Once Upon A December

Written by: Darien (aka alternate-universe-princess)

Disclaimer: We don't own Chris, Wyatt, or Bianca, or any other characters I forgot to mention. We do, however, own Prue and Sam and would appreciate it if you didn't steal our characters without (A) asking our permission and (B) giving us the credit for them. Thank you!

This fanfic is a sidestory to go along with the virtual Charmed Sons' show Dark Destiny. The link for the site can be found on the profile page for this account.

"Bianca!" Chris Halliwell shouted from the foyer of the Manor. "We're going to be late!"

At first, the only reply he received was silence. However, this was soon followed by an exasperated cry by Bianca of, "I have no shirts!"

"What?" Chris called out, already making his way back up the stairs. He couldn't help but smile and wonder what exactly she meant by the statement. Of course, he already had a pretty good idea. His mom had invited them to dinner. That always made her act in strange, unusual ways.

"I. Have. No. Shirts." She repeated, each word punctuated with a sigh. She threw yet another shirt onto a seemingly endless pile on the floor at her feet. Why did all of her tops have to say the wrong thing? Even her white button-up top, the one she'd worn on quite a few job interviews was too low-cut. And it wasn't like she could just wear a t-shirt. Chris as well as Wyatt and Prue, were wearing semiformal clothes since it was a "nice family dinner". So, unfortunately, her usual outfit of t-shirt and jeans wouldn't quite cut it.

I should just go like this, she thought sarcastically. She stared at herself in the mirror. Even the black bra she was wearing wasn't quite nice enough. One of the straps was starting to rip. Yeah, 'cause me showing up topless wouldn't give Piper a stroke on the spot.

She ran a hand over her face exaggeratedly. She always tried to act like she wasn't just some slutty older girl who'd just up and stolen Piper's youngest son away from her. Of course, she was only four years older than Chris, which really wasn't that big a deal, but Piper had never seen it that way. Of course, if she really wanted to be honest with herself, that wasn't why Piper didn't like her. Piper didn't like her because she was part demon and an ex-assassin. One who'd once been assigned to murder her youngest son before she'd gone and fallen in love with him. And there was no shirt in the world that could cover something like that up. So, basically, she was screwed.

Chris leaned up against the door frame of their shared bedroom, smirk spread wide across his lips. "And since when have you cared about what you wear?" He folded his arms across his chest and looked her up and down. "Of course, I think you look just fine the way you are." He had to work at it not to burst out laughing with each word. Not that he didn't mean what he'd said, she was gorgeous no matter what she wore, but it was getting harder and harder to act like he didn't know what was going on.

"Oh, since we're going for dinner with your parents!" Bianca snapped, smiling in spite of herself. He was cute even when he was being a jerk.

"We've gone for dinner with them before," Chris said, still not letting on.

"Yeah, and every time we do, every time, your mom gives me that look."

"Well, she does have a lot of different looks," Chris said, laughter finally breaking through his words.

"You know which one I mean," said Bianca, pulling a plain, white cotton long sleeve shirt over her head. "The one that says 'you're-just-a-bad-girl-phase-you-won't-last.' "

"A phase, huh? We've been dating for how long now?" Chris paused to pretend to count on his fingers. "Five years, is that about right? And you've been living here for two. I'm thinking that even if you are a phase, it's one that's likely to last my whole life, so I wouldn't be too worried if I was you." Chris stood up to his full height and turned to face her, staring her down and trying his best not to smile.

Bianca sighed again and looked over at him, rolling her eyes. I wonder if he even knows it when he's doing that... she thought as she walked over to him, draping an arm casually around his neck, pulling him closer, and kissing him delicately.

He couldn't help but smile, drawing back just enough so that his lips parted with hers. "Are you ready to go now?"

She smiled in response, touching her forehead to his. "That, was a very cheap trick," she whispered, eyes flitting to the floor.

"Hey, you're the one that kissed me," he said, grinning.

She took a step back, smiling, "You know what I mean."

"Of course I do," he said, shaking his head in a no-I-really-don't fashion.

Bianca rolled her eyes again. "Whatever. I've just got to go downstairs and get my shoes, okay?" She gave herself a last once over in the mirror, shrugged and walked out of the room.

"I mean, it's illogical, really, you obsess about what shirt might piss off my mother, but then you don't get ready in time and we're late, which bugs my mom because then the food is cold. Or rather, she thinks it is, seeing as she really most likely only set it on the table all of thirty seconds before we'd be there," Chris said as he walked down the steps behind her, shaking his head.

"Okay, enough!" Bianca looked over her shoulder to look at him, trying to look angry but she ended up smiling anyway. She turned around again and continued down the stairs.

She heard the orbs before she saw them. Assuming it was just Wyatt coming to tell them to hurry up, she continued walking down the stairs. Then she saw the black-orbs.

"Chris, duck!" she shouted, conjuring an athame in the same breath it took to shout the warning.

The second the Darklighter appeared, a tall, narrow faced man in a black suit, she threw the athame, aiming for its head. Aiming for the heart was usually better, the chest was a bigger target than the head, but with Darklighters, head shots were much more accurate since really, no one knew if Darklighters had hearts in the first place so it was uncertain that such an attack would be effective. At best, it was doubtful. Not that it mattered. She was a good enough shot that she could've been aiming for a fly on the wall and hit the target.

Behind her, Chris flicked his wrists, blowing the Darklighter up from the inside with his telekinesis before the knife had the chance to hit it's mark. It landed harmlessly in the wall behind where the Darklighter had been standing a split second later.
"Hah, I hit it before you could," he said, smirking as he walked past her on the stairs.

Bianca stood still for a second, mouth gaping open. Soon she snapped her jaw shut and charged forwards, smacking him on the back of the head roughly. "What do you think you were doing?"

"Beating you to the demon vanquish, like usual?" Chris said, phrasing the words more as a question than a statement. There was a note of confusion in his words. They faced demons and Darklighters and countless other creatures everyday, what made that one any different?

"That was a Darklighter, Chris! He could've killed you!" Bianca shouted, clearly outraged.

