Back in Time
Chris knew Wyatt was up to something, but he wasn't sure if he really wanted to find out what it was. The minute they had gotten home from school, Wyatt had gone up to the attic and shut the door. Chris thought about reminding him that neither one of them was supposed to be up there without their Mom or one of their Aunts, but he knew how that would go over. He thought about calling his Aunt Phoebe who was probably at home next door watching her youngest daughter and Paige's twins, but that would really piss Wyatt off. So in the end, Chris did nothing. He went to his room, started his homework, and hoped that Wyatt wasn't casting a spell on him.
Half an hour later Chris heard a loud popping sound and figured Wyatt was done. He stayed in his room when he heard the door to the attic open and close again. Half an hour after that, the doorbell rang. Chris went to answer it, but Wyatt beat him to it. Chris stood in the hallway and watched. Krissy, the most popular and prettiest girl from magic school, was standing on the other side of the door. Chris thought this was very odd, because she hated both of them, along with most of the other kids in school. And that very day she had made a fool of Wyatt during lunch when he had dared to try and sit with the popular kids.
Wyatt smiled and said, "Krissy, what a pleasant surprise."
Krissy twirled her hair nervously and smiled shyly at Wyatt. She said, "I've been thinking about you all afternoon. I can't believe I wouldn't let you sit with me at lunch today. I don't know what I was thinking. You're so powerful and handsome. I guess I just was hiding my attraction to you behind….bitchiness."
Wyatt smiled and said, "That's alright. I'm just happy you're here now. Would you like to come in and have a soda?"
"That would be awesome."
Chris stood there with his mouth gaping as Krissy walked by him and towards the living room. Wyatt noticed him as he walked by and hissed, "Get lost."
Chris nodded and pretended to head back up the stairs, but as soon as Wyatt and Krissy were in the kitchen, he turned back around and hid behind the couch in the living room. He heard laughter from the kitchen and soon both teenagers came out and sat on the couch together. After five minutes of small talk Krissy practically attacked Wyatt, and all Chris could hear after that were loud kissing noises.
Chris shook his head. He didn't understand Wyatt at all. He thought, 'Why does Wyatt keep doing this stuff. He knows Mom is gonna find out, and it's just gonna make Krissy hate him even more. I wish he had never turned sixteen.'
Two months ago on Wyatt's sixteenth birthday something had happened to him. Everyone could tell something was wrong, but Wyatt wasn't explaining it to anyone. It effected Chris the most, because they had been close before that, and now Wyatt seemed to hate him.
Chris looked at his watch. It would be another hour before his mom got home from the club. He orbed to his room and hoped Wyatt was too involved with Krissy to notice. Once he was there he whispered, "Sam."
Nothing happened, so Chris whispered more urgently, "Sam!"
Paige's father, and the Charmed one's Whitelighter appeared in front of Chris. Sam said, "Hey Chris, what's up?"
Chris said, "If I tell you something you'll keep it between you and me right?"
Sam nodded and said, "Unless it's dangerous or something sure."
"Well, if I know someone is doing something they shouldn't do, do you think I should try to stop them…. Even if it means they won't like me anymore?"
Sam knew very well, along with the rest of the family, that Wyatt was becoming a problem child. Both Paige and Phoebe had gone through their own wild teenage years and seemed to think it was normal, but Sam and Piper were unconvinced. Sam said, "Is this person doing something dangerous? Something that will hurt himself or others?"
Chris thought about it and said, "No. I mean it might make some people mad, but no one will get hurt…. Physically"
Sam nodded and said, "Then I guess it's best to just leave it."
"Okay. Thanks Sam. Sorry to bug you if you were busy."
"That's alright kiddo. I've always got time for you."
Sam orbed out and Chris lay back on his bed to read for a while. Sam orbed into the living room to the site of Wyatt kissing a girl he recognized from magic school. Sam cleared his throat and Wyatt and Krissy jumped apart. Sam gave Wyatt a look and said, "Is your mom here?"
Wyatt glared at Sam and said, "You know she's never home before six. She's at the club getting it set up for tonight."
Sam held out his hand for Krissy and said, "I don't know if we've met before, but I've seen you around in school. I'm Sam."
Krissy looked kind of embarrassed and said, "Hi. I'm Krissy."
"Nice to meet you. I didn't know Wyatt was seeing someone."
Krissy sighed a happy sigh, and said, "I was so lucky to get to him before someone else did."
Sam raised his eyebrows and looked at Wyatt who just kept glaring. Sam said, "Okay, well you kids have fun, and I'll see you later."
Then Sam orbed and was gone and Wyatt said, "I thought he'd never leave."
Krissy smiled and kissed Wyatt again.
Sam orbed to Piper's club. He found her and she said, "Hi Sam, what's going on?. Demon? Something trying to kill us?"
Sam shook his head and said, "Wyatt."
Piper took a deep breath and said, "What has he done now?"
"I'm not sure, but I think it's some kind of love spell."
Piper groaned and put her hand to her forehead. She mumbled, "Why? Why has my son turned into this….this….monster teenager? He used to be so sweet."
Sam patted her shoulder and said, "I wish he would confide in me, but he hasn't and doesn't seem to want to be around any of us."
Piper shook her head and said, "Let me make sure things are set up for the night, and then you can take me home."
Sam nodded and Piper went to talk to the manager who had worked for her for the past five years.
Wyatt was again lost in kissing, and then he heard his mother say, "Is this how you kids study nowadays?"
Wyatt and Krissy jumped apart again, and Piper said to Krissy, "It was nice of you to come over dear, but it's almost time for dinner, so I'm gonna have to ask you to leave."
Krissy pouted and said to Wyatt, "Walk me to the door?"
Wyatt did, and she kissed him again. Before she walked away she said, "I'll see you in school tomorrow."
Wyatt shut the door and turned to see his furious mother looking at him with her arms crossed. She yelled, "What do you think you're doing Wyatt Matthew?"
Wyatt shrugged and said, "Kissing a girl. Last I heard there was nothing wrong with that."
Piper tossed her hands in the air and said, "You were starting to take her shirt off, and it's a girl I've never even seen you with before!"
Wyatt looked unimpressed with his mother's yelling. Piper said, "What did you do Wyatt? What kind of spell or potion did you come up with?"
Wyatt yelled back, "So if a girl likes me I must have made it happen through magic?!"
Piper took her tone down and said, "No sweetie that's not what I meant. I mean you didn't even know that girl before today and now….."
Wyatt yelled, "I don't care! Just leave me alone!"
Wyatt brushed past his mom and started up the stairs. Piper yelled, "Don't you walk away from me when I'm yelling at you!"
Wyatt kept going and saw his brother Chris looking at him surprised from the top of the stairs. Wyatt glared and said, "You! You told her!"
Chris shook his head no, but Wyatt raised his hand, and Chris went flying across the hallway to land on his butt on the floor.
Piper yelled, "Wyatt! That's it! You're grounded for a week! I'm calling your aunts, and we're binding your powers for a week!"
Wyatt turned on her and yelled, "GO AHEAD AND TRY!"
Wyatt orbed and was gone.
Piper went over to Chris who looked like he was about to cry. She helped him up and he said, "Why does he hate me now?"
Piper shook her head and said, "He doesn't hate you honey. He's just….going through a tough time. Did you get hurt? Do you need Sam to heal you?"
"No. I'm fine."
Piper nodded and her and Chris went down to Sam. She asked Sam, "Will you get Paige and bring her over here please?"
Then she turned to Chris and said, "Can you go watch your cousins for Phoebe for about half an hour and have her come see me?"
Chris nodded and orbed next door. Chris appeared in Phoebe's kitchen. She turned and looked at him and smiled. She said, "Hey Chris. Want a cookie?"
