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.
Diana was floored by what had just happened. She shared a look with Greg, able to see the same shock on his face, and that of the other Circle members. They hadn't known. No one had known.
The only ones who didn't look shocked out of their wits were the Dragons. And… Zatana, who was already making her way back to Casa Chloe.
Jor-El nodded in approval, mentioned something to a gobsmacked Clark that only made him look more gobsmacked, and then turned and left.
Zod ignored the humans and witches around him. He stared at the stage long after Chloe had gone, before his gaze lowered to the shadows, which remained around the crowd. In fact, the ground all around the area was filled with black mist. A small smile tilted his lips, he too highly approving of the course the night had taken.
But it was Dax-Ur, the Dragon wearing Charles Meade's skin, that Diana couldn't take her eyes off of. It was still so hard to see the man who'd raised her, and yet know it wasn't him any longer. The mysterious Dragon no one trusted stood away from the group, and his grin was large. He turned and caught Diana's eye, pausing as he eyed her. It was then with a slow nod of his head that he disappeared in the opposite direction, stride determined.
"Dee," Adam's voice caused her to turn around to see him standing there, a concerned expression on his face. "Something's weird."
"Weird how?" Diana wanted to know as she moved closer.
Adam glanced towards the now empty stage before he motioned to the shadows still lingering. "Her magic - since what happened with the Town Council something's different. I can't tell what it is, but I can feel the difference."
Grabbing Adam's arm, Diana yanked him off to the side, pulling him close they wouldn't be overheard. "Explain it to me."
"And me too," Greg declared at her back seconds before he reached her side. "What's going on with our Alice?"
Diana wasn't exactly sure what he was going on about, but she was relieved that he'd found his way towards her.
Adam glanced between them before he sighed. "I don't know."
"You're so obvious it's pathetic," Lucas declared as he glanced around the crowd.
Cassie tore her gaze off of Greg and Diana's back before her blues narrowed on Lucas. "What are you talking about?"
He rolled his eyes. "We're busy now, remember, it was your idea to do this. So stop getting so distracted every time you see Arkin with your sister. Jealousy makes you look constipated."
Her mouth parted. "Don't be ridiculous!"
"No, it really does," Lucas informed her.
She wouldn't hit him. She couldn't! She had to keep the peace! "I was just wondering what they were talking about. That's all."
"And you find every excuse to go spend time at his house because you like his mom," Lucas snickered.
"I do!" Cassie stared at him in horror. She adored Mrs Arkin! "She's a super sweet person who took me in when Chloe disappeared and—."
"—and you have the hots for her son." Lucas was obviously having a lot of fun and now didn't even look around the crowd, instead fixed his gaze on where Greg and Diana leaned into each other, heads tilted towards each other in conversation. "I wondered whether you went the other way, but you definitely have a thing for Arkin. I mean, I don't get it, but you've obviously got competition."
"I don't have a thing for Greg," Cassie quickly assured him, before she hesitated. "Diana doesn't like him like that."
"Sure she doesn't." Lucas rolled his eyes and motioned to where Conant and Jake were speaking. "It's not like you two have similar tastes in guys or anything."
Cassie opened her mouth and then closed it.
"Fresh out of denial?" Lucas singsonged.
"What are you doing here?" Chloe asked at the border.
"Is Alicia here?" Sarah Balcoin stood on the other side, green eyes wide and red-rimmed. She looked tired, like she'd run the whole way to Smallville. "Harriet—I couldn't stop her—usually I can stop her!" She closed her eyes and visibly fought the urge to cry before she took in a deep breath and opened her eyes, fixing them on Chloe. "Please tell me she's alive!"
Chloe wanted to believe that this girl was really here because she was worried about Alicia, but there'd been too many secrets, too many lies, in her life. It'd hardened her, and given the situation, she held back. "She's still alive, she'll live."
Sarah brought a shaky hand to her face as she collapsed to her knees on the ground. "Thank Merlin." She looked up at Chloe. "Can I see her?"
"No." Chloe shook her head. "How do I know that this isn't a scheme cooked up between you all?"
"I understand that you'd think that, but Alicia's my sister. I told her to not come back. I told her that Harriet—she's gone crazy." Sarah let out a sob. "She's my twin, I'm supposed to be there for her, I'm supposed to help— to stop — but she's gonemad!" She suddenly looked up. "Elephant Ear! Use it! You have to have it if you're dealing with as many witches as I hear you do."
"Elephant Ear?" Chloe hadn't heard of that before.
"She means Colocasia Root, it's also called Taro," Whitney's voice declared from behind her. "We have something better though."
Sarah looked up at that. "What?"
Chloe glanced back at him. Yeah. What?
Whitney merely smiled.
Sarah cried and hugged Jordan tightly as she gazed down at Alicia, who was asleep, still healing. The relief was genuine on Sarah's face as spoke to Jordan. She also wore the green meteorite pendant with only a hint of a flinch.
"Why didn't you tell me we had more of those?" Chloe wanted to know.
"I only just found them, you've been busy." Whitney had a lot of questions for Chloe as well, but knew that this wasn't the time for them. "We all know that it won't stop her from using her Balcoin dark magic, but it'll fight her tooth and nail if she does, and it'll incapacitate her long enough for her to be stopped."
"Smart," Chloe responded softly as she folded her arms over her chest, gaze on her three siblings.
He sent her a sideways glance. "So, the death penalty, huh?" What had happened to him not talking about it now?
