Sarah felt the warmth of the bright morning sun on her face and rolled over onto her stomach. Peeking with one eye at the clock suspended in the air, she saw it was half past seven. He would be up already and milling about. The clock was for her benefit alone. He had told her that with the crown of the Goblin Kingdom came a strong power over time. If you were going to move it, you needed to always be able to tell it. He promised her that soon she wouldn't need the clock either. Slowly her powers would grow and become so natural to her, she would never remember living any other way.
She started to stretch from her place in bed and felt something softly graze her back. She smiled. He might be up, but he had waited for her. He began to run the tips of his fingers slowly over the curve of her back. His other hand joined the first and the palm of it began to softly stroke and massage her back and neck.
"What are you doing?" she asked, slightly dazed from sleep.
"Shh," he whispered. "You are the most exquisite piece I've ever seen, and if I'm going to play you properly, the instrument would do well to hush."
"Play me?" she said, confused. A small moan of pleasure escaped as he kneaded out a knot in her shoulder.
"Low C," he muttered. "But not quite right. I think a bit of tuning is required."
His hands found her hips and rolled her over onto her back. He was wrapped around in the sheets and had a now too-familiar, wicked smirk on his face. Sarah's lips twitched with a smile. This was good.
His fingers grazed down between her breasts, taking their time and leaving the barest of touches. His left hand began to gently caress one of her breasts while the right continued its path downwards to toy with her clitoris.
Sarah gasped and laughed slightly. Jareth's smile widened as he kissed the corners of her mouth.
"Hmm still a bit pitchy. I think we'll have to go lower."
He trailed a line of kisses down her body. The lips, the neck, her collarbone and shoulders. He kissed the space between her breasts and then each one individually. He kissed her down to her belly button and then began to kiss her between her legs.
Sarah's back arched as his tongue began to work rhythmically between her folds. It was slow and deliberate. Like he was taking his time because he knew he had all the time. Before when they had returned, their sex had been frenzied and desperate, but now, now it was a satisfying luxury. To be able to spend all day wrapped up in each other if they so chose. It seemed Jareth was choosing it. Sarah felt she wouldn't be complaining as his fingers returned to stroke her alongside his tongue.
Sarah laughed again as she felt the tension build up inside her.
"Jareth," she called his name as she knew he loved her to do. His name on her lips and his lips on her. It was their preferred method of communication.
He stopped for a moment and Sarah knew it was because he was smiling. His name had inclined him to take her even further. She grinned, pleased with herself.
He moved up from between her legs to crawl on top of her, careful not to remove his fingers from between her folds.
"What was that, love? I don't think I quite heard you?" He smiled at her smugly and began to move his fingers quicker within her.
Sarah gasped harshly and smiled back up at him. He could no doubt see the dark desire clouding her eyes; it matched his.
"Still think there's more work to be done, then? Still not sounding right?" she asked breathlessly.
"Oh yes," he said. "I'm not hearing what I need to yet. More work needs to be done, I think."
"I think you're right," Sarah smirked at him. "But how am I to sound to my full potential
without a bit of accompaniment?"
Jareth quirked an eyebrow at her in curiosity. Sarah hooked her leg around his waist and rolled them to get on top. She placed her hands on his shoulders and began to slowly kiss her way down him, just as he had done to her. She took him in her mouth and savoured the moan he let escape him.
"Tricky girl," he breathed. "But this is not how the game is played."
Sarah stopped in her movements, allowing him the advantage, and she found herself lying on her back again.
"I will just have to try harder," he told her as his hands found each of her breasts and his tongue went back to work inside her.
Sarah couldn't hold back this time. She dug her fingers into his shoulders and gave herself over to him. She would get him back later.
"Jareth…" she moaned his name as his tongue began to work faster.
"Yes, tell me what you want," he murmured softly into her thigh.
"More," she begged as she arched into him.
"Yes," he whispered against her, and Sarah knew she was done.
Jareth's tempo increased further as Sarah's orgasm rushed to meet her. She called out his name as wave after wave of pleasure overtook her. He did not stop; he continued on until her body relaxed and she collapsed, breathless.
