This is it folks, the LAST chapter! Enjoy!!!
Jareth's throaty laugh echoed through the hallway. Dinner had been wonderful and things seemed to be as back to normal. Ary had been incredibly silly at dinner, making silly faces at her mother and himself. Now she was talking about playing tea with Meg.
"She wasn't very good at first. I don't think that she really wanted to play with me, but she came around." Ary smiled brightly.
"Came around did she? I'll have to have a talk with that dragon. I can't believe she actually agreed to 'dress up' with you. That just doesn't seem like Meg." Jareth smiled. He caught himself calling Megmora by her nickname quite often.
"She did it! She was wonderful to play tea with when she put her heart into it. I didn't want to stop playing."
"All good things come to an end." Sarah told her. The trio had stopped outside of Ary's door and Jareth and Sarah were prepared to tuck the little girl in and tell her a story.
"Mommy, can you tuck me in tonight?"
"Of course sweetie." She smiled.
'No I mean alone."
Sarah's smile faded and she looked up to Jareth who wasn't showing he was upset if he was. He merely nodded. "Go on. I'll see you later." He brushed Sarah's lips with a light kiss and then smiled at Ary. "Good night, little one. Don't let the Goblins bite."
Ary moved to him and hugged him tightly. "Good night Jareth. I promise I won't let them bite." She smiled. He released her and walked slowly away down the hall.
Sarah and Ary walked into the room and Sarah watched her daughter change into her favorite blue pajamas and crawl into bed. Sarah sat down gently beside her on the mattress, pulling the covers up over her daughter.
"Why didn't you want Jareth to stay while I tucked you in? You're not still angry at him are you?"
Ary shook her head. "I wanted to talk to you alone mommy. You're always with Jareth."
Sarah gently brushed back Ary's dark hair. "I'm sorry. We really should spend more time together."
"Mommy do you still love Jareth?"
"Of course I do. Where did that question come from?" Sarah tilted her head gazing into her daughter's eyes.
'I just wanted to know."
Sarah sighed. "Ary, do you know that we only have a few days left here?" Ary nodded. "How do you feel about that?"
Ary moved into her mother's arms and rested her head against her chest. "I don't know…"
"You don't know?"
"I miss Uncle Toby and I miss watching cartoons, but I would miss Meg and I would miss the goblins."
"The Goblins? But you haven't spent any time with them."
Ary nodded looking into her mother's eyes. "But I have mommy. I met one while I was playing with Meg. Her name is Ravenna. She isn't like the other goblins. She's very smart and Meg sometimes let's her play tea with us."
"Why didn't you ever tell me about her?"
Ary shrugged. 'I don't know. I guess I was afraid that you wouldn't like her. Some of the goblins told me that Jareth doesn't like them. He kicked them all out of the castle because they were making messes in his throne room."
"Well they were pretty messy, but just because Jareth didn't want them in the castle doesn't mean that he doesn't like them. I'd like to meet Ravenna."
"Ary, I have to tell you something very important. There is something that you will need to do when our time here is over."
"What's that mommy?"
"You will have a very big decision to make about your future and also my future and Jareth's as well."
Sarah nodded. "Yes sweetie. I want you to have a choice. The right to choose what you want to do with your life. If you don't want to stay in the Labyrinth anymore then we won't and we will go home. And if you want to stay, then we will stay with Jareth."
"I get to decide if we stay or go?"
Ary was silent for a moment as she contemplated this power she was given. "If we go home, can Jareth come?"
Sarah shook her head sadly. "No love, he can't. Jareth is the Goblin King and he has to stay here in the Labyrinth and run his kingdom. He could visit us, but it wouldn't be very often. Being a King is a busy and very important job."
"But what about making you happy? I wished for him to make you happy. If he isn't with us, will you cry again? Are you going to be sad?"
Sarah sighed and forced herself to be strong. "I won't lie to you Ary. I will be very sad without Jareth and I will cry, but I promise I won't let it interfere with our life. I'll try to forget him and move on. I won't let what happened when your father left me to happen again. Jareth made me strong again."
