I Can't live within You




Here we go again…it's not mine, never was…

Henson owns it…. But don't use it well.

Brian….are you paying attention?

Chapter 1. And came a darkness…

Jareth tossed the crystal ball up into the air, where it hovered as a bubble. Sarah looked at it, and saw Jareth's face, distorted, on the shifting, iridescent surface. Gently, it drifted down toward her. She reached out fascinated fingers for it and, as she touched the bubble with her fingertips, it burst. A mist of water atoms floated down the air toward Jareth.

Jareth had disappeared. She heard his voice, for a last time, moaning, "Sarah ... Sarah ..." His empty cloak was settling onto the ground. A beam of light picked out a little cloud of dust motes rising from it. The clock continued to strike.


Sarah awoke from the dream covered in beads of sweat and trembling. In recent months she'd been plagued by nightmares. So vivid while she slept, and then bursting like bubbles into nothingness when she awoke. The only memory of the dreams was the voice she could not get out of her head calling her name.

Karen, in her robe peered into the girl's room. "Another bad dream?" she asked from the doorway.

Sarah looked up and nodded. "I'm afraid so…" she placed her hand over her eyes and moaned. "And it's getting worse… its happening every night now."

Karen stepped into the room and shut the door; she came to stand beside the bed. "Sarah you need to see a doctor." Her voice was firm.

The teenager sat up. "I think you're right, Karen."

Karen Williams sat on the bed and passed a hand over the girls face. "I'll call for an appointment with Dr. DeCaro." She got off the bed and left the room. Meeting her husband in the hall way she gave him a sad little smile. "Robert, did we disturb you?"

Robert Williams looked at the door being pulled closed. "Another bad dream?"

Karen nodded her head, as strawberry blond hair fell into her eyes. "She's getting worse…She's at least agreeing for me to call a doctor." She looked back at the door. "I'm really worried about her Robert."


Dr. DeCaro sat across from Sarah. "Your stepmother tells me you've been suffering with bad dreams." When the teen nodded, the matronly woman asked quietly. "When did these bad dreams start, do you know?"

"A while ago," Sarah said, and then added. "A long while ago." She sighed heavily. "About the time Toby turned one."

The Doctor wrote down a note. "That would be what, two years now?"

"Yes." Sarah fidgeted in her seat.

Smiling the Doctor asked more questions. "Do you remember your dreams?"

"No." Sarah answered more sharply than she meant to.

The woman seated across from her blinked. "What do you remember?"

Sarah stood up. "This is stupid; I don't want to be here…. I should never have agreed to coming to see you and wasting your time." She headed toward the door. "Just send the bill to my father…"

"What are you afraid of Sarah?" the question was disarming.

Hallow eyes turned a glared at the woman. "I don't want to remember my dreams. I just want them to stop."

Gently prying the girls hands from the door, Dr. DeCaro helped her back to her seat. "Perhaps I can help with that…we find the root of the dream and we can put a stop to them coming to you…."


Karen and Robert sat stiffly in the office awaiting the Doctor. Sarah had been in therapy for a little over six weeks now, and the Doctor felt they were making progress. She came in and greeted the parents. "Thank you so much for coming to this meeting."

Robert leaned on the desk in front of him, aggressively. "What can you tell us?"

Karen sat with wide eyes. "Yes…is she going to be alright?"

Dr. DeCaro nodded, "She's just a confused teenager trying to make sense of the things we adults do. She's still getting over her mother having left her. And she is just now coming to terms with the fact that you have married and have another child." The woman folded her hands on her desk. "She has harbored some very deep resentment about the boy, and her guilt over it has turned her dreams into a playground for her subconscious to act out these resentments."

Robert blinked, "Are you saying she's nuts?"

"No, not at all…" The Doctor said. "She's just confused about her place in the scheme of things."

Robert was not convinced. "Is she dangerous to herself…or to my son?"

"No." The Doctor said with a quiet sigh. "But she will need a bit more therapy to over come some of her deepest feelings. She just needs to see that she's still important to you."

"Maybe we should put her in a hospital." Robert said still worried about her being near the boy.

"That's not necessary," Dr. DeCaro said gently. "A bit more therapy and she'll be able to face her own fears without resorting to nightmares."

Karen looked over at the Doctor. "What about responsibilities at home? She often sits with our son when we're out…"

Writing down notes, not looking up Dr. DeCaro said. "I'd try not tot put too much pressure on the girl for now…."


Robert sat in the drivers seat and fumed. "That was a waste of time." He announced.

"She said Sarah's improving…" Karen interjected.

