A/N: This story comes between chapters fifteen and sixteen of our Doctor Who fanfiction "Saxon Ruled Britain Self Insertion Ruled the TARDIS" (properly, "While Saxon Ruled Britain, Self Insertion Ruled the TARDIS"). This will make considerably more sense if you read that far first.
Unlike Doctor Who (which we do not own), Tegan and Grace know nothing about Labyrinth (which we also don't own), so you don't have to know anything either in order to read this.
Author key (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT):
Italics is Grace Anscombe's perspective (Zoe Alice Latimer)
Normal (vaguely) is Tegan Young's perspective (Sara Eleanor Rose)
"I can't believe we're going to meet C.S. Lewis!" Grace squealed.
"Ooh, don't call him that." The Doctor grinned at her excitement. "He likes to be called Jack. Run off and get into something 1950s, I think."
"Forties," corrected Martha with a glance at the monitor.
"If time was money, you'd be in debt," Grace snorted.
"I am," he muttered. Grace was halfway through the corridor by that point, but I'd heard him and couldn't help but laugh.
He turned suddenly, and looked at me as though he was sure I hadn't been there a minute ago. "Tegan..."
I wasn't sure what to do, so I said, "Right, I'll just go and change, too."
What just happened? I thought to myself as I walked down the corridor. How did the Doctor not know I was here? Oh right, Garace was in the room.
I checked myself quickly. Where had that come from? Maybe it had come from the fact that Grace hadn't been brilliant, she'd been going off a script. Meanwhile, I, having never read the book, was thinking on my feet—and was promptly forgotten for my trouble! I shook my head, as if trying to rid myself of those thoughts. I was happy for Grace, of course I was happy for Grace...wasn't I?
I took a deep breath and started to head for the TARDIS wardrobe.
"I knew the Doctor was going to meet him sometime!" Grace said, pulling on a sweater.
Her head poked through, hair giving a static crackle. "Teg, he wrote about a wardrobe that was bigger on the inside!"
"Are you thinking it could be a Chameleon Circuit disguising another TARDIS? Is that even possible?"
She smoothed out her skirt. "Let's analyze this. We're with the Doctor about to meet C.S. Lewis who likes to be called Jack…"
"So we'll definitely have to consider it as a possibility," I said, my smile a bit forced.
"These clothes feel so weird. Like I'm playing dress-up with my great-grandma's clothes."
"Aw, you look great. Are you ready, then?"
She shoved a plastic bracelet on her wrist. "Hold on, let me grab a mirror."
"I said, you look great!" I called as she left the room. "How long is she gonna keep doing that?"
It's only forever, a soft voice sang. Not long at all.
I whirled around, but there was nobody there.
"Who are you?" I asked.
The lost and the lonely, it responded.
"Why can't I see you?" I asked. And there he was.
Funny thing is, I can't think of any words to describe him. He wasn't what I would consider good looking, but I couldn't take my eyes off him. He was almost hypnotizing.
No, scratch that, he was hypnotizing.
"No one can blame you for walking away," he sang.
I knew that he was talking—er, singing—about Sunday.
"Too much rejection?" he sang, almost questioningly.
"I w-wouldn't say that..." I tried to explain, but my head was feeling fuzzy. His eyes were making it very difficult to think clearly. He smiled slightly in a way that sent shivers down my spine. I wanted to look away, I wanted to run, but I couldn't.
"But down in the Underground, you'll find someone true."
But didn't I already have somebody? I couldn't think.
"Down in the Underground...a land serene, a Crystal moon."
It sounded lovely. No buts, no inhibitions, it truly sounded nice.
At that moment, he held out his hand.
At that moment, I had no buts, no inhibitions.
I took his hand.
Through the darkness that overwhelmed me, I faintly heard him singing.
"It's only forever, not long at all. The lost and the lonely is what's underground."
"Garace, Tegan, you sorted yet? Martha's already waiting in the Inklings' pub!"
I walked up to the console slowly. "Doctor, Tegan's missing."
He kept grinning. "It's a big TARDIS. I'll yell louder. TEE—"
"No, Doctor, I mean it!" I cried. "She was in the walk-in closet a minute ago. I walked out to get a mirror, and when I went back, she was gone. There were only those two rooms!"
The Doctor's crestfallen eyes narrowed at me. "What have you got behind your back, Garace?"
I stiffened, somehow unwilling to release it. I turned it around in my fingertips, then carefully brought it out. In my palms I cradled a smallish glass sphere. "I found it on the closet floor."
