A/N: So this is my third story and I got such an overwhelming response to my first two stories in just the first day that I nearly cried! I don't cry, it's not me. Don't make me do it again. Haha. So to all those people who liked the first two so much, I have to warn you. I have two writing styles, this fic is diffenently writen in my second writing style. I hope you still like it though!
Jareth sat draped across his thrown thinking. He had been thinking a lot lately and not just about one particular green eyed girl. He had been thinking of the hundreds, nay, thousands who had attempted his labyrinth. He had been thinking of the brothers and sisters, of the mothers and fathers. What had made her so special that she had been able to complete it when all the others had not? Another woman came to mind, a dark haired beauty with a violent temper. He remembered others but she kept coming back to the front of his mind. He gave in and drawing a crystal from the air, reviewed the memory.
"You! You've ruined my life. My chances!" A young women stood, hands clenched in rage, yelling at a slightly older man. Shaking his head, he left the house, leaving the dark haired women standing alone in a hallway, a baby crying somewhere down the hall behind her.
"And you!" the women stormed into a room. She marched to a crib and glared down at the screaming one year old. The girl was standing up, clutching the crib sides for support. Her tears were those of fright, and sorrow; not the paint peeling wails of a child having a fit. "Shut up!" the women screamed. "You're the real problem. You're the one who really ruined it! We were happy until you happened. You wretched thing! You goblin child! I hate that you were born! I hate you!" her fit was escalading with her rage. She turned from the crying child, "I wish the goblins would come and take you away, right now." She yelled frustrated. Storming from the room she muttered, "If only goblins did exist."
It had taken the women nearly ten minutes to realize something was amiss. She had not taken notice when the child's cries had suddenly stopped. Jareth had almost left from boredom when the woman finally returned to the room. The smell of cigarettes and liquor clung to her. She had seemed slightly startled, but not to concerned about her missing child. She had not even jumped when Jareth had appeared behind her and asked, "Lose something?"
"Where's my baby?" she asked barely hiding the displeasure from her voice.
"I have her, but of course," Jareth smiled wickedly.
The woman's eyes darkened slightly as she turned to look at him. She looked him over and seemed pleased with what she saw. She smiled sultrily at him, "You have her?" she purred, "What would you want with a little girl?"
Jareth smirked, "You wished her away to me. I am the Goblin King."
"A king, you say?" her voice was low and husky. If she was trying to be sexy she was failing. Miserably. "And what, my King, can I do for you?"
Jareth laughed at her cruelly. The seductive smile faded, as though she wasn't sure about his intentions. "What can I do for you to get my child back?" she tried again, though she could not regain the bedroom allure she had achieved before.
Jareth circled her, "I'll make a deal with you."
"What kind of deal?" she gave the attempt at seduction altogether, it was obviously not working.
"You make it to the center of my labyrinth and I give you back the child."
Fury spread across her face. "What do I care about you stupid labyrinth? I just want my child back, you… you … you child abductor!"
Jareth laughed again. "You wished the child away. I took it. You want it back, you un-riddle the labyrinth."
The woman was outraged. Her fists clenched and un-clenched, "I didn't wish her away. How was I to know goblins were real? There just a god damn fairy tale, and your just some queer creeping around stealing babies to do who knows what with them. Give them back! Where did you put her anyway? Where did you hide her? I've caught you this time, you fag, and you're not getting away with it. I'm calling the cops!"
Jareth was deeply amused. At one point in her ranting he was sure she would slap him. He pointed over her shoulder. "She's there."
The women spun around, dark hair flying. They were no longer standing in her room but on a hill over looking the vast expanse of maze that was the labyrinth. "In my castle beyond the goblin city."
"Where the hell are we? What the hell is that?"
"We're in the Underground, foolish woman, and that is my castle. If you want the baby back you have to get there."
"What a waste of time," she muttered rolling her eyes. "I need to remember not to mix drugs and drinking next time."
The king was unaffected by her lack of concern. He continued as if she had never spoken, "You have thirteen hours to un-riddle the labyrinth or she becomes one of us forever."
"Good," the mother mumbled and she turned to head down the hill, "Wouldn't be my fucking problem anymore then would she? Not a very tempting prize. Why not something like, 'You have thirteen hours to un-riddle the labyrinth and find me waiting naked at the end.' That would be something worth working for." The woman talked to herself all the way down the hill and to the great gates that led to the labyrinth. "I'd sure as hell work hard to get there then, huh?" she mumbled thinking of the Goblin King standing before her in the nude, her imagination filling in the parts she didn't know. She had a BIG imagination.
Without thinking, or paying much attention to her surroundings, she turned to her right and started walking. She'd been walking for about ten minutes when she finally looked up and looked around. It was then that she noticed she was in a long corridor. The walls were so close she could stand with both hands flat on the walls on either side. There were no twists or turns or openings. It just went on and on. How ridiculous! "What is this shit?" she screamed slamming her fist into the wall to her left. She fell forward, stumbling and landing on her hands and knees. The wall was not there; her fist had contacted air. She looked around from her position and found herself kneeling in an opening in the wall. A corridor ran parallel to the one she'd been wondering down. "What the fuck is up with that? What kind of idiot built this place?" she screamed slamming her fist into the concrete below her. She regretted it. She also regretted not having a flask of something smooth to burn down her throat. Getting up she headed down this new corridor. She could at least see that at some point before her the corridor turned.
