Disclaimers: The story's incarnations of Daxton, Scarlett, Chase and Shane Blackwell (aka Adrian "Hades" McChroi, Tessa "Crow" Craven, Marcus "Viper" Drake and Fallon "Darkyn" Drake) were created by Fate (aka A Forbidden Love), who gave me permission to use them in my story! Furthermore a notable amount of early dialogue and scenes involving Cassie, Melissa, Jake & Charles is based on RP posts between Fate and me.
Just as Faye begins accepting that she has no special magic her world gets turned upside-down when tragedy strikes. Upon discovering the impossible Faye finds herself forced to question everything she thought she knew about herself, her powers and even the Circle. As new dangers abound for them Faye, Cassie and Diana struggle to cope with the new situation, wondering what's true and what isn't. But do they really know the truth now? What if there was a reason for Blackwell's deceit? - And what if the full truth is even that much darker?
Faye/Jake, Dawn/Charles, Cassie/OC, Adam/OC, mentions Faye/OC, Diana/Grant; will also refer to previous relationships including Cassie/Adam, Amelia/Blackwell, Dawn/Tom, Dawn/Blackwell, Elizabeth/Charles, Elizabeth/Blackwell
Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Drama, Tragedy, Family, Romance, Friendship, Mystery, Supernatural
contains general spoilers for the show, most notably the episodes "Beneath", "Balcoin", "Darkness", "Medallion", "Crystal" and "Family"
Main character near death. Heavily AUish. Contains non-explicit/non-graphic sexual themes. Some violence. Likely to contain some strong language, such as swearing & profanity. Features some underage drinking and possibly some minor drug use. Will mention minor depression, reckless behavior and possibly self-harm.
Author's Notes:
There are a few bigger changes from canon. Most notably Charles didn't end up in a catatonic state like Heather did - although he absorbed the demons from Eben; Dawn and Kate used the Crystal Skull to destroy them shortly after the events of "Family". The Circle then destroyed the skull, splitting it back into six individual crystals, which are now savely hidden away again. There will be additional changes throughout the story. Anyways, enjoy reading!

Within Darkness

1. The Accident

Driving back towards Chance Harbor she sang along to the music playing on the radio. However, after a while she grew quiet, her fingers starting to drum nervously on the steering wheel, as she was unable to shake the growing feeling that she was being watched, followed by someone - something... Her eyes kept wandering to the rearview and side mirrors, but she couldn't really see anything out of the ordinary. Yet this didn't do anything to soothe her nerves. On the contrary it only served to put her more on edge. And so she kept checking her surroundings every few minutes, her fingers stopping their tapping as her grip on the steering wheel tightened slightly.

As the road made another turn some time later she noticed movement in her peripheral vision, causing her gaze to return to the rearview mirror. She squinted slightly, trying to make out what exactly was moving behind her. Still it took her a few moments to realize it was another car, as by now night had fallen over the winding street back to Chance Harbor and what little light came from the cloud covered sky was further obstructed by the old trees lining the road. It didn't help either that the car's headlights were off... A rather unnerving circumstance in her opinion.

"Probably just some stupid, drunk high school seniors or college guys, who think it would be funny to give someone a little scare." she thought angrily, trying to reassure and calm herself. She told herself, with everything that had happened throughout the past year, after having to confront demons, witch hunters, and not to forget John Blackwell, she surely had little to worry about from some immature idiots who had watched one too many cheap horror movies. And one thing was certain, if they thought they could scare her, they sure as hell had picked the wrong driver to mess with! Because she would so get back at them for it, she'd make them wish they'd never crossed her path!

However, just as she started to feel her confidence beginning to return her mind was drawn back from her thoughts and she felt a sense of panic grip her when she had to brake entering another downward sloping curve and the brakes didn't react right away. Her heart speeding up she applied more pressure on the brake. But it took another long moment before the car finally began to gradually get slower. Certainly a great deal longer than it should take.

