... This started off fine, but somewhere along the way crack crept in and the plot died... Oh, well. I had a bit of fun with it. I might rewrite it at some point using the same beginning. Although, I already did that once. It's gone from extreme angst to extreme what-the-hell. I hope you enjoy it anyway! Reviews will get you a loan of the chocolate-coated Jareth I have from OceanFae. But I want him back *glares*
Disclaimer: I own nothing. If I did... Oh, if I did... *evil laughter*
"I wish the goblins would come and take you away wight now!"
Sarah's eyes widened as a five-year old Toby shouted the words at her. Despite the mispronounced 'r', Sarah knew this meant trouble. Her little brother waddled out of the room on short, angry legs at the same time Sarah felt the room begin to spin and slip away. Serves me right for telling him those bed time stories, she thought, as her world changed and an all-too-familiar laugh filled her ears.
The sensation of being transported to the Goblin Kingdom was not unlike falling from the shattered ballroom, but instead of the fear and adrenaline that normally accompany a free-fall into unknown territory, Sarah felt surprisingly safe. She could feel something guiding her, with a clear destination and a pure intent.
She immediately felt suspicious.
The trip ended in the centre of a hectic throne room; the beauty of the architecture and the majesty of the grand throne were lost in a scramble of goblins with brooms, water-buckets and feather dusters (most of which were actually live chickens). They appeared, of all things, to be attempting to clean. Needless to say, things weren't quite going too well, but they did look as though they were trying very hard. However, before Sarah could decide whether to laugh or run, her thought processes were stopped completely by a purr at her ear.
"Hello, precious thing."
Sarah felt her heart skip a beat, her breath hitching in her throat. She turned slowly, emotions unsure whether to go with fear, sarcasm or, curiously, ecstatic happiness. Fear and sarcasm both seemed unwise in the presence of the being she was about to face, and her brain told her sarcasm wasn't a real emotion. Happiness also seemed illogical. When she finally finished her turn, being finally faced with the man who had been torturing her thoughts and dreams for five whole years, the best she could muster was a raised eyebrow.
"After all this time, that's the only greeting you see fit to give me?" Jareth sneered. "That cuts me deeply, Sarah."
He looked almost exactly the same as she remembered; his feathery blonde hair still stood around his head like a golden halo, longer strands falling down his shoulders, begging to be touched. He was still a good head taller than her, despite all the growing she had done since the last time they had seen each other. He still wore the same style of clothing, today opting for black leather pants which clung unapologetically to his manhood, an open-chested poet shirt which showed off his lightly muscled chest and silver pendant, and a blood-red cummerbund. Black leather gloves clothed his hands like a second skin, and a familiar smirk lit up his features. The only difference between now and the last time Sarah had seen him was a hint of bitterness in his mismatched eyes which didn't quite fit with his jovial expression.
"Oh, terribly sorry. How about 'Hey, you blonde git, give me back my little brother'." Sarah refused to let his looks sway her; if she'd done it before, she could do it again.
"Sarah, Sarah, Sarah." Jareth shook his head.
"Had I three ears, I'd hear thee." She spat, cutting him off.
"Sarah, please, there is no reason to quote Shakespeare at me. I am certainly not an apparition." He raised an eyebrow in apparent amusement. "You'll be reunited with your little Toby if he completes my Labyrinth within the given time. Those are the rules."
"As I recall, the 'given time' is apparently up for interpretation." Sarah replied, her voice dripping with spite.
Jareth made as though to reply, when a wet, soapy sponge fell from the grasp of a ceiling-bound goblin and landed with a wet plop on Jareth's head. The entire room froze, completely silent for possibly the first time in recorded history. All eyes were on the Goblin King. The sponge slid wetly down his face, landing on the floor with a soft thud.
All Hell broke loose.
Jareth let out an almighty roar, and goblins began scrambling at impossibly fast speeds towards all possible exits. They fled out the doors, up staircases, and several even threw themselves out of the windows, cleaning implements (and chickens) still in hand. Jareth kicked the sponge, sending it flying, then he kicked any goblin or chicken or general living creature in sight. Several disappeared mid-flight, leaving behind them a cry of 'Not the Boooooooooooooooooooooooog!". In a record-breaking three-minutes-and-three-quarters, the throne room was completely empty, save for Jareth, Sarah, and a very frightened looking chicken. It clucked once, then made a mad dash for the window as Jareth glared at it, eyes flashing. It hopped onto the window sill, turned its head to stare at the Goblin King for a few moments, clucked three times, and jumped. (The three clucks can possibly be interpreted as 'tell my wife I love her', 'the money's under the mattress', or, alternatively, 'bwark bwuk bwukark'.)
