Disclaimer: These are always mandatory when dabbling in fan fiction. If there is anything at all that is reminiscent of the 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth, then it probably belongs to Jim Henson, et al., including (but not limited to) the characters of Sarah Williams & Jareth, the Goblin King.

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Shadows, Shadows Everywhere

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He keeps his distance, just out of sight, hidden in the shadows.
She sees him, but even then she doesn't understand. She can't.
Because, though she sees him, she's not sure that he's there.

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She sees him, but even then she doesn't understand.

She can't. Because, though she sees him, she's not sure that he's there.

There's a glint off the canine bared in a predatory smile, the way the moonlight reflects off his wild blond mane, black gloves that are darker than the darkest shadows he lurks in… he's always there and she doesn't understand.

It's been years since she dreamt up the Underground, since she invited him into her imagination, but time stands still for him as it always has. Though it's been almost as long since she put her childish imaginings behind her, he refuses to be forgotten, refuses to be tossed aside like another of her battered and ragged stuffed toys.

She'd called to him and he's responded. He'd given her anything, offered her everything but she denied him. Denied him and tried her best to forget him—but he won't go away. She invited him in and, despite her belief and her assurance that he had no power over her, he stayed.

She doesn't understand.

She was right—he doesn't have any power over her. In fact, it is she who wields all the power. He'd give her the world—Aboveground, Underground, it did not matter—if only she asked.

If only she consented.

If only she would give herself over to him.

He keeps his distance, just out of sight, hidden in the shadows. He's as cruel as she imagined him to be, if not more so. And he's also entirely single-minded, his mind focused now only on her.

A mild interest became infatuation becomes obsession as he shadows her. Her every move is followed, her every breath observed, her very presence desired. He can't help himself, powerless as he is in her wake.

The girl broke the king when she bested his maze and he will not rest until she has picked up the pieces.

He calls to her. She doesn't listen. But she hears him.

There's a rustle as a cloak whips around the darkness, the soft padding of boots as he stands just out of her reach, the hum of a gentle, haunting, seductive melody filling her head… there he is, and she pretends not to understand.

He sends her gifts, when he's feeling generous. But in all the years that he's made her offerings, offerings both simple and great, she's never once accepted.

He sent her a crystal, but the intimate image it held frightened her. In a fit of panic, she smashed it, and the shards bit into the palm of her hand, cutting her and spilling her blood. She cursed herself, cursed him, as she cleaned up the mess she had made but she missed one blood-covered shard.

He has it now, and he treasures it. Kept in a minute jar placed inside his pocket, he has a part of her with him always.

He sent her a mask, a garish carving full of decadence and desire. In a fit of defiance—or perhaps it was folly?—she wore it once, and only for a few seconds before he filled her mind with memories from their masquerade.

It gave her a giddy, tipsy feeling, one that was nearly overpowering but she remembered herself just before he could remove himself from the shadows. The mask was thrown out her open window; the dog, elderly though he was, buried it deep, as if he knew his mistress's excitement.

And he sent her a wooden box, which she opened before realizing it had been another of his little trinkets. There was nothing inside the worn, wooden box but a single white feather. It was wide, yet short and was instantly recognizable. It was an owl's feather, one of his, and there were blood spatters indeed on the tip of the feather.

Where the blood came from, she didn't know. She didn't want to know. Neither did she understand why he continued to send her such tokens. She'd never understand but, as she slammed the lid down on the box and shoved it under her bed, she could forget.

There's no forgetting him.

She's afraid of the shadow, of the gloom that haunts her every step, but she doesn't understand that she had nothing to fear. He's not her enemy, as she so desperately believes, nor is he simply a child's fantasy.

He's real, as real as she is, though he never removes himself from the shadows.

He can't. Because, though she sees him, he'll never be beside her until she makes a space for him.

The shadows are his, part of the Aboveground domain that he can rule while he waits. When darkness settles, he's there. She's alarmed, though she has nothing but a memory to give life to that trepidation, and she panics.

She does her best to believe he can't be there.

But still—

Shadows, shadows everywhere and not a place to hide.

He is the shadow, watching and waiting, lurking in the depths of the gloom. Longing to embrace her, ready to welcome her into his realm of fantastic darkness.

There's a whisper on the wind, echoing yet insistent. It's familiar, and there's no denying it.

She turns.

She sees him, and even then she doesn't want to understand.

And she won't. Because, when his heavy gaze finds her, she's positive he's there.


Author's Note: It's been ages since I came up with an idea for a short ficlet that could be done in less than a thousand words—even longer since it was for a fandom that wasn't Newsies—but here I go. I am a huge fan of Labyrinth and I'm hoping that this was just the first of a few one shots I'd like to see done ;)

I hope you liked this. It was just a short piece but I found the vagueness of it a bit interesting—maybe you did too. As always, it's nice to hear what you have to say :)