Author's Note: I really am enjoying this story. It's going to be dark and, for that, I am happy. I like a vengeful, unaffected Jareth (well, unaffected by everything but Sarah, of course). I see their love as a game – an obsession to the breaking point. I hope to portray this while, at the same time, trying to show how I think the movie could have continued on (if we look at the movie with the assumption that Jareth is, in fact, in love with Sarah). I hope that anyone reads this enjoys it. I'm going to really be creating my own realm within this story and I hope it's easy to understand. Some parts might seem confusing but all will be revealed in good time. Until then, read, review, enjoy. Woot.
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.
How do you tell evil from good?
Evil does well - good not so good!
Evil's the one that is free everywhere -
Good is the one that they sell!
The sunlight filtered in through the half-opened bedroom window. It seemed to settle directly on the sleeping girl's face and, almost as if she could feel the intensity of the ray, she wrinkled her nose and turned her head away from it. Lost in a realm halfway between sleep and awake, Sarah struggled to retain her flimsy handle on continued slumber. She had had a very strange dream that robbed her of a full rest – now that dawn was approaching, she did not want to wake.
Her alarm clock had not gone off, blaring its obnoxious bong… bong… bong…; Karen had not called for her to get ready for the early session of Mass down at the Church. Therefore, the way Sarah figured it, as she snuggled her face into her pillow, the light was only bothering her because the window was open, not because it was time to rise. But hadn't she shut her window? She could not possibly have left it open, especially after the way she had watched the Goblin King enter through her parents' bedroom window – could she?
Just a hazy mention of the Goblin King within her mind broke the fragile hold she had on her unconsciousness. Her green eyes reluctantly opened and, as if she was remembering the strange nightmares she had had throughout the night, she sat up in the bed. There was one moment of quiet indecision before she was wide awake and alert. Earnestly, she began to glance around her room and was overly relieved to find that she was in her bedroom. She could see her familiar vanity and her row of books. There was her collection of stuffed toys and, of course, her music box.
She had the insane urge to pick up her music box and throw it across the room but she did not. The ceramic face of the dancer and her unseen mate seemed to mock her in the openness of the morning but, somehow, she quelled the childish desire. Rather than smash the figurine so that their perfect dance would never be again, she turned her face away.
Sarah pulled the blankets away from her and glanced down at her nightgown; unlike the rags she had worn during the first part of her nightmares, the nightgown was whole, even if it was the worn material she knew so well. She exhaled briskly, the breath she had not even known she had been holding coming out in a quick rush. It had been an irrational fear, she knew, brought on by a strange series of dreams.
A labyrinth? A Goblin King? Toby being stolen away just because I wished it? A Bog of Eternal Stench with permanent stink? Sarah, the fear ebbing way, stood up out of her bed as she continued to make a list of the more realistic characters from her night-run imaginings. Being thrown into a dungeon by my father and stepmother? And then a figment of my imagination offering to take me away from it all… Just like she had thought to herself when she woke up, panting slightly for fear of her nightmare, the girl came up with a simple solution. "I've got to stop telling Toby fantasy stories before I go to bed," she mumbled as she crossed her bedroom.
Whether it was early or not, Sarah knew she was not going to be able to fall back asleep; she might as well head downstairs and get some breakfast before Karen starts nagging her to get ready for Service. Yawning, she reached for her door handle and, after turning the knob, swung the door in. But, when she gazed outward, she was not met with the simple white hallway that she knew but the intimidating form of the Goblin King, standing in a wide, rocky area.
"They're not just stories, Sarah," he said simply, blocking her exit by placing his hands on both sides of the doorframe and leaning inward.
Sarah did not know how to react. She wanted to shriek in surprise, she wanted to slam her bedroom door in his face, she wanted to pinch herself to make sure she was not still dreaming… but she did not do any of those things. Instead, with her mouth slightly ajar, she slowly turned around, presenting her back to him. If she was not facing her elaborate imaginings, the King would just fade into nothing… right?
There was one small problem with her logic. She had thought that she would be safe in the sanctuary of her room – that, as long as she was well within the security of those four walls, nothing could harm her – but, when she turned around, she found that she was no longer in her bedroom. The room she found herself in was large and bare; her various belongings had vanished, leaving only her copy of Labyrinth and that blasted music box behind.
