Disclaimer: I do not own Labyrinth; it belongs to Jim Henson and whoever else…so props guys.
Oh, the torture they teach!
What's as intriguing-
Or half so fatiguing-
As what's out of reach?
Agony from "Into the Woods"
The castle was almost unnervingly quiet when Sarah opened her door to go to breakfast. To her surprise Leah was slumped outside of her door, fully dressed in a sweatshirt, Jeans, and her beloved Keds.
"Morning sleepyhead," Leah yawned out as soon as she saw her.
"Morning, a little early for you, hun?" she asked with a smile.
"Every morning is 'a little early' for me," Leah mumbled back and itched her belly. "Damn ribs woke me up this morning at sunrise."
"Oh, do they hurt a lot?" Sarah asked with a concerned look on her face.
"Yeah, but they're not so bad that I can't move around on my own. And yet some how, they hurt enough for me to dream about breaking them all over again. Plus, Jeffery hasn't been by yet to medicate me."
"Aw poor baby," Sarah reached over and rubbed her back sympathetically.
"Wanna go to the dinning room with me? We can hang out and wait for breakfast, ya know, just like old times," Sarah gave her a smile and a nod. The two walked slowly together chatting about this and that and the nothing that girls are skilled in. When they reached the table Sarah dropped into her normal seat while Leah rounded the table and took Jareth's seat across from her. "So, are you gonna tell me about that steamy kiss you the Goblin King were sharing last night?" Sarah flushed slightly.
"You saw that?"
"No, Dorian and I saw that. Can you say awkward?" Leah laughed slightly to herself.
"Ah…yeah, um, I guess I have some explaining to do."
"You do," Leah said with a tiny yawn, snuggling back into the seat in an attempt to become comfortable. "Now speak oh knowledgeable one, enlighten us of your toe curling encounter with the one and only bedazzled king…before I have to go and ask Mr. Pants-tighter-than-is-ever-necessary-for-a-man himself." Sarah made a little squeak that sounded remarkably like: You wouldn't dare. "Oh, ho-ho, I would dare! I fear not your pillow-top covered wrath!"
"Leah! I would hardly describe my rage as 'pillow-top covered', its vicious…like a, like a…a…"
"Like a teddy bear," Leah chuckled out as she tipped her chair back. "Sarah, you are no more vicious than a Serta®, you have the bloodlust of a Sealy®, and your rage or wrath or whatever is as intimidating as a Tempur-Pedic®."
"Why the hell are you comparing me to beds!" she squeaked back.
"Because you're plush…and huggable…and this subject pertains to beds a little bit."
"Leah! You make me sound like some sort of whore, it was just one kiss…and I will cut you b*tch," Leah laughed at this threat.
"I'm sorry Sar, but the threat of you attacking me is only frightening when I have done something so incredibly wrong that your anger is justifiable. And right now I haven't done anything…(yet). So, tell me your sordid little story of Underworld romance."
"…Are you done taunting me?"
"For now," Leah said with a suggestive smile.
"Er…I don't know where to begin."
"At the beginning, you dope," she whispered, picking lint off of her sweatshirt.
"I heard that. But I guess I ought to begin with what happened after we dropped you off for your nap. Or do you wanna skip that part and get to the down and dirty of it?" Leah gave her a look and shook her head. "Well," Sarah cleared her throat, "it all started when I called Jareth 'nice'. He got upset and poofed away with some…delightful parting words." She chuckled slightly under her breath. "After he left I went exploring and ran into Hoggle in the library-."
"They have a library?" Leah cut in, excitement on her face. Sarah lifted one perfectly shaped brow in her direction.
"It's a castle Leah, like Beauty and the Beast, of course they have a library," Leah gave a slight squeak of excitement, but remained quiet as Sarah continued. "So, Hoggle and I got to talking about one blonde haired Goblin King. And I…I," she blushed a deep red, "I kinda realized that I," she mouthed the word 'love', "him. I always have, coming back here has just made me realize it." Leah gave her an encouraging smile and motioned for her to continue with her story. "SO," she said with an exasperated sigh, "armed with this epiphany you can imagine how ready I was when I rounded one of the bookshelves and came face to face with the one and only Jareth."
"I bet you were doing your best impression of a tomato," Leah interjected with a smirk.
