"Without a Sound"

By Ellie

A/N) I don't own the Labyrinth.

Was randomly productive a couple of days ago, finished typing this out earlier and am now posting despite (I'm sure) various errors I'll beat myself over the head with later. Rough and unruly but here it is!

PS) Was hoping strikethrough would work-hint, it won't! So instead, they're underlined.

PPS! This story is COMPLETE. A one-shot! Please don't review asking for more story! There IS no more-That's all folks! Finis! Thanks!

"I don't want to leave you," she whispered the anguished words into the satin-soft collar of his open poet's shirt. Every breath she took smelled of the spice of him, the bite of scent that was both sharp and sweet, like cinnamon and honey.

"Ah, Sarah, there is little I wouldn't do to keep you." His gloved hands ran through her hair and down her back in a drugging caress.

Sarah felt her muscles melting under the pressure of those hands and shifted ever so slightly to the left, pressing herself more fully against his side, gathering the heat of him to her skin.

"Why?" The word slid from her lips with the volume of a sigh.

"You forget; I can see your dreams." His voice held a tracery of mockery in its depths, "I can't be your happy ever after."

His hands tightened on her shoulders, gripping hard enough to bruise before he abruptly released her. She held her gasp of pain inside, letting it mingle with the torment she felt at hearing his biting scorn until it felt as though a seething darkness coiled deep in the pit of her stomach.

Bitterness was heavy on her tongue, "'Through hardships untold and dangers unnumbered…'"

Sarah met his gaze to find his expression empty, devoid of any of the emotion that she knew must be so glaringly obvious on her own. Her eyes burned with repressed tears as she searched his face. Seeing nothing, she stumbled back a step. Away from him, away from the hurt he was causing her.

It wasn't until she took that limping step backwards that she got a reaction: frustration and deep in those fathomless eyes, perhaps a hint of sorrow?

One tear slid wetly down her cheek, betraying her. "You offered me my dreams once, or was it all just a lie?"

Jareth lifted a hand, as though to reach forward and touch her, it hovered there, an embrace left unfinished. Slowly, it lowered. Jareth glared at the space between their bodies before stalking further away to pace.

When he answered, his voice was clipped, the anger of his words branding them with smoldering curtness, "I offered you the means to see your dreams, to realize what you hold deepest in your heart."

Sarah had clutched her arms around herself, desperate to ward against a chill that seemed to emanate from within, but at his words a spark of warmth flared. "The means to see my dreams but not fulfill them?"

He heard the underlying accusation in her voice, saw the flash of hopeless anger strike those remarkable eyes bright before he answered with an edge of malice that would slice her further, "I never claimed that it was a kind gift, little Sarah."

Her hands clenched. "Yeah, well, you didn't mention it was a cruel one, either!"

"Cruel, my love? Yes, it is cruelty to dangle dreams that can never be fulfilled before the sleeper's eyes. It makes us well-matched, you and I, for here you stand, offering me love that I can never claim!"

Rapid steps brought him before her standing inches away with a cloak of danger hovering around him, invisible but felt.

His hand lifted to her hair once more and Sarah felt confusion and longing mingle as his careful touch destroyed her.

When he spoke it was with a quiet finality. "And yet, I find that your sweet brand of cruelty binds that much tighter, for all its thorns."

Sarah shut her eyes and leaned into that tender touch, feeling the hot stream of her tears drip down her skin like an extra embrace. "Why? Why can't we be together?" There was pleading in her voice, tinged with the hopelessness of defeat.

He wrapped his arms around her as though to soften the blow, "Because, my love, you're about to wake up."

"No. No! I want to stay with you! I love you!" Her words were desperate, her panic complete.

He pulled back to face her, his countenance blurred with the salt of her tears.

"Sarah, look at me!"

She re-doubled her attempts to focus past the haze of tears, rubbing at them with her fingertips until she could see his eyes burning into hers.

"Words are words, Sarah. Some are more powerful than others. And some, some, just hide the truth."

He was talking in riddles! Riddles and mazes and fairies that bite. Things began to go opaque and Sarah struggled to stay upright as the world wheeled and twirled.

"I don't understand."

His words were clipped in urgency, "You don't have to understand, Sarah. Just remember."

His lips crushed against her in a desperate kiss as the dream began to cave in on itself; a wave crashing over a sand castle and swirling it into a pitted trench, little more than a dimple in the earth.

Sarah jerked awake with the hazy recollection of pleasant dreams and warm hands on her skin. She shivered in remembrance, almost feeling that phantom touch if she closed her eyes and held perfectly still.

Funny, though, a detail skimmed the corner of her mind, making her pause. Those hands on her bare arms had been so incredibly smooth. Almost like… Almost like the butter-soft leather that her little brother was so obsessed with.

Toby had started saving up for an obscenely expensive jacket almost a year ago, and he dragged Sarah into leather shops constantly. Yes, it was exactly like the top-quality, sell-your-kidney-on-the-black-market leather from those pricey specialty shops. She felt a certain amount of pride at not only remembering that detail, but also placing its familiarity.

She bustled about, tidying her bed before one last nagging thought tumbled into her head: It was odd, wasn't it, that she was dreaming of gloved hands in July?

Chalking it up to the inconsistent nature of dreams, Sarah resumed her daily routine and allowed all thoughts of the dream to die. All except the tiny voice that was screaming at her that she had overlooked some vital detail, and in doing so, had lost something infinitely precious.

Sarah bit her lip and glanced guiltily at the small cloth-covered notebook that lay atop her bedside table.

Sighing in resignation, and feeling patently ridiculous, she opened the red-cover and wrote the date at the top of the first blank page she came across.

Her brow furrowed as she tired in vain to recall the fragments of the dream that had flashed so clear upon waking, only to fade mere moments afterward.

Her pen scrawled across the paper:

July 10th
Gloved hands—Leather. Garden.

Satisfied, she snapped the notebook closed, dropping it back onto the nightstand before walking out of her room to begin her day.

No one was in the room when the notebook flipped itself open. No pen could be seen as a line scratched itself through the word "garden" and followed it with another.

No one witnessed the notebook close itself and return to the exact spot that Sarah had lightly tossed it.

No one.

But really, if a tree falls in the middle of a forest but no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Or better put, if magic has touched someone's life once, does it ever really leave? Or is it still there?

Is it just waiting?

Perhaps even waiting for someone at the edge of the forest to venture closer… Close enough to hear…

July 10th

Gloved hands—Leather. Garden Maze

June 20th

Snow globe. Kisses. Crystal

June 15th

Hypnotic eyes. Bug bite. Fairy

June 1st

Sad song. Dancing. Circular room. Ballroom

May 20th

I've been having the weirdest dreams lately. They say that dream journals can really help sort stuff out, so I suppose I'll try it and see.

Julie said that you have to write down what you remember right away and then wait until you have several months' worth of entries before looking at any of the stuff you've written. Once you do, you can read through it and see if you can't figure out what your subconscious is trying to tell you.

I'm not very good at keeping diaries, but I suppose there's no harm in trying this.

The only thing I really remember about my dreams last night is that I didn't want to wake up. The strangest part was that when I did, there were tears on my pillow. I truly can't remember why I was crying.

Remember. Just remember.