Title: The New CircleThe enemy was already infiltrating their ranks.
Fandoms: Smallville/Secret Circle
Characters: 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...
Disclaimer: 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.
There were only two of them for now, and that was just enough of them to steal two of the last three spaces in the Balcoin Circle. Mikhail was on the alert, which was good because Chloe wasn't. She had accepted the two newcomers with smiles and open arms.
The girl obviously had a thing for protecting 'baby chick' types, acting similarly towards the newcomers as she had when Byron had first joined. Talking about the younger brother, he must've realized that his special position as her beloved 'baby brother' was in jeopardy because he wasn't being welcoming like Mikhail would've thought he would be given his personality. Then again, Byron had been different since that day in the caves.
Mikhail shook his head and didn't allow his thoughts to get distracted from the true issue at hand.
The only ones being truly welcoming to them were Whitney, Greg, Adam, Clark (although Melissa didn't seem to like Alicia) and Zatanna. And out of the Balcoins Diana was the nicest, despite being visibly wary and uncertain about them.
Mikhail and Cassie were probably tying in the hostility departmernt, and he honestly didn't see what her problem with them was. It wasn't as if her position in the Circle was being threatened by their mere existence.
A muscle jumped in his cheek as he looked out of the window down at the garden, where Chloe laughed on the picnic blanket with Alicia, Whitney, Bart, Clark, Adam and Zatanna, who were all watching Jordan as he walked on his hands.
Mikhail glared at Bart. Some ally he was!
"She's accepting them far too easily." Cassie appeared by his side and leaned against the wall, eyes on the picnic they'd all been invited to yet had declined. "I don't like you, but I trust you to protect her." Cassie's blues turned on her brother. "I can't say the same about these other ones."
Mikhail narrowed his dark orbs. "What are you saying?"
"That you better not let anyone take your and Bart's places in the Balcoin Circle." She smirked at his expression. "He's been cunningly campaigning for support amongst the Circle members and he has my vote, if it ever comes to that. It would be beneficial for us to also have a Sigan in our Circle. We'd have four of the Six Original witch bloodlines tied to us and strengthening us. We'd have majority. We'd be stronger-the strongest."
Mikhail nodded his agreement.
"I'm campaigning for the both of you, so don't screw up." Cassie glared at him.
He smirked. "I don't screw up."
"Good. Don't start now." With that she turned and left.
Mikhail returned his gaze out the window and smirked. "The enemy of my enemy..."
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Chloe might be smiling on the outside, putting up a good front to help Alicia and Jordan feel welcomed and a part of the family (especially since the rest of the family were being very uninviting) but on the inside the blonde was a mess of thoughts and feelings.
She'd been administering the same amount of Enthrallment to Nell daily and she wasn't sure how many more times she'd have to do it before it became a permanent thing.
She was also worrying about Pete and Lana, who were imprisoned in the Bleeding Caves until further notice. One of them would be tested today, and whatever the result was it could be disastrous because it could be a death-sentence if that person was proved guilty-or cast so much more suspicion and hatred on the other if they were innocent. And Adam couldn't use his ability twice in one day so they'd have to wait for the other's result.
And on top of this, (and waiting for Rao to make his next move) Chloe had Dax-Ur to think about as well. The Dragon was a wildcard and she didn't trust that he was on their side. He'd already used her ability without her realizing it to help himself, hadn't he? He'd already manipulated her, manipulated so many people, to get his way. And she couldn't help but wonder exactly what he'd done for the Ruling Council of his time to seal him away the way they had.
"Hey guys." Melissa finally arrived, an odd little expression on her face as she noticed that Clark and Alicia were sitting next to each other.
"Lissa!" Clark's smile grew ridiculously large as he jumped to his feet and pressed a kiss to her lips, a happy blush on his face. "I was starting to get worried since you were taking forever to come." He reached for her hand. "If you weren't here in five more minutes I was going to go searching for you."
Alicia gazed between them, a sigh escaping her lips as disappointment colored her expression.
Melissa turned a smitten smile on Clark and squeezed his hand. "Like I would leave my hunnybun all alone like that."
