Disclaimer: I own nothing, to my dismay. Only the story in which I wreak havoc in our favorite characters lives. Muah! They'll thank me for it later! I also do not own the way the goblins speak, which I am borrowing from The Tenth Kingdom, which belongs to David Carson and Herbert Wise.
The avatar picture of Jareth and Sarah is created by the very talented kiarajareth from Deviantart. If you are a Jareth + Sarah fan, I highly recommend her. You won't be sorry ;)
This is my first shot at a Labyrinth fic. And I apologize in advance for any actiony parts of my story. Those scenes are my weak point, and I'm never truly satisfied with them. In any case, I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoy writing it. Please bear with me in later chapters, as I started this fic on a whim and have no real idea where I want this story to go or where it may end up, so updates might be a little irregular. So bear with me as I try my best. Thanks for reading ^-^
Sarah sighed wearily as she unlocked the door to her home and walked in, throwing her keys down on the table and slumping into the nearest chair. It had been a hard day. It had only been nearly 2 years since she had gotten herself a job as an aide at the local elementary school, helping the grade 4 kids if they struggled or got a bit behind work. She had always wanted to become a teacher, and this was one step closer to her goals. But today, everything that could have gone wrong, did.
Bullies seemed to have come out of their shells completely and were harassing and beating up the smaller kids, and several times Sarah had to intervene and march two or three kids at once down to the principals office. Then she had stayed late to help three students with their homework, two of which had been sick for three weeks and had gotten way behind. On top of that, she had missed lunch because she had errands to run, and the school's coffee machine had broken down. To say the least, Sarah's nerves were frazzled and nearly fried completely by the time she got to go home to her cozy little apartment.
Absently, she let her eyes wander the apartment she had gotten 4 years ago. Most of the stuff animals that had filled her room as a teenager had been packed and put into storage, save for a couple that had a special place in her room, and a few that she had given to Toby. Her soft white walls were now decorated with framed pictures of her family, and a few knick knacks that were scattered about the walls on tasteful and imaginative shelves. There was a plush white carpet that sat on the floor of her living room, and square ceramic tiles in the rest of her apartment that were almost pink-ish color.
Her furniture consisted of a dark chestnut brown couch that looked like a bed mattress that curved up slightly at the ends, with two creamy colored large cushions as seats, two medium sized cushions as arm rests, and five medium sized cushions as back rests, toned in darker shades of brown and cream. A large and rather comfortable lounging chair sat adjacent to her sofa, and Sarah had spent many hours getting lost in a good book in its soft and ample cushions. A nice oak coffee table sat in front of her sofa, and a smaller matching oak table sat in between her couch and chair.
These pieces of furniture were not really in Sarah's taste, as she preferred the more simple and classic things. But her father and step-mother had bought them as house warming gifts, and so she could not turn them down. Sometimes she would forget that these things were hers, and she did not have to treat them as delicately as she would a guests home. If she wanted to hop over the back of the couch as a means to sit on her couch, it was definatley within her rights as owner of the property to do so. And perhaps one day she really would follow through on such urges. But as it was she had to keep reminding herself that such things were most unbecoming of an adult, a young adult maybe, but an adult nonetheless.
The only piece of furniture that she had bought herself, and had also splurged on, was her new bed. Toby had been growing like a weed and was quickly getting to big to fit comfortably in his bed, to the point where his feet were hanging off the edge. So Sarah had donated her bed to Toby, and had ended up buying herself a brand spanking new bed that she had her eye on for the past six months. The moment she had set eyes on it while she had been flipping through a store's flyer, she had fallen in love with it. She had fallen even harder when she went to see it with her own eyes.
It was a four poster bed that just screamed of grandeur and serenity. The black posters were carved in a way that almost looked haphazard, and Sarah found it to be very creative and original. The bed held a queen sized mattress, which like the drapes and blankets, Sarah had to purchase seperatley. In the end she decided some simple white airy drapes that had cherry blossoms patterns sewn into it, and some dark blue sheets with an equally dark blue comforter with a couple different butterfly patterns.
