Disclaimer: I do not own Charmed or any of its characters.
Author's Note: Hi! This storyline wouldn't leave me alone. There seemed to be so much history behind Chris and Wyatt's brief conversation in "Criss-crossed."
I didn't use the entire Wyatt-Chris scene in the story, but I did use the end portion of it.
I hope you like this!
He held himself utterly still, the attic unnaturally silent around him, staring intently at the wall. There was nothing there, not anymore.
Hours ago though-- his baby brother had jumped through that wall.
His baby brother – the traitor. It was being whispered all about his troops that he'd allowed Chris to get away… that he was going soft.
He'd begin to doing something to rectify those rumors tomorrow.
"If you don't pick those toys up, Wyatt, you're not coming to the park with us. I mean it mister." Piper scolded her oldest son.
His bottom lip pouted outwards, "NO." he cried defiantly.
"You have five minutes, Wyatt; and no magic. I'm still upset with you for pushing Chris…"
Piper took a calming breath, and chose to ignore that, "If I come back in here and those toys are still lying there Chris and I are leaving without you." She said firmly and turned away.
"I won't!" The three-year old yelled fiercely, stomping his feet in fury and glaring at his mother's retreating back.
With determined calmness he sat down on the floor and crossed his legs Indian-style. He didn't want to go the park with stupid Chris anyway.
He hated having to share all his toys. And when Chris had cried because Wyatt hadn't shared, Wyatt had pushed him – so he'd shut up.
But Chris hadn't. He'd cried harder and Mommy had come running, then yelled at Wyatt for being mean to his little brother.
So Wyatt had taken all the toys out of his toy chest and thrown them all out on the floor – so Chris could just take them all.
But Chris hadn't wanted to play with Wyatt anymore. He'd stood stock still as Wyatt had thrown all the toys all around him, then he'd run from the room right to their mother.
And Wyatt had gotten even angrier… he'd picked up the toys and thrown them against the wall, over and over again until his mother had walked in.
She hadn't yelled; just stared at the mess and told him when he was done throwing his temper tantrum he needed to pick all the toys up.
Then she'd left.
And Wyatt hadn't moved.
She'd come back a few minutes later to tell Wyatt she and Chris were going to the park and he needed to pick up the toys if he wanted to go. She'd waited for him to move, but he hadn't, he'd only defied her.
Now she was gone again and Wyatt felt suspiciously like crying. Maybe he wanted to go to the park a little bit… the park was fun, even if he did have to go Chris…
"Help, Wy?" the tiny voice was hesitant and belonged to the small dark haired toddler standing a few feet away from him.
The small boy had a toy in his hand, a truck that had lost a wheel in the storm of Wyatt's fury, "Me help, Wy…" the boy continued hesitantly.
Wyatt frowned and shrugged at his little brother. Then watched as Chris proceeded to pick up toys, walk over to the chest, and put them in; his stubby little legs moving slowly since he wasn't sure of his brother's mood.
Chris picked up toy after toy and Wyatt silently watched as the floor slowly cleared.
When all the toys had been picked up and dumped in the chest Chris stood in front of Wyatt—still a keeping his distance, though.
"Wy, park, now…?" He asked a bit hopefully, his green eyes bright.
Wyatt stood and looked around, then back at his brother, "You want me to go?"
Chris nodded eagerly.
"… Wy, my 'bro-d-ther…"
"Brother, Chris." Wyatt corrected with a sigh.
"Uh-huh, bro-d-ther…" the younger boy stated.
Wyatt rolled his eyes.
"This looks good, Wyatt," Piper's voice floated over to them, "…looks like we can go…"
"Mommy…?" Wyatt called, before she could turn around.
"Chris did it." He confessed.
Piper looked around, then back at Wyatt, "Did you thank your little brother for his help?" she asked, "If you didn't, you need to, because you needed him to help you and he did. If he hadn't you wouldn't be going to the park with us."
Wyatt looked down at Chris; his brother wasn't paying attention anymore, his gaze focused on something only he could see, "Chris?" he called, to make sure he was listening, "Thanks…" he said, "For pickin toys up."
