Auld Lang Syne
Anniversary one shot
Dedicated to my FanGirls and Guys
You know the drill…
Henson and company.
Theory of Relativity belongs
Goblins and other mystical creatures
The High King
I'm just the Goblin King's scribe
I don't get paid
I don't get…oops
End of silly disclaimer
If you want the legal jargon
You must visit the Goblin Legal Department…
*I wouldn't do that if I were you.*
I mean it, don't go there!
(words by A.C. Smith from his novel Labyrinth)
Modifications by moi
Nobody saw the owl, white in the moonlight, black against the stars,
nobody heard him as he glided over on silent wings of velvet. The owl
saw and heard everything.
She was running late, but then that was nothing new for Sarah. She drove a little faster, not too fast, she couldn't afford another ticket. This was a very special evening and she wanted to make sure she was there. She'd never hear the end of it from her father's wife Karen if she were late to her little brother's wedding.
The winding streets of her home town were like a maze to the inexperienced. But Sarah knew this place like the back of her own hand. She'd grown up here, and had the place memorized. Driving past the park with its knolls and its little lagoon like manmade lake she smiled. This had been her playground where she'd played out all the scenes she loved from movies and plays and books. The clock tower of the old court house was getting ready to chime. It was nearly seven, and the wedding was supposed to be starting at seven. She was going to be late!
She took the back road that would cut nearly ten minutes off her road time. How many times she and her dog had used this road to get home she had lost count. Poor old Merlin was long gone, and she was making this trip alone. But she desperately wanted to be there before the bride walked down the aisle… or came down the stairs in this case. As she turned down the old lane of stores the rain that had been threatening for the last few minutes began to fall.
She had been surprised when Toby had called two weeks earlier and told her he was getting married. Even more so when he informed her that it was being held in the Williams house. She didn't know anything about the girl he was marrying; only that he was telling her he wanted her there.
Sarah didn't get 'home' very often these days. Her life in New York City had become rather hectic. While it was not the life she'd envisioned when she was a teen it was satisfying. She had not really gotten a footing in the theater, and her mother had not been nearly as much help as Sarah had thought she'd have been. Now she could understand why, back when she'd made the move to New York she couldn't. Ah the mistakes of youth she mused. Looking back Sarah realized she'd been presumptuous to think that her mother would put into jeopardy her career. While she did get Sarah an initial interview and introduction, the rest had been left up to Sarah. When it came down to brass tacks, Sarah Williams lacked the luster of her mother's star.
Instead of crawling back to Upper Nyack and licking her wounds, Sarah enrolled in City College and got a degree in business and art design and had gone shopping. She turned her hobby into a business and was now the owner of the most chic vintage clothes gallery on Fifth Avenue. It compensated for the other mistakes she'd made. Mostly in her personal life, or lack thereof; she was the darling of the New York press; seen at the most exclusive clubs and dining with the movers and shakers. It kept her busy, busy enough not to think about home. Not to worry about family. Not to dwell on how lonely her bed was.
She pulled up to the curb in front of the family home, just as thunder rolled over head. The sight of her irritated stepmother in her pink Chanel suit standing on the porch reduced her to feeling like a naughty forgetful teen once more. "Honestly!" her voice grated on Sarah's nerves just as it did when she was living under the same roof with her.
"Sorry," she said trying not to sound whiney.
"Well come on," the woman in pink grumbled, "Get in out of the rain." Lightning flashed and thunder rolled.
Sarah got a feeling of Déjà vu as she stepped up on the porch and past the irritable woman her father was married to. Before she could stop herself the words "I said I was sorry," came out.
"Sarah," the woman looked as if she were about to go down the litany of Sarah's sins. "Your father and I…"
"I know," Sarah said sharply shaking off the little bit of rain that had caught her. She pointed to the guests in the parlor, "This is not the time or place, let's put it on hold for Toby."
