Disclaimer: The only thing I claim to own is the insane idea that formed this story. Everything else is borrowed.
Summary: I have NO IDEA how to describe this without giving away the story. So, please read and give a review when you're done. *big grin*
Warm Winds of Winter
Sarah bundled up against the cold by wrapping her scarf around her neck, then buttoned up her long coat as she slipped from the house unnoticed. With her hands deep in her warm pockets, she trudged along the snowy sidewalk, letting memories of years gone by drift through her mind as she made her way to the park. She'd been gone far too long, and it felt nice to be back, even if it was only temporary. At least she hoped her visit here was only temporary.
It was peaceful as she strolled slowly in the snow through the park, grateful that she'd put on her new high snow boots as she huddled in her coat against the chilling winds. But, it felt good on her face, the numbing feeling of her cheeks and ears made her feel alive like she hadn't felt in a very long time.
She smiled wistfully, with only slight disappointment, at the empty space where the obelisk used to stand. Toby had told her that they'd taken it down after some kids had vandalized it, but, she wanted to see for herself. A sort of goodbye to just another thing in her past that she'll never get back.
She stood quietly overlooking the clearing with fond memories on her mind, soaking in the beauty of newly, undisturbed, fallen snow. Her eyes scanned the snow covered tree line, hoping… yet not really expecting anything. A chill wind ran up her back to bite through her coat. Pulling her coat closer for more protection she bowed her head to turn and leave, then did a double take at the man she hadn't noticed before hand.
He stood in a similar fashion as she, just looking out over the clearing with his hands buried deep in long coat pockets. Though, his coat was black and looked like wool, which would be far warmer than hers, Sarah was sure. He gazed up the hill at her, his long blonde hair blowing back from his angular face with the wind.
Sarah paused for a moment to study him as best as she could from such a distance, waiting to see if he made any kind of friendly gesture, or advancement in her direction. After another moment she turned away, a sunken feeling in her chest as she looked back over her shoulder at him for one last time. Shrugging indifferently, she began her way back toward the street. 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained,' she thought to herself, though was more disappointed than she cared to admit. He had answered her summons, yes, but obviously only to fulfill the obligation that was his lot.
She stopped. Her back became rigid as she picked her gaze up from the snowy ground. She missed that voice, the way it said her name, the way it carried over the wind like a whisper. She turned around in the direction of the solitary man in the black wool coat. He remained just as she had last seen him, standing peacefully with his hands in his pockets with the wind whipping at his face and hair. But, now she knew he wouldn't, couldn't, just let her walk away.
She'd often wondered what had happened to him. If he had faded along with her dreams as she got older. She'd often thought about calling him, but never dared, just to find out if the magic was still real, if he was still real. And now, there he was, standing in plain sight, calling her name.
"Jareth" she whispered into the wind. It only seemed right to acknowledge him, after all this time, after all that she had done. After all... she had summoned him.
She felt herself become apprehensive, despite the anxiousness that welled up inside of her, as he stepped towards her, seeming to glide over the snow with easy footfalls. He paused momentarily to pointedly look up the hill at her, seemingly gauging her reaction to his approach. She took a shuddering breath to calm her nerves, but remained still as he once again moved forward.
"Forty-four becomes you very well, I see," he complimented as he drew closer. "You're more beautiful than I remembered," he added, stopping a safe distance away as she shifted her feet nervously.
"Thank you," she replied, fleetingly looking away shyly. Of all the things he could have said, a compliment such as that hadn't been expected at all. "You look… 'fabulous, fantastic, absolutely gorgeous.' "…well, too."
"Things aren't always as they seem where I come from," he replied with casual humor, smiling only after she chuckled in response.
"I remember," she stated, smiling despite her numb cheeks, looking up at him coyly. "It's…" A sudden wind knocked the breath right from her lungs, leaving her panting into the collar of her coat to warm her throat.
"Cold," he finished for her. "Yes, it is. Why don't we walk for a bit," he suggested politely, turning his body to the side while offering his elbow to lead the way.
She looked up at him, the cold winds temporarily forgotten. "You're not going to ask why I called you?"
He smiled kindly, jutting out his elbow a little further. "Let's walk. Get you away from this cold wind, shall we?"
She stared at him a moment longer before nodding in consent and stepped up along side of him. "Okay, but I'll keep my hands in my pockets, if you don't mind."
"Fair enough," he stated casually, gaining another covert glance from Sarah as she fell into step beside him.
"You seem… different," she remarked as they slowly plodded through the snow, Jareth having the decency to actually sink into the cold fluff while walking with her.
"Do I?" he questioned with curiosity, turning his head to look over at her. "How so?"
"Well, uhm…" she shrugged. "You don't seem as arrogant as I remember."
"Ah, that, yes," he replied pleasantly, smiling again. "You had very high expectations of me if I recall correctly," he half turned to dip his face before hers to show her that he was smiling. "And I do recall correctly, you know."
