Disclaimer: Nothing in the Charmed universe belongs to me and no copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: They want the truth and will stop at nearly nothing to get it. But will the truth destroy them all?
Author's Note: This fic takes place during season 6 soon after the episode Prince Charmed, where Chris reveals that Wyatt will turn evil in the future. It's my own little Alternate Reality concerning the secrets of Chris Perry Halliwell and how they become revealed. Depending on how well this story is received, it should continue for several chapters. As a warning, in this first chapter I might make Leo and the sisters seem cruel to an extent, but I promise you it is not my intention to bash them. I love them all and eventually will find a happy ending for them. Just keep in mind that Chris just told them that their precious child would become the most evil creature ever created. The strain is just too much for them. I will also warn that this fic jumps into things pretty quickly. So don't be surprised to see a lot of action right off the bat. Rated T for violence and language. Italics in '' are person's private thoughts.
Chapter 1 Inquisition
"Damnit, Chris, I'm tired of hearing the words future consequences. So help me god, if you do not start talking soon I'm gonna blow you to bits," Piper screamed in angry frustration.
"You can't do that," Chris said scowling at her but he immediately saw the look on her face and realized that just maybe she could. He quickly looked to Leo hoping that the Elder would intervene on his part just this once.
"Technically, Piper, that would be murder since he's only half Whitelighter," Leo pointed out to her. Chris nodded smiling smugly.
The anger did not leave Piper's face but she lowered her hands slightly. Then a thought struck her. "Have you been born yet?"
All pretense of bravado immediately left Chris' face. Why would she ask that? "What?"
"I didn't stutter, did I? In this timeline have you been born yet?" Piper was almost positive that Chris was younger than he seemed and was betting on the answer being negative.
"Umm… umm," he stuttered over his own words for a moment. "No," he finally answered not sure where she was heading with this line of questioning but not liking it at all.
"Ha!" she said triumphantly. "If you have not been born yet, then technically it can not be termed as murder. You can't kill someone who isn't alive yet." She crossed her arms and a smug smile colored her lips. "So if you don't want to be blown to bits, start spilling everything you know. You can't just tell me my baby boy is going to turn evil in the future and then drop the whole thing spouting nonsense about future consequences. I won't allow it."
Chris thought about orbing out and giving her time to cool off but he knew that this was his one and only chance at getting back in with the Charmed Ones. But how much could he reveal without his secret being revealed also? "I don't know what else to tell you. I don't have a lot to go on myself."
"Piper, I need to speak to someone 'up there'. Please don't blow him up before I get back," Leo interrupted moving closer to her. "Please, for now, just talk."
Piper nodded but didn't take her eyes off of Chris. Blue and white orbs filled the room as Leo disappeared. 'Yeah, as always, never around when I need ya'. Chris thought bitterly to himself.
"Listen, Chris, if you want us to believe anything you say at all, you need to be a little bit more honest and forthcoming with us," Phoebe suggested knowing that Piper was on the edge and ready to explode. "I suggest you start with who you are and why you of all people would want to come back to help Wyatt?"
Chris looked away from the sisters and just slightly shook his head. Why that question right off the bat? "I can't answer that," he mumbled not daring to look towards them.
"Wrong answer," Piper snapped raising her hands and launching her power at him just barely nicking his shoulder.
Chris staggered backward with the force of the blow grasping his now burning shoulder. "Damnit, Piper, that hurt." He knew what her aim was like and also knew that she never missed her target, so at least she wasn't trying to kill him, but still how long could that possibly last?
"Don't try to orb, Chris. We'll just summon your ass back here," Paige warned seeing the urge to take flight building in the young Witchlighter.
Chris squared his shoulders even though the strain on the injured one was almost more than he could take. "I'm not running anywhere. I came here to save Wyatt and I can't accomplish that if you all run me off at every opportunity."
"Do you honestly think I'm ever gonna let you near my son again?" Piper asked in an incredulous tone her voice raising several octaves.
Chris blanched at the words. This wasn't going well at all.
Meanwhile 'up there' Leo was conferring with two members of the tribunal.
"You do understand what you are asking of us, don't you?" a voice boomed from one of the two floating heads surrounding him.
