DISCLAIMER: ONCE AND FOR ALL, I NEVER DID OR WILL OWN CHARMED!
SUMMARY: Set after Prince charmed. "He took my brother and now I take his. Nobody can heal you now Christopher… not the elder, not even the lord of darkness!" The demon said "You are just wasting your time… nobody cares about me…not me… not the charmed ones, not the elder… and definitely not my brother!" Chris said weakly.
A/N: since this is way before spin city, in my fic Leo was a great father, and Chris really cares about him.
AN EYE FOR AN EYE
It was late at night, the lights and humming of the racing cars below him were fading away as the icy wind, numbed his already anesthetized body and soul. Still… he didn't care, he even welcomed the chilly thorns that pierced his body as the unmerciful golden gate bridge's wind whipped his body.
He stared at the void, with a face vacant of feelings, with eyes empty of tears, with a heart that was hollower than the deserted night in San Francisco; and with a soul that had been so battered, so confused in a turmoil of feelings that was probably already shuttered into an irreparable state.
Chris replayed what had happened in his mind for the umpteenth time. The love of his life had betrayed him and now was dead. To add a little to his misery his brother hated him, gee his whole family hated him and wouldn't trust him. He couldn't fight any longer, he was tired of fighting… if he died in 2004 would he get to see his mother and aunts in 2026's heaven? He didn't know… they say you don't go to heaven if you commit suicide, but then… nothing could be worst that this hell he lived in, so he was considering the option. Nobody would care anyway…
"An eye for an eye!" Someone said shimmering behind him and stabbing him on the back.
Chris gasped for air as he felt to the floor, looking at his assaulter that had made his wishes come true, and now he was wondering… did he really want to die? The idea scared him a little, but on the other hand, it seemed so comforting.
"Oprent…" He said weakly recognizing the figure in front of him. He remembered he had sworn revenge when Wyatt killed his brother in front of him; but still… which sort of revenge was this one? Wyatt couldn't care less if Chris died.
"He took my brother and now I take his. Nobody can heal you now Christopher… not the elder, not even the lord of darkness!" Oprent said
"You are just wasting your time… nobody cares about me…not me… not the charmed ones, not the elder… and definitely not my brother!" Chris said weakly laying on the floor.
"You are wrong… you are the only one he cares about… even you can't be so stupid as not to realize that!" Oprent smiled smugly.
Chris couldn't help smiling from his fetal position on the floor.
"And he will feel it when you die… you know he will… he might not feel your pain, because of that stupid spell you did, to block yourself out from him; but he'll feel your death…in any time line, in any realm, in anyway… you KNOW… Wyatt will feel your death… and it will KILL him! As much as my brother's death hurt me or hopefully worst… because despite how he tries to hide it… there is still some good left in your brother… all those feeling… you know that, right Christopher?" He kicked Chris on his stomach. Chris started coughing. "That's why you came here to save him… because he wasn't always bad… because there still good in him… because you still love your brother… so touching…I will tell him that your last words were…" The demon grabbed Chris' hair and pulled his head up. "What do you want me to tell your brother that your last words were?" He asked harshly.
"BASTARD!" Chris yelled at him, and that earned him an energy ball on his shoulder.
"That's not nice… I don't think your brother will like to know those were your last words for him." Oprent said kneeling in front of him. "I swear I'll tell Wyatt whatever you want." He said seriously.
"Why?" Chris asked weakly. "What do you get from it?"
"The same I get by telling you that he cares about you… the pleasure of seeing the bittersweet pain in your eyes that knowing it provokes!" He said evilly.
"Tell him that no matter what he is my brother…and I wouldn't want any other brother but him and that I will always love him!" Chris said fighting to stay conscious.
"Oh… he is going to love that." Oprent said self content shimmering out.
Chris closed his eyes exhausted, he didn't even cry for Leo, he didn't have the strength; and he doubted he cared.
"I don' want to see you anymore." Had been his mother's words and that was all he could remember right now.
"I don't need you." Had been Wyatt's words.
Bianca's face as she died…
All the harsh words his parents and aunts had told him all this past months. The turmoil in his head was the only thing that accompany him through his trip to unconsciousness.
Only luckily… he was so weak, physically and mentally, that he couldn't keep up the shield he had been using since he got to the past. Once he got to the past, knowing his father would find it weird to realize he could sense him as precisely as he could sense Wyatt, he decided to block himself out of it; leaving enough room for Leo to sense him like he would sense any other human being.
