Um... hello. Three years after my last update, I've been inspired to finally finish this story. First though, I do need to update and rework the current chapters a bit, which is what you will find here currently. There are a few things I want to streamline, some stylistic and format things I've decided to change... seven years since beginning a story can do that, I suppose. :)
I do plan on trying to hopefully update at least once a week, it is my goal at the moment. However, I've also been working on another fic (which is partly the reason I was drawn back to this one) based on the Twilight series, and I want to attempt to keep that going as well. Crossing over too much between the two could end up with strange results. Vampire Jareths, maybe. (Hm...)
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Labyrinth, though I retain the right to act as though I do. I've contated Henson Productions and Lucasfilm Inc, but oddly enough, they're not returning my calls.
He stood at the casement in the sanctum, a perfect study of contemplation and reflection. Eyes drifted over the view that had existed outside his window for millennia as dawn's light crept its way across the landscape. Gold spilled into each corner and crevice, dispelling and battling all shadows briefly before giving up its hold with a small sigh, the shadows settling back into their sleeping places contentedly.
His hand distractedly toyed with a crystalline sphere, glimmers highlighting his features as the perfect orb caught and refracted the young light of the morning. His senses were prickly and irritable, his whole being on edge. He glanced down at the crystal, now at rest in his hand. He grimaced at the memory it reflected.
"You have no power over me."
All this time later and still those words echoed. He sighed heavily, idly wondering what had brought the memory of Sarah bubbling to surface. He had long since commenced regretting their story and longing for her return -- her companionship, her friendship, her trust, her compassion, her regard, her love. He had been intrigued by her strong instincts in his realm and her refusal to accept what was; her resolve to defeat him had amused him to some degree.
And he knew, had known, that she was not strong enough to be his match, not at her tender age. She had seen the quest only as a challenge and was determined to play the story through, from choosing the path less traveled to escaping the ball before the last chime of 12 o'clock, all with the purpose of reaching her happy ending. It was all she thought should be in a fairy tale, right down to his role as the cruel sorcerer, the proud king, the evil genie: the villain to be bested. His actions were written off as mere tricks, as true to character.
Yet in all his pride he was convinced she would somehow see past the glamour. He had allowed her to successfully complete the maze, to confront him before her time was spent, sure he would be able to break the spell she herself was weaving. But she refused to break character, refused to step outside the story, and it was the story that freed her in the end. She fell back to recite those lines she knew so well, believing they were her key, and such they became.
And how he hated to be wrong. In truth, when she faltered, he himself gave her the words to cue the denouement:
"You have no power over me."
Jareth made a play at a yawn. He knew no one was watching, but it seemed appropriate. He had no particular attachment to the mortal Sarah Williams. She had been pretty enough to please his vanity, but she had still been a child, too young to entice with further promises. Even after completing the rite of passage that was the Labyrinth, she was not ready, unwilling to relinquish all that was childish. And while he more than had the time to be a teacher, he had not the patience. So he had given her her victory. There would have been no other logical conclusion to the story.
His usual smirk tugged at his mouth at that apparent anomaly in the chaotic order of his realm. It made perfect sense. He closed his fingers tightly around the crystal and it dissipated, leaving his hand closed in a fist. He turned his back to the window with a shrug and walked to his desk, littered with various documents and scrolls, all needing some degree of attention in his role as Goblin King. Sarah was quickly forgotten as he began to sift through the parchments.
His housekeeper brought in a tray for breakfast on the hour, which he acknowledged with a slight grunt. He was elbow deep in petitions, the majority of which were from goblins and thus were not entirely legible nor sensical. He knew, however, he needed to address them -- no matter how ridiculous they may seem -- or risk great offense to his subjects.
Some time later, when his plate had been cleaned and he was reading over correspondence with neighboring kingdoms and contemplating invitations to Court events, a low resonant humming began to reverberate through the air. He lifted his head from the documents and gazed at nothing in particular while listening, deep in thought.
So that's what he had been sensing; the air of the realm practically crackled with expectancy. He did not realize how he had missed hearing that song, the sustained echo of a chimed bell. The intensity grew and the tones of the chime began to layer. It was a crystal, calling for his attention.
His thoughts wandered briefly back to Sarah once more. She had been the last to summon his goblins, the last to challenge him and face the Labyrinth. "It has been some time." He looked deep into another conjured sphere, using it to scry the visions from the crystal itself until he was absorbed into it. He now stood at the calling crystal itself among his goblins in the receiving hall of the castle. The crystal's appearance was rather one of a curved iridescent mirror of which the borders were nearly imperceptible, save for a slight shimmer reminiscent of a bubble's surface, floating calmly, reflecting images from the mortal realm.
"Silence!" The goblins had needed no such command, however, as they, too, were watching the events unfolding in the crystal intently, waiting for his word.
Or rather, The Words.