Disclaimer: I don't own Charmed or Lost, from which there's a tiny reference to (Boring, ordinary disclaimer, I know).
This is just a little one shot that just sort of popped up in my head, and is set after the closing hospital doors in season six, a few days after little Chris's birth. Enjoy, and reviews would be much appreciated!
The hospital doors closed to one of those feel good Kodak moments, one of a family of three welcoming the newest addition to the family.
What lay inside the doors, and hidden, was a father in emotional turmoil, unsure of whether to mourn his son or welcome him. Any attempt to compromise the two ended in failure, in the end leaving him with a jumble of mixed feelings.
Leo Wyatt couldn't help but smile at Piper's expression, complete awe and joy for their beautiful baby boy.
A boy he had seen all grown up, stained from witnessing horrible things, cold from survival instinct, guarded from the million of secrets he held, and hurt from the hate he most certainly felt coming from his own family.
A boy he had seen die.
Leo had held him in his arms during his last breaths. He was stubborn, even to the end. Leo couldn't even think his name without tearing up. But then he remembered his son's resentment for him, how he wasn't there for him in the future, how Leo wasn't a strong father figure for him. He sucked in his breath and tried to be strong, his gaze back onto the softly closed eyes of his son.
Christopher Perry Halliwell. Leo thought. At least we have a name for him. It took us so long to find one for Wyatt.
"Leo, do you want to hold him?" Piper's soft voice broke through his thoughts.
The Elder smiled, and outstretched his arms towards the baby. Piper carefully handed Chris over to Leo, and absently stroked Wyatt's golden curls, immediately feeling a need to hold her baby again. She felt like wouldn't be able to let go of him again, especially after nearly losing him from complications.
Leo's eyes examined every square inch of Chris's face, wishing that he'd open his eyes so Leo could see those bright, lively green eyes again. A stray tear slid involuntarily down his cheek and onto Chris's shut eye. The baby stirred but didn't open his eyes.
The tear and pained expression didn't escape Piper's radar. "What's wrong, Leo?"
Leo sniffed and wiped the remaining tears away. "Nothing. I'm just . . . happy, that's all." He couldn't bear to tell her the news –couldn't bear to ruin the happiness.
Piper, eyebrows furrowed into a frown, let it go. "Speaking of, where's big Chris? I want him here; after all, he is family." A grin spread across her features. "I can already see him squirming when Phoebe makes her baby faces at mini Chris. You know, why hasn't he come yet? I know Paige and Phoebe are coming later, but you'd think my son would be here to visit himself. And his mother, of course." She added as an afterthought.
"It's funny, really, how concerned he was about Wyatt but hasn't come to see how his baby self is doing. He really is a martyr."
At Piper's last words, Leo winced horribly.
Once again, the wince was not missed by Piper's sharp eyes. "Leo? What's wrong?"
He knew now that there was no way around it now. His wife was looking up at him, expecting an answer. Even Wyatt's bright blue eyes seemed to see right through him, knew that his daddy was hiding from the truth.
Leo knew it.
"I'm so sorry, Piper," he said quietly, a lump in his throat stopping him from saying anything else.
Wyatt could sense something was wrong. His daddy was sad when he bought Wyatt to meet his baby brother for the first time, but he was also happy. There was a smile on daddy's face, though at times the curves of his mouth drooped a bit, making the reason for the smile more complicated. But now, his daddy was sad, only sad. There wasn't a trace of happiness, only misery.
When Wyatt had opened the hospital door, standing on tiptoe, a mixture of emotions filled the one-and-a-half year old. He was excited –he saw his mommy's tummy grow bigger and bigger over the months, and mommy had read book to him about good big brothers that took care and protected their little brothers. When mommy was busy fighting the d-e-m-o-n-s (Wyatt hadn't figured out what exactly that meant yet, but he had a good suspicion of what it was) the nice man Chris read and played with him.
