Title: History Lesson
Series: New Future
Characters: Kyle, Wyatt & Chris
Summary: Uncle Kyle gives the boys a lesson in family history.
Author's Note: You really should read the first six stories in this series before proceeding to read this fic. This whole thing started so innocently. storydivagirl wrote me a nice fic for a round of charmedflashfic. So many of us liked the set up that she told us we could feel free to write in her universe as long as we linked back to her fic. I was assigned to write her a story for the OC ficathon and decided to pick up where her story left off. Since then it's spiraled slightly out of control (anyone want to borrow the angsty Chris muse for a few months?). When I asked Helen what kind of fic she wanted for her birthday - she requested another installment. So here it is. There's also a bonus present in that storydivagirl has posted part 8 here - so please head over there after you read this!
Author's Note #2: Much love to my fabulous beta & collaborator, storydivagirl!
Author's Note #3: This story is slightly different from the others because Kyle decided it needed to be first person from his POV :)
I was scared.
Yes, it’s true, no matter how much I hate to admit it. You’d think that after more than ten years as a federal agent and twenty years as a white lighter, not much would scare me. When Wyatt and Chris asked me about the avatars, my blood ran cold. I always thought that was a figure of speech; now I know it can happen. Even to someone that’s been clinically dead for more than twenty years.
I don’t think I managed to cover my shock very well. I was glad that they had asked me though and not their parents or one of their aunts. The fallout from our last run in with the avatars had a profound impact on all of us; but I felt like I was the most level headed person to discuss that bit of family history with the boys. Ironic considering that the avatars killed me, causing me to became a white lighter, but true nonetheless.
Paige noticed that I was uneasy and distracted at dinner. She questioned me, trying to get me to tell her what was wrong. I told her that it had to do with one of my charges and I was bound by the white lighter/witch confidentiality agreement. I could tell she didn’t exactly believe me, but she knew that she couldn’t push me too hard once I invoked that.
As soon as dinner was over, I told her that I wanted to go and check on my charge. It wasn’t a total lie, Chris and Wyatt did fall under my white lighter jurisdiction, though Leo was technically their official white lighter.
As I orbed into their apartment, I was still trying to figure out how much to tell them about the avatars. If they were right and the avatars were responsible for Chris’s duel memories, we would have to tell Leo and the girls what was going on, something that would bring up countless bad memories for everyone.
“Hey Uncle Kyle,” they greeted me.
“So, tell us everything about the avatars,” Wyatt jumped right in, excitement shining in his eyes. That boy has always loved a challenge.
I sighed and ran my hand through my hair. Chris noticed my discomfort. “Dude, chill,” he said to his brother. “He’ll tell us in good time. Uncle Kyle, do you want something to drink?” he asked, giving me a concerned look.
I mustered a half hearted smile and shook my head. “No thanks, Chris. Look boys, there is a lot of Halliwell family history that you don’t know; things your parents felt you were better off not knowing. The avatars are one of those things. If your parents and aunts knew that I was here right now, about to share this with you, they’d have my head. But, if you’re right, and the avatars are responsible for what happened to Chris, well, we need to be prepared.”
Their faces reflected their change in attitude. I’ve always had a good relationship with both boys and I’m generally considered the fun one. But they know that when I mean business, it’s time to be serious.
“Uncle Kyle,” Wyatt asked, his tone a lot more serious, “why would our parents keep anything from us? Mom is the one who always says that forewarned is forearmed.”
“Yes, Wyatt, and your mom is right. But there are some things that happened when you boys were young that were too painful for your parents to discuss. What happened to Chris was one of them, the biggest one. Your dad was crushed by the betrayal of his mentor, Gideon.”
“We understand why they kept that from us,” Chris said, with a sideways glance at his older brother. I took note of the look because I was well aware of what had happened at the Halliwell Manor when Wyatt walked in on a discussion about that alternate time line where he’d been evil. I was glad to see that the boys had come to some sort of understanding about the whole situation.
Wyatt rolled his eyes and I sensed that while he might understand being kept in the dark, he wasn’t entirely happy about it. That wasn’t my reason for being there though and I kept the conversation on track.
“Did you ever hear how I met your family?”
“Weren’t you assigned as our white lighter when we started coming into our powers?” Wyatt asked. “Having the Charmed Ones and the two of us was too much for dad to handle, right?”
