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The New Circle 24/? 
10th-Apr-2013 12:16 pm
Chloe---spell
The New Circle

Title: The New Circle
Fandoms: Smallville/Secret Circle
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Clark Kent, Pete Ross, Lana Lang, Whitney Fordman, Greg Arkin, Nell Potter, John Blackwell, Gabe Sullivan, Lex Luthor, Davis Bloome, Jason Teague, Tess Mercer, Oliver Queen, Patricia Swan...
Rating: T
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Chloe Sullivan had a normal-ish life before the circle and John Blackwell turned her life upside down and gave new meaning to the unexplained weirdness that goes on in Smallville. Now life's a witch, she's a part of a circle she's not too sure she wants to be bound to, and not only do they have to worry about Witch-Hunters, but unknowingly to them another circle is on the hunt too.
Wanna thank tenshinrtaiga for betaing!


Chloe felt like a lamb corralled by a wolf... and then she remembered that her mother was an actual wolf and that just made the situation even worse. Her hand went to her neck, able to feel the healing, covered up bite marks throb with just her nerves as she took an immediate step away from the woman. What was she doing here? How could she show her face so conveniently after everything she'd done? Not only had she abandoned Chloe and her father for years without an explanation, but she'd let Chloe grow up into witchhood without any sort of guidance but Nell Potter for crying out loud! And on top of that all, she'd attacked her in wolf-form!

Moira's gaze went to her shoulder, sighing. "That was my attempt to awaken a part of you I thought was still sleeping; a part that you'd need to protect yourself with now that things have been set into motion."

Chloe's gaze went to her father and back, not exactly sure what to say with him there.

"He knows." Moira shocked the hell out of her. "Gabe knows everything; that we're witches, that I'm a wolf shifter. And that we've had a little altercation." Her smile was twisted. "He tried killing me for it."

Chloe's eyes widened in shock, unable to digest all this information at once, turning her confused gaze on him. "Daddy?"

He looked in pain, his eyes begging her to understand.

"He's not," Moira declared and when Chloe's gaze turned to her in confusion, she clarified very matter-of-factly. "Gabriel is not your father. He's your guardian. He married me on your father's command so he could be in a position to always protect you." Her gaze met Chloe's straight on. "You've met your father. Your real one."

It suddenly hit her, sending Chloe stumbling backwards into the wall. "He's not my uncle or cousin."

"No." Moira shook her head. "John's your father."

"So he's a Balcoin," Chloe whispered, closing her eyes and clenching her fists as she slid downwards to the floor in resignation. "He is where I get the Balcoin blood."

"How do you know that?" Gabe asked in shock, taking a step towards her.

Chloe couldn't look at him, fighting tears as she yanked off her fingerless gloves and held out her hands, showing them the symbol burnt into her palms. "It happened after the other day when everyone mysteriously began burning up." She licked her lips. "John had something to do with that, didn't he?"

"Yes." Gabe nodded. "He was protecting you."

"And working his own agenda. Stop trying to make him sound like an angel." Moira sent Gabriel a look before returning her blue gaze on Chloe. "John was trying to kill every witch in the world without Balcoin blood. He thought they were weak; that they were to blame for why we all had to hide in the shadows and not let humanity know about us; why we had to fear the Witch-Hunters." She stepped forward. "Also, considering his plans, it was convenient for every witch to be dead. That way he wouldn't have to make good on the pact he made all those years ago for support and lent power."

"Moira..." Gabriel growled.

"She needs to know, Gabe. You've kept her safe for this long and I applaud you for it but you can't keep her safe any longer," Moira cut in impatiently. "She needs to know the situation and she needs to prepare herself."

Chloe stared between them, feeling sick to her stomach. "What pact did he make?"

"Did John ever explain the importance of Firstborns?" Moira wanted to know.

Chloe's stomach rose in her throat immediately, hugging her knees to her chest. "He said that I was the Firstborn and that it's an important position of power."

"Especially if you're a Balcoin female." Moira nodded, coming closer and bending down in front of her daughter. "Chloe, the people he went to for help all those years ago knew this and for him to get what he needed – they asked for his Firstborn to be theirs."

