Good news to you all! I'm on an update high! Every author knows the joys of an update high; you go FOREVER without updating, then you finally do, the reviews roll in, and you wanna do it again! ANYway, I have one last chapter here for this trilogy fic, and I want to get it done. Why? Cause I have such a great idea for a new fic! In fact, I'll reward the first reviewer of this last chapter with a sneak peak of my upcoming feature, "By Any Other Name"

A/N. The confrontation between Chris and Leo is my own plot, but I borrowed some direction from my Forensics cutting, my duet. In it, I'm the bitter mother, who blames the death of my husband onto my daughter. In the climax, I'm in a rage, shoving and pushing my daughter back, yelling "It was YOU wasn't it? It was YOU who wanted him dead! And it's You who wants Jake Dead too! It's YOU who wants to undermine this ENTIRE family! Drag us down, ONE by ONE, till there's NO ONE left but YOU!" SLAP! seriously, she slapped me! And after five months, she got good at it!



Leo smiled to himself happily, and rather proud of himself too. He'd been devastated when he'd found out that there was a mandatary Elders meeting on Christmas Day. He'd so been looking forward to spending the holiday with Wyatt, he missed his son SO much! He knew Wyatt wouldn't remember; but he would.

But, being a high rqnking Elder as he was, he'd managed to pull a few strings. Well, ok...lie, too. He'd claimed that one of the sisters was having a crisis; charges came before EVERYTHING. Of course, the Elders had demanded to know why Christopher wasn't handling the situation;

"Ugh, you know how he is. He's irresponsible, reckless" Leo had brushed off the third degree.

The Elders had agreed; Chris really had no respect for authority. In fact, the little witch had been the topic of discussion as Leo orbed out down to Earth.

He couldn't wait to surprise his son,

And Piper...


An hour later found Chris sitting up in bed, with a steaming bowl of soup in his lap. It wasn't the homemade soup he remembered so vividly from his childhood, but he was famished, and Campbell's tasted pretty damn good at the moment.

Every fiber of his being was sore and achy, his legs especially (he guessed that sitting motionless and cross-legged in the middle of winter will do that to ya) and his hands shook slightly, but he hardly noticed.

Piper was sitting beside him in bed, mainly because she couldn't drag herself away from him, but also because she as afraid that his shaking hands would tip scalding soup into the boys lap. She kept one hand on her lap, to help him steady if need be.

"You Ok, sweetie? You still look awfully pale..." Piper queried. She may have only known the boys identity for a couple hours, but she was already being overprotective. She stayed right at his side, asking if he felt alright, if he was hungry, tired. Just nagging, really.

And Chris couldn't be happier.

He'd lost his mother at age fourteen, and had missed her terribly, his grief shredding at his soul on the inside, while he fought to keep himself from falling apart on the outside. Twice, his mourning had nearly cost him his own life; once, by neglect, the second by pure intention. He still had the scars on his wrists...

But here, now, he could almost pretend like it had never happened. Sure, Pipers face was smoother, her hair was richly colored, dark, with no grays (he could fix that, though...). He could almost pretend like she had never died. And if he really tried hard, he could almost forget about last nights...incident; make believe that he was stuck in bed with a cold of something.

"I guess I'm just a little tired," he admitted, the stone wall he'd erected around himself slowly being torn down, brick by brick. Three days ago, he would never admit to weakness of any kind. But now, he was sort of relishing the attention.

Piper smiled sympathetically, and took the bowl from his hands; it was nearly empty anyways.

"I wouldn't doubt it; why don't you just lie down and sleep for a bit?" she suggested, and Chris, whose eyelids seemed to be drooping like lead, nodded in agreement and leaned back into bed. He was soo tired; nearly freezing to death can have that affect on some people.

Closing his eyes, he felt his mothers coll palm against his forehead; she'd taken to doing that, apparently afraid that he was suddenly going to go from hypothermic to feverish in two hours. But he leaned into her touch, content nearly to the point of purring, and was nearly asleep...

When he heard someone orb into the room.


Pipers eyes widened with disbelief when she say her ex materialize in the room. A part of her was ecstatic; Wyatt would love seeing his Daddy on Christmas day.

But the other, quicker thinking side of her brain, was sending up emergency signals. Im the three point seven seconds that it took Leo to fully form in her bedroom, her mind was frantically searching for a way to explain why she was lying in bed with her White lighter.

Leo coporialized with a huge, beaming grin on his face, obviously hoping for a warm welcome.

"Piper! Merry Ch...Chris...Chris!" Leo spat, his face twisting into a look to resemble that of someone having just been popped upside the head with a skillet. "What the Hell...!"

