Title: The New Circle
Fandoms: Smallville/Secret Circle
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Clark Kent, Pete Ross, Lana Lang, Whitney Fordman, Greg Arkin, Nell Potter, John Blackwell, Gabe Sullivan, Lex Luthor, Davis Bloome, Jason Teague, Tess Mercer, Oliver Queen, Patricia Swan...
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Chloe Sullivan had a normal-ish life before the circle and John Blackwell turned her life upside down and gave new meaning to the unexplained weirdness that goes on in Smallville. Now life's a witch, she's a part of a circle she's not too sure she wants to be bound to, and not only do they have to worry about Witch-Hunters, but unknowingly to them another circle is on the hunt too.
A/N: Timeline-wise it is side-by-side with events in Secret Circle. It is around Season One of Smallville...with alterations of course. And Lex Luthor has not arrived in Smallville up until this point in the story.
"Your house has too many rooms!" Whitney complained, laying on the couch, beat.
Chloe lounged on the lazy boy, just as tired from having combed the downstairs guest room and the laundry room as well as the linen closets and the garage. "You are seriously dedicated." She chuckled, remembering the sight of Whitney Fordman checking under sinks and beds and behind the washer and dryer. "I'm actually impressed at how you went the extra mile."
"That's a Quarterback for you." And yet Whitney was too tired to deliver that with his usual smugness. "We always give a hundred and ten per cent."
"Can I quote you on that for the Torch?" Chloe murmured tiredly.
"Sure. Just as long as it's not an "ironic" quote if I mess up on the field."
"Purely in a good way." She promised.
"You have my permission then. Quote away." Whitney yawned.
The girl stared up at her ceiling. "Shouldn't there be an easier way to do this?"
"You mean like a spell?" He asked curiously.
"Yeah." She turned her gaze towards him.
"No, and that's good." Whitney turned his gaze towards her. "Imagine if there was. That means anyone could use the spell and find our books."
He had a very good point. "I see."
He nodded, returning his gaze to the ceiling.
A knock sounded on the door.
Chloe sat up and turned to look at it with a frown.
Whitney turned towards her once more. "You expecting someone?"
The Quarterback moved quickly, standing as he headed towards the door.
"What are you-?"
"This is Smallville. There are possible skinwalkers around." He mumbled over his shoulder before peering out of the peephole and then relaxing, unlocking the door and swinging it open. "What are you two doing here?"
"Us?" Pete made up a face. "What are you
"Hanging out." The Quarterback declared.
Clark eyed Whitney with a confused expression. "Since when do you and Chloe hang out?"
"Since now." Whitney then turned and walked away, leaving the door open and the two standing there, returning to lay on the sofa. "You know, we should probably order pizza or something."
Pete and Clark entered, locking the door behind them as they came to where Whitney and Chloe were.
"Hey guys." Chloe gave them a little smile, it had been a very long time since they'd been at her home.
"Hey." Pete shrugged off the oddness of Whitney being around, throwing himself on the loveseat. "We came to see how you were doing."
"How's your throat?" Clark wanted to know, sitting down next to Pete. "We came by earlier but no one was around."
"She was out with McNulty for hours." Whitney butted into the conversation. "They've got a maybe skinwalker on film."
"Skinwalker?" Clark made up his face.
"Seriously?" Pete's eyes widened. "You need some serious juju to do that sort of magic!"
Whitney nodded his agreement.
"Is that what's attacking Farmer Jenkins' cattle?" Clark was on the ball.
Chloe nodded, motioning towards her camera.
Clark grabbed it and in minutes he and Pete were reviewing the footage.
Whitney turned to her. "Where's your phone? I'm ordering food."
She pointed towards the kitchen.
"Tell me you don't mind the Meat Lovers Deluxe." And yet he was already on his way to the kitchen and disappeared from sight.
A knock sounded on the door.
Chloe left Pete and Clark watching the video and stood, going to the door and stepping up on her tiptoes to peer out of the peephole, blinking at who she saw. The blonde unlocked the door and opened it. "Greg."