Chloe's eyes widened, shaking her head, voice choking. "No."

"He agreed to it, Chloe," Moira whispered.

"He never meant to honor the agreement," Gabe snapped at the woman. "It's why he needed the witches dead."

"But they aren't dead," Moira snapped back at him. "And if Luthor and Teague are here, they have a good idea that the Firstborn is in Smallville."

"Jason?" Chloe whispered, shocked and trembling by now. "He's a part of this?"

"He's 'Jason' to you?" Gabe frowned, coming closer. "Chloe, have you disobeyed me? Have you been spending time with these boys?"

"No." She shook her head, wiping at the tears fogging her eyes. "He came to the store this evening and we talked. He wants flowers delivered daily – he was funny, nice." She brought her hand to her mouth. "He owns me?"

"No one owns you." Gabe came towards her, kneeling next to her mother as he brought his hand out and brushed away Chloe's tears. "No one. I'd kill them all before-"

"You have no power." Moira turned her gaze to him with a sigh. "But she does."

Chloe's eyes widened. "You want me to kill them?"

"No." Moira shook her head. "I want you to own them."

Chloe stared up at her mother in utter confusion and shock. "What? How?" She wiped at her eyes desperately before sitting up. "Is that even possible?"

"You're a Balcoin, the Firstborn and a woman. Those are three advantages you have right there." Moira's lips twitched slightly. "And I'm going to teach you what I've learned while I was gone. You're going to be fine." She raised her chin. "It's them who should be worried."

Chloe stared up at her mother, unsure what to think.

She'd always thought that her mother had left her because she didn't care – but this woman kneeling before her did seem to care. "I'm telling Whitney everything."

Gabe frowned. "I don't think-"

"I expected as much." Moira cut him off. "He knows most of it, doesn't he?"

"What?" Gabe turned to look at her in shock.

"She's found the Bleeding Caves, Gabe. The boy's been there with her multiple times already." Moira proved that she'd been keeping a closer eye on Chloe's activities than the blonde had anticipated. "And anyway, he broke away from Nell's Circle with her; they've bonded." She reached out and grabbed Chloe's hand, showing the mark there next to the Balcoin. The star. "She's started her own Circle and he's her first member."

Gabe eyed the star with wide eyes.

"It's – it's not a Circle-" Chloe tried to explain.

Moira turned her blues on her and smiled. "It will be."

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"Honey, you need to concentrate." Martha sighed as she stared at her son, who was proving horribly unsuccessful at the spell she was testing him with.

Clark's gaze was haunted as they turned to her. "I'm sorry, I just – I keep thinking about Lana and Pete and worrying about them and I can't concentrate. It almost feels wrong to do this without them, like I'm betraying the Circle by practicing alone."

Martha observed the boy silently for a couple of minutes. "Something else is bothering you."

Clark hunched over, clearly defeated, not even trying to do the spell anymore. "I think I'm losing Chloe to Whitney."

This was interesting. The redhead sat down next to Clark, resting her arm around his shoulders. "Honey, you and Chloe have been friends since you were small and you're used to not having to share her with anyone other than Pete. You need to understand that just because she's also becoming friends with Whitney doesn't mean that you're losing her to him. You're just worried about Pete and it's making you sensitive."

"You don't get it; they're always together, like we used to be." Clark's gaze was on the floor. "Ever since Pete and I ignored her because of Nell, our friendship hasn't been the same. I don't think she really forgave us. I don't think she will." He cleared his throat. "I think she's replaced us with Whitney and Van. Even Greg seems to get more time with her than I do and this is Greg. He's not very personable."

Martha could see that her boy was in true pain and she couldn't help but feel somewhat depressed for him. She knew that sometimes friends outgrew each other and hoped to all that was holy that this wasn't the situation for what had once been the three musketeers. "Have you told her this?"

Clark shrugged, shaking his head.

"Maybe you should," she advised, knowing that bottling things up would only make it worse. "She needs to hear this."

