Author's Note: I had another idea for a story. A premise, really. And, before I could do the next chapter of Sleepwalker, I had to get this first chapter out. If you like this, or the idea behind it, please let me know. I'm really interested in what a reader might think of this idea. In my own way, this is a direct sequel of the movie. And, obviously, the dialogue in this chapter (only this chapter) is taken directly from the end of the movie. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: These are always mandatory when dabbling in fan fiction. If there is anything at all that is reminiscent of the 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth, then it probably belongs to Jim Henson, et al., including (but not limited to) the characters of Sarah Williams & Jareth, the Goblin King. Any other characters are the property of this author.
You may think you know about what happened after those 13 hours.
There's a face that we hide till the nighttime appears,
and what's hiding inside behind all of our fears,
is our true self, locked inside the façade...
She was hesitating. He could see it in her green eyes – the strength faltered, confusion blossomed. She turned away from him, presenting him with a glimpse of her flawless profile, as she struggled to recall the words. The clock continued to tick and, with every second that passed, she became more frustrated; that frustration, he was pleased to see, became her. Not that that should surprise him – whether in costume or in plain clothes, in make-up or pure, Sarah Williams was the epitome of beauty to his eye.
Jareth, the reigning monarch of the Goblin Kingdom, could not recall the moment that he decided that this mortal – this fifteen year old babe, really – would become his Queen. She was not prettier, nor stronger, nor faster, nor cleverer of wit than the many of the nobles of the Underground yet there was something about this girl that stole his attention. Before the cursed red book had fallen into her slender hands, he had been more than willing to have various women of the High Court as companions, quickly forgotten once the whim suited him. But this one… this one he knew he wanted to keep.
"My kingdom is as great…" she repeated, growing all the more flustered as the following line refused to come to her. To be honest, up until that point, Sarah was doing a respectable job of masking her true emotions and coming off as more confident than she really felt, but, now, she lowered her gaze and gave Jareth even more insight into her true feelings. "Damn! I can never remember that line."
The Goblin King knew that time was almost up. If only he could stall her long enough to let the time run out, then he could have both the boy and the girl – he was not willing to give either one of them up. However, victory would seem as sweet as that bewitched peach if he earned it instead. All Jareth wanted at that moment – and this was a Fae who was used to getting everything he wanted – was Sarah to concede her will to him. "Just fear me… love me… do as I say. And I will be your slave," he said, offering Sarah his heart and his kingdom as simply as he could. How could she deny him now?
Sarah still did not meet his heavy gaze. She lowered her eyes as she mumbled to herself – that same damn line over and over. "My kingdom is as great… my kingdom is as great…" She paused and her head lifted as if she had an epiphany, a moment of revelation. Slowly, she turned to meet his mismatched eyes. "You have no power over me."
Just in case he did not hear her – or, because she did not believe herself that she had said it – Sarah repeated the (assumed) fateful words, clearer and stronger the second time. "You have no power over me!"
The clock began to chime. With every ring that announced the end of the thirteen hours, Jareth grew all the more incensed. He had been bested, bested by this child. He sighed and, in his own annoyance, tossed the crystal he had held between gloved fingers into the air. The illusion shattered, the Escher Room crumbled about them and he transformed into his owl form.
Sarah and her brother disappeared. Jareth flew away from the shattered remnants of the Magickal room. And both of them knew that it was not over yet.
Sarah was not sure if it was all a dream. It felt real, she could not imagine it being false but she was not the child she had been when the night started. Instead of worrying about what had (or not) just happened, Sarah raced up the steps, ignoring the chiming of the clock around her. She ran straight to her parents' bedroom, eager to see Toby. Just in case.
"Toby? Toby?" she said, entering the room. She hurried right over to his crib and let out a sigh of relief when she saw the little blonde boy resting in the base of the crib. He's alright… She felt a surge of affection for her tiny half-brother and wanted to express this emotion. "I'd like Lancelot to belong to you now," she said, placing the teddy bear alongside her brother. She smiled down on him before leaving him to sleep. She went to her bedroom and, though she was a bit hesitant to go inside – the eerie face of that junk lady from her dream came to mind – she entered. The familiarity of the room set her at ease at once.
"We're home. Sarah, are you home?"
Sarah lifted her head. It was her father. He and Karen must have just arrived home. "Yeah." She lifted her voice so they could hear her downstairs. "Yes, I'm home."
Sarah was up, standing just before her dresser, clearing it of anything that she no longer needed when she heard a second voice. "Good bye, Sarah."
Her green eyes met the glass. In one corner of the vanity's mirror, she could see the form of the hairy beast. Ludo. It wasn't a dream, Sarah thought, relieved. She turned her attention entirely to the glass.
Sir Didymus appeared just as Ludo faded from the mirror. "And remember, fair maiden, should you need us…" And he was gone.
Hoggle's weathered face replaced the small knight. "Yes, should you need us… for any reason at all…"
"I need you, Hoggle," she said, before she knew the words were out of her mouth. But, as soon as they were, she knew that she meant them. She was not prepared to give up all of her fantasy. She was not ready to leave all of her childhood behind her just yet.
Hoggle seemed surprised. "You… you do?"
"I don't know why, but every now and again in my life, for no reason at all, I need you – all of you," Sarah admitted, gazing longingly into the reflective glass. Life was not fair. She had just met them all, and for such a short period of time. She did not want to give up them all yet.