The door slammed behind her, followed by a heavy echo, but Sarah was so surprised at her discovery that she did not even flinch. In fact, she did not make any movement until Jareth spoke up from behind her. "Do you like it, Sarah? It's yours."
"I… I don't want it," she whispered, strangely calm. She could not, for the life of her, understand what was going on. But it was that not she was just calm – she was numb, unaffected almost. Sarah, rather than waste her energy at growing distressed, took a deep breath and continued to stare at the room. When nothing present offered any explanation, she glanced at herself.
She made a strangled cry in the back of her throat as her eyes made contact with the clothes she wore. She was absolutely certain that she had worn her favorite nightgown before falling asleep – but the dress she wore now was so unlike her nightgown that the panic began to well. The dress was beautiful – she was not denying it – but it was nearly sheer; it covered much of her body, falling just above her knees, but was sleeveless and much too revealing for Sarah's taste. She quickly crossed her arms over her chest, though the King had not removed from his place behind her.
Her mouth was extremely dry, all of a sudden. She swallowed a few times, in rapid succession, in an attempt to control herself. The panic was threatening to rise, though she could feel the strange numbness deep within her battling to contain the fright. Finally, when she felt as if her throat was moist enough to speak again, Sarah whispered again. "Where am I?"
"You are home. These are your new chambers, Sarah. A little bare but I thought it best to wait until you were settled to decorate. Do you like it?" He reached for her shoulders – she was trembling – but did not set his fingers atop her free flesh. He left a buffer of a few inches; it would not be in his best interests to take advantage of the girl so early on.
She did not answer him right away. Maybe it was because she did not know how to respond, or maybe it was because she could not believe that she to answer him in the first place. Either way, Sarah stood there, hugging herself, as she tried to process what was happening. She found it impossible. It was much easier to believe that this was all just a continuation of a very realistic dream. "No," she replied, her voice small. "No. This isn't right. I shouldn't even be here. I was just in my room—"
The Goblin King dropped his hands and shook his head, though she could not see the action. "You were not, Sarah. The bedroom you saw was not yours but, instead, an illusion. Glamour. I thought it best if you woke up comfortable before told of your new… situation," he explained, interrupting her. "Quite generous of me, really. But, of course, we could not have you screaming again, could we? Not that I expect that you will scream. You can not."
Just like any child, when Sarah was told that she can not do something in such a haughty tone, her first instinct was to rebel and do such an action. At once, her mouth opened and she willed herself to scream… but the scream did not come. Her voice was silent; he was correct, she could not scream. She closed her mouth. What's did he do to me?
"Sarah," Jareth continued, never wavering from his arrogant tone, "take a seat on the bed. There is much we need to discuss this morning." He was not surprised to see that the girl's feet remained where she stood. He sighed and waved his hand. She moved at once. She does not understand that I have the power now, he knew, as he followed her over to the great bed. She will need to understand at once, otherwise she will make herself ill in vain. Not that he had expected anything less from the girl – it just unnerved him to know that her continued fight against him would lead to discomfort if she kept it up.
Sarah may not have understood the extents to his control over her, now that she was in the Underground again, but she knew that something was amiss when her feet brought her over to the bed. Without really thinking about it, she had decided to disobey every command he gave, to refuse anything he offered – yet, she found herself unable to do so. And that made the panic edge a little over the calm.
That did not mean that she was willing to listen to whatever it was that the Goblin King wanted to discuss with her. She did not want to hear anything he had to say – she did not want to hear his voice ever again. She sat down gingerly atop the silk-covered bed and, in an effort to block him out, Sarah lowered her head. She raised her hands up and placed them on top of her hair, conveniently covering her face with her arms.
Her fingers did not initially find just the soft tresses but, also, a ringlet of metal encircling the crown of her head. It had been a faint brush against her fingertips; however, as soon as she felt the cool, hard metal, her fingers began to explore as her breath quickened. It was a small circumference but in fact circled her entire head, except for the front. From what she could feel, there was a break in the circlet that was occupied by a round object.
Sarah lifted up her head. "What… is this?" She sounded frightened, and rightfully so.
