Thy Bog Overfloweth
Jareth scowled at the door.
There was nothing truly wrong with the door, except what was behind it. This thought ran through Jareth's head and he savagely chased it away.
There is EVERYTHING wrong with the door, he growled mentally, INCLUDING what is behind it!
It was, unmistakably, an Aboveground door. It was also a very nice door that made a point of not jamming in foul weather and swinging open when the weather was nice. It was simple and elegant, and it was mocking him. Because of what was behind the stupid door.
How dare it! A door, mock him, the Goblin King?! Incomprehensible!... Especially because it wasn't mocking him; Jareth was just being melodramatic. But, given the circumstances, he thought that was perfectly reasonable. He was, after all, here on some rather unpleasant (and unfairly delicate) business, a few wrong words and he would end up back outside, quite possible escorted by an outraged kick to his kingly arse.
He had been extraordinarily cautious about the timing of this... visit. He had waited for Friday before the goblins finally drove him out, a great many vacating with him. He sulked around town for the afternoon, and waited for the car to be out the driveway and to have turned the corner onto another street before he even walked up the sidewalk to the house...
Which brought him to the door, and how he was about to knock but putting it off, thinking of a thousand reasons why his castle, even now, was a better place to be than here, and that he should turn around and forget all about this little expedition.
Brilliant plan, but the goblins locked the castle. And the town. And the Labyrinth is sulking and won't let me in. Damn.
So Jareth took a deep breath, and knocked on the door.
Toby, now at the tender age of six, was racing through the house, holding her homework hostage as he tried to get Sarah to play. She had just cornered him when there was a knock at the door, and Toby took advantage of the distraction to race by her, yelling, "I'll get it! I'll get it!"
By the time he'd half-opened the door, Sarah had once again caught him, and she swooped down to pick him up.
"Hah! I caught you, you little bugger! Now give me my homework!" The visitor-- Sarah couldn't quite see them through the door-- snorted and she thought briefly of making a sarcastic comment, but refrained in favor of repossessing her homework. She and Toby grappled for all of twenty seconds before she won, and she set him down.
"I'll play Scrabble with you after I've dealt with our guest," she told Toby as he started to pout. "Go ahead and pull the box out, and wait in my room, okay?" Toby brightened at this, and clomped up the stair to find the game.
Sarah now turned to the door, and finished opening it. She saw who her visitor was and promptly moved to shut the door again.
"Now wait a minute!" A hand pushed against the door and the voice sounded offended. "I take the time to knock politely on your door, and you have the gall to shut it in my face?"
"Yes," she said simply, "As a matter of fact, I do."
Jareth growled at this. He pushed harder at the door, and said, "I really need to talk to you, you know, otherwise I wouldn't be here."
The door swung open suddenly, and Jareth hurried to regain his balance.
"So speak quickly," Sarah snapped from the doorframe.
"Fine. I need to stay here for a week or two."
"There's nowhere else for me to go, otherwise I wouldn't be here!" Jareth huffed. "And I can't just bother anyone else, because the only two who remember the Labyrinth live here. So--"
"Why what? Why ask you? I just explained that!"
"No, why do you need a place to stay?" Sarah looked mistrusting, and Jareth took a deep breath before answering.
She's going to laugh herself to death when she hears this, Jareth sulked, but it's the only way... Damn it all to hell!
Sarah watched the Goblin King compose himself. She was wary of him, and half-expected to hear Toby start yelling to tell her that the goblins were visiting again. Of course, all their visits up till now had been friendly, as the goblins often snuck in to play with her or Toby. But if the Goblin King was here...
"I need a place to stay for a few weeks while renovations are done on the castle..." Jareth's voice cut through her mental meandering.
"Renovations? You need to stay here because you're having a new wing to the castle put on or something?" Sarah looked at him disdainfully. If that was the case, wouldn't he have stayed in the Underground?
"No," Jareth started, "Renovations because the Bog flooded and the water from the Bog flooded the Labyrinth, and spilled over into the Goblin City and my castle."
Sarah blinked, then blinked again. The Bog of Eternal Stench flooded, and that was why he was here? That was so ridiculous that she started to laugh. When she composed herself enough to speak, she asked, "Did Sir Didymus get out in time, or did he get hit by the flood waters?"
"I think he went Aboveground with Hoggle, Ludo, and the Fireys a week ago."
"Why didn't you leave a week ago?" Sarah's animosity towards the Goblin King hadn't entirely vanished, but a lot of it had turned to curiosity and mirth.
