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, Pete Ross, Jor-El, Vika Balcoin, Van McNulty...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.
The next couple of days were dark ones. Faye kept a wary eye on Chloe and might've actually bonded some with Zatanna due to the fact that Chloe was always busy, and the Bloodbound was the only way Faye could keep accurate and complete tabs on the blonde. So many things had happened in so little time, and while Jordan's funeral had taken place last week, she could feel his ghost lingering over them. Sarah and Alicia (who still wasn't a hundred per cent fine) were wearing the loss like a blanket, while Chloe did what she always tended to do and repressed it all, burying her feelings.
With all that was happening, Faye was worried that Chloe found too many ways to keep from processing the deaths. As a person who believed in getting angry, hurt, sad or happy whenever your body felt those emotions – and didn't believe in burying or filtering anything – Faye knew this couldn't be healthy. The others knew it as well, hell, she'd overheard Diana and Cassie talking about the situation and worrying about exactly how they could get Chloe to sit down, to rest, to mourn. It didn't look possible. She'd taken over Smallville. That wasn't even a joke. She'd literally taken it over.
Faye wondered how this was going to work legally, considering that despite everything they were still a part of the United States and subject to their laws and such. I mean, it wasn't like the President or Senators knew about the huge changes. Then again, each day the television showed scenes of terrorism that rocked not only the United States, but the world. The Head of their country was too worried with other stuff to pay too much attention to a Podunk town like Smallville. But what if they started realizing that, unlike the rest of the country, Smallville was not only surviving, but thriving? Would they send in people to investigate? Would they try to get in touch with the Mayor? Would they notice that something was off? And if so, would that lead straight to Chloe?
Faye knew that the blonde had to be worrying about all of this. She was running a town, two Circles, the Lost Boys, the Vigilante Initiative, the Suicide Squad, the Combat Circle (Jake's name for the unofficial team he, Clark, and a select few others made up), and many other factions and groups, organizations. She was also, apparently, harvesting the magic of witches who died in Rao's many attacks worldwide, and it was having a negative effect on her. It was visible whenever she absorbed the magic because she seemed to break out into a horrible rash and looked constantly in pain. Her body needed to molt, but her human anatomy wasn't allowing her to, which was making making a massive amount of power accumulate in a body not equipped to handle it.
"A don't think a party is in good taste right now," Byron admitted as he leaned against the wall, gaze on the crowds who were lining up to vote for the Human Liaison, or Ambassador, or whatever the hell this person was being called.
"I'm not saying to have a huge bash, but we need some relaxation, Chloe especially." Faye noticed her mother in the crowd and glanced away before the woman could look her way.
"You're still avoiding her," Byron, of course, noticed all the things Faye didn't want him to.
"Butt out, By," Faye warned.
He sighed softly. "She's your mom, Faye. You're going to have to talk to her sometime."
"What do you think about the choices?" Faye changed the subject. "I like that they didn't really have a campaign period, and they're getting voted in on their merits and not on their campaign promises."
A sigh escaped Byron's lips but he let the subject slide. "I like Mr Kent."
"Meh, I'm more partial to Deputy Watts," Faye admitted.
Byron nodded. "I think they're the top two contenders."
"I think Mr Kent will win though," Faye muttered as she turned to her boyfriend. "Deputy Watts doesn't want it, and not only that, but I've heard a couple of the non-magics saying that they need someone like him to remain in law enforcement. And now that the Sheriff's been enthralled with the rest of the Town Council baboons, it'd be good to have Deputy Watts as his second in command - the guy with the actual power in the organization, one who has proved he's loyal to Chloe."
"True," Byron conceded. He sighed and eyed his girlfriend. "A party is still a bad idea though."
Faye ignored him, already planning. She sometimes forgot that Byron was like most of the others, Chloe's kid sibling who saw her as an authority figure not to be questioned much, some awing being who, despite everything, had it all together. Faye didn't see that when she looked at Chloe. Sure, she knew the girl was more mature than all of them put together, and that she had more power than probably the whole of Smallville combined, but passed all of that, Faye saw a kid a year older than her who had way too much on her shoulders – half-Dragon or not.
