Chapter 19- What the future holds
Leo looked at the mirror as he straightened his shirt. He never was one for vanity but he did have to admit that he did look good for a man of over a hundred years. He didn't look a day over fifty. He chuckled amazed at how the fact that he did look fifty pleased him. Leaving the Elders and becoming mortal again was the best decision he ever made.
The day Chris was born he had taken Wyatt to Piper's room so he could meet his brother and with Wyatt on his lap he had gently lifted Chris. And there holding his two boys he had just known that being an Elder and a father was impossible, that he had to choose and he was amazed at how simple the choice was to make. He chose his family.
That is not to say magic wasn't a part of his life anymore, no, he had been a happy teacher at magic school for the last twenty years, he had the pleasure of teaching his sons and nieces.
He smiled as he thought of his sons. They were both in College now, Wyatt would be in law school next year, and he wanted to be a district attorney.
"We save innocents from demons every day, but saving them from criminals is just as important," Wyatt had said. His Wyatt was good; they had always made sure that he knew that not abusing his powers wasn't a question of weakness of being afraid of seizing power as Chris had told them evil Wyatt thought, but of respect for those gifts that were given to him to protect not harm. That those powers didn't make him better then others just responsible for the protection of good.
They taught both their boys this and they had both learned their lesson. They used their powers but didn't abuse them. And they both used their powers to their fullest potential. Chris had been taught to believe in himself something future Chris hadn't known how to.
Chris was in a pre-med student and just like his brother lived on Campus. Piper and Leo felt the need to let them have this experience at the fullest even though both went to College in San Francisco because they knew that the boys wouldn't be ever able to move out completely. Paige and Phoebe had only been able to move out because Wyatt and Chris's powers coupled with Piper's when they were small was enough to protect the Manor and more importantly what the manor stood on. The fact that Chris and Wyatt were the most powerful Halliwell's around made it their duty to protect the Manor. Even now being at College they came back and slept home often enough so the magic protecting the manor was always strong.
That Piper and Leo enjoyed the fact that their boys would always be around had nothing to do with it. Not at all. Yeah, right!
Chris came down for breakfast with all his books. Piper eyed them wearily and as her son sat down she asked gently. "Muffin, won't you stay home today?"
Chris looked at her and then at his father who had the same weird expression and for the first time noticed that all his aunts were there too. "Uh, I love you all but you do realize you people have been acting weirder by the minute. First you beg me to stay at home this week instead of going back to my dorm now you're asking me to ditch school? Me? You do know me right?"
"We have our reasons, can't you just- Chris!" Leo cried as his son's eyes rolled and he started dropping in his chair. He ran to him and tried his best to hold him off the floor as Chris's body shook in a seizure. Piper ran to his side and from the corner of his eyes Leo saw Paige and Phoebe gently setting Prue on the floor. She had fainted too but was not seizing as Chris was. Leo held his son and lost the track of time while he willed whatever was happening not to hurt his boy.
The blond was getting ready for class when suddenly he felt agony as never before. There was so much pain and confusion that he gasped and fell to the floor. He raised his head, "Chris," and orbed away to where his brother was suffering.
He appeared in his house's kitchen and the sight that he found made his blood run cold; His father was holding his brother from the ground and his brother was convulsively shaking.
He ran to them and quickly put his hands on his brother but the warm glow of healing didn't start. He could feel there was something wrong but could not get his powers to work. A hand on his arm made him look back into his mother's worried eyes.
"There's nothing you can do honey, you just have to let this happen."
"Who attacked? How can you be so calm?" he asked her urgently. He saw his aunt Prue unconscious nearby and could not fathom what could have knocked out a whitelighter.
"No one attacked honey, we have a lot to tell you. Come with me," she told him leading him to the living room and trusting Leo to take care of Chris.
"My Head," Chris moaned from the floor.
"Steady," Leo said calmly as he helped him sit up.
"Well, that should hurt, I had the mother of all headaches when I got my memories back and they were just memories," Paige said.
Prue had awakened a little while ago, not more ruffled than if she'd been asleep in her bed to Paige's annoyance and they had sat besides Leo waiting for Chris to stop shaking. He had quieted down after a while but, still took a few minutes to wake up.
"What?" Prue asked Paige.
"Really, to think Wyatt fell for the same trick twice," Paige smirked at her sister. "He did try to catch me but I just shimmered away."
"How are you feeling son?" Leo asked Chris worriedly. Chris looked pale and about to drop again any time.
"Confused. I don't know what's what?" Chris rubbed his head.
"That will take a while, don't worry," Leo said and pulled Chris into a hug kissing his hair. He was so relieved that Chris didn't seem worse for wear.
"I'm not confused," Prue said simply. "I know what I lived here and the other seams like a story I know."
"That's because you're a full whitelighter. You're wired to get great loads of information at one time when you need. Chris being human is going to take some time being able to process both lives."
"So I get the dying with Darklighter poison but not the processing, peachy." Chris snorted sarcastically in a tired voice.
"I think you better go back to bed," Leo said helping him up.
"I was evil?" Wyatt asked with his jaw set angrily and his eyes full of unshed tears. "I hurt my brother? My best friend? I'd never hurt Chris," he whispered the last part.
