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The New Circle 77/? 
22nd-Aug-2013 09:44 pm

Title: The New Circle
Fandoms: Smallville/Secret Circle
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Whitney Fordman, Greg Arkin, Cassie Blake, Diana Meade, Mikhail Balcoin, Lucas Dunleavy, Faye Chamberlain, Byron Moore...
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!

She'd sent Diana, Faye and Cassie in Clark's truck (which Martha had lent the girls) to wait for Jake at the airport, telling them that as soon as they were back, things would start.

She'd sent Lucas and Mikhail back to Edge City to get some things from John's room that she'd said would be needed for the ritual.

She'd lied.

The blonde felt horrible about it, but she couldn't put them in danger, couldn't expose them the way she would be by performing this ritual. She'd seen the Balcoin symbol on Greg's forehead, knew that his allegiance was to her, and yet even he wasn't allowed inside of the caves. The boy was unhappy with the decision but once the caves felt her desire to keep them out, he really hadn't had a choice. Whitney was already compromised, was already a hostage to Darkseid, and she wasn't about to put anyone else at risk.

"I don't understand why we're not waiting on the others." Byron followed her nonetheless, gazing around the caves, never having felt at ease there for some reason. He'd spent the night there so that the ritual could be done today, and had spent the whole night uneasily.

"Do you trust me?" Chloe turned her head towards her brother.

His eyes widened and he nodded immediately. "Of course."

She smiled softly at the lack of thought, at the complete, utter sincerity. "Thank you."

Byron lowered his head, smiling too, clearing his throat. "So is Whitney going to be waiting for us in the cavern then? Since you said he's preparing things?"

Chloe hated lying to everyone, hated it with the passion of a thousand burning suns, but knew that if they knew the truth that they'd fight her on what she had to do, so she had to do this. So once she'd gotten back into contact with the others, she'd explained Whitney's absence with the fact that he was off running errands for her. "No, he's not going to help us in this part; this will be just you and me."

"You sure you won't weaken yourself too much doing it by yourself?" Byron worried once more as they finally made it to the room Darkseid had specified, one Chloe hadn't ventured into before, the room lighting up once they entered. "We can wait."

"You've waited long enough, Byron." Chloe gazed around at the symbols in the room, flinching at the pain that shot up her left palm, which she'd had to wrap up because the Balcoin symbol had become horribly infected. "I need you to walk to the center of the room."

Byron nodded, going to the center trustingly, giving a little grunt when energy shot up in magical chains and trapped him. "Chloe?!"

"It's fine. It's supposed to do that," Chloe assured him, looking around the walls, eyes scanning the symbols before noticing two bloodied handprints at the far end of the cavern. "There you are." Taking in a deep breath, Chloe walked towards the handprints, unwinding the bandage on her left hand as she did, hissing at the awful state of her left palm. What the hell was wrong with it? "I hope this doesn't affect things." Taking in a deep breath, Chloe turned back to look at Byron, who'd craned his neck back as hard as he could to look at her. "This is going to hurt, a lot, but I need you to stay conscious, okay? I need you to do your part. I need you to push it out of you."

"Push it out?" Byron's dark eyes were wide in confusion.

"That dark side of you; that part of you that isn't you," Chloe explained. "Without going into detail, it isn't really you. It's the consequence of dealing with some really dark magic. It's a bit someone else. And in some Balcoin children, there's a higher concentration of energy that manifests as the split personality. Think of it as a magical parasite that's latched onto you." It was like what had happened to Whitney and yet to a lesser, less direct extent. "I'm going to yank that out, but I need you to do your best and push it out. The process will be excruciating, but you'll be free. You can do this."

Byron's wide eyes widened further and he nodded. "Okay. I can."

Taking in a deep breath, Chloe licked her lips, cracked her neck, and turned to face the wall. "Here goes nothing." The blonde slammed her palms against the blooded palm prints and immediately the room and symbols lit up, the room sealed off, and the magical chains on Byron lit up as simultaneously a pair of shackles clamped around Chloe's wrists the second the siblings started screaming.

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"You can't be serious." Davis frowned, eyeing Jason in shock, unable to believe what he was seeing.