I was really uncomfortable about the family secrets I was about to reveal, but I knew there was no choice. I hoped Leo would be able to forgive me. “Well, that’s basically what happened.”
“Basically?” Chris instinctively knew I was holding something back.
“I was human when I first met your family,” I finally admitted. The shock on both boys’ faces was evident. “I was a federal agent investigating the Halliwell sisters.”
“You were investigating the Charmed Ones?” Wyatt asked. “I don’t understand.”
I squirmed a little. This was definitely not something I was proud of. “Well, see, your mom and her sisters were involved in a lot of unsolved cases with the San Francisco police. Darryl covered a lot of the stuff, but they showed up on so many witness lists and at so many crime scenes that it did become suspicious.”
“So then what?” Chris asked.
“I read through the case file and got myself assigned to it because I suspected they were the Charmed Ones and I needed their help.”
“I thought you said you were human,” Wyatt said.
“I was. But I knew that magic existed.”
“How?” Wyatt asked, his police training rising to the surface.
I thought of my parents and shook my head. “That’s a different, and long, story. Let’s stay focused on the issue at hand.”
“Oh sorry, go ahead.”
“Anyway, I finally confessed to your Aunt Paige that I needed her and her sisters to help me because there was a powerful new threat looming on the horizon.”
“The avatars,” Chris said.
I nodded. “The Elders were aware of a new threat also, but they weren’t familiar with the avatars, so my information was vital to the girls.”
I stopped. This was the part I was dreading.
“Are the avatars the ones who killed you, Uncle Kyle?” Chris asked softly.
I nodded. “But that’s not all they did.”
Both boys waited for me to continue. I took a few deep breaths and muttered a silent apology to Leo.
“Your dad became an avatar.”
The silence in the room was oppressive. The boys were obviously shocked by my statement.
“What happened?” Wyatt finally managed.
“Well, to make a long story short, the avatars convinced your dad that their goal was to create a utopia on earth. Your dad was vulnerable because of the Gideon mess and was easily swayed to their way of thinking. He managed to convince your mother and your Aunt Phoebe to give them a chance.”
“But not Aunt Paige,” Chris commented. The Halliwell boys are smart, I have to give them credit where its due.
“No, your Aunt Paige and I had grown fairly close by that point and I’d shared with her my background information on the avatars. She was on my side, thinking they were evil, and it caused a rift between the sisters.”
“Ooh, that’s not good,” the boys observed simultaneously. I couldn’t help but smile.
“No, it wasn’t good. In the end, Paige sided with her sisters and they agreed to help the avatars re-make the world. The mere fact that the avatars needed the assistance of the Charmed Ones should have been a huge red flag, but after losing Prue and big Chris and the betrayal by Gideon, they were all ready for a demon-free world.”
“And you weren’t?” Wyatt asked.
“I knew deep down that the avatars were not good, despite all of their utopia talk. I had an ancient potion that was the only way to vanquish avatars and I managed to use it on one of them but she was able to kill me before it worked.”
Chris and Wyatt shared a look. “That explains the weird look on your face when we asked you to tell us about the avatars,” Chris said.
“Okay, but what happened after that?” Wyatt asked. “Obviously dad is not an avatar and our world is not a utopia.”
“Well, your dad soon realized that the way the avatars maintained a conflict free world was by removing anyone who disrupted things. He became quickly disenchanted with their beliefs and managed to convince the sisters to return things to the way they’d been.”
“So you were alive again?” Chris asked.
“No, Chris, they couldn’t go back that far. But, as a reward for my crusade against the avatars, the Elders allowed me to become a white lighter.”
“There’s more though,” Wyatt said. “The Elders definitely wouldn’t have let dad get away with going against them. And I vaguely remember something from when I was a kid.”
Chris rolled his eyes. “Damn, Wy, no one can remember when they were two. Give it up already.”
I chuckled at their argument but came to Wyatt’s defense. “Actually, Chris, your brother is right. There is more. The Elders did punish your dad. They made him choose between being an Elder and giving up his family, or having his family and giving up his powers.”
Wyatt shot Chris a triumphant look. “Told you.”
“Well wait,” Chris said, ignoring his brother’s childish antics. “Dad has his powers and us. How’d that happen?”