"We know that peanut," Piper said taking Wyatt's hand. "And in the other future, as twisted as you may have been you were trying to protect your loved ones. You just went about that the wrong way."
"So I could be evil?" Wyatt asked disgusted.
"All of us could."
"Chris did a lot of questionable things to save you Wyatt and so did we," Piper smiled. "This wasn't your fault, and as much as I want to place the blame all on Gideon this wasn't only his fault. Everything in the other timeline contributed to what happened. You were a victim of circumstances. Of Gideon's actions. Of your father and I not raising you properly. Of letting your destiny be more important than your life. This time we let you be as normal a child as we could and we worked hard to show you your powers were gifts to protect others, but you still were just a common person. Special to me," she smiled. "But not better then anyone else. We grounded you we hadn't grounded him."
Wyatt shook his head letting the tears fall. He could feel the pain and confusion his brother was going through and he couldn't believe he had done that to the most important person in his life. Wyatt and Chris were more than brothers, they were best friends. They knew each other as they knew themselves. Chris was always a part of Wyatt, always a presence inside him. Wyatt knew that their closeness was aided by their bond. As close as his mother and sisters where they weren't as close as Chris and Wyatt. And hurting his brother was the worst Wyatt could ever do.
The kitchen door opened and Wyatt saw his father helping Chris walk. He got up abruptly and ran to his brother.
"I'm sorry, Chris, I'm so sorry."
Chris only smiled at him, "I'm a little jumbled up now Wy but I know for a fact this is not your fault."
"Yes this is. I hurt-"
"He hurt me Wy," Chris said firmly. "You're my brother Wy, the one I went back to save. He wasn't anymore."
Wyatt shook his head and Chris shakily left his father's helping arm and hugged Wyatt, "I'd go back in time a million times for you Wy."
"You won't have too," Wyatt hugged him back. From over his brother's shoulders Chris looked at his mother. His breathing, healthy happy mother and he smiled at her and from her watery smile he knew she knew what he was thinking and how happy he was to see her.
Chris sighed happily as he lunged on the very same recliner he had in the past. He watched the clouds and thought on his new life. He had been back for a week and his memories were more organized. The new life was predominant and as Prue had said the other one seemed like a story he knew. Sometimes he still got confused but his family was there to help him, especially his father. He was quite shocked to find out that the idea of a spell to keep their old memories had been Leo's.
"I didn't want you going through this alone," Leo had told him. "With me it's different then with you. One day I woke up and I remembered everything from my past life. But they were unattached to anything. They were as if the other Leo had come and let me see his life not live his life. I still can't rationalize his actions towards you but I know he loved you."
Somehow he had already realized that and that action helped him make peace with his other father.
This time he had always been the baby of the family in a way. He was the youngest man even though Paige's Helen was the youngest child. He was Wyatt's little brother. Piper and Leo's youngest and had been babied. He liked that. He remembered a life where he didn't get to be babied because his mother was always running around trying to make up for his father's absence, and sensing her stress he did his best not to worry her. He'd stay where she told him too. He tried to help her, be good for her. And then, all of a sudden, he had to grow up to protect what was left of his family.
Here he was part of a family, a big family that protected each other. Bianca wasn't part of his life and maybe she never would be, maybe he'd find someone else or maybe she'd come. He didn't care. He'd wait and see. Life was good.
The doorbell rang and Chris could hear the rest of his family laughing at a joke Andy was telling. Andy and Prue had been together since Whitelighter training.
Chris opened the door and came face to face with what was obviously a school jock. How he hated athletes and their small brains. The guy in front of him must have been around eighteen and was all muscles.
"Yes?" Chris asked condescendingly.
"I'm here to pick up Patty. She said we'd go out after her family lunch."
"Oh, she did," Chris said sarcastically and turned around. "Hey Wy!" he called.
Wyatt soon joined his brother on the door and though Wyatt had played some sports at school he never had been the school jersey kind of jock. He gave the boy the same disdain as Chris.
"He thinks he's going out with Patty," Chris informed him.
"Oh, he does? How naïve," Wyatt chuckled.
The boy visibly bristled and flexing his muscles he said, "Oh, yeah, and who's going to stop me? You two frail sticks?"
Now Wyatt and Chris weren't exactly muscular but they were the two most powerful witches in the world so calling them sticks was probably not the smartest move.
"No," Wyatt smirked and turning around yelled. "Oi, Uncle Henry. You're needed."
Henry, who was getting ready to get back to the precinct came putting his jacket on and followed by Leo, Victor, Andy and Coop. The boy's eyes went wide at the gun he was carrying and Wyatt said nonchalantly.
"This boy seems to be under the impression that he's taking your daughter out," he informed him.
"Yes," Henry said scowling, "I was informed. Tenth grade, bad grades, and stopped for underage drinking once."
"How do you know that?" the boy squeaked.
"Background check, obviously," Chris snorted. "What are you? A moron? Want us to take care of him?" he turned to his Uncle.
"Unfortunately I was told not to stop this outing," Henry growled and then smirked. "But no one said anything about keeping a close eye on him."
Seven identical evil smirks were formed and the boy gulped.
Yes, family was good.
A/N- Nothing against athletes. Don't kill me. Chris just always struck me as the nerdy type of guy that generally dislikes athletes.
I hope you had fun and thanks for reading!