Disclaimer: Characters of the Labyrinth belong to Jim Henson not me. Characters not in the movie are my own creations. Any character names that appear in any labyrinth related things are coincidence.
Prince Demitri soared through the sky and through the immortal veil leaving the underground and entering into the immortal realm. Frustration flowed through the Goblin Prince as he flew through the mortal realm needing some time to himself before he returned to his father's kingdom. His meeting with the Duke of Arlisle had not gone well. What should have been a productive meeting had turned into anything but. The Duke's daughter had caused him to lose his temper with the girl ending the meeting. Demitri knew his father would be anything but pleased.
"Stupid girl!" The prince complained transforming out of his owl form and into his natural fae form. "Mindless tart!" he said angrily. Still fuming he began to walk through the mortal forest he'd entered. As he began walking through the lush autumn colored forest he could only hope it would calm his mood. He needed to calm down and center before he came face to face with his father. King Jareth was a good king but when he sent someone to negotiate on his behalf he expected positive results. Demitri's results were anything but positive.
Exasperated the fae prince stopped and leaned on a tree. He closed his eyes unsure of what to do. As a gentle breeze began to blow and gently move his dark hair he began to feel himself finally start to calm down.
"Would you stop?" came the sound of a female's voice followed by a few giggles.
The prince opened his eyes ready to put someone in their place and stopped. Several feet away between some trees was a young woman playing with a trio of squirrels.
"Stop already!" The woman said through laughter as one of the squirrels played in her hair some more. "That tickles!" she giggled.
Demitri watched in silence as the blonde woman removed the squirrel from her hair. "Thank you my friends," she said with open appreciation.
"Beautiful," Demitri said barely above a whisper.
Forest child the forest whispered before the prince could ask.
The Goblin Prince knew what a forest child was but had never actually seen one before. Watching the blonde woman with the squirrels the prince's anger and frustration melted away. He found himself in complete awe as he watched the human girl speak and interact with not only the squirrels but other inhabitants of the forest as well.
"Meridian!" He heard someone call.
"I have to go my friends, Take care. See you tomorrow." Meridian gently set a bunny down that had jumped in her lap before rising to her feet. Giving the animals a warm smile and a wave she walked away unaware she'd been being watched.
Without a thought the prince transformed and followed the girl. He landed in a tree and watched as the young woman ran up to cottage in a clearing.
"Go ahead and change but we need to leave in ten minutes," a red haired woman standing on the porch told her.
"Okay, thanks mom," Meridian replied and headed inside. Meridian's mother smiled and with a glance at the forest she too entered their home.
Demitri was disappointed Meridian had left the forest but remembering her words to the animals he knew she would return to the forest the following day. Reluctantly the prince took flight once more and headed for the underground. There was no sense in prolonging the inevitable. He might as well face his father and get it over with. He knew his mother would understand. Queen Sarah expected her sons to do the best but she was understanding when it came to Demitri and some of the situations he found himself in. He would need her support with this disaster. He wasn't looking forward to returning home but he'd return tomorrow to see the woman the animals of the forest seemed to adore so much.
Over the next few weeks Demitri watched the human girl interact with the animals of the forest. The more he watched the more he began to fall for the mortal woman.
"So this is where you've been escaping to." Demitri almost fell off the branch he was perched on at the sound of his father's voice. "There are plenty of trees in our world why would you feel…"
"I'm coming!" came the sound of a woman's voice.
"Don't," Demitri said transferring into his fae form as his father turned toward the direction of the voice. "Don't scare Meridian. Please?" He pleaded.
"Merid… you're coming here day after day to see some mortal?" Jareth asked dryly.
"You came to see mom," Demitri reminded him.
"You're mother isn't the average human…or wasn't," Jareth replied. Sarah had been mortal born but after he'd finally gotten his way and made her queen she was now fae.
"Neither is….shshshsh," the prince said silencing his father at the sound of Meridian's approach.
Jareth sighed and followed his son's line of sight. A moment later he watched a young blonde woman enter the area and his mouth fell agape. It wasn't the presence of a beautiful mortal woman that had caused him to have such an uncharacteristic reaction. No, it was the swarm of forest animals surrounding the girl.
"You're so impatient!" Meridian teased the forest creatures. "Alright, alright," she giggled as she reached into a small bag and prodding around inside the bag she pulled out an apple and a small knife. She used the knife to cut the apple into smaller pieces and fed them to a doe and fawn.
"A forest child," Jareth said knowingly. He looked over at his son to see him nod but his eyes never left the human girl.
"I'm going to give you an extra treat today," she told the animals as she gave a few nuts to some squirrels and some berries to some birds. "I won't be able to come tomorrow." The Goblin King and Prince almost laughed seeing the animals begin to openly pout.
"I'm sorry but tomorrow is Halloween. I'll be helping set up for the festival and then I'll be there all day and probably most of the night," Meridian explained. "Yes, I'm dressing up," she replied to an inquisitive chipmunk. "Oh, I'm dressing up as a fairy." She laughed and her blue eyes sparkled with joy at the forest creatures open approval.