And since she was one of the only people who saw Chloe that way, (and considering Zatanna, Adam, Greg and Whitney - the only ones who saw the truth like she did - were either 1) way too worshipful to go against Chloe's wishes to get things done (Zatanna), 2) way too busy trying his best to help Chloe control the rapid and painful influx of her magic (Adam), 3) way too concerned with figuring out how to help Chloe molt, studying with Clark and Jor-El (Greg & Whitney), she was the only person who could do this.
So she would.
"I won't make you stay if you don't want to," Chloe assured Sarah and Alicia as the two girls stood in front of her desk in her office. "But I don't want either of you to feel like you have to leave. This is your home for however long you want it – forever if you'd like. We're family."
Sarah lowered her gaze. "That's nice of you, but after what Harriet did we can't expect you to-."
"You had as much blame as I did for what Harriet did, which is nil." Chloe raised an eyebrow at them. "Has anyone here said otherwise to you?"
"Of course not!" Alicia's eyes widened. "We're just-."
"Balcoins," Chloe interrupted. "We're all Balcoins. We come from a bloody, evil, psychopathic bloodline. We can't help what's in our blood or in our veins." She leaned forwards. "Since my Balcoin magic became active my whole life was thrown upside down, and I've seen such ugliness come from our magic, from the darkness that can so easily consume us." She gazed between Sarah and Alicia. "But I've also seen the good in us. We're not monsters unless we let ourselves become it. We can find balance between the dark and light inside of us, and we can live happy, fulfilled lives with others. We can be a family."
Sarah glanced towards Alicia.
Alicia, in turn, was teary-eyed, her gaze on Chloe. "Can we really stay?"
Chloe smiled softly at her. "Please do."
A sob escaped Alicia's lips, and she surprised both Sarah and Chloe as she raced towards Chloe, the girl only able to stumble to her feet in time for her younger sister to throw herself at her, crying. Chloe's eyes widened, this was the first time—she cleared her throat and wrapped her arms around the girl's body. Alicia was so unlike a Balcoin. She was so emotional, so happy, so free. It was such a refreshing change. Jordan might have been the youngest, and Sarah might've called him the most innocent, but Chloe couldn't help but see Alicia in that light. Even Jordan had felt protective of Alicia. He'd risked and sacrificed his life for this sister.
Sarah remained where she was, gaze downcast as she gulped loudly.
"I'm so sorry," Alicia sobbed into Chloe's chest. "If I hadn't gone—it's all my fault!"
They hadn't talked about it, Chloe hadn't wanted to. She'd gotten the truth of what had happened, of why Alicia had gone to the others, and she hadn't wanted to bring the subject back up. She wanted to bury the incident along with her pain, but Alicia couldn't be left with this guilt. It wasn't her fault. She'd tried to help the siblings she knew were still living in unsafe, war-torn environments. She'd cared for the people she'd known would turn against her.
"It's not your fault." Chloe was proud at how her voice only wavered slightly when she spoke. "It's not." She gripped Alicia by her shoulders and pulled away enough to stare into her tear-stained face. Her magic was working, she wasn't sure what it was doing, but it was active and seeping into the younger girl. She waited until Alicia's gaze rose and met hers before she continued. "Your actions didn't kill Jordan. Harriet killed Jordan. I don't want you thinking you are to blame for any of it. It's true, you shouldn't have gone out by yourself the way you did, and I don't want you doing that again, it's too dangerous, but what you did was done with the best intentions. Because of you, we have Sarah with us now. She's safe because of you."
Sarah glanced up at that in visibly surprise.
Chloe wiped at Alicia's tears softly. "Don't let what's happened change you, you're sunshine, and we need that here badly."
Alicia's bottom lips trembled.
