|The Last Lullaby
Author: BunniGirl PM
So: if it had been a dream, what would Sarah do? And what if Sarah couldn't wake up? M for mature content. SarahxJarethRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Mystery - Sarah & Jareth - Chapters: 5 - Words: 34,200 - Reviews: 41 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 30 - Updated: 09-27-10 - Published: 01-02-10 - id: 5635146
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own the Labyrinth's characters; I do, however, retain the right over the creative content below.
Rating: Please keep in mind this is not intended for an adolescent audience and therefore rated "M." If you are not the recommended age limit, please be advised that the author nor the website is not responsible for the outcome. Thank you.
The Last Lullaby
Venez-vous Ici Souvent
In its earliest use the labyrinth seems always to have been associated with death... - Janet Bord
You can't escape, Sarah.
You can never, ever escape.
Don't you know, Sarah...
Don't you know, that we are family...
And you belong to me.
She woke with a start, at first unaware of who and where she was before settling back into her pillow when she felt the sleep drain out of her.
What a dream.
She clutched her chest, and then her head, groaning. Was it a dream? She couldn't exactly recall the details, but a certain someone's name was involved. She groaned again. If it was a dream, which parts then? It all felt too real, too much of a mass of scenes that didn't belong together; she couldn't remember much, but what she could didn't add up to much sense. Sarah felt as if she were going mad. At least it was over. (It had to be over.) Her hand absentmindedly reached for her clock only to find it not there.
"That's not the only thing you won't find in its place, dear girl."
She froze, eyes slitting as she turned her head to her left, not feeling so shocked at having company (at least this particular sort.) No, it wasn't a dream after all. Just a nightmare. She looked at the Goblin King, beautiful and cruel, cold and humorous, positively relaxed in wrinkled silk sheets. How could she have ever fallen asleep next to that-that-
A grin from her adversary. "Speechless at the thought of me. My, I'm flattered." He cocked his head at her, admiring her torso. "You look surprised to see me, my love."
"That's because I am." Sarah moved away from him despite the great divide that already lay between them, conscious she was at the edge of the bed. Bed. They were in bed together. She clutched the black silk sheets to her, mindful of its soft integrity and gulped. She looked to the side of her, at him, and suppressed another groan. Instead, it came out as an alarmed squeak.
The Goblin King was painfully nude and the flimsy, semi-sheer sheets didn't do much to hide that. She averted her eyes and a hand wandered down to check if she was wearing clothing.
Breathing a sigh of relief (and disappointment?), she got up from the bed and inspected herself. She was wearing pajamas, more like a child's than a blossoming teenager and she blushed at the cartoon character print. A little girl in pink, not the heroine who had supposedly solved the Labyrinth. This was not how she wanted to appear in front of the Goblin King.
"You could always change."
Her head snapped up at his comment and she realized that he was reading her thoughts again. She narrowed her eyes and covered her chest with her arms. Somehow, she felt naked in front of him despite the amount of skin these clothes were covering.
"I don't see why," Jareth continued smoothly, his richly toned voice melting over his words. Oh, it was like something sweet that Sarah craved and she longed to glue her ears shut and become deaf; it seemed that his voice alone was her undoing. He was against the headboard still, his blond hair airily going in every direction; he looked pleased with himself, as if he completed some sort of accomplishment that Sarah was both unaware of and the cause of. "You didn't seem so shy last night."
Sarah's head turned sharply in his direction, her eyes bugging out at that implication. Did he just say what she thought he said? But Jareth was looking into his crystal, smiling very slyly at the insinuation his words created.
What's said is said...
"Did we..." Oh god, she felt sick. Her first time and she couldn't even remember it. She put a hand to her stomach instinctively, feeling her very soul waver in this cold room.
There was a pause, longer than necessary in Sarah's opinion. Just as she was about to become ill right then and there, Jareth let out a bored sigh.
"If you mean make love, no," Jareth replied, looking very amused. He was looking at his hands, playing mildly with a small crystal ball to entertain himself while Sarah sputtered and choked on her own precarious morality. Sarah leaned against the cold stone wall, exhaling from relief.
...Why was she disappointed?
"You don't have to be, you know. We could change that right now, precious..."
"I thought I asked you not to do that anymore," she snapped, very annoyed with his mindgames. "And stop calling me that." She had it up to here with Jareth; who did he think he was? Mindfucking her like some thoughtless doll. Kidnapping her to the Labyrinth. Keeping Toby from her. She wanted to drag his face in the dirt for making her constantly jump through vicious hoops just for his own amusement.
"My apologies," he bowed his head slightly, eyes never leaving the crystal. "Sometimes you ask so many questions that it's hard not to want to answer them for you."
"Well, you're going to have to control yourself." She looked around, realizing where she was. The Underground, no doubt. Where else would Jareth have spirited her away to? He had no stake in the mortal realm as far as she knew; he was an enchanted being. But then again... she tried to recall the past several days as best she could - she had the suspicion the Labyrinth was the place of her dreams. She felt the walls with a wary hand, as if it were a bubble to suddenly -pop- if she disturbed the fragile shell. She pressed on the bricks a little harder.
It felt real.
She leaned in and sniffed, taken in by the earth smell, the flavor of magic that seemed to be so indescribable. A sense of wonder went down her spine and she leaned back hastily, not wanting to be seduced by senses alone.
But was she even a worthy judge? She recalled her nightmares, one that seemed to stream effortlessly into another different one. It was as if her nightmares were changing hands, and she was the doll precariously tossed from one owner to the next without much care or esteem. No matter where she was, it made no difference: It all felt real. It might as well all been real - the Labyrinth, Jareth, and that terrible place she was locked up in. They seemed to contradict each other yet coexist so naturally; it frightened her and made her sick... it made her mad. She remembered the goblin and the shattered baby and a sob went up her throat for some reason. She tried to hold it back and it came out more like a whimper.
Everytime she decided she was one thing, in one world, some shit like this had to happen. She curled her fist, remembering her distress and refocused on a goal: Toby - where was Toby?
She looked around at the dark scenery. It was obviously his bedroom - whose else would it be? From the delicate French-inspired settees to the voluminous canopy cloth arranged over the generously-sized bed (the same that they had supposedly shared...), his signature color ebony tied the room together. Despite this darkness, the room itself was very light, illuminated by something she couldn't see; perhaps magic. It was very aristrocratic, very him she supposed, and at the same time so artificial. There was no intimacy, no affection, no love... only a cold mature feel to the glamour. It felt too stark to feel welcoming or even adventurous; it felt... frightening, like she was a child in an adult's world. One would think a wielder of magick would have been more creative in the color palette; but who knows with Jareth?