"Like a heart-attack," Jason declared, his bag's strap slung over his shoulder and suitcase in hand. "Lex is fucking playing us and I'm done just following orders and not knowing why. There's something going down and I'm going to figure out what the hell it is. I'm done just sitting on my ass waiting for His Highness to give me his next orders."

"But you can't do that!" Davis announced, following his friend to the door. "Lex gave us strict orders not to leave Smallville!"

"Exactly!" Jason twirled around, barely able to keep his temper in check. "Why?" He turned to face his friend. "We're his right and left hands, Davey, so why all of a sudden is he leaving us behind and taking Ollie and Mercy? Huh? Does he question us? What's going on? Don't you wonder what's going on?"

Davis frowned. "What are you saying? You think Lex doubts us?"

"I say I doubt Lex," Jason declared pointblank. "And I'm not going to just sit here and go on blind faith anymore. I'm going to find out some answers on my own. I've put in my resignation at the high school. I have a lead and I'm going to take it."

"A lead." Davis raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, a lead." Jason nodded, voice and face defiant.

Davis eyed his friend before groaning, palming his forehead. "Wait up, I've got to pack."

Jason eyed him curiously. "What about Lex's orders?"

"Like you said," Davis let out a little aggravated sigh, "why leave your best operatives benched on the side lines and take your wounded soldiers into battle?" Davis shook his head. "Something's up." He turned, walking away. "This better be a good lead, because the moment Lex hears we've disobeyed his orders, he'll realize we're onto him."

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Chloe wanted to say that there was a goodness and strength in her that was strong enough that, despite the excruciating pain, she could have remained with her hands pressed the wall without the shackles but that would have been lying. Self preservation was in one's human nature, and without even wanting to, without meaning to, the girl tried to pull away, screaming at the top of her lungs as the pain overcame everything, her mind going blank as the magic molded her palms to the bloody prints on the cave walls, the skin of her palms seeming to burn into the stone. Byron's screams were tormented, the boy twisted on the ground, begging for it to stop. She forced herself to listen to his screams, to concentrate on his pain, and little by little Chloe regained enough control to realize that she could feel him. She could feel Byron through the magical binds holding him in place.

"Push, Byron!" she screamed through the pain as she concentrated on begging and on sucking the Darkseid energy accumulated inside of her brother. The energy was visibly black as it slowly began to travel through the energy chains, darkening them, the progress horribly slow. "I need your help!"

"Please!" he begged, twisting in horrible positions, his eyes going black.

"Byron!" Chloe's greens sought his out. "Help me! Help me!"

Those words must have struck a cord because Byron roared, tilting his head back. She could feel him making an effort, fighting the presence that had tormented him for so long.

Chloe closed her eyes, concentrated on drawing what Byron was pushing out. What she hadn't told him, what she hadn't told Greg, was that the energy was going to have to go somewhere – her. That bit worried her herself, but she didn't want to think about it. The Firstborns in the past had done it, and had been able to deal. Plus, none of them had been the "magical daughter" of the originator of the magic that was causing the problem anyway. This very rare sickness was due to the fact that Darkseid magic had been used to create the Balcoin black magic. Ever since then, every couple of generations there'd be an unlucky sod in whom there'd be a bit of Darkseid magic. It wouldn't be a significant amount, but it would be enough for the Balcoin and other magic inside to recognize it as an intruder, as foreign, and to try and attack it, eliminate it. The magic, though, was strong, and to protect itself would create the Dark half of the personality, driving the person to violent insanity and death if it wasn't extracted by the Firstborn, whose connection with this Cave would be enough to kill the magic or at least 'neutralize' it. Or that was what Rao had told her while in Whitney's body. Why Chloe was trusting him, she wasn't sure.

The first bits of the darkness reached the shackles and began to bleed into Chloe, a cold chill filling her as her breath escaped her in a visible puff. It was almost as if the second the first drop entered her, it began a vacuum, the girl feeling the suction of power, drawing from Byron to her, both of them screaming louder than they had. And as Chloe's knees buckled under her (the only thing keeping her from falling to her knees were her shackles), Chloe realized that neither of them were even trying anymore. The Darkseid magic that'd been tormenting Byron and driving him to insanity was making its way on its own towards her, all of the symbols, the chains and the shackles black, all light gone as the brother and sister screamed and cried.

