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.
She'd gone back to the cavern with the others with the intention of pulling Whitney aside to speak to him, but he'd already been in deep conversation with Lucas, Mikhail and Adam, preparing things so that they could return home, so she'd let him do what he had to do, and went towards the other boy, the one from the train tracks. She wasn't exactly sure who he was or what he was doing here, but everyone else acted as if he was supposed to be here, and she knew he was a witch given the fact that he had a symbol, so she was guessing that it hadn't been a coincidence that he'd been there that night at the train tracks.
"I don't think we ever introduced ourselves," she held her hand out towards him. "My name is Chloe Sullivan."
"Sullivan," he chuckled. "You know, John Balcoin would probably be insulted."
"Good." Thanks to her connection with the Caves Chloe could remember John ordering Mikhail to kill Byron at the cost of his own life.
The younger boy eyed her before giving her a cheeky grin and grabbing her hand, bringing it to his lips in a charming kiss. "Bart Allen. I wasn't fond of my father either."
Chloe smirked at the kid, amused by his debonair style. "Is that so?"
"In fact, the highlight of my life was seeing you pull out some of his beloved hair via your True Face the night of the Luthor Ball."
Chloe's eyes widened as she realized then and there who she was talking to. "You're the last Sigan."
"Ironically, I can only boast of that title because I was disowned shortly after that ball, which means I actually can't claim the House, ever." Bart snorted as he shrugged and shoved his hands in his pockets. "Being disowned and cast out was also the only thing that kept me alive considering I wasn't with my family in the isolated mountain city we've called home for centuries when it was attacked by Rao and his forces, and completely destroyed with all of its inhabitants." His gaze went blank, lost, before he shook his head and cleared his throat. "And no, I ain't saying why I was disowned."
Chloe could remember the Sigan Head, and his True Face, and she hadn't quite liked either of them. "I wasn't going to ask." She cleared her throat. "What I was going to ask was why you didn't come to Smallville after the attack like everyone else."
"Who do you think has been sending people your way?" Bart wanted to know with a scoff. "I've been finding the witches Sigans knew who were just as isolated as we were, who didn't have the greatest technology and didn't know that Smallville survived and was standing, and have been sending them there. It's what I was doing in Romania when I stumbled across you, and why it pissed me off that you would just try and kill yourself after I'm sending people to you like that for you to keep safe."
Chloe eyed the young boy in shock, unable to believe that he'd put himself at risk to protect and help others that way.
"It wasn't her," Faye stepped forwards as she cleared her throat. "I got this all cleared up on the other side." She made a face. "Cristabella Balcoin possessed Chloe in an attempt to kill her so that she wouldn't come here and attempt to take the Genesis Caves from Vika and hurt innocents, like usually happens whenever a fight between Vika and Balcoins trying to take control over these caves happens. Chloe wasn't trying to kill herself."
Bart's eyes widened. "Oh."
Chloe's eyes widened as well. "Are you serious?"
"Yep." Faye nodded with a shiteater grin. "This whole Prophet thing is kinda cool given the fact I know so much backstory now."
Chloe raised an eyebrow. "You realize you're going to have to write it all down, right?"
Faye's eyes widened. "Like, the Gospel of Faye?"
Chloe's lips twitched. "Sure, we can call it that I suppose."
"I can start it with: 'In the beginning, Dragons were douchebags…'" Faye grinned brightly as she walked away, hurrying towards the laptop to begin her work.
Bart snickered as he watched her go before he turned his gaze back on Chloe. "I was talking to your Sanguine, and we agreed that I'd help Bedhead, Underwear Model, and Butthead get the RVs back to where they are supposed to be and then we'll fly back to Smallville."
Chloe had no idea who he was talking about, but she nodded nonetheless. "Hope you'll be sticking around, it's not safe out here."
"I've managed," he shrugged. "But how I see it, you need me to keep an eye on you." The boy leaned forwards. "Between you and me, you've got to get better caretakers, 'Licious. From what I've been observing, these kids need some help."
That was adorable considering he was younger than everyone else.
And apparently she had a nickname as well now. But what exactly was a "'Licious"?
"I see," Chloe's lips twitched. "Well, we could always use help."
Bart smiled and nodded before moving on towards Adam.
Chloe watched him go.
"Can you believe that pipsqueak has the nerve to call me Butthead?" Mikhail wanted to know, a muscle jumping in his cheek as he arrived by her side.
