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, Pete Ross, Jor-El, Vika Balcoin, Van McNulty...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.
She tilted her head. "Your child or Charles'?"
The look he gave her told her she was smarter than that question.
The girl's breath caught in her throat. "I have?" What other Dragon-? Chloe's eyes then widened as she suddenly knew who he was, her eyes widening in shock. "You're not Krypton Darkseid..."
"Was that one of the possibilities going through your mind?" He seemed quite delighted at the mere fact that she'd considered Krypton Darkseid as an option.
"…You're Dax-Ur, founder and leader of Black Zero." Chloe's eyes widened as she realized that it wasn't this Dragon's magic that had been grafted inside of Jason as they'd suspected. He must've been a donor more along the lines of how Darkseid had been to her own parents! But exactly how had this happened? Hadn't Rao had a hand in everything? But if Rao had been played… It was getting more and more confusing! She wanted to pull her hair out!
"That's impossible." Zod stepped forwards, eyes narrowed. "Councilman Jor-El said that the Ruling Council destroyed all of Black Zero for their crimes against Apokalips! They wouldn't allow someone like Dax-Ur to live!"
"But they did." Dax-Ur announced with an easy smile. "They just bound him in a form in which they thought he'd never be free from, and in which he would never be able to use his magic again in, and exiled him here." He smirked. "They obviously underestimated him and overestimated themselves."
Talking in third person, we were?
Chloe narrowed her eyes as she suddenly realized something. "Lionel Luthor and Genevieve Teague aren't working for Rao-they're working for you. That's the real reason why Lionel Luthor never asked anything from Rao-he probably went there-did everything he did-helped John set Rao free-on your orders."
He tilted his head to the side. "Very good."
Lucas stepped forwards.
Zatanna pursed her lips thoughtfully. "How could you have done any of this if you were bound and bodiless?"
"Does your mistress usually give you permission to speak out of turn so freely, bloodslave?" Dax-Ur asked her, eyebrow raised.
Zatanna bit the inside of her lip.
Chloe stepped in front of Zatanna protectively, eyes shifting reptilian. "Don't speak to her like that."
Dax-Ur gazed between them, his lips twitching in amusement. "So I see she's more of a handmaiden than a slave."
"She's a friend." Chloe's greens flashed.
Dax-Ur eyed Zatanna thoughtfully before his gaze moved around the room to rest on Byron. The corner of his lips curled in a smirk as he eyed the boy. "You're the one she bound while she unbound me, the one with hints of darkness in his blood." He moved towards Byron and sized the boy up, taking in a deep whiff and smirking darker at whatever it was he smelt. "Ahhh yessss... the Darkling." He turned his head towards Chloe, his smile mysterious, before his gaze returned to Byron. "Did you know that if it wasn't for your binding ritual I might've been stuck a little longer in my bound form?" He grinned at Byron's stricken expression. "But she channeled enough magic for that ritual to put her in the state she needed to be in for the magic to occur. So for that I am in your debt."
Byron's eyes bled black as his features sharpened threateningly.
Instead of seeming insulted, Dax-Ur chuckled sharply. "I like you already." His gaze swept the group, visibly sizing each and every one of them, skipping Zod in a dismissive way, before stopping on Whitney and his eyes narrowed immediately. "You." He pointed his finger at the boy. "What are you?"
Whitney opened his mouth.
Zod stepped forwards. "There is no reason for why anyone here should be answering your questions. You are not a commanding officer, nor a guest."
Whitney narrowed his eyes on Zod and yet stepped down.
Dax-Ur gazed between Whitney and Zod thoughtfully before his gaze went to Chloe. "I am wary and wish to adjourn to my room."
Chloe blinked. "Your... room?"
The oldest Dragon she'd met to date nodded. "I'll be staying here, and from what I saw from the outside there were more than enough bedrooms, so I'd like to be shown which one is to be mine." His gaze went to Byron and Zatanna. "They are the only acceptable guides."
The blonde stared at the Dragon in shock. "What makes you think you can come into my house and make demands of my Circle?" She moved forwards. "Why would I let you stay here when you've admitted to using me already in the past? As far as I'm concerned that's as much as you should expect from me and you can skulk back the way you came."
Dax-Ur turned to face her and snarled, eyes turning reptilian and dark.
Chloe snarled right back at him, not backing down, not afraid although she probably should be.
The older Dragon eyed the others in the room. "Everyone knows how powerful I am and yet no one rushes to your defense when I bare my teeth at you." He leaned in closer. "That is a compliment, Lady Dragon, means they believe in your ability to hold your own against me should our posturing turn into an actual fight." His voice lowered, his breath hot and moist against her ear. "But unlike you, I have nothing to lose, no one I hold dear who could get hurt."
The blonde narrowed her eyes, her fist clenched and shaking in anger. "That's the wrong move with me, bozo."