"Uh...your point being?" asked Chris, even more confused than he was less than five seconds ago. So what, now all of a sudden he was supposed to run and hide? Since when was that what she thought? Usually, she loved a challenge, and loved competing. Especially over vanquishes. "Are you still stressed about the dinner? 'Cause you know it's not that big a deal." He stopped when he reached the bottom of the steps and looked up at her.

"No, it's not that, it's just," she paused, letting out a long breath, "I don't know. It's just..." she ran a hand through her hair. "...Sometimes I feel like I should protect you, I guess. I mean, I can reform after an attack, you can't." She shook her head. "I just get worried sometimes."

"You know better than anyone that I can protect myself." He looked straight at her, his green eyes searching her dark ones. There was something more to it than that, he knew. Now if only she'd explain what it was...

"I know, I know, " Bianca said with a nonchalant shrug as she walked past him and to the door, searching for her shoes. They both knew she was really just avoiding the subject.

"And besides, you're not invincible either, you know."

"I know, I know." Bianca looked down, slipping her feet into her simple black heels.

"It's just that..." she looked up, straightening her top. She froze for an instant, then summoned another athame, eyes narrowing into slits.

"What?" Chris asked.

A Darklighter walked out of the dining room and into the foyer, crossbow in hand and aimed at Chris.

The Darklighter winked at Bianca and fired. Bianca threw her athame, hoping Chris would be quick enough to duck. Hopefully, that'd mean the Darklighter arrow would miss him, too.

"Woah!" Chris shouted, throwing his hands up in the air. He stopped the athame in the air less than six inches from his throat. At the same time he unintentionally froze the Darklighter arrow behind him. It was so close he could almost feel the cold metal tip brushing against the back of his shirt. Before the Darklighter had the chance to fire another arrow Chris ducked and released the athame from it's telekinetic hold. It flew straight through the air as if it hadn't been stopped at all and sliced clean through the Darklighter's neck. He exploded in a burst of ash. The Darklighter had been exactly Chris' height.

Chris let out a long, slow breath and carefully, very carefully lowered the fatally poisonous arrow to the floor. It landed with a clatter and he let out another breath. He was about to step forward and ask Bianca if she was alright when a demon appeared behind her. "Bianca! Behind you!" he cried in warning. Of course, she'd already noticed. She was flying around to land a punch to the demon's throat when it slammed a potion against her back and shimmered away.

She yelped in pain and winced, reaching a hand around to feel the back of her shirt. "Damn, they wrecked my only good shirt," she cursed.

Chris paused for a second, mid-step. "Well I guess that means you're okay, then," he said, aiming for sarcastic and failing. "What'd he do to you anyway?"

"Look," she said, spinning around. The back of her shirt had been ripped where the glass vial had hit and a small trickle of blood was making its way down her back. There were a few small glass shards stuck in her back, mainly in between her shoulders, from where the glass vial had hit. There was more glass on the floor. What parts of her shirt weren't stained red with blood were stained a bright, garish orange from whatever potion the demon had thrown at her.

"Whatever the potion was for, obviously, it failed," she sighed and winced again. "I guess I'll have to go upstairs and change."

"No way. I'm going to call for Wyatt so he can heal you. Dinner can wait." Chris rushed over and instantly put one hand on her shoulder to stop her from moving. With the other hand he started delicately picking out any tiny shards of glass he could see. "He must have hit you with a lot of force to break the vial like that. Are you sure you're okay?" He couldn't help it, like his mother, he tended to worry. Wyatt had gotten the gene for natural cooking ability and he'd gotten the gene for worrying.

"Chris, I'm fine. I just need to go and get a new top and then we can go for dinner, okay?"

"You know, most people would say otherwise if they had glass shards embedded in their skin. I wonder what they were trying to do anyway..." he pulled yet another tiny shard of glass from between her shoulders and threw the other two bloody shards to the floor. They'd clean them up later. There was only one big one left.

"I don't know but are you almost done? We're going to be late."

"Now you're worried about being late? Personally, I'm a little bit more concerned with all these cuts on your back. Do phoenixes not have normal pain receptors or something?"

"You've asked me that how many times before?" Bianca couldn't help but laugh. "Seriously, Chris, it's not that bad. Just let me go get a clean shirt and we can go, okay?" Even though she didn't want him to see it, she winced again.

"No, what we're going to do is you're going to go sit down on the couch, I'll call for Wyatt and he'll come and heal you, okay? We can have dinner with my parents some other time. Besides, we need to find out which one of us specifically they were attacking, and why." Chris ran his fingers gently over her back, searching for any more glass. He didn't find any. He kissed the side of her neck gently, partly for comfort, and partly as a plea for her to do as he'd asked rather than act like she was fine and rush off upstairs.

"I'm just going to get a clean shirt!" Bianca said spinning around and smiling, nearly pleading. She shimmered upstairs. Or she tried to, at least. The normal sound that went along with shimmering emitted, but was followed by a short, sharp buzzing sound. Her powers were out.

She sighed. "We're never going to get to dinner, are we?" And Piper's going to hate me even more than she already does.

"Not tonight, apparently," Chris sighed. He paused for a second before calling for his brother.

"You rang?" Wyatt joked as soon as his orbs touched the ground.

Chris gave him a menacing look, one of those ones he'd inherited from Piper. The kind that could make even a demon shudder.

"Okay, what's going on?" Wyatt asked, confused. Chris didn't look at him that way often. Not unless something big was happening.

"We were just attacked by two Darklighters and a demon. The demon hit me with a potion that bound my powers. See?" Bianca spun back around so Wyatt could see the now mostly dried up cuts on her back.

Without so much as being asked Wyatt stepped forward and started to spread his hands out over her shoulders. Quickly, she stepped out of reach. "Don't bother. I'm fine."

"No, let him. For all we know, there could've been poison in that potion, and I for one would rather not wait until it starts affecting you," Chris said tensely. He put a hand on her shoulder, again trying to stop her from moving. Wyatt stepped forward again, but hesitated, waiting for Bianca to say something.

She spun around, facing Chris. "So now you think they've poisoned me as well as stripped my powers? Dontcha think you're being just a teeny little bit paranoid?"

