bianca that, given the chance he would not hesitate to kill that bastard his brother had become. But Bianca and he both knew he had been lying. How could he slay his own brother? The one he had looked up to for so long. The one he set out to save by coming here to the past.
"You will not defy me again!" He heard his brother's angry voice just before he was slammed into the wall at the far end of the room by Wyatt's powers.
Groaning in pain, he managed to get to knees in time to see his brother closing in on him. Jerking his arm forward thus calling upon his own powers, he was able to catch the older one by surprise, sending him reeling in the table behind them. Chris wanted to rise and orb up into the attic while the other man was still too out of it, but he didn't count on Wyatt to recover immediately. Another surge of power send him crashing to the ceiling, then back down on the ground again. He couldn't fight the darkness that now descended upon him.
Voices. He heard voices swimming in his head.
"So you are Wyatt."...
"Actually I wanted to get rid of this meddlesome Whitelighter, but since you are here..."...
"You think you can kill me, Elder?"...
"I will make sure you won't be a threat to this world ever again."...
"You don't have the guts to do that!"...
"You should never have been born."...
He came to with the noises of a fight surrounding him. A fight? He had fought with his brother. Who was fighting now? Forcing his eyes open Chris was momentarily blinded by the dim light in the room. After a moment of adjustment, he was able to make out several people constantly moving and shimmering and dodging, even if his view was restricted by his prone position on the floor.
Clutching his head, moaning, the young man tried to stop the world from spinning around him. When he looked up again, he saw Wyatt about to take down the last of his attackers. How had he done this that fast?
Casting a confused look around the room, he saw something that made his insides turn to ice. Gideon was standing in the shadows next to a demolished reading lamp, eyes burning with a passion that bordered on madness, arms raised high over his head in preparation for a lethal strike. A lethal strike that was aimed at Wyatt. Chris' gaze danced from one man to the other for about a second. His brother had his back to the Elder, he didn't see him!
Sudden fear gripped his heart, and the boy's reflexes kicked in. He couldn't lose the one person that was left of his family!
Chris had orbed in front of his brother before he even realized it. The next moment his body convulsed in searing pain. He couldn't move, couldn't breathe, couldn't see. The only thing he was still able to do was scream. Scream until his throat became hoarse and his own voice echoed in his head at the merciless agony that pulsated through his whole being.
Then suddenly it was all over. The last thing he registered were strong arms that caught him when his knees gave out beneath him.
Gideon stared in shock at his own hands. Oh merciful powers above, what had he done! When he had told this old dark version of the Charmed One's son that he wanted to get rid of the boy he didn't mean that he wanted to harm him. He had wanted to put him under arrest until he had taken care of the infant before he could grow up to become this... this – monstrosity that now stood face to face with him, holding onto the limp body of the young Whitelighter he had wanted to slay.
This was exactly what the Elder had dreaded, what he had warned the others of! The child of a Charmed One and a Whitelighter should never have been allowed to even exist! It was a threat that no demon could compare to. The consequences would be too dire if that child was lured to the dark side. This child had grown up to be the scourge of humanity in Chris' future. So why was he the only one to see the truth, to take the necessary steps and end the child's life before he even had the chance to pose a threat? Why did even Chris himself, who had come back to warn them for that very purpose about what was going to happen, refuse to do what was necessary?
And why in heaven's name would Chris want to rescue someone who moments ago was ready to kill him? Why did this... being look so shocked and crestfallen at the broken young man in his arms?
He barely heard the whisper that escaped the blonde's lips. "Little brother!"
The Elder had no time to think about the implications however, because at that moment blazing pools of sheer hatred and anger launched upon him. Rooted to the spot, Gideon helplessly watched as Wyatt held one hand up, still supporting the younger man with the other one and a force so powerful took a hold of him that he had to gasp in need for breath as his feet dangled a few inches above the floor. When pain shot through him like lightning bolts, he only had time to realize that the twice-blessed devil used the same powers his younger brother had been hurt with before everything slipped away from him.
