Disclaimer: Though I wish, I don't own The Labyrinth.
One true mate
Chapter One: It's one, or it's the other.
Sarah Williams sat at her office desk and nibbled on the end of her pencil lightly, the eraser long ago bitten off and disposed of. With a groan, she threw her pencil on her desk and pulled at her hair lightly in annoyance.
"I have no clue how to start this!" She fumed as her eyes scanned the laptop screen before her for the hundredth time in the last two hours. She leaned back in her comfy chair but kept eye contact with her screen as if it was her most hated enemy. "Okay so she goes to the cavern to save her child, but then what? She obviously can't rescue Camille on her own, she's seven months pregnant, her ankle was twisted and she hasn't slept in twenty-four hours!" She shrieked as she threw her arms up into the air.
Sarah was an award winning novelist and she was trying to complete the last few chapters to bring a close to her heroine's sixth and last tome, all of them filled with dangers untold and hardships outnumbered..."Gahh!!" She yelled into the empty bedroom she used as an office. "Everything is not alway about him okay?!" She pointed an angrily finger at her screen in accusation. Sarah sighed and slumped in her chair in resignation. "Okay so every waking minute and each breath really is about him, but still." She looked back up with determination lighting her eyes.
Suddenly, her muse returned from her long vacation and let Sarah finish that part that gave her so much trouble. She twisted in an unexpected event sure to bring her readers to reverent tears and saved off that chapter just in time to send it to her editor for approval. She started on the other chapter quickly before her muse decided to vanish again and managed to complete it in record time.
Basically, she got to go to bed at four in the morning instead of her usual seven.
Sarah sighed happily and snuggled into her pillow with her favorite doll close to her heart as she dreamed of flowing silver gowns and goblin masks and dancing.
By far her favorite dream.
The next day, Sarah got up at the crack of noon to fix herself a bowl of sugary cereal and sat at her ancient vanity to look deeply into the mirror. Between bites, she managed to utter the words to summon her best friends into the mirror for their daily consultation. Hoggle's craggy face looked back at her as he told her of his uneventful day until now. He looked so irritated with everything in general but Sarah couldn't help but giggle at her poor friend's even poorer mood.
"What's gots you all gigglin' girl? You'll burst that skimpy dress." He noted dryly, eying her long T-shirt with distaste.
"I'm sorry Hoggle!" She wheezed between a giggle or two. "It's just that you look down right miserable, you're in such a crabby mood!" She exclaimed and laughed as his face became even darker.
"I dare say, brother, thou look quite foul this noon!" Didymus commented as Ludo simply nodded acquiescence. Hoggle sent him an irritated glare to which Dydimus could only shrug. "One has to wonder." He said simply.
Hoggle sighed heavily and passed a hand over his face with exasperation. "It's them fairies agains!" He exclaimed. "They be all over the place and wreckin' mah house!" Hoggle shook a fist into the air.
Sarah giggled and wagged a finger at him. "Well maybe if you were a little more lenient with them, they wouldn't feel the need to attack you." She smiled warmly at her friends. "I really miss you guys." She sighed.
"Sawah come!" Ludo said happily.
"Oh Ludo. You know I can't!" She said with much regret tainting her voice.
Sir Dydimus rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Why art thou hesitant my lady?" He asked.
Sarah stared at each of her friends in turn. "Because of Jareth." She rolled her eyes. "I know, I know. I should care less what he thinks and cross over anyway, but it's his Labyrinth and unless you guys want to meet in the dark dark forests lining the surrounding area and risk getting hurt, then there's no way I'm going over there without things between he and I are settled and we stand on a more common ground." She preached, finger in the air and eyes closed with an air of self-importance.
Ludo and Sir Dydimus looked at each other and shrugged before bidding their human friend a fond farewell, leaving her with Hoggle. "Jareth shouldn't matter to you anymores, Sarah." He said, slanting his beady eyes at her. "There's something else keeping you from us, isn't there?"
Sarah sighed guiltily. "Well," She started, looking into her lap and playing with the hem of her overly large shirt.
"C'mon! Out with it, I ain't got all day y'a know!" Came his gruff prompting.
Sarah cracked a hesitant smile at her best friend and said with a small voice, still looking down into her lap. "I may or may not still have feelings for him...?"
Hoggle leaned forward but hadn't really heard her words. "What? Speak up Sarah, can't hear!" Every delicate. Sure sounded like she had feelings for the king. He snorted.
She looked up quickly, glaring at her friend in the mirror. "I said," She huffed as she leaned on her vanity and shouted in the mirror. "THAT I MAY OR MAY NOT STILL HAVE FEELINGS FOR HIM!"
Hoggle sat there blinking then recollected himself. "Well which is it?!" She bellowed back. "You either do, or you don't! Can't be both now can it?" He crossed his arms over his chest.
Sarah sat back in her chair. "I don't know, I think I still do." She said in a subdued tone of voice. Hoggle looked back at her and blinked away the hurt he felt from her revelation. He still had feelings for her so it was hard to hear her admit that she liked someone else.
