Summary: He has no power over her, but Sarah didn't leave the Labyrinth unscathed.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created or owned by Jim Henson's estate, various other writers, various actors, a lot of puppeteers, and some movie studio/s. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Inspired by word #50 at the 15minuteficlets livejournal community.
Running From Her Shadow
As the years went by, Sarah began to realize that something was missing from her life. Her dreams were still the dreams of a young girl, dreams of fame and beauty and something light and airy and insubstantial. While the other girls began to flirt and talk of sex, Sarah couldn't get over her discomfort at the very idea of looking at boys.
They all reminded her of Jareth, somehow. Oh, they couldn't match his unnatural beauty or his intangible sense of danger, but there was something about their maleness that repulsed her.
For a time she wondered if she might be a lesbian, but a few fumbled experiments with one of her friends seemed to put paid to that theory.
No, Sarah simply couldn't react normally to anything vaguely approaching sexual.
She dreamed, sometimes, of her dance with Jareth in the dream, and of their final confrontation in the Escher room. He had almost seemed sincere at the end, she thought, almost seemed to really care about her decision, and for more than just his reluctance to lose a game.
It was as if her wanted her to like him, she realized one morning. As if he saw her as herself, as Sarah, not just another girl caught up in his twisted kingdom and convoluted games.
And she had rejected him.
"You have no power over me," she had told him, and now he didn't. And neither did anyone who reminded her of him. All the pieces of her life, the parts that should have let her become a woman, were gone, missing. She had left them with Jareth in the Labyrinth.
Sarah closed her eyes and refused to cry. She had made her choice, made an utterly wrong choice, but still had one chance. Maybe this time she wouldn't even mind losing the game; at least then she wouldn't have to live as half a person.
"I wish the goblins would take me away," she whispered, and waited for the owl to fly in her window.
Notes: In my opinion, Labyrinth is a story of the rejection of female sexuality.
Sarah is on the verge of becoming a young woman, moving away from girlhood, and Jareth represents her blossoming and suppressed sexuality. The other inhabitants of the Labyrinth, with their colorful and amusing character, represent the childhood she clings to. This is why Jareth is dangerous and her friends are safe.
At the end of the film, Jareth pleads with Sarah, saying, "Only submit to me and I will be your slave," but Sarah rejects him utterly. He has no power over her. She has shut herself off from sexuality and retreated into the shelter of childhood. This point is further driven home when she calls her friends through the mirror and they begin to have a party; she's surrounding herself with childlike friends and rejecting the potentially dangerous world of womanhood.
Granted, this is only subtext and Sarah really does need to defeat Jareth in order to rescue Toby, but what might be the consequences of the way she chooses to fight him? I can't imagine she's going to have an easy time growing up after that experience!