Title: The New Circle
Fandoms: Smallville/Secret Circle
Characters: 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, Pete Ross, Jor-El, Vika Balcoin, Van McNulty...
Disclaimer: 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.
Yeah. I know. Miracle, right? I'm seriously nervous but have decided to push on and try to finish this story. Writing is my way of escaping how shitty life is, and I stopped updating when writing this story only served to stress me out even more instead of give me a moment's peace.
THIS IS FOR PENSIVEGAL, WHO I LOVE WITH THE PASSION OF A MILLION BURNING SUNS. THANK YOU DARLIN'.
She was nervous. Hell, she was more than nervous - she was terrified. While Chloe didn't want to believe that Pete or Lana had betrayed her she couldn't be a hundred per cent certain that they hadn't. And if they'd given in, if they'd told Rao's people about her, a part of her wouldn't even blame them. She'd felt what torture from Granny Goodness was like. She only had that one memory of what Whitney had gone through, and she herself had given in, had agreed to get rid of every memory she had of her father, just so that Whitney would stop being tortured.
Pete had been in love with Lana for forever. He'd never come out and said it, but looking back it was more than obvious. And Lana? She'd obviously felt the same for Pete. Watching each other get tortured while knowing that all they had to do to get it to stop was say one name - Chloe wouldn't blame them. She'd understand.
It was the others who wouldn't understand, and the others outvoted her.
That was why she sat upon the throne, nervous as hell as Adam stood in front Lana Lang. Pete had asked that she be tried before him because he didn't want her to spend another night in a cell. He seemed assured of her innocence, which only made him appear guiltier to the others.
Adam moved towards Lana and placed his hand on her forehead. Magic whipped out, connecting them visibly, and then his eyes rolled in the back of his head. It had started.
"I'm surprised you're not at the hearing," Lucas declared, not looking up from his iPhone when Cassie joined his side.
"Me being there isn't going to change the outcome," she replied candidly as she dropped onto the seat next to him. "And I also wanted to talk to you while Chloe and the others were busy with something else."
Lucas continued to play in his phone. "About what?"
"The newcomers," she declared. "And how we can't know that they aren't here on some kind of Trojan Horse mission."
Finally Lucas looked up from his phone. "You've got my attention."
She turned to face him. "One sees the future and the other can teleport."
He raised an eyebrow. "I'm waiting for you to go somewhere with this."
She glared at him. "Those two could be problems. Sure, they've got that whole 'we're nice, love us!' thing going on, but I don't trust them. They could be here spying for the others."
Lucas took in a deep breath. "The thought had crossed my mind."
"Of course it did, you're the Hand to my Thunderbird." Cassie leaned in closer. "We need to pull a Diana and Greg and act as a team." At his snort she pushed onwards. "Listen, we're the warriors in each circle, the magical brawn, sure, but we're also not dumb. We're protectors, which means we should not only make sure Chloe's safe from present threats, but future ones as well."
Lucas tilted his head to the side. "Again. I'm listening."
"I mightn't like Mikhail personally, but he's proven I can trust him to do a decent job when it comes to Chloe. Hell, he sacrificed himself in this other reality for our family. He deserves to be in the Circle." Cassie didn't like praising Mikhail, and hoped to god that Lucas never mentioned that she'd said that. "These newcomers though? I don't mean to ruffle any feathers, and I'm not saying we should." And that was where she could see that she was, ever slowly, maturing. "They could really be who they say they are – could be well-intentioned and have no plans of betraying us – but I think we should be prepared just in case."
"You're just repeating everything I've been thinking since they've arrived," Lucas finally uttered, apparently annoyed. "Give me something new to work with."
Of course he wasn't going to make this easy. "We've been caught with our pants down too many times in the past. I'm including myself being Rao's host as one of those situations." Cassie still hated it, still felt dirty at the realization that she'd had Rao hijacking her for so long and hadn't even realized it. "I think we need to prove that we're more than just brawn here."
