Disclaimer: *Checks financial holdings* Nope, still only the voices in my head belong to me (and by golly, they own me!) This tale is woven for your entertainment—and mine. No copyright infringement is intended.
Rating: T (for impolite language, innuendo and sensuality. Really, any fic featuring the Goblin King should have a minimum rating of T for the pants alone.)
Summary: Sarah is on a mission to find a way to evict her unwanted roommate, but will Jareth manage to woo her (in his arrogant Goblin King way) before she does?
A/N: I really, really wasn't going to write a sequel, but so many of you left such lovely reviews on "Blind Date" that my muse decided to be generous. (Oh and thank you to those that favorite the story as well. I'm honored!)
And dagnabit, y'all forced me to learn about magical creatures and stuff (I'm a sci-fi geek, for crying out loud!). If there is an error in my understanding, blame the internet—particularly Wikipedia. Yeah, it's totally Wikipedia's fault.
Special thanks to UndergroundDaydreams for beta services! If you haven't read her stuff, then make sure to head over to her profile when you're done with my story.
a sequel to Blind Date
The problems with having the Goblin King for a roommate:
1) He's a slob.
2) He likes to hold impromptu dance parties when the mood strikes him—usually in the middle of the night.
3) His friends come over, trash the house and steal things—namely socks.
4) Glitter! Everywhere!
5) He belts out bawdy songs while in the shower, again in the middle of the night.
6) He doesn't understand the meaning of 'personal space.'
Sarah reread the last item and erased it.
6) While he understands the concept of 'personal space,' he refuses to respect it.
7) Everything is a game to him, and he always thinks he's winning.
8) The pants.
9) Seriously, the pants!
10) When he looks at me, I can't think straight.
Groaning, Sarah blacked out number ten. She was not going to admit that while Jareth drove her to the edge of insanity there was a part of her that wanted to succumb to his unrelenting advances. Damn him for giving her those searing kisses before she knew who he was! Damn her body for wanting more—lots more.
She crumpled the paper and pushed it aside. Making a list of all the ways her new roommate annoyed her was not going to help her find a way to kick him out. She pulled one of the books ("Mellie's Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures") from the pile of thick volumes on the table and opened it. Before Sarah could banish Jareth, she had to figure out what he was. And that was why she was sitting in the library on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
She flipped through the pages of illustrations until she came across a depiction of beautiful beings that were almost human-like. Sitting up in her chair, she peered down at the caption. The mythical Faerie. Sarah's brow furrowed. Fairy? Weren't they supposed to be those tiny, winged creatures who granted wishes or something? Definitely not Jareth—at least the tiny, winged part. He certainly liked to grant wishes, whether or not a person actually wanted him to.
She turned the page and began reading about the Faerie:
"Faerie: Also known as Fairy, Fae or Fey. Contrary to recent myths where fairies are tiny, winged creatures who grant wishes…"
"…the Faerie are a reclusive race of magical beings that resemble humans, and they are known to be strikingly beautiful. It is believed that they are immortal, though that does not mean they are indestructible. Many tales say that while it is impossible for a Fae to lie, they will still manipulate words to their advantage. Some of the earlier folklore purports that the Fae steal children, and at times, the elderly."
"Ha!" Sarah's exclamation earned her a glare from the librarian. Oops. She skimmed the page until she found what she wanted.
"Weaknesses: The Faerie are susceptible to iron. The metal burns their skin, and if they ingest too much iron, it can kill them. Salt renders their magic useless. Wands made from Rowan wood will undo glamours…"
"And what, pray tell, are we reading about today, Sarah?"
She squeaked at the sound of Jareth's voice near her ear, and slammed the book shut. "None of your beeswax," she snapped in a quiet voice, trying to cover up the way she shivered at feel of his warm breath on her skin. Stupid, traitorous hormones! "Go away."