As if cued her father came out of the hall that led to his den, "Ah Sarah, we were getting worried about you."
She bit back the urge to say she couldn't do anything right and offered him a wan smile, "Better late than never," she said.
Toby followed behind their father, upon seeing his sister offered her a winning and wickedly mischievous smile. "Sarah!" he opened his arms to embrace her.
"I can't believe you're getting married," she whispered in his ear.
"Me either," he replied.
She knew she was holding him too tight for too long, but she didn't care. Her baby brother was getting married. She'd more right than anyone else to hold him and try for a moment to freeze time and stave off what was about to happen. She wasn't sure she was ready to relinquish her claim on him. She pulled back, "It seems like just yesterday you were a baby stealing my toys."
"It wouldn't seem like that if you had come around more often," Karen said.
"He got away from us I'm afraid," her father teased.
"Aw come on," Toby said before looking at his watch, "You'd better get seats," he warned. "We're ready to begin." He squeezed Sarah's arm, "I'm so glad you're here sis."
Karen rolled her eyes upward toward the ceiling, "Yes, let's take our places." She grabbed Robert's arm and led him to two reserved seats. Sarah could see that her stepmother had not planned on her actually showing up. There was no seat reserved for her. This was not the first time Karen had subbed her at an event for her brother. Sarah knew in her heart it would not be the last. Finding a seat in the sea of strangers in the parlour was difficult. She had moved as close to the front as she could. There had to be thirty people crammed into the parlour and that included the groom, his best man and the judge who was performing the ceremony.
That had to stick in Karen's craw, thought Sarah. That her only son had scorn a religious ceremony and had opted for a secular one. After all the flack that Karen had given Sarah when she had 'fallen' away from the church it was justice.
Someone in the back of the room had switched on a cd player and the strains of some odd music filled the room. Karen stiffened, and Sarah was aware that her stepmother didn't approve. It was all she could do not to laugh hysterically. Toby turned toward the staircase and smiled softly as his bride made her approach.
Sarah turned along with the rest of the guests to watch the bride walk the path to her groom. She had to admit the girl was stunning, and had eyes only for Toby. Yet as she passed by Sarah could swear she'd seen the girl somewhere before. Then again she mused; all the girls today looked like cookie cutter copies of one another. A few moments later the Judge introduced Mr. and Mrs. Tobias Williams to the guests.
Sarah moved forward behind her father and Karen to congratulate the pair. Toby introduced his bride, Corry. Upon touching the girls hands Sarah was again sure she'd met her before. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your maiden name," She said to her new sister in law.
"It's Moryn, Corrigan Moryn." She gave Sarah a dazzling smile.
"That's so… different," Sarah said feeling a bit dizzy, which she put down to the stress of having rushed to make the wedding on time. "Is it Irish?"
"Well the origin is very Celtic according to my father," the pretty woman in white said without really answering.
"It's lovely," Sarah said before she was forced to move on and allow other guests to give the happy couple their good wishes.
Karen was in the foyer speaking to Sarah's father, the expression on her face told Sarah that she was in hot water again. Rather than wait to find out what was the matter she marched out to the foyer, "Is there a problem?"
Karen gave her an angry glace but her father cleared his throat and Karen said. "No." She moved into the parlour.
Sarah looked at her father, "What gives?"
"Not now," he said calmly. "Let's just have a pleasant evening." Again over head thunder rolled.
Sarah frowned; pleasant evening indeed. She tried to mingle but most of the guests were strangers to her and even to the parents of the groom. The odd assortment of visitors were friends and acquaintances of the bride and groom. Knowing that Toby was very techy she wondered if these were people from his job or people he'd met at gaming conventions. She overheard Karen bragging on Toby to someone and while she didn't begrudge her the bragging rights she resented her referring to Sarah as someone who sold clothes.
"It's a vintage garment gallery," Sarah corrected patiently.
"You sell old clothes in a second hand store," Karen argued.
