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!
"Where do they think they're sneaking off to at this time of the night?" Lana wanted to know, frowning as she watched Faye Chamberlain and Diana Meade tiptoe out the back door, the girls dressed in black wearing way too much black makeup, looking a bit like raccoons, as they hurried away from the house. "Do they really think it's time to go to a party?" Lana shook her head. "I'm going to go and-"
"Let them be." Pete stopped her, grabbing her arm.
Lana turned towards him, her expression surprised. "But Pete, Chloe's with that, that, that guy." She moved towards her boyfriend, cupping his face, knowing how much he was suffering and how little everyone seemed to care. "Those girls shouldn't be partying at a time like this!"
"Lana, they might need to get rid of the stress they have." Pete sighed, pulling her close, resting his forehead against her heartbeat. "The gods know that I do."
Lana blushed at having him so near, even as her heart broke at having him so vulnerable and broken. "Tell me what I can do to help. I'll do anything."
"Just the fact that you're here helps more than you can understand," Pete whispered, hands on her hips, his voice soft. "It's past midnight and yet you're still here with me despite how indecent your aunt keeps telling you it is every time she calls you on the phone." His grip tightened on her hips. "I don't think I would have been able to survive any of this without you. I know I wouldn't have been able to take what happened in France if you hadn't been there."
Lana sighed, head lowering. "Let's be honest, Pete. If it wasn't for me, France wouldn't have happened."
"Don't say that." Pete frowned.
"It's true." Lana looked away. "I'm the one who wanted to go there, to dig into my family's roots there and yours as well, in addition to… well, you already know. It's where this all started. If we hadn't started digging, we wouldn't have caught his attention and none of this would have happened."
"We had no way of knowing that this would happen," Pete stressed.
"But it happened and it's because of me." Lana pulled away. "And that's something I'm going to have to deal with." She licked her lips. "Clark and Jake should have been back already, shouldn't they?"
Pete frowned at her before his gaze went to the clock. "You're right. They should have."
"I hope that something hasn't happened to them." Lana worried her bottom lip.
"I'm sure they're fine." Pete stood, going to the window and looking out in the direction that Faye and Diana had headed in before turning and picking up the burnt half-remains of the Balcoin Book of Spells, giving a little groan when he realized that the book was regenerating itself and wondering if he should give it another go or if he should just leave it alone. "I don't know why I'm doing this. Why did I accept to be the First? I don't want to be the First. No one wants me to be the First. Not even the damned book!"
"Language," Lana whispered, coming to Pete and wrapping her arms around him, pressing a soft kiss to his lips, resting her cheek to his chest. "You can do this, Pete. You were born to do this."
"I was the Secondborn. I was obviously not born to do this," Pete grumbled. "We had our plans all set. We'd become a part of your Circle, just like our parents had before us. Everything would be so simple. So perfect."
"Chloe obviously was born to be a part of Rao Darkseid's Circle, Pete. Which means you were born to do this," Lana corrected. "And anyway, who says we can't be in the same Circle?" She caressed his chest, trailing her fingers down his heartbeat. "Just instead of me adding you into my Circle, you add me into yours."
Pete froze. "You – you'd do that?"
"Why not?" she whispered, keeping her cheek pressed against his chest.
"Because you're the only heir to the Thoreaux Circle!" Pete whispered back. "I couldn't ask you to put your family's Circle in jeopardy like that!"
"Well, my aunt is still young enough, and as Greg likes to point out, she has a penchant for those low cut shirts," Lana announced. "I'm sure if she really tries, she could have a couple of children of her own to continue on the Thoreaux lineage and make sure that the line doesn't die out with me." She took in a deep breath. "What matters to me, Pete, is being with you. That's all."
Pete didn't react at first, and then he grabbed her by her shoulders, turning her to face him. "That's all that matters to me too." He smiled. "Join my Balcoin Circle. Be my first official member."
Lana smiled, reached up and cupped his face, kissing him deeply before pulling away and resting her cheek against his rapidly beating heartbeat.
