You'll Find Someone True
"CYRIL! HOGGLE! I NEED YOU NOW!" Jareth's frantic call came from the foyer. Both men rushed to the door only to find Jareth carrying an unconscious Sarah, both of them drenched to the skin, garments sodden and dripping.
Jareth looked beside himself as he stumbled in the door. "Cyril, draw a warm bath, not too hot, for her now, Hoggle go fetch blankets and get a bed warmer in her bed." Jareth ordered following Cyril and Hoggle up the stairs, carrying his precious burden.
Magic was incredibly useful in times of need and within moments the bath was filled with warm water and Jareth stepped in, clothes and all, with Sarah. Holding her in the water and whispering words into her ear as he rocked her in the bath.
"Sire what happened?" Cyril asked keeping the temperature of the bath warm and slowly increasing the temperature so that her body would not go into shock.
"I don't know." Jareth's voice was pained. "One minute I'm going over treasury reports the next the Labyrinth is telling me she's in mortal danger. Cyril I watched her try to commit suicide!" Jareth choked on his last words, he was an emotional wreck and barely keeping his own composure.
"I watched her jump off the bridge into the river. I got there not a moment too soon. She had just plunged under the surface and I went in after her. That's all I know." Jareth said trying to get Sarah to respond. She was lifeless, but alive and shivering terribly.
"This may be the culprit." Agnes said from the door, holding the book in her hands. "I found it on the library floor; it was open to the picture of you and Cyril. I think the lass may have triggered her memories." Agnes said coming in and looking at Jareth.
"You need to go change into dry clothes sire and she needs out of that dress. Both you men out, my girls and I can see to her." Agnes said followed by her maids.
"I am not leaving her." Jareth growled and Agnes fixed him with a glare.
"You will boy. You'll do her no good weakening yerself as well. Go get dry, go get her bed warmed, we can handle her." Agnes ordered and with great reluctance but seeing the wisdom in the crone's words Jareth complied.
By the time he returned, they had Sarah's shivering stopped and while she was still blue, her color was returning. Miriam, one of the maids, gave Jareth a rueful smile. "I've got some healing gifts sire; she will be alright you got to her in time. She just needs to warm now, she awake soon enough. However Sire, her feet, I'm afraid she's suffered some frostbite walking through snow in slippers. She must stay off her feet until they heal. I've done what I can, but it will take a few days to properly mend." She said softly, scurrying back into the bathroom with one of Sarah's nightgowns in her hand.
Jareth sighed and conjured a crystal. "Show me her awakening." He commanded and he saw her sitting in the chair in the library reading and then he watched her face drain of all color and her eyes widen as memories began crashing down upon her. He saw her pain, her regret, her sudden self-loathing cloak her like a shroud.
"Oh precious, you blame yourself for everything don't you? Your mother's amour propre, your father's apathy and then his rancor, your step-mother's jealousy and umbrage, my errors in judgment in trying to keep you, faults of others dearest. Mine included. But suicide, what was going through your mind precious?" Jareth sighed as he was called to come carry Sarah to bed.
Cyril and Hoggle were pacing the floor, as Jareth laid her in bed and crawled in with her. "What do you think you are doing?" Cyril gasped and Jareth fixed him with a look that well nigh defied description.
"Do not gainsay me old man. I am going to keep her warm and make sure she doesn't make a second attempt by jumping out her window! Since apparently none of you can watch over a slip of a girl for an afternoon without her fleeing into the gates hell. Goodnight and get out. Post guards on all the doors." Jareth ordered, it was a dismissal and Sir Didymus knew when to hold his tongue. Jareth was in no mood to be argued with and he was right.
Sarah's feet were throbbing and the pain woke her. She was disorientated and something was wrapped around her waist. She opened her eyes; the room was dark but bathed in the light of the full moon. She was nose to nose with the Goblin King, it was his arm wrapped firmly around her waist, and he was asleep. The moon bathed him in its light, making his fair hair shimmer like silver where it lay disheveled on the pillow and framing his face like a halo of starlight. He was so very beautiful and no longer wearing a human glamour, his ears were decidedly not human and his skin almost glowed in the moonlight.
