Disclaimer: Nothing is owned by me. Absolutely nothing.
Author's Note: I know Trick has not been updated in almost 6 months and I'm really sorry; I have massive writers block concerning it, and school is kicking my ass this semester. Like, massively kicking my ass. I started this really long one-shot back after Father's Day in June, and am just now finishing up, so thanks for bearing with me. Hope you all like this…I incorporated baseball in this cause I'm in love with it, and I'm a little crazy about it right now, cause I live in St. Louis and am absolutely DIE HARD CARDS fan, and it looks like they might actually win the whole thing…so. Everyone keep their finger's crossed for my Cards:)
This is somewhere between Sleepy Halliwell, and Spin City. Basically, Phoebe knows who Chris is, and Piper is pregnant, but Piper doesn't know. Again, another Chris-Revelation, cause I'm obsessed with Season 6. That is all. Enjoy all!
"Dad! Look! Open mine first!!!"
"Chris, hey sport! How's my big boy?"
He was six at the time, and Leo had picked him up much like he had picked baby Wyatt up earlier, over his head and spun him fast, sending the boy into a fit of laughter.
"Leo," Piper's voice came warningly. Leo lowered him to the ground quickly and turned to him.
"...and that, Chris, is the helicopter. Just because you asked nicely, but only this once. It's not very safe, after all." He said, grinning with a wink. Chris grinned back with a smile that lit up the room.
Leo hadn't always been horrible. Actually, his animosity for the man had really come from the years after his mother's murder, when Wyatt's reign began to increase and his father still clung to the hope his first born, golden child wasn't truly the horrible man he had become.
Although, Chris had to admit, after his 8th birthday, which was the 2nd one Leo had missed, the absence in both his children's lives resonated. He only came around if they were in danger, if they were in need of healing. No baseball games, no holidays. Nothing. For any of them. He was too busy.
"Okay, Dad. But it's present time! Open mine first!!" The little boy could hardly contain himself; he had bought a present for his father with his mother, but this present was special. He had made it, at school, and he was so excited. He hoped his dad liked it.
"We have to wait for Wyatt, first, bud."
"No, this is special! Come with me." Chris grabbed his dad's hand and began to drag the older man in the direction of the stairs, making Leo laugh.
"Okay, okay, I'm coming." He climbed after his young son. "Why isn't it down with the others?"
"Cause it's special dad!" He said in an exasperated tone, and Leo laughed as Chris rolled his eyes.
"Oh right, you just told me."
"Not even mom knows about it. Wyatt either." He got to his room and flopped on his belly, crawling under his bed and digging a little as Leo watched with an amused smile on his face. Chris emerged moments later, dust bunnies in his hair and a poorly wrapped gift in his hand. He thrust it toward his dad, who smiled.
"Wow! Thanks bud."
Chris looked on with eager eyes as he Dad looked at him with a smile and began to pull at the thousands of pieces of tape keeping the paper together. When he finally opened it, his heart constricted in his chest.
It was a ceramic picture frame; poorly made, of course. One of those they make at school, probably from one of the extracurricular groups Piper made him go to. It wasn't the frame though that really got to him. The picture it contained was one with the two of them, taken a few weeks before at a ball game they had went to with another father and son from his school. They didn't have many days out together, just the two of them; it was actually one of the only one's Leo had in recent memory. The frame was made just for him though, and just for the picture. In spite of himself, his eyes misted.
"Do you like it, Dad? I worked really hard on it, and the teacher said it was really good. Do you like it?"
"Chris, this is the best present I've ever gotten." Leo whispered. He wrapped his son in a tight hug. "I'm sorry, bud."
Chris knew what, of course, now that he was older. And it did matter to him, the apology did. That was the last father's day they had spent together, the last one that had been good at least. The next time they spent a father's day together...the thought made him shake his head.
Buildings were falling. The air reeked of death; of torture, of famine. And yet, his father couldn't give in.
"Leo, I swear..."
"Since when did you stop calling me Dad?" Leo asked, a flicker of hurt flashing across his face that Chris felt a little sorry for.
"Since you stopped being one," He answered truthfully. That hurt. Leo sank into his chair.
"I can't give up on him, Chris, I can't. I won't."
"Leo, Dad, whatever you want me to call you, I'll do it! Just help me! Aren't I your son too?" Chris was begging now.
