Disclaimer: I do not own the Labyrinth.
Author: Bunni Girl
Summary: Not your typical Labyrinth fanfic.
Plot: Without giving too much away, simply put: what if the whole thing had been a dream? After all, there was evidence in the movie of the characters as objects in Sarah's room. So: if it had been a dream, what would Sarah do? And what if Sarah couldn't wake up?
Rating: Please keep in mind this is intended for a mature audience and therefore rated "M." There are strong adult themes such as violence, sexuality, and language; if you are not the recommended age limit, please be advised that the author nor the website is not responsible for the outcome.
The Last Lullaby
All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams. ~Elias Canetti
She laughed, finishing her dancing as she went into the hall. It had been one crazy party. Hoggle ended up having the lamp shade put on him, running around yelling that he couldn't see. Sir Didymus, of course, won at Scrabble. And she herself couldn't remember the last time it was that she had so much fun. Probably never.
Sarah giggled some more and yawned, looking around the empty house. She scratched her back and looked at the clock: 2:02 a.m. Hmmm.. "Dad? Karen?" She turned her head, her dark hair swishing with the movement.
Not a sound - even from Toby in the other room.
Her friends had left a while ago, promising to see her quite soon. All she had to do was call, they assured her. Just need them and they will be there with the flick of the wrist.
"Dad?" She went downstairs, wondering what was taking them. They should've been back by now. Taking one last frustrated look around, she went upstairs to finish cleaning up. And she thought she was a party animal.
Picking up the last of the streamers and dumping them into a garbage bag, she flopped on her bed, ready to pass out from exhaustion. God, who knew solving the Labyrinth could take so much out of you? She had been running on pure adrenaline until now. She closed her eyes, feeling cold suddenly. Shivering, she turned on her side and yawned one last time before darkness claimed her.
She roused sometime later, blinking, looking at the clock on her nightstand. It blinked 5:55 in angry red lettering. She got up and stretched, feeling cold still. "Brrr, turn up the heat," she mumbled, fumbling in the dim lighting for her footing.
"Have a good rest, Sarah?"
She immediately stiffened and closed her eyes again. Please let this be a nightmare, she thought.
The smooth voice that sent pinpricks down her spine continued. "Oh, but it is."
She flung herself from the bed, unwilling to believe her bad luck. But lo and behold, on the other side of the bed was the Goblin King, facing the wall and not her. He was in his usual wear, looking dark and composed and ever so much the King. If it had not been for the immense fear and confusion she felt, she could've sworn his pose was meant to seduce her. In hindsight, maybe he was.
She got up immediately, her back to the opposite wall and circled around the bed cautiously. "What do you want? Why are you here?" No response. She decided to be a little haughty. He was in her domain now. "I thought I defeated you."
"Ha! Is it such a competition with you always?" He paused, and she could barely see the catlike grin come on his face. "Very well, Sarah... I'll play along." He swung his legs around, and said in a very dark yet amused voice. "You never won."
She stiffened. "Liar," she spat. She narrowed her eyes, wondering why he was here. And why he wasn't looking directly at her. "I beat you."
"On the contrary, Sarah," he said, as if on the point of laughing out loud. A crystal ball rotated on his fingertips acrobatically. Sarah stared at it before looking at the Goblin King. Her anger escalated with fear trailing not far behind it.
"What do you mean?"
"Do you remember a little present that the dwarf gave you?" She said nothing. He ventured forward, spinning the crystal in his hand still.
"A full-" spin, "juicy-" spin, "peach?" He almost looked at her before settling his gaze on the mirror, with a grin that exposed his fangs.
She paled. Sarah gathered her wits about her and rationalized quickly through the Goblin King's lies. "I woke up."
He said nothing and continued to smile - the only change was that he threw the ball up and down in the palm of his hand. She continued. "I did. I know I did. I woke up, found Ludo, Sir Didymus, and-and Hoggle and came to Goblin City... and said the words-" her voice was increasingly becoming filled with doubt.
"You don't honestly think that, now do you?" He looked even more amused, as if he was only humoring Sarah - a person with low intelligence. Too slow for the upkeep.
"Y-yes, I do." She crossed her arms, increasingly becoming upset by this. Even though, she thought, she shouldn't. It was lies. All lies. But then, why was she feeling more unnerved by his words?
"It was all in your head."
She couldn't speak. Even if she wanted to, what could she say?
She put her hands to her ears.
No, no, no. It's not true. It can't be true.
"Shut up," she moaned, her head suddenly hurting really bad.
"Even... your precious Hogwerth."
"His name is Hoggle," she said. She became tense with pain and shook with irrefutable anger. How dare he go so far as to say she MADE IT ALL UP. He was there throughout the entire trial. He brought her to that world. And now he was accusing her of being crazy.
How dare he.
