A Moment Between Father and Son
He sat on top of the large sandstone rocks looking down into the water that crashed loudly up against them as the cool ocean wind chilled his skin and swept through his dark silky hair, relaxing him and delivering a calm he hadn't felt in years. He always came here when he needed to escape and now in days it seemed as if the beach was the only place where he stayed for long periods of time without feeling the pressure of trying to save his brother or having to deal with his father's constant questions of what he had done wrong and why he hated him so much.
That was funny.
Everyone always believed that his behavior towards his father was because he hated Leo for doing something horrible to him, or abandoning him, when in fact it was the complete opposite.
Chris loved his father, idolized him even and that's why whenever Leo would yelled at him, hit him, threaten his life or show just how much he mistrusted him he would run away. It always hurt like hell but he could never show it. The Elders words or stinging hits would always force him to orb out, not giving those around him even the slightest chance the see the pain and completely destroyed look in his eyes. Now this wasn't to say that Leo had never hurt Chris growing up and he had to admit there was still some profound animosity there that the two would have to work out at some point but for now there was work to be done and he couldn't waste time trying to rebuild a relationship with his long dead father.
But would it really be a waste of time? Would it really set him back that much if he took just a few minutes to talk to his father, something that the boy had been longing to do ever since the worse day of his life, the day his brother had ordered a darklighter to end the man's life.
The memory instantly brought tears to Chris's eyes as he thought back to the day his father died.
Chris paced back and forth over the dirty floor that was littered with papers, debris, filth, vermin and anything else that you could think of as he waited for his father to bring the supplies he needed to help those who had suffered and lost so much because of the new source, because of his brother. Chris felt guilty and believed it was his job to right the wrongs of his sibling and even more so to keep the legacy of goodness, honor and dignity that his family name once stood for. He smiled slightly to himself knowing that if his mother were still alive she would be so proud of him and how he was able to stay strong enough to help innocent people and being able to resist the lure of evil that separated him from his elder sibling.
The thought hurt him deeply as he remembered how close he and his brother once were. How much they used to love and care for one another and never once had they ever thought about hurting any innocent person, especially each other. But that had all changed the day their mother died. Even though his brother was still evil then he would never had gotten this bad if it hadn't been forced to deal with the pain of losing their mother and aunts but then again that was no excuse. After all Chris had suffered and mourned them as well but you didn't see him destroying the world and ruining people's lives because of his grief.
"No but then again you always were a little bitch" a voice called out to him, instantly bring his pacing to a halt.
His eyes frantically searched the room for the person he knew that voice belonged to. "Show yourself you coward" demanded Chris as he took a fighting stance ready to do battle with his brother. He just hoped that his mother wasn't looking down on her boys right now because if she did, she would truly be heart broken.
"You've always been the dramatic one" he now heard the voice and felt the presence standing only three inches behind him. Quickly spinning around Chris came face to face with the source who was sporting a very smug smile.
"Well, well, well, look at little Chrissy trying to put on a brave face to go up against big, bad Wyatt" the man laughed before brushing the hair out of his brother's face.
Smacking his hand away the boy responded "What the hell do you want Wyatt?" he glared at the man with eyes full of defiance.
"What I've always wanted Chris. For you to join me, to take your rightful place by my side so we can rule together instead of fighting one another" he continued as clasped his hands together behind his back and began walking circles around the younger male. "You know we were never meant to be apart. You and me always made the best team little brother. There was nothing we couldn't accomplish together. Don't you miss that?"
"Yes I do" Chris spoke in a sad reminiscing tone that made his brother smile. He then put a hand on Chris's shoulder before speaking.
"Good. Then come home with me so I can teach you all you need to know. And once the time is right, once you're ready I will reintroduce you to the world as my second in command and together we will have the world cowering at our feet" the man spoke clapping his hands together with excitement. "Oh little brother you have no idea how long I've waited for this moment. I'm so happy you've made the right choice"
It would have been so easy to except. So easy to take his brother's hand and go home to a nice warm bed, hot meals, nice clothes and any thing else he wanted and to top it off he would be with his brother and best friend again. But deep down beneath the perfection of his little fantasy Chris knew that if he took his brother's hand and converted to his way of thinking he would once again taint the reputation of his family, his ancestors and prove the Elders right that he and Wyatt should never have been born. Holding back tears Chris had to put an end to his brother's ranting and decline the offer, knowing full well that it would set the man off.
"Are you finished" Chris responded coldly causing a look of confusion and intrigue to form on his brother's face. Chris hated himself for speaking those words the second they left his mouth but he had no choice. He just wished that he didn't have to hurt his brother in the process.
"Chris" the man warned sensing what his brother was about to say.
