All copyrighted material used without permission.
Heavy season six Charmed spoilers. End of season six, anyway.
“Dad,” Piper started in a slightly anxious tone, “are you sure that you want to take Chris on vacation with you?”
Victor pursed his lips and look his daughter in the eye. “You said he’s my grandson. Chris sure acts like I’m his grandfather.”
Piper sighed. “Dad, you know that he’s your grandson. You got him to talk to me again, remember?”
“Yes, I remember. I also remember that you called me over to talk to a fully grown man that you called my grandson. And you just happen to be about six months pregnant with him!” Victor immediately felt bad for snapping at his pregnant daughter. He knew that all she wanted was a normal life, legacy of her matriarchal line be damned, but was too honorable and had too good a heart to turn her back on her destiny.
“Okay, Dad. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t doing this because of some misplaced guilt or something,” Piper responded.
Victor closed the two-meter distance between him and his eldest living daughter. “You have a son under three years old, honey,” he said, rubbing his hands along her arms in a calming gesture. “You also have your sisters and Leo to worry about. Piper, you need to take it easy. Stress isn’t good for the baby. Also,” Victor added with a cocked grin, “I want to get to know this grandson of mine. He’s the only one who can talk!”
Piper bounced onto the balls of her feet and kissed her father’s cheek. “That’s sweet, Dad. I’m sure Chris will love the idea.”
Heavenly chimes and blue and white lights filled the air and Chris asked, “What idea will I love?”
Victor looked at Piper, who nodded, and turned to his grandson. “Would you like to go on a trip with me?”
Before Chris could control his reaction a huge smile overtook his face. Then he asked, “Where would we be going?”
“A small town called Sunnydale,” Victor answered. “And you don’t need to worry about leaving the girls, remember. Orbing.”
“Yes, Grandpa, I remember,” Chris said with a grin. He turned to his mother. “Are you okay with this?” he asked.
“I think it’s a great idea, Chris. If we need you, orbing takes no longer form somewhere else in California than it does from,” Piper gestured at the ceiling, “up there. Have a good time. You deserve it.”
An hour later Piper had Wyatt dry, changed, and packed up for a stay at Magic School. She kissed the top of the boy’s blond head and gently sniffed his curls. Sure, having another baby so soon will be hard. But there’s something soothing about how Wyatt smelled, about how he felt in her arms, that let Piper know everything was going to be okay.
Before Paige even fully reformed from her latest orb she was chattering away excitedly. “Gideon showed me this part in the library that I’d never seen before that is all about magical ingredients Piper you’ll love it!” she gushed.
“Ingredients for spells or for cooking?” Piper asked.
Paige smirked, knowing she got her sister hooked. “Both. From the couple of books I leafed through it looks like a whole part of the section was about foods with magical properties. Bagels to wake us up better than coffee, things you can add to sweets to make sure Wyatt gets all his vitamins, all sorts of stuff!”
“Paige, remember personal gain?” Piper replied.
“I think it’s all covered, Piper,” the younger sister said. “Like making herbal tea is okay. Here, let’s get to the school; Gideon can explain better than I can.”
“Okay,” Piper said. “Can you take our bags? Wyatt and I are going to be staying at the school for a while. Like a trial to see if it would really be a good idea for us to stay until little Chris is born.”
“Of course it’s a good idea!” Paige responded immediately. “No evil can get him there, or get you,” she added, looking pointedly at her sister’s distended belly. “Where did you leave the bags?”
“I think both of them are on my bed. Thanks, Paige,” Piper said. “We’ll meet you at Magic School in a few minutes?”
Paige nodded and watched her sister and nephew cross the barrier while she waved after them.
On the other side Piper and Wyatt were mt by a huge, smothering hug from Phoebe.
“Phoebe?” Piper questioned, “what are you doing here?”
“Oh, you know,” Phoebe said, waiving her hand as if to clear smoke from the air. “Are we taking Wyatt to the nursery?”
“Sure,” Piper said. “I’ll wait for Paige to come with our bags.”
Phoebe paused and cocked her head to the side. “What about Chris?” she asked.
“Dad’s taking him on a trip!” Piper said, pride dripping from her words. “He’ll be totally reachable but only for an emergency. Chris needs some man time with his grandpa.”
“Oh, okay,” Phoebe said. “How long will he be gone?”
Piper shrugged. “Five days maybe?”
Paige arrived with a duffle bag for Piper and a diaper bag for her nephew. “C’mon, Piper!” she said, “I want to show you the library!”
“Okay, okay, I’m coming!” Piper said, casting an amused glance at Phoebe.
At about the same time Victor was staring at his grandson in disbelief. “You’re living at Piper’s club?” he asked again.
“Yes, Grandpa. They didn’t always know who I was, remember?”
“I remember, son, but... this doesn’t look like a nice place to stay very long,” Victor said.
