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The New Circle 61/? 
11th-Jul-2013 12:23 am
The Secret Circle Part Three smaller

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!

Her father had died the night before, the official cause of death was 'attack by a rogue animal (most probably a wolf)' and they were aptly blaming it on the wolf that had been terrorizing the late Farmer Jenkins' cattle.

While everyone was by the Balcoin caves the night before, her mother had awoken, packed up her things, and left a letter under her pillow that merely said three words: I'm so sorry.

Her sisters weren't speaking to each other, mostly because every time Cassie looked at Diana, disgust and pain was obvious on her expression.

Her brother didn't give a shit about helping the girls and sometimes seemed to purposely say things to pit one against the other but in a way that gave him enough plausible deniability, should anything come from his prodding.

Jake and Adam Conant remained in the caves with Mr Meade, both of them resting and keeping an eye on the catatonic man where it was safe, no one trusting Cassie a hundred percent at the moment.

The rest of Cassie's Circle were here, and while they weren't making any progress, they were doing their best to try and talk to Cassie and calm her down. Everyone but Faye, who'd taken to sitting sullenly and staring ahead of her, deep in thought, obviously in the middle of making an important decision.

The whole town was in an uproar, sending food to her door, as if a casserole was going to make this all better. Whitney and Greg were running interference and keeping people from coming inside to gossip and find out more about what they were dubbing as the "awful happening". The only people who'd been allowed in were the Kents, the Fordmans (even Mr Fordman was being nice) and Mrs Arkin.

Lex, Jason and the others hadn't contacted her.

Lionel Luthor had sent a gift basket.

Chloe Sullivan sat in silence in the living room, bandaged and refusing pain meds as she planned her father's funeral.

All in all, this was the shittiest birthday any newly seventeen year old could ever ask for.

To say she was in shock was putting it mildly, and she was glad the few who might know it was her birthday hadn't commented on it, not that many people were talking. Greens stared at the brochure of coffins she'd gotten and she already booked a date with a church they'd never attended once since moving to Smallville. There was just so much she had to do, but didn't know whether she could afford it all and if she could, what then? What about after her father had been lowered to the ground? What was she going to do?

Gazing blankly at the brochures in her hands, Chloe felt like the weight of the world was crushing down on her. She had two younger sisters to take care of, not just herself. She wasn't eighteen yet, she'd only just turned seventeen, and she'd had no mothering to speak of for most of her life. How could she support those two financially – not to even think about emotionally! Both Diana and Cassie had major issues and Chloe was in the same boat. How could she be an authoritative, maternal figure to them when she herself had so much to work through?

Despite the fact that she was close to a panic attack, Chloe had to admit that she was somewhat relieved for the distraction because if she hadn't been stressing over the wellbeing of her sisters, she probably would have collapsed by now and fallen apart. It was because there were other people depending on her that she was managing to keep it together somehow.

"Here, honey," Mrs Kent's voice interrupted her thoughts, the blonde receiving the cup of tea passed to her, giving Clark's mom a little smile as the redhead returned it and went to serve other beverages to those there.

Her older cousin Lois had called earlier on and had left a message with Diana because Chloe had been at the funeral home at the time. The message had stated that Lois and the General would be arriving later on in the day and Chloe knew that her guardianship was going to be an issue. General Lane was her only living relative (officially at least) who was old enough and "secure" enough to take over her guardianship – and he'd sent his own daughters away because he hadn't had time for them, for crying out loud. She couldn't do anything she wanted or needed to if he became her new guardian. There was no way she'd be able to live up to her promise to take care of Cassie and Diana either.

No. There was something that needed to be done.

Taking a sip of the drink, Chloe put the cup down and then looked up when she saw movement, noticing Adam Knight moving into the kitchen.

Standing, Chloe moved resolutely through the crowd before entering the kitchen, the door swinging closed behind her as she moved towards the male. "What did you mean when you said there was another option?"

Adam looked up from where he'd been looking out of the window. "What?"

"The night I was telling everyone we didn't have another choice and that we'd have to move to Grandsville, you said that that wasn't true." Chloe moved closer to him. "What did you mean when you said that?"

Adam took in a deep breath. "What did you think I meant?"

"Now's not the time to play 20 Questions."

He licked his lips, gaze darting away before returning to her. "Chloe, you're a Balcoin. You don't think that your family was impoverished, do you?"