Chris shook his head and said, "Mom needs you at the manor. I can watch the girls."
Phoebe took a look at him and said, "Okay. The twins are watching that new Disney show on tape, Prue and Penny are doing their homework, and little Pacey is down for a nap."
Chris nodded and Phoebe walked next door. Chris walked in and sat with the twins. The five-year-old girls both turned to him and squealed, "Chris!"
Chris rolled his eyes when they both wanted to sit in his lap and started to argue about whose turn it was.
At the manor Piper was quietly steaming and muttering to herself when both Phoebe and Paige arrived. Piper turned to them and said, "We're going to bind Wyatt's powers for a week."
Paige sighed and said, "Are you sure? It might just make him worse. Maybe I should try and talk to him again."
Piper glared and said, "He just used magic to fling Chris across the hall, and then he challenged me. Told me I could try and bind his powers."
Phoebe shook her head and said, "What is wrong with him?"
Piper said, "AND, I came home early because he was here kissing a girl named Krissy who was obviously under some kind of love spell."
Paige cringed and said, "Oh, yeah, Krissy doesn't get along well with Wyatt. She would never kiss him otherwise."
Piper said, "So we are in agreement?"
Both Paige and Phoebe slowly nodded and Phoebe said, "Just for a week though right?"
Piper rolled her eyes and said, "It's a punishment Phoebe. I'm not trying to change who he is, just his behavior."
Phoebe nodded and as they headed up the stairs Paige said, "I wish they were more popular at school. Maybe Wyatt wouldn't be acting out so much."
Paige then said, "But I guess it's hard to be popular when most of the kids are jealous of how powerful he is. And it sure doesn't help that he keeps using the other kids as his guinea pigs."
Phoebe nodded and said, "Some of them are scared of him, and he feels it. It makes him mad that they don't trust him, and so he lashes out at them."
In the attic they got the binding spell ready and summoned Wyatt. At first he didn't appear, but after they said the spell again he appeared, yelling and fighting the whole time. He found himself there in front of his mother and aunts even though he had tried to resist it. Then they did the second spell, and he screamed as he felt the power leave his body. When it was done he slumped to the floor and started to cry. Paige and Phoebe both walked out slowly and Piper went to hug Wyatt who was on his knees on the floor. When Piper put her arm around him he shrugged her off and said sincerely, "Don't touch me."
Piper quietly stood and calmly said, "One week Wyatt. You don't use your powers against your classmates or your brother. If it happens again it will be a month."
Wyatt said nothing, so Piper said, "Go to your room until I call you for dinner."
Wyatt got up on shaky legs and walked to his room. When he got there he tried and tried again to make things move, or to orb. It was the strangest thing he had ever felt. He felt naked, like a part of him was missing. He sat on his bed and stared at his hands feeling anger.
When Phoebe came home he saw Chris holding baby Pacey who was pulling his hair, while Prue was setting the table. Chris smiled at Pacey and said, "Look, Mommy's home."
Phoebe came and took her daughter from Chris and said, "Thanks for looking out for them."
Chris said honestly, "Prue helped. The twins were starting to fight and woke the baby. I couldn't get her quieted down until Prue gave her a cookie."
Phoebe smiled and Chris mock whispered, "Prue says she can baby-sit now that she's ten, and that you don't need to make me do it."
Prue put her hands on her hips and said, "Well I can!"
Penny came running in with the twins chasing her all of them laughing. Phoebe smiled and said loud enough to be heard, "Girls! Your mom will be here to get you in a few minutes, get your shoes on."
The girls ignored her and kept on running. Phoebe said a little more loudly, "Samantha and Patricia, I'm talking to you! Put on your shoes and stop running through the house."
Both girls made unhappy noises at their fun being stopped, but went to go get their shoes. Chris said, "Bye everyone."
Chris orbed and Penny said, "Mommy, when will we be able to orb?"
Phoebe said, "Never sweetie, you're not half Whitelighter."
"Like Sam and Aunt Paige?"
"But Piper's not a Whitelighter."
Prue rolled her eyes and said, "Duh Penny. It's cause Chris and Wyatt's dad was Leo."
Phoebe sighed and said, "He still is their dad. He just can't be here."
Penny looked confused and said, "Why?"
Phoebe looked away and said, "Just because honey. Let's get started on dinner."
At Piper's house the meal was a silent one. Wyatt refused to talk to anyone, and ate as quickly as he could. He glared once at Chris and walked away from the table without a word to anyone. Piper sighed and Chris looked down at his plate. He said, "He hates me Mom."
Piper put a hand on Chris' hand and said, "No he doesn't. I don't know why he's acting like this, but I know Wyatt loves you. Remember last year when that demon was attacking and he stood in front of you to protect you? And remember all the times he's helped you with your homework? Remember when the kids at school were teasing you about it, he worked with you for weeks to get your potions right?"
Chris looked at his mom and said, "I know he used to love me, but he doesn't any more, and that just makes it hurt more. Something happened to make him hate me, but I don't know what it is."
Piper patted his hand and said, "Will you do me a favor?"
Chris nodded and Piper said, "You stay fourteen for me, so I don't have to worry about you turning on me too."
Chris didn't smile at her joke and said, "I'm done. Did you want me to help with the dishes?"
"No thanks. I got it."
Chris went back up to his room and tried to forget about things by reading a book.
The next day, school was hell for Wyatt. Principal Paige had told all the other teachers that Wyatt wouldn't have his powers for the next week, and not to ask him to do anything in front the class so he wouldn't be humiliated. Wyatt breathed a sigh of relief as the day wore on, and no one found out his magic was gone. But the spell had worn off of Krissy, and she was livid. She let everyone know exactly what Wyatt had done to her, which didn't really surprise anyone. Then during lunch she was so angry about it she tossed a heavy book at Wyatt's head, and when it thunked him and he went down saying "Ow!" the lunchroom went silent. One of the teachers went over to Krissy and said, "We don't throw things at other people in school Miss. Jackson."
Krissy stammered, "But it was Wyatt. His protective bubble….."
The teacher said, "I think you need to have a talk with the Vice Principal about throwing things. Come with me please."
Chris had seen the whole thing from his table where he was sitting with some other freshmen. He felt bad for Wyatt when someone figured it out and whispered, "They stripped his powers."
The rumor circled the whole lunchroom within two minutes. Wyatt glared around at the other kids, and stood up. He walked out, leaving his unfinished lunch on the table.
After Wyatt left Chris heard one of the seniors say fairly loudly, "I guess the all-powerful Wyatt isn't so powerful after all."
Chris waved his hand under the table and the boy found his lunch in his lap. Chris was quietly eating his food when the kid looked back at him.
Chris orbed home from school first and went to his room to avoid Wyatt. A few minutes later Wyatt came home and Chris heard his door open. Wyatt pointed a finger at Chris and yelled, "This is your fault!"
Chris looked incredulous and said, "How is it my fault?"
"You told Sam and Mom about Krissy! If you had just left it the hell alone, I would still have my powers and I wouldn't be the laughing stalk of the school!"
Chris rolled his eyes and said, "I didn't tell, and everyone at school would have still found out what you did to her! Did you think that would make everyone like you?"
"No but they would respect me!"
"Fear isn't respect!"
Wyatt took a step towards his brother and said, "What was that?"
Chris backed down and said, "Nothing."
Wyatt gave him a mean laugh and said, "Oh that's right, I forgot who I was talking to. It's Saint Christopher. Saint Chris who saved me. Saint Chris the martyr. Saint Chris who died for MY sins. Saint Chris who always turns the other cheek. Saint Chris the good son."
Chris felt close to tears. He said, "How can you hate me for things I haven't even done yet? Things that another me did? And Mom told you not to call me that anymore."