Jareth looked over at his son and felt a sense of pity for him. Like Sarah had done to him Meridian was winning his son's heart and the two had never even met.
"Come," Jareth told him. Demitri looked at him disappointed. He didn't want to leave but knew better than to disobey his father. "You need to prepare for tomorrow," Jareth said.
"Tomorrow?" Demitri asked suddenly becoming concerned he might have missed something important.
The king smirked sensing near panic from his normally very observant son. "If you're going to meet Meridian tomorrow you need to prepare." He watched as his son looked at him openly hopeful. "It's All Hollow's Eve. Your guards come with you but yes you will see her tomorrow."
"But we don't know where the festival is," Demitri said concerned. As if on que the forest answered the Goblin Prince.
Demitri looked at Meridian once more before transforming and returning to the underground with his father. The fae royals arrived at the caste and immediately began to make plans for their trip to the mortal realm the following day.
"Jareth, what is this I hear we are going to the mortal realm for Halloween? Why?" Sarah asked.
"You used to ask me to go," Jareth replied simply.
"Yes but….what are you up to?" She asked crossing her arms and studying him with suspicious green eyes. If Jareth was suddenly saying yes after years of no something was up.
"It seems Demitri has become very taken by a mortal from your old world," Jareth grudgingly confessed. He knew from the look on his wife's face she wasn't going to by any excuse he might try.
"Jareth…." She began with open concern.
"She's a forest child Sarah. She might actually belong there even less than you did."
"Forest child," The queen repeated.
"Yes. Now I need to make security arrangements. I'll leave our costumes to you to choose."
"Again, why are we…we're not taking the girl!" Sarah said becoming upset.
"Take? No of course not! Demitri needs a chance to meet the girl without worry of anything else. Especially since he becomes so distracted by her he can't pay attention to anything else."
"Demitri?" Sarah asked more than a little surprised.
"As astonishing as it is, yes," Jareth replied.
Demitri was not like his father or brothers. He gave little if any thought to women. Instead the heir to the Goblin throne dedicated himself solely on the kingdoms' protection and preservation. He had a deep love for the kingdom and cared about the wellbeing of their people and the creatures that lived there.
"Just to meet her?" Sarah asked.
"Of course precious. Although…."
"Jareth!" She snapped. "If you so much as suggest to Demitri…."
The king's hands instantly went up. "Alright, alright we won't take the girl."
"Good." Satisfied the queen left the room so that the king could make the necessary arrangements.
"At least not the first night they meet," Jareth added once she was gone.
"I do not believe the queen will approve of that statement." The king almost jumped hearing his captain's voice. The captain chuckled knowing he'd surprised his majesty.
"Dante, if you weren't the best captain I've ever had I'd send you to the bog!" Jareth scolded.
"I'm the only captain you've ever had," the captain replied.
"Not the point," Jareth replied. "I assume you know."
"We're going to the mortal realm tomorrow night because one of your sons have become infatuated with some human girl."
"You don't know whom then," The king said. He watched as his captain gave a mild unconcerned shrug. "Demitri."
"Yes well…Prince Demitri?" the captain said clearly caught off guard.
"Our prince Demitri?" Dante said. The fae captain was certain he hadn't heard correctly.
This time it was the king's turn to be amused. "Yes it seems young Demitri has happened along not just a human mortal girl but a forest child."
"A forest child? I didn't know any still existed in the mortal realm," Dante said openly surprised.
"In truth Meridian is the first I've seen in several centuries," Jareth admitted. "Sarah doesn't understand what a forest child actually is. She believes they simply enjoy the forest. Meridian belongs in the mortal realm even less than Sarah did."
"I'm not the one you have to convince Majesty. I do understand," The captain replied. "I assume Caden and the others will be accompanying us?"
"Yes. I want Demitri free to interact with the girl."
"I assume Meridian is the reason we have not seen a lot of his highness over the last few weeks?" Dante asked.
"Indeed," Demitri's father acknowledged.
"I'll make the arrangements." Dante bowed to the king and left his presence.
Jareth rolled his wrist and produced a crystal. "Show me Meridian," he instructed the crystal. Instantly the crystal filled with the image of the forest child. "If my son truly wants you he will have you," Jareth said watching the image of the girl. "Tagle," The king called.
Jareth looked down to see a small goblin that looked much like a furry spider with a long tail. "Keep an eye on Meridian," he instructed showing the image of the girl to his goblin creature.
"Torment?" The creature asked.
"No, protect. Protect her for Demitri."
"Protect." The goblin accepted and scurried away. With a flick of his wrist the crystal disappeared. Knowing eyes from the kingdom would be watching after her the king returned to making plans for their mortal Halloween trip.
Author's note: Hope everyone enjoyed. Thank you for reading. I love reviews!