AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many many thanks, as always, for the reviews. It appears that many of you are concerned about the Chicken of Destiny/Freezer alligator alliance—I too feel a coup is coming and, at the very least, 'Goblin King Assassination Attempt #16' is nigh. Though, they should know better than to mess with Jareth while Sarah is around—she has a skillet. And her skillet is great…
Despite all the PMs I have received about the significance of the pineapple, I am really not going to ask what the inner voices used it for. Let's just take it as a given that pineapples are the Karma Sutra of fruit (thank you for your expert opinion on the matter, Natusko37) and we'll leave it at that.
Warning: This chapter contains leather-induced adult-type touching, as every chapter should, and the odd bit of crotch.
Disclaimer: The Labyrinth is not mine. No frypan goblins were harmed during the making of this chapter, nor were any underage root vegetables used in an inappropriate tight-stuffing fashion.
Chapter 13: Labyrinth—The Bestest Story Ever (as rated by four out of five goblins)
Three months later….
"Gimme child," said Sarah, advancing on the Goblin King unsteadily in her stilettos. "For will is strong and kingdom is big," she said with steadfast determination.
"Stop!" implored the Goblin King, holding up one yellow rubber-gloved hand. "Look at what I'm offering. Your dreams," he entreated, holding out a snowglobe to Sarah.
Sarah was momentarily mesmerized by the snow falling on the sunbathing citizens of Tijuana within the globe. Seeing her hesitation, the Goblin King continued. "Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave."
Sarah stared at the king and shrugged her shoulders. "Ok!" she said, and threw her arms around him joyously.
"That is NOT what happened!" yelled Sarah, jumping up from her seat.
Sarah looked down accusingly at Jareth, who was lounging on his throne and roaring with laughter. Sarah turned back to the actors who were standing on a large stage that had been erected in the middle of the throne room.
"You can't say that line, Skeep! That is not how it really happened! It's not accurate!" she said indignantly.
Skeep stood on the stage, looking perplexed. He was wearing a long dark wig and a little replica of the jeans and poet shirt that Sarah had worn the first time she had entered the Labyrinth, with the addition of pink stilettos…and a fork.
"Not right?" Skeep asked, perplexed.
"No," said Sarah between clenched teeth. "Definitely not right."
"Not right," Skeep said, turning to Ignor.
Ignor was dressed in Goblin King finery—a fluffy white chicken-feather wig, tights, and a frilly white shirt. He adjusted his rubber gloves so that they were no longer falling off his hands. "But we said our right words," he said, confused, holding up the script of Labyrinth: The Bestest Story Ever (as named by Squibble. Jareth claimed that the title made his teeth feel soft every time he heard it).
Sarah raised an eyebrow and quickly flicked through her script. And frowned.
"So you did. Funny how the script keeps changing, isn't it?" she said scathingly, turning to Jareth who was adjusting his gloves in a supremely nonchalant manner.
"Weird," agreed Skeep, stroking his wig absentmindedly.
"I agree," Jareth purred. "It's truly diabolical. Obviously the work of an evil genius."
Sarah snorted. "I wouldn't go that far. More likely the work of a petty totalitarian dictator."
Jareth put his hand over his heart and attempted to look innocent. "Really Sarah, you cut me to the core by calling me 'petty'."
Sarah rolled her eyes. "Jareth, stop sabotaging the play," she said sternly, crossing her arms.
Jareth mirrored her stance. "My love, why would I sabotage this epic tale of love, goblins, and…lord help us… chickens? After all, who was it that asked you to put on a play to assist the Goblin Literacy Program in the first place?" he asked, inclining his head, patiently awaiting her reply.
"You," she said as graciously as possible through clenched teeth.
He nodded in acknowledgement of her reply. "And who has generously provided props, and costumes, and sets, and spent his precious time listening to these quasi-illiterate imbeciles recite their lines while certain people were gallivanting around Abovegound?"
Sarah raised an eyebrow. "Gallivanting? I believe the word you are looking for is working. You may not be familiar with the term, but it involves exchanging one's labor for currency," she said wryly. "After all, not all of us are lucky enough to have minions and a treasury at our disposal."
Jareth snorted. "You're welcome to my minions—they are vastly over-rated," he said, pointing to two goblins who had stuck themselves together while trying to glue leaves to the firey forest backdrop.
The newly-conjoined goblins waved merrily to Sarah, who obligingly waved back.
