Title: The New CircleFandoms: Smallville/Secret CircleCharacters: Chloe Sullivan, Whitney Fordman, Greg Arkin, Cassie Blake, Diana Meade, Mikhail Balcoin, Lucas Dunleavy, Faye Chamberlain, Byron Moore...Rating: TDisclaimer: Don't own any original material used in the television series or artwork, they belong to their respective creators. I have merely tweaked them for my story.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.A/N : NEVER been to Romania, so my information is from research. Sorry if I get anything wrong!A/N2: Marie Balcoin is a *historical* figure.
"I assume you've read up on the town." Moira looked on edge as she met them outside of the RVs once they'd parked, the woman running a hand through her hair.
Chloe's gaze didn't remain on the woman for long, something about this place making it hard for her hard to concentrate. A headache was beginning to thrum, the girl bringing her hand to her temple in response.
"What your guidebooks won't have mentioned, though, is that this is most probably one of the most important places for Balcoins as a whole." Moira raised her chin. "This is the birthplace of Vika Balcoin." Her lips twitched as all gazes turned to her in shock. "Although none reside here anymore, all living Balcoins can trace their earliest roots to this very town, and it is somewhere close to here that you will find the Entrance to the Genesis Caves." Her blues turned to Chloe. "I can't help more than that. It's more help than you received with the other two. It has to be instinctual."
Chloe nodded, fingers pressed against the throbbing in her temple. "I understand, thank you."
"Don't thank me yet, you haven't found anything." Moira took in a deep breath. "My advice would be to not look for it. It will know you're here and you'll find it when you're supposed to find it." Her gaze went to Cassie, Mikhail and Diana. "This is a part of your heritage, a heritage not many Balcoins even know about. Do you feel anything?"
"Impatient." Mikhail frowned. "I didn't come here to bond with my past."
Cassie sent Mikhail a look before she took in a deep breath. "I don't feel anything." Her gaze slid to Diana. "What about you?"
Diana frowned, her gaze on Chloe before those browns slid towards Cassie as she cleared her throat. "Uhm, uh, I don't know. Maybe." The brunette pulled a dark strand out of her face as she stared around her before her dark gaze turned to Moira. "Balcoin doesn't sound very Romanian. I thought it was French, you know, given the fact that we have that French ancestor that was burnt at the stake?"
"Ah yes, Marie." Jason nodded.
Adam raised an eyebrow. "I haven't heard of this Marie."
"Me neither." Cassie looked between them in confusion.
Chloe angled her head away from them, catching a glimpse of a shadow as it formed on the ground a couple of feet away from them. Nothing stood close by to cast the shadow, and yet it was there nonetheless, and in the process of forming a vague shape.
"They're referring to Marie Balcoin, who was a witch from Pays de Labourd during the reign of Henry the IV of France," Moira declared, disgust and something else crossing over her features. "She was burnt at the stake for being a witch and many other dark deeds, but her most heinous act was eating the ear of a small child during a Sabbatic meeting."
The shadow's vague form defined itself into a dagger-like shape, which upon forming, shot towards Chloe at an alarming speed, startling the blonde enough for her to take a rapid step backwards as the shadow shot rapidly and harmlessly beneath her feet, disintegrating into nothingness.
A hand came down on her shoulder.
Chloe cried out and turned around, eyes wide as her gaze fell on Zod, whose eyes were narrowed on her. "You scared me!"
The Dragon frowned at her silently.
"Are you okay?" Jason asked as his gaze went to the ground suspiciously before it returned to her. "You looked as if you'd seen something."
"No, I'm fine." She cleared her throat, not sure why she wasn't telling them what she'd seen. "Sorry, I zoned out for a second, thinking about Marie Balcoin and all our other crazy ancestors, and this is where it all started, and then Zod told us about the Dragons craters and my mind's been crazy ever since. Sorry."
Mikhail blinked, confusion plain on his face. "Dragon craters?"
