Of All the People
Summary: Wyatt reflects on the events after Chris Crossed and decides to do something about it.
Rating: PG13, T
Disclaimer: I don't own Charmed, just borrowing, promise to give them back when done, don't get any money for this.
AN: FINALLY FINISHED! Yeah! I hope you have all enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments, they've pushed me this far.
I even think I have another story coming out of this, thanks to TriGemini for the idea. Maybe a series of episode-based interludes that detail my slight AU from the time that Chris wakes up (with no memory) leading up until the end of season 6. Let me know what you think…
Wyatt couldn't believe that he had even briefly considered letting his brother die. And now here he stood, wandering through the museum from room to room, recalling every good memory he had of the place. Or more specifically, every good memory he had of his brother.
He had ordered everyone out of the museum for today. He knew that it was coming because his stubborn mule of a brother, had refused his help and insisted on returning to the past, thereby sealing his horrid fate.
Christopher was extremely resourceful, and with the aid of an Elder and the Charmed Ones, had effectively blocked him from returning to force the young man to return. Even as the most powerful magical being that had probably ever walked the face of the earth, there was not a single thing that he could do about it. As the days passed, Wyatt wasn't sure that he even wanted to. The boy had made his choice. He was determined, if nothing else.
A single drop of salty water rolled down his cheek as he found himself staring at the door to his mother's former bedroom. He took a deep shuddering breath and pushed the door in gently, trying to inhale the scent of her flowery perfume. It had always comforted him as a youth, welcoming him with open arms just as widely as the woman who wore it. But as the sunlight streamed down onto the bed, he found nothing but particles of dust and the scent of musty decay.
There was nothing inviting about this room now.
With one Halliwell son in the future, and the other in the past, Wyatt was determined that this bedroom would be the last place where he and his brother would spend their lives.
The seer had told him the corresponding date. The date when his father would lay his little brother down on this very bed, holding him in his arms in a vain attempt to stave off death. As if anyone could beat the Angel of Death at his own game, he thought bitterly. That date was today. Twenty-three years ago. His little brother that hadn't even been born yet, was going to die on the bed that he now eased himself down on.
Though every event in the past technically had occurred already, he knew that it--hadn't happened yet, not as far as Wyatt was concerned. Changing the past was a funny thing because the future was never immediately affected. The entire year that Chris had been in the past thus far, had brought about tiny rippling changes that only those who knew of his whereabouts were aware of.
At the moment, his brother was still alive, and Wyatt replayed the events from the seer's pool in his mind over and over until it made him sick. There was a hollow, foreboding feeling that settled in the pit of his stomach as he laid down. He could feel it coming, as solidly as the comforter he now gripped in his hands tightly. It was as if the Angel of Death were coming for him as well.
His brother was right after all, he did feel a bond with the younger Halliwell that could never be broken, nor understood. He vaguely wondered if the bond consisted of some sort of mutual empathic connection that neither of the two ever questioned. But it didn't really matter anymore. His world as he had known it, as he had built it, would end soon. Wyatt welcomed the idea of never having to feel this pain again.
He didn't even bother to wipe the stray tears from his face that dripped onto the bedding. "Who the hell cares!" he yelled out loud as if doing so would somehow make the pressure building in his chest go away. It was getting closer.
Separated by time and space, Wyatt Halliwell still felt the tremendous pain that the bond caused. It was happening. His brother was dying and he couldn't do a thing to stop it. He was all alone in the past. Through the bond, he could feel Chris's terror and fear begin to overwhelm him.
He now finally understood why Chris's apparent betrayal had cut him sharper than if it had been done with a blade. Of all the people, he had thought. It was because of this very same bond that had him writhing in agony, clutching his chest as if he himself had been physically stabbed. He had felt the beginnings of the pain when their Aunt Paige had mistakenly orbed an athame into her unsuspecting nephew. But it hadn't felt that bad before, and he guessed it was because Chris hadn't really been close to deaths doorstep at the time. But now it was different.
And he realized that Chris had meant more to him than anyone in the world.
The pain lessened and he began to feel numb, but he still felt the accompanying fear at the impending events. But he also felt the sad loneliness that brushed the edges of his thoughts.
That's not right! His mind screamed. YOU'RE NOT ALONE! In that moment, he suddenly knew what he had to do, frantically hoping that the bond worked both ways.
He reached out as far as his mind would take him, stretching out to the younger Halliwell.
Chris felt weak, the darkness finally beginning to settle deep within him as he felt the end approaching. As he lay dying, here in the past, the sense of deja-vu that he had been having turned into more. He had seen it all before in the seer's pool, and the knowledge that he had made this decision had somehow made it easier to accept. His family's knowledge of his identity now made sense to him.
He supposed that the cold realization of imminent death had triggered his recollection of the events surrounding his conception, and bypassed the block that the memory dust had erected against them. Wyatt had been there and made certain that he was to be born.
Through the pain, Chris found himself smiling at the thought. Despite how he had left things with the older witch in the future, he knew that the brother that he loved so much still cared for him, and because of that, he missed him. And though he was with his family now, they weren't the ones who he grew up with, who had raised him. These were people who had only recently begun to tolerate him since his return to the past. And now he couldn't help but feel terribly alone as the panic began to set in.