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He could feel her pain and it was killing him to have to stay here and not be by her as he paced the room he was trapped within. He wanted to go to her, wanted to be there, should be there! And yet he couldn't. Shouldn't. Not the way he was. How could he not have known? How could he not have known that he'd had a hitchhiker ever since the Qandisa episode?

'Don't feel too bad, boy,' the voice announced in his head. 'You were chosen because of your relationship with her. You should feel honored.'

"Fuck you!" Whitney snapped, looking around at the symbols as they went wild, proving that this wasn't just his mind playing tricks with him. The room they were holding him in… These symbols lit up every time he appeared in any way. "You had me spying on her! She needs me right now and I can't be there because of you! She'll never fully trust me again because of you!" He ran a shaky hand through his blonde locks. "I'm gonna lose everything… BECAUSE OF YOU!"

The cave shook, his eyes flashing with fury.

'My minions are usually not this ungrateful.'

"I'm not your minion!" Whitney snapped, his blues darkening, his fists clenched tightly, his arms shaking in his fury. "I'm not your anything!"

'Once touched and claimed by the house of Darkseid, you always belong to Darkseid,' the voice told him snidely. 'You, boy, now belong to me. That Omega sign on your forehead shows it.'

Whitney's gaze lowered, the blonde tightening his fists, before his blues fell on something and he laughed softly.

'I fail to see what's so funny,' the voice in his head declared.

"You say I belong to you." The Quarterback licked his lips, raised his palm, showing the design on his palm of the Hamsa with the winged serpent. "This says otherwise."

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Chloe fainted. The pain was overwhelming and, in the end, it wasn't necessary for her to try anymore, the magic seeking her out, so she'd allowed herself to give into the darkness creeping around the edges of her consciousness. Once she awoke, she was unshackled and lying on the ground, the darkness gone from the cave, presumably all inside of her, and she wondered what it meant that, other than feeling completely shattered, she didn't feel any eviler than usual. She didn't take time to think about herself, crawling towards Byron where he laid unbound on the floor, the girl moving to sit by him, rolling her brother onto his back, checking for a pulse and breathing a breath of relief when she felt a very strong one.

"Byron?" she whispered, shaking his shoulder.

Byron whimpered before looking up at her. "Are you okay? Are you hurt?"

Her eyes filled with tears but she didn't shed them. "Are you?"

His eyes were filling with tears as well as he shook his head, reaching up rapidly and engulfing her in a tight hug. "I thought we were going to die."

Chloe hugged Byron as tightly as she could through the pain. "I wouldn't let anything happen to you, Byron, I promised to protect you, remember? I'll always protect you guys, always. No matter what it takes."

He nodded wordlessly.

Blinking away her tears, Chloe forced a smile on her face as she pulled away, being brave for him, refusing to let him suspect anything. "Now, to see if it actually worked."

True fear appeared on Byron's face. "What if it didn't?"

Chloe stared down into his young face before holding out her hand towards him. "Trust me."

Byron stared down at her hand before smiling softly, placing his hand in hers.

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Greg paced back and forth outside the mouth of the Bleeding Caves, not used to not being granted access and hating it. He'd had to listen to the screaming for what'd seemed like hours, and after that there'd been silence for so long… Too long. And the silence, that'd been terrifying because it'd left him so long without knowing what was going on. Had something gone wrong? Were they hurt? Dead? No. They couldn't be dead. If Chloe was dead, he'd be allowed into the caves. And that wasn't a comfort. She could still be very hurt and he couldn't get in. Maybe… Maybe…

Movement in the darkness caught his attention and Greg twirled around, eyes widening to see brother and sister wobbling out, helping support each other as they neared the exit.

They looked like they'd been through hell.

They had cuts and bruises all over their skin, they were horribly pale and both looked as if they'd bled from their eyes, ears, nose and mouth.

The brother and sister hesitated at the mouth of the cave, in the shadow, taking in a deep breath as they shared a look, before stepping out into the light.

Greg stepped towards them, ready to push Byron back into the darkness of the caves if needed, but as Byron lifted his hand up to shield his gaze from the sunlight, nothing happened.