Chris shook his head. “Look, let’s just take this stuff,” he said, picking up the bag he threw his belongings in while his grandfather expressed his dismay at where Chris was staying, “and go to your place.”
“No need,” Victor said with a superior smirk on his face. “I’m all set. Everything’s in the car, ready to hit the road.”
“You were already on your way out of town when you asked me to come along?” Chris asked. “Did you expect to go alone?”
Victor’s face took on a look of concern. “Not at all. I just wanted to do something, the two of us. Not giving you time to back out was the only way I could think of to get you to come,” he protested. “Come on,” he said, wrapping an arm around his grandson, “time to hit the ol’ dusty trail.”
Two hours and a stop for directions later Victor and Chris decided it was time to eat. The first place they found, roughly half an hour later, was a bar on the edge of their town of destination, Sunnydale.
“Maybe we should head for a hotel first and then hit the town?” Chris suggested. The bar was making the hair on the back of his neck stand up.
Victor frowned and looked critically at his grandson-to-be. “You said you were starving! That you’d even eat something Phoebe made.”
“Yeah, but a bar, Grandpa?” Chris said. “We can do better.”
“Is this one of those witchy things?” Victor asked.
Busted. “There’s a lot of evil in that bar. Let’s keep going, okay Grandpa?”
Victor nodded and pulled back onto the road. Ten minutes later they found a clean enough looking motel with a glowing neon ‘VACANCY’ sign. The men rented two rooms–it was the cheapest motel either of them had ever been to–and took their bags out of the car. Once both men had freshened up and gotten rid of that in-the-car feeling they met up again in the motel office.
Chris got there first so he asked the man behind the counter where they could go to get a bite to eat.
“I don’t know, kid,” the man said. “Sunnydale shuts down for the night around an hour after sunset.”
“But the sun’s just going down now!” Chris protested.
The man behind the counter sighed. “Kids. Oh, right, the kids. They hang out at some metal place. The silver? No, the... the Bronze, that’s it.”
“Does this hangout have food?” Chris asked.
“Oh, yeah. Muffins, soft drinks. Not sure if they serve meals but I know they card for the booze.”
“Sounds good enough for me,” Victor said from behind Chris. “Wanna go?”
Chris turned around. “Yeah, sure. Food,” he said.
The motel man spoke up again. “It’s about ten minutes walk down the road that way,” he said while pointing.
“Thanks,” the vacationers chorused.
“Okay, what is it now?” Victor asked.
“What do you mean, Grandpa?” Chris asked, looking behind himself.
Victor stopped walking and turned to face his grandson. “I haven’t spent much time with my daughters but I can tell when something’s up. All of you do this twitchy thing.”
Chris frowned. “Twitchy thing?” he asked.
“Yes, twitchy thing!” Victor said.
“Listen, Grandpa,” Chris said, shaking his head, “let’s get to that Bronze place, then we can talk.”
“No! Patty always did this too. It is something magic, isn’t it?”
Chris looked at his feet.
“I’m waiting!” Victor finished.
Chris grabbed his grandfather’s arm and began walking as he talked. “At first I thought it was the bar we stopped at outside the town. But it hasn’t gotten better. If anything, the feeling of evil is just growing.”
“Evil?” Victor asked skeptically.
“Evil, darkness. Rotting morals and wrongness and things that go bump in the night,” Chris ended in a whisper.
Victor’s graying eyebrows shot to his hairline. “Bump in the night? That’s a new definition of darkness.”
From the alley a meter in front of them stalked two men with glowing yellow eyes.
“I think the pup means us, Gramps,” one of the men said.
The second man sniffed the air and said, “Wait, Bo, I smell something.”
“If you’d hurry up it’ll be blood you smell!” Bo snarled.
“Actually,” said a female voice from behind the second man with glowing eyes, “I think you’ll smell dust soon.”
“Dust?” Bo asked stupidly. He looked down and saw a wooden stick protruding from his chest. At the other end of the stick was the wrist of a grinning blond teenager. “Oh, dust,” Bo said as his body exploded into a shower of dust and ash.
“Whoa!” Victor yelled. He glared at his grandson. “Can we leave?” he yelled again.
“Hang on there!” yelled the blonde teenager. “I want you to answer some questions!”
“And I want you to die!” growled the deformed, yellow-eyed man who was still nameless. He lunged at Victor with his hands held in front of him like claws.
Victor let out an undignified squeak as Chris pushed him to the ground. Instead of munching on an old[er] man the vampire [because we know by now that’s what he is, right?] ended up with his arms full of Chris. The vampire’s fingers had obviously taken a lesson in nail maintenance–how to make one’s nails as sharp as steel– from Druscilla because all ten of them had burrowed into Chris’s chest up to at least one knuckle. Before the young man could so much as gasp, however, the blonde from earlier was holding him up, the vampire already dust between them.
“Oh, crap! Are you okay?” the girl asked.
“...Leo,” Chris choked out around a mouthful of blood.
