The first clue it isn't going to be just another day is when the unmistakable funk of the Bog rolls through town, along with a heavy giggling fog filled with floating chicken feathers. Suddenly, the sky is filled with lights, colors, it's like all the fireworks from all the fourth of julys ever break across the sky. The streets fill with chasers and snapbangs. One little goblin lady is left perched on a barrel as she beats ineffectively at a growling FizzyGiggle, the sparks gradually catching her broom on fire. Another goblin is chased down the street by a pack of snapbangs. A Fiery Dragon roars above the city, swallowing some of the other firework displays only to burst into a multitude of smaller sparkling dragons filling the sky.
As pandemonium throughout the city grows, one determined blonde Dwarf is methodically strapping a very nervous young woman to a rocket. She shifts in the saddle apprehensively.
"You know what this is, right? How to steer it?" He is steadfastly not meeting her eyes. Checking the rocket over again for the fifth time, pulling a seat strap again for the sixth.
"You expect experience with these things from WoW to have any real bearing? How many Orc hammers have you stopped with your head again?" She's getting angry. Too many words she wants and needs to say, and the stubborn Dwarf wouldn't even look at her. She finally got a rise out of him with the Orc hammer comment.
"If you need me…" That's not what he wants to say, but what he has to say. She can see his frustration. Hang it all if she's gonna let it stay that way, though.
"Dang it!" She roughly grabs his collar and hauls him to her face. Not asking, but hungrily taking the kiss she needs. Luckily, he needs it too, and kisses back just as hungrily. Neither one wants to let go. Their tongues could happily stay tangled up together from now on. Kili is welcome to cough delicately until the cows come home.
Sadly, both of them still have to breathe. Once they slowly disengage, Kili, blast him, sets the rocket off. Bri has just long enough to meet Fili's eyes, before the rocket takes off, giving her whiplash. The Goblin City and all its mayhem streaks by under her. She prays their aim is good. And the growing grey target under her... is that a Cave Troll?
The Goblin Rocket strikes the Cave Troll mid chest, she is luckily thrown to the side into a convenient pile of hay. She dazedly wonders if it's part of Labyrinth magic. Then has no time to worry, as she's rolling out of the way of a very massive club. The wall behind her fractures. That's one freaking strong Troll, so how is she to get past him into the castle?
"Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!" There is Dwalin, in all his Dwarven Berserker glory, and she knows now how she's getting past the Cave Troll.
"Dwalin, I could kiss you!"
"Save it for Fili!" Honestly, does everyone know her business? She waits for Dwalin to get the troll all turned around, and darts past the epic brawl into the Castle proper.
Thorin is twirling Wren in his arms. She is smiling to him and then peeks down, they are floating in the air in the Escher room, and she sees Mira sitting on one of the staircases and waving her arms playing with the bubbles floating around her.
"I didn't expect a Dwarf from Middle Earth to waltz."
"Nothing better than a touch of fae magic for one's coordination," he is giving her a radiant smile, and she returns it. When they stepped into the room, he gave her a mischievous smirk, one brow cocked, cerulean eyes twinkling, and after a soft 'poof' Wren started laughing loudly. She did get her puffy white dress! At the background music changes, from As the World Falls Down, which Wren found rather appropriate, and she can't help but snort.
"That is not the song the King is to sing at the moment."
"It is not," he answers in a soft warm murmur and leans to her, "But again I can't say 'you've run so fast; you've run so far.'" She shakes her head. She didn't, did she? She can't say neither of them has been cruel to another either.
Wren knows the song that starts instead of Within You, and Elton John can bashfully start chewing at his star shaped glasses. That is the voice it should be sung in. Can you feel the love tonight?/ How it's laid to rest/ It's enough to make kings and vagabonds/ Believe the very best…
After the first chorus Wren remembers that they had an hour left before they entered the room, and yes, being personally serenaded by Thorin Oakenshield might have been among her secret little fantasies, but after the incident in Sarah's boudoir she knows that there are much more pleasant favours one can receive from him. She grabs the back of his head and pulls him into a kiss. Damn it all, she will either go home in half an hour, or will be stuck here in Jareth's power, she might as well have some great memories to cherish and cry into her pillow over.
Her head is spinning, he has soft lips, and no one has ever felt so good, and then he gently pushes her away, and they are dancing again, he twirls her, there are tears in her eyes, and his face wavers for a second, she can see the set jaw, muscles dancing on it, and then he purposefully turns her and…
… and she sees Bri rushing into the room.
