Chapter 1 – No way out?
A/N: I know, I should be writing my other story and update there, but I'm havin' a minor writers block on that one so I tried to get my head free and then this story somehow popped in.
First I wanted it to be a one-shot, but then I realized this could be more, so now this is going to be a longer story. It's probably gonna end up shorter than the other one, but still it's gonna have some more chapters than just one.
I like the (not very special) idea of this so much that I probably will continue writing without caring so much about the reviews until the first writers block. (Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get reviews and lots of them, so please do so, but I'm not necessarily depending the ongoing of the story on them)
Someone said the chapters of my other story are too short, so I'm trying to make this one have longer chapters.
Disclaimer: I do not own Charmed or any of the characters. I do however own the not very comforting feeling that I'm not the only one with that problem.
Chris sat alone on one of the pillars of the Golden Gate Bridge, staring into the storm clouded sky in front of him while listening to the traffic far below.
Yesterday had been his 14th birthday. He had looked forward to it for a very long time. The situation in the manor had been very crazy lately. Someone was trying to organize the underworld. Again.
Not that it was something very special, it happened every now and then that an egomaniac demon had the feeling he could rule them all, and it usually failed miserably, usually due to the Charmed Ones.
This time was different. It happened way more subtle. Everyone knew something was going on, but no one knew what when how… Only thing they knew was that it was something big, that could slip over the balance of power permanently.
So it was only natural that everyone had been awfully tense in the last few weeks. A direct attack they could handle, but this not knowing was worse. Everyone in the manor had been on the edge and so it was only natural, that Chris had been looking forward to his birthday, where everyone could relax a little and where he, who didn't get a lot of attention usually could be the center of attention for once.
It had not went how he had imagined it though.
Usually in the morning of his birthday mom would slip in his room quietly to see if he was still sleeping. Then she would gather her sisters and together they would sing happy birthday. Then he and the sisters would go downstairs, to unwrap the presents and than they would go on some kind of trip and have a beautiful day together, with all the family.
This time it had not happened that way.
No one had come into his room, no one had sung a song, there hadn't been any presents, no cake, no trip, nothing. In fact, in the morning he had got up, went downstairs where everyone was busy, so he figured he was up too early.
But no one even noticed he was there. Piper was cleaning the kitchen, Paige tried to find the papers she had graded yesterday evening to take to Magic School and Phoebe tried desperately to get the broken coffee machine to make her a mocca. It was like any morning. Wyatt had already left for the day, and Dad hadn't been there the entire month anyway, because he had to work with the other Elders to find out who was trying to take over the Underworld and how to stop them.
No one said "congratulations", or "happy birthday". In fact he didn't even get a good morning. The only thing he got was his mom saying, "Chris you need to do something about the mess in your room"
So he had spent the day tidying up in the hope that once his room was clean they would celebrate, or they would at least remember his birthday.
No one had noticed, all day. Even though it was written in big red letters in the calendar next to the fridge. He had checked the calendar twice, in the impression he might've gotten the date wrong. When his mother had left for work in P3 he had even stolen her folder with family stuff to see his birth certificate. But there was no doubt, it had been the day he had been looking for. It had definitely been his birthday and no one cared.
He had believed, that maybe like it sometimes happened In movies that they only wanted to make him think they forgot and then threw a surprise party. But nothing like that had happened. Everyone had forgotten him.
Now he felt even worse. His birthday had been a Sunday and today was Monday, so he had had school. No one had said anything to him, although it was written on the calendar in the classroom, not even the teacher, who usually said "happy birthday" to anyone, even the janitor.
Of course it wasn't like he had any friends. He had been friends with a girl in his class, but she had moved to Oklahoma last month and they hadn't had any contact since. Except for her he hadn't ever had friends.
The day had gotten even worse, when his teacher announced that the history subject for the next few weeks were the witch trials and this was a very frustrating topic.
Now he had went to the only place where he could be alone and have his thoughts. Wyatt never came here, because he didn't like the height and Aunt Paige almost fell off the bridge on time she orbed here and had promised herself she would never ever try that again. Aunt Phoebe and Mom obviously couldn't get here, because they would have to do it the mortal way and it would definitely draw attention to them if they were caught climbing up the bridge in the middle of the night. The only person who came here except for him was his Dad but he always had his Elder problems to take care of and rarely even visited the place.
As he thought about all that he noticed a tear on his cheek. They had forgotten him. They had ignored his birthday and had said nothing.
He always was the one in the shadows, the not twice blessed one, the other one. He never complained, because of course he wasn't as powerful as Wyatt and didn't need so much attention. He was never a very social guy so he didn't mind spending his days alone. But they could at least have said something. Anything.
