A/N Only the part 2 and the epilogue to go now. Hope you all enjoyed reading this story, I know I've loved writing it both for myself and for you.
On with the story! ~Gabz
"Come on Wyatt. Focus."
"Shut up Uncle Cole, what the hell do you think I'm doing." The blonde ground his teeth together as he tried to control the urge to strangle his retired-demonic Uncle.
"Wyatt! Cole! This is not the time, especially given that we're running out of it." Turning to her husband Prue let her mask drop for a moment, a rare vulnerability shining through her silver orbs. "I can't lose him again."
Her words floated over to Wyatt and his knees buckled as he fell to the floor, his hands cradling his face as he wept. "I'm useless, I have no power. What do you expect me to do?"
Cole shook his head as he finally after all these months saw the Wyatt he was looking for. The scared big brother who would do anything to protect his siblings only to realise he was powerless to do so. It had taken them a while to remember the warning to the spell but eventually they understood that the powers couldn't be split in two forever and that the side which practiced more got to retain the powers. By that point it had been too late.
"You're wrong Wyatt. If you had no power you wouldn't be able to send you siblings flashes in their dreams. The power you have is different. Yes, you don't have your Halliwell magic or any demonic powers but you do have your bond. A bond which should allow you to connect to them when the time is right." Pulling the vial out from behind his back, he placed it in Wyatt's hand, curling his fingers so that it stayed in place. "You're going to take that with you when you go back and once you drink it, you will be transported straight to the attic."
Listening to the detached tone Cole was using, Prue shook her head at her husband's motivational techniques. While they worked for Chris and Mel who had rather easily adopted the war mentality, it appeared he'd forgotten that the Wyatt who dealt with the killing, the plotting and the planning was currently outside ruling and the Wyatt that was left behind was just a scared little boy.
Bending down, she looked into his frightened, vulnerable blue eyes and for once she saw that they were completely untainted. This was the nephew she was supposed to have. Brushing his hair back slightly, she sighed as he leant into her hand seeking whatever comfort he could find. "You'll be okay sweetie. And this time when you save Chris he may actually agree with your methods."
Unable to hold back his chuckle, Wyatt picked himself up off the ground, determination flooding though him once more and looked his Uncle in the eye waiting for the next instruction.
"Okay we have between seven and twenty hours to do this." Seeing the look Prue and Wyatt shot him, Cole rolled his eyes in frustration. "It's not as if Chris is living at the same time as us just twenty something years in the past. I just have to go with my gut and my guts telling me between seven and twenty."
Turning back to the triquetra on the wall, they all sighed once needing to get it out of their system before they tried again.
"Well here goes nothing." Closing his eyes, Wyatt focused on his heartbeat needing it to slow down into a state of near stillness as this was the only chance they had left. He wasn't sure how long he was like that the seconds, minutes and hours all just melded together seeming to simultaneously take forever and no time at all. Finally he felt what he was waiting for, making sure the vial was still in his hand, he let a smile grow on his lips determined to fix things once and for all.
:: :: :: :: ::
Mel growled in frustration as she pulled against the chains. This was completely humiliating.
They'd survived years under Wyatt's reign but they'd finally been foiled by a bout of Sandman's potion and desperation. Desperation that had caused Belle to unknowingly call her right into a second ambush in their rush to save Wyatt before it was too late. Feeling the dark thoughts swirling in her mind, she shook her head from side to side, hoping to move her newest stylistic addition away from her face.
Honestly she was getting really sick of that stupid punishment for destroying the mirror.
First step of her plan when she's back in her own time was to see if anyone has some way of neutralizing her hair. For now she was just going to keep cursing the chains until she got free.
"Auntie Mel, I don't think you're having as much luck there as you seem to think you are." Parker couldn't help but laugh at the look his Aunt threw his way before resuming her previous actions.
