Title: Corners Of The Universe
Author's Note: I wrote this story in one day...and it's my first ever Labyrinth fanfiction. It's OOC a touch, but that's because Sarah has grown up with Jareth around her her entire life, so she's more accustomed to his ways than she was in the film.
Summary: Convinced that she's been doomed forever to be haunted by some bizarre spirit, Sarah Williams has no idea that her imaginary friend is one of the most powerful magical creatures of this and any world. And he's not going away.
When Linda Williams gave birth on a warm day in June, her daughter was unnaturally quiet. It frightened her almost from the start, but the doctor assured her that it was normal. The small girl had given a few loud wails after being pulled from her mother's body, but remained quiet and curious for the rest of the time they were in the hospital.
There had been one night, when a restless Linda had been unable to sleep, that she had closed the curtains to her room, thinking that the blinking lights of the city were the cause for her insomnia. She had drifted in a state of half-awareness, and when she awoke at an obscure hour of the morning, the window to her room was opened and the curtains were fluttering in the breeze.
She asked Robert later if he had opened the windows up in the night, but he had looked at her, confused, and answered that no, of course he hadn't.
She never brought it up with him again.
Sarah, as an infant, had been stubborn and inquisitive about the world. It had become frustrating to the new mother that whenever she tried to capture her daughter's attention, the wide green eyes were always fixed on a spot in the distance. In fact, whenever Linda directed Sarah's gaze towards her, the baby had always looked somewhat disgruntled that her attention was being forced elsewhere.
There had been a few instances where Linda or Robert had been woken in the middle of the night by the sound of a baby crying, and had just stumbled out of bed in time for the shrill cries to stop. They had wandered into the child's small room, curious to see what had been the matter to begin with, and had been greeted with the sight of a happily gurgling Sarah, chattering nonsensically with a figure only she could see.
Linda would never forget the one bizarre night when she had gone into her daughter's room, careful not to make noise because Robert had had a long and hard day at the office, and peered through the slightly opened door towards her daughter's crib.
Her blood had frozen in her veins when her eyes caught onto the figure of a tall blond man, peering down at her daughter from the edge of the crib. He had wild hair and a strange sense of style, and she could have sworn that he was wearing a cloak. It wasn't until she saw one leather hand extend itself towards Sarah that motherly instincts took over and Linda threw the door open.
The man vanished suddenly, and the woman was left forever to wonder if he had merely been a figure of her sleep addled brain.
A three year old Sarah was sitting at the dinner table, chattering away to an invisible being. Linda gritted her teeth as she prepared a small PB&J sandwich for her daughter's lunch. This habit of Sarah's had become a nuisance – she had always imagined that a child's invisible friend would come and go throughout the day, but whatever creature had wound itself into Sarah's brain had taken the little girl hostage, because her daughter never ceased talking to this mysterious phantom "Jay."
The small voice was wearing on her already fraying nerves, and she slammed the butter knife against the granite countertop. "Enough!" she barked over her shoulder, and Sarah's large eyes blinked at her, startled. "Be quiet for mommy."
And her daughter, always so eager to please her mother, did as she was told. Linda, instead of feeling relief at the lack of noise, felt a pang of fear course throughout her body. She could almost feel a presence at her back, leaning down and caging her in, and she could even imagine a crisp voice whispering in her ear that it would be in her best interest not to raise her voice to the child again.
She shook the odd British voice off, resolving to get more sleep that night. She ignored the warnings.
And she was punished.
When Sarah was nine years old, her mother left.
She couldn't totally comprehend why there was suddenly one less parent in the house, and she certainly wouldn't be able to understand that there had been a voice in her mother's mind for the past six years, a voice that had been coaxing her gently to leave the life she had built for herself, to leave her husband and her child so that she may pursue a life on Broadway. She had no idea how many times a strong and invisible hand had gripped her mother's wrist, stifling any impulses that Linda had had to strike her odd and inattentive daughter. She had no idea that the man seated on the edge of her bed was more of a guardian angel than an imaginary friend.
She wept into her pillow, cries shaking her body as she mourned the confusing loss of her mother's presence in her life. "Why, Jare?" she moaned, addressing her friend with the nickname she had given him. "Why did she go?"
