Disclaimer: Well it seems that strikermac and I still don't own Charmed or Chris and Wyatt Halliwell. But, lucky for you guys, we still like writing about them!
Author's Note: Look at that, no updates for a while (well at least here on fanfiction) and all of a sudden two in a row! Unfortunately you might not get the answers to the cliffhanger just yet, but it is more of the story… enjoy. Oh yes, and write a review once you've read it. Pretty please, with sugar on top?
"Piper, we're here!" Phoebe Halliwell walked into the manor with her youngest daughter Pandora in tow. The Halliwell manor had been Phoebe's childhood home and she always felt that warmth of homecoming whenever she walked through the doors. Today was no exception as the scents of something baking in the kitchen greeted her nose. That was her older sister Piper's doing. Piper was always in the kitchen, but being a professional chef and now entrepreneur of a very successfully growing restaurant chain it was to be expected to find her in the kitchen. Phoebe smiled fondly down at her youngest daughter. Pandora loved her Aunt Piper.
Piper hadn't had any daughters. She and Leo had tried for a third child after Chris, but had only been met by disappointment in their attempts. Though neither were surprised since Chris' birth had been full of complications, and nearly resulted in both Piper and baby Chris' death. Instead, this generation's Halliwell matriarch settled for doting upon her nieces and Phoebe was all too happy to let her. Any time that Phoebe and her husband Coop went out of town, they left the girls with Piper.
Phoebe's two oldest daughters were at school, but her six-year-old had been sick the last few days and was just now getting over whatever cold she'd had. Phoebe had decided to keep her from school one more day just to be safe. Unfortunately, the advice columnist's editor had decided to call a meeting, so she had needed to call upon her sister to baby-sit for the day. Pandora was humming softly to herself as Phoebe practically dragged her into the house.
"Well there's my girl," Piper Halliwell said in a cheerful voice. She came out of the kitchen wiping her hands on her apron and the little girl's brown eyes brightened.
Phoebe's lips quirked up higher as her daughter pulled her hand free and dashed toward her aunt with a cry of, "Aunt Piper!" Piper picked her up and kissed her cheek.
"Are we going to have fun today?" Piper asked while Phoebe stood back, watching. The little girl nodded, sending her dark curls bouncing. Piper sat her down and Pandora wandered off into the kitchen toward the smells of baking goodies. Piper then proceeded to wrap her arms around her younger sister.
"You have any coffee made? I'm out," Phoebe asked as she released Piper from the embrace. After the nod from the older woman, Phoebe walked into the kitchen, went right for the coffee maker, which was steaming with freshly made coffee and poured herself a cup. "I love you."
Piper's eyes twinkled as she leaned against the counter. She asked, "So what time is the meeting?"
"Eleven. I have a few minutes yet before I need to leave," Phoebe said.
"Did you want a muffin? I made them for the boys for breakfast."
"Blueberry?" Phoebe asked hopefully. Fresh baked goodies was something she still missed, no longer living in the manor. Piper produced the blueberry muffin and Phoebe smiled. "Thank you."
Piper looked toward the door where Dora was standing and held the basket of muffins up, "Dora? Do you want a muffin?"
"Chocolate Chip, please," the little girl chimed in a polite voice. She skipped further into the room and saw the basketball in the corner. Pandora made her way over to it and bent to pick it up. When her hands touched the ball the little girl stiffened. Her entire body went rigid as black and white images flashed through her head. She saw the images of her older cousins with a demon. Dora dropped the ball with a quiet gasp and it bounced away from her and rolled back toward the two women. She remained quiet as her mother and aunt chatted, staring silently after the ball.
"Don't bounce the ball in the house Dora," Phoebe said as she watched her frown. The dark-haired girl turned around, her big brown eyes were troubled and her lower lip quivered slightly. Phoebe sighed and said, "Don't pout baby. Aunt Piper said she'd take you to the park later, you can bounce it there."
"Phoebe, I have two teenage boys," Piper said as she put a chocolate chip muffin on a plate for her niece and poured the little girl a glass of milk, "I don't think Dora bouncing the ball in the house is going to cause nearly as much damage as those two can do at any given moment. Milk and a chocolate chip muffin for my girl."
"I suppose you have a point, but she's not allowed to play ball in the house, it's that whole consistent parenting thing," Phoebe said, her hands wrapped around her coffee mug.