A moment later she shook slightly her head at herself. Nothing was wrong with the car. She was just on edge and probably starting to imagine things. But as much as she tried to convince herself, it did little to keep the bad feeling, that sense of dread and foreboding, from resurfacing, growing even stronger than it had been before. Letting out a sigh she turned her attention back to the car that was still behind her.

For quite a while now the car had kept a steady distance away, neither coming closer nor falling further back. However, after another few minutes it sped up, heading straight toward her's. Quickly the distance between the two cars shrunk and within only a minute, two at the very most, it was level with her own car. Turning momentarily to look at the other car she weighed her options. She could use her magic to blow their tires, but as long as they were so close to her own car doing so wouldn't be without risk for herself. She could accelerate, try to put some distance between them. But she was pretty sure that was precisely what they would expect her to do...

So, instead she hit the brakes, hoping the driver of the other car would need at least a couple of seconds to react. It might be enough time for the distance between the cars to grow enough that she could disable it somehow without risking to crash her own in the process. However, the car didn't slow down as it took the brakes a troubling long time to engage. Too long.

Much too long. And before she could react, or think of anything to do, the stranger's car already came toward hers. Fast.

She screamed as the force of the other car slamming into the side of her own threw her around in her seat like a rag doll. She looked back at the car which was now behind her again, having fallen back slightly after crashing into her car. However, only a moment or two passed before the driver accelerated, coming speeding towards her again. Just a few moments later they rammed her car again, slamming into the side of the rear and sending her car spinning uncontrollably, swerving and skidding across the lanes. She tried desperately to regain control and get the car to stop, but to no avail. A jolt ran through the car as it ran over something in the road, perhaps a rock or thick branch from a tree, and she could feel the car becoming airborne and slowly turning upside down. Her purse slipped from the front passenger seat, things falling out of it and clattering around the car.

A moment later glass shattered and the metal of the frame groaned as the car smashed forcibly into the asphalt, rolling over several times before finally coming to rest on its roof.

Every fiber, every nerve in her body exploded with blinding, agonizing pain. Wetting her lips, noting a slight coppery taste in her mouth, she tried to cry out for help, but no sound came. She couldn't move. Couldn't breathe, as if there were no more air around her. Her vision blurred and as she was enveloped by darkness, the shadows embracing her almost welcomingly, she got aware of a faint scent of gasoline growing stronger, the first traces of smoke slowly mixing with it.

Panic was rising within her as her heartbeat slowed, its rhythm becoming irregular, and her breathing grew more and more shallow. Her senses rapidly faded as she could feel her body shutting down... The last time she had felt this way she was six years old and drowning in the lake behind her grandpa's house.

Only this time, there would be no one there to rescue her...

Cassie and Adam had spent most of the day in one of the bigger neighboring towns checking out some stores that sold books about the occult and witchcraft, looking for anything that might help them prepare for the unevitable arrival of Blackwell's other children and the confrontation that would undoubtedly follow.

Over the course of summer break they had started to hang out with each other more often again, even without the rest of the circle present. The awkwardness and tension that had weighed on their friendship following their breakup was slowly beginning to fade. Although there were still moments of awkward silence between them when something, like a comment or gesture, was a little too reminiscent of the short time they had been together, this happened less and less often and wasn't as difficult to deal with as it used to be. Perhaps this was, at least in part, because by now Cassie had resigned herself to the fact that there was no going back to how things were before they had drunk the elixir that had taken away their love for each other. Or well, Adam's love for her. She still perfectly remembered her feelings for him, there still was a part of her that loved him, maybe there always would be. But Adam's love for her was gone, and as painful as it was to accept this, she was doing her best to let go of it and move on. Their friendship was too important to her as that she wanted to jeopardize it by clinging to the past and what they used to have. And, after all, fact was she also had bigger problems to worry about, namely the threat of her dark siblings looming over her and the rest of her circle.

