Here's the next and final chappie! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Susan, the Feegles, and Discworld belong to Terry Pratchett, and Jareth and Labyrinth belong to Jim Henson.
Jareth was lounging in his room, feeling quite content. Susan was trapped in her own dreams, unable to come and save Gawain, and had been so for hours. In only less than half an hour she would lose. He was tempted to watch and maybe invade Susan's dream, but he knew that she would remember her purpose and wake up if she saw him. He smirked. Despite her indifference to him, he had still made an impression.
Twirling the crystal in his fingers, Jareth looked at it pensively. A peak, maybe? That couldn't hurt, as long as she didn't sense his presence. Concentrating, Jareth looked into the crystal, and it glowed slightly before revealing Susan, talking to an elderly man wearing a pointed hat, while a man in a toga was sick in a trashcan, and a man in all black promptly slashed at the back of a faintly elvish looking young man. He didn't even cry out. Instead his eyes sort of rolled back and he fell to the ground. Susan whipped around and stared aghast at the body of the man before looking accusingly at the man holding the sword.
"You killed him!" she exclaimed.
"A rather charitable act, I believe. His accent was grating on my nerves. Even worse than that babbling tooth fairy." The man said in a high and breathy voice.
"What happened to the little elf? Did he spill his sherry on himself?" the man in the toga asked.
"I need to go; Twyla and Gawain are in trouble!" Susan insisted.
Jareth frowned. She shouldn't be able to even remember that much.
"Oh, they will be, if you don't hold still." The man said, raising the sword above his head. Jareth squinted at the weapon. There was something . . . not right about it. It seemed almost too real. Susan looked up at the sword that was ready to strike her down with an odd sort of calmness, like she didn't know that it could kill her. Jareth frowned. Did she know that this was just a dream as well? Scowling, he tossed the crystal away, and it popped like a bubble as soon as it hit the wall. That Susan, as fascinating as she was, had an annoying habit of turning his spells into useless parlor tricks. It was like they didn't even affect her. First the Swamp of Souls, then the Guardian . . . Jareth shook his head. No normal human, not even a witch could have done something like that without using magic. And Susan didn't seem to even be trying. Jareth was getting this irritating feeling that his labyrinth was too easy for her.
"What is she?" Jareth wondered. She wasn't a witch, but then what was she? Maybe those foolish dwarves were right and she was possessed by a demon. But, no, despite that ghastly voice there was nothing else pointing towards that. Besides, Jareth had felt a soul in her. So that also ruled out elf and ogre in disguise. She could be a Fey like him, but then she would have known the kind of authority he had over her, and wouldn't have acted so insolent.
Jareth scowled. She was proving to be quite the headache. Jareth had solved countless riddles, created and tamed a labyrinth to protect the Goblin City, ruled over the brainless goblins for over fifteen hundred years, and yet he couldn't figure out one human girl!
Shaking his head, Jareth stood up and walked out of his room. He needed to get some fresh air, maybe bog a few goblins. He needed to get his mind off of that damn girl. At least for the next twenty minutes. Then, he could turn Gawain into a goblin, and keep Susan trapped in the labyrinth forever. Jareth grinned at the thought. He normally just sent the Questers home or turned them into goblins, but Susan was far too interesting. No, he would take pleasure in breaking her, forcing her to reveal her own secrets. He would bend her iron-strong will to his own; she would beg him to rule her when he was done with her. Or, perhaps he would let her keep her own mind. That was part of what made her so interesting, after all. Her refusal to submit to him, her immunity to all of his mind games. Yes, he would let her keep her free will. And she would still want him. He would make sure of that. Susan would be his.
Jareth smiled. Oh, he was so glad that she had talked him into letting her substitute for Twyla. She was so much more interesting, so much more fun to torment. The challenge she presented would make victory over her so much more sweet. Just as sweet as pulling emotion from her deadpan voice and icy eyes would be.
