Author's notes: Ah, this was far too much fun. Is v. bad for my schoolwork.
OK, to keep up with the story so far. First is the picture "Sarah's T-shirt" on my DevArt account. (link in my bio)
That pissed off Jareth, and next thing you know, it's The t-shirt incident, my first story here; at the end of that one Sarah is a leeetle upset and ticked off... and retaliates by "Jareth's T-shirt" (DevArt picture.)
This picks up after Jareth receives his little gift from Sarah (and presumably does his nut) . (Oh, and I just beg for suspension of disbelief in regards to Sarah Fed-Exing a parcel to the Underground, mmkay?)
For a sequel to a one-shot, this sure got long-winded. Thanks to Anij for the beta.
Rated for language and Jareth being very suggestive.
Disclaimer : is all a work of fanfiction. I own none of the characters from Labyrinth, though by now I reckon they owe me rent on my brainspace.
--- The T-shirt incident : Retaliation and Escalation ---
It was dusk on the campus grounds as a young girl stepped out of the brightly lit student hall, pulling the backdoor shut behind her. A vagrant breeze picked up loose strands of dark hair as she stood still and warily looked around. The evening air was mild and pleasant, but still she shivered slightly as she scanned the silhouetted branches of the trees across the road very carefully.
It had been a beautifully sunny late spring day. Yet for some reason, Sarah Williams felt like a major thunderstorm was brewing. If she'd lived in Kansas she'd have been bolting the cellar doors by now. Even that was probably pointless. She had been tense and jumpy, and her hair—only hers, she'd noticed, looking around her classroom—crackled with static electricity. The lead of her mechanical pencil had broken off twelve times in a one-hour lecture, and if she hadn't have switched to her Biro, she was pretty sure it would have made thirteen. Her roommate's hamster had fled to the furthest corner of its cage each time she came near.
Sarah was perfectly capable of picking up a subtle hint. She knew trouble with a capital J was approaching, and she knew exactly why.
It was the when that was making her edgy.
Eventually, she relaxed her tight grip on the doorknob. There was no suspicious white shadow in the trees tonight; the only encounters she'd have to worry about crossing the park were the usual drunken frat boys, muggers, and rapists. With a small sigh of relief, she set down her book bag and turned around to lock the door behind her.
…The remarkable thing about owl flight, as any nature show will tell you, is that it is almost completely silent.
The bang of displaced air as a barn owl turned into a tall, glowering Goblin King in full black regalia and a very foul mood not two feet behind her, however, she did hear, and with a yelp she spun around faster than she'd believed to be possible. She took an immediate step away from him on sheer reflex, her back slamming up against the door.
Jareth slowly lowered gloved hands that had been heading straight for her neck. Two pink spots on his cheeks burned in his pale, angular face, and his features were strained as he glared furiously at her. His shock of pale hair seemed to be standing up on end more than ever.
He looked hopping mad, and in spite of her heart pounding in the sudden fright of his appearance, part of Sarah laughed and laughed and laughed
Oh, that worked, all right…
"Sssssssssarah…." He hissed from between tightly clenched teeth, keeping his hands by his sides with obvious effort. "Are you familiar with the term lèse-majesté…?!"
"Jaaaa-reth", she mocked, sticking her chin out. "Are you familiar with the expression, 'payback, Bitch!'…?"
He drew a short, sharp breath, and his eyes narrowed in a look that would probably have combusted wood at short range. Sarah, however, appeared quite unimpressed. She went on, flippantly. "I'm sorry, was it not the right size?"
His left eye twitched. "I've declared wars for less!!" he spat out.
Coolly, Sarah set her hands on her hips, and deliberately mimicked his usual arrogant stance. "I'm not surprised. You've always struck me as the temper tantrum sort, and over-dramatic at that," she replied disdainfully. She cocked an insolent eyebrow at him. "Tell me, did you throw a wobbly back when I beat you, Your Majesty? Did you have a hissy fit and smash some furniture?"
For a moment, for one surreal, blessed moment, Jareth was actually speechless with fury, goggling at her. Sarah smiled blissfully. His expression of inarticulate, spluttering rage was something she would remember and treasure for the rest of her life.
Which now probably amounts to about fifteen seconds.
