Author's Note: Okay, since it has been so long since I last updated, be prepared for a long long note. You do not have to read it, but I feel as though I need to explain myself. I hate that it took me so long to update this story - and I know that a lot of you are probably pissed at me for not updating in…two or three months? In addition, it is okay if you are pissed - I'm even a little pissed at myself.
And now come the excuses. I wish I had some kick ass reason for not updating - I really do. Maybe if I did, I would not feel so ashamed right now. All I really have though is the fact that my real life just got in the way and I could not update; I didn't forget the story, I promise. But my Pop was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and I was worrying like mad. I'm really the only grandchild that loves my grandfather - everyone else seems to go for my Nan instead which I find really sad.
And, since I take after my Pop, we are both stubborn as hell. Meaning that the doctors cannot do anything for him because it is his lungs that are giving him trouble and he needs oxygen at home, which he had once before, but they won't give it back to him because he refuses to give up his smoking. Which, I think is stupid - and I have spent the past three years telling him that, but he does not listen to me. -.-
Then there was school (which is being a total bitch by the way) and the damn swine flu. Yeah, that's right the damn swine flu hit my town and even killed a few people - but I didn't get it, at least the doctors said I didn't. Either way, I was sick for the longest time and couldn't get out of bed. Damn flu.
Moreover, to make it up to you, I stayed up until five o'clock in the morning making it this long and editing it. Sadly, I did not think that through because I have to got to school at seven; opps. Oh well, I only have French and English (which is being overly boring at the moment) so I can sleep in class - believe me, there is a reason I sit in the back of the class.
So - show me you still care, please, by reviewing at the end of this chapter?
Chapter Seventeen: Your Face It Haunts.
Hearing a crash from the attic, Chris frowned as he cracked one of his previously shut eyes opened, his eyes straying to the bedroom door as an uneasy feeling formed in the pit of his stomach. After spending time in the past and after growing up in the Manor, hearing loud crash noises and screams wasn't all that new to him, but what worried Chris was the lack of noise.
"Prue?" Chris called as he looked to where his cousin had been stationed at his side. Not seeing the half-Cupid, a frown appeared on his face as ever more dread seeped into his very soul. "Prue, where are you?"
Not getting a response, Chris shot up into a sitting position as he bit his lip. He knew that there was a chance that he was overreacting, but when he heard, or rather, didn't hear anything - he knew something was wrong. If there was one thing that stayed true in when concerning the Manor, it was the fact that the time didn't matter - the Manor was never this quiet. Hell, some could argue and say that even when its tenants were at peace there was still noise in the Victorian house.
Therefore, the silence was terrifying to Chris.
Swinging his legs over the side of the bed, Chris frowned as he slowly eased himself up off the bed and towards the door, only to reach into his belt and pull out his Athame before heading into the hall. He always carried an Athame with him, something that Emily and even Wyatt had always insisted upon; just in case his powers did not work.
Personally, he just thought they were paranoid.
"Prue?" Chris called as he looked around the hallway, looking for his cousin who should have been right beside him. Knowing his cousin though, Prue had probably stayed with him until he fell asleep, only to hunt down his father and lay down some ground rules with the Elder from the future, as well as Leo and the sisters. Still, there was an uneasy feeling in his stomach.
Frowning, he walked over to the stairway that headed up to the attic and frowned as he stared at the oak door that blocked his view from the attic. Knowing that Phoebe and Paige had went up there, he sighed as his not so good feeling came back. "Paige? Phoebe? Are you up there?"
His shouts were met with silence.
"Where the hell are they?" He muttered to himself as he headed back towards the stairs that led down to the entryway, his footsteps making echoes throughout the silent house. "Hello, is anyone there?"
This was not right, Chris knew that. He just did not know what was not right with all of this or where anyone was. While the sisters and Leo normally ignored him, they did answer him when he called out to them, even if it was simply a snippy remark. It was when he didn't get a sarcastic remark in return that he began to worry.
So now was a good time to start worrying.
Even his dead-beat father wouldn't ignore him at a time like this. That thought caused Chris to scowl, Future Leo may have ignored him in the future when Chris' mother and sister were dying, but ever since he had made those mistakes, Future Leo was more prone to answer Chris' calls. Even if they didn't happen all that often or at all.
In addition, Prue knew better than to ignore him when he called out to her. Simply because he feared for her when he did not know where she was or whether or not she was safe: that was something that had arouse when they had lost so many family members.
"Prue?" Chris hissed hoarsely as he walked down the stairs quietly to ensure that any unwelcome guests didn't hear his footsteps. As the fear in his stomach began rising up into his chest and heart, Chris frowned when he headed towards the parlour with his Athame at the ready, only to stop dead in his tracks when the sight met his eyes. "No."
That was all he could whisper when he saw it, it was as if everything from that frightful day eight years ago was coming back to him. Seeing his Aunt Paige slouched down on the sofa with several poison-filled arrows sticking into her, Chris feared the worst and ran to her side, silently wondering what it was that had made her come downstairs and leave her position in the attack.
"Aunt Paige!" Chris called, not even caring about the damn consequences at that moment.
Reaching his Aunt's side, Chris leaned down and felt her neck for a pulse, only to allow a sob to escape his lips when he felt nothing more than cold, clammy skin under his fingers. Her pulse was long gone, but he hadn't been asleep that long, had he? He didn't think so.
Hearing the hoarse call of someone calling his name, Chris' head shot up and he looked in the vague direction of the voice, only to see the piano. Leaned up against the piano though, was none other than Future Leo, his father.
The one man that Chris swore that he hated above all else, a position only rivalled by Future Leo's past self, was dying. Chris swore he hated his father but now seeing his father so broken, Chris felt a piece of his own heartbreak. Not because he felt the least bit bad for his father being in pain, but because seeing the dark lighter arrow embedded in his father's chest, it made Chris question whether or not this would be the last time he ever got to see his father alive.
And that made all of the difference.
"Leo," Chris said simply, rushing to his father's side now that he knew that he could do nothing for his Aunt Paige. A simple fact that made him secretly question whether or not the future had been altered - but it must have, without Paige, her children would simply be erased. Meaning that no longer did Ana, Callie and Henry Jr live, something that Chris did not want to think about.
He still remembered them, so that had to count for something. Right?
"Don't touch it," Future Leo ordered when he saw his youngest son reaching to pull out the arrow. The Elder knew he had never been much of a father to Chris but that did not mean he was going to allow Chris - his son - to put himself in harm's way just to save his life. He wasn't worth it. "It can kill you as well, Chris. You know that."
"I'm not going to just let you die, Leo!"
Leo. He had called him Leo. That was enough to have the Elder cringe slightly as that simple name reached his ears. He deserved it, he had lost the right to be called Dad a long time ago, but the knowledge didn't ease the pain in his heart as Chris' words from several hours earlier rung in his ears.
"You are not my Dad. I am not your son."
Still, in his final moments Future Leo felt the need to be honest with his son. Future Leo was no fool, while several would argue against that point, he knew that with the arrow that was embedded in him that he was going to die.
"No, I have a hard enough time getting through the day without your death on my conscience." Chris snapped back, not even giving his father the chance to say his goodbyes. Because that was what his father was about to say, Chris knew it. His mother, and even Melinda, had gotten the same look in their eyes when they had said goodbye to him as well. "I will not let you die too."
"I wouldn't think any less of you if you did, Son." Future Leo said simply, noting how Chris tensed at being called his 'Son', Future Leo looked down in shame as all of his past regrets finally took their toll. "After all, I let your mother and sister die."
"They were your wife and daughter too," Chris gently reminded - for once not feeling the need to rub such a fact in his father's face. "You didn't let them die," he admitted, a frown forming on his face as he let go of some of the anger he felt towards his father. "You loved them too."
"It doesn't change the facts!" Future Leo snapped before going into a coughing fit as the poison began to take its affect. "If I had been half the father you had deserved, if I had only responded to your call right away, we may not have lost them!" Future Leo looked into Chris' eyes. "And then we wouldn't have lost Wyatt meaning that all of this mess could have been avoided."
"We would have lost Wyatt eventually; he was a time bomb just waiting to go off."
"True," the Elder admitted as a soft smile worked its way onto his lips as he filled with pride for his youngest son - the one who had realised something had gotten to his brother. "And we know that thanks to you," Future Leo said as his eyes drifted closed. "Still…if I could take it back…I would." Watching as his youngest son once again attempted to heal him; the Elder sighed and shook his head with no anger in his face. "Chris you-"
"No! I won't lose you," Chris said as he shook his head angrily. Sure, he hated his father but that did not mean that he wanted his father to die, either. "I'm going to save you."
"You can't save everyone, Chris."
"Now that you're faced with your father, a man that you definitely despise on some level, you can't save him."
"You're tired of saving everyone."
"I've already told you Chris, we can't save everyone. You can't save everyone."
"Like you've all been telling me since this war has started; I can't save everyone."
"Wow, I guess you're more like Wyatt than you like to admit."
Hearing all of those words play over and over in his heads: some words that others had told him, some words that he had said himself, Chris felt sick. Not because the words floating around in his mind weren't true, but because they were. A part of him didn't want to save his father just so he could be rid of him, not just because he hated his father, but because he was tired. He was tired of all the lies and secrets, he was tired of having to watch his back, he was tired of saving everyone and he was just tired of being tired. He simply longed for the day he could actually relax.
"I don't blame this on you, Chris." Future Leo said, interrupting Chris from his thoughts as the half-Elder looked down at his father. "My death, Melinda's death, your mother's…" Future Leo trailed off. "None of it was your fault, not even Wyatt was your fault. I'm so proud of the way you've handled everything," Chris' father praised. "I…I love you, Son."
Feeling his father's body go limp, Chris frowned as his father's words hit close to home. "Leo?" He asked simply, gently pushing his father as a way to wake him up. But it was too late, the Elder was already gone and it was only then that Chris could admit the truth. "I love you too…Dad."
"Awe, is the itty-bitty baby upset because his daddy is dead?"
Hearing the voice, Chris whirled around and frowned when he saw his dead fiancée Bianca standing there. There she was, looking exactly the same as the day she had died, right down to the wound in her stomach from when she had been impaled.
"Bianca?" Chris asked in a cracked voice as he stared at her, tears appearing in his eyes as he looked at her. "But-but how?" He questioned simply as his mind began racing, this was not real. She was dead. "You're…you're..."
"Dead?" Bianca supplied as she pushed herself off the wall and walked towards Chris with a sickening-sweet smile on her face as the colour paled from Chris' face. "Yeah, and let me tell you, it hurt like a bitch." The Phoenix cackled as she looked in Chris' eyes. "But you should know by now that me being dead has never really stuck."
"You're not real," Chris declared, frowning at Bianca as he looked at her. Something was screaming at him, telling him that this was Bianca but he knew it could not be. "I saw you with the table leg impaled through you," Chris choked, tears streaming down his face. "I was there! You cannot be real! I-"
"Let me die."
"What?" Chris asked, his voice broken as his shoulders slumped. "You, you think that I let you die?" Chris questioned, even though he knew that this had to be somebody's idea of a sick joke. Bianca could not be here. "I loved you, Bianca."
"So, because I'm dead it's loved, is it?" The Phoenix asked simply, no hate in her voice as she looked at him. "I died because of you, Chris!" She shouted, "I died for you and you're moving on with your life?"
