Author: Miss Selah PM
He promised her forever. Never let it be said that Jareth is anything but patient. JSRated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Jareth & Sarah - Words: 2,718 - Reviews: 47 - Favs: 113 - Follows: 6 - Published: 01-17-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4798041
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'll wait for you until the streets become sand / until all the ceilings in New York have come down / I'll wait for you until the stars dominated the sky again.
Sarah Williams was twenty eight when she began to realize that she hadn't aged a day in thirteen years.
It seemed to be the magic number, she thought with a sigh, loathing her teenage baby faced looks even as her fans and friends crooned and oh'd and ah'd over the fact that she didn't have a single wrinkle or grey hair while everyone around her seemed to be dropping off like mayflies from cancer or car wrecks or drugs.
The television, for all it was worth, made her out to be the perfect actress, and everyone wanted her to sell their products. After all, Sarah Williams, sweet and sexy and just perfect for all the little boys wet dreams used product 'X' and still had her youthful glow about her all the way up until she was thirty five, so it had to work.
By forty, she began to panic.
She knew the cause, her trip through the underground twenty five years prior, but she didn't know the why of it. After all, the Goblin King had never reappeared to extract his revenge, and all of her friends had, over the years, continued to visit her, yet they had never suspected anything out of the ordinary.
The rumors about the starlit began to circulate, and there were many different speculations as to why she looked exactly the same as she did that day that she was discovered at the bright young age of eighteen, reciting sonnets to a dog and a toddler in a park.
Some said it was due to a great plastic surgeon.
More said it was due to all the water she drank.
A few said that she was a vampire, but no one paid any real attention to that particular thoery.
And then he walked back in to her life, the Goblin King.
"How are you enjoying my gift, precious?" He asked, a mocking smile on his lips.
"Piece of cake." She ground out angrily between her teeth.
He laughed, a sound so utterly inhuman that she shivered. She must never forget that no matter how handsome, and no matter how sweet he may seem, he was still the Goblin King - a creature whose duty was to whisk away small children from their families.
"Don't you want to live forever?" He seemed a little surprised when she said no, as a matter of fact, she didn't, but he made no attempt to rectify his error. Instead, he simply shrugged.
"Such a pity."
He showed up, again and again, with promises, pretty words, and threats to tell the press everything. While she insisted that the truth was far to fantastical for anyone to believe, it still startled her the lengths that the Goblin King was willing to go through to claim her as his own. And, considering that, at forty five, the speculation had grown to the point that she had almost no privacy, she feared that one day some cocky member of the paparazzi would catch her chatting through her mirror with her friends, and she would never do anything to put her friends in danger.
At forty six, she emptied her bank accounts, wrote a neat suicide note in lipstick on her dressing room mirror, and vanished.
She was nearly two hundred and still in high school when the urban legends surrounding her faux suicide finally began to die down.
"Michelle." her latest and greatest friend, Sarah Marshall (it always gave her a good chuckle to think about the irony of it all) "You aren't looking that great."
Sarah Williams, who had adapted the name Michelle, gave her a comforting smile. "It's just this math problem; I don't get it."
Sarah Marshall leaned over to look at her page. "Oh, that. X is equal to 34."
Wrong. Not that Sarah wouldn't have originally guessed something similar. But having been in high school algebra five times had done a good job of teaching her how to do complicated math. In her head. Backwards.
"Oh yes, of course." She gave Sarah Marshall her best smile and sighed at the fact that she wouldn't be able to use her acting skills for at least another hundred years or so and she was getting bored of high school to restaurant to desk job and having to create a new identity for herself every thirty years or so. Even the money from her acting career, which she had parlayed in to a neat stock fund which had yet to dry out, she knew better than to simply try to live off of it. It would only be a matter of time before the money ran out, and who knew how long she would be alive for? Two hundred and six, and she didn't look a day over fifteen. She had perfected the art of falsifying records, and sometimes she wondered whether or not the Goblin King had nothing to do with how terribly easy it was for her to blend from one life in to another.
