|You Don't Know Me At All
Author: jarethsdragon PM
Evil Sarah Alert! Jareth faces the consequences of his encounter with Sarah.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst - Words: 3,013 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Published: 09-30-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2077093
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Still don't own anything. The song is Don Henley's "You Don't Know Me At All", for those who are curious.
Still experimenting with writing styles, but here is one of Jareth's thoughts as he contemplates his relationship with Sarah. Not quite an Evil Sarah, but close. Actually, it is an evil Sarah.
ducking rotten peaches
I woke up this morning with an attitude
Looked at the headline,
Put me in a real bad mood
Jareth's eyes felt scratchy--he hadn't slept in months. How long? He couldn't even remember. Months came and went, seasons changed, and the sun rose and fell in the Underground. It had seemed so orderly and peaceful, until that wretched girl stumbled upon the Words of Summoning and demanded that he dance to her tune.
Jareth scanned the documents in front of him again--more reports and more news from the surrounding Realms. Malik the Dark had discovered a new dweomer. An invasion of dwarves had driven the elves from the border town of Riazza--which had been in dispute between the elves and dwarves for countless centuries. The Council of Druids issued yet another warning of doom and despair if the woodlands and wetlands were not preserved--countless species of beast, bug and slug would be displaced. The junkyard was being filled too rapidly, and the hags that watched over it predicted it would be entirely full in less than ten years.
And ten thousand whiny, snot nosed goblins had broken out into a wild party that had destroyed part of the city and littered the ground with all manner of trash. Graffiti in garish colors sprinkled the walls of the Goblin City, as well as having several carts turned upside down, several reports of unchivalrous advances on the females of the city, rioting and looting of a store.
Sitting here in limbo
Trying to stay sane
Jareth wrapped a fold of time and space around himself as he tried desperately to organize his thoughts and notes. The goblins had rummaged through his papers and desk looking for something or other, throwing his careful stacks into disarray and scattering his notes to the four corners of the room. He growled as he began the tedious task of stacking the papers and so on again. He hadn't even had time to study the new book on magic spells before the general chaos began again.
It was fortunate that he had this little dweomer--putting him in a limbo where he could concentrate and find some measure of peace and serenity. The time that passed outside his little dimension crept past like a slug. Very few of the goblins would need him--indeed it would appear to them that he had been gone but an hour--and he could find the equivalent of four hours of peace and quiet to work. The goblins could shriek and scream all they wished, but he wouldn't hear them, let alone be forced to listen to their whining and endless bickering over bits of shiny trash. It really was a pity he could only cast this one time per day--he could use a similar length of time to relax at the end of the day--but he had readily devoted this towards running his kingdom as best he could.
Yes, it was perfect solitude and silence--except for one voice, which had only grown more strident and more piercing as it matured. Blue eyes that were so filled with innocence and wonder—so enchanting in themselves!–had becoming cool and snapping. Whatever insanity had persuaded him to give her the ability to summon her friends had been beaten and kicked into a corner of his mind where it cringed like a broken dog.
Between the end of the summer
And the coming of the blessed rains
And I feel dirty, all the way down
It had been all his fault. He could have taken the child and left again without ever setting eyes on her. He could have vanished away and left her to her own devices. He could have been merciful and wiped her parent's memories of Toby away, if he wished. But he offered her an honorable out--a challenge to determine the baby's fate.
Like a two copper whore, he cheaply prostituted his magical gifts into creating a perfect adventure for her in exchange for the mere crumbs of respect and the hollow fire of her scorn. He had ordered his more intelligent servants to befriend her and offer her support and encouragement; unknowingly submitting them to the will of one whose appetite for the novel would become voracious. He had carefully watched her journey, ensuring that she was steered to carefully chosen paths of safety. When she inevitably won, per her fairy tale script, he applauded her silently and allowed her to celebrate. What did he get in return? It was all for few hours of the illusion of a companion of intelligence in endless infinity of time and goblin stupidity.
