Authors Notes: Ok yes it's been QUITE some time since I wrote but I was having a bit of writers block, and two, I wanted to borrow these nifty little creatures from one of the writers here, but she never wrote back. I wanted to use these nifty man eating vines I read in one of the stories… So I'll just have to use these flowers on vines and… if she gets mad I'll apologize and change it… but ahh well… Anyway I hope this turns out all right. By the way, ShadowDancer, the name in here isn't coincidence. You'll understand what I mean when you read...

Chapter 5

Fairies and Tunnels

Lance stopped running after a few minutes and huffed and puffed out his lost air. 'Ok,' he thought to himself, 'no more running for now. Unless some weird monster decides to up and attack me...'

He looked about him, the land about him looked green and lush, not blank and desolate as Sarah had described, though he wasn't all too sure she had been wrong, for in some places there was sand, and yellowing grass. The labyrinth wall facing him was completely covered in ivy. No, wait, flowers… well, ivy decorated with flowers. Each flower bud was four inches wide when fully bloomed. On the rims of each petal was red, and then in circles that went down the floor it went, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and then purple. In the very center was the pollen that made the flower all the more inviting to the creatures that would wish to suckle from its poisoned golden depths. (Too bad he was unaware of this fact…)

As he went up to the wall the flowers actually jingled as the air blew against them, singing out a note whenever a light breeze would grace their petals with the ability for another cry of a possible song.

Lance was to put it bluntly, entranced. He reached out his small hand towards the beautiful flowers, his fingertips just barely caressing the petal when the vine shot forth and wrapped itself around his arm, yanking him to the wall. Within a moment, the vines had entwined themselves around him, pinning him to the hard stones even as he struggled violently. He cried out, but no matter how hard he tried, the more he moved, the tighter they became, at the moment when he felt he was going to die he heard small voices around him.

"Who are you human?!"

"Fine time to ask me who I am! I'm trapped is what I am!" Lance fought to turn his head towards the voice and when he did he found himself looking at a fairy floating at his eye level, it was green, with a bell shaped flower for a hat, and nothing else on.

"What is your name?" it wasn't really a question, but more of an order for him to answer.

He looked at it and spoke out, "I… I'm Lance Williams…"

"What are you doing here?" he snapped once more.

"I'm enjoying the view of the place four feet higher then I'm normally privileged! That's what…" he wasn't thinking levelly, otherwise he wouldn't have been such a smart ass, being under stress can do that to a person, "I'm trying to save my sister, you have to let me go!" he finally answered.

"Why should we? You wished away your sister, you knew the price, and you're going to have to suffer with what you deserve!"

"I never wished ANYONE away! I'm trying to save my sister from where she is!"

"He lies!" A red fair whispered.

"Let the Dragranolians eat him. He should never have come here." A grey withered fairy agreed.

"But humans don't taste good without ketchup!" he said suddenly panicked. 'Stupid, stupid, stupid,' he berated himself, 'get to the point and stop making wise cracks.' His mind ordered him. "Please! My sister wished her brother Toby away five years ago! Her name is Sarah!"

This caught their attention, "Sarah Williams? You are her brother?"

"Yes! She lost, but… she needs help, she's been stuck in an asylum for five years-"

"She wished her brother away, it is a sin and a crime to wish a loved one away to the goblin king! She has what she deserves!" said the green fairy, which Lance decided was the leader.

"No, you don't understand, she's been paying her debt for five years, alone, suffering, hated, and near madness. I want to make things right!" Lance pleaded. "I've never done anything wrong to you! I just want to do set something right that went horribly wrong, and give Toby a chance to living a life that was stolen from him!"

There were several fairies, about fifty to sixty, all fluttering their multi-colored wings, listening to his pleas.

"Why should we?" another fairy snapped.

"Because he's an innocent." A small voice answered.

About twenty of the fairies turned to see a much smaller fairy, purple, with violet hair, and bright red wings, floating between them. Some nodded, "He is…" some said.

"Maverick, If he honestly wants to fix something, and make something right, who are we to stop someone trying to do good in this world? There are so few people left like him…" she answered again. "Especially with his intelligence."