"What I was going to say was yes I miss it. I miss the way we used to be Wyatt but I can't go back. None of us can. Too much has already been done and unless you're ready to put the world back to what it once was and denounce your thrown then I'm sorry. I can not, will not associate with you" the boy said now looking at the floor to avoid his brother's gaze.
Wyatt was furious.
"Go back" he spoke calmly as if trying to understand the meaning of the two words. "Go back to the endless, pointless fighting, go back to hiding who we are, hiding our gifts and saving these so called innocents who would persecute us and call us freaks after we save their lives day in and day out. Die for this stupid concept of good and evil, right and wrong" his voice was still calm and this frightened Chris. Whenever his brother would talk that way something bad always happened.
"That's not the point Wyatt. We have these gifts and we fight the good fight because that's who we are, who we were always born to be. Sure they would do all those things to us but it's because of ignorance. They don't know any better Wyatt, they're afraid of what they don't understand"
"Oh please don't give me that holier then thou bull shit Christopher!"
"But he's right and you know it Wyatt" Leo said as he formed in front of their two sons.
"What the hell are you doing here Leo? I banned all Elders from earth and if you value your life, you'll get the hell out of here before I kill you. Besides I'm sure you're the reason for my brother's stubbornness which means you now have two strikes against you"
"You don't scare me Wyatt and yes I have been doing my best to make sure your brother stays good and make sure he doesn't chose the path of evil like you did" Leo spoke taking another step in the direction of his sons.
"How many times do I have to say it Leo? The concept of good and evil only exist for people like you who love to sit up on your high horses and control the lives of others and manipulate them into thinking like you do. And have you forgotten that it was those same beliefs that took your wife, my mother from you, from us"
"No I haven't forgotten But that doesn't make what you're saying right Wyatt. There are rules"
"Yeah mine, which are the only ones that truly matter" he said instantly silencing the Elder "Now this is what you're going to do. You're going to tell my dear brother here that you are wrong. That there is no such thing as good or evil because God forbid Christopher do anything without Daddy's approval"
"I'm not going to do that Wyatt"
"What?" the source spoke as he moved to stand toe to toe with his father. "Are you out of your mind? Who are you to challenge me?"
Returning the man's ice cold stare Leo got right in his eldest son's face and spoke up again "I'm your father, that's who"
"Dad please" Chris spoke not wanting his father to say or do anything that would provoke his brother.
Leo braced himself for the worse and was shocked at the response he received from his eldest son.
Wyatt Halliwell laughed in the face of man standing before him, finding it absolutely amusing that this Elder, this so called being of good thought that he had what it took to make him, the almighty twice blessed one back down. And if he thought that this little act of bravery was going to inject fear into his heart, he obviously didn't know him that well.
"Ok" he smiled one of those evil grins that Chris had learned to hate.
With this particular smirk tragedy always followed.
"Marcus" Wyatt called out a name Chris instantly knew was the name of the only darklighter that Wyatt had allowed to live.
"He's a darklighter Dad orb away" the boy warned but when the man tried to obey, he found that he couldn't orb, hell he couldn't even move.
"What's the matter Father, having a little trouble running away like the coward you are?" questioned Wyatt as his friend arrived
"Wyatt please, don't do this. Haven't we lost enough of our family already?"
Wyatt said nothing and backed away from his father and moved to stand at his brother's side. He then placed a firm hand on his brother's shoulder and spoke out loud "Join me or he dies"
Chris could not believe the demand that was laid before his feet. He either had to betray himself, his family and friends in order to save his father's life or sacrifice the life of his father to save the others. How the hell was he supposed to make this decision? What was he supposed to do?
"Don't do it son" he heard the shaken voice of his father cry out.
"SHUT UP LEO!" shouted Wyatt before turning his attention back to his younger sibling. "This could all be over in a matter of seconds Chris, all you have to do is join me. Rule by my side and I promise you that you will have everything your heart desires and to show how much your loyalty would mean to me I'll allow your friends in the Alliance to live. I'll even supply them with proper housing, food and clothing as long as they promise never to oppose me again. Just image Chris, you can save them all, you can give them a better life if you just join me"
"Chris please, you're stronger then that. Please don't do it to save me. I've lived my life and now I look forward to the end if only to join your mother. So please don't let him win son. Please don't turn your back on your family like he has" Leo said with tears now streaming down his face.
"I can't let you die Dad, I can't lose another person I love. I won't survive it"
"Yes you can Chris I have faith in you. Besides if you join him then how will you live to do what we talked about" the man spoke giving his son a meaningful glance.
Instantly Chris knew what he was referring to. Over the past few months the two of them have been making plans for him to travel to the past in hopes of finding whatever it was that was responsible for his brother's turning and vanquishing the demon before it had a chance to do any damaged.
