I unfortunately do not own Charmed, would be freaking awesome if I did :) but I don't :(
Chapter 4: Fresh Meat
Chris was up late looking through the Book of Shadows. He hoped he wasn't caught up there, he was supposed to be at home, with Wyatt, asleep, like the rest of his family. But curiosity had finally gotten the better of him. He decided he had to know the secret his family were keeping from him. Unfortunately he couldn't ask said family because he loved and respected them too much to put them in that kind of position.
Chris froze as he heard the attic door creek open; he spared a glance and noticed it was his sister, Melinda.
"What are you doing up here?" Chris asked, curiously
"I heard someone, you?"
"Trying to find out what everyone's keeping from you?"
Chris was probably one of the best liars you'd meet, but his family could always see right through him. So instead of denying it he nodded reluctantly.
Melinda nodded in reply "We're all curious, mum freaked when she heard of his memory returning"
"I wish I could remember" he admitted, softly closing the ancient book and laying it beside him.
"Be careful what you wish for. When you remember you might wish your remained ignorant"
Chris smiled "Wise words"
Melinda smiled back and tilted her head "Well, I did grow up with a half elder"
Chris' smile widened, he could always count on his sister to take his mind off things. Chris opened his arms wide, inviting his sister into a hug, letting her know she helped him. She accepted warmly.
"If you ever do remember, know that we're all here for you"
Chris nodded "I know, thanks"
"No problem, now if I were you I'd go to bed, mum wants you to help with some event the restaurant is organizing.
Chris nodded, remembering his mother's words. "Night" he said, before orbing out.
"Chris" Wyatt called, shaking him. Chris furrowed his eyebrows, opening his eyes looking into those of his brother.
"What do you want, Wyatt?"
"I'm leaving for University"
Chris paused "Well, thank you for waking me to share that vital piece of information" Chris glared.
Wyatt refrained from rolling his eyes "You need the car, so you have to drop me off"
"Why don't you orb?"
"Because last time I nearly got caught, remember?"
Chris was nodding before the sentence was finished "Do we need to leave now?" Chris asked
"I'd say you have time to wash and change" Wyatt told him, moving away from the bed to let his brother out.
When Chris and Wyatt moved in, the place was burnt out anyway and the place next door was up for sale, so they used their savings to buy the place and make one big apartment. They had to use magic for building, but so far personal gain didn't seem to be causing them much trouble.
Whenever Chris drove to the University he could never get over how big it was. He had only just found out how to get to the library, to use their facilities, without getting lost.
"Have fun" Chris smiled, sarcastically.
Wyatt glared "Just you wait"
Chris smiled; he'd dropped out of education, after college, a few years ago. He didn't see the point of spending so much money when he didn't have any career goals ahead of him anyway. So he worked.
He decided against driving back home, as he'd just have to head straight back out again, so he drove to his mother's restaurant 'Charmed' as cheesy and cliché as it sounded, but it was Halliwell.
"Hi honey" Piper called as her son entered the restaurant
"Hey mum" Chris replied, smirking as he saw his mother in a frenzied state. "What event have you got planned for tonight?"
"Uh, a wedding party, they'll eat here and go to P3 afterwards"
"They will?" Chris asked
Piper paused her flailing "Did I forget to tell you that?"
Chris nodded "Mmhm"
"Mum" Chris spoke, grabbing her arms gently "Don't panic, your events are always a hit, you know this"
"I know" she replied "But this is important, it's their wedding day, the most important day of their lives so it has to be special and perfect-"
"It will be" Chris promised
"And demon free" She finished
Chris hesitated "Well, I'll do my very best to keep all demons away from the dining area"
Piper looked at him
"What? It's the best I can do" he shrugged, helplessly.
Piper smiled, obviously amused
"So, what do you need me to do?"
Piper sighed "Could you go get the decorations from P3?"
"Why are the decorations at P3?"
"Because your father had the restaurant decorations delivered to P3 and the P3 decorations delivered to the manor"
Chris looked at his mother, but she knew what her son wanted to ask.
