I dont own Labyrinth. It is not mine to claim. I seek no benefits from this work, but to share it with others who may, perhaps gain a small amount of pleasure from my work.
Prologue; Myths and Legends
Theme music: something light and airy, preferably from Riverdance
Our Legends tell of us the past exploits of our Glorious Monarch, King Jareth of the Goblins and Overlord of the Underground and also of our Resplendent Guardian, Queen Sarah, formerly of the Mortals now also of the Goblins and Consort to the Overlord of the Underground. Thus begin all our Legends, except for the few that begin before out beloved King took unto his heart the Lady Sarah. The ages have worn on for so very long that it is difficult to find records of the time before Lady Sarah quit herself of the Aboveground and came to us as our Guardian. There is only the one to tell us the barest of facts, the Tale of how Lady Sarah came to us, left us, and returned to remain forever.
This is the Tale of the Goblin Kings Bride.
Many, many thousands of years ago, before you or I or the oldest of the Bards, keepers of the Underground Lore, existed; nay, before the Lbardia was ever founded, King Jareth ruled the Underground alone save for the Goblins to keep him company.
As Goblins are poor company at the best of times, The Goblin King became very lonely, a loneliness of the kind only that only the Immortal can aspire to. He looked to his future and saw endless Millennia stretching before him spent as the last, utterly alone. Fae are few in numbers, yet great in power. In that time as in ours, they wasted their energies on feuding with each other. As our King was, and is, the most powerful of the Fae, they all gave him wide berth. He could expect to find no solace there.
Saddened by the horror he saw himself slipping into, King Jareth began to watch upon the Mortal world in secret. He watched the mortals go about their daily lives in great curiosity, he learned many things about their kind. Most importantly, he learned that, though their instinctive powers were limited and near bred out, their potential for the Magical arts was nearly infinite yet more often than not their personal dispositions made such infinite potential too dangerous to exploit.
King Jareth had inadvertently stumbled across the answer to his woes, although the exact plan did not actually come to pass for another two thousand years. In that time the Goblin King carefully released a spell into the hands of the mortal world, a spell that would summon him to any woman who spoke it. When he was summoned he would deliver unto them an ultimatum; remain with him forever as his slave or something equally unpleasant, or run the Labyrinth in Thirteen hours to win their freedom.
The spell was originally released in the form of a song, though in later years he released it again as something the Abovegrounders call a Novel.
The idea behind his plan was simple, any maiden who met his criteria would speak the spell phrase carefully embedded into the story whether or not it was a practical thing to do. Abovegrounders are notoriously adverse to doing anything that seemly overly fantastical or frivolous. Any maiden to speak those words would have a different mindset than those of her kind and be more capable of adapting to life in the Underground.
In the years that followed, many young women called upon the Goblin King. Many were beautiful beyond compare, others were frail, as many were sturdy, and even more ugly as mortal sin. Yet when the Goblin King issued unto them the Challenge, none ever succeeded. In his mercy he returned them all to the Aboveground and left them no more than dreams of their adventure in the Underground.
This contest continued for several hundreds of years until a young mortal by the name of Sarah wished her baby brother into the Underground in a fit of pique. King Jareth held out little hope for her. At first glance she was bitter and to some degree spoiled. Others braver and better than she had faced the Labyrinth and failed. He would allow her a chance run the gauntlet and when she failed he would return her and her brother to the Aboveground, leaving her with a nightmare which would hopefully teach her to love her brother a bit better.
Little did our King know that in Sarah he had gained everything he had hoped for when he started the Game, more than hed dared dream of. Sarah not only defeated his Labyrinth, but did it within the time limit, and at the end when he sought to bend her will to his own she snapped his spells in half and fled the Underground by her own power, taking her brother with her.
Sarah did not know shed sent herself back to the Aboveground, nor did she ever until the King told her several years later. It had seemed, for the time, that Sarah was free of Jareth forever. This was not so.
The Goblin King had been waiting three thousand years to find a mortal such as Sarah, he would not let her go so easily. Little did our future Queen know, the Labyrinth was only the beginning.