The green fairy, Maverick, looked to her, then glared back at Lance. After a moment he flashed brightly twice and all the fairies flew off faster then light.

Thinking that he was being left to die Lance let out a cry of fear and as he felt himself being pulled upward, he silently sent a plea to the sky to let Sarah forget him if he was to die. Just as he did, the vines pulled him up and over, and pushed him off onto the other side, four feet from the ground, they released him and let him fall.

"HEY!" he cried out in surprise as he hit his feet then fell to his hands and knees.

"Hey what? We released you at least."

Lance looked up to the source of the voice to see the fairy that had defended him, floating in the air, her wings flapped about her furiously as she fought gravity to stay in the air.

"Than you for helping me." He replied, "But I really have to go-" he stood up and deciding to go straight placed his hands against one side of the wall and constantly kept switching each side searching for hidden entrances, and in fact would check the stones in the floor to see if they looked out of place or suspicious.

About five minutes of him doing this he heard the small-exasperated voice of the girl fairy. "You know you'll never get anywhere like this. If you want to fondle walls all day that's your choice, but I seriously suggest you turn around and when you reach the stone on your right side, that will be sticking out, you push it, and go through THAT doorway if you wish to make ANY process."

Lance would have almost glared at her sarcasm and suggestion, but then realized, she was trying to help, even if she had the high and mighty attitude that had been hidden by her meekness in front of the other fairies.

"Oh… Thanks." He said, he then began jogging down the corridor searching for said stone, only to discover, quite a way down the path, that is was a foot and a half over his head. "Ok, how do you suggest I hit the button oh glorious leader?"

She sighed, "My name is Aurora, and use your head. If I keep helping it's going to look pretty bad for you."

He gave his own sigh of confusion and then began searching out the stones. He pushed at several, pulled at branches that broke off with a spray of glitter and he even pounded the wall to some extent. So he then began jumping and reaching out to slap it against the wall.

"You look absolutely ridiculous." She commented.

"Oh do be quiet." He gasped out as his fingers just nearly hit it. "It's not fair!" he cried before giving up.

"Compared to what?" she asked.

"To… what I think it should be!" he sighed, his arguing would get him nowhere fast. He looked in front of him, and at the bottom of wall, lying against it and melding with the stone, was a sturdy looking branch about two feet long and an inch and a half thick. "AH HA!" he crowed as he grabbed it and then reached up, tilting it so that the point would touch the stone. He then pushed as hard as he could, and soon it began to give, his arms burning it finally, slowly, pushed all the way in, making the bricks begin to fold in amongst themselves to open up to a hole a foot and a half off the ground and two feet wide.

"Why is the hole so small and the brick so high?" he asked angry.

"To tease the person." If you're tall, you're mocked by having to crawl through the hole with a bit of difficulty, if you're short, you have one heck of a time opening the damn thing."

He bent down and began crawling through, within a moment she flew in after him, as his foot pulled out of the way the wall closed in behind him, leaving him to crawl down the long tunnel that had built itself.

"Sheesh," she fluttered over, and in front of him, the tunnel was small, but not so small that a human adult couldn't crawl through it. "we have a long way to go, well this should be easy I suppose!" she fluttered in front of him and about five minutes later his labored breathing was heard.

"Are you tired?" she asked turning around.

Lance shook his head, he was in the dark, and her body literally glowed, but it was not enough, he tilted his head up to the ceiling mere inches above him and he shuddered, positive that they had gotten a bit smaller. "I'm fine…" he panted out.

"You're sweating…" she noted.

"I know!" he snapped. He pushed forward quickly, his knees sore, so he opted to walk on his hands and toes, moving quickly, "When does this thing end?!"

"Err… Usually it's just as thick as the wall." She admitted, "But things DO change around here you know…"

As he crawled on he noticed that he really didn't have as much room as he did before. Ignoring it he crawled faster, but as he did, his panic began to rise a bit. 'What if it keeps shrinking?!' he thought, 'What if I end up trapped in this little space!' all but ready to scream, he gritted his teeth. His body wanted desperately to do nothing more then to stand up, stretch, and then run, 'Don't panic don't panic don't panic…' his mind chanted this frantically. But soon enough it got so that the tunnel was so small, as small as he was, his shoulders would brush the wall occasionally.

