Spoilers: Set after Chris-Crossed. Nothing after that happened.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the laptop that this was typed on. Wait, my parents bought me this. Fine. I own nothing. Especially not the couple of lines in this fic taken from 6x10.

A/N: I have an exam in four days and yet I get a plot bunny that gnawed on my brain until I wrote this. Crap. Anyway, this is the stereotypical 'the truth about Chris' fic that I'm a little late in writing. Ah, well-the show's version was so anti-climatic that I figure this can't hurt.Oh, and the translated title is the cliche 'the truth will set you free'. Here's hoping it's right. R&R.

Chris was an expert at lying. He was sure by now the sisters didn't even realise when a new lie slipped out of his mouth, it sounded so like the truth. He lied when he told them his name. He lied when he said that Paige would have been killed by the Titans. He lied when he said that he hadn't sent Leo to Valhalla. He lied when he said that he didn't know any of them, that he didn't want to throw his arms around Piper and sob, and just stay safe in his mother's arms like he had as a child.

But the biggest lie that Chris told was the lie he told himself. That if he couldn't save Wyatt, he would stop him.

Because Chris wasn't sure that he could.

The first time that Wyatt let his shield down around Chris, he'd conjured an athame and stood over the playpen for nearly twenty minutes before he'd turned and walked away.

He considers it his weakest moment.

The office at P3 rarely offered a full night's sleep. For one thing, the club was open until two in the morning and, though most of the time Chris was out consorting with people, fine, demons, that the sisters would kill him for seeing, he sometimes wanted to just curl up and lose himself in the oblivion that sleep offered.

The dreams were bad enough to wake him most nights. Lately it had mostly been Bianca, her death replaying over and over in his head. Chris had almost welcomed these dreams, at least they meant he got to see her again. But the dreams that woke him most, the dreams he had never been able to fully rid himself of, not matter how many potions or spells he tried, were of Wyatt. A Wyatt that played, and laughed, and protected. And didn't kill a truckload of innocents every time he woke up on the wrong side of the bed. A Wyatt that Chris sometimes thought he had merely conjured in his mind.

Because the Wyatt he had last seen was so far removed from the brother he remembered that Chris could actually, for one fleeting moment, imagine killing him. But then he knew that he was lying. And he wished that he wasn't.

So with dreams of his psychotic older brother to keep him awake the last thing that Chris needed was the voice of his mother filtering through the flimsy door.

"Frank, if I'd wanted two thousand pink cocktail umbrellas I would have ordered two thousand pink cocktail umbrellas and as I'm pretty damn certain that I don't want two thousand pink cocktail umbrellas….you can see where I'm going with this, right?"

Though annoyed at being awoken after one of the only full nights of sleep he'd had in a week, Chris couldn't hold back a grin. He felt a bit sorry for Frank, he knew exactly what it was like to be on the receiving end of one of his mother's tirades. He didn't feel that sorry for him though, Frank wasn't going to have to grow up with that scathing voice awaiting him every time he did something that annoyed Piper or her sisters. Chris chuckled, remembering the number of things he and Wyatt had done to merit yelling. Though the thing with the freezer had totally been Wyatt's fault. The smile faded as Chris recalled why he was sleeping on a lumpy sofa in a club that he would play hide-and-seek in five years in the future.

"Frank!" Opening the door to her office Piper barely spared Chris a curt nod before she moved to the filing cabinet and began flicking through the supplies list there.

Her offhand rejection of him hurt Chris as much as always. She wasn't his mother, Chris knew that. He wasn't even a glimmer in her eye. Even less than a glimmer, in fact, as Chris had pretty much risked his own existence by splitting his parents up. Sparing a glance at his still yelling future mother Chris closed his eyes and flopped his head back onto the uncomfortable pillow. Wyatt would kill him if he knew that he'd broken up the parents. Not that he cared about them being together or anything. An uncomfortable ambivalence towards Leo was the only thing that the two brothers agreed upon in their warring future. But he wouldn't be very happy to hear that he might not have a little brother.

Chris allowed himself a small grin at that. It was one of the few reasons he'd allowed himself this sojourn to the past. He truly believed that Wyatt could be saved, even if the only reason for this belief was the fact that he hadn't brutally murdered his traitorous younger brother. Chris had seen Wyatt murder minions because they weren't quite obsequious enough that day, and he'd seen him murder innocents merely because he could.

Chris was under no false impressions of what his brother had become.