Wyatt gave him a nasty smirk and said, "Oh yeah, I almost forgot Saint Chris the Mama's boy."
Chris turned away from Wyatt and mumbled, "At least I didn't turn evil."
Wyatt yelled, "What did you say?"
"What the fuck did you just say to me?"
Chris turned to his brother and yelled, "At least I'm not evil!"
Chris actually expected Wyatt to hit him, but instead Wyatt glared and said, "Yeah? Well at least I didn't drive Dad away."
Chris said quietly, "What?"
Wyatt said, "You remember my birthday?"
Chris got a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. He said, "Yeah."
"I got thirsty after bed, and I orbed to the kitchen to get some milk. Phoebe and John were still here and talking to Mom. They didn't see me."
Chris nodded, but Wyatt was looking off into the distance as he talked. He said, "At first they were laughing. John had apparently asked Mom why she never dated, and she had told that story of me sending that guy to the underworld when I was five….but then they stopped laughing and Phoebe told John that Mom was just using that as an excuse. She said Mom still loved Dad and would never love anyone else. John said, 'Explain to me again why he isn't here.'"
Wyatt looked at Chris and said, "Did you know I've always blamed myself for him leaving?"
Chris shook his head no. Wyatt looked away again and said, "I was four, and I had gotten in trouble at preschool that day like five times for orbing, and taking things from you, and not playing with other kids well. That night Dad came to my room and said he had to leave. I cried and told him not to, and that I would be good. I thought he was leaving because of what I had done. He said he knew I would be good, and that he loved me. He said that since he was leaving I had to look out for you and help you and Mom. He said things would be safer this way, and that I shouldn't ever forget that he was looking down on me from above."
Wyatt paused and Chris wasn't sure what to say. Wyatt looked at Chris and said, "So I did the best I could being a big brother to you."
Chris nodded and said sincerely, "You were the best Wyatt."
Wyatt jabbed a finger in Chris' chest and said, "And all this time it's been your fault!"
Chris shook his head no. Wyatt said, "Mom told John that when you turned two you started to really look like the adult you, and that Dad couldn't take it. She said he never got over loosing the adult you. She said that Dad was so depressed and worried that the stupid adult you felt abandoned by him most of your life, that he was going to try to make it right. He thought that when he was out of the picture she would find someone else. Someone who could be more of a real dad to us than he was. Someone who would be around for us all the time, instead of being off helping others."
Chris was crying and said, "I don't even remember him, and you're mad at me because of this? Shouldn't you be mad at Leo for being too much of a pussy to stay?"
Wyatt punched Chris in the face, and Chris fell back onto the bed. Wyatt yelled, "Don't you dare say anything bad about Dad!"
Chris held his nose and turned away from Wyatt. Wyatt said, "I hate you Chris."
Wyatt walked out and slammed the door behind him. Chris cried quietly and felt miserable. He didn't understand any of it. He didn't understand how Wyatt could hate him for driving their father away, when he had no recollection of doing it, because it hadn't happened yet. And the more Chris thought about it, the angrier he was at Leo and Wyatt. No one really talked about Leo very much, and Chris didn't remember him at all, so he didn't know what kind of a man he was. He had seen a couple of pictures of him, but that was about it. And if what Wyatt said was true, then Chris had little respect for his father. He mumbled, "What kind of man leaves his kids to protect them from feeling abandoned?"
He thought, 'So all my life Wyatt has been pretending to like me just to prove to Leo that he was a good son, in the hope that Leo would come back or be proud of him or something? So now he'll hate me for the rest of our lives?'
Then another thought came to Chris, 'Oh no! What if this is a turning point for him, and he becomes evil after all. He's so different now. So full of hate. Binding his powers just made it worse too. But what can I do about it? He's five times more powerful than I am. He's even more powerful than Mom, Aunt Phoebe, or Aunt Paige unless they gang up on him. And his power is growing all the time. What if he turns bad, and they aren't able to bind his powers? Shit! Why is this my problem! Stupid fucking Leo the lame ass Whitelighter Elder should be here to fix this!'
Chris knew calling him wouldn't do any good. He had heard Wyatt call him often enough when Piper was hurt, only to end up calling Sam a few seconds later so Sam could heal her when Leo didn't show up.
Chris thought, 'It's my problem, because of the other me. Everything I did then changed what is now. Maybe I could fix it if I went back again. Tell stupid Leo what a fuck up he's been, and tell him to keep his ass at home. But if mom found out she would be scared to death. She's always been paranoid that if I go back again I'll die again and never come back. That's why she kept telling us the story, so that I would know never to try it.'
Chris thought about it for a while, and then made up his mind. 'I'll never be able to live here if Wyatt hates me all the time. Anyway, I'm Saint Chris. Time to live up to the name.'
Chris orbed to the attic and looked through the book of shadows to find the time travel spell. He smiled to himself when he remembered his mother yelling at him for looking at it one day. She had told him it had to stay in the book until the future him tore it out, but that he wasn't to even look at it or think about it EVER. He shook his head thinking that if his mom was that mad about him looking at the spell, she was going to be raving mad about him actually using it.
He looked at the spell, and from watching Wyatt cast spells, and having Wyatt help him with spells over the years, he had a pretty good idea of how to alter it to go back to the exact time he was thinking of. He went to find the chalk and draw a triquatra on the wall.
Right after the fight with Chris, Wyatt was even angrier than he had been before. He decided it was time to tell his mom what he actually thought of her. He tried to orb and gave a frustrated yell. He said through clenched teeth, "Sam."
Sam appeared worried and said, "What's wrong?"
Wyatt looked away and said, "I need you to take me to the club so I can talk to Mom."
Sam knew this was serious. Wyatt had never liked Sam, and had never once called him unless someone needed to be healed. Sam nodded and took Wyatt's hand. Together they orbed to the club. Sam quietly orbed out, and Wyatt found Piper. She turned to give him an unhappy look and then saw the bruise on his forehead. She went to him and put a hand on his face as she said, "What happened?"
Wyatt said, "Krissy tossed a book at me. Everyone at school knows."
Piper looked away and said, "I'm sorry Wyatt, but…..I had to do something. You're getting out of control."
"Well I guess you better not reverse the binding spell Mom, because now that I know the truth, there's no turning back."
Piper looked at Wyatt funny and said, "What truth?"
"The truth about why Dad left."
Piper looked down and said, "Who told you?"
Wyatt glared, "You did."
Piper looked back at her son and said, "No. I didn't."
"You did, you just didn't know I was listening."
Piper thought about it and gasped while putting a hand to her mouth. She said, "You were eavesdropping?"
Wyatt looked at her with hate and said, "Why didn't you ever tell me? All my life I thought he left because I was a bad son, and he couldn't stand to be around me! And now that I know the truth, I can't even look at Chris anymore!"
Piper shook her head and asked, "Chris?"
Wyatt was close to tears as he said, "Maybe if you had told me when I was little, I would have been able to get over it, and still love him. Maybe if I hadn't lived with the guilt all my life, it would be easier to look past it."
"What exactly did you hear Wyatt?"
"You know what I heard! That Dad couldn't stand to be around Chris and left!"
Piper glared at Wyatt and said with an angry calm, "Wyatt Matthew Halliwell, if you are going to eavesdrop, you should at least learn to do it right. You've been mad at Chris and making him miserable for two months for nothing!"
"I don't understand."
"I take it you orbed away angry after hearing me talk about how Leo couldn't stand to be around Chris?"
Wyatt nodded and Piper said, "It was a joke Wyatt."
Wyatt shook his head and said, "What?"
"If I had known you were listening, I wouldn't have said anything like that honey. I…I know it's not funny, but it's been twelve years, and I still miss him. Sometimes it's easier to laugh then it is to cry. If you had stayed there a few more seconds you would have heard Phoebe start to snicker, and then we both laughed at John's confusion."