Shaking his head, he looked to Sigmund, scowling at the useless ghost before he tuned back into the conversation Belle and Peyton were having in yet another desperate attempt to figure out a spell that would overpower Gideon's charms and send someone to help them.
"It would have to be a member of the family."
Peyton nodded her head at Belle's statement. Unfortunately the family they had in 2004 was useless to help - she was positive Gideon had them somewhere off the correct radio frequencies.
She also knew that her daddy had to protect Wyatt now that the time was ticking down and they had no way of knowing how long they'd been in this room anyway. They could try Grams but she'd likely just get stuck in here like Sigmund. Grandpa Victor was always an option, he could probably come and go since the charms probably only restricted those with magic but they had no idea where they were and that could be very deadly to a mortal.
"Henry Jr's back maybe he could help, he's only a year younger than Auntie Mel."
"No, he's got his powers again and even if he didn't and we managed to get him safely out of here. Aunt Paige would recognize him in an instant and quite possibly kill us." Belle's tone showed her frustration as she glanced at the others for help. "Remind me again, why you can't go haunt Gideon's ass down?"
Sigmund pushed himself further into the corner, unnerved by the angry silver eyes now trapped on him. "I'm bound to this crystal." Once Gideon's minions had chained the still sleeping prisoners to the wall, and the charms had been reactivated all the glamours and potions protecting them had worn off and Sigmund had blanched as he realised his ex-friend had managed to kidnap a good chunk of the Halliwell line and his fear had been growing ever since.
"We have no choice, we have to try and bring Uncle Wyatt here." Parker's statement had everyone freezing as they turned to look at him as if questioning his sanity. "From what you and Dad have been seeing in your sleep, he's trying to help. Maybe he's not evil anymore."
Mel looked over at her nephew her thoughts clouded by the feeling that something was about to go horribly wrong. "I don't know…"
"Just think about it. He's our best hope and they haven't killed each other yet but you know Gideon won't hesitate to kill either of them along with baby Wyatt." Parker's eyes met his Aunt's, finding comfort in the familiar green orbs. He watched as the thoughts passed through her mind, each one accompanied by an emotion that would slightly alter the green pigment. Finally he saw what he was looking for and sighed a breath of relief.
Peyton hearing the words in her brother's mind, projected them into Belle and Mel's minds, knowing they would instinctually know which words to change. Looking to her brother she waited for the signal and began chanting hearing her family's echoing words around her.
"I call upon the Halliwell power,
to help me in this darkest hour.
My Uncle Wyatt I wish to seek,
so Dad's blood does not leak.
Send him my message, read my mind,
come to us now, ignore space and time."
Belle looked around as a large wind took over the room, swirling their hair around before it stilled completely. She felt her breath rush out of her as disappointment pooled in her stomach. "What now?"
Before anyone could say anything they became aware of someone softly screaming, the sound increasing as if they were coming closer yet for a minute no physical body followed.
"Ouch." Wyatt touched his palm to his head, wincing when he drew it back and saw the blood. Looking around the room, he felt his eyes widen as he took in it's occupants - who were chained to the wall.
Rushing forward to help, he ignored the way the two children flinched back and though it caused an ache in his heart he knew he deserved it and more. His fingers stopped their movements just above the boy's cuffs as he noticed the tattoo branded into the young child's skin. "I did that?"
It wasn't meant to come out like a question as he was aware of what had happened, he had the memories after all. Except those memories seemed like a movie of someone else's life. He looked at the intricate design that now flowed from the brand and couldn't help his soft smile knowing his little brother was behind that little change that probably meant a hell of a lot.
The response had his head snapping up as it was such a Chris thing to say and he nearly jumped back in shock as he came face to face with what appeared to be a six year old Chris. His anger filled green eyes glaring at him in a way Chris never had.
Wyatt's mind quickly filled in the blanks and he was forced to face the truth and accept with a heavy heart what he'd been too stubborn to admit before. That the kids - the only kids - he'd personally tortured were in fact Chris' children.