"No," Chris snapped defensively. "I don't."

"Here," Wyatt said and stepped forward, effectively ending the argument. He put his hands forcefully on her shoulders and braced himself. He took a deep breath and activated his healing powers, sealing the wounds on her back. He bit his lip as blue sparks jumped down his fingers and into her skin then danced around his hands and up his arms.

With a harsh sounding crackle the lights faded and Wyatt removed his hands from her shoulders, shaking them out roughly and cracking his knuckles.

"Thanks," Bianca grumbled, rubbing at her neck and rolling her shoulders. In all honestly, she'd have preferred he hadn't healed her at all. Being part demon it always stung when he healed her. Usually, it hurt more than the original injury did.

Wyatt nodded, but didn't say anything. Instead, he waited for Chris to speak up.

"You okay?" Chris asked again, nodding at Bianca.

"Fine," she grumbled, still rubbing her neck.

"Okay, so what happened exactly?" Wyatt asked, realizing Chris wasn't going to speak up unless asked.

"Well...we were walking down the stairs, we'd almost been on time," now Chris directed a sarcastic look at Bianca, "but someone didn't have any shirts..."

Playfully, Bianca punched him in the arm and rolled her eyes. "Like you don't usually take longer than I do to get ready anyway. So, we were walking down the stairs when all of a sudden a Darklighter black-orbed in. I threw an athame at it and told your brother here to duck since you know, Darklighters can kill Whitelighters on the spot and all..."

Now it was Chris that interrupted her. "So what? Like we don't face worse on a near daily basis? So, like usual, I beat her to it and blew him up and we continued down the stairs. Then, apparently," he shot her another look, "another Darklighter black-orbed in and she without warning, thank-you very much, threw another athame at it, or rather at me, since it was right behind me."

"Like you wouldn't have ducked anyway," Bianca interjected, a grin sneaking onto her lips.

"Actually, if I hadn't been able to freeze the thing in mid-air, I might not have," Chris snapped, pretending to be angry. It was obvious since his grin matched hers that he really wasn't.

"Oh, whatever." Bianca rolled her eyes again. "So, then, he ducked and unfroze the athame, which got rid of the Darklighter. Then, a demon shimmered in behind me and threw the potion at me."

She'd been about to continue when Wyatt spoke up. "So you guys didn't call me before now because..."

"We could handle it." Bianca and Chris said in unison.

Wyatt sighed. Sometimes, he really hated it when they did that.

There was a loud 'pop' sounding in the air and Prue appeared in the dining room behind them. "Mom sent me. She was getting worried. What's going on?" She walked over slowly and looked everybody over, making sure her mother's fears of "Oh, god, what if someone's hurt? I'll just bet you something bad has happened," were unfounded.

Wyatt looked back at her and filled her in. He figured, and rightfully so, that it would be quicker if he did it.

Once he was done, Prue asked, "And you guys didn't bother to summon anyone before now because?"

"Exactly what I said," said Wyatt, folding his arms across his chest and staring down his younger brother.

"That's really not the important part right now, is it? Wyatt, you go and tell Mom and Dad we won't be able to make it to dinner right now, and Prue, you stay here with Bianca in case anyone else attacks. I'll go and check the Book," said Chris. As soon as Wyatt orbed out he started back up the stairs.

"Excuse me, I don't need to be protected! Even without my powers I'm still a trained assassin, you know. I am perfectly capable of protecting myself." Bianca folded her arms across her chest and looked up at him, daring him to oppose her.

Chris stopped half way up the stairs and leaned over the banister, lips twitching, eyebrows crinkling together. He didn't say anything just threw his hands up in the air before he continued up the steps.

Bianca turned to Prue. "There were two Darklighters and one demon. Don't you think we should be the ones protecting him?"

Prue just laughed and shook her head, knowing Bianca didn't really want her opinion anyway. Bianca snorted angrily and tore off up the stairs after Chris. Prue, albeit much more slowly, followed.

"Besides, like you don't already know that whole book backwards and-" Bianca started as she entered the attic.

She stopped when she saw three demons in the attic, surrounding Chris. With one of wave of his hand all three of the demons exploded, black ash flying everywhere and disintegrating. Chris looked over at Bianca, panting slightly.

There must've been more than just those three, then...she thought, worried. He waited a second to see if any other demons appeared. They didn't. He started walking towards Bianca, when another demon appeared behind him. Smiling at Bianca, just like the other one had, this one threw a potion at Chris, the same as the potion the other demon had thrown at her, and shimmered out.

Chris yelled and spun around, ready to attack. But the demon had already gone.

"What the?" he grumbled, reaching over and rubbing his shoulder just below where the vial had hit.

"See? I told you," was all Bianca said as she stepped towards Chris. "Here, let me see that."

She grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around to get a better look at where the vial had hit. Just like she had less than ten minutes ago, he had bits of glass sticking out of his shoulder and a strange, sticky, orange potion dripping down his shirt.

"Hey, take your shirt off," Bianca said distractedly.

"As much as I'd love to I really don't think this is the time or the place, maybe if you just wait a little while..." Chris said, usual sarcastic smirk firmly back in place.

Bianca smacked him upside the head, lightly...sort of. "You know what I meant. The potion. There's some of it on your shirt. If we can gather enough of it we might be able to get Paris to analyze it so we can make a counter potion or figure out how to reverse it."

Chris rolled his eyes and removed his black button up shirt, wishing he'd thought to put a t-shirt, or anything, anything at all, underneath it.

Prue finally made her way into the attic just in time to see her brother removing his shirt.

"Well, gee, you guys, if you wanted some more time alone all you had to do was say so," she said, laughing.

Again, Bianca rolled her eyes. "Some of the potion is still on his shirt," she said blandly.

"Suuuure..." said Prue, still laughing. She nodded in Chris' general direction. "I'll just go and get you another shirt then, I guess." She shook her head and took off for Chris' room.

Quickly, Bianca crossed the room to where the potion vials were stored and picked one up. Equally quickly, she walked back to Chris and took his shirt out of his hands, squeezing as much liquid out of it as she could. It wasn't all potion- there was a bit of blood mixed in with it, but it would have to do.

