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!
Faye tried recalling the time she was kidnapped by Lionel Luthor while in Chloe's body, trying to reconnect with whatever link she'd managed to unknowingly tap into that'd called Chloe to her. The blonde had said that she'd sensed Faye's distress and that it'd brought her to her. They'd thought it was because of the fact that they were sharing each other's bodies, but if Rao Darkseid could be trusted, it was because she was Chloe's Prophet and that meant that if Faye had managed to connect with Chloe once before, she could do it again. She tightened her grip on Greg and Diana, using them as anchors, one as Chloe's sister and the other as her Cyclops. She wasn't sure what the Cyclops was supposed to be (not that she was sure what the Prophet was supposed to be either) but she figured that Diana's position as blood relation (and Cassie's as well) gave her a good anchoring.
"Um, guys?" Diana gulped.
Faye kept her eyes closed, concentrating.
Greg's grip on her hand tightened.
That's when Faye felt it too…
…She could sense Chloe.
Cassie's voice was a soft hiss. "We're not alone anymore."
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"I know this is a very insensitive question," Chloe pulled a blonde strand out of her face and behind her ear as she sat on the mat, staring around the cave that must be Zatanna's home, having been filled in on the fact that she was trapped in the Shadow Realm, "but how long have you been here alone?"
Zatanna looked away, clearing her throat, gaze going to some markings on the cave walls. "Three years now."
"That's a long time," Whitney whispered awkwardly at Chloe's side.
"Yes, it has," Zatanna agreed, nodding, pulling a strand of her straight dark hair out of her face before returning her gray gaze to them. "To be honest, sometimes I thought I'd go insane without anyone else to talk to."
"I can imagine." The Quarterback made a face. "How did you even know we were here when you helped us?"
"How could I not?" She raised an eyebrow. "You were making enough noise exploding things left, right and center that I could feel the earth vibrating so I went to see what was going on. And anyway, I couldfeel something the second she appeared. Of course I didn't even suspect for a second what had really happened." Her grays were on Chloe, in deep thought, before she shook her head, licking her lips. "Makes sense though, why there were so many of them around watching. They could sense her. Probably shocked them too."
"Who?" Chloe frowned, completely in the dark considering she'd been asleep during the whole thing. "I don't remember any of this. I thought I was running this whole time and someone I couldn't see was chasing me. I was being shredded, bleeding." She could remember the eight claw marks, the blood. "I have no memory of the dark bubble or these butterflies climbing out of me – which – eewww," she made a face at the mere thought, "or the fact that they were evolving into something else. Or the other monsters. Or anything."
"How was that possible anyway?" Whitney wanted to know, turning to her. "Jason said that when the Legend of the Seeker happened, that two butterflies came out of you, but that they stayed butterflies."
"What?" Chloe's eyes widened. "And you didn't feel the need to share this sort of information with me?"
"It was going to gross you out." Whitney made a face.
"With good reason!" Chloe cried out in horror, grabbing his shirt and pulling him closer before giving the boy a sharp shake. "Butterflies are climbing out of my throat! Butterflies!"
Zatanna looked between them, confusion plain on her face, before she cleared her throat. "I do not mean to interrupt, I haven't been this entertained in far too long, but are you trying to say that you don'tknow what's going on?"
Chloe let go of Whitney, turning toward Zatanna. "Are you trying to say that you do?"
Zatanna stared at the blonde before clearing her throat. "You are Rao Darkseid's daughter, are you not?"
"Technically." Chloe made a face.
Zatanna moved closer. "His magic runs through your body, has since your birth. You are not an adopted daughter."
Chloe's eyes widened, nodding as she too moved closer, showing the other witch her palms. "I was born Darkseid."
"It couldn't be any other way." Zatanna seemed to be talking to herself, eyeing the symbols slowly forming on Chloe's palms before raising her grey orbs to the girl's greens. "And yet you do not know what you are? Or your connection to this place?"
"Rao was trapped here, in this prison dimension, by his wife, my ancestor, for being an ass." Chloe shrugged. "It's a sore spot of his; he doesn't like talking about it."
Zatanna stared at Chloe then Whitney before returning her gaze to Chloe. "That's all you know?"
The two blondes shared a look before turning their gaze to the dark haired beauty. "There's more?"