"I am a king, I had to stay and supervise the plans of the renovations," Jareth said this as regally as possible, but Sarah could detect the bruised ego in that simple sentence, which lead to her reply...
"You were putting off asking me, weren't you?"
"Yeah, I was," Jareth thought... Or he thought he'd thought, until he heard Sarah snicker.
Oh shit, I said that out loud! Of all the stupid things to... Jareth's panicked rambling was cut short by Sarah.
"You might as well come in," she said, "And we can discuss this over Scrabble."
That was absolutely the last thing that Jareth expected her to say, and he watched her walk back in the house for a minute before what she said truly registered and he followed her inside.
She turned and hopped up the steps, and walked into her room, and Jareth noted the many changes that had occurred there. The walls were a darker color now, and there wasn't as many toys and doodads lying around. The biggest change was the sheer amount of books in the room. The cubbyholes that had once held Sarah's stuffed animals were gone, and in their stead was a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, and it was packed with novels, plays, and other such things. Despite the bookshelf, there were books laying on the dresser and nightstand, stacked semi-neatly and fairly high. Jareth turned to look at Sarah.
"Yeah, I know, it's practically a library in here, so stop giving me that look-"
"Oi, Sarah, is that your boyfriend?" Toby was eyeing Jareth and Sarah choked on whatever she had been about to say.
"No!" she yelped, even as Jareth grinned wickedly.
"Yes-" Toby's eyes widened "-she just doesn't know it yet." Sarah sputtered, and Jareth worried, for the tiniest nanosecond, that he'd pushed her too far. But, hey, if he got kicked out, it was worth it to see the look on her face.
"JARETH! Shut UP, you royal pain in the ass! And don't you listen to him, Toby!"
"Now, now, Sarah, you shouldn't say bad words in front of Toby..." Jareth trailed off at the glare she shot his way, and grinned in a you-wouldn't-really-try-to-hurt-me-'cause-I-am-dangerous way.
"Ymir is NOT a word, Jareth," Sarah said mildly as Toby shifted on her lap. The first game had been won quickly by the Goblin King-- Who knew the man is a walking dictionary? her mind grumbled-- and she and Toby had teamed up in a desperate attempt to salvage their pride through winning the second game.
"Yes and no. It is a word, but it's a name-"
"There is no way in hell that is an English word," Sarah drawled. "If you aren't going to use English words, then I won't either. You have been warned." Jareth mock-glared at her.
"I'm not taking the word back." Sarah shrugged at this.
"Your loss," she said off-handedly. As she started to arrange the tiles on the board, Toby started to pelt Jareth with questions... again.
"So, whose room are you going to stay in? You could probably use the guest bedroom--"
"If you can find the bed," Sarah muttered darkly. "You can use my room, I'll sleep on the couch." Jareth frowned.
"That is very generous of you, and your hospitality is appreciated, but how are you going to explain it to your parents? And are you done with that word yet?"
"Insomnia, and yes, I am done." Sarah sat back with a satisfied smirk. "Hah."
Toby leaned forward.
"H-A-N-A-S-H-I-M-A-S-U. Hanashimasu. Huh?"
"It's Japanese, and the 'su' is pronounced 'ss'." Sarah grinned at Jareth. "Want to go back to English words now?"
"No," Jareth growled. "Pass me a dictionary." Sarah reached past the Webster's dictionary that the trio had been using and grabbed a Japanese-English dictionary off her nightstand. She flipped through it to locate the page ("It's written in the Japanese format, and since I doubt you read hiragana or katakana, you'll have to let me find it." "How will we know you aren't cheating?" "Because the romaji is written after the word."), found it, and handed the book to Jareth.
"Speak or speaks, the positive form of. What?"
"It's kind of like can and can't. 'Hanashimasu' is the positive one, so it would be 'can speak'. 'Hanashimasen' is the negative form, so it would be 'can't speak'. Understand?"
Toby shook his head 'no' rather vehemently, while Jareth nodded slowly.
"Game over. I win again." Sarah looked at the board and snorted.
"Irony, sarcasm, or both?" Sarah asked Jareth dryly. Jareth raised an eyebrow and smirked, but said nothing.
"Sarah? What's 'V-E-X-A-T-I-O-U-S' mean?" Toby looked adorably puzzled, and that made Sarah and Jareth grin.
"Vexatious," Jareth began, "Means--"
"It's another word for 'Jareth'," Sarah told Toby.
"I'm not that bad! At least, not to other people," Jareth protested, but Sarah gave him a withering glance.
