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!
The group stared at her in silence, soaking in her words. While she'd called in the witches, the humans (who had a stake in this as well) had joined in to listen to what she had to say. They seemed a little more skeptical considering they couldn't sense the power in this room like the witches could, but they listened nonetheless because this girl and her group had kept them alive this far. Still, Chloe could understand that what she was saying was a little hard to swallow. It was hard for her to believe as well. Just what else did she have in this Cave (or the others for that matter) that she didn't know about?
At least those in the Healing cavern seemed to be doing better: their pain lessened, and while Pete hadn't stopped bleeding, the amount had decreased.
"So you're saying that the gems this cavern is made of are special magic gems that enhance specific psychic abilities." Bradley, of his friends, was still having the hardest time accepting this whole thing. "And because of that, you're able to See things out there without actually being there and could guide them through the battle."
"Sounds like hogwash," Bradley's dad announced.
"No, she's right," Tina stated, looking around. "Ametrine is believed to clear stress and tension from the head, calming the mind and bringing mental focus. Hematite is used in psychic protection. It wards off negativity, grounds nervous energy and will help protect you from any incorrect magick that may be sent your way. When used to assist in astral travel, hematite helps to protect you on your journey. Some people use it for scrying mirrors, and what she's going to be doing is basically scrying." She sent Justin a look when he wrapped an arm around her shoulder, the girl licking her lips. "Moldavite is a powerful aid for meditation and dream-work, as well as increasing one's sensitivity to guidance, intuition and telepathy, and the ability to understand messages sent from higher realms. They say that Moldavite is a useful stone for 'star children' and sensitive souls who find it difficult being in incarnation on the earth, and who cannot adjust to suffering and deep emotions. Placed on the heart, Moldavite uncovers the reasons and purpose for why one is here, and eases the "homesickness" for those whose origin is not Earth."
Chloe hugged herself tightly at that one, sharing a look with Zatanna.
"Tanzanite aids in sharing spiritual information and knowledge from a heart-centered perspective, making it an excellent crystal for counselors or others in the position of intellectually interpreting emotional experiences. It also benefits empathetic individuals who form interpretations of emotional information they receive intuitively," Tina continued, obviously not used to being the center of attention and nervous but everyone was watching her and expecting her to finish now that she'd started. "Fluorite is a highly protective and stabilizing stone, useful for grounding and harmonizing spiritual energy. When working with the upper Chakras, Fluorite increases intuitive abilities, links the human mind to universal consciousness, and develops connection to Spirit. Fluorite further anchors intuitive insights into the physical plane, allowing mental and physical coordination. A popular stone among energy healers, Fluorite can also clear the aura of mucky energies. Fluorite heightens mental abilities, assisting in rapid organization and processing of information and can bring mental clarity and stability to an otherwise chaotic situation. Fluorite absorbs negative energies from the environment and is effective at Auric and Chakra cleansing. Fluorite can also shield the user from psychic manipulation."
"That's very good, Tina." Nell looked shocked, which wasn't surprising given the fact that Nell had never made the little she thought of Tina a secret. "How did you learn all of this?"
"When you forced Lana to stop being friends with me, I had a lot of time to read," Tina replied coolly without a hint of emotion.
Nell looked away, chastised.
"She wasn't finished though." Justin cleared his throat. "Tell them about…" He tapped his foot on the floor.
"Right, most importantly," Tina nodded, licking her lips, "the Herkimer Diamond is an "attunement stone," useful for attuning to another person, group or environment. It is particularly beneficial to use before the "laying-on-of-stones," or other healing situations when the practitioner and subject are not well acquainted, and is an exceptional crystal for linking people together who have to be apart. For attunement, the Herkimers should be held simultaneously as one at first, then upon parting, each person should retain one of the stones, or a cluster may remain at one location while an individual carries a portion of that cluster on his person to connect with the energy of a group or environment. It's also a valuable asset in its ability to receive and magnify the influence of other stones. It expands a small or soft energy stone, giving it the strength and effects of a much larger stone. They have a crystal memory, accepting and retaining information which can be retrieved at a later time. They may also be programmed with thoughts of love, well-being, or healing for others to draw on." She smiled, blushing. "Random side note, the Herkimer Diamond is extremely useful in healing environments where its clarity, brilliance and high frequency facilitates the removal of energy blocks or debris, and stimulates healing by increasing the amount of Light energy the body can utilize."
'When you put all of those gems together, they make one hell of a psychic amplifier,' Chloe told them, and yet she never opened her mouth.
There was silence as the wide-eyed group merely stared at her in shock.
Nathan finally broke the silence, lips parting. "So basically, this is the witch's Cerebro." When no one got the reference he made a face. "Really? No one even watched the movies?"
The group dismissed him and his fanboy ramblings.
