wildforce71: (Kyle where)
[personal profile] wildforce71
Last chapter. Hope you enjoy.






Radek was standing on one of the balconies, looking towards San Francisco. Chris orbed in behind him, carefully out of view of the door. “Radek.”

“Colonel Sheppard is very unhappy,” Radek informed the railing. “He wishes to meet with you, or one of yours.”

“Uh huh. You guys are subject to Homeworld, right?”

“In theory.”

“We have clearance from Homeland. Think that would do any good?”

“Colonel Sheppard is not a man who takes assurances from others. The City is home, those who live here are his to protect, and he does not risk threats to us.” He turned, finally looking at Chris. “I have tried all I can think of without telling him who the Charmed Ones are. If you would speak to him...”

“What makes you think he’ll take my word?”

“He may not. But I have no more ideas.”

“We didn’t mean to get you in trouble.”

Radek waved it off. “Chris was scared, but he did no harm. This was not his fault; Cantus would have found a way out, and at least you were here to help.”

“Yeah. Serendipitous. Call your Colonel, and I’ll do my best.”

Radek nodded, touching his radio and murmuring for a moment. “He is coming.”

“Coop says you were watching us,” Chris said quietly.

“Your name is not Perry,” Radek said blandly.

“It is...or, my middle name is, anyway.”

“I see.”

“You were kind to me,” Chris murmured. “Thank you.”

The door hissed open; John backed through, talking to someone they couldn’t see. “This really isn’t a good time.”

“I just need your signature,” a woman told him. Chris frowned, taking a step forward.

“It’ll have to wait.” John turned towards them; the woman ducked under his arm, turning back to face him without even looking at them. “Nicole, later!”

“Piper?” Chris said in surprise.

Nicole turned to look at him, blinking. “Oliver. I thought you were on shore.”

“Oliver? I’m not...”

Radek took a quick step forward. “Nicole, this is not Oliver. I thought that too...remarkable, is it not? But Oliver left yesterday, before anything happened, I saw him go.”

“Who are you?” Nicole asked, studying him.

“My name is Chris.”

“From Homeworld,” Radek added, “Important meeting with the Colonel, and time runs short.” He steered her towards the door; John stepped neatly out of their path, studying Chris.

“You do look like Oliver, you know.”

“So I’ve heard. Her son?”

“Her brother. Why?”

“She looks just like my mother.” He shook it off as Radek returned, locking the door. “Colonel Sheppard, yes?”

“Yeah. You are?”

“Christopher Perry.”

“Chris, huh. That’s a coincidence.”

“It is, isn’t it,” Chris agreed blandly. “Radek said you had some questions for me?”

“Are you going to answer ‘em?”

“Depends what they are.”

“Who are you?”

Chris leaned against the railing, looking amused. “Next.”

“You’re aware that you’re on a military base, right? My military base?”

“You’re aware that you can’t keep me here?”

“Colonel,” Radek said carefully, “perhaps we...”

“The boy created a problem,” Chris said over him. “We clean up our own messes.”

“Yeah. How did you do that, by the way?”

“You were there.”

“I was there, yes. I wasn’t seeing straight.”

“Shouldn’t have been firing your gun, then.” Chris grinned faintly. “Magic.”

“Magic,” John repeated flatly.

Chris held up one hand, orbs swirling. “Magic. Tell me, what’s the thing in that room?”

“Thing?” John repeated, poking suspiciously at his hand.

“Big, looks like stone but isn’t, like a circle on edge...”

“Oh, that thing. What is this?” John poked the orbs again.

“Pretty lights and colors. What’s the circle?”

“This is not working,” Radek said loudly. “Perhaps a different approach? Ask a question, Colonel, and Chris will answer honestly. And then he will ask, and you will answer. Yes?” Chris shrugged agreement, and Radek nodded. “Very good. Colonel, you first.”

“That thing you guys were fighting. It coming back?”

“No. We’ve taken care of it. It won’t escape again.”

“Sure?”

“We’ve been doing this for a long time, Colonel. Even if he did escape, the last thing he’d want would be to come back here. Besides, Radek will know if he returns.”

“I will?”

“He will?”

Radek and the Colonel overlapped each other; Chris grinned, turning to study the view over the water. “My question, I think? Where did you find this place?”

John glanced at Radek, who nodded quietly. “Pegasus.”

“Another galaxy? That’s...” Chris stopped, thinking. “That means it’s a Gate, doesn’t it. I should have...I’ve never seen Earth’s Gate.”

“You know what the Gate is?” Radek said in surprise.

“Who are you?” John added. “My question.”

“My name is Chris,” he said slowly. “When I woke up yesterday, it was 2026.”

“Time travel,” John said thoughtfully.

