For the Last Time.... I do not own Labyrinth.... even though I have wished and whined and implored the Powers That Be.... all to no avail.... I shall have to content myself with owning Nivienne, her family, and the Moonglade.... almost as cool, I suppose...
The Castle Beyond the Goblin City had never been so crowded nor so busy. All throughout its winding corridors bustled servants, elves, and goblins, all waiting for news of their queen.
Up in his library, Jareth paced in a steady circle around his desk, hands clasped behind his back, casting dark, brooding glances towards the large double doors that separated him from his wife.
Behind him were the four elven princes and their father; Tyr was prowling amidst the bookshelves, restlessly flipping through book after book, discarding each one within a few moments of picking it up. The twins were pacing as nervously as Jareth, pausing only to mutter at each other when one would get in the other's way. Alec leaned tiredly against the fireplace, fiddling anxiously with one of his leather gloves, his eyes following the twins and Jareth.
Gwidon alone seemed calm, sipping at a glass of mead, watching his son-in-law in amusement.
Suddenly, Aiden came barreling through the open window in a flurry of red feathers, transforming from hawk to elf before his feet had even touched the ground. As he stumbled to regain his balance, he asked in a breathless voice,
"Did I miss it? Is she alright?"
"No word yet," growled Jareth.
"Mum won't let us in…" grumbled Cayden.
Just then, a strangled scream pierced the air, causing all seven men to freeze. Jareth turned to glare at his father-in-law.
"You've been through this six times… does this always happen?"
Gwidon laughed outright.
"Depends… Lessa screamed louder and –"
Another yell cut through the room, followed by a lengthy string of very un-ladylike phrases. Gwidon turned to glare at Aiden and the twins.
"I'm assuming she learned all those from you three…"
The boys had the sense to look somewhat abashed.
Yet another yell, this one joined by weaker, higher-pitched cries, echoed through the library. Soon, the mid-wife came bustling in, wiping off her hands on her white apron. Jareth stopped his pacing and fixed the old Fae with a dark stare. The mid-wife chuckled, shaking her head at his antics. The husbands always put up such a fuss the first time.
"The Elvenqueen says that you may come in now, Your Majesty."
Without a word, Jareth vanished from the library, followed by a small stampede of elven males. Jareth hurried ahead of them into his wife's chambers and firmly shut the door, nearly hitting Cayden in the face as he did so. The message was clear: he wanted to be the first to see his wife – alone.
As soon as he entered Nivienne's room, he felt his heart catch in his throat. His little wife looked worn to the bone. Her dark curls were limp and stuck to her pale forehead. A sheen of sweat beaded her skin as her chest rose and fell heavily with her labored breathing. But she looked tremendously pleased with herself as she smiled up at her anxious husband, eyes bright.
Jareth was at her bedside in an instant, stroking the top of the hand that wore the wedding ring he had given her. Nivienne's smile was radiant as she stared lovingly up at her husband. She gently pushed at one of his shoulders, chuckling as she whispered softly,
"I'm alright, Jareth… I'll not break… wouldn't you like to meet your children?"
"… Children?… As in… more than… more than one…?"
Lessa, who had been standing with her back to the couple, now turned, grinning from ear to pointed ear and cradling a tiny bundle of soft cloth in the crook of each arm. Jareth's eyes bulged as he stared at them.
Lessa just laughed at him.
"Well, don't just stare at me, Jareth. Take them and see your son and daughter for yourself."
With that, the Elvenqueen gently deposited her two burdens into Jareth's arms.
The stunned Goblin King could only stare at his two offspring in wonder. Both were perfect, from the tips of their tiny pointed ears down to their ten pink wiggling toes. His daughter had a fine covering of wispy white-blond hair on her head, while her brother showed signs of having inherited his mother's black curls. As if on cue, both of them opened their eyes and stared at their father, curious. Both had his mismatched eyes – one, aqua-blue, the other, a hazel-brown.