"How?" Lucas looked on the verge of losing his temper.
Her glare heated up. "Are you that thick?" She snapped at him. "I'm saying you and I need to partner up and do a thorough background check on every single person who is close to Chloe who isn't in her Circle! Like everyone. These other siblings. The Mayor. The Town Council. Everyone. We can do this. People don't expect it from us. They see us as the explosive spell-first types – which we so totally are. It's why the whole – we're going to be calculating – is amazing. No one is going to see it coming!"
Lucas stared at her in silence before he growled, highly unpleased. "That's a good plan."
She knew how much he hated having to say that, and it made her beam. "Only you and I can know about this though. The more people who know, the more chance it has of getting out. We need people off their guard."
He nodded. "If Mikhail asks me what I'm doing with you, I'm going to tell him. Otherwise he's going to think I'm… into… you." He looked disgusted at the very thought. "But only if he asks. And only him."
Cassie nodded. "That's acceptable." She held out her hand.
Sighing, Lucas placed his hand in hers and gave a shake. Their symbols flared brightly, a jolt racing through them, causing them to pull apart with a shock.
Lucas eyed his symbol before rubbing his palm against his pants. "Yeah… let's never touch again."
"Like, ever," Cassie agreed, eyeing her Thunderbird in worry.
"I'm sorry." Lana stared at Pete, knowing that he was suffering and hating that she was a cause of it. She really hadn't known him for long, but she could see that separating himself from Chloe like this was killing him. The guilt was eating him up from the inside. "At least it won't be too long until she understands. Aunt Nell says that once we start awakening it'll be like a chain reaction. She's the only one left. It has to happen soon."
Pete nodded as he watched Chloe talking to Van, purposely keeping her back towards them, as she tended to do ever since he and Clark had been told by Nell to back off otherwise the blonde would realize what was going on – and might repress her abilities.
"She'll understand," Lana whispered as she placed her hand on Pete's shoulder.
He sent her a sad smile. "I really hope so."
Adam hadn't meant to go this far back. He was still trying to get a fix on his ability. The last time with Clark it'd taken a while for him to get to the memory he actually wanted.
The world shifted around him.
He concentrated on Lana's strongest memories which dealt with Chloe, and hoped that the next one would be more useful.
Chloe caught Pete's gaze. He'd been allowed in for the hearing but had been shackled and guarded by Jake and Conant. She'd fought that, tried to get the others to see that Pete wasn't a threat and that he didn't need to be imprisoned this way, and yet the others didn't see it. In the end Pete had been the one to tell Chloe it was okay, that he didn't mind it.
Of course he minded it, she knew he did. Anyone would. He was her brother. He was her friend. It killed her to see him like this.
Pete gave her a small smile and nodded that he knew, and he didn't blame her.
She blamed herself though. She'd let things get out of hand. Then again… she really couldn't have done anything else.
With the Concilium Delibero Nell had taken everything out of Chloe's hands. She'd done that on purpose – she'd made no effort to hide the fact that she didn't like Chloe having ultimate say – but the blonde knew for sure the Thoreaux Circle were going to like even less having everything in the Four's hands. AC, Lex nor Victor knew any of them personally, and honestly didn't give a crap about them. If it meant the betterment of the society as a whole, the Thoreaux Circle could burn for all they cared.
Damn it, she was nervous.
"Let's run away together." Lana couldn't even believe she'd actually said those words, but she didn't regret them. Pete looked utterly devastated. The whole truth about who his real father was – and why his parents had been so fanatically Christian – had taken a toll on him, a visible one.
"And go where?" Pete wanted to know softly.
"France." Again, she didn't even know what she was saying until the words were out of her mouth.
Pete looked up at her in surprise. "France?"
Lana nodded, encouraged as she moved closer. "My Circle has history in France and I've always wanted to go there." She paused. "Plus, there's something I've found out that I want to check out. My aunt would never let me if she knew."