Memories, painful, horrible memories came back to taunt her, she had jumped from the bridge, she had felt the water knock the air from her lungs just as she heard the screech of a barn owl overhead. He had saved her. Why? She shifted to try to get up, but his arm tightened around her and his eyes opened.
"You are not going anywhere precious. You need to calm yourself, you are not thinking clearly and you are injured." Jareth said leaning up on his elbow to look down upon her. He was angry and upset and there were a host of other emotions rampaging in his mismatched eyes.
"Why? Why!? Don't you hate me enough? I'm so sorry." Sarah sobbed, wanting to flee, to escape the pain in his eyes. Pain she was certain was all her fault.
She felt his fingers trace her face, ungloved they tingled upon her skin, the magic was electric and humming along her every nerve. "Beloved, nothing in this world, above or underground could make me hate you. Why would I ever be angry with you for making the right choice? I was unfair to you when we last met. Never before had I met a mortal with a soul as pure as yours, never have I known a spirit so selfless. Sarah you place blame on your shoulders when it is not your burden to bear." Jareth began softly, running his fingers through her hair to calm the frightened mouse in his arms.
"Everyone, including me, has spoken words they did not mean. I am bound however by magic more ancient than you can comprehend to answer a wish summons. Whether the words are meant or not, you were the first person to, honestly and truly, not mean her words. You may have said them, but your love was greater than your pain. The moment you set foot in the Labyrinth, you won the game." Jareth said and Sarah's eyes widened.
"What?" She asked confused and Jareth smiled at her.
"The Labyrinth actually shuddered when you stepped into it, I felt it, and I am connected to the Labyrinth in a very physical and mental sense. I know everything that happens and the Labyrinth is alive in a way Sarah, it feels, and when it touched your soul it rejoiced. It then touched me and then it was my turn to rejoice, you turned my world. I had grown so jaded and you restored my hope in mortals." Jareth continued, drawing lazy circles on her arm with his finger.
"The Labyrinth is different for everyone Sarah. Because the Labyrinth is made up of a person's deepest fears, their hidden feelings and you frankly confused the magic. You were so pure, yet you were dark in so many places in your mind. Your penchant for blaming yourself for everything turned the magic of the Labyrinth in upon itself. You forced the Labyrinth to challenge you, because you felt you deserved punishment even though you had done nothing wrong. The Labyrinth obeyed you and you created your own obstacles. I watched you, frankly dumbfounded for a time, and then as I watched I learned about you and I fell in Love Sarah, utterly and irrevocably." Jareth said leaning over to place a tender kiss upon her brow. She shivered but remained silent, a few tears running down her cheeks that Jareth swiped away with his fingertips.
"You were so young and I was beyond foolish. I made some very real errors in judgment Sarah. Once a fifteen year old girl was already a married woman and more than likely already a mother as well. But times had changed and you were not mature enough to understand. I threw you into situations that confused you more than wooed you. I was used to dealing with more seasoned women and for that I am truly sorry. I should have never given you that peach nor should I have exposed you to that ballroom. It frightened you." Jareth said and looked pained before continuing.
"I wanted you so badly, I wasn't thinking clearly. Sarah, my kind, we can only fall in love once, do you know this?" He asked and Sarah nodded slowly, understanding beginning to light in her eyes.
"I had waited so long for you, I would have done anything to keep you, and I lied. I regret it with every fiber of my being. I should have told you Toby was free the moment you set foot in the Labyrinth, I should have just sent you both back, gotten on my knees and begged you to come back with me. But no, I had to go and offer you a choice you could never make without regrets. You chose the only way you could, you chose your brother. I was willing to wait for you to wish me back into your life, once you understood, once you grew up. But something changed. I hurt you too deeply. Because I knew how you blamed yourself for things and I had inadvertently given you yet another thing to blame yourself for, you shut out magic, shut out your dreams, you died inside and it was all my fault. I took the only thing that made you happy away from you; I took magic out of your life." Jareth said his voice breaking as he pulled her closer.
"I'm so sorry precious, I drove you to this. Please, please beloved forgive me." His voice was ragged as he buried his face in her hair. He was weeping. The Goblin King was weeping!
Sarah's arms encircled him as he wept into her hair. A piece of her soul seemed to mend in that moment.
