AN: And here is a shiny for anyone to enjoy. I'm calling it a shiny because my friend Sarah is easily distracted by shiny objects and decided that anything that distracted someone from something else should be called a shiny. She asked me to tell you all that this is what this fic is. It's a shiny. My own personal shiny distracting me from my other fics.
I'M SO SORRY PLEASE FORGIVE ME!!!!!
lol. I actually had to write this. It was for my writer's craft course. So really, school distracted me and caused me to write a shiny. Not myself. Ergo, not my fault.
If you don't believe me...well, that's not my problem. Besides, i actually wrote something for AWDD because of this so you can't hate me for it. You should also know that i'm at school and am really bored and i had the flashdisk with this on it so i figured...why not? something to do, in any case.
(Disclaimer goes here - we all know i don't own labyrinth...otherwise, believe me, it wouldn't have ended the way it did)
"Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City."
She hadn't thought much of what she was saying. She had simply been following the story – the play that she had acted out since the day she'd found the slim red volume in that corner shelf of the second-hand bookstore. The whole journey through the labyrinth had been reminiscent of her book – varying slightly, as she could not remember the whole thing – and she had always loved the final scene most of all. She hadn't realized the truth to her words as she'd said them; hadn't realized what they might mean to him.
"For my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great."
His eyes were desperate then, she'd realized only later. He had seemed to shrink in on himself even as his power and his presence had swelled. She had felt his magic just as she had felt the magic in the labyrinth. The two of them were like one being – both wild and wicked and playful. However, at the time she didn't'think of that. Her thoughts had been focused on remembering the last line to the play. It was the line that let the girl in her book win.
Despite her inattentiveness to anything beyond remembering the next line, she had listened to him. Earlier, when he'd told her how exhausted he was from living up to her expectations, she hadn't understood the implication. Hadn't realized that it meant that perhaps he was only acting, just as she was acting out the final words. She couldn't appreciate the effect that the words would have on his reality. To her, they were just words; to him, they were a declaration of his equality with her - of her equality with him. At that moment, they became his blessing and his curse - not that she knew about that at the time. In his desperation to stop what was inevitable, he had offered her the last thing he had to stop her.
"Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave."
His words haunted her dreams, her nightmares, her thoughts. She hadn't realized what he'd meant when he said them – hadn't realized what he was offering. She was a child and he had her baby brother. The absurdity of the situation – the impossibility of it all - could not make it through to the logical part of her brain. She had refused to think on his words; she only wanted her brother back and he was standing in her way. The gleaming crystal he held out to her had taunted her with images, with a sense of his wicked, playful power. But she had been tired from solving the labyrinth – from getting to this final stage in her trials – and she hadn't cared for his pretty words and his games.
Thinking back on that scene now, when she was old enough to appreciate his lessons and his words, Sarah thought that she could remember the exact moment his heart had broken. He had been swathed in the tattered white and gold robes. It looked reminiscent of his other form - the handsome barn owl with its beautiful heart-shaped face, wide shining eyes, and glorious soft feathers that looked like they had been spun from sunlight. The difference between the leather-clothed Goblin King and the soft-lit Fae Prince had been incredible. It was the difference between a ruler and a man.
She had been searching in her mind for the last elusive line. His arm had been extended, within his grasp a crystal containing all her dreams. His eyes - blue with one pupil wider than the other, making it seem to be green - had tried to catch hers but she had been staring off with her mind's eye to try and recall the line as it was written in her book. He had taken a half-step towards her and she had snapped back to the present, looking up at him with a sort of blank curiosity. She had met his eyes then and hope had shone so brightly she almost didn't realize that she had remembered the line. He had made as if to speak and she had said the words that undid the spell surrounding them.
"You have no power over me."
She hadn't meant the words. She'd just been repeating the line – the line that had let the girl in her book win. She'd thought of them merely as a way to win; the final key to the door out of the ruined Escher room. Her brother was somewhere out in that void of shattered stone and she couldn't bear to leave him alone. Not then; not when she had finally realized just how much he meant to her. She was tired and had learnt things about herself she hadn't wanted to know. She just wanted to go home and deal with her thoughts and put her baby brother to bed before her father and her stepmother arrived home to find them missing. She was already in trouble for being late; she hadn't wanted to add to that. In her childish and still selfish haste, despite her recent lessons, she had said the words that had undone him.
