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.
Wanna thank tenshinrtaiga for betaing!
Apparently a couple of men who'd "taken off" had called their family or friends in Smallville; some had Skyped, more than a couple of them had actually returned to Smallville for a few days before going again after retrieving their things. Slowly people were beginning to truly believe that those guys had left of their own free will and the whispers were no longer of how something evil was afoot. No, now they were whispering about how men couldn't be trusted and about whores who stole men from their families and other such things. Also, the women had banded together in a "we hate men" club, with Greg hoping none of them turned lesbian because according to him none of the women were attractive and "only hot chicks should be lez".
Somehow the guys from Diana's Circle had ended up camped around Chloe's house. Diana had moved into Chloe's room so Faye, Melissa and Cassie could have the guest room with the pull out couch and Jake and Adam weren't exactly happy about having to share the sofa bed downstairs but they were suffering in silence (mostly).
The next day, after a good long sleep, Chloe had slowly gotten her memories of the night before back and, while her body was still in pain from the magical strain it'd been under, she had to admit that she was more ashamed than anything else. And hella uncomfortable. She'd tried killing everyone who was now in her house - Greg, Clark and Whitney were there all day starting early every morning, almost as if to make sure that she wasn't outnumbered by Diana's group, and Jason and Lex were over having meetings with Gabe and Moira about the disappearance of two of their Circle members.
Lex had run some tests on her the morning after and had discovered that somehow when her own magic had broken free, it'd trapped Francis Balcoin's magic within her and wasn't letting it free. On one hand this was good because it meant that her magic had gained control and she was now dominant over her own body again and yet on the other hand, this was really bad because her body was treating the other magic like a foreign agent and as long as it was always kept apart in her like this, it might break away and try to take over again.
"It disintegrated after I absorbed the last bit of dark magic." Adam shook his head at the idea of transferring the dark magic back into the crystal skull. "It's gone."
"I still can't believe Boy Scout Conant actually did that." Jake shook his head, obviously highly enjoying the fact that Adam had done something wrong.
"Let it rest, Armstrong," Adam snapped at him. "I made a mistake. You out of everyone should know what it's like to royally screw up."
Jake looked away, point apparently made.
"If you need a human vessel to put it in..." Faye raised her hand. "I humbly volunteer."
No one paid her any mind.
"Why take it out?" Cassie asked, causing everyone to turn to look at her.
Chloe didn't know what to think about the blonde. Chloe really hadn't known her for more than two days, had tried to kill her twice, and they really hadn't had any sort of conversation since Chloe had returned to her senses. She could feel that Cassie was just as intrigued with her as she was with the other blonde, but she could also feel some resentment towards her and Chloe got that (hadn't Diana even pointed it out during the second attack citing it as a reason why she explained the situation, so Cassie would stop being resentful and understand that the issue was bigger than her own problems?). And yet Cassie was resentful because of Diana and the relationship the brunette had developed with Chloe during the little amount of time the two had known each other. And there was something between those two sisters, some sort of awkwardness, guilt and wariness. Whenever Cassie seemed to see that those feelings didn't exist between Chloe and Diana that resentment seemed to grow, even if just a little.
"You can't be serious." Clark made a face. "You saw what happened when it got loose and took over her."
"Yeah, because it was all at once and overtook her like a virus overriding her system," Cassie declared, folding her arms over her chest as she stared at him defiantly. "But what if we got her body used to it little at a time so that her magic could develop an immunity to it and override it?"
Lex eyed Cassie for a moment before smirking. "I see what you mean. Leave a little leak in the magical barrier she has around it so that only a little bit comes out – just enough for her body to be able to neutralize and convert its essence to her own."
"Something like that." Cassie shrugged.
Chloe stood, a little annoyed at how everyone talked about her as if she wasn't there. She grabbed the empty plates and took them into the kitchen as her mother and father began arguing with Lex about exactly how safe that procedure would be and the chances that the essence wouldn't still overpower hers, albeit this time slower and more permanent.
In the kitchen, Chloe put the plates into the sink and turned on the water, drowning out the sounds of arguing going on in the living room, green gaze going out of the kitchen window at the kids playing outside carefree.
