Title: Truth & Consequences
Word Count: 3,968
Summary: It's a night of many revelations in the Halliwell manor.
Author's Note: Congrats on meeting your goals, Tommygirl!!
Disclaimer: Don't own anything you recognize :)
He stopped her on the porch before they reached the door.
“Are you sure you’re ready for this?”
She rolled her eyes. “I met your family once already, Chris.”
“I know, but this time will be different. They know you’re a witch and you know that my mom and her sisters are the Charmed Ones.”
“The only thing that will be different is that we’ll all be able to be honest with each other.”
He smiled, realizing she was right, and lifted his hand to ring the bell. Before he had the chance, the door was flung open and his Aunt Paige was standing on the other side, grinning at him.
“Glad you decided to join us, Christopher,” she said sardonically. “And Heather, it’s nice to meet you again,” she said, shaking the young girl’s hand.
“Thanks Paige, it’s good to be here again,” Heather replied with a smile as she walked into the foyer.
Paige grabbed Chris by the arm and managed to whisper in his ear, “We need to talk later, mister.” They shared a grin. Piper had finally shared with her sisters that Chris now possessed memories from both of his futures, which included the memories of all the time he’d spent with his family as an adult just before he was born.
He followed Heather into the parlor where she had been engaged in a lively discussion with Les and Phoebe. The moment Phoebe noticed him, she excused herself and ran over to give Chris a huge hug.
“It’s good to have you back,” she whispered. He squeezed her a little tighter. Maybe it was going to be a good thing for him to be able to talk about everything that had happened with his aunts.
“Gee, Aunt Phoebe, it’s good to see you, too,” Wyatt commented, a false note of hurt in his voice.
“Aw, Wy, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to neglect you,” Phoebe replied, overly sweet, engulfing her older nephew into a hug and holding him extremely tight. After a moment, he tried to pull away, but despite her age and her diminutive appearance, Phoebe was still a force to be reckoned with and maintained her grip.
“Okay, Aunt Phoebes, enough,” he finally said, both of them breaking out into laughter.
“You know how hard we’ve tried to treat you boys equally,” she said. “I intend to maintain that even though you’re adults now.”
Chris and Wyatt exchanged a glance across the room, both slightly shaking their heads at their aunt’s words.
“Long as you guys don’t start hugging me like that, it’s fine,” Pete commented from across the room. All three sisters exchanged a mischievous glance and Paige grabbed them both and orbed across the room so they were surrounding Pete. He immediately found himself getting squished by his mother and both of his aunts.
“Ew gross!” he exclaimed as he wiggled out of their grasp and disappeared.
Heather gasped in confusion. “It’s okay,” Chris said, coming up behind her and putting his hands on her shoulders. “One of his newest powers is the power of invisibility. He is just starting to master it and he loves to show off.”
Piper cleared her throat, everyone in the room immediately turning their attention to her. “I think it’s probably a good time to do proper introductions now that we’ve learned Heather is one of us.”
Everyone took a seat and Piper stood in the center of the room.
“Okay, now, I’m the oldest sister and my main power is temporal stasis, which is the ability to slow down or speed up time. Basically I can freeze people and objects or blow them up by making their molecules move faster.”
Heather looked suitably impressed.
“Her other power is reading minds though,” Wyatt mumbled under his breath.
“I heard that Wyatt Matthew Halliwell.” Everyone chuckled.
“My husband Leo is an Elder. He started out as a white lighter after World War Two. He became an Elder in 2003 when we fought the Titans.”
“The titans were real?” Heather asked incredulously.
“They sure were,” Chris responded automatically, not realizing the ramifications of his words until they were out of his mouth.
Luckily, Paige jumped in and rescued him. “Chris has heard that story a million times,” she replied. “We left out the scariest details though so he wouldn’t have nightmares.” Everyone chuckled again and Chris gave Paige a grateful smile.
