Disclaimer: Labyrinth and all characters from said film belong to Jim Henson and George Lucas, those geniuses. Xerruw belongs to Anne Kelleher, and some future plot lines also belong to her. I own nothing (nothing, nothing, tra la la) but Ilie, Lynaidia, Mallaidh, some random servants, some assorted royalty, and the plot.
A/N: Yay, new chapter - and it's nice and long, about 1000 words longer than usual. If anyone's interested in knowing what the OC's names are - they're all Celtic, except for Ilie and Lynaidia. Mallaidh means "bitter", Etaoin means "jealousy", Rowena means "white haired", Moiré means "tall", and Tulliah means "peaceful". Just thought you might be interested.
By the way, did anyone know that the Gaelic name "Bowie" means blonde or yellow haired? I died when I read that. Seems David was destined to play the role.
Wishes In The Night
By: Moonlit Seductress
When Sarah opened her eyes, she was alone in the large bed. She sat up slowly, taking in the surroundings she had been too upset to notice before. The room was huge, even larger than Jareth's chamber in the Goblin Castle, and was decorated in white and gold, which seemed to be the main décor of the castle. The carpet was white, as were the bedclothes, but the walls were stone, rather than the gold that sheathed the outer halls. The furniture was a brown so dark it was nearly black, and Sarah couldn't think of wood she knew that was that shade. There was a large gold mirror on the vanity, and a gold chandelier, along with the requisite white candles in gold brackets, lit the room. A set of double glass doors, partially hidden behind white drapes, led to a balcony that adjoined to Jareth's.
Swinging her legs off the edge of the bed, she stood up, stretching idly. She was still dressed in the white gown, now looking decidedly rumpled. "Guess I'll have to change before dinner," she commented aloud. She ran her hands through her hair, wondering absently where the silver circlet she had been wearing had ended up. A quick scan of the room revealed it sitting on a low table. Three trunks stood next to the table, and the door of the huge wardrobe was slightly ajar.
Peering inside, she found all her clothes, neatly hanging. Wondering if Ilie had put them away while she had been sleeping, she pursed her lips, staring critically at the line of gowns. She was reaching for the yellow dress she had been wearing during her walk in the gardens with Jareth, but a voice in her ear made her jump.
"I would suggest something else," Jareth purred, his lips brushing her earlobe. She whirled around. "Why do you do that?" she demanded, pressing a hand to her chest. "You know, one of these days I'm gonna die of a heart attack because of you and your sneak attacks."
"You enjoy it," was the calm reply. "Besides, if I am able to approach you without your knowledge, that merely proves that you are unaware of your surroundings, and that is dangerous in this castle."
She blinked at him. "Dangerous? What's dangerous about this place, besides your mother?"
His expression was grim. "That is exactly the issue. This castle is full of servants and spies that are fanatically loyal to my mother. If she tells them to watch you, or even arrange it so that you have an "accident", they will follow her orders, no questions asked. This is not a friendly place for us, Sarah, and I cannot be with you at all times - you must be cautious."
Her own expression must have shown her fear, because Jareth smiled slightly, reaching around her to select a gown, pressing it into her hands. "Wear this one. And smile – be careful, not terrified. Remember – you will soon be Queen. You cannot show fear, or they will think you weak. Hold up your head, be confident, and they will learn to respect you. Now – get dressed, there is not much time."
He disappeared, leaving her clutching the dress. She caught sight of her reflection in the mirror opposite her. She was pale, her eyes wide. Glaring at herself and her weakness, she reached behind, unlacing the ties of the white gown with some difficulty. Leaving her corset on, she wriggled into the gown Jareth had selected, tying it as best she could. She ran a brush through her hair, and pulled the top half into a braid, leaving the rest loose. Slipping her feet into her shoes, she again glanced in the mirror.
"Much better," she said aloud. Grinning as she noticed the midnight blue dress she wore – the same shade that Jareth had been wearing – she tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, and threw herself a smile in the mirror. "Time to face the wolves."
She crossed the huge room to the door, but it swung open before she could reach for the knob. Jareth stood in the doorway. He grinned slightly, and motioned for her to turn around. Puzzled, she obeyed, gasping in shock as she felt his hands on her back, and a tugging that nearly pulled her off her feet.
