Kiss Me I'm Irish
'Yeah, I'll...I'lll...' What was she saying? Sarah blinked rapidly at her friend, trying to remember what they'd been talking about. 'Call you!' she finished triumphantly. 'I'll caaaaall you. Tomorrow.'
'Good night, Sarah,' her friend replied, tripping as she walked down the street. 'Oops.'
Sarah fumbled with her key, dropped it, almost fell leaning down to pick it up, and finally inserted it into the key hole only to see that the door was unlocked.
Weird. She was sure she had locked it before leaving, she always locked it. Whatever. She opened the door and stumbled in.
'You're back late,' someone said. Sarah squinted into the darkness, and blinked in pain when someone turned on the light. Who was it? There was someone who liked to break into her apartment, wasn't there?
He unfolded himself from her armchair, getting to his feet, and she was confronted with loads of poofy hair, a shower of sparkles and ridiculously tight pants.
Oh yeah, that's right. Him.
'What's wrong with you, Jareth?' she demanded, stalking towards him. 'You aren't wearing any green!'
'Why would I wear green?' he asked distastefully. 'It looks lovely on you, of course, Precious, but it really isn't my colour.'
'It's St. Patrick's Day! You have to wear green.'
'First of all,' he answered, 'St. Patrick is the man who drove the pagans from Ireland; drove my people from Ireland, trying to erase all knowledge of Faerie from humanity. Why would I celebrate him? And second of all, it isn't St. Patrick's Day; yesterday was. It's three o'clock in the morning.'
'Is it really?' Sarah asked, stepping forward to squint at the clock. Unfortunately, she tripped over her own feet and pitched forward, completely losing her balance and crashing into Jareth, who fell backwards back into the armchair, with Sarah sprawled on top of him. He sighed contentedly, wrapping his arms around her.
'I thought you didn't like alcohol.'
'I don't,' she mumbled into his chest. 'But it's St. Patrick's Day. It's practically a crime not to drink.' Sarah knew full well that she was supposed to tell him that he had no power over her and threaten to call the police if he didn't leave her alone RIGHT NOW. She didn't really feel like it, though...she was so tired, and if she threw him out then she would have to get up, and she was so comfortable. So very comfortable. His hands were soft in her hair, his breath warm on her cheek.
'Well, as long as you come home to me safe and sound, I suppose you can do what you like,' he replied. Sarah lifted her head and narrowed her eyes at him; there was something wrong with that statement...but she couldn't tell what it was. And it was hard to hold her head up like that, so she lay back down against his shoulder. His hair tickled her nose, and she giggled.
'You're so cute like this,' Jareth told her, manoeuvring her into a more comfortable position in his lap. 'Maybe there is something to be said for alcohol, after all.'
'Hey,' she protested, 'cute? I'm not cute. I'm...I'm...intimidating. I beat you. You're scared of me. I'm not cute.'
He laughed, and dropped a feather-light kiss on the top of her head.
'You're adorable,' he assured her. 'You're cute, endearing, delightful, and so much more. But one thing you aren't,' he added, 'is Irish.'
'Of course I'm not Irish,' Sarah answered, snuggling closer to him without thinking. 'Why would I be Irish?'
'Well, that's what your shirt says,' he explained. 'It says Kiss me I'm Irish. Not that I wouldn't be delighted by any excuse to kiss you, of course.'
'It's just an expre—an exper—an expreshun,' she mumbled, trying to wrap her mouth around the three-syllable word. 'You're supposed to kiss Irish people on St. Patrick's Day...I think. I'm not really sure.'
'Is that so?' He placed two fingers under her chin and forced her face up. 'I'm Irish, you know.'
'No, you aren't. You're British. You think I don't know a British accent when I hear one?'
'Well, originally I was Irish. After all, that's where we Tuatha De Dannan landed, isn't it?'
'Tuatha de what now?'
'Never mind,' he sighed, leaning down to nuzzle his cheek against hers. 'It isn't important. The important thing is...I'm Irish.' He looked at her expectantly.
