A/N: Okay, here goes another story in my series. This story takes place six years after Not This Time & Never Again finished. Please read & Review, I love to hear your comments, suggestions, etc.
"Reilly Michael Halliwell, you get back here! I will defeat you!" Piper ran out of the kitchen after her rambunctious grandson. Reilly squealed happily as he raced around the sofa in the living room.
"You can't catch me Gramma Piper." He ducked quickly when she reached for his arm. He shimmered out of her reach.
"Whoa! Hold on there, buddy. Remember what I told you about shimmering and orbing? They're for emergencies only." Chris orbed in just in time to catch sight of his son shimmering from Piper's reach.
"But you just orbed!" Reilly's high pitched voice complained.
"I was 'Up There' with the elders, orbing is the only way to get there. How come Gramma Piper was chasing you?" He knelt down to Reilly's level so his son wouldn't have to crane his head to look at Chris.
"We was just playin' Daddy. Gramma Piper was pretending to be a demon, and I was an innocent, runnin' for my life." His green eyes sparkled with a combination of excitement and innocence.
Chris grinned and opened his arms for a hug. "Now that's a game I remember. But when we played, Wyatt was usually the witch coming to save the day. Who's saving you?"
"Aii-yah! Eat dirt demon breath!" Phiona burst out from the closet almost on cue. In her hand she was armed with a water balloon that she threw with expert accuracy at Piper's let, soaking her from the knee down.
"Hey, nice shot, short stuff." Chris commented.
"Thanks, Uncle Chris. Hey, Rei, how 'bout we go outside with Kylie and see if Keira's back yet?" Phiona offered happily.
"Yeah! Her karate class should be done by now." Together the two ran out the door calling her name.
Chris stared after them in bemusement. Piper groaned as she stretched and held her lower back. Chris was at her side instantly. "Mom? Are you okay? Where can I heal?"
"No where, sweetie. It's just age starting to get to me. I think I'm officially too old to rough house." Piper said with a laugh. "Course, then again, all the grandkids keep me in shape for the demon attacks."
It had been decided before Phiona, Reilly or Keira had begun talking, that to make it easier for everyone, Phoebe, Paige & Piper would all share grand parenting duties regardless of whose biological child was there. As a result, they were tons of Gramma Piper, Gramma Phoebe and Gramma Paige calls through the halls every day. Cole, Leo and Jax received the same, as Grampy Cole, Grampy Leo and Grampy Jax. Chris, Wyatt and all their cousins were considered Aunts or Uncles, rather than the more accurate second cousin concept.
"So basically, then the kids keep you young, and the demons are making you old?" Chris asked with a grin.
"Hey! Watch it, only I'm allowed to call me old. You're supposed to lie and tell me how young I am." Piper scolded playfully.
"Nah, wouldn't need to lie. You still look great." Chris answered honestly. It was the truth. Piper and her sisters all looked much younger than they were. Even though each one was in her fifties, they all looked much as they had when Chris was little. A bit grayer perhaps, but for the most part unchanged.
"Thank you, baby." Piper patted her son's cheek lovingly. "So what did the Elder's want?"
Chris snorted. "Same as usual. Impending doom, activity in the Underworld, plague, pestilence and prejudice."
"Don't forget the upcoming end of mankind as we know it." Wyatt added, walking in with Keira at his side. "Does it unnerve anyone else to think that the highest form of good are such unerring pessimists?" he shrugged at his own rhetorical question.
"Hi Honey. Reilly and Phiona were waiting for you with your sister out back." Piper told Keira after collecting her mandatory hug.
"Great! I can't wait to show them what I did today!" Keira ran for the door to play with her cousins.
"They started kicking today." Wyatt explained simply at Chris & Piper's questioning looks.
"Ah…so in other words, we'll be healing some bloody noses in a minute."
"Very likely. How three six year olds can cause so much havoc in such a short time is beyond me." Wyatt mused aloud.
"Hey, back to the Elders. Did they give you any details?" Piper pressed.
"No, not really. Still no word on the Source's identity, just that he's busy getting more and more recruits for some big showdown." Wyatt said lazily. "Apparently, they're starting to get a little nervous about the fact that he's been in power for six years and still hasn't made his attack. They actually seem to think that he may be planning an attack on a different good magical power other than us, since they haven't attacked yet."
"Why do they have to obsess about this? I like the Source far away in demon land. And you know what, if they are planning to attack someone else, it's not like the Elders aren't going to send this family after them anyway." Piper grouched.