Getting it home was a bit of a task. Organizing all the pieces took effort. Assembly had been a bitch. But in the end, taking a step back to admire her handy work, Sarah was very pleased. The whole atmosphere in her room had changed. It was no longer just a room for sleeping, now it was a haven for her to come rest her weary mind and body, a place that spoke of relaxation. The mattress was soft yet firm, and curled and formed to Sarah's body which relieved stress off of her spine, and more often than not, she found herself falling asleep more quickly and waking up refreshed.
Her stomach suddenly rumbled loudly, as if a reminder that it was empty and it demanded to be filled or the consequences would be dire. Defeated, she sighed and pushed herself onto weary muscles and forced her body over to her refrigerator. She scanned her shelves and could nearly feel the vein popping on her brow. Of course there wasn't anything she could just grab, heat and eat. Of course she would have to spend at least an hour cooking if she wanted something nourishing to eat.
"Screw that" she said as she almost slammed the door shut, "my day might not have been an easy one, but the rest of my night is going to be nothing but relaxation!"
She grabbed her phone book, flipped to a dog-eared page, and dialed the number to her favorite Chinese restaurant. She sat the phone back down in its cradle with a smile creeping its way onto her face. Things were finally looking up. In the thirty minutes it took for her food to arrive, she took a bath filled with coconut scented bubbles. The hot water instantly eased her tension, and she felt her worries from the day slip away and drown in the soapy water.
She had just pulled a baggy shirt over her head when she heard knocking on her door. Her stomach rumbled impatiently as she padded her way to the door, paid the man, and pretty much shut the door in his face. She slipped her favorite movie into her DVD machine, settled herself comfortably on her sofa and focused solely on her meal and the dancing images in front of her. No more school. No more kids. No more homework. No more worries.
She was falling. Very slowly her body drifted downwards, while pieces of broken stone twirled around her body in mid-air. Finally, her feet made contact with what she hoped was solid ground. Somewhat dazed by the experience she took the opportunity to glance around her surroundings, which appeared to be nothing more than a chunk of rock floating in space. She was curiously captivated by the sight, until she felt another presence in the room. The little hairs on the back of her neck stood at attention as she whirled around to come face to face with a person walking leisurely out of the shadows to confront her, a very powerful and dangerous aura cloaking the individual.
'Jareth, the Goblin King' Sarah realized, entranced by his slow walk towards her. He was dressed in all white, and looked every bit as regal as any king should. And every step he took was intentional, calculated, and filled with a purpose. Each step also radiated with power, and it made her shiver. But she wouldn't back down and run away with her tail between her legs. She also had a purpose. She needed to rescue Toby. This was it. The final confrontation. The battle of wills. And Sarah was determined not to loose.
"Give me the child" she spoke with far more courage than she currently felt. Her eyes locked onto his as he continued to advance on her.
"Sarah, beware" he warned, circling around her, "I have been generous up until now, but I can be cruel."
"Generous?" she echoed incredulously, cocking her head to one side, "what have you done that was generous?"
"Everything!" he barked, starting to circle around her as he spoke. "Everything you have asked for, I have done. You asked that the child be taken, I took him. You cowered before me; I was frightening. I have re-ordered time. I have turned the world upside down! And I have done it all for you!" His eyes softened as he gazed into the emerald depths of her eyes. "I'm exhausted from living up to your expectations of me. Isn't that generous?"
Sarah felt a crack in her resolve at her words. He had done all these things? For her? Guilt washed over her, and at this moment, she almost felt as if she should take a step back, which would declare the Goblin King the victor. No! She couldn't let him win! If it were only herself at stake here, perhaps she would have yielded to the handsome king. But she wasn't. Toby was at stake. And she would not loose to him! Not after making such a careless wish that she had not even meant to make. She needed to right these wrongs, and bury whatever other feelings she had deep inside of herself.
"Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered, "she spoke, walking towards Jareth and forcing him back, "I have fought my way here to the castle, beyond the Goblin City."