Byron's eyes widened as he felt the sunlight on his pale skin for the first time since he hit puberty, the boy turning to look at his sister before collapsing to his knees and engulfing her in a tight hug, burying his face in her abdomen as he cried.

Chloe half laughed, half cried, hands caressing Byron's hair as her gaze rose to Greg, giving him a shaky smile.

Greg couldn't believe it, eyes wide, a half smile on his face.

Chloe's laughter melted into sobs as she too fell to her knees, pressing kisses to her youngest sibling's forehead. "You're going to be fine now, Byron. You're going to be fine."

Byron gave a half-choked laugh. "I'm in the sun."

She smiled through her tears. "You'll have to get a tan."

"Thank you," Byron whispered. "I don't know how you did it, but thank you."

Chloe's face looked like she was going to break for a second but then she smiled at him, eyes filling with tears again. "It was worth it."

Greg stepped forwards.

Chloe shook her head at him, returning a smile to Byron, pressing a kiss to his forehead and hugging him. "I love you so much, Byron. I know we've only known each other for a little while, but you know that, right? I love you all."

"Yeah." Byron smiled, happy. "And I love you. I'm happy. We all are."

Chloe closed her eyes tightly, her face breaking in misery as she hugged him tighter. "Me too." Training her expression to happiness, Chloe pulled away and wiped at her eyes. "Why don't you go and wait in the car? Greg's gonna take you back home so you can rest."

Byron frowned. "You're not coming?"

Chloe shook her head. "I have to do something first and then he'll come back for me."

"We can wait," Byron announced.

"No, I'll be fine," Chloe assured, helping him up and giving him a little playful shove towards the car. "Go on now, I'll see you at home."

Byron gave her a little look, but then nodded, going towards the car.

Greg watched Byron until he got into the passenger's side, before turning to Chloe. "Don't do this."

Chloe wiped at her wet face. "He kept his part of the bargain."

"So what?" Greg frowned.

Chloe narrowed her eyes. "He still has Whitney under his control. And he has Pete, Lana and Clark. I have to go."

"At least let me go with you then." Greg stepped forwards.

"No." Chloe shook her head. "Greg, you're the only one I trust to take care of them, to protect them, while I'm gone." She stepped forwards and reached for his hand, squeezing it. "Work together with Jake. He'll be useful. But while I'm not here, you're in charge."

"Like that's going to mean a lot." Greg rolled his eyes. "I'm not a Balcoin and I'm not Whitney. They're not going to listen to me, Chloe. Let me come with you."

"Do not sell yourself short, Greg." Chloe narrowed her eyes. "My family means the world to me and I'm leaving their lives in your hands. I wouldn't trust anyone with that. Stop shortchanging yourself. You're so much more than you give yourself credit for."

Greg looked down at her and gulped before clearing his throat and sighing, looking away as he ran his hand over his hair. "I have this horrible feeling that if I let you go, I'm never going to see you again."

Chloe stared at him silently before reaching out and grabbing his hands, threading their fingers through each other's, palms touching. "Close your eyes."

Greg frowned as he stared at her. "What?"

"Close your eyes," Chloe repeated patiently.

Greg raised an eyebrow before obeying. "Now what?" He suddenly gasped, his breath leaving him audibly, the brunet straightening visibly on his feet as he tightened his grip on the girl before it was over and he could breathe again, his grip loosening, his eyes flying open as he stared down at her. "What was that?"

Chloe merely smiled at him, letting her hands fall to her sides. "Go."

Hand going to his head, Greg frowned, sending her a couple of backwards glances as he slowly made his way towards the car...


Diana clawed at the air as she came to, gasping for breath, looking around her in disorientation, confused. It took her a couple of seconds to realize that she was lying down on a bench in the waiting area of the airport.

"What did you see?" Cassie leaned over her, eyes wide in fear. "Is it Chloe? You spazzed out just like the night of the ball. Did you See something?"

"So you're saying she Sees things that Greg sees?" Jake was asking Faye, who was apparently on the phone.

"Yeah." Faye nodded, before frowning and speaking into the phone. "Calm the fuck down, Mik. I'll tell you when I find out. She's only just woken up for Christ's sake!"