"Christopher," His tone was begging as he looked up at him, and Chris felt abnormal as he saw weakness in his father's eyes. Defeat. It upset him in ways he couldn't explain. It was as if his father was giving up, giving into Lord Wyatt, and Chris was pissed off.
Why should he be the strong one? The one to stand against his tyrant of a brother, when his father should be standing right there with him? They were the only ones left!!
"God damn you, Leo Wyatt. God damn you!"
He swirled to storm out of his father's room, in the small, cramped apartment they were forced to live in now that Wyatt had taken over the Manor and turned it into a museum. He passed by a table near his father's doorway where a lamp sat, a couple of books...and a picture. It stopped Chris in his tracks.
"Oh. Wow." He picked up the frame softly; he remembered giving this to his father. He was so hopeful that his big, strong, protective dad would love it, and now...so much had changed.
"It's still the best gift I've ever gotten." Leo said softly. "Except for you two boys."
Chris eyes snapped up to meet his dad, and he realized what the day was. He hung his head in shame.
"I'm sorry, pop. Happy Father's Day." With that, he turned and left the room, placing the frame back in its space. He just couldn't stay there; he couldn't stay with his father when they saw differently on such an important thing. He couldn't.
Little boys love their daddies, right? Chris had, once. He had idolized his father, and there were good times. It wasn't even until after he was about 8 that his father's visits became more infrequent than the full moon. But before that...memories of those times made him smile.
His logical, grown up mind told himself Leo really had one of the most important jobs ever; when Chris was 8, something had happened to most of the Elders and Leo had become one of the few left. Which meant his workload was unimaginable. It's amazing they ever saw him. But the little boy inside of him was angry, and that influenced his actions, and words, as well. He awoke on a June Sunday morning with a groan; he hated Father's Day after his 8th year.
The memories of father's days past, when presents were wrapped and meetings were brief and unfulfilling, flooded back into his mind. His mother had always made a big deal out of it, and Leo had done the same for his mother. He had heard the sisters talking lately of a plan to surprise Leo today, his first father's day ever, and they had even asked for ideas from Chris; Phoebe, especially, being as she knew the truth of his identity. He had brushed it off, saying he had a meeting with a specific demon. He didn't; he was lying out of his ass.
With a sigh, he pulled himself to a sitting position. God, why did he want to stop in? Why did he not want to be alone? He should be fine with it, but something pulled him there. He decided it wouldn't hurt to orb in, check everything out, and see how the day was going. He closed his eyes and sighed; this was a bad idea.
He landed in the Manor entryway and stood, shoulder's tense. For good reason it seemed; Phoebe came from the side of the hallway, walking quickly into him.
"Oh Christ, what the---" She looked up and blinked in confusion. "Chris? What are you doing here? I thought you had demon stuff..."
"Yeah, well. It fell through." He muttered, shrugging his jacket on more. She grinned.
"Uh huh. Sure Chris." Phoebe smiled and eyed him before walking away into the kitchen. Chris followed, flinging his arms out in defense.
"It did! Hey, it did!!"
"Chris, what are you doing here?" Piper asked, her head cocked a little to the side. The look in her eyes took any hope from him that this could be a good day. She had a smile on her face, but the look was a merely tolerant one. He knew what it meant though.
If you screw this up, I'll blow you up.
"Hey...plans. Fell through." He stood with a shrug. "Anything I can help with before he gets here?"
"Um, actually, if you don't mind..." Phoebe grinned mischievously. It wasn't hard to tell that Chris and Leo didn't get along. So, in order to make them act somewhat civil, even possibly bond with each other on this day, was to send them to a Giants game.
"I don't. What do you need me to do?"
Piper exchanged a look with her sister, who had suggested the idea. They would kill each other, she was sure of it. She didn't even realize why Phoebe would be so insistent that Chris go out with the boys, but she was so Piper went with it. She whipped out two baseball tickets to Chris. He looked at them at first in confusion, then his eyes widened quickly when he realized what they were for.
"No way!" He shook his head. "No. You gotta be kidding me! A ball game? No!"
Piper just laid the tickets down on a table and gave Phoebe an "I told you so" look and walked away, leaving the two alone. Phoebe sighed.
"Chris..." She picked the tickets up and began waving them like a fan at him.
"Anything but a ball game, Phoebe." He started to step backwards a little, but she walked to him.