Interestingly, despite all that she had been through over the course of those thirteen hours, Sarah only remembered the sense of love and protection she held for her brother (though it had been hidden to her before this incident), as well as the sense of camaraderie she knew towards the labyrinth's creatures. The fear and exhilaration – the mild childish crush she had felt towards the labyrinth's liege – was lost to her in the aftermath of his defeat.
Hoggle adopted that expression he wore when he thought he was smarter than the girl. It was an amused expression and made him appear not as gnarled. "Oh, you do? Well, why didn't you say so?"
And, with that, they were all in her room. Through her vanity, and brought there by the powers she unwittingly had been gifted by the Goblin King, Ludo and Hoggle and Didymus… even some of the goblins… and the laughing, outrageous Fireys… had appeared in her room.
"Yeah!" Sarah laughed, enjoying their presence in her room. It wasn't a dream at all. And I'm glad. These are my friends… I have friends.
Poor girl. She had no idea just what would happen to her shortly.
The fourteenth hour had begun. Unbeknownst to Sarah, Jareth did not plan on following his self-imposed thirteen hour time limit. When he bestowed the knowledge – and the power – unto the mortal girl that enabled her to wish away her brother, he had done so with the assumption that there was no way in which she could best the enchanted labyrinth – especially with the various tricks and cheats he could reveal in order to rob her of much of those given hours.
Jareth had not expected the girl to beat him. Admittedly, he had underestimated her – and he would not do that again. Sarah Williams was, to the smitten Goblin King, even worthier to be his Queen now than before she had called on him to whisk her baby brother to the Underground.
Still in his avian form, transfigured into a white owl with two distinctly colored eyes – the mark of his Faerie House – Jareth glided and navigated his way across the Aboveground. As part of the Rules, the Rules which he actually had to obey, he was disallowed to take his Fae form in the Aboveground unless he was invoked or invited. Sarah, by wishing on him to take her brother, had invited him into her home; he could resume his male form once he was inside her house. Before that, however, he had to rely on feathers and wings.
Having spent so much time, especially in the early days when he first felt the young girl recite the words in folly in that park she was so fond of, watching her, Jareth arrived just outside the Victorian style house only moments after Sarah arrived herself. He circled the house, passing the tree in the front various times, before taking a perch just outside of Sarah's bedroom window.
Jareth was a very impulsive Fae; it came with being only a handful of centuries old, quite young for one of his kind. In fact, he was only just into his second century of reigning over the Goblin Kingdom – and already his mother and father were calling for him to take a bride. His various liaisons with noble women of the Court and daughters of Council members pleased them greatly. He was the youngest child in his family and the only one without children of his own. His mother sought to rectify that as soon as possible. His father just wanted to see him with an heir to the Goblin Throne, should anything happen to Jareth.
The owl ruffled his feathers and gripped the branch with his talons before settling himself in. In one night, he had had a prospective queen and heir within his grasp and, miraculously, they had slipped through his very fingers. He was angry at himself, furious even, that he had taken Sarah so lightly. He had assumed that, as a mortal child on the cusp of womanhood, she would fall prey to the early traps built into the labyrinth. However, once she had gotten as far as the oubliette, Jareth began to understand that he should not take the brunette at face value.
No matter what he threw her way after that, though, Sarah bested it all. She befriended the gnarled dwarf that guarded the gates and eventually received his loyalty and, even worse, his help.
It was the peach that gave him hope. Full of a sleeping draught that would bring her very dreams to life, Jareth enticed the dwarf to betray Sarah and give her the enchanted fruit. The threat of the Bog of Eternal Stench was enough and, quite wisely, the dwarf complied with his request. It was not long before he felt the pull of successful magick.
The Masquerade Ball that Sarah envisioned surprised him yet titillated him at the same time. As much as she could fight against him while awake, her dreams showed him that she very much enjoyed his company. Masks or not, she called out for her prince – her King - as she made it past the rude spectators of the scene. They jeered and called out to her but Sarah ignored him, looking solely for him. Which, of course, meant that he was there for her. After all the years – three years, while not long to an immortal, was long when that immortal desired something he could not have – that he had watched her from afar, through crystals and as an owl, Jareth had the opportunity to embrace the child.
He took it, as graciously as he could. Sarah had dreamed herself into a beautiful white dress and had her dark hair set in a manner which made her seem all the older. However, her innocence – the essence that Jareth associated only with the mortal girl before him – made her stand out from the others in the scene. Even though it was all Sarah's design, Jareth regained his consciousness as a presence in her dream. With the child in his arms, he sang to her. It was an old song, of promise and of love.
She responded to the melody at first but, as the song wound down and the dancing began to stop, the words seemed to affect Sarah. But I'll be there… As the world falls down… It's falling… Falling in love… Whatever it was, Sarah could not accept his claim that he had fallen in love with her. She rebuked him, running from his very touch, fighting through the crowd to get away from him. She found the exit and, with strength he had never before attributed to the girl, she used a chair to smash through the crystal, ending her own Ball.
But, just because she chose to leave the dream, it did not mean that Jareth believed that his words were forgotten. There was a flicker of uncertainty as they were in the Escher room – he was almost positive that he saw it. She wanted him, as much as a fifteen year old babe could desire a Fae.
However, she chose to save her brother over remaining Underground with Jareth. That did not mean that, given other circumstances, Sarah would not acquiesce to being his Queen. And, now, as he perched outside of her room, watching the girl speak with and enjoy the companionship of those she met in the labyrinth – the dwarf, the small knight, the hairy beast – Jareth waited his turn.
The fourteenth hour had begun. And the Goblin King was ready this time.