"But you will miss him."
"Terribly. Ary, I love Jareth very much. More then I ever loved any other man."
"Even my father?" Sarah's eyes filled with tears and she turned her face away. "Tell me the truth mommy. I'm growned up enough to know."
A tear slipped down Sarah's cheek and she nodded slowly. "Jareth came into my life before your father Ary. I didn't realize that I loved him back then."
Ary leaned against her mother. "Sometimes…..sometimes I wish he was my father."
Sarah sniffled. "Who love?"
"Jareth. You love him so much and he cares so much about you. Why didn't my father care about you? Why didn't he care about me? Why did he leave us mommy? We needed him and he let us down."
"He did let us down Ary. That happens sometimes. I don't know what went wrong with your father and I. He told me he loved me and I loved him, but he left anyway. He was a coward and he couldn't deal with the responsibility of a child so he left us. But what your father did does not make me love you any less. You will always be the one who means more to me then anything and that includes Jareth."
"What about Jareth mommy? Does he love me? Does he really love you? Or would he leave us too?"
"Ary, I don't doubt Jareth's love for either one of us. He has proved his love over and over again. If he didn't love me, he would have let Gorgin keep me. He would not have found Hoggle and come after me, if he didn't love me he would not have cared that I lost the baby and he would not have been so upset about frightening you."
"He was upset?"
Sarah nodded. "Very upset. He was afraid that you would not forgive him. I am VERY proud of you for the way you acted with Jareth. You have no idea how proud I am."
Ary clutched her mother gently. "I couldn't stay mad at him mommy, I just couldn't."
Sarah hugged her. "I know sweetie, I couldn't stay mad at him very long either. A long time ago Jareth was a different person but now…." She smiled.
"What was he like?"
"When I was a teenager he was very cold, he didn't seem to care about anyone but himself. But he changed. He fell in love with me and he changed."
Ary pulled back and looked worriedly into her mother's eyes. "But what if I make the wrong decision mommy? I want you to be happy."
"And I want you to be happy." Sarah told her kissing her forehead. "I want you to think really hard before you make your decision. Think about all the things you can have and can't have at home or here and you make a decision based on what means the most to you. I will respect and go with your decision no matter what it is, and Jareth will do the same."
"When do I make the decision? Now?"
Sarah shook her head. "You'll make it on the last day that we're here. In about 4 days. Now, it's time for bed."
Ary crawled back into the covers and pulled them up to her chin. "Will you tell me about how you met Jareth, mommy? How you wished Uncle Toby away?"
Sarah nodded and inched closer to her daughter to tell the story.
* * *
He was by the window when she slowly opened the door that separated their rooms. He was a shadow against the bright moon. The only thing that made one notice he was not a shadow was his wind swept blond hair that looked white in the moonlight.
Sarah moved to him slowly. She could tell that he was deep in thought as he gazed out over his kingdom. She gently placed a hand on his shoulder so she wouldn't startle him and he turned his head to smile at her.
He could tell she had been crying. She had probably told Ary about her right to have a decision and who knows what else had happened. He lifted one arm, his cape billowing in the breeze behind him, beckoning her to come closer. She smiled and wrapped her arms around him, his cape settling over her as he put an arm around her. He wrapped her carefully into his world.
She sighed leaning her head against the warm flesh of his chest. She could feel his heart beating softly and she smiled as she thought back to the night when he had put her hand over his heart. He had desperately tried to make her see that he was real and not a figment of her own wild imagination. To make her see that she wasn't going crazy and that she wasn't dreaming. He really was there, just as he was here now.
He lowered his face into her soft hair, breathing in the scent of rose scented soap. He closed his eyes, savoring this precious time with her. He had no idea if this might be one of the last times he held her.
With a soft sigh she broke the silence, picking up her head to gaze into his beautiful eyes. "I have no idea what she is going to decide. She's confused." She told him softly.