She placed it down on the nearest table and then turned her attention back to Chris.

"Let me see that," she commanded. She walked around behind him and started inspecting his shoulder. There were a few pieces of glass, but not many. "This might hurt a bit," she said.

"Doesn't matter. Just leave it. Wyatt can heal me when he gets back. You'll just end up cutting your fingers anyway." He winced as she delicately pulled out a piece of glass. She placed it on the table next to the vial.

"And leave you with glass shards embedded in your shoulder? I think not, babe." Bianca smiled and leaned in, kissing him gently on the cheek before resuming what she'd been doing.

About a minute later, Prue knocked on the attic door, white t-shirt in hand.

"Hey, got you a shirt," she said.

"Thanks," Chris said through clenched teeth as Bianca pulled out another piece of glass.

"There. Done." Bianca said, putting the last piece down. She had, in fact, gotten a few tiny cuts on her hands, and, in retrospect, it would've been a smarter idea to get a pair of tweezers rather than use her fingers, but, really, it didn't matter. She wiped her hands off on her pants, getting rid of any blood there might've been.

"So...now what do we do?" Prue asked as she handed Chris the t-shirt.

"Well, now we try and find out who did it," said Chris as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. He put the shirt on and stretched his shoulder a bit. It still stung a little, not that he'd ever admit it to anyone.

"Well, I know that," Prue sneered, rolling her eyes. "I mean, should we stay here, or go to magic school? Do you think they're after all of us and they plan to pick us off one by one or do you think they're just after you two?"

"Well I for one would feel safer if you two were in magic school," said a voice, Wyatt. A second later, his orbs followed, and he walked over to where Chris was standing.

"So I'm guessing they attacked you, too?" he asked. Easily, he reached over and put a hand on his brother's shoulder, healing it instantly. It was just second nature by now for him to heal everyone's injuries. "What do you think they're after?"

"Us," Bianca said simply. "I don't think they're after you guys. I think they're after either me or Chris or both of us. I mean, they attacked when they knew neither of you would be here, and then they attacked Chris when he was up here alone. A good guess would be to say that they just want to get us all alone and strip everyone's powers, but I don't know...there's just something about the way first that Darklighter, then that demon, grinned at me." She walked over to the book, and started mindlessly flipping its pages, hoping the demons that had done it would jump out at her.

"What do you mean?" Chris asked, making his way to her side.

"I mean, before that Darklighter tried to attack you, he grinned at me, like he knew something. Like he knew...I don't know. Just something."

"Well...that's not a lot to go on...but okay. Maybe we should call Paris over here and get him to figure out what was in that potion."

Wyatt shook his head, no. "Nope. You two need to get to magic school. It's safer there. Prue and I can figure it out."

Now Chris shook his head. "Can't. I have to work at nine."

"What? You're still going to go to work? There are demons after you," Prue protested.

"When aren't there demons after me or someone else? I can't go skipping work just because of that."

"Well, since mom is your boss, I think she'll understand. Actually, I think she'd be more pissed if you went."

"I have to go. There's no one else to replace me tonight. Cassidy's out of town and Dan's got a night class on tuesdays."

"Well then just go until his class is over and then have him cover your shift for you!" Prue demanded.

"And I'd explain that how? I already take enough days off for 'family emergencies' as it is, even if it is mom's club."

"No. You can't go. Not without your powers. It's too dangerous," Prue demanded, refusing to back down.

"Well, what if I were to go with him?" Bianca suggested. "I could take some weapons, hide them, watch out for him. I could work as a waitress for the night. If anything happens, Wyatt's just an orb away, right? Not to mention Parker and Paris. Besides, demons won't attack in public."

Wyatt looked up at the ceiling and frowned. A charge was calling. "Actually, I won't be here. I've got to go."

"Seriously? Someone is calling for you now? Who?" Prue demanded. She changed stances, now resting her hands on her hips, one hip cocked out to the side, defiant.

"Serena. In Paris. And whatever it is, it's important. She's terrified. But I do think it's a good idea, if you refuse to go to Magic School, to go work, because demons are a lot less likely to attack in public. But I will still be only an orb away. And I've got my cell phone on me so you can call me, if actually calling for me doesn't work. It should still work though, even if you don't have your powers," said Wyatt. He orbed away.

"Wyatt!" Prue shouted, now staring at the ceiling. "You can't just leave!"

She sighed and looked down at Bianca and Chris. "And now I'm outnumbered. I guess there's no stopping you now, is there?"

"Nope," said Chris.

"So you won't at all listen to reason?" Prue said almost pleadingly.

"Not if 'reason' involves hiding any time there's a threat," Chris said. It became a stare down, a battle of wills. Prue broke first, sighing and shrugging her shoulders.

Bianca nodded in agreement with what Chris had said. She didn't say so aloud, but she liked this idea better. Demons would never attack in public, right? "Okay, I'm going to go change, you get Paris to come over and work on that potion, 'kay?" She gave him a quick kiss and walked down stairs to get changed.

"Mmm-hmm." Chris nodded, watching her walk away. He didn't want to admit it, but there was a small spark of worry worming itself into his stomach. He couldn't help but feel like something bad was going to happen. But he wasn't about to just give in and hide the second there was a threat, either. "It'll all be okay, Prue. Don't worry so much." He frowned. Obviously, he didn't really believe what he was trying to convince her of. He turned and walked out of the attic to go and get ready for work.

"You! You! You're telling me not to worry!" Prue shouted hotly, following after him. "You! The biggest worrywart in the family! I know you! You're more worried about this than I am!"

Chris didn't say anything. He knew there was no dealing with his sister when she started yelling like this. All he could do was wait for her to finish saying her piece and walk away. He walked into his and Bianca's bedroom and closed the door.

"Chris! Not funny! You can't just walk away like that!" Prue ranted from outside the door.