"Why? Oh, I'll tell ya" she said, walking off leaving a confused Chris to follow "Because he didn't want either venue getting too cluttered so now I need the decorations here in an hour just to be on schedule and it takes an hour to get there with traffic"
Chris stopped his mother continuing her full blown rant. "Its fine, I'll go and get them now" he told her "Do you want me to orb?" he asked, quietly as not to alert prying ears.
Piper considered this "Yes, but make sure no one sees you"
"Promise" Chris replied, shocked his mother was allowing it.
Chris orbed into the back room of P3, having sensed beforehand, he knew no one was there. He walked out and saw the decorations in boxes. Chris frowned at the amount there were, hoping he wouldn't drop any on his journey back. He was about to go and pick them up when he heard a noise coming from the entrance.
"Hey Mark" Chris greeted, mentally cursing him, and his bad timing.
"Chris? How'd you get in?" He asked
Chris frowned "What are you talking about?"
"I just unlocked the door" Mark told him.
"Yeah, I was about to start some work so I locked the door so people wouldn't come in and distract me" Chris told him
"Oh, do you want me to leave then?" Mark asked
"If you wouldn't mind, but come back in half an hour, I'll be gone and you can do whatever it is you came in here to do" Chris told him.
Mark chuckled "Sure thing, man. Just be careful walking the streets. I heard on the news that people have been turning up everywhere – like they've been used as a chew toy. Cannibalism or something" he grimaced.
Chris soon regretted asking Mark to leave, but knew he needed to get back to his mother if he wanted to live to find out what was going on. So, he took the boxes and orbed back to a safe place in the restaurant which was created for the sole purpose of orbing in and out.
He easily spotted his mother and made his way to her with four boxes of decorations in hand.
"Mum" Chris called, realizing there was no place to set the boxes.
"Chris" Piper smiled when she saw the decorations and took two boxes from her son with ease.
"Where do we put them?" Chris asked
"Ok, just set them on the floor over there and start decorating that side, and I'll do the same on this side"
Chris nodded "Yes ma'am"
Piper scowled playfully "You're about the only person who can get away with calling me that"
"Which, is why it would make no sense if I didn't use it to my advantage"
Chris turned and started to do just that.
"Did you hear the news?" Chris heard one of the waitresses ask another.
The other shook her head "No, why?"
"Apparently people have been found half eaten, the flesh torn from their bodies" she replied
"That's disgusting" the girl replied in laughter.
The first girl glared "It's not funny"
"Whatever" she shrugged "We'd better get back to work before we get nagged by that crazy owner"
"Hey" Chris called, choosing to ignore the last comment about his mother, for the moment. "Can I talk to you for a second?" he asked the first waitress.
"Sure" the second one replied, smirking.
"Actually, I was talking to her" Chris replied, making sure the girl who was about to walk away heard him.
The second waitress scoffed "And who are you?"
Chris stared at her "That crazy owner's son" he told her, the moment passed, the comment wouldn't be ignored.
Her eyes widened and scurried off while he smirked, noticing the first girl was struggling to stifle her laughter.
"Thank you" she said suddenly
"For what?" Chris asked
"For putting her in her place"
Chris shrugged "I have no idea what my mother was thinking when she hired her"
The girl shrugged "You needed me for something?"
"Yes" Chris replied, waiting for a name
"Julie" he replied "Unfortunately on a not so nice topic, I was wondering what you've heard about the attacks"
"Nothing really" she replied "Why?"
"Because I had to drop my brother off at University so I didn't have time to watch the news and you're the second person I've heard talking about it" he replied, honestly.
"I see, well I don't know much" she replied, shyly. "But according to the news they're thinking cannibalism" she told him.
"Yeah" Julie replied "Um, what's your name?"
"Chris" he told her, putting his hand out.
"Nice to meet you" she said, shaking it.
"Chris" Piper called "Hi Julie" she greeted "So, are you done with the decorations?" she asked
"Ok, well when you're done I need you to go to the house and get the decorations then go to club and put the decorations up then go back to the house and make a cake"
"Got it. Wait what?"
Piper sighed "I'd make it myself but I'm too busy and I don't trust anyone else not to poison it"
"House, club, house, cake, restaurant, am I missing anything?"