"Yes, yes, I do. We have to figure out once and for all if Chris is a threat to my son and the Charmed Ones," Leo answered solemnly.
"There is only one way that we may approve your request," the other member said. "No powers will be allowed while you are there. Not even yours."
Leo blinked in surprise. He hadn't expected that condition but it would make sense. What he was asking for was unheard of. He just nodded his agreement.
"So be it. You have until midnight." And with those words the two Elder members of the tribunal disappeared.
That gave them a little over four hours. It would have to be enough.
"Listen, I don't know what you want to hear from me. I've told you everything I can right now. I know you don't trust me, but I'm the only chance Wyatt has. I have enough knowledge from my time to guess which demons need to be investigated. None of you have that. So what choice do you really have?" Chris was about at the end of his frazzled nerves. He was in pain and desperate to convince them and nothing seemed to be going right.
Piper was considering wounding him again in hopes of stopping his same old litany when bright blue and white orbs shone throughout the room. She turned to Leo expectantly. "And what brilliant solution have you come to for our problem?" It was a little more sarcastic than he would hope for but at least she was asking his advice.
Leo glanced at Chris and saw the way he held his shoulder and the ratty tattered appearance of his jacket sleeve. "Piper, I said talk, not maim."
Leo immediately walked towards Chris meaning to heal the young Witchlighter's injured arm but when he was within a few feet of him, Chris balked and pulled back. "Don't touch me. I'm fine."
"Chris, come on, you are gonna need to be at one hundred percent for what's to come," Leo pleaded reaching out to touch Chris' shoulder.
"What do you mean, 'what's to come'?" Chris asked in concern. With those words shining orbs enveloped them all and they disappeared.
When they reformed they were in a room that was black on all sides and standing on a white circular platform with a criss-crossed pattern of tiles covering it and one large circular tile in the center. There were also two tables set up on one side of the platform that only held a few bottles of water and nothing else.
"Where the hell are we?" Piper asked in concern looking all around.
"I didn't expect them to pull us that fast," Leo commented looking around them also. He looked back to Chris and sighed dropping his hands. He hadn't had the time to heal his shoulder and he knew how much pain it would probably be causing him in the next four hours. But there was nothing else for him to do.
Chris also looked around and began shaking his head in disbelief. "The Tribunal. You've brought me in front of the Tribunal. I haven't exposed magic, Leo." Chris immediately tried to orb away but nothing happened. "Why can't I orb?" His panic could be heard in his voice and Leo began to wonder if maybe he had made a mistake. He had wanted to take them to a safe neutral territory where they could discuss everything rationally. He hadn't really wanted to frighten the young Witchlighter like this.
"Listen, Chris. You are not going before the Tribunal. I know how frightening that is for any witch to face. I just borrowed their hearing room for a few hours. And you can't orb because that was the condition they specified. No powers can be used in this room. None of us. Believe me, this whole discussion is gonna be a lot safer for you this way." Leo pointedly looked at Piper who was raising her hands trying in vane to use her powers on anything and getting no results.
Chris squinted his eyes in resentment. "So basically I'm a prisoner here until you get the information you want out of me." He snorted in derision and then added. "Hearing room! More like interrogation room!"
"Chris, I was hoping that you would want to come clean with us. We don't want to force information out of you, but for Wyatt…." He broke off the sentence implying just what they'd do to keep their son safe.
That was such a joke to him. They were worried about keeping their son safe from him, when all he'd ever tried to do was to save him. He knew life would not be easy in the past before he ever left his timeline, but part of him had always assumed that if he told them he wanted to protect Wyatt that they'd at least try to help him. But he had been wrong. Very wrong.
"I hope you brought a book to read, because you aren't hearing or seeing anything from me," came Chris' bitter reply as he motioned towards the center circle, where he knew images from his mind could be projected. With that he spun around and walked to the edge of the platform fuming in pure rage. How had he let everything get this far out of control?
"Leo, can you please explain what this place is?" Paige asked looking around in confusion.
