May 26th, 2004

JM: Young tilted head closeup

Charmed: Destiny Still Awaits - Chapter 3

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Chapter 3

To say Christopher Wyatt-Haliwell was stunned would be an understatement. Reflexive instincts of self-preservation prompted him to try and put as much distance between himself and the other but a much stronger Wyatt refused to let his weakened frame go.
Chris struggled.
“Hey! Hey! Take it easy, I’m not gonna hurt you…”
Across the grave and back, thank God Chris still had his cynicism in tact.
“Forgive me if I find that a *little* hard to believe.”

And this time when he pushed against Wyatt, the older man let him go. Chris fell against the bed without a sound and he pushed himself up in sitting position before crawling backwards and away. The expression of hurt that came over Wyatt’s face was even more scandalizing to him than ever. *That* look on *that* face was as unfamiliar to Chris as the gentleness displayed not two seconds ago.

Chris looked around himself – Piper’s bedroom alright. The décor was different though, more… minimalistic than he remembered it to be. If this was the future, wasn’t this place converted to a museum?

“Where… where am I? *When* am I?”
Wyatt raised his hands as if to show he was unarmed and meant no harm.
“You’re home Chris. Where you belong. Where you’re supposed to be.”
Chris hyperventilated. Wasn’t he *supposed* to be dead?
“I… I don’t understand. How? Why?”
Seeing the pale boy tremble with confusion, Wyatt tried to approach him but again, Chris shrank away. Wyatt, visibly disappointed, backed away.
“I know we have lots of things to talk about but right now you need to rest. You lost a lot of blood, you’re weak still. Chris just let me…”

“Leo!! LEO!!!”

While Wyatt was talking in boring long sentences, Chris started testing his powers and realized he couldn’t move anything telekinetically. In his growing panic, he tried orbing out. And that didn’t work either. That was it! He started screaming long before Wyatt could finish what he was saying and the latter winced.
“Chris calm down!”
Months ago, Chris would never have called for his father even if he were dying. But he wasn’t thinking about that right now. Right now, he just continued to call for the one person he’d grown to depend on, and knew would save him from… from Wyatt.

In a flash, Wyatt had bounded up on the bed and to where Chris sat hunched away from the one person he deemed his mortal enemy. Chris was unprepared and tried to run but Wyatt was on him in an instant. He held Chris’s wrists in his hands when the latter tried to throw a punch at him and pushed him down onto the bed.
“Lemme go! LEO!!”
“Stop it right this instant Christopher! What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Get the fuck away from me!”

If at some vague level Chris was at all considering that this Wyatt was quite possibly a changed Wyatt from a changed future… he wasn’t too convinced. He had been burned before. He was not about to take any chances and with all his powers gone, things were so not looking good. He needed someone to confirm that things were alright with this world. And he needed Leo because he sure as hell wouldn’t trust anyone else.

Wyatt huffed in confusion and let go, resting back on his knees and wondering what the best way would be to approach this… truly awkward situation. He tried reasoning first.

“You’ll hurt yourself Chris if you don’t calm down. I don’t know what side-effects this spell can have so will you please just take it easy for a minute?”
“What spell? What did you do to me?”
Wyatt had the cheek to roll his eyes.
“What the fuck do you think?”
Chris’ eyes widened assuming the very worst. Wyatt had stripped him of his powers!
“Why are you calling for Leo? Have you forgotten?”

//Have you forgotten?//
//What have I forgotten?//

After a second of processing what Wyatt just said, Chris… just… crumbled.
Dying was an experience he could safely say he didn’t much enjoy. And yet he prefer to die a hundred times over but *this*… this he simply couldn’t bear. This couldn’t be happening.
//No, please no…//

No voice left his throat though his lungs were working in overdrive. Hot sharp tears flooded his eyes and mouth and pretty soon he was in danger of choking himself.
“Damn it Chris!”

The evil monster was attempting to smother him again. Why Wyatt insisted on holding him so tenderly was beyond Chris but really, in that moment… everything was beyond Chris. What had he done? How the hell had the future become worse than it was before?

“It cant be… it cant be…”
“What cant be?”
The demon had the gall to taunt him? He couldn’t stand it, he just couldn’t. The blood-curdling scream that escaped the boy’s mouth horrifed Wyatt beyond all expression. Where the boy found the stamina to fight as much, Wyatt couldn’t tell. He was having a full-blown panic attack now and nothing Wyatt said could pacify him. He had no idea why Chris suddenly got that violent.

With nothing else to do, Wyatt let go of Chris, drew back his right hand and then let it swing… straight into his baby brother’s face.