"I never thought in a million years I would hear you saying something like that," Piper said with a laugh as she set the muffin and glass of milk at the table. Pandora shook her head, looking toward the basketball, and then trotted over to sit down in front of the muffin and milk.
"Miracles do happen," Phoebe said with a toothy smile "Although, Mel is beginning to enter the teenage rebellion stage and I'm not sure what to do with her. You never went through that with Chris and Wyatt..."
Piper raised an eyebrow at her sister, and poured herself a cup of coffee.
Phoebe's lips twitched, "Okay, correction... until this last year you never went through it with Chris and Wyatt."
"Late bloomers I guess," Piper said, blowing on her coffee to cool it before taking a sip.
"I have many more years of Melinda's teen-aged rebellion to look forward to. I guess I'm getting what I deserve for all the hell I put Grams through. You know she snuck out of the house two nights ago to see a boy?" Phoebe said with a sneer. "She's just barely a teenager."
"No, I didn't know that, but at least you don't have to worry about her orbing to Tanzania in the middle of the night if she decides to," Piper offered.
"True," Phoebe said, looking toward Pandora as the little girl carefully pulled off bits and pieces of her muffin. She kept staring back toward the basketball and Phoebe shook her head. If Pandora playing ball in the house was the least of her worries for her youngest child, she would be happy. "I don't envy you and Paige that. So, is dad still taking Chris for the weekend?"
"Yes, and Wyatt's got some big date planned," Piper said, sipping her coffee. The thought of her angel actually being somewhat serious about a girl both excited and frightened her. Wyatt had been dating for the last couple of years, but this was the first girl that Piper had seen her son genuinely concerned about impressing. He was growing up and it was just another reminder that he was going to be leaving for college in August.
"Do tell, do tell who is my nephew seeing?" Phoebe asked.
"I only know a name, he's keeping her away from the manor. I guess he's afraid I'm going to blow her up or something." Piper smiled to herself. "Her name is Andrea and according to your nephew she's perfect," Piper said, "He's been talking about her since October." So many things had changed since October... Piper looked into her coffee cup for a moment, silent.
"Are they going to be here for dinner?" Phoebe asked.
"Yes, Wyatt, D.J. and Chris will be here. Derek had to leave for New York this morning, so he's staying here until Friday," Piper explained.
"D.J.'s nearly a Halliwell, he's here enough isn't he?" Phoebe questioned with a smile.
"That boy is a riot. Too bad he keeps coming up with ideas that keep getting Wyatt and Chris into trouble," Piper said with a small smile. She was glad that they had saved the boy from the manticores all those years ago and reunited him with his father. Derek was a good friend to her and his son was the closest thing to having another sibling as her two boys were ever going to get.
"You think all the ideas are D.J.'s? He's not the thinker in that group and you know it," Phoebe said knowingly.
Piper smiled at her sister's comment. It was just easier to blame D.J. than admitting to herself that Chris was constantly getting them into trouble. Her oldest son might have been the man of action and the impulsive one, but her youngest... Piper smiled into her coffee cup and stifled a softly amused laugh. "It's not like I didn't expect it."
"Mmm..." Phoebe said with a small remembering smile of her own. The empath could sense just a trace of regret coming from her sister though and saw the flicker of remembrance in Piper's eyes. It always seemed to come around whenever the older woman thought of the sacrifice her younger son had made by coming to the past, and how many similarities to him were now showing in the boy they had watched grow into him these last sixteen years. "I'm glad that the boys have such a good friend in D.J."
Pandora turned around in her seat and looked toward her mother and Aunt, finally speaking up, "Wyatt and Chris are playing with a demon."
Piper looked at her niece and said gently, "We don't like to call D.J. a demon Dora."
"Not D.J." the little girl said with exasperation as she rolled her eyes. "They are playing with a demon."
The two Charmed Ones exchanged a look with one another. Piper headed over to the table and looked down at Pandora while Phoebe poured herself another cup of coffee.
"Have they been in the underworld again?" Phoebe asked, looking at Piper.
Piper shook her head, not knowing. She crouched down next to her niece, questioning, "Dora, did you hear Wyatt and Chris talking about going somewhere?"
"No," the little girl shook her head.
"Then why are you saying that they are playing with a demon?" Piper asked.
"I saw them," Dora said matter of factly as she broke off another piece of the muffin and stuffed it into her mouth. She grabbed her glass of milk with both hands and took a sip from it.
"Saw them? Where?" Piper looked up like she expected to hear the boys doing something upstairs. She narrowed her eyes suspiciously as though she could see through the floors and into the attic. If they skipped school to go fight demons, again, she was going to give them hell.
