Fingers of light began to spread over the bricks of the maze as the sun began to rise. Stretched out at Sarah's feet was the Labyrinth. Her heart jumped as they entered into the familiar looking place. She recognized the initial labyrinth stretch looming right and left for what seemed like eternity.
Everything glittered maliciously, she observed. Like dark jewels stuck out in every crevice. Sarah knew why such an illusion existed. What was to be feared of glitter and sparkles? She idly wondered if other's had entered into this place under the spell of promised riches, only to be forever lost in its confusing clutches. She remembered the oubliette and shuddered visibly.
She sneered at his words and observed as Jareth drew towards the sparkling wall before him. She saw him appraise it as a seasoned expert would observe collectibles. Watching him approach the wall suddenly caused her to recall her first visit to the labyrinth and how she'd been instructed by that helpful little worm. She almost smiled at the memory.
the worm said, "you ain't looking right, you ain't. It's full
of openings. It's just that you ain't seeing 'em, that's all."'
She saw Jareth enter the same way she had those years ago, but much more casually. A man who knew exactly what he was doing. Sarah felt uncomfortably lost in these surroundings with him. He was so tricky, so devious. With every logical thing she held true to he was turning it on its head!
Jareth stepped before the large amass of bricks before him, his hands at his side as he entered into the wall, head held high. When he had entered, he turned slowly, looking to Sarah expectantly.
Sarah felt herself glued to the spot. Once she entered into that place, full stepped into that familiar and yet frightening place, there really was no turning back. She glanced down the long aisle on either side of her, wondering how she could get back. Did she dare?
She glanced back to Jareth, whose face bore the look of calm reassurance. She wanted to slap that supercilious look right off his pale face. She knew why she had to go through with all of this. She knew why she couldn't run from him home. Toby. She couldn't continue to live in fear that he would somehow be turned into a creature and all because she had called Jareth that first time.
"Time is fleeting," Jareth called out, breaking her thoughts.
Sarah felt her stomach dropping as she made her way forward, walking towards the wall before her. She touched the sides gingerly, feeling their cold and slightly damp texture. She grimaced before stepping into the wall, her hands before her blindly searching. Jareth was waiting for her on the other side, appraising her without her knowledge and when he saw her enter he began walking in one direction rather hurriedly.
"Wait," she called impulsively after him, seeing the direction they were headed in. "We go this way?"
"Of course. It leads directly to the castle," Jareth offered, bemused.
Jareth continued on purposefully as Sarah muttered something that he couldn't quite catch, but sounded suspiciously like: "stupid little worm".
It was ten minutes later, with Sarah following Jareth like a lost puppy, for she knew if she ran he could find her easily in this place. And if she didn't do as she had promised Toby's life may be in danger. She looked to the creature's back before her, noting the perfect posture and how he radiated charisma (which was completely wasted on her for she saw right through the charade.)
"Are we almost to the castle?" she finally offered dimly.
"It's a short walk yet," Jareth called over his shoulder. "Why do you ask?"
"I suppose I'm just surprised," Sarah offered with a listless shrug. "Does it usually take you this long to reach the castle?"
"Of course not," Jareth replied haughtily. He turned on his heel, and stalked towards her calmly, a small smirk about his lips. "I could have had us there with a snap."
Sarah observed the man's countenance, his easy smile and careless way of addressing her. Suddenly he didn't seem the same. Didn't seem as powerful. She viewed the labyrinth stretching out before her. There was something amiss in this place, and she could feel it in the air. But was it the place that had changed or her? Or was it him?
Why does he need me here? Sarah questioned herself rapidly. He's all powerful, he has everything he wants right here. Why would someone with that much power-
Suddenly the light went on for Sarah.
"I don't believe you."
Jareth raised a sardonic eyebrow at her words. "You don't what?"
"I don't believe you," Sarah repeated, arms folded. "I think I know why I'm here."
Jareth crossed his own arms, leaning one against the firm wall of the labyrinth. "And what conclusion have you come to?"
She frowned slightly at the pet name but continued. "You're losing your powers. You've brought me here because I'm the one that defeated you. I'm the only one that can reinstate your power!"
There was a heavy pause between them, one in which Sarah viewed Jareth's mouth twitching slightly. She assumed he was trying to control his features, but much to her chagrin she realized he was trying his hardest not to laugh.
"Ah Sarah," Jareth said, so sure of himself that Sarah realized she'd been way off the mark. She stood there before him unsure of what he may do next. He continued, his smirk never fading.
"Poor confused girl. I chose not to get us to the castle so quickly in the hopes that we might talk a bit. Get to know one another better. I assure you, my powers have not waned in the slightest. Why, if I wished for us to be at the castle now, it would be all too easy."
He'd moved from his spot on the wall, his frame coming closer to her own. He leaned in gently, his hot breath tickling her ear and his voice a dark whisper. "It would be a piece of cake, to use your charming turn of phrase."
Sarah felt herself reddening at his words, feeling even more the clumsy youth she had been and in some ways still was. He pulled away, and motioned for her to follow suit. She complied darkly, her eyes at the ground and her teeth grinding in irritation.
