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Me and Myself

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Chris went to the past to save his brother and to fix his world. His brother’s powers were gone and everything was falling apart. Even though he and Wyatt had been warned, the experience was still one they would never forget.

 

Chris went to the past to try and stop his brother from turning evil. He didn’t know how he was going to do it or even who turned his brother but he did know one thing: one way or another, this broken, desolate world would never come to pass.

*

Emily and Chris met when Chris saved the fledgling witch from a demon. She was shaky so Chris took her back to the Manor in order to discover who wanted her dead and for some tea (Mom swore it helped with nerves so Chris had awkwardly offered it to her). While Wyatt and Mel looked in the Book, Emily and Chris sat in the kitchen and talked quietly.

Slowly Emily became more and more comfortable and Chris watched in strange wonder as she began to smile more and her eyes seem to gain some light back. They talked about school, hobbies, what it was like growing up in a family where magic was known, siblings and childhood stories. As they talked, they discovered they had similar interests and Chris found himself relaxing as he talked with her.

He had never believed before that people could actually describe someone’s eyes as ‘shinning orbs of ocean blue’ but as they talked he began to believe.

“Hey,” Chris reached out and caught her arm as she turned. The demon was dead and Chris had volunteered to orb her back to her apartment. Emily glanced at him hopefully and Chris felt his heart beat painfully against his rib cage, “Do you want to have lunch tomorrow?”

She smiled then; a brilliant smile and Chris swore then and there he was never mocking Dad again. “I’d love to,” she told him softly and then gave him a peck on the cheek.

Wyatt and Mel teased him for hours but, really, Chris didn’t give a damn.

 

Bianca and Chris met when Wyatt started sending his pet Phoenixes after Chris. He avoided some and killed others, proving that just because he was weaker than Wyatt magically didn’t mean he was any less dangerous.

Then Wyatt sent Bianca. She was tougher than all the others; he escaped from her bleeding and bruised every time but each time they met she got closer and closer to beating him. Chris was terrified at the thought of losing yet he both feared and desired their next meeting.

Bianca may have been one of the world’s most dangerous assassins but he was eighteen and she was the leather wearing twenty-three year old assassin after him.

Their powers weren’t the only things causing sparks.

When Bianca caught up with him in what remained of Istanbul, they were attacked by a group of Kelva Demons seeking to hurt Wyatt. And suddenly, before either of them quite knew how it happened, they were fighting back to back.

“I thought,” Chris gasped afterwards as he sucked at her neck, fingers fumbling with her pants, “you were trying to kill me.”

“Later,” she promised him as her hands tugged off his shirt.

*

For a time, Piper had expected all girls and then she expected two boys but instead she got two boys and a little girl. She loved her children more than anything but sometimes she wondered about the other futures that could have been but never were.

Melinda was the youngest instead of an only child. She was a healthy young girl who used her powers and played with her brothers. Her Mel was neither a calm or composed girl by any means and was hell bent on following Daddy’s footsteps and becoming a medic.

Chris was not neurotic, overly sarcastic or deeply scarred. He and his brother eagerly embraced the family business and were so carefree and cheerful that Piper actually blamed Phoebe for infecting her boys with such optimism.

And yet, as they grew older and settled into their own lives (though the three of them were still so close) Piper could see the resemblances to a little girl and a young man she had met but never really knew.

 

Piper had expected to have girls but got two little boys instead. She loved Wyatt and Chris with all her heart, more than she could say, but when she saw her sisters with their little girls and husbands, she wondered.

Wondered how everything would have turned out if she had had Melinda, the little girl she’d dreamed of having ever since she met her.

Wondered if she and Leo would have made it, if like her sisters she had had a happy hoard of girls.

Wondered if having girls would have kept Leo with her instead of forcing him to become an Elder.

Would she be happier? Would she still have her husband? Or if it was for the best that she had boys instead? That it was for the best that she packed away her dreams of doll houses and dress up and exchanged them for sports and demon hunting.

Sometimes, though, Wyatt would look at her like he knew what she was feeling and Piper would feel guilty and ashamed; she tried in vain to banish this shameful longing she felt for another life.

But still, deep inside her until the day she died trying to protect her boys, she wondered if it would have been better if she’d had girls instead.

*

Uncle Coop and Uncle Henry were fun and Chris felt that he couldn’t have asked for better Uncles.

Uncle Coop was always there with advice on girls (because no other male but him understood them) and would take them to Athens or Venice in the summer. When they were younger, he let them climb on his back and would spin them around until all of them were shrieking with laughter and their moms were yelling that they were going to be sick if they kept it up.

Even when he was fully grown, Chris still associated summer and flying with his uncle.