"No" Piper breathed a sigh of relief
"Do you want me to get everyone else down here?"
"I have it under control" she replied "But tell them to get their butts down here" she continued in the same happy voice.
Chris laughed as his mother walked away and turned back to Julie "She's a bit of a perfectionist" he told her, turning back to put the remaining decorations up.
"Need any help?" Julie offered.
Chris smiled "Yeah, that'd be great, thanks"
With Julie helping the work only took half the time it was supposed to.
"Thanks" Chris smiled
"No problem, I'm not needed until later, we're all here just helping out where we can"
"Well, you think you can help me with the rest of my duties?" he asked
"You live here?" Julie asked
Chris laughed "Growing up, yeah. It's still home but now me and my brother share an apartment"
"Chris?" a voice came from upstairs "Just so you know we have a demon-stration to tackle" Prue faltered, walking down the stairs.
Chris sighed "Yeah, I know. But I have to get these decorations to P3, put them up, then come back here and make a cake and take it to the restaurant"
"Ok, who's this?" Prue asked
"Sorry, Prue this is Julie, she's helping me with the workload, Julie this is my cousin, Prue"
"Nice to meet you" Julie said
"Likewise" Prue smiled "Ok, so what if I go to P3 and put up the decorations, I have Wyatt upstairs – we know what to do the demon-stration on and you make the cake then Julie an take it back to the restaurant then we can get to work" Prue smiled
"Mmhm, one problem"
"I knew you were going to say that"
"Mum wants me to get the family down to the restaurant to help out"
"She'd understand" Prue phrased, more like a hopeful question.
"You're considering ignoring a direct order from Piper Halliwell?"
Prue sighed "Fine, Wyatt's upstairs, I'll let him know what's going on and we will think up a new plan" she yelled, running up the stairs.
Julie looked at Chris who shrugged "She's really fanatical about nailing that demonstration" Julie nodded, slowly "Kitchen's this way" he smiled.
"So, how do we kill the demon while keeping to mums orders?" Wyatt asked
"Lead the Jikininki to the restaurant and kill it?" Prue asked
"Jikininki, tell me again what they are, exactly"
"Jikininki" she read, straight out of the Book of Shadows "They usually feed on lifeless corpses as part of a curse that was put on them by a witch. But it seems they've found a way around the curse because they're moving up the ladder"
"To fresh meat"
"Exactly, so leading the Jikininki demons to the restaurant?"
"Are you kidding?" Wyatt asked
"No" Prue stated
"Leading a bunch of people eating demons into a room full of people, yeah sounds brilliant, it's their wedding day!"
"Ok, well Wyatt I'm not sure we have much choice"
"How about we lead them to P3 instead and tell mum we'll wait for the guests to arrive there so there are people there as soon as they arrive"
"Ok, that could work, so we're not telling Aunt Piper?"
"No, from what you told me she's stressed enough as it is"
"Ok, so go tell the others to go to the restaurant and get started on a vanquishing spell, I'll go fill Chris in"
"How are you going to do with...?"
"Julie, in the same room?"
"Well, I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm crazy, a little more craziness won't hurt" she replied "Much"
Wyatt smiled; sometimes she could be so much like her name-sake, Prue. Other times she was totally and completely her mother's daughter.
"Hey Chris" Prue greeted, walking into the kitchen "Hi Julie"
"Hey Prue" Chris replied, mixing the ingredients into a bowl while Julie kept him company
"Ok, I thought I'd fill you in, Wyatt is going to ring the family and tell them to go to the restaurant and then he'll write a closing speech for the demon-stration and go to P3 to prepare for when the guests come and practice the closing speech, sound good?"
"Perfect" Chris smiled 'Wyatt, why couldn't you have just told me all this telepathically?'
Wyatt was currently in a laughing fit, as Chris had let him hear the whole thing through his thoughts, but managed to think 'because that was so much more entertaining'
Chris smiled, he had to admit, it was true. Julie looked at Chris when Prue left.
"Am I missing something?"
Chris shook his head "We're all perfectionists, and these things bring it out in Prue"
"Uh huh" Julie replied, sceptically.
Chris smiled, pouring the mixed ingredients into a baking tray.