Chapter One; In Which Jareth is Annoying and Sarahs Undead Roommate Appears
It had been a long time.
Sarah stepped over the threshold of her apartment and allowed the door to shut and lock itself as she shuffled dazedly into the living room. An ottoman darted out of her way as she collapsed into the plush sofa which immediately softened and firmed to support her in all the right places. Sarah took a deep breath and deflated.
"I just had the day from hell." She groaned as she tossed her handbag onto the nearby coffee table, she missed but the coffee table stretched sideways to catch it before receding into its normal form. Sarah smiled tiredly at the coffee table and mouth the words thank you. The white oak coffee table darkened to a mahogany blush.
A small swirl of white sparks appeared almost directly overhead. "Oh, bad day at the office, sugar?" a slightly accented, feminine voice emerged from the cloud. "You want I should fix dinner tonight?" she offered.
"Thanks, Bea, but I can handle it. I just need to take a nice long soak in the tub and then Ill be fine." As if on cue the sound of running water started from behind the bedroom door. Sarah kicked off her fashionable pumps and massaged the arches of her feet. The ottoman that had avoided her earlier scampered over to do its intended duty, but Sarah waved it back. "Thanks, but Ill be getting up in just a minute."
The cloud of white sparks- or rather Beatrice- swirled down to the ground beside the deflated ottoman. She resolved herself into the form of a slightly transparent African woman. She was about as tall as Sarah, with nut brown skin and corn-rowed hair weighted at the ends with sensible steel rings. She was garbed, and forever would be, in a loose white mens dress shirt and calico patterned bell bottoms. Beatrice had died in a drive by twenty years ago, when bell bottoms had been the height of fashion. Sometimes she had a white bandanna, sometimes she held a cigarette but she never changed much and Sarah didnt really mind. Her furniture had a life of its own. Why should she care about having a ghost for a roommate?
Bea stroked the ottoman lovingly and it regained its presence. She glanced at Sarah, "He just wants to help."
Sarah nodded. "I know, I just cant let myself get too comfortable." She gave a sigh and pushed herself up off the couch which drastically firmed up to aid her. She smiled at the furniture. "You guys spoil me." she said affectionately.
Bea made a peace sign. "They know a good thang when they see it. I washed towels today, an they still warm. Two are in the bathroom now." she winked. "You jus go relax, you earned it." Bea blinked and looked off to the side as if she was trying to remember something... it came to her in a literal flash of light, or rather a sudden corona of light surrounding her ethereal form. "Oh yes! I got the commission for the Jameson web-site. Groceries are on me this week!"
Sarah grinned. "Cool, nice to get some good news today. Theyre laying people off like crazy at the Office."
"Shouldnt bother you, Chiquita." Bea said affectionately, her aura deepened to a fond pink as she used her pet name for Sarah. "You making plenty off your books to pay your half of the rent and keep you in groceries. You get laid off, you got more time to work, get bonus for finishing before dead-line."
Sarah nodded. "I know, its just the principle of the matter." She said peevishly. "Ive been working there for five years, and putting up with that..." she clamped her mouth down on the next words. No, she couldnt say that out loud. Her supervisor was an unmitigated pervert but he didnt deserve what Bea would do to him if she ever found out that he... oh, forget Bea. What would HE do? It didnt bear thinking about.
Beas jovial smile dimmed and her aura faded into a dull purple, the color of bruises. "There something you aint telling me about, sugar?"
Sarah shook her head. "It isnt important."
Bea frowned. "Sometimes I wonder if I can believe you when you say that, girl. I really do." Before Sarah had a chance to respond, Bea blinked out of sight. Sarah could hear the start-up from the computer in Beas room.
She sighed. Bea always retreated to the computer when she was mad.
"Ill have to do something to make it up to her later." Sarah murmured to herself as she entered the bedroom. The door swung in ahead of her and closed behind her. She stripped out of her sensible three piece business suit and cast the pieces on the bed, silently promising to hang them up neatly when she got out of the bath and changed into fresh clothes.
