Chapter 3 of 19
“Are you staying long?” Piper asked older Paige as she approached the dining room’s table where Paige had been writing down the name of all the Elders they knew to think of potentials. Leo said that a High Council Elder had to be responsible and he thought a Cleaner more possible but they didn’t want to leave anyone out.
She could understand him. She was having a horrible time thinking her baby was going to kill her family. “He killed my babies, Phoebe’s babies and my sister!” echoed inside her head. She knew Leo was having a hard time accepting that one of his own could betray him like that.
Paige looked up and shook her head, “Prue is staying, she’s Chris’s whitelighter and she isn’t here right now, besides a whitelighter’s magic is quite passive but if I stay too long my magical energy will start battling with my younger self’s and that would unbalance the world or so Leo says. That’s why he didn’t come. As an Elder the unbalance is even bigger.”
“So Chris can stay because he hasn’t been born yet?” Piper said and Paige smirked. Piper’s eyes narrowed.
“In a way,” she answered evasively, “Chris can stay until his younger self reaches eighteen and therefore magical maturity.”
“Yeah, I know. I was startled too when I found out about that. But you have to remember our powers were bound theirs aren’t and when a witch grows up with their powers they reach full potential at eighteen. Chris is twenty so until his younger self’s eighteenth birthday their magic levels are different and won’t battle.”
“He’s twenty? Twenty? As in nineteen when he got here?” Piper asked astounded. She thought him older.
“As in very much underage when Leo gave him that bear, yeah. I had fun watching that memory coming. Leo suddenly got up and went looking for a place to hide when he remembered you couldn’t kill him anymore for promoting underage drinking at P3.”
Couldn’t kill? Why because he was an Elder or because she was dead? Somehow she knew that was the latter.
She smiled, “So he’s Prue’s charges, that explains the closeness he showed to you two.”
“Yeah,” Paige mumbled and Piper had a feeling there was more. “Were he and Wyatt friends?”
“Best,” Paige said, “Chris would die for Wyatt and there was a time I thought Wyatt would die for Chris, I’m not so sure anymore. Chris is though. He firmly believes Wyatt can be saved, that there is still good in him.”
“But you don’t,” Chris would die for her boy and all this time she had treated him like crap. The look Paige gave her sent chills down her spine.
“Would you after seeing you whole family slaughtered? Bianca saved your second son Piper. Wyatt had been keeping me and Prue prisoners, after killing Phoebe painfully to show him what would happen to us if he didn’t agree, to make him obey and he thought he had managed. He had anti-orbing wards on the whole house and where we were imprisoned. He had wards in the house that only allowed him to use magic inside, no one else. Your second son found a way to put shimmering into an object and on one of the weekly visits Wyatt so graciously conceded him he handed us the object and asked for us to wait after the night patrol had passed to use it. Then he went back to the warded house to not arise suspicion. He thought Wyatt would only be informed in the morning when they found our room empty and he would have time to flee too but for some reason Wyatt decided to stop by for a surprise visit.”
Piper gasped and her hand went to her mouth, “He of course knew who had helped us, he pried his brother out of bed and tortured him for weeks. Very courageous of him to do so when only he could use magic. He would heal him just enough so he wouldn’t die. Finally Bianca found a breach where she could take him, effectively blowing her cover. She was supposed to stay and spy for us.”
Piper didn’t know what to think, this was horrible, and she owed her babies life to Bianca? A Phoenix?
“He was awful, and Leo couldn’t heal most of the wounds because Wyatt made sure no Whitelighter could. So he had to heal slowly and naturally. And we didn’t have medical supplies all that available. That was torture to watch. But Chris, Chris still thinks there was no way Bianca would have been able to get him out if Wyatt hadn’t wanted her to. Not just after losing us. That that proves there is still good in him. That he only tortured his brother because if he didn’t he would lose the respect of his demons.”
Piper nodded not knowing what to think, horrified at what she was hearing. All this time trying to force Chris to talk and now all she wanted was to go back to not knowing. Chris wasn’t trying to deceive them he was trying to protect them, to protect them from all this hurt, and who protected him? Did Wyatt kill his family too? He said he was here to save his family. Did Wyatt kill them too? How could he still want to save him if he did?
“I’m not telling you this to make you suffer and I know Chris has done his best to shield you all of this but you have to understand, you need to. You haven’t been taking this seriously. The only reason that the demons we had thought were a threat were dealt with was because Chris went after most of them and the ones he needed the power of three to finish off he did most of the work for you, but he wasn’t supposed to. He was supposed to guide you to them and use as little of his powers as possible. So he wouldn’t risk unbalancing the timeline. But he did, so you three could go on with your lives and that has to stop. He can’t do this alone, especially not if we are up against an Elder.”
“He’s not fighting alone,” Piper defended herself halfheartedly.
“No? Remember I have my memories, and I have eyes, Chris looks awful, worst then when he left a place where he did not have shelter and three meals a day guaranteed.”