Clark flushed harder at the petname and yet his smile was so large it must hurt. He pulled her back to where he'd been sitting before she arrived, plopping down on the picnic blanket and pulling Melissa down onto his lap.
Alicia snickered at Melissa's little cry of surprise at her boyfriend's actions, the brunette trying to get comfortable in his lap, the blonde less animated than she'd been moments before and yet her smile genuine as she addressed the other girl. "Clark doesn't stop talking about you."
Melissa smiled tenderly as she leaned back against her boyfriend's chest, pulling his arms around her and clasping them around her waist. "I'm a lucky girl."
"Yeah, you are." Alicia nodded in agreement.
"No. I'm the lucky one here!" Clark exclaimed and appeared shocked that anyone had thought otherwise.
"Is he always this oblivious when it comes to other girls?" Jordan plunked down next to Chloe, gaze on the three as they talked about something or the other. "He doesn't even realize my sister thinks he's cute."
"It's nothing personal." Chloe smiled as Melissa said something that made Alicia burst out laughing and Clark to sputter in embarrassment, face red as a tomato.
"Yeah," Adam agreed with a teasing smirk. "He's just blind to anyone who isn't Melissa."
"I love that about him," Chloe defended. "More guys should be that way."
Zatanna whispered something to Whitney, who sputtered in response, blushing hard.
Jordan pused his lips in thought as he eyed his laughing sister, and then turned to face Chloe. "Thank you."
Chloe blinked in surprise. "I haven't done anything to be thanked for."
He shook his head. "That's what you think."
She didn't know what to make of that and wasn't given the chance to ask him to clarify his meaning because she saw Dax-Ur watching them. "I'll be back." She stood and moved towards the Dragon, feeling Whitney's gaze on her back as she reached the older Dragon. "How can I help you?"
"I find it intriguing that with everything you are going through at this moment you feel carefree enough to have a picnic." Dax-Ur's gaze went to those on the blanket before returning to her. "I would've thought you would be trying to tackle more important issues."
She felt like she was being scolded by a father for playing instead of doing her homework, and she didn't like the feeling. "Alicia and Jordan haven't had it easy. I wanted to show them a nice time." Her hands went to her hips. "That doesn't mean that I'm ignoring what's going on around me. Adam will begin his memory searches within an hour of one of the captives, and the borders are being patrolled. There's nothing to be done right now." She stepped forwards. "It's also none of your business how I conduct mine."
He smiled at her before his hand shot out and curled around her neck, tightening as he raised her slightly off of the ground, his eyes turning reptilian. "You know, I used to be considered something of a god once upon a time. I demand respect."
She sneered and stood on her tip toes, her eyes shifting in response to his actions and words. "Well, here you're nothing more than a houseguest in my house, so if there's anyone who demands some damned respect it's me."
His hand tightened further around her neck, and yet not painfully, not restrictively. Still there was an air of menace as he pressed his thumb against her pulse, tapping in tune with its beats.
Chloe raised her chin defiantly and tried her best to ignore the invisible magic encircling her from every direction. She hadn't had time to bring her shield up to protect herself, and with his hand on her neck she wasn't sure it would even be able to properly appear anyway, the magic in the older Dragon restrictive.
He moved closer and his reptilian pupils widened as his magic curled around her like a million snakes.
Suddenly shadows shot out from her chest and curled around the hand whose fingers were curled against her neck. Like his magic, hers didn't attack, but visibly posed a threat as those shadows continued to grow and encircle his whole arm to his shoulder.
Dax-Ur's lips curled in a half smile as he let her go. "I was curious as to how your magic would react to a direct threat from me."
Her eyes narrowed and she remained silent as the shadows returned deep within her. "I don't need you to test me."
"Clearly you do." He seemed to think otherwise. "Your father has failed to teach you our ways, and for some reason General Zod and the last Councilman haven't even seemed to try to bring out your true potential. That is curious, don't you think? Why would they want you to remain vulnerable in that way? Who would benefit from such a thing I wonder?"
"You're trying to make me doubt them and it's not going to work. They've proven themselves to me." She refused to rub her neck, knowing that he had probably left bruises there and yet refusing to acknowledge them. "You on the other hand? You've only proven to be a master manipulator so forgive me if you're not exactly the person I'd trust over all else."