"Stop lying, Chris!" The Phoenix blared as she stared at him. "You just said so yourself, you loved me: not that you love me. It's okay if you're moving on with you life, I would do the same thing! But there's one little problem with that." Bianca said as she tapped her finger against her chin, "now, what was it?"
"Oh, right. I'm dead. I'm dead because of you."
"No, no, no," Chris mumbled incoherently over and over again as he sunk down to the floor, holing his head in his hands. "It isn't true. I didn't mean for you to die, I love you, Bianca. I didn't mean for you to die."
"I know Chris," Bianca assured as she kneeled down in front of him, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Of course you didn't mean for me to die, you never do. But people always leave you, don't they? Your mother, your aunts and uncles, your Grandfather, Melinda, Katy, and even me. And you want to know what the common factor in all of their deaths was?" She asked as she leaned close to his ear, whispering the answer softly. "You."
"Chris!" Another voice called, a voice that Chris could not identify.
"I'm so sorry, so sorry." Chris mumbled over and over again, as he thought over all of the words that Bianca had said to him. "I didn't want this; I never wanted any of this. I'm sorry…"
"Chris! Come on, Chris. Wake up, you're scaring me."
"I didn't mean for this to happened, I'm sorry…"
"Chris!" Prue hissed one more as she shoved Chris' shoulder once more as he continued tossing and turning in the bed, sweating pouring off of him. "Chris, this isn't funny anymore. You really need to wake up, please?"
"I'm sorry, so sorry," Chris continued to mutter again and again as his eyes squeezed tight in an attempt to stop the images. "I'll stop it," he murmured. "I'll save you. I'm sorry, so sor…No!" Chris shouted as he awoke violently from the nightmare.
"Chris?" Prue asked as she reached forward, "are you okay?" She questioned as she placed a hand on Chris' shoulder, causing him to tense. "Chris?"
Chris didn't even answer; he simply jumped at the sudden touch and narrowed his eyes as his dream continued to play over and over in his head, only for him to drift back into the real world when he heard a loud thump.
"Wha…" Chris trailed off as he looked over to the door and frowned when he saw Prue slumped up against the door, rubbing her head as she squeezed her eyes shut. "Oh my God," Chris muttered as he swung his legs over the side of the bed and rushed to her side. "Prue, are you okay?"
Opening her eyes, Prue frowned as she looked at Chris through narrowed her eyes. "I'm going to be fine; it's you I'm worried about." She said simply as she noted that all of the loose items that had been in her Aunt Paige's room were scattered around the room. "Do you always have nightmares like that?"
Chris frowned at Prue's questioned as he looked at how the room was in disarray. "Paige is going to kill me," he muttered as he rubbed his hand over his eyes, his voice coming out hoarse as he shook his head. "Let the object of objection become but a dream as I cause the scene to be unseen."
"Well, at least your mind is still working somewhat properly," Prue muttered as the room instantly fixed itself to the point that Prue was pretty sure that the room had never been more clean ever. It was no secret that Paige was not the tidiest person alive. "But you didn't answer my question," Prue reminded her cousin as Chris sent her a scowl and got to his feet. "Are your nightmares always that bad?"
"What?" Chris asked as he looked around the room, restless as he took deep breaths. Looking at Prue, Chris shook his head when he realised what she had been asking. "What? No, no they're usually not that bad." He said honestly, as he continued to look around. "I guess it's just because of the memories…my usual blocks are down."
Prue nodded as she thought that through, a frown still marring her features as she looked at Chris with suspicion. "But are they always about that?" She asked simply as Chris looked at her with a wary expression on his face. "You kept muttering about how you were sorry and how you would save us." It was Prue's turn to become wary as her frown deepened, "and…you said Bianca's name. Are they always about-"
"No." Chris said, his voice holding a stern sense of finality as he sunk back down onto the edge of the bed, running his fingers through his hair to show off how nervous he was as Prue walked over and sat beside him. "They're not always about her…sometimes they're about Melinda or Mom, or even Wyatt sometimes." He dropped his face in shame as he let out a few breaths, "I've had some about Katy too," he admitted in a low voice.
Hearing the sound of her sister's name, Prue's head shot up as she frowned at Chris for a few moments with pursed lips as she thought it over. "You have nothing to be sorry about," Prue insisted as she wrapped her arms around Chris. "Katy," she choked, "wasn't your fault. I don't blame you, and I know that she doesn't either."
Nodding, Chris let out a forced laugh as he shook his head. "You know, I thought I was stronger than this," the half-witch admitted as he shook his head. "I should be stronger than this, and it shouldn't bother me, but it does."
"Chris…" Prue said her voice barely audible.
"But seeing it all again, it tore me apart." Chris said tightly as he thought about all that he had relived because of Leo and the sisters. "I barely survived it the first time, but I had moved on for the most part…but seeing it all again just brought back all of these old feelings…"
"Chris, it's on them, not you." Prue assured as she narrowed her eyes. "Granted, they didn't know what you would be reliving but it doesn't make it right, you and I both know that and I think they do too."
"They hated me you know, they still do." Chris said simply as he closed his eyes. "Leo and the sisters, they hated me for months because I was interrupting their normal lives and I was partially to blame for Leo leaving." He sighed, "even though that happened anyway, they hated me for it and they hated me for telling them the truth about Wyatt even though they hated when I didn't tell them the truth."
"But why?" Chris burst as he stood up, beginning to pace back and forth in his future bedroom as he thought it all over. "No matter how much they hated and distrusted me, why did they do this?" Chris asked, begging for an answer as he looked at Prue. "Why did they do this to me?"
"It wasn't about you personally, you know that." Prue assured as she stood and walked towards Chris, only to wince when he held his hands up in defence and backed away from her. "It was about them, they want what they want, Chris. And this time they wanted answers and you were in the line of fire."
"As much as I try to deny it though, they're still our family," Chris pointed out. "They're still my family and them hating me hurt enough, but this took things too far, Prue."
"Chris, I know but-"
"I have to get out of here." Chris said quickly as he nodded, taking a deep breath as he closed his eyes, his body's natural response of fight or flight taking control.
"Chris!" Prue shouted, for once not caring whether or not she would end up waking up any person in the Manor who had managed to get to sleep somehow. Knowing what Chris was going to do, she shook her head. "Don't do it, don't do what you always do. Don't-"
Watching helplessly as Chris dissolved into blue and white orbs, Prue's face dropped as she sighed.
"Don't run." Prue finished as she sunk onto the edge of the bed once more and frowned, knowing that this was going to be bad. When Chris was scared or had energy to burn, he became restless and reckless something that was a dangerous mix. Because she knew where Chris had gone, he had gone down to the Underworld.
Hearing the door open, Prue frowned when she saw a panicked Leo and dishevelled Piper looking at her with wide eyes as they looked around the room. "Where's Chris?" Piper asked.
"That's the question of the year," Prue responded softly as she got up from the bed and brushed past her Aunt Piper and Uncle Leo. Where Chris had run off to was a good question: and it was a question that Prue was determined to find more information about.
Piper rubbed her neck as she walked up the stairs that headed to the attic; her mind swimming with all of the concerns and possibilities of what was to come. A part of her was not too surprised that Chris had felt the need to run and be alone for a while; the half-witch hadn't failed to inform Piper and her sisters, as well as Leo, that he wasn't sure if he could trust them anymore. Actually, Chris had basically said that he could not trust them anymore. Not that Piper blamed him; it was mostly her fault, after all. Her and Leo's, they had been the ones that had pushed the idea of going into Chris' memories to begin with. Both Paige and Phoebe had tried to talk them out of it, and so had Chris, but Piper and Leo had been set in their ways.
There had been no changing their minds.
"Hello?" Piper called as she opened the door to the attic, only to pause in her strides when she saw how Phoebe was pacing the middle of the room staring at her cell phone while Paige sat off in a corner with the Book of Shadows in her lap. While a part of Piper was not surprised that her sisters hadn't been able to sleep last night and had resorted to trying to find some sort of clue as to what was happening; the eldest Charmed One had not been expecting this.
"This is bad, very bad." Phoebe muttered to herself as she continued to pace to and fro, not even acknowledging her sister entering the attic. Though she knew it was bad, the empath was too caught up in her own problems at the moment to notice. "This is so very bad. Bad bad bad."
"What the hell is going on with her?" Piper asked as she walked up beside her baby sister, her worried gaze resting on Phoebe who appeared to be trapped in her thoughts as she continued to pace along the same path; pacing to and fro. "She get into it with Elise?"
Knowing that such a conversation would be enough to have Phoebe freaking out, Page allowed a small smile to appear on her face as she rubbed her hands over her face in exhaustion. "Nope," she said simply as she sighed. "All I got out of the conversation from my fabulous eavesdropping skills was the fact that it was from Jason and he's apparently coming back to town sooner than in a couple of days and Phoebe doesn't know how to deal with it."
"How much sooner?"
"Today or tomorrow soon." Paige supplied simply before looking up at Piper with concern shining in her own brown eyes before frowning. "And how're you doing? Because I've been up all night trying to process everything and find something to help this make sense," Paige chuckled. "But I'm not doing well at all."
Piper arched an eyebrow in concern as she looked back and forth between her two sisters; one looking as though she was about to pass out from exhaustion and the other looking as though she was already preparing herself from the coming heartbreak she thought she was going to endure. Sighing, Piper fell onto the sofa beside her baby sister as she held in the need to let out all of her frustrations; the knowledge they had learned earlier still threatening to tear her in two.
Some things from the memories had went over her head and the eldest Charmed One found that she had trouble remembering some names and the happier details but she could remember some things though. Wyatt had been good and had grown up with a good set of friends; Chris, Emily, Caleb, and Charlie from what she could remember. And they would all grow up to be terrorized by Wyatt in some way or another. Wyatt would cause Chris so much pain on so many different occasions that Piper didn't want to think about it at all, and then there was the time that her blond son had lost it and had attacked Emily; one of the few friends that had stood by him through everything. And there was a sinking feeling in Piper's stomach that told her that both Caleb and Charlie had suffered just as much as the others. Her son caused his loved ones pain as though it was nothing, how was she supposed to deal with that?
Blinking when she heard Paige's voice, Piper looked over at Paige and smiled. "No, I haven't processed it either. And I know that we can stop it - that we will stop it - but it's still too much to think about," Piper admitted as she thought back to the Wyatt of the future. Looking over at Paige once again, the eldest Charmed One frowned when she saw how tired Paige looked. "Did you get any sleep at all last night, Missy Paige?"
"Nope, not a wink." Paige sheepishly admitted when she saw the motherly look that Piper was sending her. "What?" The young brunette whined in annoyance, "there was no way that I was going to get any sleep last night with all of these thoughts running around in my head so Phoebe and I spent the whole night looking for some sort of lead on what could have happened to Wyatt."
"Did you find anything?" Piper asked as she looked at her sister; begging to every god out there that her sisters had found something but Piper was still doubting the chances. If Chris had years to figure out what had happened to her son, coming up with barely anything, then how realistic was it for her to believe that they had solved the riddle in one night? Not very realistic; but Piper was a mother, she was allowed to hope.