Jareth rolled his eyes. "Serves you right for gluing while drunk," he told them sternly.
The goblins shrugged and went back to getting drunk on the job.
Jareth turned back to Sarah. "You're also welcome to my treasury— why you insist upon working when I could give you everything you desire is completely beyond my comprehension," he muttered.
Sarah raised her hand. "We've talked about this before—I enjoy my job and I just want another month of normalcy before I throw myself headfirst into a fairytale. As it is, I spend almost every waking minute here, not counting all the time you keep reordering."
Jareth looked a little mollified at that. To be honest, Sarah was no longer all that opposed to Jareth's tendency to reorder time—in fact, she had rather come to enjoy hitting the snooze button on her alarm and getting three extra hours or so of rest-time instead of five measly minutes. Which was time well spent when one woke up in the arms of a distractingly naked Goblin King …
Sarah noticed that Jareth was looking at her with a particularly devilish gleam in his mismatched eyes, almost as if he knew that she had been thinking about the pleasures afforded by three-hour snooze buttons. He gave her a lazily seductive smile and Sarah felt a sudden flutter in the pit of her stomach. She quickly looked back down at the script, and cleared her throat.
"So, what else have you changed today? Besides removing all the chairs from the ballroom scene," she asked the King briskly.
Jareth snorted. "That chair was treasonous and deserved banishment—if it wasn't for that chair, you would not have left the ballroom. If you ask me, the true villain of this play isn't me, it's that chair."
Sarah rolled her eyes. "Well, thanks to your new chair-less ballroom scene, Skeep was forced to bust his way out of the bubble using his fork."
Skeep waved his ultra-buffed kidney fork in the air triumphantly.
"Remind me to also ban cutlery from the scene," Jareth said dryly.
"Jareth," she said warningly, tapping her foot on the floor. "What else have you changed?"
"Lady…there's no tunnel scene anymore," volunteered Beep from where he was inexplicably painting the firey forest backdrop a rather vivid shade of hot pink.
A goblin standing to Beep's right kicked him in the shin.
"AH!" yelled Beep. "What was that for?"
The goblin shrugged. "Habit," he said apologetically.
"Oh. Ok then," Beep said, mollified.
Sarah turned her attention back to the script. "You're right Beep! Where is the scene with the cleaners?" she asked Jareth, flicking through the pages.
"Gone," Jareth said indifferently, picking up his riding crop and tapping it against the arm of the throne.
"Why?" asked Sarah. "That was an important scene!"
Jareth shrugged gracefully. "I didn't approve of it."
Sarah looked at him shrewdly. He was staring rather fixedly out the tower window. She knew that that was about as close to an apology as she was ever going to receive for having being chased down a tunnel by a pulverizing machine.
"So what happens when we are in the tunnels? Do we even meet up in the tunnels in your new and improved version?"
Jareth turned to look at her. "Why of course, precious thing. Speaking to you in the tunnels was one of my favorite parts of your run. Though, as you can see on page fifty-six, there have been some modifications," he said, gesturing to the page with his crop.
Sarah quickly flicked to page fifty-six and read. And shook her head in disbelief. "You have got to be joking!" she said incredulously.
Jareth tsked. "Don't be so quick to judge. Read it aloud—you'll find that it is a definite improvement on original events."
Sarah cleared her throat delicately. "Sarah bats her eyelashes flirtatiously at the sinfully handsome king." She raised an eyebrow at the Jareth. "When have I ever batted my eyelashes at you?"
Jareth snorted. "Not often enough—I'm rather partial to a bit of eyelash-batting." He gestured back to the script. "Do go on," he urged pleasantly, waving the crop.
Sarah turned back to the script."Sarah says (in a sultry manner): "What's a gorgeous man like you doing in a tunnel like this?"." Sarah rolled her eyes. "Were you trying to make me sound like a stripper in a B-grade movie?"
"You're a difficult character to write for," he said, a touch defensively. "Do go on, it gets better."
Sarah continued, against her better judgment. "The King says: "Why, I thought you might be parched after your journey, so I've brought you some non-drugged refreshments. And because I am feeling particularly generous, I may even give you an extra hour to solve the Labyrinth, precious thing". Sarah looks up at the King in rapturous wonder." Sarah glared at Jareth."Non-drugged refreshments? Rapturous wonder?" she said incredulously.
Jareth waved his hand gracefully. "Oh there's more."