"If I was Jareth was doing a wonderful impression of a cherry," she said with a nervous laugh. "To continue my story, we basically just stood there and stared at each other, speechless. Jareth was obviously still upset about my complement and with my new found acknowledgment of the bum-bump of my heart; neither of us really knew what to say. Finally he just blurted out "Do you even know how much I love you?" as if that would lighten the mood, and I responded something along the lines of "Of course I do, I feel it right now". And being the smooth operator that I am, after this confession, I ran. Smart, huh?"
"Wow, and they say that I'm awkward around guys," Sarah laughed slightly at this. "But how does all of this lead up to that rather…emotional kiss I had the privilege of witnessing last night?"
"Oh, it leads to a kiss alright, one you didn't see."
"Do tell," Leah said, leaning forward with a look of great interest.
"After I ran, I ended up in my room and realized I'm still clutching a book from the library. So I opened the windows, sat in the window seat, and hoped A Book of Many Interesting Places would distract me enough that I would forget my earlier embarrassment."
"Did it work?"
"Yeah, surprisingly, A Book of Many Interesting Places is a really cleverly written and witty exposé on the beautiful and unique places of the Underworld and Aboveground." Leah smirked slightly at this. "Uh, but to continue what I was saying…as I was reading in the window seat, Jareth appeared outside. Since we're on the first floor he just kinda came over and leisurely leaned up against the outside of the window to talk to me. He was acting as if nothing had happened, and we were just talking and laughing together...blissfully. I dunno what it was, but in that moment I really just wanted to kiss him…and I did."
"You leaned out the window and kissed him?"
"Yes, much to his surprise," she grinned playfully at this.
"What happened next?"
"Uh, I sorta pulled away before he could kiss me back and closed the windows and drapes on him. Before I closed the drapes there was this…this look in his eyes…something more than lust, it scared me," she sighed, "I stayed in my room even when he knocked on the window and door and begged for me to let him in. He left for awhile and then POOF he appears in my room and cordially invites me to dinner. He tells me where you and Dorian are, and that I should perhaps inform you of the invitation as well. I was so out of it I didn't even think before I did just that."
"I was wondering why you looked so pink when you came out to get us," she cocked her head to the side slightly; "You honestly look a little pink now too."
"Er…that's because I'm thinking about the kiss he gave me last night."
"Ho, ho, now we get to the good part!"
"Well…we didn't say anything as we went to my room after dinner until we got to my door and I went to go in. He stopped me and said, "Precious…about that kiss…does it mean that you….?" He didn't even finish his question before I blurted out my feelings. Leah, I swear I have never seen a look of love as intense the one he gave me when I told him, "I love you". Leah…I really think that I do," she looked up at her with a happy hopeful look on her face.
"I'm glad for you Sarah, you deserve all of the happiness in the world…and I'm sure that King Tightpants will spend forever just making you happy."
"Hmmm, yeah…I think that he would," a happy far off look crossed her face for a long moment. "Oh, er, the end of the story is, he gave me a little kiss. When he pulled away, it was like a fire was lit in his eyes and I suddenly felt like I…needed to kiss him more."
"And that ends your story?"
"Mmmhmm," she sighed again, contentedly, "And such a happy end too."
"Sounds like a mushy romance novel written by a neophyte."
"IT'S NOTHING LIKE THAT! Leah, it's like…it's like it's real. There is no magical rush of him rearranging time for me or pulling me into a peach scented dream ball! It's just like we're two real people!"
"And you are, but Sarah…Make sure you don't fall into anything too quickly, you only just got out of a long term relationship. Make sure you're not just falling for Jareth to be in love with someone, anyone. You know I care about you…I don't want to see you hurt again or any time soon."
"Leah…don't worry so much, I think I know where my heart lies right now…where it has always lain; with him." She gave her a wide, coy smile. Leah struggled for a moment but managed to awkwardly return the smile to her friend.
"Now that the chick-fest is over, mind getting out of my chair?" a hand reached around the back of the chair and patted Leah's head fondly. Leah looked up at the Goblin King with a look of distrust.
"I'm on to your clever scheme Mr. Smarmy-Pants, I will not hand over my Sarah so easily."
"Oh Ho, you challenge me for the hand of the fair Ms. Williams! I am afraid that I will be forced to use underhanded methods to ensure her continued affections. En garde!" he proceeded to tickle her until she scrambled out of his seat and into her own.