"Of… of course you do," she replied, flabbergasted by his casual charm. She felt a warm flush rise within her insides, and smiled at the feeling. It was nice to have someone make her feel special without even trying.
"We can stop just inside the tree line," he stated, inclining his head towards the remaining several feet. "I've prepared a place there, shielded from the wind and cold." He suddenly looked over at her as though a thought had occurred to him. "I hope you don't mind. It is fairly isolated."
"If it's warmer than out here, I won't mind a bit," she replied, her teeth starting to chatter against a numb jaw. "Unless, I should worry about your generosity."
"No," he stated very casually. "You needn't worry about that. I personally abhor cold weather, and constructed this more for myself anyway." They reached the tree line, Jareth stepped slightly ahead to lift a snow heavy branch for her to pass under it. "You may feel a slight discomfort as you walk through," he warned lightly. "It's only my magic, nothing to fear, and the feeling should subside within a moment."
His pleasantness gave her more pause than his warning of discomfort, but, not enough to prevent her from ducking under his arm into the thickness of trees. Straightening her back after passing him, she paused to look around in awe. It wasn't a copse of trees she had stepped into, but a crystal cabin of sorts. The walls were as transparent as ice, the roof was covered with snow from the 'outside', and the ground was covered in lush green grass that filled her senses with the smell of spring. Hesitating for only a brief moment, she stepped further inside to let Jareth enter behind her. Shaking off the snow and chill from her coat, she unbuttoned it to feel warm air flowing within the thick icy walls.
"Do you feel nauseous or light-headed in any way?" he asked with mild concern, stepping around her, then turned to face her directly.
"Uhm… no, actually I'm fine. No dizziness or anything whatsoever." He smiled as though her answer pleased him very much, as though she had gotten a tough question correct when others had failed. "Is that normal that I feel okay?" she questioned in a suddenly distracted voice. She felt her body temperature rise as he removed his thick, long coat to reveal a loose, open necked shirt tucked into tight, very… tight… pants, and high boots. "Wow," she breathed in an awestruck whisper that should never have been heard as a word.
His coy, knowing grin told her that he not only heard her exclamation within her breath, but liked that she liked what she saw. "It's not normal, per say," he answered her. "especially for someone who's been away from magic as long as you have."
"Oh," she heard herself say in response while watching him pace a little bit before making a blanket and picnic setting appear in the center of the shelter.
He lowered himself to the blanket, sprawled casually on his side with his hand holding up his head, and then looked up at her. She found him captivating to watch, his body movements simply flowed like soft ripples on a still pond.
"You're becoming very flush, you know."
"Excuse me?" she asked, not really hearing what he said with all the thoughts that the sight of him created in her mind. The fluid motion of his body, the way his hair moved around him without sticking up like static, the way his eyes shone magically as he looked at her.
"Would you like something to eat?"
"Oh, no. I'm stuffed," she declined politely. "I couldn't eat another thing after the feast that was served at the house. But, thank you."
"Sarah," he addressed with mild impatience, pulling himself up into a sitting position and crossing his legs in front of him. "I'm trying to be patient, you realize. I'm doing my best to be polite and hospitable, and well… anxious to know why you've summoned me."
"I thought you knew," she reasoned, sinking slowly to her knees across from him on the blanket. "The way you greeted me, the way you smiled at me… making this place so we'd be warm, and…" She stared openly at the lower region of his body. "… those pants are simply too distracting for any thought whatsoever."
"You summoned me… to have a liaison?" he speculated in a deep timbre voice.
"A wha…?" she almost asked, looking up at his face. "No. No, I… uhm," She felt the heated flush rise at his 'patient' expression to explain herself.
"Perhaps you should remove your coat," he stated observantly. "You're becoming much too flush for my liking."
"Yea, I think you're right." She shrugged off her wintry garb, and piled it by her side.
"Congratulations," he complimented in an off-handed tone. "You've managed to accomplish what very few have done before with little to no effort on your part."
"What are you talking about? What have I…" she started to ask, then noticed how his eyes shown with a different glint in them, how his breathing seemed harsher than before. Her gaze instantly had to verify her suspicion. Which it did immediately at finding his pants much more snug in the groin area than they had been a moment before. "You can't be serious," she remarked stunned, peeling her eyes from his arousal to meet his eyes. "I only took off my coat."
"Apparently, that's all you needed to do," he replied, boldly holding her gaze with his. "You're not flush from the warmth, are you, Sarah?"
"Yea, I am. It's very warm in here."
"Sarah." She met his direct eye contact, finding it hard to breath. "What do you want with me?" he asked precisely, pronouncing each word carefully.
"Oh, boy." She hadn't meant to say that aloud any more than she had voiced her first sound of appraisal a few moments before hand. She found that she couldn't think, couldn't breath… with him watching her like he was. "I think we should have stayed out in the cold and snow."
