Disclaimer: I do not own Labyrinth.
Summary: The Williams siblings have never heard of stopping while they're ahead. The goblin king is summoned once again, this time by the babe with the power.
The almighty king of the goblins sighed and tossed a crystal into the air repeatedly. He didn't know why he persisted, without the power to use them they were little more than trinkets, and would never show him anything but the distorted reflection of his own dissatisfied expression.
He could have watched anyone, anywhere in the world above or below, but the one whose name he called would never appear.
'Sarah' he called softly, as he had done many times before now, and been bitterly disappointed each time. The orb remained stubbornly clear. The last words she had ever said to him had broken his ability to overpower her, or to do anything to influence her, however indirectly. A hot burn of jealousy flared as he remembered that her friends were not bound by such restrictions, and visited her thinking he knew nothing of their mirrored conferences. Or perhaps merely two out of three, Hiccough had been sporting an uncouth smirk as of late.
It rankled most that the undersized dwarf merited her call in times of need, trivial though they might be. And Jareth was left out in the cold.
Scowling, he flung the ball away from himself and it shattered in the middle of a congregation of squabbling goblins. The argument ceased briefly as all turned to look at their king, only going back to their business when his other hand began to tap a riding crop insistently against his boot. They weren't the sharpest of creatures, but nothing survived the kings frequent bouts of temper without developing a well honed nose for danger. Such outbursts were frequent these days, and the most dim-witted of his subjects understood why.
The girl who wished her baby brother away, he girl who ate the peach and forgot everything, the girl who conquered the labyrinth. And the girl who stole the heart of the king and selfishly kept it without surrendering her own in return.
Jareth kept this last sentiment to himself. No need to let the kingdom and its overrated, inbred, extended family know that their monarch had suffered the double defeat of losing a child and losing his chosen in one fell swoop. His pride was holding on by a thread as it was now.
Sarah Williams, an ordinary, unexceptional girl by all accounts. Pretty, certainly, determined, undeniably, but it was her will that separated her from every other runner he had ever offered the gift to.
'You have no power over me'
The words cut through the noise and chatter surrounding him but his subjects didn't so much as blink. Jareth froze, his eyes sliding out of focus. It couldn't be her, it wasn't possible.
'…I have fought my way here, to the castle beyond the goblin city…'
He ground his teeth together, where was it coming from and was the disembodied orator ever going the say those words.
'though dangers untold and hardships unnumbered'
It was not Sarah, at least. She had made sure that her voice would never reach him again unless she willed it so, which meant that another unfortunate imbecile had landed themselves a copy of the written manifestation, rare as they were.
'I wish the goblin king would…'
He smiled sadly, the same old routine.
'…come to me right now!'
Jareth had no time to react before he was rudely summoned from his throne room and into what appeared to be the bedroom of a child, likely the same small boy that eyed him with an inappropriate degree of calm considering a stranger had just appeared in a heap on his floor.
He stared at the kid, the kid stared back. All bets were off, a precedent for the current situation he found himself in not forthcoming.
"Looks like I really do have the power," the boy deadpanned. Jareth stood and towered over his host.
"What power?" he demanded imperiously in an effort to regain some lost dignity. No one had ever been able to make a wish other than for him to remove an unwanted presence from their sight, or on occasion, themselves. For a child to do so, deliberately, was unthinkable, and he didn't even know what they wanted yet.
"The power of voodoo," he chuckled.
The fae stilled. "Who do?"
"Remind you of the babe."
The boy jumped off his bed and bounded over to a stunned king, wrapping skinny arms around his middle. Jareth held out his arms awkwardly for a moment before allowing them to rest gingerly on his back.
"Toby," he stated, unsure what to make of this turn of events. The baby that Sarah had destroyed both their dreams to bring back was hugging him, his former kidnapper, no matter how nicely his sister might have phrased her request, and with seemingly perfect recall of the hours he had spent amongst the goblins.
Toby grinned up at him. "I can't believe you really came!" he chirped happily.
Jareth patted him awkwardly on the shoulder and stepped back slightly. Toby pouted but let go of him, surveying him expectantly through eyes that were too old for such a youthful face.
"Can I make a wish?" he asked, quite seriously. He wondered if Sarah had somehow succeeded in alienating her sibling into wishing her away, but this would hardly explain the long winded manner in which he chose to do it. No, there was more to this than met the eye.
The fae raised an elegant eyebrow. "I believe you just did."
Toby snickered. "I know, but that wasn't my real wish. It's about Sarah."
He forced his expression to remain impassive. "What of her?"
"She misses you," he said flatly, without any trace of guise or guile apparent in his voice, only honest sincerity, if severely misguided. Jareth snorted derisively.
"I don't know what she's been telling you but I assure you we did not part on terms pleasant enough for her to miss me," he retorted bitterly.
"Oh, she hasn't told me anything, this has," the babe informed him, taking a book from a shelf above the bed and handing it to the king. Jareth took it warily, and recognized it as the printed embodiment of the Labyrinth. It fell open and he stroked the yellowed pages reverently.
"Where did you find this?" he asked distractedly, grimacing as an inappropriate number of references to glitter made themselves evident where he entered the tale.
Toby grinned. "Sarah gave it to me, and she reads it to me every night, almost, its my favourite bedtime story," he enthused.
Jareth looked at it with new perspective. "Is that so? I would have thought she would want to forget about her…ordeal in my labyrinth?" he stated, not quite rhetorically. The boy knew more than he was saying, and he had a feeling they hadn't scratched the surface of the real purpose of his being summoned by someone who should not remember him.
Toby rolled his eyes. "It's not the labyrinth she wants to remember, it's the king."
He snapped to attention. "Toby, listen and listen well, your sister abhors me, and for nothing but doing everything she wished!"
"She's a girl," the boy confided, as if that explained everything "they're not supposed to make sense, and she gets a real funny look when she reads about you."
Jareth paused. "She does?"
Toby nodded enthusiastically. "She starts smiling and then sometimes she goes red like she's been in the bath," Jareth forced himself not to allow his thoughts to wander down a path that was rather well travelled already "and then she gets sad and she looks like she wants to cry for a bit and then she puts it away."
He frowned. "From a ten year olds perspective, and indeed from his own, it would appear that there were some measure of genuine feeling involved. They would have to have developed during the decade since she had rejected her dreams, rejected him, he amended ruefully. She had certainly harboured no hesitation then in speaking the words that irreparably turn his world upside down, with no chance of righting itself. Perhaps it was only pity that motivated her to keep his memory alive.
"And you believe this to mean that she desires my company?" he asked acidly. Toby paid his irritation no mind. On a better day than this one he might have worried he was losing his touch. As it was, the mention of Sarah had discombobulated him quite enough, as always.
"I know it does, Mom wants her to go out with more boys," he said conspiratorially "but she says they aren't the one." Jareth smirked, relishing the miniscule ego boost that learning of Sarah's seemingly unreachable standards had given him. Gone, but not forgotten. As if any of those foolish mortal men could be a match for his Sarah, when she had already had a taste of what he'd had to offer, even if she had ultimately turned him down.
He sighed and sat himself beside the boy on the bed, Toby obligingly scooting over to make room. "Toby, my boy, I am on my way to understanding what you wish to ask of me, but I've veered off the path somewhere along the way and I would be much obliged if you would point me in the right direction."
Toby smirked, the expression startlingly akin to his own.
"This is what you'll do…"