It galled him to think of her scorn. How heartlessly she cast him aside! The made him into a malicious caricature in the idiotic books she wrote for pulp publishers. She lay the entirety of his realm into harsh words and silly pictures that were frozen forever. The magic drained out of it all in exchange for wealth. Hoggle had become offended when she published her third book that featured a drawing of him peeing into the fountain on the cover with his pants around his ankles and described him as a clumsy, careless, deceitful scab who betrayed the peerless enchantress princess who was the star of her little series. Ludo, bless him, hadn't the head for understanding the careless way she mocked him, but didn't care for her harsh questions, either. Sir Didymous was the worst, though. The valiant knight had retired from his service with his eyes clouded over with heartbreak when Sarah turned him into a deluded courtier of no appreciable skill or value to her sorceress, enduring a self-imposed exile that neither offers of station or wealth could break.I feel dirty, baby, like this pretty town
Of course, her sorceress princess was endlessly pure of heart and purpose, strong in mind and body and heart, courageous, wise, intelligent, smiling, enchantingly beautiful, highly principled and would never dream of wishing a baby away (that little sin had been laid at a fictional sister's door!), who was continually called on to save her friends from their own follies as she explored a maze like world in which she was trapped.
Of course, none of his true Magick was enough to satisfy her voracious appetite. The curious, shifting nature of the Labyrinth hadn't satisfied her curiosity. The rickety charm of the goblin city and the simple majesty of the castle were buried under elaborations that distorted it to almost unrecognizable portions. By showing her true Magick, she had exploded with demands of further explanations and displays of Power. Through hours of grilling untold and friendships unnumbered she fought her way into a plush apartment beyond a large city and a recognizable name on the bestseller list. She had no Power over anything--and became an endless vampire feeding on his truth to satisfy her selfish desires and distorting it into something foul.I gave you everything on a silver tray
He had offered her dreams. He had offered her the Truth of Magick and himself. He practically laid himself and his kingdom out at her feet.
Could have been a fool forever,
But I'm not made that way
Enthralled by her, he had foolishly offered her his heart--a once in a lifetime gift for when a Fae offered his heart, it was given until the day of his final judgement. If it was accepted, the love blossomed between the lovers and overflowed their hearts with its warmth. Spurned, it sickened and died into creeping cynicism and the endless bitter grey of loneliness.
It warmed him somewhat that she was suffering as well. The twining of their fates allowed neither to escape unscathed. She was becoming more arrogantly cynical and could find no warmth or companionship in her world. But the brunt was his to bear--he no longer could find love or warmth himself. No amount of willing lovers could satisfy him. No witty repartee or smile could warm him again. No amount of glory or power would sate his hunger. Unmade in his defeat, he was re-made into a shallow shell of himself with the boiling memories of what he had been and hints at what could have been in the smiles of his nephews and nieces and cousins.
And after all these years,
I figure it's time to say goodbye
The numbers of people who were willing to answer her summons had dwindled away. He had been the only one left the last time. She had grilled him on how Magick worked and for new riddles and scenarios, continually summoning him again and again until he was physically ill and shaking. In defeat, he had offered her some small bit of lore, hoping it would be enough.
Unimpressed with the tiny crystal that coolly glowed in her hands and flew about on command, she had thrown it back at him. More, she had demanded. More and more and never enough.
I'm doing you a favor,
I will not help you live a lie
Then he had spied her newest writings. Her sorceress -- ahh, "sorceress princess", as she continually reminded him -- was to battle "her greatest foe yet--the Goblin King". The simple truths of the Labyrinth were corrupted into a nightmarish shadow of themselves and now he himself was prey to her next offering. She was shooting, of course, for having three slots on the best seller's list for children's books, and was grinding out this one as quickly as she could to make up for her slipping ratings.
She re-lived her fantasy role over and over, chopping out inconvenient or embarrassing bits until she had become a legend in her mind.
And believe me
If you think I'm gonna catch you when you fall
She was falling already. Sales had been slipping dramatically ever since "That Dog-gone Crazy Knight" had hit the shelves--the heroine was too perfect and the fickle public was tiring of endlessly bungling companions. Her popularity with the jet set was cracking as her acidic and jaded outlook alienated them. Without new influxes of inspiration and transfusions of soul, she would vanish from her precarious perch, tumbling down like an angel to a hell of should-have-beens and what-wases.
You don't know me,
You don't know me at all
Without him, she would lose everything--her apartment in a flashy suburb, her book deals, her wealth and the acquaintances that she called "friends". She had estranged her parents years ago with her spoiled demands. Nowhere to go and no way to get there, no one to turn to, she would again call on him to help her.
And, finally, he didn't give a damn.
I closed up the curtains
Learned to confess
It had taken him what felt like years to discover the inner truth of what had happened. He had prayed for forgiveness for his sin in opening up his realm to her. He had begged to be cleansed of the rank feeling of spoilage that had lain over the Labyrinth ever since she set foot on that cursed hill. He had suffered in silence, trying to rally his subjects to him again as anger and resentment at their violations grew. He didn't know whether he should have bothered since was his own folly and pride that had caused his downfall. And now he couldn't even pray for the strength and ability to heal the damage one mortal girl had wrought.
