Note: In going back and starting to work on this fic again, I've noticed some plot inconsistencies in regards to the timeline I set and the pace of the timeline. I ask for now that you just…gloss over those. I'll be fixing them as I have time.
x x x Part Seven x x x
Silence descended on the kitchen in the wake of Leo's startled exclamation. Piper licked her lips nervously. Of all the ways she could have imagined him finding out – this wasn't even in the top ten. He looked as if the rug had literally just been pulled out from under his feet, leaving him shattered and shocked.
She couldn't really say that she didn't understand, though. It had been a surprise when she found out about Chris. The knowledge that he was her son had left her reeling, not to mention hurt that he hadn't just been honest about things from the very beginning.
"You're my son?" Leo repeated Chris' words incredulously.
Chris sighed, rolling his eyes. "Great. Just… great. This is so completely what we needed tonight, of all nights."
Chris looked over at her, shaking his head as if to say that he hadn't wanted this to happen.
And then he grabbed Xander's hand and orbed them both away.
"He took Xander!" Phoebe shrieked after a moment's silence, the loud cry piercing the stillness of the kitchen and making Piper jump just a little. "Your son stole my son!"
"He probably –" Piper began, unsure of where she was even going with her conciliatory comment.
But she didn't get a chance to figure out where her comment was leading, because Leo interrupted.
"Your son?" Leo muttered, sitting heavily in one of the kitchen chairs. The look on his face was pure confusion and almost comical, in a sad way, to Piper. Paige was shaking with silent laughter, though, not bothering to hide the amusement she was getting from Leo's confusion. "Chris is my son… and that other guy is your son, Phoebe?" He shook his head. "When did our lives suddenly get weirder than usual?"
"I'm sure Chris was going to tell you eventually," Phoebe volunteered and it was all Piper could do not to groan in anguish. That was the worst possible thing that she could have said, of course, because it would have to lead to -
"What I can't figure out is why none of you, not even you, Piper, told me about this," Leo sounded and looked hurt beyond anything that Piper could remember seeing of him before. He glanced downward, at the slight curve of her stomach, pushing against the maternity shirt that Paige had only just bought for her the other day. "So… that's –"
"Chris," Piper offered with a half-smile.
"And he didn't tell me because –"
"He didn't exactly want to tell any of us, either," Paige offered with a loud sigh.
"But I'm his father."
The strings of Piper's heart tugged at Leo's plaintive whisper. She sighed and pushed past her sisters to take the chair next to him.
"He hasn't really talked much about… his time," she began slowly. "But I get the feeling that you were definitely not one of his favorite people."
"Eh," Phoebe shook her head. "No buts. He's got some serious issues when it comes to you. Whatever they are – that's between you and him."
"In other words – you know who he is now – don't screw it up the second time around," Paige scowled. "He's a good guy – despite the lying to us from the very beginning thing."
Piper felt the corner of her mouth tug into a smile and she shook her head at her youngest sister's words. True, very true, but biting and sharp, just the same.
"So can we get back to the crisis at hand?" Phoebe demanded. Piper's brow knit together in confusion.
"Your son taking my son and orbing only Goddess knows where, for one thing. Hello? Did we miss that part of tonight's events?"
"That was… your son? From the future, too?" Any momentary abatement of confusion that Leo might have felt over their little talk about Chris was gone.
"No. Yes… sort of," Phoebe rolled her eyes, tapping her fingers nervously on the counter. "So – in summary. He's mine and Cole's son. I give birth to him in a few years, at which point we send him back in time, to oh say, the early, early eighties, for him to grow up and have a normal life because we're all so busy protecting Wyatt that there's no way in hell we thought we'd be able to protect him, too. We just found him today, he knows about us. He knows about Chris. He knows pretty much everything because that so-called normal life I sent him back in time for just didn't end up happening. He grew up on a Hellmouth, Leo! A Hellmouth! And now your son has run off with him and I'd like him back before I have a complete nervous breakdown," she paused, taking a deep breath. "Please."
Piper shut her mouth with a snap, blinking at her sister in surprise. "Well, that was certainly a mouthful. Feel better?"
"Much," Phoebe nodded.
"Okay," Leo began slowly. "Let me see if I understand this –"
x x x
Xander barely managed to fight back a decidedly unmanly yelp as they finished orbing and he found himself on what appeared to be the very top of the Golden Gate Bridge. He wobbled in the knees before finally catching himself, throwing an accusing glare at his cousin.
"Hey! What was that for?"
"Didn't think you'd want to be around for the fall out," Chris shrugged. He sat down Indian-style, meeting Xander's glare with tired eyes.
"Yeah, well," Xander shrugged. "Shouldn't you, you know, be there for that? He's your dad and all."
Chris snorted. "Some dad."