“Wyatt was the first male born in the Halliwell line. He was twice blessed because he was the first child of a Charmed One and a white lighter. He had a force field that protected him from evil when he was younger, but he outgrew that around the age of four, when he started to gain control of his powers. He can orb and heal like a white lighter, but he’s also telekinetic and inherited my power of temporal stasis.”
“Don’t forget the sword,” Chris mumbled, feigning an offended air.
Piper glared briefly at her younger son and then smiled at Heather. “Wyatt is also the master of Excalibur.”
“Wow.” She cast a glance at Wyatt, whose face was charmingly flush from his mother’s bragging.
“And then there is Christopher. He was quite a surprise to us being that Leo and I were technically separated when he was conceived,” she started, as her sons both covered their ears. “And the fact that he was another boy was also a surprise. Chris’s main power is telekinesis and he can orb, but he also has some premonitions.”
Heather squeezed Chris’s hand.
“Am I boring you yet?” Piper asked.
“Absolutely not. This is completely fascinating. I don’t really know any other witches except for my mother and I inherited her powers, so it’s amazing to hear about all these different abilities.”
“What are your powers, Heather?” Phoebe asked.
Heather grinned and looked at the decorative sconces that Piper had hanging around the room. Suddenly, the candles in all of them were lit.
“A fire starter,” Leo commented, obviously impressed. “That’s a very rare and very coveted ability.”
“Yeah, that’s why my mom and I seldom used our abilities. We were pretty low key and it’s why we aren’t well known in the magical community.”
“Well, I’m the middle sister,” Phoebe piped up. “I started off with premonitions, developed levitation and then became an empath. I’m also a 4th degree black belt in tai kwan do, but that’s not a magical power.”
“A 4th degree black belt,” Heather commented. “Remind me not to upset you.”
Phoebe smiled. “My poor husband Les is a mere mortal,” she continued. Les rolled his eyes. “But he’s a very talented writer.”
“I’m also a very talented runner and hider,” he joked. “And I’ve got great aim when it comes to throwing potions.”
“My son, Pete, as you noticed earlier, has the power of invisibility. He’s also somewhat telekinetic and has had several premonitions. And my daughter, Polly, well, she has astral projection, psycho kinesis and is becoming an empath.”
“I can’t imagine what it would be like to have multiple powers,” Heather admitted.
“I couldn’t have imagined having any powers when I was your age,” Paige commented.
Heather looked confused.
“I wasn’t an original Charmed One,” Paige explained. “We had another sister, Prue, who died a long time ago.”
“See, I used to be the middle sister,” Piper added. “Then when Prue was killed, we found out that our mother had had an affair with her white lighter and they’d had a daughter and given her up for adoption because it was completely against the rules for witches and white lighters to get involved.”
Leo placed his hand on his wife’s shoulder and she tilted her head back to smile at him. “Luckily, the Elders got over that one.”
“Anyway, back to me,” Paige continued with a grin. “I was the first half witch, half white lighter. I have an unusual form of telekinesis because of my orbing. Wyatt takes after me. I can also heal to some degree. Now my husband, Kyle, is a full white lighter,” she began. “You haven’t met him yet though because he’s dealing with some difficult charges right now.”
Heather got a sheepish grin on her face. “I actually know Kyle already.”
Everyone in the room turned to stare at her.
“He’s my white lighter,” she confessed, “and has been since I was born. My mom was one of his first charges.
“So you knew about me then?” Chris asked, confused by her revelation.
“No. He never spoke about his family. I mean, I knew he was married, but he never mentioned a name or anything. And when you talked about your Uncle Kyle, it never occurred to me that it was my white lighter Kyle. It was only after you and I told each other that I thought it might be the case. He knew who I was though and that’s why he wasn’t here last time I came for dinner.”
“That jerk!” Paige exclaimed. “I can’t believe he didn’t tell me, his own wife!”
