Chapter 1 - What Should Have Been Said
Sarah watched at him as he slowly appeared in the broken archway, shocked as he made his way toward her. Her mind frantically worked for an answer as to what was happening…and then she knew exactly what to say.
"Give me the child…"
Her tone was quiet, unassuming…innocent. Her thoughts however had now become frantic. This was the part of the story where things got intense, where one single wrong word could cause everything to truly fall apart.
Jareth's voice had a hard edge as he spoke. "Sarah, beware. I have been generous up till now, but I can be cruel."
She let her thoughts mull over his tone and his words. She thought over all of his actions up until that point, trying to understand why he was saying what he was saying. She could see no reason for his words to make any sense except for his being cruel.
Sarah quickly voiced her inner question. "Generous? What have you done that's generous?"
He began to circle her as he spoke, his tone rising with every single point that he drove through.
"Everything! Everything that you have wanted, I have done. You asked that the child be taken; I took him. You cowered before me; I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations of me. Isn't that generous?"
Sarah took in his words, suddenly realizing how true all of them were. She had asked for Toby to taken and he had merely done as she had asked. According to the story of the Labyrinth he was supposed to be frightening, it was what she had expected…and he had followed the story to the letter. He had reordered time and changed everything for her…but no. She was not going to let him win; she just had to get Toby back.
"Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City. For my will is as strong as yours and my-"
He cut her off, raising his hand towards her. "Stop! Wait…look, Sarah. Look at what I am offering you. Your dreams!"
She continued, ignoring the crystal sphere that appeared on his fingertips, even though she was slightly tempted. "And my kingdom as great."
Sarah walked a few steps forward, pushing herself in her confidence and pushing him a few steps back, letting her feel as though she were the one in control. Although she had no illusions…he was the one with the true power.
He continued to plead. "I ask for so little. Just let me rule you and you can have everything that you want!"
She turned from him slightly, wracking her brain for any bit of sense to come back to her. She twisted and practically felt her thoughts knotting together as she tried to remember the next few lines, willing them to fall from her tongue.
"My kingdom as great…" She paused. "Damn! I can never remember that line."
Unnoticed by her, Jareth's look had turned desperate, beseeching. Almost as though he were internally praying that she would change her mind, or instead never remember the next line that he knew would damn him. He begged her once more.
"Just fear me, love me…do as I say, and I will be your slave!"
He could still see her working it out in her mind. He had to say it, or else she would remember. "Sarah…do you not remember the words you spoke before? The reason why I granted your wish that the child be taken? Why I am here before you?"
She looked up at him, confusion furrowing her brow. "What do you mean?"
He slowly dropped his hand, giving it a theatrical twist causing the crystal sphere to shift and change just slightly, and he gave her a deep look.
"I mean, Sarah, the reason why I am here in front of you…why I have followed you."
With that statement he lifted his hand and rolled the crystal sphere in front of her eyes, making her look into what was inside of it. He watched with baited breath as her eyes went somewhat unfocused and her defensive stance somewhat lessened.
Sarah lost herself to the vision that suddenly filled her mind. She was back in her dad and step-mom's bedroom, Toby crying in the crib behind her. She was frustrated and lashed out with her words, trying to placate the crying child.
"What do you want? Do you want a story? Huh? Okay… Once upon a time there was a beautiful young girl whose step-mother always made her stay home with the baby, and the baby was a spoiled child and he wanted everything for himself and the young girl was practically a slave. But what no one knew was that the king of the goblins had fallen in love with the girl and he had given her certain powers…"
After that it went back and repeated the scene of her saying "the king of the goblins had fallen in love with the girl"…and she was suddenly moved to the ballroom, where she watched herself pull away from him and then saw the almost shattered look on his face as she left his arms.
She then jerked from the memory.
Oh god…what was she about to do?
She looked at the Goblin King with brand new eyes and suddenly she understood the desperation that she saw in his face. She had finally remembered the last words that she needed to say, but found herself reluctant to speak them. Could she do it? Could she shatter his heart?
