Disclaimer: I do not own Charmed.

Author's Note: Okay, I started writing thisas a "what if" story, but I've realized now that it has to be AU. Why you ask? Simply because I don't feel like dealing with Gideon. I'm not erasing him because… well I can't, since he's such a huge part of the Chris storyline—but I can ignore him. :D

So, this is set during "It's a Bad, bad World I" when Leo and Chris step into the portal. Instead of landing in an alternate world, the spell works and they end up in the changed future. How does the spell work? Piper "tweaks" it, before they read it. And what happens to Gideon, lets assume the sisters find him out and stop him while Leo and Chris are in the future. (Hey, this is fiction—anything can happen… ;D

It's a lighthearted story…I'm not sure that all the time-traveling kinks are completely worked out... I've done the bestI can… but if it doesn't quite work out, I'm sorry… please just bear with me.

I hope you like it.

Oh P.S. If you recognize some family members names' it's because I'm using the same family characters I created for "To Protect Him." I worked hard on developing those family characters in my notes so I'm sticking with them.

P.S. again! The entire first chapter dialogue is directly from the show.

What if things had changed…?


Slowly Leo walks into the Great Hall at Magic School, his heart beating wildly as he absentmindedly pushed Wyatt's stroller. Piper walks beside, she too lost in thought. There wasn't much to say on a day like today. They were going to say goodbye to there son… and yet they were getting ready to greet him.

Chris spun around to face them when they entered, "Where are Phoebe and Paige?" he asked as a sigh of frustration escaped him. He was nervous enough without having to add this prolonged sense of anticipation to everything.

Piper reached him and laid a comforting hand on his shoulder, "I'm sure they'll be here soon." She told him gently, wishing she could ease his tension.

"Soon? Soon is when Dad and I have to go." He hissed, failing miserably at hiding his anxiety.

Piper blinked in surprise, "Dad? What do you mean? She shifted to look at Leo, "Wait.

You're gonna go, too?

Leo shrugged simply, "Just long enough to make sure he gets where he needs to be." He answered steadily, shooting Chris a look that said there was no discussion on this matter.

Piper frowned, "…and when exactly were you gonna tell me about this?" she asked, her tone peeved; this was not the time to be keeping secrets from each other.

"I told him he didn't have to come," Chris rushed to supply, then shot Leo a glare, "I don't need him," he added just for spite. The truth was he may not need his father, but it was definitely comforting to have the older man traveling with him.

Leo frowned at his son, "No. It's too dangerous. Remember the last time you went through a

portal? You were almost dinosaur kibble…" Leo gave a decisive nod, "I have to go." He finished firmly.

Piper nodded, but her expression was anything but complacent, "You're right. It is dangerous, but not as dangerous as leaving Wyatt alone while I'm in labor." She argued, her eyes worried as she wondered if she would ever stop fretting about the morale of her eldest son…

Gently Leo reached out and squeezed her shoulder, "I'll be back…" he told her gently, "I promise."

The intimate atmosphere shattered as the closing of a door reverberates around the Great Hall, a moment later Gideon walks in, a book in his hand.

The occupants of the room jump a little, startled at the abrupt noise, "Sorry…" Gideon mutters, as he nears them, "I just wanted to go over the spell one more time, make a few tweaks."

Piper frowned as she swung around to face Gideon, for a moment he receives the full heat of her glare, "Tweaks?" she cried. Gideon opened his mouth to explain, but Piper reached out and snatched the paper from him, "Let me see that," She hissed.

Gideon's grip on the page tightened just as she went to take it out of her grasp, and once again he was treated to Piper's glare. A moment later she was quickly perusing it with her gaze. She'd re-write it herself if it seemed iffy… no way was she letting her baby out of her sight with a spell that needed tweaks

"Finally!" Chris exclaimed as Phoebe and Paige strode into the Great Hall, "Where have you two been?" He asked them, perhaps a bit gruffly.

Paige shrugs, and does her best to avoid his gaze, "Sorry. We were a little, uh ... held up."

Phoebe nods vigorously, "But we're here now, so let's get this show on the road, you know?" she states enthusiastically… maybe a little too enthusiastically. Chris and Leo give her odd looks, Piper though, barely looked up from the spell—a spell which she is quickly editing.