Jareth joined her by the bed but did not sit beside. He stood before her, a towering figure who stared down upon her. She curled inwardly at his proximity but did not flinch until he presented an open palm and quickly filled it by conjuring a crystal. There was only enough time for the glass to reflect Sarah's puzzled expression before it formed a circular hand mirror. Carefully, he offered it out to the girl.
She accepted it, almost fearful to take anything from the King, almost fearful to see what it was that was on her head. Her hands were trembling but her grip on the glass was firm as she lifted it up. It was surely her reflection she saw in the mirror but there, on top of her familiar dark brown hair, was a golden band. Just as she had known from the feel of it, there was an open space at the front of the band. The open ends turned down into a slight curl, folded inward, and there was a green stone, roughly the size of a quarter, that sat in the open space.
Sarah knew what it was at once. There was nothing else it could be. However, that did not mean that she was going to accept that. She would not accept it until she heard it from his wicked lips. Until then, it was nothing more than a lie to her. "What is this?" she asked again, her voice barely more than a whisper. The panic had subsided and the calm had overtaken her as she stared at her reflection but, once the mirror had been lowered and she only could see mismatched eyes staring at her, the panic returned.
Jareth waved his hand and the mirror faded away into nothingness. The sooner that Sarah forgot about the ring on her head, the better. The magick inherent to the trinket would not work as well as it could if she lashed out against it. At first, he intended to fib, to create some false reasoning behind its place on her head. But, when she looked up at him, and her innocence just radiated off of her, he found he could not. Just as he could not deny her anything she desired, he could not lie to her when the question was so honestly asked.
"That is your crown, Sarah," Jareth said, simply. "It is a sign of your station."
"My… my station," she repeated. Her green eyes were clouded over and her lips formed the words 'my station' over and over again without making a sound. She did not seem to know what he meant… not right away, at least. Then there was a moment of sudden understanding, when the eyes widened and her mouth froze, partly open. She did not say anything, then. Her hands just frantically – the panic had won out – searched out the crown and pulled, as if by removing the band, she was denying his implication.
Of course, when Jareth had placed the crown upon her head as she slept, he had been expecting such a childish response. Sarah may have learned a great deal during those thirteen hours, but she had not learned everything. He sighed. "Do not even bother. It will never come off. Or, at least, it will only move when I relinquish the hold."
Sarah gave once last tug against the metal but he spoke the truth; the crown did not budge at all. It was attached to her head and, as that realization hit her, the crown seemed to grow inexplicably heavy. It was the final straw; she could not take any more. "When… when is that?" she asked, as the tears – real tears, hot and salty, unlike the ones that had flowed so freely in her nightmares – finally came.
"Why, never. Sarah, you belong to me now. I do not ever intend of letting you go. You shall be my Queen, forever," Jareth said, a bit perturbed by the sudden appearance of tears. He had expected shouts, he had expected tantrums. He had not expected tears. "But remember. Forever isn't that long at all."
"Forever?" Her chin was trembling with the effort of holding the tears back. She failed and the moisture began to spill over. She had no other response but to cry. She sat there, on the edge of that elaborate silk-coated bed, staring past the Goblin King, as the tears ran. One particularly quick teardrop made its way down her cheek and landed on her lip. The bitter taste of loss was a reminder that this could not be, as she fervently hoped but knew it could not be, a dream. "Forever…"
The Goblin King just let her cry. Nothing he could say would be able to console the girl so there was no need for him to try. She was mourning her family, mourning her freedom and he understood that. With time, the hurt would fade and her life Above would seem as nothing more than a realistic dream, thanks to the crown. It would be difficult until then but, if Jareth wanted to keep the girl as his prize, he was going to. Not even Sarah was going to prevent that. He had won and that was that.
Jareth left the girl behind him. There was almost a certain amount of finality to the closing of the door, as he locked Sarah in her new chambers. There was no going back now, he knew; sooner or later she would learn that, just as she had learned that life was not, in any shape or form, fair. She would cry herself out eventually and, when she did, he would finish their discussion. It would be pointless to continue explaining her duties to her in such a state.