"There now." He slunk forward back atop of her and brushed the hair from her face. "That was the sound I wanted to hear."
Sarah laughed, rolling her eyes, and kissed him softly on the lips. She curled up into his arms, deciding that today would indeed be an excellent day to spend in bed.
Summer in the Labyrinth was hot and dry. It hardly ever rained, and the kingdom prepared for months-long droughts.
Sarah's boots clacked on the dry stones. The dirt was coming up in clouds around her, and she was trying not to choke on it. Sarah lifted her hand and closed her eyes. Thinking carefully, she spoke clearly, making sure to mean what she said. The dirt parted from around her, making a path. Sarah smiled; she was getting better every day.
She reached the seat of the Wiseman, surprised she couldn't hear his bird on her approach. She realized that he had removed the hat and appeared to be expecting her.
"I bid the bird farewell for a few hours, as a courtesy to you, my lady," he said, noting her stare.
Sarah looked at him with a sort of bemusement.
"I believe that's the first courtesy you've ever afforded me, Wiseman."
"Still not calling me by my true name, I see," the Wiseman said with interest.
"That's not your name; that's not who you are anymore. You gave it up."
The Wiseman stared at her with a stony silence, but Sarah took no notice.
"Speaking of that, Wiseman, you said I'd forget all about you once I returned and took up my post as queen. But I haven't."
"You will. It might start slowly as the details begin to slip from your mind, or you could wake up one day and never remember my name at all."
Sarah tugged on the end of her ponytail. She would not allow the Wiseman to manipulate her, not again.
"I've thought a long time about what to do with you, Wiseman. Do I call for your beheading? Or craft a disguised reunion between you and Jareth? But the former would be too kind, and I think Jareth is better off without you. So I've decided to do the only thing that makes any real sense."
The Wiseman looked at her curiously.
"Care to elaborate, my lady?"
Sarah narrowed her eyes at him.
"I am your queen, and you will address me as such."
"You are not my queen," the Wiseman said evenly. "My queen is dead."
Sarah shook her head, she had expected such a response.
"I plan to do nothing, Wiseman. I plan to let you rot here at the true centre of the Labyrinth. You can lead the frightened parents and caretakers of children off track for years and years to come while Jareth and I live our lives between the walls of the castle, never giving you a second thought. Because you don't matter. You have less than zero importance in our lives anymore, and I have decided to treat you with exactly that amount of care. In the end you got what you wanted, Wiseman. Jareth has a queen by his side, but you will have to live with that being your final act in either of our lives. I've written a new law; it states that none are to come to you for counsel and you are to be treated as a pariah by all," Sarah finished, keeping her gaze even with the Wiseman's. She had said her piece.
"So you've decided to abandon me then?" the Wiseman asked slowly.
The Wiseman placed a hand in his pocket and withdrew it clenched into a fist.
The Wiseman sighed and opened his hand, extending the small item held within towards her.
"I am returning this to you, Your Majesty."
Sarah stepped forward carefully and quickly recognized the ring in his palm. She took it and considered it briefly before placing it on her finger atop her gloves. It still fit.
"You've kept this for thirteen years. Why didn't you return this to me until now?" she asked him.
The Wiseman shrugged.
"You never asked, and for a time it was in Jareth's possession. I only recently re-acquired it."
"It's just a silly piece of costume jewellery."
"Are you quite sure of that?" the Wiseman questioned her.
Sarah held the ring up to the sun and watched the blood red stone reflect the light.
"It's not, is it?"
The Wiseman shook his head.
"It's one of the crown jewels. It belonged to my mother and to my wife and then to you. It is a unique stone, one found only in the Underground. I made sure you were to receive it for your fifteenth birthday. I must say I was rather amused to see it placed in my donation box. I figured I would hold onto it until the day came when you would need it back."
"And now I am queen."
"And now you are queen." The Wiseman took Sarah's palm and pulled the ring from her finger. "This is a bloodstone. I carries the blood of his ancestors. It will help you be stronger and wiser. But you must wear it against your skin for it to work."
