Author's Note: This story takes place in the sixth season of Charmed during the episode 'Spin City' and has references to the following episodes: 'Chris Crossed', 'I Dream of Phoebe', 'Midnight Rendezvous', and 'Hyde School Reunion'.
Home Again Chapter 1
Chris paused in mid swing. He could feel the antidote working. He wasn't sure how his mom and aunts had done it, but he could feel the spider demon's effects on him going away. He thought for just a second about what had happened. A few minutes ago when he had been turning into a spider demon, he had tossed his father, Leo, across the room. Then when Leo was lying on the floor on his back, Chris had crouched down on top of him, and punched him repeatedly in the face while yelling 'You don't know me!'.
Now Chris was back to normal. But because he had spent so many years suppressing all the emotions he had for his father, they refused to be shoved back down now that they had been released. Chris glared down at Leo and took aim. He punched him in the face again, and again, and again. He couldn't stop himself. He knew it was wrong. He knew his father wouldn't fight back. But he couldn't stop. He felt a mix of satisfaction and guilt as he saw a trickle of blood on the side of Leo's mouth, but still he kept punching.
Somewhere in the back of his mind he heard someone say, "NO! Chris no!" but he refused to listen.
Then he felt someone grab his upper arm to stop his swing. He was startled into stopping. He looked up and saw his mother looking at him with shock. He let her pull him up. As she pulled him she said, "Stop it! Chris, stop."
Soon Piper had a hand on each of Chris' arms, and she was looking up into his face as she said, "It's over."
Chris felt both shame and justification at the same time. He wrenched his arms away from his mother's touch and ran out of the cave passing his two aunts along the way. As soon as he was a few feet away, he turned back around and looked at the cave entrance. He couldn't believe what he had just done. He knew that everyone would want to talk to him at length about all of it, but he just couldn't deal. He orbed away before any of them came out.
Chris orbed to his room at the manor, but soon realized his family would quickly follow. He grabbed a jacket and thought about orbing to his old room at P3 but decided against it. He eventually orbed to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge to sit and think. He knew no one but Leo would know to look for him there, and he was pretty sure Leo wouldn't show up. Chris needed time and space to concentrate so he would be able to calm himself down. It took work to cram his emotions back down into the little wounded corner of his heart that he tried so hard to ignore every day.
He closed his eyes and concentrated on his thoughts. 'Okay Chris, take a few deep breaths and calm down. You shouldn't have hit him.'
His mind refused to be calmed as it yelled, 'He deserved it! Asking what he did in the future that was so bad! Then he actually had the gall to make guesses that were so….not me! Did he miss a school play? Does he think I'm that shallow? Did he take away my favorite toy? Does he think I'm five?'
Chris took another deep breath as he felt himself getting angrier instead of calming down. He heard his father's voice in his head asking again, 'Did I play favorites with Wyatt?'
Chris shook his head as if he could knock that question out of his memory. There it was. The real source of most of his anger. He though, 'Of course you played favorites Dad. How could you not? Evil brother Wyatt was a full time job, and I was just in the way.'
Chris could hear his mom calling him. He ignored it and thought, 'Yeah, like I'm really gonna just orb home so you can yell at me, or give me that Look.'
Chris could hear Piper pleading with him to come home, but when he didn't show up, the pleading changed to angry yells. In the end she even yelled, "I know you can hear me, so you get your butt home right this minute young man!"
Chris was unimpressed. He wasn't about to go home until he was ready to talk about it. He was relieved when she stopped calling him after that. Chris tried to get back to talking himself into not caring what his father did or didn't do. 'It's okay that Dad didn't have time for you. He had to protect Wyatt, and then he had to protect others from Wyatt. Once Mom was gone he made sure Grandpa was there to watch after me. It's not that he doesn't love you, it's just that other things were more important. He said he loved you pretty often, especially in the letters. He just didn't have time to be with you. You shouldn't hate him for that. He was trying to protect other people, and he did still check on me once in a while.'