The tall blond man said nothing, and regarded her silently with a set of mismatched eyes. He flexed his fingers and felt the leather gloves creak around the digits. He longed to reach out and give his little darling some comfort, but there were some things that he was bound and honored to refrain from doing. She had to be the one to initiate contact, and he was willing to abide by these rules for her sake.
Watching her sob into her bedcovers tugged at some long forgotten heartstrings and he pursed his thin lips at her hysterical form. "Come now," he soothed, voice saturated in comforting tones. "We may never have an answer," he lied. "But perhaps someday, you may make so much of yourself that she will regret ever having left you."
Sarah rolled onto her back and sat up, glaring at her lifelong friend. "I don't want to make her regret!" she cried out. "I want to make her come back!" With that, she flopped back down onto her bed and her tears began anew.
Jareth frowned, unease stirring in his soul. He had many reasons for ridding Robert and Sarah of Linda Williams, but none else would be able to know, since he had taken up a residence in the darkest corner of the older woman's mind. He had been privy to her most evil thoughts, and once a majority of those impulses had begun to include harming Sarah, he hadn't been exactly gentle when he planted the idea of abandonment into her warped brain. Logically, he knew he had made the correct choice – he never would have allowed harm to come to Sarah.
However, as he watched his little soul mate shed tears into her pillow, he frowned deeply and wondered whether or not she would forgive him.
Sarah gritted her teeth as her arms began to tire, the limbs working tirelessly to braid the thick and dark hair on her head. She was seated in her seventh grade History class, pulling her hair back into a French braid, when a familiar tingle ran up and down her spine. She resisted the urge to groan and look over her shoulder, because she already knew who would be there.
The blond haired, leather-pants-wearing nuisance of her life: Jareth.
She was convinced that he was the ghost of a man who had died in her home sometime, and she was doomed to be haunted by him for the rest of her life. She had long since abandoned the idea of him merely being an "imaginary friend," especially since he remained by her side while all of the false entities belonging to her friends were phased out of their lives.
If only, Sarah thought balefully. If only.
She pointedly ignored Jareth as she finished pulling back her hair, wrapping a small elastic band around the end of her braid. Then, straightening her back and holding her pen in a too-tight grip, she began to studiously take notes. She knew that her sudden change in demeanor was odd, since she had spent the majority of class slumped in her seat and staring at the clock. It wasn't that she wasn't paying attention – she had read the chapter of the textbook they were discussing and had taken thorough notes, so class was just an inconvenience most of the time.
Jareth chuckled behind her, and the girl sitting next to Sarah shifted her head to look backwards. The other girl's eyes stared through Jareth, not seeing him. Her brow furrowed and she leaned over to Sarah. "Did you hear something?" she asked quietly.
"Hmm?" Sarah said, feigning ignorance. "Oh, no, I'm sorry. I didn't hear anything!" she gave the girl a little smile. "Maybe it was the wind?"
"Ah, yes," Jareth murmured, sitting in the empty chair at the desk next to Sarah's. "I've been reduced to a spot of wind, have I? And to think I used to be your dearest companion. You used to confide in me. And now I've been delegated to shifting the curtains and mussing your hair." He leaned closer and blew a warmth puff of air onto her. The few tendrils of hair that had escaped the braid shifted, swaying to and fro neatly.
Sarah shrugged violently, as though she had an itch she couldn't scratch. Her teeth ground together as she held her tongue, restraining herself from making any kind of comment to the otherwise invisible man. There had been more than one occasion where she had lost herself in his taunts and had responded in kind, only to be greeted with the blank stares of whatever confused persons happened to be around her at that time. Some had chalked it up to her just being an odd kid, but as her fourteenth birthday loomed ever closer she was aware that it was time to put her childlike ways aside.
Jareth stayed at the desk for the remaining period of the History class, watching in amusement as Sarah violently shoved her school materials into her backpack. She waited until the students and teacher had cleared out, all anxious to make their way home, and spun around to Jareth. "Are you insane?" she hissed at him. "Stop following me to school!"
He twitched an eyebrow at her, smirking in that annoying way of his. "I hardly think, I followed you, Sarah-dear," he drawled. "After all, when one possesses the ability to transport themselves wherever they wish, shifting to be by your side hardly constitutes as following."
She glared up at him as she hitched her backpack up over her shoulders. "Following, stalking, teleporting, I don't care!" she told him, irritation dripping from every word. "Stay away from me!"