Chris smiled. "I think it's more that they're worried we won't be ready. That we're getting a little lax because he hasn't come after us yet."
"Lax! Just because the Source has taken a vacation from attacking us, doesn't mean all the other demons have. I mean, they pop up like Whac-A-Moles! Just when you smack one down, another pops up!"
Chris and Wyatt immediately started laughing. Piper's spiel was familiar, but the Whac-A-Mole analogy was new. "Mom, relax. Seriously, we're good. We've got potions stockpiled, the Source vanquishing spell, plus the kids are all coming into their powers more quickly than any of us could have hoped." Wyatt soothed.
"Yeah, plus Peyton and Phyra have both grown into amazing witches. After the kidnapping, it's as if their souls are combined or something. I mean, as long as they're together, they can control all of the elements, plus now they've got a psychic link to each other. They're amazing." Chris added.
"Did you hear? The demons have come up with a name for the two of them now. They're the 'Elementals'. Catchy, huh?" Wyatt interjected.
"I know, I know. Everyone is fine, and doing great. And to be honest, a few days worth of a break, I'd welcome. But it's been six years. What could he possibly be waiting for? I wish he'd just…make his move I guess." Piper sat down on the sofa, her face lined in concern.
"That's a first, Aunt Piper. You actually want demon's to attack? I think we need a healer." Phyra walked leisurely from the kitchen, casually eating an apple. "Normally, you want 'a normal, demon-free existence.'" She teased, drawing little quote signs in the air.
"This is different, Phyra. This is about the Source."
"Oh." She abruptly went silent and stopped eating.
"Phy? Something wrong?" Chris asked his uncharacteristically silent cousin.
"No, not really. It's just…the other Source, he was so powerful. And my magic didn't work. So I guess I'm just…I don't want to go up against him again. He scares me."
"Phy, he won't get you again. I promise you that much. Besides, the only reason you couldn't get your powers to work is because you were in his lair. If he attacks us, then all our powers will be okay. You have nothing to be scared of." Chris reassured with a gentle smile.
"Stop smiling at me like I'm Reilly, you dork." She shook her head briskly. "Anyway, I don't have time to worry about the Source or any other demon tonight. I have a date to get ready for."
"A date? With who?"
"You don't know him. His name is Logan. Logan Barry."
"Where did you meet him?"
"Where are you going?"
"God, what are you two, my mom? I met him at Magic School, Wy. Check with Uncle Leo if you want. He's a great guy. Powerful too…he's a conjurer, and not at all weirded out by the family's magic. And Chris, we're going to Yummies, then to the Keith Urban concert. I'll be back by one. No drugs, no alcohol, no sex, no groupies, and no public vanquishes of any kind- I promise." Phyra sighed heavily, already outlining the protective older cousins' pre-date ritual.
"I want to meet him." Wyatt announced.
"NO! Don't you have a wife and kids of your own to control? Go annoy them!"
"Okay, he'll go. I'll stay." Chris offered.
"Here's a novel idea. How about you let your almost nineteen year old cousin have one date without her nosy, interfering self-appointed big brothers butting in where they aren't needed?"
Wyatt and Chris exchanged an amused glance. "Nah." They answered in unison.
"Aunt Piper! Tell them to go away, please?" Phyra begged.
"Boys, really, you two need to stop. Phyra is a young woman now. She's legally an adult. It's time to quit the big bother act, and let her make her own choices. She's not twelve anymore."
"But, mom, its way too much fun to stop!" Wyatt protested with a laugh.
"Fun for who? Not for me. And certainly not for my dates. Remember Jacob? Yeah, he's the one that never spoke to me again after to put Excalibur to his throat, Wy!"
"Oh, I didn't cut him."
"Yeah, and that's just Wy. I'm great to them." Chris input, grinning.
"Oh yeah? So you didn't put the truth potion into Marco's drink? He spent all evening horrified at himself because he kept telling me that he just wanted to make Mia- his ex- jealous. Right- you're a peach, cause that felt great." Phyra took a deep breath. "Obviously, I can't stop you from meeting him. Look, I really like Logan, okay? If you want to meet him, fine, but please don't try to smoke him. Promise me?"
They were both helpless to that pleading look. "Yeah, hon. We promise." Chris answered for both of them.