"No." He smirked when she turned to face him. Jareth was using what she called his Erik-the-best-blind-date-ever-until-the-end disguise, as he always did when he followed her around outside of the house. His shorter blond hair was still unkempt, falling in his eyes as he looked down at her. Sarah resisted the urge to reach up and brush it back. It was unfair that he could be so pretty, even while pretending to be a mortal. Pretty, but bad news in tight pants.
"I didn't invite you here," she said, keeping her voice steady while pushing away the memory of his lips against hers.
Jareth shrugged and straddled the chair next to her. (Couldn't he just sit like a normal person, for crying out loud?) "I rather like the mortal concept of a 'public place.' The invitation is for all, including me." He plucked the book from her hands and looked it over. "Interesting reading material. Trying to learn about the world you'll be ruling over at my side?"
Sarah rolled her eyes. Over the last couple of months he'd been dropping that not-so-subtle hint all over the place. At first she had tried to squash that notion right out of his head, but Jareth only laughed at her denial and redoubled his efforts to get her to "quit fighting what we both know you secretly desire."
"Speaking of ruling magical worlds," she said, taking the book from him, "don't you have a kingdom to get back to?"
Jareth grinned. "What is it you think I do after you slam that door of yours every night?"
"Don't you sleep?" She frowned. The idea that he never rested unsettled her. 24-7 of Jareth's magical mischief with no respite? Bad news, for sure.
"Of course I do." He leaned forward, close enough that she could feel the heat radiating from his body. "Don't you recall when I reordered time in the tunnel during your run of my Labyrinth? It's one of my many talents."
Two voices started chanting in her head as he gazed at her with those mismatched eyes. Back away, back away, back away! And, kiss him, kiss him, kiss him! Sarah squeezed her eyes shut and turned away, trying to regain her bearings. Stupid hormones. Stupid Goblin King. Stupid Tracy for setting me up on that damn blind date. She heard the rustling of paper next to her.
She opened her eyes to find Jareth examining the list she had crumpled earlier. "That's private," she said, blushing as she swiped at it.
Jareth held it out of reach and tsked as he read. "Really, Sarah. Must you be so harsh?" He stood up when Sarah made another grab for the paper. "I bring color into that drab, dull life of yours and you think me a nuisance? What about all the benefits of having the Goblin King as your roommate? Hm? Where is that list?"
Sarah snorted. "Benefits? Ha! What benefits?"
The librarian shushed Sarah with another glare, and then smiled at Jareth before turning back to her work. Sarah threw up her hands and gave a very unladylike huff of exasperation. That's how it was when Jareth was out in public, stalking her. Everyone acted like he was the greatest thing since sliced bread—even when he hadn't uttered a single word to them—and somehow all the trouble he caused was Sarah's fault. It was… She cut off the thought before the "N.F." words crossed her mind—as in "not fair."
Jareth was close to her again with that annoying smirk on his face. "Benefits that you have yet to take advantage of. Why you would deny yourself when I have so much to offer you is puzzling, indeed." His expression turned lecherous. "And I do have so much to offer you."
Fat chance of that happening! She wanted to scream in frustration, but she knew the more she protested, the more he'd take that as a challenge. Not that not protesting got him to back off—it just took less energy than fighting him. She didn't even bother anymore to demand that he stop calling her all those pet names. Jareth gave a whole new meaning to the word persistent.
"And what have you against my wardrobe?" he asked, reminding Sarah that he still had her list. The expression on his face said that he knew exactly what she meant by items eight and nine. Insufferable, egotistical, annoyingly sexy…
Sarah scowled at him and made another attempt to snatch the paper from his hands. He dissipated then reappeared on the other side of the table. "Give it back," she said, careful to keep her voice low lest she incur the wrath of the librarian again. "Now."
Jareth wagged his finger. "Manners, precious."
"Please." She hissed the word through clenched teeth, holding out her hand expectantly.
He wasn't looking at her, though; his eyes were back on the list. "I wonder what you scribbled out here at the bottom." He ran his finger across the blackened script and Sarah nearly leaped over the table to grab at the paper. She knew it was too late when she saw the smile that spread across his face. "It seems that you did write down a benefit after all, my love."