"No, we couldn't find a thing." Paige admitted in annoyance as her eyes flicked over to a still pacing Phoebe for a moment before she sighed. "I mean, we found possible curses that a demon could have used and there are spells; but none of it makes sense with how we saw Wyatt in the future." Seeing Piper's look, Paige explained. "They either take affect immediately or they shouldn't be powerful enough to affect Wyatt."
"I see," Piper said wretchedly as she rested her cheek in her palm before her eyes widened as she looked over at Paige. "The fact that they go after Wyatt as a baby, before his powers are fully developed, have an affect on that?" She questioned when she saw Paige being to think it over, "I mean, at such a young age he wouldn't be able to fight off as strong of a spell…could he?"
"I don't know," Paige admitted as she pondered over just how strong her nephew was at this age; they needed someone who had seen this all before. Something that immediately crossed Chris off the list; he was two years younger than Wyatt so he would not remember anything about Wyatt from this age. But… "What about Leo?" Paige asked as she looked at Piper with a growing smile on her face, "I mean Future Leo. He's seen all of this before, right? Maybe he could help us understand just how powerful this…thing would have to be in order to get to Wyatt at this age."
"Have you talked to Future Leo yet?" Paige asked as she placed a comforting hand on Piper's knee. Seeing her sister shake her head though, Paige sighed as she smiled at Piper in sympathy. "Sweetie, this is your chance to know. He's been through all of this; if you just talk to him, I'm sure he'll tell you something."
"No, he'll just tell me the same thing that our Leo has been telling us since we saw Wyatt like that." Piper answered simply as she ran her fingers through her hair in frustration. "He'll tell me that we did our best and it was something that we couldn't stop which does not make it better, Paige." Piper ranted, inhaling a deep breath of air before looking at her baby sister with tears shining in her eyes. "They don't understand that it means that our best wasn't enough. That it won't be enough."
"It will be enough Piper," Paige promised as she smiled at her oldest sister. "And we will save Wyatt and Chris." The half-witch added when she saw how Piper let out a deep breath at those words. "What happened to Chris, it wasn't your fault, Piper."
"But it was on some level, wasn't it?" Piper asked simply as she took a deep breath. "I mean, half of that crap that he went through wouldn't have happened if I had been able to control my son." Piper took a deep breath as she looked over at Paige once again. "And I know I couldn't have stopped it then but…"
"It doesn't change how you feel." Paige finished; knowing how Piper was feeling. Closing her eyes, the youngest Charmed One allowed several thoughts to cross her mind as she thought of all of the things she would have done differently if she had just known half of what she knew now.
Seeing Paige slowly beginning to doze off, Piper sighed as she shook Paige gently; causing the younger witch took at Piper with wide eyes. "Paige," Piper said slowly. "You should go get some sleep, I can deal with my neurosis and Phoebe's - you need some sleep."
"There's no point," Paige admitted as she sat up straighter. "Even if I tried to sleep I wouldn't be able to with all of this swimming in my head, I told you that. Everything we learned, it was way too much for me to process in less than a day. And I need to know what happens to Wyatt," Paige looked at Piper with pleading eyes. "You're not the only one feeling guilt over what happened to Chris, I need to make this better somehow. Piper, there is always a way and we always find it. So that's what I need to do."
"But you can't do it alone," Piper pointed out as she sent Paige a warning glare. "And you can't not sleep. If you let yourself become exhausted you won't be able to help and you'll be useless," Piper said gently. "And that's when this thing is going to go down."
"Demons are inconvenient," Paige muttered as she rolled her eyes.
"Don't I know it," Piper chuckled as she patted Paige's knee. "But it's something we have to get used to because they're always going to be there - I don't see them going away any time soon, Paige." Paige groaned at that knowledge, knowing there was some truth. "See, and now someone finally understands why I try so hard to have a normal life."
"You can't fight destiny forever, Piper." Paige muttered. "Just like we couldn't avoid the truths that Chris was trying to tell us forever."
"Doesn't mean I couldn't try."
"And you gave it a very good try." Paige acknowledged as she stood us, stretching as she looked down at Piper. "So, where is Future Leo anyway?" The half-witch asked as she arched an eyebrow at her older sister. "Might as well tell him to start getting together any knowledge he would deem important; he's only here for forty-eight hours. Might as well use him while he's here," Paige frowned. "Actually, it's less than forty-eight hours now."
"So, do you know where he is?"
"No, I haven't seen him since Leo and I walked in on Future Leo and Chris having an argument last night." Piper admitted, something that made Paige's mouth drop open as she fell back onto the sofa with a 'what?' expression on her face. "Yeah, after that Chris went into your room and Future Leo orbed away."
Paige bit her lip. "How bad was the argument?"
"We don't know, we only heard the tail end of it." Piper admitted as she rolled her eyes, "actually we didn't even hear that. I have no idea what it was about, I asked, but both claimed it was nothing. I know they're lying, but I don't want to push Chris more than I already have."
"Well, what did you hear?"
It was then that the sound of two distinctively raised voices could be heard walking up the stairs; one sounding like Charlie and the other being one of the Leo-s. A fact that caused all three sisters, even Phoebe who had stopped her pacing, to look over at the door as they waited for the two to walk in the attic.
"Angry yelling like that?" Paige asked.
"Oh my God, Leo!" Prue shouted at the top of her lungs as she charged into the attic, Future Leo on her heels as she rolled her eyes. "I don't know what the big deal is; Chris will be fine on his own. He always has been," the half-witch roared as she whirled on her heel to send her uncle a hate-filled glare. "So will you relax already?"
"No, this is different and you know it!" Future Leo snapped as he narrowed his eyes at his niece, not even acknowledging the other three women in the room; he simply wanted to know why he had not been informed immediately after Chris had run off. "He's not thinking clearly and he's going to get himself hurt!"
"Well, I think you're making a bigger deal out of this than you should be." Prue said firmly as she crossed her arms across her chest, one of her delicate eyebrows arching in her uncle's direction.
"Damn it," Future Leo muttered as he ran one of his hands through his greying hair before huffing in Prue's direction. "Will you just do me a favour and stop trying to tell me to relax?"
Prue's eyes rolled on instinct at those words, a part of her knowing that she was never going to get through to her uncle at this rate. Whether he wanted to admit it or no, Chris was just like his father sometimes - meaning that they could both be annoying and stubborn to the point that it annoyed the half-Cupid to no end.
"I didn't tell you to relax," Prue pointed out stubbornly as she smirked at the older man in front of her. If there had been one thing that had survived from her childhood, it was the enjoyment that the half-Cupid felt when she taunted her Uncle. As a child, she had never passed up an opportunity to ridicule the man in front of her, it was the only thing she could do as payback for what he had done to Chris. Moreover, even Wyatt and Melinda and Piper on some level.
Seeing how the two visitors from the future braced themselves for another batter of the lungs, the three sisters present frowned as they shared a look before looking back to the on coming fight that was bound to occur in front of them. It was obvious that Charlie's loyalty was with Chris, something she had made clear the night before, but it appeared as though she too hated Future Leo. Or at least, she wasn't willing to associate with him - all for Chris.
"It's what you meant," Future Leo pointed out obstinately as he pinched the bridge of his nose. A part of him was ecstatic that when he left that Chris would have someone like Prue to watch out for him. Nevertheless, at the same time, how was he supposed to make amends with his son when Prue kept him from his son? Better yet, how was he supposed to work things out with Chris when his son was hell-bent on avoiding him by taking refuge in the Underworld? Somewhere where he could very well be killed.
"Damn straight it is."
Tears of frustration appeared in stormy jade eyes as Future Leo struggled to suppress his anger. Not that keeping his anger to himself was something that was new to him; ever since he had become an Elder he had been forced to learn to keep his emotions in check. He was an Elder, something that was meant to come above all else, and that meant that he was forbidden to allow for his emotions to get the best of him. He was supposed to be numb to it all.
Seeing the cloudy look in her Uncle's eyes, Prue huffed in annoyance as she crossed her arms across her chest before heading over to the book, flipping through it while her mother and aunts looked between the two from the future in pure confusion. No doubt they were trying to identify reasons for the half-Cupid's hatred of the Elder. Some detail that they did not know other than the obvious pain that Future Leo had put Chris through.
Which was true. Prue didn't know when it had happened, but at some point she had decided that it was her Uncle Leo's fault for the world being the way it was. While it was unfair to blame it all on the Elder, it seemed just to Prue. If her Uncle hadn't chosen the Elders over his family then he would have been a good father to Chris as well as his other two children. But Chris was the main one, if the Elder had just been there for Chris, had answered Chris' calls, then the Charmed Ones wouldn't have been lost so early on. Maybe with the Charmed Ones alive they would have been able to save Wyatt from the beginning.
"You can stop staring at me at any moment, you know." Prue muttered as she flipped through the book. She needed something to do with her hands, something to get her mind off of the concern that she and her uncle shared for her cousin. Something that she wouldn't admit to the Elder before her, but the concern was there.
"Sorry," Phoebe said honestly as she sighed, realising that she knew nothing of the young woman in front of her. All she knew was the minor details that they had learned last night, as well as the knowledge that she cared deeply for Chris. That was all they knew of her and Phoebe had no idea how to approach any of the visitors from the future.
Recognizing an awkward silence when they happened, Paige clasped her hands together as the moments continued to tick by. Seeing that no one else was planning to break the silence; the red-haired woman looked between the two.
"So, Charlie." Paige began slowly, narrowing her eyes in suspicion when the young brunette frowned and looked up at her - her brown eyes shining in mistrust. "Just out of curiosity, do you know where Chris is?"
The half-Cupid frowned suddenly as she pondered over the question. The answer was no, she did not know where Chris was. Well, she knew that he was down in the Underworld but her cousin had not felt inclined to tell her which coven of demons he would be terrorizing today. Moreover, despite how she was trying to play it off, convincing her uncle that he had no reason to worry, Prue was worried.
Chris hadn't told her of any leads that he had; surely the younger of the Halliwell brothers had been looking into something before their family from the past had decided to invade his memories but Prue didn't know who or what it could have been. And it was useless to ask the sisters if they knew because they had apparently hated Chris prior to seeing his memories - a fact that the half-Cupid refused to believe. There was no way that they could have hated Chris. He was their family.
And whether they knew it or not didn't change the facts. Chris was their family, and the bond was there, one that they probably didn't understand but one that existed. There was no way for them to hate Chris, their hearts wouldn't let them no matter how hard they tried; a feeling that Prue knew all too well. Over the past eight years, she had tried time and time again to hate Wyatt; to at least convince herself that she hated him but it hadn't worked. She always had and always would love Wyatt - he had been there for her over half of her life. There was no way for her to not love him.
Just as there was no way for Chris to not love the members of their family from the past. Though she hadn't been there long enough, she knew Chris well enough to know that he was separating the two times in his mind. To him, Piper wasn't his mother just as Paige and Phoebe weren't his aunts - in this time he considered them to be just the Charmed Ones. Only Leo was the same - he was a useless son of a bitch.
Nevertheless, eventually Chris' blocks would come crashing down and he would realise that they were their family and he needed them. Until then though, Prue would simply play Switzerland and try and stay neutral between both sides; not wanting to piss off her future family, nor did she want to lose Chris' trust. Simply because she would be on his side if it came down to it.
