AN: I know it's been a long time since I've updated, but I recently got the urge to start writing again. So I'm just taking this one step at a time, though I know this doesn't excuse me for the lack of updates. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Labyrinth. But I do own Karma!
How the Tables Have Turned
The next hour proved to be a difficult one for Sarah. Try as she might, she just couldn't get over the fact that a dog had miraculously appeared in her bedroom. Her closed bedroom! Her mind sought answers as to how to explain this, and eventually, the idea that she was on crack seemed the most feasible. But secretly, Sarah had the horrifying thought and inkling that this had something to do with magic…something she was completely out of control of.
But for right now, attending to the dog would have to do.
"Alright…" Sarah mused, opening the refrigerator. The best way to cope with this was to just pretend she was dealing with her old dog Merlin. Somehow, I feel like imagining by dead dog is alive again is even worse… "Let's see, something for you, boy…" She bit her lip, for the first time noticing how scarce her food supply was.
Apparently the dog noticed it too when it let out a loud whine of disapproval. Sarah sighed, pulling out some leftovers. "For now, this is all we have."
The dog wrinkled his nose in response when he caught a whiff of the food she was currently heating up. It smelled vaguely like chicken, though he wouldn't attest to that. At least she hadn't done the worst and forced him to eat dog food. That would be a real strike to his ego.
Jareth was snapped back to attention when Sarah set an old plastic dog dish in front of him. It was filled with the oddest looking food, the chicken looking far too mangled to be considered edible. Sarah could've sworn she saw a look of pure loathing in the dog's eyes and quickly shoved that thought away. He was a dog, not a human. Not a Goblin King…
"Just eat it!" She whined, feeling frustrated when she saw the dog had refused to even touch the bowl. It had been five minutes of him just staring at his food dish before resting his head on his paws and letting out languid yawns. "Please!" Her green eyes reflected complete desperation. Merlin had never been this difficult with his food, usually eating what was in front of him, and sometimes what wasn't.
'That's right, Sarah. Beg.'
"Fine," Sarah rose up to her feet, briefly stooping down to collect the dog bowl, "I can see you aren't hungry, so let me just take this out of your way, Master." She snorted walking over to the sink. One…two…three…
And that's when she heard it.
A pitiful, loud whine escaped the dog's mouth, and she secretly smiled. Reverse psychology – it worked on just about anyone or anything.
Jareth felt completely repulsed. Without even intending to, as if beyond his control, a whine escaped his jaws, and he felt completely powerless to prevent it. It was as if the dog instinct in him was growing stronger by the hour. He was horrified at the thought of what he might become by the end of one month. Shaking his furry head, he resolved to not give in to Karma's curse. He'd win this game. Sarah may have beaten his labyrinth once, but there was no way she could refuse his advances twice.
Although, that might sound more convincing if he was a man rather than a dog.
It was later in the night that Sarah had sat down by the television, attempting to ignore the fact that the dog had refused to leave her side. In fact, he was alarmingly attached. For a dog that had seemed so aloof earlier, he was staunch on staying by her side now. It was kind of nice, she had to admit. Without really thinking, she dropped her hand to his soft head, feeling the silken fur against her palm.
Jareth jerked slightly, feeling rather put-off by the dog treatment, though her hand was quite soothing. He allowed his eyes to drift shut, and once again, he found he couldn't control his dog body when his right hind leg began to thump happily. Sarah gave a quiet laugh, returning her attention to the sitcom.
'Come on…just a little to the left,' Jareth thought, attempting to drag her hand through the movements of his head. Sarah obliged and almost let out a loud laugh when she saw how rapidly his hind leg was thumping. Perhaps this dog really was a dog like any other. It just had a little bit of its own, unique personality, like every dog tended to have. Merlin was the same way, never quite outgrowing his puppy tendencies.
Sarah yawned, finally ceasing to massage the dog's head, and Jareth felt thoroughly elated. It was reassuring to know that even as a dog he still exuded power over her. She fed him, scratched his head, and he was sure that by tomorrow, she wouldn't be able to stand the thought of throwing him out.
Sitting up, Jareth mimicked her movements looking rather regal on her bland couch. Sarah patted his neck, noticing he had no collar whatsoever. She vaguely wondered if he had a microchip. But then she felt that she would've seen a missing dog flyer up on the neighborhood somewhere, not that she had recognized this dog at all. It could've very well been that he had wandered over from somewhere farther away. It had happened before. But whatever the case, the idea of this dog being a stray was impossible. He looked far too well-groomed.
"I don't really know what I'm supposed to do with you," she sighed, standing up. "I really can't take care of you, but at the same time, I can't kick you out. You don't even look like you belong to anyone."
'Exactly. I'm Jareth, the Goblin King. I don't belong to anyone.'
"Whatever, I'll think about this in the morning! I'm way too tired for this," she muttered, walking toward the stairs, not at all surprised to discover she had an extra shadow following her. He trotted up the stairs and darted past her into the bedroom, eagerly jumping up onto her bed, his tongue hanging out excitedly.
'You take the floor, and I will take the bed. It's only fit for a king such as me. Though the pink color is really not to my liking…'
"Oh no," Sarah began, making a move to gently shove Jareth off the bed. "You get to sleep on the floor, buddy."
Jareth's eyes went wide with shock, though Sarah failed to notice as she was too busy attempting to push him off.
Seeing that Sarah was serious about making him sleep on the floor, Jareth did the only thing he could think to do. He growled.
