Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or scenes that originated in Labyrinth. I don't own the rights to, or claim authorship to any lyric, or quoted line, etc. from any other work, be it song or written word.
A/N: This is my first fan fiction piece. The first chapter is mainly background stuff to set the feeling of the story, so I hope it's not too boring. Please give me feedback.
Ch. 1 – You Have No Power Over Me…
More than a year later and the words still rang in Jareth's head, maddeningly. He loathed the day they'd been uttered; the day a single teenaged mortal girl had entered his world and single-handedly brought everything to a crashing halt. He loathed that, even now, she didn't fully know how greatly she'd altered his kingdom – a kingdom that had remained virtually unchanged for a millennia. He loathed that he'd been the one to bring her over, thus sealing his own doom. But above all, he loathed that he loved her – even now.
He'd watched her for a long time before she'd come to him. He was first attracted to her utter belief in and fascination with all things Fae. In the old days, before the world Aboveground had become so modern and jaded, people had believed. They were very superstitious then, and from that came a belief that veritably breathed life into his world. All of the seven realms had prospered. Overwhelmed mothers from Aboveground wished away children whom they could not feed. The large families and meager incomes of the day made a combination that became reason enough to wish away the half-starved runts, especially those who were naughty and full of mischief. It was a situation that benefited everyone. A Fae family usually adopted the children (unless they were especially unpleasant, in which case, by their own nastiness they were turned into goblins). It was a better existence than that which they had left behind. Childless couples were given a chance at having a family. All of the belief given and magic used kept everything vibrant and lively. Aboveground, the mere threat kept the remaining children very well behaved indeed. Times were good.
As times changed, though, as the world above became more "enlightened", became more and more modernized, they lost their belief. People became dependant on things that they invented and there was no longer any room for things which could not be seen immediately with the eyes. Those who still held to the old ways were mocked and shunned. The Underground began to fade. The great dragon-serpents who could at one time be seen fearlessly traversing the skies, dwindled in number and soon could rarely be seen outside their deep caves. The beings that shape-changed to ride the waves of the Deep Sea rarely broke the surface. The land and sea did survive and exist, but not as it once had. Things got better whenever small groups of mortals did believe and understand at different times and places, but they were few and far between. What had once been fact had now been reduced to legends in their world. Fairytales they were called – oh the insult! But some knew better.
One such one was Sarah. As a child she'd been told stories by her mother-fantastical stories, made all the more real because of her mother's inherent talent for acting and role-playing. She'd even given Sarah a book that she'd come across in the back of a shabby old bookstore. Labyrinth. From the first time Sarah had listened, wide eyed and silent to the tale therein, she'd believed. More than that, she'd dreamed it, fantasized it, and all but wished herself away into it.
When her mother left, she clung to it all the more fiercely than ever, her seven-year-old mind hoping she could connect with her mother through it the way they'd once been able to. Like a spark of flame in the dark, this intense longing drew Jareth towards it where he could not help but watch. He saw how even this one little girl did such good in his world. He saw her fierce determination to dream, her loneliness, and the aching void left by her uncaring mother and he wondered if she wouldn't be better off Underground. He began to plant things in her world where she'd be sure to find them-yard sales, toy stores, book stores, and even the places in her backyard where he knew only she went; little things to remind her of the story, to make it seem more real to her. He waited for the day she would realize this world held nothing for her and wish herself away – to him.
It was not to be. She did not cease to dream as she grew, but things happened which served to distract her. Her father remarried when she was thirteen; a year later he and his new wife had a baby. Sarah resented this baby for having two loving parents where she had only one distracted one. Her mother, always on location with her acting career, was nearly impossible to find and rarely called. She saw this new baby as one more barrier between her and the one remaining parent she did have. Further, every perceived fault that was found with her by her "parents" was now glaringly apparent in contrast with this child she just knew would be perfect in every way. So, she wished him away.
Jareth played along, doing everything she wanted. He played the villain to her heroine, giving her the challenge she subconsciously, but so desperately needed, all that and much more. He played the part a little too well for she didn't understand what he was trying to do for her, misunderstood his actions and intentions, and so threw his offer back in his face, not even knowing it was genuine. He supposed he didn't blame her-part of her journey had been one of self-discovery and she would have learned nothing in the end had she chosen self over family. She might have retained those traits she could do better without: immaturity, distrust, selfishness. If only there had been a way for her to have learned that and yet stayed. In time, he could have taught her. He could have taught her so many things, shown her an entirely new life, one who would not shun her but rather praise her for her uniqueness. She wouldn't have even had to forsake her brother or her old life-it was possible to walk between the worlds, if one was skilled enough. But he knew that she could learn – she had it in her. The possibilities were endless, and all so casually thrown away with six simple words.
"You have no power over me…"