Sarah felt her cheeks go from rosy pink to bright, glowing, could-land-a-plane-in-a-storm red in less than a second.
"I shall leave you to your studies," he said, dropping the paper on her pile of books. "A queen should know her subjects." He leaned over the table and lowered his voice. "However, the books in my library are far more accurate. I could take you there if you wish."
She shook her head, keeping her mouth clamped shut for fear that she would start yelling.
"Pity. Perhaps another time, then." Jareth vanished, and Sarah was certain she heard his laughter echoing in the quiet library.
She bought twenty canisters of salt on her way home.
"King won't like this," a little goblin said, crouching on the counter, wearing one of Sarah's socks on his head. "No, no, no. He won't like this at all."
Sarah felt triumphant at the creature's words as she spread the salt everywhere. She had started with lining the doors and windows with the stuff but then realized that Jareth could pop in any part of the house without crossing those barriers. Granted, she probably didn't need to cover the tops of the cabinets, but one could never be too cautious when it came to the Goblin King.
When the last canister was empty, Sarah surveyed her work. Her entire house was covered in a thin, white layer of granules. If the book was right, this should render Jareth's magic useless and she could push him out the door. Having salt crunching underfoot for the rest of her days would be worth the peace and quiet she would gain from this endeavor.
"Uh oh," the goblin muttered in his small, gravelly voice. "He's coming." The creature disappeared, leaving the sock behind.
Within seconds, Jareth poofed into the room in a shower of glitter. Sarah's heart fluttered nervously as he took in the surroundings with a grim expression. She didn't know if she should be exultant or frightened. The mix of emotions was familiar—like years ago when she saw him walking out of that archway before the clock tolled thirteen.
"Well, well, well," he said as he advanced on her. Sarah backed away and felt her heart stop when she touched the wall. "What have we here?" His eyes were dark and menacing, and she realized then that while the she may have taken away his magic, it didn't mean that he couldn't retaliate in other ways.
Swallowing the nerves that threatened to overtake her, Sarah said in a steady voice, "Nothing. Does the mess bother you, Your Majesty?"
Leaning down, he took a handful of salt and rubbed it between his gloved fingers. When he straightened, he rested his other arm against the wall above her head, his handsome face mere inches from hers as he looked at the stuff in his hand. Slowly, he brought his fingers to his lips and brushed his tongue over the granules. Sarah's middle stopped doing flip-flops and instead started to burn as she watched Jareth.
Definitely had to be a school for that.
He raised a brow at her. "School? A school for what?"
Oh crap, she'd said the words out loud. "A school for learning how to seduce unsuspecting mortals." Her hand flew to her mouth. Dammit! Why did she say that?
He bore his teeth in a leer. "Oh, is that what I'm doing? Am I seducing you, Sarah?"
She shook her head vigorously—whether in answer to his questions or to shake the steamy images that popped into her head, she didn't know. "No. No you're not." Sarah pretended not to notice how breathless her voice sounded.
"Of course not," he replied, the smile still plastered on his lips. "As for this…" He let the salt fall from his hand. "Personally, I prefer to use this to enhance the flavor of my food, but if you'd rather use it to decorate our home…" He flicked his wrist and every surface was covered in three inches of the white stuff—including Sarah.
"Not my favorite look for you, I must admit," he said, walking to the spare bedroom.
It took Sarah a week to get the salt out of every nook and cranny of the house. De-salting herself took nearly as long, and certain sensitive parts chaffed for several days after. Jareth, of course, thought it was all quite amusing.
The next week, he appeared at her side as she was cooking breakfast—in a cast iron skillet. Sarah figured that if the salt didn't work, it didn't mean that everything she read was inaccurate. Iron seemed to be the Kryptonite of nearly all magical species. Not that she wanted to hurt Jareth; she just wanted to scare him off.
