AN: This will be my last posting for a few months, but I won't be idle in the meantime! With any luck, Sarah and Jareth will have a fantastic adventure this summer and I'll be there to chronicle it. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and an extra-special thank you to those who have reviewed it. I hope you all have a fabulous summer!

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There wasn't a moment to lose. Sarah dove for her keys, snatched up her wallet, and put a hand on the knife in her pocket before turning to see Bill's astounded expression. She reached up and grabbed his ears, pulled his head down, and kissed him hard on the mouth, then looked him squarely in the eye and commanded, "Find a nice girl. Get married. Have ten babies." Then she was out the door into the wind, leaving him looking after her in wordless astonishment.

As she threw herself into her car, the call of a hunting horn lifted clearly into the night. Sarah floored it. The mysterious letter had referred to "an old enemy," and she was pretty sure she knew who that was. If *his* hounds tracked her, it was entirely possible that they might be able to outrun an automobile, but she didn't plan on making it easy for them. She wracked her brain trying to remember if she had seen any dogs in the Goblin City (other than Ambrosias, who wasn't exactly the hunting type), but driving at unsafe speeds soon required too much of her attention to think about other things.

The lateness of the hour helped her feel a little less guilty about the traffic laws she was blatantly violating, and once she got to the freeway she headed east, as directly away from whatever followed her as possible. After nearly driving off the road a few times while her eyes were glued to the rearview mirror, she forced herself to stop looking behind her. The gray ghosts of trees sped past into the night as the broken paint on the road blurring into a solid white line. She heard wind and tires and no hint of hounds.

Just as she was starting to calm down and think about formulating a plan, the car lurched and groaned before revving back up. A wild glance at the dashboard made her insides heave violently. Stupid gas gauge! The warning light had burned out years ago and her panic had distracted her from thinking of how far she had driven since her last refueling stop. She was running on fumes now. An exit sign loomed in front of her and Sarah made a snap decision.

Any gas station not directly off of the freeway would surely be closed at this time of night, but that anonymous letter had suggested some alternatives. The town in which she found herself had clearly seen better days, but the sight of the spire looming blackly above the rooftops heartened her. The car died just as she swung onto a narrow side street, coasting to a stop in front of an old stone church, complete with bell- tower and stained glass. It looked like a promising place, worn and comfortable and maybe a trifle lopsided. With any luck, it had seen worse things than what followed at her heels.

Her plan came to a standstill for a few moments when she discovered that the door was locked. Apparently the days of heroines running into churches screaming "Sanctuary!" had gone the way of the dodo. Sarah cursed, silently apologized to any powers-that-be that might take offence, and launched a sturdy kick at the door. Like the building, it was an ancient and weathered thing, not up to withstanding a direct attack. She pushed it closed behind her and looked around the vestibule.

A faint smell like mildew hung in the air, so slight that it was almost pleasant. Moonlight streamed through the thick windows above the door, stained black and purple by the glass. The stone sucked up the heat of the night air that she had let in with her entrance, and within a short time Sarah was shivering. A wooden stand in front of the inner doors held a sign that read, "Reverend John Staples Presiding."

"Well, Mr. Staples," Sarah said between chattering teeth, "I wonder if you're a good pastor. I guess we'll find out, won't we?"

A long howl rose into the air, sounding as if it had come from right outside the door. They had found her car. "My god," she whispered as the hairs on her arms stood on end. She had been doing nearly eighty for more than an hour, and they had been right behind her. Backing up until she hit the doors of the sanctuary, Sarah muttered, "All right, Staples, let's see what you're made of."

The lone cry was joined by a chorus of canine voices, which all fell silent at the click-clack of shod hooves against cement. Sarah shivered and waited. Vague doggy noises of snuffling and whining came from underneath the door, which creaked on its abused hinges in a way that made her distinctly nervous about the security of her position. A claw scratched against wood, then retreated. Nervous quiet descended over the church. Scarcely daring to breathe, Sarah held herself as still as possible as the minutes crawled by, second by agonizing second. The night was as still as a graveyard. Sarah began to relax.

