Title: The New Circle
Fandoms: Smallville/Secret Circle
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Clark Kent, Pete Ross, Lana Lang, Whitney Fordman, Greg Arkin, Nell Potter, Lex Luthor, Davis Bloome, Jason Teague, Tess Mercer, Oliver Queen...
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!
Cassie Blake found her gaze, as always of late, resting on the three interconnected lines at Chloe's elbow, the design appearing almost like an X with an I through the middle. It really didn't stand out, not like the other markings on Chloe's body did, and yet Cassie found herself drawn to that design over and over again because of its meaning. It'd been a mere X when the youngest female Balcoin had moved in with Chloe, but a week and three days ago, the I had been added when Diana had officially joined Chloe's Circle. It hadn't been anything like binding the Chance Harbor Circle had been. There hadn't been a Circle with joined hands and fire while the group chanted a spell. There just been Chloe and Diana, gripping the other's elbows as they repeated a promise to the other. It'd been simple. Surprisingly so. And yet Cassie could feel the difference and she knew the others could too. Knew Mikhail could. Knew he didn't like it. Knew he resented it. But he knew, just like she did, that Diana had been in Chloe's life long before they had and that if any of them were going to be accepted into the Circle, it made sense that she was the first.
In the back of Whitney's truck with Diana and Greg, Cassie played with her phone as they drove to Edge City after practice had ended to meet with the Lost Boys, as Chloe had taken to calling the guys there. Mikhail and the others were taking Lucas' car and were driving ahead of them to show them the way. Ever since Brendan and Trent had come to visit the night of the party, Chloe had tried to go once a week to Edge City to visit the boys there, and this would be the first night that the whole group would be joining her as well.
"Don't be ridiculous." Chloe rolled her eyes at Whitney from where she sat in the front with him. "That's an incredible school with an even better football program that has seen many professionals come out of it. Why wouldn't you apply for a scholarship once we graduate if Jason thinks you can easily get one with your performance on the field? Who cares if it's halfway across the country? That's what holidays are for!"
"You're the one being ridiculous." Whitney frowned at her. "Stupid even." He was the only one who ever said things like that to Chloe, and while it annoyed Cassie, she never said anything because Chloe let him and because she knew that, in his own way, Whitney was trying to look out for her sister. "I'm not going to abandon you all when we graduate next year just so that I can throw a pigskin around. Especially not with this whole Seventh thing still up in the air. Plus, I'm your Hand. That means commitment." He shrugged. "And Met U's football program isn't that bad either. I mean, Coach Teague is studying there for crying out loud."
"Only because Lex is making him – and it's only temporary and you know it." Chloe frowned at Whitney. "Just because we're a Circle doesn't mean you and Greg have to give up your personal lives, yourfutures, and dedicate your lives to making sure I'm safe." She then tried to smile, tried to play this off as not an important conversation. "I'm not saying that there isn't a threat out there, because honestly, when isn't there a threat? But life won't be worth living if it's done in constant fear. Anyway, things are going uncommonly well for us at the moment. Lionel Luthor and his Circle have left Smallville. Adam is cured. Lex decided to up and leave Smallville with most of his group as well, without so much as saying good bye, merely leaving a letter for me with Jason – who he's left to keep an eye on me like some sort of silent spy..." She paused, obviously more affected by the deterioration of her relationship with the coach and PE teacher than she wanted to admit, the girl returning to a forceful, blinding smile before continuing. "I'm halfway through the Balcoin book of shadows and hopefully closer to a cure for Byron. Greg, Cassie and Diana are starring in a school play. I'm developing a relationship with the Lost Boys AND the Crows are continuing with their winning streak. Go Crows!" She then sighed. "Please don't throw away your future."
Whitney merely eyed her before shaking his head and looking away. "I'm not."
"Yeah," Greg declared from the back. "He'd probably be homesick and have to return within the first couple of months anyway. Better save him from the humiliation."
Diana stared between the two of them before quickly changing the topic, obviously trying to avoid a fight. "Talking about humiliation, I'm not half as psyched about the whole starring role thing as you seem to be."
"Me neither, for the record." Cassie finally entered into the conversation.
"Oh, come on." Chloe grinned, turning in her seat to eye them teasingly. "I'm going to be that embarrassing parent in the audience with the huge video camera telling everyone 'that's my child'!"
"Please don't," Cassie begged.
"The filming should be embarrassing enough, right?" Diana tried to reason with their eldest sibling.