Clark stared ahead of him. "She won't even bind the Circle, mom. It's like the very thought of being bound to us eternally gives her the heebie jeebies." He shook his head. "I feel differently. I mean, the idea of being bound to my best friends forever seems so… right. So if she doesn't see things that way then…"

"Clark…" Martha sighed, pressing a kiss to his head. "Binding a Circle is a serious deal. She's right to think it over."

"But you guys bound your Circle," Clark protested.

"I know, but we knew what it meant; everything."

"You already told me that I won't be able to use solo magic." Clark frowned. "I can deal with that if it means those I love are safer."

"It's still a lot to give up, Clark; a lot to ask someone else to give up," she reminded him softly. "You've got to give Chloe time and if she decides not to be bound, then you're going to have to respect her decision."

He was silent, staring ahead of him.

It broke her heart to see him in pain like this. "Why don't you invite Chloe over this week for dinner. Afterwards, you two can go to the loft and talk, really talk, like you two need to." She gave his arm a squeeze. "And don't come out until you're two of the three musketeers again."

Clark's lips twitched slightly. "Okay. I'll text her."

"Good boy." Martha smiled at him, coaxing his smile brighter until he was grinning.

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"So let me get this straight." Whitney lay on her bed on his side, eyeing her oddly, his golden locks falling into his face. "This John guy is actually your biological father and was the last Balcoin, a long and strong line of extremely dark witches. You're the Firstborn and, according to Gabriel, John told him he had five other kids, so you have half brothers and sisters. Two of whom you know of for sure are from the Chance Harbor Circle, which was the Circle that got hit by the Witch-Hunters." As she nodded he continued. "Your mom's here and apparently on your side and your dad isn't actually your dad but from a long line of dudes who serve and protect your real dad's family." He licked his lips. "And to top things off, your biological father – who was a total douche, by the way – is not only dead, but also tried to kill me and the other witches because he sold you before you were even born but didn't want to go through with the payment because he supposedly had other plans for you. Also, Luthor and Teague are here because they realize the Firstborn is here and they're trying to collect the Balcoin their families were promised or something like that. But your mother says that as a Balcoin Firstborn female you can bewitch other witches and she wants to teach you how to do that so that you can turn the tables on the other guys and keep yourself free?"

"That's about right." Chloe nodded, sitting Indian Style, hugging a pillow to her chest as she eyed him. "I'm freaking out right now."

"Don't blame you," he admitted, turning to lie on his back as he stared at the ceiling. "I'm kinda there with you and it's not happening to me."

With a sigh, Chloe turned and threw herself down on the bed next to him, staring up at the ceiling. "Nothing I thought was real about myself is." She turned her head towards him. "I have siblings. Dad says John told him that he had three daughters and three sons – I have brothers and sisters."

Whitney turned his head towards her. "And here you liked being an only child."

She closed her eyes and cringed. "I feel like screaming and crying."

"Or drinking something stiff," Whitney muttered. "This is definitely a "get horribly drunk" moment."

"At least this explains what happened those two times I kissed guys while I was in trouble." Chloe forced her eyes open. "The pink mist entering them from me? I was unconsciously bewitching them to protect myself."

"That was why the guy who kidnapped you was driving you away from where the others were being taken," Whitney whispered. "He was protecting you."

Chloe let out a little sound, staring at the ceiling. "If you want to start avoiding me, I wouldn't hold it against you."

There was a moment of silence as Whitney took in a deep breath, reaching his hand up and resting it on the crown of her head.

She closed her eyes, feeling the warmth growing in the star etched on her palm as she leaned into the touch, accepting his awkward comfort.

"You know, it's kinda funny that you'll tell me all this – and yet you won't tell me about the fact that you're spying on Coach Arnold," Whitney mumbled softly. "Makes me feel very conflicted."

Her eyes widened and she tilted her gaze up to meet his. "You know?"

He sighed. "I had my suspicions." The Quarterback shook his head at her. "Which of the boys gave up the information?"

"Who said that I didn't do it because of what you told me?" Chloe tried.

