Living a Lie
Disclaimer: I do not own Charmed. Not in this chapter or any chapters to come.
Summary: An unusual run-in with a demon leaves Chris to question the very reality he lives in. How far will he be willing to go for answers?
Setting: Changed future. Chris is 23 and Wyatt just turned 25. I haven't seen season 8 yet, so I'm just gonna pretend it doesn't exist. Lol. Come to think of it, I'm gonna pretend season 7 doesn't exist either, so that means Leo's still an Elder. ;-)
Notes: So, I know I don't have the best reputation for finishing stories but the bit that inspired me to write this story is gonna be near the end, so hopefully that means I'll be able to get that far without giving up. Lol
We start the story on a normal day in San Francisco…Enjoy!
Chapter 1: Strange meetings
The sound of orbing filled the attic and Wyatt looked up from his research.
"What happened to you?" Wyatt asked while trying to suppress a sudden urge to laugh at the sight of his highly agitated little brother.
Chris was covered from head to toe in blue gooey slime. Wyatt gave in and the sound of his laughter filled the attic.
Chris shot him a look that could kill. "It's not funny! This was my favorite shirt," he sighed as he slumped onto the couch, "Did you know that this" Chris pointed to the demon entrails that covered him, "happens when you vanquish a Kwano Demon?"
"I told you to keep a safe distance," Wyatt said while trying to stop himself from bursting out laughing again.
"Well I thought you meant so he wouldn't fry me or something!" Chris said while throwing his hands up in the air in exasperation, "Next time you're going," he pointed a threatening finger at his brother, "or I'll tell Kim about that little trip you made last week."
"You wouldn't!" Wyatt said in disbelief.
"Try me," Chris said in defiance, the dare written in his eyes.
After a moments pause Wyatt sighed and turned away from his brother to fetch something on the table behind him, "Fine, you win."
A triumphant smile stretched over Chris's face.
"I can't believe I'm being blackmailed by my little brother," Wyatt grumbled while preparing everything he'd need to make a Scazi vanquishing potion.
"You betcha", he answered, his grin now reaching Cheshire proportions.
"Boys! Could you come set the table please!" Piper Halliwell's voice echoed through the manor.
"Be there in a sec, mom!" Wyatt called back before turning to his brother, "You better get changed before mom spots you like that, she'd freak out."
"She'd probably get me to disinfect the couch too," Chris said as he stood up from his sitting place, "See you in a minute," he said before orbing out to his apartment to have a quick shower and to change his clothes.
Wyatt shook his head with a slight laugh at his brother's antics before leaving to help his mother set up for the family dinner. He'd make the potion some other time.
Family dinners were always very interesting at the Halliwell manor to say the least. Their family was very close and they always enjoyed just sitting down and talking to each other while enjoying one of Piper's home cooked meals.
At one side of the table sat Phoebe and her 16-year-old daughter, Sarah. Next to them sat Paige and her husband, Michael, and next to him sat Wyatt. Opposite Sarah and Phoebe sat Paige and Michael's twin 12-year-old girls, Lily and Stephanie. Next to them sat Leo and then there were two empty spaces, one for Piper who was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the meal, and one for Chris who was still getting cleaned up.
The conversations around the table were relaxed and familiar. There was talk about work, school and, of course, all things magical.
The sound of twinkling orbs announced the arrival of the youngest male of the Halliwell family. He greeted his family and took his place at the table among them.
Unnoticed by them all, Piper stood in the kitchen doorway watching them with a smile on her face.
It was all she'd ever wanted. A normal, happy family. Well, they weren't exactly normal,in the usual sense of the word, but Piper wouldn't change anything about her family for the world.
She watched as Phoebe and Paige's girls talked and laughed about the things that had happened at Magic School that day, Phoebe and Paige were discussing something they'd seen in a fashion magazine, Wyatt and Michael were talking about the chances of their favorite football teams winning the cup and Leo and Chris were talking about something to do with the Elders.
Piper's eyes lingered on Chris a second longer and her mind wandered back to a memory that she had tried her best to forget. Chris stood in front of her in the attic as she yelled at him and told him she never wanted to see him again. Chris hadn't managed to hide the hurt look that had crossed his face before he'd orbed out of the manor…
Where had that come from all of a sudden? Piper shook her head, trying to get the image out of her head. It had all happened so long ago…
Chris had definitely changed. He looked exactly the same as the Chris that had visited them from the future twenty-three years ago, but the changes were undeniable. The Chris that sat at the table talking to his father didn't have the memories of hundreds of innocents' deaths by his brother's hand hanging over him, didn't have the fate of the world in his hands and didn't have to keep all his feelings bottled up inside. He had a loving family that was always there for him, and the difference definitely showed. This Chris was open and honest and was always the life of the party. He was still determined and sarcastic as hell though, but even more loveable for it.
Piper was snapped back to reality by her husband's voice behind her. She hadn't even noticed him leaving the table.
She turned around to face him, "Leo, I didn't see you there."
"Are you okay?" Leo asked softly as he searched her eyes for any signs of worry.
"It's nothing, Leo. I was just thinking," Piper said as she brushed past him and picked up a bowl of food, "Could you help me with these?" She pointed to a number of bowls and plates full of food that covered the island in the middle of the kitchen.
