Disclaimer : this is a work of fanfiction, creating solely for shits and giggles and to make the plotbunnies let go of me. Characters from Labyrinth © the Jim Henson Company
A.N. This fic was born of speculation and plotbunny-loosing on DeviantArt around the picture "Sarah's Tshirt", linked in my bio. You won't get it otherwise.
Oh, all right. Because you are all lazy bums and I am incredibly nice. It's a drawing of a sexy, slightly older, blasé-looking Sarah wearing a top that reads "NOT IF YOU MOVED THE STARS, MATE."
"Well. I suppose I should commend your consistency, Sarah…if not your powers of discernment."
The words came from right behind her shoulder, as she was leaning back against the bar, and made her jump. She was startled, yet not entirely surprised; and already, as she slowly turned to face the dry voice she'd recognized immediately - no one else uttered her name quite that way - she was beginning to grin.
He was there, standing behind the bar, arms crossed. His close-fitting dark clothes were undefined in the shadows, while the coloured lights from the nightclub played over his wild pale hair, and glittered in his strange eyes. And if his stance seemed slightly defensive, his face wore a familiar aggravated and scornful expression.
The loud music, the shouted conversations and the shifting, dancing pack of students all around them all somehow became unfocused, a background. Sarah wondered vaguely if he was doing it intentionally, or if it just happened around him, or if it was the effect his presence had on her. The word "magnetic" didn't even begin to come close.
He looked ticked. He looked wonderfully, electrifyingly real, glaring at her from between the tequila and the vodka bottles. Sarah felt a thrill of fear and excitement and an odd gladness.
After all, she had really rather asked for this…
The Goblin King eyed her t-shirt stonily. "Have you had so many other such offers that you now have to wear your rebuttal up front?" His voice was clipped and chilly.
Sarah waved a hand airily, and answered with studied carelessness. "Different words, same intent…"
Wow. She could've sworn the temperature physically dropped.
"Really?" he asked through clenched teeth. "And do you still make a habit of proffering your baby brother first to get their attention?"
Her eyes narrowed briefly at that taunt, but she kept her casual tone. "Oh, Toby's not a baby anymore. We've both …grown up," she answered, deliberately. "And to answer your question," she added as she stepped back from the bar to face him fully, "No. Oddly enough, I don't need to."
Eyes planted firmly in his, she moved slightly as she said it, hands provocatively on her hips.
Sarah, what the hell are you doing? Flirting with the Goblin King?! An inner voice screamed at her and rang alarm bells frantically. She ignored it. There had to be some fun in not being fifteen anymore.
There was the tiniest, barely-there flicker in his cold stare, not quite a blink. A pause; then, face set in an intimidating scowl, Jareth slowly pushed himself away from the shelf he was leaning against, and, never breaking eye contact, took the few steps that brought him around the bar to her side. Sarah was bitterly disappointed, although unsurprised, that he didn't trip on the step down.
He stopped a few feet away from her, arms folded, looking as scornful and arrogant and daunting as she'd ever seen him. Sarah smoothly turned to face him, vaguely registering his mundane clothes, as she concentrated on not letting him see her bravado quail—she'd liked it a hell of a lot better with the bar between them. She resisted the urge to cross her arms protectively, and kept her easy, challenging stance.
Very briefly, his gaze flicked up and down her slim figure, in her low-slung jeans and midriff-baring top… and stopped again to glare at the offending message. "I wouldn't call wearing that very 'grown-up', Sarah," he sneered. "I hoped you'd have the maturity to be a bit more honest with yourself. Really…how about 'drama queen'? Or 'demanding bitch'? Or 'treat me like a princess and I'll still kick you in the nuts and run'?"
Stung as she was, Sarah couldn't repress a nervous giggle at that. "I never!"
"You did all but," he growled.
"I probably should've," she retorted. "It would have stopped you leering all over me in your tight leggings."
He cocked an eyebrow at that, some of the irritation on his face giving way to a familiar mocking expression, and Sarah felt a bit silly at the implicit confession. "Dear me, and I thought you were so focused on your mission and being the resolute heroine. You barely glanced at the crystal I offered you, but you noticed my… clothes?"
Damndamndamndamndamn. Not good, she was losing the upper hand here. "Yeah, like you weren't trying your damnedest to distract me," she accused. "I wouldn't put any low trick past you."