Chris didn't think his self talk was working very well. He was still just pissed. He could feel the anger pulsing in him. He said out loud to himself, "This isn't helping."
Chris tried a different approach. He looked down at the little lights from the cars rushing around hundreds of feet below him, and tried to concentrate on his mission. He was there to save Wyatt. To make sure Wyatt didn't end up becoming the heartless evil bastard he was in Chris' future.
When he and Bianca had first come up with the plan, it had sounded so easy. Go back in time, and save Wyatt from becoming evil, all the while never letting anyone know why he was really there. He sure as hell hadn't planned to let any of them know he was related. That just complicated everything and made it that much harder to focus on his mission.
Chris said to himself, "How did it get so messed up?"
He tried to come up with the exact moment his plans had gone to crap, but he couldn't come up with one moment. Instead it was a bunch of little moments that added up to his current predicament. He muttered, "Aunt Phoebe and her stupid vision quest."
He had specifically taken the same potion he had given to Page and Piper, so that Phoebe couldn't read his emotions. Then she had to go and have that vision quest which let her see Wyatt had a little brother in the future.
Chris thought back to the day in P3 when Phoebe had confronted him about who he was. He muttered, "Should have lied."
But even as he was saying it, he knew he couldn't have done it. And even if he had, she would have known. Chris thought, 'Then there was the whole Genie debacle. Not only did Paige find out the truth, but Phoebe….'
Chris' thoughts were interrupted when he saw Leo orb in next to him.
Fifteen minutes earlier:
Leo looked up at Chris and saw him change. Just a few minutes earlier, Chris had tossed him across the room. Then Chris had been punching him in the face. He could tell Chris was back to himself now, and he knew Piper and her sisters had found a way to save Chris from becoming a spider demon. Leo's relief about that was short lived, as Chris resumed punching him. Leo had just found out that Chris was his son a couple of hours ago. He wasn't about to fight back. He was pretty sure Piper was coming, and she would be able to talk Chris down.
Sure enough, a few blows to the head later Piper was there and pulling Chris off him. Chris ran off immediately, and Piper knelt down and asked, "Are you alright?"
Leo felt his jaw and pulled his had away to see a little blood. Leo said, "I've been better."
Piper sighed and held out her hand to help him up. He stood and she said, "Let's go home."
Leo orbed Piper home without a second thought to Paige and Phoebe. Paige looked at Phoebe and said, "The club?"
Phoebe thought for a second and realized Piper and Leo needed some privacy to work things out. She nodded and held Paige's hand as Paige orbed them to P3.
Back at the manor Leo and Piper orbed into the living room. Piper, feeling huge already at six months pregnant, went to sit down on the couch. Leo sat beside her. They were quiet for a few minutes. Eventually Leo asked, "Why didn't you tell me Piper?"
Piper looked at him. "Because it was hard enough for you to leave in the first place. I didn't want to make it even harder."
Leo shook his head. He looked away and said, "You should have told me anyway."
"Would it have changed anything?"
Leo didn't know. He wanted to say yes, but he just wasn't sure he honestly could. Piper said, "Let's get Chris over here to talk with us."
Leo nodded, and Piper called, "Chris."
A few seconds passed and then Piper yelled a little louder, "Chris!"
Piper and Leo looked at each other. Piper tried a more gentle approach, "Chris honey, please come talk to us."
Piper waited a couple of seconds and tried again. "Come on Chris, it's not that bad. We can all sit down and talk it out."
Leo said, "Maybe he needs some alone time."
Piper was loosing her patients with the situation. Her sisters and Chris had noticed that the bigger Piper got, the shorter her temper was. Piper said, "Maybe he needs a kick in the pants."
Leo chided, "Piper. He's hurting. We need to try and help him deal with his past, and to do that we need to be patient with him."