The room fell silent. Jareth stood in the centre of the floor, still quivering with rage. He emanated dark, unfathomable power, a creature filled with the eldritch magic of centuries, a terrible force not to be trifled with. He turned slowly towards Sarah, all that power and magic contained in one enigmatic look from his mismatched eyes.
Bubbles still clung to his fringe.
Sarah burst into laughter, doubling over with spasmodic fits of mirth. Her laughs filled the throne room, bouncing off the walls and reverberating back until they were almost a cacophony. Her cheeks and stomach ached and tears leaked from her eyes as she cackled with glee. She fell to her knees, overcome with uncontrollable giggles.
"You dare laugh at ME?!" Jareth bellowed incredulously.
"S-sorry, it's just... The goblins... and the cleaning..." Sarah gasped, barely able to manage laughing and talking and breathing all at the same time. "And- and the chickens, and the... and the sponge!"
She erupted into another wild fit of giggles. Jareth glowered at her, arms folded. He crackled with dark energy, anger seeping from his every pore. After about five minutes of Sarah laughing and Jareth glaring, she managed to stagger to her feet.
"Done, are you? Is your humiliation complete, Sarah?" Jareth's tone dripped with venom. "Quite finished now?"
"Oh, Jareth." Sarah moved towards him until they were within arms reach of each other. Unconsciously, she held out a hand to wipe the bubbles from the Goblin King's hair. He grabbed her wrist with a swift, sudden movement, twisting her arm behind her back. Sarah gasped, wincing in pain.
"You do love humiliating me, don't you, precious thing?" His voice was silky soft, heavily laced with a bitter sarcasm. His lips hovered a threatening half-an-inch from Sarah's throat and his feathery hair grazed her flesh, sending shivers up her spine. "Why must you torment me so?"
"You're hurting me, Jareth." Sarah whispered, trying to keep the fear out of her voice. In response, he gripped her arm tighter. His hand was like the claw of an owl around its' tiny mammal prey. His lips grazed her throat, and he growled softly, a primal, animal sound.
"Always, you best me. Why? Am I not allowed to win?" His voice was bitter velvet, like lemon-choked bourbon. "I'd do anything for you, Sarah, and you repay me how? By defeating me, then humiliating me. I reordered time for you! And time and again, you rip me to pieces."
"You don't scare me." Sarah lied, heart beating so hard and fast she was amazed it hadn't yet escaped her ribcage.
"Don't I?" Jareth let go of her arm, spinning her around. He shoved her backwards, causing her to crash into a wall, knocking the breath out of her. In a few long strides he was pressed against her, an arm either side of her head, forcing her into the wall. "You should be afraid, precious thing. You should be terrified."
"Goblin King..." Sarah murmured, half terrified, half unaccountably thrilled at the pressure of his body on hers.
"Yes? What is it now? Are you going to remind me that I have 'no power' over you? Are you going to whine about how it's 'not fair'? What, Sarah?" He snarled. "What freshly conceived humiliation do you have for me now?"
"I'm terribly sorry, Your Highness, but..." Her voice cracked, and she ended in a barely audible whisper, "there are still some bubbles in your hair."
Jareth froze, every muscle completely rigid, as though he were a Greek god carved in marble, impossibly real yet impossibly still. His face was an unreadable mask, eyes glazed over. Then a muscle twitched in his jaw. Slowly, his countenance changed; he pushed away from the wall, relieving Sarah of his weight, as his face turned from a still mask to a flickering flame of different expressions, flitting across his features one rapidly after the other. A gloved hand reached tentatively to his straw-coloured locks, stopping millimetres from the tips of his hair. Sarah cowered against the wall, entirely unsure of what was about to happen. For half a minute Jareth stood, hand poised at his hair, face metamorphosing so rapidly it was impossible to tell his emotions. Then, without a word, Jareth spun on his heel, striding swiftly from the throne room.
