Title: The New CircleFandoms: Smallville/Secret CircleCharacters: Chloe Sullivan, Whitney Fordman, Major Dru-Zod, Greg Arkin, Cassie Blake, Diana Meade, Mikhail Balcoin, Lucas Dunleavy, Faye Chamberlain/Byron Moore, Adam Knight, Zatanna Zatara, Bart Allen, Clark Kent, Vika Balcoin...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.This chap is dedicated to bellajennza
Zod shook his head. "You see, you not knowing I was here is one thing, but not knowing he was here? Your senses are very dull, even for a halfling."
"What are you two doing?" Chloe looked between the two of them in confusion as Whitney made his way towards them, an unhappy expression on his face.
"I believe the term is 'double-teaming'." Zod turned his gaze on Whitney for confirmation.
Whitney reached them. "It is."
The girl looked between them in silence, her eyes widening slightly. "You're teaching him sports terminology?"
"Something like that, yeah." Whitney let out a dark chuckle before he narrowed his eyes on her. "Now, enough hedging and get to the part where you explain what's going on with you." He smirked in a way that reminded her of the Whitney before they were friends. "The reason why you keep getting so distracted and acting like you're seeing or sensing something we don't."
They'd noticed that?
"You're not half as subtle as you think you are, especially when you stop in the middle of conversations to just stare at nothing before starting up again as if nothing has happened." Whitney raised an eyebrow at her. "You're an odd individual, and people overlook a lot of what you do as just another eccentric thing about you, but we know you're not that weird."
"Although, you do have many things about you that do seem questionable." Zod seemed to feel the need to point out. "Like your need to protect these humans, when all they do is prove why they deserve to be left to their own annihilation."
"Don't judge humanity as a whole based on the Town Council." Whitney frowned at Zod. "Even we don't like them."
"So you admit that they need to be dealt with in a much sterner way than she is dealing with them, and probably is prepared to deal with?" Zod raised an eyebrow.
Whitney paused and took in a deep breath before his gaze turned to Chloe. "I think there might come a time when she'll have to, whether she wants to or not, and we're going to have to be ready for whatever she decides to do."
Chloe looked between them. "If this is you two double-teaming me, I don't like it so far."
Zod tilted his head to the side. "The idea is not to make it an enjoyable experience for you. How the Sanguine and I see it, you might be transitioning into your powers and becoming more powerful, but as with Rao that makes you vulnerable to attack right now, and he'll know that. Coupled with the things that have been going on around us, we wanted to make sure of a couple of facts before we came to you with our information. You have enough on your plate to worry about without us adding more and not have hard proof or at least more than just wild suppositions."
There was just something about the fact that these two had been secretly working together behind her back that both shocked and intimidated her. She looked between Zod and Whitney, not exactly sure why the thought of them becoming closer made her a little wary. Then again, these were the two last guys she'd kissed. One of them she had yet to truly talk to about the kiss they'd shared and the other was sure she was going to end up having his kids. She could see things quickly getting extremely awkward and going downhill very fast here.
Stepping back, she licked her lips as she took in a deep breath. "I have the VI keeping an eye on the Town Council, there's nothing more I can really do. They use some of them as bodyguards so the boys catch information here and there."
"Yeah, but do you really think they'll let the VI into the secrets of the Town Council?" Whitney narrowed his eyes. "And even though Hank's the son of the Mayor, they know he's VI, they know he swore an oath to you. They're never going to really let down their guard around him or any of the other VI for that matter."
Chloe narrowed her eyes. "What are you saying?"
"You need to destroy the Town Council." Zod smirked. "From the inside."
The blonde stared between them. "A mole." She narrowed her eyes. "If someone were to try and join after all that's happened they'd be suspicious."
"Then how about someone who's already a part of the Town Council?" Whitney smirked. "Someone who is respected enough in the community, and yet not big enough to really get attention on him? Someone who wants to serve and saw that this might be a problem and so he's been attending the Town Council meetings from the very beginning and is an upstanding member of the Muggle society who has no visible connection to witches or witchcraft?"
Chloe blinked as she stared at her Sanguine. "Who would this person be?"
"Deputy Gary Watts." Whitney grinned.
