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The New Circle 22A/? 
5th-Apr-2013 09:57 pm
The New Circle

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...
Rating: T
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.
Wanna thank tenshinrtaiga for betaing!

"We really haven't had time to sit down and talk lately," her father declared during breakfast, looking up from his cereal. "Things have been a little crazy in both of our lives, haven't they?"

Gulping down a bit of coffee, Chloe looked up at her father and gave him a wry smile. The man definitely had no idea about just how crazy things had been lately. "Yeah, it's been a bit, huh?"

He nodded, clearing his throat as he licked his lips. "So, uh, I've heard you met Mr. Luthor."

She was surprised that her father was bringing that up and not the weird ass internal burning that'd nearly killed people all over Smallville... And according to the news, a small group of people all over the world had experienced this illness before it suddenly healed up. "Yeah, Whitney and I gave him and his friend a little tour of the school before leaving them with Coach Arnold." She gave him a little smile. "Mr. Luthor is interested in my Wall of Weird and wants to talk about it later and I thought it would be the best way to get an interview out of him. The girls in school will eat up-"

"Chloe, I don't think it's a good idea if you associate with Mr. Luthor and his friend." He wouldn't look at her, stabbing at his cereal with his spoon. "He's an older man, also my boss, and-"

"Dad, I'm not going to do anything to get you fired." Chloe frowned, a little surprised by this. "And anyway, it's not like I'd be going alone. And I can take care of myself. You know that."

"I do." Gabe nodded slowly, tension causing a muscle to jump in his cheek. "But, honey, I'm serious. I do not want you associating with Mr. Luthor, or any of his friends. Do you understand me?"


"Chloe!" And for the first time in years, Gabriel Sullivan raised his voice angrily at his daughter. "I forbid you from having any contact with Lex Luthor or his friends! Do you understand that?"

The blonde sat on her seat in utter shock, just staring at her father. "I-"

"Do. You. Understand?" Gabe stressed.

"Yes." Chloe gulped, unable to believe what was happening right now. Usually she could weasel her way when it came to her father, but for the first time she could see steel and fire when she looked at him and not a cuddly teddy bear, and it was slightly mindboggling. "I understand."

"Good." Letting out a little sigh, Gabe gave her a weak smile. "So how are things going with you otherwise?"

Licking her lips, not sure how to feel about this, Chloe returned the weak smile. "Fine. Everyone in school is getting ready for the big Game Saturday night between Smallville and Jefferson."

"Sounds nice, honey. We should go and see it," Gabe declared.

She nodded slowly before her phone vibrated, the blonde checking it and raising an eyebrow at the message. "Hey, my ride is here. I'll see you later."

"Is something wrong with your car?" he asked in worry.

"Nah, just carpooling, trying our best to save the environment!" she lied easily, grabbing her bag and pressing a kiss to his cheek and was about to dash out when he grabbed her hand.

Gabe sighed as he looked up at her. "I don't like arguing with you Chlo, but I'm trying to protect you, please believe that."

"I know." The smile that slowly curved her lips was genuine this time as Chloe bent down and pressed another kiss to his forehead. "I love you, daddy."

"I love you too," he whispered.

Her phone vibrated again. "Gotta go! See you tonight!" And with that she dashed out of the house, closing the door behind her and raising an eye at the truck purring outside her gate.

Whitney reached over and opened the passenger's door. "Get in."

"Your manners are impeccable." She snorted, slipping into the seat and closing the door behind her, buckling in. "So, you want to tell me why you're here?"

"Something's happened to Pete," Whitney replied, eyes on the rearview mirror as he merged into traffic.

"What?" Chloe whispered, eyes wide. "What are you talking about?"

"Last night he called Clark but Clark's phone was dead and he only got the message after it charged this morning." Whitney tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. "The message Pete left said his parents had gone insane and they were talking about leaving immediately, scared that the devil or something like that was after Pete.

"They've completely lost the plot," Chloe whispered, pale. "Is he okay?"

"That's it, we don't know." Whitney took a left. "Clark went there immediately after hearing the message, but by the time he got there they were gone."

"Gone?" She felt like such an idiot, only able to echo his word.

"They left most of their things behind, so it was obviously a spur of the moment decision. Lana and Nell are already there as well as Greg, trying to figure out what is going on and why they just split like that."

Chloe felt on edge immediately, knowing that Nell was there, but pushed it back, Pete's well-being meaning more than anything she was going through right now. "They wouldn't hurt him though. I mean, no matter how weird they can be, Mr. and Mrs. Ross love Pete and would never hurt him. Half of the reason why they're the way they are is because they're always so worried about him – soul and all."

"Does kidnapping your own son and leaving all you have behind sound like something a reasonable person would do?" Whitney countered, tapping his fingers against the steering wheel.

Chloe couldn't answer that and remained silent for the rest of the drive to Pete's house, gnawing worriedly on her thumbnail as she gazed out the passenger's side window.

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Gabriel Sullivan was horribly on edge and knew it was beginning to show.

