Title: Burnt

Author: Kytten

Pairing: Jareth x Sarah

Rating: PG13

Disclaimer: Don't own.

Summary: It was custom and he was obviously breaking the rules.

Author's Note: Silly little thing that started off all angsty and deep and ended up silly and sweet. One-shot! This will not be continued. None of my little Labyrinth pieces ever are, you silly buggers.

He knew her dreams inside and out. He had wandered the labyrinth of her mind more times than he could easily count. He knew what she wanted, knew how each separate emotion played out in her eyes, knew that he loved her more than he'd ever loved anything.


Not love.

He'd never admit to that. Love is defeat. Love is seeing his Labyrinth crumble down around him.

Love is Sarah.

…in love.

He was torn. There was a part of him that loved Sarah as fiercely as it knew how. But there was a second, larger part of him that despised her for all she had done to him. And he would make her pay for it. He'd torment her for her transgression in the worst way he knew how.

She'd never have her dream.

Sarah knew him inside and out. She'd wandered through the Labyrinth—so like the man himself—in her mind more times than she could easily count. She knew what it was he wanted, knew what he feared, knew that she loved him so strongly she cannot put a name to the emotion.


It was love. She was sure of it. She'd even admit to it. Love is defeat, yes. Love brought the Labyrinth tumbling down around her. But there are too many different kinds of love. And which is this, she wondered as she lay in her bed, staring blankly at the ceiling. Was this like the love she had for family—for Toby? That love destroyed everything. She lost her dreams because of him.

Or was this the love of a dream. Was she simply mourning the passing of a childhood fantasy? Of all those days and evenings spent in the park, fighting off goblins and their tall, handsome king?

Or was this the love of a man? A king… her king.

She was torn. She wanted more than anything to call him to her, to talk this one out though she knew he'd laugh in her face.

At first, anyway.

Because that's the sort of man… elf… creature Jareth was. She understood this. He needed to be confronted to listen. But when confronted, he'd fight for the upper hand before taking a suggestion. And once the suggestion was taken, well, he was the one to come up with it. Must have been. It's such a brilliant idea after all.

Vaguely, Sarah smiled to herself. God, she loved him. And distance made even those irritating quirks of his charming.

She knew Jareth inside and out. She made it into the heart of the Labyrinth after all—his heart. She knew chances are he was sulking and raging inside that castle of his. She certainly felt it every time he sent a crystal to watch her. Oh, he thought he was so clever with his crystals and goblins.

But often times one finds that goblins tend not to be suited to spy work. After all, she'd pulled one out of the icebox the other day.

"What are you doing?" she asked, a scrap of hope flittering against the inside of her ribs.

The goblin had the decency to look mortified before offering up a sheepish grin.

"King sent me to sit under your bed. Got hungry. Didn't figure you'd mind. After all, s'not like you need a guard. I saws you when you broke the castle down! What's a spitfire girl like you supposed to need a guard for?"

Sarah laughed and gently pulled him out of the cheese drawer and set his little feet (and weren't they adorable?) back on the ground.

"I think you were supposed to be spying on me, sweetheart."

At the goblin's blank, vaguely terrified look she continued.

"You know, watching me in secret and telling Jareth what I was doing?"

Which wasn't, apparently, the right thing to say as he propelled backwards fast enough to become airborne, scrambling to offer up apologies.

"Scuse me, yer majesty! I din't know. I swears, if I'd've knowed what his majesty was sendin' me t' do, I'd've jumped into the bog meself, I swears. Ain't no body with a brain comin' to spy on you, majesty. I thought I was jus' a secret guard, I swears!"

And after all that, Sarah could only manage a, "Majesty?"

Which stopped the goblin as easily as if she'd dumped cold water on him.

"Yes, yer majesty. You beat King Jareth fair an' square."

Sarah nodded, taking this in and sat down on the floor in front of him.

"By beating him, I've been made his wife?"

Seeing that he wasn't about to be horribly executed, the goblin relaxed and sat down in front of her, musing that he rather liked this new Queen. Jareth never held pow-wows like this on the floor.

"Well, I don't know why you'd go about beatin' a feller if yer not gonna drag 'em home."

Sarah frowned.

"This is a… custom of yours?"

Despite his not being sure exactly what the word custom meant, the goblin nodded eagerly, more than willing to give this poor, neglected girl The Talk.

"Girl gets club, see? Girl carries club with her all day. Girl sees pretty boy, she goes BONK on the head," he said, demonstrating with the help of a large, wooden spoon. "Then she drags pretty boy home to Ma. If her ma think boy pretty 'nuff, girl gets to keep 'im. See?"

With a sigh, Sarah rose from the bed, thinking of all the If I had onlys. She wanted Jareth more than anything— loved him as fiercely as she knew how. But she knew she had injured his pride. And that would take years to heal itself. Even longer before Jareth forgot what it was he was supposed to be upset with in the first place. And by that time she'd be an ugly old crone with a hump, arthritis and lumbago, whatever lumbago actually—

Sarah stopped short at the nursery door, staring inside with wide eyes. She'd come to retrieve her little red book. After all, if she couldn't see Jareth, at least she could read about him.

So, of course, finding the Goblin King himself standing in her nursery, setting that book on fire while muttering to himself, "You have no power over me, my royal ass" was something of a shock.

"What are you doing?" she managed, before breaking down into laughter.

"Sarah," he purred, turning with that elegant grin, the book exploding just over his right shoulder. "How nice of you to join me."

"Oh dear," she giggled, trying not to show how bloody estatic she was he'd come. "You're looking… generous again."

Funny how seeing her face to face (and god was she beautiful), Jareth couldn't remember what it was he was supposed to be angry about.

"In fact I am," he said, sauntering closer. "I've come to the realization that I've been a bit… unfair," and then, with a seductive curl of a smirk, "your majesty."

What the hell, right? It was custom, after all.