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.This chap is dedicated to bellajennza
Chloe stumbled and pressed her hand against the wall as she brought the other to her head, that over-awareness tingling every pore in her body. She was relieved that she was alone and no one had noticed it so she wouldn't have to explain herself, because the blonde wasn't exactly sure what she'd say. Jor-El couldn't find anything wrong with her, neither could Vika, not that Chloe had really spoken much with Vika since they'd returned. Still, there was nothing Dragon or Witch related that should be affecting the teenager like this, and yet ever since the other day, ever since the kiss she'd shared with Whitney, Chloe had been having more and more of these episodes, and she knew that this had nothing to do with the kiss. Something else was going on here, it was as if she was picking up on something else, someone else. Maybe it was because she was so much stronger now she was able to do so, and the thought made her extremely worried.
She didn't think it was Rao. And if it wasn't Rao, just who the hell was it and what was he or she doing that was was causing such rippling effects that Chloe could feel it all the way in Smallville?
There was a knock on her door.
The blonde looked up and cleared her throat as she made her way to the desk and sat down. "Come in."
The door flew open to reveal Jake Armstrong, who closed it behind him the second he entered her study. "The amount of suitable candidates who have volunteered for the VI program, and who won't take no for an answer, are growing more than I can handle, even with the extra help I've taken on by having Conant join Kent and I teaching." He moved to her desk and leaned down, placing his hands flat on the desk. "The desire to be a part of your VI was strong before, but these last couple of weeks it's seemed to have triplicated, and I'm drowning under the applications and the bad attitudes from those who aren't taking the rejection well, especially when I tell them it's because we have a shortage of suitable trainers." He took in a deep breath and pulled up a chair before he collapsed on it. "I don't know what's going on, but people wanna serve, badly."
Chloe licked her lips, wondering if her having joined the Triad and increased her own power had somehow done this. "Is there no one else you could instruct to help you train the VI recruits?"
"Everyone I have my eye on wants to be a part of the Suicide Squad." Jake made a face at her. "They're too busy learning their own stuff-and even though Kent is supposed to be our trainer he's also off helping your Dragon Councilman and not fully committed so I'm putting a lot on Conant's shoulders, and let me tell you, Conant and I were never the best of buds nor trusted each other that much."
Chloe licked her lips as she tried to think of a way to help Jake. "Tina and Justin, talk to them. They're both smart and capable. I'm sure they'll be assets to your team."
"Geek boy and goth girl?" Jake didn't look that sure.
Chloe raised an eyebrow. "Talk to them, Jake. You'd be surprised."
He eyed her thoughtfully before he nodded and stood. "Thanks, I'll go talk to them now."
She watched him go, and waited for the door to close before she turned to look at the window, eyes narrowed as the hair on her arms stood on end. How was it that no one else, not even the Dragons, feel this? It was so distracting!
Shaking her head, Chloe turned her gaze to the papers on her desk, eyeing the report the VI had given her on the Town Council and their plans-or at least the little the VI had managed to find out. She was beginning to grow very uneasy with the Mayor and the Town Council, the latter which was a relatively new organization and had only come in to being after "The Attack" as it was being referred to. Influential people in the community sat on the board of the Town Council, such as Reverend Matthews and the Mayor himself, and while they'd said that the Town Council was the voice of the people, Chloe was beginning to think that it was more of a way for the power hungry to get their way without opposition. They were starting to propose bills, laws, all sorts of legislations and rules that no lay person really had a say in considering that Judge Harrison was also a member of the Town Council.
She wondered who the Elders were-the witch Elders-and if any of them had survived. If they had survived, were they planning on doing anything about the Town Council? So far it didn't seem like they were doing much of anything. No one had stepped up to help with the refugees, with the rebuilding of Smallville, with liaising with the soldiers, or between the witches and the humans... Anything important, anything she would have expected the Elders to step up and be in charge of, to show why they were Elders, they hadn't done. They were silent. A part of her wondered if they were all dead and killed off. Another part of her wondered if they were just doing what they did best and were keeping themselves hidden, protecting their identities, and leaving her to do the work.
