DISCLAIMER - I don't own Sarah or Jareth or the Labyrinth (unfortunately) they belong to Jim Henson & Co, and I'm definitely not making a profit from this.
All other NPC's are a figment of my own imagination.
EDIT COMPLETED SEPTEMBER 2014 THANKS FOR ALL THE REVIEWS, ITS FINALLY DONE!
Fear hounded her mercilessly, making every sound a new monster in a living nightmare. The innocent imagination that had once crafted the Labyrinth was gone, replaced by an ebbing cynicism and realization that the world was definitely not as beautiful or as pretty and safe as the 15 year old Sarah once imagined.
She knew he knew she was there, somewhere in his Labyrinth, and she knew instinctively that he was either furious or just very irritated, and neither option was a particularly pleasant one. No doubt her somewhat precipitous arrival had shocked him more than it had her, though she was the master of her own devilry for picking the fragment of mirror up from where it lay shrouded by dust in the attic. In her heart she knew that this time… this time he wouldn't be so helpful. She laughed at herself in her head.
"Helpful my ass…" She muttered glancing back towards the dark mass of the castle in the distance, ignoring the tell tale pulling that indicated her stupid party dress had once again entangled itself in the myriad of creeping, thorny bushes that lined the pathways.
This time they would be playing for keeps, and she really wasn't sure if she was strong enough to stand against him again. A sound on the stairs below made her jump, a curse held back by a bitten lip. She turned slowly and looked him in the eye as he stood, arms folded and glaring, perfect in every way and as unchanged as the day he had first shown her the Labyrinth. She sighed and sank down onto the steps touching her cheek tenderly.
"I didn't mean to." She whispered holding out the blood stained fragment of mirror in defence. "It shattered years ago and I don't know why I kept it but I didn't mean to come here."
"What did you mean to do then?" His voice slid across exposed nerve endings like silk making her shiver.
"I think… I think I was looking for somewhere to hide." The cut on her hand glistened in the moonlight like wet paint, the throbbing settling into a dull ache. She sat there in silence listening absently to distant sounds as he stood menacingly in the shadows. "You'd better take it back. I don't want Toby coming here by accident if he goes rummaging in the attic." She held the mirror out expecting him to move, to take it from her hand, yet he didn't and she gasped as it turned to sand. Crystalline particles flowed through her fingers only to be whisked away by the breeze that ruffled his elegant cloak and white hair.
"And what did you want me to do about it?" He asked eventually just as the silence was about to suffocate her.
"What?" Sarah looked up at him sharply, the bruise across her cheek clearly visible. She blinked and he was in front of her, so close as he knelt and ran a leather clad finger across the bruise making her flinch away, her eyes dark with suppressed fear.
"That's an impressive addition. Who gave you that little number precious one?" He purred as Sarah lost herself in his stare.
"None of your business…" She breathed, as he continued to look at her the way she suspected a lion might look at its prey. No, a panther she amended silently in her head as he rose and stalked back down the stairs.
"Very well." He said thoughtfully turning and walking away down the path. "You'll let me know when you decide won't you." He said snidely over his shoulder.
"I might stay here for a bit." Sarah replied, her courage returning for a split second until she cursed it back into the nether regions of her brain. She closed her eyes, waiting for tongue lashing and stinging sarcasm that never arrived.
"Stay or go I care not." He said pausing to turn and face her. "However a word of advice, beware the Labyrinth. It is a very different creature from what you once imagined it to be." He gave her a parting smirk before fading into the shadows, a trick that she still found incredibly irritating.
"Stupid mouth… and stupid me." She whispered as heavy clouds blotted out the new moon, the smell of hot wet pavement filling the air as the rain fell.
"Majesty." The creature clothed in midnight and shadows cleared its throat as its master pushed a semi clad elven woman from his lap and sent her away with her sisters. The others had long since returned to other realms, the music silent and halls empty.
"What is it?" He sighed picking up a goblet of wine and running the stem through his long fingers.
"She is still there Majesty."
"Still? In the same spot?"
"Do you wish me to bring her to you Sire?" The creature asked, bowing lower as Jareth rose from his throne and put his gloves on.
"No. She fascinates me, I will go myself." He said smirking and disappearing like fog.
He stood in the shadows watching her. No movement except for the soft swaying of her wet hair in the night breeze. Her head cradled in one hand hiding her face whist the other hung loosely, blood from the mirror cut staining the skin and pooling on the dress and step below. Jareth narrowed his eyes at the sight of her blood on the stone, a strange sense of anticipation making the hair on the back of his neck stir.
In the distance came a guttural roar, things were stirring that should not truly be here, and yet the master of the wild Labyrinth had no care or interest to stop them, that had changed; because of her. He felt only a faint satisfaction as she flinched in fear at the sound.
