Title: The New CircleFandoms: Smallville/Secret CircleCharacters: Chloe Sullivan, Whitney Fordman, Greg Arkin, Cassie Blake, Diana Meade, Mikhail Balcoin, Lucas Dunleavy, Faye Chamberlain, Byron Moore...Rating: TDisclaimer: Don't ownSummary: 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!
Chloe trembled, disgusted. "I am nothing of his! He killed the only man I ever accepted as my father!"
"If that is so, then it is your fault he died," Francis declared.
Chloe flinched as if slapped.
"If it's as I think it is, you are the Balcoin heir Darkseid has been wanting for centuries." Francis came and knelt down to face her. "He would take your relationship with your adopted father as a threat. If he could not corrupt the man, possess him, he'd kill him. Because he was a threat to his position as your father." Francis's gaze went to Whitney and then returned to Chloe. "He will have been working on getting closer to you through those closest to you. Your family and Circle members especially. He will know they are your weakness."
Has anyone close to you been acting odd lately? She could hear his voice in her mind. Violent when they are usually peaceful? Angry when they are usually calm? Jealous or hurtful when they have never shown these traits before? Francis' voice was urgent. Have you seen anyone's pupils expand? Have unexplained strength? Have they been touched by any sort of darkness lately? Any sort of violence?
Chloe's eyes widened as suddenly her mind flashed to various scenes. Qandisa. Jason's injury and Lex's comments on being concerned about Jason and Davis not being in control of themselves. Whitney's enchantment, his recollection of Darkseid's face, and his out of character behavior earlier on. Whitney was never a jealous person. How he'd acted previously was very much unlike him. He'd actually beenacting unlike him since the Qandisa episode but she'd felt clingy to him herself, still shocked at the thought of almost having lost him, so she'd shrugged it off. And then there was Byron with the black eyes and strength, just like Francis described.
"I see..." Francis stood before turning to Whitney. "Restrain him."
Immediately, hundreds of the spirits latched unto Whitney, pulling him into the air as the witch struggled.
"What – stop-!" Whitney struggled hard against the many hands that held him. "Chloe – what – Chloe-!"
"If you truly have his magic, no matter how dormant it is within you, you can command the sign to appear." Francis turned to Chloe. "Everyone touched by Darkseid bares the Omega Symbol on their forehead; it marks them as his servant and as you have not placed it on him, it should glow red." Francis turned to eye Whitney. "Hold your hand to him and say "Aperio abscondita vinculum."
She recognized vaguely what those words meant. It was a revealing spell, to reveal something that was hidden.
"This is stupid!" Whitney struggled. "Chloe, please! You know me!" he pleaded. "You know me!"
Chloe didn't want it to be true, she prayed she was being paranoid, begged to god that this would be wrong and Whitney would have good reason to be pissed at her for weeks and months to come. She stood, taking in a deep breath as she raised her left palm towards him. "Aperio abscondita vinculum."
"Chloe-" And then Whitney gasped, closing his eyes as his forehead erupted in a bright blue light which slowly tinted red to reveal the omega symbol on his forehead.
Chloe's eyes widened. "No..."
"It's – it's a lie..." Whitney hissed, eyes closed. "I-I-" And then his eyes flew open and they were pitch black, his lips curled in a smirk. "I was really enjoying this, you know, Francis; having an inside view of what went on in the Circle without even the boy knowing I was in here. You ruined this for me. You'll pay for that."
"I'm in purgatory with most of my wretched family." Francis frowned at Whitney's body. "What more could you do to me now?"
Chloe moved towards the blonde. "Let him go."
"I'm sorry, sweetie, but he's mine now." Whitney sneered at her. "Do you know how much I wanted him when I realized just how important he is to you? But I couldn't, no matter how hard I tried. The jock with the heart of gold." He sneered. "And yet it took you Enthralling a boy who owned the Qandisa Spoon to give me the opportunity I needed. Once Whitney had ingested the drink, the corruption entered him and I was able to take hold of him. I talked to him a bit during the party, while the drink was slowly taking control. He's got potential."