Intrigued, Pete eyed her. "What are you talking about?"
"Well, you know how Countess Margueritte Isobel Thoreaux lived in France, right?" She cleared her throat. "I've been studying the BoS and it says that she found a way to make herself more powerful, a way to protect her Circle, and that she hid it in her ancestral home." She moved closer even. "If we could discover what that was we could use it to protect our Circle." She hated how weak they were – how weak SHE was. Aunt Nell had told her over and over again that she needed to be the leader, the backbone, of the Circle. She needed to protect her people – and yet she'd had to be saved. It horrified her. "We'll never get attacked and nearly killed again – we'll be able to protect ourselves and make sure no one – Witch Hunter or otherwise – hurts anyone we love."
Pete stared at her for a moment before he let out a breath. "How do we get to France?"
Adam watched the two of them together. While this was sweet and all, it wasn't what he wanted to know. What he really needed to see was what had happened once they'd actually gotten to France.
With a sigh, he watched as the world transitioned into the next memory.
"What do you want?" Zod looked up at the Bloodbound. He'd gone to see Councilman Jor and had sensed her presence waiting outside the Caves for him. It'd intrigued him. The Bloodbound didn't like him and it was understandable. His kind had hunted her down since she could remember, they were the enemy. So why exactly had she waited on him so obviously? She could've masked her scent but she hadn't, which meant that she'd wanted him to know she was there.
"I don't trust Dax-Ur." The Bloodbound narrowed her eyes on him.
"I do not trust him either," Zod admitted, and then chuckled at her expression. "What? Did you think I would trust him just because he is a member of my same species?"
"No." She shook her head. "But I was surprised that you were so truthful."
"What merit is there in lying to you?" Zod raised an eyebrow. "Why are you here? It isn't just to vent your suspicions about him."
She cleared her throat, obviously hesitating. "She's not sleeping well. She's having nightmares. I don't know of what. She won't speak of whatever it is, even when I wake her up because she's sobbing."
Zod didn't need to ask who she was talking about. He wasn't exactly sure why she'd come to him with this issue though. "I see."
The Bloodbound glared at him, as if he were thick. "Do you?"
"She is under a lot of stress," he pointed out. "Her brother is under suspicion of treason and faces death if proven guilty." He tilted his head to his side. "Despite having a plethora of siblings she somehow seems to manage to care for them all." Which, really, had to be exhausting. "There's nothing I can do about that, and considering I am still not sleeping in her quarters I cannot make your servitude any better by being the one to awaken her."
"I don't know why I thought this conversation would go otherwise," the Bloodbound growled as she stormed out of the room.
Zod watched her go. He'd never understand women.
Ever since she'd touched the symbol etched onto the wall of the ancient church Isobel had mentioned in her BoS, Lana had been feeling weird. She brought her hand to her head at the dizzy spell that'd befallen her. This was happening more and more lately, and she wasn't sure what to do. She didn't want to tell Pete about the side-effects because she didn't want him to worry, or worry more at least. But if they didn't stop soon…
"You have no idea what's happening, do you?" A calm voice asked to her right.
She jumped in surprise and turned to see a man there that hadn't been there seconds before. "Who are you?"
"Not the right question," he replied easily. "The right question is what is happening to you. Another good one is: who is Peter Balcoin's oldest sibling?"
She froze. Who was this man? How did he know Pete's real father's surname? And how did he know that Pete had an older sibling? How did he know about Chloe? And why did he want to know about her? What was going on?
"We can do this the hard way, or we can do this the harder way." He leaned forwards and sneered at her. "What's your answer?"
"My answer?" Lana glared at him. "How about: I don't know what the heck you're talking about."
He chuckled. "Harder, then. Good."
Lana never saw the hex racing her way until it hit her, and all went black.
Adam leaned in closer. YES. FINALLY. He was in the ballpark of the memories he wanted to access!
