DISCLAIMER: I don't own Labyrinth or any of the characters involved in the film. They are the property of the Jim Henson Company. I do own all other characters.
AN: Ah, the first instalment in my promised oneshots!! Fluffy fluff for all! Happy Valentines Day!!
Jareth had been reading up on the history of St. Valentine's Day, and to be honest he couldn't understand how it had gotten so out of hand. How had a priest defying the decree of a king become a day of foil covered chocolate hearts? The idea was all very noble, a priest who disagreed with the law which decreed that young men were no longer allowed to marry in order to become better soldiers. Valentine had married young couples in secret, and in the end been arrested. Before his inevitable execution, he had fallen in love with the jailor's daughter and written her a note. He had signed it 'Your Valentine'.
The cards made sense. Naturally, in honour of the day cards signed 'Your Valentine' were exchanged between lovers and between friends. What a lovely sentiment. However, how had all the ridiculous chocolate giving and stuffed-animal exchange all started? How had it become a holiday where men were once again expected to buy something for their lovers? Jareth stared at the ads that garishly displayed a number of absurd items smothered in hearts and splayed out in tones of pink and red. Disgusting. Well, there was no way in hell that he was going to buy something absurd for Sarah.
Jeff had recently shown Jareth the internet, and as a result he was instantly addicted to the constant, unending supply of information that was available to him. Valentines Day is also said to occur in mid February as a result of the Romans' bid to 'christianize' the pagan Lupercalia festival. Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. Details of the festival were somewhat disturbing, centering on animal sacrifice for purification and fertility, and in the end names were drawn from an urn to determine who would mate with whom. Eventually the lottery system was outlawed in Rome after being deemed un-Christian. Well, this had certainly laid down some perspective on the romantic nature of the holiday, but still no insight on how it had gotten so out of hand.
Ah, here it was. By the eighteenth century, people in Great Britain had begun to exchange 'Valentines' with friends, classmates, lovers. By the end of the century, with the improvement of the printing press, Valentines were being mass produced and the holiday had started, in Jareth's opinion, to get out of hand. Jareth sighed loudly. How ridiculous.
Sarah had started to drift in her lecture. It was Valentines Day, and she knew that the student's union had their annual rose exchange. She had dreaded it last year, since she had been without Cory. He had always made a point of sending her a rose, and last year had been hard for her. She doubted that Jareth even knew what Valentines Day was, so there was little chance of her getting a rose from him. Sarah realized, stupidly, that she was dreading the rose delivery. It always happened at the same time every year; it was easier to find people that way. You listed their lecture code and which room the class was in, and off the delivery people went. Sarah frowned. Oh well, at least she wouldn't be centered out.
She knew that the delivery person had arrived to her class when her professor rolled his eyes and muttered.
The person came in looking mildly apologetic towards the professor. He then started reading off names. Sarah knew she wouldn't be able to stop the steady pump of adrenaline to her heart until he had passed the 'W's. Ah, finally, he was in the 'W's.
Sarah's heart skipped a beat and her face flushed red. Jareth had known? She smiled slightly as Maria nudged her viciously with her elbow, smirking madly. Sarah stood up reluctantly and met the delivery person halfway down the stairs to retrieve her rose. She didn't read the attached tag until she sat down. She really hadn't thought that Jareth had known anything about Valentines Day. He hadn't let on at all. Oh, he was sly. She opened the tag and her blush faded, but she smiled softly still. So, Jareth hadn't known after all.
Jareth lounged lazily on the couch. He flicked on the television and flipped through channels rapidly. The airwaves seemed to be full of this Valentines Day nonsense. He smiled contentedly to himself. Sarah was far too intelligent to be caught up in such a superficial holiday, he was certain. What a ridiculous concept to turn the death of a Saint into a commercialized monstrosity. Jareth heard Sarah's key in the apartment door and his smile widened.
Sarah came through the door with a single red rose in hand. Jareth knew what a single red rose meant. That flower had significant meaning: passionate love. He sat up sharply and glared at her content face.
"Who is that from?" he snapped coldly.
"None of your business," she said defensively.
"It certainly is my business! Do you even know what that flower means?"