"What? I thought guys liked baseball?"
She thrust the tickets to his chest and let go, forcing him to grab them. "So the problem is..."
"The fact that I'll be there with Leo. Not happening!" He thrust the tickets back at her and began to walk away.
"Fine. Guess I'm gonna have to tell Piper that you don't want to go because of "Daddy" issues..." She turned and began to walk away when he orbed in front of her, giving her a dirty look.
"Gimme the damn tickets."
"So how did you get roped into to coming here with us today?" Leo squinted at the son as he held Wyatt in his lap, holding his hands as the infant squealed with delight, waving them around. Chris had to chuckle wryly.
"Lost a bet."
"Ha, ha, Chris." Leo said with a sarcastic grin. "Really though. I don't think it's a secret that we're not terribly fond of one another." Chris sighed in response.
"The girls," He was interrupted as a ball left the bat with a crack, and flew through the air towards the outfield stands. The crowd erupted with screams, and many stood as the ball sailed over the left field wall. Leo stood, hoisting Wyatt up in the air and waving him around playfully cheering along with the crowd and causing Wyatt to giggle incessantly. Chris merely stood, clapping slowly, sighing indignantly. They sat soon after, relaxing again as the game progressed.
"Anyway?" Leo asked, indicating for Chris to continue.
"Anyway. The girls wanted to get everything ready...your father's day dinner and everything...in peace, and they wanted everything to be perfect for you." He droned on, sounding bored and almost scoffing as he said it which made Leo's esteem for Chris at the moment drop. "And they didn't want you at the game alone with someone who can't even speak more than a few words yet. So here I am."
"Well jeez; don't let me put you out." Leo replied sarcastically. "What, don't you like baseball, Chris?"
"I love baseball," Chris replied, deadpanned. "America's Favorite Pastime. Woot. Played it when I was younger." Although he was trying his best to sound uncaring, and bored, Leo could tell he was at least enjoying the game. He tried again.
"So why not just sit back and relax, enjoy the game? Maybe throw a few beers back? What's the problem?"
Chris sighed and shook his head, kicking his legs up on the back of the chair in front of him. "You'd never understand. It doesn't matter anyway."
"Whatever, Chris." Leo muttered, shaking his head in disbelief. He settled back in the chair, watching the ballgame while bouncing Wyatt around playfully for the next few minutes, not acknowledging Chris in the least. He handed off the infant a few moments later to the young man saying he had to go to the bathroom and said he was going grab a beer. Chris hesitated, and then looked up at him.
"Can...Can you get me one too? I mean, I'll get you back for it, it's just...hot." He finished weakly. Leo stared at him, and then nodded.
"Sure. Be right back."
Chris settled back with Wyatt, balancing the standing infant on his thighs. He couldn't help smiling at him with a sigh. "You are adorable." Wyatt giggled back at him, waving his arms around and Chris readied himself to stop the scene in case Wyatt accidentally did something. But he hadn't, and Chris sighed with relief. "You need a playmate." He chuckled ironically. In less than 9 months, he'd have one.
"You know," He began, sitting the baby down now on his lap. "You're not always gonna be alone. You're little brother...he's gonna adore you. You're gonna have to share dad with him." Chris sighed, shaking his head wistfully. "But you were always pretty good with that, whenever he decided to pop in..."
"Am I interrupting something?" Leo asked, suddenly at the aisle seat, and Chris froze. What had he heard?
"Nah...Just, having a conversation with Wyatt." He bit his lip to contain a groan from how ridiculous it sounded-having a conversation with a toddler. He rolled his eyes, but Leo was grinning.
"Oh yeah? Anything interesting?" Leo asked, walking through the aisle and plopping himself down next to Chris. He wasn't any different than when he had left, and didn't seem to have heard anything. Chris relaxed.
"Nah. Just...ya know. Hot chicks, fast cars." It was a sarcastic response, but said with a smile on his face, and Leo knew for once, Chris wasn't being a smart ass. Leo had to chuckle.
"Don't let his mother hear that; the idea of her baby boy with girls and cars...she'll blow you up!" He laughed, but was a little surprised when Chris didn't even crack a smile. In fact, he looked slightly wounded. "Hey...I was kidding."
Chris jerked his head up, as if being pulled from a stupor and tried to cover it up with a laugh. "I know...I was just really into the game..."
