Shadows Over Sunnydale

Author: Niklarus <Niklarus[at]>

Crossover: BtVS/ (Original) Dark Shadows

Disclaimer: All characters belonging to Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, etc. All characters belonging to Dark Shadows are owned by Dan Curtis, MPI, Dan Curtis Productions, etc.Note: I just couldn't help it. The idea for this came to me one night when I was trying to get ready for bed and dragged me, kicking and screaming, into writing it. Real life has since intruded so far as finishing it goes, but I'm still working on it. Basically, the idea is "What if a member of the Scooby Gang is actually a Collins?" I hope fans of both shows will find this enjoyable.

As for background info re: Dark Shadows, here's a brief overview. DS was a daytime drama (aka soap opera) airing from 1966 to 1971 which revolved around the Collins family of Collinsport, Maine and their close friends/associates. Members of the family included vampires, werewolves, witches, sorcerers, phoenixes (don't ask) and time travelers. It was a wild ride made more wild by the fact that it was generally done on-the-cheap with only one take allowed. Some of the bloopers and flubbed lines that actually made it on the air were true classics of hilarity. Barnabas Collins, who we'll meet here, was cursed by his ex-lover Angelique in 1795 to never die and never love because whoever loved him would die. The 'never die' part of the curse resulted in his being turned into a vampire.

The wind whipped wildly along the streets of Sunnydale as the white-haired old gentleman pulled his cape more tightly to himself and trod on through the night towards The Magic Box.

'And to think,' he mused, 'we sent the boy here to keep him safe. What fools we were.' Leaning on his cane, he determinedly made his way against the wind. 'If only you could be here, Julia, to see this.'

The light from the streetlamps reflected off the pure silver, wolfshead-shaped top of his cane and was absorbed by the deep black of the onyx ring he wore on his right forefinger. He stopped in front of The Magic Box and moved the cane into his left hand. Opening the door, he stepped inside to find it occupied solely by a middle-aged British man dressed in tweed.

"Can I help you?" Rupert Giles asked the older man. There was something about this stranger, Giles thought, that simply commanded respect.

"I am looking for Alexander Harris," came the reply in a cultured, rich voice. "I have been told that he can often be found here."

Giles adjusted his glasses and studied the man with a measured look. His gray business suit was clearly custom-tailored. The layered waist-length cape added a warning touch to the newcomer's wardrobe. His completely white hair was combed over and his eyes were those of a man who should never be trifled with. "I see," Giles replied with forced calm; his nerves jangled by the vibe the old man gave off. "If it would not be too much trouble, I would like to know why you might be looking for him."

The gentleman smiled. "Loyalty and caution are fine traits everywhere, Mister Giles. Here in this town, I would imagine they are also essential to survival. I am a friend of Alexander's real parents. My name is Barnabas Collins."


Giles cocked his head at an angle as the name struck a familiar note in his mind. "Of the Collinsport Collinses?" he asked, "Joshua's son?"

Barnabas rested his hands on his cane. A slight, enigmatic parting of his lips that might have been a smile was his only acknowledgment of Giles' second question. "You have heard of our little village, I see."

Giles nodded. "Your father's name was greatly honored by the Watchers who trained me. They considered him the greatest of our American brethren of that or any other era. His journals were required reading."

Barnabas smiled openly. "Thank you. You will, I hope, forgive my...insistence, but at my advanced age I have found patience to be a precious and nonrenewable resource. Is Alexander here? His life is in great danger and I have traveled far to warn him."

"He is training in the back room. Would you care for some tea or...other beverage while I get him?"

"Tea will be fine, Mister Giles. It has been decades since Julia, my dear, late wife freed me from the need for that...other liquid."

Giles walked back to the nook where the hot plate was kept, poured a cup of hot tea and brought it back to Barnabas, who had seated himself at the showroom table.

"Thank you."

"You're quite welcome."

Giles walked over to the training room door. He watched as Xander finished shucking off the soft sumo suit he wore when Buffy needed a living punching bag. 'My children,' Giles thought as he watched Xander and Buffy share a warm smile.

"Ah, Xander. There's a gentleman here to see you. It's quite important."

"We'll be right there, G-Man. Gotta towel off the exhaustion," Xander called back.

"Did Willow and Tara get here yet?" Buffy asked.

At that moment, a chime tinkled as the front door opened. "I do believe they've arrived," Giles answered with a smile.

"Giles, we're--Oh! I'm sorry, didn't mean to disturb you. Can I help you? Oh! Are you here to see Giles? And I'm being completely rude, aren't I? Asking all these questions and--oh--I didn't even introduce myself. I'm Willow. Rosenberg. This is my girlfriend Tara, uh, MacLay."

Giles resisted the urge to grin like a doting father as he turned to face the showroom. 'Yes,' he thought, 'not of my blood but my children nonetheless. I must find a way, before the next crisis, to let them know how I love them.'