Chloe turned to face her brother and couldn't stop herself as she flung her arms around him and held on tightly, the image of him dead at her feet, and his words, echoing loudly in her ear. "I'm sorry."
Mikhail was tense in shock, his body stiff. "It's not that bad."
Chloe let out a soft chuckle, refusing to let go as she hid her face in his neck and hugged her brother tighter.
Mikhail cleared his throat as he awkwardly placed his arms around his sister. "Is everything okay?"
Byron's body twitched with the force he was using as he fought his brother's magic, the boy rising from the floor as he took a forced step towards Mikhail, and then another. His strength of will was incredible, was apparently unsurpassable.
Mikhail brought a hand to his temple, pain more and more obvious on his face. "Go blind."
Byron's eyes widened as he looked around him but he advanced, although not directly at Mikhail now.
Blood began to run down Mikhail's nostrils.
Chloe was horrified as she watched the struggle between her two brothers, terrified for the both of them, for their survival. What could she do? She needed to do something to save them!
"Kill him, Mikhail!" John snapped from where he'd been subdued by two Dragons and was being dragged towards where Pete's unconscious form was. "He's Rao's now. He's not your brother anymore. You have to kill him!"
"NO!" Chloe screamed in horror, unable to believe that John was saying this, her gaze turning to Mikhail. "He's still your brother!" She hurried over to Mikhail, eyes wide in terror. "And in this state it'll kill you too." She reached out to touch Mikhail's hair, her hand passing through him, her eyes filling in tears at just how utterly useless she was to stop anything, to help anyone. "Please!"
"Do it now! Sacrifices have to be made!" John ordered as Byron stumbled closer and closer. "It's an order!"
Mikhail's gaze went to John, then to Byron, who was nearly upon him, and then his gaze went to Chloe, to her tear-filled, scared eyes. "In this other reality… am I in your Circle or in dad's?"
For the first time ever, she was darkly happy about this one fact: "John's dead in the other reality."
John's eyes widened at that news.
Mikhail stared at her in confusion. "But I'm not in your Circle?"
She hesitated before she shook her head.
"Why not?" Mikhail whispered softly. "Am I not worthy enough? Even with this Gift?"
Chloe gave an ugly laugh, tears filling her eyes. "It's because of this 'Gift' that I'm terrified of the thought of you in my Circle."
He stared at her in shock. "What?"
"I'm terrified, Mikhail," Chloe whispered, tears in her eyes, "because if you become a part of my Circle I know that you'll start using this magic to help me, despite the fact that I don't want you to. We were attacked, in this other reality, and you wanted to 'prove' yourself to me, so you used this ability, and you hurt yourself trying to 'prove' to me that you were 'worthy' of my Circle." A stray tear fell down her pale cheek as her features twisted, the girl obviously barely keeping from breaking out into a sob. "No Circle is worth you getting hurt over, Mikhail! You're worth a thousand Circles to me, Matriarchal or not. I'm sorry if that meant in the other reality you'd never became a part of my Circle because I subconsciously was too scared you'd die. I'd prefer having you as my brother, and having you forever, than having your Gift for a month." She was barely holding it together as her voice cracked. "I'm so sorry for everything."
Mikhail stared at her, awe and fascination on the boy's face as a single tear escaped his eye. He then turned his gaze on Byron, who was drawing nearer and nearer. "Find a way to bring back this other reality, Sister." He cleared his throat. "I do not remember it, but the fact that I actually used this supposed Gift of mine, which I have always considered a Curse, to try and win your favor instead of hiding it as I have in this reality… I must've loved you dearly." He gave her a little crooked smile. "So give me a chance to join your Circle once we get back, and trust me. And I say "once" because I do what I am about to do having faith in you, and having faith that you'll find a way back... That none of this will have been in vain." And with that he narrowed his eyes on Byron. "Your heart is going to stop beating now."
"NO!" Chloe screamed as she took a step forwards.
Byron grabbed his chest, eyes wide in agony as he screamed out.
Suddenly Mikhail did so as well, mirroring Byron's actions as he fell to the ground the same time his younger brother did.
Chloe knelt between both brothers, her hands on the ground next to theirs, staring down into their faces in traumatized horror until they were both gone, a part of her dead with them.
Mikhail's eyes widened, his face pale. "W-what was that?"
Chloe pushed away and wiped at the tears that had fallen down her face at the extremely vivid memory. "That was your death, in the other reality." She cleared her throat. "I'm not sure why or how you saw that."
Mikhail just continued to stare at her in silence.
