Disclaimer: strikermac and I don't own Charmed or Chris and Wyatt Halliwell. We just like writing about them…
Author's Note: This has been posted up at the "Destined" boards for a while now, but at last, here I go releasing it on fanfiction for those of you who have been patiently waiting. I hope that you enjoy the third story in the Pre-Destined series. As always, please read and review!
"No, not there, there," seventeen-year-old Caitlin Sweeny directed the sophomore boy with the spiky black hair. She sighed in exasperation as he still got it wrong. If you wanted something done right, you just had to do it yourself. The dark-haired girl stood up, snatching the photos from his hand, and grumbled at him, "For heaven's sake Hayden, I'll do it. Why don't you go count paper clips or something equally useless?"
Wyatt Halliwell looked up from one of the three computer terminals in the high school's newsroom with a smile, exchanging a look with Jessica Duncan who sat at the computer next to him. Thursdays were usually like this. It wouldn't be Thursday without Cait on a rampage to make sure that week's paper got out on time for Friday morning and looked absolutely perfect. Caitlin was laid back and easy going about everything except the school paper. With that, she was the biggest control freak Wyatt had ever met.
Jessie covered her mouth to hold back a laugh as Hayden put his hands on his hips and stared at his older sister. That was a weekly occurrence too. Every week it seemed, Hayden did something that set his sister off. Caitlin was the editor of the school newspaper and she took it as seriously as if she was working for the New York Times rather than the Baker High Bugle. Cait was rearranging the photo spread on the light board herself now, oblivious to anyone else in the room. Which included the glaring fifteen-year-old in front of her.
"I'm not going to count paper clips Cait! Arranging the photo spread is my job!" Hayden complained.
"Shhhhh!" Caitlin hissed at him.
"You can't do everything yourself. Give me something to do! I didn't join the paper to twiddle my thumbs and get a free credit hour," the sophomore said, shoving at his sister. Caitlin swatted him away without looking up from what she was doing.
Jessica patted Wyatt's arm and grabbed one of the digital cameras. She was trying her best not to laugh at the show the siblings were putting on. Wyatt smirked and turned his eyes back to his computer screen, while Jessica offered up, "Hayden, you can go take pictures of the drama club getting ready for the singing telegrams."
"Chris did that yesterday," Hayden grumbled, gesturing to the pictures that his sister was now holding in her hands, "And I was supposed to start on the layout, but somebody won't let me touch anything."
"You'll screw it up," Caitlin pronounced.
"No he won't. Give him a chance Cait. He needs to learn how to some of this stuff, the three of us are graduating this year," Jess said, standing up and walking over to attempt to intervene.
"I know, but this is going in my portfolio!" Caitlin said, brushing her dark tresses away from her face.
Wyatt smiled at his friend, "You aren't the only one whose portfolio it's going into Cait. You'd let Chris do it..."
"Yes, but Chris took the pictures and Chris is a perfectionist. I... Hayden... he... Oh, fine," Caitlin relented, "Here. Take them. I need to work on my article about the over-inflated importance of being a 'couple' and the ridiculous pressure not to be single."
"Thank you," Hayden said, taking the pictures back from his sister. When she turned her back he stuck his tongue out at her.
"I saw that you little brat," Caitlin sneered.
"You're just extra bitter because Valentine's Day is this weekend," Hayden said with a smile, "And you don't have a date."
"Speaking of... a little bird told me that you and Andrea Payton are an official item now," Jess said, leaning towards Wyatt as she said back down. Jessica was short, not even five feet tall, and she dressed like a boy, but her personality was spunky and playful. She raised her eyebrows up and down at Wyatt, "Dating exclusively are you?"
Caitlin blinked, looking towards the pair, "What?" She hadn't heard this bit of news yet, which bothered the budding journalist that she had been scooped. What bothered her more though was the topic of the conversation. She looked from Jessica to Wyatt, then back again between the two.
Wyatt's cheeks flushed with color and he found typing up the cafeteria menu a bit more interesting than he had before. He rubbed a hand through his hair and on the back of his neck, coughing, "No. Not officially exclusive... but we do have a date on Saturday night."
Caitlin stared at the blushing muscular blonde, before she quickly turned to grab a stack of folders and carried them towards the back of the small office, avoiding looking at anyone. It really wasn't any secret that she had a crush on Wyatt. She'd had a crush on him since they were in the first grade. That some girl that had moved here from Boston when they were all in middle school that hadn't known him nearly as long as she had, and had a reputation for being stuck up was now soon to be 'going steady' with Wyatt was a huge blow to her. She did the only thing she could think of. She retreated. Hayden looked toward his sister and rolled his eyes.
Jess bit her lip and made a face when she saw Caitlin's reaction. The short girl groaned softly, "I'm an idiot."