As it started getting late they decided to call it a day and get something to eat before they would head back to Chance Harbor. While they were at a diner eating, they were discussing the books they had found and what else they could do to prepare for confronting the Balcoins.

When they had finished their meal and had paid the check Adam suggested, "We should probably head back now." By now it had already gotten notably dark outside, indicating how late it was.

"Yeah, I think we should." Cassie agreed after briefly checking the time on her phone. She lifted her glass, finishing the rest of her soda, then she rose to her feet, slinging the strap of her bag over her shoulder as she went to follow Adam out of the diner and towards her car.

While making their way to the car Cassie stated, continuing their previous conversation, "I will try once more to talk with Diana. I think she will come around, eventually. I guess, I'll just have to keep trying." She was glad that her sister had recently returned to Chance Harbor, after traveling with Grant throughout most of the summer break. However, so far they hadn't really talked much with each other and Cassie knew that Diana was still reluctant to return to the circle. Upon reaching the car a soft sigh escaped her. She just hoped that her sister wouldn't prove to be too stubborn. They needed her right now, she needed her.

As she unlocked the car and opened the driver's side door Cassie froze momentarily, swaying slightly and lifting her right hand to her head, rubbing slightly at her temple as a terrible, bad feeling gripped her, sending chills down her spine. She tried to shake off the sickening sense of dread, but didn't quite succeed. It almost felt like a warning, as if someone was in trouble, or as if something really bad was about to happen...

Having already gotten into the front passenger seat Adam frowned in concern as he noticed the blond's discomfort and how her face notably paled. "Cassie, you're alright?" he asked.

"Hm?" Cassie said, snapping out of her thoughts at his question. Opening her eyes she finally got into the car as well and glancing at Adam, she assured, "Oh, yeah, I'm okay. Just on edge, I guess." Deep down she knew it was more than just being on edge, but she couldn't quite place the source of this awful feeling, nor was she sure how to convey this to Adam, so she chose not to get into it, not wanting him to worry about her.

Adam frowned for another moment, still a little worried about her, but didn't question her answer.

Shutting her car door and putting on her seatbelt Cassie gave Adam a small smile. "Really, Adam, I'm okay. There's just a lot on my mind with everything that's going on." she told him, starting the car and pulling out of the parking spot, before heading back in the direction of Chance Harbor.

For a while they drove in silence, both of them lost in their own thoughts. Cassie was frowning slightly, still trying to find the cause of that bad feeling within her gut. However, eventually she snapped out of her thoughts, noticing something in the road up ahead, and a moment later she slammed on the brakes. "Oh, my God! Adam..." she exclaimed, her eyes on the damaged car that was upturned on the side of the road. And the flames and thick black smoke rising from it. She threw the car into park and looked over at Adam, saying urgently, "We gotta see if we can help." already undoing her seatbelt and pushing her car door open. She felt her heart pounding in her chest. It wasn't just the clear severity of the situation, but there was something disconcertingly familiar about the car, causing a lump to form in her throat. It almost looked like...

"That's Faye's car." Adam stated abruptly, also having gotten out of the car and looking at the wreck, his words confirming what she herself had concluded. His eyes took in the smoke and flames. To make matters worse it seemed the gas tank had been damaged in the crash as a notable amount of gasoline had leaked and pooled around the back of the wreck. "We need to get her out of there." he said, following Cassie towards the other car.

Cassie took in the sight of the gas on the pavement and the spreading fire. "Adam, I can get the fire under control and keep the flames from reaching the gas." she told him, stopping a few steps away from the car. "You focus on getting Faye out!" she called out, narrowing her eyes towards the fire and smoke as she concentrated on putting the flames out, and isolating the damage they caused so that Adam could get Faye safely out of the car.

