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.
Pete's parents had him on lockdown and other than school hours were keeping him at home under strict supervision. They'd realized he'd snuck out the night of the deaths and put two and two together, realizing that their son was doing more than just hanging out with the descendants of Mrs Ross' old circle. Everyone had tried calling Pete but either Mr or Mrs Ross would curtly tell them that Pete was unable to talk to them, and that they as parents were praying for the circle.
Nell had even gone over to try and talk to them, but she'd come back to the Talon and slammed the door and wouldn't come out for hours, the sound of things breaking letting everyone at the hangout know that things hadn't gone well at all.
Things between Greg and his mother were…tentative at best. She wasn't taking the whole "magical son" very well, and he'd admitted to actually resenting the fact that she wasn't fighting with him anymore, preferring her slurs to her watchful silence.
Lana was pushing herself harder than usual, blaming herself for not being prepared-for being caught off guard-and the scolding she'd gotten from her aunt for being "saved" by the others had been taken quite personally. She'd quit cheerleading, working night shifts at the Beanery, and any other activity she'd ever had, concentrating everything she had on her magical studies.
Chloe was grounded. Her father had also caught onto the fact that she'd snuck out, and while she'd managed to convince him that she'd been over at Lana's (with help from Nell) he'd still grounded her for sneaking out.
Probably the only good thing that'd come from this whole thing was that Mr and Mrs Kent decided to support Clark's magical learnings and had actually given him the Clark's Book of Shadows. There'd been conditions, and Clark was now being trained by his mother as well as by Nell, but all in all it was looking up for him.
Whitney, well, he felt very much like nothing had happened to him. After everything that'd happened he'd stumbled home to find his father finally back from the bar, and after warning him in no uncertain terms of what would happen to him should he ever touch his mother again, Whitney had locked his bedroom door and slept as if dead.
It took days before any of them were able to walk without shoulders sagging and feet being dragged.
Coach had really been pissed at practice today, Whitney not sure how Duncan was going to explain the burnt handprint on his arm.
Shaking his head, Whitney pulled his hoodie on, not wearing his Crows jersey for once.
He groaned, turning as Tina Greer hurried towards him. "What?"
The girl who had once been Lana's shadow, her wannabe-twin, stopped in front of him, making a face. "Why isn't Lana doing her cheerleading anymore? I always used to be able to talk to her after practice, but now she's not going anymore and I don't get to see her and-."
He really didn't care. "She's busy."
"Doing what?" Tina pushed. "I've seen her hanging out with you and some others. So if she's so busy she can't hang out with me anymore, why does she still have time to hang out with you guys?"
"Ask her." He turned, tired and annoyed and not in the mood to deal with Tina's obsession when it came to Lana.
"I would if she'd actually give me two seconds!" Tina snapped at his back before snarling and storming away.
He shook his head, wanting nothing more than to collapse and sleep for a couple of days straight, frustrated and annoyed that he couldn't. There were too many questions in his mind for him to sleep properly anymore, and he kept waiting for the other shoe to fall. If they hadn't been attacked by Witch-Hunters, if Nell was right and there was another player in the game, then there were less and less reasons to sleep.
What could someone have gotten out of attacking them like that if the plan wasn't to kill them?
He paused by the half open door of the Torch, wondering who exactly had stayed behind with Chloe after school.
"Well, now that we've managed to discredit the whole escaped wolf theory, and also decided that thanks to the lunar cycle it definitely can't be a werewolf-what's our next move?" Van wanted to know. "After that junkie asshole attacked you and trashed this place we've been left working with basics."
"You don't need technology to break a case, Van." Chloe declared all sagely. "You just need a passion for the truth."
"And the freaky." He mumbled. "I mean, just look at the Wall of Weird."
"I'm relieved that he didn't destroy that." Chloe admitted softly. "That's years of research."
Whitney turned and leaned his back against the wall, staring up at the ceiling.
She cleared her throat. "You have a date with Dawn tonight, right?"
"Yep." He declared, obviously gleeful. "You and Justin finally going out?"
"Justin and I are only friends and colleagues." She reprimanded.
"He wants your V-Card."
"Van!" She cried out, horrified.
Whitney blinked, turning his head towards the door, surprised at that little news.