"Leo, I, um, just calm down, uh..." Piper stammered desperately, her heart pounding against her ribs. She unconsciously moved a little closer to Chris, who was now struggling to push himself upright, as though wanting to protect him. Because at the moment, Leo looked positively livid.

"What the fuck is going on here?" he demanded, all fuzzy feelings of warmth and good cheer gone, flown out the door upon the sight of his ex and her whitelighter together that. "Piper, damn it! I asked you a ..."

"Don't you dare talk to her like that!" Chris suddenly interupted. He had succeeded in pushing himself upright, leaning on one arm. His pale face, which was weighed with fatigue only moments ago was now burrowed with anger and resentment. He had never been on good terms with is father in the best of circumstances.

This was most definitely NOT a good circumstance.

Leo's jaw dropped at Chris's harsh words. How dare he take an attitude with him?

"Wh..What did you say?" he asked again, his voice dangerously low. Piper was almost a little afraid now. She'd never seen Leo like this; he was a pacificist, for God's sake!

Os course, a bonafide saint would be pretty unruffled to find his ex wife, whome he still had feelings for, "in bed" with the one man, the ONE MAN, who made his blood boil.

"I said, don't you talk to her like that. Don't take that tone with her." Chris responded, his voice soft, yet fierce. His jade eyes bore holes into Leo's the persona whome he'd inherited his eyes from.

"Do not give me a lecture about manners, you bastard!" Leo shot back, his blood drumming in his ears. What nerve! Who the Hell did this runt you think he was, telling him off like that!

'Leo!" Piper broke in, "Leave him alone! Just...stop this!" her voice was high pitched, emotional. But Leo and Chris didn't seem to hear.

Chris glowered at his father, his pale cheeks glowing red with anger. "Well, you certainly seem to need it! You have no right to treat her like that!"

"What makes you think you can tell me about right and wrong, eh? After all the crap you pull?" Leo's voice was raising, almost a shout now. "What the Hell makes you think you can tell me all bout morals, when YOU'RE shacked up with my wife?"

"EX wife, you bastard! And maybe if you weren't so thick headed, you'd have realized that, oh, five moths ago!" Fueled by rage, and on a roll, Chris pulled himself out of bed, working on a rush of adrenaline.

"She's be so much better off without you! Why don't you just stay out of our lives?"

"YOUR lives?" Leo cut in, but was barely able to squeeze those two words out before Chris lashed out on him again.

"You've always been nothing but a bother! Something we had to put up with!" Chris was in Leos face now, screaming basic nonsense. It was too much, just TOO MUCH! He couldn't deal with this! He'd been holding it in for years...until now.

"So don't you dare, ever, talk to her, or any of us like that, you selfish bastard!"


The next thing Chris next, he was sprawled on the floor, his head spinning, and the left side of his face felt like someone had chucked a brick at him. He was veguely aware of someone screaming, but everything seemed to be fuzzy, and dark...


Leo couldn't believe what he'd just done.

He'd never hit anyone, ever...well, except Dan, but that was a whole nother story.

He regretted it immediately, as soon as his fist collided with Chris's cheek. He'd hit him hard enough to break a bone, and he'd fallen hard to the floor...

Oh God, what the Hell did I do?

He head Piper shriek, and run past him, over to Chris. She dropped beside him, and shook his shoulder gently.

"Chris, Chris, honey, can you hear me?" and Leo could almost hear her relief as he groaned softly at her voice.

And he suddenly wasn't so sorry anymore. Homey? She called him honey!

"Leo Wyatt, what in the name of God is the matter with you?" Piper cried, her face rage, personified. She was now helping Chris to sit up, though he wasn't having much success. He leaned heavily, almost drunkenly, against Piper.

"What's wrong with me?" Leo repeated, outraged. "What's WRONG with me? I come home to surprise you for Christmas, and I find you in bed with HIM, and you ask me what's Wrong wit..."

"He's sick, Leo! He's sick!" Piper defended, disgusted at her ex's actions. "He nearly died last night, Leo! I was letting him rest in my bed, he's weak. And you come barging in here and hit him!" Piper was a wreck by now; tears streaming down her face, her skin wet, blotchy. "You fucking punched him Leo, you hit your own damn son!"

And as soon as Piper said it, she knew she was in trouble. Oh, shit, she chastised herself. Ohshit, ohshit, ohshit!

All the color drained from Leo's face. S-son? That lying Bastard, his...son?

"Piper, what the Hell are you talking about?" Leo's voice, though starined, was barely audible.

"You heard me Leo," Piper's voice was pure ice. "You hit your son. Chris is your son. He told us this morning."