Adam gave a nod, "Alright." As Cassie kept the fire under control he swiftly headed over to the driver's side door. When he reached the car he quickly opened the door, then crouched slightly so he could look inside. Faye was limply hanging in her seat, only held in place by the seatbelt. He then leaned into the car, reaching one arm towards Faye to catch her when he undid the seatbelt. However, when he tried to open it he found it stuck. He briefly yanked at it, trying to open it, with no result, so he pulled his hand back, moving it instead to get a better hold on Faye, then used his magic to get the seatbelt open. Catching Faye as she was no longer held to the seat he freed her from the seatbelt and pulled her carefully out of the car.

He hooked his arms under Faye's, lifting her up, and pulled her away from the car. Once a safe distance away from the burning wreck he rested her on the ground. He knelt down beside her and stretched out a hand toward Faye's throat to check her pulse. It took him a moment to find one, and when he did it was very weak. Her breathing was barely noticeable. Taking in the sight of all the blood a worried frown appeared on his face. "We need to get her to a hospital." He doubted that Faye had enough time left to wait for an ambulance...

Once Adam had gotten Faye out and retreated from the car Cassie stopped her efforts, tearing her gaze from the wreck and quickly headed over to where Adam was now crouching beside Faye. Upon reaching them Cassie knelt down across from Adam, her eyes taking in Faye's injuries, the blood... The most notable injuries were a laceration running over the right side of Faye's forehead, just below the hairline, and a gash-like wound at the left side of her abdomen, which were both bleeding steadily, profusely.

"You drive. I can try and use my magic to keep her alive long enough for us to get her to the hospital." Cassie told him decidedly. She knew doing so would take its toll on her, using her dark magic always did. But it was the only way she saw to ensure Faye would get to the hospital in time. And although she and Faye still had their issues she was determined to do whatever she could to help save her.

She then placed a hand over Faye's forehead, focusing her energy, and the dark magic within her, in order to sustain Faye's life long enough. "Faye... you gotta work with me too." She grumbled, focusing on the other girl as her eyes narrowed ever so slightly.

She knew the risk, already she could feel it taking its toll and weaving more darkness into her body with each passing second. Dark magic could either sustain life, or take it, and right now she was using her darkness to sustain her friend the best she could.

Adam frowned slightly at her words, knowing that she was talking about using her dark magic, but nodded, knowing that it was their best shot at saving Faye. So rather than questioning her on the matter he gave a nod. "Okay." He then headed over to Cassie's car, already opening the door in the back so they could get Faye in.

Faye wasn't sure how long she had been in pitch black darkness when something changed... There was a voice saying her name. There had been other voices in the darkness, whispering and murmering, some were almost sounding as if they were chanting, yet others were crying out or screaming. Not all of them were in English, some sounded French, Spanish, yet some spoke in languages too foreign to her to place, a few even sounded strangely ancient. This voice was different though. Somehow familiar... It almost seemed to beckon to her.

Cassie could feel that Faye was fading quickly, that if she failed they would lose her irrevocably. She knew she would have to somehow amplify her magic in order to keep the darker haired girl from slipping from her grasp. Focusing harder she called out, "Adam, my bag! In the front pocket is a safety pin, I need it!"

Adam had just turned to head back to the girls. At Cassie's words he paused and stepped back to the car, quickly leaning into the back and grabbing Cassie's bag from behind the driver's seat. Opening the front pocket he reached inside, rummaging momentarily through the couple of items inside, but luckily found the pin fairly quickly. Once he had found it he put the bag aside and made his way to Cassie. When he had reached them he crouched down and handed the pin to the blond.

Without allowing her focus to stray, Cassie took the pin and pricked her right index finger, causing it to bleed as she drew forth more of her magic to get Faye into at least a semblence of alive so that they could get her to the hospital.

"Come on Faye, stay with us." she said, now using the combined force of her blood and the dark magic coursing within her veins to amplify her magic as she chanted the spell within her mind.