"I could say much the same…" he muttered darkly. He tilted his head in a taunting attitude she remembered very well. "Come, come, dear Sarah, you know I'd do …anything, for your sake." His voice was thick with sarcasm. "So. Not the stars this time—any continents you'd like re-arranged today?"
"No, there's just one jerk Goblin King whose large nose I'd like the hell out of my affairs," she shot back.
"Tough luck, princess." He smiled unpleasantly before his face became cold and intent again. "I'm not leaving until you answer my question." His voice turned forceful. "How many offers have you had that matched mine?"
"Offers?" She was angry now, forgetting about needling him. "I'm not for sale, Jareth! And all your marvellous offers and promises were just hot air and, and, and - glitter, same as anyone's. You just had them wrapped in prettier words and fancier clothes than the average jerk here who tries to buy me a drink." His face darkened. "And again, I don't see what the hell it has to do with you," she added sharply. She was mad at herself for getting riled up.
"I'd …request you not compare me to your…average jerks," he rasped through clenched teeth, nostrils pinched and white with anger.
Sarah wondered vaguely what a furious Goblin King could possibly do in a crowded room in her world. She only really registered then, that the noise of the club surrounding them was muffled; he seemed to have created a faint isolating barrier around them, a few square feet of undisturbed space. She didn't care.
"All right, Your Highness. I can honestly answer I haven't come across a better bullshitter than you." She put every last ounce of scorn she could in it. "Thanks to you, I have high standards in that domain. Happy?"
What small part of Jareth wasn't itching to strangle her took good note of the bitterness she didn't quite succeed in hiding in her last statement.
"High standards?" He managed to school his features back into the superior sneer he knew pissed her off. "What you have, little girl, is a singular lack in judgement - in your t-shirts as in other matters."
"I suppose we're referring to my turning you down again, are we? Gods, the only thing bigger than your ego is your…" - pants - "…hair!" she sniped. Shut up, she added to herself.
"Says her, standing there with that on her chest?" he snapped. Were it not for the offending message, he had to admit to himself distractedly, he would have absolutely nothing against the way she was standing there, or her chest. "All right, then," he sneered. "Do tell me, Sarah. I'd dearly like to know what it would take to turn that inflated head of yours."
"I don't know, Jareth, let's think about this!" She gestured angrily, her voice now loud and a bit brittle. "How about things done with no strings attached or offers not conditional to me giving up my little brother?! How about things that don't only happen in crystal daydreams?! How about honesty?! How about something a bit more tangible than your damn Valentine evenings?"
"I'll give you tangible," muttered Jareth.
He couldn't help himself - she was far, far too aggravating, throwing his words back in his face, and too delightful, in her tight jeans and that…provoking t-shirt, with the same defiance and hurt flashing in her eyes that he knew all too well.
Fast as a snake, before Sarah could register his words, he grabbed her by the shoulders and yanked her into a punishing, angry kiss.
Sarah struggled, hard, for a moment, but he only gripped her shoulders tighter, making her hiss in pain, as his lips crushed hers. She stopped trying to break free and, opening to him, began to fight back within the kiss. Their mouths mashed violently, one hot, melting point of conflict as both battled with the other…and their own sudden surge of desire. Ihateyouihateyouihateyou, Sarah sang at the top of her mental voice, Ihateyou…oh, gods, this is good.
Abruptly, he pushed her back, without releasing her shoulders, and held her at arms length, breathing hard. His face was unreadable. Sarah's lips were swollen and tingling, her cheeks flushed. Her dazed expression very rapidly shifted back to anger and she glared at him.
"That doesn't change anything, you bastard."
"Of course it doesn't." He smirked, though his eyes were still dark. "You're still a selfish, stubborn, ball-breaking bitch who totally fails to appreciate what's been done for her."
She gaped. "What's done for me?" Her voice rose, and she struggled against his grip again. "That was doing me a bloody favour, was it?!"
"No, that was to shut you up. This is because you want it."
He pulled her back towards him, and his lips were crushing hers again. Yippee! went her treacherous lips. Bastard! groaned the rest of her, and then shut up to concentrate in the hot, needy meeting of their mouths, and she did her damnedest to give as well as she took. When they broke apart again, panting, the abrupt pang of regret and physical withdrawal she felt only made her angrier.
"Is not, do not, and you do not know what I want," she hissed at him.
He only chuckled. "I can make you," he said in a low, threatening voice, dark eyes hotly on her.
He moved in towards her until his mouth was less than an inch to the side of hers. "Want…" He uttered in a long, warm breath against the corner of her lips.
