DISCLAIMER - I don't own Sarah or Jareth or the Labyrinth (unfortunately) they belong to Jim Henson & Co, and I'm definitely not making a profit from this. (Bummer) All other NPC's are a figment of my own imagination.
Chapter 29 – Shattered Crystal
"Your Majesty," Isenith coughed politely, waiting for an answer he knew would not come. "They are waiting for you. They are all waiting for you." He sighed inwardly, his heart breaking all over again as Selindé looked up at him from where she sat in the remains of the rose courtyard, her hazel eyes empty of emotion yet still haunted, her pain hidden deep within herself.
"Did she manage to do it?" She whispered as she took Isenith's proffered arm as he escorted her through the veils to Lucia's residence.
"I'm not sure, you'll have to ask her." He said shaking his head as they walked into the beautiful sitting room she had only visited once before. She nodded at Theo who stood across the other side of the great fireplace and then stared at the High King.
"Queen Selindé." He nodded gravely.
"Your Majesty." She replied stiffly before noticing Lucia in the far corner, standing next to a closed door.
"I hope that my skill has been up to the task Selindé." Lucia said quietly as she watched her friend bite her lip in worry. Selindé nodded again before walking past, pausing to take a deep breath before she stepped into the room and closing the door behind her.
She stood and leant against the closed door, watching the man at the far side of the room as he studied the view from the window, ignoring her entrance. From the back he was just the same as she remembered him, and yet, as he finally turned to glare at her, she knew things would be different.
The lines of worry and anger that made his face so charismatic had faded, changed forever as Lucia had undone the ravages of time and the effects of the magic damage he had suffered as she had fought against the Unseelie court. His chest, pale beneath the night black poet's shirt bore the one remaining scar across his heart, half hidden by his pendant. It was his own eyes staring back at her that made Selindé want to weep. They were empty and emotionless, no sign of recognition or acknowledgement as he watched her warily.
"If you're going to stand there all day staring at me you should take a seat." He said as he folded his arms. He continued to glare at her as she jumped and then stepped forward, holding her hand out to him. In the palm of her hand, not clear, but filled with a milky white substance that sparkled and made it glow lay a crystal.
"What is it?" He asked warily, stepping back from her.
"It's a crystal, nothing more, but, it belongs to you." Selindé said desperately trying to keep the tears at bay.
"What does it do?" He said finally taking it from her hand, their fingers touching momentarily making Selindé bite her lip as painful memories came flooding back.
"If you turn it the right way, it will show you your dreams." She whispered before turning and running for the door, unable to contain her sorrow. She said nothing as she stepped through the veils, tears making fresh tracks down her face as the reality hit her.
She couldn't have said how long it had been between that moment and the one she now found herself in. She was numb to everything around her.
"You are summoned." The messenger said stiffly as he sketchily bowed, wary of her as she turned and looked at him from where she sat in the ruined courtyard surrounded by dead flowers. He handed her the scroll and immediately disappeared, glad to be away from the ruined fortress. Selindé broke the seal and read the letter from the Seelie Court, her heart sinking further into her stomach with each word. Without calling for Isenith she stepped immediately through the veils, leaving the letter lying abandoned on the dusty floor.
"Selindé Al'Shayene. You are summoned before us to bear witness for the claims made against you. You are bound by this courts rule that you shall speak only truth and will not withhold information, do you understand?" The High Seat stated as Selindé was escorted to the dock.
"Queen Selindé." She said absently making the High Seat frown in anger.
"Queen. Selinde." He said over exaggerating her title. "Do you understand or not?"
"Fae can not lie." Selindé whispered sadly to herself, ignoring the muttered voices in the overflowing room.
"Do you understand?" The High Seat called again, his voice hardening.
"You are here because a claim has been placed against you for the murder of High Princess Elindah Al'Gadréd. I cannot stress how severe this claim is, or the level of punishment you will receive if you are found to be guilty. How plead you?"
"Guilty." Selindé said staring at the floor as she listened to the shocked cries that echoed around the room.
"Because she deserved to die for what she did. Summoning the Unseelie ones was bad enough, invading the Labyrinth and trying to kill me worse, but murdering my King was inexcusable. I stand by what I did. She was insane."
"Silence! This court has not asked you for your explanations!" The High Seat screeched, slamming his fist down on the balcony before him. "King Joránn, step forward. You are one of those who has brought this claim to court. We will hear your claim and your evidence." Tilingdor bounded forward and quailed as he glanced up and caught the silent snarl on Selindé's face before turning and bowing to the High Seats.
"Aye, I make this claim. Since she was brought here she has caused nothing but trouble. First she was mortal, now she is not, then suddenly she is the lost heir to Shayene, then she claims King Jareth as her husband from Princess Elindah. Shayene should be returned to its rightful King, and she should be banished for the murder of Princess Elindah." Tilingdor spat, shaking his finger in Selindé's direction.
"What evidence do you have man, speak up!" One of the other High Seats sighed.
"I need no evidence! What I speak is truth! She admits it with her own breath, sentence her now!"
"King Tilingdor. Queen Selindé's royal origins have been confirmed and attested to by the Seelie themselves, would you claim that they lie?"
"Of course not!" Tilingdor spluttered aghast. "But they could have been deceived!"
"Fae can not lie Joránn, how then could they have been deceived?"
"She was a mortal! Everybody knows mortals lie through their teeth! Shayene belongs to me! Elindah was trying to see justice done!"
