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.
Whitney slammed down on the brakes and turned off the engine.
"Jesus, Whitney!" Chloe exclaimed, flinging her hair out of her face. "A little warning next time?"
Zod's hand slammed into the back of the seat, the Dragon obviously caught off-guard as well.
"Another half-Dragon?" Whitney ignored both of their discomfort, turning in his seat, staring at the two of them with wide blue eyes. "Who? Since when? Who?"
"You've repeated a question twice. That's inefficient," Zod informed him.
Whitney glared at him for a second before turning his attention back on Chloe. "Who?"
"We don't know," Chloe admitted. "But whoever it is, it is probably a guy."
"And we're assuming this because…?" Whitney made a face, looking between the two of them when Chloe hesitated.
Chloe licked her lips, embarrassed.
Zod was many things, but bashful was not one of them. "When I refused to cross over to this smelly realm the first time to wed your Animus and fill her with my seed-"
Chloe's eyes widened, completely ignoring the new terminology in her embarrassed horror. "Not so detailed!"
He eyed her with mild amusement, sending Whitney a little look before clearing his throat, nodding. "When I was younger, I refused to marry Chloe and give Rao the hatchlings of a certain breeding he desired: offsprings of the bloodlines of Zod and Darkseid. So to make sure that when the time came, this world could be made anew in his image, with his bloodline inheriting the earth, he had another half-Dragon created as a backup plan in case he could not convince me to cross over and give him the hatchling grandchildren he wanted."
Chloe sat silently in her seat, staring at her hands. She hadn't told anyone about the fact that Zod and her were married, although she'd known they'd suspected something was up. And while the Dragon had been of the mind that it was no one's business, he'd just gone and spilt the beans right in front of Whitney, or he had slightly. He hadn't exactly told Whitney they were married, but he'd let the puss out the bag that her father had wanted them to be married, and she knew that now it was only a matter of time before the truth came out. She didn't know how she was going to handle it when it did.
Whitney looked between the two of them in silence, looking like he had a million things he wanted to say but just didn't know how exactly to say them or if he really should. Finally, he cleared his throat and merely asked, "So Zod's your last name?"
"See?" Chloe turned towards Zod, desperate to change the topic of the conversation. "Even he's curious about your first name!"
Zod gave a little sigh, seeming annoyed with the blonde teens as he scratched the side of his face. "What is this fascination with the given name? It is the family name which is truly important, especially if you are the last of your kind."
Whitney and Chloe shared a look before rolling their eyes simultaneously.
A muscle twitched in Zod's cheek before he took in a deep breath. "Fine, I will cater to this obviously mortal desire to know my given name." He cleared his throat, straightening himself in his seat, seeming surprisingly uncomfortable. "I am Dru-Zod." He raised his chin. "Are you now satisfied?"
Chloe eyed him as she digested this new information, trying to think of him as a "Dru" and not sure she could see it. A part of her was annoyed at the fact that he was right. At least for now, she could only see him as a "Zod". Somehow, the name suited him much more than his given name. "Yes, thank you."
A ghost of a smile flitted over Zod's lips.
Whitney stared between them before he cleared his throat and started the engine. "We really need to be in town right now, but we'll talk about this and what you found out from my dear old friends later."
"Do I sense sarcasm?" Zod asked from the backseat as Whitney began driving. "Are you not fond of the so-called 'Wisdom of the Ages'?"
"No." Whitney was resolute with his answer. "Met them twice, wasn't a pleasant experience either time. I don't think they like me much anyway."
"I wouldn't take it personally, they don't like Zod much either," Chloe assured Whitney.
"Yeah?" Whitney snickered, sending Zod a little look through the rearview mirror. "What did you do to piss them off?"
Zod raised an eyebrow. "I was born superior."
Whiney rolled his eyes. "Nah, I'm sure it's not that, but I think I see why they weren't too fond."
Chloe slugged Whitney's shoulder.
He grinned at her.
Zod eyed them with narrowed gaze. "Even for Sanguine and Animus, you two share a very close relationship."
There was that word again, 'Animus'.
The two sent him a curious little look in the backseat.
