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.
Considering her father had had a last minute emergency Chloe figured that there was never going to be another night in the near future (never mind week) for her to slip out unnoticed, so the second she'd gotten back home she'd called John and got him to relay her the nitty gritty as she readied to make the hour and a half drive to Edge City. Apparently Crouch End was a place where witches and dabblers mingled freely, the nightclub being fashioned after the town of Stephen King's story in the way that it paid homage to the "weak spots" and other dimensions mentioned. No one could enter the nightclub unless they wore a mask, and it was a strict law that as long as one was in the club the mask had to stay on, no matter what. It delivered the perfect anonymity, and as long as the many odd rules and rituals were observed one was safe.
Despite this, the girl hesitated outside of what seemed like any old alleyway in the dark, famously dangerous Edge City. For the mask she'd had to resort to the costume the year she, Pete and Clark had gone as Catwoman, Bane and Scarecrow respectively (she'd convinced them to forget the whole Batman & Robin thing when the two of them couldn't convince the other to be Robin). She'd gone for a special touch, having ordered golden cat-eye contacts to complete the feline look, and a long, straight dark brown wig to make her look a bit more like the brunette Selina Kyle. John had insisted she keep her real hair color and eye color a secret, and so she was wearing those accessories along with a little black dress she'd never had to courage to go out in during the many parties she'd flaked out of at the last minute.
Taking in a deep breath, reminding herself that John swore this was a matter of life or death, Chloe strode into the dark alley, suddenly wishing that she'd asked Pete or Clark to come with her…but if she did that she'd have to explain things John didn't want her to.
Gulping, Chloe reached the shadowed and barely visible druidic symbol spray painted on the wall. She raised her hand, palm facing the symbol, before whispering the password John had given her. "Earth, water, wind, fire, in Crouch End we conspire."
The wall began to waver, like a mirage, before vanishing to reveal a dark hallway, the sound of music distant yet inviting.
Giving the light at the end of the alleyway one last forlorn look, Chloe stepped inside, the wall closing up behind her, leaving her in darkness and giving the girl no choice but to follow the flashing lights and blaring music coming from up ahead. She tried to portray a comfort and confidence she didn't feel, remembering John's warning about not making an easy target of herself.
Stepping out from the dark hallway, Chloe got her first view of Crouch End and had to admit that it wasn't exactly what she would have expected. Sure, it was dim and had flashing lights, blaring music, alcohol (or at least she thought that was alcohol) and dancing people…but it wasn't like a normal nightclub. The architecture reminded her of some sort of gothic castle, no band or DJ playing music, the sound just seeming to come out of thin air. People danced around, all wearing masks, many dressed up as ghouls or other creatures, some wearing normal clubbing clothes and yet always with the mask on.
Some had fake fangs…or at least she hoped they were fake.
"You're new around here." A voice declared behind her.
Chloe turned to see a towering six foot guy in a fairy costume, wondering how he could possibly know if she was new here considering that she was wearing a disguise and so was everyone else. "I'm here to see Marx."
"Marx doesn't just see any cute girl who stumbles into Crouch End." The fairy declared.
"I'm here to make a withdrawal." She replied, remembering the wording John had dictated earlier.
The fairy eyed her before nodding. "Stay here. Mingle. This might take a while."
And with that he left.
Eyeing him until he disappeared in the crowd, Chloe worried her bottom lip as she looked around her, wondering exactly what to do. Huge fairy dude had told her to mingle, and Chloe wasn't exactly sure how to do so. John had warned her that things were different in Crouch End, and that there were different rules and other things that he hadn't really bothered to really fill her in on, so she was terrified of breaking one of them and getting in trouble.
A group of guys laughed loudly, enjoying themselves.
Glitter fell down on two dancers who'd had their backs to the other, the two turning and reaching for the other in a passionate kiss.
Chloe eyed them before making her face and noticing that in the darker corner there were some seats. She made her way into the dance floor, hands up as she navigated carefully through the crowd dancing to the hypnotic beat. It took her a couple of minutes of careful navigation before she stumbled out of the dance floor and into the seating area.
It was only then that she realized that most of the seats were taken up by couples making out hardcore.
The only seat left was by a hooded and masked guy slumped in his seat, staring at his drink.
Looking around her, hesitating, Chloe cleared her throat before she moved towards him. "Is this seat taken?"
He didn't look up from his drink, shaking his head.
Awkward, the girl sat down and immediately looked in the opposite direction, able to feel the depression emanating from this man next to her. He was suffering, and she wondered if it was because of the amount of witches in here that she was able to pick it up so acutely, like the accumulation of magic made everyone more sensitive. A curious part wanted to ask what had him so down, but another part reminded her that now was not the time to be nosy.
"What do you think happens after someone dies?" The guy asked, his voice hardly distinguishable over the sound of the revelry going on around them.
Chloe jerked her head towards him, almost sure he was talking to someone else, but when those eyes turned on her she realized that indeed she was being directed. "I really haven't given it much thought."
