A/N: AU after "Prince Charming" in the sixth season. I don't think events played out realistically as far as Chris telling the Charmed Ones and Leo that their baby boy Wyatt is evil in the future. This is my attempt to rectify that. The fic focuses on Chris and will reveal a lot of his life in the unchanged future as well as have his identity revealed to the Charmed Ones in a different manner than on the show.
"I don't trust him," she declared yet again.
Paige sighed. "Okay, look, Piper, I think we've established that you don't trust him," she said. She watched her older sister continue to pace back and forth across the attic, her arms crossed tightly over her chest.
"I don't trust him either," Leo piped up from where he sat in an old rocking chair, Wyatt settled comfortably in his lap. There was a dark expression on Leo's face as he said the words. Leo was rarely a dark expression kind of person, but Chris seemed to be mighty good at bringing out the worst in both Leo and Piper.
Paige nodded patiently at Leo. "Yes, yes, I know. We all know. None of us trust Chris. Okay, we get it. Trust and Chris are not to be put in the same sentence. The question is what do we do now?"
"You mean now that my bitchy whitelighter from the future has told me my baby boy, my baby boy, is the greatest force of evil this world has ever seen?" Piper asked angrily, stopping her pacing only to glare at Paige. "I say we summon Chris here and the blow up his ass!" she exclaimed, waving her hand through the air. Paige had no response, and to her utter frustration, Piper simply started pacing again.
Paige looked over at Phoebe for help, but her other sister only shook her head sympathetically. Ever since Chris had dropped the bombshell that the evil he'd come back to stop wasn't an evil that was after Wyatt but was Wyatt himself, things hadn't been going well. Yes, they had managed to rescue Wyatt from the Order. Yes, Chris had helped them.
But as soon as they were safely back at the Manor, Piper had started yelling at Chris to explain everything, threatening to blow him from here to hell if he even started to say the words "future consequences" and Chris had responded by orbing away.
That was two hours ago. They had been in the attic the entire time, and they had yet to reach any sort of decision as to what they should do. Leo seemed happy to sit and smolder with a frown on his face and Wyatt safely in his arms; Piper seemed to enjoy pacing back and forth, back and forth, ranting about the things she would do to Chris when she got a hold of him. Phoebe just sat on an old chest, running her hands over her face every now and then, apparently too overwhelmed to be of any use.
And it was driving Paige crazy.
"Look, I know we can't trust Chris," Phoebe said, "And I certainly don't want to believe him when he tells me my little nephew is going to become evil, but we can't totally discredit him." She glanced at Paige for support. "He has helped us a lot. And I know he isn't entirely evil — I felt the love that he had for Bianca. I know how much she meant to him."
"Evil can still love, Phoebe!" Piper snapped, turning on her sister. "May I remind you of a little demon called Cole!" Paige rubbed at her temples as Phoebe deflated where she sat.
"It doesn't matter what good he's done," Leo added, "It could all be a part of his plan. He's certainly proven that he's not against manipulating us. We already know he's lied to us about some things; who knows how much else he's lying to us about."
"So then if he has a plan," Paige began.
"Oh, he has a plan," Piper interrupted. "And if it's to hurt my baby, then I'm going to —"
"Blow up his ass, yes, sweetie, we know," Phoebe said.
Paige nodded. "But we don't know what his plan is, and so that's what we need to do. Good or evil, lying and manipulating or not, we need to figure out what Chris Perry's end game is, and we can figure out what to do from there."
"Do you have any ideas on how to do that?" Leo asked.
Paige grimaced. "I was hoping maybe the wise Elder did?" she shrugged sheepishly. Leo didn't reply, and a glance at both Phoebe and Piper revealed that neither of them had any ideas either.
"There must be something," Paige muttered, stalking over to the Book. She began rapidly flipping through its pages. "Something in here has got to be able to help us."
