I do not own the Labyrinth, or any other Jim Henson character creation.
Oh God, Not Again
By: Tal J. Smith
"Yo Tobes, where'd ya go?" Sarah looked for the very mischievous 8 year old who hid from her after his shower. "You're not funny, you've got to get in bed!" Sarah sighed exasperated.
A grey figure raced in front of her line of vision at the end of the hallway while she was in the kitchen, "Gotcha." She whispered to herself. She smiled and took off towards the living room.
She collided with the blond haired boy and they both went down tumbling at the base of the stairs. She tickled him mercilessly and his laughter was like music to her ears.
She pulled him onto his feet. "Come on squirt. Time for bed."
"Aww man, come on, I won't tell if you let me stay up!" Toby whined.
"Ya but you fall asleep during school and guess who's in trouble. Me." Toby grinned but jumped into bed. He settled under the covers. "I don't think you'd get in trouble Sarah, Mom and Dad wouldn't even care."
Sarah frowned. "You don't know that, I'm sure they care how you do in school." He slid down into the bed with his head on the pillow. Sarah pulled the blankets up to his chin.
"No they don't, mom's always out and dad's always working. You're the only one who cares whether I live or die." Toby said bitterly.
"Sarah tried to change his mood and said playfully, "Yeah, well when I went and wished you away to the Goblins, you're lucky I got you back…mwahahaha," she tickled him again gently. She'd told him about her "dream" of the Labyrinth. But she never did say it wasn't a dream. Toby has always wished it was real though.
He laughed and mused. "Maybe I'd have been better off as a goblin, it sounds like fun."
"Yes but then you'd have to deal with the scary Goblin King." Sarah scrunched her face at him in amusement. "Besides he'd probably never let me see you again and then where would you be without me?"
"Didja ever think to ask?" Toby said.
"Ask him what?"
"If you could visit me if I had been tuned into a Goblin after all." Toby said solemnly.
"Toby it was a dream, and if you recall me telling you, I wasn't very smart when I was younger." Sarah said not liking where this was going.
"Well I wish it wasn't a dream." Sarah's eyebrows raised and she went to silence him. "I wish the Goblin King would come and take us away, right now." She slapped a hand on her forehead, shut her eyes tightly, and held her breath.
A familiar gust of dry hot wind went through Toby's bedroom, the power went out, cupboards started banging, and she heard thunder in the distance. She knew the smell of that wind as if by heart, "Oh God, not again." She heard several pairs of little feet running across the hardwood floors. She shook her head in disbelief. "No, no, no, no, no"
Toby's eyebrows met in confusion wondering what was up with his big sister. She stood over his bed with her eyes closed, as if she had a horrible headache, she was breathing hard. Toby was going to ask her if she was alright when he heard someone else in the room.
"Hello again Sarah." Toby thought he recognized that voice, but leaned over and looked behind Sarah. There was a tall man hidden in the shadows.
Sarah let out a breath she'd been holding since he spoke. "Hello Goblin King." Toby paled at her words.
"You mean he's freaking real?" Toby scrambled to a seated position. Sarah had a pained look on her face as she looked into Toby's eyes.
She shook her head, "Sorry Toby, I didn't think you'd say the words."
She finally turned around to the man. Jareth had to hide a sharp intake of breath at the beauty of the women he saw.
She was in her customary jeans and flat shoes, but her shirt was a soft stretchy material that clung to her figure. No flowy oversized poets shirt for her anymore. The neck line of her elastic shirt showed curves that he tried not to stare at. Her straight long dark brown hair was a bit shorter but still looked like silk over her shoulders. She stood straight and tall.
"Well, this is extremely embarrassing." Sarah sighed as she said spoke, running a hand through her hair. "You would think I'd learned my lesson the first time huh?"
Toby looked from Jareth to Sarah, time seemed to stand still, Jareth didn't say anything. He merely stood quietly.
Sarah finally took him in. Why wasn't he being the overbearing, threatening, frightening king she remembered?
He was not dressed in his menacing black attire like the first time she saw him. Instead he looked more….casual. If you could call being an otherworldly being with immense power, casual. He wore grey breeches, a cream colored poet's shirt and a soft black leather vest with matching black suede boots. He also had on his signature black gloves.
But other then that, he appeared to be completely non-menacing in a "tiger lazing in the sun' is non-menacing.
"You're going to take us then?" She said quietly.
He nodded. "He summoned me personally." He could not believe she was so calm. Where was the anger, the profanities, the tirade of insults, the "It's not fair" comments?
"There's no running the Labyirnth is there?" Sarah looked worried.
