Okay, this idea just randomly popped into my head one day. Random, I know, I just couldn't help myself. :D
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Susan and Discworld belong to the genius known as Terry Pratchett, and Labyrinth and Jareth belong to Jim Henson. That being said, no need to send your lawyers after me.
The first world the Gods created was Earth. Now, earth was your straight-up, normal planet. The kind of place where everything had some explanation, and nothing out of the ordinary ever happened. Now, at first the Gods were quite pleased with this new world they created, but they soon grew bored with the simplicity of the planet. I mean, you can only mess with people from a place where their feet are on the ground and their heads out of the clouds so much. So, they created other planets, and other worlds to amuse themselves. One was entirely covered in water, and the other had absolutely no ground or gravity, so the poor inhabitants of that one spent their time floating around aimlessly until their dinner came close enough to them that they could grab a bite before it floated off again. But the gods eventually grew bored with this world, too, and it was out of this extreme divine boredom that the Disc was created.
What is the Disc, you ask? Well, to put it quite simply, if you were to take every single stupid idea that anyone anywhere ever thought, put it in an iron pot and then cooked it for about five seconds until it turned rotten and then poured it on top of your ex-spouse's head, you'd get something similar to the essence of the Disc. Remember when people on Earth thought that their world was flat? Well, the people on the Disc initially thought their world was round, because all of the other planets were like that, until they realized that their world was indeed flat. And when those Earth-snobs thought the sun revolved around them? The sun actually does revolve around the Disc! Now, there are some other strange things about the Discworld as well. For example, the Disc is on the backs of four giant elephants, whose names no one has ever bothered to learn, because we'd probably never be able to pronounce them due to the fact that the elephants have to adopt their language around those giant tusks in their mouths. Us trying to say their names would probably be like you trying to say something with two huge sticks in your mouth, and everything coming out either sounded like a curse word or complete gobbledegook. Are these elephants just walking through space you ask? Good heavens, no, that's ridiculous! No, these elephants reside on the back of a giant turtle swimming through space. The name of this turtle we do know. His name is the Great A'Tuin.
No such place exists, you say. Well, Mr. I-Know-Everything, it appears that you know so much more than me, so why don't you just bugger off and let me tell this story to people who actually care and stop being such a damn prick? There, now that he's gone, I can get on with my story. Occaisonally, the Disc and other worlds have collided (both figuratively and literally, after all, the Disc is on top of a turtle flying through space, he's bound to bump into some planets every once in a while). Mostly, these worlds are alternate dimensions, or parallel universes. This one collision I am about to tell you about, though, has to do with the Disc, and a place whose existence depends entirely on belief . . . .
It was one of those rainy spring days in the twin city of Ankh-Morpork. The kind where everyone wished it would be sunny out so they could go for walks in the park and smell the budding flowers, but if they tried that now they would just get sopping wet and the only thing they could smell would be wet dog. And because of this, everyone was tired and cross, and yelled at random people for no apparent reason as if it was their fault that it was raining. So, it was quite natural that Mr. and Mrs. Gaiter had gone to someone's birthday party, leaving their nanny, Susan Sto-Helit, to take care of the children Twyla and Gawain.
"Susan! Gawain took my dolly!"
"Did not! Susan! Twyla's lying!"
"Gawain's being a tattler!"
"Twyla's being a double-tattler!"
"Gawain's being a –"
"ENOUGH!" a Voice shouted.
The two children quieted immediately. They knew that Voice. That was the Voice that was normally reserved only for monsters and bogeymen, but that would be used on them if they were being extremely bothersome.
The doorknob of the room jiggled a bit, and the door opened, revealing a woman of about twenty or so, who was attractive in a kind of skinny way. She had pale skin, and curly white hair that was pulled up into a smart bun. A thick streak of black ran through her hair, all the way from the roots to the tips. She had striking bright blue eyes that were currently glaring at the two children.
"Twyla, Gawain, just because your parents are gone does not mean that you can start screaming at each other." Susan said firmly.
"But Gawain stole my dolly," Twyla insisted.
"I did not!" Gawain objected.
"Twyla, what is that in your hand?" Susan asked.
"My dolly," Twyla answered.
"Twyla, if that is your dolly, then Gawain can't have stolen it." Susan said.
"But I found it in his room!" Twyla shouted.
"I didn't put it there!" Gawain cried.
"Then how did it get there?" Twyla replied.
"Maybe the bogeymen wanted to have some fun or something!" Gawain defended.
"And I suppose the goblins took my hairbrush and put it here too?" Twyla asked.
Susan groaned, but stopped. She could have sworn she heard snickering a minute ago. Dismissing it, she returned her attention to the two siblings.
"All right, that's enough. Twyla, it's past your bedtime. Gawain, stop taking your sister's things." Susan said, taking Twyla's arm and leading her to the door.
"But I didn't –"
"GAWAIN," Susan warned.