Pushing aside his self loathing he focused on the cuffs once again, determined to get them down from there. Finally prepared to feel the cool metal under his fingers, his eyes widened in disbelief as his fingers passed right through them. Moving his hand to the other cuff he repeated his actions only to get the same result. Gently touching the boy's hand he let out a sigh of relief when he was able to feel Chris' son's surprisingly soft skin.
"What have you done Wyatt?"
Mel watched her brother through cautious eyes watching as he flinched in response to her question and she quickly realised that for the first time that's exactly who he was. There was absolutely zero hint of magical manipulation or icy coldness in his eyes and that could only mean one thing. "Are you mortal?"
Unable to look his sister in the eyes, he nodded once his head turned in shame.
"Wait, what?" Wyatt swept across the room coming to stand next to his sister. Pausing his steps he shot Persephone a quick smile but he couldn't help but feel annoyed at himself that he couldn't remember her nickname, he knew he used to call her by it but it had been so long that he just couldn't access it.
Mel looked down at him, seeing the honest confusion in his eyes. "You can get out of here. You can-"
"I can save Chris before Gideon kills him." Wyatt continued for her though he couldn't stop his eyes from watering when he realised that it was time. That if he messed up he'd end up loosing his brother for good. Remembering the vial that remained safely enclosed in his fist he slowly opened his palm, knowing that there was only one shot at this and he wasn't going to ruin it by dropping the vial . "But I can't just leave you here."
"You can and you will." Mel's voice left no room for arguing and for once Wyatt could see his little sister leading an army in the way Chris had bragged about when he'd been captured.
"You have to." Mel forced her worry back as she focused on her want to have both her brothers after this.
Looking into her eyes he saw that behind the ferocious determination was a bit of insecurity. So once again ignoring the way Mel flinched as he moved closer to her, Wyatt pressed his lips to forehead before uncapping the vial. "Here goes nothing."
:: :: :: :: ::
Chris' body continued to mimic sleep as he slowly returned to consciousness. It something that had become an instinctual survival mechanism when he was on the run and as he pulled himself from the dark nothingness that accompanied a Sandman potion he couldn't help but see the irony in that sentence.
Taking note of the state of his body ensuring nothing was badly injured, he quickly questioned what the weight that he felt across his mid-drift was. Subtly reaching out with his powers he found Wyatt's unique aura and was grateful that he'd managed to get his baby brother somewhere safe.
At least for now.
Waiting until he felt the full effects of the potion had worn off, Chris slowly raised his body, keeping a steady hand on a sleeping Wyatt's back. His brother's soft blonde hair fell in front of his eyes and Chris couldn't prevent his smile as he thought of how much his mum would flip if she saw how long her baby boy's hair had gotten. Hell by her standard even Chris' reasonably short hair could use another trim.
Looking around he was only somewhat surprised to find he'd orbed straight to cave that was one of the emergency access points for the Resistance. It seemed that with Gideon finally deciding to act Chris' mind and body had instinctually slipped into survival mode.
Cradling Wyatt to his chest, Chris looked down at his baby brother's innocent smile with pain filled eyes. "It's going to be different this time Wy, I promise."
Wyatt shifted against him a content sigh slipping out through his small lips as he burrowed further into Chris' shirt. "Kwis."
Watching as Wyatt's eyelids slowly fluttered open, determination flooded Chris as his brother's innocent blue eyes peered up at him with pure trust and awe. Gideon should have thought twice about messing with a Halliwell.
Clearing his mind Chris was only slightly frustrated when he hit a wall while trying to get through to his kids. Though he protectively tightened his grip on Wyatt, for now he'd just be satisfied that they were safe. He knew that if they were injured no amount of magic would prevent him from feeling it and even though whatever magic Gideon had called up was probably designed to keep them separated from him, Chris was grateful for that wall as it meant they were alive.