Zatanna let out a stuttering laugh. "There's so much more!" She clutched at her necklace. "I can't believe you don't know."
"Don't know what?" Whitney narrowed his blues on the witch.
"The fact that she was able to come here 'accidentally' at all should have been enough to clue you in," the witch announced accusingly, shaking her head at them. "Though I doubt it'll be as easy for her to leave as it was for her to enter – if she'll be able to leave at all. If they let her leave."
"Spit it out already." Whitney clenched his fists tightly.
Zatanna took in a deep breath. "Rao wasn't trapped in a prison dimension. He was sent back."
Chloe frowned. "Sent back where?"
Zatanna leaned forwards. "Home."
Chloe's eyes widened. "What?"
"Chloe, this is Rao Darkseid's home dimension, not earth. This hellhole is where he's really from. When Vika Balcoin sealed him away here, she wasn't imprisoning him in some foreign Shadow Realm like you seem to think. She was forcing him to remain in his home dimension and keeping him from being able to venture into ours," Zatanna whispered.
"But that's impossible." Whitney shook his head. "He's human. Nothing we've seen so far from here has remotely resembled anything humanoid!"
"He's Royal," Zatanna corrected, grays resting on Chloe. "Only the Royals have the ability to shift, to take any form that pleases them, but even they can't hide their true reflection."
Chloe's eyes widened, face going pale as she stumbled to her feet. "What did you say?"
"From the moment that first butterfly emerged from your mouth, I knew what you were." Zatanna stood, standing tall over the shorter girl. "You're a Royal. You're a Dragon."
"I only have his magic in me." Chloe shook her head, taking a couple of steps backwards. "I'm not really his daughter. His blood doesn't run in me, nor do his genes. I'm not really-"
Zatanna reached out and grabbed Chloe's arm, yanking the girl closer, twisting her arm so that her palm was raised upwards, showcasing the Omega sign.
"Let her go." Whitney stood, growling.
Zatanna ignored him, grays on Chloe's greens. "John Balcoin, Janus Le Fay and Lionel Luthor opened a rift into this dimension and came to see Darkseid with offers in exchange for their desires to be granted them; desires that only he could give them. I do not know what Lionel Luthor wanted or what he offered, he kept it very close to his chest. Janus Le Fay was dying of cancer. All involved knew what John Balcoin wanted and that he was so sure that, even if he had a daughter, that she wouldn't be the Firstborn. But my father, he told me that he believed that if there was a way for Rao to assure that you were female, it would be done. Because from the first time he seduced six mortals into freeing him into this world, this has always been his plan." Zatanna stared at Chloe. "It's the females that give birth to the darkness, that continue the lineage, and the second you crossed over, you proved you were more than able to do so. And you caught a lot of unwanted attention in the process."
"Are you saying I had... monster babies?" Chloe whispered, hands clutching at her throat in horror, feeling horribly violated.
"You really don't know anything." Zatanna just stared at her in shock. "You didn't give birth to those things. They aren't babies. They're-"
Suddenly Chloe clutched at her chest as a jab of power seared through her upper body, knocking the breath right out of her lungs. Her head throbbed, her world flashed brightly, shifting from the cave to outside, from Zatanna and Whitney hurrying to her side asking her what was wrong (the sigils in the cave walls burning bright) to Greg staring deep in her eyes, mouthing Chloe's name, and Diana and Cassie trying to fend off a group of monsters that were attacking while still holding the others' hands. Whitney and Zatanna reappeared, their movements slow, their voices distorted. Greg, Cassie and Diana returned, out in the shadowed jungle, the monsters managing to knock Cassie away from the others, one of them biting deep into Cassie's shoulder causing the blonde to scream.
Something inside Chloe snapped, her pendant erupting in a brilliant light that covered everything and everyone, the blonde clasping her hands around it, feeling the pendant throbbing in tune with her heartbeat before the light returned into the orb pendant.
The flashing back and forth, the distortion, the slow motion – it all stopped, before returning to real time, Chloe in the jungle as she yanked her hands free from Greg and Diana, holding her palm out towards the creature fangs deep in Cassie's shoulder. Her pupils went reptilian and green as the whites of her eyes bled inky black seconds before the creature exploded, pieces of it raining down all around them, driving the other creatures back, the monsters visibly confused and wary, not scared but weighing this new development at a safer distance as they withdrew for the time being.