So lost in thoughts of victory was Jareth, that he almost missed seeing the goblin servant frozen in mid walk. Doing a double take, Jareth backed up and squinted at the goblin. Was this some new game the goblins were playing? No, they couldn't stand still for five seconds, much less balance on one foot whilst holding a pile of towels in one hand. Without blinking. Or breathing.
Jareth frowned, and experimentally poked the goblin with his riding crop. It didn't budge. An increasingly uneasy feeling growing inside him, Jareth walked briskly down the hallway and into the throne room, where he found all of the other goblins frozen in mid move. Even the chickens were still, one in midflight. One goblin was lying underneath the beer keg, the streem of ale frozen halfway to the goblin's mouth. Jareth whipped his head around to face the clock, and found to his astonishment and fury that it, too, was frozen. He had enchanted that clock to always run, even if matter itself was prevented from moving. The only way that clock could be still was if Jareth willed it so, or if time itself was stopped. And s ince the former was most certainly not true . . . .
"That girl has stopped time!" Jareth exclaimed, summoning one of his crystals and looking intently into it. She wasn't in the Mists of Dreams anymore, he could make that out. The beginnings of panic welling up inside him, Jareth reached out his mind, searching for the unique presence of Susan. He couldn't find her. Using his crystal to quickly scan through the labyrinth, he found no trace of her. Had she already found Gawain and gone? No, he would have noticed. Besides, little Gawain was still in the corner of the throne room, frozen like everything else, his thumb in his mouth.
Growling, Jareth let out a scream and hurled the crystal at the wall, but it froze as soon as it left the Goblin King's hand. His anger growing even more, Jareth waved his hand at the clock, and it immediately started up again, everything else in the room recovering from its frozen position.
"You fools! The girl has made it past the Mists of Dreams! Now get out there and stop her!" Jareth yelled.
The goblins all quickly scrambled to obey their King, and after a moment of chaos they were all out of the room, leaving Gawain standing with a triumphant look on his face.
"Susan's going to win." He said.
Jareth growled and he strode up to where Gawain stood, looming over the child.
"Just you wait, you insolent child. You will be my subject. And I will rule Susan." He hissed before stomping away.
He would be damned if he let Susan win. He would burn in the fires of Hell if he let her slip out of his grasp.
Back in the library, the elderly librarian listened to the chaos of the goblins assembling to fight off the girl coming to claim the little boy. The librarian shook his wrinkled head. Didn't they realize that it was hopeless? Did they not feel the immense power that the girl brought with her? He had. He had felt her as soon as she had entered the Labyrinth. She would have no trouble dealing with a bunch of goblins who could barely put on their armor.
Sighing, the librarian sat down in his chair and put a hand to his chest, where he could feel his weak heart spluttering. He was old. He had been around since the first Goblin King had reigned. Jareth and all of the previous Kings had thought that the librarian would be there as long as the Goblin City would exist, but they were wrong. No, he just had a very, very long lifespan. A gift from the first Goblin King, who thought that the only intelligent goblin to ever exist should at least live a nice, long life if not be immortal, at least for the sakes of Goblin Kings to come. And the librarian felt that his long life was coming to an end.
Closing his eyes, the librarian laid back his head. He was like wizards and witches in that he knew when he was going to die. And he knew that he would die before Susan left the labyrinth or lost, which, the latter was highly unlikely. He was unsure as to who would take over the library when he was gone, as none of the goblins could even spell their own names. Well, that would be Jareth's headache, not his.
But, the librarian did know one more thing. And that was that he was like witches and wizards in one other way.
Death himself would come to take him away.
Susan had passed easily through the gates and into the city before she felt time restart again. Well, at least she got past the guards and that giant metal monster. She also decided to forgo being invisible, as the Glitter Man probably already knew that she was nearby, and it was taking a bit of energy to maintain the invisibility, energy that she was sure she would need later. So Susan loosened her sword in her scabbard and continued to walk at a brisk pace towards the palace.
She heard the goblins before she saw them.