"I brought beer." He lifted the case before entering, looking around. "Nice digs." He mosied on into the livingroom and left the beer on the coffee table before leaning over the loveseat and staring at the video the boys were watching. "Damn. Did you get this tonight during one of your Nancy Drew outings?"
"They're thinking skinwalker." Pete looked up at Greg.
"Someone's got a grudge if they're going to that extent to ruin Farmer Jenkins." Greg whistled.
Chloe just stared at the scene going on in her livingroom, shaking her head before turning to close the door...when she noticed a shadow slowly making its way towards the house. Her eyes narrowed as she stepped outside, trying to make out the figure...before her eyes widened in shock. "Lana?"
The brunette looked up from where she'd been walking and apparently practicing what she was going to say. "Uh, hi!" She blinked, suddenly noticing Clark's truck and Greg's motorcycle. "I see some of the guys had the same idea."
"They're inside." Chloe leaned in the doorway as the brunette hurried up the steps and stood awkwardly in front of her.
"I'm here to see how you're doing and to apologize for my aunt." Lana gulped, obviously uncomfortable. "I know her heart's in the right place, and she's only trying to help us, but sometimes she has boundary issues and she clearly crossed a line today. So I'm here to apologize for that."
Chloe stared at the other girl, surprised. "You don't have to apologize. You weren't the one who did it."
"I mightn't have been the one to do it, but like Aunt Nell likes to say over and over again, I'm the leader of this circle." Lana took in a deep breath, hazel eyes meeting Chloe's. "That means that the members of this circle are mine to protect and look out for. And I seriously failed you today. So I'm sorry."
Chloe was floored, unable to believe what she was hearing.
"So are you okay?" Lana asked softly. "How's your throat?"
"I'm sucking on Halls losenges all day...but other than that I'm great." Chloe gave the girl a genuine smile, moving out of the way. "Come on in."
Lana smiled brightly at her, relief visible on her face and in her body language. "Thank you."
Chloe smiled a little brighter as the girl walked in, locking the door behind her.
Whitney emerged from the kitchen, eyed the two newcomers, and made a face. "I'm going to have to double my order." And with that he returned to the kitchen.
Lana sent Chloe a curious expression before shaking her head and going to where Greg was. "What are we watching?"
"Hey Lana." Clark and Pete said simultaneously.
"Hey guys." She smiled, leaning down and staring down at the video, her smile fading as she turned her head towards Chloe. "Was that filmed in Smallville?"
"Farmer Jenkins' place."
"This is what's been mutilating his cattle?" Lana frowned darkly, returning her gaze to the video as it ended.
"Apparently popular theory is skinwalker." Greg shrugged.
"It could be many things." Lana frowned. "We should show this to Aunt Nell."
"No." Chloe shook her head. "This is my investigation and I do not want her involved in it in any way."
"But she knows more than us." Lana frowned slightly. "She could know something about this sort of thing, like if it's happened in the past."
"I'm willing to take that risk." Chloe replied.
Lana sighed but didn't push the issue.
"What about your family's book?" Pete wanted to know curiously. "Couldn't you just look through it yourself?"
Lana sighed. "Aunt Nell bequeathed it to me...but she still keeps it until I've "shown her I'm ready to handle it and the power it holds"."
"So basically she hasn't really given it to you." Greg declared.
"She's holding it for me." Lana assured him. "Whenever I ask her for it she usually gives it to me."
"So you have to ask her for it." Clark cleared his throat. "I don't mean to cause any friction between you and Nell or anything, but it sounds like you're borrowing it."
Lana bit her bottom lip.
"So, what's our first move?" Pete turned to Chloe, smile growing. "Maybe check the Metropolis Zoo to make sure they haven't lost any wolves?"
The blonde cleared her throat. "Van's in charge of that."
Pete's smile faltered. "Van McNulty?"
"Do we have any other Van in our school?" Chloe folded her arms over her chest.
"Why is he involved in this?" Pete wanted to know.
"Because he's my photographer. He was there when this happened." Chloe replied.
"About that..." Pete cleared his throat. "Clark and I want to go back to the Torch, now that we don't have to stay away to keep the secret and all that."