“Initially your dad chose his family. After the Gideon thing, he was determined to be the best father he could be. When you went back in time, Chris, you told him that he’d been an absent father and you two had a rather acrimonious relationship, or so I’m told. When Gideon stabbed the adult you, Leo vowed to never let anything or anyone get in the way of his relationship with his sons. He clipped his wings and became mortal. It was a tough transition for him, but your mom and your aunts ended up putting him in charge of magic school to keep him busy. I was assigned as your family’s new white lighter, much to the chagrin of some of the Elders who knew I was in love with Paige. Wyatt was already starting to learn control of his powers at that time and you weren’t too far behind, Chris. Keeping up with both of you and the Charmed Ones got to be a little overwhelming. The Elders tried about four other white lighters before they finally gave in and reinstated your dad. It’s not easy being the white lighter for a Halliwell.”
Wyatt nodded slowly. “I kind of remember that.”
Chris rolled his eyes again. “All right, so the avatars aren’t exactly evil but they aren’t really good either. They’re apparently very powerful, but what would they possibly gain by making me have both sets of memories?”
I shook my head. “That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out ever since you guys told me you thought they were responsible. “I definitely agree that they are the only ones out there that would have the ability to do something like that. I can’t come up with any good reason for it though, unless they thought it would cause a rift between the two of you and possibly the rest of the family, giving them an easier time of trying to get their way this time around.”
“That doesn’t make much sense though. Screwing with our family is not going to make us forget what they did in the past or convince us to help them again,” Wyatt argued.
“But we didn’t know what happened in the past, Wy,” Chris pointed out. “Maybe they thought that I’d start treating you differently and become paranoid and that they’d target me to help ensure you wouldn’t become evil in this time line too?”
“But we’re not as powerful as the Charmed Ones. Wouldn’t they still have needed mom, Aunt Phoebe and Aunt Paige to remake the world?”
“Not necessarily. We’re almost as powerful as the Charmed Ones. And maybe the avatars have become more powerful in the twenty years since they were here last. Maybe we would have been enough.”
“I don’t know, Chris, I still think we’re missing something.”
“So do I,” I finally interrupted their conversation. Like I said before, the Halliwell boys are smart. I was more than content to listen to them try to sort this mess out. And while I thought they were likely on the right track, I agreed with Wyatt that we were missing something vital, something that should have been obvious.
The three of us fell silent, reviewing what we knew about the avatars, magic, and Chris’s duel sets of memories. Trying desperately to connect the dots and figure out what the avatars were up to.
Suddenly Chris sat up straight and looked directly at his brother. “Wyatt, why did you come back to the manor the other night?”
Wyatt and I both looked at Chris in confusion.
“Why did you come back to the manor? You said you were heading back to our apartment because you had an early morning at work the next day. I told you I was taking Heather home. You made some snide remarks about what I’d be doing with Heather and implied that you didn’t expect me home very early. So why did you come back to the manor?”
I figured out where Chris was going with his questions and gave him an encouraging nod. I could tell Wyatt was still confused.
“I…” he bit his lip, trying to remember. “I don’t know.” He looked to me, eyes wide. “Uncle Kyle, do you think…”
“It’s possible,” I said slowly. “They can be quite manipulative.” I remembered hearing about how they manipulated Leo into killing an elder. I decided to leave that story for another day though."
“But… how would me learning about that alternate future help them?”
I glanced at Chris and nodded for him to continue.
“Because after I visited the past, mom and dad were excessively paranoid about you growing up to be evil. They totally blamed themselves for it. I managed to change the future, but if you found out that you could possess this great power by renouncing your goodness, you might be tempted to try it. And mom and dad would do anything to keep that from happening.”
Wyatt picked up on the emphasis his brother put on the word anything. “Including allowing the avatars to have another chance at utopia,” he said bitterly. “So this is all my fault.”
“No, it’s my fault,” Chris argued. “I should have never told anyone about my weird memories and dreams.”
“Boys,” I stepped in. “It’s their fault. Everything you are feeling is a result of one of their manipulations. You need to stick together. And we’re going to need to talk to your parents and your aunts.” I sighed. “It’s not going to be easy.”
“Well, we may as well get it over with,” Chris said. “No sense in waiting until the avatars find some way to manipulate them too.”
I nodded, even though I was dreading it. I knew that Piper and Leo had never planned on telling the boys about the avatars. But I could handle them being pissed at me if it meant protecting the family and the rest of the world. The three of us orbed to the manor, where I was certain all hell was about to break loose.