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.
A growl echoed, reminding her that she was more than sure he was in his Dragon form at the moment.
Chloe gulped, debating whether to push the issue or not.
The blonde frowned, looking around her at the intrusion of a distorted and yet vaguely familiar voice. "Who was that?"
"Who was what?" Rao asked, confused.
Chloe hesitated, trying to listen for the sound once more, but she didn't hear it again, shaking her head, wondering if she was just hearing things that weren't there. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen to the brain that was messing with her head. "Nothing, I suppose." She shook her head once more, blinking in the darkness. "What do you want, Rao?"
"To give you a chance to back down without getting hurt," he replied, voice echoing all around her. "Leave Smallville now. Walk away with anyone aligned to your Darkseid bloodline and I'll let your defiance of me slide."
Chloe let out a huff of breath. "You expect me to leave my family and friends to die."
"I expect you to make the wise choice."
"The coward's choice." She hissed, voice cutting off when that grasp around her neck tightened harder at her continued defiance.
Suddenly she was dropped, the blonde falling hard to her knees to the cold ground.
"Foolish child," he scolded in disgust. "You let Zod know that there is more to that symbol on your back than either of you realize. I would pay closer attention to the scales leading down your spine than he obviously has."
Coughing, hand on her neck, Chloe raised her gaze. "What are you talking about?"
"If you wouldn't be so stubborn, if you wouldn't align yourself with the dirt beneath my claws, I would tell you." He sneered. "But since you've chosen those witches and humans, I will let you continue to stumble in the darkness, as you always have."
Chloe pushed herself to her feet. "Fine. Just as long as you're not in the darkness with me."
He snarled, the sound echoing all around her. "When I win this battle, for it will not be long enough to be a war, mark my words, you will not die, but you will suffer. You will have to be shown the error of your ways. I will kill each and every one of those you love, or even think of with remote fondness, right in front of you. I will teach you that attachments, especially to those who are below pets, is a grave weakness and a sin that must be blotted out with extreme prejudice." Something trailed heavily on the ground. "Had they not managed to hide you from me for so long, had I found you from young, raised you myself, you would have known such basic truths and not be such an ignorant child. But you have me now, and while you might fight me, I am your father, and even if by the edge of a talon and by the biting of my fangs, I will teach you what you need to know to be a Darkseid Dragon."
She sneered, moving in the direction of his voice. "I already had a father. His name was Gabriel Sullivan." She felt his displeasure like pressure pushing her backwards, but she pushed back against it, moving forwards. "He raised me with love and taught me how to be a decent human being. That's more important than anything you could ever teach me Dragon-wise."
"I should have killed him sooner," Rao snarled. "Should have made sure he suffered more."
Chloe clenched her fists, which were shaking with her fury, the blonde releasing a scream that shocked even herself, because for a second, it didn't sound completely human, almost – almost – like a roar. For a split second, her eyes had shifted, her scales emerged and her nails sharpened into claws. For a split second, the room hadn't been pitch black. For a split second, she'd been able to see a very vague outline of the Dragon she was speaking with, and the magnitude and monstrosity of its shape and size would have terrified her if she wasn't so furious right now. She moved towards the form she'd seen in the distance, the darkness back and all-consuming now that her eyes were back to human, but she didn't care, her whole body shaking with her pent-up fury, her voice a snarl as tears of anger filled those green orbs. "Gabriel Sullivan might have been human, but no matter how much power you get, or how many followers worship you, know this. He was a hundred thousand plus times the father you will ever be, and I willnever think of you as my father. Never. He was my father. You're just the asshole Dragon who killed him."
Once again, a wave of power surged forth, this time ten times more violently than before, hitting her hard and sending her flying into the wall, pinning her there, the wall and everything around her trembling in his rage as his roar shook her to her bones.
'Chlo….!' Once again, that distorted voice tried to reach out in the midst of the chaos.
Chloe fought against the power keeping her imprisoned punishingly against the wall, clutching her hand around the pendant around her neck tightly, knowing that her magic was overworked as it was and barely there, but she was desperate.
She was too tired!
Suddenly, she felt warmth over her hand, almost as if someone had placed their hand over hers, the blonde staring down at the appendage in confusion seconds before her pendant exploded into brilliant light, bathing the whole chamber in dazzling, burning intensity, driving Rao's conscious manifestation backwards and forcing him to let go of his hold on her as he fled from the light.