"Touché, well played sirrah, well played…but think not that this battle is at its end! For this win will have been your last! And after I have- Ooooh bacon!" Leah's tirade was cut short by a steady stream of little goblins bearing trays of breakfast foods. Jareth gave her a concerned look as he took his seat at her side.
"So…precious, is she so always this enthusiastic about her fried breakfast meat?"
"Ah, yes, nothing can snap her out of her…state of meaty bliss. I've tried everything; nothing has ever distracted her from eating her bacon." Jareth let a slow smile creep up this face.
"Leah, did you like the little hug my brother gave you last night?" Leah ignored him, stuffing bacon and eggs into her mouth greedily. Sarah gave him a questioning look, "I'm trying to see if I can snap her out of it."
"I like a challenge," Sarah shrugged and sat back in her seat sipping her coffee, Jareth turned back towards Leah. "Pidgin, would you like to see something interesting?" Leah flicked her eyes towards him in annoyance, but the movement of her fork to her mouth did not stop. "Look at this," he produced a crystal and stuck it under her nose, in the way of her food. Leah, forced to look at the crystal, stopped mid chew and set her fork on her plate with a sharp clink. She swallowed hastily and opened her mouth to question the image. "It's him…looking at you." Leah clicked her mouth shut and a light blush began to creep across her cheeks to her ears.
"I…He…wouldn't look at me like that," she stammered out after a hasty gulp.
"How would you know? You're never looking at him," Jareth smirked at her and pulled the orb out of her face, taking the image of Dorian staring at her in the garden away from her nervous gaze.
"I…" she couldn't manage to find words to complete her sentence when Dorian walked in.
"Good morning," he murmured as he gave the people at the table a sleepy smile.
"Aw, poor baby, did you just wake up?" Jareth said with a mocking grin.
"Shudup, I," he locked eyes with Leah, "…had a long night."
"You could at least brush your hair; you look like you just went through a tornado." Dorian rolled his eyes and took his place across from Leah.
"Leah," he acknowledged her with a slight nod of the head; Leah dropped her eyes to hide her blush.
"Pet, you were trying to say something earlier, what was it?" Jareth pressured with a slight purr.
"I…I…I don't think that he would look at me like that, it was just a distortion of the glass," she looked up at Jareth, her insecurity written across her face.
"Well…if you don't believe crystals, will you believe your own eyes?"
"Eyes play tricks on you, so no," Leah's blush slowly receded and she gave him a sassy grin.
"Whatever you say, Pidge'," Jareth purred, he shrugged and turned back to his nearly empty plate. "Sarah," she looked up at him over the rim of her coffee mug, "Where's my good morning kiss?" She gave him the slightest of smiles before she gave him a come hither curl of her finger. A wide grin engulfed his entire face as he rose from his seat and went to her. Sarah grabbed him collar, "Whoa!" he cried out as she pulled him down roughly; she took a dainty sip of her coffee before she turned her green eyes on his confusion stricken face.
"Don't push your luck, Mr. Dazzle-Face, I will decide when we start to show affection openly. Until then, keep your kissy lips to yourself." She pushed him away and went back to sipping her coffee.
"Wow…denied," Leah supplied helpfully, "and to think, she sounded like she was ready to jump you earlier. Guess she prefers romancing the bean more than exchanging saliva with you." Jareth slunk back to his seat and dropped into it, fuming. Leah continued to cajole him mercilessly until he leaned over and clapped a hand over her mouth.
"Pet…you're cute and all, but you're one word away from being bogged." Leah frowned at this, he felt her mouth shift ready to respond, "I'm serious Leah, I will send you to the Bog of Eternal Stench, one word more!" He removed his hand from her mouth.
"Spoil sport," Leah pouted, Jareth turned towards her and pointed a warning finger at her. "Hey, hey, hey, hold the bogging! Injured person here! You remember the broken ribs right?"
"That's right, Jeffery hasn't brought you your medicine yet," Sarah interjected, Jareth slowly dropped his finger. Even he wasn't cold enough to send a half healed girl into the bog.
"He should have stopped by, by now," Dorian mumbled in concern.
"Maybe he's busy," Sarah replied, she turned towards Dorr and gave him a friendly smile, glad that he worried about her friend. Dorian met her gaze and hesitantly returned her smile, before paling and turning back to his plate.
"Shy guys are so cute!" Sarah reached over and pinched Dorr's cheek. He gave Leah a beseeching look.