She tried to distract herself with more of the 'scenery.' There were several large rectangular objects around the room but for some reason an opaque velvet cloak was draped over them. She wondered at that, but didn't dawdle on details. She felt too frantic as it was. She was in the spider's lair and he was weaving a poisonous web around her to capture her heart. She was sure of it.
"Why am I here?" Oh god, she was getting tired of asking that to him... to everyone these days. This feeling of disorientation was killing her. Like her head.
"We're merely where you want to be. We're back at the beginning."
"Funny... I never really remembered starting in someone's bedroom before."
There was an odd smile on his face and he got up from the bed. She didn't pay mind to it. Instead, she clutched the wall for support as he got up from the bed and casually strolled around the bedpost, walking in her direction. It was just another day to him; it was one more of hell for her. "Precious, you don't need to fear me." He was close to her now, only half a foot away and she was tempted to lecture him on the need for personal space. Not to forget that he was as bare-cheeked as the day he was born. The irony was that the only thing covered were the least indecent bits - his hands. But somehow, that didn't seem to really occur to her as she backed closer to the wall, wanting to melt into it rather than melt into Jareth. It seemed that this was often the door used to open unwanted situations like before.
Despite herself, she found herself replying in an unsure voice, "I don't?"
He had a small smile on his face, his eyes looking her over everywhere except where they needed to be. His hand hovered over her cheek and she wanted to lean into it, gods damn it. She could feel the heat, the life in those hands, and ached for it in the cold room. Just as she turned to kiss his leather-covered palm, the hand retreated and was going down her neck ever so slightly. "After all... we are friends, you and I. And friends help one another in times of crisis." The hand teased a finger down her skin, going lower... lower... lower... "Am I not your friend?"
I can't tell anymore, she thought. She wasn't sure if he was ever her friend... and if friendship was the limitation he desired in their dynamics. Do friends do this to one another? Do friends torture and debase one another? Could enemies ever be friends? She was only half aware of the hand that played idly with the pajama top buttons, like they were toys for his majesty's use. She could barely remember when they first met... how fateful that appointment was for her; it had altered everything imaginable in her life. And now she was on the verge of being a king's plaything with a mind of putty.
She struggled to keep ahold of her senses. God, he smelled so good. Like a memory. Like all things wild and wonderful; something like fresh air with an edge to it. No, she needed to get a grip on herself. "How-" she cleared her throat as it became dry, "how is me waking up in some stranger's bed going to help me, Jareth?"
He seemed to consider this, but only for a second, most likely discarding it as a poor question and an even more ill-concealed suggestion. He carefully arched his brows and looked at her hands, taking one into his gloved hold and brought it to his lips. He kissed her knuckles thoughtfully, letting it go limp by her side when he was done. It trembled. "I do the best I can, love." He lifted his eyes to her lips. "Can you?"
The response ruffled her and shook her awake of the seduction in process, no longer his half-willing nymph of seconds ago. "I'll have you know I'm doing the best I can, too," she hissed. "If not better than you."
He leaned in and she moved her face away, his lips landing on her cheek. He sighed and put a gloved finger under her chin. "As you wish, my love. I can wait. After all, what do we have together but time?"
He took a step back and disappeared, leaving Sarah alone in the doorless bedroom.
It was a funny thing about time, being relative and all in her circumstance.
It was hard enough to measure it in the Underground. Especially when all the clocks had thirteen hours on them. When she had first returned Aboveground, time had supposedly been reordered. But how could she know that for sure? For all she knew, an hour of Aboveground time was an eternity here. Of course, it would help if there was actually a CLOCK to look at. The Goblin King knew the only way to keep her stalled was to keep her ignorant; maybe he recognized his error in keeping time in plain view the last time she was in the Labyrinth.
And who was to say her challenge actually ended in the first place...
It was hilarious of Jareth to leave her this way; she would have to remember to give him a round of applause on his face when he came back. His room was almost an oubiliette of its own, she observed. No way out. No way in. No escape. And she certainly didn't feel remembered. She shivered. The thought of being forgotten, much less alone, effected her in a way she couldn't exactly express. She now wished anyone (including Jareth) would come her way again, just so she could hear another being's voice.
She sat on the couch, giving up looking for a way out hours ago (or what she felt was hours. Who could tell.) She thought Jareth would have showed up by now to taunt her or bother her or at least give her a courtesy way out. But no, she was in a room without any exits whatsoever. She was starting to feel claustrophobic from the lack of windows and vents. Suppose she ran out of oxygen and suffocated?
For some reason, the thought drew a chill down her spine and she looked around uneasy from the feeling of deja vu.
And that was another thing that bothered her. She looked at her pajamas, embarrassed at the childishness of the style. Of all the things to be dressed in, did she have to wear this? Still, when she considered her options remembering how nude the Goblin King was... it beat nothing. And that was another thing that bothered her... What the hell was with going back to "The Beginning"? As she played with the hem of the shirt, she mulled over the course of events. She kept getting back to where she started: the beginning.
But who was to say what the beginning was? Jareth? Certainly not; he was no bastion of knowledge, and she clearly remembered not starting anything in his bedroom. She tipped her head up to observe the ceiling, ornate in its marbled darkness. Was the beginning in... the Labyrinth? Or was it in the Aboveground? Was there even such a thing as the Aboveground? Or was this some awful, awful dream?
And why couldn't she wake up?
She sighed. No, it couldn't be a dream. This was too real. It felt too real. He was real. This was actually happening to her and only her. She put her face to her palm and slid her face down it in exasperation. At least she didn't have to deal with nurses and doctors with fake names and crazy, crazy patients. Maybe that was the silver lining; she almost laughed. She was trying to put a positive spin on the situation. What next? Marry the Goblin King?
She thought about the goblin and that baby, and got up from the couch. No matter what, that image bothered her. It was clue; it had to have been. It could've been nothing else but a cruel taunt from Jareth, reminding her that either she lost... or time was running out. A sense of urgency was at the pit of her stomach and she scoured the room again, looking for an exit, or at least another clue as to why there was no end. Despite herself, the whole ordeal felt familiar in a way, and Sarah was getting sick of that feeling. She couldn't decide if she was happy or upset to be trapped with the Goblin King - but one thing was sure: she must find Toby. Toby was the key.
He was keeping her from him, she was sure of it. She had to find him before something went wrong, something terrible. He would make good on his promise to turn him into a goblin - or worse, just to spite her.
She looked at the walls, all pale blue and stone. There was faint glitter in them, like they were infused with magic. She touched them hesitantly with the tips of her fingers.
