Title: The New CircleFandoms: Smallville/Secret CircleCharacters: Chloe Sullivan, Whitney Fordman, Major Dru-Zod, Greg Arkin, Cassie Blake, Diana Meade, Mikhail Balcoin, Lucas Dunleavy, Faye Chamberlain/Byron Moore, Adam Knight, Zatanna Zatara, Bart Allen, Clark Kent, Vika Balcoin...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.
Light shone down on Chloe from the Balcoin symbol in the main chamber, bathing her in that pain she'd come to expect. It was a hundred times worse than when she'd gone under the Balcoin symbol in the Crystal Caves, which in turn had been much much worse than when she'd done the same in the Bleeding Caves. But with this pain also came a threshold of something that was close to pleasure, and Chloe wondered if she was treading close to that thin line she'd heard so much about in the Balcoin family. The Crazy Line. Maybe there was only so much pain one could go through before it started to not feel so bad anymore, maybe even a little good. Maybe even a little too good.
Flashes of images jolted through her mind, interrupting the process every now and then, and somehow she knew that they were images of what had happened had happened inside of the Genesis Caves during this alternate reality. She didn't get to see anything else about the nightmare world that Faye had only briefly told her about, but Chloe got a glimpse into it, was able to access everything that had happened inside of the Genesis Caves. Her conversations with Vika… her siblings' deaths… Adam and Lex dying… that darkness and hatred… that anger…
Chloe clutched at her chest and curled into herself as she was shown what the future would be if she didn't fight, if she didn't do whatever she had to do to win-whatever the cost.
Finally, power exploded all around her as the Triad was formed, something within Chloe solidifying as her body lowered to the ground, and the pain was gone. She felt such a total mixture of magics within her, the magics having unified and become one and yet many at the same time, something she couldn't understand, and yet didn't feel the need to explain.
Her gaze lowered to her palms, gazing at the Thunderbird symbol, knowing that Cassie had joined her Darkseid Circle and knowing it would cause some issues. But that wasn't what bothered Chloe right now. No. What truly bothered her was Rao's continued efforts to claim her family and friends, to hide inside those she loved most and to be a parasite within them. It infuriated her.
The blonde clenched her fists as her already inky orbs morphed so that the pupils appeared reptilian as magic erupted from her in a mighty burst that had her hair and clothes whipping around her violently. The magic rippled out viciously from the Main Cavern like waves, spreading to every tunnel and cavern in the Genesis Caves, and once it reached the cavern in which the witches were in and surrounded the unmarked witches and Dragons they gasped as symbols appeared on them, showing their hidden allegiances for all to see.
Chloe could see the symbols as she closed her eyes, could see Jason's symbols: Teague, Dax-Ur, and Balcoin. Mikhail's: Balcoin. Vika: Balcoin. The newcomer's: a vaguely familiar symbol.
The magic rippled out through the Balcoin Symbols to the Crystal and Bleeding Caves, filling each and every cavern therein as well, reaching the cavern in which the Dragon and witches were gathered around the screen.
As in the Genesis Caves, Chloe could see the symbols on the unclaimed ones' foreheads. Clark's: an interesting mixture of Balcoin and Darkseid. Byron's: Darkseid. The Omegas she'd sensed were hers and not her fathers.
Like with Zod, nothing appeared on Jor-El.
Apparently pureblooded Dragons didn't show allegiances, but that was fine.
Chloe removed the power and took in a deep breath as she looked around her, eyes narrowed as she addressed the Genesis Caves. "I'll only tell you this once." She stared at the glowing cave walls, eyes narrowed. "You do not own me." Those walls glowed a darker color. "You do not." Her eyes narrowed. "You've connected with my Caves in small enough degrees that Vika wouldn't know, small enough to mess with the Echo and give him knowledge of this place after John erased it from his memory bank. You wanted me to come here because even though you're not properly linked there is always a slight connection between your sisters and you, and you could feel how strong I am, especially after I merged with Apokalips, and you wanted that power." Chloe licked her lips. "You manipulated and you connived and… you're alive. It's taken me this long to admit it, but you're… the caves… you're alive… and you have wishes and desires and they're all different. You each have a personality even, I can see that now. The Crystal Cave is the brainy, smart sister, the bank of knowledge. The Bleeding Cave is the hardened, warrior sister, the one who has seen the most bloodshed and taken much herself. And you? You're the cunning, manipulative sister, the powerful one who isn't above blackmailing or tricking others into doing her dirty work." The blonde took in a deep breath. "You weren't going to let me die, you wanted me to take over from Vika too badly, but you still forced my Circle's hand like that and made demands using my magic as avatars. That is unacceptable behavior and won't be tolerated." Magic exploded. Her eyes narrowed. "Vika might have accepted that sort of stuff from you but I won't. And if you ever even think about bringing someone else to kill me and take over like you did her…" she felt the darkness in her raging. "I'll destroy you myself."
