Author's Note: While reading too many fan fictions and listening to music, an image, or a feeling, popped into my mind, enhanced by music of Everything But the Girl. As the image just didn't agree leaving me, I had no other change but to start writing it. The story won't be very long, and includes a snarkier Jareth my fics usually do.

Disclaimer: I make no claims to the characters, the movie or the song.

The Heart Remains a Child

"I dreamed about you again last night
you never have the same face twice
but I always know it's you"

To be truthful, Sarah wasn't half as much astonished to find, after returning from the bathroom the wet towel wrapped around her head and with her feet bare, the Goblin King in her room than not to find him at all. She had waited for him already in the party, glanced over her friends' heads out at the yard. To her own disappointment, she never perceived even a glimpse of him and his blond hair. But it made some sort of sense to have him here only after everyone else had left. A nightly visit from the King of the Goblins suited him a lot better than seeing him jumping on her bed together with the Wild Bunch and his mischievous goblins.

She stopped, eyeing the man wearily as he stood in front of the window staring at the crystal moon hovering in the sky. Its silvery rays shed light on the pale unruly hair and him. He turned around as sensing her presence, pinning his gaze on her. Gone was the owl-like costume -- his white and ruffled feathered cape, white breeches and knee-long boots. Instead, he wore simple dark pants and a dark-blue shirt that exposed him almost until the navel. The fabric gleamed in the light as a sharp contrast to his pale skin. Something lurched in Sarah's stomach as he lazily stepped closer.

His scent of musk, magic and something…dark crowded the room. Sarah only barely sustained herself from backing away. He stopped inches from her and watched her with a strange insensitivity.


"Goblin King," Sarah lifted her chin.

"Sarah," the man acknowledged her with a faint tilt of his head, a curled smile tugged in the corner of his lips, almost a leer.

Why did her mouth suddenly feel so dry? She swallowed. "You came." It was a statement, not a question.

His teeth flashed in the dark, and Sarah's gaze fixed at the corner of his lips, his pointed teeth.

"Naturally. Your invitation wasn't…very hard to misinterpret."

She could hear the memory of her own words echoing in her ears. I need you all…

"I'm glad," Sarah quietly said, her toes curling nervously against the soft rug underneath her feet. "I was afraid you wouldn't come at all."

He snorted, looking over her head, and his voice sounded distant. "Whatever made you think so?"

She shrugged her shoulders helplessly. "I…The Labyrinth…Toby…" Her voice died. All possible explanations she might have sounded like a huge cliché in her ears.

"Really, Sarah." His lips twisted, and he moved his attention back to her. "Did you truly think I would be so petty?"

Embarrassment churned her cheeks, and she shifted her gaze down at her feet, unable to answer.

The Goblin King sighed, exasperated. "I've lived for millenniums, Sarah. You didn't think you're the only one to make an irrational wish, or to be the only one to succeed in solving the Labyrinth in that matter either?"

The words stung. Yes, Sarah realized rather ashamed, the thought had actually entered her mind.

His laughter was soft and heated her face even more.

Finally, she opened her mouth, looking up. "I have a question." Her voice was silent as she regarded the tall man standing in front of her.

"Yes." He only answered, tilting his head with an unfamiliar expression on his face. The moonlight shining behind his back illuminated him with an eerie light. "I rather thought you might," he said cryptically.

"I've wondered…" Sarah hesitated. "When I started my journey and met Hoggle, he said something to me." Her forehead furrowed. "Something I didn't have time to consider until now." He watched her impassive, and Sarah swallowed down a lump in her throat. "He said…Even if I reached the center of the Labyrinth, I'd never be able to leave it."

Somehow, Sarah got the feeling the man had expected to hear something else. A kind of disbelief crossed his features, and his lips quavered as he measured her for a long time. "Trust the gardener to tell precisely that which he has been denied." The Goblin King mused softly, certain kind of a gleam appearing in his eyes. "Never mind that." He moved closer, and the fabric of his clothes hissed loudly. "It's too late now…"

She blinked her eyes. "Excuse me?" Sarah succeeded to wheeze out, and annoyed by her childishness. Hadn't she have faced, just moments ago, her biggest fears and saved her brother? Crossed that milestone between the childhood and maturity by taking responsibility of her acts? She pulled her shoulders back and met the King's eyes.

There it was again, that unfamiliar expression, odd gleam she wasn't certain she even wanted to recognize. A weird feeling pitched her in the stomach, swaying like a rocking wave through her body. Something similar had lurked behind his eyes already during their first meeting -- hunger? Lust?

She almost missed his words.

"He spoke the truth." Jareth said.