Epilogue-the wedding march
Sarah had heard, in her lifetime, of the countless trials of getting married. But never could anyone, in a thousand years that it was ever as hard as it was when your fiancé was a goblin king.
The dress, surprisingly, was the easiest step, although it hadn't seemed so at the time. Barenwyn had spun her a dress (she was really quite fascinating when one was lucid, and had surprised all present by answering "yes I know" when Sarah compared her to a burton creation-) and had spun lace according to Sarah's desires, with delicate moon blossoms, jasmine flowers, and curling vines all interwoven into the pattern. It had become very ornate, very fast…But the ladies had asserted that this was to be expected of a queen-to-be, and it was actually very lovely…in the most ostentatious way.
But it seemed this was only the first of many dresses to be fitted, and she soon realized that silk was quite annoying if you became used to it. He hair became ridiculous with static, getting worse after every dress that was put on and removed, and she had to adapt and pin the mass of sable up on her head. This helped only marginally.
Then there was the fact that she was losing humanity fast—Lenam had put her immortalization under way, and while it was a long process, it was short in the grand scheme of things (it had taken her nine months to form as a human, it would take only four to lose her human traits), it gave her a limited window in which to travel home and explain that she was getting married, and not to the man she had been seeing previously, or to anyone they knew, for that matter.
Jareth also had to be persuaded to join her—not an easy task, as he loved to tease, and thought himself immensely funny. Finally, she had stamped her foot, snarled at him about his lack of honor –you were supposed to ask the maid's father about such things, after all-and he had, albeit sulkily, conceded. She had thought his behavior strange until she realized: he'd been nervous!
So before her ears got to knife-point sharpness, they hiked up to the mortal world. Lenam had wanted to come, but Jareth had told her no with no wiggle room. Lenam had looked positively baffled.
Her father had looked quite similar, but Karen had been charmed by her fiancé. Sarah had boggled at his abrupt change in behavior-he'd been so nervous earlier.
They fed her parents a story about meeting in high school (ironic considering what had actually happened-) Jareth had been so very believable.
"I'd always had a-crush on her." He'd flushed then, and she'd have rolled her eyes if it weren't so charming. "but she was always so far away." Karen had given her a meaningful look at that, while her father seemed pleased at his modest nature. If only they knew. Sarah smiled like a woman in love. Which she was.
"But I'm near now." She pressed her cheek to his shoulder, and Karen began cooing about the wedding.
Barthael paced, fingering the moonstone ring. The knots seemed to writhe under each touch, urging him to move, move forward, step it up. He smiled at it. It was meant to be hers. Just as he was.
"Ruminating?" He started, just barely managing to hide the ring. She said nothing, obviously expecting an answer. He scrounged for one.
"You could say that, yes." He sat down on a hay bale, swallowing slightly as she approached, her knee length blue dress swirling around her hips. She settled herself across his knees, laying her cheek against his neck. He closed his eyes against the onslaught.
"About what?" He looked to her then, softening at her relaxed face, coal eyes reflecting gold back at him. He smiled softly at her.
"Truthfully? Weddings." She looked only mildly surprised, her grin blooming like a night flower.
"Oh? Are you-" He leaned to kiss her gently, wrapping a hand in her hair. He didn't know if he could hold it in if she asked him about marriage. So he kissed her, confronting himself with something else that pushed him, forcing himself not to crush her to him. Pulling back, he held his breath, focusing on her soft breath against his mouth. When it looked like she was speechless, he released the breath.
"Eat with me tomorrow? In the garden?" She smiled then, stroking his sleek hair back.
Sarah was a bit disturbed by all the rings the Ailleacht ended up handing out. Jareth's mother even captured one for the strange be-ringed guest. She learned later that his name was Davind.
Barenwyn too was given one, shocking everyone by binding her heart to a strange woman named T'zjiri. Sarah would never have known the partner if she had not encountered the woman in exploring the castle.
She'd snuck into a room in the highest level of the castle, hoping to find Jareth's room (soon to be theirs, she realized with a blush-), but had found a smoky room with folk surrounding a…hookah? She'd been puzzled until she remembered the drunken mess of the goblins on her first visit.