A slow grin overtook his face as he turned to his wife. Nivienne smiled back as she gently took their son from her husband's arms.
"What shall we name them, Beloved?"
The Goblin King's eyes twinkled as he looked down at his little daughter, fast asleep in his arms.
"We should call this one Jareth… she looks like a Jareth…"
"Jareth…" Nivienne couldn't decide whether to growl or laugh. Trust her husband to joke about this.
Both elven women looked at each other, shaking their heads, before beginning to chuckle helplessly. Jareth smirked at the two of them before looking back down at his infant daughter. In her sleep, she had wrapped one tiny hand around her father's finger. He smiled as he murmured,
" Gweneal Neve-Elwen…."
Nivienne smiled lovingly up at her husband.
"Blessed white angel…. A fitting name for her, my husband…" She turned to look at her son. "And this little one shall be Brenden Keir-Elwen… my little dark-haired princeling…" Nivienne broke off with an exhausted yawn.
Carefully depositing his daughter into her cradle, Jareth gently took little Brenden from the crook of his mother's arm and put him into the cradle next to his sister. Half-turning, he saw Lessa give him a truly happy smile before softly exiting the room. Cayden's protests at being left out swelled briefly and were quickly muffled by Lessa hurriedly closing the door before she began berating her son.
Jareth slowly lowered himself onto the bed alongside his wife, careful not to jar her. Nivienne had drifted off into an exhausted slumber almost as soon as he had taken Brenden from her. Smiling contently to himself, Jareth rested his cheek against hers and allowed himself to relax.
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A sharp cry interrupted Jareth's rest. Hurrying over to the cradle before the cry could rouse his still sleeping wife, Jareth peeked in to find both his offspring awake and annoyed. They quieted as soon as they saw her father, Gweneal even going so far as to gurgle happily at him.
Lifting them out of the cradle, Jareth gently rocked and bounced them as he padded quietly about the room. Once the twins were content and dozing against his chest, the Goblin King quietly made his way out of the room and into his library.
Nothing could disguise the pride he felt as he displayed his children to their grandfather and uncles. With a resigned sigh (openly wincing when Cayden and Gavyn exchanged those identical smiles that meant trouble for everyone involved as they bounced their niece and nephew), he allowed the boys to pass the infants around, only relaxing when they were safely in the arms of their doting grandfather (Jareth was pretty sure that, having raised six children to adulthood, Gwidon wouldn't drop them or damage them… but then he looked at Cayden and Gavyn again…).
"They have your eyes, my son" smiled Gwidon, tenderly stroking the dark curls of his grandson while allowing his mischievous granddaughter to tug at his sleeves. "And their mother's temperament…"
Here, all the Fae laughed, even Jareth, though he had to mentally suppress a shudder as he thought of all the havoc those two would cause as they grew older (especially if their twin uncles decided to 'mentor' them… and if Jareth knew those two, he knew that nothing would appeal to them more than the idea of having inside agents to torment their brother-in-law).
A feral grin lit the Goblin King's features as he anticipated the ensuing chaotic years with something akin to paternal pride. Yes… he truly was looking forward to watching his children grow up.
A/N: Well... thank you to all my lovely readers and reviewers... notwritten, Gem of the Stars, MentalDeath, wackydreams, Buffy Sparrow, LadySparrowJack, Michi Yuy, Princess of the Fae, and anyone else I have failed to name... you all are amazing!
As it seems that the majority of you want a companion piece rather than a sequel, I have started working on Tales From the Silver Border... but it may be some months before it is posted...
Another side note... when I write a stroy, I usually write up a list of the characters, what their names mean, and a list of definitions for any non-English words I use... would anyone be interested in me adding that list as an appendix, or no? Just a thought...
Well, thank you again, Oh Wonderful Audience of Mine!! Hopefully I'll be able to have a few chapters up for TFtSB soon...