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.
That cave dominated her dreams, the symbols and drawings flashing before her eyes, leaving the restless dreamer tossing and turning in her bed. By the side of said bed, inside of her bedside table was the mysterious package she'd gone through all that trouble to get. The blonde turned away from it, having fought her desire to open it and see what it was that John had had her risk herself for but something stopped her and she'd slept with her back towards the bedside table, sleeping her restless sleep.
It was odd because a part of her knew that she was dreaming, sleeping, but that didn't keep the blonde from also being in that cave, the ball of light shining above her, illuminating the walls and the drawings within.
"We're sharing dreams again." A voice asked from behind her.
Chloe turned, surprised to see the girl from before, from the dream with the burning house. "This time, it's my dream."
The other girl nodded, clearing her throat as she stepped forwards. "So where exactly are we?"
"In a cave under Miller's Bend, no one else knows it's here and I don't know why I never told them about it." She admitted, eyeing the symbol in front of her. "I should have told them…but for some reason I want to keep it secret."
The other girls stared around her. "It's…homey."
Chloe chuckled, sending her a sideways glance.
The girl cleared her throat once more, returning her green stare on Chloe. "If we're going to make this a habit, we should probably know each other's names." She reached out her hand. "I'm Cassie Blake."
Chloe eyed that hand before reaching out and placing hers in hers. "Chloe Sullivan."
As their hands classed around the other, both blondes cried out as their breaths were taken away as if they'd been punched in the gut. Images flashed before Chloe's eyes, images far too quick for her to truly decipher, but many of them spanned decades into the past, a sign continuously weaving itself over and over in between each flash.
Finally pulling her hand away from Cassie's, Chloe staggered backwards into the wall, trying to catch her breath and keep on her feet. She then turned towards the symbol on the wall, running her hand over it in near awe. This was the symbol. This was the symbol that'd kept popping up!
"Balcoin." Cassie whispered behind her.
Chloe's eyes widened as she turned to face the other girl, shocked and confused. "What did you say?"
Cassie looked up at the symbol. "That's the Balcoin symbol."
"What's a Balcoin?" Chloe whispered, unable to believe that this girl knew what'd been haunting the recesses of her mind for far too long now.
Cassie's green eyes turned to her, narrowed. "Who are you?"
"I already told you who I am." Chloe squared her shoulders. "Now tell me what a Balcoin is!"
"Why do you want to know?" Cassie challenged.
"What do you care?" Chloe snapped at her. "I'm sick and tired of people telling me that it's a serious matter, that I can't tell anyone that word, and that I'll have everything explained later!"
Cassie eyed her with a confused frown. "It's not a word."
"Then what is it?" Chloe begged.
Cassie shook her head. "It's a name." Her eyes narrowed, chin raising. "It's a family."
"A family?" Chloe whispered. "Whose family?"
Suddenly a gasp escaped from Cassie's lips as her eyes widened and she issued five all-too familiar words. "I know who you are."
Gabe Sullivan was hunting the wolf.
Seated up on the ledge, Nell watched this surprising turn of events, wondering if she should intervene or not.
No matter who that wolf was, if it was attacking Chloe-the last Balcoin-then Nell wasn't going to let it live either.
With her own Circle bound at the time she couldn't have asked John Blackwell to join with them and tie his powerful dark magic to them, but now it was different. Now Chloe was there, Chloe was awake, and Chloe was getting closer and closer to binding with the Circle. It was only a matter of time.
But first she needed some questions answered first, and that was why, with a snap of her fingers, the witch sent the man on a wild goose-chase.
Clark couldn't explain why he felt so incredibly angsty, as if he was unable to fully be comfortable in his own skin. Ever since that attack from whoever those people had been he'd had a horrible feeling in his gut that something else, something bigger, was going on and that somehow they were all going to be swept away by a new tide. A new power. A new player.
These thoughts left him tired yet awake, a headache building in his temples that painkillers weren't stopping from growing. In the end his room, house, had been too stuffy, too claustrophobic, and Clark had escaped out of his bedroom window. He'd resisted going for the truck, not wanting awaken and worry his parents, instead reaching for the bicycle he'd horribly neglected since getting his driver's license. The wind against his hair was refreshing, and despite the fact that there were people and things out there that were on the hunt Clark wasn't scared. He let his feet direct him, not really concentrating on where he was going, his mind going back to that night on the cross with that horribly draining necklace on.
