Chapter 1: Demon Lover
The eve of Sarah's eighteenth birthday, she found herself gazing longingly into her bedroom mirror. Her goblin friends had just left her, but she felt an ache in her chest. Just once, just this one time, why couldn't he make an appearance as well? Because you bested him and won your little brother back from his evil clutches three years ago, she chided herself. Then she reconsidered; according to what Hoggle had told her shortly after her return to "Aboveground", Jareth's clutches had never actually been evil; the events surrounding Toby's "kidnapping" had all been designed to give her what she claimed to want, structured around her precious book.
That had certainly left her reeling, and taken her months to even consider believing. But why would Hoggle lie to her? He certainly had no reason to try and cover for Jareth. Gradually she had come to accept her dwarf-friend's words, especially when Sir Didymus was willing to back him up, in his own peculiar (but charming!) way.
That must explain why she'd been vaguely disappointed that Jareth had never deigned to grace her with his presence, not once in three years of mirror-visits. Not so much as a an owl staring in at her from her window, and she'd deliberately left the window open on many, many nights, to Karen's on-going annoyance. Not that she went out of her way to annoy her step-mother, at least, not any more; she'd long since come to terms with her father's second wife and the Labyrinth had more than made her learn to appreciate her little brother.
Of course, the little rat still did things to drive her crazy, but that's what brothers and sisters did. Or so she'd been told by her friends who'd had brothers and sisters a lot longer than she had. Once she was willing to listen to them, she'd certainly had her eyes opened.
Still, she found herself wishing for some way to…well, apologize, if that was the right word. Make things right between herself and the Goblin King…and wasn't that a crazy thing to think! "Sarah, you are certifiably nuts!" she told herself as she changed for bed. Jareth was the one who ought to apologize to her, and that absolutely did not seem his style. No matter what Hoggle said.
She blew a sigh as she turned off the light and crawled into bed. "Jareth, I just wish you and I could find a way to connect, now that I know you're probably not as bad as I thought you were," she murmured as she settled onto her left side.
Besides, she'd never forgotten how it felt to dance in his arms, during her peach-induced sojourn into one of his magic bubbles. Or was it baubles, she wondered sleepily as she drifted on the edge of dreamland. A shiver went down her spine as her mind spun lazy images of herself in that dress now that she could actually do it justice, now that she'd actually been willing to admit that she might be as pretty as some of the boys in her high school had insisted they found her to be. Not to mention the ones in college who'd been, how did her friend Megan put it, "sniffing around her" this semester.
Ah, Megan and her delicate way of putting things. "Wonder what she'd make of Jareth," Sarah mumbled with a sleepy smile. "Probably jump his bones as soon she saw him. He's way sexier than any of the guys either of us have ever dated…"
Sarah's eyes popped open as she finally acknowledged why she wanted to see the Goblin King again. "Oh my God," she groaned, sleep forgotten in the rush of revelation. "He's sexy. I think he's sexy. I want him to see me now so I can show him I'm not a kid any more. How crazy is that?"
"Not crazy at all," came a voice from the darkness, somewhere near her closet door. A voice that sent shivers down her spine, that caused her to clutch her covers nervously and strain her eyes to make sure her ears weren't playing tricks on her.
Because that voice, that unforgettable voice, was one she hadn't heard in three years. "Jareth," she breathed as he appeared at the foot of her bed, as if the strip of moonlight there had brought him into existence.
"Sarah," he acknowledged, a hint of amusement in his voice now. She stared, unable to tear her eyes away. He looked exactly the same, down to the dark clothing he wore with such flair, the spiky blonde hair, the exotically tilted eyes…well, maybe less make-up, which she found reassuring for some reason. But everything else, the swagger in his step, the cocky angle of his head as he traded her stare for stare, the slight smile on his face…all of it. Exactly as she remembered it.
"You haven't changed," she finally blurted. "Why are you here?"
"You have," he replied to her statement, apparently choosing to ignore the question that followed. He swept around the bedpost and sat, uninvited, next to her. She backed away, uncertain, then reached out to touch his arm, snatching her hand back immediately. Yes, he was real; she could feel the leather of his sleeve, the heat emanating from his body. "Changed for the better, I'd have to say," he added with a deepening of his smile.
Sarah felt a flush infuse her features; had he been reading her mind? "Why are you here?" she whispered, still clutching the covers to her chest.
Not taking his eyes from hers, Jareth reached forward and gently pushed the blankets down, lowering her hands until they rested on the mattress. Still holding her enthralled with his mismatched (beautiful) eyes, he leaned forward. "I came because you finally wanted me to," he whispered, finally turning his head so she felt his breath on her cheek as he grazed her ear with his lips. "I came because you finally….wanted me." His lips moved down her neck, and Sarah felt a moan escape her own lips.