Leo turned to the sisters and tried to explain as best he could. "There is a group of Elders and Demons called The Tribunal. They are in charge of keeping balance between good and evil in our world and of keeping the secret of magic just that, a secret. When a witch or other magical being threatens that balance or threatens our secret they hold hearings to determine what actions to take against them. As a matter of fact The Cleaners report directly to them. You all remember them. But anyway this is where their hearings take place, and I just borrowed it for a few hours to straighten this whole mess out."
"And we have no powers again, because…." Piper asked angrily. This wasn't how she imagined this going. She had been so angry when Chris told her that Wyatt was going to turn evil in the future. No matter what he said, no matter how convincingly he might lie she just couldn't believe that about her baby. All she wanted to hear was Chris admitting that he was lying about Wyatt and she wasn't sure she would hear that if she couldn't threaten him with her powers.
"It is a condition they placed on us using the hearing room. And honestly, it's probably a good idea. This way Chris can't orb out on us and you can't blow him up in your anger." Leo knew he was pushing it by trying to hold Piper back. It was something she normally didn't allow anyone to do, not even him.
Paige was staring at Chris' back and wondering what was going through his mind but then a thought occurred to her. "Hey, future boy, how come you knew about The Tribunal when we didn't?" It was plain to everyone's ears that it was more an accusation than a question.
Oh great, what else were they gonna accuse him of? Chris spun around and the look on his face was one of complete disdain. "You all just can't paint me as anything but something evil, can you?"
"That's not an answer, Mister," Piper shot back.
Chris scowled at her for a moment but realized that if he didn't say something this was just gonna be a contest of who could tick the other one off more so he nodded in self-defeat and then answered the best he could without revealing his secret. "Let's just say that my family has had a run in or two with The Tribunal."
"But not you personally?" Piper asked.
"No, I haven't had the honor yet," he answered his voice dripping with sarcasm. Even if he was willing to give them a small amount of information he still wasn't gonna sit back while they made unfounded accusations.
"Chris, the answers we want from you aren't that hard for you to give. Why are you being so stubborn about this?" Leo asked in annoyance. "If you truly want to help Wyatt, wouldn't it be easier to work with us instead of against us?"
Chris threw his head back closing his eyes in a sign of exasperation as a large sigh left his lips. "I am not working against you. I just can't give you the answers you want. Why can't you just accept that? We are wasting precious time with all of this. Time that should be spent finding the demon that turns Wyatt." For anyone who was objective it was easy to hear the pleading quality his voice had taken and see the sense he was making, but no one in the room could have been accused of being objective at that time.
"Chris, we don't need you to keep Wyatt safe," Piper said bitterly letting her anger at the young man lace every word.
That was the last straw. He had tried to reason with them but it wasn't doing him any good at all. "Apparently you do," Chris bit out angrily lowering his eyes back to them. Something in him just snapped and he couldn't stand the sight of any of them right then as bitter words came unbidden to his tongue. "Otherwise he would have never turned in the first place and I wouldn't be stuck in this time trying to convince you all that your son is more important than your egos."
Piper blanched at the words as if she had been slapped and Leo's face turned into a mask of rage. Paige and Phoebe were frozen in utter disbelief at his words. How dare he insinuate that they would let Wyatt come to harm for their own pride.
Chris knew he had crossed the line the moment the words were out of his mouth. He never wanted to see that hurt look in Piper's eyes. He was used to anger coming from Leo but Piper didn't deserve his biting remarks. She had done everything to try to raise her son to be an honest, decent witch but somehow it had all just gone wrong. It wasn't her fault. "I'm sorry, Piper… I didn't mean it like that."
But his words came too late as Leo launched forward and his fist connected with Chris' jaw. Chris went sprawling backwards and landed on his back. He looked up at Leo in utter disbelief. He had stuck him, again. It wasn't the first time Leo had done that. But the last time, after they had found him being held prisoner by the Valkyries, Chris had felt that he probably deserved it. After all it was he who had set Leo up to be taken. But this time, did he really deserve it he wondered? "Real pacifistic move there, Elder," he spit out in anger a slight bit of blood flying from his lips and landing on the white tile next to him.