Chloe's eyes widened. "You're saying John had some money stashed somewhere?"

Adam ran his hand over his hair. "I'm saying that as the oldest born, you're an heiress." He leaned against the counter. "Chloe, you're loaded. Think of Luthor money, but multiply it by fifty due to the fact that the Balcoins haven't had as many children or generations openly squandering their money. It's continued to grow and accumulate and it's yours."

"How do you know all of this?" Chloe whispered, staggering back a little with this revelation.

"I was John's shadow for most of my life," he replied with a sad little smile. "You'd be surprised what I know about that man."

"Where's the money and how do I get access to it?" Chloe asked, taking in a deep breath.

"I'll take you after the funeral, so-"

"No." Chloe shook her head, reaching out and grabbing Adam's hand. "Take me now. By the time Uncle Sam arrives this evening I want to have already hired a lawyer and started the process."

Adam's gaze lowered to their hands before he raised them to her face curiously. "Lawyer?"

"I'll need one if I want to become an emancipated minor," she replied, staring deep into his blues. "I only have one year to go anyway and if I am an heiress, I'm definitely financially independent, which means that I'll have less problems at getting my emancipation... and the guardianship of my siblings."

"I see." Adam eyed her silently before nodding, pushing away from the counter and pulling her along with him towards the back door, grabbing the keys on his way out and throwing them to her. "Text them so they don't have a nervous breakdown."

Everything she needed was in her jacket pockets so Chloe just nodded and let herself be dragged out of the house towards where her (barely used) car was awaiting her. She unlocked it and slipped inside the driver's seat, Adam doing the same into the passenger's seat, pulling on the seatbelt as she quickly texted Whitney telling him she had something to do and would be right back. With that, Chloe backed out of her yard and was on the road, AC off and windows down, needing the wind in her face to try and help calm the feeling of suffocation.

Silence reigned in the car between them until they reached the street leading out of Smallville. "Where are we going?"

"A place you've been to before." Adam sent her a look. "Crouch End."

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Jason wanted nothing more than to be at the Sullivan's right this instant, or to at least be able to call Chloe, text her. The news of Gabe's death by what Jason knew would be Moira's hands had shaken him deeply and he could only imagine what Chloe was going through at this moment. He wanted to be there, damn it. He wanted her to at least know he knew and was there for her! And yet Lex had been right when he'd said that showing any emotion, anything that their parents might consider a weakness towards the girl, would only make things worse. For now, the best thing they could do was stay the hell away from the blonde and keep a very close eye on their parents.

"A gift basket." Lex leaned against his desk, eyeing his father, who'd just come back from a fencing match with Robert, still holding his foil.

"I felt one of us had to show Miss Balcoin we had manners," Lionel declared, eyeing his blade thoughtfully. "Her adoptive father just died, you know. I would have expected you to do something."

"And why would I do that?" Lex wanted to know.

Jason was just as wary as Lex was about the fact that their parents knew that they'd found out about the Firstborn and hadn't told them. But what made things even more worrying was the fact that the old people hadn't gotten angry. They'd just shrugged the whole thing off. That could only mean they were planning something and were trying to play it off as nothing so that whenever they exacted their plan, their children would be off-guard.

"I have sent for Tess and Oliver to join us, Davis is bringing them." Lionel flicked his foil in the air, the blade making a whooshing sound. "The loss of Gabriel Sullivan has made me see how much family matters. It could have been one of my children who'd died." He slashed Lex's desk with the fencing foil. "And wouldn't that have been a tragedy?"

Lex merely stared up at his father, not having reacted to that. "Just as tragic as if it'd been your death, father."

Lionel eyed his son before chuckling, eyeing the room. "I believe that, as Sullivan's employers, we should take the girls in. It would be the only Christian thing to do."

"Ex-employer." Lex touched his fingertips over his chest. "You fired Gabe or did you forget that?"

Jason's view of father and son was obstructed as his mother stood before him.

Genevieve Teague eyed her son with a raised eyebrow, hands folded over her chest. "You have barely said two full sentences to your father and me since we arrived. We brought you up better than that." With an aristocratic air to her, she daintily lowered herself to the seat, eyeing him thoughtfully. "You've gotten darker."

"I spend most days out in the sun," Jason replied, knowing his mother wasn't too pleased with the fact that he was working or had transferred from his prestigious university to study at Met-U.