Piper gave Leo a dismissive snort, and yelled in an angry tone, "Chris!"
Piper glared at her ceiling and said, "Christopher, don't you ignore me!"
A few seconds later she lost it and yelled, "I know you can hear me, so you get your butt home right this minute young man!"
Leo put a hand over her hand and said, "Yelling louder isn't going to do any good. He hears you. He's just not coming."
Piper crossed her arms and said, "Then you take me to him."
Leo closed his eyes for a second and said, "He's on the Golden Gate Bridge."
"Okay, so take me."
Leo shook his head. "No. It's too high up. Something could happen."
Piper glared at him and seriously thought about blowing him up. But baby Chris inside her chose that moment to kick her in the bladder, and she said, "Excuse me, I have to use the restroom…..again."
Leo gave her a fond smile as he remembered her using that same line when she was pregnant with Wyatt. While Piper was gone, Leo had a few minutes to think about things. He didn't know for sure why Chris hated him, but he was pretty sure his comment about playing favorites with Wyatt had set him off. Leo hated not knowing how he had let his son down. He couldn't imagine himself playing favorites between his kids. But then he couldn't imagine his sweet baby Wyatt turning evil either.
Leo shook his head and thought, 'Heck, I can barely get my head around the fact that I have a second child on the way. Another baby. Another son. One son grows up to hate me, and the other grows up evil……'
Leo saw Piper come back into the room. He saw her smile, and as she walked up to him she took his hand in hers. She placed his hand on her belly, and he could feel the baby move. Leo looked at her bulging stomach, and then looked into her eyes. In that moment he made a promise to himself. He thought, 'Chris won't grow up to hate me, and Wyatt won't grow up to be evil, because I'll make a different future.'
Piper could tell Leo already loved the baby. He said, "I'll go get him."
Piper nodded and let him go. Leo orbed to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Chris and Leo stared at each other for a few seconds.
Eventually Leo said, "Piper was calling you."
"Why didn't you come home?"
"I don't want to talk to anyone right now, I just need some time to be alone and think."
"We need to talk about what happened Chris."
Leo just stared at Chris for a second. He said, "Because you obviously hate me, and I want to know why."
"It doesn't matter."
"Of course it matters."
"Look Leo, I came here to do a job, and that job isn't done yet. Talking about what happens between us in the future isn't going to make a bit of difference, and really isn't going to help us save Wyatt."
"I think I deserve to know what happens."
Chris couldn't hold back any more. He said, "You really wanna know?! Fine. You were never there for me. You were there for Mom, for Wyatt, and even for the rest of the world. But you were never there for me."
Chris' speech had started out sounding snide, but by the end he was close to tears. Leo believed Chris was telling the truth, but at the same time, he didn't understand how he could become the man Chris was talking about. Leo paused a second and then said, "Did you ever think that maybe you came back here not just to save Wyatt? Maybe you came back to this time to save us too."
Chris looked in Leo's eyes and said, "I doubt it."
Chris could feel himself about to cry, and quickly orbed away, not wanting to add that humiliation to the conversation.
Leo looked out over the city and tried to decide what to do. He wanted to comfort Chris, but knew Chris wouldn't accept that. He knew Piper wanted him to bring Chris home, but he thought Chris could use some time to pull himself together first. So Leo stood on the top of the bridge, closed his eyes, and waited for Chris to calm down before he went to get him.
Chris was too emotional to think straight, and orbed to the first place he thought of, which was his old room at P3. There was no one in the room, but he could see the club was busy, and the band was loud through the open door. He walked over, shut the door, and locked it. For some reason the noise from the band made it easier to let his emotions go. He turned and leaned his back against the door. He slowly slid down until he was sitting on the floor, put his head in his hands, and cried.
He couldn't stop thinking, 'He doesn't know me now. He didn't know me then. He doesn't care. He was never there for me. He was never fucking there for me.'