Both of the Sarahs turned around to look at the substitute teacher who was staring at Sarah Williams as though he was looking at a ghost.
Sarah started. It was her third senior prom date, Max, whom she had dated somewhat seriously until the Goblin King had to come in and ruin it all by reminding her that the cost of her eternal youth was that she could never tie herself down to anyone. A few well placed goblins and bad special effects had done a good job of scaring the poor boy away from her well enough. If it hadn't been, then grasping Max about the neck in a drunken fury and making all sorts of threats if he didn't leave his Sarah alone probably did.
She gave him her best fake smile and thought about how well she could be getting paid if anyone knew what a fabulous actress she was.
"Sorry, you must have me confused with someone else." She lied through her teeth.
Max nodded, more than a little pale. "Yes. Yes, of course. I'm sorry. It's just that... well, you look just like her." His eyes narrowed.
Bet I sound like her too, Sarah thought, holding her chin in her palm. "Nope, couldn't be." It was all the explanation he needed before he walked away, shaking his head.
"That was weird." Sarah Marshall looked after the poor man sympathetically.
Sarah smiled. If only she knew the half of it.
Tiny scratch marks on her otherwise perfect foor to the perfect loft in the perfect part of town that she fit so perfectly in to. Sarah kicked open her door with a fierce scowl. Goblins were about and she didn't have the energy to deal with any of his pesky meddling now.
"Goblin King!" She cried, "You come out here this second!" She stamped her foot for good measure and let out a long groan when he came out of her kitchen, spoon deep in her favorite flavor of ice cream.
"This is simply delicious, Sarah. You would be hard pressed to find sweets of this caliber in the Underground, of that I can guarantee you. You humans sure got something right." He gave the silver spoon of his own making a delicious lick that Sarah felt all the way down to her toes.
"No. Magic." She grounded out.
He gave her an unapologetic smile. "So sorry."
She slumped bonelessly on to the couch, deciding for one that if she just ignored him, he would go away on his own.
When he slipped down next to her, she closed her eyes and wished.
When he wrapped his arms around her, they were half granted.
It didn't matter overmuch if she cried in his presence, because she was sure that she wouldn't remember it later anyways. She never did.
"Why are you doing this to me?" She yelled so loudly that the goblins, curled up like little cats at her feet, jumped and fled to the kitchen.
"Because I'm selfish, Sarah." He grinned. "You knew that about me." He kissed her ear and her jaw line and she thought for a second, hey, this isn't so bad. You could spend forever like this. Forever...
"How long?" She pulled away, even though it was the hardest this she had ever had to do in her life. "How long until we become normal again?"
"We have never been very normal, you and I." he whispered, turning the tips of her hair in his fingers.
He laughed suddenly, frighteningly. "Until the streets become sand!"
And the he was gone.
She had new friends now, in the city of New, New York, and she was watching her give birth to a beautiful baby boy. She had to leave California shortly after it broke off from the rest of the United States because the pricing had sky rocketed on everything and she wanted nothing to do with the politics that were going on there. It was in the process of trying to become it's own country, following in the suit of Cuba, no doubt, and she was not about to get pulled in to another war. The first four had been bad enough.
She was dressed to the nines in one of those cheesy hospital get ups that made her simply want to gag.
He didn't show up until she was standing outside of the maternity ward, watching the clean baby roll over in his sleep. She felt him before she heard him, and leaned back unconciously to touch her back to his chest.
"He looks like a Jareth, doesn't he?"
For a moment, Sarah wondered what it would have been like if it was their child she was looking on, and then scowled. He had taken the ability to have a child away from her, along with the ability to grow old like her friends, her family. "How long are we going to play this game, your majesty?"
His smile was the closest thing she had ever seen to a frown on him. "Until all the ceilings in New New York have come down."
She blinked back unexplainable tears.
It was all it took for him to vanish.
There wasn't very much left of humanity.