Chloe's eyes widened as she remembered the young deputy who'd taken her statement when the Torch had been vandalized and she'd been attacked-the first time she'd used her Enthrallment. He'd also been the same deputy who'd been there with her group during The Attack. He was one of the humans whose minds she'd melded with. One of the humans who she was beginning to believe her power was affecting, prompting to "serve" her. The fact that he hadn't offered himself as a candidate for the VI had made her think that maybe he had a stronger mind than the others and had resisted the urge better but apparently he hadn't, apparently the young deputy had just found a better way to serve.
"Apparently the young deputy approached your Sanguine in secret the moment the people came to the Sheriff with the idea of forming the Town Council," Zod offered this bit of information to Chloe. "Deputy Watts offered himself as a spy so that you could have eyes and ears inside of the Town Council, as he believed that they could try and use their positions to undermine yours." The Dragons smirked. "I will say one thing: your human servants are loyal."
She felt sick to her stomach. "They aren't my servants."
"Don't insult them like that." Zod frowned at her. "I admit that they are not much, but they are better than nothing."
Whitney shook his head at the Dragon before he turned to Chloe. "Enough stalling, Chloe, you never answered our question. What's going on with you?"
"You talk to me about me keeping secrets when you two have been starting some epic bromance and becoming the Hardy Boys and-!" And yet she stopped in mid-rant when she saw their hardened stares, the blonde stuttering to a pout as she let out a sigh. "I think there's another player in this game."
Whitney frowned. "Another player? Like who?"
"I don't know." She hugged herself tightly. "All I know is that lately I can feel this intense power growing stronger, almost as if it's breaking free." Her gaze went to Zod. "Could that power be at fault somehow for the Apokalips plants growing?"
Zod and Whitney shared looks.
Chloe narrowed her eyes on them. "I seriously don't like this whole double-teaming thing! Just give it to me already! What is going on?"
Zod turned to Chloe, eyes narrowed. "The plants that Councilman Jor has examined showed differences to those from our home, as if they were mixed with something else, it was a compound he hadn't seen before, could not recognize until Clark Kent brought him samples of earthling plants."
"They're mixed with earth plants?" Chloe made a face, confused.
"Halflings." Whitney let the word fall between them.
Chloe turned to him, eyes wide. "You're saying they're like me?"
"You have the Orb and the Stones of Power inside of you." Zod reached out and pressed his hand to her solar plexus. "I do not know the particulars, but I do know that the Orb was supposed to be used in times of great distress, when Apokalips was in danger of extinction."
She could see where he was going with this. "You think the Orb is doing this." Her eyes widened further as she placed her hand on top of his against her chest. "That this might be a part of what it was supposed to do."
"All I know is that Councilman Jor's eyes misted when he saw the DNA of those plants." Zod looked disturbed at that revelation as he let his hand fall to his side. "The Councilman is not a man to be moved to tears easily."
Whitney eyed Chloe's chest with worry. "We don't know what that Orb or those Stones are doing to you, Chlo." His gaze rose to her face. "Or what you're doing unknowingly as a result of having them inside of you. You've been really pale lately and you're eating less."
His worry was genuine and warming, causing a small smile to tilt her lips. "I'm fine, Whit."
Zod huffed. "She's half Dragon and more than able to handle the Orb and Stones, otherwise she wouldn't have been chosen as their vessel." He narrowed his eyes on her nonetheless. "What bothers me is that we still don't know what they do and what else to expect from them." His eyes narrowed on Chloe. "The plants of my homeworld are one things, but what else might surprise us by appearing?"
Chloe's eyes widened in horror. "What else could appear?"
"What about the dark mist?" Whitney ran his hand through his hair. "From the Ritual in the cave? It had things in it."
Chloe froze. "What? Things? What things?" She then slapped both Whitney and Zod on their arms. "You two need to stop not telling me these things! There are things in the black mist?"
Zod's eyes narrowed. "You've been seeing the mist, haven't you?"
Chloe stared between them, hesitant.
Whitney stepped forwards. "How often? And in what circumstances?"
"I-I don't know!" She ran her hands over her face, confused and horrified. "Frequent enough-when I'm agitated." She let out a groan. "I've been agitated a lot lately, okay?" She ran her hand through her hair. "I thought we agreed that the black mist/smoke/shadows were a manifestation of my power. My magic. So why would there be things in my magic?"