He'd long ago made peace with the fact that he might die on this mission - he also knew dying and forgetting everything was kind of a cowardly way out but he could deal with that as long as his family was safe. Both future and present members.
Wyatt's ears perked as he heard his dad desperately calling for him. He knew Chris didn't like their Daddy but Mummy had always said to go when Daddy called. Hearing the fear in his dad's voice little Wyatt knew he had to help just like Chris was always doing. Closing his eyes he quickly thought of his father, making sure not to take Chris with him as he disappeared.
Lost in his thoughts, Chris nearly missed Wyatt orbing out but recovered just in time. Grabbing onto his orb trail he was too late to pull his baby brother back and instead sent out a quick prayer that they weren't orbing right into Gideon's ambush.
:: :: :: :: ::
Gideon paced around the attic frantically, catching sight of his glamoured body he couldn't help but notice the crazed look in 'Leo's' eyes as he glanced at the mirror. Pushing his hand outward, he smiled happily as the glass fractured in numerous places before being expelled from the frame following a bolt of lightening.
Calling out for Wyatt he chucked in joy as his plan finally came to fruition.
Hearing the telltale sound of orbing Gideon waited out in the open dagger at the ready until he saw just how big the mass was and realised the toddler was not alone.
Ducking behind what remained of some old couch, he quietly swore when the whitelighter that he'd never really been able to shake formed. Tapping into his powers, he was surprised to find that it was harder than he anticipated to reach the warm pit that held his Elder powers. It was as if he had to wade through a heavy darkness to make it there.
Finally secure in his knowledge that he was hidden Gideon started to rework his original idea, sending for his partner early.
The hairs on the back of Chris' neck prickled and he knew Gideon was here. Watching the confusion in Wyatt's small eyes he was filled with relief at the fact that he was able to get to his baby brother before Gideon could make his move.
Focusing his power he tried to find Gideon's location but quickly realised his own magic was not quite up to par yet. Growling in annoyance he headed over to where Wyatt was resting in the middle of the room. "Okay, it's time to get you outta here."
Bending down to grab Wyatt, Chris spun just in time to deflect Gideon's hit. He watched with puckered eyebrows as the table collapsed under the force of the magic instead of under his body as he'd seen so many times in his dreams.
Twisting towards where he remembered the Elder being, Chris watched as tendrils of black smoke left his palm and wrapped around the Elder's form, binding him to the visible world.
An inhuman growl escaped the black figure and Chris felt fearful in a way he hadn't since he was little.
Even when Wyatt was the screwed up ruler of the world he had morals. Morals that Chris struggled to understand but morals none the less. He knew that Gideon however was long past that point.
"Don't make me sacrifice you both." The hissed words were said with near glee that sounded more like a wish than a warning as a dagger appeared in the air. The blade reflecting the never ending blackness Chris seemed to find in his life.
"Wyatt orb now." Chris focused all his attention on keeping Gideon from getting his baby brother and as such didn't see the two new figures appearing in the room as he fought off a stream of attacks as his brother finally escaped.
Though thoroughly weirded out as he watched his baby self orb away, Wyatt refocused his thoughts in time to see Barbas appear behind Chris, a dagger in his hand poised to strike. Without a second thought, he rushed forward, pushing Chris to the ground as the dagger struck him straight through the chest.
Despite what many believed Barbas did in fact have a sense of self preservation and there was no way he was going to get sent back to that hell hole even for the gloating privileges of killing the future version of the Twice Blessed.
Barely sparing a glance at the filth responsible for getting him involved in this, Barbas disappeared knowing he was going to have to lay low for quite a while after this one.
Chris' head ricocheted off the ground with a sickening crunch and as his eyes started to close he knew there was one thing he had left to do. Pulling Bianca's athame from his boot, he ran his finger over the emblem one last time before he sent it piercing through the air and straight into Gideon's forehead.