The doors in front of her exploded. She screamed and cowered against the sanctuary entrance, hiding her face in her arms as slivers of wood buried themselves in her flesh. Bits of the building rained down all around her, tiny missiles striking her arms and the back of her head. As the splinters clattered to the floor, she raised her eyes to see an apparition straight out of nightmare.

Interestingly, her first thought was relief that it wasn't *him*. The creature in front of her was monstrously huge, easily filling the doorway with extra to spare. He seemed to swallow the light from the air around him, his amorphous shape a giant ink stain on the moon's white illumination. Twin red slits gleamed at her from high up in the darkness, and she realized that his eyes literally burned with vermilion fire. The sound of hot, heavy breathing pressed in all around her.

Sarah spun and clawed at the inner doors. Iron grated against iron, but she couldn't get any leverage to force the lock. As she moved, something in her pocket shifted and clunked against the wood. The knife! Whirling, she whipped it out and held it in front of her defensively. The blade was laughably small and lamentably dull, little better than nothing at all, but the feel of it in her hand resurrected a scrap of her courage. The thing in front of her seemed to consider the weapon, and actually fell back a step. For a moment Sarah hoped that he might not come through the blasted doors, but as he bowed his great head, she realized that he had just needed more room to duck through. Hope flowed out of her like water into dry sand. She braced herself to fight. Like all good heroines, she would go down swinging.

As the creature stooped to clear the lintel, a small white shape fell out of the sky and rammed into his black bulk like a missile. Screeching horribly, wings flapping madly, the owl tore at the red eyes with beak and talons, and the Horned One staggered back, one hand on his stomach as the other warded his face. The dogs went absolutely crazy, leaping onto their master in their eagerness to get at the bird. As his winged assailant delivered several sharp jabs to his face, the dark hunter bellowed in fury and drew out a long arrow. Roaring a challenge, Cernunnos drove the bolt deep into the body of the owl with one swift thrust.

Sarah screamed as her protector fell beneath the blow. No sooner had the white body touched the stone steps, however, than a brilliant flash of light blinded her. Blinking away spots, she was astonished to see two figures silhouetted against the doorway - one dark as night and huge as an elephant, the other slim as a sapling and blazing with fire. The slender one flung out his hands as if casting the other away and a roaring wind howled through the church. The Horned One and his dogs vanished as if they had never been, leaving only the shattered entrance as evidence of their hunt. The nimbus surrounding her rescuer disappeared, and as he toppled over, Sarah had just enough presence of mind to dive underneath him to prevent his head from striking against the stones.

Her vision was still dazzled by that momentary flash, but she could see the shaft of a wicked-looking arrow protruding from his shoulder and her exploring fingers found the slick trail of blood. Although his weight felt limp against her, the hiss of indrawn breath as she touched the wound alerted her that he was conscious. She swallowed thickly before saying, "It's got to come out. I'll find a phone and call a doctor."

A silk-gloved hand arrested her, gripping her arm cruelly. "No doctors, Sarah."

Although the silver voice was harsh with pain, she knew it at once. Her heart thudded dully in her chest as she turned her head to meet his eyes, blue and black against the pallor of his face. "You," she whispered, then shrieked, "I knew you were behind all this! Get away from me!" Struggling wildly, she managed to wriggle her legs out from underneath him and scuttled back into the shadows of the vestibule like a trapped animal. As his body shifted, he cried out involuntarily, and Sarah found herself instantly back at his side.

"You're hurt!" she exclaimed. The thick arrow moved shallowly back and forth with every breath he took, and he moaned at each exhalation. He had come to her rescue and probably saved her life, and Sarah grudgingly acknowledged that her first response had probably been an irrational, knee- jerk reflex. She knew he was cruel, but that didn't necessarily mean that he was the driving force behind every bad thing that happened in her life. By way of apology, she knelt next to his shoulder and asked tentatively, "What should I do?"

