A shoulder to cry on

A/N: Hey guys! This is something special for me today. It's my first one-shot and it's my first story on that's not depressing. Yay for me!

Disclaimer: No, it has not changed since the last time I wrote one of these things, I do not own Charmed.

Time: Set after 6x16 Midnight Rendezvous/ The Courtship of Wyatt's father (Can't you Americans agree on one title?) But with the alteration that Paige and Phoebe did not split up with their respective boyfriends thus didn't move back in, so they didn't find out about Chris' identity and have no clue Piper is pregnant.

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Quietly Chris sneaked into Wyatt's bedroom. He had no big intentions in going there, the only thing he cared about was to make sure his older brother was ok.

He was a little relived to see exactly what he had expected, the small boy was sleeping peacefully in the baby bed.

Carefully Chris shut the door and went to the hallway again. The next room where he wanted to check in was his mom's. He had picked up this habit 3 weeks ago. It was unnerving him that Piper was living in the manor on her own now, and so he had begun to come here every night to check if she was ok. He was a little mad at his aunts for having left his mom alone, especially now, but he knew it had been Piper's idea.

But she was definitely pregnant now, so wouldn't it be better if they were here to help her? Of course he couldn't be entirely certain that she was pregnant, but he had calculated that if she wasn't, he would not exist anymore. He had no idea what Piper and Leo had done on the ghostly plane, but it seemed to have been not suited for all audiences.

But he tried not to think about it. It was just way too weird to think about his own parents having sex. It was bad enough that the sisters had no problem to talk about their love lives in annoying detail when he was around, so he didn't need his fantasy to tell him even more about this kind of happenings.

He arrived in front of Piper's bedroom door and put his hand on the knob. Slowly he pushed it open.

"Who's there?", a voice from inside demanded.

Damn, he thought. He had believed she was already asleep. He hadn't meant to have her knowing about him being in the manor at night, because he was pretty certain she would not approve of it.

He sighed and said, "It's just me"

"What are you doing here at this time?", Piper wanted to know. She hadn't expected anyone to be here that late.

"I just wanted to see whether you and Wyatt were ok", he answered truthfully. He had actually taken Leo's words seriously to be straight with the sisters and also it was very hard for him to lie to his mother. He had managed some lies but he had always felt a little guilty after saying them.

"Why?", Piper asked surprised. It did not make a lot of sense to her that he would come and see whether everything was ok. Wasn't he always busy researching demons?

"Well, you two are all alone and so I figured it would be better if someone came to check on you every now and then", Chris explained. He felt very silly now. She would probably start yelling at him the next second for invading her privacy.

To his surprise, she didn't. Instead she said, "That's sweet of you."

Just then he noticed something weird. Her voice didn't sound like she usually did. She seemed to have been crying.

"Are you ok?", he asked carefully.

"Can you come in?", she wanted to know.

"Sure", he replied and entered the room. All the lights were switched off, but the moonlight illuminated the place enough to let Chris see that Piper's face was tear stained as she was sitting in the bed.

"Hey, what's wrong?", he asked with genuine concern in his voice.

She looked at him with despair in her face but hesitated a moment. "I don't want to bother you", she said quietly. It was her problem, she had the feeling she shouldn't bother anyone else with it.

"I'm your whitelighter I'm meant to be bothered. You can tell me", he reassured her. As long as he had been in the past he had only seen her crying right after Leo had left her. All the other times she had always been angry or relaxed. Seeing her crying made him sad, too. He had always hated to see his mommy crying when he was little, and it was not different now.

"Really?", she asked with a glimpse of hope in her eyes. She knew it would help her to talk about this, but she was still reluctant.

"Of course", he said.

"Well, I… I just found out I'm pregnant", she said with a sob.

Chris was lucky that she didn't see the look on his face on that revelation. I made her cry. It's my fault, the little child in him said and was very sad about that. He had never meant to make her cry. And he was feeling very bad about this.

"But… but isn't that something good?", he managed to say after a second of silence. It was his fault she was crying but he needed to make her happy again. That was the least he could do when he was the one causing her discomfort.

"Well… yeah, but what am I going to do?", she sobbed and buried her face in her hands. "I'm all alone, I can barely take care of Wyatt, how am I supposed to handle another child on my own?"

Chris was a little relieved that not the fact that she was pregnant was her problem but the fact that she was uncertain what to do. So at least she didn't hate baby him.

Without waiting for an answer she continued, "It's gonna hate me!"

Chris stared at her in shock for a moment? That was her worry? "No!", he contradicted immediately. How could she even think something like that for a second?