He made a derisive little sound. "None of us do until the Grim Reaper comes to fuck everything."
Okay, so someone he loved had just died, that explained the depression rolling off of him in waves. "I'm sorry for your loss."
He shrugged, tilting his head back as he drank the rest of his drink. "It was her fault. She was always so damned foolhardy and headstrong." He shook his head, staring at his empty glass. "It was her recklessness that killed her, just as much as that drunk driver."
"You loved her." Chloe could tell, somehow sensing that this was a lover he'd lost and not a family member or friend.
"I don't know what love is." He chuckled darkly, leaning hard against the seat, only then betraying the fact that he was actually drunk despite how composed he was. "I thought maybe she could teach me."
Chloe's heart went out to this stranger, the blonde reaching out her hand and resting it on his knee. "I think you know what love is…you wouldn't be this heartbroken if you didn't."
His head tilted towards her, his gaze meeting hers. "I don't tell strangers my sob stories."
"I don't console strangers either." She shrugged, giving him a little brave smile. "Let's just consider this a one time deal for the both of us."
He gave a hoarse little laugh, bringing his free hand to palm his face over his mask before letting out a little sigh. "Would you like a drink?"
"No thanks, I've got a long drive ahead of me."
"So you're from out of town." He tilted his head sideways. "Where from?"
Chloe bulked, wondering exactly what to say, when suddenly glitter rained down from the ceiling onto her and the guy. "What the-?"
His lips pulled in a grim line. "Damn it."
"What-?" And suddenly Chloe had the strongest urge to kiss him.
"Damned charms." He hissed, visibly displeased as he threw away the glass and reached for her, pulling the girl onto his lap.
Chloe barely had time to gasp in shock when his lips found hers and his hand cupped the back of her head, keeping her in place as his mouth moved against hers. That hunger, that need, that desire was still there but was less urgent as she reached out and cupped his face, kissing him back. Somewhere at the back of her mind she realized that this glitter was what was making them kiss like this, but the only other guy she'd ever been this close to was Whitney and she was damned if she would ever have to admit that. A part of her felt guilty, knowing that this nameless, faceless man was being forced to kiss her against his will while mourning the death of his girlfriend, but another part of her didn't care. She pulled closer, deepening the kiss as his hand free hand curved around her hip, keeping her tight against him.
He might have been only kissing her due to the magical influence of whatever was in that glitter, but Chloe could feel his reluctant pleasure against her, the blonde blushing hard yet keeping her eyes closed as she lost herself into the feeling.
Suddenly, just as unexpectedly as it began, the magic ended.
Mind and hormones returned to her, Chloe cried out against his lips as she threw herself off of the guy, backing away on shaky feet. "The hell-?!"
He was frozen, eyes wide in shock, hands to his lips. "Who are you?" He stood, swaying slightly in his drunken state and yet urgent as he grabbed her arm. "What is your name?"
"Marx will see you now."
Never had Chloe been so happy to see a giant fairy before, the girl yanking her arm out of the grip of this stranger before hurrying behind the fairy, who led her to the back room, the blonde sending one last look over her shoulder before entering within.
Dressed in civvies, Gabe waited in the darkness of Farmer Jenkins' land, and yet despite having been here for hours there was no sign of the damned wolf.
He gazed at his watch, willing to stay there all night if he had to, but wondering if maybe he'd picked the wrong place to go hunting.
Maybe he needed to think bigger, put himself in that wolf's paws and figure out exactly where the den was.
Determined, Gabe pushed to his feet and grabbed his bag with one hand, and his shotgun with the other.
Unable to watch Lex drink himself into a stupor, Jason had left his leader's side and gone to the other side of the room, keeping an eye on the six members of the Edge City circle. They were very loud and the boys especially were obnoxious, leaving Jason annoyed and hoping to god that he hadn't been that annoying when he was their age. Still it was something to do, and considering that Lex had only told him of this theory, well…even if it was just a wild goose chase so that Lex could drown his sorrows or push them to the back of his mind…Jason was willing.
"She's here." Lex reached his side, swaying slightly, obviously having had too much to drink.
"Who?" Jason tore his gaze from the circle to eye his leader worried, hoping he hadn't started seeing Patty in his drunken stupor.
"The Firstborn." Lex whispered, gaze around him.
Jason's eyes widened. "Are you sure?"
"We had that damned pixie shit sprinkled all over us…we kissed." He frowned. "It was her."
Jason turned to the girls. "Which one was it?"
"She's not from this circle." Lex swayed once more. "I think she's from the Smallville one."
"Smallville circle?" Jason made a face. "What's she doing here?"
"She's here to see Marx." Lex nearly tripped on himself.
Jason caught him, wanting to believe Lex but the guy was obviously hammered. "What did she look like?"
Lex closed his eyes tightly before clearing his throat and shaking his head, as if trying to straighten his muddled thoughts. "Long, straight dark hair and gold cat eyes."
Had they been in any place other than Crouch End that description would have had Jason's eyebrow raised. "Okay. You go back to where you saw her and I'll look around here."
