Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
"JARETH IS A GOBLIN KING. ONE FEELS AS HE'S RATHER RELUCTANTLY INHERITED THE POSITION OF GOBLIN KING, AS THOUGH HE REALLY WOULD LIKE TO BE…I DON'T KNOW, DOWN IN SOHO OR SOMETHING. -LAUGHS- BUT HE'S NOT. HIS, UH - HIS THING IN LIFE IS TO BE GOBLIN KING. AND HE RUNS THE WHOLE THING AS WELL AS HE CAN AND HE'S KINDA SPOILT."
~ David Bowie on his character in "Labyrinth"
After reading this the other day, I really wanted to work on a story that involved Jareth perhaps being cursed with his duties as Goblin King without much of a say in it. The idea stuck in my mind, though it didn't really build and I slowly began to forget it. However the other day, I was minding my own business and watching Beauty and the Beast when I begun to realise the storyline worked – and that's where this story has come from and it is what this story will be based around. Don't panic, it's a mixture of my own ideas and also the original story rather than just the Disney version, so it will be different and obviously, the characters have different personalities. I hope you enjoy it and I really hope you stick with me till the end. This is my first story for these two, but it won't be my last. I currently have another one planned with a completely different storyline which I will hopefully start writing soon, perhaps when I've done more of this one so that I do not get the two confused with each other! Please review if you enjoy!
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
They were two complete opposites until something wonderful happened. Love can be found in the darkest of times - but will it be enough to break the curse or will his kingdom fall prisoner to the magic binds it?
Nothing in the Labyrinth is ever what it seems – nothing. This was a lesson many had learnt in the past while trying to weave their way through the maze in order to undo what had been done. The truth was, it hadn't always been a land where innocent souls found themselves trapped in due to the consequences of an accidental wish. It hadn't always been a world of cruel games and dark magic.
There had been a time, many eons ago, when the Labyrinth had been a peaceful realm, hidden from the real world and lost in fantasy. It hadn't been invaded by treacherous goblins and swarming with other such magical beasts that wanted to cause nothing but mischief. It was true that the beings that lived among the kingdom had never quite been human for it was not possible to live in a world of fantasy and not be affected by the magic that lingered within the air, but they had been close, a lot closer than they were now. More importantly, they had been content with their lives – content with the Labyrinth.
In charge of this kingdom was a handsome Fae king, who lived in a shining castle just beyond the city. Although he had everything his heart desired, many servants to attend to his every wish and more courtesans than a man of royal blood should ever use to fulfil his needs, he was a selfish man. His heart had long frozen over since the death of his parents, his resentment towards being left in charge and given responsibilities he neither wanted nor knew how to handle turning him into an angry, spoiled and unkind person. He slandered the riches that were helpless before him, mocked those less fortunate and was seen as nothing more than an insult to the memory of his father who had been a tough leader, but respected none the less. He was reckless, somehow expecting his advisors to look after the kingdom while he snuck off to steal somebody's daughter away for the night.
But then, one night, everything changed.
The sound of drunken laughter and women swooning was not uncommon among the walls of the castle. The knight refrained himself from rolling his eyes as he approached the King's quarters, his feet shuffling against the crowd as he glanced over his shoulder every now and then, careful to keep an eye on the person following him. He was aware bringing strangers into the castle from the outdoors was not exactly encouraged, especially not in the middle of the night either, but he had been unable to turn the shivering figure away. Sir Didymus had a heart far too large to ever turn away a helpless soul, even if he knew the King would be displeased with his choice. Music reached his ears as the doors opened of their own accord, sensing the movement of a trusted one approaching and allowing him entrance.
His eyes carefully took in the scene before him. Two figures were pressed tightly together in the middle of the throne room, swaying back and forth to the lull of the music that was echoing around the walls, being played through magic. The deep, sensual voice of the King could be heard as he sung quietly, his voice husky as he serenaded the girl who was in front of him, his arms wrapped tightly around her waist, charming his way into her heart with beautiful songs and promises he did not intend to keep, just like he did with so many others. Her back pressed willingly against his chest, one arm curved upwards and around his neck, fingers threading their way through blond hair while her head leant back on his shoulder, clearly won over by the lyrics that were being sung into her ear. The crown that Jareth seemed to show no respect for was perched on her head instead of his, slanting more to the left. She looked no older than eighteen, perhaps even younger than that, though still being in the prime of his youth himself the king often seduced his way into the beds of innocent young girls. Husbands dreaded the day when it stopped being their daughters who were lured in by him, but their wives instead. After all, what could they do? He was king. No one could question him to his face, even if they did so in whispers behind his back.
