Close Your Eyes
Impassable, the rift stood as an impassive sentry before Jareth's glower. It cared not that it separated them from their destination, that it blocked them from continuing along the light's path. He rested a hand on each hip as he contemplated the how of a solution to this impossible situation. Closer, ever closer, did the Banshees shriek, and Toby cried and clung to him. He wanted to comfort the boy, but his mind needed to focus on other things.
This cannot be the end! I am the Goblin King, tamer of the Underground and Ruler of the Labyrinth. I will NOT be defeated by a hole in the dimensional fabric.
"They're coming!" Tobias whimpered and buried his face in Jareth's thigh. "What'll we do?"
"I'm thinking…" Jareth said as he studied the giant blackness between them and Sarah. Could he jump them across? But how far? Quickly, he tossed a glowing crystal and watched it arc far then fall into the never ending pit. Not good.
At the panic in Tobias' voice, he glanced over his shoulder. Wisps of white glided near and additional screams pierced his eardrums, still a bit more sensitive than usual from the previous trauma. Or perhaps they cared not for Banshees any more than he did.
What to do…?
If he was alone, if he'd left Tobias, he might be able to transform into his owl form and fly, but he couldn't carry a child. Grinding his teeth, Jareth turned and pushed Tobias behind him as he prepared for battle.
Why can't these bloody things leave us alone? He manifested a crystal in each hand as he crouched, waiting while Tobias' teeth chattered and his fingers dug into his leg. If only he might discover another way, another solution, another…
"Tobias," he glanced down, "do you think you could fly?"
Tobias blinked rapidly. "What?"
"We have few options, unless you'd prefer facing them?" He nodded towards the approaching wraiths. How many flew at them, he couldn't tell, but enough to risk it.
"No, but … fly?"
"It's simple." Jareth grinned, and before Tobias could question or disagree, he altered the spell within one of the crystals and dropped it one Tobias' head in a burst of silver glitter. Tobias' gasp became a twittering as he shrunk into a sparrow and flopped and flapped on the ground. Jareth scooped him up and cradled the anxiously spasming Tobias-bird in his gloved hands.
"Hush now," he said softly as he gently pet him until the squawking sparrow calmed. "I won't allow any harm to come to you, remember?"
The Tobias-sparrow chirped loudly and flapped his wings awkwardly as if to say he didn't believe him.
"Now what kind of gratitude is that?" Jareth frowned, feigning disappointment while Tobias shook and snapped his beak. "Really! Now I want you to sit very still."
"Chirp?" Tobias cocked his feathery gray-brown head and blinked.
"I'm going to place you on my shoulder, so once I transform you'll be perched on my back. We're going to fly over the rift."
"It'll be fine, you'll see." Jareth set Tobias carefully on his right shoulder and stood very still as his little claws shifted, settled and latched on.
An icy wind trailed over them, and Tobias fluffed up as Jareth immediately threw the other crystal at the looming Banshees. They screeched and swirled, momentarily disoriented, but Jareth knew it would last but an instant. Time to fly and flee, throwing their fate to the winds… so to speak. Between one breath and the next, he altered his form. So used to shape-shifting, so fast did the magic work, Jareth didn't feel the mutating of his cells or the twisting and churning of his body. In his black armored form, Jareth blinked, then an owl, with sparrow clinging and shivering on the ruff of its neck appeared.
With a deep hoot and a swivel of his head, Jareth told Tobias to hang on, then he launched from the ground with his powerful legs and caught the air with several strong wing beats. Meanwhile, Tobias squeaked and burrowed his sparrow face into Jareth's neck feathers and tightened his feet around the shafts of his feathers. Not a moment too soon did they leave the edge and fly over the rift as the Banshees shook loose from Jareth's spell and raced after them.
Jareth increased his speed, gaining altitude as they crossed over the black pit. He refused to look down and instead concentrated on flying straight ahead. Tobias' claws dug into the back of his neck, and he felt his smaller bird-aspect shiver. He must've looked down. As he flew, the maddened calls of the Banshees started to fade, and Jareth turned his head. The beasts were floating, pacing at the edge of the rift but unable to pass.