She kept her voice even and her steps firm, forcing him down a few stairs as she continued to speak the lines she had rehearsed so often in the park back home.
"For my will is as strong as yours, and my.."
"Stop!" Jareth interrupted, holding a defensive hand out infront of him. "Wait."
Her eyes never left his as he held out a hand infront of him, a crystal ball materializing in his nimble fingers.
"Look Sarah. Look what I'm offering you. Your dreams."
He held the crystal ball out in front of him, offering it to her. He seemed almost desperate, his eyes pleading with hers. For a split second, Sarah looked into the glossy depths of the crystal, the shimmering uncertainties that lay within it treacherous. But she would not be deterred.
"And my kingdom as great" she continued in the same monotone voice, once more advancing towards him.
"I ask for so little, just let me rule you and you can have everything that you want."
Sarah hesitated. For one brief moment, Jareth seemed to brighten, thinking that Sarah had at last considered his request and held the crystal ball out to her once more.
"And my kingdom as great..." she repeated, eyebrows knit together in deep concentration. "Damn" she spat, "I can never remember that line."
"Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave" Jareth said softly.
Sarah glanced back at him, and was surprised by the emotions she saw floating just behind his eyes. Hope. Fear. Love? But was it true? Was he telling her the honest truth? Were those looks in his eyes sincere? Or just another trick to make her forget all about her baby brother and force her to loose to him. Sarah became confused and afraid at the feelings that he was causing her to experience, especially at such an inopportune moment.
She had been viewing Jareth as the evil one in this fantasy story, and her as the courageous heroine who risked her life to save someone that she dearly loved from the grasp of her adversary. It wasn't until he mentioned it that forced her to re-think her image of him. She asked that the child be taken. And so, only doing what he had been asked, he took him. He hadn't stolen him from her at all. She had given him permission. Toby being taken was not his fault, it was hers.
The cold hard truth slapped Sarah hard in the face. All of this mess, this whole thing, was entirely her own fault. The Goblin King was not the bad guy, she was. Unshed tears sparkled behind her eyes, but she forced them back. She was still in the presence of Jareth, after all, who looked quite different bathed in the light that she now saw. Her heart sped up as she viewed him, as if for the first time. He was a regal figure that demanded respect and vibrated with power, and he was also quite handsome, a fact that Sarah had chosen to ignore on the basis of he was supposed to be the bad guy. It was the looks in his eyes that was nearly her undoing. She had known she was attracted to this man since the moment she had seen him in Toby's bedroom, but the urgency of the situation had taken over everything else. She knew she had feelings for this man, that much had become abundantly clear when she had danced with him in the magical ballroom, to what extent though, she did not know.
'You could say 'yes', you know? Accept the crystal ball, your dreams, and this man. See where this rabbit hole goes' her mind suggested, and Sarah could nearly feel the grin behind the words.
True. She could accept it. The crystal, the man, this world, and all that went along with it. This was an adventure of a lifetime, and even though she had been partly frightened by the whole experience, she could not deny that she had fun as well. And she was grateful for the lessons she had learned while traipsing her way around the labyrinth, and for all the friends she had made on her journey as well. This place had forced her to grow up and stop being such a self centered, whiny little brat. And she was grateful. Who knew what other lessons were left to teach her here, in this magically infused land of goblins and fairy's and talking doorknobs and red dancing creatures with the ability to take off their heads.
She wanted to stay. She wanted to accept, she realized. But she couldn't. She had come all this way, for Toby. If she gave in now and accepted the Goblin King's offer, would he force Toby to stay as well?
She looked deep within his beautifully mismatched eyes, one green and the other gold. Eyes so full of hope, begging her to accept his offer. But she could not do it. Toby did not deserve this. He did not deserve to be ripped away from his parents like this. None of this was his fault, it was all her fault. Regardless of her own feelings, Sarah could not take the chance of Toby not being able to return to the mortal world up above. She nearly regretted not being a selfish child, to take what she wanted with no regard for other people's feelings.