Uncle Henry was like Uncle Coop, fun but with advice on morals and choices. Uncle Henry would go to sport games, take them to the zoo or amusement parks. He took his life into his own hands (and the other adults were very grateful) and taught all nine of them to drive. Chris’ favorite memory of those lessons was when Uncle Henry stumbled out of the car very white and shaking the first time the Twins got behind the wheel. They had laughed so hard until Uncle Henry threatened to trap them in the car during the next lesson. No one laughed after that.

His uncles got along well with one another and Dad. Aunt Paige always joked that it was like the Sisters had married three brothers.

Their family was fun and comfortable and Chris honestly had no complaint.

 

Chris loved his uncles but sometimes they, like the rest of his family, frustrated him.

Uncle Jason was a reserved man who never minded when Chris retreated to the Hong Kong apartment his uncle lived in for half the year when the chaos of San Francisco became too much. The apartment became his retreat, his haven from the hell (okay, it wasn't really hell but there were days when it really felt like Chris was living in some previously undiscovered level of hell) that was his life; it was his refuge and honestly, some days, it seemed like it was the only thing keeping him sane.

Chris and his uncle didn’t talk much but Chris didn’t mind; some things didn’t need words and Uncle Jason understood that best.

Uncle Richard knew the best spells and stories that Mom and the Aunts didn’t want them to know. He took Chris shopping for sport equipment, went to parent teacher conferences when Mom couldn't make them and taught both Chris and Wyatt about girls, the dangers of mixing drugs and magic (even when he was twenty, the images of people who has blown themselves up attempting to use magic when high still made him shudder. He was forever of the opinion that that was the most disgusting thing he had ever seen, though Wyatt challenged that a couple of times) and so much more.

Wyatt spent time with Dad but Dad never had time for Chris; instead Chris often felt he shared a father with little Penny.

After Mom and his aunts died, Chris told Uncle Richard that. Uncle Richard’s eyes were sad but he hugged Chris tightly and Chris understood. Richard didn’t think of Leo as Chris’ father either.

Then Wyatt killed Mel and Uncle Jason. Uncle Richard protected Penny, Patty and Prue for a year while Chris tried to avoid Wyatt’s soldiers, Chris sneaking rare visits to them before Wyatt killed them too.

*

Chris loved his cousins but sometimes they drove him crazy.

From Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Coop he got Alice, Natalie and Sam. Sam was the baby of the entire family and as such was treasured by all. Sam was stubborn, though, determined to prove herself to her family and to the world all on her own.

Alice was the bossiest empath Chris had ever met and Natalie was sweet but crazy (and a pyro too). Alice was abrasive and didn’t like it when people didn’t see things her way. Natalie loved fire and life and was fixated on making sure everyone else in the family did too. Whether they wanted it or not was something Nat didn’t give a damn about.

From Aunt Paige and Uncle Henry he got the Twins (Lauren and Amy) and Henry Jr. (dubbed Jay by Amy and it had stuck). Lauren was smart and had no problem informing everyone of it yet at the same time she was acknowledged as the best comforter of the family. Amy was rather absent minded, brilliant but easily distracted. Once she accidentally turned herself invisible but got distracted so no one knew until five hours later. The Twins were literally mad scientists, much to everyone else’s bemusement, and had, one very memorable time, blown up the basement. And nearly the world but they didn’t talk about that.

The birth of Jay had been celebrated by Chris and Wyatt because, at last, there was another boy in the family. The two adopted him eagerly, determined to have one more ally against the girls. Jay was like his father and mother, strong and bold and a person who never backed down when he thought he was right. The only male Halliwells were ironically the ones who spent the most time hunting demons and saving innocents.

At first Chris hadn’t been pleased to have female cousins but they had grown on him with their crazy ways and innocent smiles; he’d kill anyone who hurt his baby cousins in a heartbeat.

The next generation of Halliwells made their way in the world with diversity and pride, following their own path instead of the one everyone thought they would follow.

 

Chris loved his cousins despite occasionally envying them and failing to understand them at other times.

From Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Jason, Chris got Melinda and the Twins (Patty and Prue). Melinda was an empathy and very quiet and gentle. Out of all of them, she was the most maternal and never seemed to be affected by anything. The only time Chris could ever remember his gentle cousin being anything less than serene was the day and the weeks after the Charmed Ones died. The young empathy became cool and distant, unable to handle her grief and the raged emotions of her sisters and cousins.

The Twins, on the other hand, were wild and fun, once upon a time, and always full of energy. Patty was fiery and stubborn while Prue was headstrong and bold. The two were always together, rarely leaving the other’s side. They were intense and a dangerous team, the perfect synchronized hunting pair.

