A/N: So I just finished watching the series finale and first off, I admit I haven't been watching since early season 7. However, did no one else find it extremely weird that neither Piper nor Leo hugged Chris at the end when they were all hugging each other? I mean, the last time Leo saw 'Chris' he was dying on his parents' bed for 's sakes.
Anyways, this bit was a little scene I was toying with for my current fic, but I've decided to go with a different ending so I've modified it a bit to fit the episode. It's probably totally out of character and definitely not the best thing I've written since I'm throwing it down but geez – I just had to get it out.
Takes place during the 'hugging' scene, right after the Angel of Destiny returns Leo.
Tag to the series finale
Looking up from his passionate embrace with his wife, Leo finally realized the number of people in the room. Blinking in confusion, his eyes widened as he caught sight of the tall young man standing awkwardly in the corner. Leo felt the corners of his mouth turn up as he asked wonderingly, "Wyatt?"
"Hey, Dad," Wyatt smiled, reaching out to pull his surprised father into a strong embrace. "How's it going?"
"You're here?" Leo asked, confused, his eyes searching out his wife's. Piper nodded encouragingly. "I, uh…don't know what to say."
Wyatt grinned goofishly, "How about you say you're glad to see us?"
A voice from behind called out, hesitantly, "Dad."
Whipping around, confusion clearly in his eyes, Leo felt his eyes fill with tears as he studied the young man in front of him, "Chris?" Leo felt his chest tighten, his heart aching at the sight of him – identical to the Chris who had died in his arms and yet…different. Overwhelmed with emotion, Leo bit the inside of his cheek in an attempt to control his emotions. This Chris…well, this Chris would probably find it strange if his father suddenly threw himself at his son, wanting nothing more than to wrap his arms around his youngest and reassure himself that his son was indeed, alive.
"Hey," Chris' smile was hesitant, a little uncertain, clearly sensing Leo's conflicting emotions yet not understanding why. Exchanging a look over his father's shoulder with his older brother who merely shrugged in confusion, Chris softened his tone to tease his father, "Don't I get a hug too?"
Shaking himself from his stupor, Leo quickly closed the couple of feet between them to grab his son's shoulders and pull him into a firm embrace. As he continued to hold onto his son, Leo could feel Chris' arms hesitantly wrap themselves around him, awkwardly returning his hug and patting his father's back affectionately as he tried to step back. But rather than allowing his son to break the embrace as he had done with Wyatt, Leo continued to hold onto Chris, his hold tightening slightly.
"Uh, Dad?" Chris' voice came out slightly higher than normal. "You're squishing me."
"Oh, sorry," Leo took a deep breath and forced himself to let go, though keeping one arm around Chris' shoulders. Stepping back, he smiled reassuringly into Chris' eyes, all the while resisting the urge to tug his son back into his embrace. "I'm just…uh…happy to see you!"
"And what am I? Chopped liver?" Wyatt broke in, his lopsided grin obviously indicating he was joking.
Leo swallowed the lump in his throat, still reluctant at relinquishing complete physical contact with his youngest, turning to face his eldest, "Very funny."
"Wyatt," Piper chided her son gently. "You know we love you both equally." She smiled a little at the sight of her son grown, "Now lean down here so I can greet you properly."
Making a pained face, Wyatt submitted to his mother's fussing before he threw a plaintive look at his younger sibling, "Help."
"Oh please," Piper rolled her eyes, pinching Wyatt's cheek one last time. Turning around, she made her way to her youngest, pulling him from Leo's side. Hugging him tightly, Piper ran her hands over the back of her youngest, reassuring herself he was indeed alive. "In case I didn't say so earlier, I'm so happy to see you!"
"Mom…can't breathe…" Chris threw a desperate look at Leo, "Dad? A little help here?" At his father's rueful gaze, Chris decided to appeal to another source, "Aunt Paige! Help!"
Paige blinked away the tears in her eyes, all too aware of the heightened emotion in the room. Her eyes met Leo's briefly in shared understanding for they had been to the last two to see Chris alive. Yes, this Chris was slightly older than the one that had come to the past but still…Moving forward, Paige gently disengaged Piper's stronghold on her son, before giving him a gentle hug as well. "Hello, nephew." She breathed in his scent, feeling tears prick at her eyes as her own emotions threatened to overwhelm her. God, he felt so warm…so solid. So…alive.
"Seriously, you guys are freaking me out," Chris ventured nervously as neither his parents nor aunt seemed inclined to move away. All three were regarding him with watery gazes and as he met his aunt Phoebe's eyes across the room, Chris had the distinct impression that they all knew something he didn't. He shot a look at his brother, silently asking whether he was picking up on the weirdo vibes in the room as well.
Wyatt merely raised an eyebrow in return, as if to say, What? So the old folks are glad to see us. Isn't that a good thing?
Chris rolled his eyes slightly, Then how come they aren't invading your personal space too?
Wyatt's mouth quirked, We can't all be the baby of the family.
"Yeah, right," Chris replied sarcastically. As all eyes turned to him, he realized he had said it out loud. He glared at his brother, "A little help here, please."
Correctly interpreting the expressions between the two brothers, Phoebe decided it was time to step in, "Relax, guys. We're not pod people. We're just really happy to see our nephews, okay?"
"Yeah, well, I guess," Wyatt replied, doubt clearly tingeing his voice, his eyes sliding towards Chris. He could tell his brother was unnerved – typical. Chris could never take things for granted – he always saw shadows everywhere. However, Wyatt couldn't detect anything weird from his family so he was certain that these people were, indeed, his family. No matter how odd they were acting. Anyways, when had their family ever been normal? If anything, the 'weird' behaviour was probably normal for them. Putting on his big brother hat, he smiled reassuringly at his kid brother, trying to get the younger Halliwell to relax, "Soak it up, kid. It's not everyday you're the centre of attention."
Knowing Wyatt's banter was specifically aimed to tell him everything was all right, Chris visibly relaxed. His trust in his older brother's instinct was absolute. However, he didn't try to move away from his father or mother, both of whom still had quite a tight grip on either side of him. He shot a mock glare at his older sibling, "You jealous?"
"Of you?" Wyatt's smile was genuine. "Never."
As the two brothers began to bicker good-naturedly between themselves, Leo was still trying to shake the cobwebs away of the image of Chris dying in his arms. As he continued to study his youngest son, he began to see the differences between the two Chris'. This Chris obviously trusted his brother – looked to him for help and advice. He was more relaxed, his face more trusting and open. And even though he was, technically, older than the Chris that had previously come to the past, he looked younger – the burden of a doomed future and a mission to save his family no doubt contributing to the other Chris' often haggard appearance.
Exchanging a knowing look with Piper, Leo smiled to himself.
Everything was the way it should be.