Despite the worry in his heart, he smiled. "She's an intelligent child. She will choose the right thing."
"How can you sound so calm? We might lose each other."
"I didn't mean to say that the right decision would include me or us. Ary will make the right decision for her. Didn't we say that if things were meant to be, then they would be? I've learned that fate works in crazy ways. I never believed that I would see you again after you defeated my Labyrinth, no matter how badly I wanted it to happen. Yet fate willed it that I would see you again and that things would be different for us. We would reunite, older, more mature. I think I did more maturing in those 20 years then I did in a few hundred." She grinned.
"But we became lovers instead of enemies. We understood each other more. It was meant for us to meet. If it is meant for us to continue this growing and learning together then it will continue. But if all of this has been a lesson, an experience, then who are we to argue with fate? We should be grateful that we were able to have this second chance at all."
"I told Ary that if we went home that I would try to forget you and move on. It was a lie. I could never even try to forget you."
He kissed her gently. "And you shouldn't forget me, no matter how much it hurts if we aren't together. Just as I will not forget you."
"Would…" She swallowed, almost afraid to ask her question. A question that had been nagging her for sometime.
"What?" he asked softly.
"Would you take on another lover? Would you search for a Goblin Queen if I left?" She held her breath, waiting for his answer.
Jareth shook his head, his blond hair drifting around him. "My heart will be closed from all others. If you leave, I will continue to love you, even if you can't be here with me and I can't be with you. There is only one woman I would ever claim as my queen….and that's you."
Tears flooded her eyes and she hugged him tightly. He sighed deeply and held her.
That night they lay in each other's warm embrace content with being able to be together at all. It had been a long hard day. Sleep claimed them both quickly.
* * *
The days went by quickly, much to Sarah and Jareth's dismay. Aryanna had not said a word about her decision. She spent time with Jareth and her mother, spent time with Megmora and also spent time with her goblin friend Ravenna.
Sarah was delighted to meet such a charming young goblin. She was truly unlike the others, except for her tendency to babble on, but then again Ary was known for that as well.
They tried to do everything together, Meg included as often as possible. Ary was tucked into bed by Sarah who would then would spend the night in Jareth's arms. They didn't talk about the fact that their days were numbered. They were content to be together.
Good news came on the second to last day before Sarah and Ary's vacation was over. One of Jareth's old guards had captured Gorgin. Jareth ordered that he be held in a dungeon and the same with his henchmen. The Goblin King would deal with the foul man after he spent time with his loved ones.
The final day started off as any other. Breakfast together, lunch in the garden and time spent together outside enjoying the warmth of spring. Sarah could see that Jareth was growing more and more anxious and nervous with each passing hour. Ary would be making her decision before dinner. If she wanted to stay, they would eat together as a family. Then they would need to go home after dinner to pack their things and talk to Toby, but they would return. If she wanted to leave, Sarah and her daughter would be eating in their home aboveground, without Jareth. With the sad possibility that they might never seen the Goblin King again.
As the time for the decision neared Meg made herself scarce so that they could have a little privacy. Sarah was sitting in the grass watching as Jareth pushed Ary on a swing. She smiled as she watched them. Jareth really would make a wonderful father. She wondered if Ary knew that.
Ary grew bored of swinging after a short while and Jareth slowed the swing, pulling her down off of it. Together they walked to where Sarah sat on the grass. Sarah smiled and opened her arms to her daughter who fell into them. Jareth fell beside them in the grass. Dressed in a navy blue open front poet shirt and black pants, he looked incredibly handsome. Sarah smiled at him as he collapsed beside her. He grinned in return.
Ary was very quiet as she lay in her mother's arms. She reached into her pocket and pulled something out. Sarah's eyes widened as she realized it was a crystal. The little girl slowly pulled away from her mother to sit in front of both Jareth and her mother.
"What do you see?" She asked holding the crystal up to her mother's eyes.
Sarah shook her head and closed her eyes. "Those are your dreams Ary, you shouldn't show them to me or they won't come true."