Like the other doors in the house, the bathroom door opened politely and quietly shut itself behind her. Inside the bath was already drawn and looked too damn inviting. The water was vaguely purple and Sarah noticed a small amount of the bath salts she hoarded was missing. She smiled at the old claw foot tub. "You know just what I like."
Her pantyhose and lingerie went up over the haphazard clothes line strung over the bath room window. Sarah gave a long moan of pleasure as she slipped into the steamy lavender scented water. "Oh! This is bliss!" Sarah sunk into the water until her nose nearly touched the surface of the water. For a long time, Sarah let all thought leave her mind and concentrated only on letting the warmth permeate her bones and soothe away all the tiny aches and pains that she never noticed until they were gone.
Gradually, as the hot water worked its magic on her and Sarah began to feel relaxed, she realized she was no longer alone in the bathroom. She cracked open one eye to glare at the fantastically garbed man sitting on the edge of the tub, dappling his long fingers in the water. Today he was dressed all in muted blue and silver tones, soothing to the eye. It was a gesture Sarah did not overlook, especially after her trying day.
"Im naked." She groused, though not ill naturedly. She was still too relaxed to get really snippety with Jareth... yet.
His mismatched eyes glimmered with amusement. "Oh, Ive noticed. To be sure." He assured her.
Sarah exhaled gustily. "I dont suppose it makes any difference to you that by my cultures proprieties a unmarried man and woman arent supposed to be alone together... especially if one of them is naked."
"Stuffy, boring human rules if you ask me." Jareth sniffed, he turned a charming smile that coincidentally displayed his sharpened incisors. "If it bothers you so much, I can always fix that for us. The unmarried part I mean."
Sarah plaster a false bright smile on her face. "I wouldnt want to put you out." she said with feigned sweetness.
"Oh it would be no trouble at all!" Jareth assured her. "I look forward to it."
"Out!" Sarah commanded.
Outside the bathroom door, Sarah heard the distinct sound of booted feet walking around her bedroom. She hadnt really expected Jareth to go back underground, he never did... at least, not this soon. It seemed as if he spilt his time between alternately annoying Sarah and trying to get in her pants and doing whatever it was he did when he was in the Labyrinth.
Sarah sighed, there was no way she could enjoy the rest of this bath knowing that Jareth was poking about in her bedroom. She finished her bath in a hurry, scrubbing herself pink in record time. When she stepped out, the tub gurgled as it pulled its own plug.
She wrapped herself in a fluffy white terry cloth bathrobe and smeared all the appropriate hair goop in her riotous black hair. She carefully examined her hair in the mirror. "I think its time to put another coat of dye on it." she murmured to herself.
The bathroom door opened as she walked through and snicked shut again, as it always did. Jareth was sprawled, catlike on her bed. The hand woven comforter had bee replaced by a sultry black satin confection with a million throw pillows embroidered in gold. If she looked under the comforter, Sarah suspected shed find black silk sheets. It was the sort of stunt he would pull.
Sarah piled her dark hair into a sloppy bun and wrapped a towel around her head. "Those sheets are going with you when you leave, and you put my sheets back where you found them."
Jareth heaved a sigh. "Sarah, you are in danger of becoming ordinary. I recall a time when you used to talk to yourself, dreaming of a fairy tale lover and silk sheets." He said irritatedly. "Cotton sheets and a cheap quilt!"
Sarah made a face at him. "Those are two hundred thread count sheets and that comforter was a gift from a weaver friend of mine. Theyre just fine, and easier to wash."
Jareth looked positively disgusted.
Sarah shook her head. "I should know better than to talk to a man whos never done his own laundry." She shrugged and dropped onto her vanity stool. She pulled back the towel securing her hair and began to briskly rub it dry.
Jareth watched her with hooded eyes, but he did not comment. Once her unruly mop was no longer dripping, Sarah went through her drawers for the bottle of hair dye shed bought earlier that week...
Sarah turned on Jareth. "Okay, where is it?"
"Im not telling you." Jareth informed her. "I cant stand it when you put that concoction on your hair, so Ive decided that you wont be doing it anymore."
Sarah snorted. "That means Ill have to go out and buy another bottle."