"Vintage," Sarah said none too patently.
"That label just means you charge more, but it's still a second hand store."
Thunder shook the house and rattled windows.
Sarah bit back the unkind words that were ready to escape, "I'm going to go freshen up," she said excusing herself from the conversation. She headed to the upper floor where she could shake off Karen's attitude. Toby met her on the landing.
"Hey there's a couple of boxes on the bed in the guestroom," he warned her, "I think it's some of your stuff… you might want to take a look at it. I hear they are clearing out the attic."
Sarah blinked, "Clearing the attic? What on earth for?"
He shrugged, "Last I heard they were thinking of selling the place."
"Selling our house," Sarah asked in dismay. "Whose idea was that?"
Toby shrugged and rejoined the celebration.
Sarah stood in the entryway of the guest room that had once served as a nursery for Toby. She didn't like coming in here. The room held too many memories for her, but it was here that the boxes had been deposited. The hallway echoed with the next thunder roll and the lights began to flicker. Cursing herself for being a coward Sarah stepped into the room. It hadn't changed a bit in twenty-five years, with the exception that Toby's crib had been put away long ago.
On the blanket chest were several boxes, none were labeled. The top one was a box of old family photos from a time before Karen. Albums and an array of photos were scattered in the box carelessly. It made Sarah sad to see them so abandoned. One of the boxes held a few stuffed toys that Sarah had long forgotten once they had been packed away and she'd started dating. She lifted a rather scruffy little fox critter in a jaunty cap and doublet and clutched him to her heart.
She was certain that the last box contained some of her childhood favorite books. Things she'd planned on giving to her own children, but had never had the opportunity as she'd no children to date. She opened the lid with anticipation and nearly fainted when she observed the contents. Looking up at her with a scowling face was a figurine; in its hand was a crystal. Just beneath the statuette was a small red leather bound book with gold lettering. The Labyrinth was boldly written on its face.
Over head the storm boiled and broiled, lightning flashed and thunder bolts shook the house. This time it was more than windows that were rattled. Sarah tried to stuff the lid back on but the lights flickered and went off and she missed the opening of the box. Rain pelted the windows and she didn't hear the sounds of the wedding celebration anymore. She heard the storm, and something else, something she'd not heard in twenty five years; the beating of wings on the widows. Turning she saw it like a silhouette lit up by the flashes in the sky, the shape that had haunted her nightmares. There outside in the storm was a very large and very angry barn owl.
Suddenly she felt something move against her leg and she cried out. Looking down in the dark she saw dark shapes moving about on the floor and she heard whatever it was snicker and sneer. Everywhere she turned things were moving in the room. The wings beating on the window were becoming more insistent and Sarah went into panic mode. She turned to flee, wanting to run down the stairs and warn the groom to flee. But when she turned to run she was tripped up by something that scurried underfoot and she fell to the floor facing the windows just as the latch gave out.
Sarah screamed, and held her arms in front of her to protect her face. The dark shape of the owl flew into the room and about until it transformed in the open window. She lay on the floor staring up at a face she had not seen in twenty five years, the Goblin King. "Shit," she grumbled. "You haven't changed a bit."
Jareth gave her a cocky and haughty grin, "Did you expect me to change Sarah?" he questioned with a bit of malice. "I'm a Fae, we don't age quit in the same way your species does."
She had made no attempt to rise off the floor, she just stared at him angrily, "What do you want?"
"Well I see your manners have not improved," he sneered.
"Oh excuse me," she said dramatically, "What am I thinking, how kind of you to drop in on the occasion of my brother's wedding."
Jareth puckered his lips, thought about saying something and then abandoned the idea. Instead he strode forward and bent toward her offering her his hand in assistance. Sarah stared at it not trusting him, impatiently he waved the hand at her until she griped it and was pulled to her feet. "That's better," he said taking a good long look at her. "You've changed," he said hungrily.