That made Piper feel awful, she never did wonder what Chris was doing when he wasn’t there or if he had food to eat. She never even invited him to stay and eat. Today was the first time that he had been around when the subject food came up and he didn’t even blink when she couldn’t cook he just started cooking for her, just like he’d been doing her job for her this past year. And all she had done was complain and throw him out.
“You’re right, I am sorry.”
“I’m not the one you have to apologize too.”
“I don’t think he would welcome my apology.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure. He is very much his mother’s son,” Paige smirked.
“Do we know her?” Then she shook her head “Of course we do, he said that I save her, that’s why he was disappearing when I was stuck in the ghostly plane.”
And there was that smirk again
“I like when you put more salt,” Prue said leaning on the counter.
“You mean you like when you ruin my food by adding salt,” Chris remarked dryly.
“He sounds just like Piper,” Paige snorted from the table where she Phoebe and Leo where making lists.
Prue snorted and the looked at Phoebe and Paige, “You two going to ignore me much longer? I see Piper has fled.”
“We’re not ignoring you,” Phoebe said.
“I am,” Paige stated.
“Don’t worry, I know how to deal with you, been there done that. Know how to deal with the other two too but I was just thinking we could make this easier.”
“I think you’ll find this time’s Piper a little easier,” Chris said.
“Yeah,” Prue chuckled.
“Why is that?” Leo asked and Prue looked straight at Chris.
“NO!” was slammed into her mind like a door.
“Spoilsport,” she sent back.
“Can’t tell you, future consequences and all,” She sighed, Chris could be stubborn when he wanted to. Just as he had proved when she and her Paige had been arguing with him telepathically about him telling them who he was. There was no more reason for secrecy now that he had been conceived. Before that he risked Piper conceiving to early out of nerves and therefore conceiving someone else, or too late. He had to be conceived at the right time or he wouldn’t be him and so the best strategy was to Leo and Piper would work this out just like the last time. But now Chris was just being stubborn. Like his mother. And she let him know that through their link.
Chris was putting the final touches in the food when older Paige and Piper entered the kitchen.
“Told you,” older Paige said as she got one of the finished plates and went to the table.
“How did you know?” Piper asked astounded.
“What?” Chris asked.
“That the food was ready.”
“Oh,” Chris said. “Like this.”
Young Paige gave a startled yelp and looked around.
“What’s wrong?” Phoebe asked worried.
“He just yelled to me to move my lazy ass and help set the table inside my head! How did you do that?”
“Whitelighter blood,” Prue said calmly as she took some plates.
“See, I told my Paige the food was ready,” he said matter of factly.
“You can talk telepathically?” Leo asked. “Whitelighters can’t.”
“No but witches with whitelighter blood can,” Prue said.
Leo nodded, “Makes sense.”
“Uh, no,” Piper said.
“Witches can send messages to their whitelighters telepathically, like when you call for me. You don’t actually have to call me out loud, you just do. The message is telepathic. I hear wherever I am. But that is prompted by your magic. A whitelighter can’t call me that way. And the elders can only jingle, not actually send words like you can. But since he has whitelighter blood and witch blood he can send and receive.”
“We thought that was what happened, not sure how he can hear Prue though. We thought that might be because she’s f- er- a Halliwell, former Charmed one you know” older Paige finished with a glare to Chris and Prue could imagine the yell she just got.
“You where talking like that before, when you came into the living room right?” Phoebe asked, “and that’s how you knew Chris didn’t want you to tell us about Wyatt, he tried to stop you. Just like now, when you where about to say something else.”
“Yes, well, can’t say more about that,” older Paige huffed. “Let’s eat we have work to do before I leave tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” Chris asked as he sat next to her with a desperate plea to his voice.
“Can’t stay more than that,” she smiled sadly.
“But Wyatt will be waiting. He’ll know you opened a portal, and how did you? I took the spell with me?”
“Leo over there,” Prue smiled. And Leo blushed.
“I might have memorized the spell in case you took this page too, Sorry I-”
“Don’t trust me,” Chris said tightly. “Fair enough. Guess that means I did my job. But you can’t go back-”
“I have to,” older Paige said taking his hand.
“That’s suicide,” he said taking her hands with both of his and fidgeting nervously as if he could keep her here by his actions. His eyes where shiny, his jaw set and his voice tight and Prue knew he was holding back tears. She already had this conversation but she also was not happy with the outcome.
“There was no other way. Prue couldn’t come alone. She wouldn’t have gotten past the guards without active powers and there was a better chance of them believing us if I was here then just someone that is dead. You need this information. The risk is worth- Chris! Listen!” she said firmly as he shook his head.
“I’m not hungry anymore,” and he dropped her hands and orbed out just like that, just like Prue knew he would. She was about to orb after him but Phoebe stopped her with a hand in her arm.
“Leave him,” she said. “If I understood this right and to me this all still feels unreal, your chances of surviving are slim to none right?” she finished with her voice trembling to older Paige and she nodded. “He knows this and he knows this had to be done from that little I know of Chris. But he needs to come to terms with this.”
They all sat silently, dinner completely forgotten.