quiet_curiosity: (Default)
quiet_curiosity ([personal profile] quiet_curiosity) wrote2006-12-04 06:00 pm

Protection, for [livejournal.com profile] 31_days

Title: Protection
Fandom: Dark Shadows
Characters: Barnabas Collins, Julia Hoffman, Willie Loomis
Word Count: 1431
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Dark Shadows was created by Dan Curtis and is distributed by MPI Home Video. I receive no monetary benefit from this work.
Summary: Barnabas and Julia are in a bind and they have no one to help them but each other.

Notes: Inspired by Sam Hall’s 1971 Epilogue to series in which Roger finds out about Barnabas’ secret, attempts to kill him, and is killed by Angelique. You can find a copy of the epilogue here

For [livejournal.com profile] 31_days. Prompt December 4, Self Preservation/ ~But let me just stress we're both at our best in a tight spot~



“Why do you keep after me, Julia? I cannot participate in this!”

“But don’t you want to know the truth?”

Julia followed after him as he paced the drawing room floor. He seemed so supportive the séance yesterday. It was obvious why. He and Roger shared a close bond. Both men possessed the same sort of Old World propriety and dry sense of humor. Roger could have literally been one of Barnabas’ friends from his own time. When he had learned of Roger’s death he was inconsolable. He had rushed over to Collinwood to give his condolences and did his best to comfort David. The Barnabas she first met would have never done such a thing as offer consolation to the family. What within the last day caused him to regress back to his more selfish state?

“I know the truth!” he bellowed. “It was Angelique”

“God! Just when you think that murderous witch is…”

“Calm down,” he said, his voice beginning to break. He stopped and lowered himself into the plush red chair. Julia was shocked by how frail and helpless he appeared to be. He looked like a man on the brink of physical collapse. “Don’t judge her harshly, not this time at least. She saved my life that day.”

“What?”

“She saved my life. Julia, Roger knew everything! He knew about my condition, he knew about how I am forced to live, and he knew how to put me out of my misery. On the day he died, he had come to my home to kill me,” he explained. “If it were not for Angelique, you would not be talking to me now.”

Julia reached out and grabbed the chair to steady herself against her weakening knees. Roger knew? How could he have known? The three of them – Barnabas, Willie, and herself – went about dealing with his condition in a much more rational, practical way then they had in the past. Anyone who discovered that Barnabas was cursed was obviously looking for this information. “How do you know about this?”

“She told me.”

“Well don’t you see? You can’t trust Angelique, Barnabas! You have only her word to go on as you obviously don not have anyone to corroborate her story.”

Barnabas shot up from his chair and stormed over to the stairway in the foyer. “Willie!” he screamed. “Come down now!”

They waited a few anxious moments before Willie wandered down. He too seemed physically frail. His skin looked pale and waxy and his posture appeared to be worse than ever. Julia was sure that he would topple in on himself if he were not allowed to sit. “Wh…what is it, Barnabas?”

“Tell Dr. Hoffman what you told me about Roger’s last day.”

“NO! No I…I can’t do that. I can’t tell…”

“She knows,” explained Barnabas as a cast an ominous look in Julia’s direction.

“Ah…Oh. Then I suppose I ain’t got nothing to hide.”

Julia led Willie into the drawing room and carefully helped him onto the loveseat. He glanced around the room, his eyes darting to and from the walls as if to look for any intruder who might hear his confession. Once he was satisfied that they were alone, he began.

“You know my midday routine generally keeps me outside the house. And so I was tending to the lawn when I saw Roger creep up the walkway. So I ask him, ‘What do you want, Mr. Collins. Barnabas won’t be back until tonight.’ He stopped and stared at me like I was mad. He stormed up to me and grabbed me by the coat. ‘Are you in on this too, Loomis?’ ‘What am I supposed to be in on, sir?’ He nearly snarled at me when I said that. I was scared at this point because Roger is normally such a calm guy, you know? What coulda happened to set him off? ‘Sniveling bastard, you put the whole town at risk!’ He just yells and bolts off toward the door.

“I obviously run after him but he’s faster than me. He’s through the door and scrambling around the foyer by the time I get to him. ‘Where is he?’ he asks me. ‘Where is who?’ ‘Your boss, Loomis! Where is Barnabas Collins?’ I mean, what the hell? He knows that Barnabas doesn’t get back until after dusk. But my eyes must have shot straight toward the door because Roger ran for it. Again I tried to catch and again he was quicker than me. Dammit! Why hadn’t I locked the door that day?

“I followed him downstairs and by the time I got there, he had already pulled out the stake and hammer. The coffin was opened up and I could see Barnabas lying there all cold and helpless. I was too far away to help. He raised the hammer up above his head but he hesitated for some reason. Then, out of the wall came Angelique! Sure she was transparent and floaty, but she was real scary with her hair hovering around her face like a fiery golden crown. ‘You won’t do this, Roger Collins! Not on my watch.’ And he just stopped everything and he fell down on the floor. I ran over to him but by time I got there he was already dead! Angelique told me to take him out to the woods. I mean, what was I gonna do? I had failed Barnabas once today and I wasn’t going to fail him again!”

Julia stared at the two of them, her mouth slightly agape. It was obvious that she wanted to say something but the words would not come forth. “As you see, Julia,” said Barnabas, “I can’t participate in the séance tonight. If we were to succeed and Roger were to come to us, everyone would know my secret.”

“Of course you don’t need to be there for that to happen.” It suddenly dawned on her that she had been the one who after hearing of Carolyn’s sighting suggested that the family call Professor Stokes and stage the séance. If they do succeed, it would be all her fault. “I…I can’t believe that I’ve let this go so far! I can’t help them tonight, either.”

“You have to.”

“Yeah, Julia, you just got to go tonight.”

“Why?” asked Julia.

“You have just as much to lose tonight as both Willie and I do. You have to be there so that they don’t discover the truth,” explained Barnabas.

“But they’re all so worried about Roger. They think he’s trapped to the house because of some past wrong he may have done any one of them and they want to tell him that it’s okay to move on. I don’t know if I can take that away from them,” she countered.

“If you don’t ruin the séance, our collective lives are over. Think about it! In the end, this will not just be about Roger’s death. His demise will be seen as the last atrocity committed by a monster and his henchmen. If the family finds out, we are all doomed.”

She didn’t speak. She stared down at her gloves, tears on the verge of spilling down onto her cheeks. “Don’t think me cruel from hiding the truth away from my family.” She looked up to see Barnabas covering his face in hands. “I’ve given them so much of myself over the last few years. And this - this - is how Roger chose to repay me. I loved him but I can’t accept this final slap in the face. I won’t go down like this, Julia. Not when I have so much to finish.”

“I think understand.” She stood up and walked over to him, taking his hand and giving it a small squeeze. “I will do what I can, Barnabas. You know that Professor Stokes will be there tonight. I’ll have to subtle.”

“I believe you can do it, Julia. They’ll never know what happened.”

She was slightly taken aback the smile that slipped across his lips. But she accepted and returned it with great fervor. He didn’t mean to be malicious. For him – and for the rest of them as well – this was a game. He knew that they had their own trump card. She couldn’t begrudge him this little victory.

When she left the Old House that night, she didn’t think herself a potential liar. Roger found himself in his final situation because of a sense of self-preservation. Julia was merely paying homage to his final acts by committing a little self-preservation of her own.