Jareth made a very visible and not entirely successful effort to regain some manner of composure, drawing in a long, hissing breath. When he spoke again his voice was an icy threat, and there was murder in his eyes. "You are still displaying that critical lack in judgement, little girl."
The chilling effect he intended was spoiled just a tad by how his fingers were twitching uncontrollably by his sides.
Riding an adrenaline high, she tossed her hair carelessly, and smirked at him – and Sarah had learnt smirk from the best. "The t-shirt was hardly judgement. It only says the truth, Goblin King. Deal." Her voice hardened slightly, as she went on, mocking. "…Truth hurts, does it?"
Touché. His hands were clenched into fists all right now. "Forget the Bog, you'd poison it. I ought to have you hung, drawn and quartered," he snarled.
"I ought to charge you for the postage fees," she countered lightly, not missing a beat. "Do you know how much it cost me to send that to the Underground?"
"Oh, it's going to - cost - you all right," he bit off slowly from between locked jaws. If he hadn't been wearing gloves, Sarah would've seen Jareth's knuckles white with the strain of holding back from enacting the very appealing fantasies he was currently entertaining of wrapping his hands tightly around her neck and shaking her senseless. Sarah wasn't the only one with a vivid imagination.
Sarah was well aware of the murderous vibes coming her way, but gaily ignored them. Party on the Titanic! She was on a roll. "Really, Jareth. You took great pains to explain how very generous you'd been and looking back I saw how true it was - you've given me such wonderful gifts, after all," she drawled sardonically. "A snake. The poisoned peach. A few near-death experiences. And then just recently, my delightfully improved t-shirt." She went wide-eyed in affected candour. "There I was, like you said, always demanding, and never saying thank you. I thought it was only fair that I give you something in return."
He stared at her flintily. "You shouldn't have." His voice was flat and at sub-zero temperatures.
She raised an eyebrow at him again. "Oh, really?" she taunted, drawing on all her memories of his infuriating sneer. It felt like suicide - but it also felt damn good. Her lips twitched as she tried not to dissolve into nervous giggles. Being faced with certain death was wonderfully liberating. She crossed her arms on her sweatshirt, and her voice turned serious. "Maybe you're right. I should've kept it simpler. 'Utter bastard' would've suited nicely. Or, no, wait," her eyes were challenging, "how about just 'Loser'?..."
The proverbial thin ice under her snapped, as so did the last thread of Jareth's self-restraint. With a sound somewhere between a scalded cat and a toad being stepped on, he exploded into movement, lunging towards her. His black leather-clad hands grabbed her halfway between her shoulders and her throat, violently bearing her backwards. She'd been almost expecting something of the sort however, and as he slammed her against the door her knee jerked up.
Even infuriated and taken by surprise, he was too fast for her. Moving sharply backwards, he half-dodged, half-blocked the kick by trapping her leg between his. His fingers dug painfully into the flesh just above her collarbone. She swung her right hand around sharply to slap him. Again he reacted with cat-like speed, releasing her throat to capture both her wrists and pinning them either side of her, level with her face.
Not so sure that's an improvement.
The top of his body pressed down on her, and he gave a loud angry hiss close to her ear before drawing back to glare at her.
He looked furious, but also indignant. "You dare?!" he growled threateningly - with just a tiny, minuscule, barely-there hint of a squawk in it.
"This time, you bet." Breath half knocked out of her, Sarah gave him a tight, defiant grin.
Her satisfaction at having taken her best shot at one of her life's dearest ambitions, and consequences go hang was short-lived, however. It was uncomfortably and rapidly dawning on her that the drawback of having one leg between his, just inches from damaging the royal ego was that he, in the same position, now had one leg between hers.
Jareth very quickly pressed both his advantage and his hip against her. Keeping her knee firmly captive, he leaned in, pushing her up slightly so that part of her weight now rested on his thigh. Sarah clenched her teeth so as not to gasp, and willed herself to ignore the feeling of pressure between her legs, and how his whole body now trapped her against the door.
There was a moment's tense stillness as they traded stares, both breathing hard, their faces inches apart.
Jareth was still furious, though some measure of dark satisfaction was beginning to show on his sharp features. "You were saying…?"
Ask yourself, Sarah… do you really want that 15 extra special offer on coffin nails?
"You did lose," she pointed out brightly.
