I'm going to give my best shot at this and I must warn you that English is not my mother tongue so mistakes will be made.
Disclaimer: I don't own Charmed. At least that's what the therapist says…
Summary: Season six. Chris has a tough time dealing with his family's distrust, with his memories and with the constant threat against his brother. But what happens when a stranger from the future comes along? And what are his real intentions? Set after 'Chris-Crossed' and 'Prince Charmed'.
1) Thank you to all my 60 reviewers who poked me into updating! You guys ROCK!
2) So it's been like… Two years since my last update. If anything's amiss, feel free to murder me in my sleep, though for all it's worth, I am sorry.
3) I dedicate this chapter to TeenageNothing, who liked my fic enough to plagiarize it play-by-play. Here's to hoping that sort of thing will never happen again. Cheers!
There was a pregnant pause between them as Piper processed the information received. "You love your brother", she the finally spoke, her eyes watching Wyatt's expression harden.
"If I'd loved him enough, then I sure as hell wouldn't have tried to kill him before…" he coolly replied, the matter clearly setting him on edge.
"That wasn't you", the woman immediately replied. "If it were, the Chris wouldn't be here, in the past, risking his neck in order to give you a second chance. He loves you enough to do it and I trust him enough to believe that what he fights for is worth it".
With those words spoken, Piper sat up and left the room, leaving Wyatt alone with his thoughts, just as little Wyatt orbed on the loveseat from across the table, giggling happily, obviously amused by the sound of his father's voice that exasperatedly called for him from the second floor.
Chapter 12: Caring
It became annoyingly clear to Wyatt that he couldn't sleep. So annoying, in fact, that he'd somehow managed to blow up a vase without really thinking it. Which, in turn, lead to him getting thrown out of the house by a very irritated Piper.
Which was also why he was now trying to track down his missing brother through San Francisco while cursing his mom's inability to be afraid of him.
"I'm the bloody Twice Blessed Lord in the future," he ranted to himself, ignoring the way people looked at him oddly as he passed by. "She should be at least a little wary of me."
"I think you're forgetting this is Piper you're talking about," Chris said conversationally, falling in step next to him.
Wyatt spared a moment to wonder where he'd popped up from. Then he thought about the absurdity of not having sensed him in the first place.
He sneered. "You're getting better at the whole stealth thing. Last I remember, you were pants at it."
Chris threw his head back and laughed. It wasn't a happy sound — it was bitter and filled with self-derision. It made Wyatt feel irrationally uncomfortable. "I've been hiding from you for almost six years now, Wyatt. Give me some credit."
"If this were another time, I'd give you almost six years in the dungeons," Wyatt growled menacingly.
Chris's laughter abruptly died off, cool green eyes studying him. "You probably would," he conceded, and then added, almost as an afterthought, "But I'd probably break out somehow."
Wyatt said nothing. The urge to throttle Chris was too great and required all the self control he could muster.
They walked in strained silence for a while, until Wyatt made a sharp turn towards the nearest diner. It was a sorry-looking building, with red bricks and dirty-looking blinds but he knew he would find good food there.
"Piper actually threw you out before eating anything?" Chris snorted, sounding amused. The urge to throttle him increased. "What did you do to piss her off so badly?"
Wyatt threw him a pointed glare. "I ate," he said gruffly. The words sounded distorted, almost like he didn't want to speak them at all. "You, on the other hand, bailed."
Chris stopped abruptly. "Point being?"
"We're going to go in there and you're going to have a decent meal for once."
Honestly, Wyatt wondered if Chris suffered from some sort of grave mental affliction. He would have hoped his intentions were obvious.
"Yes, Chris, before I cast something on you that would force food down your throat," he threatened in a tired voice. This was ridiculous. "And it's not personal gain. I'm technically helping," he added when Chris opened his mouth.
Chris closed his mouth with a small clink. The curve of his mouth turned down into an unhappy frown.
Wyatt forced himself to wait patiently for Chris to say something, though what Chris said next wasn't what he expected.
"Right," said Chris and went into the diner without another word.
Wyatt looked upwards and muttered drama queen under his breath.
"Why are you here?"
Chris's voice sounded tired and wary as he toyed with his napkin.
"Piper threatened to bind my powers if I don't behave and look out for you," Wyatt said, low enough that Chris leaned in to hear him.
Chris's eyes met his for a moment before looking away. His face looked gaunt, Wyatt noted absently, the dark circles under his eyes more prominent in the dim light. Wyatt wanted to make a comment on that, but it was then that the waitress came and placed their order on the table.
Wyatt took in the soft curves of her body with mild interest. She was nice enough, he decided and offered her a smile, fascinated by the blush that spread over her cheeks.
"Would you like anything else," she asked with a small stutter.
Wyatt opened his mouth to answer when he felt Chris's sharp kick under the table.
"That would be all, thank you," Chris said with unnecessary sharpness.
The waitress – Alice said the name on the tag – deflated and hovered for a second before walking away.
Wyatt turned sharp eyes on his brother. "Was that entirely necessary?"
"One evil overlord in the future is enough for me," Chris commented almost angrily. "I don't need a nephew to worry about as well."