Things aren't always what they seem, so you can't take anything for granted.
Those words seemed ominous as she remembered them from before, when she couldn't find her way to the castle. And now she was trying to find her way out. The irony wasn't lost on her. She had walked through walls she thought were there... and maybe it was the same now. She just was taking something for granted.
She leaned in, pressing the wall, and grunted in her effort as she pushed before stopping. Nothing. She looked around, letting her hand drag on the wall as she patrolled the room. There was an opening here, like any other labyrinth. And she would find it. Leave it to Jareth to make his own home a veritable trap for kicks and giggles.
And then there was a pause as she felt something light and airy. She looked down at her hand which was halfway through the wall. Aha, Sarah thought with a grin. Got you now, Jareth. And then she confidently strode through the space only to find herself flying, correction, falling in the sky. The Underground operated at least in some part by the same laws of physics as the Aboveground, as Sarah found out the hard way.
There were no helping hands to grab onto her, and no dark hole to go down. She fell, fell, fell, feeling in the back of her mind that she did this at least once before. And then she landed onto a bed.
Back where she started.
Well, isn't this a fine how-do-you-do, she thought.
After getting over the shock of the travel, her rage got the better of her and she took a candlestick and started to bash anything and everything in her path. How dare Jareth play a deceitful trick on her. He was probably watching her right now; he was probably watching her since the beginning. He was laughing at her! She could practically hear him now. She reached up and threw the candlestick in the air, not caring where it landed or what it hit. A clatter came and she looked over her shoulder, distraught at being trapped. Anymore of this, she began to think to herself, and she would truly go as insane as those doctors thought her to be.
But what she saw made her rethink that statement.
There were a collection of paintings clustered near the wall. Some were on the floor by the candlestick. They were of her.
...And a baby that looked like Toby.
It was late when he finally came to her. At least she thought it was late; there was no way to know if it was morning, noon, or night without windows. It was a wonder she didn't starve. Who knows how long she was in that room for before he finally remembered where he kept her. She almost laughed at her joke.
She was sitting in the dim light, by the upright candlestick that had aided her destruction earlier. It lit on by itself when it was upright again. He stepped from the shadows, looking at the damage as mildly as he could. What did he care? It could all be replaced by magic. Perhaps it was never there to begin with; all of it imaginary.
"Where have you been?" She asked as she looked at the paintings. There were many; she counted twenty-seven canvases, all of the same general size. Some were a bit bigger, and some were smaller... but they all shared something in common. The subject.
"You know where I was, Sarah."
"Hmmph. Do I? What else do I know, Jareth. Enlighten me." Her rage was different this time. It was quiet and genteel, with a hint of haughtiness. There was no more childish explosions. The difference frightened her a bit.
He sidestepped her question gracefully, and she noted this. "I see you found my little art collection." He got in front of her view and smirked, his hands on his hips. He looked stunning, with his chest in bare view and his crotch hypnotically tight. It was designed for distraction.
At first she looked away, embarrassed, but then she snuck a peek and couldn't help but feel something deep within her react. It was no girlish notion; it was something that belonged to a Sarah much older than herself. Her lips were parted and her eyes went glassy. She licked her lips but shook her head, trying to stay on target. "What does this mean, Jareth?"
"Nothing, my dove." He glided near her, like a schooled predator and tucked her hair behind her ear. He was rubbing her back gently and she closed her eyes at the comfort it brought her. Nevermind that it was from him (or maybe because it was from him) - she hadn't felt a touch like this in a long... long, long time. Suddenly, she felt upset, her rage dissipating. This was wrong, this felt wrong. She panicked, her eyes opening wide and turned to struggle away but she looked at the paintings at the little family (family?) she discovered, and paused. There was no where else to turn now, no one else to give her this comfort, and she leaned into him.
Who else could save her now?
He shushed her as the sobs came near and quieted her protestations. "Now how can it be wrong to comfort you after so much pain? She doesn't understand you. I understand you. Come, my love. Come to me."
The picture flickered and she felt vulnerable in this man's arms, looking up with her young, wide eyes. The outfit made more sense. His changed as well. He smiled and leaned in, kissing her.
He was stronger than she last recalled, or was she smaller in his presence? The magic seemed to thrill her and she let it take over her. What she saw before was forgotten for the moment, and Sarah collapsed under his pressure. He moaned her name in her ear, and she was delighted that she was the one bringing him happiness. "Sarah, Sarah, I have waited so long for you," he murmured, kissing her collarbone as he unbuttoned her shirt. "It is only you, only you."
She leaned her head back, feeling like a woman despite the situation. He made her feel this way, only him. They were soulmates; she was sure of it. Her small hand guided his bare hands to her face and she looked at him with such earnest devotion. He smiled, loving her gullibility. It made it so easy. He guided them to the bed and pushed her down onto it, covering her body with his own as he began to seduce her.
First he kissed her. He kissed her so deep that she couldn't imagine flying could be any different. Her hands operated on their own; it was entirely sexual instinct that drove her actions. "Yes," she breathed into his lips and moaned. He felt her budding breasts with savage glee and she reacted by grinding her hips into his. Several times she uttered his name in ecstasy, as he repeated hers. Only his had changed however, like a strange shapeshifter in this hot night.
The young girl looked up at the man who engaged her trust, nude as the day she was brought into the world, all but a child still. She covered her chest with her arm while he surveyed her, appraising his prize. She blushed and looked away as he began to undress.
"No, I want you to look."
It took her a more than a few moments to lift her eyes up and meet his imperial gaze. She sensed his request was more of a demand and felt nervous. When she hesitated, he arched a fine eyebrow and gave a haughty smirk, feigning disappointment as he began to turn away.
"But... If you don't want to..."
"No!" She yelled, grabbing his hand as he made a move to leave. "Please don't go, please! I'm ready. I swear!"
"Then look." To make it clear, he grabbed her head, gently but firmly fixing her gaze as he unzipped his pants and removed them with grace. She turned a deep shade of pink, first closing her eyes and then settling her eyes on the sight. His hands had wandered lower than her head, rewarding her for following his commands with a touch at her warm center. "If you love me, you'll do as I say, Sarah." He leaned in and lifted her chin and kissed her lips. "Sweet, sweet Sarah."
He pushed her gently down on the mattress again, aligning himself with her as he played with her body like a doll. "You do love me, Sarah... don't you?"
"Yes!" She said, unable to bear the sweet torture he was delivering to her. Her still growing mind could not focus reason with the sensations she was feeling and she categorized it as "love." "I love you!" She said his name. "I love you! I love you! Please! Please!" She begged him to end it.