Surprisingly enough, the nerds that she had secretly made fun of in high school - all eleven times - had been right. It was zombies that ended up taking out the world. Jareth had been kind enough to displace her in an oubliette during the infestation without offering so much as a "Hello Sarah, you precious thing! Tell me - would you be interested in becoming a zombie chew toy or fumbling around in the dark for a few months until they starve themselves to death?"
She was replaced on Earth just as quickly as she had been displaced, and she was too unnerved by the mountains of rotting corpses to do anything but stand their and gape. Unfortunately, Jareth had chosen that time to remove himself from the picture and she had suffered a bit of vertigo until she recognized the city as the one she had lived in as a child. He had deposited her at the very place where they first met, all those centuries ago.
There were survivors, but they were few and far between. A few of them, like herself, were otherworldly, so she no longer had to keep her identity a secret. Jareth's visits became more frequent, coming biweekly now instead of every few months to a year. He claimed it was because there was no more need to hide who he was, but she knew that he had never bothered with technicalities of that particular nature. Still, she accepted his lie with grace and his company with ease.
"How long are we going to keep this up, Jareth?"
He smiled. "Do you know it it took you six hundred years to say my name?"
She blushed. She hadn't realized. "You avoided my question." She took the attention neatly off of herself.
He danced in on light toes and stole a kiss from her with a laugh, spinning her in a quick circle. "Until all the street lights have burned out!"
By the time she regained her footing, he was already gone.
The women were all dead now, and Jareth had set too many spells about her for the remaining men to even think about touching her.
The corpses had, for the most part, been picked clean, and Sarah made it a hobby of hers to try to differentiate between the cockroaches. She was certain that they had personality, although she wsn't sure whom she was trying to convince. Jareth was the only one around anymore, and he would agree with anything as long as it kept him in her good graces.
The ozone began to thicken again, and one morning Sarah woke up and was decidedly uneasy about how much closer the sun seemed to be.
"Was it always so large?" She asked Jareth one day she was feeling particularly worried.
Jareth decided it was not wise to answer and replaced the rest of her questions with kisses. She was certain that it hadn't always been that way, and that once upon a time he had been something of a villain and she had been something of a prude, but it was so long ago, and it was just the two of them now, so why in the world fight it?
"When will we be able to live together?" She asked him one day as she lay naked on his chest, staring out a broken window at a crumbled city.
Jareth smiled as he fiddled with the ends of her hair. "When the world falls down..."
It was quite warm those days, and Sarah had taken to wearing odd bits of see through clothing that Jareth had procured for her from various places and sources. No one was around to see her anymore anyway, and Jareth had seen every single square inch of her body that there was to see and, with a few tricks, a few more. They flowed nicely, the clothing, and it was cool, and it reminded her of something centuries past that was so familiar she could almost taste it.
"If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you've made me smile," she screamed dramatically, spinning in a wide circle, "then I would hold the entire evening sky in the palm of my hand!"
Somewhere far behind her, in a place that didn't actually exist, Jareth chuckled. "I only see one star, and she is far too old for such silly games."
Sarah smiled. "I dreamt I was on stage, under bright, hot lights. Everyone loved me, and everyone knew me. It felt like a memory."
"You were an actress, once." Jareth pulled her in to his arms and the worry lines that had appeared on his face over the past few centuries melted away.
"Really?" She asked, shocked. "When?"
"It must have been forever ago." Jareth sighed in to her hair. "Has the world fallen yet?"
"The zombies took care of that."
"And the streets? Are they covered in sand?"
"Covered and long forgotten."
"The street lights?"
"What are those?"
"How about the stars? Do they dominate the sky yet?"
"They were there all along silly. Cleverly hidden amongst the torani syrup."
Jareth's smile seemed as ancient as Sarah seemed young. "Then won't you come away, oh Human Child?"
Sarah perked up. "And we can live happily ever after?"
"I wouldn't promise happily, but the ever after just about covers it."
A cockroach watched them vanish, and if it had half the personality Sarah always insisted it did, it would have seemed to have nodded them off.
A moment later, the sun blinked out.
And the rest is rust and stardust.