"Have you come across that Potter woman?" Genevieve made a face of disgust. "Her and her breed should have been put down. So arrogant-"

"No, I haven't." Jason interrupted his mother despite knowing how much that annoyed her. "Her niece apparently ran away so she has had no reason to be in the high school and other than going to pick up stuff in town or studying at Met-U, I don't really leave this manor."

"Socialization is important. I've taught you this." Genevieve shook her head before raising an eyebrow. "What about the Balcoin Firstborn?"

Jason felt himself prickling, not at all happy at having to discuss Chloe with his mother. "What about her?"

"You have met her, so tell me about her. I'm curious about the girl." Genevieve's lips curled in a cunning smile. "She must be quite the woman to have caught my son's eye the way I can tell she has."

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Okay, but be careful, alright? And if you need me just text.

After having finally noticed the text Chloe'd left on his phone (after searching all over for her and being unable to find her), Whitney sent the return text to Chloe and looked up as Mikhail and Lucas talked to each other in the corner, disturbed expressions on their face as they spoke.

The adults spoke off to the corner by themselves, segregated from the youth.

The younger generation of witches weren't really talking to each other, the television on and some doing their best to watch it, yet obviously their minds were far off. Adam Conant and Jake (who were both still in the caves) were going to be taking Mr Meade to his mother's later on in California and the boys were both readying for the trip, neither of them having had much contact with Cassie, who hadn't really spoke much since she'd agreed to move in with Chloe.

Diana sat by herself, knees hugged to her chest as she stared ahead of her in silence.

Sighing, Whitney put his phone in his pocket and sat down on the armrest of her chair, staring down at her uncharacteristically unkempt brown locks. The Quarterback hesitated a second before reaching down and softly brushing a brown wave out of her face.

Diana turned her dark gaze on him, expression sorrowful. "I'm useless."

He frowned at her. "Why would you say that?"

"I've lost both of my parents, I should be able to comfort Chloe, to say something sage, something uplifting, but I can't." Tears filled those dark eyes as they rested on him. "I can't do anything but keep from crying." She took in a jagged breath. "First I let down Cassie, and now Chloe."

Licking his lips, so not used to handling crying females, Whitney could only reach out and pull the girl closer.

She came without fight, leaning her head against his side, her hand on his hip. "Chloe's trying to be so strong but-"

"She looks empty," Whitney finished the brunette's sentence, nodding his agreement, he'd seen it too. "She's numb. She's still in shock." He paused. "I'm worried about when what's happening really hits her."

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"Does this feel like a boarding house or what?" Lucas made a face as he gazed around at the people there. "Half of the ones here shouldn't be in the first place."

Mikhail's gaze took in his sisters, one of them taking comfort from Whitney Fordman and the other staring blankly at the television. "They'll both be living wherever it is Chloe moves to from now on."

Lucas raised an eyebrow at that. "I know."

"It'll be a Balcoin house," Mikhail muttered a little resentfully.

Lucas's eyes widened slightly as he realized what was going on. "And yet you're not invited."

"Not that I care." Mikhail sneered. "The warehouse is my home, always has been."

Lucas frowned, staring into his best friend's eyes and seeing the lie so plain, it pained.

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"Balcoin Firstborn, Marx has been looking for you." The tiny man with the intimidating air to him drew closer. "Why did you return?"

Chloe sent Adam a look, wishing now more than ever that he could be visible to someone else other than her so that she didn't seem so alone and vulnerable right now. "I've been told you're guarding more than just my father's book of spells."

Marx smiled, some of his teeth black, some gold, as he drew nearer. "I guard many things for many people."

"Money." She went straight to the point. "You're guarding money for my family."

"Give me your hand, Balcoin Firstborn." Marx held out his hand towards her.

Chloe sent Adam another look before reaching out and placing her hand in Marx's, giving a cry when she felt fire racing through her palm, the blonde pulling away from Marx and blowing on said palm – only to find a nameless black credit card, the strip at the back blood red.

"Marx will take you to where the Balcoin treasures are, but this will be enough for you to use the currency in a more human-style." Marx eyed her curiously. "I have been looking for you as now that your father is dead, I need to renew my contract with the new head of the Balcoin family. Also, there are some things which were entrusted to me for safekeeping should something like this happen, and they now belong to you."