"Master manipulator?" His lips curled in amusement as he wacthed her. "You try to flatter me."
Chloe bit down on her inner cheek to keep from sputtering her first reaction to that. Instead she took in a deep breath, calmed herself, and spoke evenly. "If you take it that way who am I to judge?"
"Such a sharp little tongue you have, and that's that you controlled your response." He, as always, was superiorly amused with her, as if her continued defiance was quite funny. "You don't really think General Zod and the Councilman are on your side, do you?"
"They've saved my life."
"Of course they have." Dax-Ur leaned forwards, all trace of amusement gone from his face as his reptilian pupils grew. "You are the last hope for Dragonkind, the only thing that will keep our race from going extinct. Don't think for one minute that it isn't for any other reason than self-preservation. They have both angered Rao during one time or the other, and know that it is safer for them to ally themselves with you than to face his wrath."
Chloe snorted, this time the one amused. "You obviously don't know Dru-Zod if you think anything scares him."
"Or, maybe, they are waiting for the fused Orb and Stones of Power which rests cradeled in your body to give them back their hearts' desires." Dax-Ur's voice lowered as he stepped closer and pressed his hand to her solar plexus. "Maybe they are biding their time. Maybe, maybe, they are a third faction waiting to use you so their wishes can come true." He smiled, and it was an ugly sight. "The only way to get back what they truly desire would be to keep you safe and alive, to keep you happy and content. The female Dragon doesn't respond well when she's unhappy."
Chloe's eyes narrowed. She hated him. Hated him intensely because he knew something that would make her convictions quiver. "What are you talking about?"
"What have they explained to you about the Orb or the Stones?" Dax-Ur trailed his hand down to her stomach, his eyes never leaving hers. "Have they given you an acceptable explanation as to why plants only found in Apokalips are rising up from the ground all around you?" He stepped even closer and leaned down to whisper in her ear. "Have they warned you that animals are next?"
Her heart skipped a beat as green eyes widened, her voice a whisper. "What are you talking about?"
"I thought not." He pulled away and sneered. "You care too much for the humans and the witches in this town not to have warned them or erected some sort of barrier to try and protect them from what is about to happen."
Chloe reached out and grabbed him by the front of his shirt, yanking the Dragon in Charles Meade's body close as she glared up into his face. "What are you talking about?"
Those wormlike things crawled visibly under the skin of his face before disappearing. "The Orb and Stones were a countermeasure and created in case great danger came to Apokalips and threatened not only the Dragons' existance as a dominant species but the realm they resided over as well."
Chloe's heart raced in her chest as she tightened her grip on his shirt. "Meaning what?"
"And a door would open to the sky... Abominations created of cold intelligence would walk the planet, and the rebellion of evil would tear the world apart." He quoted with a dark smile. "All of that will happen, not because of Rao, but because of you."
Chloe's eyes widened in horror as she let go of him and took a step back. "No." She shook her head. "No, I wouldn't-."
"You won't really have a choice, Chloe." Dax-Ur shook his head. "Just like you didn't have a choice when the plants started to appear. So far they've only begun to grow around your manor but they'll expand outwards. It's only a matter of time." He raised an eyebrow. "I can tell by the seared marks on their wrists that the Sanguine and the General were used as anchors during the fusing ritual. How I remember the ritual, that means that their blood lives inside you now. They've ensured this will happen, though not in the form that they would've expected." He tilted his head, infuriating smirk in place. "Have you not noticed that the plants are hybrid and not identical to the plants in Apokalips in their DNA?"
Chloe's hand rose to her mouth in shock. "It's because of their blood?"
"Human and Dragon blood, mixed, were anchors and are powering the fused Orb and Stone within you. Your father didn't factor your mixed heritage when he performed the dark rituals on you before your birth so you could be the host of the fused Orb and Stones." Dax-Ur eyed her up and down slowly. "He wished for you to be the mother of his new race of Dragons, Dragons who would be under his control and command, and to that purpose your father cast forbidden and dark magics on you. His unspeakable arts are the reason the Dragons could not procreate any further. It is why you are so important to him, and part of why the Councilman and General will always protect your life. Not for you, but for them."