At the manor.
"Where do you think Chris is?" Piper asked wrapped in Leo's arms, even though they weren't technically married anymore, that particular night a couple more drinks and a lot more stress than necessary had forced them to make a hiatus on their on going separation and enjoy their marital rights.
"I don't know… I haven't seen him since the incident with Wyatt three days ago. He did seem pretty beat up after what you guys told him." Leo said sweetly.
"Yeah… I know… I was especially harsh… but try to understand… how would you react if someone said that about your son?"
"He said that about MY SON!" Leo didn't know whether to laugh or get angry.
"I know… I know…" She chuckled "What I meant was how he expects me to react? Do you think he was telling the truth?" She whispered.
"It doesn't matter what I think, sweetie. It matters what you think." He said kissing her temples.
Piper let go one silent tear. "I think he is telling the truth…there is something about Chris… I can always tell when he is lying or when he is hiding something…that's why I didn't trust him when he first came here, because I knew he was lying about the Titans… I can always tell when he is lying… even if I can never get him to tell me the truth…I know he knows he can't lie to me…He tells me as little as possible, but he tries not to lie…"
Leo kissed the top of her head and Piper sobbed.
"I just don't want to believe him!" She cried.
"Yeah… I know… me neither… but just imagine how HE might be feeling… I know he usually looks like an unemotional rock, but I bet what he is hiding underneath that imperturbable façade it's not all roses and butterflies you know? Nobody appears so cold at the age of twenty two unless life roughens you out!"
"I know… I feel bad already as it is…what do you want me to do? Besides I bet he doesn't even cares what I say, said or will say to him." Piper said out loud trying to make herself feel better.
"Well… you should have seen him on the bridge that day… he looked devastated… or as devastated as Chris can be…come on… the poor guy lost his fiancé two weeks ago… he didn't even mourn her! He must be dying inside…and then… this…" Leo said sadly.
"Well… ok, ok… I'll apologize first thing in the morning and then we'll plan something to make him feel a little better… are you happy now?"
Leo kissed her lovingly. "You are a great woman Piper Halliwell." He said with a smile.
"Only when I have a great man beside me!" She said good-humoredly… then she realized he wasn't beside her all the time any more, and her expression changed to a somber one. Leo held her closer; and she closed her eyes pretending to sleep.
A few hours later…
Leo suddenly jerked up, his eyes opened wide as if he had just been drowning and he had finally managed to get some air.
"What?" Piper said scared; but before she even managed to finish the word, he had already orbed them to Wyatt's nursery. "He is fine, he is sleeping." Piper said checking her baby to make sure nothing happened to him.
"No he is not!" Leo said freaked out glowing golden on top of him. "I can't heal him… there is nothing wrong with him!" He said even more worried than before.
"Then why are you freaking out like this? He is fine, calm down, sweetie!" She said caressing Leo's cheek, thinking he might have had a nightmare.
She knew that now that he was away so much, he usually had all this fears that he wasn't going to be able to protect Wyatt if something happened to him.
"You don't understand Piper… there is something wrong with MY SON! I can feel it… its like this connection I have only with Wyatt… it's stronger than with anybody else in the world… and I can feel it, my son is hurt… only I am not sensing it from here… my son is not here and its not exactly what I usually feel with Wyatt, just very, very similar!"
"Well unless you have another son that we don't know about, Wyatt is here and he is FINE!"
"No he is NOT!" He said grabbing Piper's arm and orbing her to where he felt the pain was coming from, he didn't have time to discuss with Piper, he knew it.
Deep was their surprise when they saw Chris… lying on the cold beam of the golden gate bridge, his body was dyed red, a pool of blood around him. They didn't even think about what had happened to Leo, or how much Chris usually got them on their nerves… all they thought about was saving him.
"Chris!" Leo ran to him, letting the golden sparkles emanate from his hands into his body, he managed to heal the wound on his shoulder, but the one on his back wasn't healing he could feel it.
Chris opened his eyes weakly and looked at his father with a frail smile, love and pain gleaming from his eyes.
"You came… I knew you would… deep down inside I knew you would feel it and wouldn't let me die alone." He cried delirious, so weakly… oh so weakly. "I am sorry dad…I am so sorry… please forgive, I never meant to hurt anyone…I just wanted to save Wy." It took him forever to finish that sentence.
"Shh… it's ok… don't talk." Leo said comfortingly, hardly paying attention to what he was saying, all he could think what that the boy in front of him was dying and he didn't seem to able to heal him.