He saw right through her. "It was Trev, huh? After hearing the others talk about maybe telling you, he went really silent."

She flinched and looked away.

"Look, I understand that you're trying to protect your source, but Chloe, this is a volatile witch we're talking about here." Whitney frowned at her. "Why deal with this solo when you've got a man on the inside?"

Her eyes widened. "I wasn't going to ask you to go against your team and coach."

"My team is the reason why I'm doing this," Whitney replied, expression grave. "They're getting hurt more and more. Coach is losing his patience and control worse and worse and if he isn't stopped, he's going to seriously hurt one of them soon."

"I'm going to blackmail him, Whitney," she admitted outright. "I don't want you involved with this. I don't want him even thinking about taking anything out on you."

"But him taking out his pissy attitude on you is okay?" Whitney snapped, sitting up. "I know this man! You don't! Just because you have some pictures doesn't mean-"

"I said no." She sat up as well, narrowing her greens on his blues.

"I'm the guy here!" Whitney's eyes flashed with his anger. "You don't protect me!"

"Well tough luck!" Her own eyes flashed, the bed beginning to tremble slightly beneath them. "You're the only person who I can confide in, who I've told everything to, who has my back." She reached out and grabbed his shirt, yanking him close to her as she glared into his flashing orbs. "I'm not going to put you in unnecessary danger."

Whitney's orbs stopped flashing, a loud breath escaping his lips. "We'd never work out as a couple, would we?"

Her own eyes stopped flashing, the girl still holding him close by his shirt, confusion on her features. "Huh?"

"You and me." Whitney made a face. "We'd never work as a couple."

She let go of him, still confused. "How do you figure that?"

"Well, we're attracted to each other," he muttered, eyeing her with narrowed eyes. "But what-"

"Who says I'm attracted to you?" she denied, but knew that it was very much see-through.

"-we're becoming would be way too messy if we involved attraction," Whitney continued as if she hadn't spoken at all. "Especially given the fact that you can't control yet when your kiss enthralls a guy and when it doesn't."

"I didn't enthrall you when you kissed me," she reminded.

"Yeah, but you also say you don't think you enthralled that first guy you kissed in that nightclub either," Whitney pointed out. "Means that when it's against your will, it doesn't happen. The thrall can't be forced." He eyed her. "But when you kissed those two guys-"

Chloe's eyes widened. "You think I might enthrall those I want to kiss."

"When we're attracted to someone, don't we instinctually want to possess them?" Whitney asked softly. "Want to own every bit of them and make them only ours?"

"Oh my god." Chloe brought her hands to her mouth, horrified. "I'm never going to be able to have a normal boyfriend without being terrified that he's only with me because I've magically roofed him into it!"

"Also, I would like to point out that that if you willingly kissed Teague and tried helping him during that spell from your douchebag dad…then you might have already unknowingly enthralled him a little," Whitney pointed out.

She collapsed backwards onto the bed, swallowing hard. "And here I thought a guy finally found me somewhat attractive." Bringing her hand to rest over her eyes, Chloe sniffled. "Damn it!"

Whitney sighed, laying back down and wrapping an arm around her as he pulled her body into his, resting his chin on the crown of her head.

Chloe clutched at him and was immensely grateful when he just let her hide her face in his shirt and cry.

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Moira and Gabe leaned against the girl's bedroom, the two silent as they heard the unmistakable sound of crying. Neither looked at the other, one gazing at the ceiling and the other at the floor, neither speaking nor pushing away from their spot. The witch had known there'd be no hanky-panky behind closed doors, but Gabe was unable to get past his fatherly instincts though and she'd followed him up to spy just to prove her point. A wry smile curved her lips as she hugged herself, shaking her head. Gabe mightn't be Chloe's true father, but she knew that he was the best father Chloe could have had; it was one of the reasons she'd been able to leave her daughter the way she had for so long. Now she was paying for it, but it was worth it; it would be worth it. It would. And now that she was back, things were going to be different.

"You don't look as if you've aged a day," Gabe finally spoke, voice soft so as not to carry to the teens in the room.