She turned, a whirl of skirt and plaited hair, and stalked out from the classroom. Jareth watched her go, all playfulness gone from his demeanor. "Ah, dear heart," he said, uneven eyes tracking her exit. "If only it were that simple."
Sarah stared up at the glowing stars on her ceiling, body cold and unmoving. Dried tear tracks stained her cheeks, and her eyes held a tell tale redness to them. Jareth noticed all of these things immediately, and crossed to her bedside. "Who has hurt you?" he demanded, seething. Anger and possessiveness crackled through his fae veins.
"My father's getting married," she told him, voice hoarse and flat. "To that…that harpy. She hates me, you know." She turned on her side and tucked her hands under her cheek, gazing up at him with eyes that were a brighter green than usual, the red of her whites amplifying the color. "Absolutely hates me."
Jareth felt his posture relax, relieved that she had come to no physical harm. "Oh my," he murmured, tapping one long and glove sheathed finger against his chin. "I can certainly see why you would be upset." He studied her form. "Have you considered that maybe her attitude towards you is based in the fact that you shut the door in her face every time she comes by the house?"
Sarah stiffened and glared at him. "You're taking her side?"
"I'm not taking any side," Jareth informed her. "Merely stating a fact. Perhaps if you make an effort to be more kind towards this…Karen, then perhaps she will be kind in turn." His eyebrow twitched upwards. "It is merely an observation."
Sarah remained tensed for a few moments longer, before all the fight fled from her body. She pressed her face into the pillow and groaned into the down feathers. "Why do you always have to be right?" she asked him mournfully. "Why can't you just let me be an angsty teenager?"
He barked out a sharp laugh. "I daresay that without me, your life would be far less interesting."
"Right. Because who else is being haunted by some gender-confused Englishman?"
Jareth's shoulders launched themselves backwards stiffly, and his bright blue eyes darkened considerably. Let it be known that there was no sight more frightening than a Goblin King scorned, but Sarah – who had long since become accustomed to Jareth's fits of temper – was unimpressed by his stance. "Gender confused?" he sputtered out, losing his composure. "What the hell do you mean by that?"
Sarah, seizing onto the opportunity to direct her anger elsewhere, readied herself for an argument. "You know," she said, waving a hand at his general person. "With the long, flowing blond hair and the womanly shirts-"
"I will have you know that these shirts are of the finest quality, and they are made for males."
"And the makeup?"
"Those," he bit out at her. "Are my natural markings." To prove a point, he swiped a gloved finger above his brows, rubbing at the discolored skin there. There was no visible change in his coloring. "And there have been many women fond of my hair."
Sarah rolled her eyes at him. "Yeah, well. Times change, Jerk-eth."
"Name calling, are we?"
"Being annoying, are we?" she shot back. "I'm fourteen. What do you want from me?"
"A touch of civility would be a nice change."
"Screw you," she bit out at him, tears rising anew in her eyes. "And get out of my room."
Jareth, who did not take kindly to being ordered around – whether it be by his father or his mortal soul mate – became steadfastly determined not to leave until this problem was resolved. "If it pleases you, I will change my appearance."
Sarah eyed him up and down, curious despite herself. "Are you going to go and get a haircut?" she asked him. "You're a ghost. You can't just walk into a salon and-"
Jareth pressed a hand to the pendant around his neck and closed his eyes in concentration. Abruptly, his hair began to shorten until the platinum blond locks hung around his ears, though the hairs were still infused with streaks of light blue. The neckline of his shirt rose until it was no longer plunging towards his navel, and the skintight leggings that had previously adorned his legs were replaced by slightly – only slightly – looser leather pants. The markings around his eyes, though they didn't disappear, faded a touch, and when he opened his eyes they were the same mismatched diluted pupils that Sarah had known her entire life.
"Does this better please you?" he asked her, tone biting.
Sarah, on her part, was completely speechless. The transformation had been an abrupt and curious change from the Jareth that she had always known, and she couldn't deny that her heart twinged a little at the sight of him. He really was quite…attractive.
She nodded as she pushed herself into a sitting position. "You were fine the way you were before," she admitted to him, the anger dissipating from within her. "But you look…you know. Handsome."
Jareth very nearly preened before her eyes at the compliment, his attitude shifting from the anger she had witnessed only moments before. "Oh, my my," he murmured thickly, coming closer to her bedside. "Developing a bit of a crush, are we?" Hope swelled within him.