But his refusal to kill showed Chris that somewhere inside him, deep, deep down past all the psychotic murdering showmanship there was still some humanity. After all, Wyatt hadn't intended to kill Bianca. He wouldn't have been sorry about it, but he wouldn't intentionally kill something that would bring his little brother so much pain to lose. Or at least, Chris chose to belief that. Shifting slightly on the couch, letting Piper's angry words wash over him in an oddly comforting wave Chris thought of the energy balls that Wyatt had lobbed at him. Low voltage, thought Chris hazily having recognised the colour. Wyatt may not what him dead, but he would certainly like him incapacitated enough that he could convince his younger brother that he should stand by his side.

The thought of aligning himself with what his brother had become made him nauseous. But even worse was that the idea of being with Wyatt again was something he wanted so badly that he had to force himself to lie on the couch and not throw on the typical uniform of black and go join the forces of darkness. It's all power, it's as simple as that. His brother's cajoling voice echoed in his mind and Chris clenched his fists against the musty sofa cushions.

No, he told himself, stubbornly, no.

I don't need you, were the next words that floated through Chris' mind. His heart clenched at that. In a way he wanted to believe it, it made everything simpler. If his brother's humanity had truly vanished then Chris would be able to do anything in his power, or really with his powers, to stop him. But Chris didn't believe his brother's swift proclamation. Oh, he had no doubt that Wyatt could do just fine rampaging and pillaging on his own, but there was something about the way he'd said the words. It was like when they were children and Wyatt had been trying to convince himself that he wasn't really scared of heights and could stand on the top of the bridge as easily as his younger brother. Like he was lying to himself and Chris. Because if there was one thing that Wyatt couldn't do, it was lie to Chris. Their bond, even when one of them was evil as hell, was just too strong.

A bond that dragged Chris back towards his brother every time that he saw him, or thought of him, even as he watched him become more and more of a monster with every act of depravity. He remembered his own words the first time that Wyatt had asked him to become his right hand man.

I will never join you. But just as Wyatt couldn't lie to Chris, the same was true in reverse. And Wyatt's mocking laughter still haunted Chris' dreams.

"Are you going to lie there all day or could you possibly help me with deliveries?" Piper's question jerked him out of his mundane thoughts and Chris bolted upright, staring at her stupidly.


The expression on her face was one that Chris recognised instantly. Annoyance. It was a very odd thing to be comforted by your mother looking pissed at you, but the expression was so familiar that Chris' heart ached.

"Help?" Piper gestured at the open office door. "I let you stay here for free, you can at least help with the heavy-lifting."

"Oh, sure," Chris answered instantly. Piper looked a bit shocked at his sudden agreement, an expression that Chris was becoming more familiar with.

Of all the things he'd expected to have to face in the past, his occasionally knowing more than his mother and aunts was not something he was expecting. His mother had died so long ago that in his mind she was an infallible figure. It had been disturbing to say the least to arrive in a past where you were presented with the opportunity to know your mother. And sometimes outsmart her.

All he had to do now was get the sisters to stop discussing their sex lives in front of him. He really, really didn't want to know them that well.

"What?" Piper was saying, "No having to rush off to vanquish a demon?"

Chris shrugged, catching sight of himself in the mirror and realising how much the gesture looked like Piper. How did they not see it? "I can help move a couple of boxes." He threw back the covers on the sofa and stood, absentmindedly smoothing down the front of his ridiculously wrinkled green t-shirt.

"You slept in your clothes?" Piper asked, walking out of the room and obviously expecting Chris to follow. She sounded so like a mother in that instant that Chris half expected Wyatt to be stood behind him as they got scolded for some indiscretion.

"Easier," muttered Chris as he took in the club. Boxes were strewn across the floor, stacked three high in places. Glancing around for other members of staff, Chris wondered if he could use his TK. It's what he and Wyatt had done when they'd been given this job as punishment when they were younger. His mom had somehow never figured it out, his Aunt Paige being the only one who had ever caught them which Chris figured had something to do with the fact that his mother had never caught on. Paige had frowned disapprovingly and then winked at them, being the cool aunt rather than the strict headmistress she felt the need to be most of the time.

Piper was surveying the scene with a look of barely restrained horror. "This is going to take forever," she glanced at her watch and frowned. "Wyatt has a dentist appointment at ten."

Chris smirked, not wanting to have to explain that the job would actually go quicker if Piper wasn't there. "Just go, I'll handle this."