Magic heated viciously from the cave walls before shooting out towards her.
Chloe's hands moved outwards, catching the magic easily, a soft chuckling escaping her lips. "But that's exactly what you wanted to hear… isn't it?"
The vicious glow turned docile immediately.
"You're very twisted, you know that?" And yet Chloe laughed softly as she shook her head, the magic mere caresses up her arm before returning to the cave wall. "Then again, Dragon magic is to blame, I suppose. I can feel it almost as strongly as the Balcoin magic in this cave system. It's probably why you wanted me so much-we're both halflings." She reached out and ran her palm over the wall tenderly, her lips curled in a smirk.
"Since when do you converse with the cave as if it can respond?"
Chloe turned, eyes wide as those greens rested on Zod, who leaned on one of the walls and was watching her. "You were just in the other cavern. I saw you. How did you get here so quickly?"
"I'm a Dragon." He raised an eyebrow as he pushed away from the wall and moved towards her. "My speed is superior to that of a human."
"Right." She raised an eyebrow mockingly back at him, a small smile playing on her lips. "How could I have ever forgotten that, considering how many times you keep reminding me of said fact?"
"One day you'll realize it all on your own and I won't have to keep reminding you all the time," he chuckled as he reached up and scratched his eyebrow.
Chloe's smile vanished as she saw the bloodied knuckles, the scraped hands, the torn skin on his fingers and chipped nails. She also noticed his scarred wrist. It looked as if something had been burnt into it, and she didn't know what had happened to him but a part of her knew that it was all her fault as well. Considering he'd fought that monster one might say he was relatively unharmed and yet it was like a slap to the face, and the girl couldn't help but feel like crying as she saw the damage he'd done to himself trying to get to her. She licked her lips and sucked in a jagged breath as she reached for his hand, carefully grabbing him by his forearm as she surveyed the damage to his wrist and hand. "Thank you."
Zod stared down at her in silence.
The girl fought against the tears she knew he wouldn't appreciate being shed on his behalf, but she couldn't stop them from falling, those tears making their way through the air and onto his hand. "I can't believe you want to have kids with me this badly though." She tried to laugh it off as she lowered her head slightly, not sure how to handle knowing he'd hurt himself this badly, or that it affected her this strongly. "I think you're masochistic."
Zod reached out with his other hurt hand and grabbed her chin tightly, despite how much the action must hurt him, and lifted her teary-gaze so that it met his calculating one. "Why are you crying?"
"I don't know." She tightened her grip on his wrist.
"These wounds will heal in time." His eyes narrowed. "I have sustained far greater in battle, and I will sustain far worse before this war is over."
"That doesn't make me feel any better!" She snapped at him.
"And why is that?" He tilted his head to the side as he moved a little closer. "Why do you care if I am hurt?"
"What?" Chloe's eyes widened as she moved back against the wall of the cave, feeling cornered all of a sudden. "I don't!"
Zod chuckled softly to himself as he moved closer yet. "But you see, you do care."
"I don't want you hurting yourself because of me, there's a difference." Chloe glared up at him heatedly from where she leaned hard against the wall. "You were stupid to hurt yourself the way you did! And forwhat? So you can have some sort of a dick-comparison competition with Jason? That's ridiculous! I'm not a prize to be fought over and won!" She wanted to look away but he held onto her chin tightly so Chloe merely closed her eyes because his face was somehow very distracting. "Zod, I get that purity means a lot to you, but if furthering your species is as important to you as you say it is, you need to get over this idea that you're going to do it with me because that's not going to happen." She tightened her fists at her side. "I'm the proof that you can have powerful children with a witch. You don't need to have those hatchlings with me just because I'm the only female around with Dragon in me, and because we were forcefully Melded together."
"You are correct in everything you have just said," he agreed amicably. "But that does not change the fact that you will be the mother of my hatchlings."