Leo could have sworn that the cold words Piper spoke were actually affecting the air around him, because it suddenly seemed to freeze around him. His son? His? No, that's...not possible. It's ludicrous!

"He-he's ;lying Piper! Lying. He just has to be! You know him; he wouldn't know the truth if it-"

"Hit him in the face?" Piper finished curtly. She reached up one hand, running it through Chris's hair. He had managed to stay conscious, but considering the things Leo was saying about him, she wasn't so sure if that was a Blessing.

"He isn't lying, Leo," she continued, her chocolate eyes boring into Leo's. "He's telling the truth, and you know it. You can deny it all you want, but you KNOW it! You KNOW it makes sense! You know it's true! It's been starring us in the face for months, Leo; starring at us with YOUR eyes!"

Taking a cue, Chris turned his aching head towards his father, opeing his own eyes slightly, just enough for Leo to see the green flecked orbs behind his bruising lid.

Leo stood there, stalk still. He took in the sight before him, of the love of his after life, cradling the man he detested in her arms...a man that was...his son? Could it really be?

Oh shit, he thought.

He really messed up...

And so, panicking, not knowing what else to do, he did the one thing Chris expected, the one things Chris had become so accustomed to seeing all his life:

Leo orbed away.


Piper sat on the floor, and watched as the Elder disapeared in a swirl of pale lights. She stared at the spot where he stood, her blood burning, bubbling. She loved Leo with all her heart, but what he just did...she didn't know if she could ever forgive him for that.

She was then reminded that she wasn't alone in the room. Chris shifted in her arms, pressing his face up against her shoulder. Keeping him still in her embrace, she pulled back, and cupped his face in her hands. Tilting his head toward the window, she sighed.

"You're going to have one Hell of a bruise," she said sadly, pressing her fingers gently under Chris's left eye; she stopped immediately, though, when her son winced, and tried to pull away.

Piper looked deeply into Chris's eyes; he'd heard everything his father had said, all the accusations; after being abandoned on Christmas eve, this was the last thing he needed.

Chris could feel his eyes sting with tears, and tried to turn away. Sure, he was used to Leo leaving him, just orbing, without giving his youngest a second thought, but it still hurt. Every single time, it tore at him, clawed and slashed at his very soul. And this? This different. Leo had never, ever, laid a hand on him, even in discipline...

"Chris?" his mother ventured delicately, her voice soft.

He looked up at her, trying (and failing) to force a smile. For her benefit.

"Chris, it's gonna be OK. He was just... just..."

"There isn't any excuse," Chris broke in bluntly. He leaned back into Pipers warm, welcoming embrace, seeking some kind of comfort. Which she readily provided.

It was silent for a moment, awkwardly so, when Piper suggested that he get back into bed.

"'K," was all he said in reply, suddenly aware of how much his body was screaming at him for sleep. He was aware of every extension of his body being tied down with wieghts of exhaustion, and he wanted nothing more than to collapse into bed, ad sleep for a day.


"But a day turned out to get about four hours. He woke up, sometime that afternoon, to two hyperactive aunts, one somewhat cranky toddler, and a bemused mother, and jumping on his bed at once (well, the adults jumped; Wyatt just kinda went along for the ride).

As soon as he seemed slightly coherent, Phoebe siezed him around the shoulders, and planted a sloppy kiss on his cheek. Aunt Paige followed suite, adding her own touch by ruffling up his hair, which was already standing up, a la Woody Woodpecker.

"What the Hell...?" he demanded, his sleep-weary mind trying to figure out what the living crap was going on.

"Merry Christmas Chrissy!" Phoebe chimed, pulling him close again, and finally jarring Chris awake. Sorta.

"Ch-Christmas?" he stammered, perplexed. That's right; it Was Christmas...

Piper, Wyatt on her lap, beamed at her youngest, and hassled him to scoot over. Settling herself beside him, she wrapped her am around him lovingly, and Chris scooted toward her, resting his head in the hollow of her neck.

Rubbing his eyes to clear the blur, he noticed that each one of his aunts and his mother each held a package in their hands. Phoebe's was wrapped in white tissue paper; Paige's had been artfully covered in green, glittery paper, and his mother held a sack with a pair of silver bells screened on the front.

Furrowing his brow as he took in the spectacle, he asked, "What's all this about?"

"Oh jeez, do you have a short-term memory problem or something?" Paige taunted, a goofy grin on her face. When Chris still kept the "You. Are. Nuts." look on his face, Phoebe elaborated,

"It's Christmas, Chris!"

"Yeah, you know, that holiday between Thanksgiving and New Years?" Phoebe continued, in a tone that suggested she was talking to a second grader.

Chris rolled his eyes; his aunts were SO annoying "I KNOW that, I mean..."