Leo eyed him but decided to let it go. He could tell what he had said had really bothered him, but pushing it right now was probably not the best decision. He sat back with a sigh, watching as Chris bounced Wyatt up and down lightly. He thrust the beer at him.
"Here...trade ya." Leo set the beer on the concrete and grabbed the infant from Chris, hoisting him onto his knees. He sighed contentedly. "I can't wait til he's old enough to enjoy this. Know what's going on, ya know?"
"Wyatt doesn't really like baseball. You never really took him to ball games." Chris said, not even realizing what he'd said. Leo stared at him, shocked, and Chris looked over a few moments of silence later and realized what he'd let slip. "I mean...um. Yeah."
"How the hell do you know?" Leo asked angrily, his eyes narrowed. Chris swallowed hard, wanting to avoid a huge confrontation. "I mean, my dad always took me to ball games when I was a kid, and I loved it; I always thought how great it would be to bring him up with that, and you're telling me I never took him??"
"Not for lack of trying," Chris offered. "And, I'm just saying that you never took him. You just always took..." Chris clamped his mouth shut. "Never mind. Let's just watch the ball game."
"No, wait now. You can't do that Chris; you can't start to tell me stuff, especially like that, and then just stop."
"Yes, I can. Now watch the damn game." Chris was deadpanned, emotionless, and dead serious. Even Wyatt stopped giggling and waving his arms, looking dejected on his father's lap. Leo wanted to push, wanted to open his mouth...partly wanted to orb Chris, Wyatt and himself out of the stadium and make him talk, but he knew he couldn't.
Baseball is a slow game; most people don't like it because of that fact. But not having anyone to talk to, people just sitting moping, makes the game drag more. By the time the 9th inning rolled around, Chris was shooting Leo looks, partly feeling guilty because he was obviously having a crappy time. And it was Father's Day.
He sighed, and closed his eyes, remembering the last time he and his father had spoken; the last time he had walked out of his father's apartment; the last time he had hurt his father so deeply, on this day, before he left, and what Leo had said to him.
"It's still the best gift I've ever gotten. Except for you two boys."
Chris placed his two index fingers together, pushed them to his lips. He couldn't believe what he was about to do, but he owed it to him. In the future; he had to give him that.
"You know," He began. "My dad...was a lot like you."
Leo perked at this; Chris was talking about himself? Leo stayed quiet, but turned his head, his face placid. He didn't want to seem too eager. Chris didn't really notice, and continued.
"I mean, he was the white lighter; not my mom. About your age. And he loved baseball." Chris chuckled at this. "I mean, one of my first memories is sitting on his shoulders, at a ball game, cheering...and it was always our thing. It's what we would do on Father's Day."
"That's why you're not all gung-ho about being here," Leo said softly. "It's hard, without him, isn't it?" He asked knowingly. It was the same for him. Chris just nodded, continuing.
"He was really busy though...we barely saw him sometimes. But baseball..." He shook his head with a smile at the memory. "I would beg him, at night when he came and put me to bed, to tell me his favorite story, and he would. It was always the same, but I never got bored with it." He paused, considering, then continued.
"His dad and him we're big on going to ball games, and he actually was at the ball game where the Babe called his shot. Which is crazy, ya know? And he would tell me, in really vivid detail, how amazing it was, how his dad worked so many extra hours' shifts to get the worst seats in the park, but it didn't matter because they were there, at one of the most famous games in baseball history. I would always keep asking him questions, because he would go on and on, and it wasn't even how great the game was that kept me hanging on; I just liked spending time with him."
"Chris..." Leo began weakly, but the younger man still wouldn't look at him.
He concentrated on the field in front of him, as if any moment it would disappear. "And it's really sad, because a few weeks after that game, there was a fire and my grandfather, he died. Dad never really enjoyed going to other games after that, until we came around. At least that's what he always told me."
In Europe, during the war, Leo had gotten in a horrible hand to hand fight with a German soldier, and had taken the butt of a gun in the gut. It had knocked the wind out of him for a good 5 minutes; he had almost been killed in the fight.
This revelation had nothing on that feeling. It was as if the world was falling away from around him, and the only thing he could see, his only focal point, was Chris. Shamefully, he would think later, he barely noticed Wyatt.
"Chris. I...my father's name was..." Leo muttered dazedly, his thoughts unconnected and incoherent. Chris finally turned to him, his gaze solid.