"Sarah, let him go; you're freaking him out, he doesn't understand that you're just f*cking with him." She heard Jareth hiss something that sounded distinctly like 'she better not be' under his breath. "Jealous?" she whispered to him.
"She never pinches my cheek like that," he murmured back.
"That's because she's waiting to properly squeeze your arse," Jareth gave a barking laugh and a smile finally curled up one side of his mouth.
"What was that Leah?" Sarah asked releasing Dorr's face and returning to eating.
"Nothing Sarah, nothing at all," she turned towards Dorian to tease him and her smile faltered. She suddenly had nothing to say to him, the image Jareth had showed her kept playing itself over and over in her mind's eye.
"That bloody hurt," Dorian pouted, "you didn't tell me that your Sarah was so mean." Jareth gave him a knowing smile.
"What can I say? I like my women hot blooded and feisty, there is nothing like the thrill of the chase…Isn't that right precious?"
"I wouldn't know, I've never had a man run from me before," she raised an eyebrow, "Maybe I'm with the wrong brother," she gave Dorian a playful leer. Dorian, literally, jumped out of his seat, darted around the table, and behind Leah's chair. Sarah laughed hard, but the looks on Leah and Jareth's faces told her that she had crossed a line. "Sorry, sorry, the opportunity was too good to give up," she gave them an apologetic palms up gesture to try to appease them.
"Woman, you have gone too far this time," Jareth growled, he got up from his seat once again and crossed to her chair. "I demand compensation for your misdeed," she gave him a what-do-you-want look and cocked her head to the side, resignedly. He bent down and tapped him finger against his cheek. She sighed, rolled her eyes, and leaned in to give him a kiss. Jareth surprised her by turning and catching her lips with his own; he trapped her in her chair with his arms and deepened the kiss when she attempted to protest.
"Ahem," someone cleared their throat, halting Jareth's assault mid-kiss, "Ms. Leah, it's time for me to check your ribs." Jareth gave Jeffery an accusatory glare before retreating to his seat.
"Oh, thank you Jeffery, that will help a lot," she gave him a weak smile. Jeffery moved away from the doorway revealing a slightly smiling Tempesta.
"Good morning your highnesses," she swept into a graceful curtsey, "Ms. Sarah, Ms. Leah," she gave them a friendly nod before walking forward and taking a seat. Jeffery moved slowly to Leah's side and gave the cowering Dorian a quick once over.
"Would you're highness be kind enough to move out of the way so that I might attend to Ms. Leah?" Dorian sheepishly returned to his seat, he glanced at the thoroughly kissed Sarah and decided that she was no longer a threat. He sat down and realized that Tempesta had taken the empty seat next to him.
"Uh, good morning Princess Tempesta, did you sleep well last night?" She smiled shyly at his question and nodded.
"I slept more than well, Dorian," she purred, looking at him through lowered lashes. Leah noticed Jeffery stiffen slightly at her side.
"Leah, might I check your ribs?" he asked through gritted teeth, Leah gave him a confused look but unzipped her hooded sweatshirt without question. He reached out and felt her ribs gingerly with the pads of his fingers. "They feel as if they have begun to set already, the medicine must be helping," Leah gave him a slight nod, and waited for him to move away. When he didn't immediately, she gave him a very gentle push. He gave her a quizzical look.
"Sorry about that, personal space is something I value," she shrugged apologetically and attempted to give him a reassuring smile. He frowned at her and searched his pockets for her medicine.
"Damn, I seem to have forgotten to bring your medicine with me."
"Uh, that's ok, you can give it to me later," she patted his arm slightly, "It's not like I'm dying."
"How about we go and get it now? My room is just down the hall, it won't take long to go and get it." She tipped her head at this and after a moment nodded her consent. As she went to get up he offered her a hand up, she smiled and took it.
"Thank you," they began towards the door he'd come in when Dorian jumped up from his seat.
"Do you mind if I come with you?" Jeffery and Leah both motioned for him to come along. He ran over and promptly placed himself in between them. Leah gave him an odd look which changed to a look of surprise when he linked arms with her. "So, are you going to talk to me anytime soon? Or am I going to have to bother you until you do?" She laughed and this and smacked his arm lightly.