"Great." Chloe nodded. "Pete, you can take over the Sports section, and Clark, since Melinda is graduating you can take over the School Life section."
"The Sports section?" Pete blinked. "That's-a lot. I was thinking about getting back my old job."
"Van's doing the photographing now." Chloe replied straightforwards. "He stepped up when I didn't have anyone I could count on." She raised her hand when she saw him about to complain. "I get why it happened now, but it happened, and Van stepped up. I'm not going to chuck him off to the side now that I don't need him." She folded her arms over her chest. "And anyway, we've become something like friends since working together. And I wouldn't do that to a friend."
Pete sighed. "Okay. Fine. I get that." He made a face. "Plus, Sports section means I get to say whatever I want about Whitney's performance."
"Give me a bad review and you'll wake up freaky somehow." Whitney threatened halfheartedly, still lying on the couch.
"Why are you so tired?" Clark wanted to know, eyebrow raised.
"Practice was hell." Whitney grumbled. "And I'm starving."
Greg turned to Chloe. "I'm going to put these in the fridge."
Chloe nodded, watching him take the six pack to the kitchen, deciding to make sure all evidence was gone before her dad came back home.
A house was on fire.
Chloe stared at the burning building, slowly coming closer and closer.
"Who are you?"
She turned around to see a blonde with long hair and green eyes coming towards her. "What?"
"Who. Are. You?" The girl, defensive, came at her. "Did you do this? Were you responsible?"
Chloe turned towards the house at the sound of a woman screaming from within. "Someone's still inside."
The girl's eyes narrowed. "It's my mother."
Chloe's eyes widened as she turned towards the other girl. "Then why aren't you doing anything to help her?"
The hostility melted into painful confusion. "Because I can't. This is a dream." She gulped, turning her gaze towards the house. "I wasn't there when it happened."
"If this is a dream...is it your dream or mine?" Chloe asked softly.
The other blonde sent her a narrowed look. "I think...mine."
"Then why am I here?" Chloe frowned.
The other blonde bit down on her bottom lip. "I don't know."
Gasping awake, Chloe looked around her, a little disoriented as to why she was in the living room. It took her a moment to remember staying up late with the circle talking about every topic under the sun. It'd started with the different possibilities of what that wolf thing could have been (if not a skinwalker) and then had branched off to football, the Torch, basic magic, and cartoons. It'd been the oddest mix of conversations Chloe had ever had, so diverse and random. And yet she'd had a good time. It was shocking to think that she was enjoying herself with the group she'd dubbed "Lana's Drones" and had quite detested/resented for so many months now.
Clark and Pete had ended up texting their parents telling them they'd be spending the night at Chloe's used to that by now and not even thinking about it. Whitney and Greg had quickly followed suit, letting their mothers know. Lana was the only one who actually asked Chloe if it was okay if she slept over given the fact that she'd walked over, and Chloe had quickly agreed to it.
While there were guest bedrooms (two to be exact) no one had ended up sleeping in any of them.
Lana had ended on on the loveseat, curled up, Whitney had completely claimed the sofa as his, while Greg, Clark and Pete were on the floor. She hadn't moved from the Lazyboy and had managed to sleep pretty decently thanks to that.
Soda cans and empty pizza containers were everywhere, and at least she'd made sure the beer cans were in Mr McGuire's garbage container outside long before her father returned last night so there was no problem there.
Chloe sat up, just looking at everyone, before slowly rising from her seat and tiptoeing upstairs. She peeked in to find that even though it was a Saturday morning her father was already gone to work, and so she bathed in her room, changed into something comfy before hurrying back downstairs. A glance into the livingroom proved that everyone were still sleeping, the blonde heading into the kitchen and checking the cupboards and such, wondering what to make. Her father had always taught her that when people were over she had to be the best hostess (her mother had apparently been the queen at that sort of thing) and Chloe was not about to lose out to her mother.