"But I don't suppose you feel much like talking now, do you Sarah?"
Sarah said nothing, her gaze still on the ground before her. She heard a soft chuckle from ahead and sighed to herself in frustration. She hoped Toby appreciated all the junk she'd had to go through for him. Jareth turned slightly, still walking.
"I thought not."
Before she could say or do anything, Jareth was before her. He gave her a puzzling look before grasping her hand in his own. She felt the soft material of his gloves wrapped around her fingers. The world began to spin slightly, and so she closed her eyes tightly.
She felt Jareth's grip releasing her own, and so she opened her eyes slowly, almost afraid at what she may see. What she did see surprised, but did not frighten her.
"What did you expect?" Jareth scoffed as she gazed around the new room. She'd never been in this one before.
She was in a large expanse of a room, with gilded columns and mirrors everywhere as if the room had once known opulence. Between glittering cornices were hung many long chandeliers where the wax, dripping for a hundred years, had formed stalactites. The silk covering of the walls had faded and, in places, worn threadbare. It was if under all this beauty, there was an underlying sense of decay. A place that had once been beautiful, but like a toy that had been forgotten and left to fend for itself, it was worn down and a shell of what it once was.
Sarah idly wondered what the place would have been like had it continued to be kept up. She hadn't time to dwell on the thought, for her eyes were trained on Jareth who undid his cape and lazily threw it to the floor. She viewed it floating to the ground when she thought she heard something. She turned, seeing nothing but scuffed marble floors and high walls that made her feel remarkably small in comparison. When she looked back to Jareth, she viewed that the cape was gone.
"Your cape," Sarah said gently, almost to herself.
"They'll take care of it," Jareth offered with a flippant wave of his hand. Sarah wasn't exactly sure who 'they' were, but she had an idea she didn't really want to know.
Jareth looked to her with a flirtatious grin on his face before stepping over to her, his hands coming to rest at the top of her jacket. She felt him unzipping it slowly, his eyes never leaving her own. Her body responded before her mind, and she turned from him, clutching the zipper and drawing it upwards.
Jareth's eyes flashed with irritation only a minute and then he gave a curt nod. With that he was stalking off down one of the long hallways.
"I suggest you keep up," he threw over his shoulder. "It's far too easy for a girl like you to get lost in a place like this."
Sarah didn't dare wait to see if he was bluffing. Already she could feel eyes on her from all directions. Shuddering slightly, she followed quickly after Jareth, her eyes scanning the darkened halls before her for any clue as to what lurked in the shadows.
They walked a few moments before Jareth suddenly turned round sharply, causing the oblivious Sarah to walk right into him. She noted with flushing cheeks that he didn't seem to mind at all. Pulling back quickly, she gave him a dark look.
"You may pick any room you like," Jareth said cordially when she'd recovered. His hands dramatically swished around him, silently offering her what she desired. "Anything you wish shall be yours."
Sarah felt her stomach sinking as he said this. Suddenly she realized with fresh nausea that her stay was going to be a long one indeed. Her eyes scanned the long hall of many doors, stopping upon the long door at the end of the hallway.
Thick, she noted dimly. Thick and it looks like there are locks. Good for keeping out unwelcome pests.
She was aware that Jareth's magic could break down the sturdiest of locks, but with any luck any other creatures in the castle would be deterred. Perhaps if she was lucky, Jareth would get the hint.
"I'll take that one," Sarah said, pointing down the hall. "The one with the tall wooden door and crystal doorknob."
Jareth's smirk died slowly as he realized her request, "that room is off limits."
"But you said I could have any room I wanted," Sarah challenged, her hands upon her hips. "And I want that one."
"Life is cruel that way," Jareth sneered. "My position still stands. You may have any room you desire, except the one at the end of the hall."
"This is ridiculous," Sarah said with a rolling of her eyes. Before Jareth could add anything snide, she stole across the hallway, barging into the nearest bedroom and slamming the door behind her.
The room was barely lit, but she was pleased to see a thick padlock on her side of the door. Perhaps Jareth will take the hint she smiled to herself, locking it with a soft click.
She turned and viewed the room before her; decayed splendor. The bed was a large four poster bed of faded crimson, fit for a queen, surely. The dressers were a rich mahogany, and the closet was separated with a thick piece of fabric. There was a fireplace, already lit as if expecting her arrival.
She was surprised to see she had a window and rushed towards it eagerly. This would be her escap- the words died in her mind as she leaned over the windowsill, ever so slowly. Her stomach lurched as she looked below. Everything was minuscule, the figures small dots. She could see the entire Goblin city and labyrinth from where she stood, looking out. She was so high up, there was no escape.
She backed away, looking for any other escape route, should she grow desperate. She saw none. She felt her anger and fear bubbling inside of her and fell to the bed distraught.
"Oh someone take me away from this awful place!" Sarah moaned into her hands.
Sarah knew she shouldn't be surprised to see him sitting casually on her bed, but it was still a shock to her system. Jareth leaned against the pillows, his hands behind his head.
"Comfortable," he commented with a grin. Sarah pulled back to the end of the bed, her eyes red rimmed and furious.