Adam watched with concern, taking note of the tension on Cassie's features, indicating the strain this was putting on her. However, it seemed to work as after another moment Faye's breathing became a little stronger, although it was still notably labored. Faye's lips twitched then, her eyelids moving slightly, though they remained closed. The fingers of her right hand twitched slightly as well, almost as if she were trying to move her hand, but didn't have enough strength. He crouched down across from Cassie, moving to pick Faye up and carry her to the car.

Cassie continued to chant, nodding to Adam as she stood up and moved along with him intending to stay with Faye. She would keep the chanting up within her mind, and hopefully she would be able to keep her alive until they got to the hospital.

She knew she could keep it up, for as long as necessary, now that she was tapping into blood magic as well as her dark magic, and she knew that she won't regret using her powers this way. She wanted to get things done, fix her friends in order to help them and herself so that they could defeat the Balcoins.

Adam carried Faye to the car, carefully resting her in the back when he reached it. After Adam had rested Faye on the backseat Cassie got into the back as well, continuing her efforts. Noticing once more the blood pouring from the wound in Faye's abdomen she pressed her left hand on the wound, trying to slow the bleeding, as her other hand remained on Faye's forehead.

Meanwhile Adam quickly closed the door and walked around the car, getting into the driver's seat. He started the car and began to quickly drive in the direction of the hospital, keeping barely within the speed limit, but still driving with caution.

Luckily, after only a few minutes they reached the hospital. Adam drove right up to the entrance of the ER. He quickly turned off the engine before jumping out of the car and making his way around to the door in the back. He let Cassie out of the car before picking up Faye. Once he had gathered the dark haired girl in his arms he turned to the entrance of the hospital, quickly heading towards it. Entering the hospital he called out, "We need some help! Our friend was in a car accident."

Cassie continued to keep her chanting up inside her head, not daring to let Faye slip from their grasp until she knew that the doctors would be able to handle things. She stood close to Adam and Faye, one hand reaching out to touch onto Faye to show her concern. "Please help her!" she pleaded as a nurse came rushing over.

"Get me a gurney! Prep the OR, too! And get a doctor here!" the nurse called, looking over Faye closely. "A car accident? It's a good thing you guys found her then." she said, smiling as she patted both Adam and Cassie on the shoulder. She then inspected Faye, checking her pulse level and notable injuries.

Cassie looked at Adam, nodding her head once as she focused her attention back on Faye while the nurse checked their friend out closely. She was going to be alright. Faye had to be alright no matter what. Their friends needed to know about this as well, and after they were sure Faye was taken care of they would call them.

"You should probably notify the fire department. Part of the car was burning and the gas tank was leaking." Adam said with a frown as he watched the nurse assessing Faye's injuries. He imagined that by now the complete car wreck was probably burning, being as they had merely kept the fire under control rather than actually extinguishing it.

Faye's vitals were quite weak, as the only thing keeping her breathing and her heart beating at the moment was Cassie's magic. While checking the pupils the nurse noticed a slightly delayed reaction, a strong indication for a head trauma such as a concussion, or something more severe like a subdural hematoma. The labored breathing and the traces of blood as Faye coughed indicated a possible injury of the lungs. The gash on her abdomen was rather deep. There were also signs there might be internal bleeding. In addition there were numerous contusions and minor lacerations. Her left arm looked as if it might be broken.

Meanwhile a dark haired female doctor came towards the gurney that Faye had been placed on. When she reached them and was informed of the girl having been in an accident she asked the nurse for her findings, then checked on her as well. Eventually she instructed, "I want x-rays of the skull, cervical vertebrae and torso, as well as the left ulna and radius. And then prep her for surgery."

Cassie found herself swaying slightly as she still focused on keeping Faye alive, she staggered and leaned against Adam, but she wouldn't stop using her magic, despite the evident nose bleed that it was causing. Dark magic and blood magic had a toll, and it was starting to weigh heavily on Cassie. Yet she couldn't stop, she won't, not until she knew Faye would pull out of this alive.