She caught a glimmer of light as his eyes flicked to her face and then down to her hands. "It felt as if the bolt went completely through," Jareth said. "Look and tell me if that's the case." His tone was lofty, practically snide, and if not for his pained breaths and the arrow sticking out of him, he might have been ordering her to scrub the kitchen pots.

Irritated, Sarah rolled him onto his side a little more roughly than she had intended and winced at his muted exclamation. "Sorry," she muttered. Fortunately, she didn't have to touch him to see that he had been right - the arrowhead emerged a good three inches from his shoulder. "Uh, it's coming out the other side," she reported, feeling slightly queasy.

"Very well," Jareth said. "Take the shaft in both hands and break it off as near to the wound as possible."

"Are you kidding?" Sarah demanded. "Do you have any idea how much that will hurt?"

He was silent for a moment, then said calmly, "If you're not up for the job, I'll do it myself."

She had forgotten exactly how supercilious he could be just by breathing. "Go right ahead," she retorted, folding her arms in front of her in her best serves-you-right pose. He reached up with his other hand, grabbed the arrow, and promptly turned several shades paler. Mouth set in a grim line, he tightened his grip on the wood and Sarah realized that he was really going to do it.

"Don't be stupid!" she said sharply, putting her hand gingerly his wrist, and suddenly she was struck by inspiration. In her most caustic tone, she continued, "You can't do it yourself, you'll only pass out. Men are all the same, they need to be macho all the time -"

"I don't see you being much help," he snarled.

"Why should I help you?" she yelled, tightening her grip. "You stole my brother, you arrogant bastard!" She brought her other hand to join the first and issued a silent prayer. "When I think of all the nightmares I've had - and you *watched* them, didn't you? Just like the story - You were so cruel and I was just a defenseless little girl - "

The results were no less spectacular than she had hoped. "You wished him away, you selfish bitch!" he roared. A flood of angry words poured out of him in a harsh language she didn't understand, his rage lashing against her with dizzying vehemence, and belatedly she worried that she might have made a mistake. Too late to change the plan now. As his rage peaked, he slipped back into English, snarling, "You're still as childish as ever, thoughtless stupid creature - argh!" With all her strength, Sarah gripped the shaft and twisted until it broke in two with a vicious crack and withdrew the jagged end from his shoulder in one smooth motion.

"There," she said shakily, tossing the two pieces to the ground. "Hold still, you're bleeding." She started to unbutton her shirt.

Jareth looked from the fragments of the arrow to her face, then down to her busy fingers. A horde of emotions chased themselves across his face, and he settled on the obvious. "What are you doing?" he asked hoarsely.

"It's to stop the blood," Sarah said, glad that the dark hid her blush. Undressing in the entryway of a church in front of a depraved monarch definitely qualified as sacrilege.

"Quaint," Jareth grunted, reaching out a hand to stop her before she undid the last button. "Do you mind if we try something useful first?"

"Excuse me for not wanting you to bleed to death," she said sarcastically. "Although on second thought, future generations would probably thank me if you did."

Jareth's fingers twisted in the air, then handed her a crystal sphere as thin as a soap bubble that gleamed coldly in the moonlight. "You are a truly unpleasant woman," he said. "Break this over the wound."

She almost had to sit on her hands to suppress the urge to drive her thumbs into his shoulder. She vengefully crushed his soap bubble, which vanished in a stream of silver powder that rained onto his injury like fine sawdust, forming a silver scab on each side of the puncture. "How fast will this work?" she asked.

In answer, Jareth flexed his arm and swung his shoulder in a gentle arc, then bit back a curse. "Not quite that fast, huh?" Sarah said, her voice heavy with sarcasm.

"Fast enough," he rejoined, and sat up carefully. "We must get away from here. He was unprepared for that little trick, but I won't catch him so easily again."

Questions tumbled over themselves in Sarah's mind. She pulled out the one that seemed the most relevant and forced the rest back. "How long do we have?" she asked.

Jareth tilted his head carefully, testing his range of motion. "An hour, perhaps a little longer," he replied. "I felt a binding on him, a strong one."

"Um, yeah," Sarah said, suddenly realizing how unbelievable this conversation was. "Someone sent me a letter to warn me, and they said he could only hunt when the moon is full."

