Stheno makes her move. The Charmed Ones and Leo look for Chris.
Daryl stood over the bed looking down at looking down at the child inside. He found it so hard to believe sometimes that he as capable of so much power. That he would grow up to be one of the ultimate forces of good in the world if what the sisters had told him was true. Then the kid would orb and make toys fly around the room and then it wasn't so unbelievable.
Wyatt gave a happy gurgle in his sleep and Daryl felt his shoulders sag as he sighed.
"Nothing on the sisters yet?" Sheila asked as she put a hand on her husband's shoulder.
Daryl shook his head as he began to lead them out of the room.
"Nothing." He told her in a whisper so as not to wake the sleeping child. "It's like they just up and vanished."
"I'm sure they'll turn up soon, they always do."
His face was grim as he quietly shut the door, leaving it open only a crack. "Yah, but bad things usually turn up with them."
No sooner had their voices disappeared down the hall than tendrils of black mist began to form in the centre of the room. They slithered through the air like snakes through grass as they came together to make a shape. The shape was humanoid and quickly became detailed enough to be noticeably female. As the mist completed its shape it solidified.
There, in the centre of the room, stood a woman. Her skin pale and grey, a faded pastel green dress flowed past her feet, brushing the floor as she seemed to hover above it. By far her most unusual trait however was her hair. For where her hair should be were snakes, their colour a perfect match to her dress, hissing and slithering through the air.
Her bright yellow eyes scanned the room before quickly landing on her prey.
"So." She said as she floated towards the sleeping child. "You're the one that has everyone so worked up. The great Twice-Blessed."
Stheno almost spat the last part as she shook her head, and snakes, with a bitter chuckle. "I don't see what the big deal is.
"But, you'll make a fine statue nonetheless." She told the sleeping boy. Her eyes bore deeply into his closed lids.
"Wake up child." Came her hissing, yet almost hypnotic, voice. "Wake up and look into my eyes."
Wyatt only gurgled again, a small bit of spittle running down his chin.
Stheno stared disbelievingly
"I said wake up!" She ordered the child fiercely.
Again Wyatt ignored her demand.
"Wake up damn you!" She exclaimed as she reached out a large bony finger and poked the sleeping boy.
Wyatt simply cuddled closer to his teddy bear.
Stheno stared completely dumbfounded at the stubborn child before her.
If she had known anything about the young child before her Stheno would have wondered why he hadn't put up his shield when she poked him. However, she knew very little real facts concerning the Twice-Blessed and moved to try and wake him once more.
She heard two words, spoken slowly and deliberate, that froze her in her tracks.
Stheno never had the chance to turn around as something hard connected to the back of her snake covered skull with a sickening crack. The snakes took the brunt of the blow, many falling limply across her back, but the force drove her to her knees.
She even managed to stay conscious after the second blow. Though spots clouded her vision and she knew that some of her beautiful snakes would never rise again.
With the third blow she didn't have the time to think about the damage to her skull. Stheno was driven into unconsciousness as the load crack of something splintering filled her ears.
Let this be a lesson; even demons shouldn't piss off large men with baseball bats.
Nearby Wyatt giggled in his sleep, blissfully unaware.
It was eight in the morning when the sisters and Leo arrived via orbing, enjoying the slight freedom having Leo's powers back granted. They were in a large building about the size of a baseball stadium, but this most definitely was not used for sports. This place was the New Avalon Central Library. It was devoted almost entirely to magic, although there was a large non-magic section as well.
They made their way to one of the large boardrooms used for research that had been put aside for them, and the team of researchers aiding them. Leo was trying to calm down a fuming Piper as they moved closer to where her intended target would likely be.
The group of them didn't get much sleep the previous night as each dealt with the revelation of Chris' identity silently in their own way. It was well past midnight when Paige and Phoebe went across the hall to their own apartment, leaving the two would be parents to comfort each other.
Leo and Piper had held each other crying as they talked into the early morning. Talked about everything they should have seen or heard or put together, about everything they'd done wrong and most importantly what they would do now.
Many emotions had come over them as they drew strength from the other. Anger for this being kept from them. Hurt for the same reason. An unbearable guilt for not seeing the signs. A great fear for how he would react when he knew they knew.
Right now however Piper seemed stuck on angry. And the unfortunate recipient was -
"Miguel!" Piper roared as she burst into the boardroom, her sisters and Leo trailing behind her.
The Elder turned from his conversation with Cole and responded in an irritatingly (to Piper) calm voice. "Something I can do for you Piper?"