Pacing the floor, he tried phoning John's number for what seemed like the millionth time since the failure of yesterday. He'd known from the second that people were reporting seemingly unconnected groups of people coming down with a mysterious deadly illness that John was finally doing what he'd set out to do now that he knew his lineage would be secured through magical children. This had always been the Endgame and, while a part of Gabe had felt guilty for the many innocent who'd be killed, he'd known it would be the best for Chloe. Anyway, his family had always served the Balcoins, and if this was what John wanted, Gabe didn't even really consider otherwise.

It was the way he'd been raised by his parents, the reason why he could marry a woman he didn't love, the reason why he could love John's daughter with all his heart. His family was born to love, serve, and most importantly, protect the Balcoins. They weren't a magical family and that was okay because magically the Balcoins usually had everything under control. No, their job was to help them to blend in, to escape notice, to escape capture. Hadn't it been Gabe's own father who'd rescued John when his whole family had been destroyed?

He and John had been raised like brothers, but Gabe had always known it was his duty to serve John. When John had forced him to stay in Smallville and protect the pregnant Moira (and thus his heir), Gabe had done so reluctantly. His worry grew to grief and self-loathing when the news of John's death reached them. He'd admittedly had a fast down-spiral of depression, had considered killing himself more than once for failing at his sacred duty, but that same duty had kept him alive. John was dead, but that life growing inside Moira was not, it was a Balcoin, to his knowledge the last Balcoin.

And then, when Moira had given birth to Chloe and he'd held her in his arms for the first time, just like magic his grief had disappeared. As she'd curled her tiny little hand around his index finger and cooed he'd found a reason to smile for the first time in too long.

For years things had been tranquil… and then John had returned from the dead. While Gabe was happy his friend was alive, he had begun fearing what this would mean for Chloe, especially with the news John had brought with him. And now, as Gabe called once more without any answer, he could feel the cold hand of dread creeping down his spine.

There was only one way that the spell wouldn't have completed. Only one. John wouldn't have let all his plans go to ruin, not while he still breathed.

Cursing when the call went to voicemail, Gabe threw the phone on the ground, smashing it to pieces as he leaned hard against the wall.

Everything was crashing down all around him and he didn't know what to do.

John was dead... And if that wasn't bad enough news, Lex Luthor and Jason Teague were here in Smallville and had already met Chloe. He knew that a chain of events had been started and he wouldn't be able to stop what was happening and that filled him with fear.

John's death, his failure, changed everything.

Grabbing his briefcase, Gabe turned and headed towards the door, knowing better than to be late. Today was Lex Luthor's first official day at the fertilizer plant.

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Chloe hugged herself as she looked around the place, unable to believe that the Rosses were gone and had taken Pete with them while leaving virtually everything behind. It didn't seem so much as a crazed thing to do as a terrified one and that made her uneasy as she subconsciously moved closer to where Whitney and Clark were standing. She'd known the Rosses since she was very young and, while they'd always been a little more religious than most people, they'd never shown the intense fervor they had in the last couple of months. It was almost as if they were trying to prove something with their piety, or were so scared, they were doing the best they could to prove something to God so he'd do something.

"Try using your Gift," Nell instructed Greg.

The boy flexed his hands, which still bore the scars of the burning but were healing, sighing as he looked around, trying to find an object to use. He'd been trying to work his Touch-Sight since discovering its existence, but so far he'd met with mediocre results. It wasn't reliable as he had yet to get any sort of power over it.

Gaze locking onto a fallen angel ornament, Greg cleared his throat and knelt down next to it, picking up the angel, whose wing had broken off in the fall. He clasped it tightly in his fist and closed his eyes, concentration visible on his face.

Chloe, Clark, Whitney, Lana and Nell drew closer as quietly as they could, expectant, holding their breaths.

Greg's eyes opened and he growled, shaking his head. "Nothing."

"You're not trying hard enough," Nell told him sharply. "You have this gift. Your friend depends on it. Use it!"

A muscle jumped in Greg's eye as he closed his them once more, tighter. His grip tightened on the angel as he tried with all his might. "It – It keeps flickering away before I can see anything."

"Try harder!" Lana, who'd looked close to tears ever since Chloe had arrived, stepped closer.

"I am trying harder!" Greg snapped, opening his eyes, seeming about to throw the angel away in his mounting frustration. "There isn't a goddamn on and off switch that I can flip easily! It's there but I can't – I can't-!"

"I'm sorry." Lana's gaze lowered, her voice breaking, a tear slipping down her pale cheek. "I'm just so scared for Pete right now."

Greg closed his eyes, tilting his head downwards as he remained on bended knees.

Clark growled, obviously also holding tightly onto his overwhelming fear and worry, turning and kicking a fallen chair. It was a testament to Clark's extreme emotions that he lost his patience this violently.

Greg winced.

Whitney folded his arms over his chest, speaking softly to Chloe even though his eyes were on Greg. "They're doing this wrong. They're stressing him out more and that's only going to make him repress his ability harder, even if only subconsciously."

He was right.

The way everyone was acting wasn't going to help Greg at all.