"Really? So it's only me you harass? Asshole." Toby shook himself out of his confusion at this.
"Oooooooo! Sarah said a bad word! I'm telling Dad!"
"No you're not, and it's time for bed, kiddo. Scoot." Sarah nudged Toby off the bed, and Jareth coughed to disguise his laughter.
Sarah was looking at him in a way that made Jareth feel distinctly uneasy- she looked thoughtful.
Probably planning to push me in front of a bus, he groused. Or something equally pleasant.
"I'm going to have to stay in here a while before I head out to sleep on the couch," Sarah told him. "Or else Dad and Karen will get suspicious."
Oh good, she's thinking about this... predicament and not me. That means she's not plotting anything... I hope...
"That will be fine," Jareth said dismissively, attention turned to the window.
Why the hell is Ravyn here? He thought, looking at the bird with a suspicious glare.
"...reth? Jareth? JARETH!" Startled, he looked over to see Sarah glaring at him.
"Stop spazzing, alright? Jeez, some people... Anyway, I asked you what you were going to do during the day. I mean, you can't just hang around here all day... Maybe you could stay at the shop with me, but what happens if Annie drops by?... Hn. You really are a pain, you know that?..." Sarah trailed off, muttering to herself about places and people, none of which made any sense to Jareth.
"Sarah, I need to speak with someone," Jareth announced suddenly. "Could you open the window?" Sarah looked at him as if she had forgotten he was there (she probably did, he snorted) before blinking once and opening the window. Ravyn flew in as soon as the window was open, and she landed on Sarah's shoulder.
::Jareth, Aodhan said to tell you that the renovations will take a little longer than we thought...:: Ravyn's voice echoed through their heads.
"How much longer is 'longer than you thought'?" Sarah asked suspiciously.
::We originally estimated two to three weeks, but a complication has shown up, so now it's more like five to seven weeks.::
"Five to seven?! How bad of a complication is this?" Sarah asked, and Jareth sighed heavily.
"Would this be worse than the dragon incident, by any chance?"
::...Think more along the High Court incident, times ten...::
"The what and the what incident?" Sarah's curiosity was jumping up and down and screaming at this. Did Jareth say dragon? Who, or what, was the High Court, and what happened to make it worse than the dragon incident, whatever that was. Tell me tell me tell me! the 'inner Sarah' chanted.
"I'll tell you later," Jareth muttered darkly. "Thank you, Ravyn, is that all?"
::Yes. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.::
"Don't worry about it. I'm sure I can put up with him for a while." Sarah's response surprised Jareth... yet again.
Huh, he thought. So I'm someone to be 'put up with', am I? Interesting...
Sarah had laid out the rules to him barely twenty minutes before her parents walked out the door. She'd even wrote them out, and in her odd half-scrawl was written the following:
Rules for Jareth for However Long He Plans on Not Getting Kicked Out:
1) No magic in front of the other occupants of the house/guests.
2) Glittery residue from magic used will be cleaned up IMMEDIATELY after it is produced.
3) Touching any of the books without permission will earn Jareth a one-way ticket to the attic, where he will stay for the remainder of this visit should he break this rule.
4) Stay in owl form when going ANYWHERE outside the house with Sarah, unless instructed otherwise.
5) Do NOT, under any circumstances, give Toby sugar. Only Sarah or Karen may give Toby sugar, since anyone else gives him far too much and a sugar-high Toby is not a pretty sight.
6) Rules are subject to change, but a consensus must be reached by both Jareth and Sarah before any rules are added.
Jareth was committing them to memory now, even as he listened to Sarah talk to her parents. Not so he could follow them, of course. So he could find all the loopholes... After all, he thought, being around goblins has taught me quite a bit about... bending the rules...
A/N:: Yes, I am aware that there is some serious OOCness in this story... This will probably be updated erratically, especially with end of the year crap at school- finals, papers, article notebook... sigh Ah, well, I will finish this eventually, and I imagine my muse will have plenty of fun ideas for this story... (evil grin) Review, people, I am open to suggestions with this story!
Oro: READ THIS! I finally got Word for my computer, so I spell checked the whole story, and dear deities, what a mess! It is edited, and I may or may not (cough cough did cough cough) tweak the wording or the paragraph structure, ect. If you read this before and think it'll be drastically different, well, sucks for you, it ain't. There just aren't anymore spelling or grammatical errors that my computer spotted.
Future chapters will be written on Word, so I should only have to do this once...