"Hmm?" Wyatt asked, shifting his eyes from his computer screen, he was still blushing, but he had to know why Jess was calling herself an idiot. He'd completely missed the reaction of the other girl.
"Nothing," Jess said, "I'm happy for you Wy."
Caitlin knocked some stuff around in her little back corner area around her desk, cursing and Wyatt raised his eyebrows, "Okay, what's her problem?"
"Green eyed monster," Jessica mumbled.
"Caitlin's eyes are brown," Wyatt said, leaning back in his chair to look towards her. She looked like she was having a meltdown.
"Men," Jess sighed, "Don't worry about---"
Suddenly everything in the room went absolutely silent. Wyatt turned to look at Jess, who was frozen in place, her mouth still open in mid-sentence. Hayden was likewise frozen, holding a photograph up to the light. In the back of the room Caitlin was motionless, as well as the stack of papers she'd just knocked over. Everything in the room was as still as a photograph or a movie on pause. Caitlin's papers were frozen in a cascading arc. Wyatt moistened his lips and looked at his hands. He hadn't done that, had he?
Christopher Halliwell sat in English class, as good a student he was this class was just downright boring. As the teacher talked about the ancient story, Chris watched the bird's nest out the window and let his mind wander. He was doodling in the margins of his notebook thinking about last weekend and about this upcoming weekend with his grandfather. Last weekend had been beyond stressful and he'd seen more of Stockholm in a blur than he would have wanted to in two days, but a pair of blue-green eyes kept coming back to mind. He'd love to have been able to have the freedom of that bird out there on the windowsill. How he wished he could escape this class right now.
Just then the teacher stopped speaking and initially Chris winced, thinking Mr. Zebrian was going to bust him for daydreaming, again. But as Chris looked up he was frozen, the piece of chalk still poised to finish the word the teacher was writing. Looking around Chris noticed everyone else in the room was frozen too. Caspian, sitting next to him was bent over, as unmoving as a statue as he leaned in his backpack. In harsh contrast to the motionless room, Chris watched the bird fly from the nest just outside the window.
"Hello?" Chris said as not one person answered him. Standing cautiously Chris looked around. He made a little wave with his hands, trying the gesture his mother used to freeze and unfreeze things, but nothing happened. He didn't have that power. He couldn't have done this and he clearly couldn't undo it either. Not a single mote of dust even moved and Chris carefully moved past the frozen classroom to the door and made his way into the hall. He halted in the doorway of his class for a second when he saw the principal at the water fountain, frightened for a second that he was going to have to cover this up quickly and explain why the classroom behind him was immobile. That was when he realized the principal was bent over the water fountain, and both she and the water were frozen.
"Hello?" Chris called out again. He had a ripple of fear that went up his back and looked around, like someone was watching him and he spun around in a circle before he lifted his head to the ceiling and shouted. "Wyatt!"
To his relief, Wyatt appeared in front of him in a shimmer of blue orbs. Chris sighed and grabbed his brother's arms. "Oh thank the heavens, I thought I was alone."
"What the hell happened?" Wyatt looked at the principal with confused fascination. He walked over to the principal and waved a hand in front of the woman's face. Wyatt snapped his fingers in front of her eyes and then backed up, looking worriedly at his brother.
"I'm not sure I was in English and wishing I could orb away and then everything just froze," Chris said.
"I was in the school paper office watching Caitlin have a Valentine's melt down and then nothing. Silence. I don't like this, I don't like this at all," Wyatt said, "Though, now would be a perfect time to tape a 'Kick Me' sign to Mrs. Leadbetter's back."
Chris made a face at Wyatt, and twisted around again as the hairs on the back of his neck rose. The brunette scanned the hallway and moved closer to Wyatt. "Do you feel that? The feeling that someone is watching us?"
"I feel it and I think we should orb home, it's not safe here," Wyatt said, done joking about playing a prank on the principal.
"I'm with you," Chris said. They shimmered into blue orbs, but just as they went to the window the orbs bounced off like they had been hit by an electric volt and the boys fell to the floor. They both tumbled backwards as their bodies reformed from the orbs and lay flat for a heartbeat.
"Damn it," Wyatt cursed as he pushed himself up off of the floor and looked around.
"I'm sufficiently freaked out now." Chris said as he picked himself up, rubbing the back of his head. "We're sitting ducks here, Wy."
"I know," the older teen said. He didn't like the situation. He didn't like when situations were out of his control. The entire school frozen unexplainably and some sort of force field preventing them from orbing was definitely beyond the Twice Blessed Witch's control.
"Maybe if we open the window," the younger teen suggested. Chris walked over and touched the window, ready to open it. He had both of his hands on the bottom of the sill when an electrical current in the oddest shade of green blasted him and threw him down the hall. He tumbled to a stop and lay still, making Wyatt run to his downed brother.
