Saving Face

By

Paisley Rose

*&*

A Labyrinth tale

&*&

Disclaimer

It's not mine.

If it was it wouldn't have be wasted

On Manga…

*#*

*&Author's note&*

I was inspired to write this because of a sketch.

It's by the artists~ G672 on Deviant Art The picture is called An Old Sketch. It was done for another Fan Fic. I hope I did it justice. Thanks. *&*

Prologue

Taken from the words of A.C. Smith;

And from the final Labyrinth Script…

Changes by moi.

Hoggle popped up from behind the bed. "Yes, if you ever needs us ... for any reason at all ..." He stared at her from under his bushy eyebrows, and started to fade.

Sarah said, "I need you, Hoggle." Her voice broke with emotions she had kept inside. She had given up so much to win back Toby; she was not willing to give up everything. She turned her head slightly, fearful of tears spilling and ruining her moment of triumph.

The dwarf gasped slightly, thinking only a moment before he was ready to say good bye to the girl. "You…you do?" Was there hope, was she willing to keep the magic alive?

She nodded, feeling guilty. "Every now and again, in my life, for no reason at all," she turned to face the bed, this time the citizen of the Goblin Kingdom was there. Her first friend and companion in the Labyrinth. He had not vanished as Ludo and Sir Didymus had. "I need you, I need all of you."

"Well why didn't you say so?" huffed the dwarf as he scurried over the top of her bed. At that instant the room filled with those who were able to find their way into the girl's chambers. Shouts of joy and greetings filled the room as Goblins, Fierys and others scrambled into the mortal realm as the portal opened wide between the worlds.

"Sometimes," the Wise Man observed, "to need is ... to let go."

"Oh, wow!" said his hat sarcastically. "And that's just for starters."

There was laughter, merriment and chaotic celebrating. The girl with beautiful green eyes had no fears now, she'd won! She's won back her brother, and won the right to keep the child in her heart alive. She kissed the dwarf, thinking nothing of the action. She'd hugged the great orange beast of the goblin forest. She caught a spiral of confetti as it was shot out from above by the hand of a fiery. The room was full, and there was music playing somewhere. Sarah danced jubilantly. There'd be time enough tomorrow to start growing up, tonight she needed to celebrate.

Outside the dark window, the white owl had been perched with his claws hooked on a branch, an effigy of watching and waiting. Now he swooped away over the park, on silent velvet wings, up toward the full moon. Nobody saw him, white in the moonlight, black against the stars, because nobody looked.

But someone should have, someone should have.

Chapter1.

He landed in the clearing and he transformed to materialize into his humanoid form. This outward appearance, handsome and powerful, didn't give a hint to his real nature. He came to rest beside the obelisk he had landed on in owl form only hours before. The white feathery cape fluttered softly in the gentle breeze. The faded tones of cream, gray, and tan looked more washed out and discolored than when he had approached the girl for their final conflict in the ruins of the puzzle room. He was drained; his skin looked gray, as gray as his breeches. He staggered over to the obelisk exhausted; it took his last fragment of strength to maintain his stance. Breathing was an ordeal, as he was now totally exposed to the elements and the contaminations of the mundane world. The protective mantle of magic seemed to be as rent and torn as his garments.

Anger flooded his being. With the flat of his hand he struck the granite pillar, shaking it to its core. The rock ore itself cried out, and Jareth quickly removed his hand. He turned his back on the column, faced the pond of water where he had watched the swans so often. Water usually brought him freedom from strife, this time it did not. All he could see was the figure of the girl in that gray costume she had worn racing over the stone footbridge as she headed home complaining of the unfairness of her life. That blasted girl, who had gotten the better of him, overcoming his efforts to trounce her. It should have been simple; she was only a girl, only a mortal girl at that! He should have easily defeated her, and left her with nothing except her begging for his mercy. That blasted girl! That annoying intriguing, delightfully beguiling girl!

"Sarah," his voice still caressed the name. "How could you be so blind?" Jareth lamented her refusal and her rejection, "How could I have been so… careless?" He had underestimated her. Sarah Williams was unlike any other human he had come into contact with. She was one of the few who still believed, one of the few who kept magic alive in her heart. More importantly, she was resourceful; he'd forgotten to take that into consideration. Now he was, as mortal men would say, in deep shit. Everything he had achieved over the years was now in jeopardy of crumbling away; all because he had lost his head over a girl. He closed his eyes and blocked out everything but the fact that he had a crisis on his hands. The crisis had to be address quickly if he were to maintain his power over the citizens of the Labyrinth. His was a dog eat dog world, where everyone looked out for themselves. They only admired Jareth because they all wanted his position at the top of the heap, and he'd kept his status because he was the most terrifying of them all. How terrifying could he be if it were known that he'd been beaten, in eleven hours and by… a girl? His staying in control meant that he had to keep the subjects he ruled fearful. No one would fear a Fae who had been so lenient. His eyes tightened in pain as he recalled all the times he had backed off and let the girl go. No goblin would understand why he'd let the girl off so easily, not one. His mind reeled, well maybe one, one he didn't want to think about. That One he planned on making damn sure paid for his~ betrayal.