Since she really didn't have anything in the house that could suit the quantity of people except for eggs, Chloe grabbed her apron and began scrambling some eggs. Thankfully she didn't have to wake up those inside, since one by one she could hear mumbling and groans in the living room, as Greg and Pete appeared, both still half asleep as they sat down by the table. She placed their plates in front of them and went back to preparing the next batch, watching the boys beginning to eat mechanically, a smirk on her face.
Clark was the next one through the door, collapsing in the seat next to Pete, resting his forehead against the surface of the table. "I'm never having alcohol ever again. It's evil."
"Don't be such a wuss." Greg mumbled into his fork.
Finally Whitney and Lana trudged inside, Lana offering to help in any way she could despite the fact that she looked half asleep.
Sharing the rest of the scrambled eggs and toast amongst everyone, Chloe put the plates down before grabbing her own and joining them, sitting down.
Slowly conversation began as everyone woke up, although some were clearly suffering from hangover even if they'd only had one beer each.
"Put your herbal knowledge to use and make some sort of hangover potion." Clark instructed Whitney.
"Why?" The Quarterback raised an eyebrow. "I thought you weren't going to drink alcohol ever again."
"Just in case I give into peer pressure again." He mumbled.
"So what are everyone's plan for today?" Lana wanted to know, voice hoarse.
"Got to help dad on the farm." Clark mumbled, looking at his watch. "I have to leave right after I finish eating."
"I'm gonna catch a ride with him to mine because I have to do housework." Pete made a face. "Mom and dad are getting suspicious that I'm, you know, "into the occult" and I think they want to keep me at home so that I don't do something "unchristian"."
Chloe made a face at that one.
"I'll catch a ride with you too." Whitney swallowed his bite of toast. "I promised mom I'd help her get rid of some shit from the garage."
Greg sent Lana a look. "I can give you a ride back to Nell's."
"Thanks." She gave him a little smile.
Soon everyone was finished eating and gone, Chloe finishing washing up the dishes before collapsing on the sofa with a little tired moan.
The phone rang loudly in the kitchen.
Groaning, Chloe contemplated just letting it ring, and she did just that, but when it began ringing once more after only two seconds of silence she forced herself off of the sofa and into the living room, grabbing the receiver from the phone on the wall. "Sullivan Residence, how may I help?"
"I'm calling to check up." A voice declared, and it took her a couple of seconds to recognize it.
"John." Eyes widening, still not sure how to refer to him considering she still wasn't exactly sure how they were related, Chloe pulled a blonde strand out of her face. "I'm doing fine, thanks. How about you? You left in a hurry."
"Yes." He cleared his throat. "There was an issue I needed to look into right away."
"Is everything alright now then?" She asked curiously. "Was the issue…resolved?"
"I'm still working on it." He declared vaguely. "What about you? How are things in Smallville?" His voice lowered. "Have you had any more interactions with the circle there?"
"Yeah, they've just gone home actually. There was an impromptu sleepover at my house last night." Somehow, she could feel the disapproval in his silence, and frowned slightly. "I might have broken up the circle though."
"Huh?" He made weird sound.
"I quit the unofficial circle, and under the circumstances Whitney Fordman quit as well, so the circle's down two members." She pursed her lips in thought. "You wouldn't think so with the way we all hung out last night, but no way am I going to join a circle headed up by Nell Potter. Because she might say Lana's the leader, but she's definitely the one doing the bossing and controlling, and making all of the decisions."
"You're a very smart young woman." His disapproval was gone, replaced by approval.
"Not really, it's really obvious actually." She turned and leaned her back against the wall. "Whitney says he thinks that Nell is going to try and get us back, which, tough. I'm not joining anything that has to do with her after what she did."
"What did she do?"
Chloe looked up at the ceiling. "I was being rebellious, so she made an example of me by casting this spell on me that made it impossible for me to breath."
There was silence, and then a growl. "She did what?"
"It's okay though." Chloe quickly assured him, not sure why she felt that if she didn't something might happen to Nell Potter. "I did the wordless magic you said I could, and it was so weird because I wasn't even trying to. But it was like right as I'm beginning to lose consciousness from lack of breath something inside of me was let loose and the ripples of the explosion sent her flying so hard into the wall that the things on the shelves fell down on top of her."