"Wait," Phoebe sat up straighter, an epiphany shining in her eyes. "What about the Truth Spell? I mean, I know it hasn't always had the best results in the past, but it's always managed to wrangle out the truth, however painful, hasn't it?"
Piper narrowed her eyes at Phoebe, as if appraising the idea, then she slowly began to nod. "I'm liking this plan," she finally said. "If we can't get the truth out of him by asking him then how about we force it out of him? The Truth Spell sounds perfect to me."
But Leo was shaking his head. "No, it won't work."
"Why not?" Phoebe frowned.
"Because, you said it yourself once, Phoebe — there's a way to get around it," Leo explained. "Do you remember when you went to get information out of Andy when Prue cast the spell the first time?"
"I made sure he didn't get a chance to ask me any questions," Phoebe remembered.
"Exactly," Leo said. "And maybe Chris won't be able to stop us from asking question, but I'm sure he can find something to keep it from working. The spell only really works when others aren't aware what's going on. Chris, despite everything else, is nothing if not smart. He'd find a way around the Truth Spell."
"Great!" exclaimed Piper irritably. "We're back on square one."
"Unless . . . ?" Phoebe looked over at Paige. Paige shook her head sadly.
"I couldn't find anything." Even as she spoke, however, there was a sudden burst of wind, and the pages of the book began to flip. All four pairs of eyes were trained on the book as it finally settled on a page.
"Well?" Phoebe asked as Paige looked down at the open page. After first she only frowned, her eyes scanning the page, but slowly a smile spread across her face.
"I think this is it," she announced. She looked up at the ceiling, "Thanks!" she called.
"What is it?" Piper asked. "What does it say?"
"It's a spell To Heal A Heart," Paige explained.
"To Heal A Heart?" Piper repeated critically, raising an eyebrow at her sister. "Who's heart? Does Chris even have a heart? And if he does, why the hell would we want to heal it?" She crossed her arms over her chest again.
"The Book says that it's a spell to reveal what's inside someone's heart and head so that they can be better understood," Paige explained. "I guess it was written before there was an empath in the family," she said, glancing at Phoebe, who had joined her in front of the book and was now reading it as well.
"How long does it last?" Leo asked.
"As long as it takes for the person to be understood," Phoebe answered, her eyes not leaving the book.
"What do you think?" Paige looked over at Leo.
He gave a hesitant nod. "I think it could work. After all, to understand his plan, we need to understand him. And it says that it'll reveal what's in his head, right?" Paige and Phoebe both nodded in response.
"Let's do it, then," Piper declared, walking over and looking down at the spell alongside her sisters.
"It says we have to summon Chris to us first," Phoebe read.
"CHRIS!" Piper shouted abruptly and rather loudly, and both Phoebe and Paige cringed away from her. "CHRIS, GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE NOW!"
"Honey, I think we might have to actually summon him," Phoebe suggested. "I don't think he's going to come no matter how loudly you call." Paige nodded in agreement.
"Fine, you get ready to summon him just in case, and I'll keep calling him — CHRIS! WE WANT TO TALK!" she hesitated as Phoebe and Paige began to gather candles, "I promise not to blow you up!" she shouted in a much less threatening tone of voice, even if she couldn't entirely keep her anger and irritation from shining through. "I just want to talk!"
A moment later, there was a swirl of blue orbs, and a very hesitant Chris stood before them all. "I'm here to talk," he immediately said, his eyes darting around the room at all of them and finally at the candles both Phoebe and Paige were clutching.
"You see?" Piper said triumphantly. "No need to summon him." She was already standing behind the book, and Phoebe and Paige quickly joined her, coming to stand on either side of her.
"What are you three doing?" Chris asked suspiciously, worry lining his features. "I thought we were going to talk, remember?"
They didn't reply.
"Here our words, here our plea," they began to chant, even as Chris started to back away from them, a look of terror building in his green eyes. "Across the sky, across the sea,"
"Okay, really, I thought we were going to talk?" Chris asked. "Spells are not talking!"
