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The New Circle 32A/? 
12th-May-2013 02:22 pm
The New Circle (Part 2)
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!

Considering that school was destroyed (and yet already the rebuilding was underway courtesy of Luthorcorp), Chloe and the rest of the teenaged population were on a little unexpected vacation. Peggy had, of course, taken advantage of the opportunity and called in sick, so Chloe was forced to take both the morning and evening shifts at Potter's Potts. It really wasn't that bad and considering that Diana, Greg, Whitney and Clark were keeping her company most of the time, it was actually kind of fun. Especially since Greg had taken to flirting with all the women who entered the store (whether they were attractive, young, or not) and that had some old ladies cooing and blushing and coming daily to the store. Greg had threatened to start charging Chloe for his "contribution" to the store's livelihood.

She had yet to see Jason or Lex since that night and she was relieved for it. There was just too much on her mind to have everything all weird with them around. And anyway, Whitney kept her up to date on how Jason was. Just because the Coach was dead and the school burnt down didn't mean that the footballers weren't still competing (the football field was intact, after all) and Whitney had trudged in one day from practice announcing that Jason Teague had been elected the new Coach of the Crows, the team practicing almost every evening to get ready for their next game.

"Hello, Chloe."

Chloe'd been watering some of the small potted plants and looked up at the unexpected voice, eyes widening. "Mrs Arkin!"

Greg's mother, who was still trying to come around to her son's magic (and had her good days and very bad ones), gave Chloe a tremulous smile as she moved closer, clutching her purse to her chest almost as if it offered her some sort of shield. "How are you doing with your mother and sister in town?"

"It's-I'm adapting," Chloe replied, putting down the watering can and giving the woman her whole attention, wiping her hands nervously against the front of her apron.

"I understand the feeling." Mrs Arkin's wavering smile had yet to meet her eyes. "I've been wanting to talk to you once I got up the nerve."

Chloe blinked at the thought of a grown up having to get up the nerve to talk to her. "Uh, sure. Diana's out getting us lunch and the others aren't here either so we're alone. You can talk about whatever you want to."

Mrs Arkin cleared her throat loudly, holding her purse tighter. "I'm sure you know that I have found out about Greg's – little issue."

She wouldn't call it an "issue" but didn't comment, nodding wordlessly.

"I didn't know my husband was a – witch – when we got together, so you must understand that this is all a shock to me. Some days I wake up wondering if it's all just a weird dream." Her eyes darted around nervously before returning to Chloe. "I didn't raise a witch, I raised my son, and I'm having trouble identifying them as the same person."

Chloe still couldn't get why she was being told this.

Mrs Arkin's breath stuttered before she cleared her throat. "I don't like the fact that he's a witch but he seems adamant in the fact that it's what he is and that if I love him I have to accept it." She made a face. "To be honest, I knew he was different, that something had happened, and I was waiting for some sort of confession – but I was preparing for him to tell me he was gay! Not that he – you know."

Greg would not appreciate ever knowing his mother had thought him in the closet.

"Thing is, I lost my husband without even knowing the real reason until all these years later – Witch Hunters!" She shook her head in near disbelief, obviously so full of emotion and holding onto it desperately. "I don't want to lose my son like that and not know the real reason. I don't want to be kept in the dark. Greg might be a pain most of the time, but he's my son and while I want to whack him over the head most days, I still love that vagabond." She took in a deep breath. "He's too stubborn to ever leave this... I believe he said it's called a Circle." She licked her lips. "Greg's all I have left."

Chloe still had no idea where this conversation was going.

"I want you to tell Greg that you won't ever let him into your Circle," Mrs Arkin finally announced.

Chloe blinked, utterly confused and more lost than ever. "Huh?"

Mrs Arkin bristled a little, clutching her purse tighter. "I want you to tell him that you don't want him to be a part of your Circle."

The blonde leaned hard against the counter. "I don't have a Circle." She shook her head in confusion. "I think you're talking about the Potter Circle. That's the one that many of our families, especially Lana's, Greg's and mine, have been a part of since around the Middle Ages. But I never joined the Circle; the person you should be talking to is Lana, when she comes back. And even then, she's not going to agree to this because it's a part of her heritage that she really wants to keep going."

Mrs Arkin frowned at her. "I was not referring to the Circle my husband used to belong to. I was referring to your Circle. The one you are the head of. The one he wants to join. Tell him he can't – that you don't want him to be a part of it."

Chloe's eyes widened even further, confusion growing. "But I don't have a Circle. I'm not a part of any and I definitely don't head one."