"You can't have him, he's mine." Chloe glared at him. "You took my father away from me, I won't let you take Whitney or anyone else."
"I am your father!" Whitney's eyes flashed darker as he snarled. "ME! Not that power-hungry Balcoin brat! Not that puny, idiotic human! Me." He strained against the now thousands of hands restraining him back, leaning towards her as much as possible. "Together, we will bring back the Darkseid Clan and show the world why they should have never forgotten us."
"You've forgotten something." She sneered at him. "I don't want to help you. I'm the Balcoin Firstborn and I'm happy-"
"You've forgotten something," he interrupted. "Pete and the others aren't doing very well."
Chloe's eyes widened. "What have you done to them?"
Whitney smiled. "Come to me and I will let you see them."
"I'm right here, aren't I?" she questioned.
"But I'm not. I'm just speaking through your boy." Whitney's head tilted. "Come to me and I'll let you see your brother; your friends."
"Release Whitney and I'll do it." Chloe gulped.
"No." Whitney smiled at her. "But I'll do one better for you." His voice lowered. "I can tell you how to help Byron."
Chloe's eyes widened. She wasn't going to give up Whitney to this bastard, no way in hell, but she wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to help Byron. Still, she was wary. "And why would you do something like that?"
"Consider it an act of good faith." Whitney shrugged. "Or if you do not care about him enough to take the risk then-"
"How do I know you won't hurt him more?" Chloe asked, hating the fact that she was playing into his hands and they both knew it.
Whitney's smile was hurtful, because it wasn't him smiling at her, it was that man wearing his skin for his perverse pleasure. "I want you to come to me knowing I only want the best for you. That I am not your enemy."
"You should have thought of that before killing my father."
"I AM YOUR FATHER!" The whole cave shook.
Chloe's eyes widened.
Whitney's face twisted before he took in a deep breath and smiled. "Now listen closely because I'm only going to say this once."
"I was shocked to see your number flashing on my screen," Jake Armstrong declared as he stood by his bedroom window, staring out at Cassie's vacant house. "I'm assuming everything is not alright."
"I need a favor." Chloe Sullivan's voice reached him, she sounded like she was walking. "I need you to come to Smallville."
"Why me?" He frowned.
"Well, unlike Adam and Melissa, you've graduated from high school and I'm not going to be upsetting your school work." She took in a deep breath. "Also, you know Cassie and Diana, and it would be good for them to have a familiar face around."
"Why do I have a feeling I'm not going to like the next couple of words that come out of your mouth?" Jake could feel himself tensing.
"I can't say much on the phone, I'm trying to hitch a ride into town, but I can tell you that Whitney's possessed at the moment so I'm having to keep him hostage in the caves until I can figure a way to free him from the hold over him." Chloe hissed when the sound of a car passing her proved that she hadn't gotten picked up. "There's big trouble on the rise and Cassie and Diana will need you soon." She took in a deep breath. "Whenever you can clear things up, let me know. I'll have a first class ticket waiting for you to pick up."
He frowned, looking around his empty house. "Arrange it. I'll pick it up first thing tomorrow."
Her left palm was itching like crazy, her Balcoin symbol blotchy. It almost seemed infected. She didn't want to think about it right now though, the blonde continuing walking down the road towards town, planning her next moves carefully. She'd called Marx and he'd booked the first flight out tomorrow for Jake to Metropolis, and for a ride to be waiting to bring him to the house they were staying. So that was taken care of. She'd need him around, not so much because of his connection to Cassie and Diana as she'd told him, even though she really did want him there for the girls, but she also needed to talk to him. His time with the Witch-Hunters would prove invaluable for her with this situation.