"Nightmares?" Whitney Fordman frowned as he leaned forwards. "About what?" He wasn't at the hearing, hadn't wanted to be. He wanted to support his friends, but his relationship with Pete and Lana could compromise his reactions to whatever happened there. It was why he'd taken himself out of the equation entirely.
Zatanna hesitated. "I don't know. She won't speak of them."
"Does this happen every night?" He wasn't surprised that Chloe had nightmares. He did too. So did Clark. So did Pete. And Lana. Everyone who'd been touched by Granny Goodness or Desaad, or any other of Rao's minions, had been left with psychological scars. Even if they couldn't actively remember all the pain they'd gone through, all the torture, their subconscious did and it reminded them in their moments of rest.
"Not every night, but some nights it's worse than others." Zatanna bit her bottom lip. "Last night a couple of things exploded in her room while she was sleeping. It was strong enough that Adam woke up because his magic sensed hers in a panic. He helped me calm her down."
Whitney frowned at that. Sure, he had nightmares, but they weren't usually to that extent. "How sure are we that Dax-Ur isn't affecting her?"
Zatanna shook her head. "We aren't."
The blonde groaned as he combed lean fingers through his hair. "I'll talk to her about it. I don't know if there's anything I can do to help, but I'll look through my family's Grimoire. We were herbologists. Maybe there's some sort of potion that can help with the nightmares."
"Thank you." Now that her mission was complete, Zatanna left, a small smile on her face.
Whitney watched her go, a frown on his face. He turned and looked up at the cloudy sky. He'd check his books, just like he'd promised, but figured there might be more to it than just herbs could help. He pulled out his phone and dialed a number.
"Speak, voice of the box," Zod's voice declared. He had yet to get accustomed to the cellphone Chloe insisted he keep on him now that he was on earth.
Rolling his eyes at the Dragon, Whitney sighed. "Hi. Just say hi."
"High?" Zod's tone was confused. "Why does one mention height? And why height and not width, or depth?" He let out an annoyed huff. "Humans are so—."
Whitney didn't wait to hear what humans were. He figured it'd just make him want to deck the Dragon even more than he usually did. "Zatanna came to see me. Apparently Chloe's having nightmares that are so strong she's making things explode in her room."
"Yes, the Bloodbound came to me with this news as well," Zod informed Whitney imperially. "And while I approve of the fact that she is keeping me updated on my mate's condition, it felt like she expected something of me. It is not like I have been given my rightful bed and am in Chloe's quarters in the night. Also, the Bloodbound is her servant, even if she does not use that title. It is her duty to awaken her mistress if she is in distress. This whole attitude seems lazy to me."
Whitney palmed his face. "Do Dragons use any special means of sleeping dreamlessly? Or minimizing nightmares so they can sleep peacefully?"
There was a pause. "We're Dragons. We do not fear night visions."
He let out a sigh. What had he expected? Why had he thought that asking Zod anything would end up in him being anything but exasperated?
"Although…" Zod hesitated, voice curious. "When one is a fledgling, especially when one is still newly hatched, one sleeps nestled in their parents' warmth. This custom stops after one goes through his or her first molting, but nonetheless…"
Whitney raised an eyebrow. "Her parents are dead, and even so, I don't see Chloe sleeping in the same bed with either."
There was a pause. "Sanguine, you may be dismissed." And with that, Zod hung up.
Whitney closed his eyes. "Goodbye. People say goodbye!" And yet, of course, he knew that there was no one listening to him. Taking in a deep breath, Whitney shook his head. "Great. Time for Plan B then." And with that, he turned and headed for the Caves. He had a lot of studying to do.
"I don't know!" Lana screamed as she hung from the wall by a visibly electrified chain. Jolts of power raced down her, causing her body to shake viciously, and yet she grit her teeth and kept her eyes closed. "I DON'T KNOW!"
