If you were born in heaven girl
I'd understand so well
But ever since I've met you child
You've made my life such hell
With every day that passes
I fall nearer to the ground
It seems that I've been looking for
Something that won't be found
I was only Dreaming
I was only trying to catch your eye
I was only wishing you would notice me
Instead you said goodbye
-"Dreaming" by OMD
"I'm telling Mom you did it anyways."
"Shut up, Toby."
Toby ducked out of reflex as his older sister chucked a throw pillow at his head. The decorative accessory flew by his head, ruffling his sandy blond hair as it passed. It hit Sarah's vanity on the wall behind him, knocking several items, including a book, perfume, and a music box off of it's polished surface. The mirror clattered dangerously against the wall, and both brother and sister eyed it nervously, not really wanting to explain to Karen how they broke the old vanity. It stilled after a second, and they relaxed. Sarah stood and ruffled her brother's hair fondly as she knelt by the table and began picking up her belongings that had fallen.
Sarah was now 20 years old, and a sophomore in college. Her black, wavy hair was now almost waist-length, and today, she had it pulled back in a loose, sloppy braid like it usually was. It was too long to do anything else with otherwise within a reasonable time frame. Her alabaster skin lay smoothly on her tiny, five foot, five inches frame, accentuated by her dark hair as a few strands escaped her braid and brushed against her arms. Her wide, emerald eyes scanned her possessions carefully, looking for any terrible damage, and they closed in relief when she realized there was none.
She stood, the perfume, book, and box carefully gathered in her arms, her clothes rustling slightly as she extended her legs from her crouch. Gone were the frilled poet shirts she had usually worn when she was younger. In it's place was a green tank top that cut off at her midriff, revealing why she had thrown the pillow at Toby in the first place; a simple ring pierced her naval, glittering slightly in the dimly lighted room. Skinny jeans hugged her hips and legs snugly, flaring out slightly at her ankles, revealing a small pair of bare, white feet.
She deposited her items in their respectful places on her vanity, and then turned and leaned smoothly against it, breathing in deeply and staring around her room. It felt good to be back.
She was back in New York on her three-week Christmas break from a public college in Maine. She hadn't come home for Thanksgiving, as her anatomy teacher from hell had decided to spring a test on Sarah and her classmates the day they returned from Fall Break. Rather than driving all the way to New York, and then spend all her time studying instead of catching up with her family, she had decided to just stay in Maine and celebrate the holiday with a small group of friends who weren't going home either.
As the young woman glanced around what had been her bedroom, she couldn't help but notice how different it was. She pursed her lips in a delicate pout as she noted the absence of her stuffed animal version of Sir Didymus, and then gave her head a little shake. Perhaps it was better for all of them if the toy wasn't anywhere in her line of vision. Dwelling over her friends from the Underground usually led to guilty thoughts of wishing Toby away to the goblins. And that, in turn, led her to think about the Goblin King, which she tried to do as little as possible. But still, she would have to talk to Karen about moving things around while she was at college, where she could do nothing about it.
Toby began jumping on her bed, his shaggy pale hair flapping around his round, boyish face, breaking her out of her memories.
"Wait 'till Mom finds out you got your belly button pierced!" The seven year old's eyes were alight with mischief as he bounced carelessly on her full-sized mattress. The old bed groaned underneath the tension, and Sarah bit her lip; this room was the only guest bedroom of the house, and she really didn't feel like sleeping on the couch if her faithful bed decided to croak beneath the feet of her little brother. She decided to placate him.
"Alright, Toby," she sighed, holding her hands up, "you caught me. Just don't tell Karen, okay?"
"What's in it for me?" The boy cross his legs quickly in mid-bounce, and landed Indian style on her haphazard sheets with a final groan from her box springs. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and cupping his chin in his hands, staring at Sarah with his inquisitive blue eyes. The girl had to resist the urge to flinch. He reminded her so much of him when he stared at her with such a wanting expression.