The nurse nodded her head quickly, pushing the gurney with Faye upon it back towards the x-ray room. "You two will have to stay here, someone will be out with news for you soon." she said, disappearing into the back with Faye. The nurse took her to the x-ray room, while another nurse prepared the OR for surgery. A while later, after the various x-rays the doctor had requested were completed, they wheeled Faye, who was now in a surgical gown, into the OR for surgery.

There were heart rate monitors, blood pressure cuffs, and various machines and IVs attached to Faye in order to keep her alive while they worked on her. Cassie couldn't stop thinking about keeping Faye alive though, and she knew that, if she didn't let up on the magic soon, she herself would end up back there alongside Faye. Yet her eyes were dead set on the doors Faye had vanished behind, her spells still being chanted within her mind as her nose bled a bit more.

Adam noticed how Cassie's nose started to bleed as she swayed slightly and leaned against him. He quickly put an arm around her to steady her. When they took Faye into the OR he looked back at Cassie and told her quietly, "Cassie, you can stop now. They will take care of Faye." It wasn't going to help anyone if Cassie wore herself completely out using her dark magic. And he was sure the doctors and nurses would be able to handle things from there.

A few moments after they had taken Faye into surgery another nurse approached them. When she had reached them she asked gently, "Could you tell me your friend's name and who to contact?"

Cassie slowly stopped doing the spell in her mind, leaning fully against Adam as she placed a hand over her bleeding nose. "Faye ... Chamberlain." She said softly, trying to hide the weakness and exhaustion from her voice. She had done everything she could in order to keep Faye alive while they got her here, and hopefully it had been enough. She looked up at Adam, knowing they had to call the rest of the circle, get them all here as quickly as possible.

"Her mother is Dawn Chamberlain, contact her." She jotted down the number, and held it out towards the nurse as she knew that soon enough Faye's mother and the rest of the circle would all be there at the hospital with them.

"Alright." the nurse said as Cassie handed her the piece of paper with the phone number. After a moment she asked gently, noticing the paleness on Cassie's face, "Are you alright, dear?" She knew from years of experience in the ER how much of a toll shock could take.

Cassie quickly composed herself, "I'm fine, just a headache and worry." she said quickly, knowing that she probably looked like hell from the use of dark magic combined with blood magic. No doubt the rest of the circle would have something to say about it, and she figured even Faye's mother might have something to say on the subject as well.

"We're going to go make a few phone calls." she said, nudging Adam to start moving since she could barely stand on her own. She continued to lean against him, balancing herself against him as she slowly regained her composure.

The nurse nodded, then headed back to her desk to call Faye's mother and the police.

Meanwhile Adam kept his arm around Cassie, leading her towards the waiting area, which was at this time almost completely deserted, so Cassie could sit down. He was worried about her, knowing what a toll using her dark magic tended to have on Cassie. When they reached the waiting area he led Cassie to one of the chairs, before offering, "If you want I can call Diana..." He wasn't sure if Cassie felt she could talk with her sister right now, but he would leave the decision to her.

Cassie practically collapsed into the chair, laying her head back against it as she groaned. "No, I'll call her. We need to get everyone here, now. It's not a matter of whether they want to... One of our own has been hurt and nearly killed. Something is wrong, I know it, and we need the entire circle here to help Faye." she said, pulling out her phone but pausing before she would call Diana. She reached out and took hold of Adam's hand.

"Thank you, for supporting me during all of this... I know what it must look like while I'm using it, but I didn't see any other way." she told him, placing a hand on her forehead slightly.

"Alright, I'll call Jake and Melissa then." Adam replied. When Cassie took his hand he gave it a reassuring squeeze and told her, "I know." he then added, "And you're welcome. That's what friends are there for, after all."

He then also pulled out his cell phone and started dialing Melissa's number, figuring he'd call her first.

Author's Notes: Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the first chapter! Feedback would be very much appreciated.