*Write an adult fanfic that explores what would have happened if Sarah had chosen to go UP instead of down in the Helping Hands scene.
*Story must include this paragraph SOMEWHERE: Jareth turned away as blood and tears stung his eyes. "I would have given you EVERYTHING!" he roared, hurling the [insert something here] at the wall.
Hands were gripping her everywhere and Sarah shrieked for help in abject terror.
"WE ARE HELPING. WE'RE HELPING HANDS!"
Their declaration did little to calm her frantic heart and adrenaline-rushed body, but at least for the moment she was still. She commented on their unforgiving grip, and realized her mistake at goading them when not only did they drop her, but threatened to let her fall. After they had resumed their hold, Sarah tried desperately to control her erratic breathing and answer their insistent question:
"UP, OR DOWN?" they once again demanded.
Sarah glanced down and noticed that a strange musty smell seemed to be permeating from the shadowy depths below her dangling shoes. The darkness was too still; a silence reminiscent to the abandoned graveyard she had stumbled upon as a child… And it made her uneasy.
That clinched it, "Take me up. --Please."
The hands formed faces again as the chortled knowingly, "SHE CHOSE UP." Another group gasped, "UP? SHE'S GOING UP?"
Feeling woozy and panicked as the hands roughly propelled her upwards, Sarah cried out, "Did I choose wrong?!"
Laughter trailed from below her as the last pair of hands pushed her to the surface, but she thought she heard one last voice saying regretfully: "Poor little thing. He's ---------with her."
Sarah strained to hear more, but a stone cover snapped over the gaping hole and ensured that she would never be able to figure out what the voice had meant. Assuming that 'her' was a reference to Sarah, who was 'he'? And why should whoever 'he' was, be ANYTHING with her?
A strange bubbling noise tore her from those troubling questions, and instead peaked her insatiable curiosity: Where exactly was she now? Wherever she was, time was ticking. She had to reach Toby. A dark archway stood a couple of feet in front of her… It was formed from a strange stone; one that Sarah had never seen before. It glimmered a fiery burgundy, with touches of a deep storm-shot orange peeking through at different angles. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and oh, so curious. She smiled at the thought… Just as Alice down the hole to Wonderland, Sarah had found herself in a land steeped in curiosities as well.
She snapped away from her thoughts yet again. Time, she scolded herself, was never to be forgotten. As she strode briskly to the doorway, Sarah allowed herself one last frivolous thought: Strange that here, in this Labyrinth, she should be ruled by time just as much as the character in one of her favorite fairytales. Ironic, that Alice had never really interested her, and she had instead been fascinated by the white rabbit.
"Curiouser and curiouser." She mumbled quietly as she stepped between the gleaming stones and to the other side.
Sarah followed the sound through the dusty corridor she had arrived in. There were strange markings on the walls to her left and right. They were in a script she didn't recognize, and she had never seen anything to their equal; the marks shimmered and curved fluidly into lines that seemed vaguely sensual in their elegance.
She was walking slowly, observing the shifting walls as one would at a particularly gaze-capturing art show; allowing herself to be lost in the design of the walls. Her steps were so slow that she couldn't explain the sudden quick tempo of her heart, or the throbbing pulse in the hallows of her elbows and knees.
A strange heat was overtaking her and getting stronger with each step. The lines of the wall flashed a brilliant red, and suddenly, they weren't mesmerizing- they scared her. They frightened her in the same way that children fear the dark, in the primal, instinctive knowledge that something dangerous was just beyond the corner. Only this time it wasn't just the corner, she was surrounded.
Her steps faltered at the realization that the walls were what was affecting her, and then instinct kicked in and she was sprinting towards the end of the long corridor. She hadn't considered anything but escaping the sinister lines snaking across the walls like painted blood, but it wasn't long before she realized that her haste had only worsened the situation. The added speed was proving to be a caustic mistake- fire was pooling under her skin. It was suffocating her; and her loose poet's shirt burned her heated skin with an intensity that brought a pain-filled gasp to Sarah's parched throat.
She desperately ripped at her vest and shirt; peeling it off and tripping in her efforts to remove the sweaty bra that was now branding her with every stumbling step through that hellish corridor.
Gasping from the pain, Sarah kicked off her loafers and reached down to tug viciously at her socks. Pain was engulfing her… She was burning and she began to cry silently as her jeans scalded her skin. Sarah unsnapped them and ripped them down her long legs.
Swaying, as intense waves of heat beat upon her from every angle, Sarah whimpered as the hallway seemed to stretch and lengthen in front of her.
"Say my name, Sarah. I can't touch you until you say I can." His cold, accented voice was underlined with a hint of delighted amusement.