Sarah scoffed, and her face heated up in a fierce blush. "No," she said shortly, turning her face away from him.
Suddenly, a series of knocks sounded at her bedroom door. "Sarah?" came her father's voice, tentative and concerned. "Sarah, can we please talk?"
"Just a minute!" she called out, angling her face away from Jareth and towards the bedroom door. When she turned her gaze back towards her specter friend, he was already gone.
He did not come back at all that night.
Jareth did his best work to stay out of her personal life after one ill-fated evening after her seventeenth birthday.
Much in the same way that he had driven her abusively minded mother away from their home, he had taken to gently pushing those depraved and hormone driven boys away from his Sarah. And by gently pushing, he meant that he leeched into their minds, murmuring doubts and threats and haunting their dreams until they avoided the young Miss Williams for fear of their own livelihood.
Unfortunately, there were times when he had to let a lad or two slip through his possessive trappings, lest Sarah become suspicious and accuse him (rightfully so) of meddling in her personal affairs. He had never had any true problems with these children, mostly viewing them as an inconvenient but necessary nuisance to his pursuit of his young mortal. Most of the boys had been too shy to truly try anything with her, and that was no accident. Jareth had carefully inspected each and every mind to ensure that there was no chance of any of them trying anything.
Which is how he was so dumbfounded when one slipped through his fingers.
A seemingly kind young man, with foppish ginger hair and a scattering of freckles across every visible surface of skin, had extended an invitation to dinner and a movie to Sarah, who had readily accepted. She so rarely had opportunities to date, for whatever reason, and she took every chance by the horns.
Jareth, tired from a long and tiresome day running his blasted Labyrinth, had only taken a few moments to peer lazily through the seventeen year old's mind. Finding nothing of the sort, he decided that there were no immediate reasons to keep the two separated.
It wasn't until he had chosen to check in on their date that any weariness was suddenly and very sharply stolen from his body. Sarah, his Sarah, was lying underneath this gangly, pathetic excuse for a human male inside of his vehicle, with her luscious mouth pressed against his over eager, slobbering—!
Jareth leapt from his perch in the large tree in Sarah's front yard and landed heavily on the hood of the car, startling the two teenagers inside. He directed his angry gaze through the windshield towards Sarah, who looked away in humiliation.
"What the hell was that?" exclaimed the boy, whose name was something insipid and unremarkable. His large and watery brown eyes were peering around in the night, unable to see Jareth, who was heavily cloaked in magic.
"It was nothing," Sarah breathed out, and pushed him off of her. Her hands flattened her hair and straightened her clothing. She edged closer to the car door. "I should probably go inside, anyway." She gave a forced smile to the useless teenager. "Thank you for a wonderful time." She brushed a kiss against the boy's mouth, and had to repress a wince when she heard Jareth's angry growl.
Sarah exited the car and waited on the sidewalk as Bobby drove away, giving him a small wave as his Honda went around the corner. Her smile dropped the moment she couldn't see him anymore, and she whirled around on Jareth.
"How dare you," she seethed, throwing her small clutch bag at him. It struck him in the shoulder and then fell to the asphalt. "You have no right—none! I'm tired of your meddling, Jareth. You need to let me live my life!"
She couldn't stand this anymore. His possessive nature hadn't exactly been a secret in all the time she'd known him, but once puberty had begun to set in, his attitude had only worsened. She couldn't believe that he could be so selfish – he had absolutely no claim over her, other than being the inconvenient spirit who so often haunted her.
She stalked towards him and bent to the ground, pulling her purse into her hands. "Go fucking haunt someone else," she spat at him, using a rare word.
Jareth, for all his surliness, suddenly seemed to swell up before her. His demeanor became angry and aggressive and he advanced on her. "Haunting?" he repeated, crisp British accent ringing sharply in her ears. "Is that what you think I've been doing these past seventeen years? Haunting?" He took another step closer to her. "While I assure you that ghosts and spirits are, in fact, very real, you have no idea what kind of power I am capable of. You are not meddling with some trifling myth." A magically induced wind picked up and ruffled their hair and clothes, and Jareth's eyes blazed and his gloves crackled with glittering power. "I am King of the Goblins, Prince and future King of the Underground. I have abilities that you cannot possibly dream of." His strange eyes narrowed dangerously. "Tread lightly, little girl," he warned. "I am not to be underestimated."