“Actually, my name’s Buffy,” the girl said. “Let’s get you laying down, okay?”
Buffy laid Chris out to get a better look at his vampire-finger stab wounds and Victor scrambled closer to his grandson.
“Are you hurt bad?” Victor asked.
Chris coughed again and said, “Leo.”
Buffy licked her lips and turned to Victor. “I think some of the fingers went between your son’s ribs. He’s bleeding a lot and I don’t like how that cough sounds.”
“Grandson,” Victor said absently. “My grandson.”
“Wow,” Buffy said while turning to inspect the elder of the two men. “You sure look good for someone that old!”
Victor coughed nervously. He wasn’t willing to explain that to a stranger!
Buffy lifted a hand to brush an errant blonde strand from her face but noticed it was completely soaked with blood. “Oh, god,” she said. “We need to go to the emergency room, like, now.” She looked at Victor. “Do you have a cell to call an ambulance?”
“Uh, no, I don’t,” Victor sputtered. “Maybe we can–Leo!” he yelled. “LEO!”
“Maybe I should just carry your grandson, okay?” Buffy asked. Who the heck was the man yelling at?
“Damn,” Victor said. He turned to Chris and rubbed the boy’s paling face with the back of his hand. “Chris, son,” he said hesitantly, “I know you already tried but I can’t call Leo.”
Chris shook his head.
“I can’t call him. Let this girl help us to the hospital, okay?”
Buffy was moving to get her arms under the younger of the two men when he yelled in a rough, wet voice, “DAD!” Talking only set Chris into a fit of coughing which in turn spattered blood across Buffy’s face and torso.
“Oh, not good, so not of the good!” she squeaked.
“Chris!” Victor cried in alarm.
Chris coughed again and half-said, half-whispered, “Dad, I need you!”
Buffy had decided to just take matters into her own hands and run Chris to the ER since he and his grandfather seemed to be a bit in shock. Before she had the chance to do anything the street was briefly lit by blue and white lights accompanied by the sound of heavenly chimes or bells. Suddenly there was a grown man standing behind the hurt boy and his grandfather.
“Chris?” the new man asked, “ what’s the matter?”
Buffy spent a few moments imitating a fish while Victor answered the newcomer.
“Leo!” Victor yelled. “Help him!”
Leo’s head snapped to where his son was laying on the ground with a strange girl’s arms around him. “Chris!” he cried.
“Move your arms,” Leo said to Buffy. He sank to his knees at his son’s side.
Buffy, still not sure what was going on, decided to move back. It was obvious the grandfather knew the lights and bells man.
Leo ran his hands over Chris’s chest and frowned. He turned to Victor and demanded, “What happened?”
Victor snorted before he could help it. He knew Leo’s glare should have put him in his place but the poor mortal was too shaken up to care much. “He was telling me that the town feels evil. I said ‘evil?’ and he said ‘things that go bump in the night’ and I started to say something–“
“Victor, take a deep breath. He’ll be okay, just tell me what happened,” Leo demanded in what he hoped was a calming tone.
“Are vampires real?” Victor asked. “Because these two men came out of that alley,” he pointed, “with glowing yellow eyes and melted faces.”
Buffy felt her jaw dropping again. Giles would never believe it. Giles! She had to tell Giles about this Leo person!
Leo grunted. He was getting the healing glow and could feel that his son’s wounds were closing. It just didn’t feel right and was taking far longer than it should have. He turned to Victor and asked, “Were the vampires the ones who hurt Chris?”
“Yeah, Leo. What’s wrong?” Victor picked up on the stress in his son-in... ex-son-in... grandson’s father’s voice. “Can’t you heal him?”
“I don’t know. The rule is generally only my witches and people hurt by supernatural means. I don’t always follow the rule, but this is much too hard.”
By this time Chris had fainted from blood loss and Victor was starting to panic. “Leo, you’re the miracle worker!”
Buffy finally spoke up. “The evil Chris felt might not just have been the vampires.” Leo and Victor both snapped their heads around to look at her and Buffy blushed. “This town is on the Hellmouth. It’s literally the mouth of Hell.”
Leo said to Victor, “She’s right. That’s the evil Chris felt and it’s almost certainly getting in the way of my healing him.” Various courses of action Leo could take raced through his head. Deciding on one, he said, “Take my hand, Victor,” and held his left hand out to Piper’s father. Just before orbing out he turned to Buffy and said, “Thank you, Slayer. You saved their lives.”
The chime sound still echoing in Buffy’s ears, she rubbed her eyes furiously with both hands. “Blood’s still here,” she muttered. “Haveta find Giles. Need to tell Giles.” The blonde nodded her head to herself and looked for all the world like she really needed the positive feedback. “They seemed nice enough,” she muttered as she dashed to her watcher’s house. “Nice but so not from here and so totally in the know.” Buffy caught herself fleetingly wondering what kind of demon healed witches and innocents. And that light show. Maybe he was a good demon? Giles would know.