"They were in the picture in my head." She said as she sipped her milk. Dora then set her glass down and very primly picked up a napkin and wiped her mouth with it.
Both women looked at each other. Phoebe's eyebrows climbed and she set down her coffee cup before she walked over to join her sister. Piper pulled out a chair and sat down next to Dora, Phoebe sat on the opposite side of her little girl.
"Picture in your head?" Phoebe's eyes brightened as she looked at her daughter then at Piper.
"Did she just have a premonition?" Piper asked as she pushed Dora's dark hair off her forehead. The six-year-old wrinkled her nose at her Aunt and lifted a hand to her bangs to fix them. Piper looked sideways at Phoebe.
"I think she did," Phoebe said, sounding excited. She was going to be late to the meeting now, but now she didn't particularly care. Her baby girl had just had a premonition! "I was becoming discouraged when Mel or Penny didn't have my power, but Dora has it."
Phoebe couldn't wait to tell Coop. Phoebe smiled brightly, but saw Piper looking worried. She placed a hand under her daughter's chin, turning Dora to face her, "Baby, when you saw the picture in your head, what did you touch?"
"Chris' basketball," the girl answered.
Phoebe got up, walked over and picked it up. She held it in her hands and tried to will a premonition on. She looked at Piper and shrugged her shoulders as she got nothing. "It's not that I doubt her, but I'm not getting anything. Maybe she's got a different type of power, past or future?"
"Well, your premonitions grew with time, maybe hers will too," Piper said, but there was still worry in her voice and on her face. "Are you sure, Pheebs?"
"Nothing," Phoebe said, setting the basketball back on the floor.
"Mommy! I saw them, they are playing with the demon," Dora said petulantly.
There was a loud noise in the other room that had all three of them turning their heads. Piper got to her feet immediately and Phoebe narrowed her eyes, holding a finger to her daughter to stay put. The clatter turned into a familiar voice shouting.
"You got kicked out of Magic School!?"
Phoebe and Piper exchanged looks with one another at the raised voice they both recognized as belonging to their youngest sister, Paige. Another voice, younger and male chimed in immediately following hers.
"It was just a joke. I was just showing Melissa what a rattle snake looked like, but Danny screamed and the snake bit him. It wasn't my fault," the voice of Paige's adoptive son protested quietly. Henry Junior, although since last weekend he had officially decided that he no longer wanted to be known as 'Junior' but instead go by the name 'Indiana'.
"'Snakes, it had to be snakes', was not the appropriate response when Danny collapsed," the voice of the exasperated mother sounded. The dark-haired boy stumbled forward clutching a battered fedora in his hands as Paige pushed him into the kitchen. The nine-year-old boy was trying not to smile. Behind him, his mother in her teacher's robe looked completely frustrated. Paige looked at her sisters and blew out a breath before plastering a fake smile on her face. "Hi! Your nephew got kicked out..."
Indy ducked his head and bit his lip, avoiding the looks from his two Aunts. Paige gave him another shove toward the table and looked at her sisters, "...again. Seventh time."
"It's only his fourth day. You've been busy," Piper said to her nephew. He looked up and smiled, dimples showing in his cheeks. Piper kissed the top of Indy's head as she hugged him. "Would you like a muffin sweetie?"
"Sure," the boy said.
Piper crossed to grab the basket of muffins, "Blueberry or chocolate chip?"
"Don't be nice to him," Paige said as she grabbed a cup of coffee. "I can't believe this. Leo's no help." Her brother-in-law was the Headmaster of Magic School and yet the man had been absolutely no help at all. She wasn't about to tell Henry that their son had been kicked out again. At least it was magic school, Paige told herself, instead of public school where her boy would wind up erased by the cleaners. "Your husband is absolutely no help."
"Never is Paige, he spoils them all," Piper said, smiling. She set a muffin in front of the boy and a glass of milk as he settled in next to his youngest cousin.
"Do you know what Leo said?" Paige asked. Piper and Phoebe shook their heads bit their bottom lips to stop the grins they were both suppressing. "He said, and I quote, 'It's just boys being boys Paige. Indy will settle down eventually. You just have to be patient with him.'" That had Piper chuckling, Paige made a face, "You think this is funny?"
Piper's chocolate eyes gleamed brightly. "As much as you thought my eight year old orbing off to Tanzania was funny."