After a moment of silence Phoebe continues, "Come on… the clock's a-tickin'. Tick-tock. Tick-tock."

At that Piper's head shot up, and she gazed at her suspiciously, "Since when are you in such a hurry to say good-bye?" she asked, knowing that Phoebe, like the rest of them, was dreading the moment they'd have to let this Chris go.

Phoebe's eyes widened and she flushed a little, "Well, since something happened with the uhhhh thing ..." she stuttered out and did her best to avoid her elder sisters gaze, "…and the thing ... with the… uhhhh… thing."

"Huh?" Chris asked, voicing his parents' thoughts.

Phoebe looks nervously first from Chris then to Piper, trying to decide if there was a way out of this without telling the truth—after a moments she gives up and releases a long sigh, "There's a warrant out for Chris' arrest." She states in a rush.

"What?" Leo asks, alarmed.

Paige too released a sigh as she contributed to the explanation, "Yeah. I tried to get Darryl to bury it, but he's not really on our side anymore."

Chris frowned and began pacing, "Oh, this is bad. If I leave, and they can't find me, they're gonna come after you."

Phoebe smiles a little at him, "It's ok… We've been through worse. We'll get through this. We'll

figure it out."

Chris however did not appear heartened by his aunts encouraging words, instead he released a sad sigh, as if this was just the worst thing that could've happened.

Phoebe couldn't help it, she reached out and tugged a tuft of his hair as a grin bloomed on her face, "And if you get back to the future and we're in jail, you just have to bust us out."

That earned her a smile and she reached pit to gently take both his hands in her own, "You just go back to that beautiful, peaceful world you helped create."

He nodded mutely and without another word she pulled him into her arms. She squeezed him tight and kept her eyes closed against the tears, "I'm really gonna miss you." She whispered and realized just how true it was. No matter how much she loved the new baby Chris, no matter how much she adored the boy, and then the man he'd become… she'd always miss this Chris.

Always.

Chris smiled a little as he held the small woman, "I'll miss you, too." He told her.

After a moment Chris pulled away and took a deep breath, Phoebe gave him a shaky smile and he turned to Paige.

She gave him a mock grimace, "Aw. Here comes the huggin' part." She complained then promptly enveloped him in her arms, holding him securely.

No words were exchanged, none were needed.

Slowly she pulled away from him and gave him a perfect replica of Phoebe's shaky, almost-but-not-quite-watery smile. Chris could have kissed them both in gratitude… they weren't going to cry. And he was so grateful that tears stung his eyes.

Taking a deep breath he turned to face his mother. She stood directly in front of him and he gave her a small smile when their eyes met. There were so many things to say, so many things that couldn't be said…

"Thank you for coming here." She told him gently, her brown eyes already wet with tears. He nodded, his throat too tight to speak. He was in her arms suddenly and her gentle words were filtering into his brain, into his heart… "I love you." She whispered.

And he cherished the words, repeating them over and over in his mind… praying with all his heart, to anyone that would listen, that she would be alive in this new world… that somehow… he'd saved her too…

"I love you so much, mom." He choked out, his arms tightening around her for just a fraction of a moment.

The moment was over much too soon.

He pulled away, and watched as Piper wiped at her tears, "Go on. Hurry…" she murmured.

She stepped back and looked at the two men in front of her—father and son. Both tall and strong with beautiful green eyes and the courage to live for their convictions… and for the millionth time she asked herself how they had missed that. She took a deep, calming breath, "You be safe." She told them.

They nodded, then Chris glanced to Gideon, "Thanks for all your help."

Gideon nods slowly, thoughtfully, "You did a noble thing in coming here."

Chris shrugged, still not comfortable discussing his mission, with a small smile he looks down at Wyatt in his stroller, bending down he ruffles the boys' hair, "Be good," He tells his older brother, and once again prays that the future has changed.

Slowly Chris and Leo and turn to face the triquietra on the wall. With careful movements the sisters line up behind them and gently begin to recite the spell:

"In this place and in this hour,

We call upon the ancient power,

Open the door through time and space,

Create a path to Chris's proper place."

The Triquietra glows for a moment and then the portal swirls before them. With deep breaths Leo and Chris step into it—both hoping for best.


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