But she was most intrigued by the creature spinning tales in the middle, recognizing the fine cloth of her tunic; Barenwyn had been spinning earlier that week. Who was this creature to garner the royal seamstress's attention?
"Ahh, the king's fiancé. Come, sit!" Sarah stared as she came closer. Instead of legs, she had a snake tail. Curiouser and curiouser.
"I am T'zjiri, the teller. You look shocked." Sarah nodded, sitting on one of the plush cushions. She finally managed to look at the woman's face. She was grinning, sharp teeth in a slightly Indian face. Feathery tufts were her ears. Bluish smoke curled from between her teeth as long fingered hands reached over to stroke one of Sarah's changing ears. She flinched, while T'zjiri laughed.
"You are afraid of us. Do you realize that our people support you?"
"What do you mean?"
"You represent another generation. And the regain of our strength."
And so it went. Sarah learned practically everything: who loved who, the in and outs of the castles, (she was told there was more than one-) what would be expected of a queen (including private matters-) and pretty much everything else.
Sarah flushed though much of it, absently patting the goblin that had flopped in her lap. It grinned at her. She looked up at T'zjiri.
"You're more like the castle gossip than the story teller." She laughed.
"Barenwyn said you'd find me. I thought it best that I inform you, what with your new position."
"Yeah, Barenwyn- I noticed you wearing her work. You two friends?"
"No. We're lovers."
i curiouser and curiouser. It seems I've fallen down the Goblin hole…/i She thought, patting the little goblin.
"Well, whatever you are, you're my people." T'zjiri grinned, smoke seething through her teeth to form a ghostly Jareth. When she spoke next, Sarah could almost hear him whisper.
Lenam watched as Barthael approached, fidgeting a bit inside her brown dress. The birch bark of her corset strained with her. He smiled at her, setting the basket of food on the rustic table that had always appeared in the garden when needed, sitting across from her. She felt like a flower in the sun with him so near.
"So who is the latest receiver of a ring?" He stilled in his serving of the food- her favorite things, she noticed- and she felt her heart like a bird in her ribcage. Then he smiled unguardedly.
"Of course. But the bigger is question is to whom." She leaned over the blueberry-glazed duck, eyes bright. Her corset creaked in protest.
"Well? I have to know who the spider-mistress deems worthy."
"T'zjiri? Really?" She sat back, puzzled. But, she supposed it did make sense, with how Barenwyn had missed lady Harrida. But she zeroed in on Barthael, ladling out blackberry clove tea.
"You never told me who got the moonstone one."
He paused, blinking at her, seeming surprised at her knowledge.. He revealed nothing, and she felt her heart pause.
"You were not ready to know."
"What, my grandmother is getting married? How shocking can it be?" He flustered then, taking a vicious bite of his duck. Seeing that he was clearly not going to talk until he was done chewing, she took a bite too, watching him. He swallowed, was quiet for a minute, then smacked a hand to the table, startling her into sloshing her tea onto her corset. They both watched it drip into an elongated heart shape on the silvery bark. When he spoke next, it was soft as it had been when he'd first appeared on the grounds.
"She gave it to me." She looked up sharply, setting down the tea.
"She gave it to me." His voice was stronger then, his eyes burning like gold. Suddenly he was by her side. "but that means that it's actually yours."
She smiled down him, kneeling on his knees.
"That always was my favorite one." This, whispered to his mouth.
So it came to be that Lenam eloped. Sarah was quite startled by this-everyone was marrying before she was, and for pete's sake, she was the first to receive a ring! Wasn't she? Sarah adjusted her wispy veil.
Frowning into her own eyes in the mirror, she didn't notice Jareth until his wicked mouth was on her neck.
"Something troubles you, my dear?" She shuddered in the heat of his breath, turning to face him. He kissed her mouth softly, quickly, before she had a chance to respond.
"It's just that everyone is getting married before I am." She pulled a pout, but it felt even foreign to her on her changing features. He chuckled.