Moira's hand rose to her face almost instinctively before lowering quickly. "Side effect of staying in the wolf's form for so long."

He nodded before sending the door a little look. "Does Chloe-?"

"Have the shifting gene?" Moira had always been able to finish his sentences. She shook her head. "I don't think so." She leaned her head hard against the door. "She seems to have taken completely after John."

A small smile tilted his lips.

Moira sighed, shaking her head. "That's not a good thing, Gabe."

His gaze slid to her, lips thinning to a terse line.

"It isn't and you know it," Moira hissed softly at him so that her voice didn't carry to those inside. "You know instability and many times insanity have been a part of the Balcoin heritage. Francis Balcoin was one of the evilest, most mentally unstable men ever known. It's the dark magic; sometimes it's too much for the mind to be able to control; it corrupts your senses, dilutes your morals." Her eyes narrowed. "It's a curse to have that blood in your veins."

"Says the woman who once wanted to marry John and give him all the children he wanted," Gabe hissed back, defensive. "Your words just sound like those of a woman scorned and it's not a good look on you."

"I know you loved him, Gabe, but John wasn't a good person, something I realized all too late. I'd already doomed my daughter." Moira reached out and grabbed his arm, fingers slightly claw like as her anger betrayed a bit of her wolf. "It's why I left. I realized what I'd done to her and I knew that I couldn't help her if I stayed with her. I needed to study, to understand things and I needed to understand the Balcoins better."

"So you're an expert on Balcoins now?" He sneered.

"I've studied their history from the first Balcoin ever to John." Moira nodded slowly. "I've gone to the sites of the places they decimated with their dark rituals, where nothing grows even hundreds of years later. I've walked through the fields where they battled and shed the blood of anyone who tried to oppose them. I've visited the villages that'd once had thriving communities of witches before they were massacred to take their powers." Her fists clenched. "I've journeyed through the Halls of Thrall."

Gabe looked up at that, eyes widening slightly.

"Believe me, I mightn't have realized what I was getting my child involved with at first, but I'm not that ignorant sixteen year old girl he knocked up anymore," Moira hissed. "Now I know the evil that will try and claim her; that's in her blood, I know how to help her fight it… and the impulses it'll give her."

"You need to stop making it sound like some horrible curse, some infirmity." Gabe yanked his arm out of her grip, not even flinching when her claws accidentally scratched him in the process. "And you're going to have to get used to it. John had six children, six. Even if his own dreams and plans for them don't come true, they're alive and will flourish. Even in death, he's victorious against everyone who was his enemy. Thanks to him and his efforts, the Balcoin family is going to be strong again after its near extinction by scared and prejudiced witches like you." He narrowed his eyes furiously. "And this time, no one will be able to cut them down; especially not once their dark magic is activated." He shook his head at her in obvious disgust. "Chloe's the Firstborn Balcoin, the natural leader of her siblings, and possessive of the purest of the Balcoin blood because of it. And once her other siblings activate their dark magic, they're going to connect to her, just like every Balcoin with active dark magic has ever since the first Balcoin. No matter what you do or say, she's going to be all that she's supposed to be. She's going to issue in a new age for the Balcoins in which they don't have to hide in fear again." He stepped closer. "That girl is brilliant, she's sweet and beautiful and kind and if she puts her mind to it, nothing will stand in her way. And if you truly care for her like you want us to believe, then there's going to come a point in this where you're going to have to put away your hurt teenaged heart and just help her become the Matriarch she already is."

Moira eyed him in silence.

Gabe shook his head at her in disgust and stormed away.

Moira sighed, leaning hard against the door, watching him leave before closing her eyes tightly. "That's what I'm scared of."

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"Flowers." Lex eyed Jason with a raised eyebrow before eyeing the bouquet the guy was placing in a vase in the library.

Jason nodded, fixing the arrangement with a smirk before turning to look at him. "I've figured a way to get an 'in' with the Circle here."

This was going to be interesting. "By buying flowers."

"No." Jason rolled his eyes, collapsing on the couch next to the table the flowers were decorating. "By getting close to the girl who is selling the flowers."