"Right." Whitney nodded, blues narrowed on Chloe for a moment before he cleared his throat and turned those orbs on the curious passengers of the girl bus. "There's a volcanic crater lake 35 minutes distance from here called Lacul Sfânta Ana, or Saint Anna's Lake. It made us think of Crater Lake, in Smallville, and how coincidental it was that there were two crater lakes in two parts of the world that were associated with Balcoins."
"I can see why that would seem very coincidental." Lucas narrowed his eyes as he stepped forwards and his gaze went to Zod. "But the Major is saying it isn't."
"Exactly." Whitney nodded as he turned to Zod. "They need to know what you told us in the RV."
Zod took in a deep breath, clearly not one to repeat himself, so it surprised Chloe that he didn't tell Whitney this with a sneer and instead merely eyed the other group as he began once more. "I could feel it the minute I passed through into your dimension the first time. I was allowed passage, was sent through by the Gatekeeper and thus my passing through was a sanctioned one. But Rao's wasn't. It would mean that his landing would have been less than graceful." He cleared his throat. "It would have seemed like a star falling from the heavens, or I believe you call them comets. He would have fallen in his true form, would have easily survived the fall, but the intent would have left not only the crater, which in time would collect rain water and form these lakes, but leave traces of his magic, only enough for other Dragons who pass over to feel it when they were near."
Cassie's eyes widened in shock. "So you're saying the crater here is where he fell when the Six originally Summoned him from Apokalips."
"But what about the one in Smallville?" Diana made a face.
"That's where he, Augo and Alura fell when John, Lionel and Janus managed to free them," Moira responded, her voice dark, face pinched. "It was timed so that their descent was hidden by a meteor shower that hit Smallville, and so no one knew the truth about what fell amidst the meteors."
Chloe let out a stuttered little laugh as she shook her head. "You're just a trove of hidden knowledge you don't like sharing with the class, aren't you?"
"I didn't see how that was relevant," Moira replied with a sniff. "But that doesn't mean that we're not on the same team. We both want to stop Rao. We both want to give humanity a fighting chance in this war." Moira's blues leveled with Chloe's. "You and I are going to give them that, together."
There was such conviction, such certainty, in her mother's face, that Chloe couldn't say anything to that, merely hope she was right.
An awkward silence fell upon the group.
Jason cleared his throat as his gaze went to Chloe. "Given the fact that I wasn't with you when you found the other Caves, how about you run by me what you were doing when you did? Maybe if we can find the common thread, we can help hurry this process along."
Chloe's gaze turned to him as she nodded. "That's – smart."
"There's no common thread." Whitney shook his head.
"You don't know that." Jason narrowed his eyes on Whitney.
"Yeah, I do." Whitney shook his head. "Unlike anyone else here, I was with her both times she found Caves. I mightn't have been in the first Cave with her, but I was in the field with her. I know what we were doing. It had nothing to do with what we were doing the second time she unintentionally found a Cave."
Jason eyed the boy thoughtfully. "Explain."
"Well," Whitney cleared his throat as his gaze went to Chloe, "uh, you should probably – I kinda just stepped in and took over the conversation."
Chloe smirked at him, still somewhat uneasy and disoriented and preferred for him to tell the story. "Go on, you were there. Tell it."
Whitney scratched behind his head and began to relate the story.
Chloe's attention was distracted once more, her green's narrowed as the sound of a whispered voice calling her name caught her attention. She couldn't tell what direction the sound was coming from, or even what sex the voice was, not with all the other sounds mixed in, but Chloe could distinguish her name and the beckoning in that voice. The blonde made to take a step forwards and yet stopped when the bracelet she wore glowed slightly and a wave of dizziness hit her. She'd been warned about this, about how, when she was at her weakest, the bracelet would manifest physically like that because of how strongly it was drawing from the four to keep her alive. It was working harder when it glowed, drawing extra from her donors, and that made her feel sick to her stomach, worried.