"I'm sorry, your brother just said something really awkward to me earlier…I'm over it, it was just a joke anyway," she gave him a wide smile and tugged him so that they could catch up to the fast pace Jeffery was setting. "Wait up Jeffery!" They nearly ran into him when he stopped abruptly in front of a gray door, he was staring at it as if he had just remembered something. A dark blush covered his face as he continued to stare at his door; he glanced up at Dorian and Leah with a torn look.
"Uh…could you guys wait out here while I get it?" He asked nervously.
"Sure, that's cool," Leah said with a shrug. Jeffery gave her a thankful nod before he disappeared into his room quickly. "So, why'd you want to come with us anyway?" she gave Dorian a suspicious look.
"Because I'm very selfish when it comes to my Pidgin," he pushed her hair out of her eyes; Leah flinched away from the affectionate gesture. Dorian blinked and pulled away from her. "Sorry about that, you're the first girl I've ever been able to get close to without freaking out…it's very tempting to touch you because of that." Leah smiled at the semi-complement.
"Dorr, you flatter me," she chuckled slightly; he reached out and tapped the purple dinosaur clip in her hair.
"Cute," he murmured, he tipped his head to the side and searched her face with his eyes, "Really cute." Leah blushed slightly and looked away.
"Sorry for making you wait," Jeffery cut in, coming out of his room and handing Leah a vial. She took it and tipped the liquid back and forth watching the air bubble move from one side to the other. "For god sake, drink the damn thing so that we can be done with it!"
"Someone's impatient," Leah sighed and pulled out the stopper, "I will have you know that this crap tastes horrible…I'm not really in any hurry to drink it. But since you insist," she threw her head back and swallowed in one gulp. "Done!" she raised her arms in victory which made Jeffery give her a weird look.
"You're a strange woman," he finally sighed.
"You're an odd duck yourself Jeffy-pie, but it doesn't mean we can't be friends."
"Not really interested in getting involved with someone who is eventually going to leave. I'll stick to the friends I have now, thank you very much."
"Stingy," Leah muttered back, she crossed her arms over her chest, "we could have been good friends too."
"I think you have enough good friends," Dorian interjected, he took her hand and started pulling her back towards the dining room. Jeffery excused himself and walked back in that direction at a faster pace. "Are we still on for dancing later?" Leah scrutinized his back has he pulled her towards the dinning room and the ballroom.
"Yeah, I think I'm ready to dance if you are," he glanced back at her and gave her a firm nod.
"Alright, let's go then."
"Come on Dorian! Let's go, let's go, let's go!" Leah dragged Dorian behind her self, a large smile on her face.
"How can you be so energetic? I'm exhausted!" Dorr whined, Leah swung around and caught his other hand.
"I'm hungry! If we don't get to the lunch table soon Jareth is going to eat all the scones!" she swung their arms back and forth in a childish motion.
"Leah, we've been dancing for hours, calm down for five minutes and let me catch my breath," he demanded with an exasperated sigh. Leah stood quietly while he caught his breath and scuffed the toe of her shoe on the floor, agitated. Dorian took the moment to observe her; a slight sheen of sweat covered her brow from their dancing. Sweat looks nice on her… His head jerked slightly to the side when his thoughts turned to other activities that could make them sweat. A deep blush spread across his cheeks, a few days ago he wasn't thinking about anyone like this.
"Wow Dorr, you really are out of breath, you're panting," she surveyed his face with a quizzical look.
"Er, ahem," he cleared his throat, "It's nothing, I'm fine."
"Really? You're really red," she reached out and poked one of his cheeks, "A little color looks good on you though," she laughed and started pulling him after herself again. He was silent for a long moment, allowing her to lead him back towards the dining room.
"Yeah, Dorr?" she turned and gave him a huge smile.
"Thanks for helping me with this dancing thing, I really appreciate it."
"Don't mention it, it is all to help you get together with Tempesta, so…I'm glad to help," her smile faltered ever so slightly.
"I really do appreciate it though; you're helping me out a lot more than just with the dancing part."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know," she released his hand, "I'm helping you get used to women, we've been over this before." As they rounded the corner to enter the dinning room Dorian pulled her back and wrapped his arms around her waist.
"Thank you," he murmured into her ear before he released her. Leah found herself blushing darkly when she realized the people in the dinning room had seen the moment of affection. "Afternoon," he nodded to everyone as he took his usual seat at the table.