"Seriously. Let's just watch the game, Leo." Chris stared at him, swallowing hard. "Just...enjoy the game." He skipped a beat and shifted his gaze back to the field as he let the silence sit, then sighed. "Happy Father's Day."
They orbed back into the manor, Leo clutching the infant tightly in one arm, and one hand on Chris as well. It irritated Chris, but he didn't bring it up; he hated that he had felt guilty; there was no reason for him to really feel bad. For yelling at him. For leaving him. Leo is the one that left him, that abandoned him, that betrayed him.
That loved you and your brother so unconditionally, though, that he couldn't take it, a small voice whispered in his head. He shook it away. That was no excuse.
"Chris, I think we need to talk," He said softly, shifting the baby to his other hip, looking warily at the young man in front of him. He began to open his mouth as Piper and Phoebe rushed in though, and Chris thanked the higher powers that it happened that way.
"No, we don't." He whispered back.
"Hey! How was the game?" Phoebe asked jovially. Chris stared at her mournfully, and she slumped back. She looked from him, to Leo who was staring at the ground quietly, then back at Chris, her gaze suspicious, then knowing. "Oh. That bad, hm?"
"No," Chris muttered. "They won."
Piper also examined the scene, curiously. There was an awkward feeling in the air, something wrong as she watched both men shift nervously from one foot to the other. Chris sighed.
"I gotta go." He muttered, before orbing immediately, leaving Leo alone in the room with one very confused and another very sympathetic, pair of witches.
"I'm...gonna go get some more stuff straight. Dinner's almost ready." Piper said, eyeing her ex-husband, before turning. She shot a look at Phoebe, expecting her to join her, but she slightly waved her away.
"I'm...gonna help Leo get Wyatt settled in." She said, only looking at Piper for a second.
The elder sister felt skepticism snake in her belly, but ignored the hunch for the moment and nodded slowly. "Okay. We'll be talking later though, hm?"
"Yeah, uh huh." Phoebe acknowledged anxiously, trying to move Leo and the baby upstairs ahead of her fast. Piper rolled her eyes as they went up the stairs and she moved into the kitchen. Her sister was never good at hiding anything.
"He told you." Phoebe began upstairs, standing next to Leo as he changed his son. He continued wordlessly until he had finished the task, and then cleaned his hands before picking Wyatt from the table.
"More importantly, he obviously told you. Before any of us." He replied, placing the sleepy child in the crib. He stood there for a moment, his hands on the wooden railings before turning to Phoebe, his face distressed. "How did we not know?"
"Leo, the only reason I knew was because when I had my vision quest, I saw him...except, little him. And I guessed it and confronted him. I pretty much beat it out of him. I'm sure if any of you had ever asked him he would've broken down and told you." She spewed out defensively.
Leo shook his head in response. "That's not what I meant. How did we not see it, Phoebe? How did we not notice?"
Phoebe really had no answer; it was really laughable how blind they were. He looked like Piper; he acted like Leo. He knew things, things no one but a Halliwell could know. Could observe; he knew them, and they took it for granted, as if everyone in the future would know that much about them.
"It's been over a month! Were you ever going to say anything?" Leo's accusation tore her from her thoughts. She crossed her arms.
"I swore I wouldn't say anything," She said. "But I've been encouraging him to say something."
"You bribed him, so that he would go to the game."
"Bribe is such a horrible word. But yeah. Kinda." She uncrossed her arms, slowly walking over to him and placing a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "It's gonna be okay."
"I'm going to be a father again!" He burst out, and she could feel his excitement and apprehension, but didn't say a word. "Piper and I will get back together, it'll be okay."
"Leo..." Phoebe hesitated. "Piper is already pregnant. The astral plane, remember?"
He spun, his face surprised but saddened. "We don't get remarried?"
"I don't know. Maybe in the future; but for right now, all I know is that that day was that he was ceasing to exist, until you guys got trapped up there. Then suddenly, bam! Solid as can be." Leo made a face, but Phoebe continued. "Either way, it doesn't matter right now. Maybe you do get remarried, maybe you don't. But right now? There's a pretty cool kid out there somewhere, and he doesn't know what to do with himself. And I think he just needs someone, even though he doesn't want to admit it."
"Phoebe. I know this is gonna sound ridiculous, but I'm...scared. Of him."
