Disclaimer: Don't own.
Summary: It was only a phase. He could wait it out... And then she got engaged.
Author's Note: It's snowing again.
Jareth was a lot of things. Some of these, he adopted for Sarah's sake, to better conform to the image she had of him. And some of these were things that would never, ever change.
He could be patient, if he really needed to.
He could wait an eternity for the woman he loved.
He could tolerate a great deal.
He could be generous.
But he absolutely could not simply stand by and let that moronic, sniveling, plague ridden excuse for a sentient creature marry his Sarah. There was no way in heaven or hell, no law above or under ground that could possibly stop him from intervening. If Sarah thought for one minute that he could idly sit by and let her trade a king and crown for… that sorry attempt at life, she was sorely mistaken.
It was just not about to happen.
But the funny thing was, and by funny I mean entirely without humor, this slimy little maggot was not quite soeasy to scare off.
So he waited. A number of plans were set in motion, none so much as postponing the wedding. So, once more, he contented himself to wait. And he waited until that nasty little creature parted from Sarah's hip long enough to let the poor girl shop for a nice dress before making his move. The goblins he sent weren't nearly the biggest, but they were large enough for what he had in mind.
They upturned every piece of furniture in his festering rat-hole of a flat and threw every pot, pan and bit of toiletry they could find out onto the floor before clogging every drain, tearing out every light fixture and pitching his stinking mattress down into the street below.
They also stole his dog.
It didn't help. Sarah came home empty handed, not having liked that particular shop, to find her fiancé dog-less, standing at the entrance of his flat, mouth agape. Judging by the hand prints on the wall, the lot of it had either been done by a herd of rabid toddlers in possession of a great deal of strength... or goblins.
Sarah was a smart girl. She kept her mouth shut and simply phoned the police. Her fiancé was still standing in the doorway when they arrived. In a state of shock they called it.
Jareth, absently stroking the dog in his lap with one hand whist holding a crystal in the other, firmly believed it was called stupidity. This sort of thing had happened to a few of his goblins just the other day when he gave them too many instructions at once. They had stared at the wall for a few moments before they set to screaming.
Sarah's idiotic little monster simply took a little longer with step two. Once the police left, then he started screaming. Useless things like invasion of privacy, and damage of property, and where in the hell has my dog gone anyway?
And, Jareth was happy to note, the dog didn't so much as lift its fluffy little head at the sound of its former human's screaming. After all, she knew deep down in her fuzzy little heart that her name was not in fact, Snowpuff or whatever inane thing he— it— had taken to calling her, but rather Jareth.
She looked like a Jareth.
And for his part, Jareth was not sulking. Because kings, much less men of his ilk, did not sulk.
He was, however, in the midst of having a mood. Which was not, by any means, the same thing.
It was time to swing a new plan into motion. This one had to be entirely more cunning, more sleek, more… intricate.
Jareth smiled and sat up a little straighter, waking little Jareth up from her doze.
The flat had been decimated. There was no way they could have stayed there. So Sarah took Todd back to her little house where he had fallen asleep on the couch less than ten minutes after arriving. From her room, she could hear him snoring away on her sofa.
She could also hear claws clacking on her kitchen floor. And unless Snowball was physic, that meant something had gotten in.
She tried to tell herself it was a raccoon. Sometimes they climbed in through the windows of houses in the area, their trees having been cut down. It didn't help that she left food out for them either. Not her fault she liked seeing their little mouths going a mile a minute, tiny little hands wrapped around whatever she handed them. Not her fault the local animals all tamed for her.
Not her fault she'd disappeared off into a labyrinth at sixteen and was now putting on real clothes for fear the Goblin King's entourage had gathered in her kitchen.
She really hadn't had a choice, after all. And even now, a decade away from such dreams, she still started at the sight of an owl, still jumped and turned when the house shifted… still listened for his voice in a crowd, still hoped, believed, that he would come back one day.
Not a knight, but a king.
And on nights like this, when the house was making noises and she could hear Todd's snoring in the next room, she cursed her wretched little sixteen year old self.
But on the other hand, if the Goblin King really was in the kitchen, the most he was getting were sweatpants and an old t-shirt. She did not have the energy for this at this time of night.