Chloe's phone rang and she reached into her bag, shuffling through the mess of papers and other things insider before finding her phone and pulling it out. She paused when she saw the Caller ID, relief spearing through her as she closed her eyes and let out a little breath of relief, and yet she hesitated as she opened her eyes and just looked at the phone as it rung.
"Who is it?" Whitney wanted to know.
Chloe sent him a little look. "Jason."
Whitney looked away, nodding. "You should answer that."
Zod eyed their interaction, eyes narrowed with intrigue.
Chloe nodded, bringing the phone to her ear as her lips curled in a smile, trying to play off the fact that she wasn't relieved as hell to hear his voice. "Please don't be calling me with bad news."
"Depends." Jason Teague's voice was a welcome relief considering she'd been worried he and Davis were dead after all those days without any news from them. "Is the knowledge that Moira's alive and heading back to Smallville good or bad news right now?"
Chloe gulped, eyes widening slightly. "She is?"
"Yes, Davis and I are bringing her." Jason cleared his throat. "As usual, she's hinted that she knows more than she's letting on."
"Doesn't she always?" Chloe ran her fingers through her hair, gazing out of the window. "Are you guys okay?"
"Yeah, we're fine. You guys?"
"Yeah, we're fine." She leaned her forehead against the glass. "Jason, your mother is here. Davis' as well. And Lionel. Lex and his group have just arrived as well actually."
There was a heavy pause, Jason only acknowledging one part of what she'd said. "Only my mother?"
She closed her eyes tightly. "Yes."
She could hear the breath escape his lungs. "I see."
"I'm so sorry," she whispered.
"We'll be there in around half an hour." Jason hung up.
Chloe kept her eyes closed tightly, hating being unable to hold Jason through his pain. "Maybe I should have waited to tell him."
Whitney placed his hand on Chloe's shoulder. "He'll be okay. Coach Teague's a tough guy. He needed to know so he'd be ready when he arrived. With how things are, we might not have time to see him, what with the Chance Harbor people and the Caves and-" He frowned. "Talking about the Caves – What did you find out?"
Chloe took in a deep breath. "Zod was right. We need the third Cave. I don't know why exactly, but we need all three Caves."
"The number Three is a very mystical, very powerful number," Zod announced from the back. "If there were three Caves, it can be assumed that they are a Triad of sorts, to be used in conjunction." He leaned closer to the front. "It was made more obvious when she mentioned that when the connection between the Bleeding and Crystal Caves was made, the Echo 'downloaded' information from the Bleeding Caves – and when the Balcoin existence was in danger, the three Caves strategically united as one – even if only momentarily – to call out to Chloe, like a Beacon. The power was strong enough that it reached her in Apokalips and rendered me unconscious. A power that strong, I respect." Zod cleared his throat. "I do not know anything about them personally, but from what Chloe has told me about them, and from what I know of our own sacred places, I believe that they share one consciousness – hers – but she needs to physically make that connection, as she has with the previous two. They seem to be both wells of knowledge, and amplifiers of her own magic, psychically linked to her and instinctively acting out her own desires without her having to issue out commands like normal witches that I have observed." He tilted his head. "From a military standpoint, it is fascinating and quite useful." He turned his gaze on Chloe. "Do you know if the other Houses had similar Caves or if this was something only Balcoins had?"
"I don't know." Chloe frowned. "When Adam's dad was in the Cave, he was impressed but not confused, so I guess they mightn't have a Cave but something else equivalent to it? I don't know. I'll have to ask AC and Victor."
Zod nodded, leaning back on the seat as they finally reached town.
As Whitney slowed the truck to a halt, killing the engine, Chloe saw Clark and his parents talking to Melissa and three people who had to be her father, stepmother and grandmother, the Glasers looking tired from their trip from Chance Harbor to Smallville.
Jake was off to the side, talking to a man who had to be his grandfather, Royce Armstrong.
Adam Conant and a blonde man with blue eyes who, despite the hair and eye color difference, still somewhat looked alike, were talking to Greg.
Chloe's gaze searched through the wave of newcomers milling through the crowd, finding the two women she was searching for, her face steeling.
Whitney arrived by her side, standing firm. "What do you want me to do?"
Zod moved to stand at her other side, silent.
"Nothing for now. I'll handle this, but keep an eye on those two, you know which." Chloe cleared her throat. "And keeping an eye on Cassie won't be a bad idea either. Could you figure out where she is? I don't like the fact that I can't see her."
