So I've been wanting to write a Barnalia for absolutely ages, because it's one of my favourites! Well, I think the chapters are going to alternate in the points of view of Barnabas and Julia. This chapter's Julia's. But I'm sure you already got that... um, please review! Oh and any suggestions/ideas are welcome as well! :) DISCLAIMER: I don't own Dark Shadows or any of its characters/settings, etc...
Ashes To Ashes
It's funny how just talking can wear you out.
Now, after a good hour of trying to console David after a particularly brutish nightmare, Julia is in desperate need of something to drink. Something strong. She whispers goodnight to the little boy tucked back up in bed, smiles, and silently slides through the door to make sure she doesn't set him off again. When she hears the latch click she breathes out a hearty sigh and tiptoes her way down to the wine cellar, so as not to wake anyone else. It's nearly one in the morning, after all. The cellar isn't a horribly long journey from David's room; just down one flight of creaky stairs and straight across the hallway, though she passes painting after painting of the Collins' ancestors, feeling goosebumps as she senses their disapproving eyes upon her. This has always been her least favourite part of the house.
As she quietly unlatches the door to the cellar at the end of the corridor, she peers in, eyes narrowed, to find no one other than Roger Collins standing in the middle of the room, sampling the delights of a half-empty bottle of apricot brandy. The very bottle Julia was planning to call her own. A little irritated, she walks in purposefully, and still it's a few seconds before Roger lifts his head to gaze up at her.
"Oh, evening Julia," he says, smiling strangely. Drunk. "What's on the list for today, then?"
Julia sighs inwardly and purses her lips. Roger is the only member of the Collins family she really cannot stand, and he isn't half aware of that fact, either. "Oh, nothing. I was just… Making sure the light wasn't on." She replies bluntly, giving him a meaningful look and turning to leave, planning to return in half an hour when nobody will be around.
"Yeah, right," she hears Roger mutter under his breath.
Hold on. She snaps back to face him. "And what's that supposed to mean?" she challenges, putting her hands on her hips and glaring down at the man in front of her.
He holds his hands up in mock defence. "Oh, sorry. I meant that it's not at all like a borderline alcoholic to just walk out of a room full of the stuff," Roger says matter-of-factly.
And Julia feels her cheeks burn. "I am not an alcoholic!" she raises her voice.
"Shut it, Roger. I am not!"
The argument is beginning to sound childish.
"Just because you are," she says spitefully.
No reply from him.
"And think about David!" She continues, gaining confidence. "There's no wonder he needs so much help, with you getting drunk in public and chatting up every woman who walks by! At least I drink out of the public eye. You're disgusting, Roger. I honestly don't know how you can stand yourself." She finishes, and with that she walks pompously to a shelf, snatches a dusty bottle of some old champagne and leaves Roger exactly as she met him; holding a glass of apricot brandy and a gormless expression plastering his features.
Shutting the cellar door behind her, she hurries to her bedroom, so she can drink away in peace, with nobody watching. Including those unnerving painted eyes staring down at her.
When she reaches her bedroom door, she stops to think for a moment. Alcoholic? Of course not. She just gets thirsty.
Julia practically falls through the door, slamming the light switch on and immediately slumping down in the armchair, wasting no time in starting to fish through her drawers for a suitable glass. She finally has chance to examine the bottle she took so hastily. Wiping off the layer of dust, she sees its name - 1963 Laurent Perrier. "Not exactly brandy, but it'll do," she thinks. She unscrews the top, waits for the bubbles to dissolve into nothingness and tilts her glass a little to the right as she slowly pours a good quarter of the bottle's contents into it.
No sooner has she taken a well-deserved sip of the champagne that she hears a soft knock on her door, and she rolls her eyes. Wonderful. Who could that be at this hour? If it's Roger…
She grudgingly calls, "come in,"- but her irritation isn't necessary; for the person that enters through the huge cedar wood is, in fact, Barnabas Collins. The man she's not yet managed to take her eyes off. She stands from her seat in surprise.
"Barnabas," she utters involuntarily.
"Julia," he replies very meaningfully, in a tone she's never heard escape his lips before.
Julia's mouth is open, unable to say a word as he shuts the door gently and slowly makes his way towards her; examining her reactions carefully, seemingly making sure he isn't doing anything she may be frightened by. Although, she can't help but feel a little wary – he is a vampire after all – and she reminds herself that he just wouldn't dream of harming her. Not Julia. Besides, according to Elizabeth, he had already sworn not to harm anyone living within the grounds of Collinwood.