"No Sarah, he wished himself away. But you, Sarah, he could choose to run for you." Jareth said gently as he walked out of the shadows. She caught a glimpse of color in his eyes as the moonlight seemed to fall on him brighter then anything in the room. He watched the girl, no woman, take in the information. She stared back at him and gulped.
Toby broke the silence, "So the rule is that the one who is wished away goes to the Labyrinth, and the wisher gets to run? And if they lose, the person is turned into a Goblin? But there's no one to run for me, so am I gonna be a Goblin?" They both turned to look at him as if forgetting he was even there.
"Not if you don't wish it child." Sarah's eyes snapped to Jareth's. "But you do have to come live in the Labyrinth, forever, with me." Jareth glanced at Toby but kept his attention on Sarah.
Toby shrugged, "OK then. I can live with that, there aint much here that's gonna miss me….but I'll run the Labyrinth for Sarah." Toby looked determined. The King looked closer at Sarah and saw that her eyes started filling with tears.
She laid a hand on Toby's shoulder. "No Toby, if you're to be in the Labyrinth forever, I'm going along too." She turned to Jareth.
"May I be allowed to watch over him, please your Majesty?" She pleaded.
A painted eyebrow rose. "Your Majesty?" Jareth tilted his head and looked at her quizzically. "You've not addressed me that way before."
"I was very young, before…." She seemed to want to say something, but he had a feeling what she said next was not want she really wanted to say. "Please may I be allowed to stay with Toby?" Sarah begged.
Toby was not happy, "Don't worry Sarah, he'll let you come too! Remember the story? The Goblin king loves you."
Sarah turned three shades of red blushing. "Uh, Toby that was just a story."
Jareth held up a hand, "Well Sarah as the Champion of the Labyrinth, Sarah is a special friend to the crown, and as such she has an indefinite invitation to stay in the Labyrinth. Besides…" he looked over at Toby, "She would be very displeased to be apart from you after she fought so gallantly for your happiness." He smiled sarcastically.
The Goblin King held out a hand to Sarah always knowing she would never leave Toby. "Shall we my dear?"
Sarah looked around the house. At the things she and Toby would leave behind. She understood then that the only thing important to her was Toby, and he was right. Their parents would not miss them. She held the King's gloved hand.
Jareth didn't miss her look around the house, "Your things will be transported to your rooms." Sarah looked at him quizzically. 'Why in the world would he do that?'
She looked at the Goblin King once more and slowly placed her hand in his, daring herself to trust him not to take some sort of revenge on her for rejecting him the last time in his Labyrinth. Sarah then held out her hand for Toby.
She took a breath, "Well squirt, are you ready for an adventure?"
Toby took her hand. "I guess so. But Sarah, are we ever coming back?"
She looked at Jareth's small head shake. "No, no we're not."
Jareth squeezed her hand gently and she shivered. He whispered softly, "Close your eyes."
She felt her stomach do a flip, her hair wisp away from her face with a heavy wind, and opened her eyes to find herself in the throne room. The goblins were no where to be seen. She was still a bit wary of what the Goblin King had in store for them. But she knew she would be by Toby's side the entire time. She thought it best to keep quiet and see what happens.
"Cool, are we in a castle? Can I go exploring? Where's my room? Are those real swords?" He pointed to a far wall where there were two swords on display.
"Yes Toby they are real." Jareth immediately sat in his throne and regarded Sarah's quiet demeanor; waiting for her to demand something. She just continued to look around.
"I'm going to have a very nice goblin called Piepah to come and show you to your rooms. You'll want to freshen up and get some sleep, I assure you, the Labyrinth will be there in the morning. For now, just make yourself at home."
A small but intelligent goblin came through the door. "Hey look Sarah, a real Goblin!" Piepah gestured for Toby to follow. Sarah sighed. 'Well, come on feet', she said mentally, and went as well. She spared a side long glace at the Goblin King who looked amused as Toby tugged her arm and dragged her out of the throne room.
She felt like she should say thank you or curtsy or something. Was she dismissed? What is the protocol for walking out of a throne room? Does Jareth even have a protocol?
Maybe not, but she didn't want to start her stay here by insulting the king.
Piepah chatted with Toby as they were led through a series of twists and turns. The castle itself was a Labyrinth. Piepah pushed open some sturdy oak double doors to a obviously very manly bedroom.
"This is for Master Toby." Piepah entered in slowly.
Toby whooped and jump into the bed. "Now that's what I'm talking about. Can you believe this Sarah?"