Sarah remained cowered against the wall for what seemed like hours as she waited to see if the King would return. Soon enough, she heard his footfalls coming down the stairs. He re-entered the throne room with his usual tall, proud stride, a haughty look on his face, and a complete costume change. He was now clad in a heavily structured, glittering, black jacket similar to the one he had worn the first time they had met, black, leather, heeled boots, and the obligatory tights, again in black. His hair was completely bubble free, framing his face in a wondrous, gravity-defying halo of gold.
"Now, where were we, precious thing?" His voice was at its silkiest yet, threatening unspeakable danger while promising unspeakable carnal acts for afterwards.
I believe you had me up against a wall, her inner voice said (and was forcibly ignored).
"I believe you were whining." Sarah was proud of herself for not falling prey to the Goblin King's charms.
"I never whine, Sarah." Jareth scolded, waggling a finger. He appeared to have returned in much better spirits. "I muse in an intellectual and very kingly manner."
"If that's what you want to call it." Sarah cast her eye around the throne room. "Care to explain to me why the goblins were cleaning?"
"I'd hoped we could move on from that." Jareth sighed.
"Not likely." Sarah adopted a mock-serious tone. "It was quite a traumatic experience. For me and the chickens."
Jareth's shoulders drooped momentarily, then he regained his composure and flung himself regally onto the throne, draping one leg over the arm. He patted the seat beside him, and Sarah reluctantly obliged. She perched awkwardly on the edge, as far from him as possible.
"If you must know, my dear, I was... trying to impress you, actually." Jareth tried to appear flippant, failing only because he kept glancing out of the corner of his eyes to see Sarah's reaction. "I thought maybe if the throne room was nice and clean and sparkly, you would..."
"It's already pretty sparkly." Sarah noted.
"Yes, well... obviously I once again failed miserably in regards to you." Jareth sighed. "How do you manage it?"
Skill, her inner voice prompted. It was once again ignored.
"Shall we see how your runner's going?" Jareth asked, conjuring a crystal.
"Toby!" Sarah felt ashamed for having forgotten about her little brother for so long. "If anything's happened to him, no fae magic is going to protect you."
"Settle down, Sarah. I'm well aware how terrible your wrath would be under such circumstances." He smiled slightly. "Truly fearsome, I'm sure."
Together they gazed into the crystal's depths. Toby was running through the hedge-maze, chasing after Ludo and Sir Didymus, giggling madly like only a five-year old can. He appeared to be thoroughly enjoying himself.
"He's in the hedge-maze already?" Sarah tried to recall how long she'd been there. "He's pretty quick, isn't he?"
"The hedge-maze is the extent of his labyrinth." Jareth murmured, throwing the crystal high, where it disappeared with a small burst of glitter.
"What do you mean? Doesn't he have to go through the whole thing?" Sarah frowned.
"Just the hedge-maze. He has twenty-four hours of running around with my traitorous subjects." Jareth leered at her. "Just for you."
"Twenty-four hours? Just for me?" Sarah's eyes narrowed. "What are you up to?"
In reply, Jareth snaked an arm around her waist, pulling her close.
"I'm up to all kinds of things, precious." He purred, running a gloved hand up her thigh. "And we have hours to do them in."
Sarah fought her first instinct, relying instead on her second; slapping the Goblin King hard in the face and leaping off the throne.
"Dammit, Sarah!" Jareth yelled, clutching his cheek.
"Sorry." She mumbled, looking down at the floor. "Instinct."
"You'll end up a lonely old woman if you do that to all the young men." Jareth hissed. "And you'll die a bitter old hag."
"Hey! You're the one who felt me up, you..." Sarah searched around for the right insult. "You lewd, voyeuristic, perverted, Fae bastard!"
"Oh, that's rich, that is. You always have been and always will be a spoilt little brat, Sarah. I don't know why I bother."
"I think you've got your pants on too tight, old man. Don't you think the leather's a little tacky?"
"You dare insult my wardrobe? Leather is timeless, you insolent wench!" Jareth yelled. "You Above-Grounders have no idea how to dress properly. Your males and their sweaters."