The Doctor blanched and raced for the door. "Right on the floor! In plain sight! He's doing this so I'll know!"
"What? Who? What are you—?"
"I have to get Martha before he gets her t—No. No, no, no!"
I gasped to see a castle and a huge maze—a labyrinth, really—outside the TARDIS door. "Where are we? And—Tegan?"
The Doctor snatched the crystal out of my hand. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
"Oh my gosh, I hate it when you say that."
He sagged against the doorframe, looking all of a sudden old and tired, and kneaded his free palm into his eyes. "Stupid old Doctor. Stupid, stupid Doctor."
Tentatively, I touched his arm. "Why? I get that you're stupid and sorry, but why?"
"Right, long story short. A human not from Earth has whisked Tegan to the center of that Labyrinth." He pointed out the door.
"How'd he get her off the TARDIS?" Thinking, Trans-mat beam? I was about to complain about the assembled hordes of Genghis Khan, but thought better of it.
"He does it by magi—oh, don't give me that look, it's just different sort of science." He heaved a sigh. "Humans, you chose numbers. Your science is governed by numbers. Right string of numbers, right equation, you can split the atom, but there are creatures who use words to the same effect. Carrionites, for instance."
I withheld a smile at the reference. He didn't notice.
"Some humans have found a way to harness Psionic energy the same way: words become energy. But humans have unused brain capacity, and Psionic energy activates those. Thus thought becomes energy."
"So, you're saying he thought about you and connected with—Tegan? That doesn't seem to make sense."
"No, because it doesn't make sense at all. My guess is he's been watching Tegan for a while."
"Great. My best friend's been abducted by alien stalkers!"
"Well, actually, he's just the one, and strictly speaking he's not an alien. He's human criminal from another planet, and this is his prison—I put him here—but that's not the point anyway! Even if he's called the Goblin King 'cause of his hobby of collecting goblins for the Labyrinth."
"What?" I took several deep breaths. "You know what, explain goblins later. The obvious question is, can we get Tegan back?"
"Then why does your face say maybe? Can't we just take the TARDIS to the center of the Labyrinth?"
The Doctor sighed, as if he'd really hoped he wouldn't have to tell me this. "Look, I was just a kid when I met Jareth. He convinced me to strike a deal."
"You struck a deal with an alien you were arresting?"
"I was a child! I was only ninety!"
This should've made me sigh or roll my eyes, but it actually made sense to me. He continued, "Anyway, what threw me off was that he didn't want to barter for his freedom or my life or anything like that; he was afraid of being lonely. So, I had pity on him and gave him a Briealiate Crystal."
"It's a sort of camera-thing. Briealites could form a psychic link with anyone in the universe, and use a Crystal to keep an eye on them."
"And you gave this to a criminal."
"It's easy to judge in hindsight. I figured he'd use it to watch his family or something. Problem is, he took that moment to tell me that he'd already created a link between me and him. Thus manipulating me into making a deal."
"He can't just take somebody—they need to want to leave; and I can't use the TARDIS—I have to navigate the Labyrinth on foot."
"That's it? That's how specific you were?"
"For a super alien genius, you are awfully thick."
I pointed at the crystal in his hand. "Is that the crystal you gave him?"
"No, this is a cheap sleight of hand crystal. Head in the game, Garace!" He twirled it between his fingers. The light flashing off it was mesmerizing…
I shook my head to clear it. "Tegan isn't a game. So, how long have we got?"
"Thirteen hours from the time she was taken."
"Which was how long ago?"
"I'm not sure."
I looked in his eyes and realized how bad the situation was. He was scared.
"So… we start at the beginning," I said firmly, straightening my skirt as if that were some universal gesture of defiance.
"It doesn't look that far."
He gave me a look. "Yeah it does."
I inhaled. "Yeah it does. But, I can see the gates from here. What about Martha and C.—Jack?"
"Oh, they should be fine." He sounded preoccupied. "Once we have Tegan, we can go straight back. Five minutes for Martha."
I decided to put in a good word. "And if something does go wrong, Martha is clever."
"Brilliant," he agreed.
I had to push those concerns aside. With the Doctor, you learn to move fast in more ways than one. "So, Tegan… Labyrinth… Thirteen-ish hours. Does the sonic do concrete?" (I wasn't completely clear on everything the sonic could do, despite all my knowledge.)
"Actually, can't use that in the Labyrinth either."