"I'll think about it," Chloe promised with a little mischievous smile, gaze going to Greg. "No promises though."
He narrowed his eyes on her. "Why do I feel cold fingers of dread crawling down my spine?" At the looks he was getting at that, he blinked. "What?"
"Seriously," Whitney laughed, giving him a look through the rearview mirror, "when are you just going to stop pretending to be this uneducated bad boy and admit to the fact that you're a Shakespearean Bug Boy who uses phrases like "cold fingers of dread"?"
"Screw you, Fordman. I'm uneducated! I'm crass! I'm edgy! I fight against the system! The man! I-I-!" Greg deflated. "Chicks dig the whole bad boy persona, okay? Just – just pretend I'm actually completely uncouth, okay? I've got a good thing going here."
"Uncouth." Whitney shook his head.
"Well, if it helps any, I like Bug Buy," Chloe offered.
Greg smirked. "Yeah, well, you're freaky like that."
Diana howled in laughter, wiping at her eyes which were watering.
"Hey!" Chloe laughed, swiping at Diana for laughing at that before raising an eyebrow at Greg. "I'm definitely embarrassing you come show night!"
Diana hugged herself, barely able to speak through her laughter. "You asked for it!"
He pouted at her.
Cassie watched them, feeling a little left out, before her gaze returned to that design on Chloe's elbow.
"Wendy!" Brent grinned as he opened the door to her. "Long time no see!"
Chloe's eyes widened, not having seen Brent since the kidnapping incident. She had wondered why he hadn't come with Trent the night she'd been dealing with her Brent. "Tell me about it."
"The boys tell me that you've been visiting them during my absence, color me jealous." Brent held the door open, allowing her and the others entrance to the warehouse where the boys were in various activities, all stopping what they were doing and coming towards them once they realized they had visitors.
"It's the Girl Most Likely!" Brendan laughed as he jogged through the crowd, grabbing Chloe by her hips and twirling her in the air before lowering her to the ground. "I'll collect you one day, I swear it."
"She's not a Pokemon." Trent rolled his eyes as he gave Brendan a little shove, stoic as ever. "Hello, Chloe. I have what we were talking about the last time you were here. If you would come with me..."
Chloe nodded before pausing. "By the way, guys, this is Faye and these are my sisters, Cassie and Diana. Also, Whitney Fordman and Greg Arkin, Hand and Eye respectively. Show they all the respect they deserve." She turned to leave when her gaze fell on someone and her eyes widened. "You."
Licking his lips, the boy emerged from the group. "Hello."
Diana gasped, eyes widened. "Grant?"
Grant flinched, looking away, nervous.
In fact, all of the boys were nervous, worried, and in seconds she realized why.
Chloe stared between them, beating herself for being so shocked. Hadn't Grant told her that he'd worked for her father? That the reason he'd brought Diana to her was because it was what John had told him to do should anything happen to him? Obviously Grant would return here some day. To the only place he'd consider home.
Like the others, he was a Lost Boy and this was his only home.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe moved towards Grant and waited until he finally turned his gaze to her before reaching her hand out to him.
Grant gulped, hesitating a second before placing his hand in hers.
Closing her hand around his, Chloe gave the boy a little smile before shaking his hand. "Thanks."
His eyes widened in shock. "W-what?"
"You brought Diana to me." Chloe gave him a soft smile. "Thank you."
He blinked, his lips tilting in a confused yet hopeful smile. "Thank you."
Chloe nodded before letting his hand fall through hers, her gaze going to a conflicted Diana. "You two have things you need to work out." Her gaze went to Trent. "Lead the way."
Trent had taken Chloe to a large room above the warehouse. It was made of what looked like tinted, reinforced glass that made it seem like, despite the fact that one couldn't see inside, those in the room could easily see outside. Whitney didn't feel comfortable with the fact that Chloe was apparently up in there by herself with the tall and very intimidating looking guy. There was something in the dude's eyes that told Whitney he wasn't averse to hurting people and he probably liked it, a lot. He didn't like the idea of Chloe being alone in a place like that with a guy like that.
"What's that place?" he finally asked Lucas, motioning to the room up above.
Lucas looked up from where he'd been talking to a group of the boys. "John's room."
"The boss' room," one of the boys corrected. "For whenever she chooses to spend a night with us."
That just didn't sound right, and it didn't sit right in Whitney's gut either, the thought of her spending a night alone with these guys.
Greg's scarred hand came down on his shoulder. "Calm down, Whit. Your over-protectiveness is showing like a flashing neon sign all over your face." He leaned in, voice low. "I doubt he has her pinned against one of those glass walls."