"I don't think I want to know," Sarah muttered.
Jareth continued regardless. "You are so full of rapturous wonder over the fact that I have generously provided you with non-drugged refreshments and an extra hour that you try to touch me in an adult-type fashion."
"WHAT?!" Sarah choked out.
Jareth tried not to smirk. "I, however, manfully resist your improper advances—I thought it important to create some sexual tension in the play," he said conspiratorially.
Sarah was too stunned to say a word.
The goblin with the frypan hat looked up from where he was hammering props—to the throne room floor, it turns out, though he had yet to discover this fact—and turned to his king. "You gave her non-drugged refreshments and an extra hour?" he asked in amazement.
"Generous," said Skeep, nodding happily and stroking his wig.
"How romantic!" sighed Squibble.
Sarah snorted. "Generous! Romantic! Ha! He took away four hours and tried to kill me," she said pointedly. "There was nothing romantic about being chased by the cleaners."
Jareth waved his hand dismissively. "There are many ways to show love," he said lightly. "Some send their beloved flowers or candy. Others send several tones of steel hurtling toward them down a tunnel. Who is to say which is better?" he said, shrugging elegantly.
Sarah glared at him. "Remind me to come with you when you select my Valentine's Day present."
Jareth gave her a sharp smile. Sarah noted that Jareth seemed to be enjoying rewriting their history a little too much; in fact, his smile was a little too…smug. Sarah had a terrible feeling that the tunnel scene wasn't the last of his modifications. She quickly resumed reading the script.
"Hang on," she said, looking up at Jareth. "Where is Hoggle in the tunnel scene?"
"Gone. Actually, I removed Hoggle from the entire play," Jareth said with a triumphant smirk.
"WHAT?" screeched Sarah.
"In fact, if you turn to page twenty-four, you'll find that you now make your way through the Labyrinth with the aid of a friendly chicken named Higgle."
"I was going to say that the play needed more chickens," said the blue-horned goblin.
The other goblins nodded in agreement.
Sarah shut the script. "That's it. Change it all back now. We have opening night in a week and I need the script to accurately reflect what happened. Put it all back to how it should be."
Jareth lounged more comfortably on his throne, tapping his crop against his boot. "Really Sarah—where is the fun of putting on a play if you can't improve upon reality? I rather like some of my amendments, particularly this new final confrontation scene," he said, gesturing to Skeep and Ignor.
Sarah snorted. "I'm sure you do. I don't whip your butt in this version."
Jareth tapped his finger against his chin. "Funny, I don't actually remember any, 'butt whipping' in our first meeting. I suppose we could insert some into the play, though it would mean upping the rating."
Sarah clenched her hands. "Change it back, Jareth."
He looked up at her with his most arrogant expression, which, it must be said, was spectacularly arrogant. "No, precious thing. I'm sure the crowds will appreciate the extra romance. In fact, let's ask the audience, shall we?" He turned to the goblins who were scattered around the throne room, building sets and props or wrangling chickens. "Raise your hand if you like the changes to the play."
All of the goblins raised their hands. Jareth gave her an insufferably smug look.
Sarah looked at the goblins shrewdly. "Raise your hands if you liked the play the way it was before."
All of the goblins raised their hands again. Sarah shot Jareth an equally smug look.
"I'm confused!" groaned Squibble, dropping his face into his hands.
Skeep ran up and patted him on the shoulder consolingly. When it had no effect, he delicately jabbed Squibble in the kidneys with his fork.
"Ah! My kidneys!" yelled Squibble. He sighed in relief. "Thanks! Everything makes sense now," he said happily.
"No problem," said Skeep, patting him on the shoulder again. He then shuffled back onto the stage.
Sarah bent down toward Jareth so that her lips were just above his ear. "You promised me last night that you would stop tampering with the script!" she whispered.
"We both know that you tricked me into making that promise," he whispered back, looking at her shrewdly. "You were wearing tassels when you made your request; you know that I can refuse you nothing when you wear tassels," he said wickedly.
Sarah blushed a firey pink. Enchanted by her blush, Jareth dropped his crop and pulled her down onto his lap in a heartbeat, pressing his cheek to hers, and savoring the warmth of her skin. She squirmed and tried to break free.
"You promised!" she said tersely.
Jareth pulled on her earlobe with his teeth. "I changed the script before you wrung that wretched tassel-induced promise out of me, precious thing," he whispered low in her ear.