He thanked all holy that their combined issues had exploded the one Nell had managed to reclaim, because the thought of wearing it for a week straight terrified him. Never before had he felt so weak and drained and so close to just giving up and letting whatever was about to happen, happen without a fight.
Being on that cross had really put things into prospective, especially since for a while there he'd been sure they were about to die.
It'd made Clark reevaluate things, choices, decisions.
He'd thought about his life growing up, his friendship with Pete and Greg, and how they'd both let Greg pull away until they'd become nothing more than strangers to each other. And then Chloe had entered their lives, filling the gap left by Greg and once more they'd been the three musketeers (or the three stooges, as his dad liked to call them) until unforeseen circumstances had broken them up. Sure, Clark could understand the logic behind Nell's advice, and it had all worked out in the end, but Clark realized that he and Pete had nearly lost Chloe like they had Greg. Sure, Greg was on friendly terms with them now, but it was never going to be the same sort of friendship as they'd had before as children.
Then again, the friendship they had with Chloe now wasn't the same either.
They'd abandoned her without reason, and while she'd forgiven them something had obviously changed, the dynamics of their relationship had shifted. They weren't the Three Musketeers anymore…definitely couldn't be considered some other group of six because, well, they were still somewhat divided, weren't they? And the biggest division between everyone was the issue of binding the circle. Despite everything that had happened no one's views had changed from what they'd been before the attack. Clark, Pete and Lana were still pushing for the binding, for the protection it afforded them. Chloe, Whitney and Greg were still unprepared to make that sort of commitment, and while Clark wanted to try and push his point he knew they were lucky for Chloe and Whitney to be coming back in any sort of capacity to the Talon after Chloe's showdown with Nell. He knew not to push his luck. Not this soon.
It was only when he saw the light of a flashlight did Clark realize that he was near the Smallville Cemetery, and he didn't have to guess twice who would be amongst the dead at this time of night. He didn't even think about it, turning his handles and bicycling to the cemetery's entrance before dismount his bike and leaving it there. It wasn't particularly respectful to ride whilst inside, and Clark had learnt respect for the dead even before he'd realized that he was a witch and that magic existed.
The young witched walked on, passing through the gravestones all around, heading towards that light, seeing the outline of a petite female kneeling down by two side-by-side tombstones.
He stepped on a twig.
Her gaze lifted and her hands lit up instinctively.
"It's just me!" He called out, remembering all too late that this was where Lana had been abducted from.
"Clark?" Lana asked, standing, surprise in her voice. "What are you doing here?"
"I was riding passed on my bike and saw your light." He admitted, drawing closer, able to make out her features better. "You really shouldn't come out here alone anymore. Especially not at this time of the night."
"I know." She admitted, the lights in her clenched fists dying completely as her gaze returned to the tombstones, kneeling once more. "It's just that sometimes this is the only place I can just sit down and be at peace."
Coming from a loving family which consisted of both parents, Clark couldn't begin to appreciate Lana's situation.
"What do you think happens to us when we die?" Lana reached out to trace her fingers over her father's name. "Do we just pass into Summerland-or maybe just cease to exist at all?"
He gulped, never having thought about it before. "I don't know."
"Me neither." She sighed, fingers going to trace her mother's name. "But I'd like to think that they're still here, watching over me, proud."
"I'm sure they are." Clark gave her a little smile.
"I'd hope so." She whispered, shoulders sagging. "But I really haven't done anything to make them proud, have I?"
He sighed, lowering his head as he shucked his hands into his pants pockets. "This is about the fact that you got kidnapped, isn't it? That you had to be rescued?"