"Shut up, Arkin. Don't be stupid." And yet Whitney could feel Greg's laughter as the blonde found himself heading towards the staircase that led towards the room. He could see the boys all giving him looks, probably wondering whether they should try to stop him, but they'd apparently decided to wait and see. He passed Diana and Grant, who were talking off to the side, both of them appearing quite uncomfortable, and took the steps two by two before reaching the door. Trying the door knob, he found the door locked, a muscle jumping in his cheek as he took in a deep breath and knocked on the door. "Everything okay in there, Chlo?"
There were gazes on him.
Greg was openly snickering.
The door opened, Trent eyeing him with a raised eyebrow before motioning with his head for him to enter.
Whitney flipped Greg off when the brunet yelled "Go Crows!" before entering the room, finding that he'd been right; from inside, one could see everything in the warehouse and outside as well, the cameras installed in multiple places being monitored there.
Chloe sat behind a desk upon which twenty monitors were mounted, the blonde eyeing Whitney curiously. "Is everything okay?"
The Quarterback felt a little stupid now for letting Greg rile him up like that. "Yeah."
Trent moved past him and returned to stand behind Chloe, pointing to something on one of the monitors. "What about that one?"
"No. His nose was thinner." Chloe shook her head before motioning to another monitor. "And the eyebrows were bushier than that – didn't look so waxed."
Whitney frowned, confused with the conversation, and walked around to get a look at the monitors and realized that they were looking at screens filled with different human features. In the middle monitor was a mash-up of the selected features, revealing a man Whitney felt was vaguely familiar but he couldn't tell from where. "What's going on?"
"Remember the weird guy I met for two seconds at the after party from hell? The one who told me about Byron?" Chloe asked, switching the eyebrows for a different type and leaning back, eyeing the overall effect the change had on the man's face. "I'm trying to find out more about him and to do that, I want as accurate a picture of him as I can get. So Trent got me this software to play around with – and it's awesome." She gave the boy a smile before returning a frown to the finished work. "It's almost right but something seems off."
Whitney frowned, wondering why this guy seemed so vaguely familiar. Maybe he'd seen him at the after party but hadn't really paid attention to him? "It's just-" The Quarterback made the face more angular and the eyes more almond shape. "There."
Chloe's eyes widened. "You're right." She turned to Whitney. "How did you know?"
"I have no idea," he admitted.
Trent eyed them before reaching over and pressing a button, sending the picture to print. "I'll have our sources look into this person and I'll find out who it is." Grabbing the picture after it printed, Trent stormed out to get started, the door slamming shut behind him.
Left in the dimly lit room, Whitney cleared his throat as he gaze around, blues landing on the large, comfortable looking bed before going to all the other things around the place. "So, your dad's room, huh?"
"They changed the bed, apparently, but basically everything else was his." Chloe rose from the chair and stretched, looking around. "It really doesn't give you a feel for him as a person at all though, does it? Other than the fact that he liked to keep an eye on everything at all times." She went to the wall and gazed down, hands against the tinted glass, watching Diana and Grant thoughtfully. "They seem to be okay."
"Isn't that what you wanted?" Whitney asked, making his way to her side as he gazed down at them as well.
Chloe nodded wordlessly, resting her forehead against the glass.
The Quarterback sent her a sideways glance as a sigh escaped her lips. "What is it?"
"You came up here because you were worried about me, just like you're worried about me so you're thinking about applying to Met U when you graduate from high school." She was back onto the conversation they'd been arguing about in the car; the fact that Coach Teague had told him he had the potential to get a great sports scholarship and Whitney wasn't as psyched as everyone thought he should be. Chloe closed her eyes tightly. "You can't live your life worried about mine, Whitney. Hand or not, you have your own life you have to think of! Your own future!" She took in a deep breath. "Stop worrying about me so much."
He chuckled darkly. "If I don't, who will? You? You're too busy worrying about everyone else."
She twirled around so her back was against the glass, her eyes flashing angrily as she glared at him. "I'm serious, Whitney! Back off!"
He was sick and tired of this little attitude she'd developed since 'the after party from hell', had had it with how she seemed to be subconsciously building a wall between them once more, trying to make him go to school across the country, force him to dance with any random girl at the ball, constantly pushing him away from her and towards other people... It was pissing him off!
The Quarterback slammed his hands on each side of her head against the glass, his voice a low growl and eyes narrowed as he stared down into her widened greens. "Make me."