Chloe cleared her throat. "I'm never going to let anything like that happen again. I swear." She clenched her fists. "No matter what I have to do to make sure you're all safe."
He narrowed his eyes slightly. "Chloe-."
"Consider yourself on Circle probation." Chloe interrupted, eyebrow raised. "There are conditions that I want met, but if they're met I'll actively accept you and not wait for my magic to do it, like I usually do."
Mikhail's eyes widened, a shocked yet pleased expression on his face. "Are you serious?"
Chloe nodded, a small smile on her pale face as she took in a deep breath. "The reason I've always tried to keep everyone from becoming a part of my Circle was to protect them, but I've realized that the best way to protect everyone is to do the opposite." She cupped Mikhail's face and stared deep into his eyes as her thumbs brushed against his cheeks. "We're in a war, and people are going to get hurt, but we'll be in this together and we'll protect one another, we'll keep each other safe. As a family." She took in a deep breath. "We'll show them what Balcoins can be when they're united."
Mikhail smiled at her and nodded. "I like the sound of that."
Chloe brought him down to her level enough to press a soft kiss to his forehead, her eyes slipping closed, his death, everyones' deaths, flashing before her eyes before she flinched and pushed the memories away, forcing herself to smile as she let him go and pulled away. "So, you be careful as you make your back to Smallville, okay?"
Mikhail nodded. "You know it." With that, and a bright grin, he turned and walked to where Bart and Adam were talking.
Chloe hugged herself as she watched him go.
"Can we talk?"
The blonde turned to see Jason standing behind her, a disturbed expression on his face. She nodded and motioned with her head towards another tunnel which lit up, the girl realizing that something was obviously bothering the witch and that he'd want to talk to her alone.
Jason passed her and walked on ahead into the tunnel.
Chloe looked over her shoulder back into the cavern, her gaze meeting Whitney's, those blues narrowed slightly in obvious concern and question. The girl gave him a little smile and tried to convey to her Sanguine that he didn't have to worry as she moved into the tunnel with Jason and disappeared from view, the blonde hugging herself as her greens scanned Jason's back as he walked up ahead.
His movements were stiff, his whole body tense. Jason was obviously uneasy.
Chloe's green eyes narrowed as she tilted her head slightly and examined him further.
What was going on?
The noise of the cavern they'd left grew dimmer and dimmer, proving that they were putting a good distance between themselves and the others, and while she'd instinctively known that Jason had wanted privacy this degree of it made her curious.
Finally the blonde stopped and cleared her throat. "Jason, are we going to walk for the rest of the night or are we going to talk about what's actually bothering you?"
He stopped up ahead, his body still stiff. He finally let out a deep sigh and turned towards her, his face disturbed. "Even if you were unconscious and she was Rao's host, you wouldn't have let them kill Cassie."
Chloe blinked, not having expected this. "Of course not."
"Whitney and Faye knew this, even Zod did." Jason ran his hand over his hair, displeasure stark on his features. "But I didn't."
Chloe's eyebrows nearly touched in a confused frown as she stared up at him in the shadows. "Jason?"
"I should have known." He kicked at a pebble as he clenched a fist, a muscle ticking in his cheek, his voice a hiss. "I should've known you enough to have known that."
The girl frowned as she stared at him, not sure what to say, or if she should say anything at all.
"I'm not surprised Whitney knew." His smile was dark, as was his laugh as he shook his head. "Despite the fact that a part of me has always been somewhat jealous of it, I've always known that if there's anyone in this world who knows you, it's Whitney, and I've come to accept that. I could probably have handled this situation better if it was only him..." Jason licked his lips, which twisted in a sneer as he shook his head once more. "But Zod of all people!?" He chuckled darkly. "Now that was a low blow!"
Chloe remained silent.
"I don't even know why I pulled you aside," he admitted softly. "I'm going to help Adam, Mikhail and Bart take the RVs back, and then I'll return with them to Smallville and I'll help you fight Rao and we willbeat him."
Chloe's eyes narrowed on him, a nagging suspicion blooming in her chest. "Why does this remind me of the night in the Torch office where you told me that we shouldn't interact very much anymore?"
He chuckled darkly. "Probably because I'm being a coward right now and blaming my actions on others, just like I did that night."
The girl frowned in confusion. "I don't understand."
"There's a difference now though." His hazels rose to her, frown fixed on his face. "I'm different. Or I will be."
Her confusion grew. "I understand even less."
He chuckled darkly. "I don't blame you."