"Just get out of here before I chop off something Dawn'll miss." Chloe grumbled.
Van chuckled. "See you tomorrow." And with that he emerged from the doorway, going through something in his bag and not noticing Whitney as he continued in the opposite direction.
Whitney watched him go, wondering what exactly Chloe saw in the dude, before shaking his head and pushing away from the wall, entering through the door. "Aren't you supposed to be grounded?"
Chloe turned around from where she was looking out of the window. "Dad's got a big meeting and won't know if I'm not home."
"I thought he calls you at the house?" Whitney closed the door and leaned back against it.
She grinned evilly. "I programmed the home phone so that it forwards all incoming calls to my mobile."
Whitney chuckled, shaking his head.
"So what brings you to the Torch?" Chloe asked, folding her arms over her chest.
"My aunt in Grandville is sick and my mother has gone for a couple days…so I don't want to spend more time home than necessary." Whitney wasn't sure why he was being so truthful with her as he shucked his hands in his hoodie's pockets. "So I was thinking we could spend this evening going over the bestiary and other books I got which could help us figure out what your little wolf is."
She smiled, nodding. "That would be great."
"What do you do if it's a skin walker though?" He wanted to know curiously. "It's not like the other stories you write about in the Torch."
"I know." Chloe nodded. "It all depends on the truth, I suppose."
Gazing up over the book Whitney had passed her before getting up to serve himself another slice of pizza, Chloe eyed the Quarterback and wondered exactly when his coming to her house had seemed less than mind-blowingly weird. Then again, the blonde was quickly being showed that she'd judged every single person in the circle before really getting to know them, and had been somewhat of a snob in her prejudices. With Clark and Pete she'd been hurt and on the defensive, refusing to let their abandonment hurt her more than it had to. But Lana, Whitney and Greg?
She's totally let herself be biased against them and hadn't given them a chance to prove themselves otherwise.
It made her feel like a bitch.
Whitney, oblivious to her stare and thoughts, turned back towards her and collapsed next to her on the sofa, chewing on his pizza as he stared at the contents of the page in the book she held. "These are the options I've been able to narrow it to after seeing the video, checking the lunar schedule, and all other factors." He chewed another bite, lifting his feet and resting them on the coffee table. "I was thinking we could work through them one by one by the process of elimination."
There were only a few options, so that didn't seem so bad. "You really put a lot of thought into these, I never even considered half of them-and I think about the weird a lot."
"You don't have a bestiary." Whitney shrugged. "It's the only magical thing about my family that my father wasn't an asshole about." He turned his blues on her. "I don't usually take it out of my home though. It's really ancient, really large, and heavy as fuck."
"So other than having a gift with healing and herbs the Fordman's are the bestiarians of the circle." Chloe nodded slowly to herself. "You're all sorts of useful, aren't you?"
"And you just thought I was only a part of the circle because of my good looks." He smirked.
She chuckled, shaking her head, feeling a little guilty because a couple months ago that would have been exactly what she'd have thought. "I'm sure they didn't hurt your chances."
He paused, staring at her before chuckling, shaking his head.
1 - Skinwalker
2 - Some sort of "pagan god" like Fenrir
3 - Spirit Animal
4 - Familiar
"What's the difference between a Spirit Animal, a Familiar, and a Skinwalker?" Chloe wanted to know, not afraid to ask questions.
"Well, a Skinwalker is someone who can turn himself into an animal, a Familiar is an animal being controlled by a witch, and a Spirit Animal...well...it's more native american shamanism than euro-american witchcraft, but remember that the Kawatche Indians used to live here." Whitney shocked her by remembering such stuff from history class that she herself had forgotten. "Some say that it's the spirit that you most resemble, and that it doesn't really manifest other than to give wisdom to or project the shaman...but I've been reading and there were theories that the strongest of shamans could take the forms of their spirit animals in some sort of astral projection."
"Whoa." Chloe blinked.
Her gaze lowered to the list once more. "About Fenrir...you don't really think pagan gods really exist...do you?"
"A year ago I wouldn't have believed witches existed." He reminded.
"Right. Great point." She breathed, a little uneasy at this new possibility.
Whitney cleared his throat, staring at the options before his baby blues rose to her greens. "Has Nell approached you lately about binding the circle?"