"You've made me see the light, Lana. I've been looking at this as a burden. I've been given this opportunity and I have to take it, make it mine. To really be able to help Chloe, I have to truly assume the position she's given me, and to do so, I have to bind the Circle. But to be able to bind a Circle, I need to actually have enough people in the Circle to bind it." Pete held her closely. "You've inspired me, Lana. As soon as they come back, I'll ask Clark and Jake to become a part of my Circle, and I'll ask Greg as well. That leaves a spot open, maybe one of my brothers or sisters might stop hating me for a second and join, maybe Byron." He grinned brightly, filled with hope for the first time. "If we can do this, if we can bind the Patriarch Circle, we can grow strong enough – we can have a chance in this upcoming war, and we can fight this monster and get Chloe back." He held Lana tighter, pressing an adoring kiss to the top of her head. "Now that you're in this with me, helping me, inspiring me, advising me, I know that nothing can go wrong."
"Exactly," Lana whispered, her lips curling in a smile as she stared ahead of her. "Everything's perfect."
"How do you even know about where this event is taking place?" Diana wanted to know, hugging herself, the sound of their high heels loud, echoing off the walls of the alleyway as they walked alone in the darkness. They'd hailed a cab after escaping the house not that long after midnight and Diana wasn't exactly feeling safe or happy with where they were, the girls in a seedy district of Metropolis heading towards a place called The Ace of Clubs. It looked like any other club and the people heading towards it looked like any other people, Diana feeling like some evil-princess wannabe for her clothes and makeup, and right now wanted to throttle Faye for her suggestions because they were not fitting in with the people who were trying to get in. Still, she stuck close to Faye, who didn't seem at all concerned with anything that was going on.
"Unlike some people, I'm not just content to stay sitting by a window crying and worrying. I'm more proactive than that." Faye sniffed, flinging her hair behind her shoulder as she eyed the people around her, obviously trying to figure something out. "Yep. You." She turned to Diana. "Follow me and don't say a word. Let me do all the talking." Taking in a deep breath, Faye raised her chin and squared her shoulders before completely bypassing the large and burly bouncer by the front door, instead moving towards a tiny, seemingly nondescript guy leaning against the corner of the building playing something on his phone, only looking up from the screen at random intervals. Faye licked her lips as she came to stop in front of the tiny guy, giving him a little smirk. "So, we're not here for the tourist attraction." She rubbed her hands together in mock fervor. "Where's the real event taking place?"
The guy looked up at her, eyebrow raised. "You smoking something?"
Diana blushed, embarrassed. "Faye, he doesn't know anything."
Faye ignored her, leaning forwards, slamming her palm against the wall next to the dude's head, the girl easily taller than him and using it to try and intimidate him. "I don't think you heard me, Tiny Tim."
"Tiny Tim. Real original, lady." He rolled his eyes, gaze going back to his game.
Faye's eyes narrowed as she pursed her lips, yanking the phone from him and holding it up high above his head. "You going to be more helpful or you wanna jump for it?"
"Faye!" Diana cried out in mortification.
"Look, I don't know what's crawled up your skirt, bitch, but I don't know what the hell-" the guy started.
The sound of something breaking caused Diana and "Tiny Tim" to both turn their widened eyes to the phone as it cracked in Faye's trembling hand, the young witch glaring darkly at the very short guy as she leaned in closer before slamming the hand with the cracked phone into the wall next to the guy's head. "I'm only going to ask you one more time."
"Really, Richard, are you blind?" a voice asked from behind them, the girls turning to see a man standing there. "I told you to make sure that the posers didn't make it in, not to waste the time of not only genuine witches, but of someone who is family."
Diana's eyes widened in shock.
So did Faye's.
Richard was about to pee himself.
The man shook his head, disgusted as he came closer, gaze going to the girls. "Let me apologize for that, ladies, please don't hold it against the organization as a whole. There's a reason why people like him are left as lackeys." That last bit was thrown behind him at Richard, the man motioning the girls towards the side entrance which they hadn't noticed until he'd tapped the large garbage container three times with the side of his boot. "I am Bruno, but you may call me Ugly. This is my fine establishment." As the door closed behind them, an ultraviolet light came on, showering them, revealing an Omega symbol on his forehead.