Sarah blinked up at him, frowning. 'Sorry, why were you trying to convince me you were Irish, again? I can't remember.'
He sighed heavily.
'All right, Sarah,' he said, and in a single deft movement he spun her around, so that she was still seated in his lap but was now facing him.
'Woah,' she said, laughing and grabbing his shoulders to keep her balance. 'That was fun. Can you do it again?'
'Sarah,' Jareth said firmly, 'listen to me. I have every intention of taking advantage of your current condition. I am not so perverted and cold-hearted that I will take advantage of you sexually...but I intend to use this to get you to talk to me, face to face, for once.'
'Okay, we're talking,' she answered. 'What's there to talk about?' He sighed again.
'How can you say that Sarah?' Gently, he cupped her face in his hand, and Sarah dragged her mind away from the fact that she was currently straddling her arch-nemesis in the near-darkness of her apartment at three in the morning.
'Sorry,' she said, struggling to gather her thoughts. 'I know we should talk. But...I can't think straight...everything's dancing...'
'Just look me in the eye, Sarah. Just focus.' She met his gaze squarely, and noticed for the first time how beautiful and mysterious his eyes were. Slowly, the ringing in her ears lessened and the fuzz that had been lining the inside of her brain went away.
'Okay,' she said. 'I'm okay.' It occurred to her that she should probably get up out his lap, but when she moved he put his hands firmly on her waist, keeping her still.
'Sarah, are you afraid of me?'
'No!' She had been, once upon a time, but since she had defeated him she had considered him nothing but a nuisance. Certainly not someone to be feared. Besides, she had figured out by now that even if he could hurt her, he wouldn't want to.
'So why do you always run from me, refuse to talk to me?'
'Because...because you're a creepy stalker! And you kidnapped by brother, remember?'
'Everything I do, Precious,' he said softly, 'I do for you. Can you really not see that?'
'Honestly, Goblin King—'
'Jareth,' she repeated, trying out the name for the first time, and smiling in spite of herself. 'Honestly, Jareth, I just don't know what to do with you at this point. Having you randomly appear in my apartment is creepy and irritating. And your pants are way too tight. It's not like I hate you, I just...'
'You're just confused?' he guessed, and she shook her head vigorously. Okay, so maybe she was confused about her emotions where he was concerned, but there was no reason to tell him that.
'Jareth, I don't even know what you want from me.'
'I want you to come Underground and be my queen,' he told her bluntly, and she drew in a gasp of breath. He had never said it quite that point blank before.
'For now, though,' he continued, pulling her close again and tucking her head under his chin, 'I'll settle for friendship and the simple pleasure of your company. I want to be able to hold a proper conversation with you without having you run away or call the police. Is that too much to ask?'
'I suppose not,' Sarah sighed, settling back again him. Her temporary clear-headedness was fading, and once again she was beginning to focus on the feel of his body pressed against hers, separated only by the thin layers of clothing. It was...nice...
'I want so badly to kiss you,' Jareth murmured, running his fingers through her hair, 'whether or not either of us is Irish. But I won't. Not now.'
'What did you say?' Sarah asked, snuggling against his shoulder.
'Nothing,' he answered, and she heard the smile in his voice as she drifted off to sleep. 'Nothing, tra la la.'
Sarah groaned, rolling over. She had never felt so woozy in her life, except perhaps after that crystal ballroom dream all those years ago. She blinked dizzily, trying to remember what had happened the night before.
She had gone out with her friends to celebrate St. Patrick's Day... She could remember getting home, but everything after that was fuzzy. Right now she was lying in bed, fully clothed, and had no recollection of how she got there. And everything smelled very faintly of peaches and cinnamon...
'What happened last night?' she mumbled to herself. Had he been here, or had that been a dream? Or was she still dreaming?
'Why can't I remember?' Sarah moaned, pulling the blankets over her head. 'It's not fair!'