He looked around and he saw Piper, who also hadn't really process the dad part. She was shivering in her nightgown and crying. Leo stretched his arm so she could hold her hand, and they orbed to the manor.
They helped Chris, who was unconscious again, into the couch.
"Heal him!" Piper screamed freaked out, Chris moaned at her screaming.
"I am trying… I can't!" Leo whispered freaked out himself.
Leo applied the golden glow one more time, and another time, and five more times, and the wound healed a little, not too much, just enough for Chris to regain some consciousness.
Once Chris jade eyes were open, they search insanely for his father. Yet, since he was lying on his stomach (the wound was on his back), and his face was actually facing the backrest of the couch, all he could see was the couch. He started getting pretty agitated when he didn't see anyone, his breathing became erratic while he desperately attempted to turn his head.
Seeing this, Leo gently helped him turn his head and looked at him.
"Don't worry, Chris… I am here! Nothing will happen to you!" He said gently, kneeling in front of him so they could be at eye level.
"Dad… do you think I'll be able to see mom once I die… I really missed her… do you know how ghosts and time travel work?" Chris said heartbroken, holding his father's hand and closing his eyes.
Leo kissed his temples, and slowly reacted to the words "Dad", "Mom" "Ghosts". He wondered if Chris was so delirious that he had mistaken him for his real father or he was only delirious enough to forget he had been hiding his identity all this time.
He remembered how he had been inexplicably drawn to him when he was hurt and looking at Piper's face all doubts he might have had were whipped out of his head.
"I am sorry, son, but I am not letting you go visit your mother up there yet!" He said gently caressing his hair.
"Everything is so hard, dad…" Chris cried with his eyes closed.
"Shh… save your strength, son… everything is going to be ok."
"I miss mom… I miss her so much…and Bianca… she died, dad…Wyatt killed her, I know he didn't mean to… Wy would never kill her on purpose, right dad, he is not such a monster yet…right dad?" the tears run throw his pale face as he pleaded his father to convince him there was still hope for Wyatt.
"Hush, my boy… everything is going to be ok; sleep a little, Chris… It will make you feel better." Leo begged his son. "We are going to save Wyatt… I promise."
Piper was paralyzed, sobbing quietly behind them. She couldn't believe that Chris was her son.
"Yes…we'll get him to be who he was before mom died! He was good… he just loved her too much… I loved her too, dad." He wept; and Piper let go a loud sob. "I can hear mom crying dad…I wanna go with her… please… I miss her…"
"I know it hurts… but you can't go with your dead mom, son… I am sorry, you have the younger version of her behind me and that will have to do… cuz I am not letting you die! We will heal you, ok?"
"But she doesn't want to see me…I never meant to hurt her… that's why I never told her before… I know how hard it probably was for her to hear Wy was evil…because it hurt me so much when I found out… I wanted to spare her from the pain…but I couldn't… and she said she didn't want to see me again the other day, dad… It hurt." His words were simple, "It hurt" but his voice denoted so much more than a simple word.
Piper let go a sob from behind him, she had been crying non stop since they found Chris, and when she comprehended that Chris was her son, her crying had tripled.
"I am sorry, Baby… I never meant to hurt you…I just didn't know how to react… I am sorry." She said, still scared of coming forward.
He cried "Is mom really there dad? I can barely see…will you tell her that I love her?"
Leo started crying, and did another futile attempt to heal him. Piper heard Chris' words and ran beside him, kissing his temples.
"I am here baby…everything is going to be fine!" She told him between sobs.
"I am sorry mom, I love you, you were the best… I am sorry I was a bad son!" He started loosing consciousness. Piper kissed his temples.
"Stay with us honey …I love you!" She managed to say as Chris drifted to unconsciousness with a smile on his lips.
"LEO HEAL HIM!" She screams.
"I CAN'T, I think whoever stabbed him used a magic blocking athame!" he said showing her the athame that he had brought with him from the bridge.
Piper caressed her delirious son's hair. "Everything is going to be fine, sweetie." She said almost mechanically. "We have to do something Leo, at this rate, your healing is not going to be able to keep him alive for long!" She said desperate looking at her ex husband. He nodded.
"Ok… first thing we need is to stop the bleeding… I stopped some with my healing, but not much…I need you to go get me lots of towels, big and small, bring antiseptics, any pain killers you have in the house and any medicine to lower the fever…ah… I also need your sewing kit." Leo said in doctor mode, Piper looked at him horrified. "I did this during the war countless times Piper, trust me!"