"Reveal to us what must be known,
To understand thoughts all his own!"
There was a moment of still silence, and then suddenly a loud roaring was resounding through their heads, and in a whoosh of blurred color they were knocked off their feet and thrown backward as blackness took over.
"Ooooh," Phoebe moaned. Grunting, Paige sat up and clutched her head.
"Why do the spells always have to get physical?" she whined.
"More importantly, where the hell are we?" Piper asked, sitting up as well before pushing herself into standing position. Paige glanced around. They weren't in the Manor anymore. And where they were . . . well . . . It was all black. Whatever they were standing on was black. There was no ceiling or roof or sky — only black. It surrounded them as far as they could see; it encompassed them in every way.
"This is not good," Piper said slowly, turning in a circle and taking in there rather bleak surroundings. "This is really not good," she turned to her sisters, both of whom were getting to their feet.
"I think this is the part where we declare that the spell backfired," Phoebe announced, brushing at her knees before turning in a circle herself and taking in all the . . . black.
"Leo!" Piper shouted. "LEO! LE —" she gasped, stumbling backwards.
"Wha — oh my God!" exclaimed Phoebe, clutching at Paige's arm.
"Not good," Piper muttered, shaking her head.
Pacing in the darkness, having appeared out of thin air, was Piper. Another Piper, that is. Paige could only watch as an older version of her older sister, the very same older sister who stood right beside her, paced across the blackness.
"No," the older Piper insisted. "No." Her hair was in a loose bun, the skirt she wore was long and twirled about her as she turned and paced to and fro. She shook her head adamantly again. "No."
"What's going on?" whispered Phoebe.
"I have no idea," Paige answered, slowly shaking her head and not taking her eyes off of the other Piper.
"Come on, Piper, just listen to me for one minute, okay?" Leo asked.
And suddenly he was standing before them too. Before any of them could gasp in surprise, their black surroundings were gone, had faded away. Instead they stood in the living room of the Manor, the same as it had always been with only a few subtle changes — different pictures hanging on the walls; more toys scattered here and there.
And before them older Piper and what was apparently an older version of Leo, dressed in golden Elder robes, argued with one another.
"I've been listening to you," older Piper said. "And I'm done listening. My answer is no."
"Piper," sighed Leo.
"No! I'm not going to change my mind on this, Leo. You're not going to change my mind. Now I love you, Leo, and I will always love you. And I respect you, and I respect your opinion — you know that, you know I value your input . . . but not on this. I've made up my mind. My answer is no."
For a moment Leo and Piper only stared at each other.
"This is what's best for him," Leo pleaded softly, his eyes begging for Piper to understand. "You know I only ever have his best interests at heart."
"Actually," Piper said, tilting her head at Leo, "Sometime I don't always know that."
"Piper!" exclaimed Leo, hurt. "He's my son!"
"I know, I know," Piper put her hands up in defense. "And that's exactly my point." She sighed, running her hands over her face. "He's your son, Leo. And right now, we're talking about what's best for him. Not for his magic, but for him. I know you love him, I know he's your son, but sometimes you get confused what's best for his magic and what's best for him."
Leo didn't say anything. "He's only eleven, Leo," Piper sighed. "He's barely more than a baby. And truthfully, he'll always be my baby. There aren't many things I know more about than you, Leo, but this is one of the few things I do. I know my baby. And this might not be what's best for his magic, but it's what's best for him."
"If Wyatt's eleven," Piper whispered to Paige and Phoebe, "Then we must be seeing the future. We can't be in the future, because obviously older me and Leo can't see us, but. . . . " she trailed off.
Paige nodded. "Maybe the spell is just allowing us to witness future moments?" she suggested. "After all, Chris is from the future. Maybe the spell is showing us important moments for him? To better help us understand him and his motives and everything?"