"King Joránn, this court is not in session to give you revenge! You are at risk of being insubordinate! Unless you have factual evidence that Queen Selindé committed murder, step down!" The second High Seat shouted above the noise in the courtroom. The noise suddenly ceased as The Labyrinth itself appeared in the form of a ghostly apparition as Selindé gasped and cried out.
"No! Don't do this!"
"This has gone far enough Selindé, if you don't stop this, then I shall." It threatened as it glided down towards the centre of the room, chuckling as Tilingdor fled the floor.
"Does this court recognise me?" It asked sternly as the 3 High Seats gathered together to mutter at each other.
"This court will recognise you for the defence."
"This farce of a hearing was brought before you from 2 men, Tilingdor and Magénne, who has yet to speak. Both hold grudges against Selindé for returning to Shayene that they believe should be theirs. Neither was there when the events of 3 months ago happened and can both only speculate as to the actual happenings."
"I on the other hand, was there, and witnessed everything."
"Go on." The High Seat said quietly.
"Elindah Al'Gadréd entered the Labyrinth against the direct orders of the High King and the Seelie Court, and attacked Selindé using Unseelie magic. I must inform the court that during this time Queen Selindé's…"
"Stop!" Selindé cried again.
"At the point of losing her own life she bonded with me to give her the strength to protect King Jareth's soul from being taken by the Unseelie ones, and by default gaining control of me. Elindah is accountable for more than the murder of my chosen King."
"Please don't do this!" Selindé wept in torment, standing up to try and stop the Labyrinth. "Don't bring back those memories!"
"Go on." The High Seats spoke in unison.
"Queen Selindé was pregnant. With twins!" The Labyrinth spat, its form darkening in anger. "She did not know at the time that the dark magic the Unseelie used to attack her stopped the childrens barely formed hearts, and I had to stand there and watch! " The Labyrinth paused for effect as around the courtroom gasps of shock were heard from the gathered Fey, who all turned to stare at Selindé as she seemed to deflate back into her chair in grief.
"My Queen not only fought to protect herself, her children, and her King, but also fought to protect the rest of the Underground from the Unseelie, and you have the audacity to stand here and make her accountable for the none too soon death of Elindah! Too far say I!"
"Indeed. This has gone on long enough." A new voice called from behind Selindé.
"This court will recognise The Seelie and The High King. You will dismiss this claim of murder against Queen Selindé immediately under our orders!" Silence reigned as everybody turned to watch the High King as he strode to the centre of the room followed gracefully by the Seelie.
"Once entered under the courts own rules, a claim can not be dismissed until a verdict is given Your Majesty." The Eldest High Seat said uncomfortably.
"I gave you a direct order, do not defy me."
"Very well then, the claim of murder against Selindé Al'Shayene is dropped, a verdict of not guilty is given for the record. I must strongly protest Your Majesty, this Court is meant to be above the jurisdiction of the High King."
"Only by my authority. Tilingdor, Magénne, you have been warned before against vengeance. If you do not cease and desist all attempts to undermine Shayene or Queen Selindé, I will be forced to pass judgement against you and remove your titles, this warning will not be given again." He said sternly to the two Fae who stood open mouthed. "I believe that covers everything." He nodded to the High Seats and left the way he had come, the Seelie creature following slowly afterwards, paused as it reached Selindé who stood with her head bowed, weeping.
"We thank you even if they do not. Your sacrifice will be rewarded." It paused as she looked up into the fathomless depths of its hood and nodded.
"A small consolation, but a consolation never the less."
Selindé sat on the chair in the dock trying to control the tsunami of emotions in her mind ignoring all other noises, even as the Labyrinth stood guard over her solitude.
"We should return Selindé…" It said eventually, breaking the deafening silence in her mind.
"I don't want to go back without him." She whispered. "How am I meant to go on knowing he doesn't remember me? I am as incomplete as you are, how can you ask me to go back?"
"Because we must. Perhaps if he returns to us he will remember, you must be strong for him."
"And what happens if he does remember? How can I tell him I… how can I tell him I lost our children?" She sobbed again covering her face with her hands in shame. "Every life is a gift, and I let them all slip away from me, how can I face that? I'm a murderer 4 times over, not just once!"
"You've developed a very disjointed view of the events Your Majesty, and it's only been 3 months. Perhaps we should take you to some of that counselling humans are so fond of." Jareth said sighing as he walked down the steps towards her."I told you, don't do that, you can't replace him even if you wanted to!" She whimpered, anger and hurt colouring her voice.
"No replacement Selindé, its not me standing beside you." The Labyrinth said its voice filled with relief.
"Jareth." Selindé gasped, turning to find him standing yards from her. "You remember…"
"3 months absent and no kisses, its disappointing really." He said to the Labyrinth who chuckled. He was knocked a step backwards as Selindé flung herself into his arms, kissing him desperately as he held her so tight she could barely breathe.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry I couldn't…" She sobbed as they slowly released each other.
"Magic may be powerful Selindé but love is stronger, my beautiful, clever, precious Queen." He whispered as he took them through the veils.
"Where we have succeeded once, we will succeed again, and I shall enjoy the trying immensely, make love to me my Queen, there's always forever to worry about everything else."
"Don't you ever think of anything else?"
"Mmmmm… no, but you wouldn't want me any other way."
"Your right but really…"
"WHAT THE... WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY CASTLE?"
"You're getting sidetracked Jareth, kiss me!"
"But my castle…"
"You can fix it in the morning, its not going anywhere, I demand that you kiss me to make up for 3 months worth of absence right now!"
"Is that an order or a wish?"