Todd only rolled over in his sleep when she opened the door to the bedroom, snorting and wiping at flies that weren't there. He reminded her of Merlin. And while it probably wasn't the best thing to marry for, she knew she couldn't possibly march him up next to the Goblin King, couldn't possibly see untamed blond hair in his mass of greasy pepper black. And that was enough. To look at him and slip a little away from her past, even if it was a past filled with fairy tales and— a king, you bloody idiot. You traded thisfor a king!?— myths.
It was enough.
It was more than enough.
It was the most she could hope for.
There was a goblin standing in the middle of her kitchen.
It took a long moment to sink in, to roust her from her thoughts and thrust the fact in front of her that yes, Sarah, there is a goblin in the middle of your kitchen and yes, Sarah, he really does have one of Karin's pots on his head and yes, Sarah, there is a rose and a letter in his hands and I don't care if it's Jareth asking you to be his bloody chamber maid you will do it or I will force you to go through with this godawful stupid wedding!
"Can I help you?" she said, instead of the frantic litany running through her head.
"Boss said to give ya this," he grunted, holding up the little parcel.
"What is it?" She didn't want to read it. Not really. It might say something horrid like it was all a mistake or I regret everything about you or thanks very much but I'll be taking Toby back now—
"Well, looks to me like a flower and a bit of paper, miss," he said this as he hitched up his pants. "I'd tell you what that there bit of paper says, but," and here he paused to look immensely proud, "I can't read."
"Yes, well, thank you." It was a dismissal, albeit a startled, out-of-my-element sort.
"Boss says I'm supposed to wait here," he grunted
"To see what you say."
"Well, the rose is lovely."
"Hold onto that one second, lil' lady," he then turned his back to her, cupping both hands to his mouth and bellowed, "SHE LIKES YER PLANT, BOSS!"
Startled, Sarah blinked whilst in the next room, Todd choked on a snore. The little beast turned around then with a lopsided grin.
Laughing now, she wondered what would happen if Todd loped in here to find her conversing with a goblin that apparently communicated with his king via bellowing at the top of his lungs.
The image of Jareth holding a crystal at arm's length, free hand covering an ear amused her greatly.
The letter was a simple affair. It was not sealed, nor was it signed, but she didn't need either to know who wrote it. There was no man on earth or under it in possession of so much pure testosterone as to match this sort of font with such confidence.
It said, in the most massive, looping, swirling, ornate letters the little paper could manage—
I love you.
Sarah laughed, feeling absurdly close to tears.
"I love you too," she murmured, running a finger down the edge of the paper.
Once more, the little goblin shuffled around and cupped his hands to his mouth.
"SHE SAYS SHE DIGS YA—"
The shouting was cut off abruptly with a frozen, "I heard."
Sarah looked up to find Jareth with Todd's dog under one arm, free hand clamped over the goblin's mouth.
The whole scene was something from an insane fairy tale. One wherein the Brothers Grimm had smoked a bit before they wrote it.
"Does this mean the engagement is off?" he asked with a bit of a smirk, uncovering the goblin's mouth as he disappeared with an audible pop!
"Engagement?" Sarah was still laughing, feeling utterly insane and rather liking it, because for the first time in ten years she didn't have to be mature. She didn't have to be anything. "What have you done to Todd's dog?"
The fur around its tiny little face had been teased out and it looked… immensely bored.
"You mean Jareth?" He smiled, knowing this was the one woman in the whole of the universe that would see it as the joke it was and not pure egotism. "She's simply rather aggravated with the whole situation."
"And what situation would that be?" She could barely suppress her grin, knowing that this is it; this is where he asks me.
"Your disturbing tendency of straying from home. Honestly, Sarah. How do you expect life Underground to go on without you? I've gotten absolutely nothing done in the past ten years."
"Oh?" Here it comes. "And this is my problem?"
"It is not just your problem, Sarah. It is your responsibility as my wife."
There had been a number of odd events to have happened to Todd throughout his life. Walking in on an elf proposing on bended knee to his fiancé while carrying his dog before the both of them disappeared into thin air was quite possibly the weirdest thing ever.
And he had one bugger of a time explaining it to the police.