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Charmed: Destiny Still Awaits - Chapter 4

Previous Chapter

Chapter 4

“Chris… I’m so sorry I hit you. Talk to me please?”
The boy in question continued to quietly weep, crouched in one corner of the bed while Wyatt sat beside him, now actually afraid to touch him.
“What happened to you? Chris talk to me…”

Chris was in no mood to respond. The death of his father was too much to deal with right now. Through painful tears, he looked around the place… his mom’s bedroom but none of her stuff was here. Her scent was long gone.
Nothing had changed, if at all – his going back to the past seemed to have made things worse because not even an aloof Elder *excuse* for a father was alive anymore.

He only assumed Wyatt was playing another of his evil games with him. In his deep anguish, he surrendered all defiance… and did not even realize when Wyatt inched in closer, and gradually proceeded to hold him again. He did not protest. Maybe the boy needed to be held, even if it was by the evil all-powerful Wyatt. He had almost retreated into himself, once again hearing his heart beating atrociously loudly. Like he did while on his death-bed… back in the past.
Beat Beat Beat…

“Chris you… you wanted to talk to dad?”

Chris stuttered on his next sob. Dazedly he raised his head from Wyatt’s chest to look at him. The latter looked genuinely concerned about him. How could that be? And what the hell was he saying about dad?

“You mean, like a séance?”
Wyatt squinted at him in confusion.
“Why would you need a… shit! Chris no!”
And then it was the older brother’s turn to look disgusted and angry.
“Didn’t I tell you what the Elders did *seven* years ago? They thought Dad was spending way too much time here with us so they blocked us out of his range!”

Wyatt had still been supporting the back of Chris’ neck with his left hand. Now he tugged at his longish hair insistently.
//And it didn’t hurt at all.//
“Yeah! Only, we found a way to *unblock* us without them idiots tracing our calls. Dad wont hear you if you call him by name. He can only hear you when you call him ‘Dad’! Don’t you remember?”


“So… he’s alive?”
“Still slow on the uptake I see. Good to know some things haven’t changed.”

The look of relief flooding Chris’ eyes was too intense to be missed. Wyatt smiled, with a big question mark on his face. He swiped at a stray tear from Chris’ cheek just as he felt Chris finally relaxing and leaning back against Wyatt’s broader frame. He experimentally rubbed the still tensed up spine, expecting Chris to sucker punch him any minute now.
The blow never came.

“Yes he’s alive kiddo. You really don’t remember, do you?”
“Who’s slow on the uptake now?”
Wyatt blinked. It was a happy blink.
Chris would have smirked were he not still in stunned-mode. Was all that horseshit he just said really true? Or was the *source of all evil* mind-fucking him again?

Wyatt shook his head and sighed. Then without looking away from Chris, he spoke out.

Shimmering white pearls glowed in a distance, growing brighter and brighter until the brothers had to momentarily look away. When the shimmering stopped, there stood Leo – the Elder, smiling one instant… concerned the next.
“Chris you look awful.”
Chris just stammered something totally unintelligible and Leo was at a loss.
The next thing he knew, Leo was holding up a frail but definitely buoyed up Chris in his arms.
“Hey… someone’s happy to see me.”
Leo joked and clapped his younger son loudly on the back. That was usually a logical point to end hugs and the Chris he knew was always eager to get out of one of those. But today… the boy was clinging to Leo like anything.

Unfazed parent that he was, Leo just shook his head and indulged him for awhile. Then lost patience.
“Okay that’s enough… come here, lets take a look at you.”

And he gently pried Chris away from himself to hold him at arms distance. That was when he looked at his boy’s teared up face carefully for the first time.
Something… clicked, then fell into place.
Chris caught a fleeting moment of realization come over Leo’s face but didn’t pay much heed to it. He just continued to… be shocked and happy and relieved and speechless. Wyatt got up from where he’d sat on the bed and came to stand behind the duo.

“It was just as you said dad. The spell alarms went off and he appeared out of nowhere on this bed… dead.”

Chris was also hearing the account for the first time but considering he was *there*, he shouldn’t have been as shocked as he was. He looked at Wyatt to determine if he was telling the truth. There was nothing but open honesty on his face.
Then he gaped at his father – his father was frowning but he sure didn’t seem particularly surprised. Wyatt continued.
“So then I revived him.”

It was said extremely casually. Chris wondered if there was any limit to his sibling’s powers at all, if reviving the dead came this naturally to him. Actually, now that he thought about it, the Charmed ones used to do it almost on a weekly basis as well.