That was, if the son of a witch would have the common decency to tell her where he was going. The thought alone had Prue's eyes narrowing in annoyance as she hesitated on a page of the book, closing her eyes as she wondered where her beloved cousin was. She needed a way to find him but scrying was simply out of the question because no map existed of the Underworld - which was where the half-Elder had run off to - and there was no way for her to use a blood to blood spell without the past version of her family finding out that she and Chris were family. After all, there was no way they were going to let her wander around without at least one of them watching her.
And what did you know; that was what she often called her cousins. Apparently, they took after their mothers more than she had ever realised. With that thought, Prue swallowed the sudden lump that had formed in his throat as she closed her eyes as the severity of how much she missed them all hit her full-force. It had only been over a day and she already felt as though she was disconnected from the world somehow - as if they were the only things she had left to fight for. Which they were.
But they weren't here.
She was not alone though, she had Chris. Oh God, no wonder Chris was so uptight - he loved the family in the same way she did. He had been fighting for their family the entire way and he had been alone for months. The thought of it made Prue sick. No wonder he was taking the sisters' obvious annoyance with him so hard, in a way they had been his pseudo-family for months. They had been the only ones he'd had and they had never trusted him.
"Charlie?" Future Leo called out softly, his eyebrows furrowed when his niece looked up at him with shiny eyes, the unshed tears causing him to frown. The Elder secretly wondering what it was that had her so worked up; but by not knowing what it was, it demolished his ability to ask. There was a chance that whatever was bothering Prue was something that he was not meant to ask in front of the sisters. And as much as her kind of wished that the ones from the past could know who Chris and Prue truly were, he knew it was impossible. Not just because of the rules, but because neither of them would allow it.
"I'm going to find Chris," Prue decided as she backed away from the Book of Shadows and walked over to the bag that she had brought with her, the one that was still rested up against the attic wall where she had left it hours before. Ignoring the eyes that were boring into her, the half-Cupid quickly unzipped one of the compartments and removed several potions before shoving them into her pocket, smiling briefly as she walked past the sisters and her uncle. "See ya."
"Aren't you forgetting something?" Future Leo asked simply, arching one of his eyebrows when his niece sighed and turned to look at him with a bright fake smile on her face. One that had him narrowing his green eyes as she shrugged.
"Don't wait up?" Seeing that her uncle was not amused, even though Paige seemed to find something amusing through this exchange since she was struggling to keep her laughter in by biting down on her lip. Nevertheless, Prue shrugged it off as a result of Paige's obvious exhaustion before she smirked, "oh right. I'll be home by curfew, no later than eleven, right?"
"You are not going to the Underworld alone."
Prue narrowed her eyes defiantly, crossing her arms across her chest. "Chris went alone," she pointed out stubbornly, only to huff in annoyance as she frowned. "And when I find him - neither one of us will be alone, so you have nothing to worry about."
"Nothing to worry about my ass," Future Leo hissed. "You're just as reckless as he is! And I will not let the both of you run off for hours at a time without me knowing where you are or if you're alright. You're not going."
"You're forgetting that you don't have any authority over us. And even if you did, we're both adults now." Prue pointed out, brushing past her uncle but before she left the attic, she sighed and looked back at him. "So just do what you came here to do - talk to them. And leave Chris alone, Leo. I mean it."
"Wait!" Phoebe called when she saw the retreating form off the young girl, her lips elevated downwards when the half-witch turned to look at her, her own mouth turned down into a frown when Phoebe sent her a shy smile. "Leo's right, the Underworld isn't safe."
"Considering the world I grew up in courtesy of Wyatt," Prue began bitterly, not even caring when she visibly saw how her entire family winced at the cruel sentence that had left the young brunette's mouth. They knew the truth; it was time for them to deal with it. She had. "I'm sure I'll be fine."
"At least let one of us help out," Phoebe pleaded; her heart cringing softly when she thought of all of the danger that Chris and Charlie could be facing - of how helpless they would be if they were alone. A worry that the empath did not understand, but one that was too strong for her to ignore. "I'll come with you; you could use my help."
A mocking chuckle emitted from Prue's lips at those simple words, her mind flashing to all of the moments that she had needed her mother in her life over the past years. When Wyatt had turned, when her Grandfather had died, Melinda's death, her own sister's death - all instances where she had needed her mother. But that was a long time ago and this Phoebe wasn't her mother.
"Don't let your ego get the better of you," the nineteen year old retorted cruelly, allowing for all of her hurt and bitterness seep into her voice as she watched the smile vanish from Phoebe's face. "It'll get you killed one of these days," seeing her uncle's warning look, Prue rolled her eyes. "Besides I don't need you."
Though she didn't know why, there was something in those words that broke Phoebe's heart. Maybe it was because she could see how bitter and cold the war zone had turned Charlie over the years, or maybe it was the fact that the young girl honestly thought that she didn't need someone, but whatever it was, it broke Phoebe's heart as the obvious sign of pain graced her features.
"Hey now," Piper warned, her eyes narrowing as she regarded Charlie with a calculating look as she placed one of her hands on her hips. "Don't take that tone with her, Young Lady. This is still her house, and while you're welcome in it, I won't tolerate that tone. She was simply stating that it was dangerous and you may need some back up. You might need us and so may Chris."
Seeing the hurt that flashed in his niece's eyes, Future Leo knew what Prue's comment was going to be long before the half-Cupid's lips opened to allow the words to flow past their barriers.
"I honestly doubt it." Prue bit out, her voice steady, as the walls she had built around her heart prevented her from taking those words seriously. Nor did it allow for her to let them penetrate her heart, she wouldn't let them in. it would just hurt in the end. "Don't think that I, and especially Chris, need you now just because you had a change of heart."
Prue shook her head as she finally left the attic, her shoes making an echoing sound on the stairs as she continued to walk on, not even bothering to turn back when she heard her uncle or future mother calling after her. One last comment leaving her lips as she held a transportation potion in her hands, dropping it at her feet as one tear formed in her brown eyes. "We haven't needed you in years." Then she was gone in a puff of smoke.
Back in the attic, the empath's heart sank at the statement as all of her previous concerns over Jason vanished from her mind as she turned to look at Future Leo with a distressed look marring her features. She didn't know how to approach Charlie, one who hadn't been at the brunt end of her hatred for months. If she couldn't face her, then how on earth was she supposed to face Chris. He would never forgive them that much was for sure. She did not know how to fix this.
"I don't know what to do," Phoebe admitted in a distressed tone when Future Leo smiled sadly at her; almost as if he knew something that she didn't. "I don't know how to approach her because she won't listen and I know Chris won't listen to us after all we did…"
"They'll listen eventually," Future Leo admitted softly. "You just have to give them some space and not give up. They need to know that you care; otherwise they'll never open up to you."
"But we do care, Leo!" Piper responded, annoyance marking her every word as the future version of her former husband turned to sigh, her brow furrowing when he shook his head softly at her.
"Because you care about them, or because you're feeling guilty about what you saw and how you've treated Chris?"
Piper was speechless.
Future Leo nodded, "and that is what you need to figure out, Piper. All of you do."
"Well, I don't care what they said - we're helping them." Paige said determinedly as she looked at her oldest living sister with a smirk on her face, "Phoebe and I will flip through the book and see if we can find out what Chris was looking at yesterday before…everything happened." The half-witch smiled secretly. "You, on the other hand, can go and ask this Leo those questions…"
Piper narrowed her eyes before sighing, looking over at Future Leo who nodded and turned to leave the attic, followed slowly by Piper who was still glaring at the two of her snickering sisters until they were out of her view.
"Have fun!" Paige called.
He needed to burn some of this energy; otherwise, there would be no possible way for him to function. Chris had been restless for days now, his anxiety only increasing when he had been sent back into his memories; his heart and mind praying beyond all hope that his identity wouldn't be found out. And that nervousness had remained in the brunette's system until he had made it back to the Manor; his exhaustion hitting him full force as his adrenaline levels dropped at record speed.
But hours later, the younger Halliwell brother only getting a few hours of restless sleep, the Halliwell son found himself waking up from a horrid nightmare; knowing that there would be no way for him to get back to sleep. As well as the fact that Chris knew that Prue would want to talk - something he didn't want to do at the current moment. That being the reason why he was in the middle of the Underworld hunting for Deirid.
But the fact that he hadn't found him yet was annoying the half-witch. Normally Deirid was fairly easy to find, simply because the demon tended to hang out in the same places in the Underworld. But apparently the demon had taken Chris' threats seriously during their last meeting.
Meaning that it was taking the half-Elder a little longer than usual to find the pesky little demon that had served as Chris' contact in the Underworld for several months now. But the fact that it was taking a little longer to find Deirid wasn't bothering Chris all that much, not as much as it would have any other day, not being able to find the lowly demon gave Chris a little more time to himself. Giving him more time to get his thoughts together; as well as giving him a reason to avoid the Manor where he was bound to be cornered by Prue, one of the sisters, or one of the two Leo-s. People that the young brunette didn't feel inclined to talk to at the present moment.
But it seemed as though fate, destiny or whatever you wanted to call it wasn't on Chris' side today and wasn't going to give Chris the satisfaction of not finding the demon right away. It was almost as though providence was trying to tell him that he should, that he had to deal with everything that had happened. But Chris never did as he was told.
"Hey Deirid!" Chris shouted when the demon's back came into view, the low-level demon whirling around as soon as he heard the half-Elder's voice, his almost-black eyes widening in both surprise and shock as Chris continued to walk towards the demon until he was right up in his face.
Instantly the demon that had previously been holding Deirid's attention shimmered out; sending one look of disgust in Chris' general direction before disappearing from the half-witch's attention.
"Chr-Chris?" Deirid stuttered when he noted that the annoying pesk that had been hounding him for months was back in the Underworld for the second time in just under twenty-four hours, undoubtedly wanting the information that he had sent the demon to find. But under a day was barely enough time to collect the information, especially in the Underworld - there were circles and circles of information, as well as a grapevine of gossip but it took a couple of days minimum to find out if any of it was true.
"You sound surprised to see me," Chris stated simply as he crossed his arms across his chest, his jade-green eyes narrowing ever so slightly as he took in the demon's appearance, fighting to keep the smirk off of his face when he saw how Deirid cringed under his fierce gaze.
"I just didn't think I would be hearing from you in a few days," the demon answered apprehensively when he noted that Chris was standing awfully close to him; far to close for Deirid's liking but he wasn't about to tell the half-witch that. Chris hadn't been lying the other day when he had said that he was at the bottom of the hierarchy with the other demons - the scum of the Underworld Chris had called it. But being that as it may, he was no idiot and quite enjoyed being alive. He wasn't going to make the mistake of saying something that would surely earn him a first class trip to purgatory. Not many demons made it back out.
"Well you thought wrong." Chris snapped, his eyes narrowing even further as he let out a deep breath trying to control his anger; but his 'relaxing' breath did little to ease any of the tension that the young brunette had been feeling since he had woken up earlier that day. "Some things have come up."
Deirid's eyes widened considerably at those words, looking almost comical as he gawked at Chris for several moments before closing his mouth and arching one of his eyebrows. "Anything that I should worry about? 'Cause you know, I'm kinda putting myself out on a limb here helping the likes of you." Seeing Chris' look he rushed to explain, "Not that I have anything against you, it's just that your kind aren't really held in high praise down here. If someone were to find out that I was feeding information to you…"
Chris nodded stiffly, not allowing any emotion to grace his features as he stared evenly into the demon's frantic eyes. Even before Deirid had began supplying him with information months ago Chris had known beforehand that the high-level demons would kill him on sight if they knew that Deirid was supplying the half-witch from the future knowledge of their plans.
