Jareth stared out the window, his long, willowy body lounging against the sill. His fingers gripped his knee tightly as he willed the darkness to melt away and reveal dawn's rosy hues. Sighing, and realizing that he while he could magically cause clock hands to move in any direction he chose, he had no real control over time, he tilted his head backwards until it hit stone, his unwanted thoughts an overpowering wave:

'You have no power over me!'

Hissing, the Goblin King rose to his feet and started pacing for the umpteenth time that day. His subjects watched him warily, ready to take cover if their king's mood worsened.

The problem was, Jareth was bored. Ennui continually flooded his senses, and ever since Sarah, that little snot of a girl, had beaten his Labyrinth two years ago, he had found everything and anything to be lacking in entertainment. He had given up trying to beat the girl—had even accepted defeat gracefully, considering he was a king—and now he found himself in a magical castle, filled with hundreds of goblin subjects, and a fat wad of tedium wherever he went. Where his life had once been lived purely for entertainment, it was now lived on a routine basis, thanks to the fact that he was not bored enough to attempt suicide.

And that was when he felt the pull.

It had been ages since someone had been wished away by the goblins, Jareth realized as the magic flooded him. Simply ages, and oh how he had missed it! He missed the pull in his gut that said that he needed to pay a house call, the tingling he got from the tips of his toes all the way up to his fly-away blonde hair, the way he could feel the adrenaline pounding through his veins, signaling that the games were about to begin. A feral grin spread deliciously across his lips, pointed canines cutting into his full, red lips; his thoughts settled into the mindset of a hunter. Sarah seemed insignificant—after all, the only thing that matter was that the case was on, brought so by those magic, magic words:

"I wish the goblins would take you away!"

"Well, would you look at that, dear," Erik remarked nonchalantly as he read his paper. "It seems that it's going to rain on Sunday. I'm afraid you'll have to reschedule that picnic you wanted to have with Meg." When his words met with no answer, he folded his newspaper next to his breakfast plate and looked up. "Christine?"

She stood not five feet away from him, her hands balling up the end of the dishcloth she had been holding. Tresses of her curly brown hair lay delicately on the nape of her swanlike neck and drew Erik attention to her beautiful heart-shaped face, which bore the expression of deep contemplation. Erik unfolded his jack-knife of a body—a six feet of it—and glided to loom above his beloved, unintentionally blocking the sunlight from her adorable face.

"I'm sorry, dearest. I know you wanted to have your get-together with Meg. After all, it's been months, hasn't—?"

Christine cut him off, flinging the dishcloth onto the ground. "I can't take it anymore!" she screeched, her hair hitting Erik in the face, making him wince in surprise. Face contorted, she pushed her husband away, her hands knotting themselves in her hair.

"I can't do this anymore, Erik!" Her voice came out a little softer, but Erik couldn't move from his paralyzed state of shock. "Erik, what happened? You used to be so… exciting! You were so dramatic, so mysterious, so—"

"What?" A dazed Erik fought to pull himself back to reality.

"You used to be the Opera Ghost!" Christine continued, her words emphasized by vehement gesticulations of her hands. "There were candles everywhere, and a dark, misty lake! You wore a mask that made you seem like some aloof…" She struggled for the word. "…angel! You were the Angel in Hell! Oh, Erik what happened?"

"What happened?" Erik spluttered. "What do you mean, what happened? You hated the Opera Ghost! You ended up hating the Angel of Music as well! I wanted only to make you happy! You know what happened! I bought this château on the coast, I gave up being the Phantom of the Opera, and I even got facial surgery— all for you!" Erik was raving now, his eyes burning embers. "I never needed to wear a mask ever again! I wouldn't have to live like a rodent underground! I gave you a handsome husband, a beautiful home, sunlight, and this is how you react? By saying you 'can't take it'? You can't take this life I built for you out of all my sacrifices?"

"You think you're the only one who sacrificed?" Christine shot right back at him. "I gave up my career so that I could stay with you! I gave up Raoul, who was my friend when you were content on playing the pervert in my dressing room! I married you for who you were, this mysterious angel of the night! You were... were… sexy back then, Erik, and I don't know what happened now! When I look at you, I don't see the man I married!"

"That's because the man you married had surgery!"