Lex leaned hard against the wall, eyeing the other guy silently. "Is that so?"

"Since Nell Potter and Lana Lang have disappeared, I figured that the Circle is vulnerable and what better way in than to use my incredibly good looks on the remaining female in the Circle?" Jason reached up and plucked a flower from the vase, bringing it to his chest as his fingers caressed the petals. "She's my way into the Circle."

"She's sixteen; that's legal in Kansas but I'm sure that's going to be frowned on."

"I said I was going to get close to her. Who said I'd be doing anything that would be frowned upon? Anyway, she's turning seventeen soon," Jason declared with a shrug. "I'm only two years older."

Lex fought reacting to that.

Seventeen.

The girl was going to be seventeen.

Cassie Blake had only just turned sixteen a couple of months back.

Diana Meade was basically around the same age as well.

He still needed to search Lana Lang's records more thoroughly, but he was almost positive that Chloe Sullivan was the oldest of the group by a couple of months. Still, it could be Lana Lang – it could be. She would still be older than Cassie and Diana. Everything seemed to point directly to Lana being the Firstborn. Everything but Jason.

If Lana was truly the Firstborn, considering that Jason still had traces of the enthrallment in him no matter how faint, he'd be reacting. Hadn't the guy been on edge ever since he'd gotten out of the quarantine room? Even once in Smallville, he'd been snappy, cracking his knuckles so many times that Lex had begun to wonder if they were going to break off any second. Like Davis, Jason was a good soldier, not as mouthy as Oliver and yet not as quiet as Davis. He was the perfect general and Lex had been somewhat unnerved to see him this way.

He'd hoped that getting to the high school would help but Jason had lapsed into stony silence, narrowed eyes and he'd taken to scratching his arm.

And then the illness had taken over and by the next time Lex had seen him, everything had been fine.

And while Jason had eyed Lana slowly, his gaze had followed Chloe around faithfully ever since.

Lex cleared his throat, refusing to show his emotions as he eyed Jason, who was still staring at that flower. "I still want you in that school."

"About that…" Jason nodded, finally looking up. "I've figured something out."

Lex eyed his greatest secret weapon against the Firstborn, his lips slowly curling in a sly smile. "Do share."

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A blonde was lying in bed, sleeping, her two palms scarred with the Balcoin symbol. Green eyes suddenly opened and she sat up, reaching for the brunette with one of those scarred hands. "Di…"

Diana woke up with a cry, her own scarred palm tingling as she brought it to her racing heart.

Chloe.

That had to be her sister Chloe, the one that Cassie had been seeing for a while now. But why was Diana seeing her now?

Was it because her dark magic was active?

"Did I wake you?" Grant asked as he opened her door and peered in.

"Where are we?" Diana asked sleepily, rubbing at her dark eyes, instinctively hiding her scarred palm.

"An inn. I'm too tired to keep driving." He gave her a little smile, unbuckling her seat belt and helping her out. "I already paid for our room, number 6. Our luggage is inside as well."

She yawned, stumbling out of the car before watching him lock it behind her. "Where exactly are we?"

"Just some little town in the middle of nowhere," he replied, arm going around her to lead the brunette towards the room.

"Does this little town have a name, Captain Vague?" She brought her hand to her mouth as she yawned.

"Smallville," Grant finally admitted as he led her through the open door into the room. "We're in Smallville."

Comments 
10th-Apr-2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
So good, so excited! :D
11th-Apr-2013 04:33 am (UTC)
Aaahhh, diana s in smallville I can't wait till the sisters meet!!
11th-Apr-2013 06:05 am (UTC)
Holy WOW!!! This just keeps getting more and more intense!!!

I'm glad that Chloe isn't so in the dark about everything about her and so glad that she has Whitney to have a shoulder to cry on!!! Even though it seems you've squashed Chloe/Whitney!!! *sobs*

Ohhhh Diana is in Smallville!! Ohhhh
can't wait for more!!
11th-Apr-2013 08:20 am (UTC)
Yay! Diana is in Smallville.... 1 down and 4 more siblings to go..... Pete come back soon.... I can't wait for the rest of sibs to get there, and I definitely can't wait for an update.... And Chloe please don't fight your attraction to Jason and Davis just cause you fear the your power over Thrall....