Chloe stared up at Jason's determined face, not sure what exactly was going on in his mind. "You're worrying me."
"Don't be." He took in a deep breath and squared his shoulders. "This is just something I will need to do before I will ever be able to stand on my own as-whatever I am."
"Please just come out and say what you're trying to say," she pleaded. "The suspense is seriously giving me an ulcer."
His lips twitched in reluctant amusement. "After we win this war, I'm leaving Smallville with Davey, and we don't know how long we'll be gone for. He and I have both talked about it, and it's something we want to do-need to do. A time of reflection, to understand who and-most importantly-what we are." He took in a deep breath. "The rift between us and the Luthor Circle has gone too deep for things to ever be the way they were, and to be honest, I think that could be a good thing." He paused before adding: "As you already know, Faora has also severed her ties with Lionel's Circle for Davey, and so she would be coming with us."
Chloe stared up at Jason and nodded in understanding. "So, I suppose this would be the beginning of the Teague Circle."
Jason thought it over for a moment before he gave a crooked smile. "Maybe." He took in a deep breath. "The thing is that we'll be gone for a while, I don't know how long exactly. All I know for sure is that in the time we'll be gone we wouldn't have any form of contact with you or the outside world. We need to concentrate on what we are, and how to control it, to master it, so it never turns us into monsters." He hesitated. "Especially Davey…" He licked his lips. "They said that there was a great chance that there would be side effects, mutations..."
Chloe nodded in understanding. "I'm sure Councilman Jor could probably shed some more light on that situation, and if he couldn't, something in that room from Apokalips must be able to. When we get back I'll talk to him and see what he can find that can help Davis and make sure that the mutations don't manifest, and if they do, to make sure that they are manageable."
Jason's smile lost some of its edge. "Thank you."
"No need to thank me, my father's the reason all of this is happening, it's my duty to try and help those he's hurt in his quest for power and domination." Chloe licked her lips before she reached out and placed her hand on Jason's forearm. "You don't need to explain anything to me. I, more than anyone, understand doing whatever needs to be done to control the power inside oneself, and protecting one's family." She gave him a small smile. "I respect you so much more now having heard this." The blonde squeezed his arm. "If there's any way I can ever help, you know where to find me."
Jason stared down at her intently, his voice soft. "I just hope to the gods you don't get too close to him while I'm gone."
Chloe blinked in confusion. "Huh? What? Too close to who?"
Jason shook his head and smiled. "To no one, it's nothing."
Chloe frowned slightly up at him as she pulled away, curious considering that he could only be talking about Zod or Whitney (both of whom he'd admitted jealousy of), but deciding it best not to press the topic and let it die. "We should return to where the others are."
Jason nodded his agreement, his hand going to the small of her back as he led her back towards the chamber where everyone else were in.
They walked in silence, Chloe clasping her hands in front of her as they finally entered the chamber, her gaze scanning the room, trying to find Whitney and yet instead finding Zod.
The Dragon leaned against a wall, eyebrow raised as his blues raked over her critically as they scanned her clothes and hair as if searching for something, and once she apparently passed his examination he smirked and gave a little snort as he looked away.
It was only as Jason's hand slipped from her back as he headed to where Adam, Mikhail and Bart were speaking that Chloe realized that Zod had been checking to see if her clothes and hair were messed up. He'd thought that Jason had pulled her away to have a make-out session!
Not everyone had his sordid agenda!
Chloe gave a little squeak and twirled around to find that the reason she hadn't been able to find Whitney was because he was leaning against the wall by the entrance to the chamber, in an eerily similar way to Zod, his arms folded over his chest. The girl brought her hand to her chest, heart racing, as she took in a deep breath and turned to him. "You almost gave me a heart attack."
Whitney gave her an apologetic little smile as he tilted his head to the side, his hair falling into his face. "Sorry."
"It's okay." The girl moved towards him as she took in a deep breath. "Zod said you wanted to talk to me earlier."
Whitney's blues went to the Dragon in question before they returned to Chloe. "It can wait."
The girl frowned slightly. "Are you sure?"
The Sanguine nodded. "We should probably be heading back."
Chloe eyed Whitney; she wanted to know whatever it was that he'd wanted to tell her earlier, but she wouldn't push. "Okay." She gave her Sanguine a smile as she held her hand out towards him. "Let's go home."
Whitney stared down thoughtfully at her hand before the corner of his lips curled in a half-smile and he reached out to place his hand in hers.
Within Chloe's solar plexus, magic stirred.