Chapter Eighteen: I Knew It Complete
Everything changed. The restaurant faded fully away, transforming into a ballroom. The shining wooden floor was now transparent crystal; the dim candles were replaced by the light of stars and moon and the illumination of tiny crystal orbs that drifted through the air, dancing a tango with gently falling snowflakes. There was no ceiling here, and no walls, for snow and winter forest served as the scenery. There were other guests, dancers dressed in whites and blues with bright smiles on their faces and pointed ears. All nodded in respect as the Goblin King waltzed across the floor with his savior, soft music playing on the snowflakes with nary a musician to play.
Everything changed. Sarah's dress was a full length gown, and the dark green held sparkling bits of crystal that blended in with the snowflakes. Gloves of the softest material protected her hands from the chill, but she hardly noticed the cold, for the warmth in Jareth's eyes as they met hers melted away any frigidity.
The word slipped past Sarah's lips and was met with a soothing answer.
"Is this the Underground?" Sarah asked, eyebrows narrowed in confusion.
"This is the true Underground, the Labyrinth that was hidden from you due to your imagination and my losing of power," Jareth smiled with a nod. "These are your people, the goblins you battled in the city so long ago."
"These beautiful creatures?" Sarah gasped, looking to the men and women that swirled around her and to the children that sat patiently playing with toys or watching the dancing from crystal chairs.
"Yes," Jareth chuckled. "They have long waited to meet you when their minds were not lost to imagination."
"Ludo, Sir Didymus, Hoggle... What about them?" Sarah asked, suddenly afraid.
"We's are fine, Sarah," A familiar voice spoke, and Sarah turned to see a wizened middle-age man walking clumsily towards her, sparkling eyes shining up at her above a dark brown beard. The wrinkles were still there, and the larger lips and nose, but Hoggle had transformed into what could only be described as a dwarf in the world of Tolkien or Lewis.
"My lady!" A chipper voice called, and an elf with flaming red hair and the bushiest mustache Sarah had ever seen appeared, riding towards her on a Shetland pony with the whitest coat and a thick mane with a thick forelock that fell into the pony's eyes.
"Ludo was always the same," Jareth smiled, waving to the large, friendly monster that walked towards Sarah as fast as his big feet could carry him. "His creature is a unique sort; unaffected by spells of any sort."
"It is so wonderful to see all of you again!" Sarah exclaimed, throwing her arms around Ludo and bending down to Hoggle, who grunted gruffly but seemed pleased regardless. She let Sir Didymus kiss her hand and then patted Ambroscious on the head.
"That boy sitting over there is my brother, Toby," Sarah pointed to a corner of the dance floor. Toby was standing there with pink cheeks as a little goblin girl tugged at his hand insistently. Mouse was laughing as he twirled past with his own dance partner, enjoying Toby's discomfort. "Can you make him feel a little more welcome?"
"But of course, my lady! Come Sir Hoggle! Come Sir Ludo!" Sir Didymus exclaimed, turning his steed and riding excitedly towards Toby.
"He will be alright," Jareth spoke, answering Sarah's unspoken question as he took her hands in his and placed them in their appropriate positions for dancing. "Everything will be alright now."
"I was afraid you were never going to come back," Sarah said softly, her eyes sad.
"Never come back?" Jareth smiled. "My dear Sarah, even if I had tried to avoid you for the rest of time, the Labyrinth wouldn't have had it. The land and its people approve far too much of you. This is your home now, if you so choose it."
"What about New York? What about the rest of my life?" Sarah asked as they twirled amongst the other dancers.
"If you wish, I can reorder time," Jareth said deeply. "I can move the stars, and do whatever it is you wish. If you choose to stay here, then the world that you have lived in will believe that you no longer exist. You will simply have vanished, and it will cause no harm to anyone, I assure you. You will disappear just as I did, with no one remembering."
Sarah bit her lip, allowing herself to merge deep in thought for a few moments. She considered if it would harm Toby to leave the life he once knew, but one look at him reassured her that he would be content in the Labyrinth. Mouse was here, and he had already made some new friends in Sarah's dear friends of old. There was nothing for him to miss but baseball and the fact that he had lost his parents at a young age.
"He wants to stay," Jareth said gently. "I have already spoken with him."
"Time is a strange thing, Sarah," Jareth smiled. "It is complex and has many mysteries that are unsolved as yet. Trust that I spoke to him. He is satisfied to stay here."
Toby was satisfied, and as Sarah considered, she realized that she, too, had nothing to leave behind. Her time in the world she had once known was fast coming to an end to prepare the way for a new life here, in the Underground. There was nothing she had to fear, for in the Labyrinth, she would have friends that would look after her and, as far as she knew, she had no enemies in this world.
She blinked and then focused her gaze on Jareth. It thrilled her to her very core that she could see into his eyes now, not as a master nor as a servant, but as an equal. She could see him move his hand from her waist to his waistcoat, and from out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed something sparkling in the Goblin King's hand.
He held out a crystal to her, one that looked familiar to the one he had once offered. She could see nothing in the orb, but in it, she knew, held the promise of her dreams.
"Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I...I will be your slave."
A smile tugged at the corner of Sarah's lips, and she put her arms around Jareth's neck.
"Everything I do, I do for you. I move the stars for no one," she sang resting her cheek against his.
"Hmm," Jareth hummed, putting a hand to her cheek and nuzzling his nose against hers. "No more sad memories, Sarah. No more sad music."
"Very well," she smiled beautifully. "Sing me a song. You're the piano man."
Jareth chuckled, but his laugh was cut short when Sarah pressed her lips to his in her sincerest, truest kiss yet. In her kiss, he felt hope, love, and a promise, a promise that she would never leave him again. And as he returned her kiss, her hand slipped to the crystal orb he offered, closing around it and leaving her previous life behind forever.