He gave his head a royal shake, trying to get the sound of her muffled sobs out of his mind. He had, in a way, overestimated her reaction to his news. He knew she would be upset but he had never thought that she would be reduced to crying. The tears were a grave affront; in time, she would discover that as well. He would forgive her this one time. He might not be so lenient the next.
It would take cruelness to be kind, he had decided. If need be, he would refuse to show any affection towards her until she understood the depth which it ran. As of now, Sarah certainly believed that she was brought Underground to be his Queen out of spite, out of malice. There was no room in her mind, or her heart, for her to believe that it had been out of desire. Out of love. That would be another lesson for the girl.
But, until then, there was only so much that he can do. Sarah would be useless to him, as a companion, as a Queen, while she harbored a grudge against him. The emerald embedded in her crown would eventually calm her down – he could see the effects of the gem working already; her eyes told him much more than she would ever know – and help her to understand her new station. The monatomic gold that comprised much of the band would help to open her heart to him. It would then be up to him to continue the process of wooing Sarah. But how?
The King's thoughts turned to the three that had helped Sarah during her journey through the labyrinth. She had taken such a strong liking to them; could it be possible to enlist their aid? They had proven traitorous to him once before, purposely going against his laws or (in the case of the dwarf) expressed wishes not to help any human vying against the great maze, and he did not want to chance disloyalty again.
Though, if he was being honest with himself, he should not have expected anything less from the knight. Sir Didymus, while in Jareth's service with the Goblin Army, or when he was retired, watching over the Bog of Eternal Stench, had never been able to deny his help to any female creature in need. His good sense of chivalry was almost as strong as his sense of loyalty to the King and, in the case of Sarah, the chance to fight for a lady had beaten out Jareth. That, however, did not mean that, should his King desire his help in attaining the girl, Didymus would not help.
Jareth snapped his fingers. Almost at once, one of his servants came rushing down the hallway. The servant that came, a paltry mix of goblin and gnome – his eyes were overly large, like his goblin heritage, but he was only a head shorter than Jareth, with large warts dotting his mottled green forehead – was hurrying so that he was nearly running on all fours. When he stood before his King, he bowed and placed his hands neatly behind his back. "You called for service, Sire?"
The King recognized this particular servant. He was a recent acquisition to the Castle staff. His father had once been part of the Goblin Guard that helped Jareth with the watching of the wished away children; his mother was one of the garden gnomes that tended to the hedged portion of the labyrinth. His name was Flick, and he was being trained as an apprentice to the steward of the Castle, a Faerie man called Valentine. It was no surprise that he was the one to answer his summons.
"Yes," Jareth answered royally. He gestured to the door that Flick would be certain to know had not existed prior to the night before. "As much of the Castle should be aware, a girl entered the labyrinth yesterday." Flick nodded his understanding and, though he did not say a word, Jareth knew exactly what he was thinking; that such a girl was the only mortal to ever best the King. "I have returned with her in tow. She is housed in the room behind me. I need one of the female staff to come watch over her while I tend to other matters."
Flick nodded, lifting his eyes to meet those of the King. They were bulbous yellow eyes, with pitch black pupils. The pupils were dilated; he was surprised to hear what Jareth had said. "Of course, Sire. It shall be done at once."
But Jareth was not finished. "After that has been done, I need someone to retrieve the knight, Didymus, and bring him to the Castle. He resides is a hut beside the Bog's Bridge. Tell him it is urgent that he come speak with his King and that it is not a request."
This apprentice had not been in direct service of the Goblin King for long but it was obvious for even him to see that the girl's presence was taxing. He had never been so formal in addressing him before; he had never seemed so focused. Flick nodded again, his oversized head almost comical as it bounced up and down in his hurry to please. He did not want to upset the King when he was in such a strange mood. "I will go for him myself."
"Very well. Bring him to me as soon as you do. I will be waiting outside this room for your return and that of a handmaiden for the new Lady." Jareth could not bring himself to address Sarah as Queen just yet. Vageuly, he imagined that it might be best to let the girl, herself, grow accustomed to the title before the servants began to use it. Until then, Lady would have to suffice.
"Right away," affirmed Flick. And with one final nod, the apprentice was gone and Jareth... he was left to listen to the shallow sobs that found their way to him, through the rocky walls.