There was silence, and then: "Does she know what you did?"
"Uh, considering I threw her against the wall-." Chloe started.
"Chloe." John cut her off short, curt. "Does Nell Potter know what sort of magic you used on her?"
"Of course. Lana said that Nell was shocked that I could perform wordless magic this soon." Chloe felt horribly smug at that. "Lana can't even do it yet, and to quote Greg, Lana's the Super Child of Awesome."
John let out a little sigh, which sounded relieved. "She hasn't realized. That's good."
Chloe frowned, a little confused. "What are you talking about?"
"Have you kept the necklace I gave you hidden?" John asked her urgently. "Have you kept it safe?"
She wanted to quip a Lord of the Rings style answer, but could sense the urgency in this and knew it wouldn't be smart to be a wise-ass. "Of course. I have it on me all the time, under my shirt. No one's seen it. Not even my dad."
"Good. Keep it that way." John cleared his throat. "There's so much that I need to tell you, and I'd like nothing better than to return to Smallville and have a very long conversation with you, but for right now I'm going to have to stay here."
She wanted to ask where "here" was, but John had already proved to be a very private person, so instead she changed the topic. "Do you have an email address?"
He paused. "Why do you need my address?"
"Well," she cleared her throat, wondering exactly what John had to hide that he was so secretive. "In lieu of going to Nell for help, I was wondering if you could help me in an issue I'm having."
"Well, you wouldn't know this but I'm my high school's newspaper editor-."
"I know this."
She paused, surprised. "Really?"
He hesitated before clearing his throat. "I subscribe to the online version of the Torch. You have talent for discovering secrets others wish to remain hidden."
She had to admit it, she was flattered as hell. "Thank you."
"So I'm assuming this has something to do with a story you're writing." John returned the conversation onto the right track.
"Yes." She nodded, getting back to business. "You see, Farmer Jenkins is having a really bad cattle mutilations thing going on, and a friend of mine and I caught what's doing it on tape. It's a wolf, and yet it clearly isn't. I have him checking out all of the normal sides to what this could be, and Whitney says he'll use his herbal knowledge to figure out if someone's skin walking in Smallville…and…"
"Do you have it on tape?" He interrupted.
"Yes. All the gory details." She twirled the telephone cable around her finger.
"Send it to me."
"I'd need your email." She reminded.
He sighed before mumbling a very weird email address that had no sort of personal information whatsoever, GenericAddress .
John Blackwell was definitely a man of many mysteries.
It made Chloe even curiouser.
On impulse she asked something she probably shouldn't have. "Do you know what a Balcoin is? Because whatever it is, it owes me a new computer."
There was utter silence, and then: "Where did you hear that?"
"Would you believe me if I said I overheard some robed dudes in the woods saying it?"
"Why didn't you tell me this when I was there?" He snapped at her.
"It's not like you were here very long, were you?" She frowned at him, not appreciating the attitude.
"Do the people know you heard them?"
"Chloe this is important." He stressed that last word. "Life and death."
The blonde gulped.
"Does anyone know that you say or heard that exchange?"
"No." She promised, sure of it.
"Good. Keep it that way." He cursed softly. "Did this happen before or after you were awoken power-wise?"
"The night of."
"Damn it!" He hissed. "This isn't good."
"What's going on?" Chloe was beginning to get very worried. "What's a Balcoin? Is it a bad thing?"
"Don't repeat that, especially not in front of anyone else." John ordered. "If Cassie wasn't so damned stubborn I'd be back on my way to Smallville right now with what I need to protect you all."
Who was that?
"Protect us?" Chloe decided to touch on that instead. "From what? Are the Witch-Hunters really coming for us like Nell says?"
"Chloe." John sighed. "I can't say anything on the phone, but I need you not to mention this to anyone. No matter how much you trust them. I will return as soon as I can and then I will explain everything to you. I promise."
"Okay." Chloe held onto the receiver.
There was a knock in the background. "I have to go. Be careful." And with that he hung up.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe hung the receiver, far from the relaxed state she'd been in before this conversation.