"Huh?", she asked and looked at him confused.

"It's not going to hate you. I know it. He's going to love you more than anything and you're going to be the greatest mom he could ever imagine", Chris said before he could even think about how weird that sounded coming from someone who was a stranger in her eyes. And he didn't realize he had just let the child's gender slip.

Piper on the other hand did not really think about it coming from Chris either, she only cared about the words. "Really?", she asked hopefully.

"Yes, really. I know him and he loves you. You're going to be a great mother and you're going to manage all this. I know that, because I've already seen the results of it. You shouldn't doubt yourself, I know you're going to be great", he reassured her.

She looked at him for a moment stunned. That was the first time she had ever seen him saying so nice and caring words to her. She hadn't even realized yet he could be this way. She didn't know what to say. But then something else caught her attention. "It's a boy?", she asked with a smile on her face.

Now it was Chris' turn to be stunned. All the voices in his head were screaming, "future consequences" at him and he could've kicked his own ass. How could he be so stupid and let that slip. He knew he couldn't fix this anymore, but it was worth a try.

He put his hands up in a defending gesture and said, "Forget that I just said that"

Piper chuckled a little. "No way", she said and grinned at him.

Chris sighed and looked at his watch. Then he said, "Well, you could at least try to forget. I gotta go now."

And with that he went to the door again, but shortly before he could leave the room again Piper stopped him. "Chris?"

"Yeah?", he asked and turned around.

"Thank you", she said.

He smiled at her and answered, "No problem" Then he left the room.

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The next morning Piper enjoyed the smell of fresh muffins as she pulled them out of the oven. She had made two kinds, chocolate and plain. She had absolutely no idea which one Chris preferred, but she wanted to do him some good as a thank you for his pep talk the previous night. He had really lifted up her spirits and now she was really happy that she was pregnant.

The little boy would love her and tell others she was a great mom. What else was there to ask for?

She waited a minute and left the hot tray on the counter to have it cool a little. Then she called for Chris.

He orbed in a second later. "What's up?", he asked a little sleepily as if he had just woken up some minutes ago, but he was already fully dresses so Piper was relieved she hadn't pulled him from his sleep.

"Oh nothing, I just wanted to thank you for yesterday. You really helped me to see the light. So I've baked some muffins. I wanted to do cookies first, but I was out of the proper ingredients. And muffins are nicer for breakfast anyway", Piper explained with a smile.

He blushed a little. "You wouldn't have needed to do that", he told her reluctantly. "It was no big deal", he added. He didn't want to cause his mother more work than necessary.

"To me it was", Piper said gently with a warm smile on her face. She found it cute that he didn't want to make a big deal out of it, but she had the feeling she owed him a little being nice. Especially after she had not always treated him very well but that hadn't stopped him from being so nice to her.

"Well…", he said uncomfortably, not knowing what to say. He didn't really know why, but he felt a little embarrassed at all the attention she was giving him.

"Ok, if you don't want any I can eat them all on my own, I need to eat for two now anyway, don't I?", Piper said playfully. She knew she could convince him to accept the gesture this way, it somehow seemed natural to her.

"Whoa, that's not what I meant", Chris exclaimed and took one of the chocolate muffins.

"Do you like them?", Piper asked with a wide smile on her face, happy she had gotten him to take one. She gestured towards a chair for him to sit down and pulled one for herself.

He sat down and said, "Oh they're great!"

For a minute they just sat there quietly and both ate their respective muffins. But then Chris decided to cut a more serious topic.

"Did you tell your sisters that you are pregnant?", he asked seriously.

She looked at him startled for a moment. "No, I can't"

"Why not?", he asked with confusion in his voice. The words didn't seem to be that complicated to him.

"Well, if they knew they would come here right away, move back in, but I don't want them to give up their lives just for me. You told me I could handle it, so I don't want to destroy their happiness", Piper explained. She hoped desperately that Chris would understand and not tell them on his own.

"Piper, you can't just raise that child all alone, you need your sisters support and you know that. Plus, you can't hide it from them forever, at last when you're on a vanquish with them and they see you having a belly the size of a football they're gonna ask questions", Chris reasoned. He hadn't meant to make her over confident by telling her she would manage. His aunts had played quite a role in his life, so she needed to tell them sometimes. He was not certain she would manage all alone.

"Well, yeah, they will, but I'd like to not tell them as long as possible, so they have their time with their boyfriends", Piper replied. She knew exactly if they heard with one word that she needed them they would be right there. But she couldn't be so selfish and ask that of them.