Wyatt said nothing. He supposed his track record was a bit of a mess in what concerned the opposite sex.
He watched Chris as he played around with his food and started to slowly count. He snapped when he reached fifty-five.
"Are you even going to touch that?"
Chris looked at him hard. "I'm not inclined to, no."
Wyatt resisted the urge to yank at his hair. "You've got to eat something," he insisted.
Chris looked green at the prospect. "Do you even know what day it is?" He demanded harshly and there was an edge to his voice Wyatt couldn't decipher. It made him feel uneasy.
"April 14th. Your point being?" he replied automatically.
If anything, Chris looked greener.
Wyatt edged back in his end of the booth. If Chris decided he was going to throw up, he'd be damned if he willingly sat in the line of action.
But Chris didn't throw up. He just shook his head and swallowed thickly. "Mom died today," he said in a low whisper.
Comprehension dawned. It didn't change a thing, though. Mom was still dead and crying over spilled milk wouldn't revive the dead. Wyatt liked to pretend he believed that because he cared.
He didn't want to face the fact that he didn't. Back home, the not caring wouldn't have affected him. Now, though, faced with Chris's silent desperation, it seemed wrong somehow. Like looking himself in a broken mirror; he could see the fractions of his reflection, but not the whole.
"Just try eating a bit," he offered coolly.
Chris looked down at the plate. He looked green again, and unhappy, but he started eating without complaint.
It didn't make Wyatt feel any better.
"Are you insane? You're going on a vanquish spree now?"
Wyatt wondered how long it was before he began blowing things up again. It still amazed him how Chris could reduce him to a pile of raging nerves in five seconds flat without even trying. He suspected it had something to do with being the youngest.
"What's wrong with now? Seems like a pretty fitting way of passing the day," Chris argued, navigating his way through the crowded street.
"No, it seems like a pretty fitting way of getting yourself killed," Wyatt snapped back. "You are not going in the Underworld when you're three seconds away from an emotional breakdown."
Chris looked at him with a sick mockery of surprise plastered over his face while his hands flew to his chest. He offered an exaggerated gasp. "You shock me, brother. You act as though you give a damn."
Wyatt thought back to the Astral Plane. Chris should have known. Then again, Chris was pretty dense, no matter how sharp he was in what concerned demons.
"Chris," he said, a warning note to his voice.
Chris waved a hand dismissively and ducked into a nearby alley. "You're one to talk," he said. "You go in the Underworld on a daily basis and you've been insane for the past six years."
Chris orbed away before Wyatt could reply. The Twice Blessed followed him, wondering how in the world could Chris be a wreck one minute, and the next and sarcastic smart-ass.
"You know, Chris —"
He didn't have a chance to finish his sentence.
Something hard slammed into his chest and flung him against the nearest cave wall. Wyatt heard a few bones crack on impact, and felt the sickening pain that followed afterwards. His ears rung loudly, mingling with the erratic pulsing of blood in his ears.
The ringing didn't stop him from hearing a hoarse yell echo around the cavern.
His stomach rolled violently and it hurt to breathe, but Wyatt forced himself in a sitting position and searched for Chris, trying to see past the darkness surrounding his vision.
He saw him, though, lying a few feet away, flat on his back. He didn't see any blood.
Wyatt also saw what slammed into him. It was huge and scaly and looked like an oversized lizard standing on its hind legs. It was advancing on Chris, its mouth wide, saliva dripping from its large fangs in generous amounts.
Wyatt moved his hand sharply, and the demon flew backwards. Wyatt watched, horrified, as it disintegrated into grey dust and whisked itself away with an inhuman shriek. It was unnerving. It should have put up more of a fight.
He rose to his feet, wincing at the pain and swaying a little bit, covering his chest where the beast had struck. His fingers were suddenly wet, and he looked down, watching in a sort of morbid fascination as blood poured over them.
Three long, horrible looking gashes ran diagonally down his chest, jagged and painful looking. Wyatt felt oddly detached from the dull ache that spread through his body.
He felt disconnected somehow. Like his body didn't entirely belong to him.
Wasn't there he was supposed to do?
Wyatt pressed a hand to his head and a moan filled his ears. The pain in his chest sharpened.
Chris! Wyatt remembered with a jolt. "I'm here," he offered. It shocked him how confident his voice sounded in the pain-filled world he found himself in.
Chris moved sluggishly on his hands and knees but didn't get up.
"Wyatt?" Chris called out, and his voice sounded wrong to Wyatt's ears. Small and scared and barely holding it together.
"I'm here," he repeated because there was nothing else he could think of saying while stumbling towards his brother like a drunken man.
"I can't see a thing," Chris confessed and his voice still sounded like broken glass.
Wyatt stopped. Chris's words sounded impossibly loud in his ears.
I know this chapter is small and uneventful, but I wanted it to bridge the upcoming drama in the family. I also wanted to flesh Wyatt out a little bit. Hopefully, I managed to pull that off. If not, then it's official: I fail as a writer.
Again, thanks for sticking with this fic after all this time! It really does mean a lot to me.