"I'll have you know some men look very nice in sweaters!" Sarah replied. "And you know what? They don't need to wear tights to prove how big their manhood is."
"Nor do I." Jareth sniffed imperiously.
"Whatever. Then why don't I slap them when they feel me up?"
Jareth's face darkened, his eyes flashing dangerously.
"No man would dare touch you."
"I'm afraid you're wrong about that, Jareth. Plenty have." Sarah grinned, sensing that she'd hit a nerve. "What's wrong? Jealous?"
"Who dares lay his hands upon the property of the Goblin King? I will crush them all into dust!" He appeared to grow taller, quivering with rage.
"Oi! I'm not your property, and you will do no such thing." Sarah crossed her arms. "You will not lay a finger on any of my ex-boyfriends, no matter how jerky they were."
"I will not stand for scrawny, pimply youths to be laying their hands all over you, Sarah. I will not stand for it at all." Jareth's hands had balled themselves into fists. "They will pay."
"Jareth... I won't let you hurt them." Sarah was a little intimidated now. Her exes may have been mostly jerks, but did they really deserve the wrath of His Glitteriness?
"I'm afraid there is nothing you can do about it." Jareth raised his arms as though he were about to vanish himself.
Sarah decided to act on her first instinct this time; she threw herself at the Goblin King, forcing his arms to his sides. She wrapped her arms around him, trying to contain his quivering rage.
Then she kissed him.
She stood on tip-toes, pressing her lips to his. She kept her lips there until she felt his trembling subside. Sarah pulled away, looking up at Jareth's face nervously. He was frozen in place, an expression of shock upon his beautiful features. Slowly, slowly, he regained animation, turning his face downwards to stare incredulously at Sarah.
"Don't tell me you can make all those lewd comments, but you're struck dumb by one kiss." Sarah laughed hollowly, nervous about the consequences of her actions.
"Sarah, my darling, after all the time I've waited to kiss you, I think you can allow me a few moments of speechlessness." He wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close.
"Fair enough." Sarah quipped, placing her arms around his neck.
"Would you mind terribly if we tried that again? I do believe I've regained my equilibrium." Jareth murmured, lips barely three millimetres from hers.
"I do believe I would enjoy that very much." Sarah nodded, then Did I really just say that?
Then all inner dialogue was cut short, as their lips again met in a frenzied, passionate kiss. They pressed themselves together, melting into each other with five years of repressed sexual tension (or twenty-four years, to you and I).
Jareth lifted Sarah and she wrapped her legs around his waist, and he carried her to the throne. He sat heavily and she straddled him, kissing his throat and causing him to moan softly. His hands ran up under her shirt, cupping her breasts.
"It was quite a good idea to get such a big throne." Sarah murmured softly into Jareth's ear. "Excellent foresight."
"Everything I have is big." Jareth replied, managing to sound both lewd and knowledgeable at the same time. "Everything."
"Yes, I got that." Sarah rocked her hips gently against him, causing Jareth to moan. "Everything."
They kissed again, tasting the inside of each other's mouths. Their hands were everywhere, and clothes began to disappear.
"I'm afraid this shirt just doesn't suit you, Sarah. I'll have to bog it."
"This jacket looks terrible on you, Jareth. Bog it."
"But... the Queen of Narnia gave me this."
"Then it's definitely going."
"I hope you don't like those pants, precious thing, because they are incredibly unflattering. I shall have to bog them for crimes against fashion."
"Speaking of crimes against fashion, those tights are quite terrible. Definitely criminal. To the Bog they go."
"I thought you liked my tights. You certainly don't seem to be able to keep your eyes off them."
"Jareth, this is your game. Play it properly!"
"Can't I just take them off?"
"That lingerie is... Actually, I don't have any problems with that."
"Right you are."
"I do invent some rather good games, don't I?"
"What, like making poor, innocent teenagers run around a bloody maze for hours?"
"Don't start on that again. Look, I'm naked."
"Oh, yeah... Mmmmm..."
[THE FOLLOWING FEW HOURS OF *AHEM* INTERACTION HAVE BEEN CUT DUE TO EXTREME DEPRAVITY, EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF GLITTER, HORRIFYING MISUSE OF A CHICKEN, AND EXCEEDED BANDWIDTH *WINK WINK, NUDGE NUDGE*]
Jareth and Sarah lay together on the throne, wrapped in his feather cloak. Her head was resting against his chest, and he was gently stroking her hair.