Thank the gods! Perhaps we might survive this after all.
Tobias' shivering gradually faded as Jareth found an even flight pace. He hooted a few times to check on him, and Tobias chirped softly and burrowed deeper. A pang filled Jareth's chest. He'd always felt quite this close and protective of the boy, but with them in dual avian aspects he felt a deeper connection with Tobias. And what if he couldn't find Sarah? What would happen to Tobias?
What indeed? Time enough to worry after they completed their journey to whatever outcome, good or bad.
Jareth forced his ill thoughts away as he settled into his flight. Tobias' slight weight hardly bothered him. Every so often Tobias shifted or chirped, which Jareth interpreted as varying levels of anxiety rather than actual language. The poor boy was too tired and scared to do much talking.
Darkness swallowed the path of light and thickened all around them making it difficult to sense travel, and Jareth had no ability to tell time in this dimension, so wing beats became his timepiece. Alone he could fly a day without rest, assuming he started fully rested. Now, however… how long would his strength hold out?
Flap down, pull wings up, glide, flap down, up, glide, flap, up, glide, flap, up, glide… glide… glide…
Flap, up, glide … glide … glide…
Jareth's flight faltered and he pumped his wings to regain altitude. He attempted to sound soothing with his hoots, but Tobias' frantic chirping got louder. What was the problem? He'd corrected his flying though his muscles burned. He'd fly until he collapsed. Surely the boy knew this?
"Chirp!" Tobias dug his little claws in the back of his neck and yank his feathers so hard a few shafts were plucked. Jareth jerked to the right, barely avoiding pitching Tobias over the side.
"What, Tobias?" Though it came out, "Hoot, hoooot?"
And then he saw it, a pinprick of brightness to their right. Faint, far but real. Relief washed over Jareth and he doubled his wing beats. This had to be it.
It took much long than he'd hoped, and exhaustion cramped his muscles just as it dulled his mind before the pinprick grew into a blinding aura. It drove away the darkness and surrounded them in brilliance. Jareth's avian eyes, so delicate, flinched and his inner lids closed, dulling his vision. Even so, pain lanced through him as he struggled to see their path. Where to go? Where to land? Was there a safe place?
"Chirp! Chirp, chirp?"
"I don't know, I think-"
Light flared in their path, wide and unending. Who seeks this path?
Jareth veered sharply before feeling his magic dissipate and his owl aspect fade. Tobias alarmed chirps changed to yelps, Jareth spun mid-air to catch him. They fell into the light without any sight of ground.
Who seeks this path?
The bass voice rumbled within and without. Jareth felt it rather than heard it.
"Jareth!" Tobias shouted as air rushed past. He clung to him, face buried in his neck. "What is it?"
Who seeks this path?
"Jareth, King of the Goblins," Jareth said to the light.
Why do you seek this path?
"For Sarah Williams!"
There was a pause, then the light flickered.
What is your purpose?
"To," Jareth gulped, "to save her life."
The light dimmed and their falling slowed until they drifted gently. Drowsiness overcame Jareth and his eyes grew heavy. Snores from a snuggled Tobias reached him and Jareth tried to fight the urge to sleep.
The longer you resist, Goblin King, the longer you wait.
Close your eyes and discover for yourself.
With a deep sigh, Jareth allowed his eyes to shut and sleep quickly overtook him.
futCSI1490: Suspense continues! But will end soonish. Next chapter will have Sarah, promise! Thanks!
tomoe-gozen52: I agree! One should always age appropriately honest with kids. They always know when you're screwing with them or when they find out they always remember. I like limiting Jareth in interesting ways. An all powerful GK isn't quite as fun to me. With limits he gets to explore his human side. Thanks!
Admerxin13: You're welcome! And I like using Danu with Jareth given that's he's probably fae.