He gazed at her imploringly, his shoulders dropped. He already seemed partially broken at the way she'd been acting towards him.
The words remained on the tip of her tongue, and she shaped them in her mind, but she found that she could not speak them.
What was she going to do? Suddenly, at that thought, she realized what she could do. She gave him a long look, the silence stretching between the two of them. Then she slowly lowered her eyes before raising them once more to his.
"I'll…I'll stay with you," she said in a quiet whisper. "Only…only if you let Toby go."
His eyes seemed to light up and she felt something inside of her flutter slightly at the sight. It was different from his other looks. It was…hopeful. She waited with baited breath, certain that he might turn on her in a second, but he didn't. Instead, a slow smile crossed his lips.
"I can do that," he said, not a trace of the previous edge that had been in his voice.
With an almost delicate bend of his wrist, she saw the crystal in his hand change slightly and she knew that he was complying with her wishes. He gave her a serious look, one that seemed to read straight into her and she felt slightly uncomfortable beneath his watchful gaze.
The crystal left his fingers, and a few seconds passed.
"It is done, Sarah."
She let out the air from her lungs, not even realizing that she'd been holding her breath. Her sides ached slightly, but she was relieved. She'd done what she'd set out to do. She'd saved Toby.
Sarah waited for the Goblin King to step forward, but he didn't…and that was when she realized. He was waiting for her to make the first move. In fact, that's what he'd been doing the entire time. Waiting for her. Simply waiting.
He had only ever reacted to something that she'd done. He had never taken the offensive. She asked, he took. She said it was easy, he made it harder. She jumped, he fell apart…and now he was still waiting. But why her? Why would anyone wait for her? She wasn't anything special. In fact, according to her father and step-mom, she was about as average and annoying as teenage girls came. So why was the Goblin King looking at her that way? As though she held his life in her hands? Didn't he understand that she had just surrendered to him? That she had given up her previous life, everything, in order to save her brother?
He continued to stare, but then pulled his eyes away. Those eyes…they were so very unique. When he had asked her how she had liked his Labyrinth, when she had been in the tunnels, it had taken her a second to answer as she had been thrown off by the look in his eyes. Or, more specifically, the look of his eyes.
When he'd pulled her into dream state and danced with her, her eyes never left his during the entire dance until right at the end. She had realized then that they were not two different colors, but instead one was dilated and the other wasn't. The color was the same, but the perspective was different. Her mind lingered on the word… Perspective. She shivered slightly as she remembered the dance. Why hadn't she seen it before? Right at the end…the real reason that she had pulled away from him.
He had moved closer. Everyone's eyes had been on the two of them, as though they were waiting for something to happen. Something…monumental.
She remembered ripping herself from his grasp and not looking back. But now she had also seen the emotion that was in him. Had he…? No, it wasn't possible…but maybe? She glanced down at her hands where she'd been unconsciously wringing them back and forth in apprehension.
He was the one to break the silence. "I will show you to your rooms. Everything is at your disposal, Sarah. You need only to ask for something, and it will be given to you. "
With that she looked back up, as he had walked by her as he had spoken, and she noticed that the room was once again the way that it was.
She then noticed that his hand was outstretched, and she balked. What kind of invitation was this? She pulled back and once more she saw the hurt in his eyes at her non-verbal reaction to his, what she could see now to be, genuine invitation.
"I…" She paused, not sure how to continue. "I have rooms?"
He seemed puzzled by her reaction, and he slowly dropped his hand. "Sarah, you are now considered by the Labyrinth to be my equal. In essence, my queen. I will not force you into anything, but you will have all of the luxuries that the seat has to offer, including your own rooms."
She slowly nodded, finally understanding. "I see."
He lifted his hand once more, this time somewhat hesitantly. "May I show them to you?"
Sarah slowly nodded her head, and let her hand fit to his.