Disclaimer: I do not owned Charmed or any of its characters.
Author's Note: Hi everyone.
This is a one-shot deal. It's just a little filler for the Spin City episode. There was nothing wrong with that episode... I really liked it. But it was the episode where Leo learned who Chris really is and I thought I'd like to play with that a little.
I hope you all enjoy.
The antiseptic should burn on his hands—he wished it would. Holding first one then the other over the sink he poured it over his knuckles, hardly seeing them at all… hardly feeling anything.
Today had been a bad day.
He could still feel remnants of the rage that had pumped through him, relentless venom that wouldn't leave him in peace; a lifetime of anger, bitterness, and resentment all rolling together into a toxic poison.
Slowly he lifted his gaze from his bloodied knuckles and stared at the image in the mirror. His jaw clenched, a bruise on his cheek, shaggy hair, and murky, lifeless green eyes—a far cry from the joyful, talkative child his mother had raised.
He should be ashamed. Instead he felt a deep, perverse pleasure at the damage he'd caused. Pleasure that, for just one moment, he had his father's absolute attention—regardless of what he'd had to do to get it. Pleasure that he'd managed to puncture that complacent, blessed-be bubbled the elder lived in.
Still, he could see, reflected in his eyes… the look on his mother's face… so worried, so questioning, so fearful.
They hadn't known… not really. They hadn't realized how deep his anger toward Leo went… not until today.
Hell, he hadn't even realized how deep it went… until today.
Today when his father had finally re-appeared, today when he'd turned off his conscience and let his desire for vindication rule, today when he'd given free reign to his darker side…
He didn't need any more reasons to dislike Leo Wyatt. He had twenty-one years worth of reasons… but the Elder's sanctimonious attitude had made Chris see red.
Which is what he'd done in that cave—seen nothing but his rage; years worth of buried bitterness had poured through him. He'd been unable to stop… the fury mounting with each punch he'd thrown.
He'd hit his father.
He'd hit him for every missed birthday party, for ever game he hadn't attended, every ceremony he hadn't watched, for every promise he'd broken, for every time he'd said the words too-busy…
Abruptly he jarred away from the sink and mirror, nearly dropping the bottle of antiseptic in his haste.
His mother stood at the doorway—her features pinched with concern.
He didn't say anything. The last thing he wanted was a heart to heart. He didn't want to talk to anyone about what had happened… didn't plan to explain it to anyone; didn't really know how to explain it.
He simply stared at her—and dared her to ask.
She stared back—with warm brown eyes that saw straight into his battered soul.
Slowly, she entered the small bathroom attached to the office at P3, and without saying a word she took the bottle from his hands and set it down. Gently she took hold of his wrists and led him out into the office.
He let her guide him into a chair, and remained absolutely still when she disappeared into the bathroom.
A moment later she emerged with the full first aid kit.
Neither one said a word as she lovingly dabbed antiseptic cream onto his knuckled and bandaged them securely. When she'd finished with his hands, she reached up and gently turned his cheek to her, inspecting his bruise.
She stood again and left the room. He stared down at his now bound knuckles… letting the realization that she wasn't going to ask set in.
She wasn't going to demand an explanation, a reason… she was going to let it go. The realization of that made something inside him quiver, and he fought the wave of emotion that slammed against him.
He didn't want to talk about it—and she could see that… and she was going to let it go…
He was startled to suddenly feel her hands on his face; carefully she lifted his chin until his face was upturned to her, then she pressed a cool cloth against his bruised cheekbone. With her other hand she reached for his and pressed his hand against the cloth.
"Keep that there for a little while; it'll bring down the swelling." She told him, her voice soft.
He swallowed hard, the emotions still rising.
She didn't move, kept her eyes fastened onto his. Her hands began smoothing his hair and Chris inhaled a ragged breath.
"I'm not going to talk about it." He told her roughly.
"I haven't asked you to." Was her gentle response.
"It wouldn't matter if you did. I won't discuss it. It's isn't any of your business."
"No, it isn't. I don't owe you any explanations."
"No, I suppose you don't."