Desaad moved around her, his expression betraying how much he enjoyed seeing her in pain. "All you have to do is say one name, little girl, and this will all be over."
"I DON'T KNOW!" Tears of pain slipped down Lana's face, but she fought it. She wouldn't tell these people about Chloe. She'd be the leader that she couldn't be before. She'd protect her Circle.
"But you're lying." Desaad whispered in her ear. "And we don't like liars."
Lana screamed, agony racing throughout her as her insides seemed to vibrate. When she opened her eyes, tears of blood trailed down her eyes and trails of blood from her nostrils and ears.
Desaad laughed as he stepped back. "You're protecting the Firstborn, when he or she does not need it. You do not understand that the Firstborn will not be harmed by us." He steepled his hands in front of her, almost as if he were about to pray. "The Firstborn will hold a place of honor."
Lana stared at him through the blood pooling out her eyes. What the devil was he talking about? Why would Chloe be honored here? He's messing with you, Lana. He wants you to think Chloe will be safe, but she won't. And Pete will never forgive you if anything happens to her because you weren't strong enough to protect your own. She stared at Desaad with loathing. "I. Don't. Know. Who. You. Are. Talking. About."
Desaad merely smiled.
The pain in her head returned tenfold.
Adam wanted nothing more than to stop seeing this, but he couldn't. He had to keep watching. That was why, with a cringe, he forced himself to sit through the whole torture session. Not once did Lana Lang break.
"Stop it, Harriet." Sarah glared at her twin, at the claw marks that littered the walls of the once place they could consider home.
"Those two traitors…" It didn't matter how many days passed since their siblings had left - Harriet's ire would not lessen. "Those good-for-nothing - they left us for her. For that stranger. For that blonde."
Sarah remained where she was and eyed her sister with trepidation she refused to show. She'd known that Harriet would be pissed, knew she'd see Alicia and Jordan leaving as the ultimate betrayal. In a sense it was true, Balcoin or not, neither of them would still be alive if it wasn't for Harriet, for the Circle, but Sarah could see what her twin never would. This Circle, while powerful, while awe-ing, hadn't been bound for a reason. The first chance Alicia and Jordan had had, they'd run, and Sarah had not only not been surprised - she'd expectedit the second Chloe Balcoin appeared and gave them all a second option. There were definitely times in which she'd wished she'd gone with them, but if she wasn't here, who'd reign Harriet in?
"Who the hell does that bubbly bitch think she is? Coming in here and taking two of my people?" Harriet rammed the claws that emerged from her knuckles into the wall, imbedding them knuckle-deep as the dark in her eyes grew.
Sarah watched her and worried that she wouldn't be able to protect Harriet from herself this time.
The memories were getting harder and harder to piece together coherently. They'd been destroyed so badly… It was like shifting through broken pieces of glass - just as tedious and as dangerous. Adam could feel the pain in his skull increase but he pushed on, diving into each and every one. The things he'd seen were things he never wanted to remember again, didn't want to keep seeing, but he did, and as he did some respect for Lana Lang grew. He wasn't a fan of hers, or of how she'd acted while Chloe was gone, but he felt for what she'd suffered, and he could respect that throughout it she'd kept her mouth shut. At least so far.
He stumbled, nearly cut himself on a broken fragment of memory as the world twirled around him. Immediately power raced through him, having the same effect of cold water on a blistering hot day. He recognized this power. It was his but not. It was Chloe. Her magic must've sensed his own distressed, and it'd pooled into him, not only refreshing him but driving away the headache and disorientation.
"I'm not hungry anymore," Lana whispered to Pete as they sat against the wall that separated their cells. "I don't think that's a good thing."
"I don't think so either," Pete whispered back.
"What are we going to do?" Lana's eyes filled with tears, her body extremely thin and covered in cuts and bruises. "We're going to die."
"We're not going to die," Pete insisted softly. "We'll be rescued."