"Two Martinis for the guys at table three," Chris held out a tray holding the two drinks to Bianca. She reached over the bar and grabbed the tray, careful not to spill either one of the two drinks. He couldn't help but grin. The club was dark and he could barely see her, but what he could see...well, he wasn't surprised that all evening every single man in the club had been eyeing her. Some had even hit on her a few times, and while he'd wanted to go and beat on each one personally, her replies to them had made such action redundant. He smiled at her, a sarcastic smirk of a smile, not saying anything.

"What?" she asked, cocking her head to the side and grinning.

"Nothing," said Chris, pursing his lips as he looked her over. "Just wondering where exactly you're hiding those athames." She was wearing a backless black halter top that didn't leave much to the imagination and a black leather mini skirt. There wouldn't have been room for a pin in that outfit, let alone two athames.

She smiled, knowing exactly what he was thinking, and leaned in against the bar, one hand raised, holding the tray with the drinks. She made like she was about to kiss him, but backed away just before her lips touched his, taunting him. She mouthed one word. "Later."

She walked away then, a little extra sway in her hips, knowing he was watching.

He grinned and shook his head, going back to drying glasses. They weren't much of a distraction, but they'd have to do.

He looked up just in time to see the men at table three try to hit on her. He couldn't hear exactly what she'd said as a response, but the spooked and creeped out way they looked at her as she walked back to the bar to drop off the tray meant she must've said something bad to them.

Quickly, he looked back down at the glass he was drying, pretending to be giving it his full attention.

Bianca walked over and dropped the tray off on the bar. They both knew he'd seen her talking to those men, but neither one said anything. Bianca walked back around, looking for any new people and asking random tables of people if they'd like anything else to drink.

The other waitress, and Chris' best friend, Sam, walked over with her tray full of empty glasses. She dropped the tray off and walked around the bar to stand next to Chris. She started cleaning the glasses she'd brought back.

"So," she said, "just when exactly are you planning on asking that girl to marry you?"

Chris nearly choked. "What?"

"Oh, come on Chris. You talk about her all the time, and I've known you almost your whole life, I know you want to ask her. You've been staring at her all night, and you've been dating for how long now? I've seen you guys together, you're about as perfect as it gets. Well, for two people of opposite sexes, anyway. And you're overly romantic and all that. You're planning on asking her, aren't you?"

Chris laughed and scratched at the back of his neck. He looked at Bianca, and big surprise, more drunks were hitting on her, before turning back to Sam. "I am. Just..." he trailed off, looking down at the line of glasses again.

"Just what?" Sam asked. She put down the glass she'd been cleaning and put her hands on her hips.

"I don't know what she'd say."

Sam took a dishcloth off the counter and whipped Chris with it. "Well, if the way she keeps looking at you, which is just like you look at her, is any indication, obviously, she'd say yes. "

"Nah, you don't know her like I do," Chris started but Sam interrupted him.

"Stop acting like I've never met the girl before. I know both you guys. She loves you just like you love her. Just 'cause she doesn't gush about it the way you do sissy boy, doesn't mean she doesn't feel the same."

"Still, I don't really know what she'd say..." She might say no, he added silently. Bianca had never been the type that was crazy about marriage. She'd never once mentioned it, not even in passing. Not once. And he knew she hadn't been the type of girl to dream of what type of wedding dress she'd wear when she was grown up when she was a little girl. Her childhood was spent playing games to do with vanquishing demons, not playing house. "But enough about that. What about you? You and Erica planning to get married anytime soon?" he joked, referring to Sam's latest girlfriend. She'd been seeing this one for about a month. Sam was a bit of a notorious serial dater.

"Uh, no," Sam frowned. "She dumped me." She finished the glass she was cleaning and walked back around the bar, picking up her tray.

"Well, I guess your track reccord is starting to catch up with you, huh?"

"Oh, shut up. You're not funny," Sam sneered at him.

Chris shrugged. "Aww, come on, we both know I am. Just like I still know that deep down, you still want me." He laughed. It was kind of a joke between the two of them. They'd met in kindergarten, and even though Chris had transferred to Magic school in fifth grade, they'd been friends ever since. And since they'd been friends for so long, a lot of times, people had thought, including his mother, that they'd end up together. Of course, neither of them had ever felt that way about the other. When they were both sixteen Chris found out why exactly she'd never liked him. His mom was bugging Sam (in front of him, no less) about why didn't she just get it over with and go out with Chris already, when Sam blurted out she didn't like Chris. She didn't like boys at all. She liked girls. And that solved that problem real quick.

"Yeah, about as much as I'd like to get vanquished by one of those demons that's always after you," Sam replied, twitching her nose. It'd been that same year that she'd found out that Chris wasn't as normal and boring as she'd always thought. Not that she'd had a problem with it. Actually, at first, she'd been kinda jealous that her best friend had super cool magical powers and she didn't. She'd also been the first one to know about Bianca, and the first one to accept her.

"Yeah, like they'd waste their time on you," Chris replied.

Sam narrowed her eyes and squared her shoulders, pretending to be mad. "You're just lucky I like you so much, Halliwell," she joked before walking off to check some of the tables.

"Finally!" Bianca cried as the last person was shoved out the door. It was three am, the club was finally closed, all the doors were locked, and she was exhausted.

She walked down the stairs to the bar and the floor, where Chris was currently wiping down the bar.

"I know, it was a long night."

"Uh, yeah. Is it always that busy?" She groaned, reaching down to rub at her legs, trying to get the tops of her boots unstuck from her legs. "These boots are killing me." She was wearing a pair of knee-high black leather boots with clunky three-inch heels. Walking around all night in them had not been fun.

"Well, I think we might've had a little extra help tonight. There were quite a few more guys in here than usual," said Chris. He wasn't sure whether or not that was a good thing, but either way, the night was over, and she was all his now, which was just how he liked it.

"And this top is killing me," said Bianca. When Chris looked up to look at her she made an exaggerated show of pulling at the knot at the top of the thin ropes that held her shirt up.

"Oh, well, I can certainly help you with that," he said, grinning.

Slowly, ever so slowly, she walked towards him and hopped up on the bar. All thoughts of getting everything cleaned and closed up gone, Chris grabbed her around the waist, hands rising, his fingers slipping up her shirt. She smiled and bent down to kiss him, wrapping her arms around his neck. He moved his hands around to her back, untying the knot that held the strings that made up the back of her shirt together.