Angelus Draco: Thanks! Oh wow, I think I did answer you way back. ACH Smith was the initials and name of the writer who wrote the novelized version of Labyrinth. thanks!
sheniyag: LOL, I think maybe it does... Sarah will be in the next chapter, promise!
The Queen of Water: Thanks!
Dontgotaclue88: Thanks! I enjoy writing Toby too. Him and Jareth are almost as much fun writing as J/S.
J Luc Picard: I do love it when I find a story I like with lots of chapters. Glad you're into now! Jareth's mistakes have larger consequences due to him having greater powers. Sarah has less impact as a human. And Toby is just awesome. LOL! Thanks!
Avalon-Mist: Banshees are back and gone. And Jareth does try to be aware of Toby. He's very attached to him.
Angelwells: Exactly! Love writing action! Thanks!
FallenAngelVamp: LOL, yea most of my stories are long. I used to update faster, but life has gotten busy and I'm writing more original fiction this last year. I still want to write Fanfic but it's taken a back burner. Thanks for reading!
Nanenna: Danu is a goddess of the fae, Scottish/Irish Gaelic myths. Sarah's soul is very far away. In a very specific place, which will be revealed next chapter!
Pan's Box: Thanks! I love writing Jareth and Toby, they're great together.
Autumn O'Shea Swan: Yeah, they're annoying. And the big explanation for Sarah is next chapter!
IvoryDarkWolf: Thanks! I'm glad to hook a new reader, so it took so long for an update.
holmsie: A bit more nail-biting ensues, sorry!
moira hawthorne: Mwahahahahaha!
Morefindiel: Thanks! Glad to have hooked another!
camierose: Thanks! Sorry it took so long.
Serena221: That's okay, glad to hear from you! Yeah, it sort of took a life of its own. LOL! Getting close to an end I think... maybe.
Ayjah: I agree. That's why I love giving each character and their relationships a bit of time together. It's been fun to write. Thanks!
Lauralithia2: Thanks so much! I love hearing the specific parts that people enjoy. Glad you're loving it!
Guest: Sorry it took so long, things have been stacking up. Enjoy!
CHAOS: This was a recent review of chapter 2, but I have to include it here because you talk about one my favorite lines too. "The chickens ignored everyone, having high-minded poultry considerations to attend." As brilliant as this chapter was, incredibly so, THAT hilarious bit of awesome-in-word-form is what caught my eye. You rock, I am going to have that sentence stuck in my head forever!
Hehe. Yeah. I have to admit, that on the are occasion my muse synchs up perfectly with my brain and something like that emerges. I happen to REALLY love that part too. Satire and parody isn't my strongest genre, so when I can really pull it off I love it! I tend to lean back to drama, angst and romance too much. Hence the reason I write this fic to start with. An exercise of humor. Then I ended up with drama. Sigh. Thanks!
A/N: So, I'm not dead nor is this fic. LOL! I've had this chapter half finished for about a month plus, but just haven't had time to complete. Finally got to it today. Funny that my chapters aren't as long in the last fics, but there's less detail going on, less psychological things then in some of my other fics. Or maybe... maybe... I think I've been stripping down my writing style more. Which is a good thing actually. The last year I've been focusing on writing more bluntly, more direct and in deeper POVs. Dropping certain words: feel, realized, suddenly. I don't avoid them entirely, but in certain circumstances I choose more direct phrases. It really shortens my chapters but not the intensity. (I hope!)
Anyhow, for those of you interested but not following all my work, I just started a Loki fic (my first ever) called 'The 913th Day'. It's only on chapter 2 but it'll be Lokane. Have look see if you like Loki! It's based on Thor 2.
Also working hard on finishing the sequel to my original 'Dreams of the Queen', 'Nightmares of the Queen' and a new series 'Fairy Tale Apocalypse - The Verge' which sprang from my fanfic 'Falling', but is completely reworked. All new backstory, etc.
Thanks for being patient and I will finish this!
Read, Enjoy and Please Review!