Chloe's eyes flew open and she looked up at him. "But, I-."
Zod slammed his other hand, his now healed hand (although his wrist still bore that horrible scar), next to her head as he stared down into her face, his injured hand still holding her chin captive. "I am not going to have my hatchlings with you merely because of purity, or because we were Melded."
Chloe gulped as she stared up into his blues in silence. "What other reason would you have then? Because you're not in love with me."
Zod smirked as he tilted his head in the opposite direction and let go of his hold on her chin. He slowly trailed his hand down her neck, hard against her pulse, down to her chest and the valley of her breasts, all the while never taking his eyes from hers.
Chloe's eyes widened as her face reddened in a blush and her breathing accelerated.
Zod's smirk faded into blankness as he leaned in closer, almost as if unwillingly drawn to her, his gaze lowered to her lips as his hand rested over her racing heartbeat. "You're right, I don't love you, just like you don't love me." His lower body pressed against hers as his free hand moved to lose itself in her hair, the Dragon's gaze greedily taking it all in before returning to her parted lips when she let out a gasp the second his hand clenched in her golden tresses. "But I know that despite that, and the fact that you annoy the hell out of me unlike anyone else I have ever known, I will make sure that I will be the Dragon you choose."
Chloe's body was on fire, the blonde hardly able to breathe, to think, as she stared up at him. "Why?"
"Because your earth legends have one thing right when it comes to Dragons: we find treasures and once we do we keep them, we guard them viciously." His lips twisted, although his eyes were far from amused. "Why do you think the Meld exists? So that Dragons who are forced to have to share females don't tear each other apart over them." Zod's smile grew more twisted. "Doesn't seem to be working with us though, does it? The Halfling and I still want to kill each other."
"Zod," Chloe's voice was soft, her whole body trembling as she rested her hand on his chest. "I don't know what you're trying to tell me."
"That the Meld won't hold, not even the supposedly unsurpassable binding magics of the Willowbrook could have us accept the other, our mutual dislike and possessive natures run that deep." Zod sneered at the thought. "In end, only one of our claims will remain on your body."
Chloe's eyes widened. "Zod, don't you dare kill-!"
"That's the beauty of it," he interrupted. "You have helped me realize something."
Chloe gulped, a little intimidated for some reason. "And what is that?"
"That I won't have to kill the Halfling anymore."
"Why not?" Chloe blinked, confused. "What changed?"
He gave a dark laugh. "He's in love with you, and you might have been in love with him once, and have feelings of some sort for him still, but you and I both know that something's changing."
Chloe gulped, something electric and hot racing throughout her body as she gazed up at Zod through her eyelashes, almost afraid of what the incredibly sharp male might see in her green orbs.
His eyes darkened and went reptilian. "I have also realized of late that I've grown oddly attracted to your frail, ugly human eyes. This discovery displeases me."
She sputtered out a bark of laughter as she stared up at him, her lips curling in an incredulous smile as she shook her head. "Now that is the sort of assholish thing I would expect-."
Zod's lips stole the rest from her as his hand clenched tighter in her hair, the Dragon pinning her body to the cave wall with his own as his lips punished hers. It wasn't a kiss proclaiming true love and devotion, or adoration and sweet promises of tomorrow. No. This kiss was just like the Dragon who was delivering it. It was a strategic kiss if there ever was one. Every bit of it was design to illicit a certain, intended response from her, and a part of her would have been pissed off it wasn't for the fact that she realized that the Dragon was declaring war. He was the Master Strategist, and she knew the moment when his message had been transmitted because the kiss changed and she was breathless, something within her curling as she arched into him instinctively.
Magic pulsated within her solar plexus, alive and almost painful, stirring, shifting, aligning, before seeming to find its place and settle.
Chloe pulled away and gasped for breath, her hand to her chest as she flinched, not sure exactly what had happened, both with Zod and with her solar plexus.
Zod cleared his throat and nodded as he took in a deep breath. "You should speak to the Sanguine; he was making his way here first before I announced my need to speak to you privately." With that he turned and walked out of the room.
Chloe watched Zod leave before she brought her fingertips to her tingling lips.
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Standing by the barred and magically enforced window, he stared out at the scenery and yet was blind to its beauty.
Instead, he could feel the power, could feel it unleashed-could feel the event almost ready, the time almost upon him.
A small smile touched his lips as he waited.