She flinched at the very reminder. "I know you think it's me being egotistical, but it's not that. I'm the leader of this circle, even if it isn't bound, and every one in it should be able to rely on me. I have to be able to make the tough decisions, and I need to be there for my circle. I need to give two hundred per cent. I need to prove that I'm worthy to be the leader…because let's face it…blood alone doesn't make me worthy of leadership." Her tired hazel gaze rose and turned to him, a sigh escaping her lips. "I need to prove to my Circle, to my Aunt, and to myself that I'm worthy to call myself the Leader."
Clark sighed, staring down at the shadowed beauty. "If it means anything…I think you're doing just fine."
She gave him a little, tender smile. "Thank you."
He grinned, feeling warmed at knowing he'd helped her somewhat.
Lana then sighed, standing, raising her lantern with her. "We have to do something about Pete."
Clark blinked, surprised at the change in topic. "What do you mean?"
"We can't let his parents take him to Wichita." Lana replied, as if this should be obvious. "We need to convince them somehow to let Pete stay here. It would make no sense to bind the circle if he isn't one of the six."
Clark nodded slowly, hugging himself. "Thing is…they really don't like this witch thing-I'm not even allowed to see him out of school anymore, and he and I have been inseparable since kindergarten."
"There has to be something we can do to convince them." Lana pouted, shaking her head. "Mrs Ross used to be a part of the Old Circle, she knows we're not Satanic. That can't really be the reason why they're so against this."
"If it's not that, then what?" Clark frowned.
"I don't know." Lana looked up at him, expression determined. "But we're going to find out."
"Who could have gotten such an upper hand on Jason Teague of all people?" Lionel wanted to know, able to feel the walls of the manor shaking from the magical upheaval going on in the Quarantine room the boy was currently being detained in.
"Considering it happened in Crouch End..." Lex leaned against the fireplace, a glass of whiskey in his hands, staring at the fire.
Lionel mightn't be father of the year, not by far, but he knew a play when it was being made. "What aren't you telling me Alexander? And don't lie."
There was a hesitation, and then Lex's gaze slid over to him. "Balcoin's alive."
Lionel's eyes widened as he stood. "Impossible!"
Reaching into his jacket's pocket, Lex walked towards him and dumped a package on his desk. "I had Davis send these to me earlier."
Lionel reached down and picked up the package, opening it and pulling out the pictures within…pictures that showed a very much alive John Balcoin-or Blackwell as he'd changed it to before his obviouslyexaggerated death-walking around with a petite blonde. He sat down, floored by this revelation. "That bastard…how could he have gotten away feigning his own death like that for this long?"
"I'm figuring that the Witch-Hunters let everyone believe they'd killed him because had the magical community realized that John Blackwell had managed to escape his assassination-."
"-they'd lose fear in the Witch-Hunters." Lionel nodded. "When was this picture taken?"
"Today." Lex paused before finishing his drink. "Also, the girl in the picture is his daughter."
Lionel's eyes widened. "He has a daughter?"
"He has two, at least." Lex's words had his father's eyes widening even further and raising to him.
The manor shook once more.
Suddenly-suddenly it all made sense, Lionel standing, gazing towards the Quarantine room Jason was in. "The Firstborn."
"Who is it?" Lionel wanted to know, nearly desperately.
"She escaped before I could…officially meet her…" Lex sneered. "But I am almost certain she's from the Smallville Circle."
Lionel sat back down. "How could you have let her escape you?"
Lex didn't answer for a moment. "I didn't tell you this for you to rebuke me. Had I not told you what I have you wouldn't even know Balcoin, and his bloodline, was still alive."
It was true, and it burned him to admit. "Then why did you share this with me?"
"Because I need a reason to be in Smallville that won't raise eyebrows, and only you can give me that." Lex declared easily, finally beginning to prove that he did have Luthor blood in him.
Lionel eyed his boy before a smile curled his lips.
Apparently there was some hope for him yet.
"I'm surprised it took you this long to figure things out." The woman declared, a sneer on her face as she emerged from the cave, naked save for the wolf fur wrapped around her body to shield her from the cold of the night. "You lost your touch when you lost your circle."
Nell didn't raise to the bait. "What do you think you're doing?"
"It's none of your business."
"The hell it is!" Nell snapped, stepping forwards. "You attacked a girl who belongs to my circle!"