Surprised, Piper narrowed her eyes at him. "Really?" She watched him carefully as she shrugged on her coat. "You're willing to do all this on your own?"

Rolling his eyes, Chris kicked a box with his sneaker-clad foot, stepping back when he realised how much of a petulant child he must have looked at that moment in his wrinkled clothes and sleep-mussed hair. The contents of the box rattled and Piper shot him a look. "I'm just trying to help."

Piper moved closer, her expression indefinable. "Well, forgive me for not entirely buying that motive. Your helping seems to always involve lying of some sort and when people lie to me a lot I tend to get a little annoyed with them. Like when someone's part-witch and doesn't see the point in telling me."

Not daring to look at her, Chris shoved his hands in his pockets and blinked away the sharp sting of tears that sprung to his eyes. "Just go get Wyatt, Piper. I'll do this," she watched him appraisingly and Chris swallowed around the lump in his throat, "no ulterior motive. I promise."

He felt her eyes on him as he said the last words. Distrust. It hurt more than he had imagined it would do. He'd known that he was going to have to lie to her, but it was hard. Sometimes harder than he could really deal with. But, it wasn't like it was the first time that he'd lied to his mother and being in this time pretty much guaranteed that there would be a lot more lies to come. Wyatt would tell him to shut up and suck it up. Somehow the thought of what his brother, his actual brother not the evil megalomaniac in his place, would say gave Chris the will to push the tears away again and face his mother.

"Okay," she said slowly. "Just put everything in the back room." She trotted up the stairs, yelling over her shoulder. "Make sure everything is where it should be!"

Chris watched her leave and turned to face the sea of boxes in front of him. With a quick grin he quickly began to orb the boxes into the stockroom, dropping them swiftly in their rightful places. He closed his eyes, letting his memory do the easy task, imagining Wyatt stood next to him, bitching about the fact they'd been caught doing whatever it was they shouldn't have been doing that week. He could practically hear his brother's voice, feel his presence, the feeling so welcome that Chris let it control his magic. The wave of his hands to move the boxes pretty much auto-pilot. Re-opening his eyes he saw the last couple of boxes sat in the middle of the club. Waving his hand they disappeared in a swirl of blue robs, reappearing with a slight bang in the now full stockroom.

"I forgot my bag," Chris glanced up, quickly taking in Piper stood at the base of the stairs, her pretty features twisted in disbelief. "Orbing stuff?"

Chris smiled weakly. "Witch power," he explained sheepishly, shrugging his shoulders.

Shaking her head Piper strode over to the stockroom and poked her head in. "Well, I guess it got the job done," she turned to face him, crossing her arms over her chest. "Though we need a serious talk about what firepower you're packing over there."

"I can't," Chris started, "Future…"

"Consequences," Piper waved her arms irritably and Chris flinched half-expecting something in the vicinity to explode. "I know, I know." She watched him for a second, before getting her bag and moving to leave again. "Thanks for doing that," she shot him a look over her shoulder. "Though thinking about it, you could have helped out with it before." She waved off whatever excuse he was about to make and started to climb the stairs before pausing as a thought struck her. "Oh, but you put the napkins on the left, rather than the right. Could you move them to the right place? Thanks."

Her clattering footsteps retreating Chris stared with an expression similar to his mother's one of disbelief at the open doorway to the stockroom. He knew that room like the back of his hand from more than just punishments. He'd hid in there for hours at a time when playing with Wyatt. Hide-and-seek with two orb-capable children got a little crazy so his mom had made the rule after the whole China incident that hiding had to be in either the manor or the club. In the future the napkins were always on the right. It was a little thing but it twisted something inside Chris, reminding him for the thousandth time that this club wasn't the one he knew. That this wasn't the life that he'd been trying to rebuild for him and his brother.

Not yet, anyway.

After moving the napkin boxes to their rightful places, by hand this time, wanting to feel the slow burn in his shoulders that he rarely experienced unless a demon, or his brother, tossed him against a wall. Telekinesis meant that physical exertion wasn't something that Chris experienced often. But the burn had felt good, a reminder that he was alive. That he really did exist in this time. That he wasn't really going as crazy as he sometimes thought he was when surrounded by his long dead family. Rubbing his shoulder Chris surveyed the scene from the top of the bridge.