When he noticed how late it was, he orbed home. And he was clutching to the hope that they would yet see their mistake and try to make it up to him. But somewhere deep inside him he knew they wouldn't care. No one did…
The next weeks he spent giving subtle clues. He for example pretended not to know what to get for aunt Paige's birthday. He claimed that although it was only next month he wanted to be prepared so he didn't forget it. He said it hurt if someone forgot your birthday.
His mom didn't take the bait and only said that he had to go buy something if he wanted to be prepared.
In school he tried not to invest to much thought in what the other kids in his class thought of witches. It was quite insulting for him and he felt the sudden urge to blow one of them up more than once, but he held onto himself, by remembering that he was a good witch and that he still hadn't quite mastered the art of letting things explode by using telekinesis, so if he tried to blow one of the others up it would totally produce a mess in the classroom.
None of his family noticed that he spent the nights alone and crying in the dark.
But in all these weeks he felt even more unloved and even more desperate to get a little of his mother's attention.
A month after his birthday he found himself sitting on the bridge once again. He had spent almost all the time he wasn't in school here now, and he had gotten the impression that the sisters were glad when he wasn't in the house because the demon fighting went off a lot easier without kids roaming the house.
He had finally come to the conclusion they wouldn't make it up to him. If they noticed they forgot they would probably think it was too far in the past now, so he would be over it. But he wasn't. It wasn't just about the birthday, but what about the birthday represented. No one had ever forgotten Wyatt's birthday…
Just when he got a little lost in his thought he heard the familiar jingle that accompanied the orbing process and looked up.
"Hi Dad", he said without any emotions evident in his voice.
"Hi Chris", his father replied and he sat down next to him.
"What's up?", Chris asked after some moments of awkward silence.
"Your mother asked me to look for you. She doesn't want you to be out so late", Leo said and tried to look his son in the eyes while Chris did his best not to look his father in the eyes.
"I see", he replied still emotionless.
"Something wrong?", Leo asked as he saw his son gazing into the dark sky, apparently lost in thought.
Oh, is there?, Chris thought, but he said nothing. He didn't want to confess to his father how he felt or why he was trying to stay at distance. Leo hadn't cared about him for such a long time, why would he now? "No", he said coolly.
But then a thought hit him. He needed to know. "Did you think of it?", he asked and looked at his father.
"What do you mean?", Leo asked him incomprehending.
"My birthday, did you remember it?"
And Leo felt realiziation. "Is that your problem? I had all this business that couldn't wait, you have to understand that Chris it's not that I don't love you or something…", he tried to apologize, but Chris cut him off.
"It's ok, I know you had business and stuff, I'm not angry, it's just… Did you at least think of it?", Chris asked. His voice was very silent, but Leo understood anyway.
Leo had two options now. He could lie or tell the truth. But he couldn't bring himself to lying to his son. "It was a very busy time up there, I really didn't mean to do anything to hurt you, you have to understand."
Chris just nodded.
Than he orbed back home.
In said home Paige was just trying yet another way to fix the coffee machine. Phoebe who sat at the kitchen table asked for what seemed like the hundredth time, "Can't we just conjure up our coffee?"
"No that would be personal gain", Paige replied and put the screwdriver in the hole where she assumed the problem to be.
"No. Everyone knows I'm totally obnoxious without my daily dosage of caffeine, so it's only for the benefit of everyone who has to deal with me", Phoebe pleaded. Piper who was tidying up the fridge agreed, "That's true, Phoebe without coffee is really a bad thing."
"Why does the stupid guarantee always run out when the stuff breaks?", Paige asked frustrated when her latest modification didn't change anything about the state of the machine.
"You're confusing cause and effect there Paige. They don't run out when something breaks, the stuff breaks because the guarantee ran out", Piper said while she was retrieving something out of the fridge that looked as if it had some very long time ago resembled the paper bags, Chinese food came in. Now however it resembled some kind of slime demon's leftovers.
"Yuk", Piper exclaimed and wanted to put it in the trash just as Phoebe got up and yelled, "I'm still eating that!"
Piper's eyebrow shut up and she said, "no way, unless you have a strong death wish".
She didn't notice her younger son who just came by the kitchen listen up. He looked at the terrible food like thing in his mother's hand interested but as he realized what he was thinking here he shook himself put of it and climbed the stairs quietly.
Piper threw the thing into the trash while Phoebe pouted. "This was still edible"
Paige looked at her unbelievingly. "Ok, remind me never to accept any food you offer me."