Sarah looked at the expensive looking dark wood bed frame with matching armoire and desk, she looked stunned, "No I actually don't believe it. It beautiful Tobes." Toby jumped into bed. I'm going into the Labyrinth tomorrow Sarah. You'll have to come and show me around so I don't get lost. We'll go see Hoggle!" Toby snuggled into the bed. Sarah tucked him in while Piepah watched intently.
Toby seemed to calm down, and looked at Sarah, "I'm so sorry Sarah, I can't believe I wished us away to the Goblin King." He stopped and had a thought, "I made you leave your life behind too didn't I? I'm so sorry Sarah. I didn't really mean to."
"No Toby, my life is with you." Sarah pushed aside a blond lock of hair and pulled up the covers as he slid down into bed. "I promised to always take care of you remember?"
"You should have been my mom Sarah," Toby yawned, "You'd make a great mom." He turned over and went to sleep. Sarah stood trying to fight back tears, and Piepah gestured for her to follow.
Several feet down the hall they passed another set of oak doors. Sarah went to reach for them, but Piepah stopped her. "No, Lady, those be the kings rooms. No one's ever goes in there!"
Sarah hastily shut the door. "Then where am I staying?" Piepah turned away to go to the next door. 'Toby and I are staying next door to the Goblin King.' This made her nervous. "Well at least Toby is in the same hall."
She walked in. It was the most beautiful room she had ever seen. It was decorated in her favorite colors of green, gold, maroon, navy, and purple. There was a fireplace going in a large stone hearth. The canopy bed looked like it was covered in silks. There was a sitting area with bookshelves and a desk, and a leather couch to read in. There was a balcony area through several French doors, a huge gilded mirror on one wall, a large armoire next to it, and she noticed the floor was covered in soft rugs. A door on the left side of the room showed her an opulent bathtub, toilet, and shower; all the amenities of home.
She glanced around the rooms wondering why in the world he would have done this for her.
I mean she beat him; she refused him, and left without a backwards glance. If it were her, I'd be more then slightly miffed. She caught herself looking at a door on the far left hand wall. "What's in here?" Thinking it was a walk in closet of some sorts, she went to investigate. Piepah was not quick enough.
"No Lady!" The little goblin scrambled across the room. She went thought the door.
She found herself staring at the darkened bedroom of the Goblin King. The curtains were drawn as not to let in the moonlight. The king sized four post bed was not made. A half empty glass of wine was on the bed stand, a book was turned over on the sheets. Sarah looked back at PiePah. The goblin stood at the door and looked afraid to go in.
The sheets were not silk, but a soft cotton. The room's décor was mostly browns and deep reds. Not much in the way of personal touches like photos, or artwork, or sign of a female companion for that matter. Thinking of Jareth with another woman gave Sarah a bad taste in her mouth.
She looked around at the wardrobe full of clothes. All colors and all seemed so dazzling, she wondered about the casual attire she'd seen him greet them in. Not that he looked bad. He still had that athletic slender runners body with strong muscles she could tell were just under the surface, and the sinfully tight breeches that left nothing to the imagination. But he seemed more at peace in the subdued outfit tonight.
Curious, she held up the book on the bed to see what he was reading. The script was elegant and slanty, kind of like a Lord of the Rings Elvish, she held it closer to the fireplace so she could see it, "I wish I could read this….it's beautiful."
"Wishing already Sarah." An accented voice said behind her. She dropped the book, not noticing how the front cover magically turned to English. "Was your room not satisfactory you had to peruse my bedchambers?" She picked up the book and hastily put it on the night stand.
"I'm so sorry your majesty, yes it's wonderful, I was just, I mean, I was looking around the bedroom you're letting me stay in and I thought, I mean I didn't know, well I did, but I wanted to….…I'm just going to shut up now." She shook her head and closed her eyes.
He raised an eyebrow, "I gave you the room adjacent to mine to make sure you could find me if you needed something, the castle can be….quite the Labyrinth," he smirked with a wry half smile, "but I did not expect you to come calling quite so soon." He leaned gracefully against a dresser waving a hand that must have lit half a dozen candles giving the room a rather romantic glow.
Sarah sat on the arm rest of a leather side chair, "I ah, wanted to ask you what is going on. Why are you being so, so…accommodating?"
Jareth stood regarding his former adversary. "I have invited you as an honored guest as Champion of the Labyrinth and I am treating you as such. You may stay here in the castle for the time being, but should you endeavor to develop a trade or craft, or decide to live elsewhere, you may do so."
He crossed his arms over his chest, "Toby however will be considered a subject of my kingdom and subject to my rule. He will be asked to stay here in the castle and attend lessons befitting a noble Fae child. I assure you he will be well cared for."