"Go baby brother," Jareth murmured with a smirk, Leah slowly followed after Dorian, only to find that all of the seats at the table were taken. Tempesta was sitting in Leah's usual seat across from Dorian and Jeffery had taken the seat to her left. Sarah and Jareth had maintained their usual seats, and Hoggle had taken the seat at the head of the table where he had sat during his previous visit. Leah stood uncertainly in the entrance way looking at the full table.
"Oh, Leah, I didn't realize that there wasn't a seat for you," Tempesta said in a distressed voice.
"You can always sit on Dorr's lap, I'm sure he wouldn't mind," Jareth purred suggestively. Leah frowned at him and walked to Sarah's side, she dropped into her lap without any warning.
"Fuh! You're heavy, Leah, get off!" Sarah yelped.
"Damn you're legs are boney!"
"Damn your boney ass! Get the f*ck off!"
"Scoot over then," Leah demanded. Sarah gave her a deep frown and shoved her off of her lap. "FINE, I'll go sit with someone else," she rounded the table and stood next to Jareth. "Move," she hissed, Jareth jumped ever so slightly when Leah squished into the chair with him. There wasn't much room so she ended up straddling the arm of the chair.
"Why me?" he hissed in her ear.
"Because I need to talk to you," she hissed back.
"Really now…do continue," Dorian glared at Jareth and Leah's close seating arrangement. Leah and Jareth whispered back and forth while the usual stream of goblins arrived with the afternoon meal.
"Dorian, it had been such a long time since you have made an appearance at a Council function. Are you going to be present during the All Hollows Eve Ball your brother is hosting?"
"Uh," he ripped his eyes from his brother and friend and met Tempesta's curious gaze, "I am planning to attend."
"Oh, wonderful, I was wondering if, you would like to be my escort for the first Ball?"
"Uh, I think that I already have a date for the first evening, but I would happily escort you all of the nights after that."
"That sounds lovely," Tempesta murmured her eyes half-lidded and hungry looking. Dorian gulped at a lump in his throat as he continued to gaze into her eyes.
"Lovely…sure," he managed to half stammer out; he turned his attention back towards Jareth and Leah as he stuffed a biscuit into his mouth. Leah let out a charming laugh at something his brother said and he felt a wave of something hot and unpleasant rush up through his chest. He knew the feeling; he was a selfish creature so naturally he understood the feeling of jealous envy. Jareth chose that exact moment to turn a smug look in his younger brother's direction; he allowed a tooth suggestive smirk drift across his lips. He locked eyes with Dorian and mouthed something; he mouthed it a second time and Dorian realized what it was: 'Are you jealous?' He frowned at this and glared at Jareth, who playfully raised an eyebrow inquisitively at him. He mouthed back: 'No' and turned back to Tempesta.
Leah elbowed Jareth in the ribs playfully, "Were you listening to what I said?"
"Nope, Dorian was distracting me with damn puppy dog eyes he was making at you."
"Jareth…Dorian doesn't feel anything for me."
"And I think that Sarah is some sort of rare rutabaga, bullsh*t he doesn't feel anything for you. What was that hug from behind nonsense then?"
"I…I have no idea what came over him, he said something along the lines of: because I was the first girl he wasn't afraid of he liked being able to touch me. I…don't know what to say to that."
"Pet, that was a line, like one of those filthy mortals use in bars only with some Fae class. He was coming on to you; you should have either turned him down or asked him back to your room." By this time Leah had flushed several shades of red and was ducking her head down behind him to cover up her embarrassment from the others sitting at the table.
"We…we were kinda interrupted." She managed to whisper into his shoulder.
"So you admit you two were having a moment?" He whispered back slyly.
"Er…he did call me 'cute'," she looked up at Jareth and noticed his affectionate brotherly smirk curling up one side of his face. "Damn it, how do you manage to look so damn smug while looking so…I don't know, sweet?"
"First Sarah calls me 'nice' now you call me 'sweet', am I losing my touch as the villain of this story?"
"Oh honey, you were never the…'villain', as you so aptly put it, maybe you were just the antagonist," Sarah purred across the table. Both Jareth and Leah went completely still, Jareth's face took on an, almost, affectionate look, while Leah was blushing furiously.
"Wow Sarah, I've never been on the receiving end of…'that look' before…Honestly it makes me rather uncomfortable, Jareth I'm sorry but I've gotta go sit on Dorr's lap now…so that I don't feel more uncomfortable." She struggled out of her seat and managed to do so without falling, as she rounded the table Tempesta suddenly got up.