Chloe licked her lips, eyeing the black credit card in her hand, deciding not to be distracted by the way he switched from third person to first when referring to himself. "So I can use this just like any normal card? What about an ID? It doesn't say my name or anything. How-"

"It is all you need," Marx interrupted. "From today onwards, think of Marx as your in-between man. My services vary greatly and I can acquire even the most rare of artifacts at the right price. Marx is a very good man to keep at hand."

Taking in a deep breath, Chloe drew a little closer. "Do you know a good lawyer?"

"Good as in morally or as in professionally?" Marx asked with a smirk on his lips.

Chloe returned the smirk. "I want to become emancipated and I want full guardianship of all of my siblings, because even if Mikhail hasn't mentioned the need of it, he's still a minor and our father is dead. Social services will no doubt catch a whiff of that sooner or later."

"Marx can have this tended to quickly, no problem," he assured her.

"Good." The blonde nodded, taking in a deep breath. "I also need a conveyancing expert."

"You wish to buy property?" Marx asked curiously.

Chloe paused for a moment before nodding. "I do." She took in a deep breath. "I'm also looking for someone, so if you know a reliable expert in that field, I'd be most appreciative."

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Faye's world felt like it was crumbling. She couldn't reconcile the thought of her mother as a murderer – or an accomplice to one, at least.

And it'd been Cassie's mother!

Faye covered her face with her hands.

She didn't like Cassie, sure, but the thought of her mother having some part to play in the death of Cassie's made her sick to her stomach. She didn't know what she was going to do – how she was going to handle this. All she knew for sure was that she understood why Diana had kept it quiet because there was no way in hell Faye would ever let Cassie know that Dawn had been a part of the plot. No. No matter how sick it all made Faye feel, Dawn Chamberlain was her mother and she needed to protect her.

Didn't mean she wanted to be anywhere near her mother though.

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Chloe's cousin and uncle had arrived and the blonde was still out somewhere or another. Whitney had texted her to let her know of their arrival after informing the newcomers that she was out for some fresh air, and the adults had pulled General Lane into their conversation, while the teenagers made a space for Lois on the couch. No one really spoke, no one really wanted to. The feeling in the air was heavy, mournful, and every couple of minutes one of the girls would wipe at their eyes and sniffle.

Greg wasn't one to cry, he really wasn't, but this was so depressing, he had to deliberately avoid eye contact with anyone because he could feel the way his eyes were glistening. And damn it, men's eyes didn't glisten with tears. Men didn't cry. That was just that. And anyway, if Chloe was strong and not crying, he was going to do the exact same thing.

"I'm still trying to wrap my head around the thought of Chloe having siblings," Lois admitted to Melissa, who'd said something to her. "She's always been an only child and now to see three siblings, it just blows my mind away." She gave a sad smile. "At least – at least she's not really alone. I keep having to move all the time and I can't be there for her as much as she'd need me – so I'm glad she's had you guys." Lois sent a look in her father's direction. "Although – I'm a bit worried because of my father."

Cassie frowned, finally speaking. "What do you mean?"

"He thinks – he's considering sending Chloe away," Lois admitted. "He's her legal guardian and, well, my sister and I didn't grow up with him, if you get what I mean. She's in Europe, has been for years, and I'm in college. He'll probably send Chloe off too."

Worry filled Cassie's face as she straightened. "But Chloe said I could stay with her."

Lois nibbled on her bottom lip. "She mightn't have a choice."

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It was night time before Chloe finally made it back to her house, and she stayed in her car for a couple of minutes, just staring at the house.

Adam Knight sat next to her, staring at it as well. "Are you not planning on going in?"

"In a minute." She turned her gaze towards him. "Thank you."

His blues finally rested on her. "It was what anyone would have done in my position."

"No, it isn't. I know too many people who would have sat on that information and not told me. Especially when they have a reason to hate my family and want to see us suffer."

Adam's gaze lowered, the young man silent.

"You've just saved me, saved my family, you're-" Chloe cleared her throat, eyes filling with tears as she fought to keep a smile on her face, to keep control. "I'll never be able to thank you for what you've done today." She hesitated a second before reaching out and placing her hand on his. "Even after I break this curse on you, I'll still always be in your debt."

"I didn't do it so that-" Adam's words froze in his throat when she reached over and pressed a soft kiss to his lips.

It was innocent, her lips barely moving as she pulled away, and yet Chloe had meant it with all of her heart. "Thank you."

Adam blinked before he cleared his throat and looked away, giving a little chuckle as he ran his hand over the back of his head. "You're welcome."