"Don't you think he's scared too?" She began, facing Leo with her hands on her hips. "And that's why you have to find him, and talk to him. You're his dad, Leo. And I get the feeling there are some pretty strong...maybe hostile feelings, in the future. Be there for him now; prove to him the thing that he doubts to be true."
Leo stared at her from his leaned position at the crib, licking his lips. "This isn't 'Ask Phoebe'" He muttered, but the sharp look she returned made his posture straighten. "I know, I know. You're right. I'll be back."
And with that, he orbed out to the one place he knew Chris may be.
Chris was always able to tell when someone-or something-was about to be in his presence. It was a sense he had hidden from his family in the time period, among a few other abilities he had inherited from his rich heritage; his brother was not the only twice-blessed.
He didn't acknowledge his father's presence, but closed his eyes and sighed, waiting. As Leo drew closer, he reopened them, shifting from his cross-legged position. "What?"
"Chris. I think we need to talk."
Chris spun slowly around, coming face to face with Leo. ""I think not, really."
"Well, I'm not leaving you alone until we talk." He replied simply. "Because, I think I deserve a little explanation."
"You deserve an explanation? You deserve? You deserve nothing, Leo. You and your family have treated me like dirt since I've come back." Chris spat, hurt flashing in his eyes. "And now you find out my biiiiig secret," He waved his arms around sarcastically, "and you wanna talk and bond? If anything, I deserve to be left the hell alone." He turned away abruptly, his back again to Leo, who sighed.
He opened his mouth to object, to defend himself, but Chris was right. But as he turned dejectedly to walk away, there was something inside of him that rose up, and it wasn't guilt from Phoebe or his own mind talking. It was something from another time, maybe in the future, something in his gut that whispered to him. Be there now.
The thought resounded in his head finally in his own voice. I have another son. He was Chris's father; Chris was his son. If Wyatt was ever having trouble, he wouldn't give up for the world, and he wouldn't for Chris either.
He turned, his shoulders squared and his features sharpened. "No."
"What?" Chris glanced over his shoulder and was shocked to see a look he hadn't seen in years. Since before Wyatt had come to power; he was getting the "Dad" stare. The "don't you mess around-clean your room-get up for school" look.
"No. You don't get to do that. Because you're mad, and you know, I get it, I see that, I'm okay with it. But you don't get to banish me from this after you've dropped this bomb. I'm not leaving you, whether it take 5 hours or 5 days. I will be on your ass until we have this out, but I will not leave you alone with this."
Chris stared at him, and the determination in eyes that physically resembled his own so much, and he felt his resolve breaking down. But hewouldn't yield; he couldn't. "Fine. Whatever floats your boat."
And so they sat; at first it was minutes, then that turned into half an hour, then an hour. As the minutes crawled on past that point, Chris realized Leo was serious. He wasn't pushing, he wasn't nagging-he had orbed once, 20 minutes earlier, and Chris had expected him to stay gone, but he didn't; he had returned only moments later, an unreadable smirk on his face. Now, he looked at his father, after tediously considering what he was about to do.
"What...was so funny?" He asked tentatively. Leo looked at him, hiding his surprise as he scanned over him, and then looked out over the bay.
"Piper called me back for dinner; I told her I had something I had to take care of, and I didn't know when I'd be back. She was," He chuckled a little. "She was pretty mad, but she'll get over it."
"Are you serious? You know she doesn't just doesn't "get over it". She'll hold it on you for awhile."
"Yeah...she can hold a pretty mean grudge." Leo stared at the young man, looking over him, trying not to say anything to show how eager he was to hold the conversation. "I can't imagine that you've every done anything that's really made her mad though." Chris stared back incredulously, as if Leo had forgotten the previous months, and a smile cracked onto Leo's features. "I meant in the future." Chris kept his gaze for a moment, and then glanced out over the bay.
"Cranberry juice. I was 7." He said, a small smile on his face. Leo smiled back; it wasn't a smart ass comment; it was Chris' way of giving a little.
"Wow...well, you cleaned it up, right?"
"Well, yeah; Grams had charmed the rug I spilled it on, so that it couldn't be stained; it was just the fact that I took it in the living room and lied about it. Yeah, she was pretty mad." He finished with a chuckle, rubbing his head as he shook it back and forth, remembering the debacle.
Leo kept quiet for a moment, the small smile still on his face. "That wasn't so hard, right?"