"I've waited so long for this," he whispered, on the edge of madness. "Too long. It's time you became mine, sweet child. And only mine."
She didn't fight. She welcomed it, however young in thought she was. Love - that's what she was thinking. Love. Something she had finally from the man she desired it from, a man she wanted for so long. Even if it was wrong, the fact that it was love made it right.
He was on her, and then in her - it happened so fast. She held onto him through the pain, reminding herself it was all of his pleasure. It was her gift to him. She had to make him happy... because she loved him. She had a task to prove to him to show how much she loved him. So she held onto him, nuzzling into his neck and nipping his skin with her teeth as he took her innocence from her.
When the picture flickered again, it suddenly came back into focus and the man on top of her was the demon she was frightened of, even if she could scarcely remember what he did to make her so scared. His grunts reminded her of death and the pain between her legs reminded her to struggle. His name came back to her: Jareth. The Labyrinth. Toby.
"No!" She began to shift around under him. He still kept at it.
Why did she say yes? Did she even say it? She couldn't remember. She tried to push him off but she felt weak under him and simply laid there, waiting for it to end. It hurt, it hurt so much. The grinding, it felt like sandpaper rubbed against a wound. "No," she moaned, gritting her teeth. "No! Stop!"
There was a pause as he looked down at her. There was something in his eyes she couldn't catch as they never met her gaze... something so cold and terrible. She shivered. He stopped at once and got off but she could still feel his weight on top of her. He let out a sigh as he turned from her and got off the bed. He put his back to her as he walked from her, his nude bottom perfect and unblemished clenching with the motion. "What's the matter, Sarah? You didn't like it?" He was walking toward a covered object, touching the black velvet. He seemed angry at the interruption of the coitus, and at the possibility of no release. But he never looked at her.
Sarah attempted to cover herself with her discarded clothing that had now seemed much too small for her to wear. "I-I-" she stammered, nervous. She felt more terrified than she had ever been in her life, nude in front of him. What had just happened? She felt confused. Sarah looked at him, afraid; her will was not her own and she was no longer an innocent. Tears sprang to her eyes and a barrage of thoughts entered her mind as she tried to make sense of the situation.
"Answer me, Sarah."
But she didn't. She couldn't. Her tongue felt as if it had swelled up to plug her mouth and she could only scream with her eyes as they bugged out of her head.
He gripped the fabric, and even from here she could see the veins popping neatly in his skin; it was supernatural the anger she viewed. She imagined his impossible anger that would overfill her and shrunk into the bed. "I'm sorry, J-"
"Sorry for what, my love? Disappointing me or disappointing yourself?"
The cut was unexpected and Sarah was shocked into disbelief. He had never been this cruel with her. Unfair, yes - but never so mean. Her rage boiled over but came out in tears, and suddenly she felt his arms around her. "Darling, I'm sorry. Shh. I didn't mean it. Don't cry, precious." His bare finger touched her cheek and she nodded, attempting to stop her sobs. She couldn't let him see her like this, not so undefended and cold... she shuddered as he squeezed her.
"Naturally, we're both upset. It's been such a day..." he lifted her chin up, but never met her eyes. "And we're both tired."
She let herself be guided into the bed with him. This was wrong. She knew this... even so, where could she go in a room with no exits? Where could she run to? Who would save her now? It felt so unfair, so hard to deal with... she didn't know what to do. So she laid still as he crept into the covers with her and came close to her, their bodies' skins touching. "You're mine, Sarah," he whispered into her hair as his hand wandered down her chest to her navel. She shut her eyes tightly to avoid the experience. "Always and forever. Mine."
She let him touch her in places she felt were forbidden, places no one had touched her in a long time. But this time she kept her mouth closed, too wary (and too exhausted to fight) of the reaction she would get this time. And with time, she fell asleep... in her enemy's loving arms.
When she woke up again, it was like it had never happened.
It was like some bizarre dream; she felt removed from the experience as if two other people had acted out a play in front of her from a memory. It bothered her and she tried to forget it.
There was no pain between her legs, and more importantly, Jareth acted like nothing had even happened between them. There were flirtations, of course, but nothing heavy or implied... and when he left, she realized she forgot to ask him the way out.
Like he'd tell her though. She rolled her eyes.
She looked at the clothes set out for her. The pajamas were long gone. Now all that was left was a light green gown that was easy to get into. It reminded her of her dress up theatrical outfits from home. And when it slid onto her, it felt almost casual. She got up and walked to the spot where the paintings were.
They were gone.
Of course. Jareth. All of her questions last night evaporated and she couldn't remember for the life of her what she saw that shook her at her core. The only thing she could recall about them was that she spent a good deal staring at each canvas. There was a detail that bothered her... something on them that didn't belong.
And Jareth had seduced her before she could ask. The thought made her angry and she put a hand to her belly... but for some reason she couldn't summon true outrage at what had (probably) happened to her. Was it rape? She felt so willing... there was something about him that charmed her... something he said that made it seem alright. It was at the tip of her tongue. A name. She was sure it was a name.
She felt sick, though. The way he touched her... there was something that transversed between them that confused all of her senses.
She sighed, exasperated. She aimlessly walked around, wondering how much of what happened to her was fiction and what was real - and how could she tell from either.
God damn, Jareth. The things she would do to him when she got a chance, she would get her revenge in more than one way; she could be sure of that.
Idly, she pinched a piece of the velvet fabric as she walked by it, dragging it with her in her boredom. It fell off one of the objects to reveal a mirror. Sarah backtracked and stared.
It was her. But it wasn't her. She leaned in, wanting to touch this weird persona which smiled, laughed and... was dancing with Jareth. A beautiful woman, with long, long dark hair that reached down to her legs was floating around a ballroom with the man that she was in love with. Jealousy twisted in Sarah's stomach and she wanted to break the image in shards for telling her what Jareth was doing all this time: wooing other women.
Then they disappeared to her left, dancing away from her.
She ripped away the cloth to reveal more mirrors. One after the other was Jareth dancing happily with a woman he loved, that he loved more than her. All of them with Jareth, all of them mocking her, telling her what a disappointment she was, ignoring her, deceiving her, ruining her, hating her, laughing, laughing, laughing at her. A sharp pain entered her mind and she was on the verge of tears. She clutched her head and shook her whole body as if to argue back, "No, it isn't true!" She banged on the mirrors to get his attention but they kept dancing away, paying no mind to her.
All the sound dulled away to leave one fateful tune in her midst. She looked up with tears in her eyes at the music box on the stand by the bed. It gave a melancholy sound that made her hips sway as she walked towards it with uncertain steps. She hadn't remembered it being there before... but somehow that wasn't important.