"Well, then," Jareth sounded satisfied. "Moonset is six hours from now at most. If we survive until then, we have a whole month to deal with him."

"My car's out of gas." Sarah heard the steadiness of her own voice and marveled at it, and wondered if she was in shock, and if she was in any state to drive.

Jareth waved his hand negligently (on his uninjured side, she noticed) and said, "I can provide that." He started to get to his feet and blanched, unable to straighten all the way. Equally unwilling to sit back down, he balanced crookedly for a moment before Sarah let out an explosive sigh and gave him her shoulder to lean on. He hesitated only a fraction of a second before accepting the offer, his body stiff with soreness and pride. They made a very strange pair as they lurched to her car, each step jarring a sharp exhalation from Jareth as Sarah bent under the weight of his good side. Slim as he was, he was tall and surprisingly heavy.

Once she had deposited him in the passenger seat, Jareth handed her another one of his crystals. She took it around to the back of the car and cracked it, and a slimy river of gasoline flowed from her hands into the tank. The stream stopped just as the tank threatened to overflow, and she scraped her hands through the scraggly grass to get rid of the pungent smell of fuel. Bent over in a most undignified position, she suddenly had an interesting thought, and as she ducked into the car she asked, "Why can't we just use magic to outrun those hounds? You know, disappear and reappear someplace else when they get too close. Like you did in the Labyrinth." She shivered as she said the word, and something seemed to ripple out from the car into the surrounding air.

Jareth's face was turned away from her, his head resting against the car door, and his voice sounded slightly muffled as he said, "If I were you, I wouldn't say that name any more. It might draw unpleasant things. And this is not - that place, and is not my kingdom. I can't move about quite so freely here."

An aching tiredness filled his voice. Sarah swallowed the sarcastic reply that had unconsciously formed on her lips and just said, "Then we'll do it the normal way," and started the car.

Much later, while Jareth dozed with his long legs jammed underneath the dash, Sarah fought off her own weariness and tried to restore order to her spinning thoughts. She had a legion of questions and not a single good answer. The dark road offered no inspiration, only a hypnotic sameness that threatened to slip under her guard and lure her to sleep. She tried turning on the radio, rolling down the window, and at last resorted to pinching herself before a voice in her ear ordered her to pull over. She obeyed mechanically, not even able to rouse the energy to protest as Jareth pushed her into the passenger seat, where sleep claimed her at once.

When she woke, they had stopped and the sun was shining brightly. Sarah felt its warmth kiss her cheeks and stretched luxuriously as she opened her eyes. She felt light, bubbly, overflowing with goodwill, better than she had felt in weeks. For the longest time she struggled to put a name to the sensation, then with a funny jolt realized that she felt safe. That was interesting, given the proximity of a certain Goblin King who had once been her mortal enemy, and who still routinely composed the worst parts of her nightmares. She turned her head to look at him and found that he wasn't in the car. Settling back into the seat, she wondered if she should be worried about his absence, but it was so nice to just sit and soak up the sunlight. Sarah stared at a puff of cloud low on the horizon and let her thoughts catch up with her.

Despite her initial accusation the previous night, she didn't think that Jareth was the source of the weirdness that was currently happening to her. He was a tricky one, certainly, and she even believed him capable of submitting to the kind of injury he'd suffered last night in order to pull the wool over her eyes, but it didn't feel right. He had been cross and snobbish but he hadn't been duplicitous. Sarah refrained from closer examination of her certainty of that fact and decided just to accept it. Her gut rarely steered her wrong, and right now it was telling her not to look her gift horse (or Goblin King, whichever) in the mouth.

The next question, of course, was why he was here at all. The more she mulled it over, the more Sarah realized that she really didn't know anything about the Goblin King or his kingdom. The few hours she had spent there had been pretty rigidly focused. Maybe that monstrosity who was hunting her was a rival monarch, or maybe the rest of Jareth's kingdom was full of creatures like that and this one happened to get loose. And what about the mysterious sender of letters, who was clearly trying to be helpful in an obtuse sort of way? Sarah pressed a hand to her forehead and groaned. Why was all this happening now? She had beaten the Labyrinth years ago, and she hadn't seen hide nor hair of the Underground since.