That worry was enough to break whatever connection had been made with that voice, the blonde no longer able to hear it, instead her greens landed on the four males, who didn't seem any worse for wear or even able to feel that she was drawing from their life force much more than normal right now. Everyone's gaze was on Whitney as he spoke, which left Chloe free to gaze at her glowing bracelet before her gaze then want to Zod, Adam, Jason and then finally Whitney. She took in their bracelets; they were what kept her alive and what could kill those four if something happened and she, for some reason, drew too much too quickly.
She didn't want to hurt them, the girl cared about these guys, even Zod in her own way, and she didn't want to be the reason that they were hurt. Her hand trailed over the Willowbrook pensively, teeth clenched down on her bottom lip. With everything that had happened, she really hadn't had time to really think about who she was tied to at the moment. Other than Lex, with whom she'd had someexplosive chemistry, she was tied to the guys who… well… These were some of the most important men in her life who'd she'd felt attractions for.
Jason was probably one of the hardest to be tied to because not too very long ago, she'd been very close to falling in love with him. Sure, she'd never actually allowed herself to do so, and Diana had made some excellent points as to why Chloe would never actually allow herself to fall in love with Jason, but the simple fact was that there was something between her and Jason that was instinctual. Or there had been. It could very well have been the fact that they were manipulated to create Dragon babies that would one day take over the world and so when they were together, their hormones pushed for them to want to procreate and pop those future overlords out. Even so, when she and Jason had been together, neither of their Dragon magics had been active, so a part of Chloe wanted to fight and say that a tiny a bit of it had been them, even if Rao's manipulation had played a part in their attraction. Still, that was the little helpless romantic, bleeding teenaged heart in her. The other half of her told her it was the Dragon mating and nothing else, and that if she wanted to try and stop her father's plans from ever coming true, she could never be more than friends with Jason Teague ever again.
Zod didn't worry her as much as the others when it came to the magic being drawn out of them as he was a Dragon and could handle much more than they could. But he did worry her in the fact that he'd already made it clear that once she was strong enough to survive without the Willowbrook, it was his plan to kill Jason, as he wouldn't 'share' her with another of his kind. It wasn't that she wanted to be shared, it really wasn't, but Chloe didn't see why Zod thought there would be sharing to begin with. She knew that Zod's priority was the resurrection of his race, and that once he realized that that wasn't herpriority, he would find someone else with whom to breed. Obviously witches could provide Dragons with powerful enough children, she had proven that. Chloe knew that Zod didn't love her, that he saw her as an opportunity to give his race a better chance at survival, but once he realized that his offspring with a (competent) witch would be just as well, he'd move on. It irked her to admit that Chloe might have grown attracted to the arrogant Dragon, but she'd known better to let it get past the carnal.
Whitney had told her once that a relationship between them would never work out and Chloe had figured that that was probably true. They were just too headstrong, too intense. But Whitney was handsome and strong and he questioned her when no one else did and there'd been more than a couple of times where the girl had to admit that she'd felt herself highly attracted to her Hand-turned-Sanguine. Their time together in Darkseid's grasp had forged a closeness between them that hadn't existed before, and time and time again, Chloe had to keep reminding herself of the words he'd said that night to keep herself from doing something foolish and putting their friendship on the line. A relationship between them would never work out. She'd come to accept and believe it, and with how important Whitney was to both her and her Circle, Chloe was definitely not about to risk it either. She figured that he was right: what made them so incredibly great as friends would make them horrible as lovers anyway. She believed that now, believed it with conviction, and knew that Whitney did too.
Adam honestly was the wild card because for the longest time she hadn't even known he was around. He'd been her shadow, had followed her around and even slept in her room without her knowledge. Sure, he'd assured her that he'd never watched her when she'd bathe, or would close his eyes when she'd walk around naked or in a towel in the room, but that didn't change the fact that she had done those things unknowingly in his presence countless times. When he was visible and had started to sleep in her bedroom, she'd acted as if it didn't affect her to have him sleeping in her bedroom, and the fact that he was so innocent did help, the girl had been hyperaware of his presence, especially for the first couple of nights. He'd asked her the other day if she even realized he was older than her, and now it was all she could do to keep from scoffing as she shook her head. Of course she'd realized he was older! She'd shared a room with him for weeks! How had he expected that she'd missed that? Something must have happened while he was at the Tentagel House with his brothers though, because he'd lost some of his innocence, if that whole episode in the bathroom had anything to say about it. He was attracted to her, and she understood it, she was basically the only girl he'd really had any close sort of interaction with, and while she was both flattered and felt attracted as well, she knew that it wasn't healthy for him to be fixated on her. Not when so many other aspects of his life revolved around her. She couldn't hog him like that. So when things settled down, she was going to have to think about setting him up with someone who deserved him and could give him a normal relationship.