"That's what happens when twenty five years go by." She answered sassily.
Jareth smiled at her with his maddening haughtiness, "Indeed."
"What do you want?" she demanded finished with foolishness.
His smile faded slightly then returned, "Just to wish the happy couple well."
"I don't believe you," she growled.
"Sarah," he teased. "What could I want?"
She thought about it for a moment, "I don't know," she confessed, "But you want something."
Jareth shrugged before taking a seat in the green chair that now sat beside the open window. "I can't think of a thing," he said nonchalantly. "How have you been?"
"Fine," she snapped.
"Good, good…" he cocked his head to one side, "Life treating you well?"
"I'm a success," she answered.
"Ah so you went on stage?"
Her sureness fell away, "No."
"No," she crossed her arms. "I never made it to the floodlights."
"Such a pity," he lamented. "You were such a fine little actress as I recall." She looked away, meaning to end the conversation. "So what do you do?"
"I own an upscale vintage garments gallery." She answered.
"What is that?" he asked making the same face he had when he'd spotted the bracelet she'd traded to Hoggle.
Sarah sat down in a chair across from him, lightning flashed. "I sell used clothes." When he said nothing she looked across expecting to see his disapproval. What she saw was worse; she read pity on his features.
"And your husband allows this?"
Sarah stood up and began to pace, "I'm sure you're aware there's no husband… no child… no... fancy stage career…." She stopped pacing and hung her head with her back to the Goblin King, why was she confessing her failures to him? He was bound to laugh at her. "I live in a little apartment, alone."
Jareth rose from his chair, on silent feet he covered the distance between them. Gently he slid his hands over her shoulders and down her arms, drawing her closer and into an embrace that felt much too intimate. "Sarah," he whispered her name into her ear. It was soothing and tender and she leaned back into him before she heaved a heavy sigh.
"Don't pity me," she begged.
His voice at her ear was soft, not fully of pity nor callous or cruel, "Your dreams?"
"You know I gave them up… for Toby." She whispered starkly.
"Are you happy?" he asked holding her tenderly, "Are you happy my Sarah?"
"No," She closed her eyes, unwilling to watch her defenses fall. "No, I'm not."
His embrace didn't fall way, but tightened with resolve. "When was the last time you were happy my dearest?"
"When we were dancing," she answered without hesitation.
Music now seemed to come from nowhere, Jareth again whispered in her ear, "I believe they are playing our song."
Sarah listened for a moment, lost in the strains of the tune. Then she nodded.
"Let us finish our dance," He suggested. "We were interrupted before…"
Sarah turned to face him and he was no longer dressed in dark armor but in the striking midnight blue frock coat he'd worn in that crystal ballroom so many years before. He was so handsome she forgot that she had been angry with him. His eyes were filled with a gentle desire and she found she couldn't resist it any more. "Yes," she answered sliding a hand into his.
The music filled the room and it drowned out all other sounds. It filled the space and the furnishings began to melt away. Slowly Jareth edged her toward the open window, but she was now oblivious to the fact that he was sweeping her out of the mortal realm and back into the lands of Fairy Mists and Goblins.
Sarah only knew that she was in Jareth's arms and he was gazing at her as on one else ever had or ever would. She felt beautiful as they waltzed past a column. She caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror as they spun past it. She was a vision of beauty in her spun sugar and starlight gown. The crystals in the gown caught the light from the candles in the chandeliers and she shimmered and shone like a gem. She was young again, young and fresh and full of hope and dreams. She looked up at Jareth and smiled shyly. "I feel… I don't know…" she hesitated, "I feel beautiful."
"You are beautiful," he assured her, "You always were and always shall be."
His words touched her heart. "If this is a dream," she whispered. "I don't want to awaken."
"It's no dream," he promised as they danced among others in the grand crystal ballroom. Sarah shyly lowered her face. Jareth's hand tipped her chin upward. "Are you happy?"