"I hope I didn't spoil your party." She whispered as he walked silently past her to look beyond an archway across the labyrinth.
"It is you who seems to be all dressed up with nowhere to go Sarah." She felt heat rising to her cheeks as he said her name.
"It was supposed to be fancy dress…" Sarah sighed as she spoke the words that seemed hollow and stupid. She looked up into the cloud stained sky and moaned as her head thudded in pain. "I don't feel very well." She mumbled looking at the cut across the palm of her hand that would not stop bleeding. As a moon appeared from behind another cloud she noticed that tiny grains of sand had embedded themselves into the wound, glittering like a dozen minute diamonds against a red satin backdrop.
The guttural roar this time was accompanied by the sounds of destruction, deep rumblings as stone hit stone.
"What is that?" She whimpered staggering to her feet and bracing herself against a wall. She watched as he shrugged and smiled at her.
"No idea, but it's certainly got your scent my dear."
"What?" She gasped closing her cut hand and trying to wrap it in the dress to stop the bleeding. The noises came again, closer now as he stepped towards her, the smile still fixed on his face but never reaching his eyes as she stepped back away from him.
"You should not have come here."
"Don't you think I know that? It wasn't deliberate! I didn't pick that mirror up with the intension of making a wish to come here. I didn't wish for anything!"
"Oh but my dear, you didn't need to." He said pausing as the ground lurched in protest at the destruction the unknown thing was making.
"But… I didn't mean to…"
"Surprising how you repeat yourself Sarah. I'm getting a feeling of de-ja-vu. Wait whilst I check to make sure you have not wished your brother away again..." He mocked.
"I wouldn't… not again. I wouldn't ever."
"Yet you would wish yourself away? Foolish child. You will never learn."
"I'm not a child!" She said angrily looking up at him.
"No." He said looking her up and down slowly "I can see that." He smirked as she blushed again, making the bruise on her cheek darker.
"Let me go home."
"Yet an hour ago you did not want to go home. How quickly you change your mind." He spat turning away from her.
"Wait please…" She begged stepping towards him the rest of her words drowned by howling that sent shivers down her spine as it got closer and closer.
"I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you, I didn't know what the price was. Nobody told me the cost of what I had done! All I could think of was getting Toby home safe."
"The price? You dare speak of hurting me and the price of your betrayal? I gave you everything Sarah. Everything you wanted I gave you and you took it and asked for more. You destroyed my Labyrinth and you expect me to forgive you with a simple 'I'm sorry'?" He asked incredulously as he backed her against the wall again in his anger.
"You knew it was wrong." She retorted, stung by his words. "I am broken because of you. I exist in a half life because of what you have taken from me. What I can not ask to be returned for fear of what it will make me become!"
"What I have taken from you?" He scoffed "Take a good look around you Sarah. This is your doing not mine." He snarled pointing out at the Labyrinth.
"This is never going to work, you're never going to listen to me like this. Please take me somewhere …safe. This isn't how I thought it would be."
"Another demand? I'm tired of those."
"No, Your Majesty, I'm asking for your help." She whispered, tears blinding her as just around the corner the creature screamed in anticipation of an end to its hunt. The world grew dim as the pain in her head and hand throbbed as one and the wall behind her no longer seemed to support her weight.
"Please Jareth…" She begged.
Sensations returned warmth and the feeling of being held. Random thoughts skittered across her mind as she opened her eyes to renewed pain. He was carrying her down what looked to be the corridor outside her loft apartment. Outside the door he placed her carefully on her feet in silence.
"I can take you no further. You will need … treatment for that cut." He said pausing as she stood staring at the door as if it was about to jump and bite her. "There is nobody inside if that is what you are worried about. I would take you… but I am. Not welcome." The weight of his words crashed down around her as she tried to concentrate.
"Your goblins are not welcome here... you … you have always been welcome in my home." She felt like she was going to throw up as the corridor swayed. She felt his arm around her waist and let him guide her inside to her bathroom where he helped her to the toilet so she could throw up. Holding her when she could no longer stand he placed her in her empty bed before taking his gloves off and holding her cut hand in his. Fog of memory swept around her until she slept, oblivious to his dark brooding look as he watched her.
The years had refined her beauty he mused to himself as he stood there watching her sleeping. For a long time he had been denied this privilege and he drank in the sight of her like a dehydrated man at a pool of pure clean water. Her voice whispered through his mind, speaking his name over and over, taunting him and making him feel hollow, her hot breath still making his neck tingle where he had held her close. She had dared to defy him, yet asked for his help in the same breath and where the cold darkness of his heart lay buried beneath 10 years of anger and the need for revenge something else flickered and stirred.
"I fear you will be the death of me precious one."