But the Charmed Ones were also a threat for the demon, and as of right now Chris was the only thing that was keeping the sisters from killing him. If the demon came across their path at any other moment he would be sent to Purgatory faster than he could even think about fighting them off - so as long as he kept his mouth shut and didn't let it slip to the other demon's that it was Chris was he supplying information to.
"Nothing that concerns you, it's personal." Chris admitted stiffly, hating that he had to admit that aloud. It made him sound weak; this was not supposed to be personal. It was a simple mission that he had to complete and his emotions had nothing to do with it; which was a blatant lie, but one that Chris had been telling himself for so long that he honestly believed it.
"Really?" Deirid questioned, amusement lacing his voice as he smiled a cheeky grin at the half-witch.
Narrowing his eyes, Chris rushed to change the subject quickly. "Anyway, have you found anything yet?"
"Nothing really, everything has been pretty much normal since you asked me - barely a day ago!" The demon hissed in annoyance.
"Don't push me." Chris snarled his own lip curling to make him look almost evil as he held up his right hand and started to make a fist; a deadly smirk appearing on his face when Deirid grasped at his throat as he began to choke. His eyes wide with fear. "I've had a really bad twenty-four hours and I'm not above taking it out on you. So do you want to risk my anger getting out of control?"
"Didn't think so," Chris conceded as he released his old on the demon, taking a calming breath as he watched Deirid heave for several moments as he tried to get used to air entering his lungs again. "Now, are you sure that you haven't heard anything?"
"There was one thing; but it's nothing major."
"Out with it."
"The 'person' that I told you about, the one that thought that the Twice Blessed was too powerful…" Chris clenched his teeth in order to control his temper. "Well they have been overly quiet recently. Ever since the Order went after the precious itty-bitty baby they've been laying low," Deirid continued. "I think that they know that you're-"
There was a crash behind them and Deirid's face went pale as death while his eyes bulged, Chris taking a deep breath when he slowly slid one of the potions he brought with him into his palm, sending Deirid a meaningful look.
Nodding, Deirid shimmered away. However, a part of him hated fleeing from a fight, a result of the demon blood that ran through his veins, but he was merely a meagre demon and had no prayer of taking on the demons that had shimmered in. But something told the demon that Chris, on the other hand, was more than capable than taking care of himself. He would just have to make it up to the half-witch by staying alive and finding out some useful information.
"So you're the one who has been asking questions." A harsh voice growled from behind the half-witch, Chris sighing as he turned around slowly and saw that five or six demons were standing behind him, none of them looking pleased with him as their eyes narrowed into slits.
"And if I am?" Chris challenged as he slid one of the potions he'd brought with him subtly into the palm of his hand, his eyebrow arching daringly causing several of the demons to mutter cruel, snide comments among the mob of demons. The words such as 'cocky', 'foolish', and even 'irksome' being heard by the half-witch.
Seriously, who used irksome anymore?
"Then I'd say that you weren't a bright little witch," one of the demons huffed out, his battlescars marking his face seeming to make him see more threatening that even his sharpened teeth did.
Examining the demon, Chris noted that he was stood slightly in front of the others demons; something that wasn't overly noticeable but something Chris automatically noted because it was how Wyatt always stood in front of his demons in the future. All of which meant that Chris was having the honour of addressing this clan's leader - great just when he thought his day couldn't get any worst. Now he had to face off to an angry clan of demons and a territorial leader. Just what he needed.
"And why is that?" Chris replied smoothly.
"Because you're down here all alone. A brave move for a witch, I might add, but still a foolish one." The scar-faced leader commented as he began walking forward towards Chris, the rest of the demons remaining where they were stood while their leader began to circle Chris as if he was a vulture flying over a dead carcass. "Wouldn't you agree?"
The others demons chuckled and sneered when they were addressed; Chris fighting the desire to roll his eyes.
"Well, if you don't mind I have things to do, places to go; demons to vanquish." Chris shrugged, his grip on his potion tightening slightly as his green irises closed slowly, his glare almost looking menacing. "Plus there's the fact you scared away my little buddy just as he was about to tell me something; so now I have to find the bloody demon."
"Well, if you're looking for a demon." One to the right of the leader asked, an energy ball forming in his palm as he smirked at the half-witch - the blue light emitting from the source of power in his hand shining up onto his face and accentuating his pointed chin and hook nose.
Chris snorted. "Trust me, I'm more than you could handle."
"Is that a challenge?"
"Enough!" The leader hissed, looking back at the half-witch from the future with a frown marring his features. "I've heard of you - you're that annoying white lighter from the future, the one asking all of the questions. In the months you've been here it seems as though you've collected quite enemy list, I can't help but wonder how much I would get if I were to turn you into someone. That is, of course, if I don't take the pleasure of killing you for myself."
Chris fought the urge to snort again; knowing that there were several things that would happen if any of these demons were to kill him. Or even attempt it. Not only would they have three guilt-ridden Charmed Ones and a distraught Elder trying to make amends with the half-witch on their tail, but they would also have to deal with an angered father and a really, really pissed off empath.
In other words, they'd be dead.
And though he didn't know why, Chris even found himself entertaining the thought of what would happen if Wyatt was to find out. The thought almost had Chris shuddering at the thought - Wyatt would be livid. And without a doubt, the older Halliwell brother would find some way back to the past in a frenzy, just so he could kill the demons and save his brother, only to kick Chris' ass himself for being so reckless. Wyatt always had been an overbearing jerk. Sadly, now, overbearing also included controlling.
"You know what; I think I'd actually like to see you try." Chris taunted, a smirk gracing his features as felt his heart pounding against his ribs; in anticipation, not fear. He'd seen and lived too much in his life to fear this or to fear these demons. His fear was persevered for other, more meaningful things.
"I'd watch my mouth if I were you, Boy." The leader snarled, cracking his fingers as he gestured to the other demons behind him. "Otherwise I might think you're serious and allow for my brothers to have a go at you - the result I believe, would be disastrous. On your part anyway. To us demons, your demise would be a blessing."
"Didn't realise demons were religious."
"We're not, but we believe in the other forces that exist in this world; luck and creativity, for instances, just like everyone else." The leader said as he turned his back to Chris, only to pause when he heard something, instantly whirling around and catching the vial that had been thrown at his head before a smirk appeared on his face. "See, now you just proved me right." The demon gloated as he dropped the vial and stepped on it. "Brave but foolish."
The other demons chuckled.
The leader snarled, "Get him."
Seeing a demon charge at him, Chris raised his hand and automatically sent a bolt of lighting at the demon - the demon going up in flames before the scream that had been building in his throat even had the change to pass his lips. That caused the other demons to narrow their eyes as they paused in their movements.
Though there had been a time, a few short years ago actually, that the half-witch had not been able to use that power on demand, thanks to the constant pestering of his family Chris had finally relented and worked at it. And as each session went by, it became easier and easier to control until it almost became second nature to him. Much like orbing.
Add that to the fact that he was a tad bit unstable at the moment, at least in regard to his emotions, then the events that were about to take place had Chris itching in excitement as he waited for the next demon to make a move. Before he could face any of his family again - past or future - then he had to calm down, and nothing seemed more relaxing to Chris than vanquishing a clan of demons that would most likely just end up going after his family later on in the future.
It was practically a public service.
Seeing the glint in the half-witch's eyes, the leader of the demon clan, Ichele, saw the determination - the fire that was so rare in witches of today. Most often than not the witches of today were scared, fearing themselves to be evil if they indulged in their powers at all - but not this witch. Not the one from the future. The pure fervour in the half-witch's jade eyes held a fire that could have put the Source's onyx eyes to shame on a good day.
There was no way that this witch was going to back down, that much he could tell.
"You're more powerful than I had though," Ichele mused in amusement as the rest of the demons tried to wipe the looks of fear and astonishment off of their face, while their leader just nodded in approval. "But I've been around for several centuries, and to my knowledge that isn't a Wiccan power."
"Cross-breeding is popular in the future," Chris shrugged.
"So it seems. Are there only witches and white lighters?" Ichele asked, looking appalled as he asked his question. "Or should I fear that one of my clan while father a child that shares Wiccan blood as well."
"I don't know about your clan - but witches are fond of Cupids in the future." A voice said, causing everyone to frown until a loud whistle could be heard and everyone, including Chris, turned their attention to a pleased looking brunette who had her hands placed on her hips while her long, brunette hair fell down to her ribs. Her own eyes shining in anticipation as her brown ones met Chris' jade.
"Hiya boys!" Prue greeted in a mock cheery voice, waving to the demons as she walked towards them, her eyes meeting Chris' serious gaze - causing her to huff in annoyance. "Don't look at me like that," she ordered. "They were driving me insane, and you're not the only one who happens to enjoy hunting demons."
Chris just sighed.
"Fine," Chris said simply as he gestured with his hands. "But can we just get this over with? I mean, this is really putting me behind schedule and the clock to doomsday is ticking!" The half-Elder said dramatically as he smiled tightly, "tick tick tick tick…."
"Sheesh, don't get your panties in a twist." Prue snapped as the demon seemed to nod in agreement before splitting, half of the demons marching towards Prue while the other half stalked towards the half-Cupid, causing Prue to arch an eyebrow when an energy ball appeared in each of the demons' hands. "Come on, do you really want to kill me - witch? Can't we talk about this?"
Watching as all of the demons released their energy balls, Prue sighed and squinted her eyes together, sending two of the energy balls back at their representative demons while she raised up her right hand to absorb the third one; a power that was limited to her, a mix between her father's powers and her mother's own empathic powers.
Smirking as she watched her hand emitted bright pink light before she sent the energy ball at the demon, twice the size it had been, Prue smiled proudly when the other demon erupted into flames as his screams filled the caverns, causing the demons that Chris was fighting to look over at her in surprise - giving Chris the distraction to reach up behind a demon and slit his throat with an Athame that he kept handy at all times. The demon blew up into flames, the sound of him gurgling on his own black blood causing Prue to scrunch her face up in disgust.
"Ewe, that's a little gross."
"Pay attention!" Chris ordered, rolling his eyes when he saw how Ichele dared to aim for Prue when her back was turned. Watching through narrowed eyes, Chris huffed and sent another stray demon that had entered the fight into the path of the energy ball, sending Ichele into the wall while the other demon erupted into flames. Looking at the leader in disgust, Chris scoffed. "And I'll deal with you after."
The bastard had aimed at Prue - and no one got away with even trying to harm his family.
"You chose the wrong day to try and pick a fight with me." Chris growled, narrowing his eyes at the lone remaining demon, Ichele, and stalked towards the demon who was trying to scurry away. Raising his hands, Chris used his telekinesis to send the demon flying into the cavern wall, pinning him there until he was right up in the demon's face - ignoring Prue when she called out to him. "Let this be a lesson," Chris's voice rumbled deep in his throat. "If anyone dares to go near someone that I love - they're signing their own death certificate. And so are you, I expect you to spread the word."