She sighed, returning his gaze. "Yeah."
"And?" Whitney leaned hard against the sofa, turning more towards her.
"I'm not sure." Chloe admitted, a little annoyed she was even contemplating it. "We almost didn't survive the last attack-Greg's hands are still scarred and will probably always be a little scarred no matter how much healing magic is used-and that wasn't even the handywork of the Witch-Hunters." She turned more towards him as well, their feet ending up touching. "Means that other than the Witch-Hunters, we have someone we need to be careful of."
Whitney nodded, obviously having thought this all himself.
Chloe's gaze went to the page on her book, a little resentful that John hadn't gotten back into contact with her-still how was he supposed to know about what'd happened to her? Also, he had a life of his own and obviously some sort of crisis as well, so she knew she had to cut him some slack. The issue was though with him MIA it meant that she was forced to have to deal with Nell Potter again (Mrs Kent refusing to teach any of the other kids unless they got parental permission) and Chloe didn't want to deal with Nell, she just didn't take to her.
Also, she felt a little deceived.
She'd done serious magic-group magic-and no one was acting as if they had some sort of addiction on her.
Just look at Whitney. Out of all of the members of the circle she'd done the most magic with him, and yet he was showing no signs of being desperate for physical or magical contact.
It made her feel as if maybe John had lied to her, but she couldn't find a reason for him doing so.
What would he get out of keeping her from becoming a part of a circle?
"What if we did it?" Whitney asked the question that'd been on her mind. "What if we bound the circle?"
Chloe bit her bottom lip as she stared at him, not knowing how to answer.
"She's definitely a Balcoin, I've watched her in action." Davis' voice matched the gravity on his face. "And also, I can confirm Balcoin himself is alive."
Lex leaned forwards, eyes narrowed as he stared at Davis' face during their skype session. "How can you be sure?"
"Because," Davis' dark eyes seemed darker. "He's here."
"What?" Lex hissed, eyes widening. "You've seen him yourself?"
"In the flesh." Davis declared, licking his lips. "John Blackwell is back in Chance Harbor, and is in contact with the circle here."
Lex was quiet for a moment, steepling his fingers, having already suspected Blackwell's death being faked and yet having such proof before him was outstanding. He wasn't exactly sure how to proceed, so many different viable options before him.
"I know what you wanted me to do if I found out Cassie Blake was a Balcoin..." Davis hesitated. "Has Blackwell's reappearance changed your desires in any way or am I still to go ahead with the plan? Because if I am, I'll need backup."
"No, don't do anything yet." Lex shook his head. "Blackwell being alive changes things. Do you think any of them have picked up on who or what you are?"
"I'm good at staying in the shadows." Davis smirked.
He knew that, it was why he'd sent Davis on this most important mission. "I want you to stay there and keep an eye on them, Blackwell especially. Find out as much as you can as discreetly as possible. Don't approach him or the circle, and I want reports every evening. If I don't hear from you one evening I'll assume the worst has happened and I'll be sending in reinforcements."
Davis nodded. "Got it." With that he ended the Skype call, his screen going blank.
Lex let out a little breath as he leaned harder against the chair in his office.
John Blackwell-John Balcoin-was alive.
And apparently, so was his bloodline.
There was Cassie Blake in Chance Harbor, who'd foiled the Witch-Hunters with the use of her black magic...
...and then there were the other two circles that Balcoin had been known to associate with.
Exiting out of Skype, Lex's finegrs tapped on the keyboard and a split screen appeared, the top screen showing the video results of the two other circles, both had passed the test and were definitely strong. And yet some members stood out a little more than the others in each of the separate tests.
A nagging feeling began creeping within him.
What if Cassie Blake wasn't the only Balcoin child out there?
What if there were more?
What if someone else was the Firstborn?
His blues narrowed on the split screen, which showed action shots of each of the members of the two individual circles.
What if one of these other kids were Balcoins as well?
Their ages all matched the time Balcoin would have gone to their circles.
Leaning back hard on his chair, Lex steepled his fingers, contemplating his next move.
"Potter residence, Nell speaking." Nell looked up from where Lana was reading the Potter Book of Shadows out on the porch, sitting next to Clark on the swing. She could feel nostalgia, remembering when she was their age and had the largest crush on Jonathan Kent. Sure, Clark took more after his mother's family than Jonathan's, but it just seemed a little like vindication. A Potter and a Kent. Hadn't her mother had feelings for Hiram Kent once upon a time?
