This is another old story that I found on my computer and figured I'd post. It was written in 2010 ish and is a tag to the 6x16 The Courtship of Wyatt's Father. This episode annoyed me so much. I wished they'd shown Chris' and Piper's reaction to the news that Piper was his mother, but they didn't so I wrote my own.

Chris knew there was something wrong the second he stepped into the room. The tension in the air was unbearable and the way Paige and Phoebe were staring at Piper made his apprehension ratchet up another notch.

"Is this a bad time?" he asked hesitantly, sliding his gaze between his aunts and his mom.

Piper spun to face him, her expression a mix of terrified and shocked. Chris didn't know what to make of the intense gaze boring into his face, but it sent chills racing through him. What the hell was going on? He slid his eyes towards the other Charmed Ones, his brow furrowed and knew instantly what was wrong with Piper.

They'd told her...

Chris' heart gave a tremulous twitch beneath his ribs as his both aunts shot reassuring smiles at him. It didn't help. If anything, it made things worse. The urge to run was overwhelming. He didn't want to do this right now. He didn't want to do this period, but Piper was staring at him, slack-jawed, her eyes wide.

"Is it true?" Piper finally found her voice. Chris wished she hadn't. The way she was looking at him made his stomach clench. For months he'd endured Piper's suspicion, her outright hostility, and he'd managed to separate her from the Piper of his future. It was easier when she hated him, it was easier to think of them as two different people but the way she was looking at him now made his blood freeze. She was so open, so willing to accept his revelation at face value, and Chris didn't know how to handle that. "Chris – are you…" She broke off, taking a deep breath before trying again. "Are you my son?"

No, he couldn't do this. He couldn't play the happy family card. Chris didn't want to get close to them, he didn't want to play the doting son, the loving nephew, because he knew there was a chance that his mom and aunts could still be gone in the future, no matter how much he changed in the past. He hadn't told them who he was for that reason.

In spite of that, part of him had been relieved when Phoebe had figured out his secret. The lying was too hard to maintain and the mistrust was exhausting, but he'd never wanted Piper to find out.

"I…" He faltered, not sure how to continue. The silence stretched out for what felt like eternity. Chris averted his gaze, unable to meet Piper's. This wasn't how it was supposed to happen. He was supposed to change the future and leave the past without anyone knowing who the hell he was. He wasn't supposed to be stuck in the middle of an awkward family reunion.

"Of course he's your son," Phoebe piped up, breaking the stalemate. "Look at him! He's practically a carbon copy of you, right down to that weird little thing you do when you're…" Phoebe clamped her mouth shut and shifted bashfully. "And I'm shutting up now."

"Good idea," Paige said, patting her sister's arm.

"Chris?" Piper tried again and the tone of her voice nearly broke him. He couldn't bear the way she was looking at him, he couldn't bear the dawning realisation that lingered in her eyes as she took in his appearance with the knowledge that he was a Halliwell.

"It's true," he said quietly, averting his gaze. He didn't want to see her reaction. Would she reject him? Would she welcome him with open arms? Chris wasn't sure which he wanted more. He'd lived without his mother's presence for so long, he wasn't sure he could deal with having her back.

"But…" Piper's mouth worked silently for a moment. "Why didn't you say something?"

Running his tongue over his dry lips, Chris closed his eyes and steeled himself. He couldn't afford to breakdown, he couldn't afford to let himself feel anything.

"Who I am is irrelevant," he said, his voice as hard as he could manage. "I'm here to save Wyatt – and that's all."

Piper recoiled at the sharpness of his words, hurt flashing through her face. Chris felt a pang of guilt race through him, but he pushed it down. He had to do this. He couldn't let himself get to close.

"It's not irrelevant to me, Chris," Piper said quietly, studying him as if she was seeing him for the first time.

"Really?" he said derisively. "Knowing who I am doesn't change anything. I'm still the same person I was yesterday, and let's face it, why would I tell you? I came back to save your other son and you treated me like crap."

All three sisters looked crestfallen, distraught. Chris wasn't sure he cared about sparing their feelings at this juncture. He'd been made to feel like nothing the whole time he'd been in the past.

"If we'd known –" Phoebe started, but Chris cut her off with a wave of his hand. He couldn't think about that right now. He couldn't think that they would have welcomed him if they'd known who he was. It was too difficult. He'd been alone for months; he didn't need to be told that hadn't been necessary.

"Don't, Phoebe. Just don't." Chris brushed his fingers through his hair, pacing the room. Things were spiralling out of control and he didn't know how to stop it. He felt dizzy and sick. He wanted to sit down before he fell down, but the Halliwell sisters were pinning him with their eyes, their expressions a mixture of shock and horror at his rejection of them.

"Chris, please, talk to me." Piper reached out towards him and for a moment he saw his mother in her eyes, the mother he knew, loved, and lost at fourteen. There was understanding and sympathy, and, worst of all, there was love.

It was too much to deal with.

He orbed out.

The backroom of P3 was empty when he rematerialised. He strained his ears for a moment and was thankful that there was no sound coming from the club. He needed to think, and he needed to do that alone.