"Please do not lie to me. Greg has told me that you and the Fordman boy have your own Circle, and he's interested in joining it." Mrs Arkin completely blew her away with this. "According to him, your Circle would be more fun than Lana's-or as he put it "funner"."

Chloe blinked, and then blinked, and then blinked again before shaking her head, bringing her hand to her forehead. "Mrs Arkin, a Circle is six. Whitney and I are... something else. We're more of an After School Magic Club or something, I don't know really how to explain what we are. We have each other's back. We fight. We're friends. I mean no disrespect to you or your wishes, but there's no way that I'd ever tell Greg he couldn't be my friend." She could see the way the woman's eyes narrowed, yet Chloe continued on as respectfully as she could. "Greg's been there for me when I've needed him and I'm going to be there for him whenever he needs me. We're friends, we're allies, and to be honest he's a great person who I like having around." She licked her lips. "I understand that you want to protect him, you're his mother, but please understand that we will protect him as well and try and keep him safe. He's never going to be a hundred percent safe – he's a witch. The Witch Hunters that killed his father are still out there and they're not finished with Smallville. We don't plan on doing anything to deserve their attacks, but neither did our parents and we know how that ended."

Mrs Arkin gulped.

"Circles are formed not only because each family had a gift or knowledge they could bring to the group to help it grow stronger, but Circles also meant protection from those who have always persecuted our kind. To be shunned was death because it meant you weren't protected, you were easy game." She took in a deep breath. "You want your son to be protected because you love him and because of that I am not going to ever tell Greg he can't come around or be a friend. And if I did have a Circle, which I don't, I wouldn't tell him he couldn't be a part of it." She clenched her fists. "I'm sorry because this wasn't what you wanted to hear, but-"

"No, it wasn't." Mrs Arkin tilted her head as she eyed Chloe intensely. "But oddly enough, I feel a little more comforted now." Her smile still wavered and yet wasn't as forced as before. "Have a good day, Chloe." And with that she turned and walked out of the door.

Chloe watched her go, hugging herself.

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"I'm just saying that if I didn't everything else about him, I'd enjoy him as a coach," Whitney declared, having stumbled upon Diana at the diner. The both of them were waiting for their food to be prepared, the blonde having decided to drive by Potter's Potts and enjoy his dinner with the girls while he had a moment free. "He obviously knows what he's doing and some of the guys googled him. There were videos of his games on Youtube. He's got game."

She sat on one of the stools, tapping a straw against the counter. "You know we've got to get her out of that, right?"

He didn't even have to ask her what she was talking about. The Quarterback eyed Chloe's sister thoughtfully before nodding. "I'm fresh out of ideas though on how exactly it could be done given everything her father did to tie her to them."

"There's always a way around those things." She was obviously cautious like him and didn't want to say the "m" word while out in public like this. "His plans for everyone who wasn't family, for instance. There was a loophole, not a nice one but there was one." Her eyes seemed darker in her resolve. "I haven't known her as long as you and the others have, but I don't think she'd approve of us taking on this little side project."

Whitney nodded once more. "She'd worry about what might happen to us if they caught on."

"Well, if she doesn't know, they won't know." Diana seemed sure of this, tapping her straw faster in a betrayal of nerves or anticipation, he wasn't exactly sure which. "They're going to be paying her a lot of attention and we're going to be able to sneak around easier that way."

He eyed her silently. "Why do you care what happens to her?"

Diana narrowed her eyes at him. "She's my sister."

"From what I understand, you already have another sister and left her when the going got tough." He knew he was being an asshole to her but he needed to be sure she wouldn't flake on him when he needed her, when Chloe needed her. "Why not do the same here?"

Diana flinched, stopping her straw's taps as she looked away, shame passing over her features. "I wasn't strong when I needed to be, I admit that, but there are also other things that you don't understand so I'd appreciate it if you don't make assumptions when you don't have all the details."

He could get that. "Okay."

"Anyway," her dark orbs returned to him, "I know that stopping John's plans were the right thing to do, but by stopping him we – I – put Chloe in this situation and I'm going to be damned if I don't find a way to get her out of it."

And finally he was getting most of the picture, the blonde eyeing her silently.

It wasn't a "sisterly duty" that was driving Diana as much as it was guilt and the desire to redeem herself somehow.

And no matter how much of an asshole it made him, Whitney knew he could use those feelings, and trust her drive and determination now. "So how do you think we can do this without her finding out?"

"My family – the man who raised me was, uh, you know." She licked her lips and pulled a dark strand of hair behind her ear. "Before I left, I found his stash of most valuable research material but I left it because I was running away from anything like that. I'll have to ask someone to send them to me."

And it was obvious that she was dreading that.

Whitney eyed her before reaching out his hand towards her.