He was annoyed at himself for being so out of shape. They were boxes of napkins, for God's sake. But he'd become sloppy in the past, the skills he needed to survive in his future weren't quite the same he needed in this comparatively safer past. As he watched the midday rays of the sun slice through the gaps between the towering buildings, Chris tried to imprint the sight onto his memory. His eyes burned as he tried to remember the skyline without holes punched through it from Wyatt's dragons. But his mind offered a flickering image, the destruction of his world super-imposing itself over his idyllic view. Chris snorted to himself, he'd always loved Wyatt's dragons, the dragon's appearance one of his favourite bedtime stories no matter how many times Piper told him that the event hadn't really been a good thing. Now the dragons were one of his biggest fears. His brother may spare his life, but his flying servants shared no such distinction.

The wind was beginning to bite through his thin shirt and Chris began to shiver. With one last, desperate look at the view he orbed to the manor to start the lies to his family all over again.

His mother and aunts huddled over the book was not a comforting sight to Chris. He paused in the doorway, imprinting the scene on his memory just like he had done with the skyline. And just like with the skyline his mind offered images far less pleasing to take their place.

"Chris," Leo's voice shocked him out of his reverie. Leaning against the wall in the shadows, holding baby Wyatt, Chris had missed him initially. He cursed himself for his slip and tried to concentrate on his father's face rather than the boy he held in his arms.

If it was strange seeing his mother and aunts alive and well it was nothing compared to seeing his older brother twenty years younger than him. Wyatt had always been bigger than Chris. He knew it was a ridiculous thing to think, seeing as how Wyatt was two years older but it was more than just age. The physical disparity between the two had always been obvious and it was remarkably odd being able to hold Wyatt in his arms.

His eyes slipped down to the innocent blond head and Chris felt the pull of his bond stronger than ever. It was his brother. The greatest evil on this earth and Chris could only wish that he was strong enough to stop him.

"So, Piper was telling us that your witchy side packs a bit of a punch," Paige moved forward, raising an eyebrow and crossing her arms.

Moving into the room, Chris didn't miss Leo moving from the wall and shuffling closer to the girls as though to protect them. Resisting the urge to roll his eyes, Chris folded his own arms and waited for the inevitable interrogation to start. And prepared himself for the inevitable lies that would follow.

"So, powers?" Phoebe asked, her and Piper walking to join Paige, a united front. "What you got?"

"Like I already told Piper…"

"Future consequences," Phoebe intoned, "But you gotta give us something, Chris."

"Your powers could be a danger to us," Leo said. Chris shot him a reproachful look.

"I'm not going to use them on you!" Chris exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air.

"Ah, screw this," Paige said, "I'm going to go make coffee."

She pushed past Chris, glaring as she did so and Chris felt another pang. Lying to his mother was hard but he'd done it before. You didn't get away with half the stuff he and Wyatt had done without a few lies slipping out every now and then, but he'd never lied to his aunts before and he was hating every minute of it.

"You seriously can't even tell us what your powers are?" Piper asked reasonably, playing with Wyatt's hand as he leaned towards her.

"I don't even have that many," Chris said, sounding almost apologetic. It wasn't a complete lie anyway. He didn't have that many powers that he used. The number that he had that he didn't use? Well, that was a different story. Chris spared another glance for Wyatt. Chris had been coming into his powers fully as Wyatt had been coming into evil. With no-one left to teach him how to control them he'd just suppressed half of them. He knew it was ridiculous but even now he was scared that using his powers would lead him down the same path that had taken his brother. It was all about power, after all.

"Coffee!" Paige announced, balancing a tray carefully as she manoeuvred past Chris. She handed him a cup and he took it gratefully, the hot mug warming his still wind-chilled hands. Taking a deep sip he missed the sister's expectant looks until he felt the swell of magic that passed through his body.

Every cell vibrated with the strands of magic that were wrapping around him, making him feel light-headed as a strange fog seemed to rest on his mind.

"What did you do?" Chris asked them nervously.

"You felt the magic?" Leo asked, looking at him oddly at the same time that Paige answered;

"Truth potion."

"Truth potion!" Chris yelled, "Are you all insane?"

"Yes," answered Phoebe, "insane with curiosity!"

"I can't believe that you guys would be stupid enough to do something like this!" Chris yelled, throwing the cup to the floor. Wyatt began to cry at the smashing sound and Leo began to shush him as the sisters looked shocked at his violent reaction. Chris knew what changing the future could do, the Charmed Ones just hadn't got it yet. God, his Aunt Prue was dead and a little girl called Melinda had never had the chance to exist because they'd done something differently to another timeline that had existed. How could they not see that things could change for the worse?