Maybe, just maybe, this was the Potter and Kent connection that would work.
"Hi Miss Potter." Tina Greer, that sad, pathetic little girl that followed Lana around like a little puppy, cleared her throat. "I was wondering if Lana was around and I could speak to her."
"I'm sorry Tina, but she's busy with Clark at the moment and doesn't have time to come to the phone." Nell tried for apologetic, although she had to admit that she was happy that Lana was finally putting some distance between her and this girl-whose fascination with being like Lana was very unhealthy for the both of them. "You have a good night now."
With that she hung up, gave the chuckling teens outside a little smile, and left them to their privacy.
There was still much she had to plan...somehow she knew that things were slowly falling into place...and the circle would be bound.
"Wichita." Greg raised an eyebrow, sitting on the windowframe of the room he was not supposed to be in.
"Wichita." Pete agreed sourly, the christian music his parents were listening thankfully drowning out the sound of his and Greg's conversation. "I'm thinking it's a last resort, but they're definitely considering it."
"They can't take you to Wichita." Greg scoffed. "There's no circle that we know of in Wichita. It's just full of-what do you call them? Wichitans?"
"I have no idea." Pete made a face. "And anyway, it's because of that that they want us to go. They don't want my soul going to hell. We'd be staying with Uncle Rev for the first couple of months until my parents find a place of their own."
"Rev for Reverend?" Greg made up his face when the other boy nodded. "Reverend of what?"
"One of the local churches." Pete mumbled.
Greg snorted, shaking his head. "Aren't they worried you'll burst into flames if they force you into church?"
"Har har. For your information I like church services...I just don't like being forced to not use my powers. They're natural and god-given. The devil has nothing to do with them or me…something mom should know. I don't get what's wrong with her and why she turned her back on everything like this and expects me to do the same thing." Pete grumbled, not at all amused with this at all. "I don't want to go to Wichita."
"This might come as a shock to you, but I doubt any of us would want you to go, especially Nell." Greg pointed out. "She'll find a way to convince your parents to stay."
"She made things worse when she came to talk to then." Pete threw himself on his bed with a groan. "Mom's blaming herself for everything and dad's all too happy to let her do so. He nearly threw Nell out when she admitted to tutoring me against his wishes, and mom threatened to go to Chloe's dad and tell him everything if Nell didn't stop seeing me." He made a face. "She backed down then and left in a huff."
Greg raised an eyebrow. "She actually cared if Chloe's dad found out?"
"Well, he's like your mom." Pete pointed out. "The only ones married into the Old circle who didn't realize what that meant. Though how Chloe's mom and your dad kept that a secret from them is surprising."
Remembering his mother, and the very shaky ground they were on at the moment, Greg made a face. "I'm still surprised she cares if Chloe's dad finds out. I've never actually met him myself but it's common knowledge in Smallville that Chloe's got him wrapped around her little finger."
"She does." Pete's lips twitched for a moment, before sighing. "I guess Nell's worried that if Mr Sullivan finds out I mightn't be the only one leaving Smallville and by proxy, the circle." He frowned. "And she's always had that 'Hibbins, Withridge and Thoreaux are always in the same circle' thing."
"It gets annoying sometimes. She's hot, and I'm still going to hit that one of these days before she gets too old...but her attitude is frustrating at times when it comes to the circle and everyone's place in it." Greg had to admit, not sure what to think about that considering he was the Withridge. "I feel like I'm a collector's item or something."
Pete turned to lay on his back, staring up at the ceiling. "At least you're one of the "important" ones."
Greg snorted, gaze going to him. "Says one of the strongest of our circle."
Pete looked up at that. "I'm not one of the strongest."
"Even with the dust made from that root that suppresses magic you were able to summon enough magic for your fingers to glow slightly." Greg raised an eyebrow, leaning hard on the windowsill. "And you were the first one who was able to break free. Not Lana. You." Dark eyes rolled. "Don't make me peptalk you again, okay? I'm not signing up for any sort of bromance so get a hold of yourself you hormonal girl."
Pete chuckled, shaking his head as he finally sat back up, staring at Greg. "Thanks. I needed that."