She'd texted Greg, made him slip out somewhere by himself without drawing any attention to himself, and then had called him. She'd explained as much as she was willing to over the phone, which admittedly wasn't a whole lot, but enough to let him know that Whitney was compromised and Pete and the others in danger – not to mention themselves. The two of them had talked a little while longer before hanging up, Greg bringing the others back here from Edge City and Chloe readying things on her side.
Her fingers raced over the keyboard of her phone as she texted Adam.
Suddenly headlights hit her from behind and the blonde pressed 'send', turning to try and hitch a ride into town when she paused, recognizing the car.
It slowed to a stop next to her, the window rolling down to reveal Jason Teague. "What are you doing walking the road this time of night?"
Given everything she knew so far, Chloe felt true wariness with Jason Teague for the first time in her life, the blonde hugging herself as she smiled awkwardly at him. "Hey, Coach. How's it cracking?"
He flinched, looking away. "You don't have to call me that outside of school, you know."
"But it suits you, Coach." She shrugged, gaze going down the road, suddenly realizing just how isolated and far from help she was should she actually need it. "How's Davis?"
Jason gave a dark little chuckle. "He's dandy."
"Good." Chloe nodded, the awkwardness growing between them and it seriously stung that things had grown like this between them considering how things had once been.
"Do you need a ride somewhere?" Jason cleared his throat, eyeing her with a forced little smile. "It's not safe to be walking this time of night by yourself. I'm a little surprised Whitney and Greg are allowing this, Whitney especially."
"It might surprise you to find out they aren't the boss of me," she smart-mouthed before running fingers through her hair. "I could do with a ride into town, thanks."
"Get in." He reached across the seat and opened the passenger's door.
Walking around the front of the car, Chloe took in a deep breath before slipping into the car, hoping she wasn't making a big mistake as she closed the door and began belting herself in as Jason started driving.
The silence between them was painfully awkward.
"So, how have you been?" Jason cleared his throat once more, gaze straight ahead of him on the road.
"Things have been fine, thanks. How about you? How are you and Davis getting used to living in that big mansion all by yourselves now that everyone's up and left?" Chloe kept her gaze out the window. "The small town getting to you two yet? Ready to pack up and go? It must be killing you, having to be stuck here while everyone gets to move on."
"They are moving on, aren't they?"
He said that oddly and she turned to look at him curiously but he was still merely eyeing the road ahead.
"How have things been with your brother Byron?" Jason turned his gaze towards her. "Morgan Edge told Lionel, who told Lex, who told us."
Chloe nodded. "He's a wonderful person."
"Both sides of him?" Jason asked curiously.
"He's my brother; I love every side of him." Chloe responded a bit too curtly, lowering her gaze with a sigh.
Anyway, if what the man who possessed Whitney had said was true, Byron wouldn't have to worry about his Dark personality rearing its head anymore. Not after tonight.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend."
"I know." She closed her eyes tightly. "It's been a rough night, so I'm sorry that I snapped at you."
He sent her a sideways glance. "You going to tell me why you were walking alone at the side of the road at this time of the night?"
She raised her greens to his hazels, shaking her head silently.
He gave a sad little smile. "Understandable, I guess." He cleared his throat and looked back at the road. "Are you okay? Will you tell me that at least?"
"I'm better than you." Chloe gave a little smile. "Whitney says you get headaches sometimes still, on the field, but that you try to act as if you don't. That you're popping pills."
Jason's gaze slid away. "Yeah, my magic's slowed down its healing process for some reason. I get these migraines-" He shrugged. "It doesn't matter. I'll heal in time."
Up ahead, they could see the lights of the town.
Chloe relaxed a little.
"Why are you so nervous?" Jason wasn't looking at her. "You've been on edge the moment you got into the car, almost as if you think I'm going to attack you."
"Why would I think that?" If she were a cat, her heckles would be rising.
"That's what I want to know." Jason frowned, gulping. "Chloe, I know things between us haven't been that great lately, and we're basically strangers now, but I wouldn't hurt you."