It was the clanging of metal, and disorganized shouts that she heard. Susan sighed in annoyance. She really wished she hadn't left the Feegles behind now. They would have been useful in distracting the goblins. But although she may have been able to stop time, she couldn't turn it backwards. So Susan kept walking forward, bracing herself for either a great battle or a great annoyance.
Susan didn't see the goblin army until she was right in front of the palace. They had amassed right at the foot of the castle, and Susan doubted that they posed any serious threat. They didn't seem to quite fit in their armor, and they were struggling to hold their swords and battle axes upright. When they saw Susan, they immediately stood straight, though some fell over with the effort of trying to lift their heavy weapons. The goblins in front were mounted on some small horse-like creatures, and they lowered their lances. One goblin towards the middle made some obscure gesture, but the goblins seemed to understand it, as they immediately started charging towards Susan.
She immediately drew her sword and took a fighting stance, ready to fight off the goblins. However, a range of battle cries rising above those of the goblins stopped the army, and they looked around in confusion. But Susan recognized the disorganized battle cries, and she turned around in surprise. Sure enough, charging at the goblin army were the Nac Mac Feegles, Rob Anybody leading the assault. There seemed to be more of them than she remembered, but they all ran around Susan and straight at the goblins. Only Rob Anybody stayed behind, and he glared up at Susan.
"Wha wus ye thinkin', lassie? Leavin' withoot oos like tha'?" Rob demanded.
"I had assumed that you were still caught by the dream-spell and decided to take care of my first priority instead of hunting for you and trying to wake you up." Susan said.
Rob scowled. "We was nae asleep! We joost crawstepped oot of them dreams and got some moor of the clan! We thoot they'd like to fight soom gooblins too."
Susan nodded her head. "I will remember that next time I'm with you and we're both under a dream spell. Now, I have to go and try and find Gawain. I would greatly appreciate it if you would keep these goblins busy for me."
Rob grinned up at her. "Nae prooblem! !" Rob screamed, raising his sword and running straight into the chaos.
A smile twitched at the edges of Susan's lips as she watched the Feegles attack the goblins, but she turned her attention away from the battle and looked up at the castle. Concentrating, Susan began to walk through the battle, and the goblins and Feegles both sort of just avoided her. Once Susan had made it past the battle, she began up the stairs, and towards the entrance to the castle.
That glittering bastard had better watch out.
The librarian sat back in his chair. He was finding it more difficult to breath now. He was only merely minutes away from the end of life. Strangely, however, he felt no fear at the prospect of no longer living. He had been alive for far too long. He would welcome Death like an old friend. Dealing with idiotic goblins and pompous Goblin Kings had made him consider taking his own life a few times. But soon he would finally get his much needed retirement. Jareth may have liked being immortal, but he had only lived for fifteen hundred years. The Goblin King was a newborn baby compared to how old the librarian was.
His eyes fluttering, the librarian felt his weak heart splutter. Cracking open an eye, the librarian looked at the door. He could feel Death coming. Grunting, the librarian got out of his chair and hobbled towards the door, opening it slightly. He poked his head out into the hallway and frowned. There wasn't anything there. Maybe Death would only reveal himself once he was dead. Yes, that must be it.
Grunting, the librarian was about to retreat back into the many stacks of books when he heard the clatter of feet on the tiled floor. Squinting, the librarian looked out into the hallway and saw a young woman, her pale hair with a single black streak piled on top of her head, a long black cloak trailing to the ground and a too-real sword held out in front of her.
"Yer not 'xactly what I expected when I felt that Death was comin' fer me." The librarian grunted.
The young woman stopped and looked at him. "Pardon?" she asked.
"Yer Death, ain't you?" the librarian asked.
The woman looked at him and shook her head. "No, I'm afraid I'm not."
The librarian sniffed. "You feel like Death. But I can see now you ain't him. Too human. Yer that new Quester, ain't ya?"
The young woman nodded. "Yes, I am."
