Disclaimer: I do not own Charmed or any of the characters. Any resemblance in the plot is purely coincidental.
Phoebe led the way and opened the front door. She held it open for Piper, who went straight upstairs to call Leo, and Paige, who ushered Chris in.
As soon as Chris stepped into the manor he felt a familiar yet strange atmosphere within the walls. The sun rays, which penetrated the stained-glass windows and bounced off the marble tiles, made the house look golden. The silence was so deafening that he didn't dare move in fear he might break it.
Phoebe directed him into the living room. He noticed the countless picture frames that seemed to have been scattered all over the place. Clearly, these people have a lot of happy memories. He looked away as memories of his own family came rushing back to him.
"Wait here." Phoebe said before climbing the stairs.
A few minutes later, Piper and Phoebe entered the living room followed by a newly awaken Leo. He gave Chris an assuring smile before approaching him.
"Hey," Leo said. "Leo." He stretched out his hand.
"Chris." Chris replied moving to shake Leo's hand. But before he can grab it, Leo took his and turned it over. In a very doctor-ish way, he examined Chris' hand. Then, without a word, he exited the living room.
Chris raised an eyebrow in bewilderment. "That's it?" he asked the sisters.
"He'll be back," Piper answered coolly. "Calm down. He just went to get some stuff."
Chris swallowed at the word 'stuff'. For some reason, it didn't calm him at all.
Leo had just finished treating Chris' hand before he handed Piper the 'stuff'. He needed to get some sleep if he wanted to last the night in the hospital.
"I think you can take it from here."
Piper smiled and nodded. "Thanks."
Leo disappeared up the stairs and Piper faced Chris. He eyed her skeptically.
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Yes. I've done this before, don't worry."
Piper took Chris' hand. Chris nervously watched Piper carefully wrap his hand in clean bandages. Her touch seemed to comfort him somehow. He can't help but smile. He never thought Piper would remind him of someone he knew years ago. Piper felt Chris' eyes on her. She stopped to look at him. As she lifted her eyes, he barely caught Chris lower his. Now, it was her turn to smile. She never expected something like this to happen. He always thought that she and Chris were like rubber and glue. Yet here they were 'holding hands'.
Phoebe and Paige smiled contently from their corner of the room. It was a shame to break the moment but Phoebe was best at doing that.
"I'm going to take a shower," Phoebe announced. "I feel really dirty." Phoebe trotted up the stairs followed shortly by Paige. They figured they should give the two some alone time.
Piper finished what she was doing. "There, how's that?"
"Well," Chris looked at his newly bandaged hand. "It is better than that filthy dish towel."
"I told you I knew what I was doing."
"Alright, I apologize for being so judgmental."
"You should be." Piper said cleaning up.
"Oh, let me help." Chris reached for the excess bandages on the floor with his good hand.
"Ah, no." Piper slapped Chris hand away.
"What, you want both hands to be dysfunctional?" Chris shook his hand to get rid of the numbness.
"No, I just hate your incessant need to help people. It's not your job to take care of everyone you know."
Chris opened his mouth to reply but found himself at a loss for words.
"I didn't mean to offend you…" Piper said quickly.
"You didn't." Chris said with a less-than-comforting smile.
Piper nodded and headed for the kitchen. She put everything in the sink and decided to take care of it later. She leaned on the counter and did some thinking. They've been in this world for almost half a day and so far, nothing bad had happened. Maybe this is what they need after all. She sighed heavily. After everything her sisters had pointed out, she's still torn. Piper made her way back to the living room.
Chris watched Piper leave. No one had ever read him so accurately before. Well, save one person. But she died years ago. He shook his head. This is not the time to take a stroll down memory lane.
He glanced at the pictures on a table. There were pictures of the three sisters. There were also some of Leo, Piper and a kid in a stroller. One was from Piper and Leo's wedding. He stared at one picture in particular. This one had the sisters, Leo and the blonde kid – their family. He picked it up and continued to stare at it.
"Don't try to bear a hole in it. It's the only good one we have."