Sending Whitney a sideways glance, Chloe unwrapped her arms from around herself and walked up to Greg. She bent down in front of him, drawing his dark gaze to her as she gave him a little smile. "Hey, it's okay." She reached up with her scarred palm and placed it over the hand clutching the broken angel. "This is just like before, remember? You told me to relax. To breathe in and out and look into your eyes. Look at me and concentrate on Pete." She reached out with her other hand and softly brushed some strand of hair out of his face. "Just relax, breathe, that's it." She gave him a little smile, staring into his eyes to help him establish that connection. "You can do this." Her hand tightened over his. "I know you can."

Slowly she could feel the tension draining out of his body, his pupils growing slowly larger, pulsating as they did so, before suddenly bleeding out completely. There was nothing but black in his eyes as his hands moved slightly to trap her scarred one in between both of his and the angel.

Silence fell upon those watching and while Chloe wasn't dragged into his vision this time, she knew that he was having one. His pupils had bled out into his whole eyes, his body lax except for his hands, which were tightly trapping hers, trembling slightly. She slowly caressed his hair, keeping him in a relaxed state as whatever he saw played before his eyes and mind… And then Greg's pupils contracted rapidly, whites and browns returning as he gasped violently for breath.

"It's okay!" Chloe coaxed his gaze to return to hers. "You're fine. You did it."

"What did you see?" Clark wanted to know.

"I – they-" Greg brought one hand to his head. "They were scared. Very scared." He groaned, pressing his hand hard against his forehead as if to try and quell a splitting headache. "I couldn't really hear what they were saying, but they thought someone was after them, after Pete." He looked up at Chloe, pale. "A witch. They thought an evil witch was coming after Pete and that he was in danger. It's why they left."

"He's in danger?" Lana gasped, bringing a hand to her mouth before turning Nell. "We have to find them! We have to help!"

Nell eyed everyone in silence before turning her back on them, walking towards the window. "Maybe we should just let them go."

"No!" Lana snapped, surprising everyone as she viciously stood up to her aunt. "Pete is a part of my Circle and he's in danger! He needs us! I will not leave him when he needs me the most!"

"You'll have to miss school," Nell contemplated.

"I can catch up when we've saved Pete and he's back here with us," Lana replied.

"I don't have anyone to look after the shop," Nell continued.

"I can take care of that," Chloe offered, slowly standing as Greg did the same.

Nell turned, an odd expression on her face. "You would?"

"Yeah." Chloe nodded. "I can't go with you but I can help in that way. I'm good with managing things and I'm quick on the uptake as well. I'm sure you have a couple of books on floral arrangements that I could look over." She hugged herself once more. "The boys will help me too, of course." None of them even tried to deny that. "By the time you come back with Pete, things will be better than when you were here."

Nell eyed her, lips twitching slightly before nodding, turning to Lana. "We have to leave now if we are to have any sort of luck catching onto their trail."

Lana nodded before going to Chloe and hugging her tightly. "Thank you." She reached out and hugged the other boys as well, whispering something Clark, who nodded, before rushing to her car. "Come on Aunt Nell!"

Nell eyed Chloe as she reached into her pocket and pulled out a set of keys, handing them over. "I trust I'll come back and find my shop just the way I left it."

Chloe reached out and took the keys from her. "Merry Part and Merry Meet Again."

Those lips twitched further as Nell nodded, gave a curt nod to the boys, and then left after Lana.

Silence reigned over the four left in the Ross' home as they listened to a car door slam shut and then an engine start, tires turning as the car backed out into the street and sped away.

"She promised they'd bring Pete and his parents back and that they'd protect him if someone's really after him," Clark whispered, staring at a picture of him and Pete hanging on the wall.

"What do we do now?" Greg asked no one in particular, still holding onto that broken angel.

"We help around Nell's flower shop," Whitney declared, gaze going to Chloe.

She could feel the questions he had for her, especially the one asking why she'd take over the shop of the woman she should truly be avoiding, but for now she was relieved for his trust and support.

3rd-Mar-2014 02:00 am (UTC) - Second Spin 22a
This segment has a couple of unique happenings as far as I can tell. (Correct me if I'm wrong, please.)

1. Gabe laid the parental smackdown on Chloe. I don't think he ever does this again and you alluded to the fact that he hasn't before.

2. We saw the softer side of John Balcoin. Even once we get to the Lost Boys and the Balcoin John raised, there's more of a vengeance-y Old Testament feel towards his killers than any real regret that John's gone. Even John's lover Patty seems more committed to his agenda than personally mournful for John. (Or maybe it's just that I don't have a lot of sympathy for him cheating with someone young enough to be his daughter. Granted, Patty's the one sleeping around on Lex, but John HAD to have known that.)

3. Lana standing up to Nell. I think this is the only time she does this 'onscreen' for the rest of the series so far (122C). I know Lana and Pete take off later, but we don't see the backbone that Lana shows here anywhere else.

4. Chloe agreeing to help Nell. You did a good job of showing how easy Chloe has been on Nell in comparison to how the other Six Heads would have reacted to Nell's bs, but she never stands there and offers help at any other point. If only Nell could've taken this as a serious offer of truce from an independently powerful witch and backed the heck off.

Great job as usual and you set up several long arcs with this installment.
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