She glanced up at the ceiling before she turned to him. "I did what I had to." She turned her back on the scene in front of her. "Alicia's in no shape for an interrogation now. I'll leave Jor-El and some of the VI and Suicide Squad around, keeping an eye on the three of them. I have to get ready for Pete's trial. It starts in a couple of hours and I have a lot to do before then." With that she took off into the closest vein.
Whitney clutched at his chest before he trailed after her. "What happens if it turns out that Pete did tell Rao about you?"
She hesitated visibly for a second before continuing on. "That's out of my hands. It's already been decided that any traitor discovered in this inquisition will be executed. There's nothing I can do about it."
Whitney stopped in his tracks, shocked out of his wits. What the hell was going on here? This was not like Chloe!
He hurried to catch up with her. "Want to tell me why you decided to go all Dragon on us?"
"I haven't gone all Dragon," Chloe hissed as she hurried her pace.
"Actually, you did." That was Zod as he emerged from the darkness, where he'd been leaning and eavesdropping. "That is the most Dragon I have ever witnessed you to be."
Whitney fought irritation. He realized he was in an alliance with Zod, but that didn't mean that he appreciated that everywhere he turned the Dragon was there.
"It was time for you to let your inner reptile out for the world to see," Zod praised in admiration. "They are humans, they are beneath you, and it is time that they realize it."
Whitney clenched his hands into fists.
"They aren't beneath me, Zod." Chloe turned towards him. "But I'm sick and tired of their bullshit, and I don't want to deal with it anymore. They want my protection? Fine. I'll protect them. But I expect obedience and fidelity in return."
"But you don't want people to follow you because they're scared of the alternative," Whitney pressed, knowing he could get through to her, get passed whatever this was, if he could have just a little time with her. "You want them to follow you for the same reason we do, because we respect you. Because we want to."
Her hard expression flickered.
"Fear is respect," Zod sneered. "Boy. I was a Major in the Apokalips Draconian army. I know what one needs to do to rally troops behind them, and people respect those who they know are greater than them. And she is greater than they could ever hope to be! They betrayed her, they played her as a fool, and now they will reap the consequences." Zod's eyes narrowed. "I expected greater fidelity from you towards her, not for you to snivel on those people's behalf."
"I don't care about them!" Couldn't they see that? "I care about her!" He froze, unable to believe those words had actually come from his mouth, and yet he couldn't stop himself. "I care about the emotions she's bottling up. I care about what that will do to her. She's not a lizard, Major, she's a witch. Magic or not, she's a human being with feelings, hurt, anger - it's not good for humans to bottle those up. They become bitter, or worse, they start to lose the ability to feel anything at all. Even the good." He turned to Chloe. "I'm your right hand." He hesitated. "That's not actually true considering Lucas is—." He shook his head. "That doesn't matter. Chloe. I'm worried about you. I'm worried about the blank look you had in your eyes tonight."
"I'm fine, Whitney." And yet she felt very not fine to him, and it worried him that he could feel it. "I did what I had to do. I don't regret it. If the whole of Smallville left tonight, I wouldn't care. In fact. I'd be relieved. All the weak would be gone." That blankness was returning to her greens. "I don't need weak people who'll only cause problems."
"Exactly." Zod nodded in agreement. "I do not know what has changed, but I approve of it."
"I liked her just the way she was," Whitney snapped at him.
Zod eyed him with a sniff. "Calm down, Sanguine. Just because she is evolving into what she should have been all along does not mean—."
He'd about had it with Zod by now. "Stay out of this."
Zod's eyes narrowed as they turned reptile in warning. "Think carefully about what you say next, Sanguine."
"Whitney, don't." Chloe shook her head.
"While I applaud your passion," Zod spoke to Whitney, voice low. "Remember who it is you talk to."
Whitney hadn't meant to. He hadn't even known what he'd been doing, but he'd had enough. "I said stay out of this!" He surged forwards, voice low as he pushed Zod up against the cave wall and pinned him there. Whitney could see the utter shock on Zod's face, but it wasn't just because Whitney had been able to physically move Zod… The hands pushing Zod's shoulders into the cave wall bore claws, and his hand and arms… were scaled. He caught a glimpse of his face in Zod's wide eyes, and he staggered back before turning his back on Chloe. He didn't know what was happening, but he didn't want her to see him like this.
So he did the only thing he could do, he ran into the darkest vein in the cave and kept on running.
"Whitney!" Chloe screamed after him, and yet he wouldn't stop running. "Whitney, come back!" She made to go after him when Zod's grip on her arm stopped her. "Let go!"
"That is no mere Sanguine." Zod's grip on her tightened, his eyes wide. "What is he?" His gaze turned to the darkness in awe. "He has a half-form."
Chloe's eyes widened as she turned towards the darkness. A half-form? Was that what it was?
Something in Whitney had snapped, and not only had he displayed super strength, but had shifted to have scales, his eyes had changed both color and shape, and his features sharpened somehow. He'd looked horrified, disgusted, and scared at the change.
"I do not understand." Zod seemed to be speaking to himself. "As Sanguine I knew his form was fluid, and yet this level of transmutation is unheard of - is impossible." He moved closer to her. "What is he?"
"He's Whitney." She yanked her arm out of Zod's, some of the numbness she'd felt since the Town Council evaporating into stark concern. "And he needs me." With that she raced after her Sanguine, yelling his name.
Nothing was more important than getting to Whitney right now.