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 own any original material used in the television series or artwork, they belong to their respective creators. I have merely tweaked them for my story.Summary: 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.
Moira paced the floor, annoyed beyond words and yet unable to really take it out on anyone because she could understand why she hadn't been informed of what was going on. Still, Chloe had apparently gone to the Dragon world once before, and had gone back once more, and Moira had only just found out because she'd caught a glimpse of Whitney Fordman bringing the unconscious girl back to her room. Moira had hid and heard Cassie and Diana rushing to him and asking Whitney what had happened to Chloe in Apokalips "this time". They'd gone into Chloe's room so Moira didn't know what exactly had happened but she knew that something had gone on and that her daughter was hurt because of it. And she was being kept out of it, obviously because they did not trust her, and while it was understandable given everything, it still burned her.
At least one good thing had happened since she'd returned: she'd managed to secure an alliance with Faora Bloome, who was smart enough to know that she would never be able to get back into Lionel's good graces after betraying his secrets the way she had to come clean to her son. Faora knew more things that would be of assistance to them and Moira knew that she would be a great asset to them in the future, they just had to make sure that they kept her safe from Lionel's wrath and made sure that he did not take any sort of vengeance on her or tried shutting her up in any way.
The door to the room opened, Whitney, Cassie and Diana emerging from the bedroom, all pale.
Moira slid into the darkness, eyes narrowed onto them.
"What do we do now?" Cassie wanted to know.
"We hurry the preparations even more than before," Whitney responded stonily. "Cassie, you get Lucas and Mikhail, tell them about the key. Maybe John was behind their disappearance and the boys have seen the Stones in the warehouse or something. Or they might know something."
Cassie nodded. "You've got it, Whit."
Whitney turned to the brunette. "Diana, you go to the caves and speak to the Wisdom of the Ages. I don't know if they'll talk to you, but if they do, they might know something about the Stones and who has them. Take someone with you. I left Jor in the caves, he's the Dragon who came with us, so if you run into someone strange, it's him. He's going over the scrolls that can help us."
Diana nodded. "I'll take Greg."
Cassie sent Diana a little look.
Whitney took in a deep breath. "We've got to hurry, there isn't much time."
The girls nodded before rushing away to do as told.
Whitney sent a look back towards the room, eyes flashing red, the stone on the bracelet he wore at his wrist flashing as well, before the blonde shook his head and walked away.
Moira frowned as she watched him leave until he disappeared from sight and the sound of his footsteps faded in the distance. What had she just seen and heard? What Stones were they looking for and why were they so urgently looking for them?
Narrowing her eyes, the woman's gaze went to the door and she made to head towards it.
Moira froze, eyes widening as she realized that she hadn't been the only one hiding in the shadows. A girl she hadn't seen as yet appeared and stood between her and the doors protectively. The woman frowned, unhappy at the thought that she hadn't been able to sense this girl, not even with her shifter senses. "You don't seem to know who I am."
"You're wrong, I know exactly who you are, Moira Hibbins." The girl raised her pointy chin, gray eyes piercing in the darkness. "And that is exactly why I have been keeping a watchful eye on you since I heard that you have returned to Smallville."
Moira's eyes narrowed. "She's my daughter. I have a right-"
"I know about you, have been told about what happened the night Chloe's adopted father was killed. You've been touched by Darkseid, possessed by him," the girl interrupted with no respect, her eyes narrowed. "Those touched by him do not shake off his control and I find it hard to believe that you have somehow done the impossible."
Moira's eyebrow raised. "You believe I'm here to hurt her."
"No, you're here to corrupt her," the girl responded. "You're here to do what I hear you've always done: leave her in shambles, confused, weak and vulnerable – perfect for him to attack once more, and I'm not going to let you."
Moira let out a bitter laughter. "Even if I was going to do something like that, which I'm not, who do you think you are to stop me?"
"I'm Zatanna Zatara, daughter of John Zatara and Sindella Le Fay." The girl's grey eyes flashed blue with the Zatara signature magic, backing up her words. "Last of the accursed Le Fay line, Bloodbound to serve Chloe Darkseid, and the one standing between you and this door."
