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!
"I can't do this." Chloe was hyperventilating, staring at herself in the mirror and shocked at what she saw.
"This girl stands up to demons, Lionel Luthor and her nosy dead relatives – but a dress and heels terrify her," Faye teased before looking up at the clock. "Well, no time to back down now, Cinderella. It's almost time for Davis to come pick you up."
Diana peeked into the room and grinned brightly at what she saw. "You look great! The guys are here and don't look too bad themselves."
"Bet you Mikhail is still bitching he can't go." Cassie smirked in dark pleasure from where she sat on Chloe's bed.
Diana held her hand out to Chloe. "Come on! I want to see the boys' faces when they see you!"
"I don't know-" Chloe tried but Faye gave her a little push in Diana's direction. Diana's hand clenched around hers and pulled Chloe out of the room.
Realizing that she really had no choice in the matter, Chloe let Diana lead her through the hallway down to the stairs.
Diana grinned, letting go of Chloe's hand and hurrying down. "She's ready, guys!"
As the boys all turned their heads towards her, Chloe felt hella uncomfortable yet tried to smile as she stood at the top of the stairs, slowly making her descent.
Greg wolf-whistled. "Nice."
Chloe rolled her eyes at him. "Please."
Lucas grinned up at her.
Mikhail merely reached up and slapped the back of Lucas' head.
"Oh come on!" Lucas groaned, rubbing the back of his head. "I didn't say anything!"
"You were thinking it," Mikhail responded.
Byron was in the background, having been coaxed out of the room, and gave Chloe a little thumbs up.
She smiled at him, knowing he needed more encouragement than she did right now.
Adam leaned against the doorframe, eyebrow raised, giving her an appreciative look.
"Whitney, tell everyone that it's just a dress!" Chloe turned to her Hand, uncomfortable with all the attention on her like this.
Whitney stood tense, eyes wide on her, lips parted slightly. He looked almost scared for some reason.
Chloe blinked, stopping her descent and leaning close to him, eyeing him curiously. "Are you okay?"
He blinked rapidly and took a step back, nodding as he cleared his throat and looked away, rubbing the back of his head. "You don't look hideous."
Chloe barked out laughter at that one, feeling more comfortable now. "Why thank you, Mister Fordman. You sure know how to make a girl feel pretty." She descended the rest of the steps before the doorbell rung. She took in a deep breath before turning to the others. "If you need me for any reason, just call the Manor and they'll get in touch with me. They're not allowing anyone to take their phones with them because they say it'll ruin the fairy tale illusion. But if it's urgent you call the Manor and make sure they get Greg, Whitney or me."
"Just go." Faye rolled her eyes. "I'll keep everyone in line."
Behind her, Cassie rolled her eyes.
Smiling at everyone, Chloe turned to the door, opening it to see Davis, who was dressed quite handsomely.
Davis' eyes widened when he saw her, his hand going to his forehead as if he'd gotten a piercing headache, before he shook his head and smiled, hand dropping to his side. "You look beautiful."
Byron narrowed his eyes, scratching his arm.
"And you look handsome." She smiled, sending Adam a little look to let him know that she hadn't forgotten what he'd told her, before looping her arm around the one he offered her. "Let's go?"
Davis smiled as he gazed down at her. "Let's."
Lionel smiled, watching as those arriving were announced at the top of the stairs that lead to the lavish ballroom. The young Balcoin girl had yet to arrive, but those from the town were here and most of theirspecial guests have arrived as well. Things were going according to plan, everyone drinking from the goblets supplied to them thus making sure that the Dabblers and mortals present wouldn't be an issue when the true reason for this ball was revealed. He wouldn't have invited them at all if he could be sure that Chloe Balcoin would come, but he figured their presence would make her feel safer, more secure.
He smirked, taking a long drink of his goblet of scotch.
"Mr Whitney Fordman and his companion, Mr Greg Arkin," the chamberlain declared.
Jason looked up from where he was bored out of his wits with Marcia Le Fay, shocked and amused as he watched Whitney and Greg descend the stairs, both obviously uncomfortable, with Greg complaining that if anyone mentioned this at school, he was going to beat the shit out of them. Whitney looked just as uncomfortable but didn't seem to be paying much attention to Greg, instead gazing behind him.
Chloe must have arrived with them and be with her date – who must have had their own invitation because the only way Whitney and Greg could be here was because she'd given them her invitation.
Taking in a deep breath, Jason wondered exactly who Chloe had come with. When he'd found out that Chloe had a date, he'd truthfully thought it was Whitney. Out of all of the guys that Jason had seen her interact with, there was always something between her and the Quarterback – and Jason could tell just how much she trusted him. And yet he hadn't been her date. So who?
