Author's Note: Sorry if this isn't following Chris's character very well; I keep missing the episodes of "the Chris years."
In Love and War
by Lady Dawson
Chapter One: Jaina
Blue eyes wide, Jaina Cromwell listened to the demons as they entered the discussion with Wyatt Halliwell. Inwardly, she cringed when she looked at her best friend's older brother. Years had passed Wyatt Halliwell, the boy that she had practically grown up with, had disappeared. And in his place a new person was born: Lord Wyatt, ruler of the Underworld.
Eight years had passed since the death of the Charmed Ones and she and Chris were forced to grow up too quickly in a world that was torn apart by war. Magic had been exposed and mortals lived in fear for their very lives. When Jaina and Chris had formed the Resistance, she had been a girl of sixteen, barely even a woman yet. Now, six years later, she was the head of the Resistance, the only leader now that Chris had disappeared into the past in one last attempt to save his brother.
She missed him like crazy, but Jaina refused to even dwell on that because she knew that he was going to bring their world back to peace, back to what it had been before Chris's mom, Piper, and her sisters, Phoebe and Paige, had been killed. Even now, eight years later, there was still some speculation about their deaths. Many claimed that they had died by a demon, but some suspected that they had died at the hands of the firstborn, the eldest son of the eldest Charmed One, Wyatt.
Personally, Jaina believed the latter. Especially since Wyatt's downfall had progressed more rapidly after their deaths. Her heart ached every time she thought about it. Piper, the woman who had been like her mother. Phoebe, who was her confidant and adviser. Paige, who had taught her and Chris what being a Whitelighter meant.
They had been her family after her Whitelighter father skipped town on her witch mother when she was pregnant, never to be seen or heard from again, and her mom ditched her when she was six. Piper had been generous and taken her in, given her a home, brought her up like the daughter that she never had. She and Chris had been best friends since then, but from the moment that she had met him, she had fallen for him, felt feelings deeper than she had felt for anyone, feelings much further than the love that exists between best friends.
As Wyatt started to conduct the meeting, Jaina pulled herself back into the present. Since the formation of Wyatt's dominion and the formation of the Resistance, she had on and off posed as a Darklighter, allowing her get into Wyatt's meetings easily.
"As most of you know, the Resistance leader Christopher has undergone a mission that has threatened our entire world," he began. "A mission to the past that will stop me from becoming as powerful as I am now. Now, I have decided to send someone to retrieve him. Which brings me to our new arrival. Send her in," he barked at one of the demons, who hurried outside to bring in the person who would be bringing Chris to the future.
Jaina's heart plummeted as the young woman clad in black leather came in, her cool gaze looking around the room. "A phoenix," she heard the Darklighter next to her mutter.
"Bianca," Jaina said quietly, but nobody heard her as the phoenix assassin Bianca—and Chris's fiancée—knelt beside Wyatt before getting to her feet. Fury flew through her, nearly blinding her. How could she betray Chris? He had given her everything, including his heart!
"This is Bianca, a phoenix assassin," Wyatt said, almost in a bored tone. "She has been given the assignment to bring Christopher back here. If she fails, then I will be sending more after him, to kill him next time. Bianca, you have my permission to leave. As do the rest of you."
As the meeting adjourned, Jaina stepped out into the hallway, breathing heavily, her heart hammering in her chest. This was going to kill Chris, she thought suddenly, whether by Wyatt or his own grief. She had to go after him herself. She had to warn him.
Without even thinking twice, she orbed out back to the Resistance headquarters, feeling the potion that turned a Whitelighter orbs black wear off as she did so.
When she arrived back, Chris's cousin Patience looked around at her. "How did it go?" she wanted to know.
"Terrible," Jaina said, tossing the black jacket onto her bed. "Bianca's betrayed us, Pat. And Wyatt's sending her after Chris to bring him back here or kill him if the task proves too difficult."
Patience's brown eyes that were so much like her mother's, Phoebe, were wide by the time that Jaina had finished. "What are we going to do?" she asked, ready as she always was to face Wyatt's army. Armed only with her Halliwell blood, Patience was capable of defeating twelve demon clans single-handedly.
"We aren't going to do anything," Jaina said firmly. When Patience opened her mouth to speak, Jaina interrupted her. "Listen, Pat, I have an idea, but it's going to take time. I am not going to let Bianca take Chris; when he finds out about this, it's going to kill him. I have to go back and warn him about what's happening. But I don't know if I'm going to be able to get back here after that, so I'm leaving you in charge of the Resistance."
Patience's mouth dropped open. "But Jaina," she protested, "what if Bianca gets there before you?"
"Then I'm just going to have to pray that Chris will be all right," Jaina replied.
Several hours later, the Resistance had been informed about Bianca and Jaina was preparing for her trip to the past, drawing the Triquetra on the wall of her room. "Tell my mom I love her, won't you?" Patience said as she watched Jaina.
"I will," Jaina said with a smile. "If I can get around to it without Chris freaking out about future consequences."
Patience snorted, but she smiled wryly at Jaina. "You're in love with him, aren't you?" she wanted to know. Jaina swivelled her head to look at her. "Chris. That's why you're going to do all of this just to protect him from getting hurt, isn't it? It's not just because he's your best friend, Jaina; it's because you're in love with him."
Jaina stared at her. "Chris?" she repeated, trying to keep her emotions under control. "I am not in love with—"
She stopped as Patience grinned at her. It was always so frustrating when Patience was so accurate about stuff. The girl got it from her mom, who was an empath. Patience had the same gift. "Is it that obvious?" Jaina asked.
"About as obvious as you hating Bianca because you're in love with him," Patience replied and winked. "Don't worry, I won't tell him when he gets back. 'Course, if you go all the way to the past and don't tell Chris what your true feelings are, I'm going to be really mad. I'd rather have you as a cousin-in-law than Bianca, personally."
"Thanks, Pat," Jaina sighed and looked at the piece of paper that she had managed to tear out of the Book of Shadows before she left. Hopefully, Wyatt wouldn't remember the spell. "Okay here goes:
Hear these words, hear the rhyme.
Heed the hope within my mind.
Send me back to where I'll find
What I wish in place and time."
The Triquetra glowed a mixture of blue colours and Jaina took only one glance back at Patience before hurling herself forward into the portal. She heard people and voices around her before she was expelled onto the floor of the attic in the Halliwell manor.
Landing with a thud, Jaina glanced up around the attic, trying to figure out when she was. Spotting the Book of Shadows standing where it had been her entire life before Piper and her sister had died, Jaina made a silent cheer of triumph.
Hearing the sounds of somebody coming, she took one last look around the attic and orbed out. She had to find Chris before Bianca did. Otherwise, she didn't know what was going to happen.