Chris nodded, "Wy park, now?" he asked, clearly worried that his brother wouldn't be allowed to go with him.
Wyatt nodded grinning, "Yeah, I'm goin to the park now."
Chris grinned back and turned away running for the foyer, "Let's go!"
Wyatt giggled and raced after his brother; with a shake of her head Piper followed, a wry smirk on her mouth.
I don't need you.
Tonight he was busy.
Tonight he was grieving.
Tonight he would put it behind him… tonight he would bury his brother.
The memories had assaulted him for hours… of their childhood, of their last meeting… When he left the Manor tonight, he would leave behind the memories of a dark-haired boy who'd dogged his every step, a green-eyed urchin who'd strived to be just like him, a little brother who'd adored him even when he'd been a complete jerk…
"Don't you dare slam that door!" Piper screeched, the pitch of her voice somewhat drowned out by the party music downstairs.
Wyatt glared at her, and in one swift motion violently swung the door shut.
Piper took a moment to release a breath, then stalked to the door, opened it, and slammed it shut behind her with equal force.
"You are to stay in this room for the remainder of this party, Wyatt; do you understand me!" she hissed.
The blonde ten year old lifted a petulantly defiant face to her, "Yeah." He growled angrily, "Big deal, the party sucks." He added.
"You will never, not ever speak to your aunt like that again!"
"She says the word all the time!"
"I don't care! You won't say it and especially not to her. Got it!"
Wyatt glared at her, remaining silent.
"Got it?" she asked again, her face red with rage.
"Yeah," he finally said, but he wasn't happy.
"You're grounded for the next two weeks Wyatt." She stated.
His eyes widened, "That's not fair! How am I supposed to get places?"
"Like every other ten year old on the planet… ask for a ride or walk…"
"Don't make it three, Wyatt."
He glared, "Then I should at least get to finish the party."
"Why? It sucks remember?" Piper hissed back, "You are to stay in this room, Wyatt, until I come back up here after the party. Don't test me on this." She finished steadily.
Then turned around and left.
Wyatt dropped down onto his bed, staring up at the ceiling – a red haze of anger blurring everything around him. So he'd cursed at his aunt for bringing up his behavior in school. Big deal? She cursed all the time. His Mom though, she'd thought it a big deal, especially when he'd repeated it and more.
She ordered him to his room and he'd laughed.
That had really set her off.
The music from down stairs irritated him and he had the strongest urge to just blow everything up. All the food and presents and music and… people.
The quiet voice broke into his thoughts, and distracted his fury for a moment. He looked towards the door and found a brown-haired head peeking into his room.
"What?" he growled at his little brother. He wasn't in the mood to be big brother right now. Usually he took his big brother duties seriously; as little brothers went Chris was minimally annoying, but right now he didn't want to talk.
The younger boy cautiously opened the door. He stepped into the room and Wyatt saw that he had a plate with a piece of cake and a fork in his hand.
Without a word Chris walked over to where his brother was lying.
Wyatt sat up.
Chris handed him the piece of cake, "It's your favorite." He said simply.
It was a useless statement and they both knew it – all cake was Wyatt's favorite.
A quick smirk flashed across the older boys face. He took the plate. Chris scampered onto the bed and sat across from his brother.
Wyatt frowned at his younger brother, "I just said fuck." He defended, as he forked some cake into his mouth.
"You said, shut the fuck up… there's a difference." Chris corrected.
The older boy sighed, "Is she mad?"
Chris shook his head, "Nope, worse…"
"She's sad." Wyatt stated.
He released a breath, "I'll apologize."
"To Mom too… you made her cry." Chris told him.
"Yeah, Mom too…" Wyatt agreed.
He continued eating.
A few minutes later, after he'd consumed half the cake, he said simply, "I'm grounded."
He finished his cake. Chris watched him, then, "I can… orb you, sometimes… like when you have to go to someplace far."
Wyatt rolled his eyes, "You always do this." He growled.
"Do what?" Chris asked.