Sarah removed her left glove and slid the ring onto her third finger. When she had received it at fifteen, she pretended it was a Claddagh ring and wore it with the same intent. Her mother had owned one and so had her grandmother, but Sarah never got one. So the jewellery became a piece of a costume that she so often wore: the heroine shouting out lines in the park, who was promised to a handsome prince from a far off land.
"You're still wearing the pendant, I see."
The Wiseman reached out to touch it, but Sarah slapped his hand away.
"That is one of the things I've come to discuss with you. How did Avaina make this one, and how can I make another?"
"You're not giving it back, then?" the Wiseman asked with surprise.
"No, this one is mine."
"And Jareth is not wearing it in the interim because?" the Wiseman pressed her.
"Because. Now are you going to tell me how to make another or not? If you do, I might be persuaded to be more merciful towards you," Sarah said curtly to the Wiseman.
The Wiseman narrowed his eyes at her.
"It is also made with blood magic, as I'm sure you know. That one was forged with mine and the blood of my wife. This one will have to be made with yours and Jareth's. She retrieved the rubber for the cord from one of the trees in the forest, and the hollowed out stone she took from the Sea of Dreams. The two ends of our kingdom. The merging of our dreams was also involved. But the spellwork was hers alone, and I had no more part of it than the contribution of blood and dreams. So that is all I know to tell you."
Sarah sighed; she should have known it would be needlessly complicated.
"So pray tell, what mercy will you be granting me, fair queen?"
She could tell by the Wiseman's voice that he thought she was going to renege on her promise, but queens must keep their word.
"How much do you wish to see your wife again, Wiseman?" Sarah asked him gently.
For a moment she saw it. Such a familiar longing was present in the Wiseman's eyes. He reminded her, in that second, of Jareth.
"More than you could ever know."
Sarah slowly reached behind her and pulled out the knife of the Wiseman's that she'd run off with so long ago.
"Jareth will be High King one day, and I will be High Queen. Not for a long time, of course, but one day. So I think it is time we bury our dead, and buried is where they will stay."
The Wiseman eyed her knife and spoke with trepidation.
"You will be with your wife once more, which seems to be the one thing you've ever really wanted. Your love for her redeems you."
"You were never planning to abandon me were you?" the Wiseman said coldly.
"I would have, but I had hoped I wouldn't have to. This is pure iron, so it will be quick."
Sarah walked around and stood behind him, slowly placed the blade at his throat.
"This is your one chance," she whispered into his ear. "Make your choice. Forwards, or backwards?"
She felt the Wiseman sigh against her.
"You will be a fine queen, Your Majesty. Avaina would be proud. I shall tell her all about you, when I see her."
Sarah swallowed thickly.
Hard and fast she slit his throat open. His blood ran past his throne of books and seeped into the cracks of the maze.
Sarah paused for a moment, still holding the knife, wondering if the Labyrinth would notice the death of the old king. But nothing happened. Sarah took his beard and wiped the blade clean. She was right before; the old king had been dead for years.
Looking at the Wiseman's corpse, she raised her hands slowly. Her ring shining on her finger, she spoke without hesitation. The wind spun around the body. She lowered her hands and the wind died down. A statue of an old man, surrounded by books and small donation box, remained. Around his neck, so small it was barely visible, was the sigil of the Goblin Kingdom.
Sarah looked over her handiwork once before returning to the castle. A queen must be merciful.
Sarah sat in the throne room. A new throne had been crafted just for her and was recently finished. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. She now understood why Jareth laid about on his like he always did. They were horribly uncomfortable.
Sarah heard the sound of small footsteps and straightened in her throne. She wanted to give a good impression.
"Your Majesty!" Lickered ran headlong into the throne room but didn't make it far before tripping over his own feet and sliding along the floor to have his nose rest right at her shoes. "Your Majesty! He's here!"
Sarah reached down to set Lickered up straight.
"Good," she said, patting the dirt off Lickered. "Please tell him to come in."