"Your majesty." Sir Didymus spoke up, raising his voice ever so slightly over the music, clearing his throat afterwards and tilting his head high in pride. Sir Didymus was a proud man, despite his bumbling behaviour and constant need to talk in old English. He had been by the king's side for many years now, not just Jareth's, but his father's also and his father before that. As a trusted knight, a soldier who had proven himself more than occasionally, he had earned himself a secure position by the king's side for many years now, earned the privilege of being granted longer life and riches that he did not need, but took out of respect. While he was nothing special, a man with no extraordinary powers or striking good looks, he was loyal and bold hearted which meant that even now, when Jareth made such a mockery of the castle, Sir Didymus stood by him as a faithful servant, guiding him, advising him.
The singing came to a stop and Jareth groaned into the crook of the young girl's neck, burying his face into against her pale flesh and letting his eyes fall shut. Interruptions were not something he greatly appreciated, especially not in situations such as these. With a gentle sigh, he murmured something inaudible in her ear and she giggled softly, disappearing into another room with one final wave in his direction. His lips twisted up into a smirk of success, before turning to face the knight that he might have considered a friend if he believed in such things. With a click of his fingers, the music came to an abrupt stop and he tilted his head up, an unimpressed expression upon his hardened features as his arms folded over his chest. "What is it, Didymus?" He asked in a rash tone. Much like his father had been, Jareth was an intimidating man, despite his boyish looks and untameable mess of hair.
"Forgive me, thy highness. I wish not to intrude. Thou were simply doing one's nightly duties when I happened to look yonder –"
"Oh come, come now, Didymus!" The king's tone was harsh and impatient as he waved his hand. "I have far more pressing matters that desire my attention. I do not have the time to listen to you babble on about what you choose to do with your spare time."
Sir Didymus collected himself with a couple of gracious nods, a forgiving look upon his face. "Yes, well - I stumbled upon this ill-looking maiden. She humbly asks a few moments of your majesties time."
"Oh she does, does she?" It was obvious by the click of Jareth's tongue that he was not pleased with this and his eyes widened slightly in both irritation and an attempt to intimidate the other man before him, possibly the female that hung in the shadows too, hiding her features in a distrusting manner. "And I suppose you felt it your place to so kindly offer her these moments without consulting me?"
Sir Didymus had expected a response and therefore he did not falter, keeping his shoulders pinned back and his expression blank, not flinching at the harsh accusation. During his years in the castle, he had often felt comfortable in the presence of the higher powers he served, but it was common knowledge that everyone, including Didymus, often feared the reaction of this particular King. He would not hesitate to punish if he felt it fit, even when it was unnecessary and his punishments were not to be taken lightly, therefore the knight chose his next few words carefully. "I beg of thee to forgive my decision, but if thou just look upon her... I feared any longer, the storm would hath been the death of the poor maiden."
"And what a pity that would hath been." Sarcasm dripped into the well-spoken, cold voice of Jareth and for a moment, they stood in silence, awaiting the decision of the king. He looked as though he would very much like to throw both of them into the dungeons for interrupting his night, however it would simply take up too much time and enough of that had already been wasted. Therefore, with a roll of his eyes, he turned towards his throne and let himself fall into it, slouching without manners. "Very well – bring her forward. Let's have this done quickly."
With a few encouraging nods from the knight who had led her so far, the woman moved forward with slow and precise steps, ignoring the way Jareth's eyes watching her, judging her more and more the closer she got. At first, the woman appeared to be very short, but it soon became apparent that she was hunched over, her back protruding beneath the cloak that covered her form. Her hand shook as she used a walking stick to balance herself and it was obvious by the way his lip sneered upwards, the king was already deciding she was not worth his time. "Your majesty..." Her voice was rough, as though her throat had been burned. Eventually her walking came to a stop and it was only then did she lift her head, the hood of her cloak falling down to reveal nothing more than a haggard looking old beggar, her hair wispy and grey, almost falling out. The boils upon her face were impossible to ignore and her eyes seemed permanently half-lidded, as though she could not ever open them properly.
Jareth physically recoiled in his chair, face twisting in what could only be described as a look of disgust. "My god, you're a wretched, unpleasant-looking...thing aren't you?" He drawled out, leaning back even more as though he feared he might catch a disease any moment now. The woman - if she was even that, he was fairly certain she had goblin blood in her – was utterly repulsive. He had no idea what Didymus thought he was doing bringing such a wretched creature into his castle, but he was certain the knight would pay for it dearly.
The woman's feelings seemed unharmed by his lack of manners. Instead, her lips seemed to curl upwards into what could only be described as a smile – though to Jareth, it just looked as though she were in pain. "Your majesty..." She repeated, bowing her head downwards. "I beg for you to show me mercy. I have been on the streets for many weeks now, my home long destroyed by thieves and outlaws. I ask very little – just one nights shelter, away from the bitter cold, to regain my health." She croaked out.