With a mental click, certain facts aligned themselves and snapped into place, and her groan changed into a growl. That sneak! Maybe not hide nor hair, but certainly feathers! All the time it had been *him* hovering outside her window. The implications of that were so thorny that she didn't even want to begin to think about it, but by god he owed her some answers.

Good mood effectively destroyed, she threw open the car door and tumbled out into fresh air and a clear morning. "Yikes," she muttered, bent almost nose to knees from her cramped sleep. A few minutes of stretching and rubbing slowly coaxed her extremities back into their usual shape until she was finally able to stand up and take a look around.

Jareth had found a highway rest area, complete with gas station and a sad little grove of dropping trees. A blue sign on the gray building in front of her advertised restrooms as well as McDonald's, and her stomach rumbled loudly. A cheeseburger sounded absolutely divine.

The Goblin King himself stood a few feet away on the spare little lawn between the parking lot and the gray building. Eyes closed, his face was turned to bask in the rays of the early sun. As Sarah approached, she thought she saw a glitter of moisture at the corner of his eye, and she froze in shock. Surely not. . . She must have been mistaken, because the gaze he turned on her a moment later was clear and cool. He offered no greeting.

The moment had shaken her, and Sarah looked at him for a few moments while she decided how to attack him first. Inspiration failed her, so she sat down on the sidewalk with exaggerated casualness and asked, "Where are we?"

"That's one of the reasons I stopped. I have no idea," Jareth said, his grin showing all his teeth. "That contraption on wheels - it's really quite ingenious. I found a button which caused your seat to fold nearly double."

Hence her stiff muscles. Sarah closed her eyes and concentrated on not killing him. "Well, what did the last sign say?" she asked with exaggerated patience.

He returned his attention to the sunlight, closing his eyes against the glare. "I had forgotten what this was like, feeling sun on your face at dawn. If you are inclined to be unpleasant, please go do so elsewhere."

Sarah knew he was trying to irritate her (and it was working) but his words left her nonplussed. "But there was sunlight in the - I mean, in the Underground. I saw it," she said.

"An imitation," he said softly. "It neither rises nor sets." Sarah blinked at him and revised her opinions yet again. An imitation? Was there anything about the Labyrinth that was actually real? The stab of pity she felt for the man in front of her, King of nothing but illusion and falsehood, took her completely by surprise. After a few moments, he added, "Baltimore."

Sarah shook her head and tried to muster the anger that had buoyed her before, but it didn't come. Maybe she could get some answers out of him anyway. "I think the time has come to lift my veil of ignorance," she said. "What exactly is going on?" It wasn't nearly the cutting inquiry she had planned, but it came out forcefully enough.

Jareth folded himself into an elegant pose on the grass, one gloved hand hanging over his knee in a gesture of perfect ease. His shoulder seemed to be completely recovered, his movements as free and easy as ever. "You mentioned a letter, I believe?" he said, holding out an imperious hand. "Let's have a look at it."

Sarah drew it out of her pocket and held it up. "Answers first," she demanded. "You're my owl, aren't you? All these years it's been you sitting in trees outside my window. What are you doing here?"

A shadow fell across his face and was banished so quickly that she wasn't sure she'd seen it. "It's a long story," he said.

Sarah made a show of looking at her watch. "Well, I don't have anywhere else to be today, and we have a month until our favorite happy hunter makes his reappearance. My house has been destroyed, I'm holding a very strange piece of correspondence, and I've just spent the night fleeing from something that, according to conventional wisdom, is not supposed to exist. Sounds right up your alley, so I propose that we swap stories. You first." She put the letter in her pocked, crossed her fingers over her stomach, and looked at him expectantly.