She stared up at Dax-Ur, unease churning in her stomach, hating herself when she asked: "What do I have to do to stop it from happening?"
He stared at her in silence before he shook his head. "Nothing. It will come to pass whether you want it to or not because this was what you were created for, quite literally in fact." He smirked. "Some destinies, no matter how gruesome they may seem to some, are actually quite glorious."
"Who was it?" Chloe asked.
He looked confused. "Who was who?"
"Who was it that you and eleven other Dragons used the Willowbrook for?" She cleared her throat. "Whitney told me the story Councilman Jor told him, about the thirteen Dragons who wore the Willowbrook and its branches for so long it bonded them in darkness-that they were the founders of Black Zero. According to Jor the injured Dragon must've been at the brink of death because by the time he or she was healthy, the Willowbrook had taken effect and was the reason why you all tried to destroy all life on Apokalips except for the thirteen of you and anyone who swore allegiance."
Dax-Ur stared at her in silence, his face unreadable. "She was my best friend's wife and the woman I loved." He chuckled. "It was obviously a tricky situation once the bilateral bond began to emerge and we could feel everything the other did." He eyed her. "Though you know what I speak of, do you not? The Sanguine, the Doppelganger, the Half-Dragon and the General all wore the branches, did they not?" He smirked. "They must be strong to have been able to share the burden between them." The Dragon tilted his head. "The effects would also show quicker and with a greater force considering the same."
"We got them off on time," Chloe insisted. "There was minimal to no influence from the Willowbrook."
"Is that so?" He seemed amused with her once more. "The Doppelganger seems to have gotten over the pain of your romantic rejection fairly easy."
Chloe's eyes widened in shock. "How did you-?"
"The General and the Sanguine, while both obviously rivals for your romantic attentions, are able to be very accepting of the other as well."
"If you want to use their strange relationship as a reason to say the Willowbrook has done something then I'll counter with Jason as an example." It was still hard for her to talk about him and just how far their quasi-relationship had fallen. "He and Zod hate each other, and he doesn't come around unless it's basically life or death. He's the perfect example of how the Willowbrook-."
"Didn't the General decide not to kill him?"
"Once again, how the hell-?"
"Did he not?"
"It's because Zod doesn't consider Jason a threat anymore!" She snapped at him.
"Or is it because the Willowbrook's branches bound them and convinced Zod there wasn't a reason to kill his rival?" He raised an eyebrow, a sly smile tilting the corner of his lips.
Chloe opened her mouth then closed it, opened and closed, opened and closed.
Just what the-?
She opened her mouth yet noticed Adam standing and coming towards them, a questioning look on his face before he caught her eyes and pointed to the back of his wrist, signalling that it was time. A sigh escaped her lips as she nodded to him and turned to Dax-Ur. "We will finish this conversation later."
"It's in your best interest that we finish it sooner than later." He warned before he turned and walked away.
Chloe stared at his back, clenched her fists, and then went towards Adam.
"What was all that about?" Adam wanted to know, eyes narrowed on Dax-Ur's back. "Your magic was going wonky. At one point I felt it about to attack him."
She licked her lips before she turned to face it. "It isn't important right now. It can wait."
He stared down at her before he nodded. "I suppose interrogating the prisoners does take precedence in importance."
She flinched. "Don't say prisoners."
"That's what they are." Adam reminded with no heat.
Chloe took in a deep breath as she looped her arm around Adam's. "Lex, Victor and your brother are going to be there you know. Since they're the ones who ordered the interrogation as the Concilium they are allowed to be there to see it taking place, and if someone is found guilty, to proceed with their verdict."
He stared down at her with a sigh. "I wish I could tell you that everything's going to be alright, but one of them could've definitely betrayed you."
"No," Clark's voice broke into the conversation as he and Melissa arrived, the others staying behind with the newcomer Balcoins to keep them company and distracted while this was going on. "Neither Pete nor Lana would've ever betrayed you. They'll be found innocent and then we can look for the person who really is involved."
Chloe gave him a small smile, but sadly it terrified her that she just didn't know what to expect in the next couple of hours.
There could very well be an execution before sunset.