Baby, I knew better
But you were such a pretty mess
Why had he risked it all for her? It wasn't like she was particularly special or clever or anything. She wasn't even part Fae and would live for only a breath of time. She was charming--in the same, mesmerizing way a striking snake or vampire was charming in an exotic way that could only be lethal on closer inspection.
You took my breath away
And now I want it back
He could feel the squeeze in his chest now--his heart being sucked dry and flung into the dirt in careless fashion. Damn her! He thought angrily. He had lived with a burning joy and endless dancing anticipation of sharing his life basking in the blazing sun of a mate's affection. Endlessly curious about what that brilliantly shining feeling was, he had offered himself to her with breathless anticipation.
He wanted that back--that eager curiosity, that elation, that...life. He wanted to feel the prick of jealousy and the burn of anger and the cool victory. He wanted the chance to do it all over again.
Ah, you should've killed me,
You always looked so good in black
And he couldn't take it back. He was as good as a walking corpse with every food bland to his palate, every beauty unimpressive to his jaded eye, every sound a grating noise, and every comfort an endless torture that he could only yearn to end. Would she mourn? Would she put on some impressively expensive black outfit (she didn't buy "dresses" anymore but "outfits") and lament his passing? Even if her source of inspiration--her privately enslaved muse--was gone forever, would she shed a single tear?
And after all these twisted roads
That we've been down together
How could he be so amazingly wrong? Through their journey together down the paths of his legendary maze, he hadn't picked up a single flicker of her true nature--her thorough conviction of her own superiority. His careful inspection of her had been blind to her greed. Or maybe his interference caused her greed? Did it matter when every choice now lead to the same destruction?
I think it's time to say goodbye
And believe me
If you think I'm gonna get down and crawl
Jareth felt a small ripple of embarrassment, thinking of his final appeal to her. He was weak and exhausted beyond belief, appealing to a better nature she didn't have. The embarrassment died in a lukewarm flash of anger. Was she pleased with herself? He had begged her--pleaded with her--and she had refused him and everything he had offered.
Her refusal had condemned them both.
You don't know me,
You don' t know me at all
Jareth unwound the spell from around himself, appearing back into reality, such as it was. He set the straightened piles on the wooden desk--he hated a messy desk. The study was clean and respectful--a tasteful oasis of charm and order and warmth in a castle overrun with chaos and dust and underfoot goblins.
Had she ever wondered what he really thought and really felt? Had she ever imagined what he did when he wasn't waiting on her?
And after all these years,
I figure it's time to say goodbye
He threw the ghost of a snarl at a crystal on his desk that constantly showed him her face. Without him, what would become of her? Jareth was glad he didn't care anymore. It was past time for the end.
I'm doing us a favor babyYou know I cannot live a lie
He looked out the huge window overlooking the chaotic goblin city. Goblins scrambled thither and yon. Unable to pay attention for more than a half hour at best, they were useless in just about everything.
"Sire," a nervous goblin whispered. "Your cousin--I mean--'the invader' is in the city."
Jareth closed his eyes. The goblins were welcoming his cousin--his lively, dashing cousin, Sundart--into the city with open arms. It was rumored that Sundart's wife was expecting yet another girl this spring--she positively glowed with each pregnancy--and wouldn't arrive at the castle for another three months when the babe was old enough to travel. If he could have, he would have envied them.
He couldn't summon the strength to be a King anymore. He just wanted an end to the pain.And when you need me
"Let him come, Truegoo," he whispered and the goblin solemnly bowed out.
And you think I'm gonna
Be there when you call
Jareth stared blindly out the window, proud and aloof in the sunlight. Helplessly, his thoughts turned back to her.You don't know me
She had even made her fictional Goblin King immortal—so that she could bring him back again and again. He knew better.You don't know me at all
Sundart, led by Truegoo, entered the room with a gilded bow with an iron black arrow knocked.You don't know me at all
Sundart stuttered for a moment. "You--you must surrender, Heartless One."Not at all
Ritual words spoken when taking down a member of the Fae royalty.
"I will not surrender," Jareth said, turning his back on Sundart again. Also ritual words.You don't know me at all
Sundart aimed and fired quickly--straight for the heart. It was considered a quick, more painless death than suffering uncounted centuries in the grey chill of Heartlessness.
You don't know me at all...