Ary shook her head. "They won't come true if I don't show you." She then brought the crystal in front of Jareth. "What do you see?" She asked him.
He swallowed and glanced at Sarah. She nodded at him, a lump in her throat. He carefully peered into the crystal. He could see people, but he couldn't see a clear enough picture to recognize them. Very slowly the images cleared and he gasped.
"What is it?" Sarah couldn't keep the fear out of her voice.
He took a few quick shallow breaths and his eyes focused on Sarah.
"What is it?" The panic filled her tone.
Jareth looked at Ary who smiled. "It's us….all of us…." He told Sarah. Sarah felt her heart beat quicken. Jareth's mismatched eyes widened and he pulled Sarah's hands into his as he continued to look into the crystal he had given the child so many months before. 'By the bog…..it's an image of us….getting married. Aryanna is the flower girl." His breath was coming in short quick gasps.
Sarah's eyes widened, her heart beating even faster as she glanced at her daughter. "Ary?"
The little girl lowered the crystal and kneeled in front of Jareth, staring intently into his eyes. "Will you be my daddy? Will you marry mommy? I don't want to leave the Labyrinth. If we stay and mommy marries you then I can have a daddy. Having a daddy is more important then riding my bike, or watching cartoons. It's more important then ice cream and going to Eddy's to dance." Jareth couldn't speak. "If we go home, mommy will be sad again, I know she will and I will be sad too without you. Do you want to be my father?" Ary asked him with a smile.
"Yes…." He managed to choke out. He reached out a tentative hand to touch her. He was trembling as he brushed back her long dark hair. "I…The first time I saw you…I wished that I was your father."
"Well then you got your wish, just like I got mine." Ary told him with a brilliant smile.
Jareth was still in shock and he gazed at Sarah who was shaking. He reached for her and pulled her into his arms, laughing. Joy filled his heart. Tears flowed freely down her cheeks as she let him embrace her. She felt the terrible weight of fear lift it self away from her. Jareth pulled Ary into the embrace and the little girl hugged both adults tightly.
Just beyond a large shrub stood a dragon with tears in hers eyes and a dwarf with a smile on his face.
* * *
Toby yawned and stretched. He had gotten word from Sarah that she was coming home to pack some things. It appeared that she would be staying with Jareth permanently. He was extremely happy for her as well as Jareth and Ary. His niece was so excited because Sarah and Jareth agreed to marry. Ary was going to have a father. After 8 years with out a father, she was finally going to have one.
"Toby we're home!" Sarah cried out. She sounded excited and he could hardly blame her. She was going to stay where her heart had been for the past twenty years. She was going to marry the man she truly loved for those past twenty years.
Hey sis!" He entered the kitchen to find her with Jareth and Ary.
"Uncle Toby, I'm going to be a princess!" the little girl cried out, hugging him.
"So I heard! You're going to be Princess Aryanna."
Cheryl entered the kitchen, having just come down from the bathroom. Toby smiled at her.
Sarah rushed to her brother hugging him tightly. "Toby you look so good!"
'I'm feeling good too, thanks to your fiancé." She grinned at the word. She pulled back as Cheryl stepped closer to Toby. Toby extended a hand to Jareth who grinned and shook it. "Congratulations. You've got yourself one hell of a fiancée. You'd better treat her right, and my niece or you're gonna get it!" There was a smile on his face as he said the words and Jareth grinned at him.
"I promise they will be very well taken care of." He put a hand on Sarah's shoulder who smiled up at him.
"When's the wedding?" Cheryl asked.
"We haven't decided yet. I mean this all happened so quickly, Ary deciding she wanted to stay, Jareth proposing to me. We haven't had the time to really discuss it." Sarah told her.
"Well." Toby said grinning at Cheryl. "You two aren't the only love birds getting married." He put an arm around Cheryl.
Sarah gasped. "You don't mean?"
Toby grinned. "Show them your rock Cher."
Cheryl lifted her hand to present a beautiful diamond engagement ring.