Chloe smiled softly. "Welcome home."
With a heart-broken sob, Alicia threw herself at Chloe once more, sobbing uncontrollably into her chest.
Wrapping her in a warm embrace, Chloe rested her chin on the top of the girl's long blonde waves, her green gaze on Sarah, who lowered her head and stood there alone.
Faye stood in the entrance of the Caves, her hands on her hips, her gaze in the darkness around her. She didn't really come to the caves by herself, usually the only reason she stepped foot into the darkness was for the Circle or Chloe, so this felt odd. But she'd heard the stories, how the caves might be part of Chloe yet had their own sort of consciousness, and that was what she was banking on right now.
"So, a lot of shit has been happening lately." She couldn't believe she was talking to the cave. If anyone saw her she'd lose a huge chunk of her street cred. "I have a plan, and I need the perfect place for it." She took in a deep breath as she pressed her palm against the cave wall, hoping it could read her intent or something through contact. "So if you could help—." Before she could even finish the sentence, lights appeared down a random cave tunnel, causing her to grin. "Good cave!" And with that she levitated the bags she'd brought with her, and followed down the lit passage way.
"You two—." Chloe cried out as the magic hit her, hard. It was suffocating and drove her to her knees, palms on the ground as her body curled into a crouched position. She screwed her eyes closed as she bit back the cry of pain that tried to escape. Why couldn't this have happened after Alicia and Sarah left? Why in front of them? They needed to be comforted by a strong leader figure! They didn't need to see her like this! So close to crying as unwanted magic siphoned itself inside of her.
"Chloe?" Alicia whispered, voice choked, hand on her shoulder. "Chloe—what's wrong?"
"It doesn't look like an attack." That was Sarah, much closer, voice calm unlike Alicia's squeaky unnerved one. Sarah's hand reached out and lifted Chloe's chin to look into her eyes, which she knew were reptile at the moment. "Are you being attacked?" When Chloe managed to shake her head, Sarah turned to Alicia. "Go and get the guy stationed outside."
Alicia stumbled towards the door and flung it open. "Help! Something is—we need your help!"
Chloe's fingers dug deep into the floor as she rode through the pain as the magic continued to flow into her, to force itself inside despite the fact that there was hardly any place it could reside within. If Zod, Jor-El and the others couldn't find a way for her to molt, soon, she was scared she'd explode.
"Merlin, another?" Bart hissed as he turned to Alicia. "Go get Adam. He should know something's going on, but he won't know where she is. Tell him to get his ass to her room."
Alicia nodded and raced out.
"What's going on?" Sarah wanted to know as she knelt in front of Chloe, her gaze narrowed.
"None of your business," Bart snapped before he reached down and picked Chloe up. "Let's get you out of here."
"This is my business!" Sarah snapped right back at him, opening the door for him and storming out.
"And how is this any of your business?" Bart wanted to know as he hurried his pace.
"Be. Nice." Chloe whimpered into his chest, arms clenched around his neck. She was in pain, lots of it. She didn't know how much longer Adam would be able to siphon magic into himself temporarily to help with the over-flow of it. Soon he'd be completely filled with it as well.
She didn't know how he did it, but Adam was in her room before they even got there. His face was twisted in discomfort, in pain, obviously feeling the ghostings of her magical upheaval.
"Adam," she whispered in relief before all went black.
"But she's okay?" Whitney needed to know.
"She's sleeping, but okay." Adam sounded tired. "Zatanna and I are staying to watch over her, Sarah too."
"Sarah?" Whitney asked in surprise.
"She's asking questions and is as stubborn as a mule," Adam muttered. "I've managed to send Alicia off with Bart, but damn it, this girl is bullheaded."
"I can hear you," Sarah could be heard muttering in the background.
"You were meant to," Adam assured her before he spoke to Whitney once more. "I'll stay here. Don't worry."