Lickered nodded and ran quickly out the doors. She heard another unmistakable crash and sighed. It was lucky goblins were so durable.
She heard the first few hesitant steps before she saw him. His hat held in his hands, he bowed silently at her as soon as he stepped through the doors. Sarah smiled.
"Oh thank you, but you don't have to bow."
He looked up at her, wide eyed with surprise. She gestured for him to come closer, and he quickly obliged. When he was close enough, Sarah reached down and gently stroked his cheek.
"I just wanted to say, before anything else, how very sorry I am."
The dwarf looked up at her in confusion.
"Sorry, Yer Majesty? What for?"
Sarah bit her lip.
"You knows my name?" Hoggle sputtered.
Sarah nodded. "Do you know mine?"
"Of…of course, Yer Majesty, everyone knows your name," Hoggle choked to get the words out. "Yous the Goblin Queen Sarah."
Sarah looked away sadly. It was too much to hope for.
"Hoggle, I have an important task for you."
"You- you do?" Hoggle asked her warily.
"Yes, but first I need to tell you something. But it's a bit of a secret, so I need you to promise me that you won't tell anyone else."
"Yes Yer Majesty. I promise ya."
"Please, can you call me Sarah?" Sarah asked him.
"I…if you wish, Yer Majest-I mean Sarah."
Sarah gave him a wide smile.
"You don't know how long I've been waiting to hear you call my name."
"Er, you'd be right…I'm afraid I don't know," Hoggle said, confused.
Sarah rose from the throne and went to sit on the window ledge. From her vantage point she could see almost the entire labyrinth, and if she looked long enough, she could see it move and change.
"Hoggle, ten years ago I made a terrible mistake. I was eighteen years old and trying very hard to live a human life Aboveground, when every part of me called to return to the Underground. So I made a wish, a powerful one that banished every memory of me from the Underground. It was only recently my own memories were returned to me, and I came home to assume the throne of the Goblin Queen."
"I had heard er…rumours, Yer Maj-Sarah, that yous was human once upon a times."
Sarah laughed. "Once upon a time maybe. But human is a very hard word to define. I've done a lot of things lately that aren't very human at all."
Sarah looked towards Hoggle and noticed just how confused and, disappointingly, nervous he appeared standing all alone in her throne room.
"Hoggle, I'm so sorry, but when the memories of me were banished the memories of all my friends Underground were destroyed with them. Including yours. You were my best friend, Hoggle, and you can't even remember it. That's my fault, and I hope you'll find a way to let me make it up to you."
Sarah saw the confusion and shock registering on his face. She slowly stepped down from the window to crouch down next to him.
"My memories?" Hoggle asked her slowly
"I don't have any friends," Hoggle said, stepping backwards from her. But Sarah placed her hands on his shoulders, keeping him still.
"Now that's not true. Whether you know it or not you have me. That is, if you'll still let me be your friend."
"I…of, of course Yer, er, Sarah."
Now it was Sarah's turn to appear surprised.
"You forgive me?" she asked softly, barely believing him.
"There ain't nothin' to forgive," Hoggle said assuredly.
Sarah felt like she might cry from happiness. Hoggle's friendship, it was the one thing that had always been missing from her home here.
"Why do you forgive me, Hoggle?" she asked him, not fully understanding.
Hoggle rubbed his hand against a familiar piece of plastic around his wrist.
"Somethin' tells me you'd do the same for me."
Sarah laughed looking, down at her old bracelet looking pretty worse for wear.
"Oh Hoggle," Sarah leaned in and hugged him tightly. After a few moments she felt the dwarf awkwardly hug her back. She'd have to work on hugs with him.
"Okay," she said, breaking away from the hug. "It's time to get down to business. I need you to go to the palace library. There you'll find another dwarf named Hilly. She'll tell you everything you need to know, but I'm going to ask you to seek out some things for me. Is that alright?"
Hoggle bowed to her slightly.
"Anything yous wishes, my queen."
"Hey," Sarah pointed a finger sharply at his chest. "That's Sarah to you, mister."
Hoggle gruffed and bowed once more before leaving.