"If you get anymore emotional I'm going to start bringing you chocolate or something." Greg grumbled, although his lips twitched in betrayal of the smile he fought. "Now stop lamenting the thought of going to Wichita-which wont happen-and do something useful with your time in lock-up."
"Useful such as...?" Pete tilted his head to the side.
Greg grinned. "We're going to plan a party."
Pete raised an eyebrow. "I'm grounded till only god knows when, and you want me to help you plan a party?"
"Exactly!" Greg nodded, as if this should be obvious. "Too much stuff has happened to us and we all need to relax. We can have it at the Talon. I'm sure Nell won't mind us doing some Circle-Bonding."
"Again. I'm grounded." Pete raised an eyebrow.
"Always ways around that." Greg assured him. "Now grab a pen and paper, I'm getting genius ideas."
Shaking his head, lips twitching, Pete did as told
"Have you noticed that now with the wolf thing, the not-Witch-Hunters thing, and now the maybe Circle Binding thing-we have no time for the Finding Your Family's Book thing?" Whitney asked as he slammed his door closed, resting his elbow out of the open window as he started the ignition and turned to look at her.
"It had occurred to me." She admitted, hands clasped behind her back. "I've been doing some searching on my own though, and I'm almost completely sure that if it's in the house, it's not in the first floor."
"Second floor it is then." Whitney nodded. "Your dad usually stay out this late all the time?"
"Yep." She nodded. "So is the life of the manager of the Luthorcorp Smallville Fertilizer Plant. Bet you didn't realize it was so time consuming."
"Definitely didn't." He agreed, giving her house a little look. "You going to be okay here by yourself? We were attacked by the minions of some mysterious asshole who's still out there, and you're the only one who's always home alone."
She was a little taken aback by that, not having considered it before. "Careful Whitney, you sound like you're worried about me."
He made up his nose at her. "Don't let it get to your head. I'm worried about all of us after what happened. And to be honest, I'm more disturbed by your kidnapping than everyone else's."
"Why is that?" She tilted her head to the side.
"Chloe, the dude who jacked you full of that paralyzing agent was taking you out of town." Whitney frowned. "He wasn't even taking you in the direction of Miller's Field, he was heading in the opposite direction." His blues were grave as they met her wide greens. "So if he wasn't taking you to where the others were...where exactly was he taking you?"
"Are you sure about this?" Gabe Sullivan, holed up in his office, was going over the data John had sent over, deeply disturbed.
"You've seen the information yourself." John replied, the sound of his footsteps betraying the fact that he was walking as he spoke. "If I weren't finally starting to make some leeway with Cassie and her circle I'd go there and deal with it myself, but as it is I cannot afford to leave here for a moment."
"Do you believe you can trust this boy in her circle as your ally?" Gabe wanted to know. "Jake Armstrong used to be a part of the Witch-Hunters. Can he truly be trusted?"
"He's infatuated with her, and I know he'll do what has to be done, no matter what it is. I can see what the Witch-Hunters saw in him, he's a good soldier." John replied. "And anyone I can use to make sure that Cassie and Ethan's boy stay as far from the other as possible is someone I'll keep close."
"Would it really be so horrible if the Conants and Blakes finally fulfilled their destiny?" Gabe wanted to know, leaning back in his seat.
"You know exactly what would happen if that were to occur, and I will not allow it." He grumbled, clearing his throat. "I'm already working on something to deal with that little issue, don't worry about that."
"I have enough to worry about." Gabe's gaze went to his screen, at the wolf creature attacking Farmer Jenkins' cattle. "Why didn't you show this to me sooner?"
"I had to be sure."
"And you are?"
"Yes." John cleared his throat. "Definitely."
Gabe let out a little sigh, bringing his hand to his head. "What do you want me to do about this?"
John hesitated a moment, before answering. "Leave it, for now. Slaughtering cattle is a very odd move. Let's see how this plays out."
"But Chloe-." Gabe worried.
"You've already heard me Gabe." John interrupted. "Do nothing. I'll keep you informed on anything you need to know."
And with that he hung up.
Cursing softly, Gabe hung up the call, gaze going to the screen of the video Chloe had taken of the wolf creature, unease curling in the base of his stomach.