"She said Sarah hates us and hates Toby, that's what she said….bottom line." Robert snapped maliciously. "I think this woman is a crackpot! I think what Sarah needs is to go to boarding school."

"Oh Robert, no!" Karen protested. "It's not enough that she's so far from Linda, now you're going to separate her from us?"

"Damn right I am…" He gunned the engine. "For her good and ours."


Sarah sat in the Doctor's office with tears flowing. "They're sending me away…what did you say to them?"

Dr. DeCaro shook her head, "I told them what wonderful progress you've made."

"Then why do I have to go away to school?" Sarah begged the woman to answer.

"Oh Sarah," The Doctor patted her hand. "I think your father over reacted to my telling him that you are working though some resentments. I forgot how lawyers think. I'm afraid this is my fault."

Sarah stood up, looked at he woman and through trembling lips said. "No, this is my fault…I'm the one who wished Toby away…I'm the one who caused the nightmares…And I'm the one who has to accept the consequences."

The Doctor looked at the brochure that Sarah had brought in with her. "It's a very good school…" she commented. "One of my associates' daughters goes there. Her name is Megan Élan. I could see if I couldn't get you assigned to her dorm."

Sarah considered the offer, shook her head. "No…I'll do this on my own…but thank you." She offered her hand to the Doctor. "I'll let you know how things are going."

The woman watched the girl leave.


The first thing Sarah Williams learned at Briarwood Academy was that she was on her own. Secondly, no one would take her seriously if she stayed in her world of let's pretend. Thirdly, she had to conform.

The dreams subsided, and faded. The memories of the dark time in the Labyrinth became a foggy distant memory left to turn to dust. On her first weekend home she packed all her old toys up and labeled the boxes before putting them up in the attic. All her old costumes went up there as well. Gone were the posters and the children's books. Her room became sterile, and expressionless.

Robert strutted as he pronounced his answer to the problem the right one. After all, Sarah didn't have nightmares anymore.

Karen looked at the room after Sarah had been driven back to school. There was real fear in Karen's eyes. Sarah may not be having nightmares anymore, but she was also not having any dreams. There was nothing in the room that could show a glimmer of talent, or imagination, or personality.


Jareth sat in the ruins of the wonderful puzzle stair room. He clutched the crystal orb he'd found in the corner of the ruins. It was the very one he'd tossed to Toby while the girl had searched for him. Now it was the last remaining thing that the boy had touched. The Fae King hung his head and winced with each crumbling stone that fell. She had rejected him, and his offer of giving her everything she'd ever dreamed of. She had taken away the child.

Looking into the orb he let his tears flow. "Toby." He moaned. "Let me see the boy." Though the crystal stayed dark, he could make out the image of a child in his crib, a child humming a wild little tune and kicking his feet to the beat.

Goblins moved closer and gathered round their unhappy ruler. "Tell us what to do." They begged.

Jareth sniffed, looked around himself. "Let's get things back to normal… clean up the mess… and someone find my riding crop."

With the passing days the King's humor didn't improve. He could not hide his pain from his Goblins. Fewer and fewer children had been wished away in the years since the dawn of the twentieth century. Fewer and fewer people held magic in their hearts. The portals between the worlds were used less and less. Jareth took to wondering in the Labyrinth for repose.


Sarah had been at Briarwood for an entire year, and was now looking at the elective classes for her last year in the academy. The silly idea of following her mother's footsteps onto the stage had been long abandoned. Instead she had developed an interest in history and the development of civilizations.

She had kept in touch with Dr. DeCaro, just as she'd promised she would. Once a month she and the good doctor would meet in the little town of Brighton and have lunch and talk. She didn't mention to the good doctor that Megan Élan ran with a very mean spirited crowd. She refused to disillusion the woman's opinion of the other girl. But one thing Sarah had learned in the first weeks here was Megan Élan and her friends were dangerous and to be avoided at all costs.

Sarah sat in the bistro going over the classes while she waited for Dr. DeCaro to arrive. It was a bright day, not too cool, nor too warm. Brighton was a pleasant little town, reminding Sarah of her home town. Wonderful old shops, little parks, and beautiful old homes on tree lined streets. It was the kind of town you only found in the New England States. She was coming to think of Brighton as being home, and had given thought to settling down there when she was done with college.

Dr. DeCaro greeted her as one would a favorite niece. "Sarah, I hope I didn't keep you waiting."

"No." Sarah smiled up at her. "I was just going over my classes for next year. Would you mind taking a look at my choices?"

Dr. DeCaro felt privileged and flattered by the girl's request. "Wouldn't you rather your father take a look?" Sarah shook her head, and the older woman sighed. "Things no better?"

