Author's Note: This chapter is suuuuper long, but I guess that's a good thing, 'cause it's the last one. I hope you all like it.
Thanks to my beta reader (as well as the inspiration of this story), Authoress of Evil, whom read it before I posted it and assured me if it was good or not.
Earlier, Chris had orbed into an alleyway where he knew nearby they sold newspapers. He was hurt. Paige had blatantly refused the idea of Chris being her nephew, as if such a notion was absurd. She even claimed that he was trying to manipulate her. He would never!...Well, he would, but he wouldn't manipulate his own family. They had raised him better than that. She had raised him better than that.
Chris had always been exceptionally good at ignoring his emotions and focusing on the task at hand. When Leo hadn't shown up for his birthday, he focused on the fact that his mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and his bro—and his cousins had been there. He rubbed his temples, a headache forming at his brain's hesitation over the word cousins. Again, he ignored his headache and concentrated on acquiring a newspaper. While Leo and Paige's behavior was definitely a problem, he decided that he very well could be in the past a worse problem than his daddy issues.
He turned the corner of the alley and walked into the nearest store. He went to the counter and picked up one of the copies and pretended to read the headline as he focused on the date. October 5th, 2003. He stood, stock-still as he processed that. Phoebe was still alive, Leo...Leo was still a dick, but that was to be expected. Paige was a redhead for crying out loud. His grandfather hadn't died from lung cancer yet. More importantly, he was in the past, when he hadn't even been born yet. Why was he even in the past, he wondered. What had been so important that he would risk his future, to go to the past? Why couldn't he remember going to the past?...Why couldn't he remember most of his life?
A voice disrupted his musings. "Hey, buddy, you gonna buy that or what? This ain't no library."
He looked up, startled. "Uh, no," Chris muttered. He put it back.
"Buy something or get out," the cashier snapped.
Chris rolled his eyes before leaving the store and returning to the alley. He slumped against the wall, sinking to the dirty ground, slowly. He was in the past with little to no memory of his life, whatsoever. He wondered why he kept his being a half-whitelighter from his family a secret. He wondered why he lied so much to them. He was in the past and it could cause even more problems than he was already if he told them things they didn't have to know. Not telling them things, he understood, but lying? He had always been a good liar, except when it came to his mother...His mother.
Not caring much about the consequences this could have to the future, or the fact that he must have had some reason to not tell them who he was, he orbed into the manor, desperate to see his mother alive and well.
"Spell now, Chris later!" Piper had snapped, and they formed a semi circle, ready to recite a spell, when Chris's orbs interrupted them.
He stared at her, at them, so surprised to see his aunt and mother breathing. They looked so...young. They stared at him, annoyed. It hurt.
"Mom," he gasped, his voice catching.
"Mom?!" they demanded.
Not explaining, he fell into his mother's arms, having to lean down because of the height difference. Piper was too surprised to react and her sisters gaped at their Whitelighter as he clung on desperately to whom he claimed was his mother.
Finally, Paige found her voice and was able to speak the words that she had been screaming to him in her head. "Are you serious? There's no need to keep up the charade, Chris. You don't need to go to these extreme measures. We don't really care if you're half-Whitelighter."
"You're half-Whitelighter?" Phoebe asked. "Wait, what are you talking about Paige?"
Paige sighed. "Chris came to me earlier saying how Leo had gone crazy. He kept rambling on about how Leo didn't know who he was or that he was half-Whitelighter and when I called him out on it, he said he was our nephew. Crazy, huh?"
Phoebe had a hard time believing it. Why would he kid about something like that? It made no sense. But she didn't say anything, because Piper was already freaking out.
"Mom?!" Piper demanded, shoving Chris away. Chris stumbled back and looked at his surroundings, as if he had forgotten where he was. "I am not your mother."
Chris flinched, as if physically hit. "I—"
"You can't be my son. It's not possible! This...This is probably another one of your ploys, like Leo said!"
Paige looked onto the scene, not commenting. She started to feel guilty. She didn't believe him at first, but this man—more a boy than anything—looked so much like Piper. He had her hair and her nose, her attitude and her cheekbones, but he had Prue's eyes. The idea had been absurd, but it made more sense by the moment. Why wouldn't he tell them the truth?
"You're right," he said, his voice devoid of emotion. "Ha-ha. Just kidding..." He shook his head. "Sorry." He orbed out without another word.
"What the hell, Piper?!" Phoebe demanded. "You should have heard him out!"
"No!" she snapped. "Just...let's do the stupid spell already."