Lex nodded, stumbling back through the throng.
Jason sighed as he watched Lex go, running his hand through his hair, hoping his circle's leader wasn't losing it.
"So this is who Marx hears claims to have a withdrawal to make." A voice asked from the darkest corner, smoke being blown out towards her. "Thing is Marx doesn't recognize you, and Marx never forgets a face."
As the door closed behind her, Chloe cleared her throat as she tried not to bolt back in fear. "John Blackwell sent me."
There was silence, and then a dwarf emerged from the shadows, smoking a huge cigar, his eyes shrewd as they rested on her. "Marx don't know that name."
"Then you're not Marx and I want to speak to Marx." She bluffed her confidence, chin raised.
The man eyed her with a sneer, breathing out smoke in her direction as he began to circle her. "If this John Blackwell existed, he wouldn't send a kid to retrieve anything in the vault."
"Well, he did." She replied stubbornly, not backing down. "He'd come for it himself but he can't so he sent me."
"Now I know you're bullshitting me." He blew out more smoke on her, causing her to cough and wave her hand over her nose. "Because if this John Blackwell existed he'd know that the only way to retrieve this package that doesn't exist is to-."
"Use his blood." She finished, seeing the tiny yet highly intimidating man take a step back. "That's no problem. It's why he sent me."
Marx's eyes widened. "It can't be."
Unsure under that gaze she faltered for a second, before raising her chin once more. "So can I please go to the vault?"
Those dark eyes eyed her before the man flicked the remains of his cigar onto the ground by her feet, the cigar exploding in smoke which circled around her almost menacingly, and then the world around her gave a jolt and Chloe felt herself being lowered through the floor. Above she could see Marx staring down as her as the floor descended until opening up to a small room with three walls and an altar in the middle. She looked up once more before stepping off of the platform and into the room, clearing her throat as she made her way to the altar.
As a door closed behind her, rising up from the ground, Chloe forced herself to continue forwards remembering John's instructions. It was easy enough. Get into the vault, spill a little blood, and she'd be given the package. It was a piece of cake really. Anyone could bleed.
Reaching the altar, Chloe hesitated, realizing there wasn't a knife anywhere to be seen, or any sharp object either.
It was just a golden altar, raising up from the ground in the middle of the room. A golden snake statute adorned the altar.
Licking her lips, Chloe looked around her once more before returning her gaze to the snake. John hadn't told her anything about this. He'd just said that she'd need to spill blood-but with what? And why hadn't he mentioned this statue? She really should have asked for more detailed explanations!
Shaking her head, Chloe hesitated a second before feeling around the rim of the altar's pedestal, but there was nothing.
It had to the the snake.
It had to be.
Nodding herself on, Chloe's hands slipped up to trail the body of the snake, trying to find some sort of button or lever or something. Its body was smooth and cool to the touch, its ruby eyes sparkling whenever the light caught it, but she didn't pay any attention, concentrating on the search. The blonde was sure that the head had to be a lever of some sort, and she concentrated on finding a way to either open it or turn it, putting all her strength into it as she tried turning the head.
Her hand slipped, a cry escaping her lips as her thumb dragged across the serpent's fangs, drawing blood, which coated the fangs and dripped deep within its mouth and down the sides.
Chloe brought her thumb to her mouth as the snake's ruby eyes began to glow before suddenly its body shook. A ripping sound could be heard as wings tore out from its skin, the golden creature coming alive as it hissed at the blonde, its wings moving and raising it off of the altar into the air so that it was face to face with the terrified teenager. She felt as if she was being tested, and while her instincts told her to run the blonde stood her ground, staring into those glowing red eyes. The snake's wings kept it hovering at eye level, its forked tongue wriggling at her, before it lowered its head and vanished.
Not having expected this, Chloe looked around her, desperate to find the creature but it was gone.
Twirling back around towards the altar, Chloe's greens widened in shock to see a package resting on it.
The blonde hesitated for a second before striding forwards and picked it up, holding the package to her as the door opened up behind her once more, the lift waiting.
She didn't over think it, hurrying to the platform and stepping onto it in time for it to begin its upwards climb toward Marx' office. Adrenalin ran deep inside of her veins, and Chloe fought a little hysterical giggle lodged in her throat as she followed John's instructions and hid the package in the inner pocket of her jacket before she returned to Marx's office, finding the dwarf smoking another cigar and standing in front of the platform, face impassive.
"You're alive." He muttered, blowing another wall of smoke at her. "What did you see?"
"What do you mean what did I see?" Chloe made a face, stepping off of the platform and onto the floor.
"What did you see?" He repeated.
"Other than the flying snake?" She slowly made her way towards the door.
"Flying snake..." Marx stopped, eyes widened. "Winged snake?" He took a step towards her. "You saw a winged snake?"
The blonde reached for the doorknob, remembering John's warning to get out immediately after having received the package. "Have a good night Mr Marx." And with that she shouldered the door out and raced into the throng, his voice yelling after her.