Sarah appeared in the throne room with a thunderous expression and completely oblivious to the pretty little crown that sat on her head. She stormed up to Jareth who lounged quite comfortably on his stone throne, and demanded to know just what he thought he was doing.
"Jareth, you will tell me what game you're playing."
Jareth smiled and toyed with the riding crop in his hands, "My dear, certainly you've noticed?" He looked above her eyes while he spoke and her lips thinned. She groped at her forehead once again to discover the crown had reasserted its presence there. She whipped it off and shook it at him as she spoke.
"What is this, Jareth. What does it mean?"
He stood then with the kind of boneless grace that would have distracted her on a better day and strolled over to stand in front of her. Once in front of her he took her hand quite gently and bowed over it, just slightly.
"Would you join me for dinner this evening, precious thing?"
Sarah bristled, "What the hell are you talking about?"
"Dinner, dear girl, I'm asking you to accompany me on a 'date' as you call them Aboveground."
"Why now? Why this?" She gestured expansively, taking in their whole adventure thus far.
"My dear, you could not have possibly expected me to pursue a commoner, could you? You wouldn't let me just give you the title, so I had to find a different way." As he spoke he took the little crown out of her unresisting hand and placed it gently on top of her head.
The next few weeks were a blur of dull grey nothing to Dan. After having finally had an adventure, real life was proving to be something of a let down. She tried to keep up as though nothing had happened. Deftly avoiding comments about her lack of combat boots and throwing herself into mind numbing math, science, and history homework. The only fun she'd had the entire time was when her gym class had asked a martial artist to come and teach basic self defense to her and her classmates.
She was walking past her full length mirror when a flash of black and scarlet caught her attention. She turned to the mirror to see Sarah standing behind her reflection. She double checked to see that she was alone in the room and found the other woman was only in the reflection, "Are you real? Did I just dream you up?"
The other woman smiled and shook her head. "No, its real. Everything was real. I've..." She hesitated, then, looking a bit uncertain. "I just wanted to see how you're doing."
Dan smiled then. A brilliant, bright, and completely fake smile. "I'm... fine." She had always been terrible at lying, this was no exception.
Sarah smiled and nodded. "Its hard, isn't it? I remember..." She shook her head, "That isn't important, though. I am in need of a guardian and I have it on high authority that you are the one to go to." Dan simply stared in disbelief. "You're too young though, so you'll have to stay until you grow up a bit... You might want to spend your time practicing, though, you know?"
Dan frowned, contemplating the information. "You're safe now?" The woman in the reflection nodded. "Then I will train. When you call again, I will be ready." She stood straight and tall, trying to look as though she was deserving of her Highness's trust.
Sarah laughed with delight at the girls reaction and nodded to the furry head that popped up from behind the reflection of Dan's bed. Dan gasped, "Sir Didymus!"
Sarah nodded, "You need only call, and he will be able to help train you." The little fox smiled and nodded. Dan noticed her mirror was getting awfully full as more heads of the friends she'd made appeared. "They'll all come, believe me. They want any excuse to parade around in your world, though I can't fathom why."
Dan laughed and invited them all in. The following night was the best time she'd had in weeks.
Dana stood in front of the full length mirror. It was the same mirror as before, but now sat in the bedroom of her apartment, rather than her parents home. Her hair was short and she usually kept it spiked. Age had taken the roundness from her features leaving her looking sharp. Part of that sharpness was also due to her eyes and was accentuated with the easy stance she had learned through years of practice.
She had taken Sarah's advice to heart and enrolled in every martial arts, fencing, and self defense class she could find. She'd even joined yoga and pilates just to see if she could pull something useful out of it. She had. She'd pulled every useful tidbit of self improvement and fighting knowledge she could without burning herself out. With Sir Didymus's help she had turned herself into a modern knight.
All she lacked now was the royalty to protect.
Dana knocked on the mirror and whispered, "Princess Sarah?"
The woman appeared behind her and grinned from ear to ear. "You're ready, arn't you? You are just in time for the wedding!"
Dana quirked a brow. She had talked to Sarah occasionally over the years, but tried to maintain a professional relationship with her. The sort of relationship a knight would have for her royalty. This was the first she heard of any wedding.
"Sir Didymus has announced that I am ready to take my Ordeal. You are getting married? I look forward to meeting the man who won your heart." She smiled, a bit fleetingly, she was still a bit stiff when addressing the princess.
Sarah nodded. "Then you will stand at my side during the ceremony as my knight." She reached through the mirror and grasped Dana's wrist, yanking her through.
Dana gasped in surprise as she looked around her new surroundings. "But Sarah, this is the Goblin King's castle!" Sheer surprise caused her to use the woman's given name.
A silky voice interrupted her from behind, sending every hair on her neck to stand on end, "And you will refer to the future Goblin Queen as 'Magesty'."
And that's it. Hope it was worth the wait. Thanks for all the kind comments thus far! (Oh also, so sorry to the person who asked if Dan was a crossdresser or a tomboy, I tried to respond privately but without you having an account I can't. The answer is: female and a bit of a tomboy, yes.) I know I know, I take forever to respond. My memory is atrocious.
Anyway! Please please PLEASE tell me what you think of the end. Please.