God no! NO! This was not right, this was not how it was supposed to end!
Not granting the pile of ashes that once had been the Elder another glance or thought, Wyatt gently lowered the still form of his younger brother to the floor, pulling him into his lap with his emotions running wild inside his mind.
When he had heard Chris' scream Wyatt had turned around only to find his brother orb between him and the Elder he had dismissed as harmless. His blood had turned cold at the tortured screams and the seizures his brother had endured. Being too shocked to do anything but watch as his little brother struggled under the onslaught of lethal energy that was meant for him, Wyatt was only just able to catch Chris before he hit the floor. It had been over in a matter of seconds but it was still enough.
He had wanted to spare Chris this kind of fate, damnit, had wanted to end it before it even had a chance to happen! Why did Chris have to jump in front of him when he despised him so much?
And why was he thinking about killing his own brother like it was the most normal thing in the world?
Soft moaning interrupted the circle in which his thoughts were spinning and he stopped the rocking motions and pleading words he was not even aware of speaking.
Looking down he saw dull green eyes watching him in confusion and pain. A shaky hand went up to touch his face and he heard the thin hesitant voice of his younger brother. "Wy?"
He nodded mutely, the thick lump in his throat interfering with his abilitly to speak for the moment.
"I'm cold, Wy." Chris' cool hand slipped down again.
No! That was never a good sign! He couldn't lose him, he couldn't lose the only family he had left! What had possessed him to even think about...
Tightening his grip on the suddenly frail form of his brother, Wyatt swallowed heavily and forced his voice to work. "You have to hold on, little bro! Hold on, ok?"
He could feel the boy nodding weakly against his shoulder. Looking back down, he saw Chris trying to speak again.
"Don't!" He told him, afraid the younger one was wasting his strength on him. "Don't try to speak."
But Chris seemed determined.
"I never... never stopped loving you." He finally brought out between his ragged breathing.
Wyatt's heart stopped for a moment. He didn't even feel the tears trailing down his cheeks suddenly. But it made sense now. Chris had seen all along what he was too blind to see. After all they had been through, all they had experienced even before they were teenagers, Wyatt had taken the easy way out. No, he still didn't want to end up like the rest of his family, but now he saw that letting innocents suffer his pain and losses was not the right way. Maybe his family couldn't win the fight against the demons of the world, but they were helping to maintain the balance, and that was exactly what they were there for. And maybe their life was harder than some others, but he now remembered that – even though there had been times of doubt for each of them – his mother and aunts and all the line's witches before them had made a conscious choice of following that path and hadn't regretted it. Like Chris. Only Wyatt had taken the coward's way out. He had the feeling as if a veil had been lifted from over his eyes and mind.
Why did he doubt his brother's love? What else could have made Chris do what he did and risk everything in order to help him. He didn't even know if Chris had been right about something or someone messing with his head when he was younger, but he could certainly see now why the young one had thought that.
Fighting back down the tears, he stroked his brother's soft brown locks, replying with a strained voice. "I know. I know. Don't worry."
His baby brother. God, he couldn't lose him! Not now, not ever!
Helplessly he watched as his brother's eyes slid closed and his breathing slowed down.
Lay down your sweet and weary head.
Night is falling. You've come to journey's end.
Sleep now and dream of the ones who came before.
They are calling from across the distant shore.
Why do you weep? Why are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see: all of your fears will pass away.
Save in my arms you're only sleeping.
A/N: This plot bunny just wouldn't keep quiet until I wrote this...
Inspired by the way by 'Into the West' by - I don't recall at the moment but it was the end theme of Lord of the Rings-The Return of the King. God, I love those movies!
So, what do you think? Should I even post the second chapter?
If you have any questions, ask!
The same goes for reviews ;)
Love you all :D
P.S.: Yes, I changed the chapter title. 'The End' didn't really appeal to me…