Avenging Shadows: Regression
This is part of my “Avenging Shadows” crossover universe with the characters from The Avengers (owned by Marvel Comics) and the characters of Dark Shadows (owned by Dan Curtis Productions). It would help if you read “Avenging Shadows” and my “School Days” fics first to catch up, but essentially, it boils down to this. Barnabas Collins, after serving a time with the Avengers, is the head of a private school along with Quentin Collins and Dr. Julia Hoffman. His vampirism has been in remission due to a serum developed by Dr. Hank Pym (of the Avengers). But nothing lasts forever…
Dr. Julia Hoffman sighed as she reviewed her findings once more.
Rubbing her eyes, Julia reached for the phone and quicky dialed a number to a special extension in New York City.
“Avengers Mansion”, a voice answered. “This is Jarvis speaking.”
“Jarvis, this is Dr. Julia Hoffman”, Julia quickly spoke into the phone. “I need to speak to Dr. Pym please. It’s very urgent?”
“I’m sorry Ma’am”, Jarvis replied. “Dr. Pym is currently off with the team on a mission. I’m not sure when they’ll be returning.”
“I see”, Julia sighed once more. “Well, please have him contact me as soon as he returns. He has the number.”
“Most certainly Ma’am”, Jarvis replied. “I will see to it that he returns your call immediately upon his return.”
“Thank you Jarvis”, Julia said before hanging up the phone.
“Dr. Pym surely picked a bad time to go on a mission with the Avengers”, she thought to herself as she glanced over her findings once more. “I guess I’d better call Barnabas and speak to him.”
With another weary sigh, Julia picked up the phone once more and dialed another number.
“Dolly, this is Julia”, she said, speaking to the resident housekeeper / cook of The Stoddard Institute Dolly Donahue. “Is Barnabas anywhere around? Well, please ask him to come to my office as soon as he returns from Collinsport”, she said before hanging up the phone.
“How am I going to tell Barnabas that the serum we use to control his vampirism is starting to fail?”, she sighed to herself. “And I have no idea how to stop it.”
With yet another loud sigh, Julia picked up her notes and started glancing through them once more. There had to be an answer somewhere and she needed to try and find it.
Rougly an hour later…
“So your test show what exactly, Julia?”, Barnabas asked.
“Well, we were concerned when you mentioned that your resistance to the sunlight on especially bright days”, Julia started.
“Yes, I know all of this”, Barnabas said quickly. “And we decided that you should run some tests. What have your tests shown, Julia? Please!”
“Well, it seems that your body is building up an immunity to the serum we’ve been using. Not only is your protection against the effects of sunlight weakening, but also the ability of the serum to act as synthenic blood is beginning to fail”, Julia explained.
“So that means that the vampire curse that has tormented me for so long is starting to return”, Barnabas said grimly.
“Essentially yes”, Julia agreed. “We can attempt to modify the serum and make it stronger. I’ve contacted Dr. Pym and I’m waiting for him to call me back.”
Barnabas was quiet for a few minutes before replying.
“If the serum breaks down and fails, that means the blood lust will return as well”, he noted.
“I’ve already arranged to have units of blood from the local Red Cross shipped here to keep our supplies well stocked, so that shouldn’t be a worry”, Julia replied. “Barnabas, are you all right?”
“I’m fine”, Barnabas sighed. “Just a little disappointed. I’ve grown quite fond of being able to participate as a normal human being… to be a part of the Institute… to forget that I’m not a normal human, but a creature of darkness… ”
“Stop it Barnabas!”, Julia said quickly. “We beat this curse before and we’ll beat it again. And there is no reason that you’ll have to give up anything. You are a human being and a great one at that!”
“No, I’m not”, Barnabas said. “I’m a vampire. Don’t ever forget that. If I lose control, even for the slightest moment… I’m a danger to you, to our students, to everyone here at the Institute.”
“I’ll not have you talk this way”, Julia snapped back. “You won’t lose control. You managed for years before we ever had this serum and you’ll manage again until we get past this. You are a noble and wonderful man Barnabas Collins and I won’t let you forget that.”
“But the dangers to everyone with having a vampire around…”,Barnabas started to say, but Julia cut him off.
“You’re a vampire. So what? Look around you, Barnabas. Look at this school. Agatha is a witch. Quentin is a werewolf. Daniel is a demi-god from Olympus. Zan and Jayna are aliens from a parallel universe. We have mutants and Ninjas and shape-changers. Around here, you’re just one of the crowd.”
“I’ve never thought of it like that”, Barnabas admitted with a small smile.
“And don’t you forget it!”, Julia said, poking her finger into the vampire’s chest. “We’ll figure this out and make changes to the serum. We’ll do whatever we have to and you’ll be okay. We’ll all be okay!”
“And what if we’re not? What if we can’t re-create the serum or counter this vampiric curse?’, Barnabas asked.
“We will”, Julia said. “Or we’ll deal with it!”
“When you say it like that, Dr. Hoffman”, Barnabas smiled, “I do believe you’re serious!”
“I died and was rescued from hell”, Julia said. “You’ve been alive for over three hundred years.”
“More or less”, Barnabas said.
“So how can we let a slight medical problem deter us?”, Julia finished.
“It’s hardly slight, but I get the idea”, Barnabas said.
“We’ll beat this”, Julia said.
Suddenly, the phone started to ring.
“Now get out of here and go bother Quentin or something. That’s Dr. Pym and I have work to do”, Julia smiled.
“As you wish”, Barnabas said as he leaned over and gave Dr. Hoffman a kiss on the cheek. “And Julia…”
“Yes?”, Julia said.
“Thank you!”, Barnabas said with a small wave as he walked out of the room.
Julia watched for a second and then, quickly composing herself, picked up the ringing phone.
“Hello, this is Dr. Julia Hoffman!”