A Labyrinth/Pan's Labyrinth crossover. Because it needed to happen. Yes. *The way it works with the timeline and such is that the portal just threw her out into the Above willy-nilly, not the human year which she escaped. The reason Jareth can play with time in a human's mind is because the Underground doesn't obey human concepts of time. It could have been three days since Moanna escaped, to Sarah and Jareth, even though the faun has had to wait for all of eternity.
"Jareth, Jareth bring her back to me, bring my daughter back. I will not live, I ca—can't, I won't live without her!" Sarah was screaming, fighting and clawing in his arms, unconscious to his words of comfort. Their little daughter, Moanna, had escaped—run to the Above, run from the Labyrinth which was supposed to keep her safe, keep her entertained and obey her every whim save one. He had promised Sarah, promised her, that there was no way a child could escape the Labyrinth directly to the Above—and of course, their daughter had found a way. Children, Jareth mused darkly, always found a way. He didn't know which was more painful to hear, the weeping of his wife as she gasped for breath amidst her tears, or the mournful apologies of the faun he'd assigned to guard the girl.
"You will wait at the gate she escaped from! You, you took your eyes of my child for a moment—it takes a goblin longer to escape notice than it does a child. Now she will die—Do you understand me?" Jareth's voice was ragged from grief, breaking all over, the hoarse quality of his voice dreadful to hear. Sarah's sobs increased in volume, her long dark hair damp in tendrils following her tears, her hands shaking in front of her as she mimicked holding a child. "She will die, be lost for all the ages to me, my only daughter—my only child! My heir—You, you killed her, you killed her with your passing glance upon a fairy. They will be your curse, your constant companions, until she is found!"
The faun stuttered its apology before fleeing the throne room, the eyes of a hundred goblins on it's back.
He was thrown into the farthest reaches of time to wait at the entrance—for the entrance led not to the "present" but to the world. To the world which humans lived in, and lived by their sense of time. The little princess Moanna could have arrived ten minutes into the earth's creation, or she could have arrived thousands of years later. She could have arrived at any other gate, too, rather than the one he had been left at. He was not allowed to search her out, however, only to send the fairies out as far as he could, to listen to dreamers' hearts.
And the fairies—the fairies annoyed him to the point of madness, and more arrived every year. A few brought letters, instructions from the Goblin King and the Wishing Queen as to testing any children which he, the faun, thought to be the princess. The King and Queen wanted to be absolutely sure—they wanted their daughter back. In time the faun indeed fall to madness, and from madness to sanity, and from sanity to apathy, and from apathy to passion. But even that eventually was worn down by time, and rather than always stay awake to be driven mad (again) by the fairies, the faun curled up on himself inside the portal's entrance and went to sleep. The fairies would wake him if they ever led a human child into the Labyrinth's entrance, and until then, he had nothing to do that he hadn't already done. In dreams, he could play in the hedges of the Labyrinth as he had done as a youngling, and in dreams, he was home.
No—it couldn't be—she couldn't be! The girl—with hair as dark as Queen Sarah's, and eyes the shape of the King's. Now, for the tests, the tests the tests the tests—! Oh but what would the King and Queen look like when he returned triumphant with their beloved daughter—but what, what was the first test? What had the letter said? The page had long disintegrated with age, first having turned yellow, then brown, then gray, until it faded to dust in his hands. It had been written in Queen Sarah's hand, an easy task for a brave child, to go to the toad—yes, the toad. The stones, the key, the book. The tree. The toad, the one killing the tree, the very toad he'd set there seventeen centuries before, in amongst the roots of the tree he'd planted a year after first arriving. The stones, the key, the book. Oh but if he could see the King's face as the little princess, beautiful as though she were still fae, looked up at him. He was going to bring the child home, to the Underground, to the Labyrinth which she'd escaped so many eons ago—not long at all—and he was going to be home.
The second test—the second had rid him of his fairies, save for one. He had grown to love them as much as he hated them over the centuries spent at the entrance to the Labyrinth. That missive had been from the King, and a scarier test he could not have devised—did the man even love his own daughter? Love, love like a father loves a child, love like he loved his fairies, or love like a cricket loves the night? And it was designed so that the right child, the right girl, the real princess if she were indeed the real princess, would fail it, would nearly lose her life—would find that fairytales could also bite, would learn that even in such tales there were grim realities, deserving of a healthy respect. The girl had killed his fairies, had watched them be eaten—not such a loss, as they'd long been dying away faster than they came. The thing had eaten them instead of the princess, and for that he was glad, glad to be rid of them.
The third test, task, quest was handed down from a small council of goblins along with the Goblin King and the Wishing Queen—sacrifice of the self rather than of an innocent, of the most innocent. To Queen Sarah, no daughter of hers would ever put riches, dreams, comfort, and love, before the life of a newborn babe. And to the King, one could not rule a kingdom of outcasts without sacrificing everything—even one's own life. The faun understood this test, he understood sacrifice and outcasting and it had been eons since he'd seen a proper moonrise. And the girl, she was so scared, so willing, it scared him—could this possibly be the princess? Stealing away her infant brother to follow a faun? She couldn't be the princess, couldn't—and then she had said No. She'd said she would never hurt her baby brother, and then she'd died for him—a vain sacrifice. Sacrifice, in vain, sacrifice a lifetime, the length of time itself on earth, the faun struggled to contain his glee—he was free and the little princess had learned her lesson, would never run from her family again, would never run from the Labyrinth again.
For she had experienced even death itself in the Above, and knew never to go back there. But he didn't know that, couldn't know that, until he carefully went through the swiftly closing doorway and run as fast as his ancient bones could carry him—quite fast, really, as though he'd spent no time at all in the harsh Above—to the throne room of the King.
To watch the little princess die had been one of the more painful moments of the faun's life—alongside the moment he had informed the frantic mother and father of the girl that the kingdom had been searched. Twice. That their child had gone to the Above, to a world of cold, damp, and death. To never be seen again, never be touched or kissed or held again as any loved child should be.
To watch the little princess live again, however, was one of the more beautiful ones of his life. In her little red shoes—made specially for her by her father, at the drop of one of his crystals—and her little red gown, her dark hair twinkling with starlight, gazing up at her parents on their high thrones, watching her see the goblins as they truly were rather than what they were perceived to be. It was thrilling and beautiful, and the faun felt his madness quite relieved at the sight of his young charge standing yet again in the court of her father. If the Wishing Queen glared at him sometimes, this moment made it worth it. If the Goblin King threatened him with an eternity's immersion in the Bog of Stench, so be it—nothing would rob him of the sweet sound of her smile or the scent of her laughter.
Except—! A fairy—a dazzling little—