Author's Note: At last the final chapter is here. Those of you who are very familiar with Chris-Crossed won't find this chapter too interesting I'm sorry to say, but I have added my own bits here and there to fill in any gaps. I hope you've enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed writing it and reading all those fantastic reviews. Maybe I'll write some more one day, when I've got my exams out of the way.
Chapter 16 – The Blue Triquetra
The next day Chris was sitting on the bench in the Arboretum, his hands embedded deep into his pockets. He couldn't remember ever being as nervous as he was at that moment. His fingers played restlessly over the small object in his pocket, which had once belonged to his mother, and was just about to pull it out when Bianca shimmered in.
"Hey," she said, sitting down next to him. She had changed out of her horrible leather suit and was dressed in the clothes of an ordinary person. She had removed the kohl from her eyes, and to Chris it seemed as if she had wiped away all of the evil her previous attire symbolised.
"You look great," Chris said.
"Thank you," Bianca replied. "I didn't think it would be such a good idea to go to the museum dressed to kill." She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "Are you ready to go?"
"Almost," Chris said slowly, trying to buy himself some time to select the right words he wanted to use. "About yesterday," he began, but was interrupted by Bianca groaning loudly.
"Chris," she complained. "We've been here before, I…" but Chris cut her off by raising a finger. He took her hand and continued.
"Yesterday made me realise that I needed to ask you something before it was too late. May I?"
Bianca had stiffened, sensing the question was big and nodded her head.
Chris fumbled about in his pocket for a second before he brought out a shiny silver ring with a glittering diamond on the top. He hesitated, his heart thumping wildly, before he carefully pushed the ring onto her finger. "Will you marry me?" he asked.
Bianca laughed at the abruptness of the proposal. "You're asking me now?" she asked, smiling.
"Mm hmm," Chris nodded.
"This is still our spot Bianca. No matter what he's done to it," he said. "Marry me."
Chris watched Bianca's face during her brief moment of thought. He was pleased to see that despite a little flushed and overwhelmed she was clearly very happy.
"On one condition," she said. "You come back to me. Safely."
Chris laughed. "Have I ever let you down before?" he asked.
Bianca smiled and kissed him.
Suddenly they were interrupted by a rustling in the dying trees, and a faint beeping. Bianca pulled away from Chris in fright.
"What's that?" she whispered.
Just then a probe flew over the wall and a bright yellow light emitted from its nose, covering Bianca.
"Chris," she cried.
Instantly Chris swung his arm at the probe and it sailed over their heads and crashed into a broken statue of an angel nearby and exploded into thousands of tiny burning fragments, which showered the dry ground with sparks.
"Are you okay?" Chris asked, placing a hand on her knee and shaking his overgrown hair from his eyes.
"Yeah," Bianca replied, slightly shaken. "Yeah, I don't think it had time to transmit."
Chris stood up and groaned loudly in frustration. It was too late for anything to go wrong now. "I can not believe he's sending probes after us now," he exclaimed angrily. "I'm going to kill that son of a bitch!"
"No," Bianca replied, getting to her feet. "No you're not. You're going to stick to the plan."
"But he knows," argued Chris.
"If he knew he wouldn't have sent the probe," Bianca replied. "You have to go back Chris. It's the only way to stop him. It's the only way to change all this."
She took his hand and kissed it reassuringly. Chris sighed and leant forward to rest his forehead against hers.
"Welcome to the Halliwell Memorial Museum," a tour guide smile with false cheeriness a couple of hours later. "A tribute to magic, and of course, the Charmed Ones."
Chris looked around the manor sadly. It had been so long since he had last been here, and it had lost its homely touch. Many of its rooms he could see from the hallway he now stood in with Bianca and a group of other tourists, had been roped off, and despite the furniture still being in place, everything seemed plastic and unlived in.
"Please remember that there is no digi-capturing, no holographing, and most certainly no magic allowed while inside the museum, that's a big one," the tour guide continued. "Don't worry about those probes folks. They're merely scanning for witches."
Chris' heart leapt into his mouth when he saw two probes appear from around the corner, yellow light pouring from their noses as they scanned the tourists. The tour guide began to lead the group into the next room, still talking.