Jareth's jaw clenched briefly; but then he closed his eyes and shook his head slightly, before giving her a cold smile.
"That was only round one, princess." He moved his face in towards hers, and his lips brushed up along her jaw line, making her gasp and jerk her head back. He reached her ear and whispered darkly. "As you just said - this time…" his tongue flicked at her earlobe, and she gasped again, "…is different." He briefly bit the flesh of her earlobe - not that hard, but he had sharp teeth. "Remember?"
- I'd rather try doing things to you… This time, I won't be the one who ends up exhausted and begging. -
Apprehension and something else entirely made Sarah's pulse quicken.
Like there was any way I was going to be forgetting that.
She tried to squirm away from the touch of his lips, but any movement she made only made her more blushingly aware of the distracting pressure between her legs. She was all too conscious of growing unnervingly warm all over, feeling his chest rise and fall against hers, her wrists still tightly pinned against the door as his teeth continued to tease at her ear and nape, and the worse part was that she was angrily certain he knew it.
Looking away from him, frantically seeking anything to take her mind off what he was doing, she realised fully exactly what sort of picture they were presenting to anyone who might pass by. The thought sent a hot jolt through her stomach, but also gave her a straw to grasp at.
"We're not in your Labyrinth, Jareth. There are people here, I'll scream for help," she threatened.
He raised his head to look at her, and meeting his burning gaze made her heart lurch wildly. His eyes were dark with anger still - and a vicious amusement, as well as an ill-concealed hunger that both scared and fired her. "Not so brave, Sarah…" he sneered. "Try raising your voice, sweetheart, and I'll stop up that poison-spouting mouth of yours the same way I did last time," he told her harshly. His hot gaze drifted over her upturned face to her lips, trembling slightly, just inches away from his, and he smiled like a shark. "Hell, I'll do that anyway."
Hypnotized by his eyes, Sarah didn't even think to move. A rush of shock and physical reaction shook her as his mouth came baring down hard on hers. She would've gasped but he swallowed the sound and immediately his tongue forced passage through her parted lips, aggressively taking possession of her mouth. His body gathered up beneath them, pushing her back into the door as his face pressed down on hers, tongue thrusting deeply and punishing.
He tasted like the ozone smell of summer lightning. Her head spun. Her blood was pounding deafeningly in her ears, her neck ached from the strain, and her lips were numb as he relentlessly ravaged her mouth. She couldn't remember breathing. She felt like some electric, liquid heat was coursing crazily through her body, to and from her abused mouth, and where his hip was pressed insistently against her crotch. Her heart was beating fit to burst.
At last, after one last sharp push downwards against her that made her whole body shudder, he released her mouth and drew back a little. He scrutinized her flushed face with dark vindication, as she panted, eyes closed. She was trembling and limp, and he could feel the heat of her against his thigh. Jareth's own eyes were feverish, but he forced himself to keep a tight control over how his body was responding to hers. I'll show you payback, he thought to himself. He had altered his tense, hungry expression to a cold smirk by the time she opened her eyes to glare at him, furious but deeply troubled.
"Scream now, if you can," he told her mockingly. "But even if you bawl your lungs out, Sarah dearest, there's not going to be any rescue for you."
Still dizzy, lips bruised and tingling, Sarah swallowed, trying to catch her breath. OK. Nice recovery, you bastard.
She was concentrating very hard on being outraged and hating him - and not on having just been kissed breathless and quivering and still being pressed hotly against the Goblin King's firm black-clad thigh…
Stop thinking about that right now!
She tugged at her hands where he gripped her. "Let me go," she demanded.
"No." He bared his teeth in a grin - sort of - and ran his tongue over his lips. " … Now are you going to apologise?" He bent his head to bring his mouth close to the side of her neck, and touched it with the lightest, tantalizing breath of a kiss, making her shiver uncontrollably. "Or I'll make you very, very sorry indeed," he went on in low, deliberate tones.
Gritting her teeth, Sarah managed to pull herself together somewhat and ignore how he had just made her stomach flutter. "Not going to happen, Jareth," she declared loudly. "Neither the apology nor… whatever you're thinking."
He chuckled, rich and sinful as chocolate, mouth still teasingly close to her ear. "You can't possibly begin to imagine what I'm thinking, Sarah," he growled in a seductive threat, shifting his body against hers again.