"But if you don't tell them they'll be pissed when they find out that you held it a secret from them", Chris argued. Both of them would not be too happy if they knew her sister was keeping something of that importance a secret.

"I know, but I can handle that", Piper said a little guiltily. He had a point, but she had already made up her mind not to tell them.

"Well, you need to tell someone, you can't do that all on your own. What about Leo?", Chris stated. His father was not his favorite choice there, but if his mom refused to tell her sisters, she needed to have someone else's help. So his father was not an illogical choice, it was partly his fault she was pregnant. Not that Chris complained about that, but he could at least do something to help his mom.

"No, that's even worse. He's up there being a fulltime elder, if I tell him he's gonna leave another child here it would devastate him. It's hard enough for him to leave Wyatt behind, but another child? That would be too much", Piper paused for a moment, then she looked at Chris with pleading eyes. "Can't you be someone?"

For a moment Chris was tempted to ask, What? Am I no one? But he could control himself. Instead he asked, "What do you mean by that?"

"Well, I mean, you said I need someone to talk to and to help me, and I can't tell my sisters and I can't tell Leo, but you already know, so couldn't you help me with this?", Piper asked hopefully. She was a little afraid that he was going to say no, but the way he had helped her last night told her she could have a little hope he would help her.

He stared at her incredulously for a moment. His mother wanted his help to help her handling being pregnant with himself? That was very weird. Even the sentence sounded strange in his head. But when he saw the look in her eyes, he knew, he couldn't say no. Instead he said, "Sure"

Piper's face lightened up considerably. "Really?", she asked joyful. He had no idea how grateful she was. He definitely had a point and she needed to have someone to help her, but if it was him it was considerably easier for her. That way she didn't need to burden her family with it but still had help. She knew some weeks ago she would never even have considered making him her trustee but now she had the feeling things had changed.

"Yeah", he confirmed with a light smile at the happiness on her face. Somehow he was still a small child and he always liked it to see her smile. Especially now that he was in the past it made him happy since she only rarely smiled when he was around.

"Great", Piper said smiling and made a mental note to buy new cookie ingredients.

"Uh well, I need to go now and do some research. You alright here?", he said with a little concern in his voice. He knew it was not perfectly polite to leave her here now but he had no choice, because he had planned this a long time ago.

"Yeah, sure", she said. And right after she said that he took one last muffin and orbed out.

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Later that day he met her again, but this time not for personal counseling, but for vanquishing the particular demon he had been researching.

Paige was there, too, but neither Piper nor Chris made any comments about Piper's current state to her, so she had no suspicions whatsoever. And after the vanquish was done, which had been pretty easy, she orbed back to Richard's for "improving her social relations with Richard" as she called it. Both her sister and the young whitelighter were very aware of what that was supposed to mean.

After Paige had left Chris orbed both Piper and himself to the living room in the manor.

"You should've told her", was the first thing he said after the two of them reappeared.

"I told you I can't", Piper said a little whiny. She did not want to roll that discussion out again.

"She deserves to know", he gave back and sat down on the couch.

Piper did so as well. "We've had this discussion", she said wearily.

"Yeah, you're right", he agreed. He still didn't approve of her reluctance to tell them, but still he had a feeling he would have to accept it. His mother could be very stubborn at these things.

"Well, let's talk about something else. You could talk a little bit about yourself you've been here for quite some time, but still we barely know you", Piper started. She was really interested now. She had never cared so much before, but since he had agreed to help her and not told Paige even though he would've preferred to have her know, Piper had the feeling she should be nicer to him. And she did barely know him.

"You know I can't talk about the future", he said a little annoyed. He had the strange feeling se was only trying to find out some things about the future rather than about him.

"I don't want to know about the future. I want to talk about you", Piper said with genuine interest in her voice.

That made him a little uncomfortable. He had kept from getting close to them for a reason and it had been pretty easy since they hadn't made any attempts to get close to him. He knew he couldn't allow himself to let the walls drop, even if she was pregnant with him now, he could not risk to slip who he really was, or tell her things that could alter the future. But these were just excuses he made for himself. Deep inside he knew he could not get close to her, because he needed to accept that his mother was dead. Getting close to her past self would make that a lot harder.

But the reassuring smile on her lips and the friendly way she treated him now gave him the feeling he could relax a little. Maybe he could enjoy a little extra time with his mother even though she had no idea that was who she was to him.

"Well, what do you want to know?", he asked hesitantly.

"Uh, how about your favorite color?", she guessed. That seemed to be an information without big consequences on the future.