Sarah had often thought of her time in the Labyrinth. Although, over the years, she had gradually come to think less and less. Her friends had offered to come and visit whenever she called them and she had been so grateful for someone who understood what she'd been through that she'd almost missed seeing the owl sitting just outside her window. Almost, but not quite.
Hoggle would never suggest that Jareth ever come visit her. He'd shot a dark look out the window when he thought she wasn't looking as her three closest friends had promised once more that she need only call for them to come. Sir Didymus had no such qualms with his king (and he was their king, whether or not they liked him) and had murmured to her that Jareth would come if she ever felt the need to call him. That the king had seemed quite taken with her, if the labyrinth had been anything to go by. At the time, she'd blushed and sworn she would never call him.
She was beginning to regret ever saying that. There had been many times over the years that she'd nearly broken down and called for him. When Toby had started going to school, for instance, and had become convinced that his big sister wasn't cool enough to hang around with; when Karen, her step-mother, had put it in her head that Sarah needed to go on more dates and had set up a series of parties that served only to alienate her from her peers; when her father had a mild stroke and no one had been able to tell her what was wrong until she'd thrown a fit of rage in the middle of the hall - demanding that the school counsellor explain why she was being pulled from class for no reason and why wasn't Karen coming to get her if it was that important? Many times she'd felt his name on her lips and had forced the urge away.
"Everything you have asked I have done. You asked for the child to be taken, I took him. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time, I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you!...Isn't that generous?"
It had been more than generous. Far more than generous. He had done more for her in 13 hours than anyone in her entire life. He had offered her the world, her dreams, and his total and utter devotion and she had thrown it back in his face. It hurt her now to even think about what she'd done.
"I really am sorry," she murmured to herself. Her agent, beside her, shot her a concerned look. She ignored him. Sometimes, Sarah felt bad for Roger Harris. He'd seen her acting during college, as Titania in A Midsummer's Night Dream, and had snatched her up immediately. He'd been more than surprised to realize that her mother was Linda Williams, the then famous Broadway actress, and had delighted in finding roles for her. Most of the time, she would refuse the roles that had anything to do with magic and faeries (it had been only at the personal request of a friend that she performed as Titania in the first place) which were, naturally, the roles Roger most wanted to see her do.
"She's here," Roger piped up quickly when her name was called, standing and urging her to follow. "She's needed to pick the male lead," he added unnecessarily. "The director wants to be sure that whomever gets the male lead fits well with her."
Sarah offered a vague smile to the organizer. She didn't want to be here but Roger had guilt-tripped her into it. She hadn't a gig in over a month and when this particular play had been announced, he had jumped on the opportunity before she was even told which play she would be in. Naturally, the one time she agreed to his whining without any fuss was the one time he'd picked the play she feared most of all.
Labyrinth. A shiver ran up her spine at the very idea. Of all the plays, he would pick this one. Getting the role of the girl - ironically, she was actually named Sarah as well - had been a piece of cake. She was Sarah - in every sense of the word - and even when nervous beyond belief that her speaking the words that summoned him would actually call him to the stage, she had aced the audition. The director thought she was so perfect for the role (oh, wouldn't he be surprised) and had demanded that she take part in the Goblin King auditions so that he could gage the suitability of each actor to play the part alongside her.
Roger disappeared to take a seat in the theatre and Sarah made her way to the stage, smoothing the black skirt at her hips of invisible wrinkles. The director was on his second round of auditions and wanted to see how well each actor danced. So, she was stuck performing the scene of the crystal ballroom. Memories of the glimmering place made her wince and she forced them from her mind, turning her attention to the dark-haired actor waiting for her. She smiled vaguely again, brushing aside her annoyance that he wasn't blonde and still managed to get this far aside, and stepped into his arms, letting him lead her in a rather robotic waltz that had her shaking her head by the time it was through. The director agreed and dismissed the man impatiently, waving for the next to come up to the stage.