But Chris couldn't describe what he meant. His brain searched and searched, but he couldn't seem to find the right words...

Just last night, he'd been ready to die, thought that not a single member of his family gave a damn about him...He'd watched them through the bay window, laughing with each other, looking through old pictures, singing off-key to the songs on the radio...and Chris had longed so much to be a part of that scene again, like he had been when his family was still alive, beofer his life went to Hell. He'd felt so desperately lonely, standing out there in the freezing night air, wishing fervently that he could be included...

And now he was...

The family he'd thought wanted nothing to do with him, was now gathered around him, WANTING to spend Christmas with him. And he could spell something baking downstairs, the scent of his mothers cooking wafting up the stairs.

"I mean...I, just...I"

"Just shut the Hell up and open your presents!" Phoebe fake-snapped, tossing her present into Chris's lap.

It was long, and wide, but not very tall. And it was rather light. Smiling at his Aunt, he tore away the paper, and slipped the lid off the box.

Inside was exactly what he expected to get from his Aunt Phoebe, because, well, that's what she got him every year...

"I didn't know your size, but I figured you weren't exactly a plus!" Phoebe laughed, as Chris pulled out an ensamble of new clothes, which where considerably nicer than the second hand, patched-frayed-torn hand me downs he kept in a box at P3.

"And we also figured that green was your color," Paige put in, which explained why three of the four btton-ups where deep, hunter green.

He smiled rather shyly at his Aunt, and thanked her.

"Don't thank me sweetie, it's my job to spoil you rotten!"

"AND mine too!" Paige reminded her, as she passed Chris her package. It was considerably heavier than Phoebe's. Inside he found a set of handsome, leather-bound books; one on demonology, one on ancient myths and lore, and the third was on the practice of twenty-first century Wicca.

"Maybe now you'll leave that damn book in the attic alone for a while," laughed Pipper, as Chris flipped through the crisp, white pages.

Paige was rewarded by a genuine smile from her nephew, and a thank you; after barely seeing her Whitelighter display any sort of emotion, negative or positive, it was heart-wreching to see that something as simple as a Christmas gift seemed to be the highlight of his year.

But then again, maybe it was...

"Here, sweetie. This one's from Wyatt and me," Piper said to Chris, handing him the sack.

Still leaning into his mothers embrace, he pulled the tissue paper from the small sack, and reached inside. There, his fingers brushed against something small, soft; a red velvet bag.

"Aw, this isn't one of those bag-within-a-bag-within-a-bag things, is it?" Chris asked wryly, and Piper laughed, shaking he head.

"Just open it.

Loosening the strings, Chris turned the scarlet pouch upside down onto his hand, and a silver chain flowed out. At the end, was a pendant, made of silver as well; a pentagram, finely crafted, made out of a single piece of metal that had been folded upon itself to make a five-pointed star.

"Mom, it's beautiful!" he thanked Piper, who beamed, glad that he liked it. She was so worried that he wouldn't!

"You're welcome sweetie. There's so much we all want to give you; so much we're sorry for...

"Mom, you don't..." Chris started, but Piper put a finger to his lips to quiet him.

"Don't argue Chris! We treated you like crap, and you have no idea how sorry we all are for it!" Paige and Phoebe nodded in agrrement, both coming forward, encircling their arms around their young nephew.

Kissing her son gently on the forehead, Piper whispered,

"Merry Christmas, baby."

And Chris, though tired, and sore, though his face was bruised blue and purple, had never been happier than he was right now.


Leo Wyatt stood high atop a pillar of the Golden Gate Bridge, thinking. He only had a few minutes before he had to get back Up There, but his head was swarming with this new information.

Chris was his son...Chris, the one man who gave him gray hair! His son...NO! That was a title belonging to Wyatt...

And yet, he knew, deep down inside, he knew. It explained everything, yet brought up so many new questions!

He knew what the right thing to do was. Go back, beg for forgiveness...

But he didn't. He couldn't, even if he had wanted to. He had to go to work in a minute. He couldn't get out of that to see Chris...

...not that he really wanted to.

And for the next ten minutes Leo Wyatt sat on that bridge , his back against the brace, and thought about how everything had changed so suddenly, how much he screwed up, how much he hated much he shouldn't hate him, but didn't really care..

And all the while, having no idea that his son, sixteen hours before, had sat in that very spot, welcoming death with open arms.


and that, ladies and gentleman, is the end! I have completed my second story, and my first one under this name!

NOW, you all know what tomorrow is, right? No! Well, let me remind you..

It's my birthday! Sweet sixteen!

And you know what would make the greatest gift?

Reviews! LOL!

Lottsa Love,