"You're nice to me, whenever I act like a complete jerk… why?"
Chris shrugged, a smirk appearing on his face, "I'm your brother, who else is gonna be nice to you whenever you're a complete jerk?"
Wyatt chuckled a little, "You don't have to, ya know. I know I can be difficult-"
Chris snorted, "Difficult? I'd stick with complete jerk."
"… so why do you-"
"Because you need me, what am supposed to do… be a complete jerk back?" Chris asked, "… then we'd both be complete jerks and never get to hang out and argue and put Kool-Aid mix in Aunt Paige's shampoo…"
Wyatt laughed, Chris joined him.
I don't need you.
When he'd moved out of this house, he'd left behind the memories of his mother and aunts… he'd had too; otherwise he wouldn't have been able to create his Empire.
Now his brother would join their ranks. He wouldn't send another assassin after him, he wouldn't make another inquiry into his brother's life… and if ever the boy was captured and brought before him… he wouldn't acknowledge him.
He would bury his brother tonight.
"I promise Chris. I'll take good care of you."
The words attacked him suddenly and he couldn't stop the groan that slipped past his lips. The image of two young boys grieving for a world shattered filling his mind, two young boys clinging to each other as the only solid comfort they had… two promises made…
… two promises broken…
He could still hear the murmurs; the sympathetic whispers…
"… so sorry…"
"… in our prayers…"
"… so sudden…"
"… find comfort…"
"… so young…"
As if anything any of them could ever say would bring him any comfort. They were strangers in his home, aliens who had no right to sit on his mother's sofa and touch her things. No right to comment on his aunts' lives. No right to speak to him as if they knew…
They didn't know.
They never would.
All the sacrifices his mother and aunts had made, the danger they'd put themselves in, the agony they'd gone through…
All for a world that would never know.
The rage inside him was strong, steady; pulsing through his veins. He hated his father's bloodshot eyes, his grandfather's heartbroken expression… he hated their helplessness…
He hated his own helplessness.
He would never be helpless again.
Movement at the closet door drew his attention. Chris stood there; tall for his age, dressed in a dark suit and tie, his face pale and somber, his hair mussed.
He was studying Wyatt, who was sitting at the back of the closet on the floor. His knees bent in front of him, his eyes glazed with the same rage Chris had been seeing all week.
Wyatt watched his little brother walk in and close the door behind him. Without a word he dropped to the floor and sat down next to him.
The boys sat side by side, neither saying a word; staring at the closed door in front of them, listening to the sympathetic murmurings…
Slowly the two heads – one dark, the other fair – leaned into each other. They sat like that for a while, with nothing but their heads touching.
Wyatt felt a shudder shake Chris's frame several minutes later; but he didn't turn. He didn't want to see his little brother cry.
"It… smells like them… in here…" the younger boy choked out, despite his tears.
It's why he'd chosen this closet to sit in. The hall closet was the extra space for the sisters, the place where they all brought the things that didn't fit in their bedroom closets.
This closet had a little bit of all three of them.
To his horror Wyatt felt a swell of emotion rising up inside him; a wave so big and fierce he couldn't suppress it like the others.
It threatened to swallow him whole.
"What'll we do, Wy?" Chris asked him, his voice suddenly sounding much younger then his fourteen years, "What'll we do without them…?"
The wave washed over him then, as Chris's question swirled around his mind. He felt a shudder travel his body and realized suddenly that he was sobbing…
And he couldn't stop.
He couldn't stop the tears; he couldn't find the rage that had kept them at bay… all he find was an emptiness so deep he couldn't see an end to it—ever.
They were gone.
His world had been built around them… and they were gone.
Neither boy would ever know how long they sat there like that – with their heads touching as they sobbed. Slowly though, the sobs abated and they quieted.
Chris straightened a little, his breathing still erratic.
Wyatt too straightened; still though, the boys didn't face each other, "We're all the other has now." Wyatt stated quietly.
A small sob escaped Chris and he shifted to look at Wyatt. Wyatt did the same; the two brothers stared at each other.
The dark-haired boy nodded.