"Of course," she answered, "I'm in your arms," she smiled. "You chose me above all others."
"I did," he nodded. "Would you like to slip away…somewhere private?"
"Do you think we should?" she asked looking at the guests. "Won't they miss us?"
"No," he said waltzing her toward a set of doors that opened as they approached. "It's not expected that we spend the entire evening dancing."
The hall outside the ballroom was lit with moonlight and Sarah was enchanted. "It's so beautiful here."
"Come," he extended a hand her way. Their fingers interlaced and they walked side by side down the long corridor that led to the private chambers of the castle.
"Wait," she said softly, "What time is it?"
"Early," he promised, "We won't be missed for hours. Come Sarah," he entreated her gently.
At the corridor's end Jareth opened a door and escorted Sarah in. The chamber was the King's private quarters. He bade her to sit, and he poured a libation for them to share. Sarah watched him move, she'd always been struck by how gracefully he moved. He sat beside her offering her the cup. She took it without hesitation and sipped then handed it back to him. "That tastes familiar."
"Peach nectar," he said gently. "You know how fond I am of peaches."
Sarah nodded, "It's so quiet here," she commented a bit dazed. "I can't hear the music anymore."
Mismatched storms at sea eyes gazed into the green kaleidoscopes with warm affection. "Sarah we can make our own music," he suggested as his gloved hand reached out to trace her jaw line.
"Jareth," she said taking hold of the hand that was so gentle on her skin.
Tipping her chin Jareth lowered his lips to hers, when she didn't pull away he deepened the kiss. Sarah wrapped her arms about him and breathed in the heady scent that seemed to always fill any where he went. Soon his kisses went from tender and hesitant to insistent and hungry. His hands had begun to explore her, gently removing the lacing and easing the bodice of her gown away from her body. Sarah wondered why she didn't feel shy, why she didn't feel the need to blush or hide. Instead she only wanted to explore him as he was exploring her.
Sarah gazed at him, "Does one say you're beautiful to a man?" she asked.
"If I am," he answered, "It's because of how you see me." He stood up, pulled her to her feet and caressed her. His heart and hers beat like a pair of wild birds. "Let me show you how you make me feel."
"Yes… please." She closed her eyes.
Jareth picked her up and carried her to the bed in the dark corner of the chamber. "There shall no longer be you or me… it will now be us…it will be we." He said as he moved within her.
Sarah heard the beginnings of a clock chiming. It seemed he was timing his rhythm with the chime striking the hour. She counted, it was reaching twelve and she was meeting his thrusts now nearing climax. When the twelfth chime rung she felt the release begin. Her eyes opened in terror as the thirteenth stroke came and Jareth reached his climax. The room shuddered with the force of their joining. Glass shattered somewhere and in the distance she thought she heard voices.
"What have you done?" she cried out.
Jareth held her, pinioned to the bed. "Sarah clam yourself," he coaxed. "Think… think my darling. Remember…"
"This is not how it ended," her voice was distressed. "I … I ran from you… I broke the crystal… I made it to the castle…" She was frantic now, "What have you done?"
"Calm yourself my darling," he said gently. "I have merely corrected what went wrong." He soothed her, "You were never meant to win Sarah…no one wins against the Labyrinth. Not you, not me…" He gathered her closer. "All who enter are destined to remain."
"But I won," she protested.
"It was an illusion my darling, you needed to see what would happen if you won." He explained. "You've lived out thousands of possibilities, each always end the same way. You come back to me."
Sarah looked at him with distrust. "I don't believe you."
"Sarah, granted I'm a lying bastard," he teased, "But trust this… you were never meant to leave here. Not you, not Toby, not me." He sat up.
"I left here," she insisted. "I took Toby back…. He just got married." Sarah wrapped the sheet about her, "You are a lying bastard, and I don't believe you. Now how do I get back?"
"You are back," Jareth answered. "Back where you belong. And this time Sarah Williams, I will never let you go."