Each actor was summarily dismissed or told to return the next day by the director. Sarah went through the motions of the dance, imaging when she'd actually danced with the Goblin King and regretting her actions each time she caught sight of the newest actor and realized it wasn't him.
"Mr King," the director's organizer called the next male to the stage. Sarah sighed, tired of dancing with men incapable of being a realistic Goblin King, and took up her position without even looking at the man. His hand settled on her hip and she let him hold one of hers up in a ready position. As the music began, so did their dance.
Something seemed strangely familiar about the way he moved. Sarah idly thought that perhaps she had acted with this one before and glanced up only to wish she hadn't. His lips curled into a smirk and his hand curled around her hip almost possessively as his grip on her hand tightened and drew her closer so that their hips almost touched but not quite.
Different-sized pupils surrounded by gleaming sapphire, stared at her with mingled amusement, affection and arrogance. His hair was as wild as it had ever been but his face was lacking the outlandish makeup she remembered in her childhood. He was still at least a head taller than her and she resisted the urge to gape like an idiot at him as they danced across the stage. The music that had been playing was the same she remembered and Sarah was only distantly aware that the coordinators were trying to 'fix' the problem that had switched songs on them. The director urged them to hush and watched the scene play out before him.
"Sweet Sarah," Jareth murmured as they spun, letting his hair shield his moving lips from sight of anyone else. "I never expected you to appear at my theatre, especially not for this play.'
She ignored the issue of him owning the theatre. "Neither did I," she told him. Her movements unconsciously shifted from almost indifference to an intimate glide across the polished wood floor. He matched her step for step and smirked wickedly at the look she shot him when his hand at her hip pulled her even closer. "Why are you here?"
"When I offered you your dreams," he began vaguely, "you remember that I offered you them as a crystal. A crystal that shattered when I threw it."
"I remember." His head tilted towards her and she found her gaze drawn to his lips as he continued to speak in his lovely rich voice. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"Well, sweet Sarah, when you declared your power equal to my own, and vice versa, you gave me the ability to harness dream-magic. Which is, as you should well know..."
"...the one thing the fae cannot touch," she finished his sentence and stared at his curiously raised eyebrow with a faint frown. "I did a little research afterwards. What does that have to do with my dreams?"
"I could grant you your dreams when you were in control of them," he murmured this into her ear, sending soft warm breath ghosting across her neck. "But when you gave me that power, I accidentally put some of my own dreams into the crystal. It shattered and the spell escaped - our dreams escaped. Can you guess what they did?" His voice was a low purr that rumbled in his chest and made her skin tingle.
"I - I don't know?" she winced at the tremor in her voice. His smirk turned feral in its intensity and she felt her knees weaken as he slowly began the end sequence of their dance.
"They came true," the whisper echoed in her mind as he withdrew to the delighted clapping of the director. The man was proclaiming nonstop praises for the Goblin King and declared him the male lead immediately, telling his coordinator to send the others away and call the ones who'd already gone through; they had their Jareth.
Sarah's head whipped to follow Jareth as he smirked at her around the director. Roger came up beside her and followed her gaze, missing the smoldering look that had flashed across the fae's eyes. "Is something the matter?"
"Nothing," she said, feeling a piece of her she'd never realized was missing settle into place at the sight of Jareth idly toying with a crystal (much to the director's delight). "Nothing at all."
He gave her a sceptical look but quickly jumped to attention when Jareth came striding back to Sarah. "Mr King, congratulations."
"Thank you," Jareth replied, but his eyes hadn't strayed from her's as he held out a hand to her. "Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave." The director and Roger chuckled at the "actor's" memory of his lines.
Sarah remembered her response to his statement before. His eyes were watching her with the same hopeful glitter, even behind the wicked and playful smirk. She felt a smile rise to her lips, her first real smile in a long time, and placed her hand within his. He still wore those damnable gloves but she could have cared less. "I think I can do that."
The smile that graced his lips could have put the sun to shame and Sarah basked in its warmth, perfectly content to believe in her Goblin King once more.