"Leah, sweetie, why don't you take my seat?" she gave Leah a helpful smile.
"Uh, thanks Princess," she slowly sat down, "But where will you..." Tempesta walked around the table and took a seat on Dorian's lap, "sit?" Dorian turned the color of a tomato while all of the blood drained from Leah's face. She glanced at Jeffery and noticed that he too looked rather green around the gills.
"Now, isn't this comfortable?" Tempesta purred out with a seductive smile aimed at Dorian, who looked rather comatose.
"Uh, is he breathing?" Sarah asked after a moment.
"I…don't think so," Jeffery said leaning slightly closer. Tempesta slid off of his lap and shot Leah a superior look. Leah gripped the arms of her chair tightly a cold fury running through her, How dare this b*tch mess with Dorian's head! Leah threw her chair back and joined Jeffery at Dorian's side.
"Is he okay?" she asked, pushing a strained of his hair out of his eyes.
"Why do you care? It's not like you're his intended like Tempesta is."
"Intended?" she glanced back at Jareth for more information.
"It's a rather informal agreement between our families that if, if, Dorian chooses to marry another Fae he would look at the Siren clan first before he made a choice. She's not his intended until he decides she is."
"You're the head of your house, you could make him choose," Tempesta tossed in.
"I…would never force him to marry someone he didn't love, unlike some clan heads," there was a slight underlying threat within his tone; Tempesta became silent with a pout.
"Jeffery, is there anything you can do for him?" Leah murmured to the pale man. He frowned at her slightly and glanced back at Tempesta, when she ignored him he focused back on Leah.
"You can help me carry him to his room, after the…shock the princess gave him he'll need some sleep." Leah nodded and put one of Dorian's arms over her shoulder, Jeffery let out a frustrated sigh before taking the other arm. While the two stumbled off with the knocked out prince Jareth pinned Tempesta with a level glare.
"What exactly were you hoping to achieve by doing that?" He growled.
"After seeing him be so friendly with that peasant not a half hour ago, I thought that he was finally over his phobia. Besides, what man wouldn't want me curled up on his lap?"
"My brother apparently," Jareth hissed back, "Because you are the daughter of a great ally I will let this incident slide, but mark my words, if you do something like this again I will personally bog you."
"You wouldn't dare," Tempesta shot back.
"I would, don't mess with my brother you shameless hussy."
"I didn't know you cared that much, Highness," she bit back.
"I care enough for the runt not to throw him to the wolves or into your clutches. You're lucky that he holds you in such high regard, or else I would personally make sure that you never showed your face in court again! Am I clear Princess?" She gave him a curt nod and hurriedly exited in the direction of her rooms. Jareth muttered some choice words under his breath before he realized that during his tirade he had risen from his seat and was clutching the table. He sighed and fell boneless-ly back into his seat.
"Wow, Jareth…I'm impressed," Sarah said after a second.
"Why?" he asked, spent from his encounter with the Siren princess.
"I never thought you'd fight for your little brother that hard."
"I thought the same thing seven years ago, Ms. Triumphant Runner." Sarah chuckled at the lack of acid in his words. "Now come reward me for being a good big brother," he pushed his chair out slightly and opened his arms to her. Sarah shook her head slightly but, nevertheless, she rose and took a seat on the Fae king's lap. He closed his arms around her with a gentle smirk.
Dorian opened his eyes to find that everything was dark around him. He felt a faint panic lingering from his, what felt like, endless nightmares. He glanced to his side and found Leah resting her head on his bed from her seat in one of his chairs. She looked so peaceful sleeping, but there were dark circles under her eyes that told a story of sleep as troubled as his own. There was no sound more comforting than her steady sleeping breaths by his side; he almost fell asleep again when she began to stir.
"Hey," he whispered to her and she sat up in a swift motion.
"You're awake!" a look of intense relief crossed her face.
"Uh, how long have I been out for?" He sat up and leaned against his headboard so that he could have a better view of her face.
"Uh, it's been two and a half days since you passed out at lunch, tomorrow morning would have marked your third day of sleeping." She ran a hand through her messy hair and her fingers caught in a tangle; she worried the spot for a moment before turning her full attention back on Dorian. "I'll go get Jeffery so he can check on you, okay?"