"Smells delectable," he said next to her ear.
Sarah gripped the skillet handle with a potholder and swung it around. Jareth stepped back to avoid letting the pan touch him. "Would you like some scrambled eggs, Your Majesty?" She felt a little wicked, jabbing the skillet toward him, forcing him to back away further.
His face was somber as he held up his hand. A thrill of victory tingled her insides—until a gilded fork appeared in his fingers. He stabbed the eggs, scraping the pan as he brought up a bite. "Don't mind if I do," he said before bringing it to his mouth. The way he chewed… Sarah's knees wobbled. For heaven's sake!
After finishing his bite, he grinned. "Tasty. Though, I think it could use a little salt, wouldn't you agree?"
Sarah resisted the childish urge to stick her tongue out at him, and dropped the pan on the stove. "I'm going to work," she said. "Add all the salt you want."
Jareth laughed as she stalked to the enclosed patio that she used as her studio, grumbling each step of the way about stubborn, arrogant Goblin Kings.
There were only two places in her house that Jareth and his goblin cronies had left untouched—her bedroom (she'd rather not imagine what would happen if His Lasciviousness popped into her bed unannounced) and her studio. They were her only havens from Jareth's innuendos and the goblins' special skills at wreaking havoc.
Preoccupied with finding another way to thwart the apparently unthwartable Goblin King, Sarah didn't notice the something new in the room casting a large shadow on the wall, until she sat down at her easel. What the…? She turned and nearly fell off her stool.
There in the center of her studio was a crystal unicorn—a life-sized crystal unicorn.
Jareth appeared in a flash of sparkles, and leaned against the statue, crossing his booted feet. "You called, precious?" His billowing shirt did little to cover his surprisingly fit chest. Who knew that someone so slender could still be that… Get a hold of yourself, girl.
"Explain this." Sarah waved a hand toward the monstrosity.
He smiled, patting the neck of the unicorn. "Do you like it? I thought to get you a live one, but they really don't like to be caged."
She ran her hand over her face and groaned. "What possessed you to do this? Why would you think that I would want something like this?"
"You asked for it."
She held up her hands. "Wait. What? I asked for this? When?" Of all the loony, deluded stuff he came up with, this one took the cake.
He snorted. "And I thought mortal memory didn't start fading until late in one's life." He stepped closer to her. "Just yesterday, while you were sitting there, you said, 'I wish I knew what a real unicorn looked like.'"
Sarah opened her mouth to object, but snapped it shut again when she remembered muttering that very sentence under her breath the previous morning. The one time she slipped up and used the forbidden words, he jumped on it like a lion on a wounded gazelle! The man (if that's what he was) needed to learn the difference between the literal and the figurative!
"The likeness is uncanny, if I do say so myself," Jareth said. "Unicorns can be seen roaming the forests in the Labyrinth from time to time. If you should need a more appropriate specimen for a life study, I'd be pleased to show you."
If she hadn't been nearly apoplectic with frustration, Sarah might have heard the sincerity in his tone, but she was too angry to notice. She made herself count to ten before responding. "I…appreciate"—she nearly choked on the word—"the thought, but could you…please…get it out of here?" She congratulated herself on managing to sound polite—sort of.
Jareth's face went flat for a second before he went back to his typical smirk. "This is a gift, Sarah. If you don't want it, then it's up to you to rid yourself of it." He vanished before she could tell him where to stick his "gift."
Fortunately, the goblins were willing to help her push the solid crystal statue into the backyard. (It only took four days to do it.) Much to her chagrin, Sarah discovered that the crystal unicorn did turn out to be a useful reference after all.
Jareth beamed when she broke down and gave him a grudging thank you.
A/N: There are four chapters to this story (all written!). Did I mention that this tale also qualifies for Jareth-GK's writing challenge?
Thank you so much for coming along for the ride. I'd be eternally grateful if you'd take an extra minute and let me know what you thought! I allow all kinds of reviews, even anonymous. :)