Chapter 4: The Plan Backfires

Disclaimer: I do not own the Labyrinth or the lands/characters shown in the Labyrinth movie.

AN: Sorry, if it's a little rough. I promised to post by New Years-I know, I cut that one a little close!

Despite many near misses on their way out of the goblin city and a few hours of hiding among the trash heaps beyond the walls, the trio of vigilantes, as well as their cowardly steed, made it back to bog at dawn. Warily they trudged up to their front door. Ambrosius and Sir Didymus supported Hoggle in his weakened condition while Ludo unlocked to door.

Hoggle took a deep breath and sighed, "Ah, I never thought I'd be glad to smell the bog."

"Aye, Sir Hoggle, very few come to appreciate the beauty of the bog."

"Uh…ya, sure…" stammered Hoggle as yet something else went over the small knight's head.

There was a pause as Ludo pushed the door open…

"Wait, how did the two of you distract Jarteth and rescue me at the same time?" asked Hoggle.

"The Fair Lady, Sarah, returned to help us rescue you." Didymus explained.

"Well, where is she?" Hoggle demanded.

"Alas, Sir Hoggle, she gave herself to distract the king, while we freed you from the dungeon."

"WHAT?!" the dwarf shrieked.

"Ya," confirmed Ludo quietly.

"We have to go back for her!" Hoggle insisted.

"We cannot!" said the noble knight taking a stand.

"Why the hell not?!" challenged the dwarf.

"Because she said that this was the way it must be done!" exclaimed Didymus, "You know better than anyone, Sir Hoggle, that the fair lady feels she must face the king alone."

Hoggle sighed again. There was no changing the knight's mind and he was in no condition to face Jareth on his own.

Back at the castle, Sarah was already awake as the first morning's light streamed through the curtains in Jareth's bedroom. She quickly fumbled around for her duffle bag by the side of the bed. On locating it, she dug into the side pocket and withdrew a small metal pill box, containing sleeping pills. She had intended to use them for her stay with Karen and her father, but now they would serve to make good her escape from the goblin king for a second time.

Beside her, Jareth began to stir from the movement on the other side of the bed. Sarah hastily put the pill in her mouth and then leaned over and kissed the goblin king. However, this was no ordinary kiss. Jareth's mismatched eyes shot open as Sarah shoved her tongue down his throat, forcing him to swallow. Little did he know what he swallowed.

Five more minutes of making out and the goblin king was asleep again. The young heroine collected her things hastily and snuck out of the castle. Sarah knew she would be recognized if just walked out through town. She looked around for some cover or a diversion. Fortunately, it was garbage day and a mule drawn cart laden with trash, the majority of which was rotten produce, was parked just outside the caslte. Without thinking about it Sarah dove into the back of the cart and covered both herself and her duffle bag with garbage.

Just as she had completely camouflaged herself, the driver came out a side door of the castle and climbed onto the front of cart. It only took fifteen minutes for the cart to reach the trash heaps beyond the city wall. There, as the driver dismounted, Sarah pushed the decomposing produce off of her and her bag and climbed up and over the side of the cart. Then she took off at a sprint through the mounds of garbage, taking care to stay out of the sight of the driver.

After clearing the junkyard, it took Sarah another two hours to find her way back through the bog, as she took special care to avoid meeting anyone. When she finally reached her friends' cottage, she was exhausted and wearily trudged up to the door.

After knocking twice, Sir Didymus opened the door and gaped at her.

Sarah didn't take time to notice the little knight's expression. She was too preoccupied with the hour. She had hoped to escape into the night after the Goblin King fell asleep. Unfortunately, he fell asleep with his arms around her waist. Who knew Jareth liked to cuddle? (Did anyone else just throw up a little in their mouth?) Anyway, by the time Sarah got the royal pain to roll over, back onto his side of the bed, sunlight had begun to stream through the window and well, you know the rest. Now she was most concerned with what time it was back in her own world.

As I'm sure you recall from Sarah's pervious visit to the Underground, Jareth reordered time on her behalf. There was no such luck this time and for all Sarah knew, it could very well be next week at her father's house.

"My lady…y-you're…" Didymus stammered.

"Running late-Yes, I know," stated Sarah as she blew past the noble knight and headed for the mirror she came through. "I'll be sure to call you later." she continued over her shoulder, "Give Hoggle my best."

"But, My Lady, you're glowing!" exclaimed Didymus, finding his voice.

"Oh, Sir Didymus, that's so sweet of you to say," said Sarah looking back quickly, as she launched her duffle bag threw the mirror frame.

"No, Fair Maiden, you're really…" Didymus started, but it was too late, Sarah had already gone through the mirror, "…glowing."

Sarah climbed off her dresser and into her childhood bedroom, just as the doorknob began to turn. It was then Sarah caught her reflection in the mirror and saw what Didymus was talking about. She was, in fact, giving off an iridescent glow.

"What the hell?" she gasped, as the door opened to reveal none other than Karen standing behind it.