Diana's eyes widened, a gasp escaping her lips, pointing at her friend. "Faye!"
"What?" Faye wanted to know, noticing Diana's expression. "Is there something on my face?"
Diana, noticing the reflective surfaces of the walls, grabbed Faye and swung her around, revealing the luminescent symbol of a winged serpent within a heptagon on her forehead.
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" Faye's eyes widened as she clawed at her forehead. "That wasn't there before!"
Bruno eyed them curiously. "Is this the first time you are seeing your mark then?"
"You can bet your tight butt it is!" Faye swung around to him. "So when you said family – you meant me?"
"Incredible. You were so blessed and you did not even know." He looked almost jealous. "Our Master has many different categories of servants, all of them faithful, all of them serving their own unique, important purpose, but prophets are one of the highest in regard. I wasn't lucky enough to be a prophet of Our Lord, as you are a prophet of Our Lady. I'm merely a host, but I'm still honored to be merely a host. We are forever tied to them." Bruno eyed Faye. "It was how My Master knew you would come to find us eventually. In His infinite wisdom, He had your picture circulated at our designated meeting points as He knew that your connection to Our Lady would draw you to us." The man paused. "It is only one of the added heightened abilities you are experiencing, is it not?"
Diana sent a look towards the other brunette. "Faye?"
Faye licked her lips. "So I wasn't imagining it."
"No, you were not. You are a prophet. Our Lady dwelled in your body; that leaves a permanent imprint." Bruno eyed her, the man very well spoken for a thug and ruffian. "A rare few of the hosts are affected by this possession and manifest a special ability, transforming them from mere hosts to prophets by displaying their unique abilities, which we call 'Prophecy', for it is one more revelation that ours is the right way and that we are sure to win; that the ancient gods want us to win; that they are stacking the odds in our favor," Bruno replied, drawing to his full height. "You are to be taken to her immediately."
Faye straightened. "I am?"
"You are her prophet." Bruno frowned. "Your place is by her side, training with her. You form part of her Circle. If you are to be ready for war, you must start training with her and the sanguine immediately."
Faye's eyes widened, her lips parting. "I'm a part of her Circle?"
Bruno frowned darker. "Do you not know anything?"
Faye stared at Bruno in silence before suddenly screaming, the girl jumping up and down on her spike heeled boots, twirling her arms around in circles. "YES! YES! YES! YESYESYESYESYESYESYES! FINALLY!" She gave a little twirl before stamping her foot and laughing, pulling a strand of dark hair out of her red face. "It was about time, damn it!"
Diana had to admit that, as she watched Faye celebrate childishly, the brunette rubbed her fading Eye of Ra design, feeling a just as childish bit of spite jolt through her.
Faye managed to somehow get a lid on her little burst, the girl grinning mischievously as she clasped her hands behind her back and moved towards Bruno. "So, when do I leave?"
"We." Diana frowned, eyes narrowed.
Faye rolled her eyes. "Right. We."
"You will be taken to her," Bruno announced before his gaze turned to Diana. "There is no reason for this potential initiate to be taken to her as well."
"No reason?" Diana hissed.
Faye leaned closer to her, voice hissed. "Let me handle this."
"I will not be left behind," Diana warned.
Faye sent her a little look before taking in a deep breath and smiling at Bruno, dimple deep. "Bruno, you know what the message being sent to the Six right now is? It's that their reign, their time, is up. They've been judged and found wanting. They've paddled up shit creek and they're about to get their paddles taken away from them, buster," Faye announced, hands on her hips, expression all business, chin raised. "The best way to show this is to allow me to bring her along."
"And how is this?" Bruno wanted to know, arms folded over his chest.