"Green", he answered. "Even though some month when I was three it was a different color", he said before he could stop himself. Sometimes he had the feeling his mouth was an independent being from the rest of his body that acted on its own account. Why did it have such a tendency to put embarrassing details to light?

"Really? Which one?", Piper asked with a smile.

"I'm not saying. I shouldn't have brought it up anyway", Chris said and blushed a little. He knew why he had instinctively mentioned this. It was a story his time's Piper had often used to tease him with. So he had thought it somehow natural to tell Piper. Man, he was stupid.

"Oh come on", Piper begged. This was getting fun. And he looked really cute when he blushed.

"Well… only if you promise not to tell anyone", Chris said. "My mom used to tell all my friends when I was younger. I hated when she did that", he added without really thinking about it. But he was glad he could keep himself from saying I hated when you did that.

"No I promise, I won't tell", Piper said in a childlike voice that made Chris laugh involuntarily.

"Well, it was… pink", he said and looked at his feet.

Piper giggled. "That's cute. I can understand why your mother told everyone, I would've, too, if my kids did that", she said. She had no idea how right that was. I know you would, I lived it, Chris thought to himself. That was a weird conversation to say the least.

"Well, ok, moving on. What's you job? Or do you even have a job except from whitelighter in the future?", Piper asked, not giggling anymore.

Well, that was terrain that was less embarrassing, but only a little. "Well, no, there were a lot of other things to worry about in the future and I didn't really get a chance to get a job. I would've liked one though", Chris told her. He was always a little sad he hadn't managed to get one, since his mom had always wanted him to have normal live when she had still been alive.

"Oh, I see. But what did you want to become?", Piper asked curiously. She hadn't really expected him to have a real job since from what he had told her, the future was pretty chaotic. Not exactly the place to get a nice office job.

"Uh well, I don't really know, I hadn't decided yet. When I was a child I had some dreams of what to become, but none of them were really realistic", he explained. He had had some dreams till he was a teenager from that time on he had always been pretty uncertain about what to do and what to become.

"Such as?", Piper insisted.

He sighed. "Well, when I was 4 I wanted to become a fireman, at 6 I wanted to become a racecar constructor and at 8 helicopter pilot", he said.

"Oh, that's cute", Piper said with a warm smile on her face.

Both of them were startled when his watch suddenly started to beep. "Oh, shit, I gotta go", he said and looked at the display.

"Busy guy, huh? Were are you going now? Flying to put out a fire and then construct a pink racecar?", Piper wanted to know smiling.

He rolled his eyes. "Sure", he said and orbed out.

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Some days later Piper had finally managed to get the proper cookie ingredients, so she called Chris over again. They had been talking all over the last few days and she had the feeling she was getting to know him quite well. She actually liked him pretty much, now that she knew him better. It was hardly understandable for her now that she had never bothered to look closer.

"Hey", he said as he orbed in.

"Hey. I got some cookies for you", she said and pointed to the table where she had put a big plate full of chocolate chip cookies.

"Wow, and who's gonna eat all of them?", Chris asked as he observed the huge pile of cookies.

"You", Piper replied.

"Oh you want to make me fat", Chris complained, but still took one.

"Well, I could get Wyatt to eat some, too", Piper offered. How could she make the poor boy fat? That was not excusable, so she needed to fix it.

"That would be great", Chris said grateful.

Piper walked to the conservatory, where she had put Wyatt in the playpen and brought him to the kitchen.

"You know, I would like to hear some more embarrassing stories about you", Piper said when she had sat back down and put Wyatt on her lap.

"No way, I'm not telling you anything embarrassing anymore", Chris said playfully and crossed his arms to show that he was not open to doing that.

"Well, maybe I should try to ask your mother, I'll bet she would love to tell me", Piper said jokingly. She had no idea what she was doing by saying that.

His head dropped a little and quietly he said, "That won't be possible" He was not angry at her, but bringing this up was like scratching old wounds. And especially her saying that was particularly painful for him.

Piper hadn't really got his meaning so she asked innocently, "Why?" She was not aware of the way his demeanor had changed so quickly.

"She's dead", he said, now his voice barely audible.

Piper immediately regretted ever having brought it up and said, "Oh I'm sorry" She did not really see how she had been so stupid to bring that up.

"It's ok, it's been a long time", Chris said still very quietly. In reality it was not ok for him. But he didn't want to burden her with that.

"You liked her a lot, didn't you, Piper said with sympathy in her voice. From their previous conversations she knew his mother had meant a lot to him.

"Yeah", he said and kept his gaze fixed on the table.

"Isn't she still alive in the past? Maybe you should go and see her", Piper offered.