The second the blonde hit the ground, she opened her eyes and found herself staring up into the faces of her friends. Her eyes widened when she noticed two unexpected faces, the girl pushing up into a sitting position, wiping at her arms. "Jason! Davis!" Her gaze then fell to the person behind them. "Moira." She cleared her throat, accepting Mikhail's help up, gaze going to Zod quickly and noticing him eyeing the newcomers oddly before dismissing him and turning to them. "It's good to see you and – that you're okay." Her gaze went to Jason, knowing that just half an hour before, she'd told him about his father, and while she didn't want to make a scene, she couldn't stop herself from rushing towards the handsome young man and throwing her arms around his neck in a tight embrace, whispering softly into his ear, "I'm so sorry."
Jason went stiff in her embrace, hands at his side, before slowly they encircled her, holding her softly before gradually hugging her so tightly, she almost found it hard to breathe.
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"Don't take it personally."
Oliver Queen looked away from where Chloe Balcoin was hugging Jason, obviously having told him about the death of his father, and was consoling the young man. Jason was being strong, especially considering he was in the eyes of so many people, but Oliver knew Jason very well, had known him for many years, and he could tell from the very way that Jason held onto the girl as if she were life itself, how much this meant to him.
Patricia Swan arrived at his side, gaze going to the scene as well from his perch on the roof of one of the stores. "Mercy wasn't raised to be like that."
"You lost the right to call her Mercy when you ordered her torture," he snapped.
Patty lowered her gaze and nodded. "You're right." She then turned her gaze towards Oliver. "I am sorry about your parents. And I know that deep down inside, so is Tess." Patricia looked away. "She's just a Luthor and they've been raised to shun emotions, to see them as weakness. If her family had been killed, she would be just as stoic as she was at the news of your parents' death."
"I know," Oliver admitted, but that didn't mean that it hadn't stung.
"She'll find her own way of showing it," Patty assured him, gaze still on those below, eyeing Chloe with a little smile. "John used to talk about her a lot, you know. Chloe, I mean. He kept his distance for years, the Witch Hunters had been after him and there was much that he had to do, but he had so much resting on that girl." She gave a little chuckle. "He admitted once that when he found out that Moira was going to have a daughter, that his Firstborn was going to be a girl, he nearly had a heart attack! On one hand, Balcoin Firstborn females have always been the strongest, most powerful witches in the family history. But on the other hand…"
"This whole situation," Oliver finished.
"Bingo." Patty nodded. "But you know what he told me was the reason why he'd decided not to lose too much sleep over the matter?"
Oliver didn't know exactly what sort of game Patty was playing. Before this whole thing had happened, they'd been friendly, yes. They'd grown up together and had been in a Circle together, but they hadn't exactly been friends. And then she'd had him tortured and now she wanted to be bosom buddies and share secrets? He was sure there was a catch somewhere, but until then, he was going to learn what he could, so he remained silent and merely tilted his head to the side in question.
"Because, Gabe was raising her," Patty replied, smiling at Oliver. "Gabriel Sullivan's family served the Balcoins for generations and were killed off with them as well during the Balcoin massacres. Gabriel's father raised John and Gabriel, and when he died, Gabriel was the last living member of his family. John grew up with Gabriel and said that if there was anyone who could ready her, who could teach her what she needed to know about the important things in life, it was Gabe. John would teach her the magic part when the time came. He figured that between the two of them, Rao didn't have a chance."
Oliver eyed Patty. "Now she has neither of them."
Patty flinched, the smile disappearing from her face as she looked away, gaze returning to the girl. "She mightn't have John Balcoin to teach her about dark magic and she mightn't have Gabriel Sullivan to be her human attaché, but look at her. I wouldn't say she's doing half bad considering she's, what, sixteen?"
"Seventeen." Oliver remembered Jason mentioning something about a birthday.
"She's got a town, Oliver, a town." Patty chuckled. "Even John didn't have a town at seventeen."
"She doesn't have a town." Oliver rolled his eyes. "The town is in the know. There's a difference."
"I crossed the Mayor and he was talking to some guy and wondering whether he should run some ideas by her first. The Mayor." Patty smirked. "She's got a town."
Oliver frowned, gaze going to the girl down below, who'd finally pulled away from Jason. "Don't know how long she'll have one though, if Golems are going to run the streets."
"What? Those mud babies were easily put down and obviously boosted the townspeople morale by showing that the witches have everything under control," Patty contradicted. "I heard a couple saying how they'd be stupid to ever let the witches leave, how they're safer with our kind around. They were terrified, wondering how they could have handled those 'ghastly mud things' without our magic to help them."
"They don't seem to realize that they were a distraction to get to her without any interference." Oliver frowned, eyes still on Chloe. "Her mind was hijacked."