Chloe cleared her throat, gaze going to where the witches stood apart from the non-witches. "We'll be outnumbered but hopefully-"
"We want to help too," Caleb announced, stepping forwards. "This is our town as well."
"Yeah." Bradley nodded. "We mightn't have magic but Van's got some guns and there's Marshall's where we could get some more."
"It's too dangerous, even with guns." Adam shook his head. "If witches see you coming, they can put up a barrier of some sort. Or something."
"We'll take our chances," Van announced, standing tall. "We're not going to cower and hide here. It's our fight too."
Both sides turned to Chloe.
The blonde stared at the groups before nodding. "They're right." She took in a deep breath. "Jake, you're going to lead them. You know a thing or two about teaching people without magic how to defend themselves against those who do. Gives them the quick and the dirty, enough to give them a fighting chance."
He nodded. "Course." The blonde turned to the group, leading the Muggles out of the room as immediately the tutorial began, the boy all business. "Come with me. There's a lot you've got to know and very little time to learn it so listen up and don't expect me to repeat anything."
Mikhail limped up to Chloe's side, his accent deeper with pain as he eyed the departing group. "Is that such a good idea? Giving them tips on how to kill our kind?"
"Who says they won't use it against us once this is over?" Trent wanted to know.
"One, you're injured and should be with the other injured people." Chloe glared at her brother, placing her hand on his against his wound. "And two, Jake is going to teach them to defend themselves, not attack. That's what the guns are for. And if they do try anything…" She sighed. "We'll get to that when we do. One problem at a time." Her gaze returned to the witches. "As I was saying before, we'll be outnumbered, but we'll definitely have the element of surprise."
"Have to admit, I'm relieved you'll be in here," Whitney announced, folding his arms over his chest. "You've been getting in too much trouble lately."
Chloe sent him a look, before shaking her head. "I hate it. I want to be out there with you all."
"You've done enough fighting, young lady." Mr Kent placed his warm arm around her shoulders. "I'm worried about you doing this much, much less going out and fighting. This…" He gazed around the room. "The power in this room..." The man took in a deep breath. "It'll require some serious psychic connection."
"I'll be fine, Mr Kent." She smiled up at him.
"Your father's not here to look after you anymore, Chloe, but you're not alone," Jonathan Kent reminded her softly. "And while I know you are in charge, I still see you as the little girl in pigtails I thought my son was going to wise up and marry when he got older. Even if that doesn't happen, I want you to know that Martha and I have always seen you as a daughter and always will."
Chloe gave him a wobbly smile. "Thank you, Mr Kent."
"Don't push yourself, kid." Giving her another squeeze, Mr Kent sighed before motioning with his chin for the others to join him. "Come on, we should get ready."
Chloe found herself alone in the cavern with Adam, Whitney, Lana, Clark, Greg, Faye, Cassie, Diana, Byron, Mikhail and Zatanna.
Lana stepped forwards, reaching out to hold Chloe's hand. "Thank you for stepping up while Pete's been indisposed like this." She squeezed Chloe's hand tightly. "I don't know what I would have done – how I would have been able to handle – he hasn't really named anyone-" She took in a deep breath, calming herself. "I'm just so glad you came back so that, in the meantime, that position isn't wavering in uncertainty. And I'm so glad you're okay."
"What?" Diana snapped, turning her brown orbs on Lana. "You don't get it, do you?"
"Don't get what?" Lana looked like she was trying not to fight but was close to losing her temper.
"Pete isn't the leader!" Diana threw her hands in the air. "She is! She isn't filling in while he's indisposed!"
Lana took in a deep breath. "That's not how it works, Diana. She renounced her claim as the Balcoin Firstborn and made Pete take up the responsibility. He's the rightful leader now." She spoke as if to a stubborn child. "I know it's hard for you to accept this but it's true and you're just going to have to get used to it whether you like it or not. We want you to like it though. Pete does because you're family. And as your new leader, Pete-"
"Screw that! And screw you," Mikhail snapped, saying something in some foreign language as he stepped forwards. "If Pete doesn't plan on stepping down now that Chloe has returned and proven that she'dobviously the true leader of this family then I challen-"
Chloe slammed her hand over Mikhail's mouth, stopping him before he could finish that. Challenges were usually to the death. "This is not the time or place."
"But the Pink Menace is trying to steal your throne via Pete!" Faye announced, eyes flashing angrily. "She has been ever since the three of them came back! Pete's been hesitant about this whole thing but shehas been pushing him to usurp your position!"
"Usurp?" Lana's hazels widened as she shook her head. "Chloe begged Pete to accept that position! She practically emotionally blackmailed him into taking it because she was worried about you ravenous beasts!"
"She's right." Chloe could remember that, despite the screwing around with her memory. "I did force him into accepting because I needed someone I trusted to take care of you guys." She frowned at them. "I didn't realize that there was going to be an issue."