"So what's it like?"
Chloe gasped, jerking around, her heart in her throat, not having heard the other girl enter the kitchen. "What?"
Cassie took in a deep breath, almost as if needing courage as she stepped forward, eyeing Chloe warily. "What's it like having Francis Balcoin's magic in you? I got a little feeling of it when Diana and I used the skull against John and it was intoxicating. I can't imagine what it must be like to have that inside of you."
No one had asked her that yet, surprisingly. "Before I put the barrier around it and it hadn't take control, I just felt a little high, I guess. But now that I have the barrier around it, even if that was my magic acting instinctively, I feel tired because I'm constantly trying to keep the barrier up and I also feel really full." She brought her hand up to her solar plexus. "It's almost like I've eaten a lot of food and I'm always a little queasy."
Cassie eyed her once more before leaning against the counter. "What about when it was free and in control?"
"It's still a little hazy, but I remember feeling as if I was sitting in front of a mirror that was playing everything that was happening. It was as if it was a movie and not something really happening." Chloe sighed, turning around completely and leaning back against the sink, eyeing Cassie. "When stuff really started going down, when people were almost dying around me, I was banging against that mirror so hard… but I was scared that if I broke it, I'd lose any way out of that room."
Cassie cleared her throat, bringing her hand to her neck as she sighed. "I understand the feeling of being lost in your own dark magic – it must have been even worse being lost in someone else's."
Chloe eyed her before nodding. "Sorry for, you know, trying to kill you."
"Twice," Cassie reminded.
Chloe flinched. "Right."
"To be fair though, you weren't the one trying to kill me, it was Francis Balcoin's essence in you." Cassie licked her lips. "He seems to hate Diana and me because we killed John."
This was the first time someone had actually come out and said that the girls had killed John and Chloe really didn't know what to feel about it. Sure, John seemed to have been somewhat of a bastard, but he'd still been good to her and she wished that he hadn't been killed. If he were alive, he could help her so much more than Moira or Lex or anyone else ever could. A part of her would always resent Cassie and Diana for killing him, even while another understood why they had.
Cassie cleared her throat as she looked around the kitchen, clearly highly uncomfortable. "I think Diana should come back to Chance Harbor with us when we leave." She took in a deep breath. "I don't mean to be a bitch but right now, being around you is dangerous for her, and she's all the family I have left."
Anyone else would have pointed out that Chloe was family as well, but the girl knew that being someone's family was more than just something to do with their blood. There had to be a bond, a connection, a sisterhood. She and Cassie didn't have that and given the fact that Chloe had already tried to kill Cassie twice, she wouldn't be surprised if they never had a sisterly bond at all.
"I agree." Chloe could see the surprise on Cassie's face as the other blonde jerked her head in her direction. "I want her to go back with you guys. Things are going to get worse and worse until these Trials are over and even after then I'm going to have a battle to try and get out of this servitude to the Luthor Circle. Diana has no reason to be mixed up in any of this or to be in danger when it has nothing to do with her. It's why I haven't told Pete – he's one of our brothers. I don't want him caught up in a battle that's not his own."
Cassie eyed Chloe silently.
"To be honest, I'd avoid letting anyone in that room be involved if I could." Her gaze was on the arched doorway, hearing the faint arguing going on in the living room. "If there was a way that I could do this all on my own, I'd do it."
"I don't think you will be able to." Cassie pulled a blonde strand out of her face. "Those guys in your Circle are really faithful to you."
"I'm not a part of a Circle." Chloe wondered just how many more times she was going to have to explain that to others.
"Uhm, yeah, you are." Cassie raised an eyebrow before pushing away from the island and taking a couple of steps towards Chloe. "It mightn't be a bound Circle, but you're definitely a part of one and from the looks of it, you're the leader."
Chloe snickered, shaking her head. "I'm so not leader material so I doubt-"
"Yo." Greg stuck his head in before striding inside, hands deep in his leather jacket. "Your mother wants us to go to the Talon and get some books she thinks might be useful that she knows Nell used to have around." He raised an eyebrow. "Are we trusting her a hundred percent or are we just letting her think we do while we keep an eye on her and shoot at her first wrong twitch?"