"Guess I didn't get it then. I do now." Paige shook her head.
"Sorry mom, I didn't mean to get in trouble," He looked up with amused gray eyes, "again."
"You think your cute don't you?" Paige only then grinned. She couldn't resist that innocent little lopsided smile of his. He might not have been her own flesh and blood, nor was he Henry's but he still had every bit of his parent's heart. Paige looked at her sisters, "His friend was just bitten by a rattle snake and do you know what he said?"
"Snakes, it had to be snakes." Piper said with a smile. She patted the boy on the head and ruffled his hair, "Indy, you need to stop drawing pictures of things that could cause death and destruction. I heard what you did to your Dad last weekend..."
Indy smiled at his Aunt Piper, he knew he could draw just about anything for her and she would find it impressive. Aunt Piper and her sons were the only ones who weren't afraid of his drawings. Indy took a big bite out of his muffin, more pleased than he was ashamed. Piper shook her head in amusement. She looked to Phoebe who appeared as though she was about to burst as she walked over to Paige and took the younger woman by the arm.
"Guess what? Dora had her first premonition!" Phoebe said with the kind of excitement of a mother whose child took her first steps.
"Premonition!" Paige exclaimed, the subject turning away from her trouble-making child, "And you were worried."
Piper interrupted the excitement with the downside, "Except she just saw Chris and Wyatt and a demon."
"If they were in trouble I'd have heard them call for me. So I don't think they are in any trouble now." Paige said as she watched Piper look at her niece.
"Good." Piper nodded but still she looked a little hesitant.
Paige tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, "Do you want me to run over to the school?"
"Oh no, that's alright, I'm sure they're fine. If they aren't calling you, then they must be fine," Piper said.
"Alright." Paige sipped her coffee. "Can I leave Indy here? Henry is at work and..."
Piper held up a hand to stop her youngest sister. There was no explanation needed, "Sure. The three of us will have a great time. Right?" Piper smiled at Indy. She was the only one who could really deal with the little boy and his drawings. She just froze them while he tore up the picture to make them disappear.
"Indy can you draw me a puppy?" Dora asked her older cousin. Henry Junior opened his mouth to answer--
"NO!" Paige yelled, cutting off the response. The ten-year-old sunk lower in his chair, quietly eating his muffin. Paige put her hands to her temples and rubbed them, "I think my son has drawn quite enough today. I'm going to go back and see if I can't talk your professors into letting you back in... again..." Paige finished off her coffee, set the empty cup on the table, and then she kissed her son on the head. The little boy smiled impishly and his mother only looked at her sisters, "Piper, call me if you need anything, and Phoebe... congratulations..." She bent to look at her neice, "Dora, you have no idea how happy you just made your mother." Kissing the little girl on the cheek, Paige orbed out.
Piper looked towards Phoebe who simply shrugged, still beaming at her little girl. A heartbeat later, Paige orbed back in and fixed her son with a gaze, "You behave yourself, understand?"
"Yes m'am," Indy said sincerely, "Scouts honor."
"You're not a boy scout," Paige said with a small smile and an upraised eyebrow.
"It'll have to do," Paige said and then she was gone again in a swirl of orbs.
"Pheebs, you're going to be late to your meeting," Piper said, looking at the clock.
"Oh, shoot!" the younger woman said, she hugged her daughter, "Alright baby, I'll be back this afternoon. Piper, are you sure you don't want me to stick around in case that premonitio---"
"Paige said the boys weren't calling for her, I'm sure it'll be alright," Piper said, "Now scoot!"
Phoebe flashed a grin at her sister, grabbed another muffin from the basket on the way out and hurried off. Piper watched her go and then sat down at the table with her niece and nephew. The Halliwell matriarch smiled at the young boy, "So, a snake, huh? You know, your cousin Wyatt conjured a dragon once..."
"Oh, I drew a dragon last weekend," the boy said, "It was just a little one though. In crayon. On the wall. Dad made me wash it off." Piper shook her head at her nephew, smiling slightly, but inside she was still worrying and wondering just what it was Pandora had seen.
Author's Note: Don't you just love Henry Jr. excuse me, don't you just love "Indy"? The boy is a handful to be sure. If you haven't read the oneshot that he terrorizes his father in, then I highly recommend it. But, here you go, a taste of some of the other family members and what is going on in the outside world while Chris and Wyatt are stuck dealing with their own crisis. Post your reviews, click the button, encourage more writing and inspire my Muse.