By now even Aurora could see the change, "Lance, we might have a problem-"

"Aurora… why do things change here?!" he panted out.

"The times most common for the Labyrinth to change is usually when someone is going through it during a challenge. It usually molds so that it challenges the challenger. It plays on your fears, your hates, desire, love, everything. Almost nothing is sacred in this place-"

She heard him sob and he stopped moving, "I can't do this Aurora! I can't! The tunnel is going to shrink, and I'll have no way to turn back, I'm trapped!" he cried out. He flopped onto his stomach to give him more room from the ceiling. "I wish I hadn't crawled through this tunnel! I just want out!" his mind all ready set into panic, all he could think of was just how much he wanted with a yearning to be in the open air, he felt so trapped, like he couldn't move his muscles… He let out a scream and pushed against the walls, trying to force them up. "LET ME OUT!" he screamed in complete fear, as he did so and Aurora winced as she actually SAW the tu nnel shrink more, as if responding to his fear.

Aurora then stared at him, he was afraid of enclosed spaces?! "You're claustrophobic?!?" she gaped, "Don't panic you'll make things worse, you have to calm down or you will die! And then where will Sarah be?!"

Lance buried his head into his arms sobbing, drawing in erratic and deep breaths, "Sarah-" he gasped out, " I have to win!" his body shuddered as he fought to push down the panic that had set itself in his throat, his head, his heart, and his body. "Please help me…" he begged to no one. "I can beat this…" he bit his lip hard, "Think happier thoughts, something else…" his mind slowly returned to a stable state, "It's a tunnel, I might not even be in it, I might just be somewhere else…" his mind fought hard to help him believe that was the reality, the moment he did, he heard Aurora cry out, but not in grief, in joy.

"YOU DID IT!" she cried.

He looked up, and indeed he had done it. He was out in the open, lying on the dusty ground, in the middle of the path. He flipped over to look at the sky and let out a sound of relief. "Thank God!" he breathed.

"Well come on! You can't very well just lie on your back all day, you have a Labyrinth to solve, a sister to save, and a kings arse to kick!" she reminded him. He nodded and stood up.

"RIGHT." He answered.

With that he began hurrying down the corridor, energized by the mere fact he was still alive.

~~&~~

Jareth watched in his crystal then released it to the air where it hovered before him. So the little boy managed to pass his tunnel, there were many other puzzles he'd have to solve, so it didn't matter.

He sighed, there was very little chance of that boy winning. That was for sure. So why did he have a sinking feeling that he was going to end up biting the dust in this one?

'Probably because you cheated the last time you faced one of his kin.' His mind answered for him. "Shut up you." He snarled quietly to it. His eyes traveled the length of the wall in the library. Large, extensive, and older then even HIM, it had supplied him with much. 'She was supposed to win, that's how it was supposed to end up, even you know it.'

He mentally fought back the voice, that he knew was not his own, but someone far older then him, and much wiser, 'She would have destroyed my world; it wouldn't have survived her saying those words. It would have torn my land with her disbelief and we would have died… We were still healing when she came along.'

'Maybe, but this one will win, she lost her rightful victory, in the end you knew one of her own would take it from you.'

'Master Grusharin… Just go.' He sighed aloud and looked out to the window that had sunlight streaming in. He had to win, this little boy couldn't figure his Labyrinth out, he was just a child after all.

'Is he?' his masters voice echoed in his mind and then he felt it disappear, leaving him alone once more.

~~&~~

Author Notes: Okie I'm SOOOOO sorry it's taken so long to get just THAT out of my head. You wouldn't believe the darn writers block I had with this story… ANYWAY I swear I'll write more but I'm going to get help from a few of my friends for some ideas O.o cause mesa just drying out when it comes to creativity. THAT must be apparent by the writing in this chapter… Okie I'll try to get the next chapter out in a week *crosses fingers* tell me what ya think!!!