Sarah couldn't move in the face of the fires roaring under her skin. She crumpled against a wall and sobbed raspily: "-Jareth…"
"I can't assist you, my dear, until you allow me to touch you." His voice was dry and urbane as he laughed softly, "You must speak up, Sarah…"
Sarah tried to force the words from her sticky mouth, "Jar…eth-- Touch me."
A sudden brush of freezing silk upon her brow announced his presence. It was his cape that was smoothing against her neck and shoulder and the cold relief of the material brought a sigh to her lips.
She was drooping like a wilted flower in the oppressive, sweltering heat of that deceptive hall when Jareth's elegant fingers smoothed down her hip, bringing all the comfort of a healing balm. When he pulled away, Sarah gathered all that was left of her diminishing strength to push herself into the delicious relief of his body.
Jareth chuckled as she clung to his chest- abandoning logic and fear to fulfill the most primitive need of all: to end the pain.
"Shh.. My little Heroine, where does it hurt?" A knowing twinkle flashed in his eyes as he watched the telltale struggle on her flushed face… She was fighting against the growing fever and the age-old urge to keep herself covered and hidden…
The demure white panties that Sarah was currently squirming in were clearly hurting her, yet some enduring stubbornness kept her from attempting to remove the cloth that obscured herself from his hooded gaze.
Jareth tugged off a glove and pressed it to the swell of her upper breast. Her hand immediately flew up to clutch it tighter; pressing it into her skin in a desperate need for it's chill. The pale hand, free of it's glove, drew itself down the arch of Sarah's lower back, making her sink into his touch in unabashed pleasure at the relief it brought.
His finger dipped below the band of her panties to caress the soft skin and Sarah's delighted moan pleased him to no end. He leaned his cheek against hers, his breath easing against the delicate shell of her ear. He was rewarded by smooth arms wrapping around his neck and slim fingers twining into the wild strands of his hair.
"Tell me Sarah. Tell me where you burn…" he
Come Eve, bite of this fruit... Doesn't it look sweet?
A shudder swept through her and suddenly her flushed skin was plastered against him. A keening whimper and a soft thrusting of her hips against his pelvis lost Jareth his tenacious control. His hands scooped Sarah up and ripped the thin cotton from her shaking body. He never stopped to remove the glove of his left hand, so when he began to touch her she felt both the suppleness of leather and the lightly ridged skin of his unadorned hand. The combination elicited a strong response to his knowledgeable ministrations.
Jareth's mouth nipped at the sensitive skin of her throat as his hands trailed over her body in restless, dizzying patterns. Sarah gasped unevenly as she attempted to process the feelings flooding her mind, when she realized that the heat raised by the walls was no longer painful… It was washing over her in waves of sensation that both alarmed and excited her. The very fire that she had been certain would kill her was now being stoked strategically throughout her body by him. The burning pain remained in only one place now… The place she was hesitant to touch herself… and the fire seemed to gather there, demanding that she end the anguish...now.
"Jareth," She gasped, "I'm.. still burning."
His fingers caressed her taut nipples skillfully and he answered with his mouth brushing against her skin at each word, "Where? Show me where…"
For surely one bite would harm no one… And you would gain so much!
Sarah felt the importance of his words… and she recognized the triumph that laced them, but the tempest of her body would not be ignored… The pain would not lessen, she knew, without his touch.
With eyes shamefully cast away from that glittering gaze, Sarah drew his hand downwards. His fingers curled, until he was cupping her with his hand. Startled green eyes flew to his.
"Yes," He whispered, "Let me teach you little one."
And Eve bit of the fruit, and was forever changed.
He carried her out of that gleaming hallway and into a room filled with the exotic scents of flowers and fruit. Plants covered everything save the small path that Jareth walked upon. It was an oasis, a haven from the world and Sarah regarded it as if in a daze. Surely the girl nestled in the arms of the dangerous King before her was some imposter. Some doppelganger or shadow-self… For who else would submit to the caresses of such a man. She peered at him through her eyelashes…
It was true enough that the lines of his face were sharp but beautiful- and that the tousled mess of pale honeyed hair was strangely appealing. Also true that the muscles that hovered just under his skin were firm and moved with the loping grace of a stalking feline, but neither could she dismiss that with every flick of his mismatched eyes upon her that he was made up of more than she. Some otherworldliness clung to him- scenting him as someone not to be trifled with.
She shuddered delicately in his strong arms; all that aside- why couldn't she bring herself to speak? To refuse his soft touches and hungry kisses? Why had the world suddenly shrunk to just the two of them walking among the plants to a familiar rumbling noise?