Chloe ignored them and hurried towards Cassie as her eyes returned to normal. Everything having happened so fast, in the blinking of an eye, truly. No one, not even Chloe herself, had noticed the previous, altered state of the now normal (and very worried) greens. She knelt beside her little sister, giving a little half-laugh because Cassie was blonde, not redheaded, a bit of Chloe's fractured memories returning by just being in the younger girl's presence. "Are you okay?"
Cassie hissed as she looked up at Chloe in silence.
Greg and Diana drew closer, the two brunettes sharing a look before bending on their knees on both of her sides, placing their hands on her shoulder.
"This was not what we were going for, but it works for me," Greg told her.
"I should probably be a little more worried about whether this is going be become a... thing..." Diana whispered, her hand trembling on Chloe's shoulder. "But I'm just glad to have you back, in any form."
"What are you guys talking about?" Chloe turned to stare at Diana in confusion before turning back to Cassie when the blonde gave a cry and reached out, pulling her into a tight hug despite how much it much have pained her considering the fact that she was injured.
"You had no right!"
Chloe's eyes widened, body stiff in shock at the fact that Cassie of all people was hugging her, crying. Cassie!
"You brought us all together! You promised us a home! You promised us family! And then you abandoned us! You threw us away like we were meaningless! Like we-!"
"No." Chloe found her arms going around her youngest sister, hugging her tightly. Her memory might be foggy but she knew without a doubt that she loved her family, that everything she'd ever done had been for them. "I love you guys. I adore every single one of you. Even though you're all brats. Particularly you."
Cassie gave a choked cry even as she held on. "Then why did you leave us?"
Chloe could see the same question in Diana's eyes, even though the brunette was trying to be more understanding. "I had a choice and I chose the option that would protect everyone."
"We don't need protection," Cassie hissed, pulling away, blues fiery as she stared into Chloe's eyes. "We're Balcoins. People need to be protected from us."
Chloe knelt on the ground, staring into her little sister's face and couldn't help but stutter out a little laugh as she reached up and cupped her face. "I can't believe I've missed that arrogance."
Cassie pouted, lips pursed, obviously deflated. "It's not arrogance…"
Diana didn't seem able to take it anymore, flinging her arms around Chloe's neck. "I've been so worried."
Chloe smiled softly. "I worried about you all, too."
Something howled in the fog, interrupting the moment.
"I hate to interrupt the female bonding, especially since I have yet to get my own hug," Greg announced, "but we should probably get to some sort of better defendable ground before making our way towards wherever your body is."
"My body?" It was only at that that Chloe looked down and realized that she was once more in Faye's body. The girl's eyes widened in shock, the previous comments finally making sense. "I see."
Greg stood, helping the girls to their feet, the witches casting wary glances around them, the creatures watching. He gazed back at the monsters, watching them, the boy pushing the girls protectively behind him, and yet considering there were creatures all around them, it really wasn't keeping them all that protected. "Can you do what you did last time this happened?"
"You mean blinking back to where to my body is?" Chloe asked as she, Diana and Cassie turned so that they were forming a circle, their backs facing each other, eyeing the creatures in the shadows. "I'm not sure."
"Can you try?" Diana whispered.
"Yeah, I mean." Cassie licked her lips. "Couldn't hurt, right?"
"Right." Chloe lowered her hands, bringing up the shield around them in a dome. "Hold hands."
Cassie lowered hers immediately, slipping her hand in Chloe's. "Kumbaya."
Chloe closed her eyes, trying to concentrate on Faye like she had the night Lionel had tried to forcefully bind her body or whatever the hell he'd been trying to do that night because with what she knew now, there was no way that was what he was really trying to do. She tried imagining the cave Whitney and Zatanna were in, but something seemed to be blocking her, a hiss escaping her lips, the girl tilting her head away as a sigil flashed in front of her mind, ruining her concentration time and time again.
Whatever Zatanna was using to block the creatures of this place from finding her, they were blocking Chloe as well.
Opening her eyes, Chloe let out a deep breath, shaking her head. "No can do, I'm being blocked."
Greg licked his lips, clearing his throat. "Then I suggest we start running, now."