Moira's eyes widened in horror at just how far things had gotten in her absence. "Chloe bound you to her as her slave?"
Zatanna sneered at her in disgust. "I don't know why everyone else seems to have forgotten the basic principle that once touched by Darkseid, always Darkseid's, but I haven't and I will not let you in this room, especially when she's not even conscious."
Moira flinched at the implication, hurt. "You don't know me."
"I know what a mother truly is," Zatanna responded. "My mother died saving me. I don't trust any woman who would abandon their own child multiple times, much less once."
Moira clenched her fists, magic gathering at them.
Zatanna's gaze went to those fists, her eyes going blue with magic, preparing.
"I wouldn't hurt her." Moira shook her head, a lump deep in her throat. "I'm trying to help her. I've always tried to help her. Even if I have to help save her from herself. Even if she ends up hating me because of it."
Zatanna frowned at the woman. "Leave."
Moira's clenched fists trembled. "They obviously don't consider you a part of the Circle, they didn't tell you anything, so why are you-"
"I am not doing any of this to be a part of a Circle, I couldn't care less if I ever became a part of either of her Circles or if I just stay the way I am now." Zatanna chuckled darkly. "But even if I stay on the sidelines, even if I'm the outsider, even if they have no idea what I'm doing, I'm going to stand here, between you and this door."
Moira shook her head, taking a step towards the girl. "You don't seem to get that I'm not the enemy here."
Zatanna lifted her palm towards the woman, eyes blazing. "You don't seem to get that I'm not willing to take that chance."
Moira narrowed her eyes before those eyes widened when she saw the symbol beginning to burn on that palm. "You're being claimed for her Circle."
Zatanna gasped in pain, her eyes widening in shock as her other hand reached out to grab her wrist tightly, her lips pulling in a line as she hissed. "I am?"
From this distance, Moira couldn't make out the symbols, but she knew that neither was the Balcoin, so she figured this girl was claimed for the Darkseid Circle. The woman's gaze went to the door, to the girl, and then backed away, realizing that there was no way that she was going to be able to get past Zatanna, the claiming had proven it. She would have to see Chloe later, at a different time.
The woman backed away into the shadows, letting all she'd learnt sink into her subconscious, disturbed.
-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-
Chloe awoke with a cloudy mind and core body, confused and agitated, looking around her as she gulped in air, her throat hurting her. She realized she was in her room and couldn't figure out how she'd gotten there, not when her last memories had been of pain on the slab in that room in the caves. Maybe this was a hallucination. Maybe she'd died and this was heaven. If the latter, heaven needed to be cleaned because she had dirty clothes scattered everywhere.
The door opened and Adam entered with a tray, closing it and pausing when he saw her. "You're awake."
Chloe sat up in bed and flinched, body sore. "What happened? How did I get here?"
"What do you remember?" he asked as he came closer and placed the tray on her lap.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"Try me." He collapsed onto a chair next to the side of her bed and began to fiddle with a bracelet she hadn't ever noticed him using before.
"I, uh, teleported a whole underground chamber from Apokalips to here because the Stones of Power are missing and we'll need everything in that chamber apparently. I used up too much energy and I think I was dying." Chloe looked up from the cup of tea she'd been about to sip from. "Am I dead?"
Adam stopped fiddling with his bracelet. "No."
"Are you sure?" She narrowed her eyes at him. "You can tell me if I am. I can take it like a man if I am."
"I'm sure you could." His lips twitched as he ducked his head. "I don't think we could though."
Chloe eyed him over the rim of her cup as she blew the steam and sipped the warm tea in silence, the liquid tasting real. "How am I alive?"
Adam took in a deep breath before he raised his wrist and flicked the bracelet. "These are slowly feeding you enough of our energy to keep you alive until we can find the Stones of Power and the ritual can be completed."
Chloe frowned darkly, sitting up straighter. "What's the catch?"
"Who says there are any?" Adam wanted to know.