"At least they are no worse." Sarah sighed. "He still won't let me babysit Toby…it's as if he's afraid I'll hurt him." Sarah passed the selection of elected classes to the Doctor. "Tell me what you think."

"Very good," the woman said pulling out her glasses and looking at the list. "I see you're taking History verses Mythology."

Sarah nodded. "I'm thinking of doing a history major."

Passing the list back, her doctor nodded. "No more wanting to be on stage?"

"No." Sarah said coldly. "I'll leave that to my mother."

After ordering their meal the older woman asked. "Any more bad dreams?"

"Not a one since I've been here." Sarah said with confidence. "Maybe my father is right about one thing. Keeping me and Toby separated has allowed me to sleep." She made light of it.

Dr. DeCaro frowned. "Sarah that's not confronting the root…" she warned. "If you keep putting off getting to the root of the nightmares you are only going to compound your problems in the future."

Sarah sighed. "I'll give it some serious thought this summer. I promise."


Sarah had no sooner unpacked her school things than her father was having her pack up for a trip to spend the summer with her mother. Much as she wanted to see her mother, she also wanted to be home. Yet it was crystal clear her father didn't want her in the house with his son.

One week after school ended, the girl was on a plane headed toward her mother.


Jareth drew a crystal out of the air, here in the tunnels he was alone and could watch whom ever he wished without interference. He watched the boy at play for a short time and then focused on the girl. Her image was more and more difficult to focus in on. He closed his eyes to the pain that seeing her caused, fearing his pain was causing the image to be difficult.


There was but one week left of the summer break when Sarah returned to her father's house. Robert had not even come to the airport to pick her up, she'd been told to take a cab. When she arrived Robert and Karen were out to dinner and old Mrs. Miller the neighbor from down the street was sitting with Toby. Mrs. Miller put up a fuss when Sarah went to hug the boy, and Sarah began to wonder if there was more to it than just the complaint that he'd just eaten. Sarah unpacked in her room and noticed that her luggage for school was out and outfits she'd sent home that she'd purchased with her mother were already in the cases. She pulled the fluffy little stuffed toy she'd bought for Toby out of her things and brought it down stairs to him.

"What is that?" Mrs. Miller asked in a voice that screamed of an unspoken accusation.

"Something I got for Toby in England." Sarah said quietly. "Here ya go." She was handing it to the boy when the older woman's hand grabbed it away.

"Let me see that." She snapped at the girl.

Sarah felt a darkness grip her. "What do you mean, let you see it?"

Mrs. Miller narrowed dark eyes at the girl. "I'm suppose to check everything you hand to him!"

Sarah felt the wind knocked out of her. "Why?"

The older woman inspected the toy. "I should think that was self evident, girl. I've been told about you… about how you…feel…"

Sarah staggered back, "You what?"

Finding the toy to be harmless she tossed it to Toby. "You are not to be left alone with the boy. Those are your father's orders." The words were cruelly given.

Sarah looked at Toby who was glaring at the old woman with nearly feral eyes. She'd seen that look before, but where she could not, or would not place. "I'm going to my room."

"Good." Said the older woman.

In her room Sarah began to rock herself, her father must really hate her to allow this old biddy to speak to her in this manner. She picked up her phone and called the emergency number Dr. DeCaro had given her. Someone else answered and when Sarah asked for the Doctor she was informed that Dr. DeCaro had been taken ill and was not available. Sarah was alone, and darkness was descending on her very soul.


She was closing him out, that was the only explanation, Jareth concluded. Sarah was making herself forget, him, the Labyrinth her friends… everything. He paced his tower, and fretted. How could he exist if she forgot him? He had stopped looking in the orbs for her, for it was now impossible to see her image, not even those cruel eyes.

In desperation he went to the old books of magic he'd inherited when he became the King. He looked up spell after spell, finding nothing to ease his pain. Then he came upon a hand written potion, whose hand had made the parchment he was not sure. He read over the ingredients and began to amass them. He followed the instructions carefully, and then once the potion was ready took it deep into the heart of the Labyrinth. In the moon light he raised the goblet that held the potion. "If she can forget …so can I…" He placed the goblet to his lips and whispered. "Good bye…my precious thing…." Moments later he drained the goblet. Not one drop was left. He staggered against a tree and whispered. "Everything's…dancing…." Closing his eyes he collapsed to the path.

Hoggle found the King collapsed on the ground, saw the goblet and feared his King had poisoned himself. More he feared he'd be blamed, and fear made him careful. He called upon the Goblins to come and carry the King back to the Castle.