"You should have," Lucas declared pointblank.
"He's right," Byron agreed, licking his lips. "Don't get me wrong, I like Pete, I think he's a nice guy. I respect him as a brother and I'm sure that, if I got to know him better, I'd like him as a friend as well, but he's not you, Chloe."
Greg nodded, folding his arms over his chest. "Do you really think that anyone else could deal with the amount of emotional and mental problems the people you hang out with have, the way you do?"
Adam chuckled and then covered the fact that he was laughing by pretending he was coughing.
Cassie slapped Greg up the back of his head before glaring at both Lana and Chloe. "I don't care what Chloe and Pete did. Chloe is the leader of this family."
"I don't mean to be mean, but what you think doesn't matter," Lana tried.
"What about what the Caves think?" Clark asked softly.
Lana turned to him as if slapped, pale. "Clark?"
He sighed, turning to her. "Lana, they collapsed. The Balcoin BoS burned up."
Lana gulped, unable to deny any of this.
"Chloe arrived and the Caves came back to life," Clark whispered, placing his hand on her shoulder. "Doesn't that say something to you?"
Lana lowered her gaze. "It could have been that the Caves felt Pete's intense need for them so they finally reawakened."
"Well, I see an easy answer to this," Zatanna finally spoke, taking in a deep breath. "The Book of Shadows."
"What about it?" Adam asked, raising his eyebrow.
"Did anyone think about bringing it with them when they were escaping?"
Lana nodded. "Yes, of course. It was half burnt but it's still important. We couldn't have it falling into the wrong hands."
"Bring it here," Zatanna announced.
Lana frowned. "It's burnt pretty badly. More than half of it is gone and what's left is so charred you can't read it. I doubt you'll find a ritual in there that'll-" She saw the look Zatanna was giving her before putting her hands up. "Fine. I'll go get it." The brunette turned and left.
Once Lana was out of earshot, Chloe turned to the others, eyes narrowed as they landed on Clark. "Tell me the whole time I've been gone they haven't been making you three feel like a trio of Benedict Arnolds."
Clark looked at the others before looking away, clearly uncomfortable. "They're very faithful to you, Chloe. We knew it wasn't personal and that they were just really worried about you."
"Guys!" Chloe turned on the teens, horrified. "How could you? Lana and Clark are friends and Pete's family."
"These two are family and I've only just learned to stop actively wanting to murder them in creative ways," Mikhail pointed out, motioning to Cassie and Diana. "So the whole blood card doesn't really work with me, Chlo."
"Not my brother," Lucas pointed out.
"Not mine either," Faye agreed.
The two of them gave each other a high-five.
Chloe turned to Greg.
"Don't look at me, I was nice!" Greg's eyes widened.
Clark's did too. "Yes! He was! And Adam. And Jake. And Byron."
"Byron can't help it, okay? It's just a part of his nature." Faye pouted, wrapping her arms around Byron's arm. "And we don't hold it against him."
Byron stared down at her in confusion. "Thank you?"
"Point is, no one told those two to run away when the going got tough," Cassie announced, blunt as ever. "They did and because of them, you had to go away. And then they get rewarded while you rotted in their place? No way in hell were we going to accept that!"
Clark looked down.
Chloe's heart went out to him. "Cassie, stop."
"No." Cassie shook her head. "They didn't even try to get you back, Chloe! They were more than happy to just take your place and leave you there! They don't care!"
Clark clenched his fists, his arms trembling.
Adam put his hand on the boy's shoulder. "We know that's not true." His gaze went to Cassie. "It's not."
"Well it seemed that way and it still does," Cassie pressed.
The sound of Lana's footsteps returning brought a tense silence to the group.
"Here." Lana unwrapped the charred remains of the once grand Balcoin Book of Shadows in her hands. "Now what?"
Chloe wanted to know the same thing, looking at the thing. It was burnt almost to its spine. There was no way that they'd be able to recover anything useful from that thing. It filled her with regret because she hadn't been able to finish reading it. Who knew what knowledge the rest of the book could have held? Now it was lost forever.
Zatanna took the book from Lana, eyeing it before holding it out to Chloe. "Take it."
"And do what?" Chloe wanted to know. "It's only good for kindling."
"Humor me." Zatanna raised an eyebrow.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe's gaze went to Whitney, who nodded, before she tilted her gaze back to Zatanna. The blonde reached out with her right hand and closed her fingers around the Balcoin Book of Shadows, pulling it free from the raven-haired girl's grasp. "I don't know what you want me to-" A gasp escaped Chloe's lips as magic tugged at her naval, her fingers clenching harder around the book, and then she cried out as heat erupted from her.
Before their very eyes, particles of dust and ash began to appear from nowhere and everywhere, lighting brightly, the Balcoin Book of Shadows slowly starting to reform in Chloe's hand.