"Ms Chloe Sullivan and her date..."
And yet Jason tuned out the rest, eyes wide as Chloe appeared above the stairway.
His heart skipped a beat.
She – she looked – she...
Jason took in a deep breath.
Chloe stood under the light, which created a halo around her golden hair as she stood, seeming so regal there. In her eyes, Jason could see the discomfort of being the center of everyone's attention (and to be truthful she was, everyone having turned around to look at her) and yet Chloe's smile was soft as she hid her discomfort admirably. She proved a breathtaking picture in a long and flowing royal purple gown that reached the ground, one long slit giving a hint of thigh. Her bodice was tight and woven exquisitely up towards her breasts. Her earrings were a mixture of gold and purple, matching both her hair and dress, brushing against her neck whenever she tilted her head.
She wore no necklace, and on anyone else that would seem like there was something missing, but with the exquisite workmanship on the dress and her tendrils of gold, her glistening lips... somehow a necklace would have taken away from everything else. She was simple yet so incredibly elegant...
Chloe turned to smile at the man who offered her his arm and that was when Jason finally noticed her companion and he went still in shock.
It was Davis.
What was he doing-? Why hadn't he-? What-?
When he'd mentioned to Davis and Lex that Chloe seemed to have procured a date to the ball, Lex had announced that that was great news and had returned his interest to the book he'd been reading. Davis had merely made a weird little noise in the back of his throat and had asked Jason if he knew who she was going with, making a little non-committal sound when the sandy-blonde had admitted that he had no idea.
Jason felt his world spinning.
Oh, wow. Davis was far more cunning than Jason had ever given him credit for!
"Sullivan" Marcia eyed Chloe thoughtfully. "Isn't that the name the Balcoin Firstborn uses?"
Jason frowned as he turned towards his date. "How do you know that?"
"Doesn't everyone connected to the Six know this?" Marcia eyed him speculatively. "John Balcoin was dead and yet we knew his line lived on." She sneered. "You didn't truly think your Circle was the only one that knew of her existence." She scoffed as his expression betrayed him. "How pompous." Pulling out her Spanish fan, Marcia fanned herself as her gaze followed Chloe. "So she is the new head of the Balcoin clan." Her painted lips pulled upwards in a smile. "Interesting."
Davis was never one to disobey orders, and while Lex hadn't exactly come out and ordered him or Jason not to invite Chloe he'd strongly advised the boys against it. And yet there Davis was, grinning sheepishly as he talked to the girl who walked besides him, looking every bit dark prince to her, well, Lex wasn't exactly sure what she was supposed to be.
He sighed, cradling his drink.
Stunning. She was stunning.
"Why the old-man sigh, big brother?" Julian asked with a little smirk on his face, gaze resting on Chloe. "Annoyed that the belle of the ball is not on your arm?"
Lex knew his younger brother enough to find his behavior suspicious, the bald witch narrowing his eyes at him. "Why do I have the feeling you're to blame for something?"
"Because I usually am?"
Lex downed his glass in one gulp.
Chloe felt like she was a character in a regency novel. She stayed on Davis' arm, still feeling eyes on her but ignoring them as she made sure to pay attention to whatever he was saying and to give the right answer. While she couldn't see Adam anywhere, the blonde was almost sure he was around due to his dislike of Davis. And that made her wonder why. There'd been so much happening that she hadn't really had time to talk to him and when she had, she'd been so out of it they'd talked about silly little things about themselves. Now though, Chloe wished she'd taken a moment to talk to Adam about this further. Also, she was reminded of a comment he'd made previously. Something about John being versed in casting spells on children without getting caught, and there'd been a mention about the Luthor Circle and their reactions to her that really should have registered long before now.
"So what were you doing fixing the computers that day if Luthorcorp has an IT guy?" Davis asked, referring to the first time they'd seen each other.
Chloe tilted her head towards him from where she'd been watching the dancers doing the waltz. "Well, Nancy needed my help and I'm just so used to doing little odds and ends there that I usually help whenever they need a quick fix." She raised an eyebrow. "What about you?"
"Well, that was at Lionel's house and it was last minute so he asked me to look at it," Davis replied. "I'm good with machines. Better than with people."
"Many times I feel that very same way," Chloe admitted, then raised an eyebrow at the expression he was giving her. "What?"
"You seem to get along fine with people if the way you've managed to pull that family of yours together is anything to go by." Davis eyed her thoughtfully. "You're doing a really good job so far."
