Title: Truths and Lies
Author: Jade Hunter
Disclaimer: None of the characters and properties of Charmed or Stargate SG-1 belong to me.
Prompt: 002 - Middles
The plus side of being tossed into a cell, if there was ever a plus side to such a situation, was that it gave Chris time to think. Not just to think, but to get his mind working the way it worked best, taking in everything, considering his observations from all angles, and searching for an advantage - any advantage.
It was something he'd missed, actually. Ever since he had come to the past and made contact with the sisters, he had been swept up in the wake of their impulsive tendencies. They were highly disorganized, letting themselves react to evil instead of actively going out and doing. Prevention was the best cure, after all, but the sisters were too caught up in things that didn't matter, too obsessed with doing what they wanted to think about what was needed. And when their tendency to act on a whim met with his plans, somehow, one way or another, his plans ended up shot and he came out looking like he was either evil, or an idiot.
As of yet, Chris still hadn't decided which was worse.
There were footsteps, low voices talking, and he sat up from the dinky little cot that was his only company. Were they finally coming to question him, then? It sounded like more than one person, which was perfectly fine with him. He had a talent for figuring out people (and demons, too), even without the power of Empathy. What pissed them off, what touched their hearts, how far they could be pushed. It came hand in hand with a talent for manipulating - the sisters weren't entirely wrong about him, even if they were off about his motives. Chris was, if nothing else, an excellent teller of half-truths. And some lies, but mostly half-truths. They were easier to keep track of.
The metal door swung open, and four people trooped in. A gray-haired man stopped across from Chris, the other three arrayed behind him, and the five of them simply regarded each other through the bars that separated them.
"So...," the gray-haired man said, shoving his hands into his pockets. The carefree tone and relaxed pose were completely at odds with the cold, wary look in his eyes. "Let's start with an easy one. Who are you?"
A simple question, one he decided to answer. Quid pro quo, right? Cooperation would probably put them more at ease, anyway, which would give him another advantage for when he made his escape from wherever and whenever this place was. "Chris Perry."
The gray-haired man turned and exchanged a look with the blonde woman, who shrugged minutely. Chris repressed a frown - what was the matter now?
The light-haired man in the back stepped forward to ask, "I'm sorry, could you repeat that?"
"Chris," he repeated obligingly. He paused, considering, and added, "Well, Christopher, technically, but no one really calls me that anymore." That was all true. It had been something reserved for his mother to use when he was in Big Trouble as a kid. Now that she was gone, not even his evil overlord of a brother called him that.
This just seemed to surprise them even more.
"That's amazing," the light-haired man exclaimed. "I mean, wow!" He turned to the others, seeming to forget Chris all together. "Christopher is Greek in origin, meaning Christ-bearer."
The gray-haired man and the big guy stared blankly, but the blonde woman's eyebrows drew together in confusion. "Christ-bearer?" She looked at Chris. "That can't be possible! The odds of something like that happening..."
"I know!" The light-haired man seemed ecstatic that someone had gotten his line of thinking, and turned to explain to the other two. "Don't you get it? His name is Christopher, meaning Christ-bearer!"
The gray-haired man lifted a brow, "Yes...we got that part. Now, can we get back to the interrogation here?"
"No, Jack, you don't get it! Christ-bearer, after Jesus Christ!" the light-haired man protested. "It's a name that didn't come into use until thousands of years after the Goa'uld left! Don't you get how big this is?"
The man, Jack, shrugged. "Maybe it means something different where he comes from." He turned to Chris, "What does it mean where you come from?"
Chris stared suspiciously. This was not like anything he'd expected from a military interrogation. Maybe they were trying to get him off balance? But the light-haired guy's enthusiasm, for lack of a better word, was definitely not fake; the excitement was almost making him vibrate.
Before he could process the question, though, the blonde woman interrupted, "Sir, even if they have a different meaning, just the mere fact that our two societies could come up with the exact same name is amazing! Daniel's right - the odds of it are astronomical!"
The light-haired man, presumably Daniel, suddenly turned to face Chris once more. "What planet are you from?"
Something in the way that this man asked the question stopped the smart-aleck response that came to mind. Chris narrowed his eyes, considering, at Daniel, ignoring the way that gray-haired Jack bristled. 'This guy's being serious.' "What?"
"Your Stargate coordinates, what are they?" Daniel asked again, and turned to Jack. "We've got to go there, Jack, and see what they're like! I mean, think about it. Two different planets, who knows how many light years apart, coming up with the same name after thousands of years of independent development!"
"Daniel, it's just a name," the man called Jack said flatly.
Planets? Stargate? What the fuck?
Suddenly, a thought struck him. Was he in the future? Did something go wrong with the portal that sent him hurling into a possible future instead of the past? He'd assumed it was something close to 2004 because of the clothing and the guns, but what did he really know about what guns looked like? And what if the clothing was just the same because it was the military?
"What year is this?" Chris blurted out, all thoughts of logic and manipulations gone. If this was the future, he was screwed beyond all expectations.
Time travel was a funny thing. Travel back in time was possible, but traveling forward in time had a plethora of issues that he couldn't even begin to comprehend. And it was nearly impossible to travel back to one's present after going to the future - the sisters had learned that when they had seen the possible future with Melinda. It had to do with how there was no set future, just an endless number of possibilities, but he didn't know much more than that. Time travel itself was a much unexplored aspect of magic, and traveling to the future wasn't even seriously considered within the context of time travel.
"Uh...2004," the man named Daniel answered, frowning.
Holy shit. The relief Chris felt was immense. Beyond words. So great that he actually considered thanking the Elders before common sense reasserted itself. Holy. Shit.
Daniel, meanwhile, was still talking, "Not that it would mean anything to you...unless you go by the same calendar as we do - "
"Which would be impossible because ours is a solar calendar based on the progression of our planet around the sun," the blonde woman finished. "And there's no way that you could have the same calendar as ours, because the odds of there being another planet that goes around its sun at the same rate that Earth goes around ours... It's impossible. Not just improbable, but impossible."
Now she was frowning, too, which made Jack and the silent, big guy look at him as well.
"Who are you?" the blonde woman demanded.