"You can't just expect me to spill everything, Leo. This isn't easy for me."
"I know," Leo began, but Chris cut him off, an unexpected rant flowing from his lips.
"I mean, I've been here almost a year, and it's been really hard, you know? And there's all this stuff I can tell you and I can't, and there are these things that were true that aren't anymore and it's so hard because I've had no one, which I should be used to but now you want to help and I don't know how to handle it."
Leo let him vent, simply staring at the young man, and found himself biting his lip slightly to keep from laughing. Chris, however, took note of the action and scowled.
"Please. Tell me what is so god damned funny about this situation, because I could use a good laugh right about now."
Leo stared at him, a sad smile on his face. "I'm sorry, Chris. That I didn't see it. You look so much like your mother. You are so much like your mother...and I'm sorry."
Chris stared at his shoes, picking at the soles as he felt his cheeks flush. He stayed silent, and Leo did the same, waiting for Chris to give him something to work with.
"Why are you doing this?" Chris asked softly.
"What do you mean?"
"Why are you trying to find all this out? Why are you sitting up here when you know full and well that Piper's gonna roast you later? Why don't you just leave me alone? I'm a grown, 22 year old man, and believe me, I've been taking care of myself a long time."
Silence permeated the air as Leo sat next to him. "That's the problem; anyone can look at you, and your brooding and see something is wrong. Chris..." Leo took a deep breath, summoning the courage to say what he really wanted to. "You're my son; I'm your father and I'm going to do what you need done to feel better. No matter how I am in the future, that doesn't matter right now."
Chris kept his gaze on the bay, unwavering, and Leo was dying to now what he was thinking. After a few silent moments, he started to nod a little, sighing. "So. What is she cooking you?"
"Dinner. Piper. What is she cooking for you?"
Leo stared at the young man incredulously, not believing that after such a serious moment he would just change the subject. But he let it go, reluctantly, and looked down at the cars below, clearing his throat. "Roast chicken. Potatoes. Good stuff."
"Your favorite," Chris chimed. He went quiet again, looking away.
"Yeah." Leo smiled. "My favorite."
"Sounds good." Chris sighed, fidgeting with the threads of his shirt nervously. "You should go, probably. It'll get cold, and then it won't be as good anymore." He smiled at the memory. "And she makes a great roast chicken."
Leo understood then; Chris had accepted whatever Leo had extended toward him, or at least was considering it. He wasn't sure what Chris was trying to play off, but he wasn't going to make him struggle through it.
"You should come, Chris. Eat with us."
Chris shook his head, swinging his leg with vigor off the side of the rails. "Nah...They won't want me there."
"I want you there." Leo stressed. "It's my day; I'm already in the dog house, so even if it was to bother her-which it won't, Chris,-" He looked at him pointedly. "It's my dinner. I get to choose who comes, and I want you to eat with us."
Chris smiled softly back at him. "As long as I'm not gonna be in the way..." He began, but was cut off by a dubious look from Leo. "Okay. Then we should probably go then, right? I mean...she's probably already pretty mad at you."
"You're right, she probably is. So let's get going."
They orbed into the dining room of the manor, the smell of chicken and spices instantly pervading their nostrils and Chris could hear his own stomach rumble loudly, his mouth beginning to water. He realized it had been a very long time since he'd had a home cooked meal.
"Well, look who's decided to grace us with their presence." Piper's voce came sardonically from the entry way of the dining room. "Hello, Chris."
Leo offered his ex-wife a weak smile. "Hey Piper...smells good."
"Not as good as it did half an hour ago." She quipped but seemed to let it go as she walked into the kitchen.
Leo watched Chris during this exchange, watched his eyes briefly light up as she mentioned his name, in a not so displeased manor. Watched Chris's gaze follow her from the room, and he could see a hint of longing on his face.
"Hey Chris," He began a little loudly, so that Piper would hear. "How about you go help the girls with the food?"
Chris looked at him, wide eyed, with a slight shake of his head. "Leo!"
"That would be a great idea, Chris," Phoebe interrupted, suddenly appearing through the doorway, a plate in each hand. He narrowed his eyes, walking to the door with a sigh after a few still moments.
"This is all your fault," He whispered furiously. She merely grinned at him as he passed into the kitchen.
"Oh, don't act like you aren't enjoying this." She remarked at the man, before turning back to the table and setting it down. "How'd it go?"