"Y-yeah, that sounds like…something you should do," he breathed out, his tone slightly deeper than he meant it to be. Leah glanced at him slightly before she got up and hurried from the room. Dorian leaned back against the cool wood behind him trying to sort out the loitering remnants of his nightmares without much luck. A snippet of one of his dreams came drifting back into his mind's eye, this dream was different from the others, and this dream wasn't a nightmare. It wasn't a dream he minded having again…especially when it involved a certain brown haired girl. Said girl chose that moment to reenter the room with Jeffery only a few steps behind.
"How are you feeling your highness?" Jeffery asked his tone slightly sleepy. Dorian observed the other man for a moment before he answered and noticed that he had circles as dark as Leah's ringing his eyes.
"I've been better Doc, less nightmares," he murmured quietly back.
"Nightmares?" he was asked by Leah while Jeffery lit a lamp and began checking Dorian's eyes and mouth. "I think I heard you say something about being smothered by some fat desperate woman.
"Er…something like that," he blushed slightly at her to the point remark.
"Well, you seem normal to me…or as normal as someone with your condition can be after a full blown panic attack," Jeffery cut in curtly. Dorian raised an eyebrow at the tart diagnosis but he didn't comment, Jeffery's clan was known for its sharp temper.
"Jeffery, why don't you go back to sleep? You haven't been sleeping much the last few days," Leah suggested, her tone was gentle like a healing salve over a burning itch. Jeffery's defenses crumbled and he let out a cat like yawn.
"Alright, but promise to get some sleep yourself, you've had just as much sleep as I have…perhaps less. Goodnight lady, your highness," he gave them a sincere nod as he exited the room.
"Wow, I've never seen Jeffery so…un-prickly. And 'lady'?"
"Uh, we had some time to bond; he's actually not a bad guy, he's just under some…incredible pressure at the moment."
"Sharing secrets? Without me?" he gave her a toothy smile that looked remarkably like Jareth's trademark smirk.
"Over you, actually, you have been comatose for the last couple of days."
"I'm glad that you were here when I woke up, it was comforting to see a familiar face after those long nights." Leah yawned tiredly and stretched, he noticed he attire for the first time. She was wearing a thinly strapped nightgown made from a gauzy material he wasn't quite sure if he could see through. She moved slightly and he was quite sure that he had seen something enticing peek through.
"I'm glad that you woke up," she relaxed her stretch and gave him a lopsided grin, "It's been boring without you. Jareth isn't as patient teaching me to dance; he says that I have seven left feet and that I have no idea where to put my hands. I told him it was easier to learn when your partner isn't constantly trying to look behind to watch your best friend."
"Mmhmm," he hummed back, their conversation came to a sudden stop when his stomach let out a grotesque roar of hunger. "Well that is embarrassing," he murmured.
"Hah, I could do with a midnight snack too, let's go," that being said the two wobbled their way down to the kitchen and Leah made the two of them sandwiches and tea. While Dorian was gobbling down his third sandwich Leah threw out an odd comment. "Uh, tomorrow my wraps are coming off."
"Hm, really?" he asked through a mouthful of bread.
"I'm just warning you so that you don't go into some sort of boobie overload," Dorian let out a choked laugh and ended up spraying crumbs everywhere.
"I don't think that will ever happen," he said laughing.
"Well it could happen, my breasts will leave you-you absolutely…I don't even know anymore. Man I'm tired," Dorian laughed slightly and plopped down on the kitchen floor. Leah took a seat next to him and they continued harassing each other good naturedly. The next morning Jareth came waltzing into the kitchen and found them asleep on the floor. Dorian had wrapped his arm around Leah's smaller frame protectively and Leah was using his other arm as a make shift pillow. Jareth watched them with an open look of envy, if only they didn't look so innocent together and…so right. He felt bad that the days to come would become harder for them. Conjuring a blanket he tucked them in, he ruffled Dorian's hair fondly and smoothed Leah's bangs out of her face.
"Sleep well," he murmured softly. The All Hallows Eve masquerade ball would start soon, and that would only bring pandemonium. He heard Leah whimper something in her sleep; he turned back and watched her kick violently at Dorian in her sleep. She murmured again and he caught what she said this time. He walked out of the kitchen contemplating the word that slipped from her lips, "Now why are you thinking about precious' little brother?"
AN: sorry I've taken so long to get this up…I promise that I will bring Toby into the story soon…I'll start the next chapter soon, I have some ideas for the masquerade so…hang tight.