The librarian snorted. "That overconfident fool of a king must be losing his touch if he can't see how much power you have. Don't know why he was fool enough to let you take that little girls place. He ain't got no chance of winning now."
"I thank you for your vote of confidence." The woman said dryly.
"You best be goin': you's only got less than ten minutes left. Oh, an' that was a nice trick: freezin' time like that. It gets on his nerves when someone other than him controls this labyrinth." The librarian chuckled.
The woman nodded. "Thank you." She said before walking away.
"Oh, an' I'll be sure to let your grandfather know you said hi when I see him." The librarian called.
Stopping, the young woman turned around and stared at him wide-eyed. The librarian cackled.
"I'll admit, I'm old and my mind's not as quick as it was; but I's heard of you, girlie. Don't know why I didn't recognize you the moment you stepped foot in this labyrinth." The librarian said, his eyes twinkling before retreating back into the library, closing the door.
Turning his back to the hallway and hobbling back towards his desk and chair, the librarian cackled again. Oh, he so wished he would live long enough to see that girl grind Jareth into the dust. It would be a sight indeed.
Susan walked through the halls, her eyes scanning for any sight of Gawain or the Glitter Man. The goblin had said that she only had ten minutes left, and she was starting to wonder if the Glitter Man had taken Gawain and run. However, all thoughts of that left Susan's mind as soon as she came to a room filled with staircases going in all directions. And leaning against the doorway, twirling a crystal in his fingers, was the Glitter Man.
"Where is Gawain?" Susan demanded.
"What do you think of my Escher Room, Sweet Susan?" the Glitter Man asked.
"I don't bloody care about it. Where is Gawain?" Susan repeated.
The Glitter Man frowned and gave Susan a pained look. "You hurt my feelings, Susan. I put a lot of work into this room."
"Have you not heard a word I've said? I don't care about your damn room, or anything else in this damn labyrinth! Just tell me where Gawain is!" Susan shouted.
The Glitter Man thought about this for a second, tapping his chin with his finger. "No," he finally said.
Susan stared at him. "I beg your pardon?"
"You've offended me, Susan. Throughout this entire time you've made child's play of my labyrinth. A lot of work went into creating it, you know. It was supposed to be so that no one could get even close to the city, without making it impossible. Yet, here you are. And you didn't seem to even try."
"Your point?" Susan asked, putting her hands on her hips.
"Say my name, Susan." The Glitter Man said, looking her in the eyes.
"What?" Susan asked, surprised.
"You've acted like you don't give a damn about me or anything, in fact you've expressed many times that you don't care. I just want to hear my name pass through your lovely lips at least once before I return Gawain to you. Is that too much to ask?" the Glitter Man asked innocently.
Susan narrowed her eyes. "How many tries do I have to get it right?" she asked.
"Oh, no limit on the number of tries. However, your time is running out." The Glitter Man said, pointing at the clock, showing that she only had a number of minutes before her thirteen (technically ten) hours were up.
Looking down, Susan wracked her brains. He hadn't ever said his name before, but maybe some of the goblins had . . . .
"You're the Goblin King," Susan said finally.
"That is my job description, yes. Well done. However, that is not my name, Sweet Susan. Even kings have names." The Goblin King purred.
Scowling, Susan once more searched her memory. Someone had to have said it sometime! He couldn't have forbidden the goblins from speaking his name, could he? Uncertainty began to creep up on Susan. Had he finally outwitted her? Used her own words and stubbornness against her? That satisfied smirk on his face certainly said that he thought so. Maybe she could guess it . . . but she wouldn't know where to start! There were a countless number of names, and she didn't know if it was a human name or a goblin one. Or a name from an entirely different species! For all she knew, it could be Glitter Man!
For once, Susan didn't know what to do.
The librarian was breathing heavily. It was almost time. His heart kept on spluttering, the smallest movement was exhausting, and he was having trouble breathing.
Coughing, the goblin felt the presence of Death enter the room, and leaning his head back, the librarian let out a sigh.