"Yeah, but how does this have anything to do with Chris?" Phoebe asked.
"Piper, all kids have trouble in school. It's part of growing up," Leo said, drawing the sisters back to the future scene.
"He's not having trouble with school the way all kids do," Piper argued. "He's having problems with Magic School. And honestly, can you blame him? I don't think I would have been able to handle Magic School."
"What's Magic School?" asked Paige. Phoebe and Piper both shushed her, their eyes still trained on the scene unfolding in front of them.
"He's just having problems balancing his life at home and his life at Magic School," Leo said. "Don't you see, Piper? If he moves to Magic School, if he stays in one of the dorms there as a boarding student, then he'll be able to adjust more easily."
"No!" exclaimed Piper, and she began to pace again. "I'm not shipping my son off to live at Magic School. You barely managed to convince me to have him attend the school in the first place, and you're not going to convince me to have him live at the damn place!"
"Piper," Leo began again.
"No, Leo, no. Look, we've been over this a thousand times already. Magic School isn't working for him. He's miserable there. And he's old enough now that he can go to regular, normal school with regular, normal kids and take regular, normal classes. He can keep his secret. Paige and Phoebe can help me train his magic just as well as the teachers at Magic School. We don't need them. He's not a baby any more, and if this is what he wants, then I think he can handle it. He should be able to handle it."
"But he's not a regular, normal kid, Piper!"
"Ah! And we're back to the fact that this isn't about his magic, Leo, this is about just him and his happiness. Now, listen to me: my son is not happy at Magic School. He wants to go to normal school. He is old enough to handle being a witch and going to normal school. So as his mother, who can not stand to see him so miserable, I am going to let him go to normal school. End. Of. Discussion."
For another moment there was silence between the two of them, and this time when Leo broke it he did so cautiously, slowly, as if afraid that Piper would explode again. "Can I make one last argument?" he asked.
Piper crossed her arms over her chest, glaring at him. "It won't do you any good," she said sourly.
"What about Wyatt?" Leo said. "He's doing just fine at Magic School. He's doing great, in fact. And he hasn't always been, has he? It took him a little while to adjust. At the first sign that he was unhappy you didn't ship him off to normal school, did you? No, you gave him time to get used to Magic School, to deal with his problems there. And now he's doing great!"
"This isn't about Wyatt," older Piper said, her frustration evidently building again.
"It isn't?" Phoebe whispered to Piper and Paige.
"I don't understand. . . ." Piper whispered. "Does this mean that . . . ?"
"That you have another son?" Phoebe supplied.
"But . . . but Leo and I are . . . we can't. . . ."
"I know it isn't about Wyatt," Leo said, "But my point is that if Wyatt can handle Magic School, why can't his little brother?"
"They're not the same person!" Piper shouted. "Why can't you understand that?!"
"Piper," started Leo yet again.
"No, this has lasted for way too long as it is. The discussion is over. I've made up my mind." And with that final statement, the older Piper stalked from the room. Shaking his head wearily, Leo orbed away a moment later.
And after another moment, in the blink of an eye, the Manor disappeared, and Paige, Piper and Phoebe were standing in a black abyss once more.
"I have another son," Piper whispered. "Leo and I have another son." She was staring off into space, into the blackness. Phoebe put a hand comfortingly on her shoulder.
"But what does any of this have to do with Chris?" Paige asked. It didn't make sense. Where were they exactly? Had they just seen the future? And if they had, then how? Was it the doing of the spell? But why would the spell show them that? None of it made any sense.
"Who knows," Phoebe sighed. She turned in a circle again, searching the darkness and coming up with no answers. "Who knows."
To Be Continued. . .
A/N: This is a rather confusing and short beginning, I know, but the Charmed Ones don't always know exactly what's going on, do they? They should figure things out more in the next chapter, which I also expect will be a bit longer. Also, Chris didn't have a very large role in this chapter, but trust me—he's a prominent figure in this story ;)