Author: big tears PM
Jareth rebuilds the labyrinth after Sarah defeats it -- a task that takes him five years. Once it's completed, he appears in Miss Williams' apartment to make a rather strange offer.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 3 - Words: 2,705 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 10-23-04 - Published: 10-07-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2085926
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Sarah was, as anyone might be, very angry. The way it was said, the way it was inferred... her mother was leaving because of the tyrannical atmosphere her father created. And so, she thought she might punish him for it.
"I want to be an actress," she said, on one of the days that it was just the two of them, smiling very sweetly. "A broadway star, just like Mom."
She could be cruel, when she felt the need.
Eventually, all of the lies -- the Christmas presents she asked for but didn't want, the books she read but didn't understand -- began to get to her. She went to the theatre with her friends, she studied the acting guides and plays her father had purchased for her. She began to think about an actual career made up of performing.
By the age of fifteen, she really wanted to be an actress, for if she was, no one would ever know what she was thinking. They'd never be able to see past the bravado, the deception... And she would never be manipulated or controlled, the way her father had done with her mother.
But it was October.
Purple lightning cracked across gray clouds as she walked towards her car, uncertain of what she was seeing. It felt all too familiar, this odd weather. If only she could place where and when this had happened before -- parts of it were clear. They stuck out in her memory; a dress and a dog, sloping green lawns, rain.
Large drops began to splatter on the windshield as she made her way back to her apartment. She hummed to herself, briefly considering the state of things: The heat would have to be turned on when she got home -- and then Mrs. Finney would charge her extra rent, which would be bothersome. Especially since she didn't have that much money, to begin with.
Jareth smiled as the thought crossed her mind, although there was no way Sarah could have known... other than to feel it. And she hadn't felt anything to do with magic in a despairingly long time.
Which explained her absolute shock as she realized, upon stepping inside, that it was much warmer than she assumed it would be.
Dripping wet from the few seconds outside, she walked along a short hallway and towards her bedroom, wondering if Mrs. Finney had finally found a bit of generosity inside her ancient heart. Wondering why it felt so nice when, usually, her room was unbearably close to frigid. ...Wondering why she still had a sweater on.
There was no way she could have known that he was inside with her, and no way she would have believed that the unexpected heat was from his very presence. The Goblin King had quite a lot of things in his power, climate being one of them.
Sarah discarded her sweater, pulled on the hem of t-shirt she had worn underneath, and was about to look at the thermostat when she noticed the tall shadow lurking by her window.
She almost screamed. But Jareth, vampiric teeth glimmering in what light there was, caught up with her before she could do so much as blink.
Standing three feet away with a deadly sort of glow about him, it was all she could do to stop herself from gasping in horror. In the darkness, he appeared to be the man from her dream -- the same dream in which she had wished Toby away, and was forced to run the labyrinth of her stories.
But he wasn't real... He didn't exist. And yet, here he is, right in front of you, came an amused little whisper. It's an adolescent fantasy come true.
"Who are you?"
He laughed gently, a sound that seemed to last forever, and said, "My, Sarah, it has not been that long."
A single strand of blonde hair fell across his forehead.
"Five years is no great length, to be sure."
Five years. She was fifteen, five years ago. She was fifteen when she had that awful dream... Who are you? part of her mind was screaming. Who are you and why are you here? But there was a small portion of her mind that recognized him for the magnificent, inhuman being that he was...
When she didn't reply to his previous comment, the curious stranger took on a rather hurt expression. "Have you forgotten me so soon, Sarah Williams?"
She said nothing. What was there to say? She was not willing to let herself believe in a fairy king.
"You read from our story this very afternoon, and yet you cannot recall my name, my title?"
Her brain was working furiously. Our story...?
He took a step closer and bent forward slightly, leaving no space between the tips of their noses. Here, he resumed the playful smirk that had previously occupied his lips.
"I am deeply offended,"
"I'm sorry," she said, trying to sound it. "I'm sorry... I've never been great with names, Mr. -- Mr..."
"Please; I am merely Jareth to you, Sarah. You did defeat my labyrinth."
When she was younger, Sarah had read Alice in Wonderland a great many times and she supposed that this proclamation brought out emotions quite similar to the confusion of falling down a rabbit hole.
He was not Jareth, as Jareth was a fictional character. Her logical mind knew and understood that fact. And yet... there was no other explanation. His appearance, alone, matched that of her make-believe games. The boots, the breeches, the shirt and the hair were all too close to what she'd imagined... if she'd imagined it, at all.
"I defeated your labyrinth," she repeated, speaking more to herself than the only other person in the room. This wasn't happening. She was getting sick from the sudden rain --
He replied, anyway, in that hauntingly aristocratic accent: "Yes, little Sarah. You're quite the starlet, in my kingdom."
"Kingdom?" she asked instead. "...Is this some kind of twisted joke?"
A single, gloved fingertip slid along her cheekbone.
"Perhaps it is," he intoned, "and perhaps it isn't."