"You never did anyway, but ok", Phoebe answered grinning sheepishly.
Paige walked over to the fridge to get something cool to drink. Her fight with the coffee machine was just to frustrating.
As Piper made room for her sister, Paige noticed something. She looked at the calendar.
"What date is today?", she asked her sisters when a sudden feeling of guilt rose up in her as she read the words she herself had written on the calendar with a red felt-tip.
Phoebe told her after looking at her watch and watched her little sister confused. "Why do you ask?"
"I think we forgot Chris birthday", Paige stated hesitantly.
"What?", Piper asked, but she knew immediately, that her younger sister was right. They hadn't even said happy birthday. On that day she had totally not thought about it. Neither all the other days. She had forgotten her son.
"Oh my god", Phoebe said and looked at the calendar. It was definitely true. Man, they had totally screwed up.
But Piper didn't even react to her sisters. She needed to go and tell Chris how sorry she was.
She went up the stairs and entered the room Chris and Wyatt shared. Wyatt wasn't there yet, he had said something about late football practice, but Chris lay on his bed with his eyes open.
"Something up?", he asked when he saw his mother come in.
"Oh Chris I'm so sorry, I know you're probably totally mad at me it was really an accident, I totally didn't mean to", She babbled as she knelt down beside his bed.
It took him some seconds to realize what she was talking about. But then it hit him Of course, he thought bitterly. But it didn't matter anymore. He had finally realized how unimportant he was to the world. His own mother couldn't even remember his birthday until a month later.
"It's ok" he said. Of course that was a lie and it was definitely not ok, but he didn't want to worry his mom.
"But", she said, but he cut her off. "No seriously, it's ok, it's not like everyone forgot, I had a nice time with my friends", he told her. That was an even worse lie. Not only that everyone had forgotten he didn't have any friends.
"honey, I'm going to make it up to you", she said and looked at him with pleading eyes to forgive her.
"No, you don't need to, it's ok", he said.
"really?", she asked.
"Yeah, you were busy, I had a nice birthday anyway, so there's no need to keep on that subject", he lied.
"Well, if you say so…", Piper said hesitantly.
"Yeah, I'm fine", he said in the most reassuring tone he could manage.
"Well, ok, goodnight", Piper said slowly and got up. As she closed the door Chris let out a sigh. So they finally noticed. But it didn't matter anymore. He wasn't so childish to insist on his birthday. If they couldn't remember it on the proper time he didn't need it.
He didn't need them at all. They didn't care about him, they never had, only pretended to. So he was not going to make them waste an afternoon celebrating something that didn't matter to them anyway. Something that didn't matter to anyone. Like his existence.
He had finally come to a decision. If his existence was such a nuisance to everyone he was just going to do the world a favor by stopping to bother it…
When Piper exited the room her sisters were immediately onto her.
"so when do we celebrate now?", Phoebe asked excitedly.
"He doesn't want to", Piper said sadly.
"So we're just going to drop it? You think that's a good idea?", Paige asked with a worried face.
"I think he doesn't want to be with us now, he said he had a nice day with his friends. We should just wait till he's not mad at us anymore and then we surprise him", Piper said and looked at her son's bedroom door. She was very sad that he was taking it so personally. Even though he had said he didn't, she knew he was hurt.
"I think we should just give him time", she said with a sigh and went back downstairs.
In the following weeks Chris noticed a change in his own behavior. He felt himself being even more quiet than usually and he hardly used his magic anymore except for orbing to the bridge, his sanctuary.
He didn't wear any bright colors anymore. They just didn't seem to fit his mood. Instead he only wore black if he could make it, or at the least dark blue.
He also noticed that he looked at rooms differently that he entered. They weren't just rooms for him anymore, they were possible means to kill someone with. He examined everyplace he got to on sharp objects or on possible poisonous substances. He did that because he wanted to get inspiration. He would only do it once, so he wanted to find the perfect way.
He had become even more determined in his decision, when his aunts and his mom chose to ignore all the previous events and didn't even talk to him about forgetting him. Except for his mom no one had said they were sorry. Well, ok, Leo had, but he always forgot his birthdays or anything that had something to do with him, and was always sorry afterwards so that Chris didn't give a damn about his excuses anymore.
Piper noticed her son's changed behavior, too, but she hoped it was just some kind of teenage phase, and he would be over it soon. She kept telling herself that he was strong and wouldn't do anything stupid. He knew how much she loved him and that she would to anything for him. She was certain he knew that this had really been a mistake and no one had intended to do this and that they hadn't meant to hurt him. She told herself he would forgive them, he always did, he even forgave Leo when he once again hadn't had the chance to be there when Chris needed him.