A smudge on the toe of his boot suddenly seemed to absorb all his attention, and after several long moments Sarah shifted impatiently. When he did speak, he addressed his voice to his boot tip, casting not so much as a glance in her direction. "Once, I lived in a greater kingdom than the Goblin City. . . " In dry, factual tones as if he were reciting some long- ago event unconnected to himself, he told her of the loosing of the Morrigan, the sealing of Scailtara, and the impending conclusion of the spell that held the Goblin City apart from the world. He had some minor difficulties talking around a few of the names, lest he draw the Morrigan's attention to himself, and omitted most of the details, but by the time he finished, Sarah's understanding of the universe had expanded enormously. "She begins to stir in earnest," he concluded. "My thousand and one years are nearly up." They sat for a while in silence, Jareth lost in memory and Sarah deep in thought.

"A thousand years," she murmured eventually. "I can't even imagine that span of time. Well, now I know why I was told to find Lugh and Belenus. But why would the Phantom Queen go to all the trouble of setting me up as prey in the hunt?" She looked at Jareth out of the corner of her eye as she said this.

His mouth twitched before he replied, "I cannot read her thoughts. Since you defeated her once, she might see you as a threat." He refused to speculate any further, but Sarah grew more and more convinced that he was hiding something. Direct pressure was probably the quickest way to get him to clam up, so she let it go for the moment.

Removing the letter from her pocket, she smoothed out the creases and handed it to him. "Here's my half of the story. Unfortunately, it's not as useful as yours. I don't even know who wrote it. Some of it's been reliable and some of it's been dead wrong, like the bit about finding refuge in a church or whatever."

"Aha," he said, raising an eyebrow as he took it from her. "Is that what you were doing in there? I thought it was an odd time to express religious devotion."

As he scanned the letter, Sarah muttered, "Makes perfect sense to me. What better time to get religion than right before impending death? I guess the pastor wasn't up to snuff or something, because my clever strategy clearly didn't work."

"Now Sarah," he chided. "You can't blame the chaplain, he wasn't even there. When it says 'a church with a good pastor,' it means a church *with* a good pastor. Surely you don't expect the Old Powers to be limited just by a building, do you? After all, they are in large part the essence of earth and stone. Still taking things for granted, are we?" He gave her a self-satisfied smirk, and she groaned and dropped her head into her hands.

"You mean I needed to drag the poor preacher out of bed and haul him in there with me?" she demanded. "What kind of a useless - hey, are you all right?" He had reached the end of the letter and stopped dead. Sarah moved to peer over his shoulder. "What is it?"

Jareth tapped the paper underneath the strange bushy seal. "This was written," he said hollowly, "by Cailleach." He turned to face her, eyes narrowing. "And she gave you Ghorrom."

Sarah looked uncomprehendingly into his face and said, "And this means what to me? Here, d'you want to see it?" She pulled the little knife out of her other pocket, presenting it under Jareth's nose. He yelped and scrambled back. Sarah snorted and remarked, "It's not particularly sharp. I don't think you need to be worried."

Jareth wasn't reassured by this statement. In fact, the sight of the dagger in her hand seemed to unnerve him to an unusual degree. He cleared his throat before he said, "There is more here than I understand."

"That makes two of us," Sarah sighed. "I guess the first question is whether this Cailleach is an ally or not."

Jareth considered carefully before answering, "She likely has the world's best interests at heart, so I would say yes, she is probably an ally. Like all Old Ones, though, it's impossible to know exactly what she is thinking."

"Hm," Sarah said. "She hasn't tried to kill me yet, and that's a mark in her favor. The next question is how we're going to track down Lugh and Belenus, if they're still alive."

Jareth turned to face her and asked, "Do you know what you are committing yourself to do? This is not a foolish game for children. The stakes of this quest are much higher than the loss of a baby brother."

His mismatched eyes bored into hers uncomfortably, but she didn't look away as she calmly replied, "That's exactly why I'll do it. No one else would believe you if you told them this story, and two heads are better than one. I beat her once and I can do it again."

His look was frightening in its intensity. "But the Carrion-crow is not even a threat to your world."