Though there were no lyrics accompanying the simple tune, Sarah knew them by heart even though she couldn't recall when she last heard it. With a mild voice, she sang it outloud, tears pouring down her cheeks. She was not aware of them.
Alas, my love
you do me wrong
To cast me off discourteously
She touched the music box with the tips of her fingers, watching the beautiful little doll inside going round and round.
For I loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company...
Her heart started to ache and the tears came out more, but she couldn't figure out why. The emotion was so raw and so ancient that she forgot what the name was for it. It felt like betrayal but there was something bittersweet and lonely about it. She picked up the music box and her hands shook with the weight.
And then she looked back at the mirror, at them laughing, at them loving, at them forgetting about her.
And then she threw it.
Do what you want, Sarah. It makes no difference to me.
If you love me, you'll do it. You love me, don't you? Don't you, Sarah?
I'm busy. I can't play with little girls now.
Run along, Sarah.
She woke up in the darkness, surrounded by the shards of glass. She was floating in some abyss with nothing but fragments of Jareth's room bobbing around. She could have been falling, but she wasn't sure. She could've always been falling.
And then she found herself on the ground, unharmed and lost. She sat up. Those words...
She felt a chill and wrapped her arms around herself. That voice and those words struck her as cruel and hurt her deeply, even though she didn't know why.
Where was she now, she thought as she looked around the darkness. It was jarring with no light, like her eyes were closed and she was walking around, only to run into something.
She thought Jareth would appear. Someone. Anyone. Save her.
Someone save me, someone take me away from this awful place...
She turned around suddenly, afraid of the disembodied words. She remembered them clearly from the night she wished away Toby. But she was stuck here, in something more foul than an oubliette. She put a hand tentatively out in front of her, attempting to feel her way out, if she could.
Where was Toby?
Where was Jareth?
Where was she?
She tripped over something and fell down. She reached down and picked it up. It was soft and she put it up to her face to smell. It was sweet and aged fabric, and from its shape she could discern it was a doll. What was a precious thing like a doll doing down here? It was a question she wasn't sure she wanted answered.
She held it to her chest, wanting some artificial comfort. There was something soothing about holding a doll after all this time. The childlike pastime seemed to remind her of something she almost lost: hope.
Just then she felt something solid; it was pebbled, distinct, and it was wider and longer than her. She ran her hands down it until something popped out and a small ray of light shone out below her through a keyhole. She looked through it, blinking from the sudden light and saw a ballroom with him dancing with that woman.
Spinning, spinning, spinning. Laughing, laughing, laughing. They were in love. And Sarah felt envious, longing for something that could take her away like that. She couldn't see much through the key hole... there were others there, but they were vague shadows in comparison to the beauty of the center couple.
She let go of the doll onto the floor and forgot about it.
She leaned into the door and suddenly it opened, and she fell through. She was on the marbled cold floor, picking herself up from her hands and knees. She was self-conscious but no one paid mind to her, not even for a second. She was invisible, a ghost - not even there as far as the important people were concerned.
They were dancing, all of them dancing. So beautiful, so free, so unattached from reality. It was a crystalline ball and she was the outsider looking in. But it was that couple, the pair that shone, that really attracted her. Something about it made her feel at once sick and violently jealous... and hopelessly obsessed. That woman and that man - she knew them. Their features were familiar and although not particularly friendly, they were beautiful and sculpted, designed to draw the masses to them. They were magnetic, electric, positively stimulating just to look at. Despite this, Sarah didn't have the words to describe it... and her tongue couldn't remember their names.
She came closer to the view, a waif spying on her desires, unaware that a shadow stepped behind her. "Do you like what you see?"
She whirled around and saw him smirking down at her. "Oh!" she stepped back. "But how-" She turned back to the still-dancing couple, her brows knitted in confusion.
Somehow, things had changed since she last looked (or were they always that way and she forgot to see?) He was in a tuxedo, with a red bow, and the woman was a luminous red gown to match. Her long black hair styled in an up-do with curled tendrils swirling with her movements. It was impossible how this man could've been dancing with the Lady and talking with Sarah at the same time.
And yet... here he was. Before her, watching them dance as well.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" he whispered into her ear, tickling her in the most obscene way that she blushed.
"Y-yes." Why was she so nervous? She moved away from him, aware of their bodies, particularly hers. She wrung a handkerchief in her hands, knotting it up like the desire within her.
"Do you want it?"
She didn't know how to respond.
He put a hand around her nude shoulder, gripping it lightly but she winced all the same. "You look lovely tonight, Sarah."
She was quiet for a while, considering the situation. "...Prettier than her?"
He smiled as if she had said something delicious, and he was hungry for her words. He leaned in until their faces were an inch apart. "Much."
She gave a tentative smile, the coiling within her growing stronger as the closer he got to her. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. The blush that rouged her cheeks so lovely deepened with the flattery he buttered onto her. "R-really?"
"Oh yes," he cooed, inhaling her essence which revealed her true feelings. "So much more."
She gave an awkward laugh. "No, you're just saying that..." The strand fell away when she turned away from him, and he tucked it behind her ear for her.
"Would you like to go for a walk, Sarah?"
She bit her lip, unsure. She looked at the dancing couple that was now frozen in time. Everyone around them was the same way. "I..." He put a bare hand under her chin, forcing her to look at him. She gulped, her eyes caught in his.
He held her hand in his larger one and brought it up to his lips. "Please?" It was a tone designed to endear and to sneak under one's skin. She blushed and looked down at her hand, at his lips. Sarah gave one last look at the center and then at her captor.
She looked up at him, feeling more timid than she did before. She stuck out her chin, not wanting to reveal her fear. But she shouldn't be afraid of him; he would never hurt her. "The night is beautiful," he remarked. Sarah looked around, smiling. The air was warm, and the stars; oh, how the stars burned so bright for some reason. The moon was in the distance, large and watching the events unfold... the sole witness to this secret encounter.
"Yes," she said. "It is."
"Like so many other things." A hand was on the small of her back and her heart raced. What did this mean? What did this mean! She was torn between joy and fear, and her breath quickened. She would get in so much trouble if she were found out...
"Dear girl, you look positively faint in this light. Are you well?" Instantly, she was ashamed. Of course this meant nothing, especially not to him. She was a fool. She let out the breath she didn't know she was holding, and nodded, attempting to smile. It wasn't that hard when she looked at him.
"Yes... I guess I'm just feeling a little woozy." A little too woozy. She looked down at her drink. When did she pick this up? She supposed it had been in her hand the whole evening. Funny how only now she was starting to feel lightheaded. She didn't notice her companion's smile.