Chloe narrowed her eyes on him. "There is always a catch."
Adam took in a deep breath, avoiding her gaze. "Whitney mentioned something about if we kept them on too long we might want to follow in Rao's steps in the world domination business or something along those lines."
Chloe closed her eyes with a groan. "Great."
"It'll be fine, Chloe." Adam reached out and placed his hand on her shoulder. "We'll find those Stones of Power long before the One Ring starts taking effect."
Chloe's lips twitched. "Greg finally convinced you to start reading his Lord of the Rings book collection, huh?"
"You know about his Lord of the Rings book collection?" Adam blinked in shock. "He said they were classified above top secret!"
"Please, like he can keep a secret from me." Chloe rolled her eyes, grinning before her eyes widened and she grabbed Adam's hand, turning it's palm up to see the intermixed Gemini and Balcoin sign. "Adam?"
He blushed, scratching his cheek. "Uhm, right. There's that too."
Chloe blinked in shock.
"It's why I can help, since Dragons are supposed to be the only ones who can use these bracelets." He gave his wrist a shake. "Whitney can use his because he's a Sanguine and so can a Doppelgänger, which is what I am apparently. It's some sort of unchartered ground. Kind of like a cheat. I'm guessing since your magic sees us as the same, this accepts me."
"But if only Dragons are supposed to use it, are you and Whitney are going to-" Chloe's eyes widened in worry.
"Chloe," Adam interrupted her. "Don't worry, Whitney and I know what we're getting into."
"You really don't." She shook her head.
Adam reached out and rested his forehead against hers. "You're always helping everyone else, Chlo. Let us help you once in a while."
"By putting yourselves, your lives, in danger?" she whispered.
The stones in their bracelets began glowing slightly.
"We'll be fine," he promised softly, fingers digging into her hair.
A knock sounded on the door, driving the two apart just as the door opened to reveal Faye. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I need to speak to Chloe. It's important."
"Of course." Adam cleared his throat, standing. "Make sure she eats everything, okay?"
Faye nodded, slipping into the room, passing him as he left and sitting on his chair silently, staring in front of her.
Chloe eyed Faye worriedly, putting the tray to the side and the cup on the night stand as she turned to the girl. "What happened?"
"You need to send my mother away." Faye took in a deep breath.
Chloe's eyes widened. "You know what that would mean for a witch not under Darkseid's protection."
"I do." Faye nodded, the conflict obvious on her pale face, the girl's fists clenched tightly. "But I also know that we can't trust her. She had Cassie's mom killed for her own gain, and while I don't really care that much about Cassie's mom – as bad as that makes me – mom asked me today to use my influence on you. That tells me she's up to no good." It was obvious in Faye's eyes that it was killing her to do this, that she loved her mother but she was loyal to a fault and no matter how much it hurt her to do this, she was going to do it. "You have to send her away." Tears gathered in her eyes as she continued to stare unseeingly ahead of her. "You have to."
Chloe sighed, reaching out. "Come here."
"I'm fine, I-"
"Faye, come here." Chloe lifted the sheets.
The girl finally broke, slipping under the sheets and holding onto Chloe tightly as she began to cry, clutching onto the blonde as if to life as she sobbed brokenheartedly.
"We'll figure something out, even if I have to arrest that woman and keep her under lock and key. But we're not going to send your mother out to die," Chloe whispered into Faye's hair. "Even if she might be asking for it."
Faye just held on tighter.
Finally the sobbing stopped, Faye pulling away and wiping at her eyes, sitting up in the bed and hugging her knees to her chest as she eyed Chloe. "I missed Smallville."
Chloe's lips twitched. "Say it isn't so."
"I know, it's horrible." Faye rested her chin on her knees, makeup completely ruined. "It mightn't have been Smallville that I missed. Next time, send Cassie away for a couple of days."
Chloe's lips twitched harder. "I missed you, too."
Faye smiled, dimple going deep. "I knew you would. I'm the only cool person you know."
Chloe rolled her eyes, shaking her head before flinching when it hurt.