She stared at him wordlessly before placing hers in his as they shook on it.

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Chloe eyed the sparkling bracelet in the box from a store she'd never be able to afford to buy from, thinking that this was the most beautiful and sparkly thing she'd ever seen in her life. The girl in her wanted to squeal and try it on, the woman in her closed the box and handed it back to the surprised man. "No, thank you."

"But Miss-" The guy who'd delivered it to her stuttered, holding the box as if it were a bomb about to explode. "I was told to give this to you by Mr Teague and he said-"

"Rich guys." She was interrupting him and didn't care. "Tell Mr Teague that normal guys don't send gifts via other guys, and also don't give a girl they aren't engaged to jewelry that could pay off her father's mortgage if she resold it."

The man went pale, obviously not wanting to repeat that at all. "Please, Mr Teague told me that-"

"Do I look like the type of girl who would have a reason or occasion that would be even slightly appropriate to wear something like that at?" She didn't give him time to answer. "It's beautiful, don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous, but I can't even think of one event I could ever attend in which wearing something like that would be even remotely appropriate."

"Are you sure?" the man pleaded.

Chloe nodded. "Tell him thanks, but no thanks."

The guy groaned, turning around and dragging his feet as he left, mumbling about his inability to understand women and how if someone rich and handsome like Mr Teague struck out with them, he himself had no chance.

It was only when the guy crossed the person in pink before exiting the store did Chloe realize that the whole thing had been observed.

Standing in Potter's Potts was the last person Chloe would have ever expected to see.

"Okay, I'm speechless and there is usually nothing that can leave me without words." Considering Dawn Stiles was still talking, she obviously wasn't speechless or without words as the girl drew closer. "I came here with every intention of telling you to stay away from my man, that he was mine and that the next time you tried to turn him against me, I'd cut you." Her gaze went behind her at the door before returning to Chloe. "But if you have guys like Jason Teague trying to court you with emerald bracelets, I'm going to go on a limb here and say there's no way Van's even on your radar."

"Wait, what?" Chloe blinked, completely shocked and confused for the second time that day. "You thought I was trying to steal Van from you?" At the look on Dawn's face she blinked once more and shook her head, leaning hard against the counter. "Why?"

"Hey! Don't diss Van! He's hot and sweet and surprisingly sensitive for a guy who can fire and dismantle and then put back together any sort of firearm." Dawn was surprisingly defensive and loyal as she folded her arms over her chest. "He's an asshole and an idiot, but he's my asshole idiot." Dawn chewed the inside of her cheek, lips pursed in a pout as she eyed Chloe. "But I'm lost now. If you aren't the one who planted that stupid and laughingly ridiculous idea of me and Brent Greene of all people – then where the heck did he get that poison in his system?"

Chloe eyed Smallville's resident Barbie Girl before clearing her throat. "He told me that there was no way that Brent would act the way he did around you while with his girlfriend if you hadn't given him encouragement."

Dawn waited, and then her lips parted. "That's it?"

Chloe shrugged. "It's what he told me." She thought for a second before adding, "He said that Brent was always around you and that he suited you better anyway."

Dawn eyed Chloe before smiling brightly. "He's just jealous!" She was obviously pleased by this, her grin bright. "That idiot!" The girl cleared her throat, dialing down her smile as she took in a deep breath. "I have no reason to explain myself to you, but I have never cheated on Van with anyone, much less Brent Greene. He's disgusting." She narrowed her eyes in thought. "But Van's avoiding me and you're the only person he hangs out with that I can talk to in public, so you're going to help me get Van back."

"I am?" Chloe hadn't seen this one coming.

"Yes." Dawn nodded, assured of this. "You're going to work things out and get him to see reason."

"Why don't you?"

"Because he won't answer any of my calls or come to the door when I go to his house." A muscle jumped in her cheek. "You're going to help me."

"I'm still somewhat vague on why I'm helping you." Chloe raised an eyebrow.

"I'm surprised you even have to ask," Dawn announced as if this should have been obvious. "It's in the Girl Code."

Ah, yes, that elusive Girl Code Chloe had heard about in the few chick flicks Lucy had forced her to watch some summers back. "Is it written somewhere? Like in some book or something? Because I'd like a copy of these codes."

Dawn eyed her as if she was not sure if Chloe was trying to be funny or not, the other girl shaking her head before clearing her throat. "I'll leave you to work out the details." She flashed Chloe a smile. "Great chat!" And with that, a twirl and a flick of her hair behind her shoulder, Dawn pranced out of Potter's Potts, hips swaying, door swinging closed behind her.

Chloe eyed the door and blinked before shaking her head. "Could this day get any weirder?"

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