Sarah, who had buried her face in her hands during his rant, let out a harsh sounding sob. "Just go," she told him, breathing heavily. "Go! For once in my life, Jareth, leave me the hell alone!" She spun around and headed towards her door. "My life would be so much easier if you weren't in it."
There was no response. A feeling of dread settled into Sarah's gut and she turned around slowly, keys clutched in her hand. Jareth was regarding her with a defeated expression, and the cold in her body only seemed to worsen.
"As you wish," he murmured, casting his eyes over her form with one last wistful gaze. Then, with a bow, he was gone in a swirl of glittering magic.
He kept his word. She didn't see him for six months.
Jareth never disappeared from her life completely, but his presence became less and less prominent. It was strange, how used she had become to his constant hovering and the way her life felt oddly empty without it. After their six month long break from one another, he had appeared in her bedroom one evening while she was doing her homework at her desk. She had turned to face him, startled at his presence, when she noticed how gaunt and frail he appeared. He didn't say a word to her, instead turning his face into her soft pillow and closing his eyes, and she watched him drift off into sleep.
Things continued on this way for a while – there would be periods of time where she wouldn't see him for a week, and times when she wouldn't see him for a month. He would always come to her silently and settle down into her bed, falling asleep almost immediately. With each visit, his features seemed to improve, almost as though his health depended on her presence.
For two years to the day, he said nothing to her. And then, just as abruptly as the silence had begun, it ended.
He gazed at her from the foot of her bed, watching as she bustled around her college dorm. She was in a single room, which was lucky, so no one ever heard her muttering to what appeared to be an empty room.
Jareth licked his lips and then ran his tongue across his sharp teeth. "Sarah."
Her name dripped slowly from his lips, and his throat was harsh from disuse. She started, dropping her books at the sound of his voice. "Jareth," she said, eyes wide and shocked.
"Every fae," he told her, eyes studying her intensely. "Is given one true lover. Throughout the course of their lifetime, which can span many millennia, they are of course able to have sex with whomever they desire, but it will never compare to the experience of loving—and being loved in return—by a True Lover. I believe the human term is soul mate."
He cleared his throat, vocal chords protesting. "It is unusual for a fae to encounter their True Lover in their lifetime, especially if that person is a mortal. When it happens, it is truly a momentous occasion. The fae affected is alerted when their mate is born, and from then on their life force depends on their Lover. That is why," he told her, blinking wearily. "I have…what is the term you used? Ah, yes. That is why I haunted you for your entire life. I am afraid that our separation has an unpleasant affect on my person. I will give you time to adjust to the idea, of course, before I am required to take you as my wife."
Sarah's breath caught in her throat, and her expression was utterly bewildered. "I…am your…your soul mate?" She shook her head. "You can't be serious!"
He nodded gravely, and his expression belied the weight of the situation. She stood up at her desk. "I'm only nineteen! I can't be expected to—to be anyone's livelihood! To be a wife! Jareth," she said, nearly pleading with him. "I can't leave my family. I don't know how to have you depend on me."
"Whether you like it or not," he informed her crossly, sounding much like the Jareth that she had grown up with. "You have been the source of my life since the very day you were born. There is no escaping it, now."
She sank down next to him on her bed, breath hitching in her chest. Neither said anything for a long while; Jareth was luxuriating in her close proximity and Sarah was trying her hardest to make sense of the otherworldly man sitting on her bed.
"I looked you up in the library," she told him softly, green eyes firmly set on her hands. "Jareth, the Goblin King." She let out a choked laugh. "You're not a ghost at all. You were telling me the truth that awful, terrible night."
"You have apologized for that evening," Jareth reminded her gently, leaning closer and allowing her scent to waft into his sensitive nose. "Many times, in fact. I have just been bound by a promise I made to myself to relieve you of my suffocation until you were ready to hear the truth."
"What makes you think I'm ready now?" she asked, curious.
"I do not," he told her simply. "However, my magic seems to disagree with me. It is a force more powerful and ancient than you or I could ever imagine, and knows a great deal more about the world than I. I have tried, many times, to speak to you. However, my voice has been caught in my throat for these past two years." His hand settled on the comforter, next to hers but not touching. It struck her suddenly that in all the time she'd ever known him, they had never touched. Not once. "It is a relief to be able to talk again."
"I've missed your voice," Sarah admitted. "It's been…lonely." Her fingers twitched closer to his own. "I'm sorry for that night," she told him again.
