Disclaimer: The only thing I claim to own is the insane idea that formed this story. Everything else is borrowed and belongs to their prospective owners.
Tears and Glitter
She won! She had beaten the Goblin King and his Labyrinth! Toby was safely asleep in his crib, and her friends from the other world were rejoicing with Sarah in her room; dancing and shouting her praise for standing up to Jareth.
Sarah was so happy and having fun that she hadn't noticed the bedroom door opening until all of a sudden the party went deathly quiet…
"Sarah, what the hell are you doing?" her stepmother snapped, standing in the open doorway.
Sarah froze with her arms still in the air, her head thrown back in laughter and dance. She glanced around her room to find herself completely alone, not one trace of confetti or glitter.
"What is it, honey?" Her dad called from the other room.
"That's what I'm trying to find out," Karen replied shortly over her shoulder. "I'm waiting for an answer young lady. What are you doing? Are you on drugs or something?"
"No! I just felt like dancing! It's my room, I can do whatever I want in it!"
"Is everything alright?" Robert said, stepping up behind Karen in the doorway.
"I found her laughing hysterically, twirling and dancing without any music on," she said accusingly.
"I would have woke up Toby playing music this time at night!" Sarah defended. "Since when do you care what I do anyway?"
"Since I leave my son with you and then find you behaving like some drug addict on a trip!" Karen accused harshly.
"Karen, there's no need to speak to Sarah like that. She's been through a lot and I …"
"And you coddle the hell out of her. That's why she won't grow up! Look at this room Robert, it belongs to a ten year old little girl, not a teenager who is almost sixteen!"
"Get out!" Sarah screamed, moving forward. "Get out of my room now and stay out!"
Robert pulled Karen from the room as Sarah slammed the door in their faces. She heard Toby start to cry and didn't care. Flopping herself on her bed, she buried her face into her pillow and cried, mumbling how it wasn't fair in between sobs.
She'd beaten Jareth at his games, won her brother back from the labyrinth, and this was what she had to deal with? An overbearing stepmother who accuses her of doing drugs! She punched and kicked into her mattress, her sobs wreaked havoc deep into her soul.
Jareth stared out his chamber window that faced the portal to the Aboveworld. He held himself tightly, his breathing irregular, his heart felt like it was being shredded to pieces. He could still hear her sobs even after letting the gazing crystal dissipate.
"Go to her, Jareth," his mother said softly, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "She needs you."
"I've already offered her everything I have and she refused me," he replied quietly. "Why would she want my compassion? Why would you think I'd want to give her anything after what she has just done to me?"
"Because I can feel your turmoil just as you can feel hers," the woman explained softly. "She's young, Jareth, she's confused and lonely."
"I seem to recall you accusing me of the same not so long ago," he reminded her, turning away from the window. "I took your advice," he said pointedly. "I allowed myself to have feelings for a girl who would defied me, who was strong enough to stand before me despite her fear, who I personally found attractive, and who went so far as to bend my will to her own advantage." He paused. "What advice, pray tell, mother, do you have for me now?"
"Go to her with patience, Jareth. Show her there is more to you than a king who rules everything. Show her that you are capable of being tender, and you will win her heart."
Sarah felt the change in her room immediately. Opening her eyes she peered into the darkness, sniffling as she tried to stop her crying. She jumped slightly at the light touch of a hand on her shoulder from behind.
Sitting up she turned to see his unmistakable form sitting very close to her side on the edge of her small bed, one leg bent at the knee, as he withdrew his hand from her.
"What do you want now, Jareth?" she asked tiredly, her voice hoarse from crying, her tears slid unbidden down her cheeks.
"Nothing," he whispered barely audibly, and reached out to touch her face.
He tenderly wiped at the tears that made her eyes puffy and face swollen with sadness, then rested his gloved hand at the nape of her neck, gently urging her to come to him. With another sniffle and a choked sob she let him draw her closer. She leaned into him and put her head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arms around her back, caressing it comfortingly.
"She's horrible," she choked, fresh tears wetting his neck. "She told my dad that I should be tested for drugs, that I need counseling, and that I'm not fit to be with Toby alone anymore."
Jareth shifted his position to hold her more comfortably as she cried new tears, mumbling to him about how it's all unfair after everything she'd been through.
"You're right," he whispered finally, against his better judgment to say anything at all. "It's not fair."
He rested his chin on top of her head as she cried into him, slipping her arms around his waist as he quietly held her. Soon her crying ceased and her body went slack against his as she fell asleep. He continued to hold her, sometimes a little tighter, sometimes he'd caress her back or hair, but every minute he reveled at simply having her in his arms.
The sky was beginning to turn gray, it was time for him to leave. With a heavy heart he laid her back to her pillow and brushed the hair from her face. Tenderly, he touched his lips to her forehead. His breathing quickened when she placed a hand at his waist in her sleep.
Sarah opened her eyes just as the first rays of sunlight burst through the sky outside her window. Little specks of glitter sparkled in the air around her, reflecting the light. "Jareth?" she whispered his name half sitting up in bed. He was gone.
She lay back again, grabbing her blanket to cover herself, and snuggled into bed again. A secret smile rested on her lips as she drifted back to sleep.
"She accepted my presence without question," Jareth said quietly with wonder, gazing from the crystal to his mother. "After all her defiance, her cruelty, her sharp tongue; she simply laid in my arms like a wounded thing."
"She is wounded," his mother said. "She hurt herself and hasn't realized it yet."
He knew better than to question his mother's wisdom, even if it made no sense to him.
"You aren't the threat she has to face right now," his mother explained. "She will call for you, Jareth, just be patient."
"How can you be so sure?"
"That smile on her lips means that she will dream of nothing but you," she answered with a knowing smile. "She will call for you, trust me."
He appeared in her room as quietly as he had the night before, sitting on the edge of her bed by her side. She was covered up to her neck with a blanket, her eyes darted in the dimness with uncertainty and fear until they rested on him. Heading his mother's advice, he remained silent until she spoke to him first.
She was in his arms in a flash, almost knocking him off the bed. "Take me back with you, please," she cried into his neck, holding him tight with her arms around his neck.
"Why must I?" he asked quietly, when what he really wanted to do was laugh aloud at the absurdity of her request. "You've made your choice."
She pulled back from him and stared into his eyes with uncertainty. The light from the moon barely enabled her to see his features at all. "I… I thought you wanted me."
"You did not share that sentiment," he replied, unable to keep the bitterness from his tone.
A noise from the hallway made Sarah jump. "Hide!" she hissed, barely audibly, as she pushed at him to get off her bed.
Assuming he would do as she said, she flopped backwards onto her matress, pulling the blanket back with her as she rolled to her side and feigned sleep. Her bedroom door opened a crack, letting a stream of light from the hall to shine directly on Sarah's face. After a moment the door closed once more and the hallway light was turned off.
"She had me called to the counselors office today at school," Sarah whispered, knowing he was still there. "The principle searched my locker for drugs, and they expect me to take a test tomorrow morning." She rolled onto her back and searched the shadows for him. "Jareth, I am so scared!"
He stepped from the darkest shadow in her room, his features were completely unreadable as he passed in the light of the moon. Reaching the side of her bed he held out his hand to her then pulled it back as she reached for it.
"If you come with me now, I will never let you go, Sarah."
He held her gaze as he removed the glove from his right hand then held it out for her once more. "I can show you things you've never imagined," he taunted, smiling promisingly.
Sarah smiled back and rose to her knees on the bed. "I know," she whispered, placing her hand in his.
Her bedroom door suddenly opened wide, the room was flooded with light from the overhead, but all that was seen was a cloud of glitter floating down to the empty bed.