Disclaimer: I do not own Jareth, or the Labyrinth, or Sarah - or really any of this ... I'm just playing in someone else's sandbox.

Author's Note: This is rather dark. It isn't going to be filled with fluff and cutesy moments because Jareth isn't really a cutesy guy. Oh and it's my first Labyrinth fic so any advice on what should be improved etc would be very much appreciated.

Anyway I hope you enjoy...

Thirteen

Thirteen moments after his defeat, moments where he watches, moments where he plots her end and beginning ... tick, tock.

Thirteen...

...minutes had ticked by and the world was falling around him.

The light was vanishing, wind – magic – whipping at his body as the crystal in his hand fell and shattered: shattered into a million tiny shards, a million dreams gone with one single action. His vision was blurring, he couldn't see ahead. All he could see were her lips saying those words, her eyes hard and cruel. His body lifted as it was pulled apart, as it was slowly ripped into nothing.

His Underground was falling, falling into darkness; his domain was crumbling into rubble because of her. The Labyrinth was unravelling because of her selfish action:

"You have no power over me,"

Yes, not over you but over everything else?

"We'll see," he whispered as the last of his Labyrinth – mind – ripped, "We'll see, little one,"

He would destroy her world and then rebuild it to match his.

...hours had passed by and she was now asleep.

He had watched the start of her celebration where she flaunted her victory – rejection – proudly. But it had been too much to see her in her home while his was mere rubble. At least she was keeping his goblins safe, however unintentionally, while their home lay to ruin. He had then returned to his Underground and began to rebuild it, determined to restore the mess she had left.

But like a moth to a flame he had returned; weary from pouring his heart and soul as the stones were re-laid, the plants regrown, the walls rebuilt. He should have gone to sleep but the castle was still empty – only a shell. So he had come to watch her, glaring at her.

The sun was now up but she still lay asleep, enveloped in the thick covers. Funny to think that this girl that was all tucked up had defeated the big, bad Goblin King, He smiled at that, slinking forward, now standing over her, watching how a tiny strand of hair floated as she breathed through her nose.

Such a delicate creature.

Footsteps could be heard on the stairs and then a small cry of 'Sarah!'

Her breathing hitched as her mind stirred, the feet were just outside the door. As Sarah's eyes opened she saw a wisp of blond hair, her heart skipped. But there was nothing there just her cabinet.

"Sarah, wake up!" came Karen's voice.

"Sure," she mumbled, staring in confusion.

"Sarah!"

She snapped around to her door.

"Yes, Karen!"

The mismatched eyes gleamed.

...days and she was already starting to change.

On the surface that was.

He sat a few feet away from her: hair dark, eyes darker, body the same as her peers. He was sitting in the food court of the local mall, wrinkling his nose in disgust as the mortals filled their stomachs with grease and salt. Sarah was sitting with her friends, on the fringe of the group, listening keenly and laughing at the right moments – trying to fit in. He knew they were all curious as to why Sarah Williams was suddenly talking again, even paranoid about her 'motives'.

He had had the vague notion of making sure it was impossible for her to fit in but that was petty. No, he'd allow her this. She was after all trying to change herself, use what she had learnt in the Labyrinth – that was still recovering – to make herself a better person.

His revenge would be much grander.

A clocked chimed to his left and the group stood up saying their goodbyes. As they left his eyes followed Sarah, noticing how she was just behind them, not quite in the conversation. Not that she would have been in the conversation if she was in line with them. His Sarah, his Princess was still a dreamer.

She stopped and turned back. For a moment her green – as vibrant as a new spring day –eyes lingered on him, a sharp intake of breath and then a shake of her head saying 'No, it can't be' before they flicked away and she chased after her friends.

He'd have to be more careful next time.

...weeks and she was trying far too hard to fit in.

Her head lolled against his chest, her body shaking.

"Silly, precious," he growled as Sarah whimpered about her stomach, "Stupid."

He was outside of a large house that belonged to one of Sarah's 'friends'. Inside and on the veranda many of them stood around in various states of undress, skin against skin, and staggering about in a drunken haze completely oblivious to the fact their friend was currently being held against her will by a stranger.