"Whatever. All of the Underground creatures figments of your imagination. Your journey," he stopped playing with the ball and looked at her dead on in the eyes in the mirror's reflection, "was a sham. A fabrication. Poof!" His hands were outspread and he smirked. "Magic, my darling. Of the mind, of course."
She shook with rage. "You're wrong. I can't trust your word, Jareth. I never could."
"Oh, really?" He raised an elegant eyebrow at her. He still wasn't looking at her. "Well, then Sarah. Do tell why is it your room is decorated the way it is? Hmm?"
Sarah let her eyes go over her possessions in a room that was hardly unchanged since she was young. She did not want to believe but as she scanned the objects, she grew less and less sure of herself.
The poster of the Escher room practically mirrored that of her final confrontation with Jareth.
The bookends that looked like Hoggle.
The music box that held the replica of the dress she wore dancing with Jareth.
The plush animal that could've passed as a stuffed Sir Didymus.
The fiery doll.
The figurine that was practically a miniature of Jareth.
"No, no, no..." she whispered to herself as her eyes darted around disbelievingly, finding more and more evidence to the Goblin King's claims.
"It's just a coincidence."
He said nothing.
"This isn't real."
Her fists became tight balls of fury. "You're just a sore loser." He sighed tiredly, sounding annoyed, as if he had this conversation before.
"Didn't I just say, Sarah, that there was no winner?"
"My will is as strong as yours..."
"Oh bloody hell, here we go again."
"- and my kingdom is as great..." Everything became still. Jareth had stopped playing with his crystal ball. Sarah smirked, happy she had finally got the upper hand. It was time to banish him from her life - this time forever. "You have no power over me."
He seemed to ponder this and shrugged before laying himself down on her bed again, and throwing the ball up and down. "You're right."
She was instantly suspicious. "I am?" She did a double back when she realized he was not even remotely fazed by what she said. He was still here. "Wait, what?"
"Of course," he seemed surprised at her tone. "I don't have power over you, my dearest," he purred, smiling. "Not one bloody bit."
"Why... why are you still here?" She looked around her surroundings, incredulous. Was he right? Was this... was it all a dream? Was she still somewhere in a forest, in an enchanted sleep as the clock went ticking by?
Toby... Mom... Dad.. Karen.. Her life as she knew it was over.
"You have no power over me," she repeated, as if this were some awful hoax. Why did it feel like the room suddenly got colder and smaller? Her eyes searched Jareth's face. His eyes were always somewhere else other than her. She didn't have time to wonder why he couldn't meet her gaze.
"Sarah, don't be a broken record. It's so beneath you."
Her first reaction was to be annoyed with that remark but she put a hand to her temple, gritting her teeth. This felt like a nightmare. "Jareth..." Her world was going dark and she couldn't prevent it. Her head felt like it was splitting in two. "Nooo. Jareth. Please." She knealt down, trying to keep her balance. The Goblin King walked over to her. She clutched his leg, slipping down to the bed, her hands pressing against the skull to relieve the excruciating pain.
"Maybe next time you won't reject my precious gifts to you, Sarah," he said softly. Sarah almost could've sworn she heard the light tilt of sadness in his voice. "Perhaps, next time... it will be so much more different."
"What do you..." Her breathing became heavy and her headache became worse. "..mean?" She whispered as she fell down on the bed, closing her eyes to block out the unbearable pain. She felt Jareth near her as he leaned down close to her face by her ear. He caressed her cheek, his leather-clad hand lingering there longer than it should have.
"Such a pity."
She woke with a start, sweating profusely. Her breaths were ragged and harsh. Her lungs burned as she sucked for air, eyes aching with sleep. Her body hurt, and it shook from the all too realness of her dream. God, it felt so real. She could have sworn he was there, mocking her, touching her... haunting her like a ghost. She shivered in the cold, clutching unfamiliar itchy sheets around her. Sarah closed her eyes.
But it was a dream. He wasn't here.
She wiped the sweat off her face and laid down looking at the ceiling. She had expected a more familiar sight, like her room, or even to hear the sound of Toby crying nearby, but the crying she heard didn't belong to a baby.
She turned to one side and saw a body rocking in a bed. Struck with fear, she rolled over, trying to observe her surroundings quickly. What sort of trick had Jareth pulled this time?
It was a white, sterile environment. Passionless, boring... clinical. She shivered again, trying to take in everything, however impossible it was in the dark.
She curled up and the small bed creaked with her. An IV machine was discarded in the corner as she realized there were more people in beds around her slightly snoring. There was a light from a window above her that had bars on it.
She tried closing her eyes and opening them again. Tried over and over.. but reality soon sunk in:
She was not in Kansas anymore.
She was in a hospital. She bit her lip so hard that blood came trickling down. "What in the hell is going on?"
Author's note: This is my first Labyrinth fanfic (I mean, in a long time). Please, constructive criticism is enjoyed, as well as blatant compliments. Please review and tune in for the next chapter which is coming up soon.