"Chris! Chris?" Wyatt yelled as he got closer and knelt next to him.
"I'm okay," Chris said as he rubbed his eyes but other than that, he didn't move. He stayed laying on his back. Slowly he pushed himself to a sitting position, still rubbing at his eyes.
"You're not fine." Wyatt said as he watched Chris' hands shaking. He placed a hand on his brother's shoulder, ready to help him up.
"Just a bit shaky, give me a minute." Chris rubbed his eyes as his eyes swam with different color lights, making everything seem dark and shady. Chris let Wyatt help him to his feet, Wyatt held his arm, not quite convinced that he was okay. Chris looked over Wyatt's shoulder to see a quartet of glowing figures heading toward them. "Go! Run!" Chris ran down the hall followed by Wyatt. When Chris staggered and leaned against the wall Wyatt grabbed his arm and pulled him into the locker room.
"What is it? What did you see?" Wyatt asked.
"Four glowing figures that were right behind you," Chris breathed, blinking his eyes again and rubbing at his hazy vision. This was not good. Not good at all.
"I didn't see them," Wyatt said, frowning as he looked towards the door. His hands were at his sides, ready for action. There were frozen students in the locker room too, changing out from gym class, but since no one was moving Wyatt wasn't worried about them. He was worried about what his brother had seen.
"They're there Wy," Chris said, leaning back against a locker, "We're in a lot of trouble."
"Aunt Paige!" Wyatt screamed and there was nothing. "Aunt Paige!!!."
"Uncle Coop?" Chris called out and still nothing. "We're really in a lot of trouble here."
Wyatt looked over his shoulder at Chris, "What's the matter with your eyes?"
"I…" Chris made a face, looking towards the sound of his brother's voice, "I can't really see. I'm only seeing hazy colors. I think that blast did something to my eyes, Wy…"
"AUNT PAIGE!" Wyatt shouted again, "UNCLE COOP!"
"They're not coming Wy, face it. We're on our own," Chris mumbled.
"Well, we handled last weekend on our own, we can handle this," Wyatt said. Still, it would've been nice to have help.
Wyatt sat Chris on the bench in the locker room and then pushed a chair under the doorknob. He walked over to Chris who still was rubbing his eyes. Wyatt put his hand up to his brother's eyes but the golden glow didn't appear and Wyatt frowned.
"You tried to heal them didn't you?" Chris asked as he leaned his head against the locker behind him.
"I don't understand," Wyatt said, frowning at his hands. He looked up at the ceiling, directing a scowl towards the Elders. They seemed to have some sort of sick enjoyment in not letting him heal his brother.
"Do you think this is permanent?" Chris asked, fear tingeing the sixteen-year-old's voice, "I mean am I not going to be able to see?"
"No, we're gonna fix this. Don't worry. Remember what dad says everything happens for a reason." Wyatt leaned his head against a locker and wished he saw the reason for this. "Remember if you hadn't been hurt in the football game, you wouldn't have been able to rescue Alwynne and vanquish the Daughter of Nightmares."
"Wouldn't have found my new power. You're right. I mean, I know you're right. It's just really scary on this end," Chris said, squeezing his eyes shut.
Wyatt looked at his little brother and cursed himself for not thinking how scary this would be for him, "I'm gonna take care of you Chris, no one is going to hurt you."
"D.J.!" Chris exclaimed opening his eyes again. The odd colors and blackness swirled in front of him and he quickly closed them back. "Wyatt, D.J."
"What?" Wyatt looked at Chris and wondered what he was talking about.
"If all mortals have been frozen, D.J. should still be up and talking. For that matter, Alwynne should be too..." Chris trailed off.
Wyatt jumped to his feet, grinning at his little brother even though Chris couldn't see the expression. "He had wood shop that period, where was Alwynne?"
"Art, I think. Hey Wy, when I was in class, I was staring out the window at this bird..."
"We'll get your sight back Chris, you'll be able to stare at that damn bird all semester if you want," the blonde said, offering his brother a hand. He made a face when he realized Chris couldn't see it and just took hold of Chris' arm.
"Will you listen to me? That wasn't the point. My eyes are on the blink not my brain."
"Sorry," Wyatt apologized.
"It's okay. It's just that the bird was still flying about after everyone froze. We're working on a time limit here Wy," the brunette said.
Color drained from Wyatt's face at what his brother had revealed. "You mean we have to figure out what is going on by the time school is over?"
"I think so. I mean at three o'clock when there are not kids leaving school, people are going to wonder, right? We can't have just anyone walking into the school and seeing people frozen. The Cleaners would have a fit," Chris said.
"I didn't do it."
Chris put his other hand atop the one Wyatt had placed on his arm, "I'm not accusing you of anything, just saying..."
"Just saying we have to figure out what is going on or we're screwed."