Nothing, Nothing tra la la?
By Adrienne Valentine
Summary: The Labyrinth is engaged in war, the King is weak and there are few willing to ally with him. While his Labyrinth provides sufficient defenses, it can only do so for so long and the the King knows it, waiting for the only one who can assure victory- the only one who had defeated his Labyrinth.
Rating: T for now, the rating may be moved up to M later.
Disclaimer: I do not own Jareth, Sarah, Hoggle, Sir Didymus, Ludo or any other of the characters you'd notice from the movie or the 'Return to the Labyrinth' Manga (not many of them will be in here, though, if any.)
Heaven ain't close in a place like this.
('Somebody Told me' - The Killers)
"They are getting closer, my lord." The fox-like knight told his King with a bow.
Straightening out and watching for further instructions. There was a harsh tension in the room as the words hung in the air before the King nodded and waved off his knight. Although the Knight had, in a small part betrayed him, he had never harbored any ill will for the creature. After all, chivalry ruled the knight and helping a fair maiden in need was high on the list. He sighed and looked around his study. Few saw the room as it was one of his private chambers. Only those he trusted ever saw it, which was a very rare event indeed. He reached forward and wrapped a leather-clad hand around a crystal glass of wine, in the process of bringing the liquid to his lips when the door was opened without warning, a dark haired woman striding in confidently.
She made no motion to bow, nor did she try to excuse her brash entrance, and he raised a mocking brow at her. She walked toward the desk he sat at, roughly grabbing the glass from his hand and draining it's contents. This seemed to calm her as then she finally chose to acknowledge his presence and poured his glass anew, replacing it in his hand. She then took a heavy seat across from him. If anyone else in his kingdom had done such a thing they would have been sent to either an oubliette or the Bog within moments of their entrance. She had the permission to do such things, however. He continued to look at her with a questioning look and she sighed at the sight, giving in and deciding that he needed to be told.
"They've discovered the weakness." She said simply, sounding somewhere between distraught and annoyed.
He knew instantly what she meant and was worried. The Labyrinth had a weak spot in it's defenses that he had tried to keep hidden since the rumors of war began. It was too vital to even let it slip from his mouth. He had not spoken it, written it or anything to communicate it. The woman had known what it was because she had been there when it had emerged. She looked at him, asking him what he was to do about it, urging him to do something that would indeed help. He knew what it was she wanted him to do, but she also knew that he would not do it. She knew he could not. Another sigh escaped her purple painted lips as she begun to stand angrily, only to be interrupted by a raised hand.
"Then I will need it to be guarded until the time comes." He said, his voice tired.
A pause, and the woman stared at him, her feline like eyes watching him appraising, as if weighing him decisively. She nodded slowly, reaching a pale hand forward to take his in it and squeezing it slightly. He looked over at her kindly, knowing the meaning behind her action and feeling grateful. These were private moments the two shared. When outside of the King's rooms, it was formalities and titles. The woman enjoyed the time alone with him more than anything else. She released his hand and stood up, this time bowing slightly before turning to leave. The King took the moment to speak again.
"I'm trusting you, Elle." He said softly, and the Fae woman nodded before striding out of the study.
The dark feline sat at the edge of the Labyrinth, watching and waiting. Glancing about on all sides, she saw the approaching 'spies' in the distance, her keen eyes making out their shapes even though they believed they were hidden within the dark of the night. She would have to deal with them if they got to close, kill them and hope that they reacted like ant scouts. She doubted they would, but the hope was still there. There was a sudden uptake of air and the cat's attention was taken now instead to the nearby hill, a tree with a clock hanging off of it. She carefully made out the shape in the dark before stalking over, her form changing in the process to the Fae woman.
"What is your name?" She asked the new arrival calmly.