"By who? They have Clark! The others don't even know what's going on!" Lana leaned her head against the wall and gazed up at the ceiling, tears trailing down her dirty cheeks. "I'm so tired, Pete."
"Just hang on, okay?" Pete's voice grew urgent. "We'll make it out of here, I promise."
She closed her eyes, extremely tired.
Adam watched as the world crumbled around him, slowly, painfully, reshaping itself to find Lana, Clark and Pete chained in a dungeon, different from the one they'd been in before. It was odd that they were all together when they'd been kept separated up until now.
Lana didn't think she could take much more. She stared ahead of her, refusing to cry even when inside she was screaming. She couldn't take this much longer. Not the pain. Not seeing Pete and Clark being hurt. She was going to break and Pete would never forgive her for it. But how much was she supposed to suffer - when she didn't even know why?
"Chloe?" Pete's voice cracked.
Lana looked up in shock. He'd caved. He'd told them his sister's name! Lana couldn't believe that Pete had been the one to —!
"Oh my god." Chloe's voice shocked Lana, but not more than the sight of the blonde as she threw her arms around Pete, hugging him tightly, before she hugged Clark and Lana as well. When someone cleared his throat, she pulled away. "How long have you three been in here in these conditions?"
"I don't know," Lana whispered, surprised at how much it hurt to speak. "What month is it?"
"What are you doing here?" Pete's eyes were wide in horror. "You aren't supposed to be here! Clark said that before he was caught he'd sent you a coded message that told you that you were in danger! That you were to be alert!"
"Coded-?" Chloe frowned.
"I'm so sorry, Chloe." Clark glared past her at the new man, one Lana hadn't seen before. "Don't you touch her! Let her go!"
"We tried, Chloe, we didn't speak for so long," Lana whispered, so pale, so bruised. "But in the end, it hurt so much." They hadn't ever spoken her name, not once, but Lana knew that they hadn't been able to keep completely silent. They'd let things spill, she couldn't remember what but she knew that once pain hit a certain threshold none of them could be too certain what they'd said. All she knew was that no one had given a name, or a location.
It was Pete's horrified voice that brought Lana out of her musing. "What have you done?"
Chloe reached out, clasping his freezing hand in hers, rubbing her hand over his, trying to warm it. "I can get the three of you back home. You'll be safe and with family. He swears it."
"It's a lie," Lana assured her rapidly. Shame filled her at the fact that she'd been about to betray Chloe, to break, and yet the girl was here of her own accord, offering herself in return for their freedom despite seeing what this man was capable of. Lana didn't know if she could've done the same in her place - and her shame grew. "He'll kill us the minute we're out of these walls."
"No, he won't." Chloe shook his head. "He needs you alive."
"Why would he need us alive?" Clark frowned, drawing closer. "What aren't you telling us, Chlo?"
"What have you done?" Pete echoed his previous question, tightening his grip on her hands.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe stared into her brother's eyes. "I'm trading myself for you."
"Chloe, no!" Lana gasped in horror as her previous guess proved true. This was a trade-off.
Adam stared at Lana's face, at the open horror mixed with shame. And yet the shame wasn't from betraying Chloe - but from being about to betray her. This girl hadn't done it. She hadn't been the one to tell Rao about Chloe. Not entirely. It was true, in the throes of agony they'd let things slip, but nothing they'd said could actually point Chloe out as the Firstborn.
He turned his gaze upon Pete Balcoin as the boy hugged Chloe and cried desperately, visibly reluctant to leave her. Were those tears being shed because he feared for her life at Rao's hands - or because he knew he was the reason she was forced to live in this hellhole?
"That son of a bitch." Mikhail stood and slammed his palms down on the table the second the news was broadcasted. "I'm going to kill him."
"You don't know that he actually did it." And yet Greg's face was stormy as he leaned forwards, watching the screen as the Four delivered the news that Lana Lang had not been the betrayer. As such, she'd be released into Mr and Mrs' Kent's custody since her aunt was still in isolation, and Pete was being held until Adam could rest enough to perform his trial. "Pete couldn't have done it, man. He's not only her brother, but he's her friend. They loved each other long before any of us came into the picture."