"Come here, Sarah," he stated in an enticing, deep voice.
"Oh, I can't do that." He repositioned himself onto his knees. "This was a bad idea." He moved closer to her. "Really." He reached out a hand to the back of her neck. "I should have…" He drew her closer with a slight urge of his hand. "Never…" He dipped his head to the side. "Called…" He parted his lips enticingly, bringing his mouth closer to hers. "You… to… kiss." His lips caressed over hers as gentle as silk, and Sarah had no desire to stop him.
"One kiss to fulfill your wish, my Lady," he whispered from a hair's width from her lips.
Sarah's face was suspended in a moment of bliss. Her eyes were closed, her cheeks flushed, and her lips parted in anticipation to feel his touch hers one more time.
"I must warn you," Jareth whispered heavily. "that to want more of me will have its consequences."
"Consequences," she breathed, nodding minutely. Her head felt heavy with thoughtlessness, wanting nothing more than to be closer to him.
"Sarah," he addressed lightly, cupping the side of her face with his palm to have her open her eyes to look at him. "One more kiss from me and you will never be satisfied by another."
"Okay," she breathed heavily, staring at his lips so close to hers.
"Why did you summon me, Sarah?" he asked once more, wanting to be sure he wasn't misunderstanding her intentions.
She stared at his mouth with unfocused eyes at first. Then, slowly, her pupils focused and she met his gaze with a more comprehension in her eyes. "You're all I think about," she answered in a soft, whispered voice. "Everything I've done since that day, I did for you." She daringly reached out a hand to caress the smooth skin of his face that lingered so close to her own. "They think I'm crazy," she whispered. "They can't hear the music when you play. They don't smell you after it rains like I do. They've kept me locked up, never to be left alone, taking pills to make me forget. But, I wouldn't forget you. I refused to let you slip from my mind. I refused to give up my dream."
"And what dream is that, Sarah?" he questioned, his sweet, warm breath fanning her face.
"You," she answered heavily. "You are my only dream." She leaned closer to him, closing the small space between them to brush her lips tantalizingly against his in a feathery kiss.
"Sarah!" Toby shouted into the blistering cold winds, following his sister's trail in the snow. It was his fault she was able to sneak out of the house un-noticed. He had brought her home for the holidays, to be with him, his wife, and their three kids. To be with her family for once and not holed up in the psych hospital where she'd been living since she was fifteen.
"Sarah!" he called again in a strong, loud masculine voice. They had told him over and over again that he had to make sure she swallowed her pill. That he had to make her open her mouth wide and actually look inside, to make sure it wasn't lying under her tongue or tucked into her cheek. Toby had thought it was a load of crap, personally, never fully understanding what had happened to his sister in the first place.
He readjusted the hat on his head, pulling it down lower over his forehead as the winds picked up. "Sarr-rrah!" he bellowed from between gloved hands around his mouth when he came across a second set of tracks in the snow next to the ones he'd been following from his house, their house, actually. The house he had grown up in, and Sarah had had an accident that left her incapable of living a normal life. Wishing he had worn his scarf, like his wife had told him to do, he buried his face up to his eyes into the collar of his warm coat until he reached the tree line.
"Sarr-rrah!" he cried out again. "Hell-llo!" he called, hoping that whoever was with his sister could at least answer him if she wouldn't. Stepping into the tree line he stopped dead with sudden confusion. Both sets of footprints simply disappeared. He turned around and saw them behind him, along with his own added to the snowy trail. They lead right up to the trees, and then just simply ended. Toby felt a sudden warm breeze hit his face from within the trees, the fragrant scent of fresh cut grass filled his frozen nose.
'You remind me of the babe,' a masculine voice stated hauntingly from nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
Toby staggered backwards in fear, tripping over his own boots to land on his arse in the snow.
'He 'is' the babe,' Sarah's disembodied voice stated, wafting within the soft breeze.
"Sarah!" Toby yelled, jumping to his feet he peered into the snow filled, barren woods of winter.
'He's the babe with the power,' the masculine voice added.
'Say your words, Toby,' Sarah's voice whispered eerily in the air. 'Say your words and then go home.'
"You have no power over me!" he shouted at the top of his lungs in response, reacting with pure instinct to do as his sister told him. He heard quiet murmurings and whispers swirling all around him within the warm breeze of Spring. Then, as quickly as it all started it ended, and the bitter winds of winter returned to once again bite at his exposed face.
Toby sunk to his knees in the snow, crying unabashedly. He knew without understanding how or why that his sister hadn't been crazy at all, and that she would never be found or seen again. Feeling the wetness on his face starting to freeze against his skin, he got to his feet and stared numbly into the tree line. "I hope you live happily ever after, Sarah." Turning away from the blinding winds, Toby made his way home wondering how he was going to explain his sister's disappearance without sounding crazy.