She had no idea how wrong she was. And she stubbornly ignored all the signs telling her so.
Chris came home very late and went out very early in the morning now and was hardly ever seen around the house, which worried his family, but Wyatt was out so often too and he was ok, so they all believed teenage boys maybe were this way and didn't like to be with their family as much as they used to.
After several weeks of "research" as Chris called it for himself, he had finally come to the decision, that he was not going to die in a mortal way. He felt that if he had access to the magical world he could of course make use of it.
So one cold windy and grey day, he orbed to a place where he had never been before. It was a demonic market.
The entire place was full of dark creatures, they were many booths that looked like they were from medieval times. Apparently demons didn't keep up with modern technology a lot. It was loud, it stank and it was full of evil. At first he was a little afraid that they would notice that he was indeed not a being of evil, but the child of an Elder and a witch. That was most about the highest concentration of good that there was, but no one even noticed he was there.
Then again, if they noticed him, the would kill him and that was what he was here to do anyway, so how did it matter. He went over the place and looked around to see if something looked promising. He stopped every now and then, but none of the stores seemed to be what he looked for.
When he was finally getting a little frustrated he found himself standing in front of a tent with a big sign on top that said, "Finest potions for every occasion". It was not exactly what Chris had been looking for, but now he realized he had no idea what he was looking for, so he shrugged and entered.
The inside of the tent was dim lit and dark, and it took his eyes a few moments to adapt. When they finally did he saw a counter in the middle of the room with a big demon standing behind it who had a business smile on his face. Behind him were huge shelves full with potion vials and bottles in every size filled with the various liquids in any color imaginable.
The demon looked at him friendly, something Chris had never thought demons capable of and asked, "How may I help you?"
Chris was a little surprised that the demon didn't mind that Chris was so young, but then he realized that this demon probably had costumers of all kind and had learned not to judge people by their appearance. Also he realized that with his all black clothing and dark hair he didn't really look as he was on the good side.
"I want to vanquish a whitelighter", Chris said firmly without letting the demon know how irritating he found his behavior. In fact he acted as if this was the most common thing on earth, going into a store and wanting to vanquish himself. Of course he didn't tell the demon that it was for him.
"Well, then I would suggest going to a Darklighter", the demon said.
"That's too complicated. With all the shooting and crossbow business. It has to be something more subtle", Chris replied while looking over all the different bottles.
"Why is that?", the demon asked curiously.
"Not your concern. All you need to know is that I want the whitelighter to kill himself. So I need something he could handle on his own", Chris explained.
"I see. That's a very unusual wish. But I'll try to see what I can do", the demon said and went through a door in the back of the store.
Chris tried not to get nervous. Hopefully the demon wouldn't some forward with more questions, because Chris had absolutely no idea how to make up a credible story.
Fortunately the demon came back before Chris could start to get worried. "Well?", he asked.
"I think I can get you something", the demon said smiling.
"And what is that?", Chris asked cautiously.
"Do you know how Dark lighter arrows are made?", the demon asked excitedly.
"No", Chris answered and wandered where this was going.
"Well, first they start out as normal arrows. Then they are united with the poison through a special spell. Once the poison is on, it can't be removed anymore", the demon explained, and he was obviously very impressed by the way this was done.
"So?", Chris asked a little annoyed. He didn't want to spend all day here, but the demon looked as if he totally love the topic.
"Well I might be able to get you the poison as it is before it's united with the arrow. That way your whitelighter could drink it and it would have the same effect", the demon said.
"Oh I see", Chris replied. "Yeah that should be good."
"Very well. How many vials?", The demon asked while he was scribbling something on a notepad.
"How many d you need for one whitelighter?", Chris asked. He tried not to let the demon see how relieved he was that he had stopped rambling about the stupid Darklighter's arrows.
"One", the demon said.
"Very well, than one is enough", Chris said. "How soon can I get it?"
"I'll have it here for you tomorrow", the demon answered.
"Ok, I'll come back tomorrow and pick it up", Chris replied and he was kind of glad that the demon was so fast.
"It's been a pleasure dealing with you", the demon said and bowed a little with his head. Chris just nodded and said nothing. He left the tent and looked for a concealed area. As he was sure no one saw him, he orbed out.
He spent the rest of the day orbing around and looking for a suitable place. Somewhere in the back of his mind he thought he had went psycho, because he was glad to die soon. How sick was that?