"But just for the record, we are going to be here to meet him. Abby's gone to Chicago for that conference, so Keira, Kylie, Kati and I are here for the evening." Wyatt stated it for the fact that it was. Chris had inherited Piper's cooking gene. Wyatt unfortunately had inherited Phoebe's.
"Yeah, I think Rei and I are staying too. He and Phiona have some top secret project they're working on together. He wants to finish it ASAP." Chris smiled, thinking of his son.
"Top secret? That might no be a good thing Chris."
Chris laughed off Wyatt's concern. "No, he swore it had nothing to do with demons, or any type of power augmentation or changes. I think they're working on a potion to find Rei and mommy. At least, that's the best I can figure from the little he has told me."
"A mommy? Doesn't he know that you're dating Julia?" Wyatt asked.
"You're dating Abby's sister?" Phyra interrupted.
"Yeah. Reilly's met her, but I've never actually said she's my girlfriend. Besides, they're six, what kind of spell or potion are they going to come up with?"
"Hah! Do I need to remind you that you sent your father to the spiritual wasteland by accident when you were six, Chris, in a spell gone wrong? Or that Peyton orbed Jax to Antarctica at age four?" Piper asked incredulously. "Chris, Reilly is magical. And he's a Halliwell that also has strong demonic powers. You heard what his other form said about the powers he had. Don't make the mistake of underestimating what he can do. Talk to him. You'll only regret it if you don't."
"Daddy! Daddy! Reilly kicked me and pushed me down!" Kylie orbed inside, crying, her dress smudged with dirt.
"Reilly! Get in here!" Chris yelled. Reilly came running in.
"Kylie said you kicked her and pushed her down. Is it true?" Chris asked sternly, looking Reilly directly in the eyes.
"Well, yeah, but it wasn't on purpose, I pwomise! Me and Keira were pratisin' the karate kicks she learned today. Kylie walked between us, just as I kicked. I got her by accident in the back, and she fell. I tried to see if she were okay, but she orbed out too fast." Reilly explained.
"Ky, is that how it happened Wyatt asked, gently wiping away her tears, as Keira and Phiona orbed in.
"No! He kick me on puhpose!" she gasped out.
"Don't listen to her, daddy. She's just mad cuz we told her she was too little to learn the karate kicks with us. She walked in front of Reilly on purpose." Keira explained.
"Yeah, Reilly even hurt his ankle cuz he tried to stop himself too quick." Phiona added.
"Kylie, are you sure you don't want to change your story?" Wyatt asked the five year old in a stern tone.
"They shoulda let me play!"
"And you shouldn't have lied. Come on, it's a time out for you, young lade. But first, apologize to Reilly for trying to get him in trouble." Wyatt stood, pushing her in front of Reilly. "Kylie- apologize. NOW!" Wyatt ordered after no response.
"For what, Kylie? And say it like you mean it!"
She sighed. "Sorry Reilly. I shouldn't have said you did it on purpose."
"It's okay, Ky. Sorry I hurt you." Reilly answered softly.
Chris watched as his brother escorted his daughter to the kitchen for her time-out. He turned back to Reilly. "Hey, buddy. Is your ankle hurting?"
"No, it's not. I can tell. Get over here, I'm gonna heal that up super quick, okay?" Chris waited patiently until Reilly took the two steps to him, before picking him up onto his lap. "I'm proud of you, pal. You came in and told the truth, even when it looked like everyone would be mad at you. And you even hurt yourself, to try to protect your cousin. You're pretty awesome, you know that? As a matter of fact, what you just did was so good, you deserve a special treat. What do you say tomorrow, you and I spend the day at the beach?"
"But Daddy, it's cold outside. It's still winter!" Reilly laughed.
"Here it's winter, but its summer in Australia. We can orb there and spend the day. What do you think, big guy?"
"I thought we couldn't orb for fun."
Chris smiled. "We shouldn't. But just this once, it'll be okay. It's a reward."
"Yeah! That's awesome! Daddy, can we go see a kangaroo too?" Reilly's voice was high pitched with excitement, and his entire body bounced on Chris' lap.
"Sure we'll see if we can find one." Chris laughed aloud as Reilly threw his arms around Chris' neck happily.
"I love you, Daddy."
"I love you more, Rei."
Piper watched the interaction happily, marveling at the wonderful fathers both her boys made. It warmed her heart to know that Leo was the example that had created them. As she got to her feet to check on dinner, again the worry struck. Who was the new Source, and what was he waiting for?