Embarrassed, she looked away, thinking about the issue with Byron. "Not as good as I would like."
"Is there a problem in particular that you're experiencing?" he asked curiously.
The guy was nice, but he was a part of a Luthor Circle and Chloe knew not to trust him fully, just like she didn't completely trust anyone connected to Lionel or Lex in any way. So she merely smiled at him and patted the arm hers was looped around. "It's nothing important, but thank you for the concern."
He grinned back. "I'm glad you accepted my offer, I – I'm enjoying myself greatly."
"Me too." She smiled up at him, genuine, because even if she felt somewhat wary around him, he was still very good company. "Considering Lex and Jason have both started to avoid me, I was surprised when you appeared on my doorstep."
Davis cleared his throat. "I'm sure they have good reasons for their actions, but I, for one, don't believe in letting my parents dictate what I do." He chuckled. "Then again, my mother is no Genevieve Teague orLionel Luthor." He paused, licking his lips. "She'd like to meet you, officially, before the night is up."
Curious as to this development, Chloe nodded. "And I'd like to meet her."
He grinned. "That's – great."
Chloe was a little awkward with his enthusiasm and yet smiled back.
Davis' smile slipped as he gazed beyond her and then returned his attention to her. "I'll be right back."
"Sure." Chloe nodded, watching him go before gazing around her, gaze resting once more on the dancing.
"You know, if it wasn't for the fact that I know you never attend any school dances, I'd almost believe you want to be asked out onto the dance floor," a voice declared behind her.
Chloe turned to see Whitney Forman as he appeared next to her. "I can't help it, this is like a movie. It's – enchanting."
"Not my scene," Whitney announced, hands clasped behind his back. "Greg's gotten distracted by two girls; Mikhail would have been a better partner."
"You make this sound like a mission." Chloe grinned up at Whitney, relaxed in his company. "Stop acting so tense like a body guard! Luthor isn't going to do anything amidst so many... Muggles." Her lips twitched in amusement at the Harry Potter reference. "Relax! Have some fun." She nudged him with her shoulder. "Invite a pretty girl to dance."
Whitney rolled his eyes at her comment before sighing and reaching out his hand towards her.
Chloe eyed it curiously before her eyes widened, her heart missing a beat in horror. "I don't know how to waltz."
Once more merely rolling his eyes at her, Whitney snatched her hand and began near dragging her onto the dance floor. He stopped once they'd reached it, positioned her arms where they should go, and then smiled at her. "Just follow my lead."
She leaned in, voice wavering slightly. "When did you learn how to waltz?"
Whitney grinned brightly. "I didn't." And with that, and a quick look to the others to see how they were going about it, Whitney began to follow suite and Chloe could only do her best to keep up.
Greg, unlike most men, could multitask.
He was in the middle of chatting up two hotties, yes, that was true, but his gaze was sharp and ever alert on their surroundings. Lionel and his Circle were mixing and mingling with the guests, some specific ones, people not from Smallville, who seemed just as hoity-toity posh as Lionel and his group did. It was this group that he kept an eye on the most because he couldn't figure out why they were here.
"So I'm guessing they're not gay then?" one of the posh women who'd arrived whispered to another. "Because that one keeps chatting up girls and the other one is dancing with her."
Greg followed their gazes and smirked when he saw Whitney and Chloe out on the dance floor, clearly out of tune with the other dancers, and yet highly enjoying themselves, Whitney giving the girl a twirl and earning laughter from her.
"I love how they don't care that they're not dancing the same way as everyone else," the other woman whispered to the first. "You've got to love that sort of confidence. Especially in people their age."
"She's young and in need of obvious polishing, but I believe she has true promise." The first nodded. "And there hasn't been a female in a very long time in her shoes. I believe they could all do with a change, given how things have been going for that family."
Greg frowned as he eyed the older women once more. They knew who Chloe was, even though she'd been introduced as Sullivan.
Dark eyes narrowed as concern and suspicion coiled in his stomach.
Jason arrived next to Davis, goblet in his hand, watching Chloe and Whitney dancing and laughing at each other's many mistakes. "It seems your date has been poached."
Davis sent him a sideways glance. "Are you angry that I didn't tell you?"
Jason licked his lips as he contemplated his answer. "No."
"Why?" Davis asked curiously. "You like her."
"So do you." Jason downed his goblet as he continued to eye the two dancing. "To be truthful, Dave, I think Whitney's the real competition for anyone who is interested in her." He gave a dark little chuckle. "Even if in the end nothing romantic blossoms between them, they have a bond that... well... Anyone who enters into a relationship with either of them would have to learn to understand their special bond or things would end rapidly."
