Summary: [Chris revelation story] With his time running out and the entire future resting on his shoulders, Chris takes drastic measures to save Wyatt. To protect his brother, he finds himself selling his soul to the devil – literally.
AN: My first foray into Charmed fanfiction... The prologue starts soon after Chris-Crossed and ends at the end of Prince Charmed.
Prologue: The Devil's Eyes
They haunted him. Once they had been kind, protective, loving. Once, they had looked at him with compassion and understanding. But things had changed – they had changed – and what had once glowed with warmth turned to ice. Malice. Fury.
He saw them in his mind every morning when he slowly opened his own eyes and blinked away the last vestiges of sleep, ready to face an exhausting world. They lingered even after the rest of the nightmares had faded and the harshness of reality slapped him in the face. Disembodied, forever burned into his memory, mocking him.
Sometimes he saw different eyes. Brown ones, or hazel. Memories of his mother, his aunts, his cousins. Sometimes the brown was darker, almost black, and hypnotic in its beauty. Vague images of his fiancée.
But they always merged together and changed, the colors slowly becoming blue.
The Underworld was not as dark or dismal as the students of Magic School had always been lead to believe. That was something that had surprised Chris the first time he had tracked a demon back to its lair. Certainly, some of the places were the expected clichéd caves or caverns, complete with flickering torches and the stench of congealing blood. But others were actually more like rooms, stone walls covered in paintings, a heavy carpet along the floor, and a roaring fire in a magically-created fireplace.
It was in one of these rooms that Chris found himself now, facing a rather seductive-looking sorceress.
"Do you have anything to tell me, Lola?" Chris demanded, striding towards her.
Lola, reclining comfortably in an overstuffed armchair, flicked red hair out of her sparkling eyes and quirked cherry red lips into a smirk. "Impatient as ever, white-lighter," she drawled, rolling her eyes at him. She interlaced her long fingers and added casually, "There have been some rumors of activity. Whether or not they focus solely on the Twice Blessed is hard to determine…" She trailed off with a shrug. "He is always a target."
Chris folded his arms over his chest. "Did you call me all the way down here just to tell me that you don't have anything concrete?" he demanded in annoyance.
"Someone is in a bad mood…" She rose gracefully to her feet and crossed to his side. Trailing the tips of her fingers down his cheek, she murmured, "Did you have a bad day?"
He caught her wrist deftly and held it away from him. "You are trying my patience."
She snorted. "I didn't realize you had patience."
"I don't," Chris snapped. "Not right now." Not so soon after his trip to the future.
The emotions were too raw. He could still see Wyatt's cold expression, could still hear those last, final, painful words…
I don't need you.
And he could so easily remember Bianca's broken body, the blood pooling in her stomach as she took her last shuddering breaths. Wyatt's words and actions had finally snapped the bond between the two brothers, tearing them irrevocably apart. It was over, and there was no going back.
That monster was no longer his brother.
"So I see," Lola remarked. She turned away from him, the hem of her long skirt swishing over the ground as she walked. The skirt, a dark blue, covered her legs, but the top she wore exposed her entire stomach and lower back. Bracelets jangled as they clattered against each other on her wrists.
"Lola…" There was a clear warning in his tone.
She cast a smile over her shoulder, beguiling and enticing. "Darling," she cooed, "have I ever not delivered?"
"So tell me what you know," Chris snapped irritably.
"And what do I get in return?"
Her question was light, teasing, and her gaze was suggestive. She raised one eyebrow, clearly an invitation.
But Chris was in no mood for her games, not while he was still recovering from the pain of Bianca's death. Quick as he could, he was abruptly in front of her, an athame pressed against the pale skin of her neck, nearly drawing blood.
"I'll let you live. But only if you talk. And quickly."
Lola pulled back from him, pouting. "You are absolutely no fun," she said, her tone becoming more businesslike. "Alright, white-lighter. I will tell you. It is quite simple, actually. But it has nothing to do with the Halliwell child."
"Then I am not interested," Chris retorted disgust. "And you are just wasting my time."
"Not interested? Even when it has to do with the rise of someone far more powerful than the Source?"
Chris hesitated. "Could this demon have an interest in Wyatt?"
Lola shook her head. "It is unlikely. And he isn't a demon." She walked back to the armchair, lowering herself gracefully onto the cushions. "But the signs have come to pass, and the stars have reached alignment. No longer will he be cast aside. The time has come."
Chris clicked his tongue impatiently. "Stop speaking in riddles."
Lola smirked, a wicked glint in her eyes. "As you wish," she said. "Lucifer is rising."
"Lucifer?" Chris repeated, eyes widening. "You mean… Satan? The Devil?"