Dark mist began to emerge from the floor, echoing her anger at the latter thought, and Chloe frowned as she eyed it. Lately she'd noticed magic like this happening more and more. She wasn't doing any of this consciously, but her magic was reacting to her moods and changing things around her. It took some effort to will the darkness away and she breathed deeply as she did so.
Another knock sounded on the door.
Chloe made sure there wasn't a hint of darkness before she called out. "Enter."
Lex Luthor wasn't the one she'd expected to see, the heir of the Luthor Clan had been keeping to himself ever since Lionel and Genevieve had disappeared, the two presumably having defected to Rao's side.
"Lex," Chloe straightened in her seat as she eyed him in surprise. "Come in."
He closed the door behind him and made his way to a seat, not saying anything as he sat down and eyed the room, the desk, before his gaze rose to hers. "I like the desk. Rowan wood. Excellent craftmanship."
Chloe raised an eyebrow. "Somehow I doubt you came here to comment on my furniture."
He nodded and leaned on the back legs of the chair as he eyed her. "You're right. I'm here to talk to you about your shrubbery."
She blinked, baffled. "Okay. I'll bite."
He smirked as he eyed her. "What's with the invasion that's been going on lately?"
Chloe blinked once more, growing more and more lost. "Invasion… of shrubbery?"
His smirk melted into a frown. "You haven't noticed it?" His eyes narrowed. "I'd thought you were behind it."
"Behind the shrubbery?" She felt horribly lost as she eyed him like some halfwit.
Lex licked his lips and cleared his throat as he stood. "We obviously need to take a little walk."
Chloe narrowed her eyes on Lex and yet didn't question him, having always considered Lex a man of great intellect. So she stood and joined him for this 'little walk' outside, a place she hadn't been in far too long now that she thought about it. She'd been so busy with everything she realized she hadn't left the house in a couple of days, maybe even a week or two, and it was a shocking realization.
Also, if she'd thought that feeling was strong in the house, that awareness was even stronger out here, the wind carrying it around her almost tauntingly. She paused a couple of times and looked around her, highly distracted, and yet her distraction ended the second she first lay eyes on what Lex was talking about. There was no need for him to point out the shrubbery in question because once she saw it with her own eyes there was no doubt that this was what he was talking about.
Chloe's eyes widened as she moved forwards towards the purple bushes which were glowing under the moonlight. "What are they?"
Lex eyed her curiously. "I was hoping you could tell me that."
"I've never seen them before in my life." Chloe reached out hesitantly and trailed her fingers over one of the bright purple blossoming flowers, and her breath caught in her throat when, at the touch, the petals exploded into glittering purple light and danced in the air around in, clearly the work of magic as the glitter encircled her before disappearing. "Where did it go?" She turned towards Lex.
He eyed her curiously. "It's returned to its flower form."
Her eyes widened as she looked around. "Where?"
"In your hair."
The girl froze in her twirling and brought her hands to her hair, finding that he was telling the truth when a hand came into contact with a flower in her hair. "What's going on?"
Lex eyed her intensely. "You honestly have no idea."
Chloe shook her head as she raised her gaze to his. "You said that these bushes are taking over everywhere?"
"Not these exact ones, but I've begun to notice plants of unearthly origins beginning to appear all over your property." Lex shucked his hands into his pants' pockets as his gaze rose to the moon. "I wondered if you were trying some sort of cross-pollination experimentations, but it would seem that I was wrong. You're not behind this."
Chloe's eyes widened. "There's different types of previously unheard of plant life growing on my property and no one's thought to tell me about this?"
Lex smirked as his gaze lowered to her. "I doubt most of the kids who live here and work for you know a tulip from a chrysanthemum-I doubt they even know how to spell chrysanthemum. And, to be honest, most of the plant life which have sprung up have done so in the more isolated areas of your property that aren't frequently visited, and I've only stumbled across them due to the fact that I've taken to having long walks by myself lately." He moved towards her, intent, hands still in his pockets. "If you're not behind the growth of these plants, you must have an idea of who or what else could be. They're only on your property so they have to be connected to you."
She brought a hand to her chest as she took in a deep breath. "I don't know."
Lex raised an eyebrow. "I don't believe you."
She raised her gaze to his, eyes narrowed as frustration set in. "Believe this then - I don't care if you do or don't."