Not that he was a stranger ... and not that he was going to hold her against her will despite her technically saying those oh so sweet words that granted him so much power. No he would nurse her back to semi-coherent state and then take her home ... and make sure her parents never found out.

He was a gentleman after all and recognised that taking her away in this state would hardly be justice.

"I wanna ..." she muttered, glancing at him with glazed eyes.

"Yes?"

He felt her body heave and immediately positioned her head away from his shirt as she vomited onto the grass. He pulled her long hair back and murmured soft words as her body flushed away the alcohol.

Later, as he carried her to her bedroom, hidden in a glamour that concealed not only him but Sarah's state, and placed her to bed, watching her for any more trouble – he would protect her after all ... for only he could hurt her.

...months and she was another year older.

He slipped into her birthday party with a new face, even took her for a spin around the ball room, and she never noticed. Oh she suspected, he saw it in her eyes, the memories of their special time in the Labyrinth beginning to surface and how he had held her, controlling her in her peach-induced fantasy.

But before she had even noticed he passed her onto another boy – the kind that was too respectful to try anything on her ... and if he did he'd see that the boy would be thoroughly dealt with.

As his Princess danced, her eyes scanned the room. The moment the song ended she bid the boy good bye and proceeded to search for him, brow furrowed, biting her lip. Finally she spotted him and raced over to him.

"Why didn't you finish the dance?" she asked him.

"I felt a bit out of breath," he lied.

"Liar,"

"Liar?"

"Yes," she said. She held out her hand, "Now will you finish what you started?"

He smiled ... he would certainly finish what he had started.

He took her hand and rose, towering over her. He wrapped his arm around her, pulling her closer. Relinquishing her hand, he used that hand to cup her chin, titling it upwards. She took a breath and as those red lips opened to draw air he captured them.

He broke off the kiss and smiled as she stared at him in shock. "Do you really want that, Precious?"

And for a single moment she saw past the sandy-haired boy facade and saw him for what he was.

She pulled away, he allowed it and as she lost contact, he vanished.

...years and she had changed from a child into a lady.

As she walked up the aisle, perfect poised and clothed in an elegant white dress, her face hidden under a veil, he wished that he was the young man waiting for her. He looked up to the groom and had to admit he did approve of this one and was glad of his choice – as much as he hated to see His in the arms of another at least this one had his heart in the right place.

For now.

Besides, he mused, this was a natural step towards his final goals – even if it was the step he detested most. Oh well, he would have plenty of time to truly show her what passion, desire and love meant when this was all over.

She reached the altar and said her vows and so did the young man.

"I do," said the young man.

"I ..." she hesitated but for a second as her eyes swept over the crowd. If she had even seen him, which he suspected she did as her face hardened, her stubbornness rearing its head as she said firmly,

"I do,"

And then kissed the groom, sealing her fate.

...years, so much time had passed – thirteen years since he had last seen her saying those two words:

"I do,"

Her beauty hadn't faltered with age, though thin lines had started to appear, as Father Time crept behind her as it did with all mortals. She had just packed her bags, a large pullover draped over her bruised body, hair done up in a messy bun, and tugging at her daughter's hand, her son held tightly against her bosom.

Her eyes were red with crying. They had been red for so long, actually. And now she was finally leaving, though he did commend her for sticking it out for so long – stubborn child or he must have not planted that violent seed in the mortal man's hard deep enough. As she left the house, her husband yelled after her.

"WHORE!"

"YOU STAY AWAY FROM ME!" she screamed back.

"Anna, into the cab," she muttered to her little girl, urging the child into the yellow taxi. He was wearing a new face – this one mimicked the real taxi-driver who was currently off with the fairies (literally) until he was done.

As soon as Sarah was in, he said in a gruff tone. "Where to, ma'm?"

She passed him a hundred dollar bill and glanced darkly back at her husband who had stalked back inside and back at him.

"As far as that will take me,"

"Your wish is my command,"

And the little yellow taxi drove off, never to be seen again.