"You wont find any." Jareth cautioned. "Im being serious about this. If I have to steal every bottle of black hair dye in this city and buy out every manufacturer thats what Ill do."
Sarah crossed her legs and gave Jareth a measuring look. He would do it, too. She cocked her head and let a grim smile touch her lips before she turned to survey herself in the mirror. "I wonder if I have the skin tones to go blonde?"
Jareth stiffened. "Dont even joke about that!"
Sarah slapped a hand over her mouth to stifle her giggles. The look on Jareths face was just priceless!
With great dignity, Jareth rose from the bed and came to stand behind her. Sarah flinched when she felt his fingers bury themselves in her hip length locks. She felt a tingle of magic wash over her. "Jareth." She warned.
"Shh." He whispered. "just trust me for once. I would never mar your natural beauty, I think you can believe me on that account."
Sarah silently recalled the time hed blasted a hair dresser across the building when hed suggested that she try a shorter style. No, Jareth would never do anything of the sort.
"Youre never going to let me forget that, are you?" Jareth mused. "you lose control just one time..."
Sarah bit her lip and risked raising her eyes to meet the gaze of her reflection. Her hair was back to its natural dark chocolate brown except... Sarah drew a long gasp. Hed not only banished the black dye, but somehow had restored the glossy sheen that had gone with her natural hair. She touched as lock of it, and it was smooth as an otters pelt.
"Jareth, how did you..."
He held up a hand. "It would take too long to explain. I just... made your hair remember itself." He coiled a thick strand of it about his knuckles. "Ill never understand why your world must convince you that what you are is not enough."
Sarah felt her eyes soften and she cast her eyes down, some of the stress from her bad day seeped out of her bones. She smiled. "Thank you, Jareth. That... you have no idea how refreshing that is to hear."
Jareth went still for an impossibly long instant, something warm colored his eyes. "Youre welcome, Sarah. Ill say it again whenever you like." He cast his green and blue eyes down to the glossy hair entwined in his fingers. He touched the shiny stuff to his lips and purposefully made it a sensual action, with his eyes on Sarah the entire time.
Sarahs heart did a strange thing then... it skipped a beat. She pressed a hand to her breast, Jareth seemed to be the only person who could do that to her.
Sensing weakness, Jareth moved in for the kill... only to have Sarahs hand stop him cold, planted in the middle of his chest where the soft folds of his chest sloped open to reveal the clean lines of his muscles.
Images of her employer danced in Sarahs mind, pudgy hands where no one would have wished them, and warm sticky breath oozing over her shoulder. Jareths grip tightened on her shoulders. Arctic wind blasted down Sarahs spine. Shed forgotten that he could sense her strong emotions.
"Am I so repugnant to you?" Jareth whispered throatily, into her ear. His grip relaxed. "No... not me... another perhaps?" he pulled back to look into her eyes dilated with fear. His mismatched eyes were harsh bits of glittering jewels. "Who dared to touch you?"
Sarah shook her head mutely, the images of her employer flashed unbidden through her mind.
Jareth nodded. He released Sarah. "All is not lost." He murmured, half to himself. "Youre still in there... how do you want him killed?"
"Old age!" Sarah snapped back.
She was unprepared for Jareth harsh laughter, he doubled over with it. "Sarah, Sarah..." he chortled, wiped vainly at streaming eyes. "Just when I begin to think that you have no malice in you, oh! Even I wouldnt have thought that up." He snatched a crystal out of midair. The swirl of glitter that heralded the use of his magic swept up to engulf Jareth.
As he vanished, his disembodied voice came back in an echoing chuckle. "Old age, indeed. That has possibilities."
end Chapter One
This chapter is dedicated to Dawn, Deborah, Sick Little Fiend, Silver Space, and Shadow Nightshade who wrote such wonderful reviews and encouraged me to get this baby moving. This chapter would have been out yesterday, but I looked over it when I was done and was absolutely appalled with myself. I had to do it all over. I may do it again if I have another brain child, Im not really happy with it.
Again, keep sending in those reviews! They really motivate my procrastinating self! The more reviews I get, the more Ill write for you!