He knew it wasn't the nicest or most pleasurable - for the tormentor at least - impact site but it's position meant that Gideon had no way of recovering even if he was resurrected the damage would be there forever. Anyone could heal a heart but the brain was a whole other ballpark.
Fighting to keep his eyes open as he heard his brother's blood filled gasps for air next to him, Chris screamed out at his weakness as the darkness finally overwhelmed him.
:: :: :: :: ::
"Chris!" Wyatt's voice echoed around him as he tried to peel open his eyelids. "Don't you dare walk away from me, you're going to be in so much trouble when Mum finds out what you did."
Confusion filled Chris as he recalled hearing that exact sentence before.Blinking rapidly as the light assaulted his eyes he managed to focus enough to recognise the lockers he was running past as the ones from junior high.
He felt the strain in his legs as he rounded three more corners before resting against a bank of lockers, certain that his goody two shoes brother would have gone back to class by now.
It didn't seem to matter what Chris did, all his teachers and parents and school friends seemed to do was compare him to Wyatt. Hitting his head against the locker, he wondered - rather morbidly - how many times, at how high a velocity, at what strength hard would he have to do this to cause blood to stain the precious green lockers.
"Chris?" His name was said in a mix of curiosity, disbelief and disappointment - the latter emotion, which he was used to hearing in with his name only increased his anger.
"What?" Startled by the harshness of his own tone, he open one eye and peaked out at the shadow in front of him. At first he was struck by the fact that a girl was addressing him at all, then the fact that she used his first name - not Halliwell or Wyatt's little bro as he was known to everyone here and at Magic School and finally that she was really pretty.
Then he took in her stance and the jaded look in her eyes and he knew.
"Look, either you're being punished for something or you got the wrong Halliwell because there's no way I'm important enough for someone to send an assassin after." Ignoring her stunned look, he let his angry frustration take over again and a scowl settle across his face as he closed his eyes again. "You're boss would probably be happier if you came back with the Twice Blessed. He's down the hall, room 3J."
Sensing her taking a step closer his eyes flicked to her again and realised she was probably closer to sixteen than to his eleven. He knew in any other circumstance he wouldn't be so brave when talking to a pretty girl, let alone one so much older than him but he was in his element.
Glancing at her eyes, he saw that beneath all her bravado she was scared. He understood that, hell he was fairly certain he had the same look in his eyes at the moment but despite all that he knew what he had to do. No matter how many times someone compared him to Wyatt and no matter how much he seemed to fail to meet their expectations and that he seemed to disappoint everyone except his Aunts, Uncles and his mother, Wyatt was still his brother and he wasn't going to let some pretty assassin kill him.
Watching as she blinked in confusion, he fought to keep the smirk off his face as he quickly got to his feet, all thoughts of bloody lockers gone for now. Moving into his fighting stance, he finally smirked as her dagger finally appeared and along with it her tattoo. "Phoenix, nice."
As Chris continued going through the motions of the fight, he felt time catch up again and outright laughed at the look of absolute confusion on his assassin's face.
Done playing with her, he called for her dagger and spun so that the tip was placed at her neck. "Are you done now?"
He felt her shift against him as she tried to fight back but he was unrelenting as he counted her moves. Spinning away from her, he tucked the blade into his boot knowing it would only enrage her that she had lost it.
"Until next time…" Waiting patiently for her name he never stopped smirking, even going so far as to raise an eyebrow when she still didn't respond.
Smiling as she reluctantly gave up her name, Chris dropped the illusion and watched as the light left the hallway, darkness streaming in from the nearby.
"What just happened?"
He knew she'd probably intended for her question to not be heard by him but the smug streak that ran through him caused him to answer her. "Oh that little trick, yeah it's about six at night now. I just figured if we were going to fight it'd be better when the mortals weren't around."
With that said he orbed out of there, her blade tingling from it's confines in his boot as if expressing her outrage for her.