Chloe couldn't keep the smile off of her lips. "Shooting is a little strong, don't you think?"
He just raised that eyebrow higher. "So are we trusting her? Do we get her those books or make up some excuse and research them on our own?"
Clark walked in, flanked by Faye and Melissa on either side, the farm boy eyeing a little suspiciously behind him into the living room before coming closer and lowering his voice. "I could always keep the books at my place for safekeeping, if you want. That way she could search the Talon as much as she wants but she wouldn't find them."
"What books are she looking for?" Chloe asked curiously.
"I don't see what the big deal is." Faye rolled her eyes, folding her arms over her chest. "She said they were just some herbology books."
"That's Whitney's area of expertise," Chloe reminded them, not even sure what Melissa and Faye were doing here. "What did he say when she named the books?"
"Nothing." It was Melissa who answered this time, standing next to Clark and looking so tiny it was kinda adorable. "I don't even know if he heard, he was talking to Jason about something a little apart from everyone else."
Chloe raised an eyebrow, wondering what those two had to talk about. "Get him alone for a second, but make it discreet, we don't want to draw their attention to you guys. Use their arguing to your advantage and tell him what books she wants, get his input on it. He knows those books better than anyone so he'll know what's in them and whether we should let her see them."
Greg gave a little salute before turning to Clark. "You do the work. I'm going to be outside having a smoke. Let me know what we've decided." And with that he turned and sauntered out through the back door.
Faye raised an eyebrow. "I'm no messenger." And with that she sashayed out of the room after Greg.
Melissa sighed apologetically before giving Clark a little smile. "I'll go with you."
He blinked in surprise before giving her a sweet little smile. "Thanks."
With that, the two returned back to the living room, giving each other shy little smiles.
Chloe eyed them with a little smile before turning her gaze on Cassie and blinking at the smirk on the blonde's face. "What?"
"You don't see it." Cassie shook her head, completely amused for some reason. "How do you not see it?"
"See what?" Chloe felt lost.
"Diana is the leader of our Circle." Cassie changed the subject, pulling herself backwards so that she was sitting on the island in the middle of the kitchen, eyeing Chloe. "We haven't been the same without her. She always takes control and knows what to do. We're like chickens running around without a head – and Faye thinks she has a chance of being in control. As if."
The older girl could see what the other was getting at. "I'm not going to try and keep Diana from your Circle."
Cassie eyed her before nodding, opening her mouth to say something when Diana entered the kitchen.
"Why are Clark and Melissa acting all sketchy with Whitney and where are Faye and Greg?" She made a face. "I don't trust those two alone."
Cassie swung her feet back and forth. "Apparently Chloe's mother wants some herbology books and they're deciding whether to let her see them or not. Faye and Greg are outside waiting for a decision to be made."
Diana turned to Chloe with narrowed eyes. "So we're still not sure she can be trusted?"
Cassie froze, eyes wide in horror as she just stared at Diana.
Chloe felt uncomfortable for some reason. "Don't worry about it."
Diana narrowed her eyes on Chloe for a second, those dark orbs going to Cassie questioningly before returning to her eldest sibling. "Is something the matter?"
"Nope, we're just talking." Chloe gave her a little smile. "Formally introducing ourselves now that I'm not trying to kill her."
Cassie just continued to look at Diana, expression disturbed.
"Well, what do you want me to do?" Diana asked, eyeing Chloe with determination. "How can I be useful? I don't know much about herbology, that was more Nick's area, but I do have a couple of books on the topic amongst my stuff that Adam brought for me. If your mother mentions anything I could try looking them up in my family's – in the Meade's family books – if you want."
That disturbed expression grew even more on Cassie's face as she gawked quite openly at their brunette sister.
"Don't worry about it," Chloe echoed her previous words, giving her sister a little smile. "Why don't you and Cassie just go on back and just relax. Your Circle came a long way to see you, I know you guys must have a lot to talk about."
Diana gave Chloe a little look before nodding. "Right." She sent Cassie a little tremulous smile before motioning with her head towards the door. "Shall we?"