Relacing the gown, Jareth tied the ends, gave the small of her back a gentle pat, and turned her around. She flashed him a half amused, half annoyed look. "Am I suitable now?" she asked tartly.
She was not expecting the kiss he pressed against her lips. It was quick – over almost before it had started, but it was enough to flush her cheeks and make her eyes sparkle. "Yes, now you are suitable," he approved, taking her hand and leading her out into the hall.
A dizzying rush of time and space, and they were standing before yet another huge set of double doors. Sarah rolled her eyes. "What is it with these giant doors?" she asked. "Your mother is certainly no giant, and you're not that tall either. I'm guessing your father wasn't huge, so is it just an ego thing? Like guys with flashy cars?"
His slightly bewildered expression made her giggle. "Yes," he replied slowly. "It is designed to look impressive, to have your possessions larger than life, but as for the flashy cars, I am not certain if they are related."
She grinned at him. "Don't worry. I got my answer."
"And I got the impression that you find my physical stature less than impressive," he commented mildly, eyeing her. She laughed. "Not at all," she reassured him. "You're just not very tall, that's all."
"I am taller than you."
"That's not saying much, I'm not that tall either, compared to most people. Besides, what's the big deal? I don't care if you're short."
He flashed a mock glare at her. "I am not short."
"Sure, you keep thinking that." As he opened his mouth to reply, she pulled one of his tricks, imperiously lifting a hand to silence him. He did not speak and a slight frown tugged at his lips, but the glitter in his eyes told her that he was not truly angry.
"It may be a good thing that you are in such a mood," he said, after a brief silence. "As I said before, this will not be a pleasant experience."
Sarah shrugged. "Yeah, I don't expect it to be, but I listened to what you said about showing confidence and all that, and I'm not going to let them drag me down." She returned his smile, and the silence fell again.
"Why are we just standing outside?"
A fanfare shattered the quiet, and Jareth quickly pulled her out of the way of the large crowd that popped into existence in front of the doors. Mallaidh, resplendent in a gown of pale green, led the way through the doors that opened before her, not sparing her son and his companion a glance.
"I see that my mother has not lost her flair for dramatics," Jareth observed dryly, as they followed the mass of Fae nobility into the massive dining hall. Sarah elbowed him. "See, why can't you do that when you come to see me? Then you wouldn't scare the wits out of me every time."
The look he threw her made it very clear what his opinion of that suggestion was.
The murmur of conversation and the clink of silverware on dishes filled the massive dining hall, but it was all a rush of white noise for Sarah. She was surrounded by royalty, and she was quite out of her element.
She didn't even have Jareth's comforting presence at her side. He was seated right across from her, but the table was about six feet across.
Tapping her finger on the white tablecloth, she absently wondered when she had started to associate Jareth with reassuring company, rather than an annoyance or an insult.
The vapid blonde Fae seated on her right – the Duchess of something or other, Etaoin – touched her hand. "Really, Sarah – that is the most delightful name – I do so love your gown. I would have never thought such a dark colour would look good on someone with such dark hair, but you somehow manage to make it look ravishing!"
Unable to discern if the compliment was genuine or if it was hiding that nasty little barb she was almost certain was there, Sarah merely smiled, the gesture wooden and stiff, and turned to the duchess.
"Thank you so much, Lady Etaoin – and I must say that your necklace is simply stunning. I've never seen such an emerald before."
Such silly, insipid conversation nettled Sarah, but Jareth's approving glances and slight nods assured her that she was behaving accurately. The duchess preened, stroking a finger along the gold chain, from which a huge emerald dripped. "I should think not. But Jareth does give the most delightful gifts." She simpered at Jareth, who returned her gaze with a predatory stare.
Sarah managed to keep from gaping openly at the exchange. Not only had Jareth given this shallow woman a piece of jewellery that looked as though it could drown a horse, he was ogling her like she was a particularly delectable dessert.