"The club is closed, and we're alone..." he said huskily, his face less than an inch from hers. He moved his hands to the knot at the top of her shirt. Once he'd untied that knot he started kissing her neck all along where the strings had been.

"Hmm...I know..." Bianca said quietly, rolling her head back, her long hair cascading down her shoulders. He kissed all the way around her neck, then started kissing all along her collarbone.

She grabbed the back of his head, pulling his hair, and jerked his head up to meet hers. She started kissing him, and slid off the bar. She wrapped her arms low around his waist, fingers fast finding their way underneath the waistband of his jeans, then started unbuckling his belt.

As his belt fell to the floor with a small 'clunk', a thought struck Bianca. We're alone now...She'd entirely forgotten, as had he apparently, about the demon attack earlier. And the fact that currently, neither of them had any powers.

She grabbed her shirt, it had gotten caught between them in some weird sort of limbo, and hastily re-tied the knot at her neck.

"Oh...did you want me to use my teeth this time?" he joked, moving around to kissing her neck again.

"No, Chris, we need to-" she was about to say 'go' but was interrupted by the lights cutting out.

"I'll just go to the back room and check the fuse box, okay?" She said nervously, now re-tying the knot at the back of her shirt as well. Please just let it be the fuse box and not something else... she thought tensely.

She gave him a weak smile, not that he could see it in the dark, and hopped back over the bar, making her way to the back room.

The lights under the bar still worked, and the lights in the back room, which, thankfully, had been left open, were still working, so it had to be the fuse box, right? Being a trained assassin, trained ex-assassin rather, she'd been trained to see better in the dark so she didn't stumble, just walked quickly to her destination.

She was about halfway across the room when she heard the sound of orbing behind her. Please, let it be Wyatt...When she spun around she could see in the dim light that it was not Wyatt. Whoever it was was too short to be Wyatt and was holding a long, strangely shaped object. A crossbow, she realized just a second too late. It was a Darklighter.

"Bianca?" Chris asked into the darkness. Did he not hear the Darklighter orb in?

"Chris! Duck!" she shouted. Quickly, she bent down. She jerked open the slots at the back of her boots, and pulled out two athames. "I knew I'd worn these boots for a reason," she muttered.

"What? Why?" he asked. "What's going on? Is someone here? What's going on?" Much more quietly she could hear him mutter, "Damnit. I can't see a thing!" He hated feeling powerless just about as much as she did if not more so.

She got up and was about to throw the athame at the Darklighter when suddenly it pulled the trigger on the crossbow, sending a poison-laced arrow straight at Chris. "Damnit, Chris! Get down!" she shouted again. This time it was a command. But she still knew he'd never listen.

Instantly, she threw one of her athames at the Darklighter, aiming for any spot she could see, and another at the arrow. She could hear the athame fly right by it and land in the wall. In broad daylight that shot would have been a long shot, but in the dark, when all she could see was where the arrow had been thrown from? Near impossible. And she'd missed.

A split second later, she heard another sound. One that make her blood run cold. There was a sick sounding 'thunk' as the arrow hit Chris. He yelled when it hit him. Through the darkness, she saw in front of her a black cloud. It was the Darklighter exploding into dust - he hadn't even tried to escape the athame she'd thrown. She hadn't needed to see it, but she knew he'd had the same macabre grin as the other two evil creatures that had attacked earlier. This had been their plan all along. To kill Chris. It had nothing to do with her. And she'd led him right into their trap. It was all her fault.

All of this took only seconds but it felt like an eternity, and when it was over, Bianca was left standing in the dark, nervous and afraid. It was too quiet. It was waaaay too damn quiet.

"Chris!" she shouted, breaking the silence. She ran towards the bar and in her haste, she tripped. "Ow," she grumbled, rubbing her ankles. "Stupid boots!" she whispered, taking all her anger out on a pair of boots which, really, had done nothing wrong. She jerked them off and ran the rest of the way barefoot.

"Wyatt!" she called loudly. "Wyatt!"

In the glow of the bar lights, she could see Chris' arm rise into the air slowly. "You know that won't work," he groaned quietly.

"Well, I had to try something..." Bianca reached the bar and had to bite back a gasp. Chris was on the floor, leaning up against the back of the bar, his eyes closed. The arrow had pierced his shoulder.

She shook her head, and bit her lip. "Are you okay?" It was a dumb question, one she already knew the answer to, but it was what had come out all the same.

"Yeah," Chris replied sharply, "I just prefer sitting on the floor so much to standing."

Normally, she would've hit him on the back of the head or punched him in the arm for such a remark, or maybe she would've even kissed him, but considering the situation, she had to work not to cry.

She sank down next to him. "Let me see it," she said, trying her best to sound strong and unaffected. She doubted he bought it. If she herself thought she sounded weak, then he had probably seen straight through the act as well.

She fumbled for the flashlight she knew was kept on the shelf under the cash register in case the lights ever went out and clumsily turned it on. She held it in her mouth and turned it on his wound. It was a good thing she'd had the flashlight in her mouth because otherwise she wouldn't have at all been able to stop the gasp that threatened to escape from her lips.

Chris squeezed his eyes shut against the bright light, but didn't say anything.

She reached up and grabbed the cloth Chris had been using to wipe the bar down not ten minutes ago and wrapped it around her hand. It wouldn't do to pull the arrow out and then get poison all over her hand. Carefully, with one strong, fast jerking motion, she ripped the arrow out. Chris screamed in pain, panting heavily. "You...couldn't...have...warned...me...first..." he growled, still panting.

"I would've figured the bright flashlight in the face would've been enough of a clue," Bianca replied. But, forgetting she still had the flashlight in her mouth, her words were slurred and mixed together, coming out instead as, "Iwoldvefigurdthbrghtflshlghtnthfacwoldvebnnughffclue."

"What?" he asked, confused and somewhat annoyed.

She shrugged and removed the flashlight from her mouth. "Nevermind."

