Summary: What if Leo hadn't responded to Piper's call to heal Chris soon enough during 'Fantasies of the Flesh' only to find out too late the young Whitelighter's secret?
Authors note: I thought of this story when I caught the rerun after work one day. I hope you enjoy and I will soon post the next chapters to my other Charmed stories.
Disclaimer: I unfortunately do not own even the smallest sliver of Charmed. Oh darn for me.
This can't be Real
Chris dimly heard the Charmed One's surprised voices when they were freed from the pocket realm. At least they were safe. It had not been his intention to hurt them in any way, only to teach them a lesson. He knew it was the end. The fatal injury associated with a darklighter's arrow was nothing new to him. He heard Piper call for Leo when they had spotted him and tried to open his heavy eyes, if only to see her one last time. He had longed to tell her, all of them, the truth from the moment he had barged into their lives. However, his need to save Wyatt and his family had been more powerful. To save Wyatt he had been willing to go to great lengths to achieve his goal, even be deceitful to the ones he loved; all to, hopefully, save them.
Through blurry eyes he focused on Piper, no, his mother. She was gazing at him, worry etched into her features as she clung tightly to a feverish Wyatt. The longer he stared at her, he wanted to come clean, to tell her he was sorry. Sorry for splitting her up from the love of her life. Sorry he let Wyatt become the monster that he was, for not noticing the evil his brother was willing to do to achieve ultimate power. He wanted to tell her so many things but most of all he needed her to know that he was sorry for her death. A burden he had carried for close to a decade.
"I'm…so…sorry…mom…" He had been so lost in his painful delirium that he hadn't realized he spoke his thoughts aloud or that this Piper knew nothing of what was to come in the future. "I…love…you."
His vision was fading when he saw the truth settle on Piper's face. Leo's twinkling blue orbs illuminating her stunned face was the last thing he saw before his pained green eyes clouded over. May they all forgive me, he thought.
Piper's mind was spinning. Chris had been gazing at her when he had uttered an apology to his mother. In her mind Chris couldn't be her son yet his feverish and pained green eyes spoke volumes not only to Piper but her heart. In an instant she remembered Leo, lying on the sofa in the attic, dying and gazing at her with the same beautiful green eyes. Suddenly it all made sense, his knowledge of the house and the familiarity with the book, how, while he was a whitelighter he had the inability to heal his charges. It all made sense in a twisted way. He was a Halliwell.
His next words brought her back to the reality of the situation but before she could say anything Leo was there in a flurry of orbs.
"Heal now, talk later!" She demanded only to feel horror grip her heart when Leo's healing touch immediately went to the feverish infant in her arms. "Chris first, then Wyatt," she snapped at her confused ex-husband. Leo shook his head and finished healing a fussy Wyatt before turning to kneel next to the fallen Chris.
Though his wife's frantic plea urged him to move quickly he inwardly cringed at helping the young man, a futuristic young man that had killed a Valkarie and banished him to Valhalla. He held his hands over the seeping wound only to find that the healing glow wouldn't come. Chris was gone and even as an elder, death was something he couldn't change.
"Leo!" Piper shouted. "Heal him."
"I can't heal the dead Piper." Leo said in a stiff tone.
"NO!" Piper growled at him as she passed Wyatt to Phoebe and fell to her knees next to Chris. "Try again!"
"It's too late Piper," Leo said confused at her horrorified expression.
Piper shook her head in denial as she pulled Chris' limp form to her. He couldn't be dead. How could she be here holding her dead son before she even gave birth to him. How could she have found out he was her son only to lose him a moment later? Piper felt hot tears falling freely from her eyes as she grasped him to her.
"Chris," she called to him, pressing her warm tear-soaked cheek to his cold sweaty one. "Please not yet, not like this."
"Piper?" Leo couldn't imagine where all of her emotion was coming from. Since when would Piper be torn apart over losing Chris? Was he or was he not the 'future boy' that had destroyed their marriage. He knew Piper would never have wanted Chris to die but he hadn't expected such sorrow or painfulness from her at his passing either.
"What's gotten into you?"
"Chris is dead, Leo!" Piper suddenly lashed out at her already bewildered ex-husband. "Maybe if you hadn't been so caught up in proving him a threat, you would have found he is not so unlike you or me."
"What are you saying?"
"Here let me spell it out for you." Piper raged, ignoring Phoebe and Paige's attempts to stop her. "From twenty or so years in the future, willing to do just about anything to save Wyatt, knows the book and it knows him, understands us and our individual personalities, is no stranger to the manner, inability to heal though it seems all of your kind except Paige, who is only half-whitelighter, can do, my hair and features and your eyes. Now put all that together and who is Chris, Leo?"
Piper watched Leo absorb her riddling rant and how he quickly forced the truth away when it finally came to him. His head began to shake and some logical excuse trying to formulate on his lips. But she knew that he knew there was no other explanation. Chris was their son and they had noticed all the obvious signs to late. Piper knew deep down that Leo was not the only one to blame. She too, had not been able to see what was in front of her all along until he had spoken it aloud, and then only in a fatal delirium.
"How?" Leo sputtered while his eyes remained trained on Chris' still form that Piper was cradling to her chest.
"Please," Piper gasped, looking pleadingly up at Leo. "Fix this."
There wasn't a moment to lose and Leo knew it. He had done this before. Pulled someone from the very grasp of death. It hadn't been Piper's time, though. Was it Chris'? With one last look at Piper sobbing into the fallen angel's hair, Leo disappeared in blue and white lights. He was still uncertain of the possibility of Chris being his son, but he had learned to trust Piper and her sisters. He would try to make this right. Leo hoped he wasn't too late and able to reach Chris before he was truly gone for good.
A/N: Please review. I haven't decided if this is going to be a short two-chapter story or a long epic. Let me know what ya think. As this was a case of plot bunnies, born out of my writer's block and frustration with Lost Between Then and Now, I rather need you the reviewer's help.