"You don't seem to realize that this is Diana Balcoin, one of the very few surviving members of the small yet powerful and respected Balcoin clan. When Chl – Our Lady – was the Balcoin Firstborn, Diana was her Eye and as such, she held a high position. She's known." Faye let her words sink in before continuing. "How better to show that the Six are destabilizing than for one of their own to take the mark?" Faye wanted to know, grabbing Diana by her shoulders and turning her to face the man, seeing Bruno's eyes narrow on Diana. "I doubt you have many of the core members of the Six, of the inner Houses and Circles in the Clans, willing to leave their positions to join your cause." Faye drew closer, lowering her voice to a tempting whisper, obviously trying to sell Diana as an asset to the man. "Think of the message it will send when the news hits." Her hazels met his. "It says: 'You're not just losing your lackeys to us, you're losing your inner core as well. You're not as secure as you think you are. You should beware'."
Bruno frowned, obviously contemplating her words as he stared at Diana.
"In that case, here, you've got another. She wasn't a position-holding Circle member but she's a Balcoin nonetheless," a familiar voice announced, surprising the girls into twirling around. Greg appeared in the shadows, Cassie by his side. "If there's a train, cab, plane or even elevator going to wherever Chloe is, we want to be there."
"Ah, the Cyclops," Bruno announced, eyeing Greg. "I wondered when you would make your presence known. We have been expecting you."
"Cyclops?" Faye blinked.
"Who you calling names, Ugly?" Greg glared, stepping out into the light menacingly, fists narrowed.
Faye's eyes widened.
Diana's lips parted.
Cassie, who'd been walking next to Greg, gasped as she jumped away from him. "Greg!"
"What?" He turned to her.
Cassie pointed wordlessly behind him.
Greg frowned, turning towards where she was pointing, eyes widening when they fell upon the reflective surface of the wall, seeing the shining symbol betrayed by the magical light in the room. His defensive posture completely fell away, his shoulders sagging as the boy completely turned to face the wall. "Oh, you've got to be joking."
"You too, huh?" Faye moved to Greg's side, folding her arms over her chest, the two of them eyeing their reflections in the walls, the symbol of the winged serpent inside a heptagon glowing brightly on their forehead. "I wonder how long it's been there and we just haven't known, you know? I mean, I haven't done the whole swearing into the Circle thing like you have so I couldn't even use that as a timeline." She grinned. "This is so cool."
Diana turned her dark gaze on Cassie, finding her younger sister's blue gaze on Greg and Faye, on their marks, the blonde frowning and looking just as unhappy as Diana felt.
"It isn't a fashion accessory." Bruno scolded Faye. "It is an honor. Treat that mark with the respect it deserves. You do not see the Cyclops disrespecting his."
Faye turned to Greg and rolled her eyes.
It suddenly hit Diana hard, the brunette taking a step backwards. "Cyclops."
Greg turned his head towards her. "I don't-"
"Don't you get it? There were never two Eyes-as in the Balcoin position in the Circle." Diana whispered, hurrying over to Greg and grabbing his palm, turning it over to reveal his Eye symbol. She then turned her palm over and placed it next to his. Their Eye symbols were completely different, not to mention that while her symbol was horribly faded, his was still vibrant. "Your design, the All Seeing Eye, refers to the Cyclops as it only has one eye so it would see all through that one eye!" Her brown gaze met Greg's. "The reason why your Eye hasn't faded and mine has is because I connected to her Balcoin magic while-"
"I connected to her Darkseid magic," Greg whispered, shocked.
"Is that even possible?" Cassie asked, coming close, eyeing the two Eyes.
"It's right in front of us, isn't it?" Faye pointed out, giving a little smirk. "As I said before: this is so cool."
"What are you two doing here anyway?" Diana suddenly thought of something, eyeing them. "How did you even know about this place?"
"Yeah." Faye blinked, eyeing Greg. "You weren't ever possessed by Chloe so you couldn't have felt the energy of this place like I did, so that can't be it."