Piper looked away and said, "I never told you the truth, because it was too hard for me to talk about, but I know now that that was wrong of me. I had no idea you blamed yourself for Leo leaving."
Wyatt sat at the bar and said quietly, "So tell me the truth now. Please Mom, I really need to know."
Piper sat next to him and held his hand. "Do you remember the last time you saw your dad?"
Wyatt nodded. Piper said, "That wasn't really him. It was me."
"Your Aunt's and I did a spell so that I would look like him for a few minutes. I don't know if you remember, but your dad hadn't been there for weeks before that, and you were getting more and more angry about it. You were starting to act up at preschool, so I thought it would help you for him to say goodbye."
Wyatt just stared at her. She said, "The truth is, your father became an Avatar. Have you heard of them?"
Wyatt shook his head no. She said, "They are….not very concerned with good and evil. They are more about watching the world from a distance and helping things move along. Leo was able to stay with us for a year and a half after becoming an Avatar, but in the end he just didn't care about us. The longer someone is an Avatar, the more emotions they loose. Your dad became an Avatar because he was trying to save all of us, but in the end, we found out it was just a trick. But by then he had lost so much of himself that it didn't matter. He just stopped caring about us. Then one night, he just didn't come home. He had been obviously loosing all of his emotions for months. No more hate and no more love, no more passion, and no more anger. I did everything I could think of to get him back, but nothing worked."
Wyatt was quietly crying and Piper put a hand on his face saying, "You loved Dad so much….I thought it would be easier on you not to know. I'm sorry."
She pulled him into a hug and he hugged her back tightly mumbling apologies. After a few seconds Wyatt suddenly pulled away and said, "Chris!"
Then he frantically yelled, "SAM!"
Sam appeared and Wyatt grabbed his hand. He said, "Home. NOW!"
Sam and Wyatt orbed as Piper yelled, "Wait for me!"
She sighed and said, "Sam! Paige! Someone please come get me!"
At home Sam and Wyatt orbed into the living room. Sam heard Piper but thought he should see if Chris was okay first. Wyatt frantically ran to Chris' room to find it empty. He looked around and heard a thunk in the attic. Wyatt said, "Oh no!" as he ran up the stairs with Sam right behind.
They were in time to see Chris standing in front of the portal. Wyatt yelled, "CHRIS WAIT!"
Chris turned and looked at Wyatt as he said with hurt in his voice, "I can't. I'm Saint Chris, remember?"
Wyatt ran for Chris, and Chris turned to run through the portal. A few seconds later Sam was standing in an empty attic.
Wyatt tackled his younger brother, and they both went through the portal, and ended up rolling onto the attic floor in the dark. Chris pushed his brother away from him and Wyatt looked around. He said, "When are we?"
Chris said, "You shouldn't be here Wyatt. We should send you back before I change anything, so you won't remember hating me."
Wyatt looked sad and said, "I'm sorry Chris. I was so wrong about everything. I don't hate you at all, and it's not your fault Dad left."
Chris didn't believe him and said, "Don't play mind games with me Wyatt. Just let me send you back, and I'll make Leo understand he has to stay. Then as far as you'll know he will have always been there for you. You'll be so much happier, and I guess….I guess I owe you that since you were always there to look out for me."
Wyatt shook his head and smiled as he pulled Chris into a hug and said, "Jeez, you really are a martyr. There's no way in hell I'm going to leave you here alone. I'm the older brother, and I look out for you, not the other way around. I love you Chris, and I'm very sorry about what I said before."
Chris had felt so alienated from his brother for months that it was hard to believe things were back to some kind of normal. They heard movement on the stairs, and Wyatt whispered, "Orb us Chris! Get us out of here before they find us."
Chris orbed them to the backyard. Wyatt let go of his brother and whispered, "Come on."
They started walking, and once they were a block away Wyatt said, "We need a plan. What were you planning to do?"
Chris shrugged and said, "I was gonna talk to Leo and tell him he was an ass. Somehow convince him to stay home, for you if not for me."
Wyatt said, "Mom told me the truth, and it wasn't your fault like I thought."
Chris stopped walking and glared at Wyatt. Wyatt quickly told him the real story, and Chris punched his older brother in the jaw. Wyatt said, "Ow! Shit that hurt. I want my fucking bubble back."
Chris continued to glare at him and Wyatt rubbed his jaw and said, "I guess I deserved it though since your nose is starting to swell."
Chris didn't say anything and Wyatt held out his hand and asked, "Can we call it even?"
Chris thought about it and eventually shook on it. Wyatt started walking again and said, "When are we Chris?"
"Well if the spell went right, we are in 2004. You should be two, and I should be about six months old."
Wyatt thought about it and said, "I don't know if Dad's an Avatar yet or not. Do you have any money on you?"
Chris got out his wallet and Wyatt got out his. Together they had forty-three dollars and fifty cents. Wyatt said, "Do you think it's enough for a room for the night?"
Chris shrugged. Wyatt said, "Let's find out."
The boys eventually found a very seedy hotel that let them pay by the hour. The were able to afford six hours, and still have some change for two candy bars and a coke for dinner. Together they came up with a plan.
Piper woke up and smiled when she saw Leo sleeping next to her. It was so good to have him home again, she almost expected something bad to happen because she was too happy. She kissed him and he woke up and smiled at her. He asked, "No more bumps in the night?"
Piper shook her head. "Whoever it was, must have realized they were messing with the wrong witches."
They started kissing again, and just as they were both getting interested in more, they heard baby Chris crying in the other room. Piper sighed and said, "Well that's sure to wake up Wyatt too. Time to get up I guess."
Leo smiled at her and said, "Maybe tonight."
She kissed him and got up to feed baby Chris and get Wyatt up out of his crib.
Soon the whole family was up, and everyone was getting ready for the day. They were all in the kitchen eating and sipping coffee when the doorbell rang. Piper passed baby Chris to Leo an said, "I'll get it."
She went to the door and saw a young teenager with dark hair looking up at her. He said, "Hi. Um….I…I'm from the future, and…I'm hear to warn you about something."
Piper looked at him closely and whispered, "Chris?"
Chris looked kind of embarrassed and said, "Yeah."
Piper grabbed him and pulled him into a hug. She said, "Chris honey, what are you doing here?"
She pulled him in and closed the door behind them. He started to whisper, "Can I talk to you…."
Piper didn't notice and yelled, "Hey everyone, look who's here!"
Chris finished with, "…alone?"
Then he was hugged and kissed and patted by both of his Aunts who were almost crying to see him. They were both talking at the same time saying things like, "Chris you look so good." "We're so happy to see you." "How did you get here?" "We're so glad you're safe."
It all made him very uncomfortable and he said, "Um….yeah, well it's good to see you too I guess, but I just saw you all this morning."
Phoebe laughed and said, "Of course, how silly of us. We saw you this morning too. You were just smaller. In fact, you're in the kitchen."
Chris said, "Okay, well that's just really weird. I came to tell you something about Wyatt and about Leo."
Chris heard a male voice say, "What about me?"
He turned, and there in the kitchen doorway was a man holding a baby. Chris knew from pictures that the man was his father Leo, and the baby must be himself. He felt a shiver go through him when he saw the look Leo was giving him. It looked like Leo was looking at a ghost.
Leo was staring at Chris. He couldn't believe the rush of emotions he felt. He had felt dead along with Chris for months, but now seeing him again, he felt a spark of life come back to him. He was often reluctant to hold or look at baby Chris, but tried not to let it show, but now with a young teenage Chris there, he wanted to snuggle the baby, and crush teenage Chris to him.
