Title: Lean on me
Summary:At the end of 'Witchstock' Chris finds a rather unexpected ally…I just thought he deserved that ;)
Disclaimer: No, unfortunately I don't own Charmed or the characters in it; I'm just…borrowing them for a little while ;p
Feedback: Oh, yes, please! I love getting reviews )
Lean on me
They all were relieved now that this horrible slime was vanquished and they were happy to have the old Grams back. Although both Paige and Phoebe dreaded the 'serious talk' that was sure to come.
But they were given an unexpected break for to the surprise of the whole family Penny turned, with the brightest of smiles, to Chris. "You wouldn't mind a little one-on-one with an old lady now, would you?" she asked innocently.
The young whitelighter suddenly had the urge to orb to the moon. He knew that behaviour all too well; not only from future meetings with his great grandmother but also from his mother. It usually meant that he was in trouble.
But he also knew that he had no other choice but to agree. So Grams Halliwell took his arm and led him towards the room next to the kitchen. Before she disappeared she turned to Phoebe and Paige. "Don't go too far away! I still got a bone to pick with you two!"
Then she was gone. But not without calling over her shoulder: "The first one I catch eaves dropping will conclude life as a toad!"
Chris waited nervously for Penny to speak. He had absolutely no idea what she was up to or why she wanted to talk to him and that was a feeling that didn't sit well with him.
Now she was standing there with her arms crossed, facing him with an unreadable expression on her face.
Finally she snorted. "Alright, I didn't really think you would come out with it all by yourself, so I will have to guess. Let's see…I'd say Piper."
Chris felt his heart skip a beat. "Wh…what?"
The old lady raised an eyebrow. "You know perfectly well 'what', Chris. But if you want to have it spelled out: I think Piper is your mother. You know, at first I might have leaned a bit more towards Phoebe because of your manners, but you definitely got Leo's eyes."
And although he never would have thought it possible the young whitelighter could feel the colour draining from his face. This was not supposed to happen. After taking a few deep, shaky breaths he managed to get out a few words: "You…you are not…going to tell them, are you?"
Penny frowned. "Well, I don't really understand why you are keeping this to yourself, but it's your tale to tell, so…no, I'm not going to tell them."
Still trembling Chris sank down into the next chair. Wearily he ran his hand over his eyes.
"How?" he finally asked.
"Young man, even when I was still alive there where very few people who could actually fool me and now that I'm a ghost…Although I'm surprised, and a bit disappointed mind you, that they didn't notice. I mean, just look at yourself; your face, your manners…all this practically screams Halliwell."
"I'm happy they didn't. And I'd rather keep it that way," Chris said solemnly.
"Because it would be too much for them, they'd never believe me. Besides there are the-"
"-future consequences," Penny finished for him. When he looked at her with wide eyes she said: "What? You are talking with the very person who raised your mother and aunts!"
At this Chris actually smiled. "And what now?"
Penny crossed the space between them and knelt down in front of the young man. "Now we will both make a promise. I promise that I won't tell the sisters but only if you promise to call me every now and then.
"No matter what you are saying I can see that this whole secrecy is eating at you from the inside. You need someone you can talk to, you need family. So, what say you? Do we have a deal?"
For long moments Chris just stared at her. Then he felt a wave of relief wash over him and he smiled. "Alright. Deal!"
"Right," Penny smiled back. Then she got to her feet. "Now if you excuse me, I still have two grand daughters who are in serious need of a very long talk."
Chris just nodded. He certainly didn't envy the two; he knew from personal experience just how bad the triads of Grams could be.
As soon as she had left the room he orbed out.
Nervously Chris paced his little room at P3. He had set up the five white candles and the spell he knew by heart; still he wasn't sure how to do this.
He had promised her to call her and he had been grateful to have someone he could talk to, someone who trusted him. But now…it just seemed so strange. He had looked after himself since the day his mother had died and although he craved for someone who cared for him it still felt so childish.
'Oh, stop being so stupid, Christopher,' he scolded himself. He shook his head, took a deep breath and quickly recited the spell before he could change his mind.
The familiar golden glow appeared and a few seconds later Penny Halliwell stepped out of the circle with a gentle smile on her face.
"Hey there, young man. I'm glad you called me; although I surely didn't think it would happen that fast," she said.
Chris could only look at her. He really didn't know what to do now. Grams, upon seeing his dilemma, placed an arm around his shoulder and led him to the couch.
"Here, sit down. You called me because you need someone to talk, right? So now that I'm here…talk to me."
The young man sighed. "Well, you see, it's…I…" His voice trailed off.
Penny looked at him from the side. And then she did the one thing that had always helped with her girls: she pulled him into a tight embrace.
At first Chris tensed a little but soon he found himself responding to the hug. It simply felt so good to be held.
Suddenly all dams inside him broke and for the first time in years he cried. Penny had her arms around him and gently rubbed his back in small circles.
Then Chris told Grams everything. About his mission, his desperate attempts to save Wyatt, about the sisters' distrust, Bianca's death…
And Penny listened. She listened without interrupting him, without judging his actions.
Chris felt secure. He had found an ally. The stress of the past few weeks left him with the tears he had held back for so long.
"You will have to tell your family eventually; you know that you can't fool them forever. But until then I will always be there for you, little one."
Upon hearing these words hope returned and with it the will to go on.
Now Chris could believe that, somehow, everything would work out.
A/N: So, what do you think? Love it? Hate it? Please let me know!