His favorite was the block game. Chris would carefully build a towering tower, one that Wyatt would topple, just like the "Leaning Tower of Pizza" did. Of course, it'd be no fun if he just knocked it down. No, he'd have to slowly topple it.
"Try taking off the red block, Wyatt," Chris suggested. Chris was the only adult that didn't talk to Wyatt in a baby voice, the only one that talked to him as an equal, as if Wyatt was all grown up too.
It made him feel real big. He liked Chris. When he was all grown up, Wyatt wanted to be like two people: his daddy, and Chris. Both of them loved and protected him. Chris hadn't always been nice, though. Wyatt remembered when he was really little, when Chris would look at him in a mean way. He spoke to him as if he didn't like Wyatt. But lately that had changed, ever since he had saved him from the evil man in the robe that made him think mommy and daddy were bad people when they really weren't. Now, Chris played with him and was nice. He had become kind of like Wyatt's big brother, and he respected him.
Wyatt orbed the red block away into one of mommy's plants. Chris smiled a genuine smile as he thought ahead to Piper's reaction to the hoard of various colored blocks taking refuge in her flower pot. Chris used his telekinesis to keep the tower intact, gently setting the top piece onto the bottom.
"Nice, Wyatt!" Chris praised, smiling down at the child. Wyatt beamed back.
"Now, let's try the blue one."
Wyatt shook his head, the blonde curls on his head bouncing, and pressed his lips in a firm pout. "No! Fall."
The Twice Blessed One was proud of himself. "No", he discovered, was a very useful word.
Chris rolled his eyes. "Already? Okay then, go for it."
Grinning mischievously, Wyatt obliged, and the blue block was sent flying away. And with a satisfying crash, the tower toppled.
The tower toppled just as Chris had fallen when the bad man Gideon had hurt him. Wyatt wondered how Chris was doing. The last time the toddler had tried sensing for Chris, he felt his presence, thus reassured that Chris had been healed by his daddy. His daddy could fix anything with his healing power.
Wyatt didn't know how to pinpoint the exact location of the people he's sensing for yet, but just to feel Chris's presence was enough.
As Wyatt stared down at his little brother, whose name he did not yet know, he recalled a T.V. show he had accidentally seen once. His mommy and aunties and Chris had been busy with d-e-m-o-n-s, so he turned it on. Mommy had been careful with the T.V. ever since Wyatt had conjured that dragon. He giggled. That was fun.
On that show, a woman had a little baby. The woman hadn't found a name for her baby yet, and one of the men on the show had called the baby "turnip head".
Wyatt cocked his head to one side, examining his little brother's face. From the pictures he had seen in his mommy's cookbook, his little brother did have a turnip head.
Turnip head. Wyatt thought, and smiled, proud that he was the first to figure out the name for his new brother.
But he also felt a stirring of something else inside of him, as he watched his mommy gaze lovingly at Turnip Head. Jealously squirmed inside of him as mommy kissed Turnip Head's forehead, completely ignoring Wyatt.
He's just a Turnip Head, Wyatt pouted, doing his best to look upset and attract some attention for himself.
Then Turnip Head was handed over to his daddy, and mommy's hands lightly caressed his head, immediately ceasing his pout. Wyatt was content now, and he didn't resent Turnip Head anymore.
Just as Wyatt started to smile up at the bundle in his daddy's arms, his daddy had said in a miserable tone, "I'm so sorry, Piper," which made Wyatt's head snap up immediately. What had happened?
Mommy gripped Wyatt tightly. "What are you talking about Leo?"
Wyatt didn't like the scared tone of his mommy's voice. Something was seriously wrong.
Daddy didn't look at them for a moment, content with staring down at his little brother's face.
"It's funny how small and vulnerable Chris looks now," he commented softly.
Wyatt was confused. Chris? But Chris wasn't small; Chris was big and tall, taller than his mommy.
"Yes, he is," Piper confirmed, but she was getting impatient; she didn't like how Leo was avoiding the question. That scared her. "Leo." Piper knew what he was talking about, but she didn't want to think that. It must be something else, the Elders, anything! Anything but her baby. Her big, twenty three year old baby.