Chris was startled by Piper's sudden arrival.
Piper walked towards him. She took the picture frame from his hand.
"This is one of those coveted moments. We never have time for things like this."
"Why? Leo's busy with work?" Chris asked sitting on the sofa.
Piper cursed herself. She was actually referring to the constant demon attacks. It took her a split second to realize her error.
"Uh, yeah." Piper replied quickly putting the picture down.
"You should consider yourself lucky you even have one of those."
Piper crossed her arms. "What do you mean?"
"Some people don't even have a decent family let alone a family picture." Chris answered softly.
It doesn't take a genius to get its hidden meaning.
"How do you do it?" Piper asked sitting next to him.
"Do what?" Chris looked at her in question.
"Just…" she paused searching for words. "Live life."
Chris furrowed his eyebrows. "I don't follow."
"Have you ever lost a family member?"
Chris, again, was caught off guard by the question. He nodded in response. "Once. But that was years ago."
"Then where's the rest of them?"
Chris chuckled softly. "I don't know. Prison… somewhere across town."
Piper was surprised. She most definitely did not expect that answer. "Then why do you seem so happy, so satisfied?"
"Why shouldn't I be?"
"I remember when my mother died. I was so devastated I just didn't want to live anymore."
"Yet you did."
"Then my grandmother died, then my older sister. I was so close to giving up."
"And yet you didn't," Piper stared at Chris. He sure knew the right things to say. "Don't get me wrong. I was there too. But I moved on just like you did. I'm just living life one day at a time."
"Yeah, but I had my sisters and Leo to cry to. They held me together. I'm not sure you had anyone."
Chris swallowed the lump in his throat. "What makes you say that?"
"Just the way you seem so independent. It amazes me, really."
"I admit it was tough but I got through."
"Did you ever think of looking for them?"
"No. I'm sure they're not looking for me either."
"Would you mind elaborating?" Piper was cautious. This was a really sensitive subject.
Chris glanced at Piper. It was about time he let some things off his chest. "My dad wasn't that much of a factor. He left us when I was young."
Piper looked down. At least they had something in common.
Chris tried to keep it short. "My mom was the best woman in the world. I loved her to death. But the good things in life never last. She died when I was a teenager." He stopped. "Oh, and there's my older brother. We don't talk much. We've never really gotten along. Last I heard he got busted for drugs but I'm not sure." Chris was incredibly casual. He almost appeared indifferent.
"Should I be sorry to hear that?"
Chris tried to think about it. "Nah. It's over and done. No point in crying about it."
There was a short period of silence. Neither of them knew what to say.
In the other room, Phoebe and Paige tried to keep quiet. They were about to join the conversation when things got a little too touchy for their liking. They decided to listen from the next room. Now, they felt really remorseful at Chris' recent confession.
Then, like the inevitable breaking of a plummeting glass, the silence was shattered by a loud cry from upstairs. Piper looked up.
"Wyatt? I thought we dropped him off at Sheila's…" Piper stood as Chris' head jerked upward.
"Oh, maybe it's just a coincidence."
Wyatt's wailing continued
Chris hesitated. But then he realized there's no reason to. "Wyatt's my brother's name too."
Piper stiffened. Maybe it was a coincidence.
"Really? I thought it was an uncommon name." Piper started to walk away.
"You would like to think that. But your name's not that uncommon either."
Piper spun around. "What? Not to sound possessive but who else has a name like mine?"
Just then Leo came running down the stairs. "I have to go. Get Wyatt."
Piper walked to the other room. "What? Where are you going? Did you fetch Wyatt from Sheila's?"
"Yeah. The hospital just paged me. They need some help. Get Wyatt." Leo shut the door behind him.
"We left him at Sheila's for a reason!" Piper yelled after him.
"You know, I should get going too." Chris said from behind.
"What, no, we have so much to talk about." Phoebe said startling Piper.
"Why the sudden interest in me?" Chris said jokingly. "But really, I have to go. Thanks anyway. For the hand and everything." Chris said before walking out the door.
Wyatt's cries continued to shake the manor walls.