Cassie and Greg exchanged a look before the blonde cleared her throat, answering as her blue gaze went to Diana. "Adam called me. He told me what you told him and he was worried, said he wanted me to come over and talk to you, wanted me to make sure that he'd managed to talk you out of doing anything stupid." The blonde looked away. "He said that, how you talked, he was worried that you might actually do something, so he wanted me to make sure you actually didn't have any information to act on. I told Greg."
"And instead of doing as Adam asked you to, you two decided to use me as bait," Diana realized, hugging herself.
At least Cassie had the grace to look ashamed. "We saw you and Faye sneaking away and followed."
"So if we had ended up getting raped and sacrificed to some pagan god would you have even made an effort to step in and help or would you have waited to see what happened?" Diana felt catty, it was a bad night.
"Don't get all high and mighty with me!" Cassie snapped. "It's not like you even thought about inviting me!"
"To the gang rape?" Greg asked Faye. "Or the ritualistic murder?"
Faye rolled her eyes. "Don't encourage them."
"Enough." Suddenly the shadows in the room seemed suffocating, the teenagers turning towards Bruno, finding his eyes midnight black, his voice a different tone all together. "Personally, I couldn't care less if you tore each other apart, but two of you are a part of my daughter's Circle and the other two are her sisters – and powerful witches in your own right." It was then that they realized that Rao Darkseid had taken possession of Bruno sometime during their argument, the teenagers going stiff, eyes wide. "There has been an incident involving Chloe."
"Is she okay?" Diana stepped forwards, worried to hell, rubbing her ever-fading eye. "I've been feeling something horrible. Even though our connection is so dull, I can feel something's really wrong."
He eyed her in displeasure. "Something is wrong." He took in a deep breath. "She has somehow managed to find herself trapped somewhere in which I cannot get her out of, and the longer she stays there, the lesser the chance I have at getting her out alive." The man paused, obviously hating doing this. "I sent in the sanguine but he is not strong enough to do this alone. I would send in more of my own faithfuls but for this mission, she needs someone with a – personal connection." His inky black eyes narrowed on them. "That is where you four come in."
"I'm not here for a fight," Lex Luthor announced, hands in his pockets, not even paying attention to the witches on the defense, instead his blues were trained on Virgil Swan. "I am only here to talk to you. Nothing more, nothing less." He could feel Tess and Oliver tense at his side, but as he'd told them, neither of them were one the defensive either, even though they'd been tortured by these people in the past. "We know that the Seventh is free – everyone knows that – and that the reason you betrayed my father is because he, Janus and John were behind Rao Darkseid's freedom." Lex could see the hardening around Virgil's eyes soften slightly. "I know there is much more to this than meets the eye. I know that there is a war looming over all our heads. I know that we are not prepared for it." He stepped forwards towards Virgil. "I know that we have no chance in hell."
"Where are Davis and Jason?" Virgil looked around curiously. "Are they hiding somewhere waiting to attack once I let my guard down?"
"No, I've left them in Smallville," Lex replied, unhappy. "I am beginning to doubt their loyalties so I chose to leave them behind." He gave the man a nasty little smile. "The last time one of my Circle went rogue, the magical community was nearly decimated, so you have to understand my hesitance."
"My daughter did what she did to try and save us all." Virgil frowned, coming to Patricia's defense. "Had our plan worked, none of this would be happening now. War would not be at our doorsteps. John's plan would have saved us all. It would have killed many innocents but it would have saved the magical community as a whole." Virgil raised his chin. "It was a sacrifice we were prepared to make."
Lex shook his head. "Really noble of you, especially since you made sure you and your families would be the few that made it through everything alive, along with your allies."
"How could you just plan to let us die like that, Virgil?" Tess asked softly, shaking her head. "You knew us since we were kids. You watched us grow up."
Virgil's gaze went to her. "I'm sorry, my dear, it was nothing personal, be sure."
"You were going to kill her whole direct family line and it wasn't going to be personal?" Oliver snapped.
"Oh, no, not every one of Lionel's children were going to die." Virgil snorted. "The boy John raised would live and the Luthor magic through him and the few others who'd been chosen."
Tess' eyes widened.