Before she has time to doubt this little detail for even a second, Barnabas has her hands in his; completely out of the blue, his arms are starting to wrap themselves around her small frame, and she finds that her own slender arms find his body in return. He mutters her name quietly and affectionately and, when she feels she can't be any more surprised by his actions, he kisses the soft spot beneath her ear, and she completely loses all ability to function. She can't breathe. Can't think properly. Can't feel her own legs.
How is this happening? Barnabas never notices her. In fact, the only occasions upon which he really speaks to her are mainly requests for salt across the table (a decoy for the younger family members). Of course he doesn't want Julia… He loves Vicky, because he believes she's a reincarnation of Josette, or something. So this shouldn't be happening. And Julia is definitely not particularly fond of Vicky herself, but she does have a shred of dignity that she would very much like to retain – if she does this to Vicky, what will the family think?
But then, maybe they don't have to find out.
After a little while of internal debating, Julia simply gives in and lets Barnabas take her for himself. This is what she has desired ever since he set foot in Collinwood over a month earlier.
And he nuzzles her cheek; she breathes in his unique scent graciously, and lets out a soft moan as he nips her neck with his sharp teeth. He feels warm beneath her deprived skin, and she notices with no difficulty how he takes care to explore every part of it he can with his tender hands, not to mention his repeated whisperings of her name, turning something she hates so much into something beautiful.
She starts to murmur his as well, but he stops her suddenly by placing his lips on hers so overpoweringly, so strongly that her knees buckle for a second time, and he appears to use this as a chance to lower her onto the waiting bed. His mouth never leaving hers, Julia feels his arms leave her momentarily; but before she knows it his shirt has hit the carpet and they're back again. She tries to unfasten her own dress, wanting him to take complete control over her. That's how she prefers matters such as these.
He unbuttons her dress with ease, and in no time the flowery mess she had been wearing joins the white shirt on the floor. She is wearing nothing but thin black lace, and she sees that somehow Barnabas is already wearing nothing but his own underwear too. She's still kissing him, her tongue finding his with no problem and caressing his cool lip line without hesitation. His hands lower themselves to her breasts, and with that he turns her whole body over so that she's resting on top of him; and to her own surprise, she pulls her head away to utter quietly, "I love you, Barnabas."
And love him she does.
She wakes from her deep sleep with a start, and her eyes flutter open to find herself sprawled out on the living room sofa with an empty wine glass and yesterday's newspaper slipping from her hand. Who said her name? There's nobody in front of her. Julia has never been one for mornings, especially after a good drink. Putting a hand to her face, she groans almost inaudibly and closes her eyes again. What time is it? Surely she hasn't been asleep for that long. Only feels like an hour... Or two, perhaps. Well, no more than six, at least.
Again, she reluctantly opens an eye just a fraction, and sweeps her gaze across the room; spotting two thin shafts of sunlight breaking through the gaps in the curtains, and looking back again to see that she is still clad in her floral summer dress from the day before. The television is quietly playing a re-run of last night's Top Of The Pops, and Julia blinks for a second; trying to force the large room into focus, all the while irritated at her return to the disappointment that is the real world. As well as a very familiar headache. She turns herself over onto her back, wondering who had been so unkind in pulling her away from that simply wonderful dream about–
"Oh - Barnabas," she replies in uneasy surprise, jumping a little when she sees his pale face peering over hers. She shifts herself into a sitting position; placing her newspaper and wine glass on the carpet, giving a dirty look to the empty champagne bottle and, as usual, mentally vowing never to drink again. She clears her throat. "I, uh… did you… need me? …Or anything?" She's still feeling a little groggy, but has no trouble noticing how his face appears even more striking in this light; with the shadows accentuating his already angular cheekbones and his dark eyes reflecting the few beams of sunlight in the room.
And she needed to stop doing this.
Her sleepy awkwardness apparently overlooked, the subject of her previous dream opens his mouth to speak. "My utmost apologies for… awakening you," he says quietly, looking worryingly like he knew something she didn't.
"Oh, don't worry," Julia replies quickly, remembering her watch for the first time. 10:34am. "It's about time I got up anyway," she sighs huffily, staring at the brown carpet.
"Ah," Barnabas sounds a little more satisfied. "Alas, Julia, I merely interrupted your dreaming with a desire to inform you that I shall not be requiring your services this afternoon."
Oh. Julia feels her face fall, and quickly attempts to replace it with a bright smile so as to try and hide her disappointment. "Oh… Okay then."
Barnabas nods contentedly and throws her a grateful smile before turning to leave the room, though Julia won't let him go that simply.
"Barnabas?" she calls, standing up and taking a step towards him, grabbing the side of the sofa while her head is busy spinning from rising too quickly.