Chloe nodded, mind decided. Once this was all over, when there weren't problems with crazy Dragons and impending wars and hidden Caves and missing Stones, she was going to find a boyfriend and just be a normal girl and have normal girl problems. Maybe a mortal. That could be nice. A guy from Smallville would know about the witchy situation, and that would be a plus. With how things were going with her life, all this magical upheaval, maybe having a normal guy for her first boyfriend might be…
Whitney cleared his throat. "And then when we found the Crystal Caves, we were in the warehouse when it was still in Edge City…"
Suddenly Chloe's thoughts halted, the blonde's eyes going wide as she felt ghost-fingers brushing against her thigh. She looked down, expecting to see fingers and a hand trailing up her thigh, but there was nothing to be found. Despite this though, she could distinctly feel a man's fingertips grazing upwards against her skin, sending goosebumps and shivers of electric pleasure through her system. She forgot about the Willowbrook, failing to notice the way the glow changed in intensity, began a constant throb, as her lips parted in an inaudible whimper.
"The Echo…" Whitney''s voice sounded strained.
Chloe barely registered anything but the feeling as she gripped the front of her shirt and pressed her thighs together in an attempt to quell the sensation but it instead intensified, and the blonde breathed in deeper as her eyes closed and she submitted timidly to the sensation. She had no idea what in the world was going on, but it felt so good.
"Whit, are you okay?" Cassie's voice broke into Chloe's haze. "You're stammering and pale."
"Then again, none of you guys are looking that good right now." Diana backed up their youngest sister. "Are you guys okay? Chloe?"
Chloe's eyes flew open as the ghostly sensation disappeared, the girl somewhat dazed and embarrassed and yet managed a smile. "Sorry, I, uh, I'm a little tired."
Mikhail frowned as he glared at the Willowbrook. "I can tell. It's glowing, obviously you're weak and it is drawing a lot of energy in an attempt to keep you awake."
Lucas turned to Moira. "We can look for the Caves on our own for right now. She needs to rest."
"Took the words right out of my mouth." Mikhail smiled at his friend before turning to his sisters. "She's all yours."
Chloe's eyes widened. "I-!"
"You're not going to protest." Cassie and Diana each grabbed one of Chloe's arms and maneuvered her back in the direction of the boy RV. "You need to keep up your energy for when we do find the Caves. Plus, last time you found the other two, you weren't even looking for them! So just go and relax, okay?"
"Cassie's totally right," Diana agreed as she steamrolled Chloe closer and closer towards the RV. "We'll scout the area, talk to the locals and find out if there are any legends about any caves. You just rest, okay?"
"I really should be helping," Chloe tried to protest.
"And you will," Cassie assured her. "Once you're back to full strength and we don't have to worry about you fainting."
"But I don't-" Chloe tried.
"Think about the guys, Chlo." Diana cleared her throat. "If you rest, you won't drain them half as much."
Chloe turned to half glare at Diana. "That was underhanded, Dee."
Diana nodded with a sigh. "But it's the only way you're going to agree to rest, isn't it?"
Chloe licked her lips. "Yes, it is."
"Then mission accomplished." The brunette opened the RV door with a worried expression on her face. "Please get some rest and don't be angry at us for trying to take care of you for once."
Chloe stared between her sisters before her gaze went to where the others watched her as well, the girl letting out a sigh. "Fine." She shook her head. "If you find anything, let me know?"