With that, Chris dropped his hold on the demon, watching as he quickly shimmered away while the half-Elder bent down to pick up his abandoned Athame - feeling his cousin's gaze on him the entire time. Causing Chris to let out a breath before looking up at Prue, arching an eyebrow in confusion.
"There is such thing as overkill, Chris." Prue chided.
"Uhuh," Chris muttered as he looked over at Prue in annoyance. "Says the one that actually starts a conversation with the demon before she kills them."
Prue narrowed her eyes, trying to look annoyed but the smile that was threatening to appear on her face was almost enough to give her away. "I don't know about you, Perry, but I was taught manners growing up. Didn't anyone ever tell you that it was rude to not introduce yourself?"
Chris' eyebrows raised ever further. "Did anyone ever tell you that it was rude to play with your food?"
Prue sighed, "You win."
"I knew I would," Chris gloated, his cousin smiling genuinely when she noted that Chris seemed a little more relaxed than he had been earlier. Apparently, all he needed was something to take his anger and frustrations out on; and demons had always been his outlet. Not the best outlet in the world, but it was one that worked.
"Well, this sucks. Now I have to hunt down my contact all over again." Chris sighed. "Demons suck."
"Mhm," Prue agreed, only to frown when she noted how Chris' expression became confused as his eyebrows furrowed, his eyes glancing up to the ceiling as a look of pure annoyance graced his features. Something was wrong. "Chris, what is it?"
"Leo is calling me."
"Leo as in, Leo-Leo, or your Da-?"
"Don't finish that statement, Charlie." Chris bit out as he sent her an angry look, "and it wasn't him. It was this time's Leo. But I don't know why he'd want to see me."
"Well you have to go," Prue pointed out as she crossed her arms, smirking when Chris groaned. "Don't act like that - you know you have to. It could be important."
"Or it could be him feeling the need to spout off his usual BS again."
Prue sent him a look.
"Fine," Chris relented as his cousin walked over and held onto his arm, looking pointedly at him; signalling that she wasn't letting him face this alone. And despite the façade of irritation that was gracing his face - Chris was relieved that she was coming with him. And something told him that Prue knew that too.
Wyatt's Mansion; 2026
Wyatt couldn't help the strangled shout of frustration that fell from his thin, parted lips as he slammed his fist down onto the table in front of him. Why was it always the best laid plans that fell short? That was something that the blond Twice Blessed witch had been asking himself a lot over the past seven years - ever since he had claimed regime over the Underworld and the magic of realm of magic as a whole. For a time though, the question had subsided and had been buried under all of his chaotic thoughts and plans only to arise once more a few months ago.
When Chris had left the future; running back in time on a foolish mission.
It was with his baby brother's absence that Wyatt was once again plagued by the question - where had it all gone wrong? And in all honesty, it was an honest question. It wasn't as though he had set out to have his family turn their backs on him; it wasn't as though he had wanted for them to divide - brother against brother. All he had ever done was for his family - to make them safe, to keep them safe for the simple fact that he wouldn't survive the loss of another family member.
And how had they repaid them?
Chris had betrayed him, leaving him alone in the world corrupted by hate and anger that he, Wyatt Matthew Halliwell himself, had created. With Chris, the rest of his family had left him - all except Ana which Wyatt had been grateful for - far more grateful than he had ever admitted to being. His friends had also come with him; Caleb and Emily. But Emily had left as well.
Emily; his best friend, his confidante, the girl he had always held on a pedestal, had left him. One of the few people who had always expected to be there for him, through the thick and thin, had lost all faith in him as a result of one action - one moment of anger on his part.
Anger that was once again coursing through his veins because of this latest action of treachery. Though he tried to bury it, all he could feel was anger. Nothing could remove its infectious presence from his mind, body, or soul. The anger filled him; making him feel the need to hurt someone. Just to get some release. It needed to be released - it was the only way for him to become focussed once more, but he was not going to let his anger get the best of him. Not this time.
That was why he had opted for hiding himself; in the shadows of his mansion far away from anyone else. Oh yes, the blond witch was proud to say that this time he was actually alone - something that was a rare occurrence for most days. But after trying every possible way; subtle hints, annoyed glares and furious demands - the Twice Blessed witch had finally managed to get rid of all of the tiresome minions.
Even Caleb could be nowhere to be found.
The half-manticore had been off to deal with some minions that needed to be dealt with; in other words, they needed to be smited from this earth and sent back to purgatory where they belonged. And while it seemed to be somewhat harsh - they had disobeyed his main rule, they had questioned his decisions. They had actually suggested that he should kill his brother.
Sure, they had not said it to his face, nor had they said it in his presence - but Wyatt Halliwell was no fool. He had eyes and ears everywhere - being who he was, he could not be too suspicious. Still, the fact that they had the nerve to voice their opinions on the matter aloud meant they were brave. Or stupid.
Shaking his head, Wyatt huffed in disbelief as he looked down at his bleeding fist; apparently, he had hit his fist off the table harder than he had thought he had. He really needed to learn how to control his anger. But it had been too much for one day.
"I need a vacation," Wyatt joked as he fell down into his black leather chair, clenching and unclenching his fist as he glared at his injuries - staring intently at the crimson that felt warm against his skin, its warmth contrasting to his heart just as the dark colour contrasted to his pale complexion.
The idea of a vacation, though a nice one, was also an unreal one. There was no rest for the wicked, nor was there any chance of him risking anything happening without his supervision. There was no telling what the demons would do if he were to take a step back, letting them do whatever they want. God only knew what they would do - that was if there was a God.
Something that Wyatt had begun doubting a long time ago. As a young child, his mother had always told him that there were angels watching over him and his family - keeping them safe. Something that a naïve, blond little boy had believed; knowing that his father was one of those angels and that Leo Wyatt would never allow anything to happen to his family.
As Wyatt had said, he had been a naïve boy.
But he could never take a break; despite looking almost identical to his father, Wyatt had sworn that he would never become his father. And he hadn't. he had never turned his back on his family - they had turned their backs on him. With all of this knowledge and evidence - where his demons got the idea of him being able to kill his own brother, Wyatt didn't know.
They had to be mad. He would never kill Chris…or would he?
Caleb had been right earlier when he had pointed out that there had been a time when Wyatt had thought they he would never be capable to commit such a vile act of killing his own brother. The blond never would have been able to do a thing before…but now?
He had thrown an energy ball at his own brother the last time he had seen him; but it wouldn't have killed Chris. It hadn't been that powerful. Would it have knocked some sense into the brunette's thick skull? Wyatt liked to think so. But kill? Never.
But as of late, it appeared as though Chris hadn't been the only member of his family to betray him by jumping back in time. And Emily had helped them in betraying him - if only he knew who it had been to betray him so fully. He needed to know that fact; he needed to know who it had been in order to understand why it had been them. Because as of now, he didn't get it in the least.
The knowledge that someone else who he loved had followed in Chris' footsteps by so completely opposing him, surprisingly gave the blond an uneasy feelings. A feeling that he never felt, or at least, a feeling that he hadn't felt in a long while. For the first time his feelings were mixed - partly making him feel the need to hunt down Chris and his cohort and kill them for their betrayal. Another part of him was hurt.
Yes, Wyatt would go as far as to say that he was hurt by his family's betrayal. It was his future, his destiny to rule the world he created - something the elders had felt the need to continuously remind him and his family of right up until the moment that Wyatt had ordered the attack on the heavens.
And he had created his world. A world where his family didn't die for petty beliefs of good and evil, at least, they weren't supposed to, the blond thought sadly, as he thought of his fallen family members. None of their deaths falling on his shoulders - they would have died if they had just gone with him where they would have been protected. Safe.
Putting it simply - he was not supposed to be alone. Not that he was fully alone. He had Ana and Caleb but he yearned for the days where his family could be together, on the same side, as it was supposed to be. Despite his best efforts to rid their lives of it, they were once again fighting an imaginary war - a war against him. And as much as it pained him, it was a war that was going to get them all killed someday. And what pained Wyatt more was the fact that they were most likely going to end up being killed by him. Or an uncontrolled minion.
His family could have the world if they wanted it; but they chose not to join him. The fools.
The only reason that they had all lived this long was because they were his family, and he loved them. But they had crossed him and opposed him at every opportunity that came their way. And the fact remained that they were the only chink in his armour; the only ones keeping him from all that needed to be done.
It wasn't as though this was a choice he wanted to make, nor was it one he wanted to consider, but as the days went on they were forcing his hand on this decision. They alone had forced him to fight them; his own siblings, cousins, and friends. The people he had loved. The ones that he still loved, even though he would never admit that to anyone out loud. He loved them all, but at the same time, he couldn't help but to hate them; if only a little bit.
They were problems. Problems that he would someday have to deal with.
Damn them. They were doing this to him; he shouldn't have to be contemplating over his family's fate. From the beginning they all should have been ruling beside him; not testing his limits until they did something that he couldn't forgive. Until he had no choice but to kill them. But they betrayed me. They should die.
Wyatt felt his azure eyes widen at the thought, unable to believed that he had just considered that of all things. Killing his family? It's what needs to be done…a little voice seemed to taunt from the depths of his mind, causing Wyatt to frown in thought. But am I ready for that? If I killed them, there would be no going back.
Could he kill his family; the people he loved?
"So, got any idea what Emily was doing in the Manor?" A soft voice murmured from behind the blond, causing Wyatt to jump as his head shot up; coming face to face with his cousin.
"No," Wyatt said simply, glaring at Ana when she smirked at him; out of all of his generation, only Ana had been able to sneak up on him during their childhood. A fact that had remained the same well into adulthood. Looking away from the brunette when he saw her walk over to take a seat in the chair across from him, hugging her knees to her chest, Wyatt sighed.
"And from the anger you're sending off, can I assume she got away?" Wyatt asked, arching an eyebrow when he saw the look of pure annoyance on Ana's face. A part of him knew that it was wrong for him to force the young brunette to track her twin sister; to be the assassin responsible for this, but other than Caleb, Ana was the only person he trusted enough. Aside from that, Ana was the only one that knew Callie well enough to get the job done. Or at least, that was what he had previously thought.
Wyatt sighed. "Ana, if you're incapable of-"
"I'm not incapable!" Ana snapped, sending a murderous glare Wyatt's way that simply left him unfazed. Sighing as she settled back into her chair, Ana fiddled with her fingers. "It's just that…without our bond," she whispered almost as if she were ashamed to bringing it up. "She's harder to track."
"You're the one who severed it."
Hearing the taunting tone to her eldest cousin's voice, Ana looked away in pain. "I didn't mean too," she admitted softly; only in Wyatt's presence could she truly act like herself - the person that the rest of her family believed to be dead. The real Ana. "But I couldn't be against her with it; she could read all of my thoughts, share all of my powers…"
Seeing the passive look on Wyatt's face, Ana rested her hand back; closing her eyes in shame. After all of these years, she couldn't believe that this still upsetted her. But it wasn't something that could be gotten over easily; as children it had been Callie and her against the world - with Henry Jr alongside them. For the most part though, it had been her and her other half, simply because their brother had been too much of a worrywart for them to involve him most times.