Leo met her eyes at last. He had thought about his a lot, how he would break it to Piper. Knowing Piper, straightforwardness was what Leo had decided. Unfortunately, no matter how much he had practiced it in his mind, when it actually came down to it, he froze. He couldn't do it. All the Elder-induced serenity and calmness had completely abandoned him in that moment, leaving him with nothing but Leo, the father of a murdered and newborn son.
"Damn it, Leo, if you don't tell me I swear I'll blow you up!" Piper threatened sharply, unable to take the silence any longer. For the longer the silence, the harder it is to say something, the worse the news is.
That snapped him out of his thoughts. Leo took a deep breath and went for it, "Chris's dead."
Chris's dead. Christopher Halliwell is dead. My son is dead.
Once he said it, he couldn't stop thinking it, and couldn't stop saying it. Soon, he explained how it all happened in a rush of breath. He didn't want to admit it to himself, but once he got everything he was holding inside out, a huge weight felt lifted off of him.
Chris is not a burden! Leo scolded himself. He didn't want to think that way. He couldn't. After everything his son has done for them, there's no way he could possibly have been some weight holding him down.
Piper didn't cry. Her eyes weren't shiny; instead, she merely stretched out her arms towards the baby incarnation of their neurotic son. Leo silently handed Chris over to his mom. She stared down at the baby for a couple of moments in silence, her face blank. Then her neutral expression crumbled, and Piper's lips trembled in anguish.
"My baby . . . oh god. But Chris is here; he's right here." Piper said firmly, caressing the baby in her arms. Wasn't she supposed to feel it? Why couldn't she sense the lack of Chris's presence? Maybe little Chris's coming distracted her . . . but what kind of a mother is oblivious to her son's death?
Wyatt cocked his head to one side, confused. Did mommy just call Turnip Head "Chris"? And what was this about Chris dying? Wyatt saw it all; he saw him being stabbed by the bad man, but . . . his daddy must have fixed it. Daddy can fix anything.
That was always the one thing daddy could never heal. Wyatt knew now, for he saw the truth in his daddy's eyes. Chris was dead; but he was alive as well. Wyatt realized now that the big Chris that played "Leaning Tower of Pizza" with him and the baby that was his little brother was one and the same. But they were also different. No wonder Wyatt could still sense Chris's aura. He was detecting his baby brother.
"Leo?" Piper asked, her voice thick, "We have to be happy . . . for him. He tried to make our lives better, with the cost of his life,and we'll be happy for him."
"I can't just not mourn, Piper," Leo argued, his eyes blazing.
Piper shook her head, unusually patient. "That's not what I'm saying. We will mourn . . . but we'll also welcome little Chris, just like we welcomed Wyatt. We will not ignore him or make him feel second best like he did in his time. You are going to be the father you and he wanted you to be, I'm going to be mother he remembers, Phoebe and Paige are going to be the aunts that spoil him, and Wyatt is going to be the big brother he was before he became the Lord of All Evil."
Leo nodded, and stared down at innocent little Chris. Almost as if he could sense his family's turmoil, he finally opened his emerald orbs at last. Chris's eyes were as bright as Leo remembered, if not a little sleepier and more at peace. In them was calm, a contrast to the stormy expression that was usually expressed in the future Chris's eyes.
"I can do that." Leo answered, wanting to keep those eyes that way. "I can do that."
Piper smiled. "So can I."
Wyatt heard everything, and agreed. The little Turnip Head was his brother, and like his older incarnation, he would protect his little brother just like big Chris had protected him . . . died for him. He was going to have to share mommy, but that was something he was willing to be reasonable about, if that would help him be the best big brother that he could possibly be.
But then Wyatt smiled mischievously. He would share mommy, but he definitely wasn't going to share his special teddy bear with Chris "Turnip Head" Halliwell.