“Yeah, that would have been good, Paige, you keep secrets about as well as Phoebe does,” Piper said.
“Hey!” Phoebe retorted.
The sisters began to argue in earnest. Chris took Heather by the hand and led her out of the room, following Wyatt, Leo, and Les.
“Sorry about that,” Leo apologized. “They’ll settle down in a few minutes.”
Heather laughed along with the rest of them.
The dinner had been a rousing success. Kyle ended up coming home halfway through and got yelled at by Paige for keeping Heather’s identity a secret. Heather had given the sisters some tips on a vanquishing potion she and her mother had created. Chris was happy that Heather knew the truth and was able to fit in with his family.
He orbed into the manor after taking Heather home. He knew he had to talk to his aunts. He was looking forward to it though. He couldn’t wait to hear their take on what had happened twenty two years earlier.
His aunts pounced the moment he was in the room.
“I cannot believe you didn’t tell us as soon as you remembered!” Phoebe started.
“Yeah, why did it take two months for us to find out what was going on?” Paige demanded.
Chris looked at his parents for help.
“We didn’t want you guys to worry,” Leo said.
“And besides, Chris didn’t even tell us right away,” Piper added. “He didn’t really know what was going on. It took a while to sort everything out.”
“Okay then,” Phoebe asked, “why did you decide to tell us now?”
Piper looked at Chris, knowing this was his story to tell.
He took a deep breath and plunged in, trying not to care if his aunts thought he was certifiable. “Well, when I first woke up with both sets of memories it was when I had that cold and I was really confused. I kept forgetting things that I should have known, like Wyatt being a cop, but I also couldn’t grasp why things felt off. I felt like I’d been stabbed, but there was no mark on my stomach. I was starting to think I was going crazy. Then some… thing… grabbed me at magic school and explained that my soul had been pulled before Gideon’s magic could kill me. It helped me assimilate my memories and told me that I was being rewarded by being placed here, so I could enjoy the future I’d helped create.”
“Then what?” Paige asked, knowing there had to be more.
“Well then I was able to remember everything fully from both time lines. I started back to class and saw Heather and almost had a heart attack.”
“So did we when you showed up with her here,” Phoebe admitted.
“And at first, I was okay. I was happy to have the good memories and I was enjoying spending time with you guys and with Wyatt and Heather. Then I started having nightmares about the old future. I just feel like I can’t ever be completely happy here because I’ll always be afraid that Wyatt will change again and I’ll have to try to save him before he spills the blood of an innocent.”
“Oh honey,” Piper said, hugging her younger son.
“Okay, so, there was a lot of stuff you never told us because of future consequences back then,” Phoebe said. “Can we ask you some of the questions we had and maybe we can try to pinpoint if it was just the Gideon thing that turned Wyatt then or if there was something else to it?”
He shrugged. “Yeah, I guess. I’ll answer as best as I can. Sometimes the memories get tangled up or fuzzy though.”
“How old was Wyatt when you first realized something was wrong?” Phoebe had unearthed a notepad and pen from somewhere and was poised to take notes.
Chris struggled to think of the first occasion he could remember where Wyatt had misused magic.
“I guess he was about seven. It was when I started kindergarten and he was in second grade,” he spoke slowly as he let the memory wash over him.
“Why are your pants ripped, Chris? Mommy is going to be mad.”
“‘Cause Billy Thompson pushed me on the playground. Do you think she’ll ground me?”
“Why didn’t you push Billy back? His family isn’t nearly as powerful as ours.”
“‘Cause I don’t like fighting, Wy. I want Billy to be my friend.”
“You’re better than that creep, Chris, and don’t you forget it. We’re Halliwells.”
The look of pure hatred in Wyatt’s eyes scared Chris. He’d seen his daddy look like that a few times, but only when he was fighting demons. Chris missed having his daddy around all the time. He wished he didn’t have to go and become a stupid elder.