She reared her head back "Oh, no, you don't," she tried to say, but it came out little more than a choked moan. She had felt her knees turn to butter with his last word and she was glad he was still gripping her shoulders to keep her upright.
Dark amusement came into his eyes now, his face still close to hers. She briefly contemplated biting his nose off – it was that or kissing him again. He spoke in a taunting, velvet murmur. "I think I've had enough of doing things for you, Sarah, and it gets me nowhere. I'd rather try doing things to you this time."
Sarah felt what seemed to be her kidneys curling up. She opened her mouth, desperately needing to protest, but he caught her lips in a kiss again. This time, he was in control, and he kissed her for a long, heart-pounding, dizzy moment, softly at first, then increasingly teasing and demanding. His hands had relaxed to a warm caressing presence on her shoulders. When he stopped she had to bite back a whimper.
For Pete's sake girl, she mentally berated herself, get a grip on yourself and back the hell away now while you can still just about think! Come on, Sarah, you beat him once…
As if he had caught her thoughts, Jareth spoke close to her ear. "And trust me, Sarah," he whispered, "this time I won't be the one who ends up exhausted and begging."
"Wanna bet?" she began to retort, but snapped her mouth shut as she realised what she was saying. Oh gods. With a touch of panic, she stepped back out of his embrace, glaring daggers at him. He stared at her hungrily, and grinned in a very slow, very predatory way.
"Oh, do defy me, Sarah," he practically purred.
Damned if his sharp teeth weren't actually gleaming. My, what big teeth you have, Sarah thought in a distracted mental singsong. No, wait, don't finish that quote. Alarm bells were going off wildly in her head and desperately trying to get a primal self-preservation RUN!! signal through to her frazzled brain.
Except synaptic traffic was being held up by a protest march organised by her lips, which were insistently demanding his again.
"You…" She swallowed, and began again, more forcefully. "You have no power over me!" Her voice trembled a bit, but she was insanely proud of herself for managing coherent speech.
He seemed quite unperturbed by the old line. "And you …never turn back before it's too late," he answered as if thoughtful, one eyebrow raised speculatively, and his eyes taunting. He smirked. "And it is very late, little girl. It's long past your bedtime."
His condescending tone angered her just enough that she could ignore the incredibly distracting ideas and feelings that the way he had lingered over the word "bedtime" had just kicked up.
"I am not a little girl," she snapped back. His grin only turned, if possible, more feral, and she mentally face-palmed at handing him that one on a platter, "and I am done playing with goblins…and their arrogant, conceited, cheating…" - amazing kisser, part of her mind added treacherously - "…perverted, rat bastard of a king!!"
His smirk was near unbearable now. "Bullshit," he enunciated, gloatingly.
"Is not!" she almost yelled. So much for grown-up. She knew she sounded childish, but at least she refused to stamp her foot, damn him.
"Oh, really?" He looked smugly triumphant. "Explain why you are wearing that t-shirt, then, if not to provoke me."
"This is not all about you, Jareth!" she blustered.
"Oh, yes, it is." Smirk. "You wanted to get my attention. You wanted me to confront you." He snickered. "You wanted me. You want me."
"In your dreams!"
He grinned nastily, and stepped swiftly towards her, making her take an unwilling step backwards. "And in yours, Sarah," he said in rapid, sing-song, taunting tones. "In your sweat-drenched, sheet-tangling, gasping dreams…"
"Not bloody likely--" she began, but was cut off by another kiss as he caught hold of her, and everything was caught up in the yielding, electrifying feeling of his warm mouth on hers, his lips, his tongue, and the heat that was beginning to pool in her stomach… Her defences were being shot down and crashing in flames… Too bad, she decided distractedly, as his hands slipped down her back to her waist, and her heart ker-thumped. To her embarrassment, she heard herself give a low moan, and in response he deepened the kiss, pulling her towards him… She felt him smile against her mouth…
…and then abruptly she was stumbling forwards into an empty space, lips still parted, as he disappeared. Her eyes flew open as the noise of the club that had been muffled came crashing back around her, almost as loud as her wildly beating heart.
Frustration and a violent pang of disappointment were swiftly swallowed by rage.
"You bastard!!" she screeched. "You utter, utter bastard!"
She turned, fuming, and high-kicked the bar stool over. She glared down at it as it fell over - then started as she caught sight of her chest.
Grabbing at her T-shirt, she read the upside-down text. He had changed it. It now read simply 'I WANT THE GOBLIN KING'.