Suddenly, he felt and heard something he had never expected—his brother's voice echoing softly in his mind. He thought that perhaps in his delirium that he had been dreaming, but the voice pushed again, this time with a firm urgency. "Wyatt?" he questioned weakly.
Paige leaned in to answer his question, "He's not back yet, Honey. But I promise you that your dad will find him and save him. And then we'll save you." She cried softly when she saw that he hadn't heard her. She thought he was too far gone, when in fact, he was only listening to one voice.
'I told you once when you were five that you're my brother, and that I would never leave you. That still stands, Chris.'
'If you remember that,' he thought disappointedly, 'then nothing's changed. This was all for nothing.'
'Not yet, no. But you'll make it better. For both of us. I know you will.'
'Are you still mad at me for betraying you?'
'No. Because I finally understand, Chris. Of all the people to betray me—you're the only one that hasn't. You're the only one who loves me enough to do this.'
'Then when I left, you knew about this? You knew I was going to die?'
'Yes,' he answered shamefully, expecting to hear a string of curses thrown his way. What he didn't expect was to hear the happiness in his brother's voice.
'Then you loved me enough to respect my wishes. To allow me to save you?'
The response took longer, and it was much softer, but it was still heard. 'Yes…'
Wyatt began to panic when his brother didn't respond. Then it was almost as if he could hear his father's voice telling Chris not to give up. How could the Elder not know? Chris would never give up anything willingly. He had fought Wyatt tooth and nail, every step of the way to ever believe that. But his body didn't have a choice any longer. He knew it was too late for him, choosing his last moments to sap the little bit of strength he had left to offer verbal words of encouragement to their father. "You either…"
He turned his head to the side, his mind fading along with his body before sending a final thought through space and time. 'Wyatt? Thank you.'
Twenty-three years into the future, Wyatt cried harder than he ever had in his life. He felt the loss of the connection he never realized was even there before now, and instantly knew it was over. And he hadn't even gotten to say one last thing. The three most important words that family should never neglect to say—words that he had never actually uttered from his lips. It was always just understood, or at least he hoped it was. He laid down on the bed, rolling around and twisting in the old musty comforter, desperately hoping that the change he knew would follow, would come quickly and end his pain.
The bed shifted next to him, and he opened his eyes to a sight he soon hoped to forget. His brother's lifeless body was returned to him, and he reached out, pulling the younger man into his arms reverently.
So deep in his grief, Wyatt never saw the shimmering wave that flooded over him, signaling the change that the younger Halliwell had fought and died for.
"You know, mom's gonna' blow you up if she finds you curled up in her bed with your shoes on. Are you nuts?"
Wyatt sat up suddenly at the figure leaning on the door frame, "What?"
"What are you doing?" the brunette questioned inquisitively. He began to worry when his brother just stared at him dazedly. He quickly opened the empathic connection they shared and felt around the edges of his mind, offering a comforting presence. 'Are you alright, Wy? What happened? Should I get mom and dad?'
Chris touched his brother's forehead, mimicking their mother's reaction when one of them seemed 'out of it'. He must be sick, he thought to himself. He shook the older man, "Wyatt? Come on man, you're scaring me. What's wrong with you?"
"I don't know. I just—I think I just fell asleep and had a really weird dream."
"What was it about?"
Wyatt furrowed his brow in concentration for moment before coming up blank. "I can't even remember. All I do remember is that I am really glad to see you."
Chris raised an eyebrow at the giddy response his brother had just given. He answered sarcastically as he pulled the other man up. "Yeah, I'm really glad to see you too. Especially since I just saw you this morning in our apartment. Now get a move on, it's your turn to do inventory at the club. So if this is just another one of your little devious plots to get out of it, forget it—I'm not buying it."
Wyatt followed him down the stairs, "But--"
"Nope." He said crisply.
Wyatt still for some unknown reason, had the urge to say one more thing. "I love you, bro. You know that, right? Oh, and happy birthday," well, two more things he thought happily.
The brunette stopped in his tracks at the strange declaration. Chris himself had rarely been one to express any type of verbal sentiment, but Wyatt was usually downright adverse to it, preferring instead to hook his arm around Chris' shoulders and ruffle his hair affectionately.
Maybe whatever Wyatt was affected with at the moment was catching, because Chris also felt an unusual urge to follow suite.
He turned around slowly, admitting in a quiet voice. "Of course I know that. I love you too. And thank you." Chris shook off the feeling as the moment passed and narrowed his eyes at the taller witch. "But buttering me up is still not going to change the fact that you're in charge of inventory this month. Now orb your Twice-Blessed butt over to the club or I'll sick mom on you." He crossed his arms and eyed his older brother with what he hoped was a stern look. The blonde grinned widely and Chris called out a warning before he orbed out, "…and no magic!"
"Must have been one hell of a dream," Chris laughed out loud to himself before he orbed to join his brother.
Thank you all so much for reading & reviewing. I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. :)
With that said, I'd like to ask you all a small favor—you see, my writing professor mentioned that he'd like to see me try to get some of my generic fiction (not fanfiction) published, but I don't know if I have the confidence to do that. So if you wouldn't mind letting me know what you think of my—ex. writing, ideas, plotline, whether or not you'd read it from a bookstore or library, etc. Or have suggestions for improvement—other than faster updates because I know I'm seriously lacking in that department ;)
So anyway, maybe just a quick note in a review, email, pm or whatever if you get time?