"Yeah..." Cassie slipped from the countertop and sent Chloe a little look before following after Diana, apparently highly disturbed and not sure what to think about something.
Clark and Melissa passed them, entering the kitchen once more, Whitney on their tails. The two in front motioned goodbye to Chloe as they exited through the back door, leaving Whitney in the kitchen with the blonde.
"So I was talking to Coach Teague while your parents argued with Luthor." Whitney moved to stand next to her, shoulder to shoulder, leaning against the sink as well as he stared ahead. "I think he might have the hots for you."
Chloe sent him a quick glance. "Excuse me?"
"Even without the enthrallment, I think he wants in your pants." Whitney tapped his fingers behind him against the sink's edge. "We could use that. Makes him a weak link in Luthor's Circle."
That was very... cold. "So you think my mother is right? Seduce my way through this all?"
"I never said you should actually go through with anything," he snorted, continuing to look ahead. "Just use his feelings to your advantage. Girls do that all the time."
"Gee, your view on my sex is not insulting at all."
He flashed her a sheepish smile. "Sorry, it's just, well, the odds are stacking more and more against us by the day. I figure his attraction to you is at least one thing we have in our favor."
Chloe sent him a sideways look. "Diana's going back to Chance Harbor with the others when they leave."
"I doubt that." Whitney snorted with dark amusement.
"It's where she belongs, Whit." Chloe rested her head on his shoulder with a sigh. "This isn't her battle, and I know she feels somewhat guilty, but she couldn't have known and this is not her fault."
"Chloe, she's your sister."
"So is Cassie, that doesn't mean anything." A sigh escaped her lips.
"You have to admit, Nell would have loved this if she were here." Whitney suddenly changed the subject completely with a little chuckle. "More and more Circles appearing in Smallville, action, adventure-"
"Good looking men."
"There's that." Whitney snickered. "When she finds out that all of this was happening and she wasn't around – that vein in her forehead's gonna finally pop."
Chloe chuckled at the thought, imagining it. "And to think the Thoreaux are being left out of this! All the wonders they could have done to save us all!"
Whitney chuckled, shaking his head. "I don't condone running away from home, but I think both Lana and Pete needed to get away from their guardians/parents for a while. They were both being suffocated in their own ways." He paused. "Maybe now they can figure out who they are and what they want for their future."
"Hopefully they want their future in Smallville because I miss Pete." Chloe sighed. "Plus, it'd be nice to talk to him face to face now that I know he's my brother."
Whitney sighed heavily. "Sorry, I shouldn't have said that."
She was confused for a second. "Said what exactly?"
"The whole 'use his feelings against him' thing. It's not our way, is it?" Whitney made a face.
"Not really." Chloe worried her bottom lip. "Would make things easier if they were."
"We definitely should be more cruel and without principles," Whitney agreed with a grumble.
Chloe chuckled softly, feeling more serene now than she had since waking up from being trapped in her own body, the Hamsa on her palm warm and tingling.
Whitney cleared his throat as he continued to stare ahead. "So when are you going to start trying to push me away?"
She blinked in confusion yet didn't move from where she was, far too comfortable. "Huh?"
"You've pushed away Pete and Lana, you've always kept Greg and Clark at a little distance, you've been pushing your dad away since you know he's kept secrets from you. You'll never actually let your mother be close to you even if she's being sincere, you might have kissed those two but there's definitely no trust between you, Luthor or Teague, and you're pushing Diana away now." Whitney said it as he saw it, continuing to stare ahead of him, the hands at his sides on the counter tensed. "So I'm wondering when you're going to start trying to push me away too."
"I don't-" and yet Chloe couldn't finish that, gaze lowering as she realized that he was right. She did push people away, was afraid of letting people in, of giving them the chance – the ability – to hurt her.
Whitney didn't hammer his win home, just letting her dwell with his words.
Chloe sighed before wrapping her arms around his arm and hugging it as she continued to rest her head against his shoulder.
He cleared his throat. "Don't get any weird ideas."
She chuckled softly, staring ahead just like he was. "About you? Never."