Author's Notes: This isn't your typical "Sarah/Jareth happily ever after" type of Labyrinth fanfiction. Actually, Sarah and Jareth are hardly in this at all. This is more or less a one-shot focusing on why Ludo was always tormented by the goblins. I recieved the prompt from my good friend Kaitlin, to whom this story is dedicated.

Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Labyrinth franchise or anything involved with it. This is purely recreational, and I can assure you, no profit is being made from this.

For Whom The Fire Burns

He was as a mountain of flame-all aglow in miscreant distortion. He was the monster beneath every bed, the wicked beast in every far fetched fairy tale. He loomed above them all like an overgrown tree. It's no surprise, then, that they had to cut him down. Cut him down into bits and pieces of scrap wood, so as not to ignite their leader's fury. It was his word that fueled their own rage, their own appetite for the destruction of Ludo, the beast before them now.

Ludo was dangerous, according to Jareth. He was wild, untamed. He would only muck up the glitter of the glamour. He was different, and according to Jareth, his royal majesty, different became the equivalent of dangerous.

There weren't too many things Jareth considered 'different.' Sarah, according to their leader's words, their very own gospel, was different. But Ludo wasn't Sarah, and Jareth certainly wasn't ready to keep Ludo trapped in the labyrinth of his own heart. Ludo was poison, whereas Sarah was merely watered down wine-she had her moments, but in the eyes of their leader, she wasn't much of a threat.

They listened, clinging to his words like promised salvation-if only they could find absolution in his voice. They went, commanded as though they were going to war. It certainly felt like it, what with all the weapons and artillery they carried. They marched like machines, their mechanisms all choreographed, echoing with a severe lack of passion.

Ludo was rage. They couldn't see the love beneath his harsh exterior. He was like a turtle, in his shell, waiting. Waiting for the moment when he knew something other than the reprimands of tyranny. He was a dictated country under the regime of Jareth. But then again, so were they. In the end, they were all victims, all casualties. Jareth probably had a storage room somewhere, in that monolithic obstruction of a palace of his. There, he more than likely, under lock and key, held their freedoms captive.

But rebellion did no one any good. They heard the tales, the stories from the Bog of Eternal Stench. They did not want to be the first to step out of line, they didn't want to be the last. They didn't want to set off the time bomb that was Jareth's fragile temper.

Ludo just wanted someone to understand.

So they walked on broken glass, held their heads high above the rest. They faked smiles and apathy, strutting about as though they didn't care.

Ludo just wanted someone to set him free.

Like all those ants, marching one by one, they were setting fire with their own complacency.