"You needn't apologize again."
She regarded him sadly. "You're not the same Jareth that I knew, once. He was brash and bold and tactless." She looked back down at their hands. "He would never have lowered himself to the same level as me."
Her statement brought something in his eyes back to life, and he stood, slowly and painfully, from her bed. He straightened his shoulders and pushed the lank looking hair back out of his eyes. A glimmer of the old Jareth that she had known began to shine through.
"I assure you, that while I have spent this past two mortal years in exhausting and near fatal solitude, I will soon be the ornery Goblin King that has graced your presence throughout your life."
Sarah smiled, and reached out with one hand, trailing a finger down the glove of his left hand. It was the first time that either of them had ever dared to initiate contact, and his mismatched eyes flickered at the motion. Though he didn't move his hand from where it was planted firmly on one hip, she managed to twine her fingers through his own. "I'm looking forward to it," she told him warmly.
True to his word, Jareth steadily regained his irritating and harsh attitude, though after two years of being separated from his Sarah, there was more affection peppering his tone than ever before. He became a nuisance in her life again, bothering her at the most inconvenient times and in the worst locations. It was a comfort to have back the man—King—that she had grown up knowing.
And they were better friends for it.
Sarah lay on her bed, feet swinging in the air behind her as she regarded Jareth. He had a crystal ball perched on his fingertips and she was fascinated with watching him roll it across his hands in an all-together unearthly manner. She had tried once or twice to imitate his actions, but the only result that she had gotten for her efforts were bits of shattered crystal on the floor.
"What is it like," she asked him, tilting her head and putting her chin in her hand. "Where you live…what is it like?"
The small globe continued to float around Jareth's fingers with graceful ease. "It is not an entirely pleasant place," he told her plainly. "Though you could hardly have suspected otherwise, the moment I informed you that I am King of the Goblins. For the most part, the environment surrounding the Labyrinth depends entirely on the wisher."
The crystal faltered in its path from one hand to the other. "You must understand," Jareth told her smoothly, resting those strange eyes upon her face. "That to be Goblin King is a trial for every future King of Underground. My father was tasked with it, as was his father before him. It is a test of endurance and patience and cunning."
"And, the wisher?" Sarah pressed.
Jareth tossed the crystal into the air, where it disappeared with a shimmer. "When a young mother," he began, murmuring quietly. "Or any relative, wishes away a child…I am bound by duty to retrieve what is unwanted and give it a new home. It's not as though I'm snatching up children by the dozen, mind. They must say their right words…'I wish the Goblins would come and take you away right now,' spoken with intent and meaning. I would not take a child if the words were said in passing, such as in casual conversation." Jareth stared at her with ice blue eyes, one pupil dilated far more than the other. "The wisher must mean it, well and truly mean it, for me to be able to take the child."
She swallowed the unpleasant taste in her mouth. "What happens to the children?"
"If the wisher does not petition for their return? They are given to a family in the Underground that is unable to produce children of their own. It is unfortunate that a majority of fae women are barren, but before there were those that would even consider taking their human Lovers, the amount of inter species breeding in the times long past affected the wombs of many."
Sarah nodded, willing to let him finish this tale, even if she was horrified by his work.
"If a wisher chooses to petition for the child, then they must complete my Labyrinth in thirteen hours. Then, and only then, will they be allowed to return home with that which they had previously wanted to be rid of. As of yet…I have yet to meet anyone able to complete the task in the allotted time. Either they are not clever enough or their heart is not truly in it. Either way, many fae couples have been blessed with children that they love and care for as their own."
"Has anyone ever completed the Labyrinth?" Sarah questioned, swinging herself into a sitting position and then stood, crossing over to where Jareth stood. She wound her arms around his waist in an embrace that they had become accustomed to. His arms remained crossed over his chest.
"One, that I know of," he told her softly, eyes glittering. "Many thousands and thousands of years ago, a young mother wished away her son when her husband died and it became too difficult to care for the boy on her own. However, when she found herself in the center of the Labyrinth, the Goblin King of the time recognized her as his True Lover, and offered her himself. He offered her his love, and a place at his side as Queen."
Sarah moved closer, intrigued by his tale. "Did she accept?" she murmured.
Jareth arched an eyebrow at her, and his thin lips quirked up into a smirk. "I would imagine so. The King and Queen in question were, and are, my mother and father."