Her face was red with anger then lost all color, "Toby?"
"He's fine," Jareth assured her.
"If you've hurt him…"
"Hurt him? Hardly." Jareth declared.
"You can't have him, I won him back."
"Sarah," Jareth looked at her with amusement. "I could have had him anytime I wanted. There were dozens of time over the years that I could have stepped in and whisked him back here to the castle."
"He's a grown man; you can't turn him into a goblin!" Sarah had bounded out of the bed and was looking desperately for an exit.
"Whoever said I wanted to turn him into a goblin?"
The question startled her; she turned to stare at the Goblin King. "Isn't that what you do with wished away children?"
"One must really appreciate where that lore comes from," he answered with humor. "Parents who wish their naughty children to behave."
"You're not going to turn him into a goblin?"
Jareth closed his eyes and shook his head emphatically. "Sarah why would I wish to do that?"
Taken aback she stood clutching the bedding to her, "I don't know." She puckered her lips, "All I know is you were after him before and…"
"I was never after the baby," he laughed. "I was after the babe."
"Stop that," she barked. "I know what I know."
Lying back invitingly he patted the bed, "You don't know anything." Wolfishly he grinned, "Come and let me enlighten you."
"You're a dirty old man," she accused.
"Relative," he answered. "Now come my Queen, your King desires your pleasure."
"I am not your Queen."
"Sarah we are going to get nowhere fast if you keep refusing to accept the obvious." He stretched leisurely, knowing it showed his prowess.
Sarah trembled, desire filling her with need. "That's not fair."
"No," he agreed as he held a hand out to her, "It's not…"
Staring at the offered hand she vowed that this would be the last time she let him trick her. Who would care if she had a quick roll in the hay with the sexy king?
Jareth rose early, allowing his Queen to sleep peacefully. He dressed in his riding habit and made his way through the corridors down to the courtyard where his dragon was saddled and waiting. Toby was already there awaiting him. "Good morning Tobias," he greeted the younger man.
"Good morning Sire," Toby greeted him cheerily. "Did my Liege sleep well?" Jareth gave him a stony gaze that quickly changed to a satisfied grin. Toby laughed, "I'm so happy to hear that."
"Your sister is not going to be nearly as happy when she learns it was you who betrayed her." Jareth warned.
"What's wrong with evening a score," Toby asked, "Twenty-five years ago she wished me away… I've only returned the favor."
"You've given me your sister, and I have given you mine," Jareth said mounting the dragon and taking the reins into his gloved hands. "I'd say it was a fair trade." He cast one over the shoulder glance up to the tower where his Queen slept. "Yes, a most fair trade." He struck his steed with one lash and the heavy dragon rose into the sky.
Meanwhile back at the ranch….
Paisley smiled as she finished. She could hear the sounds of lots being cast behind her and Hawthorne-cat tallying the bets. Any moment now she knew she'd hear…
"Paisley what in the blazes is this?" the familiar voice demanded.
"It's a story…"
"This is not my story!" He protested loudly.
"No, it's not… not really… but then so few of them are." She answered sweetly.
"This makes me out to being a lying cheat!~"
"Look," she said turning from her computer. "I don't have a lot to work with. Henson and Company chose not to even acknowledge the anniversary."
Jareth didn't look convinced. "It's bad enough you've painted me a pedophile, and a scoundrel, or a brutal beast, but this…" He pointed to the screen. "No… no this will not do!"
"Oh come on… it's not that far from the truth."
Jareth crossed his arms, "lived out a thousand possibilities?"
"I swear," he vowed, "One day I'm going to…"
"Hey count your blessings…" Paisley said with a wicked smile, "I could have made the whole experience a delusion caused by her having been a victim of incest."
"That's sick, even for you."
Paisley smiled. "Happy Anniversary Sire."
"Thank you, Scribe." He sighed. "Now write something romantic, please."