“And then instead of thanking me for saving his sorry ass, *again* – he attacked me! Like I was demon spawn or somethin!”
So vaguely amusing to hear that tone from the mighty Wyatt Haliwell, almost like... whining.

Leo sighed, then smiled and put an arm around Chris’ shoulder and led him back to the bed. Wyatt looked on with his arms folded.
“How are you feeling Chris?”

Dad was still here, and Wyatt had saved his life… apparently. Was he dreaming? Was he stuck in some comatose state, hanging between life and death? Past and future?
Was he *totally* screwed?
“I don’t know dad, you tell me.”

This was it, Leo thought, the moment he’d waited for, for over twenty years. Leo sat down next to his son, sighed heavily and began his story.

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Charmed: Destiny Still Awaits - Chapter 5

Previous Chapter

Chapter 5

Leo sighed again.
Looked at Chris, looked away… then looked at Wyatt and looked away again.

“This happened twenty two years ago for me, but of course only moments ago for you. Back in the past… you showed up at the Manor to warn us and help us save Wyatt from… heck you didn’t even know who it was you were supposed to fight.”

Leo softly chuckled at the memory, Chris waited.
“All you knew was, that you had to save your brother… and you risked everything for it.”
Chris looked up to glance at Wyatt, who still stood rigid as a pillar with his arms folded in front of him. Picturing the little baby that he was, and for Chris only a few minutes ago… was very difficult. This man watching him so keenly… had lost his innocence somewhere on the way… Chris was sure of that.

“Did I succeed?”
“Yes you did son… you came through for Wyatt, for us all!”
That’s when Chris looked back to his dad, with amazement in his eyes.
“But, you also lost your life in the end.”
Leo’s voice almost broke as he uttered the last words.
“I couldn’t save you then.”

Chris was right, his father had indeed blamed himself for not being able to save his son and had tortured himself with it for all this time. Leo placed a hand on Chris’ face and caressed his cheek with a thumb lightly.
“Just like that, you vanished from my arms and for twenty two years we wondered what had happened to you.”
Chris sniffed, and bowed his head.
“Two months ago, I told Wyatt the whole story…”
Chris looked at Wyatt again, he knows?
“And he created this spell…”
Leo nodded to Wyatt to continue. The latter picked up the narrative without delay.

“When someone dies out of their own timeline… their essence or soul is lost somewhere in between. We don’t really know what happens to them actually.”
Chris smiled wryly.
“Let me guess – loophole in the system?”
Wyatt shrugged, and looked at his brother with sad affection.

“Maybe, maybe not. We figured you got lost somewhere between the two timelines – the one that existed before and the one you affected and brought about – exactly at the time of your death – which also happens to be about the same time as your *birth*.”

Chris glared.
“Today’s your twenty secondth birthday by the way.”
Chris glared some more.
“Happy Birthday.”
“Fuck off.”
Leo chuckled, Wyatt scowled and continued.

“Fine, so you know the classic ‘summoning a lost witch spell’ right?”
Chris nodded. He remembered aunt Paige telling him about this spell that his mom Piper used, to try and find Pru after she died. Only it found Paige instead.

“I tweaked it a bit…”
“Hah déjà vu.”
Chris remembered that is exactly what Gideon had said about the spell that was supposed to send him and Leo through the portal into the future.
Wyatt raised an eyebrow, but no explanation seemed to be forthcoming.
“Okay… whatever…”
Leo quietly encouraged his oldest to ignore the interruption and go on.

“I was *saying*… I just added criteria for searching in all time as well as space dimensions and set it up to keep running constantly in the background. We knew you disappeared from the manor so it would be easiest to summon you right back here. With me still?”

Chris realized he was gawking a bit. Irritatedly he urged Wyatt to continue.
“Just get on with it.”
Wyatt retorted with equal agitation.
“Okay but for the record dad, I really don’t like this version of Chris at all. What happened to the hero worshipping guy who borrows my clothes and my cars and my girlfriends and…”

Warning tone in Leo’s voice. It suddenly occurred to Chris that his father hadn’t changed at all, neither voice nor appearance. Figured, he was after all technically an angel. And he was relieved that even as an Elder, he refused to dress like one. Chris then turned to look at his infamous brother and this time he *really* looked.