Jareth's hands were caressing her arms, pulling her closer, and she wasn't resisting, she was letting him enfold her, letting his lips continue to trail their way from neck to collarbone, then back up the column of her throat until finally capturing her mouth with his own. Her eyes closed and she opened her mouth, allowing him entry, and knew she would deny him nothing. This was what she wanted, what she'd finally been able to admit to herself and thus to him. This was why he could finally be here, be with her, be touching her with his miraculously ungloved hands, slender and gentle as they undid the buttons on her light summer nightgown and slid the now-gaping neckline down over her arms.
They pressed together, skin to skin; his clothes had magically melted away and hers were well on their way to vanishing due to more conventional means; Jareth had released her just long enough to free her arms, and she wrapped them around his shoulders, pulling him closer, willing him to make as free of her body as he wanted, and he answered that need, lowering his mouth to first one breast, then the other, teasing her nipples with tongue and gentle nips of perfect teeth until Sarah cried out in need, then clapped her hands to her mouth in terror of being heard by someone outside this room.
Jareth pulled back just enough to study her terror-filled eyes; sensing somehow exactly what had frightened her, he held up one hand. On it rested a single perfect crystal orb. He blew gently, setting the orb into flight, light as the bubble it so resembled, appearing as fragile in the moonlight. Sarah followed it with eyes now filled with wonder, watching as it floated above her head, as it suddenly expanded, growing around them, surrounding the bed in an opalescent shimmer. "There, love, no need to fret. No one will hear us," Jareth said soothingly, then put hands and mouth back to work on piquing Sarah's every sense, filling her once again with wordless needs and answering those needs almost as soon as they were felt.
"Sarah," Jareth breathed, laying her back gently and leaning above her, once again holding her captive with his glorious, mismatched eyes. "Sarah, there will be pain, and there will be blood." She nodded, understanding; in many ways, losing virginity was like giving birth, she'd known that for years and could think of it now without squirming in embarrassment.
"I'll get over it," she whispered back, although she understood there was no need for low voices, not now, except the moment seemed to invite a tone of confidences shared. A delicious shiver ran down her spine; lover's confidences. Her demon lover had come to claim her now that she was ready for him, and she was impatient for the moment to come.
Jareth laughed, a low sound, as if he, too, understood her need for secrecy even while wrapped in the ultimate soundproofing. Magic could be ugly and cruel, but it could be beautiful, too. Sarah understood that now as she never could have at fifteen, crying "It's not fair!" as if no one had ever felt that way before. Life wasn't fair, either Above or Underground, she knew that now, and suddenly realized that was another reason Jareth could be with her now. She joined him in his laughter, then silenced them both with a kiss that ended with her nightgown and underpants in a heap on the floor, Jareth's lean, sinewy length against her, the heat of his own desire matching her own.
The pain and blood came, as warned, but flushed themselves away so swiftly Sarah barely noticed, washed on a tide of ecstasy like none she'd never experienced, an explosion of sensation that left her crying out, fingers digging into Jareth's shoulders, head thrown back, eyes wide with stunned revelation. So this was what Megan was talking about…
"I can only stay 'til the moon leaves your window, Sarah," Jareth murmured against her ear a timeless moment later, when she'd felt him delivered of his own quivering release, body now relaxed against hers. She wondered if his heart was racing, her own certainly showed no signs of slowing down, and she nodded as she realized he was warning her. The night was not endless, there was a limit to their time together, which tore her apart, but she understood. She accepted. A foot in two worlds since those thirteen hours three years ago, and Jareth belonged so much to the other world that she knew there was no way he could stay in hers.
"If this is all we get, I can live with that," she said, ignoring the sudden jump her heart made as she forced herself to believe her own words.
Jareth looked at her with an unreadable expression in his eyes. "If it is," he murmured in seeming agreement, then captured her lips once again with his own, and Sarah surrendered herself to the moment. The only moment they would ever have, she understood that now. A foot in two worlds, a demon lover for one incredible night, then back to mundane reality. At least it was a reality she'd grown to accept, as she'd fought against it in childhood. Compromise was part of growing up, and she'd managed to grow up all in one incredible visit to the Underground world of the Labyrinth.
It never even occurred to her to ask if there could be more, and Jareth was content that it be so. She would have a choice to make after this night, although he refrained from telling her about it; the rules had to be obeyed, even by the Goblin King, else he surrender his power and his life. But Sarah need not be burdened by such knowledge, not tonight. Soon, but not while he was so busy giving her what they both so ardently desired: a perfect night of love.
In a month, she would discover the price of that perfect night, the price he was destined to exact. How she dealt with it would seal both of their fates…forever.
A/N: Welcome to my first foray into the world of Labyrinth. Hope you enjoyed it so far! Additional Note: The title of this story is, ahem, "borrowed" from George Takei's novel of the same name, although the contents bear absolutely no resemblence to the original in any way, shape, or form. I own none of the characters of the Labyrinth, get nothing from this but the satisfaction of putting words to paper, and, of course, reviews.