These thoughts looped around in his head while he cried. About five minutes later he was almost done crying. Until he thought about his mom. That set off fresh tears. The image of his mother's body lying dead from Wyatt's hands was always there lurking in the back of his head. Since Chris could remember, Wyatt had never been normal, or even nice, but at sixteen Wyatt's evil had fully taken over. Piper had tried to stop him from leaving home and joining the underworld, and Wyatt had proved his evil to everyone by killing her, and thus ending the power of three. Chris had been fourteen at the time, and even though that had been eight years ago, Chris still couldn't get past it.
Ten minutes later an exhausted Chris pushed himself up off the floor, wiped his face on his sleeve, and walked over to the couch. He lay down on it, and tried to focus his thoughts on what he was going to do tomorrow. He would blow off his parents and aunts, and go directly to the book of shadows. He would again look at every demon listed, and go after them one at a time in an attempt to vanquish them before they could get to Wyatt.
But his mind refused to focus on his self appointed mission. Instead it wandered over the past seven months, again trying to figure out how he had become so intertwined with the family he was trying to protect and stay apart from at the same time. He remembered where he had left off when Leo showed up. He had been thinking about the Genie.
He had been desperate to get his parents back together so that he would be born. Time had been running out, and then by a strange twist of fate his Aunt Phoebe had become a Genie, and he had become her master by grabbing the bottle. Phoebe and his mother had warned him against making wishes, but he'd done it anyway. The first time was a mistake, but that one had turned out okay, because it made Leo trust him, and that was essential to saving Wyatt. But the second wish had been deliberate, and didn't work out well at all. In fact in a round about way it had almost resulted in the death of his mother and both aunts. If Leo hadn't healed Piper in his sleep, it would have.
Six and a half months ago:
Chris was nervously pacing around the room waiting for his parents to wake up. Phoebe was waiting with him and trying to keep him calm while he worried. Finally Piper and Leo woke, and after a slightly altered explanation for why they were asleep together in the first place, they went off together to pick up Wyatt from Magic School. Chris called, "Wait! What about……me?"
His parents, who didn't know they were his parents, didn't hear him. He stood there feeling sorry for himself and almost forgot that Phoebe was still in the room. She quietly said, "Don't worry. There may be hope for you yet."
Chris was too depressed about his impending non-conception to really listen to her. That was until she used that tone. The tone he remembered from when he was really little, and that seem fairly inappropriate now that he was twenty-two. She said, "You mister are in a lot of trouble."
Chris turned to her with irritation and said, "I know! That's what I've been trying to tell you all day!"
Phoebe waved that comment away with a swooping motion of her hand, and said with irritation of her own, "Not about that! About the wish you made when I was a Genie."
Chris, not wanting to hear it, crossed his arms, cocked his head to the side, and gave her a sneer when he said, "You mean when I was your master?"
Phoebe glared at him. She stood up and poked a finger in his chest as she said, "I think you better remember that I'm out of the bottle."
Chris just looked down at her finger with boredom. Phoebe put her hand down and tried a different approach. She said in a serious, but not angry voice, "It's wrong to make wishes with Genies Chris. You knew that before you even made your wish, and still you did it anyway."
Chris thew his hands in the air with exasperation and said, "Because you were the Genie Aunt Phoebe! I didn't think my own family was going to trick me!"
Phoebe's anger softened a little when he called her Aunt. She shook her head at him and put a hand on his upper arm as she said, "But it would have been wrong Chris. I'm sorry if you feel betrayed by what I did, but I couldn't let you do it that way. We'll find another way."
Chris started to feel a little guilty and looked down. She patted his arm and said, "So no more wishing with Genies right?"
Chris reluctantly nodded his head. Phoebe continued, "And you've tricked us more then once since you've been our whitelighter. In fact, you've been downright dishonest with us more then once."
"I have my reasons."
"I'm sure you do, and I'm also sure that Piper won't see them as valid when she finds out you're her son. She's not very forgiving about lying when it comes to family."