"I can't believe the Pink Tyrant wasn't the one to rat." Faye sat on the loveseat with her feet perched on Byron's lap. "I was sure it was her."
Byron was silent, way too silent, like he'd been ever since the two new siblings had arrived.
Talking about them, Mikhail wasn't sure where they, or Cassie and Lucas, were. They should be here, would be here if they gave a damn about this place or their sister.
"Damn," Bart tsked as he leaned forwards. "Look at her face. She looks like she's gone through hell."
"Who cares about Lana Lang?" Faye wanted to know as she folded her arms over her chest. "You heard them. Lana was going to rat anyway. The only reason she didn't was because Chloe arrived all on her own." She huffed. "Makes her guilty in my books."
"I meant Chloe." Bart sent Faye a look before he turned his attention back to the television. "Has anyone else noticed that she looks like she hasn't slept in a month?"
Silence reigned as they turned their attention on the pale blonde with dark bags under her worried eyes, expression pinched.
"Hey." Clark leaned in the doorway as he stared at Lana. "How are you?"
She looked up at him, knowing her tiredness, her desire to cry, showed on her face. She hadn't slept well. Even though Chloe had made sure the holding cells were comfortable they were still cells. Lana hadn't been able to sleep. She hadn't known what her memories would bring. She hadn't wanted to believe that she might've betrayed someone who at that time had been a part of her Circle, but Lana had always known that there was a distinct possibility that she had. She'd preferred not knowing, and the thought of the truth coming to light had terrified her. What if she didn't like the truth? "We went through something so horrible… I wish I could forget it again."
"I get what you mean." Clark pushed away from the doorframe and sat down next to her. "I still have nightmares - but this time I remember what's giving them to me." He sighed. "This is a good thing, Lana. Now we can work to move on."
"Move on?" Lana's voice cracked. "We were tortured, for so long, to keep her secret. And now what? She puts us in dungeons as well? Is that the thanks we get for all we did to protect her?"
"Chloe didn't do that." Clark narrowed his eyes at her. "The others did. And the only reason they had the power to do so was because of your aunt."
Lana flinched and looked down, chastised. "You don't think I know that?" She closed her eyes tightly and fought the tears. "Gods, Clark, everything is all messed up!" She covered her eyes, hating how weak she was. "What if Pete did it? They'll kill him." Her voice broke. "And my aunt will be the reason!" She tore her hands from her face. "I don't care what they do to her! But Pete? I love him so much! And the only family I have might be the reason he dies tomorrow!" She felt nausea and terror twirling in her gut. "Chloe wouldn't have let him get hurt, even if he—she wouldn't! But those others?" Oh god, the room was spinning. "I can't live without him, Clark!"
"Lana. Calm down!" Clark placed his hands on her shoulders. "Breathe in, and out. In… good." He watched her warily. "Everything's going to be fine. Pete didn't betray Chloe. They'll find that out when Adam's rested enough to test him. Everything will be fine."
Lana stared ahead of her, silent.
Clark narrowed his eyes. "What aren't you telling me?"
She flinched and looked up at Clark. "What if he did?"
"He wouldn't." Clark seemed sure of it.
"But what if he did?" Lana's voice choked.
Clark stared down at her, horror growing as it crept across his face.
Dax-Ur leaned against the wall and watched the announcement from the Four regarding the trial which had taken place that day on Lana Lang. Her innocence, like that of Clark Kent, had been ascertained. Now, the only suspect was none other than the Firstborn's own brother - the Secondborn. Already he could hear the whispering coming from the people in the Firstborn's realm. There was outrage, shock, scandal. So many emotions, all twirling, twisting.
A smirk slowly curved his lips as, beneath his skin, wormlike figures began to slither.