"You have no power over me" she said at last, gazing over the crystal ball and into Jareth's eyes.
She wished she hadn't. Before her eyes, she saw Jareth's heart break, and felt her own break as well.
Suddenly the chiming of clocks were going off all around her, and she watched in slow motion as Jareth flung the crystal ball up into the air. Without thinking, she reached out to catch the falling orb, only to have it pop like a bubble on the tips of her fingers. His words echoed in her head, "what's said is said." She knew there was no going back.
"JARETH!" Sarah screamed, shooting straight up out of her bed and the momentum sending her sprawling onto the cool floor below. Her lungs gasped hungrily for breath as she lay dazed on the floor, it almost felt as if someone had punched her in the stomach and driven all the air from her lungs. Her heart was beating so rapidly that she thought it might break right through her ribcage, and sweat poured off of her and she hastily wiped it from her eyes several times.
"That dream again..." she rasped, holding a shaky hand to her chest and willing herself to calm down.
At least twice a week since the incident six years ago, she would have that dream. The memories of the final showdown between herself and the Goblin King. The only evidence that the journey had happened at all.
Suddenly, she slapped her hands over her mouth, realizing something very important, and foolish. She had said his name out loud. Called for him. Her eyes flew around her room, to every dark corner, every nook and cranny, searching. Would he appear, just as he had that stormy night all those years ago when she had called out to him? If it was one thing that Sarah had learned from her experience in the labyrinth, it was that words had power, and names had even more power.
She sat in complete silence as she continued to scan her room, hearing only the thudding of her heart in her chest. Five minutes that felt like forever passed, and the only thing that had moved was a branch outside of her window from a slight breeze outside. Figuring it was safe she let out the breath she had been holding in and tried to calm her nerves, rising to sit on the edge of her bed she couldn't help but replay the dreams sequence of events. She went from anxiety to depression in what felt like record breaking time.
Those eyes. Those hauntingly beautiful mismatched eyes of the goblin king, sometimes she wished she could just forget them altogether. She remembered the look of his heart breaking in his eyes as she spoke those six little words that would seal her fate and return her to the normal world above, a world completely devoid of magic. She sighed. Where exactly were these thoughts getting her? Nowhere. That's where. Jareth and his labyrinth were both in the Underground, and they both probably wanted nothing more to do with the troublesome little girl who defeated it and broke its kings heart.
"Well, sitting here brooding over the past isn't going to give me anything but an upset stomach. What I need is a nice hot, relaxing cup of tea to settle my nerves and help me get back to sleep" she mumbled to herself, dragging her body up and walking out of her bedroom and into the kitchen.
The moment she had walked out of her bedroom, the door to her closet inched its way open with the tiniest 'creak' of its hinges, allowing six tiny eyes to peer out through the crack.
"She called for the master, she did!" a tiny voice squeaked happily, it's beady eyes shining with delight.
"Shall we take her to him?" a second and equally excited voice asked.
"No" a third, more serious, voice spoke up, "it was just a dream, it was. She did not mean to call his name. And she did not say her right words."
"Awwh!" the other two voices whined
"But the master would be happy to see her! He misses her, he does!"
"Yes, yes! Master would be pleased if we brought lady to him! She makes a nicey nice present!"
"But would be master be pleased if she was taken without his orders, or against her will?" the other one asked, one bushy eyebrow raised as he eyed his two simple minded companions.
The other two voices were silent.
"Soon, the time will come when we will take her to master. Until then, we follow master's orders to keep an eye on her."
"Yes yes, soon! Soon master will see his lady!" the voices squealed with delight.
"Ssh! Lady comes back to bed now! Hush up!"
The closet door closed with a barley audible 'click', and went unheard to Sarah's ears. Three pint-sized little figures watched as Sarah crawled back into her bed groggily and pulled her comforter up to her chin, mumbling something about stupid goblin kings, smelly bogs and LSD laced peaches before nodding off into blissful slumber.
"Yes, soon we will take her to the castle beyond the goblin city, and to master" the voices cackled mischievously.