It was the last thing that ever came out of his mouth.
Cracking open his eye, the librarian saw a tall dark figure standing in front of him. Grunting, the librarian stood up, and noted his transparency and the fact that his actual body still lying in the chair.
"About bloody time," the librarian grunted.
I APOLOGIZE FOR BEING LATE. Death said.
"I thought you'd never come." The librarian said.
I WAS HELD UP ON MY WAY HERE: THERE WAS AN ENTIRE SWAMP FILLED WITH SOULS THAT REFUSED TO MOVE ON TO THE AFTERLIFE. Death said, shaking his head.
The librarian nodded. "Well, we'd better get goin' then. Goodness knows I'll be glad to say goodbye to this place. Them goblins got no respect fer books." The librarian said, shaking his head.
FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND THEY CAN'T EVEN READ, Death commented.
"Bloody illiterates, the whole lot of them." The librarian growled.
I'M AFRAID THAT I DON'T COME FOR MANY GOBLINS, SO I HAVEN'T HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING THEM. Death said apologetically.
"Pleasure? Displeasure's more like it. Consider yourself lucky. Oh, and your granddaughter says high."
PARDON? Death asked, something resembling surprise on his face.
"Yeah, she's the new Quester, she is. Smart gal, drivin' Jareth bloody mad. Turnin' the whole labyrinth upside down." The librarian said, chuckling.
IS SHE NOW? Death asked.
"Let's just say that my money's on her. Jareth's a bloody idiot if he thinks that he can win."
THAT'S MY SUSAN. Death said fondly.
The librarian nodded. "You've got good reason to be proud of her. Got a good head on her shoulders, she does."
YES, HE PARENTS MADE SURE OF THAT. IT MAKES IT INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT FOR HER TO ACCEPT CERTAIN ASPECTS OF MY JOB.
The librarian chuckled. "I'm sure it does. Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to get out of here as quickly as possible."
OH, OF COURSE. MY APOLOGIES. Death said before swinging his scythe above the librarian's head, and immediately the small elderly goblin began to fade, until he had completely disappeared.
Death looked down at the body of the librarian, and then at the door of the library. He could sense the struggle going on between Susan and the powerful being that ruled this labyrinth. He could not interfere, no. But he sensed that Susan was struggling. It appeared that the King of the labyrinth was attempting to smother Susan's powers. He was doing a very poor job of it, but he was preventing her memories from coming in. Well, that was against the rules.
With a wave of his hand, Death felt the Goblin King's weak grip on Susan's power snap, and he grinned. It couldn't be called meddling if he was playing referee, now could it?
"Tick tock, Sweet Susan. You're almost out of time." The Goblin King taunted, smiling.
Susan had no idea what to do. She hadn't the foggiest idea what the Goblin King's name might be, and she had less than five minutes left.
Come on, he must have said his name at some point! Susan thought desperately.
And suddenly, a memory came to Susan, clear as if it had happened only tomorrow. She seemed to be in her room back at the Gaiter's residence, and the Goblin King was standing in front of her, leaning against her wall, his usual smug grin on his face.
"Susan, must you insist with the formalities? I do believe we are familiar enough with each other to skip that. Please, it's Jareth." He purred.
Susan blinked, and decided to dwell on the memory and its implications later. Instead, she raised her eyes to meet those of the expectant Goblin King.
"Yes?" he asked, grinning smugly.
"Jareth," she said simply.
The Goblin King's eyes opened wide, and he stared at her incredulously.
"Give me Gawain," Susan said, stepping foreward.
"Susan, please understand –"
"Save it. I've solved your labyrinth. I've made it through your Goblin City. I didn't come for a social call, I came for Gawain. Now give him back."
"Susan, can't see that I've done all of this for you?"
"I don't give a damn, Goblin King. You think you're the only one with a free will around here? Think again. My will is just as strong as yours."
"Susan, all I ask is that you let me rule you –"
"And you think that your labyrinth is special? You think your world is great? My world is on the backs of four elephants, who happen to be riding on the shell of a giant turtle!"