"Maybe this has something to do with the Triad, things didn't start happening until you unified the Caves." Whitney frowned.
"Vika." Chloe made a face as she thought of the woman she really hadn't seen much since they'd returned to Smallville. Vika was living somewhere or the other doing something or the other, and that was as much as Chloe knew because she'd chosen to stay away from the other woman. "Where is she now?"
"I'll take you to see her in the morning," Whitney promised before he paused. "Tomorrow's Byron's day, isn't it?"
Chloe nodded, her frown darkening. "I don't want to do this."
Zod raised an eyebrow. "It's what he wants, and it'll also make others sleep better, so what is the problem?"
"The problem, Dru-Zod, is that my baby brother wants me to bind him to my Circle in a way that would-," she stopped and shook her head. "You know what? I don't want to waste my time explaining it when you'll never understand. You'll just how 'logical' and 'strategic' it is for me to do this."
Whitney sighed as he placed his hand on Chloe's shoulder and gave it a little squeeze. "Chlo, the only reason you're doing this is because Byron was going out of his mind until you agreed to do it. This is the only thing that'll put him at ease and you know it."
"It won't put me at ease!" And yet she knew Whitney was right, and hated it. "He's figured out the spell and everything. Got it from his uncle. I don't even want to know how his uncle knows those kinds of spells."
"His uncle is a crime lord who is confident enough in himself to be one of the only witches still living outside of Smallville who isn't under Darkseid's thumb," Whitney reminded.
"That's quite impressive, for a witch." Of course Zod would think so.
Chloe, though, couldn't be too annoyed with Zod, instead she gave him a wry little smile and shook her head before she turned her attention to Whitney. "How am I going to do this?"
"The way you do everything else," he replied. "Because you have to, and because it's for the good of those you love."
"Is it?" She needed to know this. "Is it really for his good and not just for everyone else's peace of mind? Because, to be truthful, I don't give a crap about their peace of mind if it compares to his wellbeing."
Zod shook his head at her. "That's the best way to start dissension in your ranks."
"How many times do I have to tell you that my Circles aren't an army?" Chloe made a face at the Dragon.
"How many times do I have to tell you that they are, whether you want to acknowledge it or not?" He countered.
Chloe shook her head at him and walked away, towards the house once more, able to hear Whitney talking to Zod behind her.
"Major, you really gotta learn how to talk to her."
"I talk to her all the time."
"Not productively, no."
There was a huff, and then: "She doesn't need me to beat around the bushes, Sanguine, she can take the truth. The Darkling is a threat, whether she likes to hear it or not, and this binding is the best thing she can do for herself, her Circle, and for the Darkling himself." There was a little growl. "She just needs to stop being so… so… emotion-driven about everything. I understand that her… feelings… are a strength to her in certain situations, but emotions have no place on the battlefield and they'll only wind up getting her killed."
There was dark amusement in Whitney's voice as he answered. "I think you'll just have to be emotionless enough for the both of you."
There was a pause, and then a deep sigh. "I have a foreboding feeling that you might just be right about that."
Chloe sped up and made it back to the house in record time to find Faye, Byron, Lucas and Zatanna sitting on the front porch, talking.
Faye looked up from where she was running her hands through Byron's hair. "A little late to be out but yourself, don't you think?"
"Wasn't by myself, I was with Whitney and Zod." Chloe hurried up the steps.
Byron raised an eyebrow. "And exactly what were the three of you doing out there by yourselves at this time of the night?"
Faye slapped the back of his head. "That's none of your business."
He snorted. "She's my sister, that makes it my business."
Chloe avoided Byron's gaze, feeling a little paranoid that maybe he'd be able to tell that they'd been discussing his issue if she looked him in the eye. "We weren't doing anything."
"Anyone else think that sounded kinda fishy?" Lucas wanted to know.
"Leave her alone." Zatanna raised an eyebrow at him. "If she says they weren't doing anything, they weren't doing anything. And even if they were, Faye is right, it would be none of our business."
"I repeat, my sister, my business." Byron made a face. "No one has come to talk to Mikhail or I about their intentions, I just want this to be known, and we're not going to just-."