He nearly growled, it was getting harder to fight the emotions rising inside him.
Something about her touch, about her gentleness, about her understanding… was unraveling him at the seams.
She leaned closer suddenly and very gently placed a kiss on his forehead. For a moment she rested her lips there and he felt them move against his skin, even as the her words burrowed themselves into his heart.
"Leo however, ought to know what it is he does to earn such hatred from his baby boy."
And then she left him there, as quietly and as quickly as she had joined him. He stared at the empty the doorway, completely still for a long time.
It was the awareness that the moist cloth against this cheek was no longer moist and the sounds of the club coming to life that broke his trance.
He didn't want to be there tonight… didn't want to hear the sounds of music, of laughter; the chatter of people who had no idea the horrors that existed around them… people who were blissfully ignorant of the sacrifices others made for them.
He let the cloth drop to the floor when he stood.
Moments later he was looking out from the best vantage point in the city of San Francisco. He stood there a moment, looking out… letting the wind blow his hair…
Then he chose the tallest tower and sat down with his back against it, his back to the city… wishing he really could turn his back on the city, on the world. Wishing that he could stop, that he could wake up and have this all be a horrible nightmare… wishing that he didn't have to save the world… that he could just give up… just let go…
But he couldn't.
He was a Halliwell.
With great power, comes great responsibility.
It was the great irony of fate that he,his father's neglected child, was the one who'd actually heard and retained the lectures that Leo had so painstakingly given to his children—on his very rare visits.
Chris had always been so eager to please his father; a small puppy dogging his father's steps for a morsel of attention, of praise…
But his father had never had time…
The tinkling of orbs distracted his thoughts. He looked up to see Leo forming in front of him.
"Can we talk?" the man asked steadily.
Chris stared at him a moment, before tearing his eyes away, "There is nothing to talk about." He responded just as steadily, the image of the small boy with big, woeful green eyes watching his father orb out giving him strength.
"I think there is," Leo said, his voice changing, becoming a bit more hesitant in the face of the boy's coldness, "Quite a bit actually."
The boy was silent a moment, before looking up at him and muttering, "It doesn't matter."
And it didn't. What was done was done… Leo wanting to talk didn't fix anything. It didn't erase the little boy who'd sit in his room and wonder what was wrong with him; wonder why his Daddy loved everyone but him…
"It does to me, Chris," Leo stated earnestly, meeting his eyes and taking a step towards him, "…you're my son." He said almost wonderingly, "I think I deserve to know what I did that's so bad."
…ought to know what it is he does to earn such hatred from his baby boy.
His mother's words filled his head suddenly and he had to look down as the rush of emotion filled him again.
The look of understanding inher eyes had taken his breath away; she hadn't demanded anything, she would accept whatever he did… but she expected him to tell Leo. And suddenly, he didn't want to let her down… suddenly he wanted to meet her expectations…
Looking up he met Leo's eyes again, "You were never there for me…" he stated coldly, keeping his voice dispassionate, his eyes steady, "… you were there for everybody else…" he continued, his voice becoming bitter regardless of his intention to remain cold, "… Mom, Wyatt… half the world… but never for me…"
He watched as Leo looked away, could see the man struggling to understand what he was hearing, could see him refusing to believe it.
"You didn't have the time." Chris finished, his voice once again cold, and watched as Leo swallowed hard.
Watched as the man turned away from the city and faced him.
"So… so maybe…" he began hesitantly, "… you came back from the future not just to save Wyatt… maybe you came back to save us, too." He said almost hopefully.
Chris said nothing for a moment; then abruptly he stood. A glimmer of rage flashing in his eyes as the implication of Leo's statement filled his mind. He let Leo look at him, let Leo read the rage in his gaze, the years of hurt, of neglect…
No, he hadn't come here to give his father a second chance… he wasn't that puppy anymore— he didn't dog his father's steps, didn't care about his approval, about his praise.
He didn't care.
With the strength of decades of hurt behind his words Chris answered the man who had fathered him, "I doubt it."
And with that he orbed out, leaving Leo alone the bridge—and swearing to himself one more time… that he would never be that puppy again.