Phoebe could tell that Chris believed that to be true and was worried. She decided to change the topic. She smiled as she said, "Maybe you should think about moving in here with us."
Chris darted his eyes back to her, and for some reason Phoebe thought he looked close to panic. He stammered, "I…I don't think that would be good. I gotta go."
Chris started to orb away and Phoebe called out, "Chris wait!"
He ignored her.
Chris nodded to himself and mumbled, "Then I was stupid and moved in anyway."
Chris could hear the band out in the main room start up another song. He sighed and thought, 'Not like I really had a choice. Once Mom found out she was my mom, that was the end of living here.'
He opened his eyes and sat up to look around the back room at P3. He wasn't attached to it. He didn't have any fond memories from this place. He mostly just wanted to go home to his room in the manor, but he still didn't want to talk to anyone about what he had done. He looked down at his hands and had a flash of punching his father. He lay back down, groaned, and closed his eyes again. This time he was assaulted with thoughts of the day Piper had found out she was pregnant for a second time.
Six months ago:
Chris walked into the room where his two aunts were sitting together and Piper was standing in front of them with her back to him. Chris, leaned against the doorframe and casually asked, "Is this a bad time?"
Piper spun around and stared at Chris, and Chris could tell that his Aunts had told Piper he was her son. He didn't know what to do and decided to stare at his feet for a while.
A few seconds later Piper said, "Chris?"
Still looking at his shoes he said, "Yeah?"
"You're my son?"
Chris nodded at the floor, and then stole a quick glance at her to see her reaction. All he could see was surprise. He quickly looked away and tried to sound like it didn't matter when he said, "But that really doesn't change anything. I'm still here to make sure Wyatt doesn't turn evil, so I think I'm gonna go take a look at the book of shadows and see…."
Piper interrupted with, "Wait just a minute. Did you actually think this information wouldn't change anything? It changes everything!"
Chris looked over at her and said, "Not really. I'm still here for one reason, and we all know what it is. I'm gonna go check the book."
Chris turned to walk upstairs, and Piper said with calm resolution, "You're going to move in here with us."
Chris turned back around and said, "What?!"
Piper turned to Paige and Phoebe and said, "Could you two help him pack, and then orb all his stuff into the guest bedroom."
Chris said, "No way! This is not going to happen, Piper. I can't live here with you guys! I haven't lived with you guys since I was……"
Piper raised her eyebrows at him as he tapered off. She said, "Since when Chris."
"I can't tell you that, but I am telling you that I can't live here."
Piper gave him a look that was vaguely familiar to him. She said, "Riiiiiight. Well, I'm telling you that you are going to live here, so deal with it."
Piper turned to Phoebe and Paige who both nodded. Paige took Phoebe's hand and they orbed to P3. Chris said, "But I…..I'm twenty two….and….."
Piper walked over to him as he was starting to protest again, and pulled him into a tight hug. She said, "It will be easier to work together to protect Wyatt this way, and I want to have you close by so I can get to know you better."
Chris pulled away and shook his head, "But I really think it would be better if…."
Piper put a hand over his mouth to stop him and said, "If you make me, I'll tell the bouncers at P3 that I'm not letting you live in the back room anymore."
Chris looked at her carefully as she took her hand away. He said, "You wouldn't?"
Piper stared him down and said, "Try me mister."
Chris' eyes got a little wider as he realized she was serious. He slowly nodded and said, "Okay. I guess I could live here for a little while, as long as I'm free to come and go as I please."
Piper smiled and nodded. "Of course."
"I….I guess I'll go help Phoebe and Paige."
Chris orbed to his room at P3, and saw his aunts putting all his clothes in a box. Phoebe said, "You can get another box from the kitchen and start packing those papers you have all over the desk."
Chris was slightly frustrated about the whole situation and said, "You two didn't have to tell her you know!"