"Jareth, this is not your fault. I thought… I don't know what I was thinking. I've been so foolish. Can you forgive me?" She asked and Jareth just shook his head and buried his face in the crook of her neck and shoulder.
"There is nothing to forgive Precious. Just do not leave me, I couldn't bear it Sarah, I will die without you." He murmured and Sarah shivered. The words she'd read earlier about Sidhe fading away when love was lost hit her like a ton of bricks. Had she succeeded in killing herself, she would have killed him too.
"Oh, OH! Jareth, I'm so sorry." She said again, her own tears falling now in earnest. He kissed her neck and pulled her closer, as if he could crawl under her very skin if he got close enough.
"Shhhh. Enough now Sarah, it is over and I am more than content to let this moment die and remain in the past. We have forever ahead of us my love and it is late and you need more rest yet so you can recover." Jareth said snuggling into her and letting peace settle between them. Enough tears had been shed and enough pain was endured for one night. She snuggled against his chest, letting out a shuddering sigh as the last of her tears faded.
"Can I ask you one more question? Why did you come here now and pretend to be Jareth King?" Sarah asked and Jareth smiled into her hair.
"That's a two part question precious. First, we have to thank your brother. Since you were so frustratingly refusing to make wishes, he made one in your stead." Jareth began telling her about Toby's innocent and wonderfully vague wish.
"He's such a darling." Sarah said, missing Toby terribly all of sudden.
"Yes he is. As to Why I let you believe I was mortal. You had blocked out Magic love, I wanted to ease you back into it, as well as let you see the man I am. Not the King, but me and only me without masks or games getting in the way, I may be a King, but I'm also just a man, a man who loves you very much. I wanted to court you properly, woo you as a woman should be wooed, for no other reason than I cherish you more than life itself. I cannot say it enough how much I love you, precious." He said kissing her brow tenderly.
"I love you, too." Sarah sighed softly, making a few more tears leak from Jareth's eyes softly. But those were tears of joy, it was the first time she had told him she loved him in return. Forever looked beautiful at last.
When morning finally arrived with the sun, Sarah's whimpering in her sleep awoke Jareth. He gently nudged her awake. "Are you in pain Precious?" He asked, smoothing the hair from her face.
"My feet are throbbing." She moaned and Jareth sat up and went to the door where Goblin guards stood.
"Go fetch Miriam. We are in need of her healing services. Be quick." Jareth ordered returning to Sarah's side, helping her to sit.
"You have frostbite on your feet precious; you are not to stand until Miriam says you can. I will carry you today." Jareth said as Miriam, hurried into the room in her dressing gown.
"Oh mistress, you are looking so much better than yester'eve. Quite a fright you gave all of us." The pretty young maid said. Her auburn curls poking out of a sleeping bonnet. She was obviously not a Sidhe, but not a goblin either. She looked mortal but obviously was not.
She seemed to notice Sarah's questioning look and she smiled. "I'm a changeling mistress. I was born Mortal like you. A very long time ago, my father wished me away and his majesty rescued me. The couple who raised me, I love very much. You met my mother Agnes." Miriam said with a wink. "It turned out, I had a latent gift for healing, I'm not a true healer because I am not Sidhe born, but it works for easing pain." Miriam said laying her hands on Sarah's feet. The pain immediately began to fade.
"Oh that is so much better. I didn't know you were Agnes' daughter." Sarah said and Miriam grinned.
"Normally babes are given to Sidhe parents, but Agnes took care of me those first few days, I was near death when His Majesty saved me, and well she loved me and he let her keep me. My father sadly passed about a hundred years ago." Miriam said and Sarah's eyes widened.
"How old are you? You look no older than me." Sarah said and Miriam laughed.
"I turned five hundred and three last week." Miriam grinned impishly and Sarah's jaw dropped.
"Enough now, Miriam, I think I can take it from here lass." Jareth said with a smile and Miriam curtsied and dashed out of the room.
"Wow, she looks great for being ancient." Sarah said and Jareth laughed heartily.
"Hardly ancient Love." Jareth said sitting on the edge of the bed.
"I'm afraid to ask how old you are." Sarah said and Jareth grinned devilishly.