...months and she was living out of a hotel room.

Her 'son', Benjamin, a babe with blue eyes was sick. He wouldn't stop crying, he was always cold, developed a horrible rash around iron and he didn't eat. Even when she forced him, he threw it back up. The Goblin King almost felt cruel for this ... but it was necessary evil.

He had started dropping hints but her stubbornness refused to give him.

She refused to submit.

First was with little Anna. Acting as a teacher he quickly filled her mind with tales of Kings, Maidens and Magic,. He enjoyed watching Sarah squirm as her eldest rattled on about elves, fairies, changelings ... and goblins.

Second to aid her in her custody battle he located the best lawyer possible to help her out on pro bono ... under the orders of his superior, Mr King. When Sarah was told this, her eyes had widened and glanced at Anna, her gut telling her that there was something very wrong with this.

A moment later she left the lawyer's office, saying she could fight her own battles – that it would be a piece of cake.

And so thirdly on her birthday, a quiet affair at the hospital as she watched 'Benjamin' being fed through tubes, he made the nurse coming to check on them drop off a piece of cake.

Sarah burst into tears.

...weeks and she stood in black, frame shaking, little Anna gripping her hand.

He had allowed a brief moment of hope before the sad demise. He had allowed Benjamin to start eating again, and then as he saw her eyes lighting up, her smile returning he ripped it all away again.

He stood on the fringes of the funeral. Her family had come. Toby stood close to her, rubbing her back, his own family perfectly intact. The Goblin King had been careful to make sure everything went well for Sarah's younger brother: that his children was well, his wife was a lovely and faithful woman, that he had gotten the perfect job ... while Sarah had the abusive spouse, the waitressing job at the local diner, and the dead child.

Any guilt was temporary. He had to teach her a lesson after all. And when she did give him, he would return to her what she had lost.

Well some of it anyway.

...days and all she had left was a tiny car and their (Anna and her) belongings that took up the boot and back seats.

As they drove through the storm, tall trees standing proud along the road, Anna sat in the front passenger's seat, fiddling with the radio. The teenager's stomach was rumbling but she didn't dare speak to her mother, knowing that her mother was desperately trying to find a road-side diner and needed all her wits about her as they drove through the heavy rain.

They turned a sharp corner and at that moment he appeared, stood firmly in their path. Sarah's foot slammed against the brake and she tried to steer around. The tyres skidded against the wet road, screeching as Sarah fought for control.

He vanished, his job done.

She screamed as the car smashed against a tree, as she was thrown against the airbag and tasted blood.

Sarah breathed in deeply, her heart racing, body shaking. She struggled away from the airbag to see Anna slumped against her own.

Not moving.

"No, no, no," she muttered in a feverish rant. She wrenched the car door open and stumbled out, cursing as tasted dirt. She pushed herself up and crawled around to the other side of the car. She pulled at the door and as it opened, quickly undid Anna's seat buckle.

"Mum ..."

Sarah froze.

"Mum ..." said Anna, thickly, "... are you ..."

"I'm here, baby," said Sarah, "What hurts?"

"My head,"

"I'm going to get you out, alright?"

Sarah began to try and manoeuvre her daughter out of the car but Anna yelled in pain, tears springing from her mind. Sarah stopped. Maybe it was her spine ... shit.

"Mum...?" said Anna, between tears. "Just go and get help ... I'll be fine,"

"I'm not ..." Sarah started to say.

"Please,"

Sarah swallowed. "I'll be right back,"

She kissed her daughter on the forehead and started to move back to the road. Once she was a few minutes away he appeared beside Anna.

"Mum?" she muttered, breathless from crying, eyes cracking open.

"No, Anna,"

Anna couldn't even scream.

...hours and she was lost.

So hopelessly lost.

And it was his entire fault. She knew he was behind it all. She was going to kill him, rip his throat out and ... she sunk to the ground, tears streaming, praying for someone to help her. It was so unfair, it wasn't fair. This was just so cruel. He had torn her world down ... like she had his ...