"I'll take you to the park later, and we can have a snowball fight, 'kay?" It would be a great sacrifice; Sarah hated the cold, hated how it made her feel, so lonely and desolate, like when Linda had vanished from her life. But she would rather play with her brother for a few hours in the park than have to face an irate Karen and have an argument her first morning back home. She huffed softly. The argument would come sooner or later, she knew. But she had been an adult for two years now, and Karen wasn't even her real mother. She had no right to tell her what she could and couldn't do. But her stepmother was oddly possessive like that.
"I dunno, Toby, it's only seven o'clock and-"
"Mom's still asleep, and I don't think she would like it if I woke her up to tell her you got your-"
"Alright!" Sarah threw her hands up in mock exasperation. She swore this kid was going to grow up to be a politician one day. Either that or a lawyer. Like father like son. "We'll go now!"
"Yay!" Toby bolted off of her bed in a blue of green polyester shirt and blue denim jeans. He ran into her, knocking the breath out of her as he wrapped his thin arms around her waist. "Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Sarah!" He stepped away, suddenly looking more excited than before. "I have something to show you, anyways, and he doesn't come out in the afternoon."
"He?" Sarah echoed, glancing at him curiously. "He who?"
"Well I don't know if it's a "he" exactly," Toby looked at the ground sheepishly, "but it's really cool!"
Sarah blinking, tipping her head to the side in confusion as Toby skipped merrily out of her room. As she leaned down to rummage through her suitcase for the snowpants she always brought with her, just in case, she heard the sound of her little brother hurriedly throwing open his closet door, the telltale rustle as he found his snowsuit...
She smiled to herself as she pulled out a simple, yet cozy, pair of black snowpants, along with her fur-lined, green boots that one of her friends had gotten her for Christmas after she had moved up to Maine without practically any snow gear. Which, of course, was probably the stupidest thing she could have done. Wearing clothes they had gotten for her reminded her of them. She liked to think of all of them, as they were great people who made her feel welcome in a place so far away from her family.
She pulled her sleeping top over head head in exchange for a thick green sweater to match her boots. As she pulled her snowsuit on over her jeans, she heard Toby's excited giggles, and again thought about what he had to show her. She shrugged as she pulled the shoulder straps over her shoulders and pulled a green set of hat and gloves out of her bag. Toby was seven years old. She was sure it was nothing more than a rabbit or maybe even a deer. Worst case scenario would be her little brother making friends with some sort of nocturnal homeless person. Sarah frowned at the thought of Toby sitting in front of a dingy old man on a bench, trying to make friends in the early hours of the morning. It was something she could see him doing.
Well, she thought, cramming her hat over her ears and tugging her gloves over her hands, we're about to find out, aren't we, girl?
Toby bounded a few paces of where Sarah walked with her hands shoved into her coat pockets. It wasn't very windy, but the air was just...well, downright freezing, if she was quite honest with herself. It managed to seep in through every worn spot in her sweater, hat, and knitted gloves, making her skin feel as if it were on fire. It wasn't snowing, thank God, but there was still about a foot of snow everywhere she looked from the storm that had arrived just after she did the previous night. The roads were the only things that were cleared, and she wished Toby would have let her drive. But he had wanted to walk instead.
Glancing around, Sarah could see why he wanted to walk instead of sit in her cramped little car, which was terrible in the snow anyways. She had forgotten how beautiful her neighborhood looked after a snowstorm. Tiny icicles hung from tree branches, glistening in the light from the coming dawn. Her street looked like a little postcard village, snow coating the roofs of every home,drifted up against the walls. Every now and then, they would pass a house that would have a gentle glow coming from one of the windows and a plume of smoke curling out of the chimney. She would shiver slightly and stalk sourly by these houses, wishing she could be sitting in front of a fire right now, but then Toby would turn around and give her a cheery, innocent smile, which would set her mood soaring again.