"In mortal years, I'd say I'm in my late twenties to mid-thirties physically. It's a rather hard thing to judge for the Sidhe. We live quite a long time. I look older above ground with the lack of magic in the air. I'm rather spry in my element." Jareth hedged and winked while waggling his eyebrows suggestively and Sarah frowned at him.
"In Sidhe years?" She asked and Jareth shrugged.
"To be honest love, I lost count a very long time ago. A Very, very long time, I was well into manhood when the Roman's viewed us as Gods and King Minos tried in vain to copy my Labyrinth." Jareth winked and Sarah groaned.
"I'm sorry I asked." Sarah said and Jareth just tucked her hair behind her ears.
"Best get used to it Sarah. I'm decidedly, what is it you mortals say? 'Robbing the cradle'?" Jareth teased and Sarah laughed.
"That's putting it mildly. So what happens now?" Sarah asked and Jareth grinned.
"Now, we get you in your dressing gown and head downstairs. It is the first day of twelfth night and there are presents to be opened awaiting us." Jareth quipped, looking happy as he grabbed her robe and slipped it over her shoulders before picking her up and carrying her down the stairs.
He set her on the chaise and propped pillows behind her and covered her legs with a thick blanket. He was also still in his night attire, looking wonderfully unkempt as Cyril looking put together has usual entered the room.
"Did we not have a discussion about modes of dress yesterday morning?" He asked teasingly as he bent over to kiss Sarah's head. "You frightened us young lady. How do you feel this morning?" He asked and Sarah smiled at him.
"Better. I'm sorry." She said and Jareth snorted.
"I thought we went through this Sarah, no more apologizing love. She's fine you old goat, stop hovering." Jareth scolded and Cyril fixed him with a stare.
"So says the man glued to her side last night." Cyril teased but sat in a chair beside Sarah just the same.
"You both are guilty of being overly protective. Let the missy breathe." Hoggle said shuffling into the room and he just winked at Sarah before going over to stoke the fire.
Jareth just shook his head as he bent to pick up a small box from under the tree, walking over to Sarah and kneeling beside her he handed her the box. "I think this one should come first." He said and Sarah eyed him dubiously but accepted the gift and opened it, and then gasped. It was quite obviously an engagement ring. A tiny pearl sized crystal was at the center, surrounded by a myriad of diamonds, it looked like a crystal flower in full bloom and was shining like stars as the light was reflected and Jareth smiled as he took the ring from the box and still kneeling beside Sarah, asked the question every girl lived to hear from the man she loved.
"Sarah, I would formally like to ask you for your hand in marriage. You are the air I breathe, the sun that lights my day and the moon that shines upon me as I dream. Without you I am incomplete, a King without his Queen. You humble me, you challenge me, you delight me, and you are my equal in every way. I ask you, nay, I beg you to plight your troth with me. Say me 'Aye' precious." Jareth asked and Sarah's eyes blurred with tears as her heart exploded with joy.
"Aye." Her voice trembled as she held out her hand. Jareth slipped the ring upon her finger and leaned over and kissed her, and kissed her and kissed her some more. That was until Cyril cleared his throat pointedly.
"Go Away, I am kissing my betrothed." Jareth grumbled and Cyril reached over and knocked him in the back of the head.
"Betrothed, not wife yet." Cyril said and Jareth laughed and leaned back.
"Sarah should I throw him in the bog?" Jareth asked and it was Sarah's turn to laugh.
"If I remember correctly he's the only one who can't smell it, I don't think the threat will work on him." Sarah said and Didymus laughed.
"I could smell just fine, pretending I couldn't was the difficult part while also trying to maintain the illusion I was a short furry fox. You my lady are quite impressive with your creativity and imagination." Cyril said winking his good eye as Jareth made his way back to the tree and passed out presents as Agnes joined them bringing in tea and pastries.
"Eat between presents you lot." She said and was taken aback that Sarah had bought her a gift.
She cackled like the hobgoblin she was and immediately put her apron on.
"Sarah, what did I tell you about her ego? She doesn't need help in that department." Jareth said pinching the bridge of his nose as Agnes preened.
"Like you're any better? Hello Mr. Kettle Black, call me Mr. Pot." Sarah asked and Jareth pretended to look affronted.
"That's different." He said and Sarah laughed.
"In your dreams." She replied as Jareth found the money in the toe of his stocking.
