Antagonism By Any Other Name
A Drabblet by Heist

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Sarah Williams was going to murder the Goblin King. She really was. Any time now. As soon as she was able to pry her hands off her steering wheel, he was going to get it.

"Really, my dear, you're going to have to get out of the car eventually."

Sarah closed her eyes for a moment, and winced as she straightened her fingers from their death grip on the wheel. With slow and deliberate intent, she reached for the ignition, turned it enough for the car to whine protest, and pushed the control for the power windows. A goblin hanging onto the passenger window yelped and let go of its perch, lest its fingers be crushed, and fell into a pile of its waiting fellows. Sarah keyed the ignition off, and glared silently through the front window.

Jareth merely smirked back at her from his perch on his throne, and Sarah decided that really, as soon as she thought of a way to do it, she was going to kill him and his smirky face. The bastard was going to die. In front of her, he cocked his head with a quizzical expression, and she crossed her arms in defiance.

Abruptly, he vanished from his throne and rematerialized in the passenger seat with a cloud of silver glitter. Sarah waved the falling sparkles away from her face and sneezed. "This is all your fault," she said without looking at him.

"I fail how to see how you can blame me for this particular outcome," Jareth answered in the honeyed tone that she'd begun to refer to in her mind as The Smug Bastard Playing Innocent.

A speckled chicken flew onto the hood of her nice new '92 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight and left a charmingly disgusting smear on the dark paint with a squawk.

"Oh. Really. So I suppose it was all random chance that I was almost mowed down by an out-of-control goblin-infested semi hauling chickens. And it was your generosity of spirit that moved you to transport me, car and all, into your throne room." And chickens, she wanted to add, but it was a stronger sentence without the addendum.

Jareth shrugged. "I can't say it was entirely selfless. You're much more attractive alive. And you keep forgetting to introduce me to your family."

"Are we there yet?"

"No, Nana, we're not there yet."

Her grandmother, thankfully, was mostly blind, and had no idea their travel plans had in any way gone awry. "Then where'd this fellow come from?" She was also half-deaf, so fortunately she had not heard any bit of their conversation. She poked Jareth's arm with a bent arthritic finger. "Sonny, who are you?"

"Not one word, Jareth. Not one, or so help me god," she growled. "We hit a pothole and got a flat tire, Nana. This nice man is helping," she half-yelled for her grandmother's benefit.

Jareth's shoulders shook from silent laughter, and he put a graceful hand over his mouth to hide his grin. 'Nice man?' he mouthed at her when he contained his mirth.

Sarah pressed her lips together and shot him a look that clearly said, 'What ELSE was I going to tell her, that you kidnapped us? Bastard!'

Jareth cocked a brow unapologetically, and Sarah fumed silently for a few minutes as her grandmother noisily polished her telescopic glasses. "What am I going to have to give you this time?" she finally sighed.

"I merely wish to meet your parents."

"'Hey Dad, this is my boyfriend the Goblin King.' That's going to go over so well."

"I'm almost offended. I blend very well when called to do so."

"He's going to try to set you up with an investment portfolio that will only lose you money. Right now he's pushing stocks in computers and something called the world wide web. Like that's going to make money."

"You have so little faith in the ones you love. I could always introduce you to my mother, instead. She's a bit busy running the Underground, but I'm certain she could delay a few treaties to meet you."

Sarah did not like politics. Jareth knew this, and smiled beatifically.

"Fine. We'll meet my father at the care center. Don't hit on my stepmother, don't talk to Toby, be polite to my grandmother. Especially don't discuss the upcoming elections. Dad will never shut up."

"I am a king, it is a natural topic. I am thinking of allying with that charismatic, musical sort. The one named after your Aboveworld conqueror."

Sarah snorted. "Yeah right. And someday Dad's internet project is going to take off and end up run by billionaire yahoos."

"If it does," Jareth wondered, "do you suppose he would pay for the wedding?"

"Are we there yet?"

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Notes: Ah, a relic from simpler times, back from when I was just beginning to learn how to be funny...