She trusted Whitney above all else and he'd been unknowingly the pawn of the man who manipulated the events of her father's death.
There was no one she could trust anyone.
Her siblings were Balcoins, whose dark magic had been created by Darkseid, and that made them vulnerable to his control. She still wasn't sure what it meant that he created the magic. She couldn't understand how that was possible. Wasn't magic natural? Something one was born with? How could a certain sort of magic, especially something that dark and powerful, be created? And how?
Until she found out what exactly Lionel Luthor had given Darkseid in his pact, Lucas couldn't be trusted a hundred percent either. It could be in his veins as well.
And Greg – she needed to do the Aperio abscondita vinculum on him the second she saw him, needed to make sure that the sign she saw on him was her own and not Darkseid's.
"I can walk from here, thanks." She reached for the door handle.
Jason frowned, slamming down on the breaks before gazing behind him and thrusting the gear, tires spinning on the highway before the car jerked and began reversing at an alarming speed away from the town.
Chloe's eyes widened in shock and fear. "What are you doing? Let me out!"
"You're scared of me," he whispered oddly. "You're terrified."
"You're terrifying me!" she countered. "Stop the damn car and let me out, Jason! I'm not playing games with you!" She held on for dear life. "If you don't stop the damn car, so help me, I'll-!"
"You're a dragon, Chloe!" he snapped at her, furious. "Your inner reflection – your power – why would someone like me scare you?"
It wasn't Jason himself – it wasn't his own power – it was the thought of the power that might be controlling him, working through him.
"Tell me what is going-!"
She turned her left palm towards him in an act of pure desperation. "Aperio abscondita vinculum!"
Magic flashed as the car came to an immediate standstill as Jason slammed on the brakes, bringing a hand to his forehead with a hiss. "What-?" He looked up at Chloe, removing his hand from his forehead. "What was that spell? What-?"
Her eyes were wide at the symbol there. Instead of the Omega sign, it was a circle with a dot in the middle of it; the ancient alchemical symbol for the sun. She'd thought Francis had said that if the allegiance wasn't to Darkseid or Balcoin blood, she wouldn't be able to force a reveal of a symbol, but that symbol (which was now gone) had clearly appeared, and hadn't belonged to either of the magics in her body. "Is the Luthor magic represented by the alchemical symbol for the sun?"
"What?" Jason snapped, looking up at the rearview mirror too late to see anything, confusion obvious on his expression. "What does that-? You know what? I don't care. No. It's not." He frowned, running his hand over his sandy blonde hair. "The Teague magic is."
Chloe stared at him, his words hitting her hard.
The Teague magic?
"It is strong enough to have its own representation, you know." Jason sneered, shaking his head as he looked away. "As my mother likes to remind everyone, both sides of my bloodline are strong witches in their own right. They aren't Originals, yes, but they could take on Thoreaux and any other clan and easily beat them. There was a reason why they were chosen to be a part of an Original's Patriarch Circle."
That hadn't been what Chloe had been thinking, her gaze wide on Jason in shock. Lex had been wrong in his letter. He'd assumed that Jason wasn't in control of himself, that someone was controlling his actions, and yet for the first time, Chloe began to suspect that maybe Jason was actually not being controlled... By Lex. Maybe what Lex had perceived as Jason being out of control was in fact Jason being in control of himself and his actions for the very first time.
She was so dizzy with the realization. She leaned her head against the window and closed her eyes, letting out a little breath.
The spell she'd cast on Jason shouldn't have worked, but for some reason it had, and for a split second, it'd revealed to her his hidden bonds, so to speak. And they were to his family, or to himself, either way.
"He didn't infect you," a little whisper escaped her as she brought her hand to her forehead, trying to understand this turn of events, "why not?"
"What are you talking about?" Jason frowned. "Who didn't infect me? And what do you mean by infect?"
Chloe sent him a sideways look, contemplative, confused as her left palm itched, the Balcoin symbol more and more inflamed.
Just what the hell was going on?