Begins with a First Step
Jareth watched his beloved Sarah sleep, her body peacefully curled in on itself beneath the silk duvet of his bed. Leisurely he twined the ends of her long, glossy tresses in his fingers as he admired her unrivaled beauty. Loathe to wake her, he delayed the inevitable conclusion of their weekend by stealing snippets of time—just enough to extend his pleasure without overtaxing himself. The overworked queen-of-his-heart...and hopefully soon-to-be-queen-in-truth...required all the additional sleep he might steal for her. In addition to Sarah's rest, he too needed to conserve his strength; an arduous journey lie before him. A small, lop-sided smile graced his lips as he remembered their conversation last night regarding said journey.
"What do you mean you're going away?" she inquired sharply, "For how long?"
"I'm not sure, Sarah."
"How can you not be sure? Don't you have some sort of magical day planner or something?"
"It's not that kind of journey," he explained, vaguely. He purposely kept the details from her, she would only worry. She clenched her fists, her lips thinning.
"Excuse me? What kind is it? A spiritual journey? Metaphysical? Day trip? Flight to Never Never Land? What?"
"Sarah, please," he placed his hands to either side of her flushed face and stared intently down, "trust in me without demanding full disclosure this one time."
"Please, my love, I would tell all if I could, but I'm not entirely sure where my journey may lead me, or for how long." He kissed her forehead quickly as she huffed. Her eyes narrowed shrewdly.
"This is about the whole Source of all Magic thing from two months ago, isn't it?" His attempt at a poker face failed to fool her...miserably. Damn the love of his immortal life for being a bloodsucking fiend of the legal variety. "I'll go with you," she suggested.
"NO!" he nearly shouted over her lovely but pushy offer. Withdrawing from his touch, her flinty eyes bored into his.
"Oh my God, Jareth, what the hell are you planning?"
"Nothing," he realized Sarah required more to be reassured, "Sarah, I swear," he pulled her reluctant body into a warm embrace and nuzzled the crown of her head with his chin, "the journey is one I've made before. It just would not be safe for you...a mortal. I, however, will be perfectly safe."
"And strangely, I'm not reassured," she replied sarcastically, her voice muffled by his loose shirt.
"Besides, are you not waiting to hear word from your employer regarding a partnership?"
"You really fight dirty, you know that?"
While he did not enjoy obscuring his full intentions from her, Jareth knew she would never accept his choice otherwise. She could not travel with him, not now, not yet. He did, however, enjoy making up with her and the enthusiastic farewell they shared all night and into the pre-dawn. If his suspicions were correct his destination was more of a when rather than a where, and he might be able return shortly after he left thereby keeping their separation minimal.
"Hey..." Sarah's sleep rusty voice cut through his musings, "how long you been up?" In his distraction he'd forgotten to turn back time another fifteen minutes causing Sarah to finally wake normally. A twinge pierced his heart; her waking brought their parting closer. Gods below, this was more difficult than anticipated. He returned her drowsy smile continuing to comb his fingers through her hair.
"Not long, you're beautiful to admire in the morning," he said, his voice soft. Sarah shifted onto her back keeping her gaze locked with his.
"You're awfully maudlin today."
His brow arched, "I'm always emotional in regards to you, my dear."
"True, but this..." Sarah's admiring eyes racing up and down his lithe body partially covered by the silk cover, "this is a bit much even for you."
"Can I not bask in the gloriousness that is your beauty?" He replied with a great deal of snark.
"See, now that's more like it." She rolled onto her side towards him and snuggled, "You had me worried for a minute, thought maybe a pod person got you." A deep chuckle rumbled in his chest vibrating to hers as Sarah buried her face into the crook of his neck, hiding her eyes. She hated his plan to travel and knew he hid a great deal from her, likely consisting of danger and stupidity. Immortal...sure, but invincible...not something she wanted him to test. Sarah deliberately kept her face tucked into his chest as she considered his plan to leave as soon as she departed Aboveground signaling the official start to her workweek. Days, perhaps weeks, might elapse before she saw him again...when had he become so essential? Unused to sharing her life and happiness with another, Sarah shivered involuntarily.
"Are you alright, Precious?" he asked, shifting her from his chest.
"Fine," she lied with a false smile. He chose not to press her; he was far from fine himself.
"I'd better be going." Reluctantly, Sarah withdrew from his bed grabbing a robe hanging on the headboard wrapping it around herself.
"Sarah," he drawled, sat up, and reached for her.
"Don't," she answered sharply while looking over her shoulder, "we've delayed long enough and time to get back to reality." He frowned, lowering his head. Sarah crawled back onto the bed, hugged him, and added in a softer tone.
"Just be careful, Jareth, and hurry home," she told him, "And I want a full report once you return."
He grinned and embraced her tightly, never could fool his clever Sarah, "I expected nothing less, my dear."
Barely gone ten minutes from her home and already she missed him.
'It's only because you know he's leaving leaving,' Tutu helpfully supplied, her voice annoyingly cheerful.
"Hey, Tutu," Sarah said without enthusiasm.
'He'll be back. It's not like you're breaking up.'
"I know," Sarah replied, entering her bathroom to quickly prep for work, "It feels strange having him leave without me. What if something happens?"
'What could happen?'
"I'm not sure, but he's not telling me everything."
'About being the Source?'
"Yes," she said, stopping her morning ministrations to stare at her reflection in the mirror. She knew Jareth studied the two memory crystals taken from Rafferty and Doug's minds, but he never shared his discoveries. She hesitated to delve into his privacy on this matter. He would speak of it when he chose and not a second sooner. She respected that. Still, it discomforted her to be left out of the loop on such an important issue, and now he traipsed about the world in search of...what?
'He'll share in time.' Sarah broke her staring contest with the mirror and started combing her hair again.
"I just hope he doesn't wait too long," she replied.
Jareth stood on the balcony of his tallest spire overlooking his kingdom. The wind at this altitude whipped his cape viciously, but he ignored its slapping sting on his legs. Sparing a last pleasant thought of Sarah before focusing fully on his task, Jareth's face hardened and his fists clenched. Manipulating time taxed him, severely, and he avoided this moment for weeks whilst studying the men's memory crystals exhaustively until he could rationalize no further delays. If Sarah knew what he truly plotted she would kill him—gleefully, one-handed, with celebratory cake baking afterwards.
After escorting her home and kissing her senseless, Jareth came immediately to this place. Hoggle knew of his plan and understood his position as temporary protector of the Labyrinth while his king traveled. Hoggle also knew to keep his silence (i.e. - no flapping of his big, fat mouth on pain of dismemberment prior to extended bogging) should Sarah ask too many pertinent questions. Jareth hoped his assumptions regarding his destination proved correct, else his fatigue would be pointless and possibly dangerous.
Pushing the distracting thoughts from his mind, he concentrated on the appropriate spell. His arms rose stretching over his head, his eyes fell closed, and the muscles in his jaw bunched and jumped. The gusting winds increased until they formed a tornado which surrounded him: thrashing and pounding anything loose on Jareth's body. Otherwise still as marble, the Goblin King stood inside the small maelstrom until several minutes later he winked from this time's existence and the winds gradually returned to normal.
Our favorite couple is back! Okay, so this installment's title refers to May Day/Beltane/transformation if anyone is
curious as to my holiday reference. It's a bit vaguer than usual but as the story unfold it should make
more sense. So...if I can get it to work the way I want there should be some interesting back
story for Jareth in this one. But not as much J/S so be warned. BUT, there will be good
transformation for Sarah as well...we can't forget about her!
As always...let me know what you think!
Cause I love, love, love to hear