Title: The Lake
Written for: Charmed Flashfic
Characters: Chris & Leo
Chris sat staring at the lake meditatively. His mind was a whirl with everything that happened recently. He was angry with himself for allowing everyone to find out he was Piper and Leo’s son. He was angry with himself for getting emotionally attached to his mother and his aunts in this time, especially his mother. If his mission failed in any way, he would be going home to a future where she no longer lived. The thing he feared most about coming back in time to save his brother from turning evil was getting caught up in his emotions. Bianca, the love of his life, had convinced him he was strong enough to get in, do what needed to be done, and leave without anyone ever knowing the truth. But, as things were apt to do when dealing with magic and time travel and demons, it fell apart.
At least he could escape to the lake. It was one secret he had managed to keep from his parents and his aunts. No one knew that this lake was his special spot to go and think. The lake held so many memories for his family - both good and bad. Realizing just how many there were, several quickly came flooding back: It was the spot where his grandmother Patty had been killed by a water demon when her daughters were young. It was the spot where his mom, Aunt Phoebe, and Aunt Prue finally defeated the water demon and found out about their mother’s affair with her white lighter, Sam, which had resulted in the birth of his Aunt Paige. Most importantly to him though, it was the spot where his mom and dad took him and Wyatt for picnics when they were little kids, before dad had been promoted to an Elder.
He closed his eyes, remembering those summer picnics, just the four of them, together as a family. Laughing, playing, and even swimming since the lake was safe now. Eating the picnic lunches that mom would pack. Those memories ended abruptly when he was six. His father was called to be an Elder and started spending more and more time UP THERE and less and less time with his wife and sons. Mom held up well, but she had Aunt Phoebe and Aunt Paige for support. Chris tried to be perfect and not cause any extra trouble. But Wyatt, he reacted badly. That was when he started acting out, using his magic for personal gain and using his magic in public. He created more messes for his mother and aunts to clean up then most of the demons they fought.
Chris shook his head and tried to stop the flood of memories that included his mother’s death at this very lake when he was fourteen. It was indirectly Wyatt’s fault and something neither boy was able to get over. Chris dealt with it by studying his craft relentlessly. He exhausted his aunts with his quest for more knowledge. He became friendly with some unsavory elements in his journeys, but he was always careful and more importantly, he never forgot his heritage and that the Halliwells were a force of good in the world. Wyatt, on the other hand, rebelled even more. He started keeping company with demons and was easily swayed to use his great powers as the twice blessed child of a charmed one and a white lighter/elder for evil instead of good. He wreaked havoc on the entire San Francisco area and nothing Chris or his aunts could do would stop him.
So Chris had undertaken his dangerous mission, going back in time to save his brother as a baby. He knew that his brother had undergone some horrible trauma as a toddler that was the root of his problems, but no one in the family ever told him what the event was. He had been back for almost eight months and still didn’t know if his presence had done any good. He feared that he had given his family too much information about his future and he had no idea what he would find when he returned.
His solitude was suddenly shattered by the swirling of bright, white lights. Chris groaned as his father appeared before him in a flash of orbs.
“So this is where you keep disappearing to,” Leo said, surprised to find him at this lake.
“How did you find me?”
“I’ve been trying to sense you for hours. You cloaked yourself pretty well, but you must have let your guard down just enough a few minutes ago that I finally got a handle on your location.”
“Well, I cloaked myself for a reason. I want to be alone.”
“Chris, we need to talk.”
“No, we don’t. There is nothing to talk about.”
“Yes there is! I want to know what I did in your future that made me such a bad father. And I want to be able to fix it. You did an amazing thing coming back here Chris. Your devotion to the family is incredible. I want to fix our relationship because I’m proud to be your father.”
Chris snorted. “Yeah, you’re so proud to be my dad that you were never there when I was growing up. Wyatt & I were nothing but thorns in your side after you became an elder. The little time you did manage to get away, you spent with mom. And after…” he broke off his words, too upset to continue.
“Chris, tell me, after what? After your mom died? What happened? I can’t believe I would abandon you and Wyatt. I can’t believe that I would have let anything happen to your mother. But if you want to avoid that tragedy occurring again, you can, if you just tell me what to do differently!”
“It was a tragedy, one of many I dealt with in my life, because you weren’t around! So if you want to avert those future tragedies, you need to give up being an Elder!”
Leo was stunned into silence at his son’s words.
“Give up being an Elder? Chris, you’re the one who made me become an Elder when the Titans attacked.”
“I know and it needed to be done. It was sooner than you became one in my future. I had you around until I was almost six. But you need to be with mom and Wyatt.”
“Yes, and me too! Do you know why you named me after your father?”
Leo looked down, remembering his own relationship with his father. “I can’t believe I didn’t make that connection when you first showed up.”
Chris gave his dad a half smile. “Well the last thing you expected was to have another son, I’m sure.”
“That’s true. I still don’t understand why your mother keeps having sons. The Halliwells have had daughters for centuries.”
“Don’t worry, dad, there will be Halliwell daughters too.”
Leo raised an eyebrow at his son. “You have a sister?”
“I didn’t say that, did I?”
“Still trying to be so secretive?”
“Well, knowing too much about your future can screw things up, you know.”
The men shared a laugh.
“Chris, I meant what I said about wanting to fix our relationship. I really am proud of you and, once I got over the shock that I had another child, I was glad that you were my son.”
“I want us to fix our relationship too. And I’m sorry if I’ve been harsh with you. It’s really hard growing up without your dad around though. And it was really hard for me to set those feelings aside when I first saw you here.”
“Is that why you sent me to Valhalla?”
Chris managed a sheepish grin. “Yes partially, but also because you were too soft. I knew that if you spent some time there, you would become a little tougher.”
“Yeah, I know white lighters are supposed to be pacifists, but you needed to be tougher to deal with Wyatt in the future.”
“Well, I think that your mother, your aunts and I will be much better equipped to deal with Wyatt and whatever evil tries to turn him now that we’re forewarned. And it’s because you were brave enough to come here and tell us. Now what are we going to do about getting you back home?”
“I don’t know. The spell I used was a one-way spell back in time. I was hoping that mom, Aunt Paige, and Aunt Phoebe could figure something out to send me back. We’re going to have to do something soon because it won’t be good for me to be around once I’m born.”
Leo put a hand on Chris’s shoulder.
“Why don’t you come home and we’ll have a family meeting?”
“Okay… dad.” Chris’s voice caught a little as he finally referred to Leo as his father.
Leo smiled. “I don’t think you have any idea how good it was to hear that. Let’s go, son. Your mother has been worried sick about you.”
Chris returned Leo’s smile as the two men orbed home.