Sarah stared at the rose in her hand, her brow furrowed. Well, she had always understood that a red rose meant love, but she didn't understand why Jareth was so upset about it. After all, it was only Valentines Day. Everyone gives red roses; it was just the way it was. And, she was certain that the student union only had red roses to give, so it's not as though there had been a choice.
"Well, love I guess. But," she was cut short by Jareth's sharp reply.
"You guess?" Jareth's tone was incredulous. And, at present, he was incredulous at his own reaction. Obviously he had been reading up on Valentines Day too much. He was actually feeling jealous that Sarah had accepted a red rose from someone else. In fact, he was currently fighting the urge to run out the door and buy her a ridiculous stuffed bear holding a red heart. He was on his feet in seconds and had snatched the rose from her hand. He read the tag and his mouth fell open in indignation. He stared at Sarah wordlessly before turning on his heel and grabbing his coat.
"I will return shortly," he said before disappearing out the door.
Sarah stared after him and shrugged as she moved into the kitchen to put the rose in some water. Jareth didn't really get Valentines Day at all, not that she had expected him to. The phone rang shrilly and Sarah rushed to answer it.
"So, what are you and Jer doing tonight? Hmm? Thanking him for the rose?" Maria's voice insisted on the other end.
"Oh, Maria, the rose wasn't from Jareth," she said quietly.
"WHAT? Then who was it from? Cheating with Jeff, are you?"
Sarah laughed. "Sadly no. The rose was from Cory."
She had to laugh again. "He was just saying sorry for all the crap we've been through. He signed it 'Your friend'."
"Hmmm," Maria said suspiciously.
"What? It's nothing."
"Oh, okay. How did Jareth take it?"
"Um, I don't think he gets it. I think that he thought that it actually meant something; that Cory is in love with me or something."
"You think? What, he's not there?"
"Um, no. He kind of stormed out a while ago, after reading the tag."
"Nothing, you just let me know how it turns out. I have to go now, Jeff is taking me out for dinner. Later hun."
Sarah hung up the phone and frowned at it. What was there to worry about, really? It wasn't as though Jareth was the jealous type, although he was acting it. Sarah began to wonder if Jareth would try some ridiculous intimidation technique on Cory. She fought the urge to call Cory, just to check up on him. But, that would not bode well for any of the parties involved. No, she would just sit tight until Jareth came back. She flicked on the television.
Another hour had passed. Where the hell was he? Sarah glanced out the window to see that snow had begun to fall rather heavily. As she was watching the snow fall, she heard his key in the door and spun to see him. Jareth was covered in snow and carrying a paper covered bundle. He stared at her indignantly.
"I was worried," she said automatically. His expression softened a bit. He kicked off his snow covered shoes and opened the paper bundle in his arms. It was full of different types of flowers.
"You humans seem to take little stock in the meaning of flowers," he said as he pulled one flower out of bundle, "But, I do not. A single red rose is a nice sentiment, but does not cover the depth of love. A red rose signifies passion, lust."
He handed her a flower. It was a striped carnation.
"We started with a refusal," he said, handing her another flower: a daisy.
"But, I was so enthralled by your innocence, I couldn't forget you."
Gladiolus. "And, your strong character stood out even still."
"So, I gave up everything that I was," he whispered, handing her a Calla Lily.
"But, first I had to break past your distrust," he handed her some Lavender.
He then handed her a flower she'd never seen before. Recognizing her confusion as she looked at it, he included its name in his statement.
"Star of Bethlehem, because I hoped that you would let me in. That you would love me."
Tears came to Sarah's eyes, Jareth did get Valentines Day. He got it so very well. He handed her a yellow tulip.
"I've never been so hopelessly in love."
Tears streamed down her face steadily now. He handed her the rest of the flowers: a red rose, a red tulip, lilacs, and pansies.
"Sarah, you are my first love, my only love."
Sarah bit her lip through her tears and flung herself at him. He held her in a tight embrace for a few moments.
"I don't really understand Valentines Day as you do," he said softly into her hair, "But, I do understand love."
Sarah broke away and looked up at him.
"I have something for you, too," she said. Jareth frowned. What did she have for him? She reached into her backpack and pulled out a large cardboard heart. Jareth frowned miserably, that is until he saw what was inside of the heart. Lindt Lindor truffles.
"Ah, you do love me," he said. Sarah smirked.
"Happy Valentines Day, Jareth."
"Happy Valentines Day indeed."