But the world would be better off without him, he knew it. He tried to picture his family's reactions. Wyatt would just laugh and get on with everyday business. Dad wouldn't notice anyway because he was never there. Mom would be a little surprised, as well as the sisters, but he was sure none of them were going to mind. The people in school wouldn't even realize he was gone and they would occupy his seat in the classroom so they could form another seat order that fit their social interactions better.
Yeah no one was going to miss him, and he at least would have peace. At least he hoped so. But anything would be better than to be totally ignored b everyone and just to disturb everyone by existing.
After a while of searching he found an abandoned place that seemed perfect to him. An old oak tree was there and the grass was green and beautiful. The landscape wasn't that special, but just a field of grass with trees every now and then. It looked a little like a park, but it was wild and no one took care of it. This was just the perfect place for what he had in mind.
He recited a spell that showed him all the happenings in this place of the last ten days. He wanted to make sure that no one came here on a regular basis, so he wouldn't be found. He fast forwarded and was pleased when he saw that no one had been to the place anytime for the last ten days, so he was pretty sure no one would come. He had actually no idea where the place was geographically but he was pretty sure it was in North America, but that was just a feeing, it could be anywhere. But he did know how to orb here so that was enough. He pictured himself lying on the ground in the grass, slowly decomposing. He found that image peaceful and now he was certain, that this was the place where he wanted to become compost. He didn't even think about it anymore how abnormal and unsettling he would have found these thoughts when he was younger and hadn't known that the world and the universe didn't want him.
He orbed home and felt good in a way he hadn't for a very long time. He was looking forward to tomorrow.
He orbed home so late that no one saw him. In fact he had been avoiding everyone else for the last week so no one would notice the difference when he didn't come in at all anymore.
Now he thought that maybe he owed them a little explanation. Something to tell them … what did he want to tell?
He didn't really know, but when he came to his room that was deserted by Wyatt as usual, he walked over to the desk and pulled out a piece of paper and a pen. As soon as he had done so he knew what to write.
He only wrote one sentence, but it expressed everything he wanted to say.
"I'm sorry for having been such a nuisance"
He scribbled his name underneath it and folded the letter. Than he hesitated. Who should he address it to?
"Everyone", he wrote on the back. Than he looked around his room. He didn't want to put it where it was easy to be seen because then they would notice he was gone to easily. Then he found a place. He put it on his chair. No one wanted to sit on that one anyway, because it was hard and uncomfortable. And thanks to its eggshell color the letter wasn't even seeable from a distance.
This is good, he thought and lay down in his bed to sleep for the last time in his life.
When he orbed to the market again he realized he had forgotten something. He didn't know how to pay for the poison. The only thing he had were American dollars. He hardly ever spent any money so he had lots of it, but he didn't know if demons accepted that.
He figured it didn't matter that much anyway so he entered the tent and saw the demons face lighting up as he saw the costumer come in.
"Ah, hello. I have your order right here", the demon said friendly and handled Chris a small vial with a black liquid in it, before Chris could even ask for it. He took it and looked at it carefully, pretending he had any idea about how to judge the quality of Darklighter poison.
"Well, how much is it?", Chris asked finally and put the vial back on the counter.
"What currency do you use?", the demon asked and pulled out a calculator. Chris was very surprised to see a demon handle some kind of technology, but then again, why wouldn't they?
"US Dollar", Chris answered.
"I see, that would be twenty", the demon said typing something in the gadget.
Chris pulled out a twenty and handed it to him. The demon thanked him and he took the vial in the pocket of his jeans. For a change he wore a blue jeans today. He figured it didn't really matter what his mood was when he was dead.
"You have really good costumer service", Chris acknowledged as he walked out and the demon grinned broadly as he heard that.
Chris however only had his plan in mind.
When he orbed to the place he was delighted to see it was raining. It was just the perfect mood to do what he came here to do.
He sat down on the grass underneath the big tree and pulled the vial out. He looked at it again. It didn't look very harmful, but still he knew it was.
He had thought of this moment with a little fear, because he hadn't known if he was really able to pull this, if he could really do something like that. But then he thought of all the times that he had cried alone in the dark because he had once again been forgotten. Of all the times when everyone was happy but him. Of how the world didn't want him.
He opened the vial and without any second thoughts he drunk it all. He was surprised by the burning feeling in his throat. He had know that people said being killed by a Darklighter was painful, but he had always assumed that would be because of the arrow that hit you, not because of the poison.
He had been wrong.
He tried to keep strong, this was only going to last for some seconds, it was worth a little pain. But something inside him knew, if his father came it wouldn't be too late to be healed. But even if he called for Leo he wouldn't come. He never did
TBC, please review