"Just love me Susan. That's all I ask!"
"When will you learn, Goblin King? I've beaten you! You have no bloody power over me!"
Jareth stared at Susan, his face stricken, and the Escher room began to shake. Jareth tossed his crystal over to Susan, and instinctively she put her hands out to catch it. But it popped like a bubble the instant it brushed her fingers, and with a yelp, Susan fell through the floor.
Death knew immediately when Susan won. The whole labyrinth sang with her victory. That permanent grin plastered onto his face, he nodded.
WELL DONE, SUSAN.
She didn't know for how long she fell. All she knew was that it was dark, and that she was still falling. Eventually, she saw a sort of golden light below her, and it slowly grew larger and larger until she fell straight through it and onto her bed. Surprised, Susan sat on her bed for an instant before getting up and looking down at her dress. Concentrating, she changed it back to her governess' attire, and took her sword and made a motion like she was putting it in the folds of her imaginary cloak. The instant the hilt left her hand, it vanished. Satisfied, Susan then strode out of her room and towards Gawain's.
"Gawain?" Susan called, opening the door. And there he was, sitting on his bed, looking like he had just dropped out of the ceiling. His head turned at the sound of her voice, and he immediately jumped off the bed and ran over to Susan, hugging her tightly.
"Susan!" Gawain exclaimed.
"Oh, thank goodness," Susan exhaled, crouching down and returning Gawain's hug, stroking his dark curls.
"Are you alright?" She asked.
"Uh-huh. Those goblins didn't hurt me. They were pretty stupid. And the man with all the glitter wasn't too scary either." Gawain said.
"That's good," Susan replied.
"He spied on you a lot."
"Uh-huh. Though he called it 'checking up on.' And he actually started singing and dancing, too."
"Did he now,"
"Yep. Something about a baby and a magic dance."
"Susan? Is that you?" a voice asked, a small head peaking through the door.
"Twyla!" Gawain exclaimed, running over to his sister and embracing her.
"The goblins didn't eat you!" Twyla cried.
"Susan saved me," Gawain said.
"Thank you," Twyla said, looking up at Susan.
Susan nodded. "Yes, well, I think that's plenty excitement enough for tonight. Time for bed, you two." Susan said. To which Twyla and Gawain both gave cries of protest.
"But I just got back!"
"Susan, do we have to?"
Susan sighed. "Alright; you two can have half an hour to catch up. But then it's off to bed." Susan said sternly.
"Yes, Susan." They both replied obediently.
Nodding, Susan retreated out of Gawain's room, closing the door behind her. She walked back to her room and heaved a sigh as she closed her bedroom door. She was tired. Solving the labyrinth of an egotistical Goblin King could do that to a person.
Walking over to her bookshelf, Susan took one of her texts and sat down on her bed, opening the book. She would stay awake until the Gaiter's were back. She would keep Twyla and Gawain safe.
Outside of Susan's window, perched on a nearby tree, a snowy barn owl watched Susan intently, its mismatched eyes never leaving her face.
She was wrong if she thought she'd seen the last of the Goblin King. Dead wrong.
Woohoo! The last chapter is done! *wipes sweat beads off of forehead* It feels so good to get that chapter out of the way! I had lots of fun writing it, just saying. Got to say my favorite character to write was Jareth. Him and the librarian. And now, I have a very important question for you guys: should I write a sequel? What do you think? I've certainly left opportunity for it. And I'd certainly love to revisit this story and add on to it. Expand the relationship between Susan and Jareth, reintroduce the Feegles, maybe have some more characters from Discworld show up. Got to say, I really want an excuse to write the Luggage, and find a way to put Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg into Ankh-Morpork. So, please, indulge in my need for creative outlet and insist that I write a sequel. PLEASE! And REVIEW! This is the last chapter! If you haven't already reviewed, at least review the LAST CHAPTER so I know what you thought of the story! PLEASE!