Sarah sighed happily, pillowing her head against his lithely muscled chest. "That's so romantic," she told him, sounding happy with the direction his tale had gone.
"They certainly think so," Jareth responded, sounding sour and sentimental all at the same time. "I must admit, I prefer our tale of courtship over theirs."
Sarah hummed sleepily against his chest, and he swept her up into his arms, if only to deposit her on her bed a moment later. Carefully, he tucked her into the bedclothes and smoothed any stray hairs out of her face. He stayed for a few minutes longer, watching her slow descent into slumber, before he away-ed himself to his own bedroom in the Underground. There he slumbered, content.
Sarah squirmed under the oppressive weight of the oaf pressing sloppy kisses against her mouth. Her vision was blurred and her stomach rolled around inside of her, and her mouth felt filled with cotton. She hadn't even had anything to drink except for a cup full of Sprite, though she had apparently left it unattended long enough for this beast of a man to slip something into it.
Jareth, she thought foggily. Jareth, I need you.
There was no response. She knew it was unlikely that she were to receive one – he had contacted her through the use of one of his delicate crystals, informing her that some blasted young woman had wished away the child she was babysitting and he was forced to sit in his castle and wait for time to run its course, or for the young girl to give up.
So, not wanting to spend a night alone, Sarah had accepted her friend's invitation to a party at the local fraternity, if only to be the designated driver. She had no idea that a night that was supposed to be a chance to unwind with her fellow twenty-one year olds would turn into such a disaster.
Not soon after the world had begun to tilt around her, an overly large and sweaty hand had gripped her around the arm and dragged her into a remote corner of the frat house, and taken advantage of her weakened state.
"Jareth," she whispered dazedly. "Jareth…help me."
"Yer boyfriend can't fuckin' help you now," the large boy breathed against her, spilling beer down her top. She gasped lightly at the sensation, disgust rolling through her veins. "You're all mine, baby."
Jareth, she thought for the last time, desperation infused into every letter of his name. Forgive me. She closed her eyes, the drugs overwhelming her system as her muscles went completely slack. She was vaguely aware of her attacker continuing to slobber on her neck until, quite suddenly, he was gone.
A burst of magic so strong it knocked her to the floor suddenly swept through the hallway, and she could feel Jareth's dizzying rage as he pummeled the boy into the floor. "You will not touch her!" he roared, tightening his gloved hands around the idiot's thick neck.
He had been lounging in his throne, watching the last few seconds of the trial tick down when Sarah's first pleas had echoed in his mind. The desperation and fear that he had felt at her plaintive cries had nearly knocked him over, and just as the last second had ticked on by, he heard her hazy apology.
Rage, incomparable to any he had felt before, had reddened his gaze the minute he transported himself to wherever Sarah was, only to find some offending ape pawing at his soul mate.
He was not merciful with his punishment. With a sweep of the hand, he banished the bruised and beaten boy to the Bog of Eternal Stench, and turned his gaze towards Sarah. He fell to his knees beside her, and pressed two fingers from each hand against her temples. Concentrating, he poured some energy into her, just enough to snap her out of whatever fog the drugs had put her into.
She gasped, eyes opening as she came to her senses. She peered up at him with frightened green eyes and breathed heavily, short and uneven breaths that made it hard to regulate her heartbeat.
"You came!" she said, sounding shocked.
"Of course I came, you stupid girl," Jareth scolded her even as he pulled her even further into his arms. "I would never leave you in danger." He pressed a fervent kiss against her forehead. "Never."
Sarah relished in the feel of his lips on her skin. In that moment, with the both of them so firmly nestled against one another, she made her decision. "Jareth?" she questioned, fisting his shirt in one hand and peering up at him.
She took a deep steadying breath.
"I wish the goblins would come and take me away," she told him, and no sooner had the words left her mouth than she found herself being well and truly kissed. Jareth's mouth slanted over hers hungrily, giving away just how long he had been waiting to taste her lips. He possessed her fully, her kiss and her heart, and when they broke for air, she finished her request.
Sarah licked her lips and stared up at the face of her oldest and dearest friend, the face of her True Lover.
She began again.
"I wish the goblins would come and take me away." She pressed a kiss to the apple of his cheek, then moved her mouth next to his ear until she could breath the words. "Right now."
In a bright swirl of magic and glittering energy, they were gone.