She shone the light on the now bleeding wound in his shoulder. "We're going to need to clean that up."

"Why? What's the point? The point was to poison me, right? This wound doesn't matter much."

"Well, I can't very well have you bleeding to death on me, now can I?" Bianca tried to pass it off as a joke, but there was an unmistakable bite to her words. She busied herself with searching the counters below the bar for a first aid kit.

Chris closed his eyes and shook his head. "Sorry," he said quietly. He reached over and touched her arm affectionately.

"Don't," she barked, jumping away from his touch. "Just...stay still."

He didn't say anything in response, just sat straight against the back of the bar, for once, doing as she asked.

"Damnit!" she cursed, pounding her fists against the shelf she was looking through. "You have a flashlight, but no first aid kit? Who's bright idea was that?"

"We..." Chris started in with what was going to be another sarcastic remark but he stopped himself. "You can use my shirt. I thought to put on two shirts this time." He laughed for a second, even though it wasn't funny.

She backed out of the deep shelf she'd been looking in and smiled sadly at him. "Okay."

She helped him out of his button-up white shirt, leaving him with only the bloodstained white t-shirt underneath. She ripped the shirt up and tied it into a makeshift bandage around his shoulder.

"Okay, well, since I can't actually call for anyone, I'll try using the phone. Maybe that'll work," Bianca said, still trying to sound strong.

She got to her feet and reached around for the phone on the top of the bar. It was one of those old, almost retro, corded models. She picked it up and squinted at the numbers on the phone. She started to dial the phone and put the receiver up to her ear. She was halfway through the phone number for the house when she realized there was no dial tone. Of course. They hadn't just cut the lights. They'd taken out the phoneline, too. And being dressed in her current outfit, she hadn't brought a cell phone with her. She considered running to the back room and checking the fuse box, but she knew they hadn't just cut some wires or flipped a switch. They'd cast a spell. She also considered running back to the house to find someone, but that would involve leaving Chris alone, and she certainly wasn't going to do that. "Damnit," she cursed for quite possibly the hundredth time that night. She gripped the edge of the bar, trying to think of a plan and trying not to cry.

"Bianca..." Chris said, his voice a near whisper.

"No. We'll find a way to save you," she snapped.

She let go of the bar and started to pace back and forth in front of Chris. "There's got to be something..."

"Bianca..." he whispered again, quieter this time.

She bit her lip. "Yeah?"

"Sit with me."

Wordlessly, she nodded.

She scrambled to the floor and sat next to him. She sat still for all of five seconds before her fingers started tapping a jerky, irregular rhythm against the floor.

Weakly, Chris smiled. He leaned up against her shoulder, closing his eyes.

Slowly, she reached around and picked him up by the shoulders, resting his body against hers so his legs were just diagonal to hers and his head and chest rested against hers. Her jittery fingers switched from tapping against the floor to running through his hair. "Chris?"

"Mmm..." he mumbled, eyes still closed.

"Stay awake, okay?" She couldn't help it, her voice cracked. "Just stay awake. They'll find us. They know where we are. They'll come for us."

He nodded sleepily. "Yeah, sure."

"No, they will. They will." She said it, but she wasn't sure she believed it.

They fell into silence then, Bianca running her hands nervously through his hair, and fighting the tears that were gathering in her eyes.

A few minutes later Chris spoke up. "Bianca?"

She stopped moving her hands, even if only for just a second. "Yeah?"

"I..." he stopped, his breath hitching in his throat. He coughed for several seconds before speaking again. "Bianca, will you marry me?" he asked quietly. He started coughing again, his whole body shaking with the effort. She moved one arm so it was wrapped around his chest instead of behind his back as a weak attempt at comfort, the other hand was still frozen in motion in his hair. Eventually, he relaxed.

"You can ask me once we save you," she replied, for once her voice acting as she wanted it to and coming across as strong and sharp, rather than how she felt, which was weak and powerless.

"No..." he started again. He sighed, exhausted. He only had enough energy left for the fewest words. "Marry me, Bianca."

Now Bianca started to cry. "Yes. Yes. Of course, a thousand times yes. I love you, Chris. But I swear," she almost laughed. "If you die on me first, I will kick your ass." She was silent for a beat before speaking again and this time her voice was much quieter. "Just stay awake, okay?"

Chris nodded, too tired to speak and closed his eyes.

"Chris!" she shouted, shaking him roughly. "No...don't, please...stay awake, okay? Wake up. Just don't...please...Chris, you can't! Please! Wake up!" His head lolled to the side and she could feel his breathing slowing down.

"Wyatt!" she screamed. "I swear to god, if you can hear me at all, Wyatt! Get your ass down here, now!" But nothing happened.

The flashlight she'd left on the shelf began to flicker. Then it went out entirely. And she was left in the dark, tears streaming unchecked down her cheeks. She started stroking Chris' hair and banging her head against the back of the bar, sobbing.

Fifteen minutes had passed. Bianca could just barely make out the clock on the wall across from the back of the bar. By now, she'd stopped crying and had stopped banging her head against the wall. She had a terrible, pounding headache, but it didn't matter now. "Chris..." she whispered, her voice hoarse. Her one hand was still running through his hair. Of course, he didn't say anything in response.
Another minute passed, each second feeling longer than the last. Bianca swore she could hear the ticking of the clock on the wall, and it drove her crazy.
Another minute passed. She couldn't feel Chris' breathing against her anymore. And his skin was so cold. She rubbed her hand up down his chest, like that would help somehow. She let out a cry, sobbing again. He was slipping away and there was nothing she could do about it. She untied the shirt from around his shoulder. It was useless now anyway.
And again, everything was silent.
A minute later, or maybe it was a lifetime, Bianca wasn't sure, the sound of orbs shattered the silence. "They've come to kill me too, now," she sobbed quietly. She didn't bother to get up.
"Bianca?" a voice called. Wyatt. Wyatt had found them. "Prue had fallen asleep in front of the tv and you guys weren't home so I figured you were still here..."

"Wyatt! Over here!" she shouted, voice raspy but hopeful. "Behind the bar!"