"You're jealous of her," he observed. "Why?" He pretended not to know.
She paused, unsure of herself as always. She looked at the beautiful and round moon, so imperfect in its appearance, and decided to be bold to gauge his reaction. "Because she danced with you..." The confession came as a whisper and she dared to look at him to see what he thought. Would he laugh at her?
No. He didn't. He gave a sideways smirk, with an air of self-satisfaction. "And you wanted to dance with me, too? Is that it?"
She went red and looked away, embarrassed. He must think her to be some child. But his hand went on her shoulder, and she turned her head to find his only inches away from her. His lips were so near to hers that she almost fainted like the heroines of her stories, and she unconsciously licked hers, failing to notice the ravage desire in his eyes.
"I would be delighted."
Her face was all wonderment and silver happiness as he took her hand and put his on her waist, feeling her curves through her dress. It almost made her uncomfortable the way he was touching her but she silenced her nerves and gathered her courage; it was now or never, and she wanted so to impress him and to show him what an adult she was. If it would upstage his previous partner, all the better.
"Do you love her?"
He spun her around and gave her an easy smile. "And what if I did, child?"
She went even more red, this time with anger. "I'm not a child!"
He laughed and soothed her temper. "No, you aren't, are you." He looked at her body, bringing it closer to him as they danced. "You are a woman yet, Sarah Williams..."
She wasn't sure if he was mocking her or not, and gave him a glare. "I am a woman, sir," she said haughtily.
"Ah! My mistake, my lady," he bowed, his hair covering the smile on his face. "It shan't happen again..."
"See that it doesn't!" Sarah lifted her chin. "Or off with your head!" Then she laughed, enjoying herself.
There was a song in the background. She turned her head slightly to hear it better but for some reason the lyrics were garbled... blurred in a sense. She couldn't really focus on them. But it was beautiful. She looked back at her partner who had changed but somehow hadn't; his gloved hands were around hers as they moved in the middle of the garden. The air was warmer than it was prior, and she felt good; she felt wonderful, in fact. Sarah smiled.
"I feel like I've done this before," she said.
"Maybe you have," her partner replied smoothly, but there was no mockery in his voice. In fact, he looked serious even with that slight grin on his face. He was more boy than man, but still older than her. There was some unexplainable charm about him that she found irresistible. Why didn't she see it before?
"Where, pray tell?" She arched a brow.
He leaned and his lips brushed her ear. "Your dreams, Sarah..."
She closed her eyes and enjoyed the closeness. There was nothing obscene about it - it felt natural and right. She looked up and his eyes had met hers. His gloved finger touched her cheek and she leaned into him. "Would it be totally wrong of me if I confessed something to you?"
She shook her head, subconsciously gripping his hand. She squeezed the leather, wringing out a crinkled sound. With his other hand he put it through her hair. "I think I'm falling for you." His voice was quiet, and she saw something flash through his eyes as he looked from her gaze to her hand. He was afraid.
She let go of his hand, and she stepped away. He opened his mouth to say more but she had turned away by then, starting to get dizzy and sick.
He withdrew from her and walked to the edge of the garden by a bench, looking up at the bright luminous moon.
"Why?" She said, her throat suddenly dry. She felt tremendous fear and anxiety just then.
He gave a small laugh. Not at her, but at himself. He shook his head as he looked down at the floor, a gloved hand going up to his face. "God, I'm a bloody fool," he muttered to himself. "I thought..." He gave her a look. "I'm sorry, Sarah."
She didn't say anything. He continued. "I should've kept that to myself... I was caught up in the romance of it all and..." He stopped, shoving his hands into his jacket's pockets. He looked back at the moon. "Obviously I made a mistake."
Her heart was thundering and she sat down on the bench opposite of him. She felt the panic bubbling, floating to her mind and heart, and shook her head. Oh no, no no no nonononononononono this can't be happening, this can't be happening this can't be happening fuck fuck fuck-
She dragged her nails down her arms, trying to collect herself but it was impossible. Once started it was too late to go back. Too late, too late, too late - she couldn't stop thinking, her thoughts going at the speed of light and her mind couldn't keep up. Why did he say those words? Didn't he know? Didn't he know that words had power? Words had power, words had power, oh god, I'm going to die-
She put a hand to her chest and tried to breathe. Her partner hadn't noticed her situation, too stuck in his own head to realize that she was drowning in her emotions. Sarah gripped the stone bench as she blubbered for help and finally he looked. He had changed... and so had she. The gloves were gone as he put one finger to his chin, contemplating the circumstance. Then, as he looked around to make sure there were no witnesses, walked over to her... slowly, like a cat. His eyes seemed to gleam in the dark and she felt true fright rise up.
She wanted to beg "No."
She wanted to say "Stop."
But she felt powerless on the floor as the darkness seemed to bleed in like Indian ink into her vision. Her muscles ceased to work and her strength had all but vanished.
All she saw was his smile, which revealed all of his sharp teeth, as he closed in for the kill.
She stirred, opening her eyes. She was on the ground that was covered with glass shards. Jareth was hovering over her, his eyes going up and down her body to survey the damage. She felt so cold, her skin so icy... but she didn't shiver. She propped herself up on her elbows as she attempted to get up. She felt his hands on her to assist her and hissed for him to stay away.
"I can do it myself," she said, sending him a glare. She felt achy and sore... and she had no idea what had transversed. Well, she had some idea, of course, but not a very clear one. Once again, she was here in the bedroom she thought she escaped. Her fists balled at her sides as she pretended to observe her setting. She was still in her dress.
"Where am I?" It was a question designed to set her off. And his reply was the match.
"You are right back at the beginning."
She stopped walking and without turning to him, said, "Stop it."
"Stop what?" He replied, with no indication of mockery.
"That! This!" She looked at him with such rage that she imagined even he could be scared. But he simply looked at his damn crystals. She lifted a hand to her shoulder and tore the sleeves off of her dress and ripped them, throwing them at him. She bent down and gripped one of the shards of glass on the floor, holding it so tightly she began to bleed in her palm. "Don't say it." She held up the shard to her neck.
He was calm. "Say what?"
"Don't you tell me I'm at the god damn beginning. Enough games! I've had it! Tell me what does all this mean, Jareth? I want some fucking answers."
"And I have given them to you, Sarah." It was like talking to a child.
"Bullshit! All you've given me is a lot of heartache and headaches. I feel sick the way you're treating me."
"If you want the right answers, then you must ask the right questions..."
