Author's Notes: This is very anti-me. I'm a happy ending person. I'm a Jareth/Sarah person. But then, I'm also an uber-angst person. I'm not the kind of writer that can really accomplish uber-angst the way I'd like to, but I have fun (so to speak) trying.
They call it love at first sight.
That's what she called it too. From the moment she first looked into those mismatched eyes, felt the silky strands of hair brushing her face, she knew.
This was love.
He was powerful and handsome, but it wasn't his looks or position that attracted her to him. Nor was it his darkness, or his aloof loneliness. All of these were alluring certainly, but it was a much more subtle seduction that worked its magic on the innocent young girl.
He worshiped her. It was in his eyes as he drank in her appearance hungrily. It was in his body as he stepped oh-so-gently around her. It was in his words, a desperate, deadly pain that only she could mend.
Innocent young girls are especially susceptible to that kind of manipulation.
Not that she saw it as manipulation, nor did he. They called it love at that time and still do to this day.
She could never resist it, she didn't try. Of all love, first love is the strongest.
Her brother returned home safely, a gesture of his love for her and her trust in him.
Then it began as expected.
His kisses were strange at first, to a girl who had never been kissed and had never expected to start with french-kissing. But she learned, and they moved on to other things, and she learned those too. A baptism by fire into a world of dark passions and physical lust.
At first it was enough for him, to have her willing body to do with as he pleased.
Then he began demanding more. He would stop her in the corridor, pressing her into the nearest corner to ravish her regardless of who might stumble upon them. Or pull her into his lap as he sat on his throne for passionate kisses that left his goblin citizens either averting their eyes or drooling outrageously.
Sarah told herself she shouldn't care if Jareth didn't.
But she did. Oh she did. Her face burned whenever she was alone long enough to think upon some of the publicly lewd acts she had participated in.
One day she was leaving her rooms with Hoggle for a picnic lunch and Jareth grabbed her arm. When she tried to pull a way, he merely gripped harder and she found herself fighting like a wildcat to free herself from his grasp. He wrestled her down onto the bed easily, smothering her with kisses and caresses until she subsided. But she had been humiliated and Hoggle was embarrassed and lunch had been a touchy affair with both of them laughing too loud and avoiding any subjects involving a certain king.
Then things began to get very…strange.
Jareth didn't just want sex anymore, he wanted…total domination. He gave her pet names and refused to refer to her by anything else. He wanted her to act certain ways at certain times and never refuse his advances. He liked to hear her call him by his title, or Your Majesty, or…Master. He gave her a silver necklace and asked (and expected) her to wear it always.
She did it all, willing and eager, for the sake of love.
Her friends stopped wanting to see her. Complete strangers began to whisper in the halls about her lack of morality. More and more, she found herself thinking back to the child she'd been before she met the Goblin King and wondering where she'd lost herself.
Jareth didn't see it. He didn't understand her concern. He worshiped her with his body and his mouth and his words, and when she touched him he trembled and melted before her like no man ever had before, and she forgot again about the little girl with rainbow dreams. It was as if she was the only woman that existed to him, and she needed no one but him.
And she believed it, oh poor child, she believed it all.
Then one day she found the others.
There were six of them at the time, though the eldest of them (who was still three years Sarah's junior) informed her that the number varied often, as he added new girls or the older ones vanished. Just like that, she said. Vanished. As if people disappearing from existence was perfectly normal.
She was angry of course. Irate. How could one man convince so many women that they were his one true love? Then again, it was only Sarah that had been deceived. The others had known about each other and more importantly about her all along.
She confronted him. He denied. Then he admitted. Then he confessed true love for her and her alone, and promised to get rid of all the others, who of course really meant nothing to him at all.
And in a fit of desperation, of trying to understand who he really was, she told him they could stay.
Love has such power.
After that she talked to them often, hoping to see from his perspective, trying to figure out how what one called 'cheating' seemed perfectly acceptable to another.
What she found frightened her.
The silver necklace she had been so proud of began to feel like a chain, a collar. His 'pets' all wore pretty silver pendants as well and bore them with just as much pride as Sarah bore hers. They all obeyed his every command, eagerly and without question, just as she was beginning to do. They never called him by name. It was as if they had no respect for themselves and expected none from him. And he gave them none, no more than he would any other object he possessed.
It was then that she knew she had to end it or risk losing herself forever.
But it's not so easy to leave the Goblin King. Not when he has dominated your life for so long. Not when you've given him more and more power over you until it seems impossible that you should live without him.
She tried to do it gently, asking for time alone, but he always returned after a few hours, angry and demanding. She fell further under his sway. The cycle repeated.
At last he noticed her distress.
"Are you trying to leave me, Sarah?" His voice was low and menacing. She could only stare at him, petrified. Even then, she still believed in their love. Fear for him and his feelings kept her from admitting it, but fear of him and how he was changing her kept her tongue frozen against the denial she felt almost compelled to give.
It was enough. He saw the truth in her eyes and in her silence. As he stormed out of the room, she trembled…out of relief of finally being freed and out of sorrow for the love that was lost.
For hours she sat silently listening to him rage, screaming and cursing, smashing things against walls, until finally silence fell.
He returned at last to find her sitting in the same place he had left her. All anger had gone from his face. The desperate, lonely air she remembered from their first meeting had returned and she felt her heart breaking. Once upon a time, it had been her goal to drive the sadness from his face forever, but now she had to give up, to save herself…
He fell to his knees before her and wept bitterly, startling her. She moved to embrace him, hesitated…backed away. It was no longer her place to comfort. He reached out for her and at the sight of his tear-stained face she felt as if her heart had torn itself from her chest to lie bleeding beside his. She didn't notice her own tears.
It was too late. She had made a decision. She had to stand by it. For her sake if not for his.
She would drown if she stayed by his side any longer. Didn't he realize how he was slowly smothering her?
Love should never destroy who you are.
He came to her twice again, trying his usual devices to bend her body and mind to his will. She turned him away coldly, ignoring the lingering desire for his embrace. And then...
She never saw him again.
And so Sarah passed out of existence in the Underground, soon to be forgotten, along with countless others Jareth had dismissed. The story he gave was that he had tired of her and sent her away, and that she had begged for him not to do so. Just like always. Just like all the others.
None of it mattered to Sarah. She was free, able to live her own life again and dream her own dreams. First love is never forgotten, but the pain of it lessens with time.
With time, she would love again, and hopefully more wisely so.
But there would be one she remembered when all others had passed away. Even when he had long since forgotten her, she would remember.
The Goblin King.
Her first love.