No doubt his brother was a devilishly handsome man, only one of the many reasons why Chris had felt inferior to him. The long glorious mane of hair still draped around his face but it was much neater. The blue eyes still shone with the immense power concentrated inside this being, but they didn’t seem as manical anymore.
And the smile… jeez Wyatt smiling?
//All you need is a fucking halo//

Wyatt cleared his throat and continued.
“Yeah where was I? Right, when you died there in the past, the spell tracked you down and brought you here. I set up alarms to let us know when you were found, and they went off and I ran down here to get you… you were… as expected… dead.”
His voice dropped and Chris realized his brother had truly been disturbed by the incident.

“You know the rest, I revived ya and you went banshee on me and then I called dad.”

That made sense, somewhat.

“You’re probably really weak from the transition still, that’s why your powers are down.”
Chris snorted. “Yeah, right.”
He still wasn’t ready to accept Wyatt’s apparent goodness… yet. What Bianca did to him in the past was painfully fresh in his mind.
“We could check you up in a few hours time , see how you’re doing?”
Chris did not believe him, he just shook his head. Wyatt was trying, really he was. Unfortunately, he did not know the depths of bitterness and distrust the other Wyatt had managed to seed in this Chris.

“So, if you guys hadn’t found me and brought me here – I would have been… gone forever?”
The other men in the room didn’t answer, which said enough. Chris got up and went to stand by the window. Lost deep in thought.
Leo spoke up.
“What is it son?”
“I was thinking, nothing had really changed by the time I was stabbed. Did you save Wyatt before I… before I died?”
Leo sighed, past regrets overwhelming him.
“No, I couldn’t get to him soon enough.”
The wheels were turning in the boy’s head. He would have ideally paced but was too spent for that.
“Which means, I died in my *old* timeline. And after you saved Wyatt and killed Gideon… you did kill that bastard didn’t you dad?”
“With my own hands.”
Leo’s voice was so low he could barely be heard. Chris knew his family would have avenged his death.

But there was something else, something much more alarming going through his head right now.

“Dad, that means the future was changed *after* I died. Which means… there must be a new Chris in this new world.”

Chris’ voice was low, but there was a growing panic in his eyes.
//What is this?//

Why is he always the one out of time and out of place?
The one world he did belong to was gone forever and he wasn’t too fond of it anyway. It was a bad, bad world… with evil rampant and good cowering in shadows of fear and misery and incomprehensible pain. But he was part of that world wasn’t he? What if… what if he died because the world he belonged to was also destined to die anyway? That world did not deserve to be… so by inference, neither did he!

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Charmed: Destiny Still Awaits - Chapter 6

Previous Chapter

Chapter 6

Outside… the other man noticed something wasn’t right.
Leo got up and went to his son’s side. Just as the boy saw his father approaching, his strength gave away and he started to slip to his knees. Wyatt moved towards him then but remembering how Chris shrank from his touch, he paused only a foot away. Leo was right there and he caught the boy who was now trembling violently, before he fell.
“Gotcha… its okay son.”
He gathered Chris to himself and walked towards a couch nearby seeing the boy was too weak to stand any longer. Sitting down first Leo held Chris on his lap, never once letting go of his son even when Chris blushed, embarrassed at his new position.
“shh baby boy, just let me hold you.”
“shh, its alright, its okay.”

It was just one of those days, the boy rued… when nothing was going to be in his power. Chris sighed and gave in, leaning his right side against Leo and trying desperately to stem the flood of tears gushing into his eyes.
“Chris…? Tell me what you’re thinking…”
Chris focused his eyes just barely at Wyatt standing by his side.
“What you’ve done is unnatural… its against the laws of nature.”
The men were confused.

“You mean bringing you back? You’ve seen your aunts do that a thousand times back in the past. Its what the power is there for, to undo wrongs and save lives.”
“But… but…”
“But what son? Every parent worries not just about their kids’ present, their future as well don’t they?”
Chris swallowed, he couldn’t find the words. How could he explain to his father he didn’t think he deserved to be alive?
“Technically you weren’t dead, bcos you’d only just been born right? So you were not up there with Grams.”
Leo rubbed his back, as if willing some of his strength and calmness to seep through his hand and into his son.
“Piper… she looked frantically for you everywhere… in all the spirit realms possible. It was killing us Chris… not knowing what had happened to our little boy.”
Chris took his time to compose himself, he had to say this.
“Dad, this is not right. This is not m-my t-time or my p-place!”
Leo could have shaken his son, he was so angry. But he also saw how miserable Chris was.
“Chris… are you even listening to me?”
The tears flowed unabated, and so did the words. Chris had to say this… he *needed* to say this.
“I am not supposed to *be* anymore daddy… I am supposed to be gone, alongwith the rest of my timeline.”
He grasped at the open ends of his father’s flannel, willing himself not to give in to the temptation of resting his head against his dad’s chest and sleeping for an eternity.
“The Chris that you know… t-that W-Wyatt knows… and l-loves as his b-brother…”
His voice broke again…
“He is out there somewhere. He b-belongs here… I d-don’t.”

