I sat, as I often did, in the park. My dress was no longer pristine, the elaborate embroidery completely destroyed in some places. The hem was a ragged line, and the sleeves were barely recognizable beneath the makeshift patches that had accumulated over the years. I no longer recited my victory speech, for these words brought back painful memories of that night, ten years ago to the day.
After I had solved the Labyrinth, I had matured, leaving behind such childish notions as the world being fair. However, I had never given up my belief in fantasy. Many of my classmates thought I was crazy, ranting about goblins and their inexplicably beautiful king. This didn't deter me. I dreamed of the Labyrinth every night, and thought of it every day. Hoggle, Sir Didymus and Ludo were my closest companions, my only confidantes. I called on them as often as I could, but our meetings had dwindled to a mere hour or so every week. Tonight, I swore to make time in my schedule, even if it meant denying myself sleep.
From my tattered sleeve, I pulled the familiar red book, the title long since worn away. I opened it, the sound of the thin pages turning comforting me like a lullaby. At first, I did nothing but trace the title on the title page, but eventually the temptation grew too great, and I opened the book to my favorite passage.
"The Goblin King had fallen in love with the girl."
I sighed, wishing the words were true, knowing how impossible my wish was. I stared at the page, my eyes focused on the words, though I had long since memorized them. The clock tower behind me chimed seven, and I leapt up, having let the time run away yet again.
"I don't believe it! It's seven o'clock!" I ran, no longer accompanied by the shaggy dog that had been my only friend before my journey. Merlin had passed away shortly after I graduated high school, and I still missed him dearly. I ran a different path than my childhood, my apartment in the opposite direction. This time, there was no screaming baby, no intolerant step-mother, and no uncaring father waiting for me. Now, I had dinner to make, papers to grade, and a book to finish. I opened the door to my cozy apartment, inwardly groaning about the tasks that lay before me.
I had long since given up my dream of acting, finding that my true passion lay in helping children and in writing for them. Until I could publish a book, I was teaching at the local school my half-brother Toby attended. I managed to see him almost every day, and kept myself in his life despite my early contempt for him. No matter how much I had despised my trek through the Underground, I had to admit that the Goblin King's challenge made me truly appreciate Toby.
Just thinking about the King brought forth an image of him, in all his finery, dancing in the dream ballroom. His hair, so wild and free, framed his regal face beautifully, and I sighed wistfully.
"I wish I hadn't been so cruel to you, Jareth… I wish you could forgive me." I closed my eyes, hoping in my heart of hearts that Jareth had forgiven me long ago, but I knew that he was a man, or Fae, to hold a grudge. When I opened my eyes, I gasped, falling back against the wall behind me.
"What did you want, Sarah? I am a busy man, and I do not have time for your silly games." He looked at me, pure loathing in his eyes.
"I'm sorry…" I rubbed my temples, "What are you doing here? I didn't summon you!" I steadied myself, brushing past him in an attempt to move to the opposite side of the room. As I did, he grabbed my arm gently, but with enough force that I could not go any further.
"Obviously you did, Sarah!" His annoyance was clear, his foot tapping impatiently against the floor. "As you are the champion of the Labyrinth, I am required to grant any wish you make, and any summons you make, I am required to answer. Think!" He looked at me condescendingly now, his mismatched eyes burning into my ordinary brown ones.
"I did mention your name in a wish," I mumbled, hoping he would accept it and leave.
He laughed, a cold, harsh sound, "Of course you did, silly girl! Why else would I be here? Now, out with it, so I can be on my way." He released my arm now, walking away from me, his slender gloved fingers pinching the bridge of his nose. The solitary light in the room, a small lamp, lit his face, shadows thrown over his angelic features.
"I'm sorry, Jareth!" I cried out, flinging my arms up in despair. "I didn't know you would be required to show up, I really didn't!" My eyes brimmed with tears, but I did not move to wipe them away, my gaze fixed on the extraordinarily fascinating man sitting on my sofa.
His anger softened, his body relaxed. "Sarah, just tell me what it is you wished for so that I may leave, please." His voice lowered to a whisper on the last word, filled with an untold grief.
I repeated my wishes word for word, hoping to release him from the burden he seemed to carry. As I did, I turned away from him, unable to stand being with him without admitting my true feelings. After a moment, I turned back, when he did not answer. To my amazement, I saw him flipping through my sketchbook.
"Jareth! What are you doing?!" I closed the distance between us quickly, meaning to rip my sketchbook from his hands, but he was quicker. He hugged the book closely to his chest, daring me to challenge his strength. "Give me my sketchbook, Jareth! Those are my private drawings and thoughts!" I nearly screamed at him.
His lips turned into his trademark smirk, his eyes full of mischief. "Is everything in here true?" He asked me innocently. Instantly, I knew what drawings he had seen.
When I had allowed my mind to wander, I drew Jareth's face, perfect in every way. I took special care with his eyes, and I still did not manage to make them look quite right. Around the portrait, I had many quotes.
"I will be your slave"
"I'll place the moon within your heart"
"What's said is said"
In between these quotes, little hearts were drawn sporadically. I could no longer deny my feelings for him, and the threatening tears finally fell. I cried silently, tears rolling down my face in tiny rivulets. I brushed the back of my hand over my eyes, wiping away the tell-tale tears.
He placed a single finger under my chin, lifting my face away from my chest. "Why did you draw this Sarah?" Behind his words was an undercurrent I didn't understand.
"Surely you know why, oh great Goblin King! You have enchanted me! Somehow, I have fallen in love with you!" As the words left my mouth, I wrenched my face away, tears falling again. "Please leave."
He sighed, catching my wrist and pulling my close again. "Sarah, I don't want to leave you." His voice was muffled by my hair, so I was sure I had heard incorrectly.
"What was that?" I sniffled into his chest, my salty tears staining his ruffled shirt.
"I don't want to leave you," he whispered into my ear, his lips lightly touching my neck. He kissed my neck, my cheek, my forehead, my hair, anything he could reach but my lips.
"Why not?" I asked stubbornly, my brain too fuzzy from his kisses to use logic.
"Because, silly girl," he murmured, his lips only a hair away from mine, "I love you." With that he kissed me passionately, leaving me gasping for breath. "Marry me?" He pulled away, kneeling before me, one hand on my waist, the other holding a beautiful ring. The stone was a crystal, and in it, there was a vision of a very familiar ballroom, with two VERY familiar people dancing.
His eyes were wide, imploring, and I sensed his fear, of rejection and of loss. I could not help but laugh at the incredulity of his fear.
"What are you afraid of?" I asked merrily, his question going unanswered.
"Of losing you, Sarah! I cannot bear to lose you again!" He exclaimed, never rising from his kneeling stance in front of me.
"Of course I'll marry you, Jareth! How could you ever think otherwise, after knowing how I feel about you?" He jumped up, taking me in his arms as he placed the ring on my finger.
"I'll love you forever, my queen." He whispered in my ear, his voice fervent and full of emotion.
"And I you, goblin king, and I you." And so, we were together forever more. I got my King, I got my castle, and I certainly got the happily ever after I'd always dreamed of!
This is my first one shot! What do you think? Let me know in that little review box! Thanks!