Sarah swiveled her head to see a break in the path, a large tiled fountain of sorts stood before them. The water rushing from a small waterfall had been the very noise that had lured her into that damnable hall.
The tiles were of bright colors and formed a kaleidoscope beneath shifting water.
"It's beautiful." She whispered.
"The Romans found bathing an experience to be savored. They built extravagant bathhouses that were undoubtedly similar to this one." His accented voice was informative without holding scorn, and Sarah found herself wishing that he would say more.
Unbidden, one of her hands curved up to lay upon his face, stroking the edge of his jutting cheekbone in childlike wonder. "It's beautiful."
He lay her into the water reverently and with a calm detached efficiency that disturbed her. The fires had eased after that one darting touch in the hallway, and afterwards Jareth had merely lifted her into his arms and carried her here. Sarah felt as if something important had been left unfulfilled, but in her inexperience felt nothing but a vague ache deep inside of her.
His eyes were neutral as he picked up an exquisite vase and dunked it into the warm pool, the water soothed further what damage the heat had caused to her tender skin and Sarah moaned as Jareth carefully cleansed her in the crystalline waters of the pool. His hands were gentle, but the held none of the urgency of before. Finally Sarah grasped his gloved fingers. Her brow furrowed, why was he wearing gloves?
"You are a child, Sarah" His voice was cold and calculating as always, but this time it seemed as if he were forcing the words from his throat.
Sarah drew her hands back as indignity and embarrassment arose in a great cloud. She had actually considered giving herself to him. Angry and upset, Sarah lashed out blindly, "You weren't treating me like a child earlier!! What's changed Jareth? Why the sudden flash of conscience?!"
His words grew hard and bitter, "Because you must understand. You must know what you are doing. Do you think I care? Do you think I would do anything but take you after this?! I have no choice… It is you, dear Sarah, that holds all of the cards… I can do nothing that is not asked of me! Nothing!! And you and I have already struck our bargain… There can not be another."
She had reached for his hand once more and began to tug at his fingers playfully when the implication of his words finally sank in: "Bargain?" Sarah's eyebrows drew together, "What bargain?"
Jareth sighed wearily: "Do you see now? Only one deal between us can occur while you are here, and you have already made it…" Sarah stared blankly at him… trying to comprehend, yet being unable to no matter how hard she thought upon it.
"Your brother, Sarah. Thirteen hours to save your brother."
The knowledge rushed back into her and with it… everything else disappeared. The newly awakened feelings flooded from her in a wave and Jareth watched it happen… he watched her expressive eyes dim until the responsive, shuddering Sarah of before was nothing more than a memory. HIS memory.
"What am I doing here!!!!" Sarah yelped angrily, while trying to hide her body from his view.
"It's simple... You aren't." The Goblin King's vindictive smile snapped back into place and with the flick of a crystal the bratty, spoiled Sarah was gone… Gone back to be caught in a web of hands.
Jareth's fingers still grasped the vase tightly… With sudden frustrated anger at the unyielding laws of his land, he continued to clamp onto the delicate handle until it cracked.
In an unholy rage at the loss of the only person that had ever filled the ache inside him, Jareth hurled the vase into the outcropping of rock at his right. It splintered and in a defiance of the laws of motion, the shards flew back into his face- one piece traced a jagged cut on the edge of his brow.
The Labyrinth did not object to sending strong messages to its subjects… And its King was no different than any other. The cut was a warning, and Jareth's laughter pealed out into the peaceful din of the falling water. That the Labyrinth would bother with such a petty show merely amused him.
The wound was very painful, he was undoubtedly bleeding… Yet, he didn't care. He conjured a crystal and peered into it's depth to watch as Sarah stood in front of the doors speaking animatedly to the guards the Labyrinth had imprisoned there.
Jareth turned away as blood and tears stung his eyes. "I would have given you EVERYTHING!" he roared, hurling the crystal at the wall of rock.
But Sarah was not his, nor could she be. The Sarah he was faced with now was an infuriating duplicate of HIS Sarah. That… scripted girl was no more the woman he loved, than the dwarf that insisted on tagging along after her. THAT Sarah remembered nothing.
How many times had they fallen upon each other hungrily? Yet, each time she responded to him, the Labyrinth would steal her memories and once more they were cast into the clear-cut roles of: heroine and villain.
But Jareth had a plan… Perhaps if he captured her in dream the Labyrinth could not interfere… With a nasty grin Jareth conjured a peach and planned his last desperate attack.
The Labyrinth would not win this time… Surely she would remember...
Surely she would stay with him next time...