"I can't have a kid and not know about it, Phoebe!" Piper yelled. "Leo and I are done! I can't all of a sudden be a mother!"
Paige tilted her head. "Is the idea of being a mother so strange to you, Piper?"
She paused. She had been hearing that baby cry all day. She had even given advice to that father, but that didn't mean anything, she used to babysit. "Yes, it is! Do you know how nerve wracking it is to hear your Whitelighter from the future tell you he's your son?"
"He's related to us, too, Piper," Phoebe said gently.
Piper growled, frustrated. Her hands flew down and the toaster blew up. "No! I can't deal with this right now! I have finally gotten over the fact that Leo and I are done and all of a sudden you want me to be okay with the fact that I have a son with him?"
"But isn't it easy to love Leo?" Paige asked, confused. "It wouldn't be hard too jump back into the relationship..."
"Yes, it was hard to love Leo!" Piper yelled, and then her voice softened, sad. "Very hard. It was always one complication after the next. I finally got used to the idea of settling down with a mortal and now I apparently I have a kid with Leo?"
"He might not be Leo's..."
Piper gave her a look. "He orbs, of course he's Leo's. I just...No! Let's just do the damn spell already!"
"Piper..." Paige said quietly, still hoping to convince her, even though not a minute before, she had adamantly refused the idea.
Both Phoebe and Paige jumped, before reluctantly gathering around and reciting the spell. The room started to spin around them and through the windows, day turned to night and then day again, before the room settled down and the Charmed Ones stood in the kitchen, in different outfits.
Paige tried to be excited as she murmured, "Oh, look, I don't have that stain anymore..."
Phoebe gingerly touched her forehead. "My head's okay."
That was when they heard a baby cry. Piper looked up before running into the conservatory and picking up the blonde child in the playpen. Piper started to cry as she held Wyatt in her arms. "Oh, God. I am a mother."
"Do I have to?" Phoebe whined.
Piper, bouncing Wyatt on her hip, nodded mutely.
"But I'm going to cause a riot!"
Paige rolled her eyes. "And I'm going to stain my favorite blouse, I think we're both giving up a lot here." She glanced at Piper, hoping for even the tiniest of laughs, but got nothing. She sighed. "Well, I better get to work." She looked at Phoebe and offered her arm. "Wanna hitch a ride?"
Phoebe nodded reluctantly. "Lawsuit, here I come."
After they orbed out, Piper put Wyatt back into the playpen and sat in one of the chairs. She turned on the TV to one of the channels Wyatt liked that she never understood. Phoebe used to have nightmares about the Teletubbies, and that was when she was twenty-three, but Wyatt seemed to enjoy it.
Orbs appeared in the middle of the living room, forming into their Whitelighter, her son.
"I cannot believe Leo right now," Chris said. He paced the room and stopped to look at her. "I don't know how you ever married that guy. He's so...so...He's such a dick! I came here for one reason and one reason only, to protect Wyatt, and he's trying to give me extra charges? Unbelievable!"
That's your father, she wanted to reprimand, but where did she get the right? She wasn't his mother yet. She idly wondered why he hated Leo so much. There were hard feelings there, but Leo was such a great father...Maybe he took away Chris's iPod. She snorted.
He glared at her. "What is so funny? This is your sons safety we're talking about here!"
"Are you even listening to me?!"
Piper looked up at him. "Why didn't you tell me?"
The angry look on Chris's face disappeared and all that was left was confusion. "Tell you what?"
"That you were my son," she whispered. She felt like shit. She had just yelled at him that she couldn't possibly be his mother and accused him of lying because she didn't want to deal with her feelings for Leo. She couldn't handle the fact that she had crawled back to Leo and had a kid with him. She wasn't ready for a kid, not with all of those demons, but look, she already had one...She was such a bitch. A heartless bitch.
Chris stared at her, his face paling, before laughing, hard. So hard he started to cry. He was a good actor, she noted. "Good one," Chris chuckled, although there was an underlying tension that was barely noticeable.
"We did a spell to go back a day before," she explained. "Something happened and today was completely erased from our minds. But for you, it was the past ten years. Paige told us that Leo had threatened you and you were so confused that you went to her, and claimed you were her nephew, but she didn't believe you...So you went to me, next." She started to cry. "I'm so sorry! I didn't believe you because of my stupid feelings. I didn't remember having Wyatt and I was so upset that apparently I got back together with Leo and had a kid! I—I didn't mean to hurt you."