Paige waved him away and said, "You know Phoebe can't keep that kind of thing to herself."
Chris glared at Phoebe, who said, "What? It's better this way. Now you can live at home, like you should have all along."
"Why do you assume I agreed to the move?"
Phoebe gave a little snicker and said, "Haven't you seen how stubborn Piper can be when she gets an idea in her head?"
Chris thought about the day she had died. He looked away and said quietly, "Yeah, I have."
Chris noticed that the band had stopped playing. He said to himself, "Even after I moved in things weren't that bad. Until Grandpa came to visit."
Chris thought about the five months following his move into the manor. He had made sure to stay as aloof as possible, and put as much time and energy into hunting demons as he could. He tried hard not to get very involved with his mom or his aunts. He continued to call them all by name, and he tried to only be there when he had official business. When he wasn't undercover with some kind of demon, he would orb to his room late at night to sleep, and he would get up early in the morning to leave. But that had resulted in Piper calling her father, Victor. Chris couldn't help but smile and relax a little more when he thought about his Grandpa.
One month ago:
Chris orbed home and had his usual business filled conversation with his mom. As he walked off to look at the book of shadows, he could hear Piper tell Paige, "He hates me."
Chris wanted to go tell her he didn't hate her and that in fact he loved her very much, but he refused to let himself. Because if he did that, there would be no turning back, and then who knows if he would succeed in his mission.
Chris took a look in the book for a spell to protect him if the Scabber demons discovered he wasn't who he claimed to be. Then just as he was about to go back to the Scabber demons he thought he heard a familiar voice in the living room. He walked over and saw his Grandfather talking to his Mom. Chris was very surprised, but he couldn't stop the joy his voice held as he said, "Grandpa?"
Victor looked over at the young man who had just called him 'Grandpa', and smiled unsure what to think. Piper had just told him that the baby she was carrying inside of her was named Chris, and that Chris hated her, and was treating her like she wasn't even there most of the time. She had told Victor she wanted him to talk to Chris and find out why. Victor hadn't really understood, but he had been game and he started talking to her stomach. As he was talking, adult Chris came into the room. Chris walked over and pulled Victor into a hug and said, "Grandpa, it's so great to see you."
Victor gave Chris an awkward hug back and said, "Um….It's nice to see you too?"
Piper couldn't believe the warm reception her father was getting. She said, "Well it's good to see that you like your Grandpa."
Chris looked over at her and then back to Victor. He said, "Of course."
Victor said, "I'm confused."
Piper said, "Let's go get a cup of coffee, and I'll try to explain."
Soon the three of them were sitting at the kitchen sipping coffee, and Piper said, "Dad, this is your grandson Chris. He came back to our time from the future to prevent Wyatt from becoming evil."
Victor looked back and forth between Chris and Piper waiting for the punch line. When there wasn't one he said to Chris, "Evil? How does Wyatt become evil?"
"I can't tell you that."
Frustrated with that excuse, Piper said, "Because of future consequences?"
Chris nodded. Piper sighed. Victor said, "Okay so, you and me, we're close in the future?"
Chris nodded enthusiastically and said, "Yeah, your awesome Grandpa."
Victor couldn't help but smile over at Piper as he said, "Did you here that? I'm awesome."
Piper smiled, "I heard."
Victor turned to Chris. "I really wasn't the best dad. I wasn't around much for the girls, so it's really nice to know that I could make up for that a little bit with my grandkids."
Chris nodded sincerely and said, "You do. Especially after the event."
Piper said, "Wyatt turning evil?"
Piper said with more then a little irritation, "Another something you can't tell us about Chris?"
Chris huffed and raised his voice as he said, "Look Piper, I've explained this more then once, anything I tell you now could have drastic and unexpected repercussions in the future, so maybe you…..."
Victor interrupted, "Hey, don't talk to your mother like that."
Piper was amazed when Chris actually looked a little embarrassed and said, "You're right. I'm sorry."