Sarah hugged Cheryl and then her brother. "This is so wonderful!" She gently reached for Cheryl's hand to look at the beautiful ring that Toby had given her. She then looked at Jareth. "I didn't get a ring." She told him with a lop sided grin.
"ut oh, busted!" Toby exclaimed, laughing.
Jareth stepped forward, taking Sarah's hand in his own and placed a delicate kiss on her skin. "No my love, you get an entire Kingdom."
Sarah blushed. "Well I guess that will have to do." She teased.
"Oh my goodness!" Ary suddenly cried out.
"What is it Ary?" Toby asked her.
"I get to be a flower girl twice!!!" she shrieked.
The adults laughed.
Sarah became serious and looked at her brother. "Did you set a date yet?"
"Not yet, but we're thinking next summer. It will give us enough time to plan."
"Well I'm sure that you can forgive me Toby."
Her brother looked puzzled. "For what Sar?"
She reached for his hand and placed something in it. He opened his hand to find a key. "Sar, what are you giving me your house key for? I already have one."
"An early wedding present to you both. I want you to have the house." She told him with a smile.
Cheryl gasped and Toby's jaw dropped. "Oh my god, are you serious?"
Sarah smiled and nodded. "I won't have any use for it. I have a castle to live in. You and Cheryl can raise your family here."
"I don't know what to say." Toby told her.
"Tell me that you'll accept it and I'll have all the papers signed over. You can stop paying rent and can take over the mortgage. There's not much left to go."
Toby pulled his sister into his arms. "Thank you Sarah. You know I'll take it."
"We'll take very good care of the house." Cheryl told her.
Sarah smiled. "I know you will."
"So what are the plans right now?" Toby asked her.
"Time for Ary and I to gather some of our belongings. She wants to bring her bicycle and I have a few things I'd like to take with me. You said you'd be willing to continue to take Ary on the weekends, right? So I could leave some of her clothes here?"
"You bet. And you had better visit us every so often Sarah, you too Jareth."
"We will, just as you will both have to visit us in the Underground." Sarah replied.
"I can't wait to go! Toby was telling me all about it!" Cheryl exclaimed.
"Well you will both have to visit very soon." Jareth told her.
"We'd like that." Toby smiled at him. Jareth nodded.
Just then there was a terrible scream and a crash that sounded as if it was coming from next door.
"What the heck was that?" Toby asked. Sarah and Cheryl shrugged and Jareth grinned.
"It sounded like it came from Linda's house." Toby noted.
The group walked to the den window and peered outside. They all started laughing. Linda was running around shrieking. Her hair was in curlers, she had on a green facial and she was in her bath robe. There was stuff all over her yard. Trash, furniture, her car looked like someone had finger painted all over it.
"hee hee." Ary giggled. "She looks like the wicked witch from the Wizard of oz!"
Cheryl laughed out loud. "My god, she does look like her!"
Jareth chuckled as he watched The Trash Queen running around like an imbecile.
"Jareth, what did you do?" Sarah asked him. She saw that knowing smirk on his face.
"I didn't do anything… this time" he added with a smile.
"Why don't I believe you?"
He pretended that he was offended. "Honestly Sarah it wasn't me. I can't be at fault for telling the goblins to act like themselves."
"Oh lord, you didn't?"
He grinned and Sarah started laughing. Toby and Cheryl joined in. Sure enough a few moments later some goblins rushed out the garage. Two were trying to ride Melanie's bicycle. They didn't do so well and fell over into one of the bushes. A few others were tossing pots and pans out a window.
"Now I know why you kicked them out of the castle." Sarah laughed. Jareth let out a throaty laugh.
The group watched the scene for a short while and Sarah and Ary began to gather a few things.
"Promise me that you'll keep in touch with us." Toby told Sarah.
"I promise Toby."
"Here." Jareth pulled a crystal from thin air and handed it to Toby. "Ask to see Sarah and you will be able to talk with her. Ask it to visit Sarah and you will be transported to the Labyrinth."