Chris stared at her, feebly attempting to deny it. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Don't lie to me!" she yelled and she sounded so much like his mom that he stopped talking. She started to cry harder. "I'm such a horrible mom. I can't protect my own son and I can't even recognize my other one. How did I not notice?" she asked. "You look just like me. You act just like Prue. You obviously get your sarcasm from Paige."
Chris hesitantly took a step forward, falling to his knees in front of her chair. He gently touched her arm. "Hey, it's okay."
She shook her head. "No it's not! I don't deserve to be your mother. You're so brave, coming back to the past to save your brother and I couldn't even acknowledge that. I didn't even thank you for protecting him when I obviously couldn't."
He didn't know what to do. People didn't cry in his time, not anymore. Everyone he knew had hardened their resolve. Sure, they were sad, but they didn't cry. People died so often in his time that there was no use wasting all of that time crying. He, himself, hadn't cried in a long time. He didn't know how to handle someone who cried. He didn't know how to act around his own mother, anymore. She had been dead for so long and when he came back here it was like they weren't even the same person, but now...He awkwardly hugged her, not knowing if this was what she needed. It was, though, because she started to sob into his shoulder.
"What is going on?!" a voice demanded and Chris pulled back so fast, he fell back onto the floor. They both looked at Leo, surprised.
"It's not what it looks like," Chris said weakly. God, he hoped it didn't look that bad. He was just comforting his mother, but Leo didn't know that she was his mother. Damn, he had probably gotten the wrong idea.
Leo's face started to turn red, from anger or jealousy, he wasn't sure. Before he knew it, Chris was shoved against the wall and there was a bruise forming on his jaw. And then another, and another and Piper was crying desperately in the background, telling him to stop. She didn't dare use her power, her emotions so haywire she'd probably blow them up, and half-Whitelighters couldn't reform...
"Jesus Christ, man!" Chris yelled as he finally managed to orb away. Leo started to charge his way, but Chris held him back with his telekinesis. He gingerly touched his jaw. "What the hell was that?!"
"How dare you touch my wife, you piece of shit—"
"Leo, go!" Piper yelled. "Leave, now!"
Leo looked at her, surprised at her outburst. Surely she couldn't actually have feelings for this kid... "Piper—"
Leo flinched at her tone before orbing away.
Chris was breathing heavily as Piper inspected his jaw. "We should get some ice on that," she murmured and then pulled him towards the kitchen. Once he had the dishtowel wrapped ice on his jaw, Piper worked up the nerve to tentatively ask, "He—He never did that in the future, did he?"
"What?" Chris asked, shocked. He shook his head. "No, God no." He laughed, slightly bitter. "He was never there to do that."
She sighed in relief. "I didn't think so. Leo usually has control over his temper, being a pacifist and all, but after a while it all just sort of builds up...You should have seen him with my ex-boyfriend."
"Dan?" Chris inquired, making a face.
She nodded. "I told you about him?"
"Greasy hair and all."
Piper laughed quietly. "His hair was pretty bad..."
"You should bring Wyatt in here," Chris suggested. "I don't feel comfortable with him in another room."
She smiled fondly as she stood up. "Is he as protective of you as you are of him?"
"Something like that," he muttered, frowning, after she had left the room. She returned a second later, Wyatt bouncing on her hip. Wyatt smiled brightly and orbed onto Chris's lap.
Piper grinned. "He changed the channel of the TV to a show about dragons."
"He always liked dragons," was Chris's response. Piper had idly wondered, earlier, if Chris was actually Wyatt, but dismissed the idea. He spoke of Wyatt too protectively to be him. Chris ruffled Wyatt's hair absentmindedly. "I'm glad he finally decided to trust me."
Piper frowned. "He knew who you were before I did?"
Chris shrugged. "We always had this unique bond. Sort of like you and your sisters."
Before she could respond, Piper was engulfed in orbs, as well as Wyatt. Chris stood up, alarmed, and sensed for his mother before orbing to her location. They were in a tunnel and Piper was on her cellphone.
"I'm standing outside of the Presidio tunnel where your nephew just orbed me...The oldest one...No, not him, Wyatt. Why would Chris orb me to—"
She was cut off as Paige had hung up and opted to orb to the tunnel instead, Phoebe in tow. They both stared at Chris, who waved awkwardly, not used to the attention.
"Does he know?" Phoebe asked. Piper nodded and he was attacked by a squealing aunt. "Oh, yay, I have another nephew!"
"Jeeze, Phoebe, don't suffocate the poor kid," Paige teased as she pulled her back. But before Phoebe could verbalize a response, a dragon flew out of the tunnel and all five of them hit the ground. Wyatt smiled proudly at his creation.