Chloe blinked and turned to look at her usually docile little brother, wondering when he'd gotten so fierce. "There's nothing to be talked about. And this isn't the 17th century. No one needs your or Mikhail, or Pete's-you guys keep forgetting Pete is our sibling as well-blessing when it comes to me."
Byron raised an eyebrow.
Lucas cleared his throat.
Zatanna looked on in interest.
Faye pursed her lips. "I don't know, Chloe. I don't see any of us just letting you date someone off the bat like that without there being some sort of drama about whether he's good enough for you or something."
A part of her was touched and the other part horrified.
"Zod might think he's you're his future baby-mama, but I'm sorry, I don't see these two Circles letting him close enough with how uber protective they are if he doesn't start changing somehow or at least bribing votes." Faye made a face. "Though, he's kinda winning mine."
Byron glared at her. "I can't believe you just said that about Captain Scaley Pants."
"What can I say? He amuses me with his lack of understanding of cultural references and such." Faye shrugged. "I'd keep him around for amusement's sake if for no other reason." She made a face. "Plus, he's hot."
"One could argue that so is Whitney." Zatanna cleared her throat. "And a much more suited match."
"For her human side maybe, but what about her Dragon side?" Faye scrunched up her nose. "Zod'll be the one to make those scales glow-or whatever they do."
"What's wrong with her human side?" Zatanna wanted to know. "Whitney mightn't be able to affect her scales but I've seen them around each other enough to know that he can definitely get her the human equivalent of Dragon arousal."
Byron looked ill.
Lucas highly intrigued.
Chloe turned bright red. "I am right here!"
"True." Faye turned towards her. "So, clarify it for us. Zod or Whitney?" She narrowed her eyes. "Or is Jason still a thing? Because after Romania things seem awkward and I feel like something's different there."
Chloe's blush darkened crimson. "You know what? Whitney and Zod were right, after everything I need to rest."
"Why?" Byron frowned and narrowed his eyes. "What were you doing that you need rest?"
Lucas' look of intrigue grew.
"Apparently," Zod announced in a drawl as he and Whitney appeared, "we must have double-teamed her too hard."
Faye's eyes widened.
Lucas looked like he swallowed his tongue.
Byron jumped to his feet. "The hell?"
Whitney, actually blushing, slapped his hand to his face. "He doesn't mean it the way it sounds."
"I thought it was a pretty accurate description of what occurred between the three of us." Zod turned to Whitney, eyebrow raised. "You said that we came at her and, in your words, 'pounced on her, ganged her from both sides-"
"Ganged up on her!" Whitney was going crimson. "I said we ganged up on her!"
"-and didn't let up until she couldn't take it anymore and had to limp away and lick her wounds."
"There were no wounds, because we didn't touch her." Whitney seemed to be talking to Byron. "He's talking hypothetical wounds."
"There were no wounds, hypothetical or otherwise." Chloe glared at Zod and Whitney. "I was annoyed and left! End of story!"
Faye eyed them before turning to Zatanna. "Nothing happened."
Zatanna nodded. "I agree."
Lucas frowned. "How can you be so sure?"
Faye and Zatanna shared looks that clearly said men knew nothing.
"You know what? I liked it better when you two weren't bromancing each other." Chloe glared at Whitney and Zod.
"I don't know." Faye murmured to Zatanna. "This has made my night so much more amusing than it was."
"What is this 'bromancing' that she speaks about?" Zod wanted to know.
"See?" Faye motioned to him. "Isn't it precious how he can eviscerate his enemies in a split second but the term 'bromance' stumps him?"
"It's a type of relationship we do not have and never will have," Whitney assured the Dragon.
Zod snorted. "That explanation is vague at best."
Chloe turned to Zatanna. "Did you know that we have plants from Apokalips growing in my property?"
Zatanna paled, all amusement leaving her face. "What? How? Where on the property?"
The others looked just as surprised.
"As you have not left the house, neither has she." Zod eyed the witch before his gaze went to Chloe. "She didn't know."
Chloe licked her lips, somewhat relieved.
The door opened and Cassie emerged, rolling her eyes at something Diana was saying, before the two of them stopped, Mikhail and Greg a step behind them.
Cassie blinked as she stared at the serious faces of everyone on the porch. "Uhm, what did we miss?"