"I'm merely telling you what we both know. I'm not only much older and more powerful than you are, but I'm military trained, and I have no distractions." His voice didn't sound menacing, merely pointing out facts. "You wouldn't last in a battle against me. Even your Dragon here wouldn't, but if you'd like to pit him against me as your champion I'd play with him. It's been a while since I've fought, especially in natural form."
Chloe reached out and grabbed his shirt tightly. "What do you want?"
He merely chuckled. "Food, for now. I'm starving." He pulled away and eased her grip off of his shirt. "What time do you serve dinner here? You know what? It doesn't matter, I'll be in my room-which the Darkling and the friend will take me to. You can let me know when food's ready." He then turned to leave when he paused and took in a deep breath as he turned to face Chloe. "Let me give you this as a show of good faith."
The blonde eyed him silently in suspicion.
"The Darkling's uncle is hiding something from you, something very important. I'd told him from a very long time ago to inform you of this, but he actually had the gall to disobey me in this regard, and while I understand why he did, do not believe for one minute he will not go unpunished for disobeying me." He was visibly displeased as his gaze rested on Byron. "No matter what the reasons for his actions were."
Byron snarled. "If you hurt my uncle-!"
Chloe was sick of the riddles, of the games. "Come out with it already. If you have something to say, then say it."
"Of course." Dax-Ur nodded, complacent. "This is my act of good faith after all."
Chloe clenched her fists, hating the fact that even now people were keeping secrets from her, keeping things which were obviously important, and that apparently so far Dax-Ur (of all people!) was the only one willing to actually tell her anything, and she knew any information from him would come at a price.
The Dragon seemed to see the wheels working in her mind, the thoughts circling around her noggin, and he gave a dark chuckle as he shook his head before he took in a deep breath and his smile melted away into a serious expression. "Your father was planning on being the Soul of the Balcoin Circle, was planning on killing all witches except Balcoins and certain Balcoin supporters within the Six-enough to leave the bloodline (and thus magic) alive and yet keep the Balcoins in the true seat of power and domination. He was planning on crippling Rao by essentially ruining his Harvest, and then, after somehow killing Rao he planned on taking supremacy, rebuilding the downtrodden magical community, with the Balcoin family not only the dominant House and Circle, but the largest." He raised an eye. "A Circle is Six."
"We know that." Mikhail narrowed his eyes.
"How was John planning on being the Soul of a family Circle if there were already Six members?" Dax-Ur asked the question that they should've asked a very long time ago. "Who exactly was he planning on leaving out? Or would there have been a match to the death to even out the numbers?" He pretended to contemplate the question. "But that would interfere with his plans for the Balcoins to become the largest, dominant family and Circle. Wouldn't it?"
Chloe felt the breath leave her body and she swayed slightly as realization hit, the girl shocked, dizzy and disoriented.
Dax-Ur smiled. "You're welcome."
The blonde collapsed to her knees and brought her hand to her mouth. "My gods."
"What is it?" Byron hurried forwards, eyes wide. "What's wrong?"
"I am surprised that you are not able to see the answer so plainly in front of you." Zod leaned against the wall once more, eyes narrowed on Dax-Ur.
Byron glared up at Zod and placed his hand comfortingly on Chloe's shivering shoulder before he turned to look at Whitney, who seemed just as shocked as Chloe did. "Whitney, what's going on?"
The Sanguine looked down at him. "There's more."
"More what?" Byron pushed.
But it was Mikhail who answered, expression dark. "Balcoins."
-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-v-v-v-
There was growing tension amongst the large crowds gathered outside Balcoin House that apparently even Diana's smile and reassurances couldn't quell. Vika had heard the rumors about the the man with the worms crawling under his skin, just like everyone else had, and with sickening suspicion she'd made her way towards Chloe's house, not surprised to see that she wasn't the only one there. In fact, it would seem that half of the town had had the same idea and were waiting for some sort of public announcement from the blonde concerning their visitor.
"I don't know what to say to these people anymore." Diana's voice was a whisper and it was only because she was close to Vika that the woman even heard it. The girl was off to the side, Adam Conant and Grant, (the former an instructor for the VI, and the latter a part of the group who were referred to as Chloe's "Lost Boys"), were on each of the girl's side. "No one's listening to me anymore. They want to hear directly from her, and the Mayor's even inside the house demanding to be made a part of the meeting."
Grant snorted. "Like the Lost Boys are gonna let him anywhere near that door."
"Not that he could get in even if they did," she reminded. "That's not my point."
Conant sighed as he placed a hand on her shoulder. "It'll be fine Diana, you'll see." He pulled away. "I have to go. The VI and Double S are going on their first joint patrol and I have to be there to help oversee."
Diana nodded. "Be careful."
He gave her a small smile before leaving.
