Disclaimer: Well, I just don't understand. I would take good care of it! Why won't you give it to me?

Ch. 44:

Meredith woke with a start. She stayed still for a moment, trying to identify what had awoken her. She reached over to Chris, but her hand met an empty bed. She sat up and saw Chris sitting at the desk.

"Babe?" She called softly.

Chris didn't even acknowledge her, he just kept flipping over cards. Meredith sighed and sat up, grabbing a shirt and pulling it on before getting up and walking over to him.

"Chris?" she asked, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Honey, what are you doing out of bed?"

"Couldn't sleep." He replied, checking a chart before reshuffling the tarot cards in front of him.

Meredith sighed and pulled up a chair to sit next to him.

"Chris, you need to stop this." She told him. "Trust your aunts. They'll help us. Come back to bed."

"What if they can't?" He asked, helplessness creeping into his voice. "What if I've messed up too many things?"

"We won't let that happen." She told him.

He continued to flip over cards, so Meredith reached over and grabbed his hands before making him look at her.

"I won't let that happen." She told him fiercely. "I won't allow it."

He sighed and closed his eyes, leaning his forehead against hers.

"I love you, Christopher Perry Halliwell." She whispered. "I've got you back now. I am never going to let anyone take you from me ever again. And if they try, I will slap them down like the hand of god. You don't wanna trust Phoebe and Paige? Fine. Trust me. Have I ever let something change my mind after I've made it up?"

Chris laughed slightly.

"I love you." He told her softly.

"I love you." She replied.

She moved slightly so she could press her lips against his. After a second, Chris deepened the kiss, wrapping his arm around her waist, while she wrapped her arms around his neck. Finally, she pulled away, getting to her feet and taking his hand and pulling him after her.

"Now." She said, smiling slyly. "I think I said something about coming back to bed."

Chris grinned and pulled her flush against him.

"Mmm." He said, looking her over. "And what exactly do you plan for me if I come back?"

"Well…" She said slowly.

She reached up and kissed him slowly until he seemed dazed.

"That seem like a good start?" she asked softly.

Chris growled and pushed her back onto the bed, following her down with a grin.


The front door of the manor was open and party goers were leaving with their parents, loaded down with balloons and party favors. Just inside, Piper, Leo, and Wyatt were saying goodbye.

"Here you go." Piper said, handing one of the moms a bag. "Thanks for coming."

"Thanks for inviting us." Another mom called. "It was a fun party."

"Bye." Her husband said as they left. "Thanks."

They left as the other mom and her husband lingered.

"I still can't believe that Wyatt is one already." The woman told them.

"Oh, I know." Piper agreed. "You can't?"

"Nice to finally meet you, Leo." Her husband said.

"Yeah, you too." Leo replied.

"You know, Frank and some of the other dads get the kids together on Saturdays, if you're interested." The woman told him.

"Uh…yeah." Leo said. "Thanks."

"Excellent." Frank replied.

The remaining guests left, calling out goodbyes as they went.

"I'll call you." Frank told Leo.

"Okay, great." Leo agreed.

Piper breathed a sigh of relief and went to shut the front door.

"Whew!" she exclaimed as she turned to look at Leo. "I'm exhausted."

"Did you have fun?" Leo asked Wyatt happily. "Hmm? Did you like it?"

"Yeah, he was a really good boy and only made mommy freeze the room once." Piper agreed.

She spotted someone else coming towards them.

"Which is more than we can say for our other wayward toddler, not to mention her older counterpart!" Piper said.

"What?" Meredith demanded, carrying Mer with her. "It was only four times! And that last time was not my fault. It was either redirect her power or have everyone freak out over a localized earthquake. I didn't mean for the table to explode."

Piper sighed and shook her head.

"I'm going to put her down for awhile, and myself while I'm at it." Meredith told her. "The mini earthquake took it out of both of us."

Piper nodded and Meredith headed upstairs.

"Well, all in all only one freezing on Wyatt's part, even included in Meredith's four, isn't that bad." Piper continued.

"He was excited." Leo said. "It's his birthday."

"He was excited to see you." Piper replied. "He misses you."

"I know." Leo said. "I miss him, too."

Piper smiled as Paige walked into the room. Leo set Wyatt on the floor as she picked up a bottle of champagne and a glass from the table and offered it to them.