He just looked at her sadly and shook his head. "That would be pretty stupid, wouldn't it? I mean going there and saying, 'Hey mom, I'm your unborn child from the future, how are you?' would be very silly. She doesn't know me, she's not the same person she was when she died in my time, so it would do more harm than good to go see her, I think. And it would probably be even worse for me to go there and see her without her knowing me", he said. She had absolutely no idea, that he was enduring this pain of having his own mother see a stranger in him every day. But he had no intention of telling her.

"I'd better go", he added, grabbed another cookie and orbed out. He just needed to bring some distance between him and her after she had stirred these emotions back up again.

She sat there for a moment, lost, and feeling guilty about having brought this up for him.

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Later that afternoon Piper decided for something very bold.

She had made this so hard for Chris by saying that, so she attempted to make it up for him. If she could just find his mother and do a spell to let her have the future's memories for some hours Chris could spend some time with his mother the way he knew her and she would not have any memories of the encounter afterwards, so it would have no consequences on the future.

Piper knew that this held a megaphone in its hands and was shouting out personal gain, but she didn't care. He was here, risking his life the save the future from being screwed up by her son, so the least she could do was let him have a little nice time. She had a feeling magic owed this to him.

The only thing she needed to do first was to find his mother, which was harder than it looked.

She was sitting in the attic and had a map unfolded on the table. She held a shirt in her hands that Chris had left here some days ago. In her other hand she had the scrying crystal. She knew that was not the best item to use to find his mother, but she lacked alternatives, so she tried it.

But it didn't work. No matter how often she did it, or how hard she concentrated on Chris' mother, the crystal kept pointing at the manor. She figured the only thing she was finding was the shirt itself. This particular crystal had made problems all the time the last few weeks so she figured she needed a new one, but at the moment she didn't have the possibilities to get one.

Frustrated she threw crystal and shirt on the table.

She sat back and sighed. She had no idea how else to execute her plan, but she knew something had to work.

Maybe it was a bad plan. Well, it probably was, but she had no intention of giving up that easily. She took a pen and a piece of paper. Spell writing was not exactly the thing she was best at, but she didn't have any other options.

She thought about it for a while until inspiration hit her. The spell she thought of was quite unusual, but she didn't really care, if only it worked.

She put an empty piece of paper on the table in front of her and lay a pen on top of it.

Then she said her spell.

I will see, one way or another

Draw me a picture of Chris' mother.

Contently she watched the pen move on its own accord. It appeared that it had worked even though it hadn't been the smartest spell she could've thought of. And she knew it was basically useless, if she didn't know the woman.

A little afraid of the possible result she took the paper to her hands once it had finished drawing. For a moment she didn't realize what this meant. But the woman on the picture was someone very familiar to her…

She stared at the paper on which there was a perfect picture of herself. She was impressed how good the spell had worked, but it was almost impossible for her to believe what it told her. She was like paralyzed while she kept her eyes fixed on the thin lines that looked almost like a monochrome photograph. At first she thought the spell had malfunctioned and only drawn the caster of the spell, but why would it?

And then again, it made perfect sense.

He was twenty something, he said he came twenty some years from the future. So the time would fit. He knew Wyatt in the future, knew his way around the house, he knew the family. But how could she be his mother?

She shook her head violently to clear her thoughts.

Then, slowly her hand moved down to touch her stomach. Her pregnancy wasn't visible yet, but she knew it was there.

Him.

It seemed so unbelievable to her that the small child she was carrying inside her and the courageous young man she had gotten to know where the same person.

She turned her head to look down on her stomach where her left hand rested.

And slowly, very slowly, a huge smile found its way onto her lips.

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She couldn't have been happier. She had been so scared when she had found out Wyatt would turn evil and she had had the fear, if she had another child it would share the same fate, but instead it became one of the most good people she could ever have known.

"Chris!", she called out, and barely managed to control the happiness in her voice. She needed to see him, she needed to get to know him even better, it was all so incredible to her, that she could only follow her instincts.

He orbed in and looked at her confused. But before he could say anything, she ran to him and wrapped her arms around his body. "Why didn't you tell me?", she asked with tears of joy and a huge smile on her face. She held onto him as if her life depended on it. She had left him in the future, but she would never do that again.

When he looked at her and saw the expression on her face, the way she hugged him and everything, he knew that she had found out. He had always been afraid of that moment, but now that it had come he couldn't believe how lucky he was to have her as his mother.

He smiled back at her, and whispered the four most precious words she could ever hear in her life.

"I love you, mom"

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The End

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A/N: Well, I hope you liked it. Please review!