"Immediately." Mikhail saluted from where he leaned against Lucas. "Now go rest, Maleficent!"
"Shouldn't I be Sleeping Beauty?" Chloe mumbled to herself in question.
"You're a Balcoin and a half Dragon, you're definitely a non-psychotic Maleficent," she heard Mikhail assure her from behind.
The girl shook her head as she entered the RV and closed the door behind her, feeling like a burden on everyone and very much left behind.
She leaned hard against the door and groaned as she stared up at the ceiling. "I hate this."
-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-
Desaad entered the room, tray of food in hand, gaze upon his master, who was in his human form for the first time since his moltings had begun. He could sense the magnificent magic within him, and even if he couldn't, there was a permanent blackness in those eyes now that betrayed the immense, unspeakable power his master now possessed. It made Desaad humbled to know that he served one so great as his lord. He couldn't understand how others couldn't see the greatness that was his master. How could the lord's own wife and daughter turn on him the way they had?
The faithful servant raised his gaze to stare at the portrait of Vika Balcoin-Darkseid that rested over the desk at which his master worked.
His master looked up. "Ah, you have brought me food."
Desaad nodded as he drew nearer with the tray. "You must eat, My Lord."
His master took in a deep breath. "What news do we have from Smallville?"
Desaad rested the tray on the desk before straightening. "Our spies in the mortal town say after your mental conversation with the girl, she seems to have weakened herself and retired into seclusion. Part of her unofficial Circle remains watching over her while the rest of it goes about their normal day life." He clasped his hands behind his back. "If the mental communication between the two of you was enough to tire her like that, then you will have no form of a battle to plan for."
There was an odd expression on Rao Darkseid's face as he ignored the tray of food. "No, that can not be the only reason she is in seclusion, something else must be going on." He narrowed his eyes. "Get in contact with our insider and find out the truth about what is truly going on inside of that house." He leaned forwards, fingertips touching as his eyes narrowed. "I have a very uneasy feeling in my scales, Desaad, and I want to know why."
The witch nodded, desperate to please his master and do his bidding. "I'll get in contact immediately."
Rao took in a deep breath. "And tell Granny Goodness to get into contact with him. A part of our agreement was that once our world was gone, he would be informed."
Desaad bowed low as he backed towards the door, anxious to do his master's bidding. "Of course."
"And Dessad?" His master's voice stopped him as he turned and reached for the handle.
"Yes, My Lord?" Desaad turned back around.
Rao Darkseid now stood, gaze out the window onto the darkness, hands clasped behind his back. "How's Charles?"
Desaad frowned, his fists clenched at the clear favoritism his master had shown towards the mortal since his arrival. "He is fine."
"Good. Make sure it stays that way."
"Of course." Clearing his throat, Desaad nodded as he slipped out of the room and closed the door behind him.
-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-
"So, is it me or do Zod and Whitney actually not hate each other?" Adam wanted to know as he lay on his side on her bed. He'd arrived around an hour ago due to a sprained ankle, and since Chloe hadn't been able to sleep at all during her time alone, they'd found themselves in her room, like they would usually do back home, talking. So far what had happened between them in the bathroom hadn't been brought up and Chloe figured that Adam was going to just let it die down. "When Moira said we should work in teams, Zod announced he'd work with Whitney, and Whitney really didn't have a choice, but he didn't really fight it either."
"Yeah, I've noticed that they seem to be working together more and more." Chloe nodded as she lay on her stomach next to Adam. "I think that since Apokalips is gone, Zod realizes that this is his home now, and he can't have the same attitude he had before, so he's slowly trying to make friends, or at least allies, in his own way."
"And Whitney's his first choice of ally." Adam tilted his head to the side.
"He keeps saying how a Sanguine and Animus share a special bond, so I'm not that surprised, especially since, well," she shrugged, "it would make sense strategically, as he likes to say." It amused her to realize that she was beginning to speak like Zod. "So, we haven't really had time to talk about the whole Gemini thing, huh?"