Chris tried to put on what he hoped was a nice smile and walked over to Leo. He held out his hand and said, "Hi, you must be Leo. It's nice to meet you."
The room was silent for a full minute, and Leo couldn't breath. Chris looked at his empty hand and then realized what the problem probably was. He looked up and smiled and said with a little laugh, "Oh, sorry. I meant Dad, I just….don't think of you like that most of the time."
Leo shook his head a little and backed away from Chris. Leo thought he was going to be sick. He knew something must have gone terribly wrong in the future. Chris saw the look and put his hand down. He said with a little anger, "Okay. Well, I came to tell you that Wyatt is still gonna turn evil if you don't keep your lame ass at home and stop being an Avatar. So, anyone know how to get me home?"
The house was immediately in an uproar. All the various yelling made baby Chris cry. Leo tore his eyes away from teenage Chris and bounced baby Chris a little while cooing to him. All the noise disturbed young Wyatt who had been happily eating cheerios at the kitchen table. He came toddling in saying, "Mama." And went to cling to his mother's leg. Piper picked him up and hugged him while glaring at Leo and yelling about being an Avatar. It was all very surreal to teenage Chris. After a few seconds he couldn't take it and orbed away.
Leo saw it and yelled, "Everyone stop!"
The three women looked at him and both kids started crying. Leo held baby Chris up, and patted his back, which stopped his crying quickly. Then Piper and Leo traded because Wyatt was still crying and calling to and reaching for his dad. Once both kids were calm Leo said, "Paige if you could get the boys ready for the day and take them with you to magic school that would really help."
Piper couldn't stop glaring at Leo, but said nothing. Paige took baby Chris from Piper, and Leo put Wyatt down. Paige held out her hand for him, and he went to her smiling. Once they were all in the kitchen eating again Phoebe said, "I'm gonna go to work, but you should know Chris is a mess of feelings. He is both angry and confused, and I think he's hiding something or maybe lying about something."
Leo said, "Well it wouldn't be the first time."
Piper yelled, "I wonder who he gets that from LEO?!!"
Phoebe smiled a fake smile and said, "M'kay. Gotta go."
Phoebe got her purse and left for work. Piper and Leo stood looking at each other. She said, "The bedroom."
Leo took her hand and orbed them there. She said, "Talk."
Leo sighed and sat on the bed. He said, "You know the taking heads I have been seeing?"
She nodded. "They are the Avatars. We are the Avatars."
"I don't understand when this happened Leo."
"My vision quest. First I saw Chris…adult Chris, and he showed me that family was the most important thing. But then the head Avatar showed me that all of you. Every last one of my family was going to die fighting evil. He said the only way to change things was to look beyond good and evil."
Piper glared at Leo and blew him up. He reappeared on the bed and said, "That still hurts you know!"
She blew him up again. When he reappeared he said, "Piper, I know you're mad, but I thought I was doing what was right. And it's a good thing I did, because you and Phoebe were dead when I found you. I wouldn't have been able to save you if I wasn't an Avatar."
Piper crossed her arms and said, "I can't believe you ate up some load of bull about looking beyond good and evil. Good and evil is what our lives are about Leo. You can't just pretend it isn't there!"
Leo stood and said, "But what if we could? What if it didn't matter? What if we could have normal lives?"
Piper yelled, "You just saw that our son doesn't even know you! How is that normal?"
Leo mumbled, "Well, that wasn't supposed to happen."
Piper said, "How is our marriage supposed to work if we aren't honest with each other?"
"I was going to tell you. I was just going to wait a while until you were more ready for the idea."
"Well guess what Leo, I'll never be ready for the idea."
Piper turned away and said, "I'm going to go find our son."
Leo followed and said, "Let me help."
"You've helped enough."
Chris met Wyatt back in the parking lot of McDonalds that was across town. Wyatt said, "Did they buy it?"
Chris looked confused and said, "Leo was there."
Wyatt shook his head and said, "So you didn't get the chance to talk to Mom alone?"
"It was so weird Wyatt. I want to go home. Do you know a spell I could do to get us home?"
Wyatt could tell his brother was visibly shaking. He hugged Chris and said, "We're gonna be fine Chris. Don't be scared. I'll make sure we get home."
Chris whispered, "But to what home? If we change things…what will we be going home to?"
"Too late to worry about that. Tell me what happened."
Chris told Wyatt the whole story, and Wyatt looked very surprised. He said, "Wow. That could have gone better huh?"
Wyatt said, "Well, maybe it will shock Dad out of it, and he'll stop being an Avatar."
They were both quiet for a while, and then he said, "Do you think they bought the story that I turned evil anyway?"
"I don't know."
"We can't let them see me until Dad believes it and….unbecomes and Avatar."
Chris looked at Wyatt and said, "I don't think unbecomes is a word."
"Well, I don't know what else to call it."
Chris sighed and said, "So what now?"
"You have to go back, and stay there until we know for sure Dad isn't an Avatar any more. Then when they're about to send you back, you orb over and get me."
"But that might take days. What are you gonna do? You can't hang out at McDonalds for three days, especially with no money."
Wyatt said, "Come on, I'll show you where I'll be."
They walked for a few blocks and Chris saw a homeless shelter. He looked at Wyatt and said, "No way Wyatt. They'll call child services or something. And who knows what will happen to you here without your powers to protect you."
Wyatt gripped his brother's shoulder and said, "Look Chris, I know for the past couple of months I've been an ass. And I know I've been mean to you about being Saint Chris. But I also know that the reason that hurt you so much is because it's partly true."
Chris shook his head no, and Wyatt's grip on him got almost painful. "Chris you are very much like Mom. It's not a bad thing and I don't hate you for it, but you are…good. You ARE willing to sacrifice yourself for me. But now it's time for both of us to work together to save the family. This…" Wyatt pointed to the homeless shelter "…is the sacrifice I'm going to make, and dealing with the father you don't know is going to be yours."
Chris looked at his brother and slowly nodded. Wyatt said, "I'll be here. You go do what you do best and save the family little brother. Just remember to stick to the story."
Wyatt let go of Chris and turned away to walk into the building. Chris sighed and went in the ally to orb where no one could see him.
Chris was on the front porch thinking about ringing the bell, and also thinking about going back to Wyatt. While he was thinking the door opened. Piper said, "There you are!"
Chris gave her a sheepish smile and said, "Hi again."
Piper pulled him in and said, "Don't you orb away like that again mister."
Chris nodded and said, "Where's L…Dad?"
Piper looked upstairs and said, "Up there."
Chris said, "We have to work together to convince him to stop being an Avatar. If we don't….things are going to be bad Mom. Wyatt…..we just have to convince him."
Piper said, "Stay here."
Chris nodded and Piper went upstairs. She came down with Leo and they both looked at Chris. Piper went into the living room and said, "Come sit down."
Piper and Leo sat together on one couch, and Chris sat opposite them. Once everyone was sitting Piper said, "Okay Chris, I know you don't remember it, but your father and I have been here before. So I'm gonna be up front and honest about it. In the past you lied to us pretty often, and we want you to be completely honest with us. If you've already lied, we won't be mad about it as long as you tell us now."
Chris started to shake his head and opened his mouth but Piper held up her hand and said, "Listen. Lies just make things worse. If you are honest with us, we can all work together to make things right."
Chris looked down and thought about it for a second. He said, "There are some things I just can't tell you."
Leo got angry and said, "We've heard that line before Christopher, and we don't buy it."
Chris glared at him and said, "I don't even know you dude. Back off, I was talking to Mom."
Piper gasped and said, "Chris!"
Leo just stared at his son. Chris looked at Piper and said, "Sorry Mom. Look, I'm telling you what you have to do to make things right. Leo needs to quit being an Avatar, by whatever means necessary, and he needs to be here for Wyatt."