But all of that had ended when their parents had died. Unlike everyone else, Ana had seen the sense in what Wyatt was doing when he decided to avenge the deaths of the Charmed Ones. And the blond witch had been right; there was no good or evil. It was all a pointless war that allowed for more family members to die as the war waged on - them dying for the beliefs that had been planted in their minds. But Callie and Henry Jr, or rather, the rest of the family didn't see it that way - forcing Ana to have no choice but to sever the bond.
Whether it had been intentional or not, Callie had kept plaguing her mind with images; frightful images. And though Ana chose to believe it was intended, it didn't stop the images from haunting her. Every time there was a massacre - she would see what her twin had seen and it would inject self-hatred in her like a syringe.
But it all came down to the fact that Callie wouldn't join them; and Ana needed to be free of that life and the pain.
"You need to find her." Wyatt said softly, interrupting Ana's train of thought as her hazy brown eyes looked up to look at her cousin. "You need to find her and find out why Emily was in the attic."
"Why do you think she was in the Manor?" Ana asked, wary of her own question when she saw how tense Wyatt's shoulders were. Emily always had been a sore subject; as had Chris and Melinda and the rest of the family.
Wyatt shifted in his position, not comfortable with the idea of letting his mind wander to such a place; to allow it to contemplate how the blonde psychic had chosen to betray him this time. "She snuck in and went to the attic," the blond witch stated as he watched Ana's reaction - waiting for the implication of his words to sink in. Seeing Ana's irises widen, the Twice Blessed witched sighed - he knew that she understood. "Just as Chris had done when he went back," Wyatt growled. "Meaning someone went back, most likely to him."
"But…but who?" Ana choked out. She couldn't believe that another family member had dared to go back in time, but at the same time she couldn't help but fear for her own wellbeing. When Chris had left the first time, Wyatt had gone completely sideways, and the second time…he had been livid. Absolutely pissed.
Seeing the raw anger shining in the Twice Blessed's cerulean eyes, Ana leaned forward to rest her chin on her knees with one thought in mind - things were about to get a hell of a lot more tense around here. And with Wyatt's temper, it wasn't going to be pretty.
Unaware of his cousin's thoughts, Wyatt shook his head. "I have no idea," he admitted - not wanting to know why Emily had betrayed him now. Despite his hesitance to ponder the idea though, he intended to find out the why. "It's your job to find out why -go." The blond narrowed his eyes. "Now."
Hearing the patience in Wyatt's voice dissipating, Ana nodded before willing her petite body to dissolve into millions of blue and charkle coloured orbs - the ever annoying jingling sound indicating her departure.
And that was when Wyatt allowed for the breath he had been holding to escape his lips. He knew that he was being tough on Ana; hell, he'd been tough on her from the moment that she had joined him but Wyatt was no fool. He knew that he had been shorter with her lately, snapping at her whenever the situation called for it. And regretfully, even when it didn't.
He was letting his temper get out of control.
Something which had proved to be a very bad idea many, many times in the past. It was his temper that often made him say things that he didn't want to say; made him do things he didn't want to do. But it wasn't something he could help - but he would have to learn how to. If he was going to figure out who went back to help his traitorous brother, or how to get his brother back; he needed to have a clear head.
Sure, the blond Twice Blessed witch had been driving himself stark raving mad over the past few months as he tried to think of a way to bring home his wayward brother, but none of his ideas seemed up to par. One plan to get his brother to return had already failed; the next one couldn't.
But no matter how hard he tried to concoct a way to get Chris home, Wyatt would be come frustrated with the knowledge that it just wouldn't work. The simplest plan would to go back and get the little runt himself; but Wyatt Matthew Halliwell was not jumping through a portal, not even for Chris, until he had some sort of plan to retrieve his brother. Hell, not until he had a back-up plan; something he would surely need if Chris were to once again refuse to come home willingly. Which for some reason, Wyatt believed to be a very high possibility.
Annoying runt, Wyatt grumbled mentally before he took a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself before he ended up doing something that he would regret later. After all, he really didn't want to blow up his mansion.
Sensing a familiar presence in the room though, a low growl rumbled deep in Wyatt's throat. "Not now, Caleb."
"Wow, it didn't take you long to figure out I was there this time." Caleb observed as he walked out of the shadows, a bright smile lighting up his face before a though crossed his mind - his smile instantly falling as his eyebrows furrowed. "I guess I'm losing my touch then."
"One could only hope," Wyatt muttered.
"This actually sucks," Caleb deadpanned as he plopped down on a comfortable chair and smiled at Wyatt, one of his dark eyebrows arching as he took a deep breath. "So, Mr. All-Powerful," the half-manticore started as he formed an energy ball and began tossing it back and forth between his hands. "What are we planning now? And…what's with the annoyed yet slightly angered look on your face? Who pissed in your Cheerios?"
Hearing the light, teasing undertone in the half-demon's voice, Wyatt found himself clenching his teeth together as he counted backwards from ten slowly. Very slowly. Trying with all of his might to resist the powerful urge to throw his friend across the room.
"I saw Emily earlier; she was in the attic in the Manor." Wyatt said in a cool voice, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice as he looked up at Caleb; almost cracking a smile when Caleb's energy ball instantly went up in a puff of smoke, the half-demon's face holding nothing but surprise. "But she didn't go back, it was someone else."
For several minutes, Caleb resembled a fish out of water until he blinked dumbly at Wyatt; surprise all of his face. Then suddenly, his shocked expression become one of anger - an expression that would have shocked all those who didn't know him, simply because Caleb was the most laid back of Wyatt's employees and was known for only happiness - as he thought of the all new low that the psychic had sunk to. Turning her back on Wyatt - on them - was one thing, but openly betraying them both like that was crossing the line,
The half-manticore sighed. "Do we know who?"
Wyatt shook his head; his mind had been trying to determine that from the moment he had seen his former best friend, to when Ana had asked him, right up to just then when Caleb had asked him the simple question of whom. He would get to the bottom of this though. Someone had to know who had gone back in time and Wyatt was going to find out whom - or at least, he would question them after Ana found them…
Thinking of his younger cousin, Wyatt felt a cruel smirk appear on his face as a light bulb went off in his head. How he hadn't thought of it before now he didn't know, but it was brilliant. It was time for him to send in his Trojan horse.
If Chris could be deceiving enough to send Callie in pretending to be Ana in order to get information, then why couldn't he do the same thing? Sure, it lacked creativity but it was ingenious - the Resistance would never suspect it.
All he needed was for Ana to sneak in, find out who had traveled back in time, and then come back and give him a full report; giving him, more information on what he was dealing with. The smirk on the blond witch's face grew. Simply genius.
"Thanks for letting me in on the plan, Wy!" Caleb called out bitterly to himself as he watched the taller blond's body into millions of black and blue orbs as he disappeared from sigh - running off to wherever his thoughts had led him.
Standing up, the half-demon tried to fight off a yawn as he shrugged; looking around one last time before shimmering off to his own room for a much-needed nap. When Wyatt needed him, the blond witch would come and Caleb would be there - but in the mean time he would sleep and wait for Wyatt to catch him up on the plan
Because as of right now, not even God knew what insane idea had sprung into Wyatt's head.
As she walked out into the back garden with Future Leo, Piper could wipe the scowl off of her face as she thought of the position that her sister had put her in. She knew that the future version of Leo had information that they could use; information that they possibly needed but it didn't mean that she had to be the one to talk to him. Actually, she didn't want to be the one to talk to him. But she would, simply because her son's, her Wyatt's, future mortality could possibly depend on this.
No matter how awkward it was.
And it was very awkward.
Ever since she had split from the Leo in her time, seeing him had become increasingly difficult. From the moment he had accepted to become an Elder, Leo had slowly morphed into a person that she hadn't recognized, he wasn't the man she had married. The Leo she had loved never would have chosen the Elders over their family - which Leo had ultimately done the moment he had accepted to be one of them.
It was a great opportunity, and Piper would even admit that it was nice to have an Elder on their side now, but it was an opportunity that the eldest Charmed One wished that her…whatever Leo was now, had not accepted. If he had just turned it down, they would still be a family; Wyatt, Leo and her, along with her sisters.
That was what was making the impending conversation that she was about to have with Future Leo all the more uncomfortable. He held all of the future knowledge, answers to some of the questions that she wanted answered more than anything, but was too afraid to ask. Not only because she was sure to get a response of "future consequences, but because a part of her was unsure if she actually wanted to hear the answers.
"You find this awkward too then," Future Leo commented as he and Piper both fell down onto the steps that rested outside the old Victorian door that was original to the house. Hearing the past version of his wife chuckle, a small smile lit up the Elder's face as pain shone in his jade green eyes - his green orbs looking to the sky as he released a breath.
"Just a little," Piper admitted as she rubbed the back of her neck and closed her chocolate-brown eyes as the cold November air hit her arms, her breath visible in front of her as the temperature dropped slightly. "It's just…I don't know how to - I mean, you…we-"
Glancing over at the Elder, Piper pursed her lips together as she took in the older Leo's features and took note of the somewhat passive look on his face. It was a look that she had long ago learned to associate with Leo; a look of pure calmness and a self-control that allowed for him enter any situation with a clear head. However, unlike her Leo, there were signs of obvious strain on Future Leo's face. Strain undoubtfully from the having to watch his son, their Wyatt, grow into something so evil that Piper rarely recognized him.
She needed to know the answers; Piper had to know what it was exactly that had caused her son to drift so far from the path of good in future years. If she knew that much, then maybe there would be a chance for them to stop it - because she would not rest until she was sure that her son and future family were safe. All that was missing was that one piece of the puzzle - they knew what Wyatt had become in the future, so they knew the how, and they knew the when. All they needed was to know who had gotten to her innocent little son, and the why.
But the Chris from the memories had already hinted at the why. He had said that Wyatt had turned sooner than had been intended, that her blond haired son hadn't been meant to turn to evil until he was into his adult years but something, something so traumatic had caused the Twice Blessed witch to turn sooner than the who had expected or planned. And from what she had heard, it was an incident that one did not like to talk about opening; after all, in the memories Chris had referred to it as the event.
The event had to be something of some significance. But for the life of her, Piper couldn't bring herself to ask the future Elder just what the event had been. It obviously had been dreadful, especially if it had led her son to the path of evil, and Piper was unsure if her heart would be able to bear it. Now more than ever since her mind and heart still hadn't learned to deal with the other knowledge that she had been introduced to yesterday.
"So," Future Leo began softly as his jade green eyes continued to gaze at the hazy sky above; the Elder refusing to allow for his irises to drift over to the woman he had been dreaming about for eight years. The woman who he had loved more than he had ever loved someone before - except for his children. The woman he had let down. "Paige mentioned that you had some questions."
Piper's head bobbed up and down in a slight nod as she rubbed the back of her neck. "Yeah, being who they are, Paige and Phoebe stayed up all night looking for a lead on Wyatt; not that I blame them. I couldn't even catch a wink last night, but everything they found either took immediate effect - instantly ruling that out."
"And the others?"
"Seemed to be…too weak to affect Wyatt in anyway." Piper admitted as she finally looked over towards Future Leo, frowning when she noted that he was once again avoiding looking at her at all costs; something that had both her heart sinking while she could feel her curiosity peaking. Nevertheless, she did not dare to ask why - she needed to stay focussed on the task at hand. "That was when we got to talking; the fact remains that we don't know how powerful Wyatt is at that stage. I mean, we know that he is powerful, but before we saw those memories…I could not imagine him being any stronger. But now…?"