"Now, as we pass through the foyer, note the family portraits hanging on the walls."
When the probes reached Bianca and himself, Chris waved his hand and the probes turned away, leaving the two of them alone and able to follow behind everyone else.
"Nicely done," Bianca congratulated his quietly.
"Around here," the tour guide said, stopping them next to the stairs. "You'll notice just a few of the many mythological creatures the legendary sisters transformed into in their demon fighting heyday."
Chris glanced at the various costumes which hung on mannequins, wondering where Wyatt had got them all from. Three super-hero like suits stood nearby, and what looked like a mermaid lay on the oak table at the other end of the room.
"Actually the Charmed Ones were responsible for well over a thousand demon vanquishes before they were finally vanquished themselves."
The tour guide waved everyone in front of her and picked up a remote control from one side.
"Now," she said. "The time is twenty five years ago. Imagine yourselves standing here on this floor when the Charmed Ones were reborn…" She pressed a button and a hologram appeared in the centre of the room. Chris noticed that his mother, father and aunts were all in it and a bright light was shining through the chandelier above them, bathing the room in the blue glow. He saw that his Aunt Paige was looking quite spooked.
'Okay, what was that?' she asked.
'I think that means you're supposed to be here," his father replied.
Suddenly a ghostly white, wild looking demon, crashed through the door, knocking all four of them backwards, which caused the crowed to gasp.
Laughing, the tour guide switched off the hologram. "Scares them every time," she commented. "Okay, let's head over to the kitchen where many of the sisters' classic potions were brewed. Some of which are available to purchase in the gift shop on the way out."
Chris rolled his eyes and they were lead into the kitchen, where most of it was roped off to keep any meddling people away. He shuddered inwardly and felt very cold as he remembered what had happened the last time he had been inside the kitchen. Looking at the spotlessly clean tops now, it was hard to imagine what had happened those seven years ago. But Chris didn't need to imagine it. It was as if the tour guide had begun to play another hologram, as for the first time in ages the Event replayed itself in his mind.
"Of course the attic was the preferred spot for potion making, principally because that's where they kept the famed Book of Shadows," the tour guide droned on. "Which is where we're headed next."
She began to lead everyone out of the room, but Chris and Bianca stayed behind, listening thankfully to her voice as it died away.
"A little background on the manor itself. It was actually…"
Chris breathed a sigh of relief when he could no longer hear her before freezing at the arrival of a demon shimmering in behind them.
"Hey you two, move along," he said gruffly.
"Wait for it," Bianca whispered as the guard demon advanced on them, and conjured her atheme.
"Are you deaf?" the demon continued. "I said…" but he was cut off as Bianca viciously shoved her atheme into his abdomen and vanquished him.
"Come on," she said, heading towards the basement door.
Chris followed, remembering that for the past year he had only seen the nice side of Bianca, and the fact remained that she was still an assassin.
They quickly ran down the wooden steps to the basement and Bianca looked around the dark room warily, her atheme still raised, anticipating any attack that could come their way, before deciding that it was safe and her atheme disappeared.
Chris sat down on a step.
"We should be safe here until the museum closes," Bianca said. "Then we'll go get the book." She turned around to look at Chris who was still deep in thought. "What's the matter?" she asked softly.
"Nothing," Chris replied. "It's just that sometimes I forget who you really are."
"Hey," Bianca said, taking his hand and pulling him to his feet. "You mean who I used to be Chris. Before I met you."
Chris gave her a small smile. "So what do we do now?" he asked.
"We say goodbye," Bianca said with a smile.
Much later in the evening Chris and Bianca were sitting side by side on the bottom wooden step in the basement. So far nobody had disturbed them and it was almost time for the museum to close.
"What are you thinking about?" Bianca asked him, resting her head on his shoulder.
"Stuff," Chris replied.
"What kind of stuff?" pestered Bianca.
"Like destiny," said Chris.
"That deep huh?" she asked with a smile.
"Well if what my mother told me was true about destiny always getting its own way. If someone was supposed to die at a specific time, then they will. If something was supposed to happen at a certain time, then it will, no matter what anyone does to try and stop it. I was wondering if maybe this was supposed to happen, and we can't stop it."