She inclined her head. "The one and only. And he is very interested in you."
Chris shook his head, not quite able to believe it. Lucifer was… well, quite simply, he was the devil. He was dangerous, he was never to be trusted. The Charmed Ones had only come across him once in their entire time fighting the forces of evil, and that would not be for several years in the future. For the most part, Lucifer stayed behind the scenes, manipulating people, feeding on souls, but rarely showing his face.
But Chris knew it was bad to get involved with the devil.
Coming to his senses, he pushed away his surprise and said harshly. "Tell him I am not interested. And don't call me unless you have something worthwhile to report."
As he orbed away, he heard Lola's sultry voice calling after him, "If you change your mind, you know where to find me…"
Several days later, Chris wearily shook the exhaustion from his wiry frame as he shoved open the door to the back room at P3, and found, to his annoyance, that his plans for sleep would have to wait. Lola was waiting for him, lounging on his sofa with her trademark smirk.
"Hello, lover boy," she taunted, rising to her feet at his entrance.
"I told you not to bother me unless you had something I would be interested in," Chris snapped, shutting the door behind him. "Do you have anything?"
Lola walked closer to him, but he stepped away from her, turning his back to signal his disinterest. She laughed and shook her head, clearly amused by his attempts to stay distant.
"You should give in to the inevitable," Lola purred, sidling up behind him. "I always get what I want."
"Not interested," he said firmly. "Tell me something useful," he stepped around the table to put more distance between them, "or get out."
"Dark-lighters are being recruited."
Chris gave her his full attention now, obviously intrigued by that comment. "For what?" he asked, both worried and hopeful. If this was a lead, if this could point him in the right direction…
"I don't know," Lola admitted. "But they aren't the only ones organizing. There are rumors of an old sect of demons who are rising, looking to resurrect their fallen leader. And the… the thing… has been growing, absorbing more energy."
"The giant green blob?" Chris asked with a derisive snort. He sincerely doubted that that was what had turned Wyatt evil, particularly given that it had no conscious thought. It was, quite simply, a blob that absorbed magic.
Still… he really could not afford to discount anything right now. Particularly given how little time he had to identify and stop the threat.
"Oh… and you might want to consider keeping an eye on the portals out of hell. Let's just say an old friend of yours is looking to emerge back into this world… and that would be quite a scare."
"Barbus," Chris muttered. "Great. Just what I need." Running a hand through his hair, he repeated, "Dark-lighters, ancient sects, green blobs, the Demon of Fear."
"They aren't the only ones searching for power, white-lighter. And they certainly are not the only ones who might have an interest in the Twice Blessed Child," Lola cautioned. "I can only name a few, but there are countless others. Perhaps you would do well to make a list and convince the Charmed Ones to eliminate the threats… one by one…"
It wasn't a bad idea, Chris thought to himself, but why would a sorceress be offering him this much information and this much advice? What did she hope to get in return?
He narrowed his eyes at her suspiciously.
"Why are you telling me this?"
She reached into a pocket near the waist of her skirt and withdrew a small piece of paper, stiff as cardboard and about the size of a business card. It was a deep red, like blood, and had silver writing on it.
She flipped it onto the table between them.
"The information did not originate from me," she said casually. "Consider it an… olive branch."
She shimmered away, and Chris cautiously picked up the card as though worried it might burn him. He turned it over and stared at the writing. In elaborate silver letters, it said Lucifer.
Time passed as it always did, because no matter how much Chris would have liked to slow each day to a crawl, he could not prevent the inevitable turning of the Earth. Time passed, threats were eliminated, and yet still the danger remained, looming ever-present in his mind.
He sat on the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, his knees pulled into his chest, staring out into the night. Leo had come and gone, leaving his words of advice lingering in the air. As though somehow they could offer any guidance or comfort at all.
But what could Leo, or anyone else, say that could ease the pain of those hateful words Piper had uttered…?
Chris, we don't need your help. I will get my son back myself, and when I do, I never want to see you again.
Green eyes blinked several times, keeping at bay the tears he could not let show. How much more would he be forced to endure, how much more could he stand to lose? The weight of the world rested on his shoulders, and he wanted nothing more than to throw his hands up in defeat, wave a white flag, surrender. He wanted this to be over.
Every day, he slammed his emotions shut behind steel walls in his mind and refused to dwell on what had happened, what he had said and done, and what had been said and done to him. It was easier that way. He did not have to face the past, did not have to worry about the consequences of his actions in the future. He could shake hands with demons one moment and speak to Elders the next, and it didn't matter because in the end, if he could save Wyatt, it would all be worth it.
Except… would it?
Would it be worth it, saving his brother but losing the rest of his family in the process?