Gawain clamped his mouth shut, and glared at Twyla who was sticking her tongue out at him. Susan jerked Twyla in the direction of the door and pulled her down the hallway towards her own room. The two siblings had initially shared a bedroom, but their harmless arguments had turned into hair-pulling fights, so they had to be separated.
The finally reached Twyla's room, and Susan checked under the bed for bogeymen before tucking Twyla in.
"I gate him," Twyla grumbled.
"No, you don't." Susan replied.
"Yes I do. He's so annoying and he always takes my stuff and –"
"Twyla," Susan said, "I may not be the best person to give advice on family, but there is one thing I've learned: you may get angry at someone you care about, you may think you hate them, but you'll always forgive them. Because, in the end, they're all you have." Susan said.
"But I have you, don't I Susan?" Twyla asked.
Susan gave Twyla one of her small rare smiles. "Right now, you do. But I won't always be there."
Twyla nodded. "I still wish some bogeymen or goblins would take Gawain away." She murmured.
"Goodnight Twyla," Susan said, exhasperated.
"I do wish it, you know! I really wish something like that would happen, right now." Twyla insisted.
Susan had been halfway towards the door when she stopped. There was something about what Twyla had said. There was power in those words, she could feel it. And she could feel the sudden disturbance. Something was invading her home. Susan had that terrible feeling of deja-vu, and felt something in her stomach drop.
"Stay in your room, Twyla. I'm going to go check on Gawain." Susan said, not letting her worry come into her voice. She calmly walked out of the room and closed the door behind her before running back to Gawain's room. She didn't even bother with the doorknob when she got there, and instead walked straight through the door. And Susan saw what she had been fearing.
Gawain's bed, empty.
Turning around, Susan ran through the door again, and this time ran in the direction of Twyla's room.
"Twyla!" Susan called, going through Twyla's door. Almost immediately, Susan stopped dead in her tracks (no pun intended).
Twyla was sitting up in her bed, staring at her open window. Now, Twyla wasn't staring at the window itself, but instead at the man that was standing there. He was dressed all in black, and at first, Susan thought he was from the Assassin's Guild. But then she noted the impractical long and oddly styled blonde hair, and the vast amounts of glitter on his clothes and the ground around him. He had been smirking at Twyla, but he slowly turned his gaze to Susan.
"Leave us, this does not concern you." The man said.
"Be that as it may, I have no intention of leaving the girl I'm supposed to be looking after alone with a man covered in glitter. Especially not when her brother is missing, which I presume you are to blame for." Susan said coldly, stepping up until she was directly behind Twyla, who was currently sucking her thumb.
The man gave Susan a surprised look. "Me? I didn't wish away the boy." He said, giving Twyla a pointed look.
The girl popped her thumb from her mouth. "Susan's got a poker, you know."
"Really?" the man asked.
Twyla nodded. "Yep. When that man with the sword and the glass eye was over, and he was about to kill that skeleton man eating the biscuit, she –"
"That's enough, Twyla." Susan said.
"Never mind. You needn't worry, Susan , I'm only here to bring little Twyla something." The man said.
"What is it?" Twyla asked.
With a flourish of his hand, the man held out a crystal ball to the young girl.
"This, my dear Twyla, is a crystal. It'll show you all your dreams." The man said.
"Why would I want it to show me my dreams? I already know them," Twyla said.
"My dear girl, this crystal can show you any dream that you will ever have. Whether it be a dream you've had, are having, or will have." The man said.
Twyla turned to look at Susan. "Can you hit him on the head with the poker Susan?" she asked.
The man seemed to be losing his patience now. "I don't believe you understand what I'm offering you, Twyla. I can give you your dreams, Twyla, all you have to do is forget about your brother." The man insisted.
Twyla gave the man a look before turning to look at her governess. "Susan, would Mum and Dad fire you if I let him keep Gawain?" she asked.
"Most likely, yes." Susan replied.
Twyla turned back to look at the man. "Could you bring Gawain back then, please?" Twyla asked, putting on her wide-eyed puppy-dog look that she reserved for when she wanted her parents to give her something. She had long ago stopped trying to use it on Susan, realizing that the white-haired young woman could see right through Twyla's act. And it seems, the man could too.
"I'm afraid I can't do that, Twyla. You can't undo what you said. You wished your brother away, so I took him. I can't go back and change what you did." The man said.
Twyla turned again to Susan. "Hit him with the poker, Susan. Make him bring Gawain back."
"I think I might just do that," Susan said.
"I'm afraid threatening me with an iron rod won't change things, my dear Twyla. There are rules that bind me, and they won't allow me to just give you your brother back." The man explained, though he didn't seem the least bit sorry about the situation. In fact, he seemed to be enjoying the whole thing very much.
"But there are always loopholes," Susan said.
The man turned to look at Susan, a light smirk on his face. "Correct, sweet Susan, there are loopholes." He purred.
"Then, since you seem so eager to give Twyla a gift, I suggest you exercise them." She said, a warning in her voice.