He sighed in self pity. Not like he ever had a chance. He looked back up with determination. Well, at least he was her still her most trusted friend. While he led his internal battle, Sarah never looked up as she was busy contemplating the stitches in her shirt, wondering with half a mind how the thread wove in and out. This one goes over then scoops down under and then back and...
"So, -" Hoggle started but was interrupted.
"How is he doing?" He almost missed the words.
He wished he had.
Hoggle rubbed the back of his head in trepidation. "He's fines I guess?" He answered slowly. He watched as she blinked for a moment or two then slowly nodded her head and looked away. Hoggle shuffled his feet a moment then asked her about something he'd been wondering about. "You still have that teddy of him?"
Sarah blushed furiously but nodded slowly. "Yeah...But I'm getting rid of it soon!" She promised. "I'm giving it to someone I know." She waved a hand in the air to show the identity of the person was irrelevant. "Christmas and all, you know?"
She watched as her goblin friend blinked slowly at her with a deadpan look on his face. "No, I don't." He said dryly to which Sarah couldn't help but giggle. Sometimes she forgot that they didn't really celebrate those kind of festivities in the underground so the significance was totally lost on her poor moody friend.
Their talk continued on for a few hours until Sarah said she need to work on her book so she could finally finish the very last saga of her career. Well, She thought dryly. If things go as planned of course. Sarah was planning on tying up loose ends in the aboveground so she could escape to where she knew she belonged. First thing's first though, I need to get on better terms with the ruler so that he'll let me live there peacefully. She tapped her chin in thought for moment before she got up and brought her empty cereal bowl to the kitchen.
Sarah lived in a two bedroom apartment with a vast living room that was connected to the modest kitchen with an archway. Although she had a big living room, she used the space as her bedroom.
It was the only place with double french doors.
She liked stepping outside on her balcony and look over at the small forested park across the street when she couldn't fall asleep. Using her original living room space as a bedroom was unpractical but at least, the only way to get into her room was to walk through the kitchen. There used to be another archway on the other side of the room, leading to the entrance but Sarah had that part closed off and turned into a walk in closet, there was still a hall behind the closet, but at least it provided with a touch of privacy whenever her agent came over to talk over her book contracts.
Thankfully, the two other rooms were on the other side of the hall, next to the entrance so her agent and her didn't have to go too far into her apartment to get to her office.
Sarah had obvious privacy issues.
She rolled her eyes at that stray thought as she scrubbed her dishes clean and dried them. To everyone else, at least. She put her clean dishes where they belonged and brought her coffee mug to her office with her, sipping it along the way. Before settling in to start working, Sarah checked that her coffee machine was brewing her some fresh caffeine and then sat at her computer. She had to keep the coffee pot in her office instead of her kitchen because she was always too lazy to get up and go into the kitchen for refills. She sipped her hot drink wistfully, humming as she enjoyed the bitter taste. "Aaah, good coffee." She praised and cracked her knuckles before booting up her laptop and making sure it was plugged into the wall correctly.
Soon, she was completely engrossed in her work writing up the ending to her greatly appreciated series. Her readers would probably throw a fit when they realized it was her very last book. Sarah shrugged the thought away. Since she was fifteen, Sarah had been writing books, it wasn't long before she was noticed by a well off editor. They had coffee as Sarah presented the man with manuscripts for a total of six short novels she had managed to write. They were all fantasy and they each withheld the adventures of strong-willed women. She couldn't help it; it was her area of expertise. The editor was quite smitten with her adventures and chose two favorites and published them. One got a mediocre success whereas the other one hooked really nicely. And now, she was putting it all to a close. After all those sequels, Sarah felt rather fulfilled.
By all means, those weren't her two only published works. Sarah had squeezed in three more short stories between her sequels, all of which got an acceptable success and granted her a small fortune that could keep her living well for the rest of her life. She was quite proud of her achievements, of course, but none of it brought her any closer to her family and she didn't have any friends. Not that she wanted any; it would make leaving all the more harder.
After she had rescued Toby back from the Labyrinth, Sarah and he were nearly inseparable. That was until she graduated high school a year early. She had been particularly prodigious and was offered entrance to many colleges but turned them all down in favor of pursuing her writing career. So she found herself moving out of her parent's house at the age of seventeen, right after getting her dues from publishing her two books six month before that. Of course, Karen and her dad made a big fuss of her moving out but she told them that she needed it. She didn't really feel close to them anyway.
Now she was twenty, five years after her big adventure in the Labyrinth and living on her own. Seeing as Toby was quite young when she left, he didn't take long before moving on from her. Sure, she was heartbroken that her beloved little brother had managed to forget her so easily, but she knew that it was necessary to distance herself from her aboveground life as much as possible and as gradually as possible so not to shock anyone. That was the thing with leaving, she had no guarantees that she would be wiped from memory so she cut herself off from the world as much as she could so she would be missed as little as she was able.
Sarah blinked out of her silent contemplation of her lonely life. "Oh my! I'm very distracted, aren't I?"