Leo regarded her for a moment before nodding and moving towards the closest plate. If there was anything bothering Piper, they could talk about it later.
At the end of the evening everyone was sitting in their chairs completely full and utterly content. The casual chatter remained and was finally interrupted by Wyatt standing and announcing that he was calling it a day.
"But you can't leave, Wyatt!" Lily exclaimed with a pout, "You can't miss the movie!"
It was a tradition, that had been going since Wyatt and Chris were small, that after family dinners, the children would sit down together and watch a movie while the adults discussed grown-up matters. Even though Wyatt and Chris were officially adults, they still belonged to the next-generation of Halliwells and still joined their cousins for the traditional movie. They were used to it and weren't planning on breaking the tradition by joining the grown-ups any time soon.
"I'm really sorry, Lils, but I've still got a ton of work to do," Wyatt said.
"But you haven't spent time with us in ages!" Stephanie said, backing up her sister, "Don't you want to anymore?"
Paige watched as her girls used the guilt trip tactic to try and persuade their cousin to stay. Wyatt however had gotten a lot of practice over the years and knew every trick in the book, "Of course I do, Stef, but you wouldn't want me to loose my job, would you?" He waited a bit as the girls muttered their of course nots´ and then continued, "I'll see you tomorrow though, I've got some things to take care of at Magic School."
Wyatt said his good-byes and orbed out of the manor.
"I get to pick the movie!" Stef shouted before running into the living room, her sister close on her heels.
"No way! It was my turn to pick!" Sarah said as she rushed after her little cousins.
Chris rolled his eyes before following them to prepare for whichever sappy romance movie his girly cousins would pick. Mostly Wyatt and him would be able to convince them to go for a more action filled movie, but since Chris was on his own, he stood no chance against the terrible trio.
Being a guy in a family that was destined to consist of women definitely had its drawbacks.
The Seer stood in her underground lair, perfectly still, listening.
She could hear the anguished screams of the ones doomed to spend the rest of eternity in hell. She could hear the dripping of water that fell from stalactites onto the cavern floor.
But the thing that disturbed her most was the sound of heavy breathing coming from the shadows.
"Your plan will fail," she said to Him in a calm and confidant tone, "I have seen your future. You may be able to defeat me but you will never be able to take on the Halliwells. You're a fool who will be vanquished like all the other demons that've tried to take them on before!"
The figure slowly moved out of the shadows.
The Seer was unnerved by his appearance. He stood tall and proud and was wearing a long black mantle with a hood that covered his face. Dark power radiated from every fiber of his being.
His laugh, which resounded in the cavern, was dark and cruel, "You think you know all, Seer. But you are mistaken. I will not meet my downfall in the Halliwells…"
In one swift movement he grabbed the Seer's neck.
She gasped as his hand started to glow and burn into her skin. A blue light that came out of the Seer ran up his arm before fusing with him. She let out a high-pitched scream before bursting into flames.
He pulled his hand back and clenched and unclenched his fist. A cruel smile could be seen in the shadows on his face, "…thanks to you, I'll be able to read their every move."
It was dank, dark and filled with sweaty demons picking fights.
It was everything to be expected of a demonic bar.
Chris sat in the shadows at a table in the corner trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible. It wouldn't be wise for someone of his genealogy to attract attention.
He had heard rumors of a demon rallying for support so that he could become the new Source. This was nothing new of course, but always worth checking out incase it happened to be a demon that had more brains than brawn.
Chris was trying to collect more information about the demon, but had so far been unsuccessful. He had heard a few rushed whispers, but nothing useful at all.
As Chris sat watching the various types of demons discuss their business, a figure glanced at him while walking over to the bar to get another drink. The demon made a double take, stared at Chris a while in amazement and then started walking towards him with a smile on his face.
Chris´ heartbeat instantly increased. He took a deep breath and reminded himself to keep it cool; he was playing the part of a demon after all.
The demon had now nearly reached the table. He looked pretty much human. He was rather small but well built with dark brown hair and a completely black ensemble. The only thing off about him was his eyes. They were blood red with streaks of silver in them.
"Perry!" said the demon in a strangely enthusiastic voice as he reached Chris, "You er the last person I expect'd te run inte t'day. I haven't seen ye round for years! What ye bin up te?"
"I'm afraid you've got me confused with someone else," Chris said as he stood up to leave before they attracted too much attention.
"Nonsense!" the demon said as he blocked Chris´ way to the exit. He was swaying slightly and had obviously had a couple of drinks too many, "It's me! Roth! Remember we work'd t'gether bout twenty years ago on that thing bout the thing…" he trailed of while trying to remember what had happened correctly.
"I've gotta go," Chris said as he roughly pushed past Roth to leave.
The demon grabbed his arm and turned him around, "Come te think of it, Chris, ye never paid me…" he said with a snarl, his friendly demeanor instantly changing as the facts of their previous encounter started to return to him, "Ye weren't exactly very…"
The demon suddenly started to scream and was vanquished in a giant ball of flames.
No one even blinked an eye.
That was the handy thing about demon bars, you could vanquish demons without causing commotion as long as you didn't vanquish too many.
Chris stowed the athame back in his coat before walking out of the bar like nothing had happened, but all the time his head was filled with questions that were waiting to be answered.
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