Chris glared at Leo and said quietly, "Do you know how much you hurt him by not being there? He's never gotten over it, and neither has Mom."
Leo shook his head and said, "You're blaming me for things I haven't even done yet."
Chris looked surprised at that statement, because he knew exactly how that felt. He looked down and said, "Sorry. I know that's not right. But I'm trying hard to convince you to do the right thing."
Chris looked back over at Leo and said, "As an Avatar you will feel less and less, and then one day, you just won't come home again."
Leo shook his head no. He said, "I couldn't. I wouldn't just leave you. Not any of you. I did this to protect you."
Chris gave him a snide, "Right, well it didn't work, so it's time to try something else, Leo."
Piper glared and said, "You need to stop talking to your father like that."
Chris laughed and glared at his Mom as he said, "Father? What's that again? Oh yeah, that's right, something I've never had. And while we're on the subject Mom, good job keeping your husband around."
Leo snapped. He stood and took the two steps to Chris, who was now looking a little nervous. Leo yanked him up and swatted his butt. Chris remained silent with a shocked look on his face. Leo said quietly, "Don't talk to your mother like that."
Chris looked to Piper who looked just as surprised as him. Leo said, "Apologize to your mom."
Chris looked back at Leo and said, "Maybe YOU should apologize to mom. You're the one who lied about what you are. You're the one who wasn't there for us."
Leo glared at his son and said, "You know Chris, you say that as an Avatar I'll feel less and less, but the more I get to talk to you, the more feelings you evoke in me."
Leo sat and pulled Chris face down over his lap. Chris screeched, "What the fuck Leo?"
Leo shook his head as he brought his hand down on the seat of Chris' jeans repeatedly. Leo said, "I don't know how you became such a foul mouthed little monster, but it's gonna stop when you're around me."
Chris yelled, "LET ME UP!"
Piper sat there frozen unsure what to do. Leo kept spanking while Chris struggled wildly. After a while Chris started grunting and yelling, "Ow! Okay! Leo! Leo listen! I'm sorry okay? I'll apologize, and we can…Ow!…talk calmly!"
Leo stopped in mid swing and helped Chris stand up. Chris wouldn't look at either parent and said to the floor, "Sorry Mom."
Piper was still staring at her husband with surprise and said, "It's okay honey."
Leo said, "Good. Okay sit and tell us exactly how and why and when Wyatt turns evil."
Chris walked over to sit by his mom on the opposite couch away from Leo. He sat and winced, and squirmed a little. He said to the floor, "Well when Wyatt turned sixteen, that was two months ago, it happened. None of us are quite sure what happened, but he hates all of us now. He wasn't that nice before, but now….he tried to kill mom yesterday. That's why I'm here. He said he blamed her for Leo not being there."
Leo shook his head and said, "And Piper just let you come here?"
Piper put an arm around Chris' shoulders and said, "I bet you did it behind my back. I would never let you go back in time after what happened last time."
Chris nodded to the floor and felt like crying. Piper put her hands on his face and made him look at her. She kissed his forehead and said, "My brave boy."
She hugged him and Chris did start to cry. He felt bad because he really had gone behind his mother's back to get there, and because he was lying. But he had promised Wyatt, and Wyatt said he knew what was best. He said, "Sorry."
Piper looked at Leo and said, "What are you gonna do?"
Leo said, "I'm gonna go talk to the Avatars, and see what it takes to end it."
Piper nodded and said, "We'll be waiting."
Once Leo was gone Piper patted Chris' back and said, "Are you hungry? You want some breakfast?"
Chris let go of her and wiped his face as he said, "Sure."
Piper and Chris spent the rest of the day together waiting for Leo. They talked quite a bit, but Chris avoided talking about Wyatt. Piper was surprised to learn that Sam was now their Whitelighter, but she thought it made sense if Leo was out of the picture.
Wyatt hated not having his powers. It was still early, and two different fat older men had propositioned him, and half his breakfast had been stolen. He thought that the people believed him when he told them he was eighteen, but he kept seeing the staff looking at him suspiciously. Eventually he went out and walked around most of the day. By dinnertime, he was too hungry to stay away. He was seriously thinking about going home to the manor and just begging his dad to stay home. But he decided they had a much better chance of Leo staying if he thought he needed to protect Wyatt, so he went back to the shelter.
By the end of the day Chris was jumpy and worried about what Leo was doing for so long. He hoped that he didn't find out the truth. He was much more wary of Leo now. The shock of being spanked, and the sting in his rear had gone away by the afternoon, but the memory was very clear and focused in his mind. He found it hard to believe that this was the man Wyatt seemed to need so badly. Chris still thought he was kind of an ass.
Chris had a good evening playing with himself and two year old Wyatt. He overheard Phoebe saying, "I wonder if this kind of thing is going to mess him up. It's got to be pretty strange to see yourself like that."
Paige said, "Well you seemed to do okay when you saw yourself as an old woman and a little girl."
Phoebe nodded and said, "Yeah, I guess so."
Piper smiled and said, "He's a Halliwell. He'll be fine."
At ten Piper yawned and said, "Well Chris, it looks like it's going to take your father longer to convince them then we thought."
Chris shrugged and said, "Or he's gone for good already."
Piper shook her head and said, "You don't know Leo at all. He'll be back. Let's make up the couch for you for tonight."
Chris nodded. Once everyone was in bed asleep Chris orbed over to the homeless shelter and looked through the window. He saw Wyatt laying there in one of the beds but not asleep. Chris moved his hand, and Wyatt's blanket moved off of him. Wyatt sat up and looked around, and then when he didn't see anyone he looked out the window. Chris waved and Wyatt looked around and pointed to the bathroom. Chris nodded and orbed as soon as he saw Wyatt go in. Wyatt said, "So?"
"Leo is talking to the other Avatars right now, and trying to get out of being one."
"Great! I'm so glad it's working!"
"What do you mean you guess?"
"I think Leo's kind of a jerk. I don't see why you want him around."
Wyatt said, "You just met him. How can you think he's a jerk?"
Chris hissed, "He spanked me."
Wyatt was incredulous, "What?!"
"I was being kind of nasty to mom, and he yanked me over his lap and spanked me. How can he think that's okay when I don't even know him?"
Wyatt shook his head and said, "Really?"
"He was always so gentle. Maybe it's because he's still an Avatar."
"Whatever. Look, I've got to get back. I just wanted to give you an update."
Wyatt put a hand on Chris' shoulder and said, "Hey, are you okay? I mean did he….you know….hurt you?"
Chris shrugged and said, "I'm fine. It sucked, but I'm fine now."
Wyatt squeezed his shoulder and said, "Okay. See you tomorrow."
Chris orbed back to the couch, and fell asleep. The next day a haggard looking Leo came home. Piper went to him and hugged him. She said, "Are you okay?"
Leo nodded and said, "It wasn't easy, but in the end they had to let me go, because apparently you have to be a willing participant to be an Avatar."
Piper said, "I'm so glad you're home."
Leo kissed her and said, "Home to stay."
Chris was eating breakfast and watching them. He smiled and said, "Good. So can we send me home now?"
Piper and Leo broke apart and Piper said, "Yes. Paige, Phoebe and I all worked on a spell last night, so we can send you back after breakfast."
Leo said, "I'm not sure what will happen when you get there, because you changed things in your past. But whatever happens, I'm sure we'll work it out as a family."
Chris nodded. After breakfast the whole family went upstairs. Baby Chris and Wyatt were in the playpen together. Leo was standing to the side, and the sisters were standing together ready to say the spell. They had drawn the triquatra on the wall, and as soon as they finished the chant, Chris said, "Oops! I forgot something. Keep it open and I'll be right back!"