"I'm not an Elder right now, Chris. I'm a father," Leo answered moving forward crossing his arms in front of him, hoping he wouldn't have to repeat the strike. He still hated violence in any form but the young man had hurt Piper and that was more than he could stand for. It didn't matter that they weren't husband and wife anymore. He still cared very deeply for her and he would not allow Chris or anyone else to hurt her. Not while he was still standing.
"You could have fooled me there," Chris mumbled pushing himself off the ground and standing tall.
"What did you say?" Leo asked unfolding his arms ready to strike again if he had to his eyes squinting in anger.
"You heard me! Since when does a good father spend more time at 'work' than he does with his son? Since when does he abandon them for that same 'work'? Can you answer that?" In all honestly Chris wasn't sure if he was speaking about Wyatt or himself, but it didn't really matter anymore to him. He was tired of being the one who always got hurt. He wanted Leo to feel pain, just as he had many times in the past.
"How dare you imply that I'm a bad father to Wyatt? I love my son. And I'm there for him as often as I can be," Leo bellowed in complete rage as he moved closer to Chris with his hands clenching into fists at his sides.
"Take it from someone who knows you better than you do yourself, you aren't now, nor will you ever be, a good father!" That was it. That was the final straw. The most bitter of accusations that Chris could utter against him and no matter how much it hurt to voice them he just couldn't keep them in any more.
Leo blinked once and then his self-restraint was completely gone, as his fist struck out landing hard again on Chris' cheek. With that Chris flew backwards landing against one of the tables his back striking the edge. The table slid to the far edge of the platform and Chris reached back grasping his lower back where it had struck. "Who the hell do you think you are?" Leo screamed in rage. "You say you know me. I don't believe you. How am I to know that you aren't here to kill my son? Maybe you're the one who turns Wyatt. Or maybe that's all just a smokescreen to get you close to him, so you can kill him."
Chris was up within seconds and had launched himself on top of Leo fists flying as he knocked him to the ground landing on top of him. "Shut up! Just shut up!" he screamed pounding his fists into Leo's face. Leo was stunned and didn't try to fight back. The amount of loathing and hate he could hear in those simple words was staggering.
"Chris, stop!" Phoebe yelled being the first one to react moving forward and trying to grab Chris' arm.
"No!" he screamed shoving Phoebe away from him and then continued pounding Leo's face. "You don't know me! You don't know anything about me!"
Then it was Paige's turn to try to stop him as she too tried to grab his arm. Again Chris shoved her off and continued pounding the whole time screaming at Leo. "You don't know what I've done. You don't know what I've gone through, what I've lost, all to save your precious son!" Each word was filled with raw emotion along with the anger. And even as Leo tried to block the punches it wasn't hard to see the tears that had started to spill from the young man's eyes.
"Damnit, Leo. Powers would be good about now," Piper whispered trying to come in on Chris' side to push him off.
Chris was about to shove her away also when he saw her face and the worried look it held; that same worried look that he remembered from his youth whenever he or his brother were sick or in trouble. He froze as she grabbed his arm.
"Chris, please stop this," she whispered seeing that she'd gotten his attention.
He stared into her deep brown eyes and the tide finally broke inside him as a sob broke from his lips. He looked down to Leo's face, correction his father's face and saw the blood running from his busted lip and nose and Chris pushed himself backwards off of Leo the sobs choking him as he desperately tried to get away. "Oh god, what have I done?" he finally forced out through the sobs. He tried to stand but his entire body felt as if it was made of led as he fell again to his knees pushing himself back further along the floor.
Leo had sat up and was wiping the blood from his lip and staring at Chris through eyes that felt as if they were starting to swell. What he saw was beyond confusing. Though just a moment before Chris' eyes had been filled with hate and anger they were now completely remiss with guilt and sorrow. It didn't make any sense at all. If he hated him so much why did he regret hitting him?
"Oh god, I shouldn't have done that. Oh please no!" Chris cried again trying to stand yet again to get away. This time his leg caught on one of the chairs and he went down again falling to the side and catching his temple on the edge of the table, sending the table sliding off the platform and Chris slamming into the floor where it had stood.
A/N: Well that's the first chapter. I warned it would be quick moving. What does everyone think?