The king's eyebrows lifted upwards in disbelief – the woman expected him to offer her a bed for the night? "Forgive my rudeness – "He didn't sound apologetic whatsoever. " – but the last time I checked, this was a palace, not a shelter for the homeless." He lifted himself from the throne, standing up once more. "Pray tell, why I should make an exception for you?"
"I will offer payment." The woman responded, lifting her head to meet his gaze – a brave move, there were not many that would dare make eye contact with him.
"Payment?" He sneered, a mocking laughter following. "What could you possibly offer me that I do not already have?"
The woman's hand disappeared into her cloak and reappeared seconds later. Holding her palm out to him, she revealed her payment which appeared to be nothing more than a plump looking peach. "I have not riches or jewels, but my gardens were once popular for bearing the most delicious-tasting fruit. This is the last of it. I offer it to you in return for a warm night's sleep." She spoke as though this was something he should feel privileged over.
Well, he certainly didn't feel that at all. If anything, he felt offended that this woman was wasting his time. "A piece of fruit?" He questioned in disbelief, his tone degrading as he smirked afterwards. "My kitchens are famous for preparing the finest dishes in the kingdom and you believe a piece of fruit deserves some sort of reward?" His laughter returned once more and with a rude bat of his hand, the peach went tumbling from her hand and rolled somewhere along the floor, much to the woman's dismay. "You're lucky I do not lock you away for wasting my time, you insolent hag." His words were cruel and Sir Didymus hung his head low, feeling ashamed, knowing that his father would not be proud of his son right now. He also knew that if this woman had been blessed with beauty, Jareth would not have hesitated to offer her a bed – his bed, to be exact.
She was not a beauty however and therefore, she was not worth the king's time.
"Your majesty – "The woman attempted to speak once more, but she was quickly silenced.
"Bleat at me no more about your problems. Sir Didymus – escort this lady outside the castle walls and make sure she does not return." It was with these words did the king make the biggest mistake of his life for as he turned to leave, the beggar woman tore the cloak from her form and revealed herself for what she truly was – a beautiful enchantress.
The light that radiated off her form seemed to blind those in the room. She was a woman of great beauty, the ugliness he had previously seen having melted away within seconds to reveal flawlessly pale skin, mesmerizing emerald eyes and black hair that seemed to blow in the wind despite the fact they were indoors. It was then did it become clear the king had been tricked – fooled by dark magic. Blinded by his greed and selfishness, he had fallen into a trap that he would regret for the rest of his life.
Of course, Sir Didymus had tried to protect his king, but with one jolt of powerful magic, the knight had been rendered unconscious in seconds, something he was later punished for by being dumped in the bog of eternal stench to guard for the 'rest of his miserable life'. This left the King to fend for himself, but even his magics did not stand a chance against such a temptress. With evil glowing in her eyes and a wicked smirk upon her face, the enchantress had taken great pleasure in dismissing the king's feeble attempts to apologise. It was too late for such words, for she had seen his heart and seen how cold it truly was.
As punishment, she cursed him – she cursed him and she cursed his kingdom, along with all who lived there. She cursed it with dark magic, infecting the residents with a disease that would either kill them or turn them into creatures of mischief, creatures of hideous appearances such as goblins or dwarves. All the living plants, the beautiful flowers that had once spouted from the ground withered and died, becoming nothing more than wilted vines – even the trees lost their light. Houses became walls, creating a maze that would be almost impossible for someone to work themselves through. The king himself remained in form, though he did not go unpunished. With her parting words, she explained to him his curse – his curse of answering anybody who called upon him, answering their wishes, however cruel they may be. Should he deny them, his kingdom would suffer more so than it already had.
In the middle of all this chaos, a peach tree had sprung itself from the ground and been planted in the middle of the enchanted woods. It would bloom for two eternities, before withering to its death. If the newly crowned Goblin King could learn to love another and earn that person's love in return by the time the last, rotted peach fell then the spell would be broken. If not, his kingdom would die, taking him with it, leaving his magic open for the enchantress to steal for herself.
The years passed and the Goblin King did not fall into despair, he merely grew colder...harsher. He answered the wishes that these petty humans called upon him for. He followed the instructions of the curse in hope to bide him more time, but over time, he lost hope of ever breaking the curse – for who could ever love the monster he had grown to be, the monster the enchantress had forced him to become? He allowed the curse to instead consume him and instead of breaking it, he let it become a part of him. In the end, he no longer viewed it as a curse; it was simply...his life, something that often tired him out and yet at the same time, brought him great pleasure for it was the only thing he knew now. His life as The Goblin King – the child snatcher, the seducer of dark magic, the dream catcher... the man who had lost everything and therefore had no reason to give anything back.
Until she came.
A/N: Okay, so...that definitely wasn't how I saw it in my head, but bare with me, this is just the first chapter! I promise it will get better. Sarah will come into it in the next chapter!