She bit down a gasp. "I think I can guess at the general thrust," she answered in a slightly strained, sarcastic voice.
"Can you now? …" A look of wicked delight danced on his strange features, his mismatched eyes glittering with mischief as he looked at her. Sarah couldn't help blushing.
Important note to self, she thought urgently. Remember, this is Jareth - he could make 'pass the salt' sound suggestive in that damned velvet, pervert voice of his, so for God's sake, don't go making things easier for him!! …
Oh, yeah, and also do try to remember you hate him, right?
Jareth grinned wolfishly down at her, still bodily pressing her against the door. He bent his face suddenly to run his tongue across her bruised lips in one swift, startling movement – almost before she could register it his voice was whispering hotly in her ear again, as his soft hair brushed her face.
"Ah… So, once again I shall have to try to…measure up to your expectations, shall I?"
Sarah felt herself blushing further, even as she groaned and rolled her eyes. The man's already sexual harassment incarnate in tight leggings without doing anything, he just tried to eat my face, and now has me trapped between the door and a hard place - as severalparts of her body were telling her in no uncertain terms - the blatant innuendo is so unnecessary.
There was a particularly devilish gleam in his eye for an instant, and then it was hidden from her as he lowered his lips to hers again. This time he merely applied a soft, lingering, warm pressure on her closed mouth, inviting and frustrating and mockingly chaste. Her chest tightened and closing her eyes she battled the alarmingly strong urge to open up and welcome his nerve-wracking invasion once again, and worse, desperately kiss him back…
His gloved hands shifted at her wrists. She was surprised to feel them loosening their grip, pausing for a moment and causing a small strange tingle, then slowly moving down the inside of her arms in a soft, open-handed caress, fingers lingering in her palm. It was a stunningly tender gesture, and her breath caught in her throat.
- wait a minute –
Her eyes flew open as she pulled at her wrists, and she immediately saw the smirk on his face. He winked provokingly at her. Grinning, he lazily laid one hand at her waist, gently tugging her towards him, and brought the other up, with a small mocking flourish before her face, to run through her hair. Her wrists were still trapped and immobile. There wasn't any feeling of restraint or a binding round them; she simply could not budge her hands from where they touched the wood of the door, as if they were glued to the spot. Fury mingled with a touch of panic shot through her. He's tricked me again, the Fae bastard!
"Oh, you lousy, cheating, son of a bitch," she spluttered indignantly. "That's not fair!"
"Not fair on whom?" His voice was cool and he eyed her critically, though he still looked vastly pleased with himself, his right hand playing with her hair. "Those 'average jerks' who've tried to feel you up before?"
She opened her mouth to protest, and then shut it. Well, yes, part of her wanted to point out sulkily. I mean…I'm perfectly happy to be pinned up against the wall and snogged senseless, but this is just not—Wait…did I really just think that? "Cheating Fae bastard," she muttered.
His eyes narrowed briefly, and she wondered at the expression that flashed across his face - was that…what…jealousy? annoyance?...but then almost immediately he was smirking at her again.
"I'm not cheating; I'm in a whole other league. In many respects," he told her firmly, and there was a touch of steel, and more than a hint of attractive danger behind the cocky declaration.
Keeping his eyes on hers with a heated intensity and that non-human focus that she found both hypnotizing and near impossible to withstand, which set her heart to pounding again, he moved both hands to rest on her hips. Her stomach flipped. With tantalizing slowness, he slipped his fingers under her sweatshirt and over her bare skin to rest, warm and excruciatingly present, in the small of her back. He stood there motionless for a moment, holding her against him almost casually, and pointedly watched her suddenly remember to breathe, his lips slowly stretching in an arrogant smirk. It had taken all her self-control not to squirm into his touch. "You said you had high standards," he leaned in towards her. "…I hopelessly outclass the competition, Sarah," he growled close to her ear in a rough tone of utter confidence and dark promise, and the reading on Sarah's mental innuendo meter shot off the chart again.
She gulped, and then managed to make a scoffing sound. "Oh, yeah, for the biggest di-- fathead!!"
Shit! She was blushing again and hating herself.