“Isn’t that Billy?” Wyatt asked as they stood in the hall outside Aunt Paige’s office, waiting for her to take them home.
Chris glanced down the hall and saw that Billy was walking towards them. “Yeah.”
Wyatt stepped out in the hall and blocked Billy’s path.
“Excuse me,” Billy said in a small voice, giving Chris a nervous glance.
“You pushed my little brother today. You owe him an apology.”
“Wy, stop,” Chris pleaded with his older brother.
Billy looked increasingly more nervous. “I’m sorry Chris.”
“It’s okay, Billy. Now let him go, Wyatt.”
Wyatt glared at his brother. “That wasn’t good enough, Billy.” He flicked his wrist and Billy's arm blew up.
Paige and several other teachers came running when they heard Billy’s screams. Chris stood in shock and watched as Wyatt calmly lied to everyone that it had been an accident. Chris and Billy were both too frightened to contradict him. One of the Elders healed Billy and sent him home.
Later that night, Chris tried to tell his mommy what really happened, but she just yelled at him for telling stories.
Chris blinked a few times, trying to remember when and where he was. He saw his mother and his aunts wiping tears away from their eyes.
“Oh Chris,” Piper said, taking his hand in hers. “I am so sorry that we didn’t listen to you.”
He shrugged. “It was a different time and place, mom. All that matters is that you listened to me twenty two years ago when I came back.”
“Well do you have any idea what happened with the Wyatt and Gideon thing in that time?” Paige asked. “I’ve been confused about that since we found out Gideon was the one. Apparently we either never found out or never told you or you would have known who you were looking for.”
“Believe me, I tried in that time and I’ve been trying now to figure that one out. The best I can come up with is that Gideon managed to kidnap Wyatt, but when he tried to kill him, Wyatt’s shield saved him. I think Gideon left him in the underworld and then you guys sent out the magical search parties to find him. I also think that it happened a little earlier in that time, because it was before I was born but I don’t think mom was about to pop. When dad became an elder in my time, it was because Gideon retired. I don’t know if he ever tried anything else or not. It’s possible but if he did, none of you ever found out.”
“Or, more likely, he realized Wyatt’s magic was too strong and he left him alone, but Wyatt was reminded of the trauma every time he was near Gideon,” Phoebe said.
“It’s hard because I was so young and there was a lot of stuff you guys didn’t tell me. Then mom was killed when I was fourteen and dad stopped seeing me and Wyatt completely.” He put his head down and sobbed quietly at the painful memories of losing his mother.
“Chris,” Piper said quietly. “You never told us how I died.”
He looked up, his eyes full of hatred, fear and sadness. He just shook his head and continued sobbing.
“It was Wyatt, wasn’t it?” Paige asked, her voice barely a whisper.
Chris managed a slight nod. Piper’s face blanched. Paige took her hand and squeezed it.
“Oh, Chris, no wonder you were so hell bent on saving your brother,” Phoebe said, moving to hug her nephew.
“Saving me from what? What the hell is this family meeting all about and why wasn’t I invited?”
They all looked up to see Wyatt standing in the doorway, his face a mask of confusion and anger. Piper stood up and walked to her eldest son.
“Maybe you should sit down, honey. There is something that we never told you, but maybe now it’s time for you to know. I think I need to call your father though.”
Wyatt cast a suspicious glance at his brother and his aunts, but he sat down and waited for his mother to come back in the room with his father.
Chris felt like he was going to hyperventilate. Phoebe was still sitting next to him, a hand on his shoulder.
“Relax,” she said softly. “You succeeded, remember? You guys grew up with both parents and Wyatt is good now. He’s confused but your parents will help him understand, okay?”
Chris made himself meet his brother’s steely gaze. He forced himself to remember the promise he made his mother twenty two years ago – that he would never hold that old future against Wyatt.
“I’m sorry, Wyatt,” he said.
“Sorry for what? I would really like to know what’s going on here. Things have been weird ever since you had that stupid cold and no one will tell me what is going on.”