Vika turned to watch him leave when she found herself distracted by the stench of Dabblers and unnatural magic. It made her stomach curl as she peered discreetly through the large crowd gathered, trying to pinpoint the different people the stench was rising off of. The only ones she could really make out were the ones who were truly abusing those unnatural powers, the ones who, due to this, were being consumed from within by this unnatural magic, the smell of rot swirling around them so strongly Vika was surprised there weren't flies circling these individuals.
The oldest living Balcoin narrowed her eyes. She'd kept her distance from Chloe and respected the girl's need and obvious desire for space between them ever since the blonde had pardoned and spared her life, but the girl needed to be made aware of this growing issue.
"It's Charles, Faye!" Dawn Chamberlain, a woman Vika had met during her integration into Smallville society, hissed to Chloe's Darkseid Prophet. "I saw they bringing him… I know him, and I know that I can help." She grabbed the girl's arm. "You need to talk to Chloe and make her see that Charles will be more cooperative if I'm there."
"I don't need to do anything, mother." Faye yanked her arm free. "Chloe's got this handled. Believe me, he's being cooperative."
Dawn frowned. "He's in this mess because he wanted to save us!"
Faye sneered as she shook her head, the look on her face disgusted. "He's in this mess because the two of you couldn't stand being normal human beings, so you resorted to murdering innocent peoplein an attempt to get magic back." She narrowed her eyes at her mother, eyes which were filling with angry tears. "I love you mom, I always will, but you have to understand that whatever the both of you are going through right now is karmic justice and you should be friggin grateful that Cassie hasn't asked Chloe to have you killed for what you've done! I know I am." She wiped at her eyes, voice hoarse, eyes narrowed. "Because I wouldn't be able to come up with a good enough defense to save your life if she did."
Dawn drew back, as if slapped.
This was obviously a private moment between mother and daughter, and Vika felt it was wrong to listen in, so she looked away and focused on something else. On someone else.
Vika raised an eyebrow. There was just something about that woman that her spirit didn't take to.
"We should be in there, in that meeting, all three of us." Nell's voice dripped of disapproval, her stance rigid. "Especially you Pete. You're a Balcoin for crying out loud! Not only that, but you're the Secondborn. If anything should happen to that girl this house-this empire-is all yours."
Pete turned his dark gaze on her. "I don't have any plans on taking over the Balcoin 'empire'."
"No one's saying you do." A muscle jumped in Nell's cheek. "But she's fighting a war with a much older, much more knowledgeable opponent. The girl should be smart enough to be training you to step in just in case the worse should happen."
Lana lowered her head. "You know that I hate saying this, but she kinda has a point, Pete."
Pete turned to Lana, eyes narrowed before he turned his gaze to Nell. "Chloe's proven herself over and over again, she's stronger than anyone gives her credit. And anyway, even if something happened to her, they'd never accept me as their First. And you know what? That's fine with me." He let a breath out as he looked around. "I wouldn't want all of this. It's not me."
Nell shook her head. "You're not thinking of the bigger picture, plus, it's your birthright, you wouldn't be able to say no if it fell upon your shoulders."
"But it hasn't, and it won't." Pete's voice was final.
"But you should at least have a part of the Balcoin Circle. That is a birthright you should be a part of before some other less worthy witch takes your place!" Nell snapped. "Both you and Lana need to make an effort to prove that you deserve, more than anyone else, to be in that Circle! Spots are being taken and soon there will be none left!"
Pete frowned. "I don't want-."
"Neither do I-." Lana began.
"What do you want?" Nell glared at the two of them, interrupting. "To continue the Thoreaux Circle? Hhhmmm? And who will you add to it? Who would you be adding to it who'd be worthy?" She sneered. "Tina Greer?"
Lana licked her lips. "I already asked Tina and she rejected the offer."
Nell went pale, utter horror visible on her face. "A Greer rejected an offer to join the Thoreaux Circle?"
Lana nodded slowly. "She said that Chloe asked her and Justin to help train the VI, so they were going to be too busy getting trained themselves by Jake Armstrong, that she was too committed to that to be a part of 'any other association'."
Nell stumbled, visibly. "A Greer rejected a Thoreaux." She brought her hand to her forehead. "We've been brought lower than I'd even realized." She closed her eyes tightly. "I think I'm going to be ill." The woman appeared about to faint. "If Countess Marguerite Isobel Thoreaux could see how far we've let the Thoreaux name slip she would slaughter us all."
Pete moved closer to the woman, voice lower. "By us joining the Balcoin Circle you'd be dooming Thoreaux Circle."
"What am I? Eighty?" Nell scoffed as she straightened her tight, low-neck shirt. "I can still have children of my own to give the Thoreaux Circle an heir while being a leader in the meanwhile." She pursed her lips. "By hook or crook you two need to get yourselves back into the running. Martha's boy was smarter than either of you and has a head start so until you're both marked and claimed for that damned Circle Clark - and anyone else who might've ever shown interest in joining - is to be considered the enemy. Is that clear?"
