Hello! So I went to see Dark Shadows three times in the cinema and so have practically memorised all of it. The all characters are totally shippable with each other and a film with that much sex appeal just couldn't escape my fanfiction. This will probably be a multi-chapter and I'm including several pairings here, mainly Elizabeth/Barnabus and Barnabus/Julia. I just loved the whole dynamic of it all.

Enjoy!

Clara x

P.S. Please review and let me know what you think. I'm open to suggestions on where I can go with it.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Dark Shadows, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green or Tim Burton. Unfortunately, that's not possible, but if anyone has any spare, I'm open for donations. I'm making no profits here.

Chapter 1

Ah, Collinwood.

After all these years, it still stood there, proud and majestic, rising up into the skyline. Time and lack of care had rendered it rather dilapidated, but it was still very impressive none the less. I finally felt I was home again, back where I belonged, among the turrets and corridors so familiar to me, the house which I grew up in, the house my family built from the ground up.

The peasant outside said it was still in the possession of the Collins family, and that four remained, four descendants of my noble bloodline. Well, none directly descendant from me as I never had the chance to procreate. I would have liked to though, one day, only that was made impossible after I lost her...

No, I told myself I would not dwell on the past when I was about to start my new life.

1972, the year the peasant said it was, 196 years I had been trapped in that box, no wonder I was a little stiff. I felt a twinge of guilt at the thought of those nice worker people I had brutally murdered without a thought. Still, it wasn't my fault I had been turned into a vampire, or locked in a box.

In fact, I can think of someone who is responsible for both those misfortunes...

Swinging the doors to my beloved mansion open, I stepped inside, followed blankly by the shaggy, simple man I had hypnotised. I commented on the truly decrepit state of the interior, more so than the outside, and then recited to myself all that I knew of the inner most workings of my home, which is everything, of course.

I was then distracted by the two children sat in front of a box of light. The girl looked to have wandered in after her nightly shift at the gentlemans' club and the boy stared up at me with the oh-so familiar vacant expression of youth. I must admit, the stoning comment did hurt me slightly, and yet smug I was to inform the young harlot that any attempt on my life by an angry mob had been futile. I asked my new servant if they allowed her type on the site, to which he just stared vacantly, poor fellow.

Still, manners first. I extended my hand to shake that of the young man, who was now looking at me with what I could only call amusement.

"Children, get away from that man."

Authorative tone, rich accent, power in the address. In fact, I knew before I turned around that I had been addressed by the lady of the house. She stood at the top of the stairs, dressed predominantly in black, a widow in mourning perhaps? Her stance did suggest authority, hands on hips, boldly facing forward. Yes, I thought, she must be a Collins.

She descended rather hurriedly. I had obviously managed to frighten her somehow. The children? Honestly, I was only being friendly!

I approached accordingly, however and met her at the base of the staircase I had watched my father design, and then build. She was the first woman I had addressed and indeed seen up close in nearly two decades and I was not disappointed. Blue eyes scanned me, as if seeking out hostility, the firm set of her jaw and her strong stance showed just how protective she was of the children. Hers? They must have been. I could see some of her in the girl, not so much in the boy though. The intensity of her scrutiny threw me off slightly, she tilted her head, blonde curls falling over her shoulders. Yes, she was definitely a Collins, she had our stare and our cheekbones. She was a rather impressive woman, not to mention being, well...beautiful.

"He says his name is Barnabus Collins." Said the young boy.

"And I'm pretty sure he called me a hooker." Said the harlot.

"A word, please." She said. I could tell she was uncomfortable, but still attempting to be polite.

She led me into the drawing room and shut the door behind her. I took t upon myself to inspect the room and the changes to it. Strange dolls we stood on tables, and diagrams of some sort of witchcraft that buzzed when I touched it.

"If this is some kind of joke, consider it played. If it's money you're after, you've been misinformed. But whoever you are, you are not to look at those children again, am I clear?"