"Temper temper," Jareth cooed, rising slowly. "I shall leave when the right time arises."
"The right time is now," Sarah intoned angrily, sliding to a standing position and moving to the door. "Get out."
"I shall," Jareth said, but he made no move to do so.
"If you don't, I will."
"But how do you propose leaving, Sarah?" Jareth offered casually. "You've locked yourself in...But do you have a key?"
Sarah felt her cheeks reddening slightly at his words. In all her flurry of rushing in and locking everything out, she'd forgotten that to unlock the lock, she'd need one.
"You know I don't."
"I do know that," Jareth said with a nod, stealing closer to her. "And I will be overjoyed to come to your aid once again, Sarah. But times have changed and my services are not free."
"Like they ever were," Sarah mumbled to herself angrily.
"I have my price."
"Isn't me being a prisoner here price enough?"
Jareth said nothing, only continued to gaze at her in that feral way of his. As if she were a most delectable looking cake he was aching to sample. She grew uneasy under such a gaze, and finally relented with a sigh.
"Fine, what's the price?"
He stepped closer, causing her heart to hiccup.
"Oh, just get away from me," Sarah sputtered disgustedly, moving to the closet just to be away from him and his animalistic gaze. He followed her slowly, stalking towards her.
She turned and felt her stomach dropping at once. Inside the closet were the most beautiful dresses she'd ever seen. Once was more elaborate and beautiful than the next. In colors of red, green, white, pink, blue...everything! They were like the clothes she once used to play dress up in but much more amazing.
"Do you still long to wear them?" Jareth cooed in her ear. She shivered at the sensation; she hadn't realized he was so close. But that was the curse of this place, being wrapped up in daydreams. She was still gazing at the dresses and brought a timid hand to the white one, closest to her.
"You haven't even seen all of them," Jareth whispered, his hand coming from behind her to pull the red curtain back and showcase all the clothes in the closet. She felt her heart hiccup at the gorgeous fabrics, the gold beading, the diamond cuffs and more. Sarah's eyes traveled through them like a child scanning the candy shelves, stopping suddenly on a large, elaborate ball gown of silver and grey. Her heart began to flutter and she felt weak.
"Yes," Jareth soothed.
"I know that dress."
"Do you?" Jareth asked innocently, bringing it off its hook and holding it out to her. "Perhaps you'd like to try it on now?"
She nodded gently at his gentle offer. Sarah's eyes were glazed and she reached out for the elaborate ball gown, remembering how beautiful she'd looked that night. How stunning and mature she had been in Jareth's arms. She'd looked so grown up as she swayed to the music with him. Oh, the days when she longed for maturity. Now she'd do anything to turn back the clock. But as her fingers grazed the fabric, she felt a jolt and her head cleared.
"No. Get it away from me."
Jareth's face turned from knowing to furious all too quickly. He was like a child with those emotions. When he didn't get what he wanted he turned into a sulking child.
He threw the dress into the closet, not bothering to hang it up once more. It didn't occur to Sarah to question how he knew she'd pick that room and have all these clothes ready. It didn't matter; she wouldn't be staying. She looked to the dress, looking suddenly dismal and pathetic crumpled in the corner like that. It infuriated her to see it so easily tossed aside.
Before she could say anything in protestation at his immature actions, Jareth had gripped her roughly by the wrist and dragged her towards him. She kept her head down; for fear that he would take her kiss by force. She knew she was powerful, but this was Jareth's world. Who knew what magic he could conjure?
"Let me go."
"Look at me, Sarah."
"I demand it."
Suddenly he was moving forwards, pushing her gently into the wall. Sarah could feel her heart pounding painfully within her chest. This was all so foreign to her. The Jareth of not so long ago had never been this demanding. The Jareth she once knew had been menacing, but not so...
"You're different," Sarah whispered, trying to find the courage to look at him. It failed, and her eyes could only rest at his sharply angular chin. His face drew nearer as she spoke.
"Different?" he rasped against her cheek.
Jareth paused, his face drawing back and his grip loosening.
"Perhaps you like me better different, Sarah."
Sarah's eyes drew to his own then in surprise. Her face flushed slightly at his scrutiny and she wished for nothing more than to be left alone. As if he could hear her thoughts, Jareth moved from her and towards the door. He looked over his shoulder to her back, her head slightly tilted downward into her hands.
"I should leave you to get more comfortable."
He moved to the door, his hand on the doorknob when she spoke. Her voice was quiet but firm, determined. He would always pause for a voice like that.
"I want to know why I'm here."
He didn't move much for a moment, his mismatched eyes gazing at the door in front of him. He heard her turn and could feel those eyes of hers upon him. He stood straighter and turned slightly until his eyes were fixed upon her own.
They looked to one another a moment in mute appreciation. Opponents. Equals. Sarah's mouth parted slightly. It was Jareth who moved however, the first to drag his eyes away because of the intensity of the moment.
"In due time, Sarah."
With that, he walked through the arch of the door, closing it slowly behind him. Leaving Sarah to fall to her knees; covering her face with her hands.
Silently praying for hope.