"Thank you. Call me if the situation changes." Hanging up, Whitney could feel Zod's gaze on him when he sat back down to the book he didn't really understand. Since he nor Greg spoke or read Draconian (and Clark was still learning the language) Jor-El had written down what words to look out for as they went through the texts. His mind sometimes wandered for a second as it scanned the seemingly never-ending text, but he forced it to fix on the words and continue the search. They needed to find a way to help Chloe before the magic she was consuming destroyed her.
"I am surprised that you have not gone to her side," Zod declared in a neutral tone. "That is your usual course of action."
"I can help by doing this," Whitney responded, not looking up from the tome. "There's nothing I could do there." When he continued to feel Zod's gaze on him, Whitney glanced up. "What?"
Zod eyed him in open intrigue. "I had not realized you could restrain yourself."
Greg glanced up at them curiously and shared a look with Clark, the two of them on the other side of the table.
Whitney raised an eyebrow at that. "What do you mean?"
"You're not as emotional as her, but you are emotional, especially about her. It is a weakness," Zod offered casually. "I know that you care about her, but you must learn to separate your own personal feelings."
"Is that Dragon words of wisdom?" Whitney figured he should be more annoyed, but it was hard to be so when he knew that in his own way, Zod was trying to help. Zod saw Dragons as superior in every way, and just the fact that he was trying to teach Whitney to be Dragon-ish proved that he believed Whitney capable of equality. It was just hard to remember that sometimes and not just snap at the guy.
"No, battle strategy," Zod corrected. "I am versed in war, not wisdom." He glanced over to where Jor-El was seated at his own table, books spread out all around him. "If you want wisdom, he is the Dragon to grant it."
Whitney glanced over at Jor-El as well before his blue gaze shifted back onto Zod. "So you don't care that she's hurt right now? You don't want to go there? You're so strong you don't give a damn?"
"I care." Zod's expression contorted, not by a lot, anyone else mightn't even notice it, but Whitney did. "But I am in control of myself. I rule my emotions, not the other way around. I do not let them make me weak, or distract me from what needs to be accomplished – from the war."
Whitney pitied the Dragon, and when he realized it he was shocked into silence.
Zod must've noticed something though, before his expression contorted a little bit more. "What is it?"
"Tell me about your wife, and your son."
Zod froze. His eyes widened and he looked away quickly, his breath a fraction quicker. Once again, the reaction was almost imperceptible, and Whitney doubted anyone else would notice the difference. "They are of the past and have no relevance to this conversation."
"Their names were Ursa and Lor, right?" Whitney pressed on carefully. "What were they like?"
Zod glanced away for a second before he took in a deep breath. "Ursa was a fertile female of the right breeding. We were selected by the Elders to continue our families by procreating. Only one of our eggs hatched successfully, which was a rarity in itself. Most breeding partners, if not sterile, have their young die within their eggs."
Both Greg and Clark blinked, sharing another look and subtly shifting towards the two talking.
"Lor was our only hatchling. All other attempts proved in vain." Zod took in a deep breath. "And then, when they died, all hope of the Zod lineage living on died as well, until Chloe."
"It doesn't have to be Chloe," Whitney announced.
"Yes, it does," Zod countered.
"No, it doesn't. Even if you had hatchlings with Chloe, genetically they'd be Halflings," Whitney pointed out. "So, with that reasoning, any witch affiliated with the Original Witches - like Zatanna, Tess, or even one of Chloe's sisters - would be "good enough" to be the mother of your hatchlings. And if you want to say that Chloe's more Dragony when it comes to magic - that's true, but all magic comes from Dragons so in our own way we all have a bit of Dragon magic in us."
"That is sound logic," Zod agreed after a moment. "But it has to be Chloe."
Whitney leaned over the table. "Why?"
Zod opened his mouth, closed it, and then frowned.
"The logical and clearly strategically superior course of action would be to do what I just said. In fact, if this was really about making sure your bloodline doesn't die with you, you'd choose someone else and make sure that she's conceived before you go to fight in a war in which you might get killed." Whitney raised an eyebrow. "The only reason why, despite all of that, that it would have to be Chloe would be that you want it to be Chloe. Which would be emotional."