“My mother called me by accident, looking for Chris. When I grew up, the Programme was common knowledge. The Gate is not hidden any more.”

“Since when?” John demanded, but Chris shook his head.

“I can’t tell you. I can’t change the future like that.”

“You’re here!”

“Yes, but not to change anything. When I was lost, when I was young, Radek brought me home. There was no demon. Chris changed that, and I came to fix what he did.”

“Demon,” John repeated slowly.

Chris waved it off. “My question?” John gestured him to go ahead, and he said carefully, “Did we make trouble for Radek?”

John considered that one. “He’s very loyal to you.”

“To my mother, not me. And he’s just as loyal to you; you’ve told me more in two questions than he has in two days.”

“Who is your mother?” Chris didn’t answer, and John added, “Radek’s not in any trouble. My question. Who is your mother?”

Chris glanced at Radek, who shrugged. “He has been honest.”

“Yeah, but he won’t believe me.”

“We’ve seen some strange things.”

“Try me,” John added.

“My mother is leader of a coven known as the Charmed Ones, Wiccan protectors of San Francisco. That thing we fought was a demon, trapped in an amulet; we’ve returned it, and you’re safe. The Charmed Ones have the loyalty of most of the magical community...he’s laughing at me,” he appealed to Radek.

“Sorry, it’s...magical community?” John winced at the glare from Radek, waving apologetically at Chris.

“Yes,” Chris said patiently. “Gnomes, Ogres, Fairies, Lepre...Radek, you do it. If he laughs at me again I might do something I’ll regret.”

“Leprechauns,” Radek finished. “Sir, please?”

“Sorry. I’m sorry. It’s just...leprechauns?”

“Sir, Chris was raised to protect the magical community, making fun of it is not best way to make friends, yes?” Radek said quickly. “Charmed Ones are very real. That which they fight is also real. And insulting the heir to that power is not smart. Relationships between US government and Charmed Ones are strained at best.”

“We have relationships?” John asked Chris.

“I think it’s my question.” John scowled, gesturing for him to go ahead, and he added easily, “but there’s nothing else I need to know. I know who you are now, I know what this City is, and I’m going home soon.” To Radek, he added, “I’m not the heir to that power, my brother is.”

“Your brother is Whitelighter’s child. You are Elder’s child. And your mother’s power is very strong in you.”

“Who are you, Radek?” John asked quietly.

Radek spread his hands. “I am as I ever was. Radek Zelenka, servant to the City.”

“You knew him.” He gestured to Chris, watching from the railing. “Kid-him, the four year old. You can’t possibly have known who he was, but you knew him.”

“Chris and his siblings are — unique, even amongst the Community. I did not know his name, but I knew who he must have been, who his parents were.”

“He means this.” Chris let the orbs fill his hand again, tossing them into the air. “Kids don’t have this. Only us. My brother was already born before you left to find the City and everyone knew who he was. Crown Prince of the Community.”

John studied him for a moment, touching Radek’s elbow and taking a couple of steps back. “He’s sane, right?”

Radek nodded quickly. “Very. The Charmed Ones are protectors to the Community. Chris and his siblings are raised to take that role.” He glanced at Chris, raising his voice. “In 2026, I imagine they have taken up their responsibilities.”

“That’s one way to put it,” Chris agreed. “My mother’s coven retired a couple of years ago.”

Radek frowned. “You were only boy then.”

“Nineteen.” Chris waved it away. “It doesn’t matter. Colonel Sheppard, there’s a man in Homeland Security, Agent Murphy. He’ll answer whatever other questions you have. Thank you for taking care of Chris. But I have to go now.” He glanced at Radek. “Leo says he can get you a new Whitelighter.”

“No. Thank you, no. That life...not for me any more.”

“If you’re sure. We’ll be listening for you, if it comes to it. Call on Leo or Paige, any time you need it.”

“Just him?” John asked carefully.

“Just him. Agent Murphy knows how to get my mother, if you need to. But I’d be careful. She’s got a temper.” He grinned, orbing out before John could answer.

Radek sighed, taking a step away from John, towards the railing. “Always wished I could do that.”

“You can’t?”

“Mmm, no. One does not learn how; one can or one can’t, and I cannot.” He turned back to John. “I have only very little power, Colonel, even when Chris is not on the scale.”

“He’s unusual?”

“His family is very powerful. Most witches can cast little spells, small things. Charmed Ones...they are very powerful, and Chris and his siblings are more powerful yet. There are reasons they are our protectors.”

“You think we can trust them?”

“I think they have bigger secrets to keep than ours, Colonel.”




Coop and the kids had vanished when Chris reappeared in the living room. Piper glanced up from the magazine she hadn’t really been reading, laying it aside. “Afternoon.”

“Is it?” Chris said absently, glancing around. “Where is everyone?”