Wyatt continued, "We need each other, Chris, we have to take care of each other."
"I promise Chris. I'll take good care of you." Wyatt swore, and meant it with every fiber of his being.
He would never be helpless again.
"I promise too, Wyatt, I'll take good care of you." Chris swore, and meant it with every fiber of his being.
He would fight the world for his brother.
The two boys nodded at each other; then settled back against the wall. No more words were exchanged, no more tears were shed. Each was making peace with their new world, in their own way… in very different ways.
Hours later their father realized they were missing…
I don't need you.
He should have known. He should never have places such unconditional faith in someone, in anyone… even his brother.
Chris's betrayal had been rumored for years, but Wyatt hadn't believed it; hadn't been able to bring himself to believe.
His brother loved him, would never do anything to hurt him…
"He's betrayed you, Sir, face facts." The demon growled smugly at the tall, long-haired witch.
Wyatt's ice blue eyes narrowed into dangerous slits and the demon shuffled his feet, backing away a little.
"The Manor has been declared a protected zone, Sir," another demon stated, coming up to face Wyatt. "The renovations begin in two days. The Halliwell Museum should be open by the beginning of next week."
Wyatt nodded his approval, but his thoughts elsewhere… on his brother.
It was true Chris had been troubled years ago when Wyatt had confessed his plans to make an alliance with several upper-level demons; true, he'd been upset when Wyatt had killed those upper level demons and taken over the organization they'd all created single-handedly; true, he'd been furious when Wyatt had revealed magic to the mortal world and proclaimed himself ruler—and done all the things necessary to cement his position; true, the boy had been livid when he'd learned Wyatt had planned to make their ancestral home a museum… but Chris would never betray him.
They were all the other had.
"Bring my brother to me." He commanded, then added, "Unharmed."
It was several hours later when a bound and gagged Chris was shimmered into his presence. There were scratches on the young man's arms and bruises on his faces.
Wyatt saw red.
Without a single question or demand for an explanation he vanquished the demons that had brought him his brother.
Then he rushed to Chris and quickly undid the gag and then the ropes around his wrists. Chris didn't say anything and Wyatt avoided his gaze while he healed the many lacerations, bruises and rope burns.
"I ordered them not to harm you." He finally said when he was finished. He stepped back and watched Chris straighten and rub his wrists.
His little brother was eighteen already.
"They're demons." Chris replied, meeting his brother's blue gaze. "They can't be trusted." He continued.
Wyatt nodded, agreeing; the words, he's betrayed you, ringing in his head. But he shook them away… not Chris, never Chris…
"You're the only one I trust." He told his brother and meant it.
Chris's gaze never wavered. "And me Wyatt…? Can I trust you?"
Wyatt gasped, his eyes widening, "Of course." He said quickly. "I didn't order them to harm you Chris… I would never hurt you, you know that… you're my brother…"
Chris looked down a moment, then back at his brother, "I would never hurt you, Wyatt…" he said firmly, "I would never to anything to hurt you."
"Stay here with me, Chris…" Wyatt stated, after a moment, "In this house. I know it's not the Manor, but it's not so bad… you'll get used to it…"
Chris said nothing.
Wyatt swallowed hard, he wouldn't beg…
"I…" he began, and didn't know what to say. He took a deep breath and stared into Chris's green eyes, "… You're the only one trust." He repeated.
And Chris nodded slowly, then spoke, "Okay, Wy, if you need me… I'll stay here. I'll give this regime of yours a chance."
"I promise. You can trust me, Wy, I would never do anything to hurt you." Chris repeated and meant it.
Wyatt grinned suddenly, "This'll be great, come on… let me show you around. You can have the room next to mine…"
Wyatt slung his arm around his little brother's shoulders; Chris smiled a little as he once again placed his trust in his older brother.
I don't need you.
But it had been lie.
It had all been a lie.
The betrayal had been real. And Chris had traveled into the past to hurt him—to stop him; as though he were nothing, but a faceless monster.
He was so furious he couldn't see straight.