Toby smiled. "Thank you." Jareth nodded.
Jareth transported Sarah and Ary's things to the Labyrinth and Jareth watched as Sarah walked around the house, letting her fingers run over the wood of the mantle above the fireplace. She looked at the couch and smiled and allowed her eyes to trail over everything, memories appearing in her mind. Ary was with Toby and Cheryl babbling on about being a flower girl so Jareth stood in the doorway watching her. She stopped in front of the mantle again and she gazed at the pictures still there. Despite dropping and breaking the picture of herself with Adam she had put it in a new frame and back on the mantle. She gazed at it, and felt Jareth's hand touch her shoulder.
She gazed at him, a smile on her face and tears in her eyes. "It took me 8 years to realize that him leaving was the best thing he could have done for Ary and myself. I don't want to think about how life would have been had he stayed. I should have seen back then, that things would have never worked out between us. But because he left, you were allowed to re enter my life."
Jareth gazed at the picture. Adam was a tall man, short blond hair, green eyes and pale skin. He felt no jealousy at seeing Sarah in his arms, smiling happily. "Then I owe this man, for leaving and allowing me to take his place."
Sarah smiled and fell into his arms. He hugged her tightly and kissed her.
"Ewwww!" came a cry. "They're kissing again!"
Sarah blushed and buried her face into Jareth's chest as Toby, Cheryl and Ary entered the room.
"And what's wrong with kissing?" Cheryl asked with her hands on her hips.
"They do it all the time!" Ary exclaimed and Toby chuckled. "What's so funny Uncle Toby?"
"You'll understand it all when you get older." He told her.
"Ready to go home?" Jareth asked Sarah.
She lifted her head and smiled at him. "Yes."
"Ary?" he asked her.
The little girl rushed toward them. "I'm ready!"
Toby smiled sadly and he walked to Sarah hugging her tightly. "I love you Sarah."
"I love you too Toby." She kissed his forehead and smiled, backing away slowly toward Jareth and her daughter.
"I'll see you soon." He told Sarah and his niece.
Sarah smiled and nodded. Jareth pulled forth a crystal and he, Sarah and Ary faded from the living room.
Toby blinked back tears and Cheryl hugged him tightly. "They're happy, Tobe. All of them are really happy."
"I know, Sarah got her fairy tale ending after all and no one deserves it more then her." Cheryl smiled and hugged him.
Toby glanced at the crystal in his hand and smiled. Within the glass sphere was an image of his niece hugging a dragon. There was a goblin running around excitedly and a short man standing with his hands on his hips and a smile on his face. And then there was his sister, nestled in the arms of a Goblin King. She was smiling sweetly as he returned her embrace and placed a soft kiss on her lips. She rested her head against his chest and smiled as she looked at the scene spread out before them. He took her hand into his and together they walked to join the others.
Oh my god! It's done!!!!! I did it! I finished it!!! Whoo hoo! * calms down. * So what did you all think? Like it? Satisfied with the ending or am I going to be coerced into writing a sequel? I have one in mind, but I'm unsure if I want to go with it right away. I think I need a little time off from writing for a bit. But I would like to write a sequel. If there is enough interest, I'll give it a go.
I want to take this time to thank all of my dedicated readers, especially, Silver Space, lostfeyth, The Hooded Crow, JGK, Xelia, crystalqueen, Jupluna, Nicole, Hinotori, JC Niffers, Anne-Marie, Wynthijade, Crystalmagic, General Sephiroth , Mimea, Tira wolf, Redaura, Charli, Sorceress Morgana, SqueezyStan, Sailor Crystals, Addie, Elenhiril, Antoinette, Anita King, Midnight Lady, Dracio Slayer, Mao-Cat,. I hope I didn't forget anyone. You are all a wonderful group of people and I have looked so forward to reading your comments everyday for each chapter. You guys kept me sane as I wrote this. Clones, cake, cookies, to all of you!
Thanks for reading and reviewing,