He watched as Barnabas, leaning on that distinctive cane, stood. Taking Willow's proffered hand, the former vampire kissed it in a courtly manner. 'Cured,' Giles thought. 'Is it truly possible? What will this bode for...him if the process can be repeated?' Ever since that horrible winter and spring of nearly three years past, thinking of Angel by name had been difficult at best for him. 'Time for that internal debate later, Ripper,' he told himself. One of his children was in danger. There lay the priority.

"Xander and Buffy will be out momentarily, Mister Collins. I see you've already met Willow and Tara. They are the most delightful and intelligent young women this nation has produced in quite some time as well as being members of the Wiccan religion. Willow in particular is also Xander's oldest friend."

Barnabas nodded his acknowledgment of the information. He had known at first glance that the young women were quite strong. Perhaps stronger even than Angelique had been at the height of her power. Limited as his knowledge of the Wiccan faith was, it yet reassured him that they would not be so capricious with their power as she had been. Looking past Giles, he saw the Slayer walk through the doorway and enter the room. 'I'd expected her to be taller,' he thought. Weariness, he also noted, was easily evident in her body language. The young man who followed her was disheveled from his training, yet his ready smile showed that the exhaustion touched not his spirit. 'Most definitely his mother's son.'

"Alexander," Barnabas said, "it has been such a very long time."

"I know you, don't I? How do I know you?"

"The Harrises, did they tell you of your adoption?" A scowl flitted across Xander's face in reply. "I am Barnabas Collins, and your true parents were very dear friends of mine. Their names were Peter and Victoria Bradford."


Xander stared numbly at the white-haired old gentleman seated at the table. This had struck him harder than some of the sucker punches he'd taken fighting at Buffy's side over the past five years. "Chair, please," he croaked, leaning on the table. "Sitting would not be of the bad right now."

Wood scratched against wood as Buffy grabbed a chair and slid it behind him. Gently, she put one hand on his shoulder and one on his back as she helped him sit down.

"Why?" Xander asked, his voice almost too soft to be heard.

Barnabas nodded. It was the obvious question and one which could only be answered with the most delicate, careful telling of the truth. Told the wrong way, it would not be believed and the only child of a dear friend he himself had once romantically pursued would surely die. Had things gone differently, he pondered, the young man before him might very well have been his own son. He sipped his tea before responding.

"Your life was in danger and the threat to you grew with each day you spent in Collinsport. It can be a dangerous town to live in, with many supernatural hazards of its own. Had Julia and I known of Sunnydale's location on the Mouth of Hell, we certainly would not have placed you in such...precarious circumstances. The whole of the matter is a tale you not only deserve but need to hear. Tonight, if you wish. Tomorrow, if you prefer to first digest the news of the renewed threat to your life."

"Who would want to hurt Xander?" Willow asked. "He's not some male Slayer or warlock or half-demon or, or -- I don't know what. He's Xander."

"Thirty-four years ago," Barnabas began, "a young woman named Victoria Winters attended a séance at Collinwood, my family's ancestral home. Things went most thoroughly wrong and she awoke to find herself displaced in time, stuck in the year 1795. To make concise a very long story, her knowledge of future events and possession of a volume of my family's history made it easy for her to be framed by what you would call a dark witch. Peter Bradford -- your father, Alexander -- despite being her jailer, believed in her innocence and helped her to escape. Deeply in love, they sought to no avail to prove her innocence. In time, she found her way back to 1967 while he remained behind.

"They did not remain long separated, however. Victoria and I were driving to Bangor when a man stumbled into the road in front of us. Your mother crashed the automobile as she sought to avoid hitting him. Vicki was a warm, caring, decent and strong woman whose driving skills occasionally left much to be desired.

"When I awoke in the hospital, I learned that the young man she had nearly struck was named Jeff Clarke and that he bore a striking resemblance to her lost love. She was convinced from the start that they were the same man. After a time, we discovered that she was right. When he was drawn back into his own time, she found a way to follow him and there they were married."

"Actually, and forgive me for the correction, Mister Collins," Giles said. "it should rather be 'and THEN they were married.'"

"Perhaps," Barnabas said, smiling thinly. "But my own experience with time travel has made such precision rather moot."

"Look, G-man, I'm all Carpenter Guy down with the precision and all, but why am I not dead is what I want to know. Deceased. Defunct. An ex-parrot. Why am I here? And not in the philosophical sense, 'cause that one just gives me more headaches than a singing Reptannoch demon. Why am I here now and not there then?"

"Your parents, in their time, made the acquaintance of a Slayer and her Watcher. During the time shortly before and after your birth, the four of them ran afoul of the Servants of Nibrixxos."

"The demon Nibrixxos?" Giles asked.

"The very same," Barnabas replied.