Leo hugged his son tightly, kissing his temple and gently rocking him to soothe his troubled soul. Soul… that was the crux of all this wasn’t it? Leo looked imploringly at his other son… no one could really reach Chris except Wyatt. So what if this Chris did not remember it? He would listen to his big brother, he always did.

The son in question… Wyatt… was smiling?

“Well… Boo. Hoo.”
Chris was sobbing very very silently, there was hardly any sound. But *that* just… totally shut him up. Slowly, he raised himself to look at Wyatt. Questioning him with his glassy eyes, although the question wasn’t entirely clear to his own self.
“I know what you’re thinkin”
Wyatt’s eyes were twinkling. His tone… teasing. Chris’ was soft, curious.
“You’re thinking, oh shit. Two of me again? Like the mighty big brother Wyatt wasn’t enough to have to stand up against, now I gotta compete with me too??”
Chris screwed up his eyes in annoyance.
“How come everything is always about *you*??”
Wyatt laughed. Even Leo smiled making Chris look back at him with irritation. Wiping the remnants of the moisture from his face, he let go of his father and asked him sarcastically,
“May I get up now?”
“Please do.”
And he was off Leo’s lap in a flash. Not as fast as he would have liked to be, considering he wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

Wyatt and his dad were only too happy to see some of the famous Christopher Wyatt Haliwell’s patented fighting spirit kick back.
“Don’t worry, this is still about you Christopher.”
“And what exactly is *this* Wyatt? Do enlighten me because you sure look smug enough in your all-pervading knowledge.”
Wyatt chuckled just a bit and took a step closer to Chris. Instinct drove the latter to step back, but he held his ground.

“What do you know about the soul Christopher?”
“Damn I knew I should have taken philosophy.”
Leo shook his head. His son always resorted to sarcasm as a defence mechanism.
“Well you didn’t, which means I have the honor of educating you.”
“What fun.”
“Chris…” Leo warned.
“Sorry, go on.”
“You know that when a timeline changes, so do all the people with it. But you’re wrong in assuming that a timeline or a world could just vanish… or cease to be! That’s not how it works Christopher.”
“So you’re saying the world is still here, only changed?”
“YES. And with it you changed as well. No one else remembers but you did because you were not *in* the timeline while it was changing.”
“Yeah I knew that would happen.”
Wyatt nodded.
“You would have come back to this world and rejoined it with two sets of memories – the old ones from your previous life and the new ones from this one. Right?”
“Uhh guess so… yeah.”

Wyatt came another step closer, and this time Chris did not even flinch.
“The complication arose when you died back there. Leaving a portion of your soul lost between two worlds, two times! A new you was born with the rest of your soul. But the *same* soul Chris! No different.”
Chris stared, his lower lip quivering almost painfully.
“No different?”
Wyatt shook his head sadly, he so wanted to reach out and hold Chris but didn’t.
“No different kiddo. People die, mortal bodies get destroyed but the soul is eternal. It goes on. You were here with us all this time, just not all of you. And… mom and dad knew that…”
Chris completed the sentence… how he knew this, he didn’t know.
“… that somehow I wasn’t complete.”
Leo and Wyatt looked at each other, they weren’t sure how to answer Chris.
“That a part of me was still stuck in an endless trance, in a place called nowhere… where I was floating and falling all at once.”

Wyatt touched his little brother’s arm tentatively.
“Chris, you okay?”
He was. He wasn’t. He didn’t know.
He was reliving the moments right after his death when he had felt like he almost disintegrated, almost but not quite… it was more like *waiting* to be disintegrated which was worse.

Mankind is one stubborn species, fighting relentlessly for its right to exist… to survive… and simply refuses to go away quietly into the night.
In the plane of nowhere – Chris had felt the ethereal wrenching of death versus the determined grasp of life all at once… and he’d been afraid.
He’d been afraid he’d never know love… or friendship or brotherhood again. He’d been afraid he wouldn’t hit another ball to the fence again. That he’d forget the taste of chocolate, of hot dogs, and sheesh kebabs and champagne he’d sipped once and not quite enough…
But most of all, he had feared the inevitable… that hopelessness of not having a choice… of being slowly torn apart to shreds of nothing but white light… just before someone pulled him back from the brink.

Wyatt… It was Wyatt… who pulled him back from the brink.

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