The boy was looking about himself wildly, both nervous and terrified. He had not been expecting this. Not been expecting her. She maintained her composed stature regardless of his frantic searching. Eventually his eyes landed on her and he was taken aback for a moment. He had surely not been expecting her. She knew his purpose for being there and his reason for being so surprised at the sight of her. He was so confused and slightly angry that for a few moments he could not bring himself to speak. She waited patiently until he finally had composed himself to speak, anger now being the guiding emotion.
"Where is my brother?!" He demanded, "Where am I? Who are you?"
She opened her mouth to answer when she noticed a movement behind him. She frowned and pulled out her blade, darting behind him and toward the motion. For a moment it eluded her, but she soon found the source. A small ugly creature which snarled upon realizing that it had been found and lunged. Not at her, no, the creature lunged at the human boy with a snarl. She moved quickly and lunged at the creature with her blade leading, skewering it on her blade with a growl. She scowled at the disgusting thing and lowering her blade, she planted her foot on the thing's head, crushing it while extracting her blade. With her blade free she returned it to it's sheath and looked at the boy who seemed in awe.
"We will discuss this in safety. Follow me." She told him before leading him off toward the Labyrinth and one of the hidden places within the Labyrinth, knowing he would follow.
The King found himself in his study once again. This time no one was there to disturb him. He did not regret his choice to send the woman to the borders. She was more than capable of the task he had assigned her. She had the stealth, skill and charisma to deal with the humans wishing away themselves or their siblings and any attempts that might be made on the wisher's life. Siblings or children who were wished away were sent to him and he waited for word from her before he sent them home or waited. If it was a parent, he would wait and have them be sent to him. If it was a sibling, the children were sent home and the wisher had to wait until he had the time, or, more accurately, the power, to return them to their home. It was something he had already had to deal with. Explaining to a human that he could not send them back.
A child was not only small, but willing to accept the magic, not to mention that many of them were too young to even know what magic was. Therefore they made themselves as easy to return as a wave of the hand. An adult or even someone nearing adulthood, however, even if they believe magic on some level, few were willing to accept it with ease, and while under normal circumstances that would not matter, he was weakened and therefore unless they accepted the magic on the same level a small child did, which even fewer did, then they were forced to stay. He regretted having to do so, but he had no other choice. With war approaching he had precious little to waste his magic on. No, he needed to make sure to conserve it so it did not waste him away with it's use. After the war, then he could return them all to their proper place. He was just relieved that few of their kind even believed in magic anymore.
Except for her. His thoughts were drawn painfully to the first human to have not only completed hid Labyrinth in the allotted time, but defeat and, more sobering, deny him. He had offered his heart to the girl of fifteen and he had been denied. He often wondered if it was not because of her age and he blamed himself for his poor judgment on the matter. He had not been expecting her to be so determined to retrieve her brother that she could only be distracted for a short amount of time. He smiled sadly at the memory of the one event that had distracted her. He had danced with her and sung to her. She had looked beautiful, dressed in an elegant gown. The crowd had frightened her, however, and they had reminded her of why she was even there, causing him to lose his hold on the illusion that was her dream.
He sighed wistfully and wished that he had not been so foolish. He should have known better. With a shake of his head he decided that now was not the time for him to dwell. It was far too late for such things. Now he only had one option in regards to the girl who had beat him- for her to arrive. He had given her friends assignments that made it harder and harder to visit her over time. He had received news from the dwarf the other day that she had even asked what was wrong. Intuitive little thing had sensed something was amiss even though they had all been instructed not to tell her of the troubles his lands were having. He had even ordered the dwarf not to visit her so that she could not get an answer from him.
Soon, he knew, she would need to know. Soon, he knew, he would see her once again and perhaps get the chance to not only restore his kingdom, but finally win her over. Then, he would be happy. Truly happy. He needed her to complete him, but he was not going to force her. Another sigh and he stood and made his way out of the room and to his chambers, tired from the day and planning on turning in for the night.
A/N: I'm not going to be giving too many author's notes to tell anything about the plot except maybe some little notes about creatures, fae and other mythological/folklore/magical things that I'm too lazy to have the characters explain.