Neither Pete nor Lana got the chance to answer because the doors to Balcoin House opened, and Chloe appeared, the girl pale and yet determined, a hush immediately descending on the crowd that had been loud only seconds before.
A small smile touched Vika's lips at the power over the people her descendant commanded, especially when it was more than obvious that this wasn't something that the girl strived for. If anything, there was slight discomfort on her face as the blonde stared at the crowd of faces focused solely on her. Even as the Mayor stepped forwards and began to address the people, eyes were on her, waiting for her, there for her.
A muscle jumped in the Mayor's cheek as he stepped down and motioned for Chloe to step forwards and address the people.
The blonde let out a breath as she stepped forwards. "By now you've all heard that we have a visitor in our town, and as the Mayor said, he tripped our security and defenses. There really isn't much that I can add to that subject which hasn't already been already said by him so why don't we just skip this and get to why you're really here." She raised an eyebrow. "There must be questions you want answering."
Immediately everyone spoke at once, questions being flung by each person towards her, their voices melding as one, making it hard to make them out and figure out what exactly was being asked.
Somehow Chloe must've been able to hear one of the questions because she took in a deep breath and folded her arms over her chest. "That question would probably be better aimed at the heads of my security than at myself, but if they truly thought that this visitor posed any true danger to me I wouldn't be addressing anyone and instead would be hidden away somewhere." Her lips twisted in a dark little smile. "Then again, considering he's in custody, I doubt he's really someone you have to worry about right now."
The questions all started at once again.
Chloe's green gaze was sharp as it darted through the crowd, scanning the groups before she licked her lips and once more seemed to pull a question from the air. "Parasitic organisms of supernatural origin which have infected his system and will need to be further studied. They are one of the reasons why he came to us, so that we could help him with them." Her smile twisted further at the 'eeww' a couple of girls lets out. "I know, it's not pretty, but I have personally selected my personal scientist to deal with his case and help him through it."
"If you're going to say you're answering our questions you should actually answer them honestly. Like by telling everyone the fact that these 'parasitic organisms' are also known as demons." Nell Potter's voice yelled out above the others. "And that these demons have caused mayhem and destruction before-that they take control of their host and kill indiscriminately!" She sent a glance in someone's direction.
Dawn Chamberlain lowered her head.
Murmurs and questions rose in panic.
Chloe's gaze leveled with Nell, her smile nearly scary as she stared at the older woman. "It's true, they are referred to by those ignorant of what they truly are as demons, and they are capable of what you've said, but they are dormant at this moment and don't pose a threat."
A muscle jumped in Nell's cheek at the 'ignorant' comment. "If they're wriggling around they don't seem that asleep to me."
"I didn't realize you were an expert on demons, Nell." Chloe smiled brighter, somehow making her somehow scarier. "Would you like to share something about yourself with the rest of us that we don't know?"
Gazes turned to Nell.
The woman cleared her throat, obviously beginning to grow uncomfortable. "I'm just saying what's obvious."
"Don't. You'll only embarrass yourself more than you already have in the past." Chloe's voice was cold and harsh.
Nell clenched her fists tightly.
The blonde kept her eyes on Nell.
Nell backed down by looking away first, casting her gaze to the side.
Chloe didn't acknowledge the victory, merely turned her greens to the crowd. "I have somewhere I need to be right now, so since Nell, as always, has all the answers, I'll leave her to answer your questions."
Vika bit down on her bottom lip as an uproar raised at that as the blonde turned to leave, the crowd turning on Nell. There was something spiteful in the blonde's actions, and Vika wondered what had happened to have Chloe, who was usually a lot more tolerant, on such a short fuse. She'd basically riled up the already temperamental crowd and turned it loose against Nell.
"You c-can't just leave!" Lana called out as someone snapped something at Nell.
Chloe raised an eyebrow. "I have to go see someone who has answers I want. There's nothing more I can tell you all concerning our new visitor, so since Nell has a whole barrel of truths she wants to dish out, between her and the Mayor they can handle this."
Nell stared around her, visibly trying to keep from seeming nervous at the hostile looks she was receiving, the crowd knowing it was her fault the answer session had been cut short. "You haven't said anything about what you're planning on doing with the stranger or what the procedures-!"
"I have said all I was planning on saying about him." Chloe gave a backwards wave.
"Then you leave me with no choice!" Nell's voice went high for a second with nerves, pausing to recuperate when someone threw a handbag at her, before she cleared it and took in a deep breath. "I invoke concilium delibero."
Chloe stopped moving, a groan escaping her lips as she turned to face the witch, her eyes flashing with annoyance. "Of course you do."