Diana's eyes were wide as she relived what she'd Seen, before she turned to Cassie, a horrible feeling sinking in her gut. "I think Chloe's leaving us."

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"Marx has prepared everything as requested. It is all untraceable," the man declared, passing her what she'd asked for, Chloe standing in front of the private jet at the private air strip feeling alone and vulnerable, just as she knew Rao Darkseid wanted it.

"Thank you." Chloe smiled down at the man. "You've been very kind and helpful, I'm very grateful."

Marx eyed her before nodding. "Marx would be careful, going to the parts of the world you are. They are not, how should I say it, the nicest of places to be right now."

"I know," she agreed. "But thank you."

Warning given, Marx stepped away. "Good luck on your business then, young lady."

Chloe watched him walk away before grabbing her luggage and documentation, walking to the private jet awaiting her. She boarded, sitting down and staring out of the window.

She didn't know what was awaiting her once she reached her destination, but she knew she wasn't ready.

Her phone had been ringing like crazy, the girl having to turn it on silent, but she'd noticed that the calls stopped and instead the text messages started rolling in as her family and friends realized the deception. There were all types of reactions, of responses.

Come back!

Don't you dare do this!

We're a family, you don't get to do something like this on your own!

Where are you going? What's happened?

Why did you go?

Please come back!

But it was Byron's that broke her heart.

I'll take it back! I'll go back to staying in the dark! I don't need the sunlight! Just please come back!

Chloe turned off her phone, wiping at the tears in her eyes as the plane took off, taking her away from her family.

Stay strong. You can do this. Don't wimp out now.

Taking in a deep breath, Chloe wiped her hands against her pants and realized that her left palm didn't hurt her anymore, the blonde lifting it to face her. Green eyes widened in shock, her breath stuttering out, her hands trembling.

The Balcoin symbol on her left palm had completely vanished, and in its place were the beginnings of an Omega symbol.

23rd-Aug-2013 04:21 am (UTC)
Wow! These last few updates with darkseid have been crazy. I can't even imagine what's going to come next.
24th-Aug-2013 04:45 pm (UTC)
They have been, huh? *grins crazily* I wonder why!
23rd-Aug-2013 05:11 am (UTC)
Oh god how heartbreaking.

I could totally see the siblings really working together to get their sister back.

My poor Byron. I'm happy that he's cured. But he must so heartbroken.

That's right Whitney you show that ass who you belong to.

Now I can't help but to wonder that since Chloe is the firstborn of two houses, can she have two circles?
24th-Aug-2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, hurt a little to write this one. :(

Byron, he's what made the chapter bittersweet. Because it was a crowning moment for him, he got to step into the sunlight, only for it to all come crashing down on his head.

Yeah, Whitney's not going to go down without a fight.
23rd-Aug-2013 06:02 am (UTC)
just.. whhooaa...
being johns child is hard enough... but darkseid... poor chloe....

can't wait for more.... thanks ;)
24th-Aug-2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
You. Have. No. Idea.
23rd-Aug-2013 08:25 am (UTC)
No no no no no noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

You evil cruel woman!!! Why are you doing this to me???? And poor Byron now feels responsible that Chloe left.

Is Whitney still infected?? He has the omega symbol but he still has the balcoin symbol as well.

And what happens now that Chloe's balcoin symbol has vanished???????

Oh goodness!! Come back I need more!!!!!!!!
24th-Aug-2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
Yes I am *evil grin* Because I'm evil!

Whiteny is still infected, yes, but he's not subservient. He's resisting the control now that he realizes it's there, which Rao is not used to.

23rd-Aug-2013 08:52 am (UTC)
Oh no. Not exactly the update I was hoping for on my birthday. But I'm clinging to the fact that Whitney's got a point about his scales/hansa mark. He's Chloe's minion damnit! Also hoping Jason or Lex can help somehow.

Poor Byron the guilt must be killing him. And the others sound so worried. Did Chloe just control Greg?

o_O Chloe's hand! I really hope that the omega-fication is reversible.
24th-Aug-2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
Oh! Happy belated birthday!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, Byron is definitely blaming himself, it's an issue which will be brought up.

Yes. HER HAND! It's very important!
24th-Aug-2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you
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