Sarah let out a deep sigh. Two down, one to go. From the corner of her eye she registered the shadow lurking in the doorway to her left.
"Are you planning on skulking there all day?"
Jareth stepped forward and nodded his head towards her.
"I really wouldn't kneel there if I were you. I'm sure it's covered in all manner of chicken excrement."
Sarah rolled her eyes and held out her hand towards him. He walked to accept it and help her to her feet.
"You know, I could never figure why you so easily forgave the dwarf for his betrayal – "
"And took so long to forgive you?" Sarah interjected.
Jareth's eyes narrowed slightly, and Sarah knew she'd hit the nail on the head.
"Well I'm sure you saw what just happened. He'd do the same for me, but only if I could forgive him first. You want people to be less afraid? More loyal? Show them courage, and show them loyalty. They need to know what these words mean before they can ever mimic them."
"Then as for me?" Jareth asked.
Sarah supressed a smile, his small bit of insecurity about her still lingered.
"You already were loyal and courageous Jareth, just not for me, not then. I would have forgiven you if I'd thought it make any difference. But in my reality, it was just something else you could win from me."
If it had been anyone else, they would not have seen the hurt that crossed his face then. But Sarah was Sarah, and she always knew. She put his face between her hands.
"Don't sulk. You know as well as I do that's not who we are anymore. We're the Goblin King and Queen. We're Jareth and Sarah, and we're in love. And I should mention that you did win, so really, stop this."
He leaned down to kiss her. Sarah very much doubted whether his kisses would ever leave her anything but spinning, and she was glad for it.
His hand gently tugged at her pendant.
"You love me, but you will not return this."
Sarah pulled the pendant from his hand and tucked it back into the front of her shirt.
"I just sent Hoggle to get the items we need to make yours. It's a gift from the Goblin Queen to the Goblin King; that's how it's done."
Jareth tilted his head at her and smirked.
"Oh really? That's the way it's done? In the original version of this story I'm pretty sure the queen didn't steal the pendant from the king in the first place."
"Yeah well in this version there's slightly less murdering…slightly."
Jareth gracefully traced the edge of her jaw with the tip of his index finger.
"So tradition, that's all there is to it then?"
Sarah kept her eyes fixed on his and tried her best to ignore his touch.
"It's not that simple."
"Then make it so."
"It's just…Jareth, I love you."
Jareth smiled like the cat who caught the canary.
"Mmm, I'll never get tired of you saying that. But please, continue."
Sarah twisted her hands uncomfortably.
"Jareth, I love you, but trust is built up over years and years, not months. You and I, we run into things without thinking. So we're in love, and I do trust you…as much as I can."
Jareth's smile vanished, and he dropped his hand from her face. Sarah could see he was seconds from storming out to brood somewhere in the castle where she wouldn't be able to find him. She grabbed him by the hand to stop him.
"It doesn't mean I love you any less, and believe me, I couldn't love you any more, but this is different. We will grow and learn and live together and suddenly one day, the pendant will just be a pendant. You can trust me as much as you do, and that's fine. Those are your feelings. Just like this has to do with mine. I love you, and I trust you, and I'm making you a pendant, and I'm not giving this one back. Give me time; I hear you've got plenty of that to spare."
Jareth slowly raised her hand and laid a kiss on the tips of her fingers.
"It's something you have plenty of as well now, Goblin Queen."
Sarah smiled and draped her arms around his neck playfully.
"And I'm so looking forward to spending all of it with you."
He smiled and leaned into her kiss. Making sure the doors to the room were firmly locked, Sarah decided there was no better time to officially break in her throne.
Four Months and Two Weeks
Sarah stepped out onto the balcony to clear her head. Her dress trailed behind her, as many shades of black and violet as the night sky itself and sparkling with just as many stars. Her back was uncovered, that was his one request.
Sipping her champagne, she rested her arms against the stone railing. The sounds of the party still sang behind her as she glanced up at the moon. It still looked bigger than it should, but this time she knew Jareth had made it so for the party. She placed her ornate mask of black feathers and gold accents down as she leaned to let her head rest on her arms for a moment.