"Geez Chris, calm down," Phoebe said, raising her hands to placate him. "It only lasts an hour." She glanced at her watch. "So, we've got until one."

Chris scowled at them. "Well, I'm not going to be here for that hour." He made to orb away and something stopped him, his molecules pushed back into his body painfully. "What the hell?"

"We did a spell so you can't orb on out of here," Piper said, sounding proud of the fact. "We want to know the truth about you."

"Well, you know what? There are doors as well!" Angry as hell, Chris turned and yanked at the door.

"Locked," sing-songed Paige. Chris span around, she was swinging the key from her finger looking eminently pleased with herself.

Desperate, Chris slumped against the door. "None of you have any idea what it is that you're doing." He sounded so desolate that Paige actually looked a little guilty.

"Whatever," said Phoebe. "Truth time."

Chris raised his head, watching them warily. He didn't dare look at Wyatt, scared that the truth would just come pouring out of him at the sight of his brother.

"Right, did your coming back to the past have anything to do with Wyatt?" Piper asked, the question sounding as though she'd put lots of thought into it's phrasing.

"Yes," the fog seemed to seep into his mind and claw the answer out of him.

"Okay," Leo said, gripping Wyatt closer. "What do you want to do with him?"

Groaning, the cold, hard truth that Chris knew he could never actually act upon slipped out of him and lingered in the still air of the attic.

"Kill him."

The hard pavement hit his back as Chris fell from the sky, landing uncomfortably with his leg twisted underneath him. "Ow." He said to no-one in particular, wincing as he tried to pull himself up. The manor in front of him looked a hell of a lot less friendly than it had earlier. It may have had something to do with the angry mother inside who Phoebe had had to physically restrain so that she didn't blow Chris up. Paige had hurriedly orbed him out of there and for once Chris was grateful that he was being left out of the big discussion.

The sun was beating down on the pavement, making the concrete feel like it was frying him. The shade of the few scattered trees were useless and Chris wasn't entirely sure what the hell he was going to do anyway. Sit outside until he began to starve to death and the sisters felt sorry for him? Even Chris wasn't that patient.

Massaging his aching leg he tried to rid himself of the look on Piper's face when the fateful words had slipped his lips. She'd had all the maternal fury that he was used to seeing being directed at a demon. In all his wild imaginings of what could happen on this trip he had honestly never expected to see his mother look at him like that. God, it hurt so bad.

He dragged himself over to the low wall in front of the manor and let his head thunk back against it. Wyatt was his brother. He would never kill him. Unfortunately the truth potion made a person brutally honest. And even if he would never kill Wyatt that didn't mean that he didn't want to. After all, kill Wyatt and the world is a better place. There are no dragons spewing fire at all hours. People don't live in fear. And Bianca might still be alive. Kill Wyatt and the world he knew vanished, perhaps replaced with something better. Something peaceful. A world where he wouldn't have to fight his own brother.

But if he killed Wyatt he would kill a part of himself and Chris still had high hopes that he would be born, meaning that he didn't want to prevent his younger self the opportunity to know his older brother. To have Wyatt to play with. To get in trouble with. To hold you when you're twelve years old and you watch your mother die. To be there when your father is so overcome with grief that he practically forgets he has children. To be there when you're fourteen and your entire family is wiped out before your eyes. To tell you that there was nothing you could have done.

All Chris wanted to do was save his younger self from the pain of seeing his brother fall apart after that final day. To see the demons flock around him and feed on that pain. To know that one turned him because you saw the flicker of red in your premonition. A power you hadn't even had until that day. That day when your brother came home and invited demons into the Halliwell manor. The day that the triquetra had finally separated on the Book of Shadows.

Now he was never going to be able to give himself or Wyatt the life that he had fought so hard to provide.

Because the first time he was actually honest with his family they kicked him out of the house.

Just perfect.

Trying to work out how he would explain his injured leg to the nearest hospital Chris didn't notice Paige's angry form hovering above him until she blocked out the sun, leaving him in shadow. He squinted up at her, her features obscured by the shade, leaving a fearsome silhouette.

Before he could say a word she had grabbed his hand, orbed him up to the attic and deposited him in the middle of the room, surrounded by crystals.

He didn't have the heart to tell her that he was a good witch and so they wouldn't do a damn thing to him. As it was, Chris' leg was killing him so he was perfectly content to lie in the middle of the room, watching his angry family.

That was, he was happy to do that until four even angrier demons shimmered in.