He sank onto the couch, pushing his blankets out of the way, and leaned his head back against the wall. This was a mess. The weight of the situation hit him heavily. What was he supposed to do now? He didn't want her to act like his mom but he knew this changed everything, that she would feel compelled to do so. He couldn't get close to her because he couldn't lose her again. The first time had been hard enough but coming back to the past had nearly sent him over the edge. Seeing her every day, seeing the doubt in her eyes, the anger was unbearable, but the possibility that those emotions would still be there now she knew who he really was…? That was soul destroying.

His feelings collided in a myriad of confusion. He didn't know what was worse: Piper playing his mom or Piper hating him despite knowing his identity.

The tinkling sound of orbs dragged him out of his reverie abruptly. Chris scrambled to his feet as Paige solidified in front of him.

"Don't orb again," she said instantly, her hands raised in a defensive manner. "Please, Chris; I just want to talk."

Her pleading tone stopped him. He'd never been able to deny his aunt anything, even in the future. Swallowing hard, Chris sank back onto the couch, his hands clasped in front of him, elbows resting on his knees. He was reminded of all the times Paige had sat him down like this and talked to him – especially after his mom's death when Chris had felt isolated by his father's increasing absence and his brother's turn to the dark side.

"I can't believe you told her," he muttered, sounding like a sullen kid rather than a grown man.

"Did you really think we could keep something like that from her? She's you mom, Chris. She has a right to know that."

He raised his eyes, his expression steely. "No, she doesn't. None of you do. Do you have any idea what this could do to the future?" He wasn't sure himself, but he was well aware of the butterfly effect. The future was already hell; he didn't want to make it even worse.

"Oh, please, if I hear 'future consequences' one more time, I'm going to scream," Paige said, rolling her eyes. "From what you've said the future pretty much sucks anyway so what difference will it make if your family know who you really are? It's not like things can get worse, right?"

She was right, but it didn't make it any easier to hear. The future was a disaster. Coming back had been the last ditch attempt at salvaging something.

"I'm sorry I lied," he said quietly. She sank down next to him.

"Did you ever think that if you'd just told us who you were that we would have helped you?"

Chris frowned at her. Coming back to the past had been planned in infinite detail. Messing with time was bad on so many levels; they'd checked, double checked and rechecked every detail to make sure nothing terrible would happen when he revealed his cover story to the Charmed Ones. One wrong word could have wiped out half his family line, could have resulted in different decisions with different outcomes. Keeping his identity a secret had been a deliberate, well thought out plan.

"It wasn't an option."

"Do you really think we're that dumb that we'd screw with the timeline just to find out if we get married, or if we have kids or if we're going to be rich and famous?" She bumped his shoulder with his. "We're not exactly new to this game, Chris."

"It's not that simple, Paige. One tiny incident and the whole future could have change in even worse ways." He'd nearly erased his own existence by meddling. "The people you meet, the people you help, the things you do – all that could be erased by one action."

"Well, if the future is really as bad as you say then good," she declared emphatically.

Chris' brow furrowed. That wasn't the answer he was expecting. Growing up, Paige had drilled into him about personal gain and the consequences of using magic. This more liberal minded woman sat next to him was difficult to reconcile with the Paige he knew.

"That's not how it works and you know it."

"Why not?

He scowled, her tone infuriating him."There are repercussions."

"Such as changing the future?" She arched a brow. "But isn't that why you came back?"

Chris floundered for a moment. She had him there. His reasons had seemed so solid and yet his aunt was pulling them apart one at a time and spitting them out.

"Yeah… well, yeah it was, but that's not the point!"

Paige sighed. "Did we really raise you to be this pig-headed?" She gave him a long look. "You came back to change things, Chris, to make the future better – I get that – but I still don't understand why you thought you had to do that alone."

Chris didn't trust himself to speak. He couldn't tell Paige that he'd kept his silence because he didn't want to get close to his mother in case she was still dead when he went back to the future. He'd already screwed up the timeline enough as it was. He squeezed his eyes shut and let out a low breath.

"Is Piper OK?"

"Well, finding out that your pregnant and that the kid you're carrying is actually your whitelighter from the future is pretty shocking." She squeezed his arm. "But she'll get over it."

Chris raised a sceptical brow. "Really?"

"Maybe not right away, but Piper's seen a lot of weird stuff. You're not exactly top of the bizzaro list."

He grinned in spite of the situation. Paige had always had a way about her that had made Chris feel better about things.


"For what?"

"For… well, just being you, I guess."

The look she shot him was confused. "I'm sure there's a compliment in there somewhere." She brushed a loose strand of hair behind her ear and sighed. "You know you have to go back, right? You have to face her eventually."

Chris knew he had to talk to Piper eventually, but he didn't have the strength to do it now. "I will."

"Just don't leave it too long."

She dissipated in a glow of white light, leaving Chris alone once more. Only, this time he wasn't really alone and for the first time since stepping through the portal, Chris felt as if he was home.