"Careful, Susan sounds like she's ready to do the Voice." Twyla warned.
The man ignored Twyla as he stepped off of the window sill, and stepped right up to Susan. Though he was much taller than her, Susan didn't let her glare waver, and icy blue eyes clashed against mismatched green-and-blue. The two glared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, until the man let his gaze wander past Susan and back to Twyla.
"Very well. Twyla, if you want your brother back, all you have to do is solve my labyrinth." The man said.
"You mean like those mazes in the morning paper?" Twyla asked.
"Yes, like those mazes in the morning paper." The man repeated, a smile on his face. It was that smile that made the warning bells go off in Susan's head.
"This labyrinth, is it on paper, or is she going to have to actually walk through it?" Susan asked.
The man turned to look at her, his eyes slightly narrowed. Once more, the two glared at each other, neither backing down, until once more, he was the first to look away.
"When I say that she'll have to solve my labyrinth, I mean the one that which at the center of lies the Goblin City, where my castle and her brother are." The man said.
"You're asking an eight year old girl to go traversing through a labyrinth ridden with goblins?" Susan asked incredulously.
"Do you have a problem with that?" the man asked.
"Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I won't allow Twyla to do something as dangerous as this." Susan declared.
"But Susan –"
"Which is why I volunteer to take her place." Susan said, cutting off Twyla.
The man seemed to find this extremely amusing, and chuckled, which only riled up Susan even more.
"My dear, dear, Susan. It's not that simple. You can't simply take Twyla's place." He said.
"Watch me," Susan replied.
"The rules don't allow for substitutions." The man said.
"The rules don't allow, or you don't allow?" Susan asked.
"Pardon?" the man asked.
"I mean really, how many times does one sibling wish the other away? And how many times do they actually turn down your crystals in favor of getting their brother or sister back? And even then, how often is it that they even win, or even have a chance of winning? You must be so tired of easy pickings. You never have the chance to throw all you've got at the children, it would be unnecessary. Well hear me right now, you let me try and untangle your labyrinth, and I'll give you a challenge you won't forget." Susan declared, stepping towards the man, her eyes hard and determined.
The man studied her for a moment, his eyes moving from her feet and slowly upwards. Susan supposed that she was supposed to feel uncomfortable, like he was undressing her with his eyes, but she felt nothing of the sort. In fact, her annoyance with this man only grew. He was probably used to young girls turning to butter around him, cowering and swooning over him at the same time. Well, she wasn't some silly fifteen year-old girl. At one time, she may have let her hormones control her thoughts, but being the granddaughter of Death had its perks, one of them being control over those annoying chemicals that seemed to rule most adolescents' and even adults' decisions.
Once the man seemed done with admiring of Susan's appearance, he gave a resigned sigh.
"Well, who am I to resist a challenge, especially one issued by a lovely young woman such as yourself?" he asked, smirking at her.
Susan turned to Twyla. "Twyla, I want you to stay in your room. If any monsters try to bother you, the poker's by the fireplace, you know how to use it."
"Yes, Susan." Twyla said.
Susan gently clapped Twyla on the shoulder, and turned to face the man, who was standing by the window expectantly. He held out his hand to her, and Susan rather reluctantly put her slender pale hand in his gloved one. The man turned to the open window and stepped out of it, pulling Susan with him.
The instant Susan passed the threshold, she found herself not hit with the cold night air, but the rather dry air that one normally encounters in deserts. She found that her feet were planted firmly on dry powdery dirt, and that there was a low yellow sun in the sky, instead of the silvery moon. She also found herself looking at an extremely extensive labyrinth, at which the center of she could make out a large, looming castle.
"That's it then. That's the labyrinth?" Susan asked, turning to look at the man, who was standing with his arms crossed and that annoying smirk on his face.
"Turn back, Susan, turn back before it's too late." He said.
"Well, I would, but it appears that Twyla's bedroom window has disappeared behind me. Now, if you're quite done with the theatrics, I think I'm going to try and solve the damn labyrinth now." Susan snapped.
The man's smirk only grew. "You are by far the most interesting human I have ever met, Susan dear. Though I must say, it is quite rude of you to have challenged and patronized me and yet not to even know my name." the man chastised.
"Well, I'm not exactly expected to have tea and scones with you after this is all done." Susan replied.
The man chuckled. "No, I suppose you're not." He said, before coming up to Susan and pointing at a clock that went from one to thirteen that had materialized on a withered and barren tree.
"You have exactly thirteen hours to solve my labyrinth and make it to my castle, before dear little Gawain becomes a goblin, forever." The man said, turning his head to smirk at Susan one last time before fading away.
Susan didn't even spare the place where he had been a second glance. With a determined set to her jaw, she hiked up her skirt and started towards the labyrinth.
So, what do you think? First time writing Susan AND Jareth, so I hope they're in character and all. I've read a lot of fanfiction, though, and I watched a few scenes with them in it while writing this chapter to get the feel of their characters. I hope you guys like this! Review please!