Piper looked shocked but did as she was told. Leo orbed to the kitchen, he put water to boil and started boiling anything that was going to come in touch with his son, to sterilize it.
After a while he was ready. He walked to his son. Piper was sitting on the couch. Chris' head on her lap, she was caressing his hair while he mumbled incoherently. Leo carefully cleaned and disinfected the wound, Piper held her son's hand tightly while Leo sew it. Still Chris was so out of it, he barely groaned.
Once they were done, they orbed Chris to Piper's bedroom.
"How could he not tell us who he was?" Piper asked heart broken, tucking him into bed lovingly.
"What did you expected him to say, Hey… I am Chris your unborn child from the future? Besides…you know… future consequences!"
"Like father like son, I guess!" She said crying. Leo chuckled proudly. "I don't care… I don't care why he didn't tell us, now… I just want him to be ok! Who did this to him?" She said resting on her ex husband's chest.
"I don't know sweetie, but we will ask him once he wakes up!" He kissed her forehead.
"We'll have another son, Leo!" Piper said smiling through her tears.
"It looks like it, right?" He said proudly kissing her passionately, letting themselves get overwhelmed by the fact that they were going to have another perfect son.
Wrapped in each others arms they lovingly gazed at Chris. Their hearts skipped a beat, their usually strong, unemotional whitelighter, looked broken, frail, his body was covered by improvised bandages. He looked dreadfully pale and was mumbling and twisting in an agitated dream.
"It's ok, mom is here!" Piper said running to his side. His mother's voice seemed to sooth him a little.
"Please get better, son." Leo said grabbing his hand. "We have so much to tell to each other!"
"Wyatt…Wy… don't do this please!" He mumbled.
"It's ok, baby… it's ok… nothing will happen!" Piper said softly.
"Mom?" Chris said opening his eyes. When he saw her his face transfigured to ultimate joy, he tried to sit down, but Piper gently pushed him down.
"Rest!" She whispered in his ear, touched by the absolute happiness that her sight had provoked in Chris.
Chris eyes searched for his father.
"I am not feeling very good, dad!" He said weakly. "Can you heal me?"
Chris didn't seem to be really aware of what was really going on, his brain seemed to be mixing past with future with his own past, and reality with fantasy; probably effect of the huge amount of sedatives running through his veins.
Piper and Leo didn't want to bring him back to reality, not yet at least… reality seemed to be too harsh for their baby boy, so if the sedatives where taking him to a happier place, they would keep him there.
"No sorry, baby, dad can't heal you… you've been stabbed by a power blocking athame… but you are going to be just fine…" She kissed his forehead. "Now just rest!"
"I am sorry, Kiddo!" Leo said guilty.
"It's ok dad, I am not feeling that bad anyways… don't worry!" He lied so his dad wouldn't feel guilty. "Where is Wy?" He whispered, closing his eyes.
"With your Aunts, downstairs." She whispered not knowing what to say.
"Can you tell him to come?"
"Not yet sweetie, when you are feeling better, just rest now."
"Will you tell him I asked for him when you see him?" He said childishly, his eyes still closed.
"Sure honey, now sleep for a while" Piper said kissing his forehead.
"Son…" Leo added doubtfully.
"Yes, dad?" Chris mumbled, almost falling asleep.
"Nothing… just that we love you very much." He said panting his leg.
"I know dad, I love you all too… don't worry, I am fine now… so can Wy come stay with me now, please?" He said, falling asleep.
Once they realized he was fully asleep Piper asked.
"Do you think he meant the "I am fine now"?" She said hopingly, a part of her knew that her son was dying in front of them, but still she wanted so much to believe he was fine.
"Piper, I am sorry, but I don't think he was aware of anything that is going on…I think he thought he was back with his family, when everything was ok and everybody was happy, and I think he told me that, cuz he thought I was saying I love you cuz I was scared cuz he got hurt." Leo answered sadly. "And I think he was lying about being fine cuz he wanted to see his brother, as cute as that is, he is anything but fine, sweetie."
"It's so weird…Wyatt has a brother!" Piper said smiling.
"Yeah, apparently one that would do anything or go through anything to save him." He hugged his wife proudly.
"Do you think he will ever forgive us for all that we put him through?" She asked worried.
"I hope he does… but we need to do something Piper… he is dying, he is really dying…unless we find which magic did this to him and reverse it… we will never be able to ask him for forgiveness."