Faye's smile fell. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah." Chloe nodded. "I'm not at my best though, won't be for a while. I'm going to be relying on you all more than ever."
Faye nodded vigorously. "Of course. You know you can." She licked her lips. "So you went back to Apokalips, I can't believe that. AC explained things to us while you were unconscious but, how was it for you there, seeing all that?"
"It was horrible." Chloe licked her lips, remembering the dead bodies everywhere. "He destroyed that world, Faye. Not just everything alive, but the place itself."
Faye shook her head. "That's scary, Chloe."
"I know," the blonde agreed.
Faye opened her mouth to say something when she suddenly frowned, reaching out and grabbing Chloe's hands, turning them palms-up as she stared at them. "Who are these?"
Chloe opened her mouth then paused when she noticed a new symbol. "Wait, who is this?" It was an upside-down triangle with a line through the middle of it, and a small dash inside of it. Chloe knew she recognized it from somewhere but couldn't figure out where, the meaning of it on the edges of her tongue before it clicked. "It's the alchemic symbol for blood." Her eyes widened. "Zatanna… And judging from this, I'd have to say Darkseid Circle, like you."
"Wait, what?" Faye turned to Chloe. "Zatanna gets her symbol before I do?" The girl looked quite insulted. "And who is this?" She pointed to the bloody handprint.
"Lucas, Balcoin Circle." Chloe licked her lips. "He's become my new Hand, has taken the position vacated by Whitney."
"And the Gemini zodiac sign?" A muscle ticked in Faye's cheek, eyebrow raised.
"Adam Knight, Balcoin Circle." Chloe could see that annoyance growing in Faye's eyes. "He's apparently my Doppelgänger, and we have no idea what that means as yet."
Faye pouted visibly. "Why do these three people, who joined after I did, get their symbols to appear before mine did?"
Chloe blinked, not quite sure. "I haven't actually – This happened on its own."
"No fair!" Faye appeared even more insulted. "I'm a Prophet. That's supposed to be a big deal. I am supposed to have my own symbol. Where's my symbol?"
Chloe shrugged unhelpfully.
Faye suddenly frowned. "So you have what, Zatanna, Greg, Whitney, Lucas, Diana, Adam and me?"
Chloe nodded, frowning as well. "Zod thinks that my Darkseid magic has claimed Byron for that Circle though, but that it just hasn't shown up yet."
"For your Darkseid Circle?" Faye made a face. "Shouldn't it be for your Balcoin Circle?" She then made another face. "This wouldn't have to do with his Dark Byron personality, would it?" The girl then groaned when she saw Chloe's expression. "I see. You didn't get everything out."
"Apparently not." Chloe licked her lips.
"Will he be okay though?" Faye sounded worried.
Chloe nodded. "I got out what was hurting him."
"Good." Faye took in a deep breath.
There was a knock on the door.
Chloe looked up. "Come in."
Byron peeked his head in, relief on his face. "You're awake."
She smiled at him. "Hey, lil bro."
Byron slipped into the room and embraced her tightly. "I was so worried when I heard what happened."
Chloe smiled, pressing a kiss to his temple. "You can't get rid of me that easily."
Byron chuckled, hugging her tighter.
Faye snorted, rolling her eyes. "Mama's boy."
"I wasn't the one pushing my uncle's buttons trying to hurry him over and over again because she couldn't stand being away from 'Smallville' for so long," Byron mumbled.
Faye flushed hotly. "Snitch."
Chloe laughed, hugging her brother tighter and smiling at the blushing Faye.
There was another knock on the door, surprising them.
"Come in," Chloe called.
The door opened to reveal none other than Lex Luthor. "Hello, Chloe."
The blonde paused, eyes wide. The last time she'd seen him, she was sure she might have hexed him. "Lex."
He took in a deep breath. "We need to talk."
She nodded. "Of course." The girl sent Faye and Byron a little look. "If anyone is looking for me, let them know I went for a walk with Lex." And with that, she moved towards the heir of the House of Luthor.