"TIME IS TICKING CHRISTOPHER!" his brother yelled into his ear causing him to jump.
He couldn't say anything. He couldn't move. How was he supposed to choose between his brother and his father. Two of the most important people in his life and more importantly the only two family members he had left.
This was tearing him apart.
Dad or Wyatt, Wyatt or Dad. The words went to war in his head, fighting to see who would come out on top, who would be the chosen one. And no matter how many times he questioned himself. How many times he weighed the pros and cons of the situation, he knew that after today his life will never be the same again.
Fortunately or unfortunately he wouldn't have to choose. Someone else had made the decision for him.
"I'm sorry it had to come to this Christopher, but you took too long and unfortunately for dear old Dad I'm not a very patience man" he spoke before turning to his demonic minion "Kill him"
"NOOO!" Chris yelled as the darklighter released an arrow. He watched with tears in his eyes as yet another person he loved and cared for was about to die. Chris watched in horror as his father screamed out in pain and winced as he saw the poison filled steel entered the man's back and exit through his heart.
"I'm sorry Christopher but this is how it has to be. You need to see what happens when you oppose me and now you have to deal with the consequences of your actions" Wyatt said now releasing his younger sibling from his arms and watching as the boy ran to their father's side. "I took away your orbing power for a few minutes so you can't bring him back Chris. I truly am sorry about the pain I've caused you so now I will leave you to your grief but make no mistakes about it, I will be back for you little brother and when I do, you with either join me or die" with those last words spoke Wyatt and his accomplice flamed away leaving the father and son behind.
"I'm so sorry Dad"
"Not…you…your…fault" the man spoke softly to his son as he could feel his life slipping away.
"YES IT IS! IF I HADN'T ASKED YOU TO BRING FOOD FOR THE OTHERS YOU WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN HERE TO BEGIN WITH" the boy shouted, angry with himself for putting his father in this position.
"Don't…you…dare…sa…say…th…that. Wy…Wyatt's…to…blame" Leo said as world around him grew darker.
"You…are…th…the…bes…best…s…son...I'm…so...proud…of…of…you" the man said trying to hold on long enough to say the most important words of all.
"Dad please, you've got to stop talking or you're going to die. Just hold on a little while longer so Wyatt's stupid anti-orbing spell can run its course and I can get up to the other Elder's so they can heal you" Chris sobbed as he tried to orb, again, again and again with no success.
Leo gave his son a weak smile knowing what the boy was trying to do but it was no use. Wyatt made sure that the spell wouldn't wear off until he was long gone. Reaching his hand up and running a loving hand down the side of his son's face the man spoke one last time "I …lov…love…you…so…much son"
"I love you to Dad" the boy was now crying hysterically. "Please you can't go. Please Dad, don't leave me all alone. I can't handle it please. I need you. Please don't go"
Were the last words his Leo Wyatt spoke as heartbroken Chris held his father's body close, and wept.
End of Flashback
"Dad" Chris whispered softly into the wind as tears poured from his eyes as the images of his painful past flooded his vision making it appear as if the tragedy of his father's death hand only occurred yesterday.
His body began to shake as his sobbing became heavier and more uncontrollable. He missed his family and the life they used to have before his brother went insane and ruined the world but right now more then his mother, his aunts, or his brother, he needed him. He needed his father, not Leo but Dad.
He felt so cold right now. So cold, tired, scared and all he wanted. All he wished for was the chance to be cradled like a child in his father's arms. To feel safe, loved and cared for like he had so long ago. He missed him, needed the man who rocked him to sleep every night as a small child, the man who was there for him when he needed him the most and right now he didn't care about the missed birthday parties or missed baseball games, he just wanted, now needed his father.
And that's when it happened.
He could feel a strong set of arms wrap around his own allowing a familiar warmth and sense of protection and love come over him. The arms of his friend and defender, the only person that mattered the most to him in this world aside from his mother and brother.
"It's ok son. I'm here"
The words, the voice, the light scent of his cologne, the soothing sound of his voice and the concern behind it broke Chris's will and forced him to lean into the embrace that only hours ago he had ran from. He had tried to protect his heart. Tried not to seem needy or fragile but enough was enough already. He was done acting tough, done pretending as if he didn't need nor want to be comforted or bothered by the man that he had missed for four years, four long heart wrenching years.
But not any more.
Today he was going to enjoy this moment and every one there after and he was not going to let another second, another moment pass by without telling his father, his mentor, idol and friend just exactly how much he meant to him.
Summoning all of his courage and allowing himself to feel just this one time Chris swallowed hard and said the words that he had been longing to say since the first time he laid eyes on his father, here in the past "I love you Dad"
And without hesitation or even the slightest bit of uncertainty Leo answered back "I love you to, son"