A few moments later she felt a gloved hand on her back, leisurely tracing its way up and down her spine.
"Too much champagne, my love?"
Sarah craned her head back to look at him. He was her perfect match, wearing an all black suit of his design made of the same material as hers. With the dark of the balcony, he blended right into the night. He'd left an opening at his chest where his new pendant sat against the bare skin. He'd had his request, and she'd had hers.
"There's no such thing."
"Mmm, spoken like a true fae queen."
He moved next to her, and she lazily rested her head on his shoulder.
"That's because I am a queen."
"Yes, you are. I take it you were very fond of our entrance tonight then?" he asked, stroking her hair.
Sarah smiled in satisfaction. As the newest monarch of the Underground, she and Jareth were bound by tradition to hold the next high feast celebration as a sort of test, and to give the rest of the Underground gentry the chance to properly gawk at her. The next feast was Samhain, and Sarah had decided on a masquerade. It seemed fitting.
As the guests of honour, they would be the last to enter the party. The Troll King and his wife Makala, the Fire King and his wife Volanti, the King of the Wastes and his wife Lintrette and then finally, The Goblin King and the Goblin Queen.
She had found out afterwards that Jareth had insisted upon the distinction. Sarah was fairly certain her bold entrance had much to do with the respect she'd been paid by the other monarchs.
"Halloween was always my favourite night of the year Aboveground. I thought if there was ever going to be a day where magic ran free, it would be Halloween for sure."
"Well you were not wrong. It is not uncommon for the creatures of the Underground to slip through the cracks this night to cause all manner of mischief and mayhem. It's significantly easier to travel from one world to the other on the high feast days, and Samhain most of all.
"Though you'd do well to uphold my ban on the goblins participating in what you call 'trick or treating'. They come back with sacks of sweets, and then suddenly it becomes my responsibility to deal with the toffee stuck to the ceiling of my throne room."
Sarah snorted with laughter with the image of Jareth, standing on his throne, attempting to peel the toffee off with a knife. Jareth huffed indignantly at her laughter, and Sarah gave him a playful shove before pulling him in by his lapels for a kiss.
Sarah kissed him for as long as she could. She would have been quite content to spend the rest of the night out on the balcony, just like that. Eventually though, she realized their behaviour was bordering on rude.
Sarah took Jareth's mask from where he'd left it next to hers on the railing. She placed the mask over his eyes. Jareth took her mask and did the same to her. Sarah smiled and perched on her toes for one last kiss.
"Shall we?" she asked offering him her hand.
Jareth grinned and took her gloved hand in his.
"Of course. Happy New Year, my love. Long live the queen."
Sarah smiled wider and squeezed his hand in hers.
"Happy New Year, Jareth. Long live the king."
Sarah and Jareth stepped back into the festivities as the old year died behind them.
A/N: So this is it. The Epilogue. I know I cannot believe it either. What madness! I've been working on concepts and chapters outlines and various other bits to do with this story for more than two years now. So I don't really believe it's actually finished.
While I'm sad to be done, I'm excited because it frees me up to work on some of my other story ideas that have been percolating. I have no idea if they'll be as long as this was (truthfully: I had no intention of this fic being as long as it ended up). I hope they'll be quite different though. No idea when I'll start it, no idea when I'll publish it. Right now these are just a mess of wordpad documents filled with scribbles and feelings. The fic will still be about Labyrinth of course because, these two idiots. Can't live with them, can't live without them.
Now naturally, I think it's important to mention that there is just flat out no way this fic could ever have been completed without my stunning beta Shenlong Girl. She absolutely made all the difference here. She is most definitely the best beta anyone could ask for and a million and a half thank yous should go out to her.
I've had some really great readers and I just want to thank all of you for taking the time to finish this piece. It's been an excellent experience writing this and I hope that it's been a good experience reading it as well. If there are any lingering questions or bits about the story you'd like to discuss you are, as ever, allowed to PM me and I will be glad to discuss it with you there.
Thank you all for reading.