…never want to see you again…
Chris had been so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he had not heard or seen the telltale ripple in the air. But Lola was suddenly standing across from him on the other tower, staring at him through the dark night. The expression on her face was almost… sympathetic.
"What do you want?" Chris demanded harshly, not in the mood for her games.
"Darling," Lola drawled, "I only want to help. There is no reason to get so… moody."
Chris clenched his hands into fists, his nails biting into his palms. "I've had a bad day," he said through clenched teeth, "and unless you want to be vanquished, I suggest…"
"Sweetheart," Lola murmured, shaking her head, "I know you've had a bad day. Your pain is practically radiating from you." She sat down on the tower, playing with a few strands of red hair and staring into the distance with a contemplative expression. "You stopped the Order."
"The ancient sect looking to resurrect their leader," Chris muttered, repeating the sorceress' words from their last meeting. "And the green blob. I made a list. The Charmed Ones are… were… working on it." He lowered his gaze with a heavy sigh. He had no idea if they would still be vanquishing the evils on the list now that they no longer trusted him.
"No sign of Barbus? No luck with the dark-lighters?" Lola prompted.
Chris snapped angry eyes to her face. "Still working on those two," he hissed, "but I'm guessing you already knew that. Spying on me, I presume?"
Lola shrugged, unabashed. "Just wanted to make sure you weren't seeing any other sorceresses behind my back," she answered with a wink. "I don't like to share."
Chris exhaled slowly. "Unless you have something to tell me…" he started, but Lola cut him off.
"I warned you about the Order."
Chris frowned at her, confused as to why she was bringing up that point. He couldn't argue with her, she had given him warning about the ancient sect. But what did it matter? Her information certainly had not helped him stop the Order, and they had managed to kidnap Wyatt all the same.
"So?" he sneered.
She met his gaze, her own dark eyes flickering with mocking. "It didn't help you, did it? I told you to watch out for them, I told you they were a threat. But even with my guidance, you could not stop them until after they had nearly succeeded in their goal." She shimmered from her tower to his, appearing right before him. Kneeling at his side, she rested a hand on his knees and murmured, "Do you really think you can succeed without help?"
Chris pushed her hand away. "Go away, Lola."
"No," she answered, leaning closer. "Not until you hear me out."
He could smell her perfume, a mixture of vanilla and cinnamon and something dangerous and exotic. Her eyes were hypnotic, her smile seductive, her movements mesmerizing. But it was her words, silky and laced with honey, that were the most tantalizing of all.
"Wouldn't it be nice to have power on your side? You know what he can do, what he could accomplish for you. Just think… you could stop this. No more sleepless nights, no more risky vanquishes, no more fights with the Charmed Ones. No more worries. Tell me that isn't exactly what you want…"
"No…" Chris whispered. "I can't…"
Except that he could. It would be so easy. And wouldn't it be worth it? He could fix everything, save the future… And at this point, what did he have left to lose?
He simply could not take another argument with the sisters. He could not look into Piper's cold eyes and listen to her harsh words and not fall apart.
I will get my son back myself, and when I do, I never want to see you again. Understand?
He looked at Lola. "Fine," he said slowly, softly. "If he is still interested in me…"
"Oh, trust me, white-lighter," Lola murmured in reply, "Lucifer is quite interested in you."
"Indeed I am."
Lola rose to her feet at the sound of the other voice, and Chris uncurled his legs and looked at the newcomer. He was tall, perhaps a few inches taller than Chris, and had dark brown hair and a steady gaze hidden behind black sunglasses. He was dressed all in black and was smiling; not a cold smile, but certainly not a friendly one.
Chris had expected Lucifer to have hooves for feet, or a forked tongue and pointed tail, or horns. He'd expected him to carry a trident or a pitchfork, to appear in a burst of flame accompanied by crashes of cymbals and the blaring of a trumpet. He'd expected someone who looked… well, evil. But this man… Lucifer, Satan, the Devil… he looked… ordinary.
Except for the aura of power that lingered over him, so incredibly strong that it threatened to overwhelm Chris. It was almost unimaginable what sort of power this being had at his disposal. And yet, Chris thought grimly, he should not have expected anything else.
The witch-lighter rose unsteadily to his feet. "Wearing sunglasses in the middle of the night," he commented dryly. "Odd."
Lola moved to stand beside Lucifer, her arms folded lazily across her chest, her head tilted to the side as she watched the scene unfold before her.
"Do they bother you?" Lucifer asked. He reached up and removed them, carelessly waving his hand and causing them to disappear. Then he turned his clear gaze back to Chris. "I must say, I have been most eager to meet you, Christopher."
The devil, Chris reflected ironically as he stared at the man before him, had blue eyes.