Etaoin glanced around the table. "Why, I can see quite a few of Jareth's presents at this table – Rowena! Rowena!" She called across the table to the woman seated near the centre. She stood, smoothing her snow white hair – although she barely looked as old as Sarah – and rushed over to Etaoin with tiny, mincing steps. The two kissed, reminding Sarah of the girls she had gone to high school with.
"Rowena, show Sarah your lovely present from Jareth," Etaoin urged. Rowena batted white eyelashes at Jareth, and extended an almost childlike wrist to flash the diamond tennis bracelet that encircled it under Sarah's nose. "Isn't it exquisite?" she said, running her fingers over the gold.
"Breathtaking," Sarah agreed, shooting a glance at Jareth. But he was deep in conversation with a – thankfully male – Fae a few seats down.
"Jareth also had this gown made just for me," Rowena exulted, turning in a little circle so Sarah could admire her pale pink dress.
"He's so generous," Etaoin agreed. "Look at how many of us he's given such wonderful gifts – that ruby and sapphire necklace that Moiré is wearing, red and blue are her favourite colours, shame that they look ghastly with her complexion, and she's so tall. Then there's that hideous Tulliah, she's so proud of her amethysts, pretending they're not simply the most common jewels – fitting, really, seeing as she's such a common girl. Then…"
She continued, but Sarah was no longer listening, having had her fill of such nauseating conversation. Across the table, Jareth looked up, giving her a faint grin, but the glare she threw back at him was poisonous, and he blinked in confusion.
As the meal continued, course after course, Sarah grew more and more annoyed. How dare he leer at that silly, simpering Etaoin? How dare he give those foolish, empty headed women such lavish gifts, when all he'd ever given her was a pain in the neck?
'Not true,' something in her head chastised. 'He gave you your brother, and it cost him a lot.'
'Yes, but it cost me my freedom, in the end. He gets everything he desires, and he throws around his good looks and his flashy presents like they meant nothing.'
'Maybe they do mean nothing to him. Both the gifts and the women wearing them.'
Calmly ignoring the voice, Sarah sat through the rest of the evening with an icy expression. As Jareth escorted her back to her room, she swept inside without a word to him, locked both the main door and the door between their rooms, and collapsed on her bed.
The next day dawned bright and sunny, and Sarah was hard pressed to remember a day in the Underground that hadn't been pleasant – at least weather-speaking. She dressed quickly, with Lynaidia's help, and then set off exploring. She had a strong idea that if she was caught, it would be disasterous, but she couldn't help not caring.
She moved through a dimly lit hallway, pausing in from of a door. She pulled it open, conscious, for once, of Jareth's presence behind her. But she pretended not to notice, stepping into the dark room and searching for a lamp, or something to get rid of the strange shadows that flickered across the walls.
The slightest rush of air came from behind, and she knew that Jareth was about to grab her waist, as seemed to be his customary greeting. Without looking – and later, she would wonder how she had known – in the second before his gloved hands could touch her, she spun around, catching those hands in her own.
He blinked, surprised. "Yes?" she demanded coolly. His stunned expression quickly flashed to one more charming. "What are you doing in this room, my sweet?" he asked lightly.
She shrugged, releasing his hands. "Just wanted to have a look, but it's so dark in here." She gestured to the shadows that moved mysteriously. But the room flooded with light, almost as if she had flipped a switch, and the wavering shadows disappeared.
"Oh," Sarah intoned, breaking the newly fallen silence. "Thanks."
Jareth stared as she moved further into the room. She has assumed that he had turned on the lights, when in reality, he hadn't even thought to. He had been prepared to cross the room and open the heavy curtains that blocked the sun's rays, but Sarah's gesture had done the job. Watching her appraisingly, he pictured the hand movement she had used. It was one of the simplest magical gestures for "light" – taught to Fae children in their earliest year of study. Straightforward, but effective, to be sure – but Sarah was not a Fae child.
"It would seem that there is more to you than I thought, Sarah," he said under his breath.
"Oh, portraits!" the subject of his scrutiny exclaimed. "Wow." She was looking around the room, admiring at the gold frames that hung on the walls.
"Ah," Jareth commented mildly. "You've managed to stumble across the old portrait room."