"Ok, get family to the restaurant, check" Wyatt muttered to himself "Vanquishing spell, half a check" Wyatt said, glumly. He was more of a power-killing demon type witch, Chris was best with spells and potions.
"Ok, time to check on him" Wyatt decided.
He walked down to the kitchen to see Chris pulling out a freshly baked cake out of the oven
"Smells good" Wyatt grinned
"Not for you" Chris teased, putting the icing sugar on.
Wyatt huffed then turned to Julie "I'm Wyatt, Chris' brother"
"Julie, I work at your mum's restaurant"
"Ah, so is that where you two met?" Wyatt asked
"Mmhm" Chris eyed his brother, but said nothing.
"I finished the closing speech which is perfect"
Chris smiled "Let me see?" Chris said, holding out his hands. Wyatt gave him the paper. Chris read it quietly "OK"
"It's good?" Wyatt asked, hopefully
Chris grinned, if there was one thing Wyatt was insecure about it was spells.
"It'll work" he assured his brother.
"You're better with words" Wyatt pouted
Chris rolled his eyes "You brawn me brain, I thought we had established this"
This seemed to cheer Wyatt up.
Chris put the third and fourth layers of the cake in the oven to bake while he returned to decorating the bottom two layers.
"OK" Wyatt said, tearing his eyes away from the tempting goodness in front of him "I'm going to go to the club"
"Wyatt" Chris called before he left the kitchen
Chris handed him the bowl of cake mixture which he had left over.
Wyatt grinned, taking the bowl and turned to Julie "Best brother ever"
Julie giggled and watched a very happy Wyatt leave the room.
"Sorry about all the stuff going on"
"Its fine, keeps things interesting"
Chris smiled "Yeah, I guess so"
About an hour later the cake was finished and ready to be delivered.
"Are you sure you don't mind taking it?" Chris asked
"I'm sure; I just don't want to ruin it"
"You'll be fine, though if you wreck the car that's another story" he winked
She glared, playfully "Not nice"
"So, I've phoned ahead, my dad and Uncle Coop will be there when you arrive" he told her
She nodded "I'll see you later?"
Chris smiled and leant through the car window to talk to her more easily "Come by the club after work?"
Julie nodded "I'll be there"
"Good luck with your demonstration" she raised her voice, over the engine
Chris laughed "Good luck at the restaurant, a room full of stressed Halliwells, you'll be lucky to make it out alive" he smirked, moving away from the car so she could back out of the driveway.
Chris watched her drive down the road before walking back into the house. He walked in and immediately orbed over to P3.
"Wow" Chris exclaimed "The place looks great"
"Thanks" Prue said, jumping up from behind the bar.
"Is Wyatt here yet?"
"He will be then we will go to the underworld, pick a fight then come back up here and vanquish them"
"Why can't we vanquish them in the Underworld?" Chris asked
"According to the Book it has to be done above ground, if they're vanquished below there's too much evil energy the Jikininki can use to resurrect itself"
"I'm sorry, the what?"
"Jikininki, used to feed of lifeless corpses because of a curse but a few of these have broken the curse somehow and moved up to better game"
"Well" Chris started "At least it's not cannibalism" Prue gave him a strange look but didn't comment. Suddenly something occurred to Chris "Uh Mark, has he been around yet?"
"Been and gone I told him he could have the night off" Prue told him, absently.
"Oh did you?" Chris asked
Prue looked up at him "Sorry should've cleared it with you first, huh?"
"No, it's fine" Chris told her
"I'm here" Wyatt called out
"Finally, now does anyone know how to find these demons?" Chris asked. The pair remained quiet. "You're joking?"
"This is why we need you" Prue told him.
"So, we need to make a spell?"
They nodded again
"And by we, you mean you, right?" Prue asked
Chris rolled his eyes but started chanting "Ok
Jikininki demons who we seek
We ask to bring ourselves to thee
Above or below we wish to find
These demons wish within our minds"
Almost immediately they were surrounded by bright lights
"It worked" Prue said, suddenly, trying not to puke at the sight of the demons tearing an innocent's body to shreds.
"You guys want more fresh meat?" Chris called, catching the demons attention.