"Hey, you guys want any more champagne?" she asked. "Come on. We don't want it to go to waste. How 'bout it, dad?"

"Elders aren't allowed to drink." Leo told her.

"Oh, come on." She replied. "When on Earth, you should do as earthlings do."

"Sorry." He said.

"Not that I'm complaining or anything, 'cause you guys did such great work, but, um, champagne?" Piper asked. "Chocolate-covered strawberries? Oysters? Aren't the kids a little young for the aphrodisiacs?"

"They're aphrodisiacs?" Paige asked with poorly feigned surprise. "Ha! Who knew?"

She sighed and held out the glass.

"Bubbly?" she offered.

"Paige…" Piper sighed.

"What?" her sister demanded. "Oh, come on, there were milk and cookies here, too. You know , maybe if – if there were more kids living in this house, I would know what to get. Do you ever stop to think about that? Huh? Excuse me."

She quickly grabbed some trash and ran out of the room.

"The two we already have, plus the overgrown one that spends her time crashing either here or in my club, when she's not fighting with our overgrown child of a whitelighter, isn't enough for you?" Piper called after her before sighing and turning to look at Leo. "She's been weird since she changed her hair color. She'll probably change it back."


Paige entered the kitchen to find Phoebe making more strawberries.

"Okay, forget the strawberries." She told her sister. "She's onto us."

"What do you mean?" Phoebe demanded. "She knows about Chris?"

"No, but she knows we're up to something." Paige said, putting the dirty dishes in the sink. "I can't believe how hard it is to get two people laid."

"Paige, that is disgusting." Phoebe said, rolling her eyes.

"Well, it's what we're trying to do, right?" Paige pointed out.

"No, we are trying to romance Piper and Leo together so they can conceive, our nephew." Phoebe said.

"And that's different how?" Paige asked.

"Well, because what you said is very Springer." Phoebe replied. "What I said is very Oprah."

"Oh." Paige said exasperated. "Well, whatever show we're watching, we're running out of time. At least Chris is. We should probably tell him."

"Yes." Phoebe agreed. "Chris!"

Chris orbed in immedietly.

"Hey." He said. "So, how's it goin'?"

"Not so good." Paige said, making him look at her.

"What do you mean?" he demanded, the level of panic in his voice rising as he looked at Phoebe. "What does she mean?"

"We're running out of ideas." Phoebe told him.

"Well, that's too bad, because if has to happen today, or I don't happen." Chris replied.

"Wait." Phoebe demanded. "Today?"

"Yeah." Chris answered. "I did the math, and if I'm not conceived by midnight tonight, that's it. I won't be born, which means I won't be coming back from the future to warn you about Wyatt turning evil."

"Yeah, see that time travel thing?" Phoebe said. "Ooh."

"What about making, like, a love potion, just, like, slipping it to them?" Chris asked.

"We're not tricking your parents." Paige told her nephew sternly.

"Why not?" he demanded. "I'm desperate."

"Hey, look, I have an idea." Phoebe said. "Call me crazy, but why don't we just tell them the truth?"

"Sure, let's give them a massive case of performance anxiety." Paige said.

"We're running out of options." Phoebe told her.

"And time." Chris added.

They all jumped as an explosion came from the other room and ran out of the kitchen, Chris in the lead, right in time to see a Darklighter's arrow flying straight at him. Phoebe quickly pushed him out of the way.

"Arrow!" Paige shouted, throwing the arrow back at the Darklighter and it hit him in the shoulder.

Behind him, Leo orbed to Wyatt and picked him up.

"I got you." He told his son. "I got you, I got you."

"Hey!" Meredith yelled from the stairs.

The Darklighter spotted her and quickly orbed out as she threw a blast of fire at him.

Phoebe and Paige sighed with relief as Piper walked to Wyatt and Meredith ran to Chris.

"You're okay, you're okay." Piper consoled her son.

Meredith kneeled next to Chris, who was still on the ground.

"Are you okay?" she asked, brushing his hair back.

He nodded and looked up at Phoebe.

"Thanks for saving my life." He told her. "Hope it wasn't for nothing."

He sat up and leaned into Meredith as she hugged him.

A/N: Okay, I know it's been freaking forever since I last updated. Please don't hate me! I've been going through massive writer's block. Please let me know what you thought.

Abbey