Sarah paused for a moment. "Oh," she said. She then resumed her squirming. "In your own words, 'what's done is done'; you interfered with my script which means that you are still an interfering jerk." She squirmed hard on his lap.
Jareth laughed a little hoarsely and tried to hold her still.
"My love," he said a trifle unsteadily. "Do keep in mind that we are both wearing leather pants so squirming could lead to all sorts of rather delightful outcomes that should not take place in a crowded room in front of a pack of impressionable imbeciles," he said carefully, his voice a little strained.
Sarah paused. "I'm not wearing leather…" She looked down at her legs and groaned. "Jareth, I'm not the Sarah doll—you can't just keep changing my clothes whenever you feel like it!"
Jareth smiled a rather predatory smile, and settled her more comfortably on his lap. "No love, you are not the Sarah doll—you are infinitely superior with far more working parts," he said slyly.
"And you won't get to play with any of them unless you stop meddling with my script!"
Jareth only laughed. He deftly lifted her legs over the armrest of the throne, and then ran his hand slowly down the long length of her leather-clad calves, idly caressing the sensitive places behind her knees. Sarah shivered all over.
"Damn you and your perverted leather clothing," she moaned.
Jareth smiled in delight and ran his lower lip along the curve of her ear and down the long soft length of her throat. Almost against her will, Sarah closed her eyes and angled her head to better enjoy his attentions.
He gave a low laugh against her skin. "As much as I love you in those pants, I must admit that I am even fonder of the shirt you are wearing," he purred softly.
Sarah opened her eyes warily and looked down. She was wearing a white t-shirt with Goblin Queen To Be written on it in pink glitter letters. She rolled her eyes.
"What happened to the Princess t-shirt?" she asked curiously.
"It wasn't accurate." He smiled and began to trace the letters with one gloved finger tip. "I'm very fond of this shirt," he drawled, tracing the 'G'.
Sarah's breathing increased at the warmth of his touch through the thin cotton shirt. She cleared her throat. "You're trying to distract me," she said unsteadily.
"Of course," he said unrepentantly, though his eyes were dark and hungry and his voice had become a little rougher around the edges.
"You can't rewrite our history," she said huskily, trying to ignore the fact that his gloved finger was slowly tracing its way across her chest, leaving her progressively more shivery and breathless with each letter.
"But of course I can! I am the King," he said arrogantly.
Sarah thought about that for a moment. "So by that logic, when I am Queen, I can just change things around too?"
"Yes," said Jareth without thinking, momentarily distracted by the fierce streak of joy that ran through his body at her acknowledgement that she would soon be his bride.
Sarah laughed. "Oh that's going to come back to bite you, your Majesty! You do know that don't you?"
Jareth looked rueful. "Yes, I believe it will." He grimaced. "Lord knows what you'll do with unlimited power; replace the bog with a nice pond, perhaps? Or order that the fingernails of each helping hand be painted a fetching shade of pink?"
Sarah laughed. "That will be fine—for starters…" she said mischievously
Jareth mock groaned and lazily traced the curve of the underside of her thigh with his palm, smirking a little when he elicited a shiver. He looked at her archly. "Let's strike a deal—wear that shirt for the rest of the day and I will change the script back."
"And help the goblins with their lines?" she bargained.
"Yes," he said solemnly.
"Without getting all impatient and throwing them in the bog?"
Jareth made an impatient gesture. "Really Sarah, you ask too much of me!"
Sarah sat up straight. "You can't keep bogging them all! Soon we will have no actors left. I've already had to re-cast Ludo four times; keep it up and he will have to be played by Waffle."
Jareth shrugged. "That's no hardship; Waffle is by far the best actor we have," he said dryly.
Sarah decided to try another approach. "Whatever happened to being my slave?"
Jareth snorted. "That deal required you to fear me and do as I say. I've found little evidence of either."
"Hey!" she said indignantly. "You said fear me, love me, do as I say;I score one out of three. Surely that earns a little slavery on your part? In fact, it suggests that you should be my slave for at least a third of the day," she said archly.
He gave her a wicked look and bent toward her ear. "But of course. And we both know which third of the day I would happily be your slave, my love," he whispered low and dark and very very seductively in her ear.
Sarah recognized the look in his mismatched eyes; it was a look that she had initially associated with bordello jumpsuits and succulent red apples and the giant velvet-draped bed of his starlit room. But she had seen that look often enough in the past three months to know that it would also appear when they were alone in shadowy hedge-mazes, dark oubliettes, conveniently-located broom closets, and now, apparently, in throne rooms.