Always Shadowglove you do an Awesome, Super, Amazing, Spectacular job!

:p

:)

=)

Edited at 2013-04-11 08:24 am (UTC)
11th-Apr-2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
ohh. her own circle... well one of her siblings already has no place.... ahh the possibilities... thaks for another great update
13th-Mar-2014 01:36 pm (UTC) - Second Spin 24
I have to say, this is one of the most devastating chapters in the whole story. I clearly remember it as traumatic and as heartbreaking for Chloe as anything got until the Genesis Caves' alternate reality. You did an excellent, truly evocative job with this chapter.

You really tear down all Chloe's certainties here and make her the most vulnerable I think we ever saw her.
First, you lay out all the ways Moira has hurt Chloe from Chloe's POV. Devastating.
Then, Chloe finds out that her father knows all about witches and Chloe's heritage. Shocking.
THEN, Chloe finds out that Gabe isn't her father. Shattering.

Let me say that again. Gabe = caretaker? SHATTERING. Chloe doesn't have the benefit that we did of knowing that Gabe was depressed, angry and borderline suicidal until Chloe was put into his arms. Chloe saved his life, but she doesn't know that. All she knows is what Moira's telling her - that Gabe is a caretaker who married Moira, and therefore raised Chloe, on John's orders - and Gabe and Moira are standing together at this point and Gabe's not contradicting anything Moira says.

I'm not sure that Shattering is violent and negative enough. Whatever else has been going on in Chloe's life, whatever lies she's been feeding Gabe to cover her sleuthing, he has been there (although sometimes in spirit rather than in person), been interested in her life and supportive materially and emotionally - asking about her time away from him, giving her computers and replacing them when they die under odd circumstances.
Gabe is the only adult Chloe trusts at this point.
Nell is violent and self-centered;
Moira is the same with abandonment issues for extra nasty flavor;
Principal Kwan sacrificed Chloe for potential donations;
Coach is literally burning his charges up in his rage;
the Fordmans are abusive and/or submissive rather than supportive of Whitney, Chloe's main peer support at this time;
Mrs. Arkin is clueless and then can't really deal once Greg lets her in on the secret;
Clark's parents won't teach him magic and then will only teach *him* magic despite the fact that they know that Nell's the only other possibility for the rest of the kids to learn from;
Pete's parents are controlling and delusional;
John is mysterious and lies by omission and is now dead in part because Chloe refused to let him kill innocent people; and,
Lex and Jason and all others from their Circle who might be considered adults clearly have an agenda even before Chloe knows Why they want the Balcoin Firstborn so much.

All that in the first seven paragraphs. And Gabe hasn't said anything yet.

Edited at 2014-03-13 01:42 pm (UTC)
13th-Mar-2014 01:52 pm (UTC) - Second Spin 24 2.0
SHATTERING!
13th-Mar-2014 02:11 pm (UTC) - Second Spin 24 3.0
Then, John's Chloe's real father. And he's dead. After talking to her twice in person, giving her a mysterious heirloom, and calling for a dangerous and equally mysterious favor, Chloe's bio-dad has left the building. Hello, abandonment issues 2.0.

Once Gabe does start talking, he doesn't declare his love for Chloe. He doesn't explain why he kept things from her. He doesn't convince her that she's not only his life's work but the love of his life and the best thing that ever happened to him. No, Gabe wants to know how Chloe knows some of the things he's not telling her.

I still love Gabe, but I truly appreciate now why you have Chloe push EVERYONE away at a certain point. I think she might not have been so extreme and methodical about it, even as a subconscious habit, without this chapter.

You have Chloe sliding to the floor in resignation and averting her eyes from Gabe before pulling her fingerless gloves off like ripping off the scabs of her previously half-healed parental issues all without *telling* us a thing. That's... that's just... super-cali-fragilistic-expiala-fabulous.