With that, Chloe opened her car door and emerged, wiping at her eyes and taking in a deep breath, composing herself, before heading towards the house.

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Lois had rushed to hug Chloe the second she'd entered the house and Diana had been grateful for the distraction so she could wipe at her eyes and compose herself. She needed to be strong, needed to smile, needed to be there for her sister. And yet, as she saw Chloe's face twist in pain as she hugged Lois tightly, Diana could feel a sob in her own throat.

Whitney's hand came down on her shoulder, the only thing anchoring her, and she knew that she could do this – had to do this. Had to be strong.

General Sam Lane greeted his niece awkwardly, obviously genuinely sorry for her and yet not at all sure how to properly demonstrate it.

Chloe pulled away with a little smile to her uncle before motioning to the side and asking him something.

General Lane did as asked and joined her at the far corner.

Diana watched the two speaking together.

Chloe spoke softly yet with determination, her words obviously surprising General Lane if his expression was anything to go by, the blonde pulling out some documents that'd been folded in her jacket pocket and handing them to him.

General Lane read the documents carefully, closely, before looking up and asking Chloe something.

She gave a tremulous little smile before nodding, her lips mouthing "I'm sure."

There was a spark of worry and pride in his face as General Lane nodded and reached out, patting Chloe's shoulder.

The blonde smiled up at him tearfully, thanking him, before pulling away and coming towards them. "Everyone, I have an announcement to make."

Diana didn't know why she felt so nervous, sending Whitney a little look before returning her gaze to her older sister.

"I'm in the process of becoming an emancipated minor." She hurried on before the murmurs could begin. "My father – he uh – he had life insurance and has left me with enough money to live more than comfortably for the next couple of years. With some of this money, I just finished purchasing Miller's Field, all seventy acres, and I'm going to build a home there for my family. All of my family." The blonde's green gaze swept across the room, her Circle realizing she'd bought the land over the Balcoin Caves. "Once I'm a fully emancipated minor, I'm going to file for legal guardianship of my siblings." Her gaze went to Mikhail. "All of them except for Pete."

Diana's gaze went to where their brother stood, his skin pale and eyes wide.

"Also Lucas," Chloe added. "Because I doubt Mikhail would want to live with us if his best friend couldn't tag along."

"Wait, you want to be my... uh... foster mom?" Lucas looked utterly horrified and intrigued at the prospect.

"Let's never say 'foster mom' ever again." Chloe chuckled, shaking her head before she went serious once more. "This is my gift to me; my family." Her eyes went dark. "And no one's going to take them away from me."

Whitney squeezed Diana's shoulder, the brunette giving him a little grin before turning it on Chloe.

Cassie smiled softly, relief on her face.

Mikhail still appeared to be utterly shocked.

Lucas seemed to slowly be getting accustomed to the idea, sending Chloe a mischievous grin. "Can I call you mommy?"

The blonde sent him a dirty look yet laughed, shaking her head. "Don't you dare."

Lois hugged Chloe, pressing a kiss to her cheek. "I'm proud of you, Baby Cuz. If you need anything, I'm only a couple of cities away."

Chloe smiled at Lois, leaning into her embrace, before her gaze swept onto the teens there.

Diana's smile slowly slipped from her face as she suddenly realized that this was the moment Chloe Sullivan died, along with all her childhood dreams and aspirations, and Chloe Balcoin, Firstborn, truly was born.

11th-Jul-2013 08:16 am (UTC)
I'm gotta admit that when I first get on the internet you're the first thing I check and the last thing I check before I sign off to make sure I have missed an update.

Wow poor Chloe to lose her dad on the day of her birthday. It's a good thing that she has her family otherwise she'd be a mess.

LOL!! Fucking Lucas, first foster mom and then mommy!!! LMAO!!
13th-Jul-2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
Aw! Thank you! That means so much to me to hear!

Yeah, it was a really shitty birthday for ms Chlo.
11th-Jul-2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
I'll second everything @purple_moon said... ;)
13th-Jul-2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
12th-Jul-2013 02:15 am (UTC)
So good! I'm glad Lionel's plans for the girls have been thwarted. (I love that word!) I hope we get to read his reaction when he finds out. :D I really hope that Adam becomes corporeal soon. :D Love, love, love this story! Great job! <3
13th-Jul-2013 05:27 pm (UTC)
Yes! They have! (and it's a good word, I agree!)
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