Story: Hollywood Glamour
Summary: I should be more worried that a fairytale King of Evil Idiots is molesting me in the middle of the red carpet. Note to self: establish more thorough neural connections.
Notes: This is just plain odd. My apologies. The direct result of four straight days of Labyrinth fanfiction reading.
Disclaimer: I do not own. I do, however, own Richard. I wish I owned David Bowie.
"Ms Williams! Ms Williams! How does it feel to be the front runner for Best Actress at age twenty – and for your first picture?"
"Miss Williams! Who made your dress?"
"Sarah! There have been sightings of you with a mysterious blond man in Central Park. Care to comment on his odd fashion sense?"
"Miss Williams! Miss Williams!"
Sarah Williams smiled.
If one were honest, it was more of a grimace. But still – Sarah Williams was the best damn actress of her generation, and if she was uncomfortable with the vein that these leeches were veering on to, she sure as hell wasn't going to show it.
This was the Oscars, dammit.
"Hello," she said, smiling again at the reporter whose question had been the least obtrusive. "Gosh, how does it feel?" As she pretended to contemplate, she moved towards him, carefully turning her body so her dress was shown to the best angle. "Absolutely wonderful. I'm proud of my work on Hunter's Run, and I feel so honored that it's my first picture and it's up for five nominations. Gene is ecstatic."
"That would be Gene Waterman, the director-writer of Hunter's Run, which soared to the top of the box office last summer," parroted the reporter to the camera screen madly swiveling behind him. "Hunter's Run has been called the anti-romantic comedy. What can you say to that?"
"You make it sound so negative," laughed Sarah. She gave her voice a bit of a Kathleen Turner husk. "Hunter's Run is the romantic comedy for people who don't like romantic comedies. I think it appeals to everyone."
Ask Sarah Williams, age fifteen, what she thought she would be doing in five years, and expertly negotiating the shark waters of Hollywood would have ranked somewhere between winning the lottery and assassinating the Dalai Lama.
In other words, not bloody likely.
Ask Sarah Williams, age nineteen, if she thought her theater career (which was modest but growing steadily) would push her onto the lap of Hollywood's darling director, and she would've told you to leave before she called the men in white coats.
Which was why Sarah Williams didn't usually waste time ruminating on the last year of her life. She got her dream of being an actress, and she was going to enjoy it.
No one was going to make this less enjoyable.
Even idiot reporters. "Have you brought someone with you?" asked the reporter, making a show of looking around her. "Your costars have said that you never date. Is this true?" For an amusing moment, Sarah considered telling him the truth – which was that every boy who had ever asked her out past the age of fifteen had developed a severe case of meningitis. Oh, and boils.
"I don't kiss and tell," she said instead.
"Who made your dress?" asked the reporter, valiantly attempting to look interested and failing miserably.
"It's a secret," she stage-whispered, and gave him a wink.
While the reporter blinked at her a few times, either confused by this response or attempting to restart his neural synapses after being winked at by Hollywood's most innocent sexpot, Sarah moved on down the red carpet, whisking her chiffon trail behind her.
You're being cruel.
Oh yeah, she thought. And you're one to talk.
She ignored him.
"Richard," she said, turning as quickly as she could in her strapless dress, which could be downright architecturally unsound at high velocities. "How are you?" She dutifully stuck out her hand and he dutifully gave it a playful kiss. The cameras clacked away madly.
"Bored to my fucking toes," he replied, smiling at her. His white teeth twinkled.
"If I stand in these shoes for another ten minutes, I won't have any toes," agreed Sarah. She laughed brightly.
"Care to accompany a man on his death march?" asked Richard, tucking her hand into the crook of his elbow. They began to stroll. "If we look like we're having a serious discussion, the tabloids can take pictures of us and speculate. That should appease my fucking agent."
He's too crude.
Sarah tossed most of her hair – curled wildly and sweeping low across her eyes – off her shoulder and trailing down her back. A spectral kiss lingered on her bare shoulder. Even though she had managed to smother a response to the petulant remark, she couldn't mask a shiver.
A velvet laugh skimmed her collarbone.
"Promise me I'll be sitting down within the next five minutes," said Sarah flirtatiously, mentally jeering at her unseen companion, "and I'll marry you."
You're not playing fair, love.
"My life is complete," declared Richard, and immediately dropped her arm so he could sweep her up in a bridal carry in his arms. There was a gasp from the reporters around them, and the flashes went off wildly.
That was a mistake.
Whoops. "Richard," said Sarah. "Put me down. Right now." Only her acting skills kept her from sounding panicked.
"Come now, Sarah dear," he said, grinning. He was walking down the carpet, side-stepping agents and stylists and stars with ease that would be enviable, except that he was carrying her and someone whose voice was constantly in Sarah's head was getting pissed. And when he got pissed, life started getting strange and inexplicable for Sarah Williams. "I have a reputation as an irredeemable rake to live up to. They wouldn't accept anything else from a Brit like myself. How do you feel about a September wedding?"
Sarah could taste lightning on the back of her tongue.
"Richard, this is a Bad Idea."
"No September, then? Nah, I'm not an autumn man either. How about December? We can have icicles hang from the balconies and holly draped on the windowsills. Very British Christmas, I promise."
They had moved past the reporters at this point, and were almost at the steps. Once they had climbed up them, they would be free from curious, camera-bearing eyes. Sarah eyed them longingly. Normally she would be enjoying the playful discussion, but . . . this was a disaster waiting to happen.