Out of nowhere, a white ball of slushy, cold snow hit her in the side of the head. She shrieked as it fell apart immediately, some of it dripping down the neck of her sweater and onto the sensitive skin of her throat. She glared at the offender, who was laughing at her as he balled up another wad of snow. When Toby straightened up, he caught her furious gaze and stuck his tongue out tauntingly.
"What?" he asked, tossing the snowball up and down. Sarah followed it was suspicious eyes. "We're in the park, after all. And you said we'd have a snowball fight in the park."
Sarah looked around in surprise. She hadn't noticed they had come so far already. She had been too busy with reacquainting herself with her old home. But as she took in her surroundings, she realized they were, indeed, in the park. Her green eyes flicked from one spot to the next, the lake she had sat by, reciting her lines with Merlin snoozing at her side; the bridge whose ledge she had perched on, staring out at the sunset. This place held, and probably always would, some of her most cherished times.
She was rewarded for her inattentiveness when Toby flung another snowball at her, larger than the last. Thankfully, it missed her, instead exploding all over a tree about an inch away from her head. However, it was enough to startle her out of her thoughts, and she gave Toby another menacing glare.
"Geeze, is it too late to go back on the bargain?" he whined, folding his arms. "You're no fun; it's like throwing snowballs at a sitting duck."
"We'll see about that," Sarah growled playfully, leaning down to scoop up her first snowball. Toby squealed and sprinted away. Though he was normally a fairly fast runner, his bulky snowsuit slowed him up considerably, making him look more like a discoloured penguin than anything else. Sarah had to laugh at his plight before she launched her missile, which sailed swiftly through the December air before it landed -splat- right between Toby's shoulders. Right on target.
This continued for a good hour; they played variations of hide-and-go-seek, where when one of them was found, they got nailed with a barrage of snowballs. They even attempted to build a snowman, but the snow wasn't really sticking together right, and all of their attempts failed miserably. Mostly, however, it was all out war between brother and sister, as they used trees, bushes, and benches for their walls, peeking their heads out carefully to look for the enemy.
Finally, Sarah, whose braid was almost completely undone by now, the messy, damp hair falling in clumped tendrils down her back, raised her hands in surrender. But before she could call out the word, Toby shot out of his hiding place like a bullet from a gun, his eyes blazing with excitement. He grabbed her and spun her about- well, most of the spinning was done on her part. But he guided her until she was facing the opposite direction, staring at the park entrance.
"There!" he whispered excitedly. "See him? In the trees?"
Sarah scanned the tree line, trying to remain calm. But how could she not stop that little hitch in her breath, or the sudden increase of her heart rate? This was wrong. If Toby was talking about what she thought he was talking about, there was a good chance that both of them were in an interesting predicament. She just hoped Toby had adopted some squirrel that he could identify.
But, of course, she was not that lucky.
Perched in the lower branches of a nearby tree sat an owl. It had wide black eyes set like jewels in its white face. The white feathers continued down it's stomach, flecked with brown here and there. It's back was a beautiful buff colour, the sleek, tawny feathers laid flat and clean. But the most interesting thing about this barn owl, was that it was staring right at them with its dark eyes. Eyes that were too intelligent for a normal animal.
It had to be him. He was here, and had showed himself to Toby, allowed Toby to befriend him.
Sarah felt like she was going to faint.
Well, this story was inspired by the song "Dreaming" by OMD. It sort of reminded me of Sarah/Jareth. And the style is so upbeat, I just love it. Anyways, yes, we're off to a rather boring and predictable start, but I'll make it better, I promise. This is my first Labyrinth fic, so they may be slightly OOC. And I looked up some fashion trends in the 1990s (it's currently 1992 right now in this story), and in the early 90s, according to wikipedia, naval piercings were all the rage. So I figured rebellious Sarah would get one, just to piss Karen off xD
Please leave feedback, and if you didn't like it, please play nice and elaborate, don't just say it sucked.