"Wyatt," Piper said lowly. "What did you do?"
The Cleaners had came to the manor, threatening to erase Wyatt from existence if they didn't clean up his mess. Chris was chosen to watch Wyatt as Piper dealt with Leo, both avoiding the subject of Chris, while Paige and Phoebe looked to the Book of Shadows for a solution.
Just as the Charmed Ones had settled on the idea of using a potion, Phoebe had doubled over in pain, channeling the terror of innocents that was no doubt caused from the dragon. They had bottled the potion and requested that Wyatt orb them to the dragon he had conjured.
"It looks like a war zone," Phoebe said when they arrived.
Chris shrugged. "Could be worse."
"Can you orb a scale off of the dragon?" Phoebe asked both Paige and Chris.
Chris shook his head. "That's not a very good idea, you could—" He was ignored as Paige did what Phoebe requested. The dragon roared in anger. Chris glared. "Oh great, now we have a pissed off dragon."
"I have an idea," Piper said suddenly. "Make sure Wyatt sees me." She then started to run towards the dragon and taunted it.
"Piper!" Chris screamed. He looked at his aunts. "Is she nuts?!"
Just as the dragon started to fly towards Piper—both Paige and Chris were on edge, ready to orb her away—Wyatt waved his arm and the dragon exploded in a million orbs of light. All four of them sighed in relief.
Piper swung Wyatt into her arms, smiling brightly. "I knew you could do it, little man!"
"What do we do about this mess?" Paige asked.
"You don't," a cleaner replied. "We do."
Piper glared. "You can't take him!"
"We did what you asked," Phoebe insisted. "We got rid of the dragon."
"But not the exposure risk."
Paige grabbed her sisters' arms and orbed away, Chris following her lead. The Cleaners followed them anyway and took Wyatt from them, the only difference was they still remembered. The next day, they formed an idea. Chris was strongly against it, but he had never been able to convince the Charmed Ones of anything, they were too stubborn.
They exposed magic, and then re-exposed magic, and the re-re-exposed magic, until the Cleaners finally confronted them, and gave into their demands. They had gotten Wyatt back.
"What do you want?" Thing Number One, demanded. That's what Chris had taken to calling them.
"I need your help," Chris explained.
Thing Number Two raised an amused eyebrow. "And why would we help you?"
Chris smirked. "Because I'm Piper's son and I can be even more persistent when it comes to getting what I want."
They both glared at him.
"What could you possibly want?"
"My family found out something I didn't want them to and it's going to completely ruin my attempts at changing the future," Chris explained.
"What did they find out?"
"That I'm family, of course." Very business like, Chris said, "I need you to erase that from their minds. Just that I'm related to them, nothing else."
Thing Number One sighed. "That's all?" Chris nodded. "Done."
"You guys ready for a demon?" Chris asked in place of a greeting the next day he orbed into the manor.
Paige groaned. "Ugh! Really, Chris? We just saved all of man kind from a dragon, can't you give us a break?"
"Don't you think you're being a little dramatic?"
"Nope!" Phoebe said cheerfully. She sighed. "Seriously, Chris? Just a little itty bitty break?"
"One demon?" Chris negotiated.
Piper leaned against the doorway. "Tomorrow?"
Chris grinned, happy at how uncooperative they were being, completely un-family like. "Sounds good. Oh, and wear something sturdy." He smirked before orbing away.
Phoebe sat quietly, thoughtful. "Does his smile look familiar to you?"
Paige smirked, and just as Phoebe was about to acknowledge that they had the same smile, Paige said, "Why were you staring at his mouth, Phoebe?"
Phoebe shoved Paige's shoulder. "Ew, that's so nasty!"
Piper grinned and teasingly reminded her, "You were so flirting with him when you were a goddess."
"He's barely legal, Piper," Phoebe protested.
"What's so disgusting about it?" Paige asked.
Phoebe paused. "I don't know, it'd be like kissing your brother."
"Brother, huh?" Piper asked. "I don't think we need another long lost sibling. The first one was bad enough."
"Hey!" Paige protested. She orbed a pillow Piper's way, who ducked. "Get my point?" Piper asked.
"I don't know, I swear he looks like somebody I know," Phoebe mused. Her thoughtfulness got both Paige and Piper thinking. He did look kind of familiar...
They all shrugged, dismissing the idea. "Oh, well."
Author's Note: Honestly, you thought Chris would let them remember that? Puh-lease. Hope you liked it!