Sarah looked up at him. "And you'll just let me stay here? Just like that? After what I did? I mean you must hate me!"
"It behooves me to have you here Sarah," he frowned slightly, "Did you want me to send you back? Without young Toby?" He stood and walked to the bed post and leaned against it. "I know by your nature you do not trust me, but I promise you I have no hidden agenda." Jareth slowly shrugged off his vest and laid it on the bed.
Sarah tried to get her brain to think of answering his questions and not his reduction in attire, she shook her head to clear it. "No of course I don't want to leave Toby, but….. I guess I'm just a little confused," she paused, "and maybe a bit suspicious."
Jareth started taking off his gloves, "I harbor no ill feelings towards you, we both merely played a part, and you defeated me. I had been a trifle annoyed at one so young solving the Labyrinth, but I have since put it behind me." He walked over and laid the gloves on the dresser and stood with his back to Sarah, he spoke softly, "I believe all transpired as it should have. You have nothing to fear from me."
He turned to her again, Sarah looked at his hands for a few seconds, his long graceful fingers and one silver ring on his right hand, she forgot until just then that she was still standing in his bedroom and he was undressing for the day.
She was still staring at his hands when he lifted her chin, "And you Sarah, do you hate me?" Jareth gave her a look she could not read.
She frowned thinking her brain felt fuzzy, "No, not really." But this conversation could not wait. She looked into his eyes. His face betrayed no emotion. "But what about what you said, before I went home?"
Jareth knew she'd bring that up sooner or later, "A ploy to distract you from your goal. It need not be mentioned again." He lied. Court training kept his face neutral. But she thought she caught his eyes go a bit glassier and darker.
"Oh." Sarah nodded. Not sure if she was glad or disappointed. 'But I can't forget the way his eyes seemed so hurt there at the end. How pale he was.'
Jareth broke the silence. "Get some sleep Sarah, you've had a long day. You'll be introduced to the rest of the Underground tomorrow." Jareth sat on the bed to take off a black suede boot. Sarah gave a quick nod, a small curtsy, and went through her door quickly before seeing his feet. It just seemed too intimate, or too human.
She closed the door quickly and gasped for air leaning against the other side. A shiver ran through her body.
'That man seemed to have a very creepy affect on her.'
Jareth took his boots off and sat on the bed staring at nothing. 'Both Williams children under his rule,' he mused. He thought he would be happier. He sighed and finished readying himself for bed. Maybe tomorrow Sarah would have her "It's not fair" outburst. She certainly seemed to take things entirely too calm.
She walked to her new wardrobe for something to sleep in for bed. She felt a bit uncomfortable knowing that the very male Goblin King was behind an unlocked door to her bedroom. It was surprising she hadn't thought about it until now, but if he wanted to force himself upon her, she couldn't do anything to stop him. That was a scary thought. But he'd been the perfect gentleman, and had implied that their relationship is simply platonic.
Why did she not like the sound of that? You would think after a proposal like his, and her subsequent rejection, he would feel something a bit more. Hatred perhaps? Revenge? And yet he was treating her as an honored guest? Was it really just a trick to slow her down? Technically speaking all he said was she had to reach the castle before the clock struck thirteen, right? Well in that case, she had already won. Why the trick at the end?
The wardrobe opened to reveal a multitude of silk and heavy cotton dresses, loose pants, long silk tunic shirts and skirts of all colors. She'd never been a clothes horse but this was overwhelming. Her clothes from home seemed to be hung in its own section of the wardrobe as well.
She found a pair of soft cotton plants and a camisole like shirt to sleep in. She crawled into the large bed, and laid there wondering what tomorrow would bring.
The fireplace cackling was making her drowsy, she yawned. 'He certainly was being generous.' Her last thought before she drifted off was, 'I wonder if he snores.'
Jareth lay there awake thinking about the Williams's. He conjured another glass of wine. The delegates from other kingdoms would be arriving soon since his father had made the proclamation that Jareth would soon be accepting proposals of marriage blood alliances. What would they think of Sarah? How would he avoid the animosity the other Fae's natural prejudice against humans would cause Sarah and Toby?
He'd long since given up any relationship with her, but he'd do his best to make sure she was welcomed here.
He absently lit a candle by his bed and reached for the book he was half way into. Reading and a glass of wine before bed always calmed his nerves. He opened the book to find all the words had switched from Elvish to English. "Oh Gods," he rubbed his eyes in tiredness and frustration, he'd forgotten about his little "gift" to her.
'I wonder how long it will take for my clever Sarah to uncover her hidden powers. I guess we will have to address it when it happens.' He groaned. 'To give a human such abilities, could I have done something more foolish?'