"On it." Whitney nodded, moving into the crowd.
Chloe watched Whitney's back, glad for his constant support, before her gaze slid to Zod, eyebrow rising. "What?"
"The mortals' insistence on using perfumes and colognes messes with my ability to scent down specific aromas." Zod was clearly annoyed, his gaze trained ahead of him. "But even in this mixture of nauseating scents, I pick something out that doesn't smell right. I can't pinpoint who it is or what it is. But whatever it is, I don't like it. It has all my senses on edge."
Chloe narrowed her eyes on him. "So, in other words, your Spidey Senses are tingling."
He turned his gaze to her and blinked. "What? No. I'm a Dragon. If anything they'd be Dragon Senses."
Despite how serious this was, she couldn't keep the smile off of her face. "Sorry, I keep using pop culture references that go right over your head."
"Pop culture..." Zod paused, processing that one.
She was just making it worse and worse.
"Nevermind, ignore what I just said. You just stay here and try and use your Dragon Senses to figure out what's got you all tingling."
"I'm not tingling," he corrected. "It's more like an over-awareness, a sense of wrongness. There's also a hint of mud under my nostrils."
She ignored him, stepping out into the crowd, picking the least offensive of the two, moving towards Dawn Chamberlain, who was still alone in the crowd, obviously searching for Faye amongst the multitude. "Mrs Chamberlain."
Dawn Chamberlain turned towards her, a little surprised. "Hello. I, uh, don't think we've met."
"We have, you just don't know that." Chloe took in a deep breath, eyeing the woman, thinking of the time she'd spent with her when she'd been in Faye's body. "I'm Chloe Balcoin."
Mrs Chamberlain's eyes widened. "I've heard so much about you from Faye."
"I've heard a lot about you too, Mrs Chamberlain. Specifically, how you had a hand in the death of my sister's mother." Chloe could see Dawn's face paling. "Cassie knows, by the way. I thought you should know that." The woman's face was paling more and more. "I'm assuming the reason you're here is because you want to settle in Smallville, and the only reason I'm not going to say no is because of Faye. She's a very good friend of mine. But understand this, Mrs Chamberlain, Cassie is my sister and you killed her mother for nothing. She has every right to want you dead. What you did was deplorable." She took in a deep breath. "But we've all got skeletons in our closets, I suppose, and if we want to survive, we're going to have to band together." She moved away. "Faye isn't here right now, but I'll call her and let her know you're here." With that, she turned and walked away, eyeing her main target.
Diana stood next to her adopted grandmother, the brunette clearly uncomfortable as she hugged herself and spoke to the woman.
Kate Meade could pass for Diana's biological grandmother, having similar coloring to Diana. She was a beautiful, older, regal-looking woman that Chloe would have probably stopped to admire how she'd kept up physically for her age if she wasn't so damned pissed at her.
Chloe reached the two taller women and turned towards the oldest. "Kate Meade."
Diana's eyes widened.
Kate even looked nervous.
"Diana, leave." Chloe didn't look away from the older woman.
Kate's gaze went to Diana.
Diana's gaze slid away from the older woman as she obeyed Chloe, leaving the woman to the blonde's mercy.
Kate took in a deep breath as she turned her gaze to Chloe. "Well, she showed who her loyalty lies with."
"She is a Balcoin." Chloe saw Kate flinch at that. "You have some nerve coming here."
"Nowhere else is safe," Kate responded.
"Who says here is safe for you?" Chloe wanted to know, eyes narrowed. "You tried to kill my baby sister just because she was a Balcoin. How dare you now turn around and come here, to the Balcoin Clan, for safety!"
Kate took in a deep breath, remaining stoic, although there was slight nervousness in her eyes. "Times have changed. Situations have changed." She cleared her throat. "And I was trying to save your sister from her Balcoin dark magic. She asked me to."
"She didn't ask you to bury her alive," Chloe hissed as she stepped closer, the skies above them, which had been sunny and blue seconds before, darkening dangerously, thunder and lightning clashing above. "You have no right to be here."
Kate gulped. "You can't send me back out there."
"Yes," Chloe hissed, a bolt of lightning striking the ground between them, searing the earth, causing those around them to cry and pull back, "I can."