Davis didn't answer at first and then gave a little smile. "Your date's looking for you." And with that, he moved towards the dancers as the song ended.
Things were awkwardly quiet in the Sullivan house as the six remaining teenagers hung around without their usual referees. The television was on to some series about angst-ridden teenaged werewolves but no one was really watching it. They weren't even looking in the direction of the television, everyone doing something on their own.
After everything that'd happened, once Chloe, Greg and Whitney had left, those remaining in the household had called something of a little meeting. It'd been tense, just as everything they did together was, but they'd realized with Chloe's little pill-popping and then the fact that she'd slept all day that the girl was exhausted. And why shouldn't she be? She was only about a year older than them and yet she'd taken on every responsibility in the house and in helping the family. And they'd just let her.
There'd been arguments and blame thrown back and forth between the siblings before finally they'd managed to at least agree that they were going to have to start helping and pitching in; to give some and not just take.
"Is anyone else curious as to why the book won't open for us?" Cassie wanted to know, finally breaking the silence that'd fallen over the group.
They'd figured another way they could help was by lending a hand doing the research over the curses that seemed to prevail in the household and not just let Chloe handle that monstrous book by herself, giving her some free time at night. And yet, when they'd tried to start, the book wouldn't budge and after a while had burnt them when they touched it so they'd left it alone and were now here, not watching the show.
"It's really not that surprising if you actually think about it." Mikhail sent her a sideways glance. "You and Diana aren't the first Balcoins to kill family. The book senses we aren't Chloe and rejects us. It's a protective measure. Only the Firstborn can activate and read the book and that way, only the Firstborn would know all of the secrets and be the strongest in the Circle, as it should be."
"Shouldn't it be able to read intentions then?" Diana made a face. "We don't want to hurt Chloe, we want to help."
"You don't want to hurt her now." Mikhail raised an eyebrow. "Who knows what you'd want to do in the future?"
Diana flinched. "That's going too far, Mikhail."
"You killed your father." Mikhail turned to her completely. "Why is it so ludicrous to believe that you're capable of killing your sister? Or brother for that matter?" He leaned forwards, resting his elbows on his knees. "You have blood on your hands, the both of you do, and neither of you will ever be able to wipe it off, no matter how much you want to."
"John Balcoin was going to kill millions of innocent people." Cassie glared at Mikhail. "I understand that he raised you and all that, and that maybe none of your friends were going to be killed, but ours were. We saved lives."
"Keep telling yourself that." Lucas snorted, looking away.
Cassie's blues turned on him.
"Guys..." Byron tried to intervene as he leaned forward, about to get up and go between them in case fighting broke out.
Faye reached out and pulled him back against the sofa next to her. "Believe me, it's better to stay out of this. It's between those four, something they need to work through."
Byron sighed yet did as told.
"In the past if you killed one of your own – your rightful leader – and hadn't taken control of the family, you'd have been outcasts, pariahs, shunned and despised by all." Mikhail eyed his sisters darkly. "If I had been the Firstborn, you'd have been tortured and killed, but Chloe's the Firstborn and she was raised by Gabe, not dad. I'll be the first to say that there are some advantages to that, but it's also made her naive. She truly believes that she can trust you two, that she needs to give you a family to call your own, that you're not two little bitch killers who have blood on their hands that will never come off."
Cassie narrowed her eyes. "Is that so?"
"Yeah." Lucas nodded. "It is."
"I'm going to say this now and just put it on the table." Mikhail eyed his sisters. "I don't like either of you and I don't trust you. Chloe might think you're happy enough being a part of the family but I want you to know that I don't buy into this. If you step out of line once, if you try to hurt her, I don't care how accidental it is or if you think you're saving the whole damned world filled with innocent lives – I will gut youboth."
"And I'll hold you down as he does it." Lucas was darkly blank.
"Guys..." Byron tried once more, yet remained firmly in the seat as Faye had previously instructed.
"I would never hurt Chloe." Diana's voice was soft and yet her eyes fierce as she met Mikhail's gaze. "Since you've gotten what you wanted off your chest, I'm going to talk frankly to you as well." She leaned closer to him as well. "Sure, I helped kill our father, I get why you hate us for that, but guess what, Mikhail? I don't care anymore if you never forgive me. Either of you." Her gaze went to Cassie before returning to Mikhail. "Because I have a good thing going here with Chloe and I'm not going to let anyone mess that up for me. I have a family now, I have a home, and I'm not going to do anything to mess that up." Her voice was still incredibly serene while her eyes burned like dark fire. "And if I'm to be as brutally honest as you were, then I'll admit to the fact that I don't trust any of you with Chloe either."
