A/N: Hello, hello, to all you readers. As we come to the end of this little journey, I'd just like to say thank you for all your reviews and support (I broke 100!). They kept me diligent, and determined to see this thing through to completion.

Best Laid Plans

- Chapter 10 -

Now that we're done what are you thinking
Body so soft just can't stop thinking
You touch me there
Now what are you thinking
Now that we're done what are you thinking
Body so soft just can't stop thinking
Here comes the sun
Now what are you thinking

Can't believe how this feels
Feeling is unreal
Feeling is unreal
Got to know now that we're done
Can we do it again n' again n' again n' again

--112, "Now That We're Done"--

Sleep was not high on Sarah's list of priorities, but eventually, she found herself succumbing to it nevertheless. When she awoke, she presumed that it was morning, though there were no uncovered windows in the bedroom to allow her to confirm it. With a sense of exhilaration, she realized that she had spent the night in Jareth's arms. They hadn't made love again after that first time. Jareth had held back, advising her that it was best if they waited. Now, feeling the soreness that had already invaded her body, she understood the reason for his caution.

Wiping away the sleep from her eyes, she turned her head and glanced up from the bare chest on which it was resting. "Good morning," she heard, feeling the impact of the words beneath her cheek.

"Morning," she replied, smiling lazily.

Morning. Suddenly, Sarah sat up, remembering to clutch the satin sheet to her body. "Oh my god! Morning!" Crawling to one edge of the bed, she scanned the floor feverishly. "What about my family? My dad? How am I going to explain where I was last night?"

Desperately, she searched the area for her clothes, wondering where they had gone during the previous night's activities. Then she remembered how Jareth had removed them, and that she never did see where they went.

Before she could react any further, however, she felt an arm enclose her waist from behind and she was pulled back to the center of the bed. "Sarah," the smooth voice consoled her, "It's quite early, and your family is still asleep. No one has even noticed your absence."

Letting out a sigh of relief, Sarah let herself relax into the body behind her. However, the state of calm didn't last long, as she further contemplated his words. Eyes narrowing, she turned to face him. "Spying again—" but abruptly she stopped and her expression changed as her previous thoughts escaped her. Then she burst into laughter.

Jareth watched her, a small frown forming on his face. "And what, may I enquire, is so amusing?" he asked, annoyance lacing his words.

Between panting breaths and spasmodic laughter, Sarah managed to say, "You have the worst case of bed-head I have ever seen!"

Self-consciously, Jareth ran a hand over his hair, managing to tame some of the wild mess with the gesture. "Really, Sarah," he said reproachfully, "I thought we had more pressing matters to attend to."

She could not stop the escaping giggles and too late she realized her mistake. Despite the change in the nature of their relationship, Jareth was still the Goblin King, and as such, he did not take well to being the source of her amusement. Her laughter cut off unexpectedly when she found herself lying on her back, the protective sheet snatched away from her body.

"So glad I could entertain you," Jareth purred against the smooth skin of her stomach. "Perhaps now you would like to return the favor."

When his tongue reached out and flicked across her navel, surprise caused her to automatically lurch a few crucial inches up the length of the bed. Crucial, because the movement only drew him closer to another inevitable destination. As his lips began tracing agonizingly slow kisses down her abdomen, Sarah felt herself losing hold of her prior concerns, but not before she managed to gasp out, "Now… is… not… the… right… time."

One final, lingering kiss and abruptly Jareth pulled away. She had never felt so relieved and disappointed both at once. "Of course, you're right," he said as he looked down at her. Flushed, bewildered, and completely naked, for a long moment Sarah could only stare back.

Finally, he reached down and, grasping her hands, pulled her into a sitting position. "Sarah, it's time for that talk," he said, his face serious, all signs of the earlier passion having disappeared.

"Talk?" she managed to parrot, eyes wide, blinking rapidly.

"Yes. The one we were supposed to have last night before you managed to—distract me."

"Oh." Sarah felt a sinking sensation in her stomach. She supposed it would have been asking too much if he were to have just completely forgotten about that.

Arms folding over his chest, "Care to explain yourself?"

No, not really. But she had a feeling that Jareth wouldn't find that response quite to his satisfaction. So instead, she shrugged and replied, "There's not much to say." Of course, he waited for elaboration. "I went out with Michael the other night, I had too much to drink. And when we were, um… progressing, I—" she paused, biting her lip and feeling her cheeks burn with the confession.

"You…?" he prompted.

"I called out your name," she quickly blurted out and turned her eyes down to her hands, which were suddenly the most fascinating things in the world.

There was a long pause and Sarah waited, wondering what thoughts were going through Jareth's head. Oddly, she wasn't sure what was worse to admit to: what she'd (again) almost done with Michael, or the fact that she had called out his name. But she did know that neither was as bad as the wait. Finally, just when she thought she could take no more of the silence, he asked, "What made you change your mind… about me?"

Expecting a response to her own admission, Sarah was caught off guard by his question. Now it was her turn to extend the silence as she pondered the answer. "I suppose," she began slowly, the thoughts still forming in her head, "I never really changed my mind. I only learned to accept the truth." When she saw the questioning look on his face, she continued, "I don't think I ever really hated you." As strange as that seemed, she realized the truth of her statement now. "At first, you put me through the Labyrinth… how could I hate you when I didn't even know you? I was angry, yes, and afraid, but there wasn't any hate. But in the three years that you were gone—or I guess I should say, in the three years that I didn't see you—" Jareth had the decency to look repentant "—I had a chance to think things through and, I suppose, come to understand you at a level I never had before. I just couldn't keep pretending that you were the monster that I needed you to be at the time."