Aunt Paige and Uncle Richard’s only child was little Penny, the youngest of them all. She was Wyatt’s junior by twelve years and the Twin’s by five. Penny was the sweetest of all the younger Halliwells. She was a bouncy little girl who could talk for hours and laugh gaily at anything. Penny was the darling of her older cousins, full of energy and life. Chris would never admit it but he knew that Penny was his favorite cousin.

But Wyatt killed Mel and Uncle Jason, followed by Uncle Richard, little Penny and Prue. Fiery Patty outlived her twin by a year before she too died at the hands of her eldest cousin’s soldiers, but not before becoming half mad in her grief. Chris could have forgiven Wyatt for everything he had done but then Wyatt killed their only remaining family.

He found forgiveness a lot harder after that.

*

Wyatt and Mel were two of Chris’s favorite people in the world (Emily and the rest of the family being the others).

Wyatt was his beloved elder brother, the person that had protected and been there for him since childhood. His brother was his partner in demon hunting, the best man at his wedding and the godfather of his son. Wyatt was a powerfully shining force in Chris’s life and Chris wouldn’t have it any other way. Because Wyatt, no much how powerful he became, was still the boy Chris played orb tag with (and wow had Aunt Paige not been happy to have to track them down and haul them back to the Manor when they did so) and would do anything Chris asked.

Mel was his baby sister, spunky and sassy but he loved her anyway. She had the power of levitation (and taught herself to fly even though she broke more bones than anyone and daily gave the rest of them heart attacks).

When they were younger, Mel had been envious of the fact that her older brothers could orb and were so much more powerful than her. She got over that, though, when she rescued her big brothers and was smug about it for months. Chris and Wyatt hadn’t minded really because their little sister finally felt like theirs after that day. Of course Mom had not been happy when she finally learned what her thirteen, twelve, and ten year old children had really been up to. Mel never back down, could swear like the Marine she was in seventeen languages (three of which were demonic) and would forever be Chris and Wyatt’s little Hellcat.

None of them would have it any other way.

 

Wyatt was Chris’s big brother and Chris would do anything for him, even go back to the past, endure all that pain, just to save him.

Wyatt was the one Chris had gone to when he was younger and scared; Wyatt was the one who protected Chris and was always there for him. As the only male Halliwells, the two had stuck together, becoming best friends in addition to being brothers. They shared stories and secrets and that was just how it was.

Privately Chris likened his brother to Wyatt’s favorite animal, a dragon. In his mind they were a lot alike: powerful, majestic and protective of what they considered his. And to both of them, Chris belonged to Wyatt. Simple as that.

But then the great Charmed Ones died and Wyatt lost something (and Chris never knew what until he himself was dying) after meeting with Gideon. Wyatt came back bleeding and refusing to talk to anyone but wouldn’t let Chris leave his sight for months. Then two years later the Elders were dead (Dad’s eyes were opened and he looked so shocked and betrayed and God there was so much blood) and the world had a new ruler.

But Chris couldn’t live with this Wyatt and the world his brother had created. Still, with Bianca in his arms (only nineteen and already he had seen so much death and destruction), Chris had watched the distant red sky of Pakistan and remembered.

In his childhood dragons had met love and protection. Now they met danger, fear and evil.

*

Mom and Dad were the best parents anyone could ever ask for. Yeah, Chris knew their love was complicated and had been through just about every problem on the planet but they were still together. Watching them taught Chris about strength and perseverance. It was kinda hard not to be impressed when faced with the kind of love his parents had.

Mom and Dad were always there for the three of them, playful loving people full of advice and patience. There were times he couldn’t stand them but what kid didn’t have that problem with their parent at lest twice in their lifetime?

They were his parents and Chris knew they loved him, had known it from the very beginning. And wasn’t that the most important thing of all? Knowing that you were loved and could love in return?

To him it was and Chris wouldn’t trade his parents for the world.

 

Mom was great, the best anyone could ever ask for, but Chris had never really known his father. He got letters and gifts from the man every holiday, birthday or important event but the last time he’d seen the man, he’d been eight.

Wyatt saw him every two weekends and Mom saw him once a month. He and Wyatt knew when because she’d come back smiling but crying softly.

Chris loved his mother. She was brave, strong and loving but occasionally he could see her holding herself back, as though she didn’t want to get too close to him and Wyatt. Chris didn’t know why but he knew Wyatt noticed it too because whenever it happened, Wyatt got very cold and quiet to everyone but Chris.

And while Chris loved his mother (and his father to an extent), he loved Wyatt more.

But then Mom died saving them and Wyatt killed Dad, so it didn’t matter any longer what he thought of them.