"Your Aunt Phoebe had the power of premonition, where she could see into the future sometimes, in order to change it. We have been given an opportunity like her in order to change something," Bianca said. "Everything happens for a reason Chris. You told me that yourself. Only destiny likes to play tricks on us. Maybe this is just the greatest trick of all."
"Maybe," Chris replied, and looked at his watch. "Do you think it's safe to go now?"
Bianca leaned over to look at it and nodded. "Let's go," she said, standing up.
They silently went back up the basement stairs, and Bianca peered cautiously around the door at the top before stepping into the kitchen. Slowly they moved up into the attic, but became more confident after each corner when they saw nobody and the silence beckoned them.
"Remind me," said Chris as they neared the attic door. "What do I tell them?"
Bianca slowly opened the door to the attic and peered inside. "Don't tell them anything," she said. "Just stick to your cover story. The less they know about the future the better."
"But what if they find out who I really am?"
"They won't," Bianca reassured him. "Not as long as you can pass yourself off as their Whitelighter."
"And you're sure I won't lose my powers when I go back?" Chris asked, shutting the door.
"Not with this spell," Bianca said. "That's why we need it. Look, just remember, protect baby Wyatt and you protect the Charmed Ones. Keep them alive for our future."
"Great," replied Chris with a short laugh. "No pressure there."
"Chris," Bianca said, stepping closer to him. "You know you're the only one who can do this. You're the only one who can save us."
"If I make it back," Chris said.
"Baby, you have to make it back," Bianca said, reaching up to touch his cheek. "If you want to marry me." She leant forward and kissed him.
"You really know how to motivate a guy, you know that?" Chris grinned.
Bianca laughed and pulled him over to a hologram of the Book of Shadows. Chris ran his fingers through the holographic pages.
"You sure you can summon the real book?" she asked.
"Yeah," Chris replied.
"Away from him?"
"Yeah," repeated Chris. "But we won't have much time once it gets here. His demons will be all over us."
"I won't need much time," Bianca said. "Just long enough to send you back to them."
She conjured a piece of chalk and walked to a wall clear of ropes and furniture and began drawing on it.
"Hurry," said Chris, looking down at the hologram again. "Before he finds us."
Slowly a picture of a triquetra took its chalky shape on the wall, and when Bianca had finished, she threw the stick of chalk to one side and brushed her hands off. "It's time," she said.
"I don't want to go," Chris said abruptly, stepping forward. "I don't want to leave you."
Bianca looked down at her left hand and pulled her engagement ring off. "Here," she said, placing the ring in his hand and closing his fingers around it. "This will remind you of why we're doing this. What's waiting for you here."
Chris smiled and hugged her tightly.
"Just make sure you take care of the guards, okay?" he said at length. "Then get out of here. Because if he finds you, if he knows you betrayed him, he'll kill you."
"Don't worry," Bianca said. "I can take care of myself."
Together they walked back over to the hologram of the Book of Shadows and Chris pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket.
"I call upon the ancient power, to help us in this darkest hour. Let the book return to this place, claim refuge in its rightful space."
Instantly the Book of Shadows seemed to drop out of the air and landed on the stand.
"It worked," Chris said.
"The spell," Bianca hurried him. "Find the spell."
Quickly Chris flipped through the book and found the page her was looking for.
"Here these words, hear the rhyme, heed the hope within my mind," he repeated. "Send me back to where I'll find, what I wish in place and time."
There was a crackle of what sounded like electricity and the inside of the triquetra was filled with an electric blue light. Chris ran towards it, stopping just before the portal to look back at Bianca one last time, when a demon shimmered in behind her and grabbed her.
"Bianca!" Chris yelled.
Bianca thrust her elbow into the demon's stomach and threw him over her shoulder onto the floor in one swift movement.
"Go, GO!" She screamed at him before the demon kicked her to the floor.
Chris knew that she would probably be okay, but he couldn't help but worry about her anyway. He turned away one last time, his back to the world he knew, and with a deep breath, stepped into the portal, and the past, and the adventure that awaited him.
Thank you very much for reading.