Disclaimer: I can't own Labyrinth, because Labyrinth owns my soul.

This is NOT a 'different girl' story. This is a side story for What Power Really Means (or whatever I end up naming it if I decide to change the title); a deeper explanation for the reason Jareth loves her as much as he does. I don't know if I'm going to be able to put all this in my story, so...I'm doing it now.

And now, ladies and gentlemen...

Always


Serhilde was imperfect; she was fantastic; she was delightfully dark. Her eyes were captivating, and the beauty increased tenfold when she was angry.

And he loved her.

At first, she'd hated his guts – he had, after all, taken her to his kingdom because of a stupid decision on her mother's part. But, even though she could hate him, she couldn't hate her mother; and so, he had to start from the ground up with her.

And now…she loved him in return.

Their only holdup was her unalterable mortality.

"Don't worry," she said softly, as she lay dying, "I'll find my way back to you."

He would search far and wide, high and low, for a way to keep her by his side forever.

"I'll love you always."

And then she was gone.

-

She was different from before.

Her name was now Aaricia, but that was the least noteworthy of changes. Her hair was a new color, her body of a different type…even her eye color had changed. But…what had he been expecting? She was human, mortal. And she would eventually die.

She met him, once, when her sister called out to him. She seemed to recognize him, even if she didn't know why; but to her, he was the villain – again – and refused to go with him. After all, who would trust a man who takes unwanted children (or children who didn't want to live)?

She grew old, and her eyes gave out.

She called to him, just before she died.

"I remember," she had whispered, "and don't forget me."

He was still no closer to a solution than he had been the first time.

"I'll love you always."

And then she was gone.

-

Her new name was Eilith.

She was beauty defined; she was discontent.

A dreamer, like always.

He never got to meet her; she had a good life, and she made those around her happy.

She never married.

She was always looking, searching. She wanted something she would never find; he could not go to her, for neither she nor anyone she knew had called for him.

It was painful to see her die, never having spoken to Eilith.

He did attend her funeral, although he looked like an owl and talked to no one. He swore to himself that the next time they met, he'd have a solution.

I'll love you always, he thought.

And then he was gone.

-

Soraya knew the tales, and believed. She was aware of her connection to…something. She just didn't know what.

She had those eyes. No matter what color, no matter what shape…they were always the same. Weaving lives into worlds like threads into tapestries, and never fully realizing what effect she had on…everyone.

This time, she called to him herself. Her younger sister was in danger, and she wanted her to be safe. How frustratingly selfless!

But he did as she'd asked, and as time went on, she grew restless once again.

However, she didn't call again.

His heart broke when she married.

"I'll love you always," her husband had told her.

But she never returned the sentiment.

Eventually, she was killed.

He did not cry, but his heart ached. He watched them burn her body.

"I'll love you always."

And then he was gone.

-

She came too soon.

He had a few ideas, but nothing he could do safely without tests.

Czarine was her name, and she was very plain. Her face left much to be desired, and her curves were…nonexistent, to be frank. But her eyes…

Those same eyes, those dreamy, fiery eyes that brought dreams to life, were back.

Her origins were mysterious; her parents had died young, leaving her in the care of her aunt and uncle. This time, she was full of magic.

She never called out to him, but she came to him in dreams.

Life was short; she was infected with a human plague at age twenty-three, but she only dreamed more once she was bedridden.

But before she died, she kissed him for the first time, and said it.

Even in dreams, it was everything he'd wanted.

"I'll love you always."

And then she was gone.

-

She was once again a dreamer.

Her eyes still held that fire, and now, there was a massive temper with it. Strangely, he didn't mind; he actually found it rather charming. She was also selfish.

Or rather, she was discontent, and since she didn't understand why, she blamed others.

In this case, her younger brother.

Any other person wouldn't have been able to call him in that situation; she wasn't the boy's mother, and she wasn't desperate.

But she was Sarah, the girl who'd captivated him through time.

She beat him.

No one had ever beat him, but she did. The one time he would be able to keep her with him always, she'd refused him…and because of it, their connection was as good as lost. After this life, she wouldn't be drawn to him.

She broke him, and caused his kingdom a state of perpetual discontent. She didn't know; but now, she wouldn't.

After all, he had no power over her.

The Words, the words he'd been waiting for, would never come.

But wait…

A call.

A call from a little girl, a Heather Jensen.

A call to take away one Sarah Williams.

It was unorthodox, and unprecedented, but frankly, he didn't care.

"Well, well. Isn't this a rather ironic turn of events?"

"You're him, aren't you? You're the Goblin King?"

This time, this life, if he could make her see how much he loved her…

She would stay with him.

Always.