"But you know why. Many people are traveling here-including your family-"
"I know." She twisted her fingers as he looped lean velvet clad arms around her waist. It was frightening to feel such a rush of love at the motion. "I'm more dismayed at how much I miss you these days." He was very silent then, drawing her face up by the chin.
She watched his mismatched eyes as he untucked the veil from her hair. He brushed his thumb against her lip.
"I suppose I have been a little remiss in my attentions." His eyes flicked over her face, then her hands-they had grown even more slender. He raised them up gently, kissing each knuckle. She shivered each time. "As I suspected, your senses are sharpening. I didn't want to overwhelm you." She drew closer to him, entranced.
"It's amazing…" her voice hushed to a whisper for a moment before she regained it. "And you have to touch me every time you see me?" She quirked a brow at him. He smirked at her.
"Naturally-" He swooped in to scrape those fierce teeth across her pulse, and she had to fist her fine boned hands in the back of his fine silk shirt-the fragile material tearing in her newfound strength. She felt him growl rather than heard it, dragging him onto the delicate little settee in the alcove.
Between kisses, (to be honest she'd lost track of the number-) he rose away from her, breathing a little harshly.
"I believe…" he licked his lip, looking a little surprised to taste blood. She was surprised she'd bit him. "that I have overwhelmed you, my dear."
She sighed, brushing a thumb down the column of his throat, delighting to see his lashes flutter closed. Because honestly, her skin was on fire. i oh, maybe that's overwhelmed…/i
"But-" He chuckled, shaking his head.
"Believe me darling-very soon, nothing will stop me."
The day of his wedding was surprisingly smooth-except, of course with Sarah's goblin handmaidens pelting him with pincushions every time he attempted to see his bride. She was rather shrill herself:
"You'll shred my dress, you animal! It's very delicate!"
She was probably right.
But was it so wrong to desire his bride? She was lovely in her new skin, and just as strong as he was now. It was all rather exciting-she was now his equal on every level. And if she'd been beautiful before…
But it was also somewhat frightening to get married at all. But really, how long could one man stay a bachelor? Looking out at the gathering guests (it was really probably a good thing Sarah could not see just how many people were here…she'd jump several octaves-) he had to chuckle. iSuch a queen she'll make, /i he thought to himself, feeling a rush of love for his hellcat. With her at his side, no nation would match them.
He checked himself the mirror, frowning at the trousers in the mirror. They were his only concession to Sarah's parents and their sensibilities. As it was, they already had been led to believe he was and heir to some oil company or some such, and that the castle was rented and part of the theme. It wouldn't be wise to push their belief too far.
As it was, he was already wearing a jacket with tails (apparently inappropriate for the time of day-) in a deep indigo, only visible if you were looking closely, with cuffed sleeves. His hair had even been tamed even. It was a testament to his mother. No one else had known how to approach his unruly head.
He chuckled, heading down the stairs to greet his extended family. His grandfather patted him heartily in the back, even Helena was kind. His uncle Ravus came to reclaim his sword, a wiry redheaded mortal on his arm, her hair pulled back into a row of knots. She raised a brow at him. He responded by inviting them to come back when Sarah would be more social. Ravus smiled and said they would if Val-his date's name, he learned-did not have school.
He was even more surprised to find the faery courts king and consort, higher in authority even than himself. He would have bowed, but the king waved it away.
"Happy tidings, Jareth. This is your day, not mine." He glanced through silver eyelashes at his emerald-skinned consort. She smiled at the both of them. "I envy you the privilege"
"I think you have a surplus of privilege, my friend." He clasped hands with the king. "I remember a time when it was not so."
"I do as well." His consort spoke up. "We would like to meet your queen, under less busy circumstances." Jareth was thrown off by her mortal speech patterns, but charmed by the kindness of her request. My, it seemed they'd be having a fuller house than usual. Already his Sarah was gathering more people to fill his castle.
"Naturally you are quite welcome to return in such a case. Now, if you'll excuse me-" he slid out, sidling up to take his place by Barthael. "doing well, my friend?" His best man could only grin.
"Naturally I'm doing fine. And you, my lord? Nervous?"
"Or are you afraid Sarah is about to breathe fire?" Lenam joined for the moment, shaping his cravat.