He sneered. "You know what I think? I think this has all gone to your head."
"Excuse me?" She couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"This position, the power, your Balcoin and Darkseid blood is just too overpowering for you to not let it get the better of you." Lex looked disgusted. "Admit the fact that you love this, love the fact that you have people near worshipping you, following your orders. You're like a god to these humans."
"I'm no god." Chloe shook her head fiercely. "I'm just a seventeen year old girl! I didn't want any of this! I never did!"
"Just because you didn't want it at first doesn't mean you're not enjoying it now." Lex sneered at her. "What were you before all of this? Nothing. No one. And now you have a huge land and a large house and humans falling over themselves to serve you. Is that the Enthrall? Have you found a way to enhance it so that they're not in love, per se, but just as dedicated and devoted to you?" He moved closer. "Admit it, admit you're subconsciously manipulating everything so that you'll win this war and you'll take over the kingdom your father wants."
"That's not true." Chloe stared at Lex in utter horror. He couldn't really believe that, could he? It made her so… so…
Lex stared at her before his gaze slipped to the side and he made a little sound in his throat. "Now isn't that interesting?"
She frowned and turned her head to see what he was looking at, and that was when she saw that the plant that'd been behind her had morphed, shifted into something more sinister looking, filled with thorns that seemed to be reaching around her towards Lex.
"Thought so." Lex let out a sigh as his gaze lowered to Chloe. "You're doing this subconsciously."
"What…?" Chloe turned to look at him in confusion.
"I don't what's happened in the last couple of weeks, but something changed." Lex eyed her thoughtfully. "You're different, stronger." His gaze returned to the plant behind her. "Amazingly so." He moved around her to eye the plant. "Creation magic." He turned to Chloe. "You're creating life, or fueling it, I'm not sure which, either way these plants are definitely tied to you." He let out an amazed chuckle as he turned to face her. "Do you realize just how rare magic that is? How powerful?"
Chloe clutched as her chest as she turned to face him and the morphed plant. "All those things you said were to get me to react so you could test a theory?"
"Basically." He eyed the plant, the thorns. "This is highly impressive, Chloe Balcoin."
"Sullivan." She mightn't remember Gabe much, just her memory and the one Whitney had given her via that video, but she was a Sullivan.
"My father aligned himself with the wrong Darkseid." Lex eyed Chloe with a smirk. "His Darkseid has the potential to destroy, but mine?" Lex's smirk grew. "Mine has the potential to create, and not just fantastical things in one's mind, but literally create."
"We don't know that for sure." Chloe shook her head as she moved towards the plant and reached out her hand once more, but this time the plant didn't shift or morph in any way. "I'd appreciate it if you kept this to yourself."
"Of course, we wouldn't want anyone who could be an enemy finding out about this." Lex eyed her and the plant. "I understand why you don't trust me fully, I wouldn't trust a Luthor after everything you've gone through, but you and I both know I could be much more useful to you than I'm being now."
Chloe turned her gaze to look at him thoughtfully. "Your family is the only one who didn't lose anyone in Rao's attack. Do you know how suspicious that makes you all look?" She raised an eyebrow. "And now that your father defected over, your sister, brother and you all are probable suspects. Even the cave-loyalty test hasn't been enough to make people trust you."
"You trust Lucas," he pointed out.
She let out a little scoff. "He's different. He's a part of my Circle. People know better." Her gaze narrowed on Lex. "You, Julian and Tess on the other hand? Well, Julian broke away from your father's Circle, it makes him the most believable, but that could be a rouse. You and Tess? You were Lionel's faithful children, his subordinates to the end." She scoffed. "Who is to say you're not here, following some part of a master design to imbed yourself into my inner circle while your father works along with mine to bring me down?"
He sneered as he came closer. "Faithful? If I recall, I was planning on stealing you away from him."
She smirked up at him. "Don't make it sound romantic."
He smirked down at her. "Don't make it sound like it never had the possibility of becoming that way."
Chloe eyed the heir to the House of Luthor before she sighed and looked away. "Despite everything going on back then, it was an easier time."
His lips twitched as his eyebrow lifted. "You mean as opposed to now, when we're in the middle of a war and you're the Joan of Arc of said war?"