"By him, most definitely," Patricia agreed.
"How do we know that they're not working together?" Oliver wanted to know.
"Oliver, you're not stupid." Patty made a face. "If she was working with him, she would have let him kill everyone. There was no reason to save anyone. She gained nothing but stress and a lot of needless responsibility."
He thought it over and had to admit she was right. "My parents died for this; it's personal now."
Patty sighed. "I know and I'm sorry."
"I don't need your apologies." He sent her a sideways glance. "What I need is for you to finish what you were telling me before we got interrupted. What did you mean when you said that Lex had to die?" He turned fully to face her. "Also, what did you mean when you said 'it can't be you because you're not a Luthor'. What can't be me? What else have you been keeping from us, Patricia? What did Lionel get out of the deal with the Seventh?"
Patricia licked her lips, gaze going down to where the group was dispersing, before returning to Oliver. "He brought a Half Dragon into this world that was meant to mate with that girl down there when she came of age to start the ending of this world and mankind as we know it."
Oliver's eyes widened. "What?"
"She has the potential to destroy this world," Patricia announced, staring down at the girl who was leading everyone back towards the temporary Balcoin home.
"Then she should be the one who dies, not anyone else." Oliver's eyes narrowed.
Patricia let out a dark laughter, shaking her head. "You're so narrow minded, Oliver."
He glared at her. "Were you always this patronizing, Patricia, and just put on a sweet persona to fool us into thinking you actually liked us and weren't planning our mass murder?"
She sighed, licked her lips, and then slid her gaze towards him. "I'm sorry. You don't know."
It seemed as if that was a pattern lately.
"But if am to tell you everything, I need to know that I can trust you, that you'll be my partner."
He laughed darkly. "Me? Be your partner?"
She nodded, expression grave. "Yes."
"Why would I ever team up with you?" Oliver wanted to know bitterly. "All you've ever done is lie and backstab us."
"That might be true, but this is the opportunity for you to actually know the truth." Patricia turned to face him fully once more. "For once in your life, you're not going to be Lex's subordinate, you're not going to be ruled by Tess' desires, doing whatever either of them want. If you do this, you'll know the truth behind why your parents were murdered along with so many other innocent people." Her eyes stared deeply into his as she took a step closer. "You'll finally stop being 'the subordinate', 'the boyfriend', and start being a more important character in this story."
He kept his eyes narrowed, and yet her words resounded heavily within him. "Answer me this…"
She waited with a little nod.
He cleared his throat. "Why not kill her if she has the potential to destroy us all?"
Patricia's gaze never strayed from his, her eyes determined, steely and cool. "Because she's also our only hope. John might be gone, but unlike my father, I refuse to give up hope for our kind or the mortals, especially if Chloe has chosen to fight Rao for us. As long as she's doing that, as long as she's on our side and alive, John's plan might need altering – but it might actually work." She stepped closer to Oliver, the urgency a part of her whole body. "But it will only work as long as Chloe Balcoin is alive and well, healthy and strong. If she dies, the second her heart stops beating and she takes her last breath, we're doomed."
Oliver stared down into Patricia's face, trying to detect some sort of treachery, and yet all he could see was fear and determination, and that worried him as he turned his head in time to see Chloe Balcoin and her friends' vehicles disappearing around a corner. "How can one girl be that important?"
"Join me, help me, and I will tell you everything, including things my father doesn't even know." Patricia's words had him turning his gaze back to her in shock. "Things John never trusted my father with knowing, things I never trusted my father with knowing, just in case he was secretly working for Lionel."
Oliver narrowed his eyes at Patricia. "You distrusted-? You took John's side over your father's?" And then his eyes widened as he saw the expression on the girl's face. "You were in love with John Balcoin."
Patricia looked away, clearing her throat as she sighed. "Are you in? Are you ready to do like Davis and Jason have both done and start thinking and acting for yourself, or are you just content on being the good soldier, the boyfriend?"
Oliver stared down at her, realizing just how much he didn't know, and feeling the fool for it. The blonde frowned, running long fingers through spiky blonde hair. "And I'm assuming there'll be some sort of blood oath where I'll be unable to tell anyone what I learn. Lex and Tess especially."
"No." Patricia shook her head. "I think you're smart enough to know not to do something like that all on your own without magical reinforcement."
Oliver eyed the woman thoughtfully before taking in a deep breath. "I'm going to regret this." He held his hand out between them. "You've got yourself a partner."
Patricia stared at his hand with a grateful little smile. "Thank you." And with that, she reached out and placed her hand in his, shaking it, cementing their alliance.