Victor and Piper shared a look while Chris was looking at his coffee. Piper was pleased that Victor seemed to have some kind of influence over the son she couldn't seem to get through to. Chris sighed and said, "I should get back. The Scabber demons will notice I'm gone."
Piper stood up and started to leave as she said, "What? And leave your awesome grandpa? Visit for a while. Grab a sandwich, grab a beer…." Piper leaned in towards Victor as she said, "…..get some answers."
Chris and Victor looked at each other for a second. Then Victor said, "You wanna go out to get something to eat?"
Chris knew he should get back, but it was so good to see his Grandfather that he just nodded and said, "Let me go change clothes first."
Once he had changed, they both got in Victor's car. Victor started it and said, "What do you like to eat?"
"Anything. You like Italian, and that sounds good."
Victor nodded and started driving to a restaurant. The car was silent for a few minutes. Then Victor said, "So when you say Wyatt turns evil, what exactly do you mean?"
"He kills anyone who stands in his way, both demons and innocents."
They were silent again, and then Victor said, "He seems so sweet."
"He's not evil yet. I don't know what made him change. Right now he's good. I can tell he hasn't been changed. But because I don't know what changes him, I'm doing everything I can to take out as many demons as possible before they can get to him."
"So tell me about the demons you are undercover with right now."
Chris told him about the Scabber demons the rest of the ride. Soon they were in the restaurant, and had ordered their food. Victor could tell by the way Chris kept looking at his watch and looking around the room that he mostly just wanted to get done so he could go. Victor said, "I guess you don't really want to be here."
Chris sighed, "No, it's not that I don't want to be here, it's just that I need to get back before they find out something is wrong."
Victor nodded. He said, "We don't have to eat, we can just go back."
"No, I need to eat something. It's been…..I guess it's been a day and a half since I ate."
"Jeez! No wonder you're mom is worried about you."
"Piper needs to stop worrying. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself."
Victor gave Chris a disbelieving look and said, "Yeah, I can tell."
Chris said nothing. Victor changed the topic, "You say we're close in the future, so what kinds of things do we do together?"
Chris shrugged. Victor said, "Do I take you fishing?"
"Do I take you to ball games?"
"Do I take you to strip clubs?"
Chris looked horrified and said, "God no!"
Victor smiled at that and said, "So tell me what we do."
Victor paused and then said, "Oh."
Chris said, "Look, maybe this was a bad idea. I'll just orb home and grab a sandwich before I go back."
Victor held up his hand and said, "No, no. You say what we do is talk, so let's talk."
Chris sighed but waited. Victor said, "How have you been getting along with your mom?"
Chris leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms defensively. He said, "Let me guess. She asked you to talk to me."
Victor nodded and said, "She's worried."
"Well, she needs to get over it."
"Why are you so angry with her? Why do you hate her?"
Chris looked truly shocked. "What?! I don't hate her. Why does she think I hate her?"
Victor sat back too and said, "I saw how you were with her at home. You don't look at her very often when you talk, and you say as little as possible. She can tell just by your body language that you're angry with her."
Chris shook his head. "I'm not."
"Then why are you treating her like she doesn't exist?"
Chris looked at Victor with tears in his eyes as he said, "Because in my future she doesn't."
Victor paled and said quietly, "What?"
"She dies when I'm fourteen."
Victor said in a shocked monotone, "That's the event?"
Chris nodded. They were silent for a few minutes. Then Chris said, "That's why I can't get close to her. Because I have to go back to the future where she isn't."
Victor sat up again and said, "Maybe that's all the more reason to get close to her now."
Chris looked down. Victor continued, "If there is one thing that I've learned from having a witch for a wife, and daughters, it's that every minute you have together is important. My wife and Prue both died so young. If I could go back in time, I would spend every minute I could with them. I would be with them as much as possible so that I could take those happy memories back with me when I had to leave them again."