Clark looked between them nervously.
Zod frowned darkly. "You are correct." And he looked highly disturbed at this realization. "I desire it to be her."
Whitney didn't know why he was pushing this point, why he wanted the Dragon to realize what was so obvious to him. "You like her. You're attracted to her - yeah - but you like her. You have feelings for her."
Zod scoffed. "I believed her to be my wife, of course I would feel protective and—."
"You said it yourself, Major, you desire her." Whitney raised an eyebrow. "This isn't about logic or procreation or protectiveness or anything like that. This isn't about her being melded to you." He knew Zod would bring that up sooner or later, so he'd sink that argument before it could be made. "That meld was formed by someone on Rao's side, which should've rendered you completely against the idea because it'd mean you're giving in to someone else's manipulations."
Zod frowned dangerously at the very thought.
"But, despite that, you still want her, and unlike Coach, you're not going to let something like this get in your way." Whitney let out a sigh. He wasn't encouraging Zod, he was merely saying out loud what he'd known all along. "Because you want her." He smiled darkly. "You want her so much you're willing to put up with me."
Zod's eyebrows touched in his frown. "I 'put up' with you - as you so put it - because you are her Sanguine and it is a sacred position that a Dragon would never resent or—."
Jor-El cleared his throat. He fricken cleared his throat. The older Dragon didn't look in their direction, didn't acknowledge that he was listening to the conversation, but that one gesture was telling.
Greg was grinning like a loon.
Clark's eyes were huge.
Zod huffed, glare on Jor-El's back before he cleared his throat and returned his attention to Whitney. "Other than your episode the other day, you put up with me."
Whitney tilted his head because that was true. He wasn't even exactly sure what'd happened to him the other day, why he'd acted so out of character, but he wondered if it had anything to do with what was going on with Chloe. Maybe, through their bond, he himself was being aggravated. All he knew was that while Zod annoyed the living hell out of him most of the time, he usually didn't have that anger and resentment and aggression towards him.
Look at him now for crying out. He liked Chloe. He liked her a lot. He'd liked her for longer than he would ever admit - especially to himself - and he knew that Zod was in this for the long haul. Zod meant business. Zod was real competition. And yet he didn't get that bone-twisting jealousy he should feel.
"She needs you," Whitney admitted. "She might be human, but her magic - there's things I'll never be able to understand or help her with. I mean, look at this situation right now. If you weren't here - none of us would even know where to begin looking for a way to help her molt. We wouldn't even know she needs to molt!" He sighed. "She'll need your help, yours and Jor-El's. You two are the only ones of your kind that I trust with her."
Zod nodded, his gaze intent on Whitney. "But you wish to breed with her too. And you know that I too wish the same."
Clark blushed scarlet and looked down at his book.
Greg's eyes widened and he leaned closer.
"You and her share a bond that I never will, neither will I be able to truly understand." Zod seemed accepting of this. "But I respect it. And as she needs me, she needs you." He hesitated, clearly uncomfortable with this conversation. "I will never be able to understand the human side of her. You do."
"You think the Willowbrooke has anything to do with this?" Greg suddenly asked, drawing their attention to him. "I mean, it was supposed to unite you guys, you know? Jason and Adam have become buddies, and they're totally not suffering with Chloe's rejection."
"Greg," Clark hissed.
"I'm serious!" Greg declared. "They were all connected through the Willowbrooke. Jason liked Chloe, anyone can see that he still does, but he totally bowed out of the competition - same with Adam - with very minimal issues. They're both civil with Zod and openly like Whitney." He motioned to Whitney and Zod. "And you two. You both like the same girl. You really like her. I mean, hell, listen to you two! You're calmly talking about the fact that you want to do the horizontal mambo with her. Anyone else would be punching each other by now but you two are like, in a weird way, encouraging the other to accept their feelings."