"I must say, things did not turn out how I hoped they would."
"You weren't hoping for that?" Sarah asked, sitting up to look into his mismatched eyes.
"Oh, I was definitely hoping for that." Jareth leered, placing a small kiss on Sarah's lips. "I was talking more about the cleaning goblins and the sponge and the arguing."
"I can see how that isn't really an ideal situation. Still, if we hadn't fought..." She trailed off with a suggestive eyebrow waggle.
"I remain convinced that even if you hadn't ignited my jealousy and taken advantage of my rage, I still would have managed to seduce you." Jareth replied imperiously.
"I think I'm the one who seduced you, if I recall correctly. You were too busy going on about killing Joey."
"Aha! A name!"
"Oh, no you don't."
"Then concede that it was I, in fact, who seduced you."
"Only because of those bloody tights."
"See? You do like those tights. You shouldn't have made me bog them."
"If you get to bog my clothes, I get to bog yours. Besides, you probably have about a million pairs."
"That is irrelevant. Those were important."
"Why, were they were given to you by some ice bitch as well?"
"Do I detect a hint of jealousy? No, precious thing. They were important because they marked our reunion, my seduction of you, and our subsequent 'getting it on', as you would say."
"I don't think I would say that."
"Of course not. Your vocabulary is far more expansive, I am sure. Like 'it's not fair', for example."
"Them's fighting words."
Sarah captured his mouth in an angry kiss, crushing his mouth with hers. She grabbed fistfuls of his hair, pulling him upwards. Jareth pulled her close, digging his nails into her back. He forced his tongue into her mouth, wrapping it around hers.
After a few furious minutes, they pulled apart. "I love fighting with you." He snarled, then they kissed again.
[CENSORED AGAIN. SORRY ABOUT THIS. IT'S TERRIBLE, REALLY. THE THINGS THOSE TO GET UP TO IN THERE... QUITE SCARRING, REALLY. I KNOW THAT CHICKEN WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. HAVING WITNESSED THE ENTIRE THING FIRST HAND, I FEEL IT IS MY CIVIC DUTY TO SHIELD YOU FROM ALL THE DEPRAVED ACTS THEY GET UP TO. IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS THAT JARETH WOULD KNOW A FEW TRICKS, BUT SARAH... SHE'S A RIGHT MINX, I'LL GIVE HER THAT. STILL, JARETH IS MORE THAN CAPABLE OF KEEPING UP. YOU SHOULD SEE IT... IT REALLY IS INCREDIBLE. AND HE REALLY IS QUITE PRETTY WHEN HE'S ALL SWEATY AND... WELL, I'M SURE YOU'LL SLEEP BETTER NOT KNOWING. JUST BE THANKFUL THAT I'M HERE TO WATCH IT ALL FOR YOU]
When Toby finally made it to the castle, he found Sarah and Jareth dancing around the throne room, he in black velvet, she is a stunning red gown.
"Sawah, you look like a pwincess!" He cried in awe as his big sister knelt down, picking him up and hugging him.
"That's Queen, little tyke." Jareth beamed, his arm around Sarah's waist.
"That waits to be seen." Sarah informed him. "Now, this one has to get home."
"Of course... Such a pity." Jareth sighed. "Do come again soon, though."
They kissed briefly, and Sarah and Toby found themselves back where they had started, in Toby's playroom.
After realising that her red gown had disappeared and dashing to find a bathrobe, Sarah tucked Toby in and went to bed, a smile on her face.
The next morning, Sarah sat alone with Toby at the breakfast table. He was making faces in the oatmeal with his spoon while she gazed wistfully into the distance.
"Hey, Toby?" She ventured mildly.
"Wot, Sawah? I am making vewy important bweakfast times." He informed her busily.
"Toby, can you remember what you said to me yesterday?"
"That Mummy smells like old people when she dwesses pwetty?" Toby tilted his head, eager to get the question right.
"No, no, what you said just before you went to visit Ludo."
" 'I wish the goblins would come and take you away wight now?' "
"Atta boy." Sarah grinned as she felt herself begin to fall.