Word game playing asshole, she thought. Blood was pooling by her side, seeping into her pretty white dress. "Where is Toby?" He tossed a crystal from one hand to the other, looking as if he were thinking of a solution. She bristled at this act and let go of the shard. It dropped with a chime in her blood as she moved away.
"Where is he?" She screamed, grabbing a jug and smashing it against the wall. She picked up another. "Is he a goblin?" She smashed that one as well. "Did you hide him someplace? Are these the right questions?" She looked at him, wanting to kill him - wanting to kill herself to bringing them into this situation. This was all her fault, all her fault. She trembled as he got closer and she launched herself at him.
She raised her fists as she began to beat against his chest. "Did you kill him? Is he even alive? Why can't you tell me? Why can't you just tell me?"
Tears ran down her face as she slid against him and knelt down on the floor. She looked at her hands, opening and closing them in her lap. "I just want to see him again. I just want to hold him again. Why can't you understand that, you monster?" She looked up at him through her tears. Her vision was blurry and his outline was angelic... his hair reflecting the light in the most beautiful way. His cape draped around him, creating a silhouette that appeared as folded wings... if Sarah didn't know better, she would've sworn it was her salvation.
A hand was clasped around her shoulder, fingers reaching into her skin as she was brought into an embrace. "No," she said, resisting the touch. "Don't touch me. Don't touch me ever again. I hate you. I hate you!"
He let go and she backed away. "You've ruined my life, Goblin King. You've ruined it!" Her back bumped into the corner and she felt a breeze behind her. She gave a glance at Jareth. "And you're not even sorry... you've done nothing but give me grief... I wish..."
She paused, her head tilting. She sniffled and her eyes got clear as the words came to her.
"I wish you would just die."
And she let herself fall back through the corner and into the sky.
She couldn't tell when she landed.
If she landed.
If she was still falling.
The next thing she could truly recall was walking - maybe that was what she was always doing: moving, in all these different forms... perhaps to save herself. Perhaps to escape. Perhaps to run away from the fact that she had gone mad so long ago.
Sarah felt too much like Alice in Wonderland... except she was more frightened, more angry, more upset than she imagined Alice could've ever been. There was no white rabbit to lead her to the end; there was no mad hatter to distract her with his teacups.
There was just a hallway, a beige hallway, with no doors and no windows... only blurred paintings on each side.
She walked down with unsteady feet, hating her life. With her luck, she would never find the way out. Oh, it was so much easier before... with Ludo, and Sir Didymus, and... Hoggle. Her heartstrings strummed that chord as she thought of it all. Was it truly all made up or was it one of Jareth's neverending book of lies? She couldn't tell, and that's what angered her so much.
If only Jareth had never existed, then there would be no need for any of this. She would have been home with her father and stepmother, and with darling little Toby who up til recently she had never appreciated and (regrettably) not loved enough to prevent the damage from being done.
But it was done, and all she could do was carry on until the end.
She paused, rubbing her ankle. The hallway seemed to go on forever.
"Does it ever end?"
"It ends when you want it to end."
He was behind her. Was he always behind her? She looked over her shoulder, observing him. He was leaned against the wall beside a large canvas. A crop was by his side, and a perpetual smirk on his face. Other than that, he was no worse for the wear.
"Charming display you gave me before, Sarah," he said.
"Glad you enjoyed it," she bit, continuing her walk, determined to ignore him. If she pretended he didn't exist, perhaps he would disappear.
She gave a snort. "Fat chance," she mumbled, not feeling her luck lately.
"You can only go so far, you know," he called after her. She waved a hand, grumbling that goblin kings knew nothing and where they could indefinitely shove their crops.
She was aware he was following her. She didn't hear footsteps but somehow knew that if she turned around, even to look, he would be there, mocking her in some insufferable fashion. And he was right... she could only go so far. It reminded her thoroughly of the Labyrinth... how long would she have stayed in it without listening to that worm? She looked at the cracks which were dark and empty, and sighed. No worms here to offer tea and crumpets.
"Looking for something?"
She didn't bother to give a reply.
He continued. "Even though you don't want it, I'll give you a hint. Look to your side."
She didn't want to listen, but what options did she have except to walk to her death? On her side was a painting, not one that she could see clearly, mind you... it was frightfully blurry but there was something about the shape that captured her. She knew it, didn't she? What it was underneath the visual grime...
She looked at him in surprise but he wasn't looking at her; he was looking at the painting. She waited for him to say more before lifting her hand to it. Her fingertips quivered and she gulped. Now was not the time to get nervous... it was just a painting... just a painting... just a painting.
Her fingertips touched something that felt smooth, buttery, but without any earthly residue. No, it was magic - it had to have been... And the green hues of the painting grew out, vines creeping to say hello and conquer the hall, flowers that bloomed and watched her, and the smells of a lotus lagoon filled her senses. She closed her eyes, feeling her heart ache as her body melted into this reality.
When she opened them, the hall was gone, and she looked back. The Goblin King was there, watching her, careful not to meet her eyes. There were things no artist could have dreamed of... she watched as life came to what was unlife. Plants reached out, leaves and branches curling, unfurling, sprawling to own their territory.
"What is this?"
"It's yours... do you like it?"
"Like it?" She breathed as she watched the scenery. "I... love it." She had been here before; she was sure of it. Why else would this feel like home? Out of everything in the Labyrinth, out of this entire experience, she hadn't felt like she quite 'fit' save for this moment.
"I thought you would," he said. There wasn't arrogance in his voice, only self-assurance. She touched a leaf that responded to her actions, and held it in the palm of her hand. He was close to her, behind her as she explored her world when she stopped all of a sudden.
She leaned into him and said in a small voice. "Toby isn't here... is he?"
His answer surprised her. "Yes, actually... I suppose he is here."
"Please..." she looked up at him, tears in her eyes. She had said this to him before in the same way. Please... he's my little brother. He must be so scared... "Take me to him."
A gloved hand grazed her cheek in an affectionate fashion and cupped her chin. "I can't. Not yet."
"Why not?" She clasped his hand which was still holding her face. When he gave no answer, she changed tactics. "When then? When can I see him?"
"When you're ready, precious."
She took his gloved hand off her face. "When I'm ready? I'm ready now, Jareth!"
"Shhh, darling," he put a finger to her lips. "Dance with me."
"...Please?" He had changed, and so had she. She met his mismatched eyes and put a shaking hand into his. He squeezed it gently. "Just one dance," he said. "Just one."