She felt him smile widely against the side of her face, and he drew back to look at her with a raised eyebrow. "Sarah, dearest, that impudent mouth of yours is going to get you into very, very hot water some day. Don't provoke me." There were strange undercurrents to the amusement in his voice. Then he positively leered, tightening his hold on her and pulling her hips close against him. "But then again, in case you were wondering…"
"NO! Let me go, you randy bastard!" Sarah was getting far too much information from her lower body than she wanted to know or was quite sure she could handle right then.
He chuckled darkly, and relaxed his embrace on her a little, grinning. "No? I have a recent and rather enjoyable memory of you requesting that I make my efforts to woo you more…" he very slightly shifted his hip against her and his voice dropped to a taunting murmur, "…tangible."
Sarah inhaled sharply as his movement sent renewed warmth flooding through her. She was trying very hard to ignore how very noticeably tangible, in fact, downright poking, he was being right then and there. "… And I have a recent and entirely detestable memory of you using that against me," she growled. As in, at the bar, kissing her silly and leaving her gulping open-mouthed and foolish like a stranded and very pissed-off fish. "I'm not falling for that one again." Even though I just did… No, I mean it!
His fingers danced a little ways up her back. "What… don't you enjoy me against you?" he teased in the same velvet voice.
Every cell in her body wordlessly clamoured YES, but she angrily ignored the hormonal insurrection. "No! Back off, Your Royal Tightness," she snapped.
A low, genuine laugh. "You were saying something just a minute ago about dealing with the truth, Sarah…"
"Yes, well, judging by your reaction you obviously didn't take well to it, so we can forget that approach…"
"How considerate of you," he commented almost pleasantly. He cocked his head to one side, mismatched eyes glinting. "However, if we're going to discuss reactions, perhaps we could find more interesting ones to investigate. Or better yet…" he grinned ferociously, and moved his hands up under her shirt, round from her back to the beginning of her ribcage, then stroking down to rest the tip of his gloved fingers on her hips, She gasped, quivering under the feather-light, teasing caress. "…experiment with…"
No, no, no and no, she raged mentally, damned if she was going to let him smugly play his games with her again, visible effects or no. Scowling at him, and cursing her treacherous body, she strained on her tiptoes to push as far away from him as she could, digging her shoulder blades into the door behind her. She succeeded in gaining all of half an inch between them.
"… Sorry, but I don't intend to indulge your curiosity, Goblin King!" she said angrily. She tugged ineffectively at her immobilized wrists again. "Let me go!"
"Why? Too scared of what we might find out? What you're desperately trying to hide from me?" He leaned his face in towards her, nullifying all her efforts to scoot back. He looked down at her, his expression in the growing evening darkness dangerously confident. "Such as the fact that you're enjoying every minute of this, Sarah, and that you don't want me to stop touching you…- " His voice felt like an intrusive, intimate caress.
" - I want you to let – me – go," she hissed forcefully. She was breathing hard, glaring at him, anger and the effect of his words both flushing her face.
"You should've stopped that sentence after the first three words," he said critically, eyes dancing.
"Jareth!" Her voice rose sharply in frustration. "Shut up and--"
"What?!" she stammered, thrown.
"You heard." His smile was challenging now, and his gaze was intent. "If you want me to release your hands, stop trying to fuse with the door and kiss me – properly - and…I'll think about it."
She stared up at him, seething with helpless frustration and resentment and dearly wishing she could have another shot at kneeing him. Trust him to turn the tables on me, the bastard. She clenched her teeth. "That's a piss-poor guarantee, Jareth."
"Live dangerously. It's what you've been doing so far." His dry tone was belied by the hungry anticipation in his eyes.
Scowling and detesting him, Sarah still couldn't help her eyes from wandering to his mouth. It had been a week since he'd turned up to taunt, kiss, and humiliate her at the bar, and though she'd been pencil-snapping furious at him since, the week had also felt like a very long and boring time without his lips on hers. Which, of course, only made her angrier.
Kissing him… I do want to, she had to admit to herself bitterly, badly, but encouraging him right now feels like such a bad idea for so many reasons. Still, he had a point - she'd been acting on a lot of bad ideas until this point, which had landed her in her current predicament in the first place.