It worked; they stopped tearing at the now lifeless victim and focused on the living, breathing humans in front of them.
"You want us?" Wyatt asked "Come and get us"
"Ah, you brought the cake" Piper smiled as her husband and Coop brought it in with Julie following in behind.
"It looks amazing" she smiled; being the most relaxed she's been all day.
People started pouring though the doors of the restaurant. Piper gave everything a glace over to make sure nothing was out of place.
"Where are Wyatt, Chris and Prue?" Melinda asked
"They're at P3" Piper told them
"Yeah, they were talking about a closing speech for a demonstration" Julie said, having no idea they weren't supposed to know, walking off with trays to make the guests happy.
"Demonstration" Phoebe asked
"Closing speech?" Paige questioned.
Piper sighed "I think they were talking in code. They're at P3 vanquishing a demon"
Phoebe and Paige nodded in understanding.
"It makes sense" Melinda chimed in "Using P3, they wanted to help you so had to figure out how to do that while nailing the demon-stration" she said, reverting back to code talk as a waiter walked by.
"But why wouldn't they tell me?"
"Honey, knowing them they didn't want to put you under any more stress" Paige told her sisters, knowing Phoebe was worried as well for her daughter's safety.
Piper nodded "I know, but now I won't stop worrying until I know they're safe"
"Trust them" Leo said, stepping in when no one knew what to say "Do you remember when you had to go out and vanquish demons, and I had to wait, wondering if you were going to return safely?"
Piper nodded, she remembered all too well.
"I had to trust you to go out and do it yourselves without getting involved unless to heal you. Now it's your turn to do the same for them. They're going to be going out on vanquishes every week like you all were, and sometimes we're not going to know anything about it. That's their destiny.
Piper sighed "I guess"
At P3 Chris, Wyatt and Prue orbed in "You think they followed?" Prue asked, breathing heavily.
They heard a noise and turned to see the entrance of the grotesque demons.
"I'm going to go with yes" Chris replied
"Spell! Spell! Spell!" Prue ordered as Wyatt fumbled with the paper.
"These demons cursed
We banish you
From the Earth
From the World"
Wyatt grinned as the demon was killed in a mass of screeching and acid. "It worked!"
"Amazingly" Prue replied, reading the piece of paper over and over.
"What's going on in there?" A voice yelled from outside. Three hands immediately went up, telekinetically barricading the door.
"Let the object of objection
Become but a dream
As I cause the scene
To be unseen"
Chris cast, walking up to the door.
"Personal gain" Prue scolded
"Not for us, for them" Chris contradicted
He opened the door, letting the guests in.
"What was that noise?" the groom asked
"Yeah, sounded like screeching
"Ah, sorry we were checking the sound system and my brother pressed the wrong thing" he told the crowd, not missing the glare Wyatt threw at him "Come on in"
Believing the explanation given to them, everyone walked through the doors, oblivious to what had occurred just moments before.
"Nice cover" Piper told her son as she walked through.
"Cover?" Chris asked, innocently.
Piper smiled "Julie told us about you guys working on your closing speech for your demon-stration" she said, knowingly.
Chris sighed, defeated.
"I get why you didn't tell me, it's OK, but you call or jingle everyday to let me know you're OK" Piper warned, pointing her finger at him.
"Got it, mum"
"Hi" Julie greeted, walking into the club.
"Hey, I hear you told my mum about the demonstration" Chris commented walking down the stairs with her.
"Was I not meant to?" Julie asked, concerned
Chris grinned "I'll live"
"Well thank Goodness for that"
Chris chuckled "Do you want to dance?" he asked, noticing people were entering the middle of the room.
Julie nodded, smiling "Yeah"
Chris took her hand and lead the way while, unbeknown to him, his family, who were allowed in the club, looked on at the pair.
"So not fair" Prue whined
"Well I say good luck to them" Phoebe said "You know, with our lives you have to take every opportunity to just live"
"Here here" Piper concurred
The rest of the family held their glasses up in agreement.
That's chapter 4 done :)
I'd like to say thank you to everyone who is reading this story, and enjoying it! :)
Hope you like it!