Adam cleared his throat as his gaze lowered to the sign on his palm. "No, not really."
Chloe's gaze lowered to her own mark. "I didn't do it on purpose, you know. Bind you, I mean." She frowned at the zodiac sign. "You've just got your brother back, you should have been free to be in his Circle, and this happened." The witch turned to her side so she faced the boy as he faced her. "This is just a mark though, it just means that our magic sees us as one. It doesn't mean anything. We haven't even officially said words or anything. You can still be in a Circle with him. I won't hold you to this."
Adam stared down at her in silence, a tender smile making its way on his face, hesitation clear on his movements as he reached out and brushed strands of blonde out of her face, the stone on his bracelet pulsating with color. "You've got to stop doing things like that."
Chloe's eyes widened as her own bracelet responded in kind, her voice lowered. "Doing things like what?"
He didn't answer, merely brought his lips to hers, and the moment he did, the stones in their bracelets changed color as he kissed her. There was slight hesitance and insecurity at first, which was out of character with how he'd been in the bathroom, and then Chloe remembered he was quite new at this like she was. He was greener than she was when it came to these sorts of things, which reminded her of her resolution that this wouldn't be good for him.
She pulled away, a hand on his chest as she shook her head. "No, Adam." She closed her eyes tightly. "I'm sorry."
He took in a deep breath. "I like you."
"And I like you." She opened her eyes and met his, hand still on his chest.
He lowered his gaze. "But it's still a 'no', isn't it?"
She lowered hers as well. "Yeah." The girl took in a deep breath. "Adam, I love you, but I'm not in love with you, and after everything you've been through in your life, you deserve someone who's madly in love with you."
He chuckled darkly. "Yeah? Where am I going to find that?"
"Are you kidding me? Have you looked in the mirror lately?" She reached out and grabbed his chain, raising it so that their gazes met. "You're so handsome, it's ridiculous. You'll find someone easily."
"Thank you." And yet, she could feel the jolt of pain that went through him as he gave her a sad smile and stood. "I'm tired. I'm going to go and lay down to rest for a while."
Chloe watched him go with a heavy heart, feeling his heartache as if it was her own, feeling for a second as if he was the one who'd turned her down, and that was when realization hit her hard.
The blonde went pale as she threw herself back against the bed and stared up at the ceiling in utter shock. It made sense that if she was draining power from them, emotions might slip through from time to time, especially if they were intense ones.
Guilt bled into her system. Adam was doing so much for her, he was keeping her alive, and she couldn't even return his feelings! He'd be the perfect boyfriend; he was sweet and cute and she was attracted to him but she'd been telling the truth when she'd said that she loved him dearly, really loved him, but wasn't in love with him and he deserved someone who was in love with him. He deserved the sun and the moon and the Romeo and Juliet with a Happy Ending sort of fairy tale after all he'd gone through thanks to her family so far.
She just wasn't the person who could give him that.
Curling into a ball on her side, Chloe hugged a pillow tightly to her chest and hid her face in it. She didn't cry, never shed a tear, but her breathing was ragged and harsh, and she felt like crap - could feel how badly he felt.
She didn't know how much time had passed, but finally there was a knock on the door.
Chloe sat up and took in a deep breath. "Come in."
The door opened to reveal Whitney standing there with a concerned expression on his face. "Everything okay?"
It was at that moment that Chloe realized that the connection went both ways and that while she could feel their emotions, they could also feel hers. She stared up at the boy in the doorway in silence, not sure what to say. "…So, the bracelets let us feel what the other is feeling?"
Whitney nodded silently.
Chloe licked her lips as she took in a deep breath. "Do you know what happened here?"
Whitney nodded silently once more.
"So you can see things as well?" She narrowed her eyes.
He gave a dark chuckle as he shook his head. "Nah, I can just feel how you're feeling and read between the lines, that's all."
"Oh." Her gazed lowered to the bed sheets.
"I'm going to go check up on Adam, see how he's doing." Whitney cleared his throat. "As soon as Zod and Jason get back, we probably should all have a talk about these bracelets."