“We’ll tell you now, son,” Leo said, entering the room with Piper following. “Something happened when you were very young, before your brother was born. Your mother and aunts and I felt it best not to tell you boys, but, well, things have changed now.” The last comment was accompanied by a smile in Chris’s direction.
“Why did you tell Chris before me?”
“We didn’t tell Chris, sweetie, he remembered,” Piper said.
“How could he remember something that happened before he was born?”
Paige interrupted. “Okay, let’s start at the beginning. A few years ago, someone released the Titans,” she started. “I know you’ve heard us tell the story of how we became goddesses to fight them off and how, as a result, your father became an Elder, but there was a part of the story we always left out. We had help from someone else in fighting the Titans, someone who encouraged your father to give us the powers of the gods. He claimed to be a white lighter from the future named Chris Perry.”
Wyatt’s gaze darted from his aunt to his younger brother. “You named my brother after this guy?”
“In a manner of speaking,” Piper said.
“It was me, Wy,” Chris spoke up. “I lied that day and told them that I came back to save Aunt Paige. But in reality, I had gone back to save you.”
Chris began to recount the story of his other childhood – the one where Leo was mostly absent, where Wyatt started abusing magic, and where Piper died young. He left out certain details because he didn’t think Wyatt could handle knowing them, but the basics were all there. His aunts and mother and father occasionally chimed in with their own tidbits or recollections of when Chris had come back. No one mentioned Bianca.
Wyatt sat silent for nearly an hour, listening to the story. When Chris finally explained that he had woken up a few months ago with two sets of memories in tact, which ultimately led them to this moment, the room fell silent, all of them looking for Wyatt’s reaction to what he’d learned.
After several long minutes, he stood up and began pacing.
“So you’re telling me that I was evil in some parallel universe but my kid brother saved me from it. That this is not the life I was supposed to lead?”
“Wyatt, what happened to you, what made you turn evil, was not your fault. This is the life you were supposed to live, that’s why Chris was able to come back and change things, to stop that from happening.”
“All the talk about destiny and fate that you guys fed us growing up… it was all crap. You’re telling me that I could have been evil instead of good. That I could have grown up to kill and terrorize innocents and other magical beings. I… I don’t know what to think anymore.”
Leo walked behind his son and put his hands on his shoulders. “The point is that none of those things happened, Wyatt. You’re a good person, a good cop and a good witch. That is what matters.”
Wyatt jerked away from his father. “I feel like my entire life has been a lie. Have you guys been keeping an eye on me to make sure I don’t turn evil? How can you even trust me to fight evil if I could possibly become evil?”
“Wy, don’t,” Chris pleaded softly. He didn’t want all of his efforts and all of his pain to cause his brother to turn.
“Don’t you even talk to me. I can’t believe you did all this and never said a word. Two months we’ve been living together and you never told me. I… I need to get out of here… away from all of you. Please don’t try to find me, I won’t kill any innocents,” he said, bitterness seeping out of his voice as he orbed out.
Piper started to cry the moment he was gone. “I’m sorry, mom, I’m so sorry,” Chris apologized, tears welling up in his own eyes.
“Chris, it’s not your fault,” Phoebe assured him, putting an arm around his shoulder. “Your brother needed to know the truth and he’ll come to terms with it in time.”
“But what if he…” Chris couldn’t even put the thought into words.
“He won’t,” Paige said. “He’s too good. We all made certain that he was brought up well and with good morals. He just needs time to process everything he learned.”
Piper looked up at her sisters, her son and her husband.
“They’re right, honey,” Leo said to her. “We have to trust that we’ve done the best we can for Wyatt over the last twenty four years and that he’ll make the right decisions.”
She nodded. “So all we can do is wait.”
“Exactly,” Leo said.
“Who wants tea?” she asked. “I think I’m going to whip up a batch of my apple muffins.”