"It's overwhelming." The future Elder finished off, sighing as he braced his elbows on his knees and rested his chin in his palms as he stared intently at the stone walkway leading back to the three wooden chairs that he could vividly remember sitting in at one point, watching a four year old Wyatt run around intently with his ball while he giggled loudly, a small green-eyed brunette at the tender age of two struggling to keep up with him. But those times were long gone.
"Yeah," Piper breathed out. "I mean, the power he has in the future…it's scary."
"You used to say the same thing when he was growing up," the Elder commented softly as he shook his head, a shy grin lighting up his face as he recalled how much his Piper had freaked out when Wyatt had been three years old and had the intelligent idea of bringing all of his toys alive. "Every time he got a new power you used to rant on and on - it being the exact same spiel every time." He closed his eyes at the bittersweet memory, "it got to the point that I just accepted and let you seethe until you were done."
A frown marred the Charmed One's face. "Was I really that bad?"
"No, you weren't bad at all. You were just worried, and a little scared." Future Leo shrugged, "you were being a mother. And a damn good one if I say so myself - but I may be a little biased. Who knows."
Hearing those words, Piper chewed absently on the bottom of her lip as she thought of what the Elder was saying; his words not sounding quite as hollow as her Leo's had. Maybe it was because this Leo had seen everything first hand, had actually seen the down spiral of their family and still believed that she had been a good mother. All of that making her slightly more inclined to believe him.
Still, the knowledge that she had been a good mother still left her feeling uneasy; as though a bucket of cold water had been dumped into the pit of her stomach leaving her slightly on edge as she thought of the future years to come. Her mind pondering over just how powerful her son would become, how Chris and her son's other friends would come into their lives, who Chris' family was, how all of their lives would be once the future was saved.
"Can I ask a question?"
Future Leo nodded at Piper's question. "Yes, but I may not be able to answer. Though I want to tell you everything, I've already told you that there are future consequences to think about. I know that you might find it hard to believe that there are some things worth protecting in that hell, but there are. Not many, but the few precious few mean so much that I would never risk them in anyway, I'm sorry."
Narrowing her brown eyes into slits at the simple statement, Piper leaned back slightly as she pondered over a way to state her question in such a way that it wouldn't be such a delicate question for her to ask. But regardless, she needed to know. And sitting back in the sidelines, though it had been her way back when she had simply been the middle sister, becoming the eldest and a mother on top of that had changed her - meaning that she wouldn't be pushed aside easily. Especially not where her family was concerned, the wellbeing of her family was something that she did not take lightly.
Her family meant everything to her; without she would be nothing. She had been younger when her mother had died, but she remembered the pain she had felt when her sister Prue had died like it had been yesterday; simply because she had been living with the pain since then. It was a pain that would never subside, but it was a pain she never wanted to add to. It was that conscience thought that made up the eldest Charmed One's mind for good. She had her answer.
"You don't have to give specifics…but roughly how powerful would this thing had to be to get to Wyatt? At this age?" Piper asked, worry seeping into her voice as her eyebrows creased in concern as she wondered what she and her family would have to face in order to assure that their family stayed together. "I mean, he has his shield."
Hearing Piper's question, Future Leo placed his face down in his hands, rubbing his face furiously to wipe away some of his exhaustion as he contemplated over just how powerful this thing would have to be to get to his son. The opportunity had been there - with Chris' impending birth the entire family had been in an uproar as they prepared for his arrival, more stressed out than Leo had ever thought possible because of Piper's lack of the added…perks that she had had when she'd been pregnant with Wyatt. Still, Wyatt had almost been two years old by the time baby Christopher had been brought into the world; and saying that Wyatt was unable to care for himself was a full-blown lie.
"Piper, I couldn't tell you." Hearing the sound of Piper's sigh, the Elder pressed his lips together. "But I can honestly tell you that by the time he was attacked, Wyatt's powers will nearly be twice as strong as they are now. He doesn't receive any new ones for a while, but the ones he has now matured at an alarming rate."
"So, we're talking about someone just as powerful as the Charmed Ones?"
Future Leo pressed his lips into a tight line as he thought it over. "No, more so. Think more along the lines of the Source. That is how powerful this thing has to be; or at least pretty darn close. And that's what has me stumped - I remember that time of my life easily, we were looking for threats anyway and nothing popped up on the Elders' radar or our own. So whoever it was kept their tracks hidden. "
Piper tensed a little as she thought of what he was saying, something standing out in the back of her mind as she turned to glare at him ever so slightly. One thing standing out in her mind. "Why were we looking for threats then anyway?"
The way that Future Leo tensed at her question had Piper's eyes narrowing ever so slightly; her expression matching Wyatt's future expression in ferociousness as she waited for the Elder to answer her question. Something that would have to be after the expression of being a deer caught in a headlight left his face - apparently he hadn't thought she would pick up on that tiny detail.
"Piper - that's one thing that I can't tell you."
The fire in the eldest Charmed One's eyes began blazing. "Leo-!"
"Piper," the Elder said as just fiercely as he looked at her in exasperation, her annoyed look not even bothering him since he had seen it so often in the future. All of the incidents being when he had missed some sort of family function that he should not have missed; most concerning Chris. "I can't."
"Because…because I can't!" Future Leo burst as he stood up and began pacing around and around, a frantic look in his eyes as he looked at Piper for the first time since he'd been the past; the look he was receiving chipping at his fragile heart. "Why can't you accept that?"
"Because this is about our son, Leo!"
"You think I don't know that, Piper?" The Elder snapped bitterly, "I know that this is about our son, don't you worry about that. Nothing is more important to me than my family and ensuring that that hell doesn't happen again. I can't tell you - telling you would put him at risk."
By now, Future Leo was pretty sure he was talking more so about Chris than his older brother; but risking the conception of his son was something that he would not risk. He hadn't been there for Chris as much as he should have been, but he did love his son. And risking Chris was something that he wouldn't do - he would not value one son over the other.
"How, Leo? How would telling us put Wyatt at risk?" The angered brunette demanded as she stood up, one of her eyebrows arching when she saw how the Elder was clenching his teeth together as if he were trying to keep himself from bursting. "So there are future consequences - I honestly don't care at the moment. How do you know that not telling us won't cause even more harm? Are you willing to risk that?"
Future Leo sucked in a deep breath, his eyes dropping sadly as he despairingly shook his head. "Don't accuse me of caring more about the rules than my family, Piper. You may not understand it, but what I'm doing is for my family. For your family."
Piper opened her mouth to respond; her heart aching when she saw the obvious pain that he was going through. No matter what time he was from, she knew that family was the most important thing to Leo. She had never meant to accuse him of putting anything before that; he was after all, a family man. And a dedicated on at that.
"Don't Piper," Future Leo said, brushing past her as he headed back into the house, more concerned than he previously had been about Chris and Prue. As if his little quarrel with Piper had not been enough to have the Elder worried, the growing worry in his gut was. Something was wrong - call it parent's intuition, but he knew something somewhere was wrong. "Just don't."
Piper couldn't do anything but watch the broken man walk away, one question running through her mind; where did everything go so wrong?
Leo sighed as he stood on the very top of the Golden Gate Bridge; a place where he had always felt some sort of comfort. Even before he had separated from Piper, hell even before he had met Piper, there had always been something soothing about standing on the top of the bridge and gazing at the lights of San Francisco.
It had always been the Elder's place to get lost in his thoughts; to allow for his mind to become clear of all of the thoughts that were running rampant through his mind. That was why the Elder had found himself wasting the day away, sitting on the high red beams, processing everything that he had learned in Chris' memories. Memories that he had wanted to see in the beginning, but ones that he now wished he had never bore witness to.
For now, he actually cared about what happened to Chris; something that seemed to over complicate things in ways that Leo himself didn't understand. Not caring was so much easier, and as bad as it was, the Elder almost wished he could go back to it but he couldn't. Knowing what he did now, not caring was impossible.
"What'd you want, Leo?"
Hearing the sound of Chris' voice, Leo nearly jumped out of his skin and whirled around, coming face to face with Charlie and Chris, both of which were sitting on the red-coloured beam, smirking at him in amusement. An action that Leo would have previously scolded them for, but the small smile gracing Chris' features seemed to make the young man look years younger -making Chris look his actual age, that the Elder didn't have the heart to be upset in the least.
"I wanted to talk," Leo said simply as he leaned against the beam, looking up at the two half-witches who were sharing a look, almost as though they were talking with their eyes, before they looked back at him, shaking their heads. "What?"
"Future consequences," Prue said simply - knowing that whatever the past version of her uncle was going to ask to talk about was going to be something that they couldn't talk about. It was just easier to remind them of that fact before the conversation before it even started.
"I know that," Leo said with somewhat of a smile gracing his lips as he glanced over at Chris for a moment - his heart aching when he saw how tense the young man seemed to be. All signs of the laidback attitude that he'd possessed when he orbed in with Charlie was now gone, just because he was in the Elder's presence. But something told the Elder that it would take Chris a long time to become comfortable around them.
"Then what'd you want to talk about?" Chris asked.
"I have something to ask you," Leo answered slowly as he looked up to look Chris in the eyes, something about those eyes seeming familiar to him - but as soon as the thought appeared in his mind it was gone as the serious manner engulfed them once again. "And you don't have to worry; I know that you can't reveal things about the future, but I have to know. I mean, you were close to Wyatt…was it…I mean, were there…did we-?"
"Learn to speak English," Prue quipped, only to frown when Chris sent her a silencing look.
Looking back at his would-be father, Chris nodded in understanding; knowing all too well what it was that the Elder was asking. "The answer is no, Leo." Seeing how the Elder's face fell at his words, the half-witch sighed, cursing the heavens for the fact that he felt the desire to be nice to Leo of all people. "It wasn't all bad."
Leo looked up at that, his lips quirked up into a small smile as he searched Chris' eyes for any sign that the young boy was lying. Not seeing any, the Elder let out a deep breath of relief and nodded, feeling as though a million pounds had been lifted off of his shoulder. That was what he had been worried about; and had been worrying about all day, he'd been afraid that it had all been bad.
"Really?" Leo breathed out.
"Really," Prue assured. "There were some times that I'm pretty sure that all of you wanted to lock all of the kids up and prevent them from ever leaving the house because you worried that much because of the trouble we-they," Prue corrected when Chris subtly nudged her with his elbow. "Got into so much trouble - but there were good memories."
"I was afraid that there wasn't."
"You're forgetting that you only say my memories from the age of thirteen onward," Chris reminded gently as Leo nodded. "You didn't see the first years and you didn't see every memory throughout the years - you only saw the ones that the potion chose, that it found important, for whatever the reason. The past eight years have been hell, but there were some good times."
"And that's why you came back?"
"Yeah," Chris confirmed, a small smile appearing on his face - despite how awkward he was finding it to be having a civil conversation with Leo. Especially since the Elder had done nothing but accuse and question him since he had arrived in the past - it seemed as though things truly were changing. "Some things are worth fighting for."
Leo nodded, and then, for the first time since Chris had showed up in the past, the Elder and the young half-witch, as well as Charlie, all sat in silence and looked over the city - each one of them absorbed in their own thoughts. Each one of them knowing that things were still in need of repair; but between the three of them, things had taken a baby step in the right direction.