"We've been calling you for nearly two hours!" She exclaimed. "Where the hell have you been?"
"Sleeping like a normal person." Came the casual response.
Piper sent a glare over her shoulder as she heard something suspiciously like a stifled chuckle. Her sisters both wore expressions of complete innocence and Leo wouldn't meet her eyes.
"Look," Miguel said, taking his chance while the glare wasn't directed as him. "I have to go check on the refugee housing in our Atlantis base so I need get going."
Just as he was about to orb away Phoebe blurted out. "We know about Chris."
Neither Miguel nor Cole's expressions change in the slightest, both apparently well versed in schooling their features. They didn't need a tell though. The fact was Miguel was still there.
"You've spent six months with Chris, I'd imagine you'd know a few things about him." Not even the inflictions in Miguel's voice changed, the tone still conversational.
"That's not what she meant and you know it." Paige told the Elder certainly.
Leo stepped forward. "We know Chris is my son. Mine and Piper's."
"Your son?" Cole asked, convincingly sounding very confused.
"Save the act." Piper told him, having calmed down considerably. "We saw him and Miguel in the park when Little Piper ran into his arms yelling 'Daddy'!"
That finally got a reaction out of them as Miguel looked shocked and Cole practically went slack jawed. It was nearly a full minute before either of them even attempted to speak. Finally Miguel opened his mouth only to lurch forwards as a hand connected with the back of his head before any words could come out.
"You couldn't have sensed them!" Cole exclaimed as he slapped the back of the Elder's head again. "Chris has had a lot on his mind so he has an excuse, but you should have picked them up!"
"Hey!" Miguel cried out indignantly as he ducked under another slap. "I was distracted. You know how Chris has been since he came back. I was trying to cheer him up."
The sisters and Leo looked down at that. They couldn't help but feel they were the reason he needed cheering up to begin with. Cole, however, was reluctantly nodding his head in agreement.
"Besides," Miguel continued, his gaze sweeping the group but Leo could have sworn he looked right at him. "Something he said really through me for a loop there."
Cole seemed to accept that as he turned back to them. "I suppose that's why you've been calling this guy for a couple hours now? Chris wouldn't answer you."
It wasn't a question but they nodded anyway. It was Piper who spoke next, all traces of anger gone leaving her looking worn out and almost frail. "We need you to take us to him."
She sounded so desperate that it broke both men's hearts to have to tell her they couldn't. They sighed and tried to convey how much they wished they could with a look. "I'm sorry Piper. I really am. We can't do that."
"Why not? We only want to tell him we're so sorry about everything! To try and make things right again!"
"It has nothing to do with not wanting to see you." Miguel reassured Piper. "He's never blamed you for anything, not really. That's not the type of person he is. Blame himself? Most certainly. Blame others? Definitely not."
"But why can't I - we - see him?"
"The guy hasn't seen his wife and daughter for six months Piper. He deserves a day, just one day, without any of this," He waved his arms out trying to emphasize his point. "Hanging over him."
"What about tonight?" Leo asked as he placed a reassuring hand on Piper's shoulder.
Miguel shook his head. "No. Today he's spending the day with his wife and daughter as a family. Late this afternoon he's dropping his daughter off at her babysitter so he and Bianca can have some - ahem - 'alone time' tonight."
"Alone time?" Piper asked looking puzzled.
Phoebe had understood immediately and looked at her sisters slyly. "C'mon Piper, it hasn't been that long has it?"
Piper's face went scarlet and looked decidedly uncomfortable as she finally understood exactly what they were implying. "Ooooohhhh."
"Yah 'oooohhh'." Miguel told them looking rather uncomfortable himself. "And there is no way I'm interrupting that. I still have the scars Bianca gave me that time I accidentally did." He visibly shivered at the memory.
"Do Elders even scar?" Paige asked suddenly.
"Some things even our powers have limits healing." The tone in his voice told them no more was to be asked on that subject.
"Look, I really do need to check in on the refugees." Miguel told them. He levelled a sympathetic eye on Piper and Leo. "You'll see him tomorrow. I promise."
With that he orbed out leaving the group from the past not knowing what to say. Something that seemed habit forming as of late. Fortunately Cole still had his voice.
"C'mon." He said as he ushered them into seats around the large mahogany table already teeming with books of all shapes and sizes. "The research team will be here soon so let's get to work. It will help keep your minds occupied. Like Miguel said, you'll see Chris tomorrow."