"Why is it back here, all closed up and dark?" Sarah asked. "These are amazing."
"There, as I said, are old. Dusty, antiquated paintings that my mother no longer considers important." He motioned to the two or three blank spots that revealed red paint, brighter than the rest, once protected from sunlight by the picture that had hung there. "She took the few that she wanted, moved them to another room, and had new ones commissioned."
"Oh," she replied, still gazing at the paintings. "Hey, this one looks like you!"
She pointed to a life-sized portrait of a young man. He had ash blonde hair, falling around his head in the same wild style Jareth wore. His eyes were piercing green, and he looked very regal and strong, but there was a softer air about him – firm, but gentle; stern, but kind. He was dressed all in black, to emphasize his pale skin and hair, and he wore a large gold crown.
"My father, Ainmire," Jareth said, and the respect in his voice was clearly audible. Not the grudging, cold respect he paid his mother, this was true, warm admiration and reverence.
"Why doesn't your mother consider a portrait of your father to be important?"
He shrugged. "He had many likenesses painted. This is an old one, from when he had just become King. My mother prefers to view him in his later years."
"I can see where you get your good looks," Sarah commented, smiling. "Except that one blue eye – that belongs to your mother."
"A curse I never seem able to escape," he replied, frowning at the dark expression she suddenly wore. "Sarah?"
"My eyes are my mother's as well," she said softly. "My mother, who left me for Hollywood – who left me to see her every time I look in a mirror."
She turned away, and Jareth laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. It was clear that her mother had abandoned her when she was young, although the "Hollywood" she spoke of left him confused.
Detaching herself, Sarah moved towards another portrait. "Ew," she said, stepping closer. "Who – or what – is this?"
Striding to stand behind her, Jareth smirked at the sight of the painting. "That," he said, "is Xerruw. King of the Goblins," he added, almost as an afterthought. He waited for her reaction.
He did not wait long, and it was exactly as he had predicted. She turned to stare at him, then back at the hideous portrait. "This is the Goblin King?" she asked, shock, disgust, and disbelief colouring her voice. "And these…things…" she pointed to the large, grossly depicted creatures who clustered around the throne. "Are they goblins?"
"Indeed." Jareth watched the eyes of the thing that had once held his title.
Sarah flicked her eyes back to him. "Is he a goblin?"
Jareth smirked again. "He is. Fancy a goblin being the Goblin King."
She made a face at him. "Hey!"
She frowned. "I forgot that I was mad at you."
He smirked at her. "It couldn't have been much of a reason if you forgot so quickly." He flinched as she poked him in the chest.
"It was a good reason," she snapped back. "It's still a good reason."
He caught her hands as she moved to poke him again, echoing their earlier positions. "Well, what is it?"
"Why did you give all those stupid women all those fancy gifts? And more importantly, why did you let them flash them in my face? You know they were just doing it to make me feel unimportant."
He was quiet for a minute. "And do you?"
Her vengeful air melted away, and she lowered her head. "Sometimes," she said, barely audible.
"I hadn't thought that you were a woman who needed gifts and pretty words to feel significant, Sarah."
She looked up again. "I don't!" she exclaimed. "But sometimes…I don't know."
The look in his eyes was overpowering, and she looked away. "Sometimes I don't understand. You have all these beautiful women throwing themselves at your feet, but you keep saying you want me. Why?"
"I believe we have had this conversation – nearer to your arrival."
She smiled sadly. "Yeah, but I didn't like the answer very much."
He moved so fast she hadn't seen him coming. In one smooth movement, his gloved hand had captured her chin, jerking her head up and her lips to meet his. She started with surpise at the sudden move, but her eyes fluttered closed, unable to fight the seduction in his kiss.
He broke the kiss with as much suddeness as he had started it, leaving her flushed and breathing hard. "Perhaps that answer is more to your liking," he commented.
He grinned, turning back to the portrait of Xerruw.
Fighting back the urges that were tearing at her, she cleared her throat. "So…"
He looked back at her, his expression calm and mild. "Yes?"
"So tell me how you inherited this ugly creature's throne?" she suggested, stepping beside him.
Catching her hand in his, he began his story.
A/N: Please review!