It did no good to close his eyes; there was no peace to be had. Not now that he was thinking on the one goblin that might have some empathy. Closing his eyes, his mind showed him one image; the one image he had been trying to block. The more he tried to block it, the more vivid it became. The dwarf scurrying over the top of her bed, her kissing the dwarf, thinking nothing of the action; this was the image he could not escape. Stormy eyes opened and a roar escaped his lips. How dare she kiss that little scab, when she could have had him? How dare she prefer a creature of the dirt when she could have had something majestic, something exceptional? He bent over, spent from the efforts of fulfilling her wishes, her desires, and all her blasted exhausting expectations. As he rose up from the howl, the frail garments he had worn upon their last contact vanished like vapor and once more he was dressed in Goblin Armor. His regalia, complete with the midnight cape, renewed his energies as it drew from the energies of the dreams of thousands of innocent dreamers and of thousands of nightmares. He should have been wearing it all along, he scolded himself. One should never underestimate one's foe, and he had underestimated her. He had taken too lightly that she was just a mortal girl. He would not make that mistake twice. No, he would not make the mistake of falling under her beguilements again. There was a good axiom to remember: Hold your friends close, but hold your enemies closer

"Refuse me, will you?" he inquired with a dangerous glint showing in his eyes. He was now looking over his shoulder toward the direction of the Williams home and the victory celebration. "Celebrating with your friends is premature, my dear girl." His voice trembled with resentment. "You may have won round one, but you are only a mortal… and I am Fae. I will not be so 'generous' when next we encounter each other." He walked to the center of the bridge and looked over its edge at his reflection in the dark waters. "This is far from over, little girl. Mark my words, Sarah Williams, you are about to incur the costs of having trafficked with the Fae. Tonight, the piper will be paid." He began to laugh as the waters beneath him began to ripple and then churn.

--

Sarah sat on her throw rug watching Sir Didymus play scrabble with the wise man. She laughed along with everyone else in her bedroom as the hat kept score. With each outrageous remark the old wise man became more flustered and demanded to know on whose side the hat was on. Only Hoggle seemed to be worried about something. He had left the gathered throng and had taken a seat on the cushion of her window seat. He had become a sentinel, staring out into the darkness. Every now and then he'd shake his head, groaning to himself. Getting up, she walked over to where the dwarf sat staring out the widow. "What are you looking at," she asked.

"Nothing," he sounded vexed. Still he stared out the window, searching the sky for a glimpse of the night bird. He had scrutinized the branches of the tree earlier, and found nothing. Not even as much as a bit of captured downy fluff on the rough bark or a talon mark. It was unnerving.

"Then why look?" she asked, shrugging innocently.

"Because there should be something out there," he said turning to look at her. "I hate to be the one to remind you; we are not the only ones who know about you."

"Who else knows?" she challenged defiantly.

The dwarf shook his head, "There you go again, taking things for granted." Turning away he looked out the window. "Haven't you learned anything this night? He should be there," he muttered. "He should be here."

"He?" Sarah asked as if she had no idea of whom the dwarf was referring to, but her eyes suddenly opened wide.

Hoggle gave a sideways glance her way, "You know someone else who should be here, but isn't?"

"I beat him," she said defiantly, refusing to even use the name that the dwarf had used several times during their journey, "Fair and square. He's now~ harmless, no more dangerous than a bad dream, or a passing thought. He's powerless!"

"I can't use that word," Didymus said, thinking she was trying to give him help. "I don't have the letters for it. Thank you, my Lady." The knight went back to his game. His opponent however looked at the pair sitting at the window with interest. Didymus had to remind him twice that it was his move.

"Shows what you know," Hoggle groused. "Powerless? Whatever gave you the idea that he was powerless? He's out there, fuming and plotting, if I knows him… And I knows him!" Dread and trepidation were in the blue eyes of the dwarf, his jaw trembled and he shuddered as he sighed. "You didn't take away his powers, you wounded him! Stands to reason, the most dangerous kind of animal is a wounded animal, and he's nothing if he don't have his pride. You've knocked the wind out 'o him Sarah, and by now he's had a chance to catch his breath." He knew well enough the ways of the Fae to be frightened. No, make that to be terrified of what his Fae King was plotting. "The Fae don't like to lose," he warned knowingly. "No, they don't like it at all." Hoggle's eyes went once more to the skies, searching for the harbinger of doom. "You don't know them like I do. They are vain, petty creatures who turn vicious over something as innocent as a misspoken bit of praise. This," he shuddered, "this is a call to war."