“Around. Dealt with Radek?”

“Yeah, it’s sorted. His Colonel needed to know that we were the good guys.” He dropped into the nearest chair, head dropping back.

“You alright?” Piper asked, watching him.

“Yeah. I think I left Radek with some explaining to do, but...” He shrugged, sitting forward again. “I’m sorry I didn’t ask before I called Wyatt. I just...I couldn’t wait.”

“Wyatt’s five,” Piper said, not quite complaining.

“I know. He won’t be too happy with me when I get back.”

“Neither will I, I suppose.”

He laughed softly. “No. I don’t suppose you will be.”

Piper brushed the bangs out of his eyes. “It was very clever, though.”

“Wyatt always says I’m better at thinking on my feet than he is.”

“Your brother’s very smart.”

“Wait until you see Mel.”

“Mel?” Piper repeated.

“Best potion maker I’ve ever seen. She beat the previous records at Magic School.” He laughed softly. “It’s a little weird having your baby sister sit in on your potions class, and do better than you.”

Piper smiled faintly; it wasn’t like Chris to be this open about the future, but she appreciated the glimpse into things to come. “Potions, Book knowledge, and spells.”

“The perfect team,” he agreed distantly. “Where are Phoebe and Paige?”

“Around,” she repeated. “Why?”

He smiled gently. “I really should be going home. And it’s easier if you do it. When Wyatt and I came back, with Billie and the Triad...he said he was going to make me a tag, with a return spell engraved on it, and make me wear it for all the times I end up here.”

“Might not be a bad idea,” Piper agreed. “Chris, can I ask something?”

“You can ask,” he said carefully, catching the altered tone in her voice.

“The first time you came back,” she said slowly, “you told my dad I was dead. Am...I’ve seen a future where I grow old with Leo. Which one do you think we’re in?”

Chris frowned, staring at his hands. “You – she – didn’t die at the same time. I don’t know about that other future, but she’ll be waiting when I go home.”

“Good,” Piper said gently. “I’m glad. Now,” she added more loudly, pushing to her feet. “I’ll go find the others. If you’re sure you’re ready to go home.”

“Yeah. Before I screw up the future somehow. Besides, you and Wyatt’ll be waiting to yell at me.”

Piper grinned, ruffling his hair as she turned. “With good reason, you know.”

“I know, Mom.”



“...and the amulet was gone when I started to figure out what Radek was saying,” John finished.

“What was Radek saying?” Woolsey asked absently, concentrating on his notes.

“That Homeworld was about to invade us so we should really do something about that.” He shrugged. “Or words to that effect.”

“I see. So you unlocked the City?”

“We held Homeworld off first. We owe General O’Neill a lot of favors, by the way. Then, yeah, we unlocked the City. Everyone was starting to come back by then.”

“Yes,” Woolsey agreed, remembering the Mess Hall as people suddenly began to understand each other again. “And no trace of the amulet?”

“No, no one seems to know where it is.”

Woolsey leaned back in his seat, eyeing John carefully. “I spoke to Nicole earlier.”

“Oh?”

“She said she’d seen you with a gentleman from Homeworld, with Radek.”

John nodded noncommittally, silently cursing in Satedan.

“We’ve had no Homeworld visitors today, John.”

“You didn’t see him?”

Colonel.”

John sighed, lacing his fingers together. “One of Chris’ family came to see us.”

“Why?”

“Because I told Radek to call him. Because I wanted to know who he was.”

“And? Are you satisfied now?”

John studied him, frowning. “You knew already.”

“I don’t know who he is,” Woolsey corrected him. “But I know what they are.”

“What they are?” John repeated.

“The IOA has many projects that go far beyond the Stargate, John. And I am a senior member.”

John took a step forward. “You let my men chase him around the City without warning them?”

“Chris couldn’t have done anything to them, he’s four. And he’s not raised that way, anyway. Your men weren’t in any danger.”

“That’s what Radek kept saying,” John muttered.

“Radek was right. There’s no danger to the City or any of its’ inhabitants from Chris or any of his family.”

“Tell that to Ronon. Chris ever comes back here he’s gonna find himself with a Satedan bodyguard.”

Woolsey smiled. “I’d imagine so, yes. Have you signed off your report?”

“Are we reporting this?”

“Colonel Sheppard, I hope you’re not suggesting that we doctor our reports,” Woolsey said sternly.

“Of course not,” John agreed easily, “but I wouldn’t want to accidentally reveal anything the IOA had classified.”

“No, that’s a good point. Perhaps you should simply sign my report. When I have it finished.”

“Right, sir. You let me know when that is.” John tossed off a vague salute, heading back out into his City.

Behind him, Woolsey quietly deleted the report and closed his computer.

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March 2017

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