Her devotion to her family was clearly admirable, as I then told her. And I could understand her suspicions. I noticed the pictures on the table, other Collinses I presumed. I decided to steer the conversation in a different direction.

"As a Collins, surely you are aware of the darkness that had long plagued our family?" I turned around to face her and analysed her reaction. She pressed her lips together and nodded slightly.

"You mean our curse? Witches, ghosts, vampires...myths." She said, clearly convinced they were nothing but stories, and yet the legend had been passed down all these generations.

I watched as she backed into a table with her hands behind her back. She must have been in her forties, but very few lines marred her otherwise porcelain complexion, and she had the figure of a much younger woman. I couldn't help but notice that she had excellent birthing hips...

"And like so many before you, I suppose you are here to rid us of them...for a price, of course." It seemed that others had come here and tried to use our reputation to exploit money out of these people...how...unacceptable.

I turned to face the fireplace, the one I knew so well. I ran my elongated fingers over the smooth, expertly carpentered wood, this was the most special part of the house, though full of many secrets. That gave me an idea.

"I can prove I am different..."

"Oh?" She raised a sceptical eyebrow.

"Firstly, I do not come seeking money, rather...provide it. Secondly, I know the body of this mansion as well as my own..."

Ah, yes, I remembered what that lever did!

"Every nook, every cranny."

I pulled and watched a panel in the wall swing open, inside was what appeared to be the stash of a tailor, as brightly coloured string and wool, fashioned into dozens of different patterns, hung from the walls.

She told me it was where she kept her...macramé...was it? Either way, though she didn't look it, she sounded...not shocked...just unnerved.

What a terrible misuse, I informed her thusly. She made the point that secret doors are rather commonplace in old houses, and asked if I had a thirdly, which of course I did.

"Tell me, what do you know of Barnabus Collins?" I asked.

She paused for a moment and collected her thoughts.

"Just legends really. He was confident and strong. Admired by all." I smiled at that, how delightful that my memory had been preserved so positively.

"But he believed our family was curse and when his parents were killed, he went mad." Her expression went soft and almost sympathetic "Kept insisting a witch had turned him into a vampire..."

I swallowed at the painful memory. So they thought I was mad? They thought I was a lying, deranged lunatic, driven to insanity by grief? Well, I'd soon set the record straight.

"And what is known of his death?"

She paused, and frowned.

"Nothing, not that I can think of..."

She looked over her shoulder at me, confusion flickering over her delicate face. Maybe she was catching on...

I couldn't stop the smirk spreading across my face. I walked forward to stand in front of the huge ornate fireplace and strategically pushed my cane into a well-designed, unassuming knot in the wooden floor, twisting it sharply. I watched her eyes widen as the wooden design itself started to move and come to life. The clouds and waves carved into the wall moved backwards and forwards, the wolves howled and the whole fireplace slowly slid back to reveal the underground passageway that had been hidden for so many years, Collinwood's best kept secret.

"I am Barnabus Collins." Yes, I had finally returned. The house and I were linked inescapably, she must see that now! Her expression was almost unreadable. I could interpret shock, disbelief, suspicion, fear and then realisation, all within the space of a few seconds.

"That means...you're a..."

"A vampire, yea madam, and regrettably so. But more importantly, I am a Collins, and I give you my word of honour, neither you, nor any under this roof, need fear my cursed nature."

Something I said seemed to comfort her somewhat and she visibly relaxed. Odd, I didn't expect to be believed that quickly. Then again, blood always has been thicker than water.

I felt a huge tension lift. 196 years in a coffin six feet under had woven all sorts of doubts into my mind, and yet my faith in the wealth of family was restored. I was finally home again, and accepted by someone already. What an age this was when a woman of her status was so instantly believing and open-minded, of course, maybe that was just the Collins family. Either way, I had a feeling we were going to get along perfectly, which was just as well as I didn't plan on leaving any time soon, and I, now an oddity at best, was going to need as many friends as possible.