You know the one thing that writers have to learn and then re-learn and then get beaten into their heads before they get great - Show, Don't Tell? You have that completely conquered. I didn't even realize what gave this chapter the emotional depth until I read it again, looking past the words and the plot to the structure and details of your characterization. This is the best scene in the whole chapter and one of the best chapters in the whole story.

And you make it look effortless.

I'm not sure what to say, except, DAMN, Girl! You're An Amazing Writer!




/squee
14th-Mar-2014 01:08 am (UTC) - Second Spin 24 4.0
And the rest of it was just as awesome as usual.

Moira and Gabe were bickering like the divorced/estranged parents they are.

Clark whines to his Mom about the consequences of abandoning Chloe. But he did give the first positive POV on joining a Circle that I remember reading. Chloe, Whitney, Greg - they all value their independence to join Lana's *cough*NELL'S*cough* circle. Pete and Lana and Clark got drowned out by Nell's strident insistence, and I never really got a sense of why you'd want to bind your powers to other people's. Maybe it's just that Chloe is so powerful that we've seen her able to work easily and creatively without a Circle. I haven't really seen the upside of binding.

Whitney is clever and supportive and insightful as ever. I'm glad they got the Coach revelation out before things got really complicated.

This remains one of my favorite Whitney lines of the whole saga: "When we're attracted to someone, don't we instinctually want to possess them?" Whitney asked softly. "Want to own every bit of them and make them only ours?"
Because he's not really like that with Chloe and yet there's a part of each of them that only belongs to each other. I thought the friend-zoning was funny and poignant and intuitive and disappointing all at the same time. I'm not going to join a Team!Boy for this fic if it kills me, but I have to confess that I can't stop rooting for Whitney.

This passage confused the crap out of me later, and made Moira sympathetic in a way that not much else did:

"She seems to have taken completely after John."

A small smile tilted his lips.

Moira sighed, shaking her head. "That's not a good thing, Gabe."

His gaze slid to her, lips thinning to a terse line.

"It isn't and you know it," Moira hissed softly at him so that her voice didn't carry to those inside. "You know instability and many times insanity have been a part of the Balcoin heritage. Francis Balcoin was one of the evilest, most mentally unstable men ever known. It's the dark magic; sometimes it's too much for the mind to be able to control; it corrupts your senses, dilutes your morals." Her eyes narrowed. "It's a curse to have that blood in your veins."

"Says the woman who once wanted to marry John and give him all the children he wanted," Gabe hissed back, defensive. "Your words just sound like those of a woman scorned and it's not a good look on you."

"I know you loved him, Gabe, but John wasn't a good person, something I realized all too late. I'd already doomed my daughter." Moira reached out and grabbed his arm, fingers slightly claw like as her anger betrayed a bit of her wolf. "It's why I left. I realized what I'd done to her and I knew that I couldn't help her if I stayed with her. I needed to study, to understand things and I needed to understand the Balcoins better."


Moira seems to have Chloe's best interests at heart here, even to the point of partially transforming in emotional reaction, but at this point she has already made the deal with Vika.

Gabe's come-back formed an essential glimpse of Moira's character for me as well as Gabe's. They must've been a Horrible Couple! And she really does rock the 'woman scorned' vibe. Gabe never seemed sycophantic, but his continual inability to see John as evil or even neutral is his key weakness IMHO.

Jason and Lex reveal more of themselves behind the scenes. I like Jason a lot in this story, but I'm disappointed as well in his manipulative initiative. You did a great job of showing Lex's all-seeing-eye with the way he noticed where Jason was looking and how much. That did more to show Jason's residual Enthrallment than a whole page of explanation or even his jealousy while Chloe was talking to Van.

Hearing that Diana dreamed of Chloe and then seeing that she's now in town was a huge surprise, even though you did have Davis (I think) speculate that she'd be on her way.

Super great chapter in parts and sublime in others. I really enjoyed this chapter enough to merit all 4 comments. Hope it's not spammy.

Edited at 2014-03-14 01:10 am (UTC)
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