Chris orbed out, and the adults all looked at each other bewildered. Leo wasn't sure what was going on, but he didn't like it. He walked over to the spot Chris had left. Very soon Chris orbed back holding hands with another teenage boy, and they both started to make a run for the portal only to be yanked back by Leo. He had one shirt collar in each hand. He turned to a shocked Piper and said, "Close it."
Chris yelled, "No Mom! Just let us go. It will be fine I swear."
Piper looked at her sisters and they reversed the spell. The portal closed and Chris groaned. Leo let the boys go, and Wyatt turned around. Wyatt couldn't help himself. He smiled with tears in his eyes and said, "Dad. It's so good to see you."
Wyatt grabbed Leo and hugged him tight. Leo was caught off guard by the difference in reception between his boys, but he hugged him back as Piper yelled a shrill, "Wyatt?!"
Wyatt soon let go of Leo and looked to his mom. He said, "Wow Chris you didn't tell me she looked so different. You look beautiful mom. So young."
Piper and Leo both glared at Chris who was backing away from all of them. Leo said sarcastically, "This is evil Wyatt?"
Chris gave a nervous laugh and said, "Um…Yeah. Pretty frightening isn't it?"
Piper yelled, "It's not funny!"
Wyatt said soothingly, "It's not Chris' fault. I told him to do it. We had to come up with a way to make Dad give up being an Avatar, and I knew he would try and save me if he thought I'd turned evil. And it worked."
Wyatt smiled at Leo and said, "It's gonna be so much better with you home Dad. I can't wait to get back and see how much happier Mom is."
All the adults looked at Wyatt like he had lost his mind. Leo said calmly, "So you think lying to your family is okay as long as you get your way?"
Chris mumbled, "I wonder where he got that."
Leo raised his voice and said, "I'll talk to you about lying in a minute!"
Chris backed up another step and hoped talking was the end of it. Wyatt said, "Well, I don't see it as lying so much as saving you Dad. Saving us…the whole family."
"What do you think would have happened if you told the truth?"
Wyatt shrugged and said, "You probably would have come home still, but I couldn't take the chance that you might not."
Leo shook his head and looked at Piper. He said, "Okay, it's official. I quit. No more being an Elder. No more being a Whitelighter, or an Avatar. I'm becoming a stay at home father, because obviously our children are in need of guidance."
Piper nodded while looking at both her kids and said, "I couldn't agree more."
Leo looked around and said, "We'll do this again tomorrow after breakfast. Right now, I want to talk to my sons alone."
Paige and Phoebe left as quick as possible feeling the tension in the room skyrocket. Piper went over to young Wyatt and pulled him out of the playpen. Then she picked up baby Chris and walked up to teenage Wyatt. She gave him a one armed hug and said, "I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see that you aren't evil."
Wyatt hugged her back and said, "Thanks Mom. Hey Chris, you were a cute little baby."
Wyatt gave baby Chris a little tickle and he giggled. Chris couldn't believe that Wyatt didn't understand the danger of the situation. Chris couldn't keep his eyes off Leo or Leo's hands. As Piper left with the kids she shut the door. Wyatt looked at Chris and could tell he was really scared. Wyatt went over to him and pulled him into a hug as he said, "It's okay Chris. We'll get home fine. Anyway, it will be nice to spend some time with Dad."
Leo was torn between anger, happiness, and disbelief. He said, "Both of you sit."
Wyatt and Chris sat on the antique sofa that was in the attic. Leo paced around and said, "Tell me the whole story."
Wyatt was eager to tell his father all about himself and what he had been up to. Wyatt told the whole story and didn't leave anything out. Chris just sat there nervously chewing his lip and wondered how his brother could be so blind to Leo's anger. Wyatt finished up with, "I know we both did some things that were wrong, but if you look at the whole picture it was for the best in the end, because it got you back."
Leo just stood there. He went over and pulled Wyatt up. Chris scooted back expecting Leo to start smacking, but Leo pulled Wyatt into a hug. Chris didn't get it. Leo held Wyatt tight and said, "I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you Wyatt. I'm so sorry you thought you had to go to such lengths to get me back."
Wyatt held Leo tight and sounded choked up when he said, "I missed you Dad. I missed you so much."
After a few minutes, Leo let him go and looked at Chris. Chris wondered if maybe Wyatt was right, and the whole spanking thing had been because Leo was an Avatar at the time. Leo pulled Chris up next and hugged him. He said, "It was foolish of you to come here, but also brave. You've saved the family twice. I….I couldn't stand it when I lost you Chris."
To Chris' horror he felt Leo start to cry. He said, "Um…it's okay Dad. I…I'm here now."
Chris felt kind of uncomfortable that Leo was crying, but at the same time he did feel that he was fiercely loved. Leo was able to get himself under control about five minutes later. Leo let go of Chris and wiped his face with his sleeve. He said, "Sorry about that guys. I didn't mean to break down like that….I'm just so relieved to see you both here and safe."
Wyatt smiled and Leo put a hand on each boy's shoulders. He said, "Now for the hard part. I love you both with all of my heart, and I swear to you that I will be here for you from now on."
Wyatt smiled and nodded. Chris nodded but looked nervous. Leo continued, "Part of that means that I have to be there for you when you do something wrong, like the past few days."
Wyatt lost his smile and said, "But we had to Dad."
Leo shook his head no and said, "No. You didn't. Once you got back here, you absolutely should have not lied. Both of you should have been exceedingly honest about the entire situation, and we would have ended up with the same results…well except that you wouldn't be in trouble."
Chris grimaced knowing exactly what Leo was talking about. Wyatt gave his dad a lost look and said, "Trouble?"
Leo nodded and hugged Wyatt again. He said, "I'm gonna spank both of you for lying to us."
Wyatt shook his head no and said, "But…but you can't….you're not like that!"
Leo pulled away, and held Wyatt at arms length. He gave Wyatt a sad look and said, "Yes I am like that, you just don't know me as well as you think. You know how I was with you when you were four, but if I had been around when you got older, you would know that I will spank you to teach you a lesson or keep you safe."
Wyatt just shook his head no with disbelief. Chris stood back out of the way as Leo walked to the couch still keeping a hand on Wyatt's arm. Wyatt missed his powers more then ever as he felt his dad yank him over his lap. Leo started spanking, and said, "Listen up Wyatt, because next time, if there is a next time this will be much worse."
Wyatt sucked in his breath as he felt the first swats coming down. Leo kept spanking and said, "You don't use your powers on other people to show off, or to prove that you are more powerful then them. You never use your powers on your family. And you don't lie to your family…EVER."
Wyatt couldn't believe what was happening. He was starting to grunt and even yelp with the swats. He said, "Dad! Dad, I'm sorry. I won't do it again I swear!"
Chris was standing there wanting badly to orb away, but knowing it was no use because he needed his family to get home, and he didn't want to stay in this time. He also couldn't tare his eyes away from the scene in front of him. His bigger older brother was breaking down and starting to cry, and Chris knew that when Leo had spanked him yesterday it had been harder and longer, and he hadn't cried. He had always seen Wyatt as all-powerful. He had always looked up to him, and Wyatt, before two months ago, had never let him down. He hadn't seen Wyatt cry since they were very young.
Leo was kind of surprised that Wyatt broke down so soon, but he realized it had less to do with the actual spanking, and more to do with the fact that Wyatt desperately wanted his approval. Leo stopped a few seconds after Wyatt started to cry. Leo turned him over so he was sitting on his lap. He held Wyatt close and murmured, "Okay son. It's done. I know you're a good boy, and you won't do it again. I know it's been hard for you with me gone, and I promise I won't leave you again."