"Oh no," she said shaking her head. "You just said that this place was too public for leather pants," she said a little shakily.
Without a word, Jareth took his cloak and draped it over Sarah so that only her head was visible. "It's the King's prerogative to change his mind," he said regally, though his eyes were dangerously predatory.
"Oh no," she said determinedly, trying to squirm out of his embrace.
Jareth bent his head. "It will be 'oh yes' if you keep squirming, precious thing," he whispered huskily against her cheek.
Sarah swallowed. "The room is full of goblins…" she said urgently.
"…who are completely preoccupied with helping the frypan goblin, who seems to have nailed himself to the throne room floor," he said persuasively.
Sarah looked briefly at the commotion and noticed that the goblins were all huddled around the flailing frypan goblin. "It won't be long before they free him," she said a trifle huskily, trying to ignore the fact that Jareth's gloved fingers had slipped beneath the back of her shirt. He began to languidly stroke the bare length of her spine in such a marvelous manner that she found herself arching under his touch.
"Given that Beep is trying to free him by painting him pink, I think we have more than a few minutes," Jareth said dryly, eying her hungrily. He dipped his head and traced her jaw with his lips, as his other hand slipped under the front of her t-shirt and traced slow circles over her stomach.
Sarah moaned softly. Smiling his predatory smile, Jareth bent his head and began to trace the delicate shell of her ear with the tip of his tongue. She gasped at shock of his touch, then entwined a hand in his gold-spun hair and pulled him closer.
He growled against her skin. "Forget about the play, my Sarah," he whispered darkly. "There is something I want to show you…"
His voice—so beautiful, so full of carnal promises—made her shiver, made her heart pound, made her open her mouth to cry "yes"…but then she looked up and saw the triumph in his mismatched eyes, and her passion-addled mind finally registered his words. Forget about the play. That manipulative…!
Sarah untangled her hand from his hair and smiled sweetly up at the King. "I'm sure it can wait—after all, I doubt that it's anything that I haven't seen before," she said dryly. She punctuated her sentence by squirming against his lap in a manner that she knew, from previous experience, typically made the Goblin King feel particularly pleased. It seemed that this time was no exception; Jareth closed his eyes and shuddered. He sat completely still for a moment…and then took a ragged breath.
"That, precious thing, was not fair," he said curtly.
Sarah patted him consolingly on the cheek. "Yes, yes I know," she said unrepentantly. "I learnt from the best."
Jareth shot her a reluctantly admiring look, and took another deep breath. As he composed himself, Sarah removed the cloak, and shuffled off Jareth's lap so that they were sitting beside each other on the throne. Jareth glared at her, but before he could argue, Sarah handed him his script and turned her attention back to the stage.
"Who are you playing today?" she asked Squibble, who was sitting on the stage steps, wearing a black feather duster on his head.
"Rosalinda," he said proudly.
"I'm sorry Squibble, but we won't be requiring your services any longer," said Jareth solicitously, flicking through the script. "If you turn to page one hundred and seventy-four, you will find that Rosalinda's fall from the tower has a rather unfortunate end." He shook his head and sighed. "Such a pity."
"Roslinda dies!" wailed Squibble. "NOOO!" he yelled, falling to his knees. "She's too young to die!"
"Good!" said Skeep in satisfaction.
"Oh no," said Sarah forcefully. "Rosalinda has to be in the story. She started all this." She turned to Jareth. "If the goblins hadn't chased her into my closet, and taken my duster and stilettos, then you wouldn't have written to me. If she had not attacked you, we would not have met up. And…," she said, bringing her lips to Jareth's ear, "if she and Waffle had not chased us from the formal garden, I would not have seduced you," she said triumphantly, brushing her lips against his cheek.
Jareth rolled his eyes. "We both know that I would have gotten around to it sooner or later," he said dryly.
Sarah smiled. "Regardless, Rosalinda stays in the story," she said firmly.
Jareth sighed. "Good lord—when I think of all the cunning machinations that took place to get you to run my Labyrinth in the first place, and of all the plans and schemes that I was hatching to bring you back here…" He shook his head ruefully. "It pains me greatly that we owe our current state of happiness to a treasonous chicken."
Sarah nodded in agreement. "I know—we owe everything to poultry. Ain't love grand?"