"Listen, Richard. I can walk up the steps myself." She gave her feet an experimental kick, and all that happened was chiffon rustled. A wind started up, blowing her hair across her face. The air was electric enough that her hair, carefully curled that morning, was beginning to frizz.
"Nope," replied Richard stubbornly. "I am determined that you are going to have a fine evening, Sarah Williams. And since you seem to have misplaced your love life, I'm going to have to ensure that myself."
The wind whirled harder for two seconds – hard enough that there were cries of distress from the more carefully coifed celebrities on the carpet, and then something happened.
One moment, Sarah Williams was cradled in the arms of her Hunter's Run costar, who was preparing to storm the theater like a Mongol hoard's wedding planner, and the next she had been transferred into a different set of arms, which were wrapped around her far tighter.
"She hasn't misplaced it," said the owner of these cold arms. "She's too stubborn to want it back."
"Crap," said Sarah Williams.
Richard, being mortal, could be excused for being momentarily startled. After all, in about forty milliseconds the pocket of universe around him had been scrambled by a powerful immortal Fae who was possessive and pissy, not to mention dressed in the tightest pants known to man.
"How did you—" began Richard.
"Go away," growled the interloper.
"Jareth," said Sarah. "Put me down." She was painfully aware that every camera in the place was zoomed in on their little altercation by the steps. Did the King of Idiots even realize what a television camera could do? Had he taken the effort to ensure that it at least looked like he came from some where other than thin air?
God, it was just like him, too.
Jareth, King of Goblins, didn't bother himself with paltry things like responding to calmly spoken requests.
"Jareth, if you do not put me down in three seconds, I will Say The Words."
"Who," demanded Richard, "are you?"
"I," snapped Jareth, "am her husband."
Sarah groaned and went limp.
"Her husband?" said Richard, raising an eyebrow. Disbelief was scrawled across every plane of his ruggedly handsome face. It was the same look that he had used when Melinda had asserted she was most definitely not attracted to Russell in Act I Scene IV of Hunter's Run.
"No he's not," said Sarah quickly. "He's, ah, a little confused." Testosterone rippled through the air at her statement. Sarah expected to be bashed over the head with someone's club at any moment. Then again, technically speaking someone already had bashed her over the head with his club. He was just having trouble getting a good hold on her hair and dragging her back to his cave.
"I am not," replied Jareth, scowling at her. Sarah determinedly didn't look at him. Looking at him was a problem, because looking at him usually got Sarah to do something Very Stupid. "She defeated the Labyrinth. She won. She's the Queen."
"Of his heart," finished Sarah lamely. "It's, ah, a metaphor. Jareth's a musician." Her eyes begged Richard to believe her.
"I see," said Richard, who was patently eyeing her captor's leather gloves and embroidered shirt. "Has a things for sequins, doesn't he?"
"It's a band thing," remarked Sarah as casually as she could manage. "Now, Jareth, put me down."
The hand hooked under her knee gripped the flesh of her thigh through layers of silk chiffon. "You'll run away," he said silkily. "I'd be a fool to let you go for the second time."
The third, actually. If one counted the altercation in Central Park (which Sarah certainly didn't, because it was only quick thinking on Sarah's part that allowed her to escape that particular episode. Well, and the territorial polar bear Jareth had the bad luck to frighten. But Sarah preferred to pat her own back for that one), that is.
Contrary to popular belief, Sarah was neither stupid nor stubborn enough to voice this aloud.
Richard's eyebrow climbed to previously undiscovered heights. "Second time?" he asked. "Sarah, you naughty girl."
"I agree," said Jareth. "But please refrain from calling my wife that in the future." Sarah whipped her head around to look at him, and suppressed a whimper. He smiled, or really just bared his pointy canines. His mismatched eyes were very blue against the shock of silvery-white hair. "Husband's prerogative, you understand." His tone was condescending.
"I am not your wife," snapped Sarah, attraction momentarily shoved aside by annoyance. "Now put me down. Right now. I am completely serious, Jareth. I am wearing stiletto heels and I will not hesitate to stab you with them."
"You cannot expect me to take you seriously when you are threatening me violence with your shoes," he said in her ear. Knowing him, he was contemplating whether or not to bite her earlobe. The last time he'd done that, she pushed him into the polar bear enclosure (after, that is, her knees turned to gelatin).
"Don't even think about—" she began, and then he very carefully threaded the delicate skin of her neck between his teeth. It hurt a little, but it mostly succeeded in setting her blood in fire like it was laced with gasoline. "Mmm," finished Sarah, trying not to moan.
"Get a room," said Richard, grinning at this point. He gave Jareth a manly slap on the shoulder, and the Goblin King gave returned an icy glare that he cheerfully ignored. "See you inside, Sarah." He gave her a wink, and sauntered off with a jaunty wave towards the reporters. Sarah couldn't quite manage to care that the entire interlude would be on E! News tomorrow morning.
"Mph," she said, attempting to reestablish contact with nervous system. Her spine had either melted or disappeared completely. She barely noticed that Jared had climbed the steps in about ten seconds, and was now poised to enter the doors of the theater.
"We," he purred, "will finish this later tonight." In a movement too fast to see, he set her on her feet and vanished. She stood unsteadily for a moment, before taking a few trembling steps towards the door.
"Are you all right, Miss Williams?" asked the burly security guard stuffed into a tuxedo.
"Fine," she managed in a trembling voice. "Absolutely . . . perfect."
I want my own Jareth, dammit. Well . . . thoughts? My first attempt at Labyrinth, you see.