She had wandered along the road, trying to go as quickly as her body would allow her to as the rain pummelled against her, her daughter's name, her son's name her mantra as she walked. The rain was so thick, so cold ... so cruel.

Like him.

She walked steadily for a good two hours when suddenly the rain had stopped and the road grew narrower and narrower. Fear grabbed her in full fright as she looked behind and saw the trees blocking her path.

She started to run back, the branches whipping at her as she tore backwards, trying to find her way back to Anna. She should have never of left Anna. How could of she been so stupid? How had she let this happen? She had run but had gotten nowhere. Every tree was the same, everything was the same.

She was lost.

"ARE YOU FUCKING HAPPY?" she yelled at the sky. "COME ON! SHOW YOURSELF!"

No one appeared.

But a voice, a soft voice whispered, "Only when you say the words, precious,"

She twisted her head but no one was there.

"The words," the voice whispered, "Then I will return what you have lost,"

"No," she stammered, "Then I'll be yours ..."

She felt a hot breath against her icy neck, felt his arms hold her and could smell him.

"You were always mine," he whispered, his words like sweet honey, "Always,"

"I won't say them," she whispered.

"Really?" amusement was heavy in his voice "Stubborn until the end, precious? Not even to bring them back?"

Little Benjamin, Anna ...

"You took them," she said stubbornly.

"And the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away,"

"You aren't God,"

"Correct," she could feel his lips against her neck, "I'm not ... but I'm all you have,"

"You are cruel,"

"Only as cruel as you, my dear,"

He was gone the next second.

...minutes.

She still remained where he had left her. A light drizzle had come that mingled with her tears. The world was shifting back to what it should be – the road returning, the trees shrinking back.

Their faces, Anna and Benjamin, kept appearing before her. He would give them back if she just said yes. She just had to say yes, or rather say those words and she would have her children back.

She wouldn't have her life back though. She'd be chained to his side, forever be his slave ... but maybe that wasn't so bad. She had nothing to live for here. She had no career as she had been foolish enough to play the stay-at-home wife instead of finding some work. She had no children. She did have Toby still ... but she could hardly burden him, especially not when he was so happy himself ... and her parents were out of the question ... they had their own lives.

And it's not like her real mother would want her – she hadn't even come to Benjamin's funeral.

She had nothing.

She stood up, and closed her eyes. Swallowing deeply, swallowing her pride and embracing what was to come, she whispered. "I wish the Goblin Kind would take me away,"

The sky rumbled, the wind blew, and his arms were around her in an instant.

"And what else, precious?" he whispered.

"You do have power over me," she said.

He spun her around and she faced him finally as he truly was. No glamour, no facade, just Jareth, the Goblin King and his wild golden hair and his mismatched eyes that gleamed in the darkened night.

He smiled, and pulled her close to her. His mouth ghosted over hers.

"And don't you ever forget it, Sarah Williams."

And he kissed her.

... seconds ... minutes ... hours ... days ... weeks ... months ... years ... decades ... centuries ... she isn't sure.

Time held no claim over them.

Sarah, the King's consort, a mortal woman who never once left his side since that fateful night, remained as he, Jareth, had claimed her all those years ago. She sat beside him in his throne room, clothed in green and gold, her hand in his. When he left to deal with a runner, when his eyes glazed over and he fell into his mind ... his labyrinth, she ruled in his place, keeping order with the Goblins, watching as his mind twisted and changed to accommodate the runner's wishes and perception of the task.

She wasn't sure how long she had been at his side – the years meant little as so many went by.

He had returned what she had lost. Benjamin, healthy and whole, and Anna, breathing and smiling - they had grown up knowing Sarah as their mother and the Goblin King as their father. They had married his kin, were praised for their morality and spirit right up to their deaths.

She missed them but did not weep for them. They had lived long and happy lives. She had long accepted that Jareth would never let her follow them. He couldn't bear to have her leave him.

He was cruel.

And life wasn't fair.

But she could live with that.

Fin

Author's Note: Hope you enjoyed that! Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.