Wyatt cried for a long time and Leo held him. Chris was still nervous, but didn't feel like orbing away. He sat and stared at his father and older brother. He could almost see Wyatt soaking up the love from Leo. Chris hadn't seen Wyatt that at peace since…..Well he couldn't remember ever seeing Wyatt that peaceful.
When Fifteen minutes after the spanking was over, Wyatt was completely calm, and Leo said, "Okay Wyatt, sit over here and wait for me."
Wyatt moved over to sit beside his dad on the couch and then Leo looked over at Chris. Chris looked away and Leo stood and walked over to him. Leo said, "Your mother and I both practically begged you to be honest with us yesterday."
Chris said, "Yeah."
"You actually had me convinced that Wyatt tried to kill Piper."
Chris stood up and tilted his chin up a notch when he said, "And it worked, didn't it? I don't see how you can be giving us crap about lying when you lied to Piper about being an Avatar. It's call being a hypocrite Leo."
Wyatt stared at his younger brother. He had never seen Chris stand up to anyone. Chris always backed down, to him, to Sam, to their mom and aunts. He had even seen Chris back down to their cousin Prue, and here he was challenging their father. Wyatt shook his head not understanding.
Leo nodded and said, "You're right about that Chris, but if Piper had sat down with me and begged me to be honest with her, I would have. There's no doubt in my mind about that. And I promise you that I never will lie to you or your brother."
Chris wasn't quite sure what to say to that but nodded his head. Leo said, "And it still doesn't change what I'm going to do."
Chris almost orbed, but in the end just let Leo drag him over to the couch. Wyatt hopped up when he saw them coming. Leo pulled Chris across his lap and started to bring his hand down, but was stopped in mid swing. He looked over at Wyatt who was holding his arm. Wyatt said, "I don't know Dad. This doesn't seem right to me. I told him to lie to you. He didn't even want to. And well frankly, he doesn't really trust you all that much."
Chris held his breath hoping his brother would talk Leo out of it.
Leo looked at Wyatt and said, "Protect your little brother often?"
Leo nodded and said, "Do YOU trust me?"
Wyatt frowned and said, "Yes."
"If your mother and I had sat down with you and pleaded with you to be honest with us, would you have been, even if your brother told you not to?"
"Well yes, but it's not the same. He does what I tell him to do, because I protect him and love him. He does it because he trusts me and loves me too. He doesn't even know you."
Leo thought about it and said, "Maybe you should spank him then."
Wyatt let go of Leo's arm and backed away saying, "No way. I'm the one who told him to lie, I can't spank him for doing what I told him to do. I don't think you should spank Chris at all. It's not his fault, it's mine."
Leo shook his head and said, "Wyatt, I'm going to do this with or without your consent. Chris needs it as much as you did, but for different reasons. If you can't watch go downstairs with your mom."
Chris had been lying still waiting for the verdict, but now started to struggle again. Leo started spanking Chris and said, "You shouldn't have come back in time after you mom told you not to, and you shouldn't have lied to us."
Chris remained stoic for much longer then Wyatt. Soon though, the pain got to him and he started to yelp once every few spanks. Chris yelled, "We saved this family, and now you're hitting us!"
Leo stopped and said, "I'm not spanking you for saving us. I'm spanking you because of the way you saved us. You did it with deceit, and that is no way for a family to work. Even if you don't love me, I love you with everything that I am. That's why I'm doing this."
Leo started spanking again, and Chris tried pleading, "Okay! Okay Leo.…Dad…..I get it. I won't lie anymore. Please stop."
After a few seconds it became obvious to Chris that Leo wasn't stopping, so he yelled, "What more do you want from me?!"
"A sincere apology instead of something you said just to make me stop."
"How…Ow!…sincere will it….Ouch!….be if it's…..Ahhh!…..coerced!"
Wyatt couldn't believe what he was seeing. And he couldn't take it any more. He tapped Leo on the shoulder and made gesture for him to stop. Leo could tell Wyatt was concerned and he stopped. Chris immediately jumped up and backed away from Leo. Wyatt pulled Chris into a hug and rubbed his back when he said, "Chris, I'm sorry I told you to lie. It was wrong. We were wrong. Dad's right."
Chris started to cry and stammered out, "I hate him….he's mean….how could you…..want him with us?"
Wyatt pushed Chris away just a little so he could look him in the eyes. Wyatt gave Chris a little shake and said, "He's not mean. He's trying to help us. It WAS wrong of you to keep lying after they asked you not to. I would have been mad at you too."
Chris kept crying and dove back to Wyatt's chest to cling. Wyatt sighed and said, "Think about it Chris. Every time I helped you with your homework. Every time I protected you from a demon. Every time I showed you a new spell. All of those were me trying to be like Dad. Where do you think I got that from? I love you because Dad loved me, and showed me how to be a good person."
Chris mumbled, "Mom's good too. You got it from her."
Wyatt chuckled and said, "Have you seen her fight with her sisters? Were we ever like that?…I mean before I turned sixteen."
Chris thought about it and said, "No."
"Well, Dad's all about peace and love. You'd see if you just gave him a chance. You're hurting him by not letting him help you."
Chris thought about it, and believed his brother. Wyatt was usually right, and he was making sense. Chris let go of him and looked over at Leo. Chris walked over and stood just out of reach. He said, "I really am sorry about lying L…Dad. I promise I won't lie to you again."
Leo stood and Chris took a step back. Leo pulled him into a hug, and pulled him down to sit on his lap the same way he had with Wyatt. Chris stammered, "Um…we don't really need to do this part Leo. I'm fine now and this kind of seems…."
Leo interrupted with, "I think you need this part, and even if you don't, I do."
Chris stopped talking and just sat there. A few minutes into it Chris got a little more comfortable, and soon rested his head on Leo's shoulder. Ten minutes later Chris really could feel the love that Leo had for him in an almost tangible way. He sighed contently, and across the room Wyatt smiled.
They all spent the rest of the day together as a family. Wyatt and Chris both enjoyed playing with their younger selves, and by the end of the day Chris had warmed up to Leo some. That night both boys slept on the couches in the living room. When everyone else was asleep Chris whispered, "Hey Wyatt. You asleep?"
"I think you're the good son now."
Wyatt shook his head and said, "Sorry Chris, but I can't buy you as evil. Maybe we'll both just have to be the good son."
Chris smiled and said, "I guess I could live with that."
Wyatt said, "It's gonna be weird going home tomorrow. I wonder what it will be like."
"Me too, but as long as you're with me, I know it can't be too bad."
"I feel the same way."
The next morning they were all up in the attic again, and everyone hugged and said their good-byes. Chris and Wyatt stepped through the portal together and ended up back in their attic. They immediately saw Piper and Leo waiting there for them. Both Chris and Wyatt dropped to the ground holding their heads. Leo went to Wyatt, and Piper went to Chris. Leo said, "It should be over in a few seconds."
Then the pain was gone, and Wyatt and Chris looked at each other. Leo, voice full of concern, said, "Are you guys okay?"
Wyatt and Chris both slowly nodded. Piper asked, "Sam told us that when you got back you would probably get another set of memories, and that it might hurt for a second. It was just a theory, but I guess he was right."
Chris looked at his mom and said, "I remember Dad. He's been here the whole time, but I remember him gone too."
Piper nodded and said, "Welcome to time travel honey. The other you and the other Wyatt disappeared out of thin air two days ago. Now you're both who you were before you left, and who you were in the other timeline."
Wyatt said, "I think I need to sit down."
The four of them spent the day together talking about memories they all had, with Chris and Wyatt being the only two who remembered things from the old timeline. That night, before bed Chris went to Wyatt's room and said, "Hey Wyatt?"
"Thanks for going with me. I think I would feel all alone here if you didn't have the same old memories as me. You're the best big brother in both times."
Wyatt smiled and said, "I'm glad you were with me too."