Leo sighed. "As well as could be expected."
"Well, that's good." She looked back towards the kitchen. "I mean, he's here, right?"
Leo just offered a complacent smile and nodded as Chris followed Paige and Piper back into the dining room. The three set the steaming pots on the table and went to their seats, Chris making sure he grabbed the one next to Leo's quickly. He offered a nervous smile for his father who just shook his head with a chuckle before looking up at Piper as she cleared her throat.
"Okay, well, Dad. Are you ready to eat now?" She asked, her head cocked sarcastically to the side.
Leo sighed. "Yes, Piper. Everything looks wonderful."
"Well, it should." She quipped back. Leo pursed his lips, looking with raised eyebrows at the rest of the table, who stifled grins. Piper was angry, but there was a silent amusement at the fact that Leo didn't seem to mind. "So. What kept you?"
Leo and Chris exchanged sliding looks, and then glanced at Phoebe. Piper's glare, however, was heavy and Leo cleared his throat. "I had some things on my mind, and Chris was just listening to me. He's really been great, all day, going to the game and all." He smiled at the man on his left, patting him on the shoulder. Piper's glare however, turned almost suspicious.
"What couldn't you talk to us about?"
"Honestly, Piper, I don't think it's any of our business," Phoebe interjected, helping the men, who shot her thankful glances.
Piper opened her mouth, but for some reason decided against it, and closed it. "Well, Chris. Thank you, then, for everything you've done for us today. You've actually been amazing these past few weeks. We appreciate it."
Her smile that graced her face was genuine and Phoebe could feel Chris' joy bubble inside of him. She mentally shook her head; Piper was going to hate herself for how she had treated him when she found out the truth.
"Anytime, Piper." Chris replied, his head down and his fork picking at his chicken.
Dinner, from there, went relatively smoothly. They talked about random things, unrelated to demons or anything supernatural, and merely enjoyed each other's company. At the end of it, Chris helped clear the table, helping Piper with the dishes.
Leo watched their interaction much closer than he would've before today and noticed how Chris seemed to hold something back; noticed how he was cautious and handled the entire situation with extreme care, afraid to reveal too much. But the way he floated behind her, the look on his face as he watched her made Leo feel bad for him.
But at the end of it all, Piper acted different; she turned to Chris and smiled at him, kindly giving him a hug; she picked at his half-buttoned shirt, pulling it straight and patting him on the shoulder as she thanked him for obviously "making Leo's day". She walked away, to go upstairs and get ready for bed, and her sisters followed to their respective rooms, leaving Chris and Leo alone on the ground floor.
"Leo?" Chris called to him. He shifted uncomfortably from one foot to another, preparing to orb to his apartment at P3.
"Um...thank you." He fiddled with his hands, not looking at the man in front of him. "For letting me come. And...For being there. And everything." He dared to look up into his father's face and Leo was shocked to find a thin clear sheen glossing over his eyes as he fought tears. "For not giving up on me; it really...it meant a lot."
"You don't have to thank me, and you never will, Chris." Leo stepped much closer to him, within a forearm's distance, and looked into the other man's face. He placed a reassuring hand on Chris' shoulder, giving it a supportive squeeze and heard Chris release a strangled sigh. "Hey. I mean it." He pulled him into a quick, tight hug, and felt Chris return in the same manner.
They pulled away, and Leo saw a sheepish grin take the place of a stressed, curious look on his son's face, and Leo chuckled at him, causing Chris to follow suit.
"I...gotta go. I'm pretty tired; it's been that kind of day." Chris said finally, his smile twisted.
"Yeah, I better," Leo made a motion with his head upstairs, in the direction of Piper's room.
"Yeah, yeah..." Chris said with a short laugh, and Leo noticed he looked torn again. It frustrated him, because he couldn't understand what could possibly have Chris tied up this much, and if it was really that bad in the future, how did he let it happen?
The worries and thoughts escaped him quickly, though, as Chris continued with his goodbye. "Hey Dad?"
He was stunned, frozen, and noticed Chris' apprehension at saying it. He smiled a smile that could've lit up the entire city during a blackout. "Yeah Chris?"
Chris smiled back as he seemed to get the reaction he wanted. "Happy Father's Day."
Hope you all enjoyed it! And remember, lots of R & R is always appreciated:)