"Sarah Williams! If you were not already in pain, I'd tan your bottom! Do I have to staple this money to your person?" Jareth asked waving the wad of cash at her.
"I'm not freeloading." She said and Jareth once again was pinching the bridge of his noise.
"Sarah, I am a bloody King. I think I'm a capable of taking care of the needs of my wife to be. I do not considering taking care of you, freeloading. I call it my bloody duty as your future husband. Insufferable woman, I liked it better when women expected their men to provide for them instead of this modern woman's notion of 'liberation'. Keep your money Sarah." Jareth said dropping the money in her lap with a look that said she'd better drop the subject.
She did, wisely, no sense in arguing on Christmas after all.
Hoggle loved his sun catcher and Didymus immediately poured tea into his new mug with a twinkle in his eye and then Jareth came to his present.
He unwrapped it carefully and then just sat there staring at it for a long time. "Sarah, where did you get this?" He asked, obviously touched and fighting hard not to show his emotions to Cyril and Hoggle.
"At a little store in the mall. It reminded me of you, now I know why. It is you. My subconscious knew what I couldn't remember." Sarah said as Jareth walked over to kiss her soundly.
"Apparently, I love it, I will Cherish it." He said and meant it. It was the first gift his love had given him and it was a remarkable likeness. The Artist even got the colors right on his breast feathers. This was not made by mortal hands; the artist had to be a Sidhe living in the mortal realm. It was too accurate to be coincidence.
The room was covered in discarded wrappings and trappings and Sarah was buried in presents. Her engagement ring had been followed by a book from Didymus, a pretty pair of plastic spangle earrings from Hoggle. A huge batch of fudge from Agnes that Jareth was shamelessly dipping his fingers into when he thought she wasn't looking, and the last gift was a large crystal globe from Jareth.
"Look into it." He said and Sarah could see Toby, sitting on the floor in his grandparent's house opening his presents and looking adorable. Santa had been good to him this year.
"You can watch over him whenever you desire it. This will show you whatever you wish to see Sarah. It will show you those you love when you need to see them and they are away. It is how I watched you these past years." Jareth said and Sarah cried.
"Thank you. Will Toby be all right? Will I ever see him after?" She asked and Jareth smiled.
"Love, I don't think it will be long before that tyke wishes himself away to you. You are more his mother than his own, he knows it and I know it. When the time comes Sarah, he will come to you. He is a bit distracted at the moment with toys." Jareth said as he handed her a bit of his sleeve to wipe her eyes.
"Do you think so?" She asked and he nodded.
"I'd wager my castle on it I'm that sure. No more tears precious." Jareth said kissing both her cheeks.
"When do we go? Can I finish High School first?" Sarah asked and Jareth sighed.
"I'd rather marry you, at least in the underground as soon as possible. I'm not a saint Sarah, nor a paragon of patience. However, I can concede with your desire to finish your education. A compromise if you will. We go back to marry, we come back here to live until you finish school. Can you abide by this agreement?" He asked and Sarah smiled and nodded.
"I can. When do you want to get married?" Sarah said and Jareth glowed.
"Is the first Day of the New Year too soon for you?" Jareth asked and Sarah smiled.
"Wow, that is fast but no, I have a closet full of pretty dresses to wear." She said and Jareth grinned like a snake.
"There is only one gown I want to see you in that day Precious. I'm sure you know which one I mean. I dressed you in it once before." Jareth purred and Sarah shivered.
"I know the one. It was a wedding dress then?" She asked and Jareth nodded.
"Aye precious it was. I knew then what I wanted and I was not very subtle about it. We were both wearing wedding attire." Jareth said and Sarah shook her head.
"You never do anything by halves do you?" She asked and Jareth winked.
"Not if I can help it precious." He replied kicking his feet up and leaning back in his chair looking all together far too smug and like a man who always got what he wanted.
(to be continued…)
So I lied, I found myself suffering some insomnia (That happens frequently) and I whipped this out to make up for the evil cliffhanger from chapter 6… but this probably really will be the last update until after the Holiday. Just a couple of chapters left give or take, wrapping this tale up now… Got a wedding to cover and this isn't rated "M" for nothing… Jareth will get his nookie before this tale is through. I'd be afraid NOT to give his NIBS some action actually. ;)