Christine continued, acting as if she hadn't heard Erik. "I miss the ambiance, the magic, when you used to hold me. Now it's just like we're—oh, I don't even know what's happened to us, but it's your fault! You're the one who's changed!"

"It's my fault? Well then, Madame, if you feel that way, why don't you just go and marry Raoul? Hmmm? Nothing's stopping you, Madame!" And with that, Erik turned to leave, but Christine stopped him in his tracks.

"I'm not through with you yet, Monsieur! You lock yourself in your room for hours, and if I try to ask you what you want for dinner, all I get is a grunt or a 'In a minute, honey', and then some horrible melodies! And I was looking through your mail and—"

"That's private!"

"We're married. Nothing's private. Anyways, I was looking through your mail, and you're writing music for money? What happened to your philosophy that no one could handle your music? Did that go away with the surgery too?"

"For your information, that money was used to buy you that necklace you love so much! I don't see where you're going with this! You're acting irrational, and—"

"Irrational!" Christine flung her hands up into the air. "Don't talk to me about irrational! You go off and kill a man, then act like it's no big deal! You stalk me wherever I go and then get angry when I go off for a girl's night out!"

"Christine, that was years ago! I've changed since then!" Erik's voice took on a pleading tone, hoping that she would eventually calm down.

"Yes, you've changed! And that's where the problem lies! You… you put jelly on your eggs for Pete's sake!" Erik looked back at his breakfast plate where, indeed, his eggs were smothered in grape jelly. Turning back to his wife, he managed a strangled little "but it tastes better that way."

"I don't care how it tastes! You're different! Maybe I should have married Raoul! At least I know he's consistent!" With a huff, she pushed him out of her way and started tromping up the stairs. Erik's word's caught her by surprise:

"Well, you're not exactly the easiest person in the world to live with either, Christine Daae! I haven't met such a spoiled brat in all my life!"

Whipping her head around, Christine flashed a murderous glance at Erik. "Erik," she hissed, her rage bubbling up inside her. "I wish you'd just get out of my life! I wish that someone would just take you away from me forever! I wish…" Her eyes dimmed very briefly, forcing an errant thought of worry to form in Erik's mind.

"I wish the goblins would take you away!"

"Sorry I'm late," Christine said, waltzing into the throne room. "I simply could not find this castle for the life of me. And that gardener? Hoggie? Hogwarts? Whatever. He was the worst guide ever! I blame him for the delay!"

Jareth cast a sideways glance at Erik, whose eyes were moist with tears. The past thirteen hours had been spent by Jareth following Christine through his crystal, and Erik, once his anger had dissipated, curling into a ball and weeping at the very idea that all this was his fault.

"Well, Erik," Jareth said with a hint of disdain for his overly emotional guest, "You sure do know how to pick them." Turning his attention back to Christine, he continued. "You, my dear, are in a bit of a dilemma. I gave you thirteen hours to solve my Labyrinth, and as you couldn't, I now—"

"Oh, by the way, Erik?" Erik looked up in surprise at Christine. "This labyrinth is so much better than yours. Or rather, your old one. It's got moss and goblins and all this other stuff. And the oubliettes are so much nicer than your old caverns and such. You really needed to redecorate."

"I thought you like my underground labyrinth? You know, 'where night is blind' and all that? You said you wanted it back!"

"Yes, well, now I see that the Goblin King does it better." She flashed her eyes over at Jareth, who stared back at her coldly, not even affected by her attempted flattery.

"As I was saying," the Goblin King continued, "you have failed to solve my Labyrinth in the allotted time, so now you get to make a choice. Seeing as I have rights to keep one of you here with me, what shall it be? Will you abandon your husband, or will you stay here yourself? I do hope you pick the latter; you're far prettier than Derek over here."

Christine flushed a lovely shade of crimson while Erik called out, "Don't do it, Christine! Live your life! Go, marry Raoul! This is all my fault anyways! I should have never… never put jelly on my eggs!"

Christine rolled her eyes at him. "You know what? I think I will stay. Erik, you really need to get over that mindset where whenever anything bad happens, it's your fault. I mean, really, take some classes or something." She walked over to Jareth and linked her arm in his; Jareth shrugged at Erik, and then planted a kiss on Christine's forehead. Erik rushed at the two, but was stopped by a wall of little goblin subjects.

"I'll visit you for Christmas!" Christine waved at her (former?) husband as dozens of goblins overpowered Erik and took him back to his home.