Disclaimer: Do not own Labyrinth and its characters-Kudos to Henson and Co.
I literally just cranked this out, a quick idea that had been sitting in my mind and probably should really have one more glance over. Lord, I've missed writing fanfic.
The scoop: The Labyrinth has its own way of deciding who is worthy to rule. Sarah won so Sarah is in charge but not as she once was and not who she once was. As of the moment, it's a one shot.
It took Sarentha two days to learn to be haughty. Ruthlessness had only taken half a day, but then she had been told before that she had a propensity toward cruelty—someone had once told her.
But then again, a few days ago she had been a teenage girl, though that was a world she scarcely remembered. Now she was certainly something different. Her new identity, her new position absorbed her conscious steadily and voraciously. The illusion the Labyrinth fed the remnants of Sarah's mind was beautifully authentic, including her brother's small, contented moans as he slept and her parents' shocked but pleased response to her sudden bursts of maturity. Eventually, the Labyrinth's illusion wouldn't be necessary as Sarah was pacified into her false security. Time had proven the necessity of these measures, to ensure that the rulers of the Labyrinth were truly invested in the game and would not seek to lose intentionally.
However, as it is in all strong spirits, Sarah would not completely fade away. Certainly there were different quirks to the new leader of the goblins, just as Jeffery had brought aspects of his own personality; the goblins with a memory for subjects other than the last chicken chase might reminisce fondly about the music he brought to the castle when the mood took them. More grumbled when Sarentha enforced the cleanliness of certain parts of the castle and affectionately remembered that Jareth had seldom bothered. Otherwise, the adjustment of the denizens of the Labyrinth was instantaneous. This was simply the way it was and had been. Life continued as it would. Sarentha busied herself tending to the Labyrinth and perpetuating a sort of undetected mischief between the other nations that would amuse her until the rare and happy diversion of a runner in the Labyrinth.
Or so Sarentha intrinsically knew. She had yet to face a runner, yet she had the history and rules of the Labyrinth ingrained in her mind just as she knew how to breathe. It was a simple, self-perpetuating process, the old ruler when bested passed on what knowledge they had to their conqueror and a fresh but magically wise mind would take over. The lines were designed to blur.
Still, Sarentha knew, something was not quite right in this last exchange of power—she also knew she was not supposed to know this.
Twice she had had a peculiar dream, where she was herself but not herself staring at a man who was oddly exotic and strangely familiar. Stranger still, he had the markings of her office. While she was aware that there had been other rulers before her and that her predecessor had been named Jareth, she simultaneously realized a gap in this knowledge as though she had always been the Queen of the Goblins, Guardian of the Labyrinth. Still, there was a deeper sort of connection than this commonality, and Sarentha found it utterly distracting.
The dreams continued, sometimes more than once a night. She noted his strange garb in the dream's final segment, where he was bedecked in formal attire but in a color full of hidden meaning, according to the Underground traditions. Her dream-self did not recognize his pleas as a formal offer, but her waking self wondered at the implications. Was it possible for two people to rule the Goblin Kingdom together?
This incited further questioning: what provoked him to try? Three possibilities occurred to Sarentha. First, Jareth (for it could only be him) had not been ready to abdicate, forced by the rules as they were, and was seeking a way out. The second was that, in his own way, Jareth had allowed himself compassion enough that he did not want to see her fated to ruling the goblins. The third possibility was intriguing: he truly wanted her and the rules be damned. Sarah agonized quietly over the potentiality, feeling something else in it that Sarentha had quashed immediately. His expression had been quite telling; each component of the Goblin Queen had her theory.
Sarentha woke up from the same dream once more, incensed. Forming a crystal, she demanded to see the boy, the last runner of the Labyrinth.
In the small sphere, a young man of about fifteen hoisted up a baby in striped pajamas, a large grin on his face. The young man danced a teddy bear in front of the toddler, earning Sarentha a view of silent laughter from a remarkably familiar infant. And, part of Sarentha's thoughts reminded her, the baby should be very familiar as he had been the last child wished away, but there was again that strange feeling of connection that she could not shake. The young man gazed wistfully in the distance, unknowingly looking just past the crystal's vantage point. One eye was darker than the other, exactly as her dream-vision of Jareth had depicted. But this was Jeffery, she knew.
Worse was the deep sense of wrong-ness that the part of Sarentha that was Sarah was definitely upset about. Due to her curiosity about this young man, Sarentha allowed Sarah's small, directionless stream of hope to continue. For reasons that Sarentha further did not understand, she found this young man fascinating. Nothing seemed to explain the overwhelming sadness she felt when she allowed her thoughts to wander while she looked in on him. Perhaps, somehow, this young man would find a way back to the Underground, Sarentha wondered, ever confused at the appeal of this mortal, though doubtful that he could ever best her game. Sarentha kicked a goblin out of her way and proceeded about the details of her kingdom.
Thanks for reading and, as per usual: Love it or hate it, please let me know!