It was Oliver that spoke. "What? Lionel has another kid?"
Lex narrowed his eyes, bringing his hand to his forehead, mind going to Mikhail Balcoin and Lucas Dunleavy. Mikhail Balcoin had been the only child to be raised by John Balcoin and Lucas had been raised alongside him. Lucas. L. Lex. Lutessa. Julian's first name was Lucian but he refused to use that name.
He then thought about the deal he'd made with Chloe that day and thought about the way she'd made sure to name his siblings and it hit him hard. She'd known that Lucas was his brother. That was why she'd made sure to name which sibling she'd side with him against! She knew! Which meant Lucas probably knew.
"It doesn't matter now though," Virgil lamented. "It was all for nothing." He hung his head. "Rao is building his army, and if rumors can be believed, he has the girl now. He's won already."
"Well, with that sort of attitude no wonder." Oliver snorted, shivering. "Makes me feel ashamed to have been tortured by your side."
Tess shook her head at her boyfriend before turning her attention to the man. "What girl does he have?"
"Oh you haven't heard," Virgil announced, shaking his head. "Chloe Balcoin has disappeared. There's all sorts of rumors as to how, but the most prevalent is that he has her. All I do know is that some half-brother of hers is the First now, although he doesn't seem to be doing the best of jobs considering that most of the siblings have moved out of the house. We have contacts in that house, we should have concrete information, but since things have happened, we haven't had any information coming from our contacts."
"How can he be the First if she's still alive?" Lex frowned, stepping forwards. "That isn't done."
"That's not the most important thing right now." Virgil shrugged. "What's most important is that we're all dead anyway." The man motioned his men to stand down. "So it doesn't really matter if you're here to kill us."
Lex frowned. "You can't really believe that."
"I do." Virgil began walking away. "Better to die by your hand than his."
Lex couldn't believe what he was hearing or seeing. "You must have had hope, faith, once upon a time."
"That was a long time ago, and that was the culmination of many years' worth of planning with John Balcoin, who is the only person who would know what we'd need," Virgil mumbled over his shoulder. "Forget anything you're thinking right now. His two psychotic daughters sucked the life out of him and doomed us all."
Lex shared a look with his sister and her boyfriend before clearing his throat. "Tell me all you know anyway."
"Thanks for letting us meet over here, man." Mikhail slapped Clark's back as he and Lucas bounded up the last steps, meeting the other three boys in the loft in the barn.
"No problem." Clark smiled, shaking hands with Lucas. "When you guys said you wanted to meet away from the place and without Pete or Lana knowing, I, well, I'm a little wary and confused but, well, here we are." He leaned against the railing, eyeing the group, which consisted on the newly arrived boys plus Jake, Byron and Adam. "So, what's up?"
Jake cleared his throat, leaning forwards. "We don't want this to feel like an ambush, but we wanted to separate you from Lana and Pete for a while."
Clark nodded slowly. "Okay…"
"Thing is, we get the whole huddling together for safety thing, it's how we survive after traumatic experiences," Jake assured him. "But for what we want to try, we need you alone so you don't try to latch onto them for comfort, even if subconsciously. We want you open and vulnerable."
"Dude, you sounded like a creepy rapist right then." Lucas made a face at him.
Jake glared at him.
Byron snorted in amusement.
Adam stepped in. "What Jake is trying to say is that I would like to try use my ability on you to see if I can jog any memory that might help us in any way."
Clark's eyes widened, straightening, feeling less wary and more interested. "I thought you could only show people things you have gone through and not see other people's memories."
"In theory it should work both ways, but I've never actually been able to do it," Adam admitted.
"Which is why you need me open and vulnerable." Clark understood, nodding. "So you can ease inside me and poke in deeper."
"Dude… I see your point." Mikhail shivered, turning to look at Lucas. "I got a visual and everything."
"Me too." Lucas made a face, appearing traumatized. "It was nasty."
"Right." Adam was apparently ignoring Mikhail and Lucas, focusing on Clark. "Let's do this."
Clark nodded. "Let's."