"At least, back then, you were only trying to make me your slave." Chloe couldn't believe she was even saying that. "That was the only thing I had to worry about."
"I would've been a good master."
She laughed as her gaze returned to him.
"I take offense to that laugh." His gaze rose to the stars in the heavens. "I need to be useful, Chloe." He let out a sigh. "My father might be a traitor, and my Circle has fallen apart." His gaze turned to her. "Ineed to do something, anything. I don't even care what it is anymore."
She eyed him curiously, a little surprised to see him like this. "The VI need more instructors."
He raised an eyebrow. "You want me to help teach humans how to kill our kind."
She raised an eyebrow right back at him. "You said 'anything'."
He eyed her with narrowed eyes before he nodded. "Fine. I don't mind starting at the bottom."
She scoffed. "I wouldn't consider that starting at the bottom."
He smirked before he turned and walked away.
Chloe watched him until he disappeared from sight, and only when he did did she turn her attention to the plant in front of her. The blonde reached out and placed her on the plant, careful with the thorns as she observed it closer, opening up more to it now that she wasn't with Lex.
"It's called Thrandel's Claw," a voice declared behind her.
Chloe turned around and cried out as she sliced her finger on a thorn, bringing the digit to her mouth as blood rushed to the surface.
Zod emerged from the shadows, silent as he always was as he eyed her and the plant. "I shouldn't be able to sneak up on you so easily still. Your heightened senses should've started to kick in by now."
She continued to suck in her blood to staunch the flow while she glared at him.
The Dragon sighed as he came forwards and removed her hand from her mouth and leaned down, slipping her digit into his mouth.
Chloe's eyes widened and her body flushed darkly as she felt his tongue swish against her cut. "W-what a-are y-you-?"
He merely smirked around her digit and sucked her finger in deeper.
Chloe's heart skipped a beat as she brought her free hand to her chest.
Finally, Zod let her digit slip from his lips yet kept a hold on her wrist. "Better?"
Only then did she realize that the pain was gone. Chloe's eyes widened as she looked down at her digit and then up at Zod before she pulled her hand free and held it to her chest. "How do you know what plant this is?"
He smirked down at her before his gaze turned to the plant, smirk evaporating. "How can I not? They are very rare, but they grew in the Temple gardens."
Chloe's eyes widened and she took a step forwards. "You're saying that this plant grew in Apokalips?"
"I thought I'd never see it again after my home was destroyed, but I've seen this, and other plants from home, springing up all over your property recently." He tilted his head, a small smile playing on his lips. "I've taken some samples to Councilman Jor, and he says that they are not truly identical in composition to the plants we had in Apokalips, but a unique new form of them."
"Why haven't you told me about this if you knew it was happening?" Chloe frowned at the idea that if Lex of all people hadn't come to confront her about the 'shrubbery' she still mightn't know that variations of plants from a destroyed Dragon world were beginning to pop up all over her land, most probably because of her for some reason! "I had a right to know!"
"Why come to you with mere theories? I wanted something more concrete to offer." Zod eyed her. "Obviously the Luthor heir was smart enough to figure out the connection between you and the plants, but without the relevant information he only can guess as to certain details." The Dragon reached out to push a strand of hair out of her face and behind her ear. "He believes that this is just something to the extent of Creation Magic."
"And you're telling me it isn't?" She stepped forwards, confused and intrigued.
"I am just a mere soldier, Councilman Jor is the scientist who understands more about these sorts of things." And yet Zod looked worried for some reason as he moved closer and brought his hands down on her shoulders. "How have you been feeling of late?"
Did this have something to do with what she'd been feeling? With this other person? This other magic? Were these plants actually connected to this other person and not actually Chloe per se?
But that couldn't be! They'd reacted to Chloe's emotions when Lex had annoyed her!
She was so confused!
"You haven't answered my question immediately, which means you're not telling me something." Zod was, as always, right on the ball. "What are you not telling me?"
"Maybe I am just imagining it," Zod surprised her by announcing. "You know her better than I do so what do you think, Sanguine? Hasn't she been hiding something?"
Chloe's eyes widened as she turned to see Whitney appear from the shadows.