Bri thinks it mildly odd that the Castle layout remains the same, straight from the throne room to the Escher Room she races, no Goblins to impede her progress. Course, they could be out trying to bring order back into the madhouse she and the nephews had made of the Goblin City. Or it could be someone wants her to take her fierce redheaded friend off his hands.
She almost stumbles over Mira playing on the first landing of the Escher room. She picks the little love up, and looks up.
"Wow." That's all she's got. Her mind is totally blown. Synapses fried. There above her is the stand-in Goblin King dancing on air with her best friend Wren. In the white dress from the Ball Ball, but it's more Navajo white, to match the hair. But the necklace and the ribbons and gems in the hair are there, and Wren's orange curls look glorious. Bri pinches herself. Nope, the image is still there. Well, somehow, she's going to have to make her way to her. But how? The King suddenly stops dancing and looks at Bri.
"You know what to say, Bri," the King's voice is calm, and Wren jerks in his arms.
"Thorin..." Wren sounds as if she can't quite believe her ears.
"Seriously? We're using those corny lines?" Bri shakes her head in disbelief, "Here it goes... Give me the child. Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the Castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen…"
"Stop, Bri!" Wren's voice is ringing, and Thorin, both of them still suspended in the air, grabs her shoulders.
"Wren, she has fifteen minutes left, just enough to save you..."
"But I will go home..." Wren is clawing at his forearms.
"Yes, you will," the Dwarf cups Wren's face.
"I don't want to… I want to..." Bri sees Wren's face scrunch, and Thorin presses his forehead to hers.
"I know, my heart, but we can't know..." Wren throws her arms around his neck, and Bri hears a loud sob.
"Beg pardon?" Bri is truly confuzzled now. "Wait, so... OK... But who would she wind up with, you? Or King Glitterbutt?"
"I do not know. We can't risk it, Bri. Say the words," Thorin's tone is commanding, he removes Wren's arms from around his neck, she is sobbing loudly, he looks no better, and he gently pushes her away as if in water, and she starts floating towards Bri.
"You gonna protect me from Wren, if'n I do? She's tiny, but fierce." Bri's attempt to keep her aplomb falls flat, but the situation does not need two bawling women. She is desperately not thinking about a certain blonde Dwarf she is probably never seeing again. Dang it, there's something wet on her chin.
Wren lands near Bri, in her flannel shorts and Einstein tee again, and Bri passes whimpering Mira into her hands. Wren presses her face into her daughter's soft curls.
"For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great…" Bri's voice sounds nothing like itself. It's hoarse and croaky. She's not crying, not at all. Even though she can see her best friend breaking, and she feels like she's breaking. Isn't winning the Labyrinth supposed to be a good thing? To quote one of Wren's favorite lines, sodding hell. It feels more like losing.
Thorin is now standing on a landing slightly above them, his eyes glued to Wren and Mira, and Bri's composure is a fast fading memory. Tears stream, poorly muffled sobs wrack her frame, but still she keeps mumbling those stupid, vapid, meaningless words….
Wren is crying loudly, and suddenly Mira starts thrashing in her arms stretching her hands to Thorin.
"Dawwwww!.. Eeeeeee!" The scream is shrieky and desperate, and Bri sees Thorin sway. His face is twisted in a grimace of pain, and the child in Wren's arm is wailing.
And there is only one line left, and of course it's the consarned 'You have no power over me,' when suddenly Wren stretches her arms in front of her, holding Mira under her arms. She looks at Mira, her lips move in a clear 'I love you,' and she pushes her daughter into Bri's hands. There is a second of strange tense silence, and then Wren jumps.
Bri is cradling Mira closely to herself, Thorin is screaming, on his knees on the edge of his landing, and the fiery cloud of Wren's curls flutters in the air. Bri squeezes her eyes, and…
...Wren's feet softly touch the ground, there are pieces of walls floating around, the cloak is predictably spinning backwards, and she sees Bri pressing Mira to herself, her eyes still shut tightly, and at the next moment there is an enraged Dwarf yelling into her face.
"Are you out of your cursed mind, woman?!" He grabs her shoulders and gives her a generous shake, her hair is thrashing in the air, and her teeth rattle. Even that can't erase an idiotic smile off her face. He is raging and yelling, and she is ogling him. He is so fit when he is snarling through his teeth that are way too white and perfect for Middle Earth!
"Aren't you supposed to say 'Fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave' now?" Her very gleeful remark makes him freeze with his mouth half open, and judging by a snigger Wren hears behind her, Bri is back.
"Oh shut up!" He grabs her and kisses her, making her toes curl and her ears ring. A few minutes later, he pushes her away and pronounces with the mixture of admiration, surprise and disgust, "You jumped, you mad woman!"