Biting down on her lower lip, she ran a hand into the hair over her left shoulder, "But he has no power over me," she argued half heartedly. Even she didn't quite believe it; she remembered something that she'd rather forget. There had been a moment when she had almost forgotten Toby. There had been a moment when she was enchanted by the handsome Goblin King. In that moment she had nearly given her soul to him, nearly. Even now she could feel his embrace; she could smell the spicy scent of him on her, and she could hear his song. Her heart beat a little faster, her face flushed, and she trembled ever so slightly. Her eyes seemed to lose their focus for a moment as she repeated the words once more. "He has no power over me…"

Cocking his head to one side the dwarf looked at her with pity. "He had no power over you making your decision in the Labyrinth~ in choosing your brother over him. And don't you think for an instant that he's going to be understanding about that! I wouldn't say he has no power over you, I wouldn't say that at all." He pointed toward her dressing table, and the statuette that resembled the Goblin King. Hoggle had been trying to ignore the effigy, but now found it demoralizing and intimidating.

"It's a statue, nothing more," she said; instantly regretted her choice of words. "I've had that thing for years," she defended her ownership of the object. "It means nothing."

"ah huh," Hoggle sighed. "He's in your head already."

"He is not," declared the girl a bit too forcefully.

"Is too," the dwarf accused. "Wouldn't be surprised if he knows your very thoughts and your heart beats." Hoggle looked at the other subjects who were still celebrating, "We have to go," he said to Sarah. "Face-downs are between the two warring parties, or so I'm told. And a face-down is coming, coming fast. You drew a line in the sand and he's not going to just let it set there. He's going to cross it, if he's not already crossed it by now." He moved to the center of the room. "Time to leave," he announced harshly. "Gather what you came with. It's time to go."

Sir Didymus had been smiling, but the smile faded as he looked at Hoggle, "Friend Hoggle," he questioned, "What ails thee?"

"The King is on his way," Hoggle said gravely pointing to the portals that were opening. "We don't want to be here when he gets here, do we?"

"I'm outta here," one fiery cried out and ran through the wall leaving his left foot behind. Goblins guiltily followed the Fiery's exit after having retrieved the abandoned foot.

The wise old man lumbered toward one of the exit portals that had opened; reaching out a hand he guided Ludo toward the opening. "Sometimes the best way of winning is to lose gracefully," he said over his shoulder, hoping the girl would understand his meaning. That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.

"Forget telling her anything," the hat scolded. "She has to do it her own way, you know that. Let's just get while the getting is good." Shrugging, the wise old man from the garden lumbered toward the portal. "Adios senorita," the hat called craning it's high thin neck at the last moment.

Sir Didymus stood up, gathered his courage, and valiantly offered, "I'll stay my lady, if you so wish."

Hoggle looked at the little Goblin Knight, "Did you not hear me? Jareth is on his way!" The Goblin Knight nodded, but didn't move. Hoggle, fearing for the old knights very being, turned to Sarah, "You don't want us here," he suggested strongly. "Tell him, or he'll stay…" Hoggle could read the wavering in the girl, and added intensely, "We're already in hot water for the help we gave you. If he stays, it could be his ruin!"

"I'll be fine, Sir Didymus," Sarah said in a voice that sounded eerily calm.

"But, my Lady," protested the little knight. "I am forsworn…" he made a sweeping gesture with his arms. He looked about for his staff that had gone missing.

"I'll be fine," she said again before bending over and kissing his forehead. "Good night sweet knight. Sleep well."

Hoggle grabbed the arm of the knight, the only remaining goblin in the room. "Good luck," Hoggle said over his shoulder. "You're going to need it."

Once she was alone, the girl with green eyes began to whisper a strange little mantra, "You have no power over me, you have no power over me, you have no power over me..." The room felt still; too still. Her skin tingled, the same sensation she had just before the owl had flown into the nursery during the storm. She looked at the window; it was locked. The silence in the room drew her eyes to the clock on her desk. The hands had frozen at half past twelve. There was not a tic, not a tock. Sarah looked once more at the window, her hands clenched into balled fists at her side.

"Looking for someone," the voice asked from behind her, as hot breath bathed her ear.

Sarah screamed as darkness gripped the room, even though the lights were all on.