Nobody's Fool

'I can't.'

'He deserves it, Sarah,' Hoggle told her. 'Think of all the times he tricked you—and he didn't even have no excuse. You've got the right to trick him, fair and square.'

Hoggle, Ludo and Didymus had been sitting in her room for almost an hour. After chatting for a few minutes, they had immediately begun to try to talk her into their plan.

'I'm really not sure, you guys. It does seem a little like leading him on.'

'My lady, thou hast nothing to fear. His majesty knows full well the cruelty that thy heart possesses.'

'Hey, what?' Sarah demanded, turning to Didymus. 'What's that supposed to mean?' There was a moment of silence, and then the fox-terrier burst into bark-like laughter.

'I jest, fair maiden!'

'He won't mind,' Hoggle interrupted. 'He'll be happy just to see you.'

'Art thou afraid to call him, my lady?'

'Of course not!' Sarah cried. 'It's not that. Really.'

'You just don't want to have to see him?'

'No,' Sarah growled, glancing back over at Hoggle. These guys were acting really weird today. 'I don't really mind him, you guys know that. It just seems like a bit of a mean trick to pull.' She sighed and leaned back against Ludo, whom she was using as a pillow.

'Well,' Hoggle answered, 'if you're willing to joke with him, then he'll know that you're not afraid of him and that you don't really mind him that much. And dontcha want him to know?'

'I guess,' she answered, and began to smile a little; it would be sort of funny to see his face. He'd probably retaliate by filling her room with chickens, but what the heck. 'Okay,' she finally agreed, 'you guys stand back. Let's do this.'

She got to her feet, fluffed up her hair and fixed her shirt, then leaned casually against the wall, took a deep breath, and said, 'I wish the Goblin King would come and talk to me right now.'

Immediately, sparkles flew in every direction as Jareth appeared before her. Hoggle, Ludo and Didymus had faded into the background: the stage was hers.

'You called, Precious?' Jareth asked, smirking at her.

'Y-yes,' she said, allowing herself to stammer slightly as she looked down at the ground.

'Did you want me for something?' He took a step towards her, raising an eyebrow suggestively. 'You need not tell me. I'm sure I can guess.' Very close to her now, he placed too fingers beneath her chin and forced her to look up at him.

Arrogant creep.

Maybe she should alter the trick just a little. If he was going to be a jerk, then so would she. And once again, she would beat him at his own game.

Sarah almost smiled, but didn't; it was time to pull out her skills as an actress.

'Yes, I...I wanted to tell you something.'

'What is it, Dearest?' he asked, softly, his face now very close to hers. According to her friends' plan, she should just yell, "April fools!", and that would be that, no harm done. But he'd been in her room less than a minute, and he already had her pressed against the wall and was steadily guiding her mouth towards his.

It would serve him right to be properly tricked.

'It's just...' Sarah looked shyly and uncertainly up at him through her lashes. 'I just... Jareth,' she paused, taking a deep, fortifying breath. 'I know that this might be a little surprising, considering everything else that's happened between us... but I've finally figured something out.'

Jareth hesitated.

'What do you mean?' he asked, sounding a little confused, lowering his hands and taking a (very small) step back. 'Sarah?'

'Jareth,' she whispered. 'What I mean is that I finally understand. I finally realize...just how much I love you.' Even Sarah was surprised by the sincerity in her voice. Fake sincerity, of course.

For a long moment Jareth stared at her. Then, too quickly for her to react, he took her face in his hands once more and pressed his lips to hers.


Okay, so that wasn't in the plan. Unexpected.

...not altogether unpleasant, though, surprisingly. Sarah's fingers curled in the fabric of his shirt, and before she knew what she was doing, before she could change her mind, she was kissing him back. It wasn't like anything she had ever experienced before, and she felt her lips parting beneath his, felt his hands caressing her face, felt his body pressed against hers.

After a long moment they finally broke apart. They were both breathing deeply, and Sarah sagged against the wall, her head spinning.

What was going on? Why had she just been making out with Jareth, again? There was a reason, wasn't there? A reason aside from his tall, lean figure, his silky hair, the chiselled muscles she could see through his unbuttoned shirt, his perfect features, his strong, slender hands, his beautiful mismatched eyes, his...

Wait, what? Sarah blinked.

Oops, got distracted there for a moment.

Okay, so what was happening?

The joke. That's right.

'Jareth?' she said, looking over at him again, and he smiled at her.

'Yes, my dear?'

She smiled back. 'APRIL FOOLS, Jareth!' she shouted, smirking.

Okay, so maybe kissing him had been sort of nice, but she'd sort that out, later. For now she would just gloat that she had beaten him. Again.

Jareth cocked his head. 'April fools, indeed,' he mused...and then, to her horror, he smirked back at her. 'But this time, Precious, the joke's on you.' He snapped his fingers, and behind him Hoggle, Ludo and Didymus collapsed to the floor in a jumble of cloth and string: puppets.

He had sent puppets to talk her into summoning him.

As much as she'd like to blame him, though, he's only wanted to talk to her. The kiss was nobody's fault but her own.

Suddenly the warm satisfaction in her stomach was replaced by hot embarrassment.

'You didn't—' she began, but he just smiled and brushed a kiss across her cheek.

'April fools, Precious.'