"And what of this whole thing with—Michael?" Even now, Sarah could see he had difficulty saying the name.

"Michael's a sweet guy—he is," she insisted as she saw the reactive expression that entered his face, "And if you looked past the jealousy, you would be able to see that."

"You're one to talk about jealousy. Isn't that what brought you to my door in the first place?" he asked, a smug grin on his face.

Sarah sent him a glare, but found it impossible to maintain. "No, it's what brought you to my door," she replied with an answering smile. But all joking aside, she had a question to finish answering. "Michael was because I wanted something normal… I wanted to believe that everything was all right, that my life was fine. But he only proved that it wasn't because he didn't make me feel the way you make me feel," she said softly. "You make me feel different, special… There's just something about the way you…" she trailed off, unsure of how to complete the statement and flustered by her own thoughts.

"What?" he prodded gently. Gentle, but insistent. He wanted what he wanted, and he could never take no for an answer.

"I like the way you say my name." Jareth arched one eyebrow in response, and Sarah blushed, rushing to elaborate. "I mean, you don't say it the way that everyone else does.

You say it like… like it's something meant to be savored." Oh wow, did she just say that out loud? When she realized exactly what she'd spoken, and the implications of the statement, she flushed an even deeper shade of red. But Jareth seemed rather bemused by her confession.

"Sarah," he replied, his voice sending shivers up her spine, "Everything about you was meant to be savored." When she looked up into his eyes, she saw a hunger there that caused goose bumps along her flesh.

And then she found herself being forced back down onto the bed by his movements, first to rest on her elbows, then completely flat on her back. "I thought you said we had to talk," Sarah whispered, unable to tear her eyes away from his.

"Enough talk. There are other things I'd rather be doing right now."

"Such as?" she inquired, laughter dancing in her eyes though her mouth remained serious.

"Such as this," he replied, in one swift movement dropping down to his original destination. And all coherent thought left Sarah's mind.


Sarah stared anxiously into the sea-green eyes before her, just barely managing to keep from running out of the room and back into the arms of her newfound love. Besides, she couldn't leave—this was her bedroom. Though she had thought confessing her true feelings to Jareth would be difficult, the present task was far more torturous for both parties involved.

"You're what?" Michael replied, dumbfounded.

"Michael," she began, her own anguish apparent in her voice, "This is no reflection on you. You're a great guy, you really are… but I love Jareth—"

"But I don't understand," he interrupted. "From what I've heard, he's given you nothing but pain. You made it sound as if you hated him, that you wanted nothing to do with him. Hell, Sarah, the guy was spying on you for the past three years." A slight pause, and then, almost as an afterthought, "And what is with that hair—he looks like a freakin' life-sized troll doll!"

Sarah frowned but decided to let the comment pass. After all, they had been dating for over six months and now she was leaving him for another guy, so he had a right to be upset. And now that she thought about it, he was kind of right. "Um, hairstyle aside, I know I made him out to be this horrible monster… but the truth is, I didn't tell you everything. And what I did tell you was more than a little distorted by the anger I was still feeling at the time."

Michael glanced away, running a hand through his hair in exasperation. Then he turned back, a hint of suspicion in his eyes. "Did something happen between you two before? Is that why you were acting so strange when you told me that he wouldn't be coming back?"

Sarah sighed and decided to stick to a half-truth, a response that told him what he needed to know without causing unnecessary anguish. "Sort of. More words than anything else. He just gave me some things to think about."

Nodding, another pause. Already she could see the defeated look of acceptance in his eyes. He was a man who knew when to quit. "Just tell me one thing, and I want you to be completely honest," he said. Sarah nodded. Anything. "Was there something that I could have done along the way to change your mind?"

Frowning, she replied, "No, no there wasn't. I suppose this was a long time coming. Once he came back—I suppose the rest was inevitable."

After a long silence, Michael let out a sigh, the defeat complete as he realized how futile his arguments would prove. Finally, cupping her chin in one hand, he looked into her eyes, his own shining with his sincerity. "I love you, Sarah, I really do. I just wanted you to know that. But this Jareth must love you more." He smiled at her wryly, "I mean, I won't be coming back here three years from now, determined to win you over." He leaned forward and kissed her gently on the cheek. "I hope this makes you happy. I hope he makes you happy."

There was nothing left to say, so he left, and Sarah watched him go with silent tears streaming down her cheeks.

"I must admit, I misjudged him," a melodic voice intoned from behind her, several moments later.

"You watched that?" Sarah inquired, turning to face Jareth and she found herself back in his castle, standing before him in his bedroom (or maybe their bedroom now). But her words were unaccusing and held no trace of anger. In truth, she hoped it would allow Jareth to move past the resentment he felt toward Michael for what had almost happened between he and Sarah.

"You didn't say not to," Jareth replied, coming forward to wipe away her tears with gloveless hands.

The tears had stopped coming now, and she let him dry her face. "Oh, so now I have to tell you whenever I don't want you to look in on me when I'm doing something?"

He shrugged nonchalantly. "It's the safest bet."

"Alright," she returned with equal indifference, walking toward the lavish bathroom. "I'm going to go take a bath." She paused, throwing him a look over her shoulder, "Don't watch."

The childlike disappointment was so strong on his face and she couldn't help but laugh. "Oh fine, you can. But," she continued, grinning wickedly, "Only if I get to watch you."

Now it was Jareth's turn to laugh. "A fair exchange, I would have to say."

- finis -

A/N: I know, you're probably thinking "But what about college, her family, their plans for the future? Will they get married and Sarah move to the Underground to become the Goblin Queen? Is it really possible to just watch someone take a shower without becoming an active participant?" But that's life: you never know what's gonna happen. Taking the easy way out? … Who, me?