"I am perfectly fine, thank you." He tugged out of her grip, fixing it himself. "You're the one who is supposed to be with her. The both of you are, am I right? Perhaps it is you two who are afraid." He grinned, chuckled when Lenam's teeth clacked in annoyance.
"Suit yourself." They were down the aisle quickly, powered by his little sister's hasty stride. He chuckled. She wouldn't be mad for long. Now, all he could do was wait.
Sarah's breath shuddered out of her. She had only a matter of moments to spare-even her bouquet had a limited lifespan. The moonflowers would wilt if she waited too long. She took her eyes off of them to look at herself in the mirror quickly before she had to leave.
It was funny, that on her wedding day, of all days, she didn't miss her mother. Somehow, wishing for a happy reunion didn't appeal. She smiled at her new appearance. Maybe it was vain, and petty, but her new look made her feel as if she'd outgrown worshiping her mother. Her hair was closer to the darkest bronze than sable, and her eyes a richer green. She'd had to carefully downplay these things for the sake of her parents, especially her new silvery skin and knife like ears.
But then, everything looked beautiful. This room, her growing family, the man she was marrying (her heart fluttered at that, and for once, it was exhilarating-)…It was amazing, she could hardly-
"Sarah." She whipped around, having to nearly spit out her veil. "It's show time." Lenam smiled at her. Sarah nodded, breathing in slowly as she advanced to the door. Lenam fluffed her skirt, then took off on Barthael's arm. Then, slowly, surely, Sarah made her way out.
Then, nearly gasped at how many people were in attendance. Even the king or faery himself! Good grief. But she kept walking, finally focusing on Jareth.
He did look handsome, she had to admit. He'd been nearly petulant when she had suggested his attire, but in the end she knew he looked rather wonderful for it. Though she could tell he would be complaining later. Especially about that damn cape. Dashing as he always looked in them, she'd grown to resent them after having a half-hour argument with him about not wearing one for a wedding. Really, men were so difficult.
But she forgot about it, looking into his face. She had forgotten how in love a man could look. And his was brilliant, shining to the point where if she'd thought twice she might have worried about the credibility of his humanity. And it was for her! All she could do was mirror it to him.
As she reached the dais, her attention never waivered. He grinned at her rakishly, murmuring.
"Damn that veil. I'd like very much to see your pretty face."
"Patience. You'll have me to yourself soon."
"Mmm, yes I know."
"Jareth!" she hissed at him, fairly sure he could see her just fine through the wispy veil, blush included. She had to pay attention then, because the official (it was not a priest, but priestess, she was interested to see-) was tying a pretty red ribbon around one clasp of hands. Odd, but Jareth knew what to do, so she copied. They recited lines in a familiar enough way, (even if they were different lines-) and soon enough, it was time to kiss Jareth.
She felt her face flush, only able to remember kisses that were not family appropriate. In fact in the many he had stolen before the wedding she couldn't recall one. But he pushed the veil back, allowed Lenam to arrange it, and then kissed her.
It was sweeter, she later came to think, because he now knew he had all the time in the world. She wasn't backing out now-not that she would want to-and so he took his time kissing her, a simple, warm seal of mouths.
When they broke apart, the guests clapped, made all sorts of ruckus, and they preceded down the aisle to a small antechamber apart from the exit the other members and guests would take. There, he gave her another kiss, hotter this time with pent-up energy, but still just as slow. She smiled at him.
"All right, so the reception now. But shouldn't we get untied first?" He laughed softly, resting his cheek against her neck.
"I was hoping that could stay for our wedding night."
But they laughed, wandering towards what was sounding like raucous party. She knew, even as he hand remained tied, that she was never going to get enough of this man, of his rascal goblin folk. Yes, she had what she wanted, but so much more. She had gotten what she needed.
AN: Yes, I am writing a wedding night for kicks and giggles, but I will probably have to continue that in a drabble. Ratings, you know?
Well, kiddies, it's been a long process, and I know I went crazy with the crossovers, but I still hope you enjoyed it. I loved writing it and receiving your feedback. Much love!