It took Xander a minute to realize that Chris had to be talking about future events that hadn't occurred yet, since there was no way Leo could have been even trying to act like a dad up to a few minutes ago, when he, in rather spectacular fashion, found out for the first time that he –should- be acting like a dad. He sighed and sat down next to his cousin.
He wanted to ask what it was that this Leo guy had done that was so bad that Chris didn't even want to associate with him, but there was that part of him that was still very much aware that he had only known Chris for a few hours' time. And maybe, just maybe, Chris didn't feel like opening up all those deep dark secrets to him just yet.
"He was never there."
Or… maybe he did want to open up.
"Being an Elder is a big responsibility, I get that. And, sure, I'm the one that's to blame for him even being in that position – but when he was around he was busy with Wyatt. I might as well not even have been his son."
Xander nodded, licking his lips as he chose his next words carefully. "Understanding that – and believe me, having grown up with the Harrises, I know what its like to live with parents that don't give a crap about you – but this Leo isn't the same Leo that you grew up with. Maybe things will be different now that he knows."
"I wouldn't hold your breath," Chris shook his head, eyes dark. "He's pretty much already abandoned mom. Only comes by for a few minutes at a time, here and there, and usually spends most of that time with Wyatt. If he doesn't have time for the woman he promised to love and honor, how is he supposed to have time for me?"
Xander didn't know how to answer that one, so he kept his mouth shut. He leaned back, stretching his legs out in front of him. Being up this high wasn't nearly as frightening when he was safely sitting down, though there was still some definite butterfly-esque rumbling in his tummy whenever he thought too hard about where exactly they were.
"So – come up here often?" he laughed at his pathetic attempt for small talk.
Chris nodded. "They'll come looking for us soon."
"And do we run again at that point? Because I'm thinking that my apartment back in good old Sunnyhell might be a little safer than running all over the place trying to hide from your folks."
His cousin shook his head, the corner of his mouth twitching upward for a second. "Aunt Phoebe's going to kill me for taking you with me, anyway. When they show up we'll just –"
"Take it like the fearless men we are?"
Chris laughed, nodding. "I think I'm going to like having you around."
Xander's smile grew. "You know, I think I might like being around – provided that we keep the trips to very high places to a minimum."
"This is where I come to think."
Well, Xander guessed that there certainly weren't many people coming up here to bug him while he was thinking, true, but that totally didn't make up for the fact that slipping and falling over the side could be a Very Bad Thing.
He took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. The day had gone from odd to weird, to weirder, all in just a few short hours. He'd met his birth mother; found out that his dad was half-demon – thereby making him part demon, too; and had been orb-napped by his crazy half-angel of a cousin to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Oh, no, this wasn't the stuff a supernatural Jerry Springer would be made of. Not at all.
"So – got any questions about the sisters, you know, while it's just me and you?" Chris' offer was a welcome interruption to his thoughts, however unexpected and out of nowhere it came.
"Are they always so –"
"Crazy?" Chris laughed. "Yeah. Pretty much. My mom is the level headed one, your mom is the passionate one, and Paige is just the –"
"Better be careful how you finish that, young man."
This time Xander did yelp. Just a little. So he couldn't help it if women appearing out of nowhere, right behind him, freaked the hell out of him.
" – and Aunt Paige is the loveable, yet zany one," Chris threw a grin over his shoulder. "And Aunt Phoebe, too. Mom and Leo couldn't make it?"
"They're having a talk." Xander snickered at the quote marks his mom made in the air. Talk was one euphemism for disagreement that he knew all too well. And this had to be one doozy of a disagreement, all things considered. She whirled on Chris, her laughing eyes not so laughing. "And you don't just grab my son and orb up here anymore or I'll.. I'll…"
"You'll --?" Chris prompted with a laugh.
"Lock you and your father in a warded room so that neither of you can orb away?" Paige asked with an arch of her eyebrows.
"Low blow, Paige," Chris snorted.
Xander noticed the swirling orb lights before the others did, though only by a second. Chris' eyes went distant, his mouth snapping shut. The good humor that he'd been displaying was gone like a light snapped off in the darkness. Piper looked resigned as she held Wyatt and Leo looked determined.
Somehow, Xander got the feeling that it was going to take more than just determination for Leo to crack whatever was eating at Chris.
"Come on, then," his mom sighed, patting his shoulder in what he thought was a very 'mom' way. "We should leave and let them talk."
"Don't leave on my account," Chris frowned. "I don't have anything to say."
"Chris," Piper tone held a note of warning. This was one lady not to be trifled with. Then again, all the women in his life up to this point, with the exception of his adopted mother, had been women 'not to trifle' with. "We're going to have a nice little family discussion."
"And you two are coming with me," Paige grinned, grabbing hold of both Xander and his mom at the same time. "We still have family history to discuss and questions to ask and –"
It was going to be a very long night, Xander thought with a groan, pleased nonetheless.
x x x End Part x x x