He gave a cautious smile, too wary to express his happiness in front of her. His hand hovered over her waist and he looked for permission to touch. She nodded and his hand rest there comfortably. She felt a whirring inside of her and closed her eyes to fight it. She hadn't been touched this way in such a long time... and even then. She looked at his chest that came closer to her and laid her head down on his chest. He smelled like she thought he would, such a deep fragrance of leather and spice... of old books and romance. She nuzzled her nose into his shoulder despite herself and he smiled, putting his cheek on the top of her head as they swayed to no music. It was just the sounds that entertained them.
Then he opened his mouth. "Shall I sing for you?"
It was the exact thing to destroy the mood. Her muscles quaked as she shuddered, wrenching herself away from him. She felt so raw, so on edge... what had she been doing? What did she allow to go on?
"Sarah?" He put a hand on her arm.
"I can't do this anymore," she said, pushing him away. "I can't. I just can't."
"Why not?" He was holding on to her hand, so desperate, so needy. "Why can't we just try-"
"Because it's not going to happen," she snapped and wrung her hand free. "Never in a million years. I'll never love you, I'll never love anyone."
"Sarah-" He tried to touch her and she slapped him across the face.
"Get away from me!"
She realized what she had done as she looked at him. He was hurt, tears in his eyes that he kept at bay. His cheek was still red and she shook her head, hating herself more and more. All she could do was hurt; she can't love, a monster like her could never love. And now she did it. She pushed the one person in her life that could care about her away forever.
She stepped back as he stepped forward. "Sarah..."
"Go away!" Her mouth was saying. "I hate you."
Don't go away, her heart was saying. I love you.
She turned away, determined never to let anyone close to her heart again. And ran. Sarah ran away... from everything.
The picture shifted slightly. She was the same but not the same, and she slowed down, leaning against a column. She felt like she was going crazy... Sarah put a hand to her temple and groaned. And the pain was getting worse. There was something at the end of the garden though... something that flickered in the moonlight.
She walked closer, her shoulder dragging against the hedge as she held her head. Her dress was still covered with blood.
Something floated past her, something so ethereal and blue. She looked to her side and saw a withered vineyard. Was it a fairy? Her fingertips pulsed with the memory of being bitten before, and she cautiously held her hands to her chest. Still she walked on.
But it wasn't a fairy. No, it was... she strained her eyes to see in the dimness. It was a butterfly! But the wings were see-through, like stained glass. It created a multi-colored effect on the surface below as they flew around without a care. Oh, they were so beautiful, she thought. Her hand left her chest and reached out to touch one and as soon as she did, it crumbled into a million pieces. She had killed it. The other ones were still flying around, never landing, never resting... eternally going round and round until either the world ended or they did.
Sarah still looked at the shards at her feet; it didn't look like pieces of a being. She picked one up and it glinted in the light. She followed the light's path away from the place, away from the dead butterfly.
"Where am I going?" she mused as she followed the light. She was in a hall again, so much like the hall she was in before. But there were no paintings. Just plain stone walls, in the color she most hated.
She felt stupid for obeying an arbitrary whim... and worse yet for causing the death of an innocent. The shard felt fragile in her hands, like sugar cellophane rather than sharp glass. Wherever she was going, it was better than where she had already been. That's for sure, she thought, her hand reflexively gripping the glass and she felt it crack a little bit.
"Sarah, what are you doing?"
She quickened her steps, pretending not to hear the disembodied voice in the halls.
"Sarah..." he warned.
She started to run, feeling so tired, her head becoming a sharp pain that stabbed her insides everytime she touched the ground.
"Stop, Sarah." She felt him so near, right behind her as always. On her heels as she ran, she could never escape him. She couldn't stop now. She was onto something, Sarah was sure of it. The shard was becoming fine powder from the strength she exerted on it. The light was no longer there but she still hobbled forward.
"Sarah." He was suddenly in front of her. She closed her eyes. She had been so close. "Just what do you think you're going?"
"Away from you," she snapped.
He gave an easy smile, his eyes on her hands. Jareth tsked. "Come away, precious." He put his hands on her shoulders and turned her away from the direction she was gong. In the corner of her eyes she saw something... an object.
She looked over her shoulder. What was that? She squinted as she was being pushed down the hall. Jareth was still talking, almost to himself.
"We are so close, my love. Come back to me, and you shall see. You will see everything."
She freed herself and Jareth made no move to stop her. It was like he couldn't. She walked closer to it, the object becoming clearer. By then the dust in her hands was on the floor, a breeze blowing it in the direction she was traveling.
It was a door. No. It was the door. She recognized it from before... the woman behind the door. Of course. She reached out for it when Jareth interrupted her.
"Don't go through, Sarah," he warned.
She arched an eyebrow. Jareth didn't want her poking around in there. She narrowed her eyes. It must be something useful to her to get out of here, to defeat him... to save Toby. "Why not?" Even so, her heel inched toward the forbidden object.
"Trust me, Sarah... Don't open that door."
"And what if I do? Huh? What will you do then?"
He had no answer for that.
She took a step towards it.
He was reaching out for her, but it felt that all motions were slowed down.
She gripped the handle, pulling it open as he protested, and she shielded her eyes from the light...-
And woke up.
Author's Note: And I probably lost half my audience with this confusing chapter. Sigh. And it's "M" again, fyi. *throws hands up in the air in frustration* I can never win! Then again, I thought I made it almost too obvious with some of the clues I gave out... we'll see if anyone gets it, and if not, no worries - we are only on the fifth chapter after all! :) I don't think anyone will really figure it out until maybe chapter sixteen or something...
I made this chapter uber long! Longer than the previous one. Sorry about the delay in my updating schedule... was on a hiatus for a bit, and now that school has started, the cogs and wheels are starting to run once more... which means more ideas, and of course, more writing. I hope to update more frequently and maybe (crossing fingers) finish the story before the year is out, but who knows. I'm just happy I made it to chapter five without exploding my head.
The song was "Greensleeves." In the movie, it's an adapted tune of "As the World Falls Down"; however, I'm using the book adapted from the movie because it gives more detail. In the book, the music box has the tune of "Greensleeves."
Also, the sex scene. It may feel like borderline rape, but before you get your pitchforks, I want you to save that outrage for a later chapter when the situation becomes clearer. Believe me, things are more than they appear - don't take any detail I give you for granted (now where have we heard that before?)
1. What do you think the door represents?
2. What is the significance of the music box?
3. Who is the other Sarah?
4. The doll imagery, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
4. The stained glass butterflies in the withered vineyard: cool, huh?
I don't actually expect any real answers, but speculation is always fun. And if anyone knows of a friendly JS/Labyrinth fanfiction writers' group where I could possibly bounce ideas and get someone to 'proofread' chapters, that'd be nice.
PS. Review. And don't Jareth-hate... yet.