A/N: Just an extra fluffy Jareth/Sarah one-shot. The pair of them bring unbelievable joy to my soul. Enjoy!
The throne room was unusually empty that morning, devoid of any goblins or other unsavory creatures. In fact, only Jareth and his son Marek were lounging the spacious room as the sunlight began to sparkle over Underground. Well, Marek wasn't exactly lounging – as a nearly one-year-old boy, the small babe was hardly capable of anything other than crawling – which is exactly what he was doing at that moment, and with great gusto.
His father watched him with a great deal of pride, smiling serenely at the heir to his throne. The child, Jareth fancied, exhibited all the beautiful traits of which his mother was possessed while still containing the more distinctive and awe-inspiring features of his father. Whether this was merely fatherly pride or the actual truth of the issue hardly mattered to the Goblin King.
Whenever Jareth looked on his son, he always thought of the boy's mother – and how very hard-won she had been. Was it really almost two and a half years since he'd finally gotten her to accept him as her husband? The time seemed so much less…
Jareth jerked out of his reverie when Marek pushed himself up into a sitting position and turned towards him. Marek clapped his hands together in a delighted giggle when he spotted his father, and he held out his arms towards Jareth, as though asking to be picked up. Jareth observed that the boy had his mother's rich, dark hair, but his eyes were distinctively his father's. Jareth fancied that Marek was also possessed of his father's nose and chin, but of course on a one-year-old that was difficult to determine.
Jareth leaned forward in his throne, eyes focused on Marek, and smiled widely. "Marek," he cooed, in a baby voice he only used when he was certain no one – not even his wife – was present.
Marek squealed and clapped happily again. A flash of joy shot across the Goblin King's face. Marek held out his arms once more and garbled something in baby talk – something that Jareth took to mean, Play with me! Jareth opted to oblige the boy – after all, Jareth had always been used to getting exactly what he wanted; why shouldn't his son be treated similarly?
With a surreptitious glance about the room, Jareth dropped to the floor and began to crawl towards his son. "Marek," he repeated, using the same cooing tone. "You'd better run, Marek… the Goblin King is after you!"
Marek light out a tiny scream, still smiling, and turned on his hands and knees again, crawling away at a rapid pace. Jareth followed a little slower, lanky limbs stretching predatorily about him. "You'd better go faster," he warned the boy.
Marek, however, was apparently crawling as quickly as he could, and Jareth soon caught up to the boy. Kneeling, Jareth freed his hands and swept Marek from the floor and into the air, holding him just below his arms and dangling him there. "Got you!" he exclaimed, and Marek squealed again.
"Hmm," Jareth said with mock thoughtfulness as he got to his feet and began to pace the throne room. "What to do with my little captive? Shall I punish him for fleeing the Goblin King?"
Anyone else might have been frightened to hear that Jareth was considering punishing them; Marek just gurgled happily. "No," Jareth said decisively. "No, I shan't punish him this time. You didn't mean to offend the Goblin King, did you, Marek?"
The baby smiled widely in response and burbled something in baby talk, waving his stubby legs and throwing his arms into the air, bouncing slightly in his father's hands.
Jareth frowned slightly. "No, Sarah won't let us play that game, Marek," he said with a shake of his regal head. "She thinks it's dangerous."
Marek bounced more insistently, the smile starting to dissipate into a confused expression.
"Marek, I don't want to get in trouble with your mother," Jareth said sternly.
Marek stopped bouncing, but began to cry, large baby tears sliding down his face and his tiny lower lip quivering. He was an adorable sight, large, mismatched blue and green eyes blinking up at his father as wails began to wrack his body.
Jareth swung Marek into his arms, settling the boy's head against his upper right arm and cradling him to his chest. He rocked Marek gently back and forth and began humming a song to soothe him, but it didn't have the desired effect. Marek continued to howl, disappointed and angry to find his game disturbed. "If I could get the goblins to take you away, I would!" Jareth exclaimed, but it was of course an empty threat.
Marek stopped howling for a minute and sniffled, blinking up at his father almost pleadingly. Jareth chewed his lip for a moment, brow creased, then glanced cautiously about the throne room. There was no sign of Sarah, or anyone else for that matter. He sighed. "All right, all right," he conceded, swinging Marek into the air again while gripping him under his arms. "Just this once."
The tears seemed to evaporate from Marek's face and he gave an elated squeal. Jareth smiled widely and began swinging Marek high above his head in an upward swoop. Marek screamed in delight and began kicking his little legs in anticipation. After a few moments of this preemptory game, Jareth suddenly threw the child high into the air. Marek laughed wildly as he sailed up towards the ceiling, then began to scream as he came back down. Jareth caught him on his way down and then tossed him instantly back into the air, straight up – the same game he'd played with Sarah's little brother when she'd first been finding her way through the Labyrinth.
They continued the game for some minutes, both thoroughly enjoying themselves. Jareth was so intent on the game that he didn't notice the presence of another until he caught Marek for the final time and laughingly said, "We'd better stop, Marek."
"Yes, you'd better," the unnoticed figure said rather sharply.
Jareth winced at the sound of the voice. "Sarah, he wanted to play it!" the Goblin King said defensively, turning to face his queen.