Jareth watched the woman's progress through a crystal ball. She twisted and turned and found dead ends and cursed and tried other directions. She was not a very nice person, Jareth decided. Glancing out at the child clapping on the ground surrounded by goblins Jareth decided that it was best for the child to not be returned to her mother. He was sure the labyrinth would decide that as well. This woman would never be fit to raise a child.
The women turned a corner; ten feet ahead of her was a dead end. She did a 180; the way she had just come was now a dead end. "What the hell is this shit? What kind of game are they playing at?" She spun around angry. Behind her the dead end remained. She turned again, still a dead end. She was surrounded on all four sides by solid stonewalls. She ran toward the wall in the direction she had come. She hit it hard and fell back. Solid. Real. She yelled in frustration, lashing out at the stone with a fury. It did her no good. A dozen cuss words and a three broken nails later and the wall remained solid and in her way. Jareth was surprised the ground did not split from her rage.
Exasperated the dark haired women turned away from the wall. At the end of the short corridor, where there once had been a wall, now stood three brass doors. Moving slowly, she approached the doors. She regarded the three brass doors for quiet awhile.
One door showed a scene of a goblins fighting, the second door showed a scene of a mother goblin holding a human child above its head while other goblins celebrating behind her, the third was a grand image of the castle beyond the goblin city. Jareth could almost read the thought processes running across the woman's face. The door with the castle must lead to the castle! Jareth laughed, the child was as good as his!
The child grabbed Jareth's attention. She had grabbed a hog as it passed and was using it to lever herself up to her feet. Holding onto it she waddled around behind it, forced to go where the hog went. The hog was not as entertained by this as the child, who laughed and cooed in joy. Jareth had to admire the child's gumption. Goblin hogs were not known for their pleasant temperament. Horns longer then the child's arms protruded angrily from the hogs head. Sharp hooves scraped the ground as it waddled around, leaving gouges in the stones.
Sitting on her rump, where she had fallen, the pale skin woman looked around. She was in a room, she assumed. It was difficult to tell, the only light was the small square shaft of dim light coming from the hole high above her head. She had fallen into the hole to get where she was now: grumbling in the limiting light, rubbing her sore back side. Beyond the square was utter darkness and zero sound. She could not tell where she was. She did not know what it was. Jareth knew though. He knew she was in the oubliette. He knew he had won. The labyrinth had won. The woman had not gotten very far into the riddle of the labyrinth. She had learned nothing. Even now she was cursing her luck, cursing this place.
The woman was not fit to raise a child. The labyrinth would not return the child to her. Jareth knew the woman had five hours left, but did not believe even five hours in the labyrinth would be able to change her enough to care about the child that he had stolen. Some were un-capable of learning a lesson. Some children never returned home. That was the riddle of the labyrinth. It didn't have to be solved. Ever person was given the chance and the choices to succeed or fail. If a person showed remorse, honest remorse, for their decision, or if the learned the value of the child they had previously took for granted, the labyrinth would return the child. Labyrinth solved or not. That was the riddle. That was the lesson. Some never learned. This one would not and five hours in complete darkness wasn't going to change that.
Bitterly Jareth recalled what happened next, even as he had silently celebrated his victory the child before him vanished. But not before she had turned happy, dreamy, cheerful eyes to him. She had seen him, catalogued him in her house of memories. One flash of captivatingly intelligent emerald green eyes…
The crystal Jareth had been holding to watch his memory replay itself dropped from his hand and shattered on the steps before the thrown. Those eyes. He knew those eyes. Jareth's rage returned to him, as fresh as it had been the first time, when he recalled scouring for the child with the crystal and finding her back in the arms of that cruel woman. The child was silently crying. The labyrinth had returned the child. She was not fit to raise a cat, let alone a child. Jareth was enraged. Lydia Williams did not deserve to keep her daughter.
This was it, Jareth realized. This was where he had seen those eyes before. He had taken her away by her own mother's wish and the labyrinth had given her back. Why? Why had she been returned to suffer the life she had been dealt? What was the labyrinth thinking?
A thought occurred to Jareth. Had Sarah been able to find her way to the castle at the center of the labyrinth because she had already been there? She knew where it was already. Like a beacon, pulling her, guiding her in the right direction. Had the labyrinth given her back to her mother knowing that Sarah would one day return to stand within its walls again? Had the labyrinth wanted Sarah to be able to make it to the center?
The crystal lowered as Jareth looked out the window to the massive labyrinth. Why had the labyrinth wanted Sarah to make it to him?
Why not just let him keep her then, when she was so young? Why now when she was to old to take, yet to young to keep? And why go through so much, make a person live a life so difficult, when in the end they do not achieve their end reward. Why ensure Sarah would make it to the center when she would refuse to stay? But then, Sarah had made it once, what was to say she couldn't, wouldn't make it again? She had done the unthinkable by being there twice before. Was a third time plausible? When she was a little older perhaps? Old enough to keep… Yes, Jareth nodded, his mode turning brighter. The labyrinth had returned her once. It would do it again. It was just a matter of time before those green eyes were his.
A/N: I'm not to sure on the last paragraph, if I really want it or if the story would be better off leaving it off. You tell me, your input is always welcome.