Chris said nothing still, but Victor could tell he was thinking about it. Victor said quietly, "The pain of loosing someone you love may seem overpowering, but if you can remember the happy times you had together, then they are never really that far gone. Talk to Piper. Get close to her, and keep those memories close to your heart when you leave. And you never know, you might have already changed that event in the future."
Chris looked up at him and gave a slight nod. Chris wanted to believe that was true. The food arrived, and they both ate quietly thinking about what the other had said. When they were done Victor drove them home. As they pulled up Chris said, "I'd better go change."
Victor nodded and went to find his daughter. He found Piper and Paige in the attic. Piper smiled and said, "Did you have a nice time?"
Victor went and gave her a hug as he said, "I love you sweetie."
Piper looked surprised at the sudden affection, but hugged him back and said, "I love you too Dad."
Chris appeared in the doorway, and said, "I'm headed back."
Piper nodded, and then before anyone could say much, two Scabber demons appeared in the attic. They looked at Chris, and then they both shot greenish slime out of their mouths towards him. He orbed quickly, and the green slime melted the bookshelf it hit. Piper yelled at her dad to get out, which he quickly did. Piper flicked her hands at one of the demons and tried to blow him up. The blow damaged him slightly, but he didn't blow up. He looked at her and spit some green slime at her. Paige called out, "Icky stuff!"
The slime then went back to the demon that had spit it. The demon exploded, and the other demon shimmered away before he could be vanquished too. Everyone stood up and surveyed the damage.
Piper asked Paige, "Icky stuff?"
"What, it worked didn't it?"
Chris felt guilty about the mess and said, "Sorry about this."
Piper said, "It's okay. Kids are messy."
Chris thought to himself, 'I'm not a kid.' But let it go.
Chris said, "Well, I guess my cover is blown. I'll have to get a vanquishing potion ready, and get down there before he rounds up some more of them and they come after me."
Piper said, "No way. It's much too dangerous now that they know you aren't one of them."
"Well, I can't stay here, that will put all of you in danger."
"Well, you can't go, because that will put you in danger!"
"I'll be fine."
"Yes you will, because you're staying here. We'll create a force field with crystals here in the attic, so they won't be able to detect you for a while. Paige and I will work on the vanquish, and you can get some rest."
Chris gave her an incredulous look. "Rest?! You've got to be kidding me."
"You look tired."
"No Piper, you look tired. You and little me inside you should be the ones resting, not me. I'll go so that you'll be safe. I'll make the vanquish, and find them."
"Demons try to kill us every other day Chris. I'm as safe as I'm gonna be….unless you know something I don't."
Chris looked away. Piper realized she had guessed right. She said, "Oh…..so is something going to happen to me?"
Chris mumbled, "I can't tell you."
Piper said, "Am I gonna….."
She could tell it was true before she completed the sentence. She said, "Oh….I see."
Victor had been watching this whole exchange from the doorway. At this point he said, "Not right now honey. Later."
Chris shot Victor with an angry look for even giving Piper that much information. Piper nodded and looked back to Chris. She said, "And this is what you've been living with?"
Chris nodded again. The room was silent for a few seconds, and then Piper took a deep breath and said, "Well, whatever it is, it obviously doesn't happen until after you're born, so save it."
Chris looked into his mom's eyes, not quite believing she was all business again. Piper put her hands on her hips and said, "You are going to stay up here in the attic and rest while Paige and I make the vanquishing potion. Got it?"
Chris was still reeling from the fact that Piper knew she was going to die sometime in the next twenty two years, and responded to the tone of voice that was familiar to him with, "Got it, Mom."
Chris belatedly realized he had called her 'mom' and looked at her with surprise. She looked surprised too, but then smiled and nodded. "Good. Paige, get the crystals please."
Half an hour later the potion was ready, and Paige, Piper, Phoebe, and Chris all went together to vanquish the Scabber demons while Victor watched Wyatt.