Sarah was standing in the arched doorway of the throne room with her arms crossed over her chest. Her dark hair was flowing loosely about her shoulders and her eyes were stormy with anger, her cheeks flushed bright pink and her jaw set. "You're stunningly beautiful when you're angry – did you know that?" Jareth asked, sounding more irritated than complimentary. No one in his life had ever made him feel guilty for his actions – except Sarah. He could somewhat understand her anger at him for kidnapping her brother, and for numerous other rather immoral actions he had taken to gain her affection – but for such a trivial little thing as a game to upset her made no sense to the Goblin King.
"Don't try to distract me with flattery," Sarah snapped, storming across the room and taking Marek from his father's arms. "You cannot throw babies in the air like that! You could drop him!"
"Sarah," Jareth said in exasperation, "I have never dropped a baby."
"Yes, and before I came through, nobody had ever beaten the Labyrinth either," Sarah said flatly. She looked at her son and smiled, cooing at him in a motherly sort of way. "Maaaarek," she said in a little baby voice, similar to the one Jareth had used not twenty minutes before.
Jareth rolled his eyes. "Do you have to talk to the future King of Goblins that way?" he asked.
Sarah glared defiantly back at Jareth. "There's nothing wrong with baby talk," she said. "He likes it."
"He does not," Jareth said in false disgust. "You'll turn his brain to mush before he can talk if you keep using that voice with him."
"Will not," Sarah said stubbornly, reminding him for an instant of the willful fifteen-year-old who had told him that his Labyrinth was a piece of cake. She shook her head, brown locks swirling elegantly about her face. "Why are we even talking about this?" she demanded. "You were throwing Marek in the air again!"
"He was crying!" Jareth said a little petulantly. "I told him we couldn't play the game anymore, and he was upset. I thought there'd be no harm in indulging him a little."
"By chucking him in the air?" Sarah said incredulously. "I swear to God, Jareth, you will kill our children before they even come near to reaching adulthood!"
Jareth looked so stricken by that that Sarah softened. "I didn't mean that," she said, setting Marek on the floor and going to stand before her husband. "I'm sorry. It just… makes me nervous. That's all."
Jareth jokingly cocked an eyebrow at her, seeming to recover from the momentary upset. "Don't you trust me, my Queen?" he asked.
She laughed. "Not really," she said.
He laid a hand over his heart and staggered backward. "You wound me, precious," he said in mock pain. "What's not to trust?"
"Shall I give you the list?" Sarah asked, crossing her arms over her chest again. "Let's see; you stole my baby brother –!"
"Because you asked me to," Jareth pointed out.
" – Cheated multiple times while I was in the Labyrinth -!"
"Nowhere in the rules does it say I'm not allowed to interfere every now and again."
"Oh, it's useless to argue with you, isn't it?" Sarah sighed.
He grinned impishly and closed the distance between them. "Yes," he told her in a low voice. "Yes, it is. So you might as well give in now." He bent and made to kiss her, but she covered his lips with her hand.
"Mmm…" she said in mock consideration. "Nah." She pushed him back and turned away from him, leaving him momentarily stunned. His eyes narrowed slightly and he strode after her.
"I don't think so," Jareth said, reaching out and snatching Sarah back to him. He turned her to face him and swept her into the air as she gave a sharp cry.
"Jareth -!" she exclaimed with a half-frightened giggle, her hands frantically clutching at his shoulders.
"Give in and I'll put you down," Jareth offered.
"No!" Sarah said, her usual defiance bursting through.
Jareth sighed with mock regret. "Well then, I'm afraid it's time for the game."
"What game?" Sarah asked in alarm.
"I think you know," Jareth said with devilish smile.
Sarah's eyes widened in horror. "Jareth, don't you dare -!" she gasped, but it was too late. Using his magick to help him, Jareth tossed Sarah high into the air. She screamed in terror as Marek burst into wild giggles and began to clap. She reached the ceiling and then began the descent downwards, the air hissing in her ears. She covered her face, dead certain that she was going to hit the ground – but Jareth was there to catch her. One arm held her firmly beneath her knees while the other wrapped around her waist. Her arms automatically shot out to grasp him around the neck, her heart pounding madly in her throat.
"See?" Jareth murmured in her ear. "I'm always there to catch you."
Sarah sucked in several deep breaths, still clinging almost desperately to the Goblin King's neck. For a moment, Jareth halfway suspected that Sarah was going to kill him. Then, he felt her laughing against his neck, her breath tickling his skin. "That was… that was actually kind of fun," she said between giggles.
"Aha!" Jareth exclaimed triumphantly. "You see?"
Sarah looked up from his shoulder, craning her neck to get her head away from its support. "All right, fine, you win," she said with smile and a shake of her head. "You must be using magick to catch him."
"Obviously," Jareth said with a roll of his eyes. "Do you honestly think I'd just throw my son in the air without taking some precautions first?"
"I wouldn't put it past you," Sarah chuckled.
"Oh really?" Jareth said. "I think maybe someone needs to be thrown again."
"OhmigodNOOOOO!" Sarah squealed, flailing her legs and grabbing Jareth so tightly around the neck that he fleetingly thought she was going to strangle him. "Youwinyouwinyouwin! Put me down!"
"Mmmm," Jareth said thoughtfully. Sarah looked up almost hopefully at him – until she saw the roguish gleam in his blue and green eyes. Her eyes widened in fear and she made every effort to look irresistibly adorable.
He smiled widely. "…Nah."