He swivels on his heel and looks at her expectantly.
"Why?" she dares to ask.
"I have previously arranged a meeting with young Victoria."
Of course. Who else? The whole family knows he's after her; sickly-sweet and innocent little Vicky (who can't possibly be old enough for someone over 21, let alone a 200 year old man).
Yeah, right. Julia can tell a person purely by glancing at their face, and without a doubt, Vicky certainly has something she isn't speaking of, which can never be good - so she tries to put Barnabas off the Josette lookalike, and believe me when I say it isn't for the first time either.
"Uh… but Barnabas, I have all the equipment out ready for you!" she says.
Nevertheless, he is quick and smooth as ever. "Well then, you'll have one job fewer to complete for tomorrow's treatment."
That didn't work. And his silky tone is a bit off-putting. Kissing her teeth and fiddling with her own hands, she looks around the dark room for something else that might make him stay. Her eyes soon come into focus on the paper thin beams of light, and she moves over to the window and tries again, a tiny hint of distress tainting her morning-thick voice. "It's so sunny outside, Barnabas! You can't go out!" Julia dramatically throws back the curtains to no avail; the old draughty windows reveal dense cloud and grey sky stretching to far beyond the distant horizon. How convenient. She frowns right into the face of Collinsport Harbour.
Barnabas smiles impishly, almost as if he knows exactly what Julia is attempting to do. "It looks like perfectly wonderful weather to me. Though I greatly appreciate your…" he gave her a searching but otherwise unfathomable look. "Concern… I shall perhaps see you later on, Julia," he inclines his head a little towards her marking his departure, and she confusedly finds herself doing the same. She sighs.
"All right, you win. But be careful, OK? And do not get seen," she gives up, smiling, and lets him leave for his date. Although, she'd still love to see how delicate little Vicky would react to his bloodthirsty nature.
Julia walks through the ancient hallways of Collinwood to her beloved office, failing to stifle a particularly loud yawn. She has abandoned her little grudge against Vicky in favour of soothing her pounding head - she needs aspirin, and she needs it soon.
She pushes through the door at the end of the hallway to the beautiful comfort of her own workplace, and slumps down in the swivelling chair with a sigh. Reaching for the tablet container on the side, she files irritably through countless boxes of Penicillin, Paracetamol and Omega 3 capsules until she eventually finds and snatches the last packet of aspirin from its rather inconvenient position at the very bottom of the tub. Pressing two fingers to her aching temple, she pops two tablets in her mouth and swallows them without water.
A few minutes later, she can think again.
Looking round, she realises that she probably needs to redecorate a little. Her office is not much different to that of a hospital ward; with the pristine white bed in the corner and the tubes and wires, and all her medical tools safely stored away in the drawers. There's a plain beige lightshade upon the patterned ceiling which is a bit basic and boring (though provides extremely bright light to even the darkest corners) - and even the little television in the corner is a bit dated.
Despite all this, her workplace makes her feel truly happy, knowing that she can do whatever she wants without anyone watching. She enjoys the freedom; the freedom one so rarely gets when living with seven other people - just walking into the room seems to lift the weight of the world off her shoulders, and she can do absolutely anything without anyone asking awkward questions. After all, a psychiatrist typically has her own mind problems to deal with.
She rises again; crossing the room to turn on the television, but gasps as she catches sight of herself in the tall mirror, and watches herself almost tear up at her own reflection.
Why must she look like this? She raises a hand to touch her flaming red hair, so overpowering beside her pallid skin; the need to wear so much make up only enhanced further by the current lack of it; and she hasn't a particularly 'sexy' figure. There really is no point in trying to catch Barnabas's attention. She's now at an age she'd rather not mention to even herself, and her already almost non-existent looks are, it seems, decreasing rapidly. Perhaps she drinks so much because it brings her away from the horrible truth? The horrible truth constantly reminding her that she will grow old, that she'll never find someone to love her as Barnabas loves Vicky. That dream had only confirmed it. It pains her to think that she will most certainly die alone.
And it pains her to think that he loves Vicky.
What Julia needs is to be like him. To be unconditionally beautiful - to possess the gift of eternal youth she so desperately desires. Never to die. That would sort out a few of her appearance problems.
She pulls her eyes away from the sorry sight in the mirror, and gazes dazedly around the room, desperately searching for something other than her body to focus on.
And that's when she sees it.
It's fresh, still sitting uselessly in plastic packets, and the idea hits Julia like a bullet to the chest. She feels her eyes widen at the mere thought.
A blood transfusion.
So that's chapter 1... please review and be honest and please tell me if anything needs checking too! :)