Jareth merely shook his head in disgust. Sarah looked across the room where the chicken of destiny herself was standing beside Waffle, methodically pecking the freshly-painted frypan goblin who was still nailed to the floor.
"A little help, please!" the frypan goblin cried out.
Skeep sighed and walked over the helpless pink goblin and handed him his fork.
"Thanks!" said the frypan goblin gratefully. He waved it in the air, attempting to fork Rosalinda.
Skeep looked at the pink frypan goblin critically. "Kidneys lower," he said helpfully.
Sarah looked at Rosalinda curiously. "So if Squibble is playing Rosalinda, what is Rosalinda doing here?"
"Oh she's playing Skeep," said the goblin with the blue horns.
Sarah stared at Rosalinda. "I guess that explains why she is wearing a tea cosy."
Sarah sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, unconsciously mimicking one of Jareth's favorite gestures. Jareth noticed and laughed.
"Do you approve of the sets at least, if not the script?" he asked playfully.
Sarah nodded. "They are lovely."
"And the costumes?"
Sarah smiled. "Skeep makes a lovely Sarah."
Skeep beamed and caressed his dark wig. "Pretty!" he said.
Jareth rolled his eyes. "He refuses to remove it. I believe he and I are going to have to have a man-to-man chat." He paused. "Man-to-goblin chat." He paused. "Man-to-gender-confused goblin chat." He waved his hand impatiently. "We're going to talk about it."
Sarah shrugged. "Does it really matter? Just as long as he is happy." She turned her attention to Ignor dressed as the King. "Though, I have some definite reservations about Ignor's costume," she said disapprovingly.
Ignor looked down at his outfit. Jareth looked at it also and shrugged. "I see nothing wrong with it."
Sarah raised one eyebrow. Jareth looked again. "The rubber gloves are only temporary—the leather ones should be here by tomorrow."
Sarah sighed. "That's not what I was referring to."
Jareth looked again. "I guess the snowglobe should go." He summoned a crystal. "Swap," he said, throwing the crystal to Ignor who caught it and threw back the snowglobe in return.
Jareth caught the globe and smiled. "Ahh, the snowy beaches of Tijuana," he said sardonically, spinning the globe in his palm.
Sarah continued to look at Ignor disapprovingly. "That's not what I was referring to."
Jareth looked back at Ignor and shrugged. "Now I really don't see anything wrong."
"What about his tights?" she asked.
Ignor and Jareth looked down at Ignor's tights. In order to add a level of authenticity to his portrayal of the Goblin King, Ignor had stuffed a pair of socks down his tights. Sarah knew that it was a pair of socks, and not…for instance…a bread roll, or a bag of marbles, or a root vegetable because the sock ends were sticking up above his waistband.
Jareth contemplated Ignor's tights. He nodded gravely. "I see what you mean," he said thoughtfully. He conjured a crystal. "Here," he said, throwing it to Ignor. As Ignor caught the crystal, it promptly turned into a very large pair of socks.
"Thanks King!" Ignor said happily. He gleefully stuffed the giant pair of socks down his tights alongside the first pair, resulting in a perversely pumpkin-shaped crotch mass. Smiling in satisfaction, Ignor then proceeded to strut around the stage, pelvis first, in a truly rock-star fashion.
Skeep looked at him critically. "Better," he said.
Sarah covered her eyes. "That's not what I meant!" she groaned.
Jareth only laughed at her expression. "Oh come love," he said, stroking her hair consolingly. "You were the one who insisted that this play be an accurate representation of events," he said in amusement.
"You are infuriating," she said in a resigned tone.
He smiled his pointy canine smile. "Yes, yes I am."
"Don't forget arrogant," he supplied helpfully.
"Arrogant," she repeated.
"Exceedingly attractive," he prompted.
"Vain," she added.
"I do so pity the woman who is going to marry me," he said in mockingly sympathetic tone.
She snorted. "As do I. She's obviously a masochist."
"Precisely my type."
Jareth gently lifted her hands away from her eyes and kissed each palm. He then bent his head and kissed her, his lips coaxing hers to respond. Which, despite her better judgment, they did. Completely, passionately, lovingly.
"EEEWWWWWWWW!" screeched the goblins, disgusted by the behavior of their monarchs.
"It's worse than the kiss between Phillip and Veronica on the soap show," said Squibble.
The goblins nodded in enthusiastic agreement.