Sarah froze, moving away from the dog slowly. Her face held a quizzical look.
"Did you seriously just growl at me? After all the crap I did for you too!" She huffed, pushing him again, only this time merely to the other half of the bed. "Fine. You can sleep on this half of the bed. But just know, you're losing brownie points for staying. In fact, don't be surprised if you find yourself in a cardboard box tomorrow," she snapped, walking out of her room to go brush her teeth.
Jareth gave a low snort, not at all amused by her threat. He'd like to see her try and get rid of him. It'd be a failed attempt at best.
Moments later, Sarah came back running a hand through her brown hair. She stifled a yawn with her hand as she moved over to her dresser. She pulled out an old t-shirt and a pair of pajama pants and flung them on the bed, narrowly missing Jareth. He snorted but didn't react further than that. He figured he'd messed with her enough for one night.
Jareth was about to shut his eyes and drift off to sleep, when he caught sight of something that forced him wide-awake.
Apparently, Sarah had no qualms about undressing in front of a dog. Although, he supposed that wasn't too weird…especially since she didn't exactly grasp that he wasn't really a dog. But even so, Jareth couldn't look away, no matter how hard he tried to close his eyes and feign sleep.
First, the shirt came off and then the pants. She was soon only clad in a black bra and matching underwear, and Jareth found himself quietly approving. He felt a small whine escape his throat and quickly shut up, afraid of catching her attention.
He really couldn't believe how long she was standing there in only her underwear, even taking the time to wander over to her mirror and unhook the necklace she had been wearing. Desperate as he was to look away, he couldn't help but realize what a wonderful angle the reflection in the mirror gave him of her breasts, covered up as they were.
The view was over all too soon as Sarah walked back over to the bed and pulled on her ratty t-shirt and pajama bottoms and slid into bed. She turned off the light and spent a few moments getting comfortable under her covers before her eyes slowly shut. Jareth thought about snuggling closer to her, just to make it all that more unbearable for her to give him up, but thought better of it.
'Don't be a fool, Jareth,' he chided.
Although he could get used to the view every night…
It was sometime a few hours later when Jareth felt himself waking up. Or at least, he thought it was a few hours later. Looking around, he noticed he was in the Underground, back in his own throne room; however, the gaggles of goblins were nowhere to be found. The room was downright empty. He raised a brow, wondering what was going on when he found his answer.
"Long time no see, Jareth!" She waved from her spot on his throne.
"Have you been a good boy for Sarah?" She cooed, grabbing both sides of his face in her hand. She simply laughed when Jareth sneezed. "Well, one thing I know for sure is, you've been a naughty one! Watching her undress? How clever of you, Jareth. I didn't expect that on the first night." Her high-pitched laughter seemed to echo off the walls of the throne room, grating on Jareth's sensitive dog ears.
'Shut up, you mad woman!'
"Is that anyway to treat a lady?" Karma abruptly stopped laughing.
'Oh of course, Sarah doesn't understand me but the witch does,' he thought wryly.
"I'm not a witch!" Karma protested, a scowl crossing her features. "Besides, I can understand you because I put the spell on you," she had a hand resting on her chest with rather prideful look on her face at the emphasis of the word 'I'. "Sarah Williams is only human after all."
'Why are you here?' Jareth asked, choosing to ignore Karma's self-gloating.
"I only appear in your doggy dreams, Jareth. Well, I could appear whenever I want, but I find this to be much more convenient." She shrugged. "Besides, it's entertaining, getting into your head. The one place you'd expect to be private. Oh, the troubles of a Goblin King," she dramatically sighed, placing the back of her hand against her head for added flair.
'Good God, woman,' Jareth seethed, baring his fangs. 'Do you ever shut up?'
Karma merely feigned interest in her manicured nails. "Believe me, I think I'm preserving some of your sanity. By being able to socialize with another creature, I'm simply slowing down the process."
'And what process would that be?'
"The complete transition to your dog-form. You know, if you fail to win Sarah's love, you'll stay a dog forever. And even you, Jareth, can't fight instinct," she said softly, most of the mirth gone from her eyes. "After that, it'll only be a matter of time until you've turned into a complete animal."
'But surely –'
"Oops! Time to wake up!" Karma laughed.
Suddenly, Karma vanished as did the throne room.
Blearily opening his eyes, Jareth slowly lifted his head and realized he was back in Sarah's room. In her bed, to be precise. His ears slightly perked when he noticed her presence was missing, though he could smell the faint scent of perfume. He wrinkled his nose, wasting no time in jumping out of bed.
He almost collided with her in the hallway as she struggled to clip on an earring.
"Gah! I forgot about you!" She yelled, walking past him as she went back into the bedroom to grab her purse and keys. She walked back out of the room, about to amble down the stairs before turning to Jareth. "Right! Uh, you…you stay here and be a good boy okay?" Jareth tilted his head, looking down at her from the top step. "Just…don't rip up the furniture!" She pleaded before running down the stairs.
'Wait! Won't you feed me?'
This of course came out as a whine, and Sarah interpreted it as a cry for food or the fact that she was leaving. She figured it had to be the first reason.
"I already filled your food bowl!" She hopped on one foot as she struggled to force a heel on her other. "Now I gotta go! Be a good dog!" She hollered over her shoulder as she ran out the door. Jareth heard the sound of a car starting and the wheels screeching as she pulled out of the driveway. The sound grew more distant, and soon, she was gone.
He was completely alone.