"But she is a threat to yours," Sarah whispered, aware of a tide of energy mounting between them, driven by his strange eyes. Standing in his stare felt a little bit like getting struck by lightening, burning her from the inside out as her skin tingled with electricity. Suddenly, as if a circuit tripped, he got to his feet and stalked away from her, leaving her panting a little. She actually felt colder once she was out of his gaze, and a shiver raced up her arms. Dropping her head to her knees, she muttered, "I don't understand that man at all."

Just as suddenly as he had left, he was back again, looking as cool and composed as ever. "Shall we get started, then?" he asked archly.

The reversal in his manner was truly staggering. Sarah gaped at him for a moment, and then rolled her eyes and said, "Sure, why not? Where do you suggest we start?"

"Cailleach gave you Ghorrom," he pointed out, "and I presume that means you are meant to use him."

Sarah blinked. "Uh, what exactly are you expecting it to do?"

Waving the letter under her nose, he quoted loosely, "Cast properly and there's nothing he can't find. Ghorrom is famous, you know, and not just for his ability to seek things out."

"My god," Sarah moaned. "Just when I think I've started to get a handle on all this, the tables turn again. All right, how do I cast him properly?"

Jareth smiled and confessed, "I have no idea. But I would say that since he was given to you, and he hasn't cut off any fingers yet, you probably already know. Just do what you feel is right."

Just do what she felt was right, huh? Easier said than done. Taking the letter back, Sarah scowled at the writing and on impulse flipped it over to look at the crude drawing on the other side. The scrawl looked sort of like a map, in the way that chicken-scratch looked sort of like writing. Although the lines were disordered and random, bearing no resemblance to any sort of geography she knew, it *felt* like it should be a map. Peering closer, Sarah noticed jagged arrowheads that should be mountains, squiggly lines that should be rivers, and vast emptiness that should be oceans.

Rushing wind filled her ears and Sarah felt the sensation of falling. She was flying down into the map, and it was like peeling away layer upon layer of thousands of different globes. The paper wasn't just one map, it was all possible maps. Landscapes rushed by beneath her and she stretched out her arm, her fingertips brushed the surging parchment and sending a jolt up to her elbow. Ghorrom felt warm and wise against her other palm. Sarah brought him up to meet the map, commanding him, "Find Lugh, and then return to me." She cast him into the maelstrom and felt him catch on something before pressing back into her hand. "Find Belenus, and then return to me," she ordered, and cast him again. Again Ghorrom fell into the torrent and snagged against something. The little knife was eager to be after another target, but Sarah pulled him in. "We're done for now," she told him, and he squirmed in protest before becoming still and cold. Like a swimmer surfacing from a dive, she rose out of the spinning map and came back to herself gasping as Jareth gripped her shoulders.

Seeing her awake and aware, the Goblin King released her abruptly and said shortly, "Good work."

"A complement?" she said, still out of breath. "Heaven help us, the sky is falling."

"I was speaking to Ghorrom," Jareth said bitingly.

Sarah rolled her eyes and asked, "So where are we going?"

"See for yourself," Jareth said coldly, waving a hand at the piece of paper she held. "I have only a passing acquaintance with your geography."

The crude lines in front of her had resolved themselves into an ordered picture of incredible detail. There weren't any national borders that she could see, but there were the winding lines of rivers and the silhouette of mountains. Two little black stars, almost overlapping, marked the locations of Lugh and Belenus. They were just a stone's throw away from a bigger black dot that was labeled Muenchen. Sarah looked at it, thought for a minute, and gave a soft cheer. Jareth affected a lack of curiosity which didn't fool Sarah for one minute, and she said happily, "I was hoping we could drive there, but this is even better! I've always wanted to visit Germany. What better place to look for fairy tale creatures than the Black Forest?"

Jareth gave her a dark look. The incongruity of his face against the bright sun, and the absurdity of having had such a conversation in a parking lot underneath a sign advertising rest rooms and McDonald's, bubbled up inside of her and spilled over into laughter. The future was uncertain, her life in a state of total flux, but at this particular moment in time all Sarah needed to see was the adventure that lay before her.