*

He met Bianca when he was seventeen. Bianca’s mother enlisted the aid of the Charmed Ones because someone was attempting to kill her and her daughter, even though the two Phoenixes were nothing like their kin.

For some reason, though, Chris and Bianca had been drawn to one another. He was enchanted by the exotic beauty before him and she liked his quiet air and little half smiles. His parents and aunts had hovered around him and Bianca, though, with worried expression and cautious gazes. It went on until Chris was either convinced they disapproved of his interest in her (which would be hypocritical of them) or knew something he didn’t.

They vanquished the demon, however, and Bianca walked away. He didn’t chase after her or anything, but instead let her go with a smile and a rose. Whenever he thought of her afterwards, he felt a strange sadness within him which made him wonder about what could have been.

Emily stumbled into his life soon after, though, and Bianca didn’t matter much after that.

 

He was creeping through the back street in the ruins of New York when he saw them. A mob had attacked a witch and Chris froze, watching them with his breath caught strangely in his chest. Wyatt had taken over the world thirteen months ago and fear and hatred were running amok. There were slaughters every day and Wyatt was busy (and happily Chris imagined) crushing the world and remaking it as his own.

Now, Chris watched the witch stumbled backward, bleeding from dozens of wounds and her blond hair was matted and dirty. Even from forty yards away, hidden by abandoned buildings, Chris could see the sheer terror on her face.

Once upon a time Chris would have charged to the rescue. But saving this witch from death meant revealing himself and Wyatt was looking for him. And if Wyatt found him, then death would be a mercy his brother would never give.

He turned away, the witch’s scream clearly audible as well as its sudden ending but Chris just continued walking and never looked back.

*

Chris dragged Wyatt (because Mel threatened to kill him) to thirty-six jewelry stores in seven different countries before he found the perfect ring. Which was good because Wyatt had been ready to kill him if he hadn’t chosen. It took him eight more months to finally find the courage to propose.

Despite having been raised to fight demons, the idea of asking Emily Montag to marry him terrified him more than anything he’d ever faced.

Her smile, though, when she said yes was worth every moment of panic and aggravation.

 

It took him months to find a ring because in hell, no one sold engagement rings. But he finally found one and proposed to her. When he slid the ring onto Bianca’s finger, the world lost a little of its darkness. At the moment he believed, believed that they were going to make it through this somehow.

She gave it back to him for good, an unspoken I love you in her eyes (and it would never be spoken again) when she was dying.

After she died Chris found he didn’t believe in anything anymore.

*

Aunt Phoebe and Aunt Paige were awesome. Aunt Phoebe was very caring and very loving, if occasionally overly so. She was also the only other optimistic in the family which thus endured her to Wyatt and Chris. Aunt Phoebe gave advice on love and feelings as a job and whenever one of them needed someone to talk to. Other times it was bemusing to be related to someone who gave interviews and book signings.

Aunt Paige was headstrong (though Mom and Aunt Phoebe both claimed she had calmed down over the years) and blunt. Chris enjoyed the bluntness of his aunt and her confident manner. She was the Sister who taught all of the younger generation most of their knowledge about spells and the supernatural since she was the one who fully embraced her magical heritage as a full time occupation.

It was entertaining yet humbling to watch Mom and her sisters interact. One moment they were bantering back and forth and the next they were an unbeatable team that no one could stop.

 

His aunts were his family and he loved them because of it. Aunt Phoebe was kind but she was overbearing at times. She was determined to single-handedly hold the family together; as a result, Chris felt stifled by her and her need to know where everyone was, what they were doing and the way she insisted that no one was allowed to do anything Sunday except be at the Manor. After she died, however, Chris watched what remained of the once great Halliwell family splinter and fall apart.

He realized then what a thankless task his aunt had given herself and how well she had done it.

Aunt Paige was blunt and sarcastic but always welcoming when Chris and Wyatt orbed over. She went to all events (and there were six kids so there were a lot of events) and was always willing to run interference with her sisters and brothers-in-law if needed. She could make Chris laugh, no matter what was happening.

(Mom was always fond of saying he got his sarcasm from her)

When she died everything seemed less fun.

*

When Chris died he was surrounded by his kids, nephews, nieces, grandchildren and one great grandchild (Hayden was more reckless and headstrong then all his predecessors combined and that was saying something) and he got Heaven as a reward.

He slipped away silently during the night, taking his Emily’s outstretched hand and left the mortal world behind.

 

When Chris died the only witnesses to his passing were his father and his Aunt Paige and he ceased to exist.

He faded away with his father’s cry in his ears but before he became nothing, he felt a familiar presence. If he had a mouth, he would have smiled; instead, the two spirits reached out and grasped one another.

And then together, Bianca and Chris simply ceased to exist.