I nodded dramatically. "Of course. Is that the Labyrinth, like the Doctor?"
"NEVER like the Doctor," he said, as if he couldn't fathom that I'd make such a comparison. Holding the crystal at arm's length, he dropped it and let it shatter.
Iwoke up with a splitting headache. I had a moment of delirium in which I thought I was still at home, and was wondering why my room had changed from brown wood paneling to a beige sort of concrete. Then came a moment of excitement when I remembered, in this precise order, Grace! Vworp! TARDIS! Doctor!
Next came the inevitable crash as I remembered the events prior to losing consciousness.
Right on cue, He-Who-Had-Yet-To-Be-Named walked in the door. He was tall and thin, with chalky white-blonde rock star's hair sticking out and hanging down his shoulders. As unusual as it was, it wasn't his hair that caught my eye, and held it. It was his eyes. Pale blue and deep. Mesmerizing.
"Good morning, Tegan," he greeted me brightly with a peculiar half-smile.
"How do you know my name?" I asked, trying to remain as stoic as possible.
"I've been watching you for a while, you and your friend."
The way he said that sent a shiver down my spine, and a plethora of impulses into my mind. You know how when you're really little, and you think if you cover your eyes and can't see anything, nobody can see you? That was what it felt like. I only continued to stare at him.
"I trust you slept well?" he asked, changing the subject like an illusionist switches an object from one hand to the other.
He gave me that peculiar half-smile again. "Now, that's just like you. Most people would start by asking who I am , or how I was watching you, but not you. You, Tegan Elisabeth Young, want to know why."
My heart stopped beating at the sound of my middle name. How could he possibly know that? Unless… unless he could see into my head.
Now, ladies and germs, that terrified me! Darn near sent me into a panic, but I wouldn't dare let on. I wasn't about to follow my namesake (being Tegan Jovanka) and scream my head off. And he'd given me the perfect out.
"Thanks, that was my next question. Who are you?"
He gave a graceful bow. "I am the Goblin King."
Taking my cue from Martha, I responded, "Not pompous at all, then."
"You can call me Jareth, if you'd prefer."
"I'd prefer not to address you at all. To be perfectly honest, I'd rather that you take me back!"
"What makes you think I have that power?"
"Well, I'm not the brightest person, but the way I see it, I was on the TARDIS. Then, you were on the TARDIS. Then, I wasn't on the TARDIS. There's gotta be a connection there."
"Well, I can't. You'll have to stay here," he said, and it wasn't that he said it that infuriated me, it was the way he said it. Simply, apathetically, like he didn't care either way. I was a whiny two-year-old who wanted to go meet Barney.
"Yeah, well, not bloody likely," I muttered. "I'll just find my own way out, then."
"But you haven't even looked outside. Here, I've supplied you with a lovely balcony and you haven't bothered to use it!" He stood up, turned his back on me, and shook his head as if he was terribly disappointed in me for being so very inconsiderate.
I sighed, got up, and went to the balcony. My stomach dropped, and all my hopes of escape with it. Sprawled out beneath me, as far as I could see, was an impossibly complicated labyrinth. There was no way I'd ever be able to navigate it on my own.
The Doctor's gotten himself and his companions out of worse situations than this, I told myself, although at the time, I couldn't think of any.
I suddenly remembered that Jareth was still in the room, so I prepared to give the best acting performance of my life and feign confidence that I'd make it out of here. At all.
I turned around, but he was gone, and there was no trace that he'd been there at all. There wasn't even a door. I wanted to curl into a ball and weep for the sheer hopelessness of the situation, but I wouldn't allow myself to.
WWRD? I said to myself. What Would Rose Do?
I went to the balcony again to see if there was anything helpful that I might have missed. The labyrinth looked even bigger than before.
With nothing in my room but a bed and a bucket (the less said about the bucket, the better), I had no visible assets. "What I'd give for a banana and a screwdriver," I muttered to myself.
As if by magic, a small glass ball rolled against my feet... and turned into a banana. I sighed, sensing that Jareth was nearby, eavesdropping on my personal conversations with... myself. "Ah ha ha," I said sarcastically. "Where's my screwdriver, then?"
On cue, another glass ball rolled up and became a wooden screwdriver. I picked it up, knocked it against a wall, and said, "Just because it makes a sound, that doesn't make it sonic!"
Not one to waste, I ate the banana, (What? I wanted the banana!), and tried using the screwdriver to chip away at the wall. Didn't make a dent.