"Don't you mean your niece's circle?" The woman chuckled darkly, shaking her head. "You need to remember that your glory days are over, Nell. You didn't make your great dead ancestor proud with your time served as head either." She sneered. "Then again, Isobel did get herself and two others in her circle killed."
"Duchess Gertrude Cabret was to blame for their premature deaths!" Nell snarled, refusing to let Isobel's name be defamed this way. "For millennia the Cabrets have been at enmity with the Thoreaux, trying to usurp and claim our title as one of the most powerful bloodlines! The Cabret and Teagues-."
"I've heard this story before." The woman interrupted, bored. "It's just as uninteresting now as it was then."
Nell just barely kept her growl at bay, clenching her fists to her sides. "Leave the girl alone, and leave this place, before I let her father kill you."
The woman's lips curled. "If that's the worse you can threaten me with-death by Gabe-."
Nell sneered, raising her chin. "You like to pretend I am the bitch, but I am not the one who attacked her own daughter, and whose husband is trying to hunt her like an animal."
Moira Sullivan flinched, anger filling her eyes. "Gabe doesn't realize that I was never going to kill her."
"I figured that much." Nell admitted. "You were trying to activate her dark magic by putting her life in danger-you hadn't realized I'd already unintentionally done that."
Moira clenched her fists at her side. "So you know."
"That her father's really John?" Nell nodded. "Of course I do."
Moira was silent for a moment, obviously trying to figure out how to work this to her advantage.
"Does Gabe know?" Nell wondered.
"Of course he does." Moira gave a dark laugh. "Don't you think it was a little coincidental how he and John arrived in town around the same time? Even if they weren't seen together they were there together." She shook her head, running fingers through her long, dark hair. "Gabe's family has served Franics Balcoin's bloodline for as far back as they can remember. They're faithful to them, loyal, would happily give their lives for them." Her smile was ugly. "It was why he was the perfect guardian for John's child."
"The Balcoin lineage lives on." Nell gave a little laugh, shaking her head. "After everything done to end that bloodline completely, to vanish all traces of it, they missed an important link. His daughter."
"His Firstborn." Moira corrected.
Nell turned to her, the laugh melting away. "He's had more children?"
"I know of two in the Chance Harbor circle, two daughters." Moira declared, eyebrow raised. "Chloe's still the Firstborn though. She's the most important one, and I gave him his Firstborn, the child he sodesired."
"If so then why did you leave her?" Nell wanted to know, folding her arms over her chest.
"I had…things…I needed to do." Moira declared, obviously not telling her everything. "There were things I couldn't do with a kid holding onto me. I also couldn't let anyone know she was a Balcoin, not before she was even awakened to her powers." Her eyebrow rose. "You haven't managed to get her to bind the circle."
"I will, it's coming." Nell assured her. "After that attack on them the kids are subconsciously not as hostile to the idea anymore."
"Right. It was impressive." Moira nodded.
"You saw the attack?" Nell asked in shock. "And you didn't help them?"
"I needed to see her in action." Moira replied, shrugging. "I needed to see what she was capable of doing."
"She could have died." Nell snapped, unable to believe this. "They all could have died!"
"But they didn't." Moira folded her arms over her chest. "I guess that's thanks in part to your training. You should feel proud."
"Do you even care about that girl?" Nell asked softly.
"Do you?" Moira shot back angrily. "Other than the fact she's now your precious little Balcoin addition, do you really care about her?"
Nell shook her head, annoyed beyond belief. "What are you doing back, Moira?"
"Same reason I left." She replied. "I have things I have to do."
"So mutilating Farmer Jenkins' cattle is important enough for you to come back?" Nell sneered.
"The Jenkins have always had it in for our kind, I'm doing that for fun." Moira replied just as sneeringly. "There are more important things that I've keeping on the ball about." She chuckled darkly. "You really should have left Smallville, even for a little, it would have helped you realize that there is much more going on than what you think is. And that the world doesn't revolve around you and your family."
"What are you getting at?" Nell hated admitting, even for a second, that she mightn't know everything.
Moira smirked. "You're going to want to hold onto your granny panties Nellie, 'cause this is gonna blow them away."