"And you have reordered time, you have turned the world upside down, and you have done it..."
"Oh shut up!" The line totally works the second time around because it is once again followed with a mind-blowing snog.
"Mmmm, can I ask for something else?" Wren resurfaces for a second, while the King is peppering kisses on her nose. "I think one of your nephew's is needed here."
There is a 'poof,' a deafening squeal, and Wren quickly grabs Mira out of Bri's hands. Fili is laughing, twirling Bri, who is latched on like a limpet, around in his arms, and Mira is chanting her 'dawww… eeee!' while the King is pressing her into himself.
After the emotional storm ebbs a bit, Wren asks the logical question, "Now what?"
They are all sitting on the pieces of broken columns, Bri on Fili's lap, Wren pressed into Thorin's side, Mira in his arms, having fallen asleep after the turmoil of the last hour.
"So one theory is," Bri starts in her best professor tone, "And we are speaking in theoretical terms about Jareth and Sarah, everything fell apart when his heart broke." Bri is eyeing Thorin who has very red cheeks above that sinfully black silky beard. "Another, he exhausted himself saving her from her own stupid stunt. Yet another, that her leap of faith broke his power. Take your pick."
"Do you feel exhausted?" Wren softly touches Thorin's hand, and he gives her a feigned haughty look from the corner of his eye.
"I feel angry that you jumped," he grumbles, and she giggles and hides her face into him. "But no, I feel the same. I was terrified, but can't say I feel any changes." Thorin picks up Wren's hand and presses his lips to her knuckles.
"With all honesty, can't I leave you, chaps, alone for one day?" The familiar posh voice comes from around a floating piece of the wall, not so surprisingly containing a fragment of yet another portrait of the Goblin King.
Jareth appears, in all his toff glory, shockingly in a white linen pant suit, over a very stylish light blue tee, and completely out of place with a puffy cravat that looks suspiciously like the one from the Crystal Ball Ball scene.
"Would you just look at that fluffy headed Sonny Crockett," Bri breathes out, just loudly enough for everyone to hear. She is apparently still slightly dischuffed by her adventures. Thorin carefully but quickly passes Mira to Wren and jumps on his feet.
"Listen you, bin'afh zukun daruh manammûn!.." Judging by Fili approving snort, the swearing is well thought through.
"Oh chop, chop, enough with this nonsense! I have a wife and a Daquiri to return to…" The git has the nerve of waving his pale long-fingered hand in the air in a dismissive gesture, and…
...Thorin and the gang find themselves comfortably ensconced in what appears to be a well appointed family room. Judging from the solid rock walls, and Fili's gasp, Bri would even go so far to say the Royal's family room in Erebor. Bri is still on Fili's lap, but now on a very plush and fine velvet settee. Wren and Mira are on one facing them… and Thorin, still ranting, is facing a rock wall covered with a very detailed tapestry of some grand battle, that he is now poking with his finger.
"Daaawww... Eeeeeeee!" Mira wants someone's attention. Thorin whirls around, face immediately softening to something Bri would dare call absolute adoration as he makes his way over to the bouncing imp on Wren's lap.
The moment is broken by the immediate, and rather comical, arrival of one Dwalin, son of Fundin, as he plummets from the ceiling onto a thankfully unoccupied couch, battle axe in each hand. Even such a plummet does little to faze Dwalin. He is cursing for all he is worth, inventively and incessantly.
"Where's that muckswilling brainless trogswallop?! I'm not through with him yet!" Dwalin regains his feet to see the familiar environs of home. He turns to face four highly amused adults, and one infant happily cooing her 'dawww-eeee' into the chest of the King Under the Mountain. "So, we're stuck wi' ye after all, eh?" He doesn't exactly look upset at this prospect.
Dwalin continues to grumbling under his nose. Fili hugs Bri close, her hands deftly tangling into the liquid sunshine of his curls as their lips meet in a soul deep snog to end all snogs. Thorin hooks a finger over Wren's tee's collar and pulls her to his lips, while Mira between them is happily bobbing on his bent arm.
A world and universe away, a very tired and self satisfied Goblin King drops gracefully into a beach chaise lounge next to his reclining queen. Sarah pushes her sunglasses on the tip of her nose, and her voice floats over his shoulder, "Did it work?"
"Yes, love, it worked."
"Toldja." Sarah fixes the glasses and, placing one long leg over the other, she picks up her drink in a coconut shell, decorated with at least a dozen of colourful umbrellas and three plastic flamingoes.