Because my last Labyrinth fic was full of crack, this one is full of ANGST. It's quite depressing, really. I promise I will have a moderately normal Labyrinth fic up eventually. So anyway, I was wanting to write fan fiction, and for some reason I got the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds song 'There She Goes, My Beautiful World' in my head, and I was forced to somehow include it in here. So it's the name of the fic, and one verse is also what Jareth says to (sort-of) Sarah. But it's not a song-fic. Plus, there's another Macbeth quote in here, at the end of the first paragraph. It's because we studied it this term in English, so it's kinda stuck in my brain. Is that ok? So anyway, this is turning into a very long whatever-it-is... Anyway, disclaimer; I own nothing, not Macbeth, or Labyrinth, or Nick Cave, If I did own all three, the world would be a much darker, angstier, yet somehow sexier and glitterier (?) place. So be happy. Oh, and there would be a lot more dead people. Maybe. Anyway, I must shut up now. I'm just providing some mild comic relief before you launch into this. I don't think there's a single intentionally funny line in the whole damn thing. Sorry.
Jareth wandered aimlessly through the darkest regions of the Labyrinth. He skulked in the tunnels with the False Alarms, struck silent with a wave of his hand. He appeared in the Bog of Stench, placid and smooth as murky glass. He lurked in the oubliette, all entrances shut. The Goblin King entered a phase in his life darker than the dunnest smoke of hell.
The source of his misery was incomprehensible. A mere mortal girl, one of thousands of runners who had come through his Labyrinth. No different to any of the others, and yet... she was different. Something about her had stirred him to the very core, and he didn't know how to react. His world was shattering, crumbling, falling beneath his feet. Why? What was so different about her?
The darkness of the oubliette was soothing; it reflected his inner self. Jareth leant against a wall, feeling the cold stone upon his flesh. It calmed him somewhat, cooling the flames that at every thought of her, sprung up beneath his flesh.
It had been months since Sarah had come into his life, and left it so abruptly. She was a tempestuous, immature, spoilt brat. She had defeated him, the Goblin King. She had humiliated him, destroyed him, shattered his heart into a hundred thousand pieces, and yet...
He still wanted her back.
Why? Dammit, why?! Jareth kicked the stone, grinding his teeth in frustration. There was absolutely no logical reason whatsoever why she had this effect on him. He had been the lover of fae and fair folk, elves and nymphs, other-worldly eldritch creatures of all description. Compared to them, Sarah was almost dowdy. She was no great beauty, no great wit, had nothing that should logically make her stand out. He kept repeating these things to himself, over and over, but it was always her face he saw when he closed his eyes, when he looked at the clouds or at the trees or anywhere at all. She had invaded every part of his being. Why?
He had been keeping an eye on her for a long time, as he did with everyone Aboveground who showed a tendency to believe in the power of goblins and the Labyrinth and sheer imagination. Had he watched her more than the others? Before she had come to the Labyrinth, had he still felt this way about her? Surely not. If he had felt this way any time before that final confrontation, then she would be with him now. When Jareth wanted something, he made it his.
Then why isn't she yours? A little voice inside his head whispered.
Jareth pounded the rock with his fist. The sound reverberated through the small space, ringing in his ears over and over like the end of the world. The end of his world.
It made Jareth furious, livid with anger that a mere mortal could reject him. It infuriated him that she had been able to solve his labyrinth and get back her brother. He shook with rage at the very thought; and yet, he could never make the anger last. His knees quivered, his eyes pricked, and where his heart used to be he could feel only a raw and sunken void.
He had no idea what was happening out there, in his kingdom. The goblins were probably running riot, and he was moping in a cave. He hadn't done any of his proper duties since... Jareth sighed, conjuring a crystal with the intention of spying on his subjects. Instead, he found himself viewing the ballroom he had conjured for Sarah. She ran around in his hand, in the dress he had spun for her with magic, searching through the crowd.
Jareth let the crystal go; it floated into the centre of the oubliette, then expanded, becoming a projection on the musty air. Its light lit up the corners, sending shadows dancing. Jareth's face remained sunken in darkness, his mismatched eyes burning out of the blackness as he watched the events unfold.
Sarah wandered through the ballroom, searching through the crowds of masked bourgeoisie. She looked afraid, trying to shield herself from the gazes of costumed strangers. Jareth saw himself following her, just out of reach. He watched her from behind his mask, hiding amongst the masqueraders. He was taunting her, confusing her, but somehow hurting himself at the same time.
Then finally they met, and for a few glorious moments she was in his arms as they twirled around the floor. Her hair was like silk, her eyes brighter than the most precious diamonds. Her features were the most perfect arrangement of any in the entire history of the human race. Her figure was slim and graceful, his arm fitting perfectly around her waist. The watching Jareth choked, sliding down the wall; she was more beautiful than any eldritch maiden. She was the most wonderful creature anywhere, on this earth or in the next, and he had let her slip through his fingers.
He couldn't watch as Sarah shattered the ballroom, waving his hand to move the scene to their final confrontation; the final, torturous moments he had been with her, when his life had been destroyed. Out of pure masochistic self-hatred Jareth watched as she, tempestuous maiden, defeated him, ruler of the Underground. He saw himself offer her the crystal, begging with her, pleading.
"You have no power over me."
Both the watcher and the witness felt their hearts shattering, exploding in their chests, leaving nothingness as Sarah vocalised his defeat. The watching Jareth reached tremulous fingers towards her as the scene dissolved, the crystal falling to the floor and shattering. The oubliette was plunged again into darkness.
"There she goes, my beautiful world." Jareth whispered into the dark.
I should have begged harder. I should have grovelled. I would sacrifice my very pride for her; I know that now. I know it, and it's too late. She is gone. I did not try hard enough. I did not impress her enough. I did not live up to her expectations. She was disappointed. I failed her.
Jareth stood slowly, conjuring another crystal. He expanded it again, freezing it on Sarah just before she had spoken those final words. How could anyone so beautiful, so innocent possibly deal such a deathly blow? How had he, so handsome, so powerful, not won her in an instant?
Jareth circled the frozen image, surveying her from every angle. What was it about her that made him feel this way? Where did her power lie?
He took his place in front of her, conjuring another crystal and holding it out towards the frozen image.
"I will kneel at your feet, I will lie at your door, I will rock you to sleep, I will roll on the floor, and I'll ask for nothing, nothing in this life. I'll ask for nothing." Jareth choked. "Give me ever-lasting life."
Sarah's image stared resolutely back, determination in her eyes. Her lips were parted, ready to speak the crushing words. She did not spring to life to tell Jareth she accepted, or that she loved him, or any of the things he wished she would say.
With shaking fingertips, Jareth traced the outline of her lips. He closed his eyes, imagining he could feel something there.
"You have no power over me." The image of Sarah moved, looping over and over. "You have no power over me. You have no power over me."
Jareth sunk again to the floor, landing heavily on his knees. He knelt before the girl he loved with every fibre of his being, offering himself before her. And he would continue to offer, repeating the ritual over and over, once a day, then once a week, once a month, on the anniversary of his defeat every year.
He loved her and wanted her, more than anything he had ever wanted in all his years, but she would never, ever be his.