Jareth reluctantly broke away from the kiss and sighed. With a flick of his wrist, he conjured a crystal and threw it onto the ceiling. A greasy stain appeared, larger and far more complex than the bunny stain. Cooing in delight, the goblins congregated under it.
"It looks like a chicken!" said Beep.
"No, a circus lion!" said Ignor.
"It looks like Waffle," said a small goblin.
"No, it's Rosalinda!" said Squibble.
"NEVER ROSALINDA!" yelled Skeep, grabbing his fork from the frypan goblin.
The goblins, completely enthralled by the delicious complexity of the new stain, did not see their King take their Lady's hand, and place it over his heart, and whisper something that made her smile up at him as if he had just moved the stars for her. Nor did they see their King gather their Lady gently into his arms and disappear from the room. In fact, when they turned back to ask their monarchs whether or not they thought that the stain looked like a wished-away goat, all they saw on the throne was the snowglobe containing the snow-bathing citizens of Tijuana. After three months, the goblins knew better than to try and find their monarchs—after all, an oubliette is an oubliette, even if it is one of those luxury ones with a window…
AUTHOR'S NOTE #2.
"Sad," said Skeep, wiping the back of his hand over his eyes.
"Why?" asks Lixxle.
"True," says Lixxle.
Skeep sniffs. "Epilogue," he says forcefully.
"This was the epilogue," says Lixxle.
"EPILOGUE!" he yells, raising his fork.
Lixxle covers her kidneys. "How about a prequel instead?"
Skeep waves his fork menacingly. "Keep talking."
Lixxle turns her back to the wall. "It's a Wizard of Oz cross-over. You get to beat up some munchkins."
Skeep nods. "Good!"
"Look, do me a favor and keep an eye on Rosalinda and Waffle; I don't approve of that relationship. Last thing we need is for them to breed." Lixxle shudders. "Frankly, the whole thing weirds me out,"
"Unnatural," agrees Skeep.
(Go on, review-it's your last chance to tell me if it sucks...)
Although I don't wish to sound like an Academy award recipient, I'd just like to thank a few people for making my first foray into fanfic a jolly good time. The grandest thanks of all goes out to everyone who reviewed. Frankly, I always thought that the best part of this story were the reviews—not only did they make me laugh, they also provided invaluable suggestions that shaped this story. Heaven knows that if it wasn't for the pants-obsessed fangirl reviewers (you know who you are) this story would never have been chock-full of leather and gratuitous crotch references. Which, let's face it, was most of my plot. Many thanks in particular to those who have been reading and reviewing the whole way through, and those who hunted me down on deviantArt for the sole purpose of slapping me around every time I failed to post on time (you know who you are, you stalkers!). Extra mega thanks to FaeriesMidwife, KnifeEdge, and Phuriedae for all their encouraging and witty PMs. Phurie's awesome beta advice (i.e., "add more crotch") and KnifeEdge's invaluable feedback (i.e., chop the seventy page chapter up before it kills someone) was very much appreciated. I owe you all a Jareth strip-o-gram.
This story was heavily influenced by the magnificent artwork on deviantArt—go check the site out! The story was inspired by Pika-la-Cynique's awesome pic Envy; the adult-type touching dream sequence was based on Phuriedae's gorgeous pic Sarah and Jareth—though I took the liberty of making Jareth topless in the dream (frankly, can you blame me?). And all adult-type touching in this story is directly the fault of the smoking hot, bordello jumpsuit-clad Jareths that belong to Mercuralis (though she lets me drool over them on occasion). Many many thanks to all those who have created fanart for the story, including the wonderful pictures of Skeep drawn by Mercuralis, ColetteLongbottom, OceanFae, and JarethsGenevieve; as well as pics of Jareth in his feathered cloak by ColletteLongbottom, and a rather saucy pic of Sarah in her bordello underwear by shii. Drop me a line if any of you ever decide to draw Jareth in his bordello lingerie. I'm having that pic tattooed to my body …
Keep an eye out for the MFFF prequel Something Glittered This Way Comes. It's a Wizard of Oz/Labyrinth cross-over. I should warn you right now that I am not an Oz fan, so Dorothy is going down…
And if you enjoyed this dastardly tale, why not give 'BETWEEN'-my new novel under the pen name L.L. Starling-a try. It contains leather pant-wearing sorcerers, feisty heroines, bawdy witches, and drunk unicorns. Something for everyone! Even Skeep approves.