"Where're the lights?" Wyatt wondered aloud. She could hear his footsteps thundering clumsily across the floor.

"Hurry!" she cried. "Hurry!"

"What's-" she could guess he was about to ask her what was wrong when suddenly he stopped short, groaning. She didn't need to see it to know he'd run into something and fallen over.

"Wyatt!" she cried, annoyed. "Hurry up!"

"Oh, forget this," he grumbled. With a snap of his fingers the lights turned back on and he ran over to the bar.

"Okay, what are you doing," he started. He stopped short for a second once he saw Chris before the words started trickling out slowly like molasses. "...down...there..."

"Oh, god." He stood there for a second, just staring. His brother's skin was so pale it was tinted blue, and as he watched him he could see he wasn't moving- at all. He wasn't breathing. He wasn't dead, was he? He couldn't be. He just couldn't be. Could he? No, he couldn't. There was no way. Was there? "Oh my god."

"Wyatt!" Bianca barked. "Heal him! Now!"

"Should never've, should have come, should've, should've...stupid, stupid, stupid!" Wyatt muttered as he crashed forward, collapsing on his knees next to Bianca. He didn't bother to ask her to move, just instantly placed his hands on his brother's shoulder. "Oh god, if he's, I couldn't, I can't, oh, god," he stumbled and tripped over words as he waited for something to happen. Bianca didn't speak. She didn't so much as breathe. If this didn't work...

Slowly, a golden glow leaked from Wyatt's hands and into Chris' skin, first healing the wound and then causing his skin to glow as the healing power slowly removed the deadly poison. The glow faded away and Chris started sputtering and choking to life, but Wyatt didn't remove his hands. He didn't dare. He waited until Chris opened his eyes before sitting back. His hands gripped tightly to his knees, out in plain sight and ready to take action, as if he might all of a sudden need to heal his brother again.

Chris opened his eyes and his head rested back against Bianca's shoulder. "Hey..." he said sleepily.

She whimpered, mouth unable to form words as fresh tears streamed down her cheeks.

He smiled and slowly sat up, turning to face her. This time he hugged her, wrapping his arms around her tightly. She wrapped her arms around him as well, nearly choking him with the effort. They were silent for a few seconds before Chris spoke up. "I love you," he whispered.

"I love you, too. So much. And don't, don't...next time when I tell you to duck, just do it!" Bianca backed away and looked at him, wiping the tears from her eyes.

"I will." He laughed, smiling. "So long as you'll still marry me."

"WHAT?" Wyatt asked, eyes as big as saucers and jaw almost dropping to the floor. He looked from Bianca to Chris and back to Bianca. "Huh?"

Bianca looked over at Wyatt and smiled. "We're going to get married." She laughed. "Me. Yeah. I'm going to get married. To him." She laughed again, still wiping away her tears. "Oh my god." She shook her head. "We're going to get married."

Chris smiled, overjoyed. "Sorry I don't have a ring or anything..."

"Oh, shut up." Bianca grabbed him and kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck.

Wyatt covered his eyes and groaned.

A week later, once Paris had made the potion to give both her and Chris their respective powers back, Bianca strolled into a bar in the Underworld. "Hey," she called out loudly. "Anyone know where I can find a demon named Dominic?"

Every demon in the room turned to look at her, and demons not being the most loyal of creatures, they all pointed to a darkened corner in the back of the room. Slowly, Bianca walked to the back corner. She knew if this was going to work she was going to have to pretend, at first, anyway, that she was interested in this demon. And not in a I-want-your-slimy-no-good-demon-ass-vanquished, kind of way. Soon enough, the table came into view.

There was a short, scruffy, young-faced nearly-human-looking demon with horns and yellow eyes sitting at the table and nursing what might have at some point been considered a beer. "Hi, there," she said, staring down at him. She batted her eyelashes and smiled at him playfully.

Immediately, he sat up and winked at her. "And what," he said, his voice a deep baritone that just didn't match his face, "might I help you with?"

"Oh, I don't know," she replied, her tone as sweet as sugar, "I'm just a girl looking for a little help, is all."

He smiled as she walked closer, then crawled up on top of him, her hair dangling in his face.

"Well, I'd love to help you with whatever you need," he purred, smile as wide as his face.

"Yeah? Really?" she said, smiling excitedly.

"Uh-huh," he swallowed as she dragged a finger down his chest.

"Then never, ever attack my fiancé, ever again," she growled. Suddenly, she summoned an athame. She grabbed his shoulder with one hand and drew the athame down his chest along the same line she'd just traced with her finger.

He squirmed to get out from under her, but it was no good; she had him pinned.

She smiled, bitterly this time, and slid the cold steel across his neck, just barely drawing blood. "You thought you were real smart, didn't you? You thought you'd gain power and respect in the Underworld for finally managing to kill off a Halliwell, huh? You thought you were so clever, binding both of our powers so no one could sense him when your lackeys attacked and so I couldn't do anything about it, then hiring a couple of Darklighters to poison and kill him. Well guess what? You failed. And do you know why?"

Nervously, he shook his head, no.

"Because so long as I'm around, so long as there's breath in this body, no demon will never get him. Got it?"

The demon, in his best attempt at sarcasm said, "Aren't you part -

"Don't remind me. The fact that I'm in any way remotely like a bastard like you makes me sick."

He smirked smugly, thinking he'd gotten under her skin.

Her lips curved upwards in just the barest hint of a smile and she plunged the athame straight into his heart. With a less than manly scream he exploded into ash.

Getting up, she brushed any remaining ash off her jeans and glared at all the other demons in the bar- if they hadn't all been staring before, they were certainly all staring now. No one said anything. She flipped her hair over her shoulder and shimmered away.

She shimmered into the foyer of the manor just as Chris was walking out of the dining room. She turned to him and gave him a brief smile.

"Why do I get the feeling I don't want to know where you were?" He walked closer and wrapped his arms around her waist.

"Ohhh...because you probably don't," she replied, grinning. She leaned in and kissed him, still grinning broadly. She shimmered the two of them upstairs to their room.

He waved his hand and telekinetically closed the door before leading her over to the bed.

-please review!-

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