Predicament? Just say fantasy and give up the fight, why don't you an unwelcome inner voice suggested, sounding disturbingly like him. She exhaled sharply. If there ever was a case of 'screwed if I do…'
She glared back up at him, eyes flashing defiance and resolution, and as his smile began to widen, lunged in to plant her lips on his. Insufferable, smug, manipulative bastard, she thought viciously, as she seized his lower lip between her teeth, and tugged and he willingly bent his head to meet her open, hot mouth.
She thrilled with anger, danger, and lust and her tongue attacked his recklessly, giving him everything she'd got. As a long-term survival strategy it was probably a very bad idea, but she'd decided to wipe that smug expression of his face, even if just for a few seconds and on his self-serving terms. Yeah, right…excuses, excuses, the same shrewd voice said. Shut up and kiss him, she ordered herself. And she did, with wild abandon and relish, dropping all her reserves, except for the one hot kernel of defiance and purpose firing her.
He had simply let her rage against him at first, obviously amused, but he was beginning to respond to her passion. His tongue met with hers, and his hands tightened round her waist. She kissed him with all the fire she possessed, and his own smouldering lust flared up in response. It was a hot, tumbling, mindless, exhilarating tiger-ride of a kiss, and she felt his pulse quicken, to say nothing of what was going on lower down. When she heard him make a low, animal sound in the back of his throat, she dragged her wildly spinning mind back to reality and with a final rush of exaltation surging in her chest, shook her head and tore her mouth away from his. She bit her lip to regain control, her breath short, and intently watched him come back to his senses.
A few seconds passed before Jareth slowly opened mismatched eyes that were dark with desire, his face inches from hers. He sucked in a long, deep breath, almost as if stealing it from her mouth, but was otherwise utterly motionless. For one still, vibrant, intense moment that stretched on and on in silence but for her pounding heart, there was no antagonism, no thought of vindication or resentment; there was nothing else to the world but his nerve-searing presence, the taste of him lingering on her lips, his mesmerizing gaze caught in her own, and endless glowing possibilities.
Then he blinked and breathed out, and, masking the naked desire on his face, leaned back and smirked at her. His expression had turned self-satisfied and leering, and right then she truly hated him.
"That wasn't so hard, was it?" The tone was jeering, but his voice was a little rough nevertheless.
She eyed him coldly. Go on and bluster, you overstuffed owl, but you just got owned. She felt strangely calmer after that whirlwind kiss, and more confident. "Jareth, we are not going to even begin to discuss what's hard here," she said cattily.
A painted eyebrow swept up archly. "What can I say? You bring out the worst in me, Sarah." His mocking was almost gentle, in spite of the suggestive grin on his face. He gave a loud sigh, and, wrapping one arm around her waist, he leaned in towards her, bringing his free hand up to cup her chin. The embrace was warm, firm and possessive. He gazed into her eyes and she could see the very real desire still burning there, behind the taunting. It sent a small secret thrill through her. He went on in a murmur.
"For instance, now that I do think about it, I have absolutely no inclination whatsoever to release you or give you the slightest chance of getting even an inch away…" He sighed again, shaking his head, causing his pale hair to brush against her face. "But if I give you any grounds to, you'll start whining that it's not fair again and sticking out that delicious lower lip of yours in a pout, and then I'm really not sure I could be held accountable for my acts."
He smiled then, still teasing but also warm. "And it was a nice kiss, Sarah." Tipping her chin to him, he pressed his lips down on her in a swift kiss of his own. Then, with another put-upon sigh, not releasing his hold on her waist, he brushed his other hand down her throat, and up along her arm, to tap a forefinger sharply against the door near her wrist.
When she tried to move her hands away from the wood this time, there was a feeling of resistance, like moving through thick treacle, that rapidly thinned to just a gossamer tickle of a spider thread she easily tore through. Before she could fully appreciate her arms being freed, his nearby hand had caught her wrist again in a warm, firm grip. His other arm around her waist still kept her close against him. With her one free hand she shoved at him ineffectively. He didn't budge, and she was still bodily trapped up against the door.
The Goblin King gave her a perfectly relaxed grin. "We're not done here, however. I'm not going to be that generous."
Sarah counted to ten in her head and then carefully decided, in the light of recent events, against trying to slap him again. With an aggravated hiss, she leaned her head back to stare at him critically.
"So." It was her turn to sigh irritably. And then with resignation, but also an edge of provocation to her voice, "Now what do I have to do to make you leave?"