"He took my son," Kate begged, dropping her pride, suddenly looking older, more desperate. "I'm here because I need your help."
"Why should I help you?" Chloe wanted to know.
"Because you obviously love your siblings and Diana is your sister." Kate cleared her throat. "And while Charles isn't her real father, he raised Diana as if she was. And he's in danger."
That got to Chloe, she hesitated a second, thinking about Gabe and putting herself in Diana's shoes.
Suddenly a hand slipped into Chloe's, shocking the girl into looking to her side, finding Cassie next to her.
"Cassie?" Chloe blinked, wondering when Cassie had arrived.
Kate took in a ragged breath, eyeing Cassie in added nerves.
"It's okay, Chloe." Cassie's voice was soft but resolute, her eyes hard on Kate, and then darting through the crowd to Dawn. She then took in a deep breath before those blues turned to Chloe and she gave a little crooked smile. "It's okay."
"It's not." Chloe shook her head.
"It's not," Cassie finally agreed with a dark laugh, taking in another deep breath, squeezing Chloe's hand. "But for now, let's have the sun back."
For a moment, Chloe didn't understand what Cassie was saying, and then she looked up at the sky and blinked, watching in surprise at the stormy darkness. Apparently her magic wasn't hibernating anymore, or at least she was healed enough to do a wicked weather display.
Now that she knew she was doing this, slowly but surely, the darkness disappeared, the sun returning.
Cassie smiled softly at Chloe, a suspicious sheen in her eyes before she cleared her throat and turned her sharp, narrowed gaze on Kate. "We're going to help you, you know why? To show you just how wrong you were about the Balcoins." She moved closer to Kate, a dangerous smile on her face. "By the end of this, you're going to be so indebted to the family you've hated and tried to get rid of, that you'll never be able to look at yourself in the mirror again."
Chloe smiled at the realization that Cassie was a little evil, but that that tiny bit of evil made the girl stronger, and she was going to be okay.
"Now that we know that there won't be any sort of fireworks," Lucas cleared his throat, stepping forwards as he motioned both Cassie and Chloe towards him, "I need my two favorite blondes by my side."
Cassie raised an eyebrow. "Since when am I on a list of yours or Mikhail's that's not a hit list?"
Lucas ignored that, flinging his arms around their shoulders and leading them away from the commotion, the people slowly going back to whatever they were doing before Chloe had gone and grabbed their attention by being a weather-changer. His voice lowered as he spoke. "You need to get back to the House, ASAP."
"Why? What happened?" Chloe turned to him, worried.
"When don't we have some little drama to spice up our lives?" Lucas hedged.
Cassie grabbed him by his shirt, giving him a little tug. "Elaborate on "spice"."
He made a face at her grip on his shirt before taking in a deep breath. "Lex and his group arrived and, well, the Luthors are… quibbling."
Chloe raised an eyebrow. "That's it? You want me to hold their hand or something? Tell them to play nice?"
Lucas glared at her. "Things are breaking."
Chloe's eyes widened. "I'm renting that house!"
Lucas turned to Cassie. "Now she's worried."
Cassie rolled her eyes at Lucas.
Chloe noticed Zod slipping up onto the back of Whitney's truck, the Dragon narrowing his eyes on the crowd, clearly still searching. She looked in the direction of the house, then back at Zod, before groaning and turning to Lucas and Cassie. "Remind those people that they're supposed to be classy and that that's not their house. They can't break things!"
"You're not coming?" Lucas almost sounded scared.
"I have something-" Chloe pointed towards Zod.
"What? Your coldblooded stalker can stand in the back of Whitney's truck all by himself." Lucas glared at her. "The Luthors are breaking things! That's more important!"
Chloe glared at Lucas. "Take Cassie, find Diana, Whitney, anyone else you need for backup, and do damage control. I promise I will be there as soon as possible. But something is going on here." Chloe's gaze went to Zod. "His Spidey Senses are tingling."
Cassie's eyes widened. "If something's going down, we should stay here then."
"I am not dealing with that family by myself," Lucas announced, washing his hands clean of the whole matter then and there. "If everyone is staying here, then I am too."
There was no time to debate it due to the fact that, suddenly, the world around them shook violently, throwing everyone to the ground.