"What?" Cassie's eyes widened.
"Don't be ridiculous." Mikhail sneered.
"I'm sorry, Cassie, but we're all seen the darkness in you. It's overpowered you more than a couple of times and you have attacked Chloe before. Twice." Diana turned to Mikhail and Lucas. "And you two were raised by John and have a league of minions who have kidnapped her in the past. I don't trust the fact that you're so able to just accept her leadership. I don't trust anyone raised by John Balcoin or who had a business connection with him or anything. That man was evil and conniving and not above waiting for years for his plans to take fruition. I don't trust that you're not biding your time, winning Chloe's trust, only to stab her in the back or try and use her for your own gains." She clenched her hands. "And I won't need someone else to help hold you down while I kill you if you do try to hurt her."
Cassie chuckled darkly, drawing their attention to her as she shook her head. "What a screwed up family we are." Her smile was ugly. "I killed my father, have serious anger issues, have tried to hurt everyone in this room and have attacked Chloe twice already; Diana killed daddy dearest along with me, runs away from her troubles, and betrays the trust of those who've trusted her; Mikhail and Lucas seem quite at home torturing people, apparently have an active plan on how to kill us should we step a toe out of line; this Pete guy just ups and leaves everyone for some random girl, doesn't give a crap about the family, and if he really is in danger like Chloe thinks, I've found I really don't give a crap; and Faye, well, she's run away from home and isn't fighting with me because she feels guilty that she's hiding the fact that her mother was in league with Diana's father and most probably had something to do with my mother's death."
Faye went pale in horror. "How did you-?"
"It didn't take a genius like Sherlock Holmes to figure that part out, Faye." Cassie rolled her eyes, still chuckling darkly. "Byron might be the one with the dark personality episodes, but he's by far the most innocent, nice, and likable of the bunch of us."
"What's your point, blondie?" Lucas glared at her.
"My point, Lucas," Cassie leaned towards him, "is that no one in this damned room is going to kill each other, no matter how much we might want to." She let her blues land on everyone before leaning back hard against her seat. "In our own dark ways, we're all rotten to the core and we know it, but Chloe doesn't seem to. She seems to see something in us, something we wish we could see ourselves." Cassie took in a deep breath. "She sees the us we wish we were and because of that, no one in this room would ever hurt her. We're not even going to hurt each other because we're all too afraid that if we do anythingwrong, that she'll start seeing the us we see and when she does, we'll have no hope, no family, no nothing." Cassie looked away, obviously uncomfortable opening up in this way. "I'll be the first to admit that deep down inside, I can be a little monster, but I know I have a great thing here – the first thing close to a family since my mother was taken away from me." When her blues returned to the group they were brighter, harsher. "And I'll be damned if I do something to jeopardize that."
Silence reigned on the teens, no one able to deny the words the youngest Balcoin girl had uttered about everyone and everything.
Davis had tried teaching her to do a real waltz. That hadn't gone too well but he'd taken her graceless attempts in stride and had given her very good pointers. She was also a quick learner and felt that now, during their fifth dance, she was slowly getting the hang of it. The part she didn't get too much was the whole keeping a distance from your partner bit. Sure, she knew that it'd been danced during a time where any sort of physical proximity was a scandalous affaire, and yet it should have been updated for modern times for crying out loud! It made it so much more difficult to follow your partner's lead. While what she and Whitney had been doing had been far from the waltz, while the blonde rested her cheek against Whitney's heart during a slow part, it'd been so much easier to do and had felt more natural too.
Finally the music ended and she and Davis drew apart. Her gaze rested for a second on Jason and his date, a very pretty dark haired girl, before going to Lionel when his voice spoke loudly.
"Thank you all for attending our first ever Smallville ball." Lionel Luthor stood on the podium, a mic in hand. "Now I have one word to say. Durmiens."
Suddenly, all around them, the muggles' heads lowered as they fell asleep on their feet.
Chloe's eyes widened in shock as she looked around her, a prickling of unease rising up her spine.
"Good." Lionel smirked. "Now that they're no longer an issue, I can address the real reason why we're all here tonight."
Diana gasped as she stood, eyes widening as she pressed down hard on her Eye symbol, which was burning her.
"Diana?" Faye frowned. "What's wrong?"
Diana opened her mouth to tell the girl she didn't know when suddenly she wasn't in the room anymore. Instead, she seemed to be looking through someone else's eyes.