The pain was almost too intense to bear; to raw to comprehend. He'd trusted Chris—only Chris. He'd had utter faith in his brother's loyalty.
Faith that had been betrayed.
Chris had betrayed him.
The words attacked him, swarmed at him at all hours; he'd been desperate to know the truth, to see with his own eyes what the reports told him.
And now he saw.
Chris stood before him; arrogant, angry—traitorous.
Still he'd given him a chance… an opportunity. To put it behind them… they were brothers, after all; only to have it thrown in his face.
Chris had betrayed him.
The pain of it was so fierce, so complete and… once again he was helpless against it.
The realization sent a jolt of rage coursing through his system—he'd sworn he'd never be helpless again.
"Leave her out of this!" Chris cried, referring to Bianca and Wyatt gave free reign to his rage, to his power….
He raised his hand and slowly made a fist, cutting off Chris's air supply. Calmly he watched as his brother began to choke.
He heard Bianca's gasp but didn't bother to look her way. His gaze was fastened on Chris, the younger man slowly sank to his knees, both hands clutching at his throat as he gasped for air.
Wyatt smirked, "Pardon me?" he asked sardonically.
Then with a slice of his hand he tossed Chris aside and into a wall.
"Chris!" Bianca's shriek resonated in the attic as Chris hit the cabinet hard, breaking it and crying out in pain.
Angrily Bianca stormed over to Wyatt, "You promised you wouldn't hurt him!"
Wyatt glared at her, "And you promised you'd turn him, just like I turned you… at least, I thought I had…" he finished acidly.
Wondering how many others in his network were traitors, how many other followed in his brother's footsteps.
Without a word he watched as Bianca whirled away from him and headed for Chris. She loved him.
If only Chris hadn't betrayed him… if only he didn't insist on continuing to do so…
His thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a loud, raging war cry and suddenly he was being tackled by his little brother. A tackle that was nothing like the one he'd taught the boy when he was seven.
It was undisciplined and wild and clearly hopeless… he easily tossed Chris to the side onto some tables…
The young man grunted in pain, Wyatt glared; fury filling him again – he hated hurting his little brother…
…he was supposed to take care of him…
"Have you lost your mind!" He accused, angrily, eying Chris.
Why couldn't he just understand?
Why did he have to be a traitor?
Why had he stopped being his brother?
Their eyes met across the room and Wyatt clearly read his intent to attack again. Before Chris could move, Wyatt once again raised his hand – he'd stopped being his brother…
Slowly he telekinetically lifted Chris up off the floor toward the ceiling, choking off his air supply at the same time.
He'd betrayed him.
He'd lied to him…
His piercing blue eyes fastened on his brother's face and narrowed; once and for all he would shove the helplessness away…
"I don't… need you…" he spit out and conjured up and energy ball…
His brother was dead.
As good as dead, anyway; he'd gotten away. And he wouldn't be back. As sure he was standing there he knew… that his brother would never be back, not by his own free will.
And Wyatt wouldn't send anyone else.
So, his brother would never be back…
An ocean of differences separated them; and neither one was willing to breach it.
Wyatt would forgive Chris anything, even his betrayal… but Chris didn't want forgiveness, Chris wanted something Wyatt couldn't give him.
He wanted the abdication of his Power.
Wyatt would do anything for his brother – but not that. Not give up his Power… Power kept the helplessness away.
And he would never be helpless again.
His brother would never come back…
A subtle sorrow seeped into his blood as he repeated the words over and over in his head.
He was truly alone now.
For a moment Wyatt bowed his head and closed his eyes.
I don't need you; his own words rang in his ears.
His throat was tight and his closed eyes burned as he acknowledged to himself… it was a lie.
I don't need you.
It was lie.
He didn't want to be alone.
He wanted his brother…
He needed his brother…
I don't need you.
He looked up, once again staring at the wall, "I didn't mean it, Chris," he whispered, "I didn't mean it."
And Wyatt Matthew Halliwell; Supreme Ruler of the World, Source of All Evil, Possessor of Excalibur, allowed himself the luxury of wishing...
...wishing with all his heart that somehow things could be different.