Frowning in annoyance, Piper flicked her hands at one of them fully expecting the demon to explode. "Guys," she said, hurriedly backing away when nothing happened. With a lunge the demon grabbed her and tossed her against a wall. She scooted out of the way. "A little help here!"

"Give me a minute!" Phoebe yelled as she ducked a big arm swinging at her. "What the hell are these things?"

"Wish I knew!" Paige yelled as she orbed out of the way of her own demon again. Grabbing a chair she quickly bashed it over the head of the demon. "Nothing's hurting them!" she shouted as she looked at the battered remains of the chair and the perfectly healthy demon. "Crap!"

"Leo! What are they?" Piper asked, as she tried to reach the Book of Shadows.

Quickly orbing out the way of the demon's giant fists, Leo stopped in front of the book. "I'll try and find out."

Chris was lying perfectly content in his own little circle. His leg was really hurting him and thinking about it, it occurred to him that the combination of the foggy truth potion and his busted leg might be affecting his mental capacities a little bit. Ah well, Chris decided, my brother's evil. I deserve a break.

"They're Muntrach demons!" yelled Leo from the vicinity of the book.

"Well, yay!" Phoebe yelled as she picked herself up from the wreckage of a cabinet. "How the hell do you kill them?"

"It doesn't say!"

"Wyatt! No!" Piper's yell brought Chris back to his senses as he saw the toddler appear in the middle of the fighting.

"Stamp on their left foot!" Chris suddenly yelled, his brain kicking into gear. Jerking himself upright he threw himself across the floor to grab Wyatt and yank him away from a towering demon.

"Wyatt!" Piper yelled again, pinned against the wall by her demon.

"Their left foot!" Chris screamed, fully realising how ridiculous he sounded. The demon that had been about to make Wyatt a snack reared over the two brothers and with a wave of his hand Chris sent a battered vase smashing into it's left foot with a heavy clang. With a gurgled scream the demon exploded.

Everyone stopped and stared in shock. Including the demons.

With a mental shrug Chris sent various articles of the attic flying at their respective victims limbs until all that was left in the attic were it's more human occupants.

Heaving a sigh of relief he flopped back onto the floor, baby Wyatt poking him and giggling.

"Wyatt!" Piper yelled more softly, running over and dragging him out of Chris' arms. She looked at her sisters and Leo. "The truth potion should still be working."

"How did you get out of the circle?" Phoebe demanded as Chris managed to stand roughly upright, slumping against a nearby wall for support. "Not that I'm complaining too much."

The fog swirled in Chris' mind again. "I'm a good witch." He closed his eyes in annoyance. There was no way he could keep any of his secrets at this rate and he didn't have the energy to orb or fight or lie anymore.

"A good witch who wants to kill my son!" Piper exclaimed, clinging to Wyatt.

"Wait," Paige said, gesturing at her watch. "We've got five minutes. Lets use them well."

"Right," said Leo, "why do you want to kill Wyatt?"

Chris groaned again. He had never wanted to burden his family with this information. "Because he's the evil overlord of the world."

Actual gasps were heard, Chris had just thought that happened in crappy films and bad mystery novels. "What?" Piper gasped.

"Because he's the evil overlord of the world," Chris found himself repeating inanely.

"Okay," said Paige, seeming to recover herself better than the rest of her family. "Then why don't you just kill him?"

"Paige!" cried Piper.

"I mean, it would make sense!"

"Because I love him too much," the answer shocked Chris almost as much as it did the sisters. His bond with Wyatt was unbreakable, he knew that. But he thought that he had lost the ability to love him that much a long time ago. Chris watched the sisters absorb this new tid-bit of information. He didn't even want to know how the aunts were going to interpret this.

"So, you two are like…" Phoebe made a sort of slashing gesture between him and baby Wyatt.

"No!" Chris yelled, unable to help the volume of his voice. He spared a glance at his own watch. There were seconds left, Chris allowed himself to hope that his secrets would stay concealed.

But Paige was looking at him far too shrewdly. "Chris, what's your real name?"

Chris closed his eyes, hearing the words slip from his mouth. "Christopher Perry Halliwell."

"Oh my God," murmured Phoebe. She paused, "which one of us is your mother?"

The clock sounded once, muted by the ceilings of the old house, the single tone echoing in the attic as clearly as Phoebe's question.

Chris heaved a great, shuddering sigh, feeling the fog of the potion slip away. He watched the small, wriggling boy in Piper's arms before he raised his eyes to hers and whispered;