"The horizontal what?" Zod blinked in confusion.
Whitney frowned at Greg. "I am not encouraging him."
"I know this one." Jor peered over at them as he finally acknowledged that he'd been listening to them this whole time. "The mambo is a human dance." He paused. "Or a snake. But I believe in this context they mean the dance."
Clark piped in. "The snake is actually called a mamba."
"Ah." Jor-El nodded. "They definitely mean the dance then."
Clark visibly hesitated.
Zod made a face. "How does one dance horizontally? That seems highly inefficient."
Clark closed his mouth, shaking his head, clearly rethinking it and deciding he didn't want to get involved in any of this.
"You are!" Greg eyed Whitney. "You two are being all freaking 'Let's share her! I'll deal with the reptile side and you deal with the human side and together we'll not only scratch our Chloe-shaped itch, but keep her out of danger - hopefully - probably not. Still though, kinky reptile/witch/sanguine sex is totally on the table so we digress'."
Clark was puce. "You guys…"
Whitney opened his mouth to deny that when he noticed Zod eyeing him thoughtfully. "What?"
Zod raised an eyebrow. "You were very intrigued in the Breeding Ball…"
Whitney's face went scarlet as the other males in the room all zeroed in on him. "I wasn't saying we should double team her!"
"But we already have," Zod muttered in confusion. "We did it that night outside after Luthor finished 'drilling' her in the back yard. You said, and I quote, that we double teamed her too hard, that she could not take us both on her at the same time."
Clark looked close to tears. "She's like a sister to me! I don't want to hear this!"
Greg, on the other hand, stared at them with wide eyed, leering glee. "Fordman! Who knew you had it in you?"
Even Jor-El seemed fascinated.
Completely scarlet, Whitney looked around at them, voice breathy and squeaky. "We didn't—! He means—! Not literally! We weren't—c'mon guys!" His face was burning. "We only ganged up on her!"
Greg's glee rose.
"Not like that!" Whitney palmed his burning face. "We had an argument, Zod and I were on the same side. That was it! We didn't—." He turned to Zod, glaring. "There are two definitions for that term, and everyone thinks you mean the other one!"
"What other definition does the term have?" Zod wanted to know curiously.
Greg, of course, was the one to answer. "It means you and Whitney Breeding Balled Chloe."
Zod's eyes widened in understanding. "I see."
"You know what? I need to go do something - probably see a psychiatrist," Clark squeaked as he stood and stumbled out of the cavern.
Jor-El watched the boy leave with some concern.
Whitney wondered why Clark was the one running away when he was the one truly traumatized by this whole situation.
"Melissa has popped his cherry, right?" Greg continued to stare in the direction Clark had disappeared to. "Because he's acting like a Scarlet V." Because he was looking in that direction, he was the first to notice Cassie when she appeared. In seconds he'd stood. "Everything alright, Cassinator?"
She scowled at the nickname, but ended up smiling nonetheless. "I'm here to help. You need as many eyes as you can get, and I'm one of the only ones without something to do."
"Well then, here you go, have the pleasure of sitting across from me." Greg pulled out the seat Clark had vacated.
"I'll find a way to contain my giddiness at the honor." With rolled eyes she sat down.
Whitney wondered when Greg was going to realize Cassie had a crush on him. He sighed and turned to study once more, only to glance up when he felt Zod's gaze on him. His eyes narrowed. "What?"
Zod leaned forwards on the table. He opened his mouth.
Jor-El stood suddenly, eyes wide. "I have found it!"
Greg turned a grin to Cassie. "You're our good luck token!"
She rolled her eyes at him once more as she scrambled over to Jor-El's side. "What is it? What do we have to do?"
Jor-El traced some words with his finger and then paused. "Oh." He blinked as his gaze shifted onto Zod and Whitney.
The Dragon and the Sanguine shared a look before they stood and moved towards him.